But no meal is complete without dessert, right? I was originally planning some sort of tiramisu since I had a some Marscapone cheese that needed to be used…but this was a French dinner not an Italian one. Nico suggested a Baba au Rhum, and I decided to make it and serve it with a Marscapone Whipped Cream.
As Gordon says, the star of the dish is a perfectly medium-rare piece of filet mignon, and I wanted to celebrate that! My friend Anwar, who runs International Grocery and Halal Meat, Inc. offered to find me a filet mignon for my dish. What an adventure that was! I came to the shop and he cut open a cow to find the tenderloin for me. I got to watch him butcher the meat and point at the cut I wanted. I ended up with about 3 pounds in two pieces. Thank you Anwar!
For our first course, the aperitif, I made a traditional Parisian cocktail, the 1789, created to celebrate the revolution! I wanted to create some nibbles while we sipped our cocktails, so I made these delicious Olive Crisps and served them with a Green Olive and Almond Tapenade with some Anchovy for extra flavor and some creamy, and delicious Riclettes de Sardines.
Kalamata Olive and Rosemary Baguette Daria Souvorova 4 hours serves: Makes 3 18 inch loaves Baguettes are my favorite bread to bake and Nico’s favorite bread to eat. The only competition for baguettes in his eyes is a Kalamata loaf. I decided to combine the two, an unconventional, but delicious juncture between Paris and Rome….
I have always loved udon soup, but I have never considered making my own udon noddles until I waited for one hour in line outside of the most famous noodle shop in Honolulu, Morukame Udon. The weather was perfect, and the family ahead of us very funny, but it was the view through the windows that caught my attention for the bulk of that hour. A cook was gingerly tossing around a sheet of silky dough and thinning it slowly before another next to him cut it down into beautiful fresh udon noodles. It was this experience that made me really want to have the Japanese-Hawaiian fusion dinner. I had to make my own noodles.
So here it is, a big loaf of rye sandwich bread. This is a technically easy loaf to make, you just need to dedicate a bit of time, allowing the sponge to bubble for 3-4 hours really helps the flavors to deepen, but if you are in a hurry, 1-2 hours will still produce a good loaf. I have read several accounts of adding pickle juice in addition to the water to the sponge, and it produced wonderful results. The flavor is much richer (and really not pickly) after the loaf is baked. Rather non-traditionally, you will find that I combine the traditional caraway seeds with fennel and coriander for a bit more excitement! If you want a traditional loaf, simply add 3 tablespoons of caraway seeds.
Eggplant is so tempting this time of year! I think I will try to grow some next summer! In the mean time, however, I keep buying it every weekend, so we have to keep cooking it. This week, I also wanted to make a bit of mozzarella and some pesto since my basil plant is getting pretty hefty.
Want to make your own pesto? I like a combination of arugula and basil for mine. I take about 4 cups of basil leaves and arugula leaves each, a half a cup of pine nuts, a cup of grated Parmesan, 4-6 garlic cloves, and enough olive oil to get to the consistency you like. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and adjust to your tastes.
A cobbler is an easy and delicious dessert, you are basically making a loose jam filling and covering it in biscuits. Most people recommend a dollop of wet biscuit dough on top, which is really delicious in and of itself, but I like to use my standard biscuit dough to have nice fluffy biscuits. I press the dough out and fold it five times to create lovely layers as it bakes. If you want an even simpler dough, make it as the recipe calls and skip the folding, just dollop it on with a big spoon.