October 28, 2011

FFwD: Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

Fall equals pumpkins to me - trips to the pumpkin farm, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake!  So amidst all this sweet stuff, I was really excited to try this weeks recipe.  It was delicious!  I loved the bacon stuffing and used a combination of cheddar and Gruyere cheese.  It was really quick to prepare which is always a plus.  As suggested I served it with a side salad.  This dish will be the perfect Thanksgiving dish for my vegetarian sister in-law (minus the bacon).

Once out of the oven, I debated on how to cut into my pumpkin because I thought it would totally fall apart into a gooey mess.  But it actually sliced pretty easily.  After dinner I was re-reading the recipe and saw Dorie suggests scooping the meat of the pumpkin into the stuffing and mixing it all together.  Great idea for next time.  

I'm looking forward to reading about what everyone did with this recipe.  Some things I'd like to try next time: with cooked rice and mix it all together like a risotto, making it in little baby pumpkins for individual servings and maybe a sweet version - like a rice pudding with pumpkin pie spices and pecans???  Oh, the possibilities!

If anyone has a favorite pumpkin soup recipe, please share ;o)

Happy French Friday to Everyone and Happy Halloween!


All packed up and ready for the oven!

Gooey cheese and bacon stuffed pumpkin, yummy!!

My pumpkin boat

October 21, 2011

FFwD: Pissaladiere

I took the easy way out this week and used store-bought puff pastry as the base of my pissaladiere. Knowing my family as I do, I knew a pissaladiere or pizza with onions, anchovies and black olives was not going to be a hit. So being the smart mom that I am, I came home with pepperoni, mozerella and tomato sauce. I made the onions which were nice and I added some mushrooms and garlic. I put the onion mixture on one part of the pastry to see what it tasted like.  I'll have to say I preferred the side with the cheese and pepperoni.

Madeleine do-over

I gave Dories traditional madeleine recipe a try this week, success! The batter sat in the fridge for 2 days before I got around to baking them. They had perfect little humps on their backs and were delicious.  My kids & I polished off the first pan in one sitting!

October 14, 2011

FFwD: Blinis with Smoked Salmon (with Champignons Sautes a la Creme Substitute)

So last week quite a few blogs had a laugh about the word "Spatchcock" to describe what we were suppose to do to our little Cornish Hens or Chickens.  Well, I'm in the grocery store this week and what do I see in the poultry area...

I had to laugh!  Before last week, I'd never heard of Spatchcocking a chicken or hen and now I can find flattened chicken at my local Marks & Spencer's!

Last week, I sort of wrote off this week because no one in my house really likes smoked salmon and I planned to make a previously done French Friday recipe instead.  I'll have to admit I made this statement not even knowing what the blini part of the recipe was.  So, after actually reading the recipe and other bloggers comments, I decided to try a substitution.

Keeping with the French theme, I used Julia Childs, Champignons Sautes a la Creme (Creamed Mushrooms) for the topping of my blinis.  I couldn't find buckwheat flour so opted for wholewheat flour which I had in my pantry.  I let the batter rest for about 1 hour 45 minutes.  I'm curious to see what happened to those that made the batter the night before with the buckwheat flour?  Mine were sort of just little wheat-tasting pancakes?  My son got excited because he thought we were having pancakes for dinner, Ha!  Only if you're eating them topped with cream mushrooms I said and his response was, "when is our pizza ready?"

We enjoyed them with the mushrooms, they would be great little appetisers for a dinner party... just need to make them mini-pancake size.

Champignons Sautes a la Creme (Creamed Mushrooms) from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child.

1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms
2 T butter
1 T oil
2 T shallots or green onions

Saute the mushrooms in hot butter and oil for 4 to 5 minutes, but do not allow them to brown any more than necessary.  Add the shallots or onions and toss over moderate heat for 2 minutes.

1 t flour

Stir in the flour and cook slowly for 2 minutes more.

2/3 to 1 cup whipping cream
1/8 t salt
pinch of pepper
optional: 2 to 3 T Maderia

Off the heat, blend in the cream and seasonings.  Boil down until the cream has reduced and thickened.  Add wine, and boil to evaporate its alcohol.  Correct seasoning.  I also added a few tablespoons of chopped tarragon.

1 to 2 T softened butter

Fold in just before serving.

October 7, 2011

FFwD: Olive-Olive Cornish Hens

Well, I couldn't find these little birds today at my butcher's or the grocery store.  Apparently, it's just the start of gaming season here and they will hopefully have some in a few weeks.  I could have gone for pigeon or pheasant but opted for good old chicken instead.  

I decided to go with the process though and flattened my big bird.  Next stumbling block was I'm the only one in my family that likes olives.  So, I put the olive tapenade on the corner of one breast and the top of a thigh.  I'm interested to read everyone's post to see how much flavour the little birds had.  I'll have to say mine was not that flavourful.  I seasoned per the recipe and added dried herbs because I just think roast chicken (which is what I was making) needs a lot of seasoning to taste like anything.

I served with buttermilk mashed potatoes and green beans with pancetta.  Bit disappointed this week and not really looking forward to next because I don't like smoked salmon.  I'm going to find something that the group made before I joined to make instead.

Happy weekend to everyone!

My spineless, flat chicken