Tag Archives: french

Inspirational Tarragon Roasted Chicken

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Lately, I’ve been a little stressed trying to figure out what to do next. So I’m spending too much time thinking of the next greatest thing. This is like Archimedes and his quest to discover density and the famous Eureka story. If you don’t know it, the movie PI has a great telling of the story by Mark Margolis. The long short of it is simply, relax. You can’t force inspiration, it just happens. 

Among many things, cooking French food for my love is always inspiring. So, L’estragon poulet rôti avec des légumes to the rescue!

RoastedChickenIngredients

For the Marinade

  • French Tarragon (Be liberal)
  • Rosemary (Be liberal)
  • Honey (4 tablespoons)
  • Olive Oil (4 tablespoons)
  • Limes (Lime zest, juice from 1 lime)

For the veggies

  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic

First, mince the tarragon as small as you can. Then add all the marinade ingredients into a bowl. Mix it really good. Then wash the chicken and dry with a paper towel and add to a bag or bowl with lid. Add the marinade and let sit for 30 mins to 4 hours… or more. Pro tip* Make sure the marinade gets under the skin.

RoastedChickenPreAssemble

Cut the veggies into large chunks and set aside. I found that the garlic I used could have been much more as when ever I got a bite of a chunk, it was magic so use a lot of garlic!

RoastedChickenPrecook

When you’re ready to eat, set the oven to 400 and add the chicken into the ban for broiling. Add the marinade to the pan and try to coat the veggies and meat. Now when you’re cooking it, you can cook with a lid or without. If you do it with the lid, you’ll get more soft veggies that are more steamed. If you roast with the lid off like I did, you’ll get more of a crisp veggie and they will have some blackened ends as you will see in the pic below. Also, if you want your skin to be more like the roasted part you can see in the center of the pieces below, cook separate from the veggies. If not, the skin will be thoroughly cooked and easy to cut and chew. Both ways are delightful.

Serve with a baguette, goat cheese with cracked pepper and red wine. Bon!

RoastedChickenPlated

 

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Croque Madame avec un Croissant

Ham and Brie Croissant with Fried Egg

A croque-monsieur, or grilled ham & cheese, when served with a fried egg or poached egg on top is known as a croque-madame. Many dictionaries attribute the name to the egg resembling an old fashioned woman’s hat! How fun is that? We were inspired to make this yummy sandwich by one of our favorite restaurants, Coquette Brasserie, and we decided to put a spin on it by using a croissant and Brie instead of the usual Gruyere cheese.

We just set a few slices of cherrywood ham and brie on the croissant and baked it for about ten minutes while frying up a sunny side up egg, which was still a bit runny. To accompany it, we enjoyed fresh salad greens from our garden with a homemade vinaigrette. Champagne white vinegar plus Penzey’s Sunny Paris seasoning made a perfect dressing!

This was almost too easy for being so fancy. Mangez bien!

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Lovely French Macarons

Magnificent Macaroons - Kendall Totten Photography  

What would motivate a man to make some little pink french cookies that he’s never had before? Well, lately I’ve been learning to code video games, and I’ve been working so hard at developing that craft that I’ve been neglecting my savory hacker duties. So I thought I would switch gears and clear my head. Secondly, they are a gorgeous looking food. Finally, they are French. I’ve never been to France but I’ve been really into French food lately and I wanted to experience a bit of their culture.

I went online and watched Beth’s Foolproof French Macaron Recipe on YouTube like 4 times (no joke). If you follow this recipe, I would highly recommend doing the same. She clearly points out pitfalls to watch out for and what results you should look for.

People have been saying how difficult and time-consuming making macarons will be, but honestly after watching Beth’s video, they were pretty simple! This was my first attempt and they turned out fantastic. I did have help from my sous chef (and the love of my life) so that helped too!

Stack of Macaroons - Kendall Totten Photography

As you can see, the texture of macarons when done correctly have these little feet-like bottoms that are all rough. This is key to making sure that the macarons are firm, yet light and easy to chew. Kind of like firm cotton candy. This was my first time having a macaron, so I wasn’t sure what to put in the middle of the sandwich. Beth recommends something kind of tart to balance out the sweet. I didn’t have the time to create the berry filling that she showed, so instead I defaulted to Nutella, french preserves, and frosting. All of these were good but I have to say, they were indeed a bit too sweet. I would recommend taking Beth’s advice and using something tart in the middle.

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When I was done, I was curious about the insides so I cut a cookie in half. I’m assuming that this is the ideal texture since our photos closely resemble those seen on other recipe sites. These were easy to eat and similar to cotton candy. In the end, even though they taste great and look so pretty, you may think you’d like to make like 2 dozen… but don’t. Trust me, one per person will be enough!

By the way, if you’re anything like us, you may be interested in knowing the difference between a macaroon and a macaron!

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Crazy ’bout Crêpes

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If this blog turns into an all-crêpes, all-the-time kind of blog, no one will really complain right? Good. Because I have recently hacked together the most glorious crêpe yet. It’s a slight twist on a basic recipe which involves strawberries, Nutella, and raspberry jam. The magic ingredient is a soft goat cheese which may sound wacky, but trust me it’s amazing.

I used Cana de Cabra which I found at Whole Foods, but I think any creamy, mild goat cheese would do. The light tang of the cheese perfectly balances the sweetness of the berries & chocolate. This is most definitely my new favorite food and I just had to share!

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Crêpes!

In American culture, pancakes are a common tradition among families, churches, and pretty much any organization looking to attract kids. (Remember Breakfast with Santa?) And as good as pancakes are, it’s funny to me that crêpes, their delectable cousin, are so uncommon. After all, they’re just a tad thinner, and a tad more delicious. Perhaps people are intimidated by them because they seem harder to make? Or is it because they’re French and we can barely pronounce them? Maybe if we called them “Freedom Cakes” they would gain notoriety. 😉

All kidding aside, crêpes are really are easy to make, and you can do it at home. A good pan is really important to the process, and we’ve found that our cast iron skillet does a bang-up job!

Breakfast scramble crepe with lemon caper sauce & berries

We call this the Breakfast Scramble Crêpe. Add scrambled egg, ham, mozzarella, & a touch of fancy homemade lemon caper sauce & berries on the side.

Be sure that your skillet is nice and hot when you begin, and don’t be afraid to sacrifice a bit of batter for the first trial crêpe that soaks up any residual flavor on your conditioned skillet. Grease the skillet with a dab of butter so your crêpes won’t stick.

The trick is to pour just enough batter into the pan to cover the bottom. Then use the flat bottom of a measuring cup to smooth the batter out and around the pan. Once it has cooked through enough to flip, give it a toss and cook the other side just for a minute or two. Pop it out of the pan and add your favorite toppings. Remember, crêpes can be sweet or savory, so go wild!

Berries & Nutella Crepe

Nutella and berries make a simply divine treat!

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