Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cook the Books: Around My French Table

This month I am participating in a virtual cookbook book club called Cook the Books.   The ladies at Grow and Resist and Oh, Briggsy are hosting a year long cookbook challenge.  So each month they picked a different book and a bunch of people will cook things and post blogs about them as well as reviews of the books.

January's book is Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  I am usually hesitant to look at french cook books because there are always hard to find ingredients and the techniques take to long for me right now.  This book is wonderful.  Ms. Greenspan includes recipes and stories that are simple, tasty and quick.  I made a pumpkin flan, and plan to make pissaladiere (onion anchovy pizza), salmon rillettes, tuna confit with black olive tapenade, and possible a fresh orange pork loin.  Stay tuned..... I won't post these recipes to honor copyrights but if you're interested you should totally check the book out at your local library.

Here is the rundown of what I actually accomplished.  But I think I'll keep this book around for a bit to try some more.

I started with a Pumpkin Gorgonzola Flan (pg 146):

The recipe is simple: mix some eggs, cream and pumpkin together.  Season and top with Gorgonzola Cheese and bake in a water bath.  I didn't have a can of pumpkin and was not going back to the store.  But I just happen to have a butternut squash in the basement from the garden this year.  So I roasted and pureed it first.  I think this would only take about 8 minutes to make if you used canned pumpkin, but the butternut was also super yummy.

Next up was the Pissaladiere (pg45):

This is basically a caramelized onion pizza with anchovies.  The dough is a basic pizza dough and is very good and fairly quick from start to finish, about an hour.  I would definitely use this crust again.  So to make the pizza you caramelize onions with some thyme and bay leaves and then stir in some chopped anchovies and bake.  The recipe calls for anchovies on top too but I learned through making this that I don't particularly like anchovies like I thought I would.

After I made this and didn't like the anchovy flavor I picked them all off.  Then I made a reduced balsamic vinegar glaze to drizzle on the pizza.  This wasn't a favorite in my house but to those who love anchovies it is a wonderful recipe.

This morning for a brunch I made Salmon Rillettes (p. 26):

What can I say besides super delicious!?! This spread made with wine poached salmon, smoked salmon, butter, lemon and spices was a total hit and will definitely be made again.  It literally took me 10 minutes to make.  I substituted the red chile pepper with a dash of cayenne in the poaching liquid and a diced red bell pepper in the spread.

At the brunch we feasted on this salmon dish on top of toasted english muffins.  Muy bueno!

Stay tuned for more from Dorie Greenspan's book Around My French Table.

I wish you enough!


  1. That looks absolutely delicious!

  2. wow, these look awesome! i really wanted to make the salmon rillettes, and based on your review, i'm moving it to the top of my to-make list, especially living in the Pacific Northwest.
    will you be joining us in dumpling making this month? the book is fun so far!

    1. Yes, move it up, it really is super delicious!!! I am trying to join in but I was trying to get the book from the library. I had them purchase the book but it's not in yet. Hopefully it will get here before the month's over...