For my birthday, my sister Jean sent me two books from my Amazon wish list. One was on photography, the other was this cookbook: Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know a lot about this book but it was raved about in the blogosphere as one of the best cookbooks of 2010. Well, all that raving was well worth it — this book is awesome! I think Kelley spent a whole Thursday night while I was at volleyball one week reading it. Like a novel. Then, I picked it up one day, and the recipes had me practically drooling. Then we started making some of the recipes and discovered that they are (a) delicious, (b) relatively easy and (c) use ingredients that are accessible. (In other words, no, buy a 5 lb pork belly, cure it for a month, marinate it for two days in a mixture of Jamaican skhjfdybum, etc) These are recipes you can make on a weeknight.
Then I found this site french fridays with Dorie, where each week there is a recipe chosen from the book. The idea is that everyone makes that recipe during that week and everyone shares their links on Friday.
I’m happy to report that we’ve made 4 of the 5 September recipes now, the first one is a Corn soup, delicious and a great use of an over-abundance of CSA corn, if you plan on making this recipe, don’t throw away the corn husk so you can use it afterwards. The next one is a creamy, cheesy, garlicky rice with spinach, also really tasty and timed with a big bag of CSA spinach. Cinnamon-crunch chicken was really flavorful, although I don’t think I really got the ‘crunch’ part right, the only one left is Honey-spiced madeleines: we have the pan, but we haven’t made these yet, but the Deconstructed BLT and eggs was Wednesday’s dinner.
Despite a number of ingredients, making the deconstructed BLT and eggs was a relatively quick process.
First, I hard boiled some eggs
While those were boiling, I threw some bacon in a skillet
and sliced some cherry tomatoes (from our CSA)
When the bacon was done cooking, I made some croutons in the leftover bacon fat
I don’t have a picture of this (imagine some oil and vinegar mixed together and you get the idea), but I also threw some white balsamic vinegar and olive oil together to make a quick vinaigrette. Both of those ingredients were purchases from our Paris honeymoon last year (and this is a French cookbook – crazy!)
Then it was time to toss the arugula (CSA) with some chopped sun-dried tomatoes (Trader Joes) and the dressing
Toss in the tomatoes and bacon
then top with the hard boiled eggs
Finally… a little dollop of mayonnaise on each egg half and some salt and pepper
This was really tasty — definitely got that BLT flavor hit with each bite. I think the pepper (and the use of peppery arugula) really made this meal.
Plus, I just made a “deconstructed” dish. How Top Chef!!!