Chicken in red wine sauce (coq au vin)

Now I think we have all made coq au vin in one way or another.  David Lebovitz’ version can be found on page 177 of his book,”My Paris Kitchen”.

After making this version, I will find it very hard to make another.  I did have some variations to David’s but will look forward to making the “true recipe” at some later date.

The original recipe that was derived from Anthony Bourdain called for chicken blood, as David points out, it is not something sold on the shelves of the local supermarket in Paris. It is something I did not even want to look for, so I too skipped it.

A slurry of cocoa powder is added in place of the blood, much better choice.

David also used a regular chicken cut into 8 pieces, I chose to use boneless thighs.

I think one of the keys to his delicious version was the chicken marinating with the wine, carrot, onion, salt and pepper, cloves, bay leaves and thyme for 1-2 days.


Once that is done, the chicken is removed and blotted dry and the marinade is strained through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, saving the vegetables as well as the wine.

The chicken is then brown on each side and removed from the pot.

The bacon is then fried with the mushrooms ( I had grown my own from a kit I received at Christmas, it was so fun to use in this fantastic dish).IMG_2552.JPG


The  vegetables are then added along with the marinade.  Flour is also added to the vegetables.  Then finally the chicken is put back in the pot and simmered for 1 hour (since I used just thighs, my time was a lot less)

Then the slurry with cocoa powder and 1/3 warm cooking liquid from the pot is made and stirred into the chicken.

This was then served over rice.  It was so delicious, I wish I had made the whole chicken!!

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Salt cod and potato puree (Brandade de Morue). Salt cod fritters with tartar sauce (Accras de Morue a la sauce tartare).

I chose to make these two recipes together.

First I made the Salt Cod and potato puree.  This can be found on page 144 of David Lebovitz’ My Paris Kitchen.

I  have never worked with salt cod, so this was a first for me.  I thought it was a great recipe for the long weekend as time is needed to make this.  First the excess salt is rinsed off the cod, and it is set in a bowl of cold water for 24 hours, changing the water 3 times.

After this is done, you mix olive oil, garlic and thyme in a small saucepan and heat.  As this is going on, you boil the salt cod with potatoes for 25 to 30 minutes, until potatoes and fish are both tender.


When both are tender, drain and when fish is cool, remove any bones, fins or tough pieces of fish.


You then transfer the fish and potatoes to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix this with the garlic infused oil, cream and black pepper.

This is then transferred to a buttered baking dish with breadcrumbs and parmesan on top.


I took half the recipe to save for the  cod fritters.  The Brandade De Morue was served with a green salad as David suggested.  This was a nice light dinner on a Sunday night.

As this was baking, I prepped the cod fritters..  They can be found on page 73.   To make the fritters, I mixed 1/2 the brandade de morue with 1/4 cup bread crumbs.  I then chilled them for 24 hours in the refrigerator.



These are then dipped in fritter batter of flour, cornstarch, cayenne pepper, parsley and cilantro.  The fritters are then fried in hot peanut oil.  You only do about 6 at a time, but I should have done 4.  Mine were not perfectly golden and David’s were, but they were very tasty.



The homemade tartar sauce was a great addition to the fritters, while the fritters were delicious- the tartar sauce really made the dish delicious.  These were very good and loved by all.


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Onion Tart (Pissaladiere)

This onion tart can be found on page 69 of David Lebovitz’ My Paris Kitchen.

David says the Pissaladiere should be crisp and very thin, not thick and bready.  This is where I went wrong.  My onion tart was thick and bready.  While the flavors were delicious. the bread was too thick and took away from the entire tart.

I enjoyed making this recipe as I am not someone who makes bread, or dough, so I was able to use my dough hook for the first time.  I was very happy with how easy the dough mixed.

Once the dough was made, I let it sit in a warm place (kitchen) for an hour.  While the dough was doubling, I made the topping.  It turned to a lovely deep golden brown in about an hour.

So I rolled the dough out and covered the dough with carmelized onions, then dotted olives over it.  I left out the anchovies and set it to bake.  It only took 20 minutes.  I let it cool and cut it into rectangles.  Ass I said the dough was too thick, but the flavors were great.  IMG_2482.jpg




IMG_2481.jpgNow that I have used the dough hook, I will repeat the recipe and really focus on thinner crust.


Later in the day, I had my 2 grandsons over to decorate gingerbread men.


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Fresh Herb Omelet(omelette aux fines herbes)

This great recipe can be found in David Lebovitz’ My Paris Kitchen page 133.

All of you who have read my past posts have probably picked up that I do not eat eggs (croque- madame vs croque -monsieur)and on and on.

So for New Year’s day, I treated Mark to breakfast (which I never make)- Fresh herb Omelet.

This dish is so easy to make and came together quickly.  I love fresh herbs and have to buy them in the winter, but well worth it as I used them for so many other dishes this week. IMG_2492.JPG

You mix the eggs and cream and add the herbs with salt and pepper.


Then you heat a non stick skillet, I used my(Mark’s) frittata pan and it worked great, poured the eggs in.  As it started to set, David says to lift the edges allowing the liquid uncooked eggs from the center to flow underneath.  I have never done this and I am not sure of the reason, but it made for a lovely golden omelet.  Cheese was sprinkled down the middle and the omelet was folded in 1/2.IMG_2495.JPG




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Grated Carrot Salad

This recipe can be found in David Lebovitz’ “My Paris Kitchen” on page 123.

I have to say, at first I was not sure how I would feel about a mainly carrot salad, but I ended up liking it after all.  The most difficult part is grating the carrots.  I cut the recipe in 1/2 and still found it time consuming to grate all those carrots.


The dressing of lemon juice, mustard and honey with the fresh herbs was delish- I chose parsley as I had some on hand.  IMG_0231.JPG

I had considered adding raisins, but opted to take David’s advise and add avocado.  It was good, but missing something.  So I sprinkled some blue cheese on top and it was perfect.


I would make this again, but in the summer! It is a nice light salad.

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Scalloped potatoes with blue cheese and roasted garlic

This week’s recipe can be found on page 211 of David Lebovitz’ book, My Paris Kitchen.

David calls this dish comfort food (but he is never comfortable with that term!)  This dish came at a great time.  I am trying to plan Thanksgiving meal and planning a potato dish that all would like, but is  a little different from the traditional mashed potato.

You start by putting unpeeled garlic cloves in a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and roast for 45 minutes.  Then you remove the garlic from the skins and mash in a saucepan with a few spoonfuls of the cream to make a paste.

The potatoes are then peeled and slice and layered in a baking dish with blue cheese and chives.  After all the layers are done, the dish is then covered with the cream mixture with the garlic.  Season all of this with salt and pepper.

IMG_0224.JPG Place the dish on a tin foil lined baking sheet and bake for one hour.


While David says the potatoes should be cut at 1/4 inch, I feel this is too thick.  I cut my potatoes very thin and still found they were not cooked enough.  The sauce is wonderful and if the potatoes were a little thinner, this would have been the perfect dish.  The flavors went together very well and now that I know how thick to slice the potatoes, this may very well be the potato dish for thanksgiving after all!


Please check out and see how everyone else did with this dish.

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Butternut squash casserole

This week’s recipe was Butternut squash casserole.  It can be found on page 215 of David Lebovitz’ My Paris Kitchen.

I did not use the butternut, but chose to use 2 different squashes that I received from my CSA, Orange Kabocha – Sunshine Winter Squash and Sweet Dumpling Winter Squash. The result with the thyme was very savory.

You start the filling by browning 1/2 the squash in butter and olive oil along with thyme.  Once browned, shallots are added and chicken stock.  I chose to use vegetable stock as I had just made up a large batch of vegetable stock to freeze .


The second batch is made the same way, and all is placed in a prepared (well buttered)shallow casserole dish.

I am lucky enough to still have thyme in the garden (window box) that has not wilted from the weather. So I used this in my topping along with panko crumbs, cornmeal, Parmesan, sage, sugar and salt along with butter.  I put this in the food processor, but could easily have done this with a pastry blender.

The squash is baked for 30 minutes, covered with tin foil.  Then the topping is applied and bake for another 20 minutes.


I forgot to take a picture of the finished dish, so this is leftovers!!

I loved the flavor of this dish and think it would be great for Thanksgiving.  My dish was a little dry and it may be the squash I chose or the fact that I made it in the morning and did not bake until evening.  Either way it was extremely flavorful.

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Gazpacho with herbed goat cheese toasts

So many tomatoes and so little time!! This is the perfect season to be making gazpacho.  This week’s recipe can be found on page 121 of David Lebovitz’ My Paris Kitchen.

I opted to omit the goat cheese toasts as we are trying to stay away from bread.  I think it would have been a lovely addition, but the gazpacho was just as good on its own.

To make the gazpacho, fill a large pot half full with water and bring to a boil.  Remove the cores of the tomatoes and cut an X in the bottom of each.


The you plunge the tomatoes in the boiling water for 30 second to blanch them.  Then they are strained and rinsed with cold water, the tomatoes are then very easy to peel.

They are then cut in 1/2 and set in a coarse mesh strainer, squeezing the liquid and seeds out of the tomato.  The liquid was easy to extract, but the seeds were a challenge.   A few got away from me and ended up in the soup.

Then you soak the bread ( I found 1/2 english muffin in the freezer) in cold water for 1 minute, drain and squeeze the excess water out of the bread.

Working in batches, pulse the tomatoes and tomato liquid in the bowl of a food processor with the bread.  I chose to use my immersion blender and did this all in the big pot. This made a beautiful pink soup.


Then the nearly pureed tomatoes are mixed with finely chopped cucumber, onion and yellow, red or green pepper.  This was the most labor intense part of the recipe.  As David says, this is a good place to practice your knife skills.  Truthfully, mine are not that great as I am usually cutting a finger one way or another.  It is just so hard for me to turn my fingers under as I am dicing ,it is not natural to me.

Once the vegetables and tomato puree are added along with the garlic, stir in the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, chile powder; season with pepper and add a tablespoon of vodka.

The gazpacho is then chilled thoroughly and served with the goat cheese toasts.  David makes garlicky toasts that he has smeared with herbed goat cheese.  This sounds so delicious, next batch will include these!.

This is the perfect soup for a hot summer day.


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Spiced meatballs with Sriracha Sauce

I must confess, this is the second time I have made these meatballs and they were great both times!! You can find the recipe on page 75 of David Lebovitz’ My Paris Kitchen.

My first time making this, I was looking for a way to use up ground lamb that I had in the freezer.  I belong to a meat CSA and monthly, we have our meat delivered to the town center.  Then one of us goes over and picks up the delivery.  Usually when my husband does it, we end up with way more meat than was ordered!!

But frequently, they have ground lamb and this is a great way to use it.  I really enjoyed the mixing of the two meats.

My second time, I used straight ground beef.  I found this just a tasty but because the meat we receive is so lean- it had to have the Sriracha Mayonnaise as a dipping sauce.

I know this was intended as an appetizer, but I chose it as a meal.

To start, you toast the fennel, coriander and cumin in a hot skillet for a minute or so.  Then allow it to cool and crush – I chose the mortar and pestle to crush my spice.IMG_2317.JPG

Then the spices are mixed with cilantro, garlic,paprika, harissa, salt, cinnamon, allspice and sumac (Again- I had no sumac-but I found some at the farmer’s market this weekend).

The ground meat is added and mixed well.  Pieces of the mixture are rolled into meatballs the size of walnuts.  Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and fry the meatballs for 8-10 minutes. You can grill them or cook over a fire as well.


To make the Sriracha mayonnaise, combine the mayonnaise and Sriracha in a small bowl.  This can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated.

Serve the meatballs warm with the Sriracha mayonnaise.


These were very easy and very delicious.  It made a great, quick weekday meal.

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Cherry tomato crostini and apricot crumble tart

This entry is a double for me.  I have had a busy month, traveling a great deal.  I decided to combine these recipes on a recent trip away with girlfriends.  We were all   (7) of us away at Cape Cod, MA.   We enjoyed both these dishes with a kale salad ( made by a friend) in between the two courses.

Cherry tomato crostini page 110 in My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz.

I started by cutting the tomatoes in half and mixing with herbs,garlic  and oil.  I then put them in a pan that allowed them to be single layer and roasted them for 45 minutes, stirring in between.  I allowed them to sit for a while once they were done to allow the flavors to mix.


I did not have any goat’s milk, so I just picked up some goat cheese and mixed in the herbs.  I chose chives and fresh thyme.

I then took some french bread and sliced it up.  The weather was hot and humid and no one was in the mood for toast, so I spread each piece of bread with the herbed goat cheese and topped with the tomatoes.


Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this appetizer and many requested the recipe.  I found using the french bread, I had a lot left over.  There was much more than 4 servings and I was able to leave the leftovers for my hostess who then enjoyed it again with her husband.


We then enjoyed  a yummy kale, edamame and chickpea salad made by my friend Jane.

For dessert we enjoyed the “apricot crumble tart” page 309 in My Paris Kitchen.

I had a hard time with the crust for this dish.  I made a beautiful dough with duck eggs.  This was so fluffy and a nice yellow color.  I put it in the oven to bake and left for a few minutes.  I came back and it was burnt!!! It was not salvageable at all.  I started over again and then made a cracker crumb crust.  This did not burn thankfully.

I mixed together the filling.  I had some plums and peaches on hand and substituted them for the apricots.  I mixed these together with sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract and almond extract.  This was then poured into the crust.


The crumble topping of almonds, flour, brown sugar, kosher salt, cinnamon and butter was mixed together and strewn over the plums and apricots.


The end result was delicious.  Everyone enjoyed this and ate it throughout the “weekend” away.    David suggests whipped cream or ice cream to top this off.  I would have done this, but we were all watching our waistlines!! That would have been a great finale for this tart.


I look forward to making this again with apricots.


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