Paris at Christmastime: A Fun Winter Trip

Paris10 It’s been almost two and half years since we were last in Paris over Easter weekend. The sun was shining and spring was doing what it normally does to cities, make them beautiful and lively. Paris in the spring is a wonderful, and we spent a lot of time outdoors. This time, it’s pre-Christmas winter so we spent a lot of time seeing another side of Paris, indoors and at night.


Chronicles of Charcuterie Continued: Cold Smoking Pork into Speck and Country Ham

Country Ham and speck in the fridge

The fennel pollen coated coppa hanging in the middle (benefit of de-boning the shoulder yourself) will pick up some nice smokiness from the speck and molasses country ham.

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! Normally I spend Thanksgiving week doing a lot of shopping, prep work, and pie baking but not so much this year as we’re celebrating with some friends. Even though I’m in charge of the turkey (and my favorite stuffing) I found I actually had time to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a while: cold smoke some cured pork. (more…)

Deliciously Spicy Hungarian Pork Shanks Soup

Hungarian Pork Shanks SoupIn a recent Saturday edition of the Wall Street Journal there was a recipe for German goulash soup which looked pretty good but I didn’t have much of an urge to try it and promptly forgot about it. However, this changed when Cheryl and I were shopping at a nearby German butcher/grocery, Gene’s Sausage Shop, where I saw something at the meat counter which reminded me of that soup recipe: Hungarian Style pork shanks. They were just begging me to take them home and turn them into a soup! I quickly took a number and waited my turn. (more…)

Macaroni and Cheese (with Duck Confit)

Macaroni and Cheese duck confit3If last week’s post was all about pure decadence, this week’s post is all about simple comfort food with one of the most beloved side dishes of all time: macaroni and cheese. Ok, so I added some duck confit to it for just a teensy touch of decadence. But if you’ve been following this blog long enough you know I rarely just do the regular stuff. (more…)

Braised Beef Tenderloin Prince Albert (not in a can)

Beef Braise Prince AlbertLast week’s post was a minimalist, economical, extremely simple soup recipe. This week is the exact opposite: maximalist, decadent, and technical cooking. Last weekend was the first Sunday in over a month where we weren’t sick or traveling so Cheryl challenged me to whip up something extra special for Sunday dinner. Since I was on a bit of a French cuisine run I turned to Julia Child and found this recipe for Filet de Boeuf Braise Prince Albert. Beef, foie gras, truffles, and a delicious sauce. How much more decadent can it get? I’m not sure who this particular Prince Albert was but he was a very lucky guy if he was able to have this whenever he wanted. (more…)

The Easiest French Onion Soup! Seriously.

French Onion SoupSo, I’m guessing most French Onion soups you’ve eaten have been the ones with beef stock in them, right? Nothing wrong with those but shouldn’t an onion soup taste like onions? Not beef soup or chicken soup, but onions. I think we have become so conditioned to those flavors in soup we immediately think that’s what soup requires. This soup is the one which turned me on to using water instead of stocks in my soups and it comes from Michael Ruhlman’s Twenty. When you make it you’ll understand why I’ve turned to this technique. (more…)

Chicken with Saffron and Olives

Chicken thighs with saffron and olivesLast weekend Cheryl requested I make a chicken dish she likes I hadn’t made in a while, chicken thighs with olives. I have two chicken with olives dishes so after asking further questions to narrow down which one, I figured chicken thighs with saffron and green olives was what she wanted. Of course, it was the other one. Nevertheless it’s a flavorful dish and makes for a very good Sunday or weeknight dinner, especially in the fall. (more…)