Of eggs, black truffles and my family tree…

Pierre (my cheesemonger) and I were talking about truffles the other day. I was telling him that I wish I had access to fresh truffles year round. Indeed, truffles are harvested in December, January and February. After that, you can only get them in jars. They taste very good, but it is nothing like the fresh stuff. Pierre told me that he keeps a few for himself every year and freezes them.

Crème caramel and other old things worth fighting for

You see, I love my old things, and this morning when Charlotte (my thirty year old VW Golf for those of you who are new to the blog) broke down, I had to decide if she was worth the money and effort to fix her. The thing about old objects I have owned for so…

Duck breast with honey and balsamic apricots

Sear a duck breast on low heat. Fat side first! Get rid of the excess fat in the pan as you go. Keep about 4 tablespoon worth of the sweated fat towards the end. Keep it in the pan.
Take the meat out (it should still be a little bloody in the center) and place the apricots cut in half in the pan where the duck fat remains. Sear them 5 minutes on each side until they brown slightly.
Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey, salt and pepper to taste
Put the meat back in the pan (30 seconds on each side to warm it up)

Bloody Mary Calamari

I was nursing my delicious drink in the garden, a lightbulb went off in my little head: what if I made a Bloody Mary sauce for my calamari?!

A tribute to nana Anna

The only thing to really worry about when making risotto (besides the quality of your ingredients of course) is the cooking time

A taste of childhood bliss

My best memories of Greece are about the people. They are the most generous and kind people you can ever hope to meet. And the food… Oh my god, the food… Incredible seafood of course, but also souvlaki and of course the famous Greek Salad. Truly the taste of my childhood!! Pure bliss…

Have the pie and eat it too!

I find it much better to enjoy the present moment. Scratch that! To enjoy the instant! So to hell with my diet and hello gorgeous, scrumptious, juicy strawberry pie!

Wild asparagus surprise

I went to the market on Sunday to get some asparagus and came across bunches of wild asparagus. I had seen them on a book cover a long time ago and had always wanted to try some. I expected them to have very little taste and a texture that could only please a cow… I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Ugly is only skin deep!

Today I simply poached my monk fish in Chardonay (with bay leaves, fresh thyme and fenel sprouts + salt and pepper). A thick filet takes about 12 minutes on medium heat. Please be careful though, as the texture turns to dry rubber when overcooked. I then made a few fresh baby spinach sweat in a tablespoon worth of extra virgin olive oil; et voilà. I added a cold sauce made of “fromage blanc” and chives from the garden as well as a few strips of bacon

Of Spring walks, crayfish and lonely days

French (European) crayfish tastes exactly the same as Louisiana crayfish. The only difference is that the American ones are easier to peal (their shell is much softer) and they are red once they are cooked when ours are kind of a dark orange.

My dad likes them boiled then chilled and dipped in mayo. I like them hot and spicaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

The best Foodie Day ever!

I call days I spend touring Bordeaux and cooking with my guests: Foodie Days. A few weeks back, Nancy and Emerson spent two Foodie Days with me. One was centered around local history; the other one, on Sunday, was all about food. That Sunday, I picked the couple at their hotel in Bordeaux and we headed for my home town of Libourne to go to the farmers’ market. We picked-up some seafood, artichokes, lots of cheese and lots of cakes and then went to my favorite bakery to get fresh bread. The bread just came out of the oven and was so hot I could barely hold it…

When a clan of foodies means business!

Besides the oyster and the best wines and Champagne we could find, the menu included rillettes, patés, kilos and kilos of the most amazing beef, my very own gratin Dauphinois, then the cheese, tarte tatin (apple pie) and a chocolate cake we’d made with Belgium chocolate and salted butter from Guérande

Of meaningful lives, important people… and wild leeks

When we cook for others, we simply show we care. I believe that the thing people want most in this world is to know for sure that they matter… that at least one other person genuinely cares about them. Kind people who actually give a shit about others are ALWAYS significant and remembered

Scallops in lemon persillade

In France, scallops are fished in the “English” channel from October through May. It is considered an absolute delicacy and is often part of Christmas or New Year’s dinner menus. I prepare them in many different ways,

Coffee with Violette and Madeleine…

Strange title I know. Let me explain: I have 6 nephews and nieces as well as 8 grand nephews and nieces. Well, I had 8 that is, because a ninth was born this past week in Japan. Her mom and dad named her Violette; and yes, you guessed it, her big sister’s name is Madeleine….