‘Sauté de Veau Marengo’

Recipe Adapted from 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck

Recipe Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck

This Sauté de Veau Marengo is a classic Provencal veal stew with tomatoes and mushrooms.  What makes this stew Provencal in nature is the use of flavorful and hearty ingredients common in southern France–ingredients like tomatoes, fresh herbs, white wine, mushrooms and citrus.   (Yum is what you are thinking, and yum is exactly right.)  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, any dish that involves braising meat until super tender is high on my favorites list, as is anything with Provencal flavors.  The orange peel in this dish might sound odd to you, but it actually gives a hint of citrusy brightness to the stew, which is lovely with the tomatoes.  Feel free to use pork or beef cubes in this dish if you prefer, but the naturally smooth and tender taste of the veal is merveilleux.

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‘Bourbon Praline Cake’

Original Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Original Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Magazine

The recipe for this decadent cake was given to me by my good friend Rachael. Having already made it a couple of times, she was frustrated with the recipe’s praline topping and was hoping I could try the recipe and maybe figure out a solution. (You see, a cake idea like this one sounds so delish that both of us wanted to get it right so that it could be shared and enjoyed!)

So, I accepted this tasty baking challenge and was determined to figure out a way for this cake to work for us.  Having followed the recipe step-by-step both times, Rachael’s issue with the topping was that as an upside-down cake, the filling kept leaking out of the spring-form pan.  So my solution here was to  make the topping separately from the cake itself, and then drizzle the topping on the cooked cake after it had cooled.  I used the same measurements as the original recipe for the cake and the topping, but with one modification–less pecans on the top of the cake so it wouldn’t be so heavy on the tender cake itself.

The second modification to the overall recipe that I found the cake needed was cooking the cake in the preheated oven for only 35-40  minutes, not the 1 hour as stated.  My cake turned out with a tender, moist crumb when cooked this way and the combination of bourbon and the pecan-praline topping…..wowza.  A wonderful cake idea as we usher in these cooler, lovely fall temperatures!

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Baked Turkey Tenderloins with a Mustardy Tomato-Caper Sauce


This recipe is all about its flavorful Provençal sauce.  A simple sauce that is very fragrant and that would work well not only with baked turkey, but also chicken, a skirt steak, pork or even shellfish.  You start with minced garlic and sliced shallots and cook them in a touch of fruity olive oil.  Next to the pan comes a diced tomato, fresh rosemary and dry white wine.  To thicken and flavor the sauce, you then add in tangy Dijon mustard and briny capers.  This sauce makes your entire kitchen smell marvelous, and transforms tender turkey tenderloins into a decadent weeknight dinner.

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Tuscan Kale Salad with Acorn Squash, Pomegranate Seeds & Pecorino


I know what you’re thinking. Again with the Tuscan kale…but I just can’t help myself, I adore this variety of kale! This side dish is colorful, healthy and very seasonal; all of which are characteristics that I try to plan my dinner menus around.  Shredded Tuscan kale is tossed with pomegranate seeds, roasted slices of creamy acorn squash, fresh thyme and salty shredded Pecorino cheese. To flavor the salad I made a nice mustardy vinaigrette that carried through the tart flavor of pomegranates with the use of pomegranate molasses.  Wonderful alongside a roasted chicken, seared duck breasts or even a warm bowl of soup.

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‘Orange Rice with Mushrooms’

Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart.com

Recipe Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

This wonderful rice pilaf is filled with very tasty ingredients: fluffy white rice, sauteed celery, onions, mushrooms, orange zest and scallions to be exact.  Each bite is filled with the slightly sweet citrus flavor from the zest and the vegetables give the rice a hearty, fulfilling texture.  I actually tossed the sauteed ingredients into leftover rice which worked out very well–just another way to use up leftover ingredients from a dinner earlier in the week. We really loved this unique rice dish!

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.marthastewart.com/343551/orange-rice-with-mushrooms)

Belgian Endive with Ham & Gruyere


I based this delectable side dish on a classic French combination of flavors.  Tender Belgian endives baked with slices of tender ham, shredded Gruyere cheese and a touch of heavy cream.  The cream in the pan surrounding the endives gives a lovely ‘gratin’ feel to the dish while the nutty Gruyere cheese on top of the meat and the tender endive are a remarkable flavor combination.  I used thinly sliced capicola ham here, but prosciutto or whatever type of ham you enjoy would work just fine.

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Pan-Seared Salmon with Watercress & Roasted Garlic Pesto


If I had to choose my favorite cooking method for serving salmon, I think pan-searing would be at the top of the list.  Cooking the fish fillets in a pan with a touch of hot olive oil gives a lovely crust to both sides of the fish without drying out the fish’s flaky texture– and all the while, adding an incredible flavor to the salmon as well.  I served these seared salmon filets with a lovely sauce made with pureed watercress, roasted garlic cloves, pine nuts and a touch of Parmesan cheese.  A pesto by definition, this sauce had a thicker, smoother texture than a regular pesto sauce however–thanks to the buttery roasted garlic cloves.

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‘Radicchio & Orange Salad’

Recipe Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Recipe Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Radicchio is a purple-hued, winter chicory that falls under the ‘bitter greens’ category.  Hearty in texture and very versatile, this bitter green is popular in salad mixes, but also braises very well, and also holds its own in a salad like this one.  Simple yet elegant, this salad pairs torn pieces of the bitter green with sweet golden raisins, crunchy almonds and a quick orange vinaigrette.  Radicchio’s bitter nature pairs very very well with any fresh citrus you have on hand, but also with balsamic vinegar for a tart-bitter flavor combination.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.marthastewart.com/355515/radicchio-and-orange-salad)

Beef, Broccoli & Kimchi Stir Fry


Served over long-grain white or brown rice, this flavorful and healthy stir-fry is the way to go on a busy weeknight.  Tender strips of skirt steak stir-fried together with sliced garlic, broccoli florets and store-bought kimchi is a tasty combination of ingredients that are flavored with sesame oil and a touch of soy sauce.  An when you are prepping the broccoli, don’t leave out those broccoli stems!  Thinly slice them as well and add them right into the wok.

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Shredded Kale Salad with Balsamic-Roasted Figs, Parsnips & Roquefort


My favorite variety of kale is Lacinato kale, also known as Tuscan or black kale.  Whether raw or sauteed, I love its hearty texture, its slightly bitter flavor and its versatility.  For this salad, I shredded the Tuscan kale into bite-sized pieces and topped it with roasted figs, parsnips, and crunchy toasted hazelnuts.  For a nice creamy element, I like serving this salad with wedges of dreamy Roquefort cheese.  Any sort of blue cheese would do here, but I love the strong flavor and slight spiciness of the Roquefort blue cheese.

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