Archive for the ‘Side dish’ Category

FFwD: Mustard Batons

Hello fellow bakers!

Today is mustard baton day and I really enjoyed making these. My big splurge included going to a gourmet grocers to find that elusive Maille mustard so my batons could “be all they can be”. Seriously, I am a mustard lover so I thought I should use this as a perfect excuse to purchase some real French Dijon mustard when it is featured so prominently in a recipe. So I did, score one for me. Let’s with a look at the ingredients below -most of which are kitchen tools of some fashion. This my friends was an easy recipe! 

 I started by sprinkling a piece of parchment paper with flour, removing the packaging from one sheet of puff pastry and very carefully unfolded it on top of the parchment. I rolled it out into a long rectangle close to the 12×16 inches that Dorie suggests. 

I opened our star ingredient and spooned a few tablespoons onto the bottom half of the puff pastry and used a brush to smooth it into a thin layer over the lower half of the dough.

I carefully folded the non mustard side over the top of the mustard side and then transferred the dough to another piece of parchment so I could make the cuts without running off the edge of the paper.

Using a ruler and pizza cutter, I sliced up the dough and then carefully moved each one apart from its neighbor so they would have room to “puff’ in the oven.

Taking another pastry brush, I then painted the surface of each strip with the egg wash and sprinkled a few with the poppy seeds for contrast. Into the 400 degree oven they went for about 20 minutes.

Into the 400 degree oven they went for about 20 minutes.

They smelled very good while in the oven, something about all that butter I guess…

They puffed so nicely.

These were perfect for munching on and so easy to make. I did like that the mustard flavor really came through. I think the next time I entertain these easy appetizers will be on the menu!

FFwD: garlicky crumb-coated broccoli

I’m so excited to be back and cooking with my friends at FFwD! Here is my garlicky broccoli. We really enjoyed this recipe and will make it again!!

I started with the star of the show – broccoli, and added a cast of supporting characters including butter (always a favorite), garlic, mint, parsley, orange zest (I was out of lemons), bread crumbs, and salt and pepper.

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French Friday’s with Dorie: Gougeres

I was amazed at how yummy these little puffs of cheesy air were when I tasted one that I had just pulled from the oven. My first thought was that these little things were much greater than the sum of their parts.

Since the first time I baked a french recipe, courtesy of Julia, I have come to understand that the French are masters of the Egg. They are able to take the simplest and most common of ingredients and by whipping the yolk or the whites or both, warming them up, cooling them down adding a little sugar, or lemon or vanilla and you end up with something AMAZING. It’s genius and I suspect it is one of the reasons that french food is in its own class in world cuisine. It’s all due to the egg and their mastery of it.

For the gougeres, we use whole milk, water, unsalted butter, flour, five eggs and cheese. The simple ingredients whipped together, dropped on to a sheet pan, and then baked in the oven until golden brown, give you something that is not a bread and not a biscuit, but a puff with a custardy inside – similar to a popover, the cheese (extra sharp cheddar for me) becomes the star. These light puffs are mostly hollow inside, the crust gives a satisfying crunch when bitten into and then the whole thing melts away leaving the taste of the cheese on your tongue. I was compelled to try another immediately to confirm what I was indeed tasting! Yup, that is heaven!

This recipe is part of the French Fridays with Dorie group who are baking their way through “around my french table” by Dorie Greenspan. The recipe for gougeres can be found on page 4.