Well, we’ve finished cooking through Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table for French Fridays with Dorie but to ease us out of the habit, we have a few weeks of “celebration” posts to come. This week we were tasked with choosing our
favorite, loved the most, best recipe in Around my French Table.
Thankfully we were also allowed to include our Top 15. Right. That’s what the instructions said, right? 15. One. Five.
(ok, maybe it said 5 but after over four and a half years reading my FFWD posts, you must know that I am not always a rule follower!)
I had narrowed my “top” list down to 30 (!) then last night Neil sat down with the book to have his say and we finally cut the list to 15 – around two from each chapter. That’s as narrow a choice as it’s going to get, sorry folks… So, in the order in which they appear in the book, here are my and Neil’s Top 15 recipes from Around my French Table (click on the recipe titles for the original posts about the dishes).
Nibbles and Hors d’Oeuvres
This was Neil’s top pick from the chapter (after the bâtons, I will add) – it is the recipe that jumped off the page immediately he opened the chapter. He is big into offal and odd bits so I knew one of these would be included. This wasn’t that difficult to make yet it was (apparently) really flavoursome.
Neil was not lucky enough to try these (I made them on a trip back home for my mum and dad) but I loved these simple recipes that produced gorgeous, tasty soups from essentially a handful of simple ingredients.
Salads, starters and small plates
Chicken and duck
Duck is still not my favourite meat but I loved this recipe because it taught me how to easily cook duck – a meat that I wasn’t too familiar with before working with it a few times in Around my French Table. This version was slightly overdone by the time it had rested and I had photographed it but I have since used the technique many times – all with great success.
Beef, veal, pork and lamb
Fish and shellfish
You might be surprised to see ANY picks from this chapter given the fact that fish is not exactly my favourite but I DID eat a fair amount of the fish dishes and I did absolutely LOVE..
(this was Neil’s pick). On tasting this dish, he immediately declared it his absolute favourite of the fish and seafood chapter. The combination of scallops, mussels and salmon gently poached with bright spring vegetables is apparently hard to beat.
Vegetables and grains
We had a lively debate about this chapter but in the end only chose this one dish. Neil is not a fan of very many cooked vegetables but it seems that pot-au-feu is the way to go (see above, also). I say anything with a soft boiled egg is already a winner.
Before I started to “minify” things, I made the entire recipe for this tart which made 2 tart crusts. We absolutely loved the orange-almond version (“just like something you get in a pâtisserie”) but I kinda almost preferred the rustic blueberry version I made afterwards (gobbled up in my staff room one Monday morning!).
While I am a huge fan of fancier pastries and desserts, I absolutely love a good Gâteau Basque. This one is buttery and just sweet enough. Perfect for dessert. Or morning coffee. Or breakfast. A multi-tasking dessert.
I feel like I have kind of failed in my mission this week – in that I was not able to narrow this list down to a shorter one. Although if I’m Dorie reading this, I would be chuffed 😉
To see what other Doristas chose as their favourites, visit this page.
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