French Fridays with Dorie: Favourite recipes from Around my French Table

AMFT cover on eatlivetravelwrite.comWell, 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.

Well then…

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

Mustard Bâtons

Dorie Greenspan Mustard BatonsSuch a simple recipe but with lots of “wow” factor – these always impress when you make them for guests (“You MADE these?”). The possibilities for the filling (mustard or otherwise) are endless.

Mme Maman’s Chopped Liver

Dorie Greenspan Mme Maman's chopped liver on eatlivetravelwrite.comThis 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.


Cheese-topped onion soup

Dorie Greenspan cheese topped onion soup“There’s no competition” – according to Neil. This is a classic, done right.

Christine’s simple party soups

Asparagus, red pepper and broccoli soups on eatlivetravelwrite.comNeil 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

Gérard’s mustard tart

Dorie Greenspan mustard tart on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe first time I wrangled pastry in the book – it had me hooked. For Mr Neil to choose this one also is a big compliment – he didn’t even miss the meat.

Sardine Escabeche

Dorie Greenspan sardine escabeche on eatlivetravelwrite.comClearly this was not my choice. But Neil raved about it. Fiddly to deal with those sardines but (apparently) well worth it in the end!

Chicken and duck

Honey-glazed duck breasts

Dorie Greenspan twenty minute honey glazed duck breastsDuck 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

Lamb and dried apricot tagine

Lamb and apricot tagine from Around my French Table for French Fridays with Dorie on eatlivetravelwrite.comA classic combination of meat and fruit, this dish was remembered for it’s incredible flavour (and the way the house smelled when we were cooking it!).

Beef short ribs in red wine and port

Dorie Greenspan beef short ribs braised in red wine and port on eatlivetravelwrite.comFor me, this was far and away my favourite meat dish of the whole book. Sure, it takes a little time to prepare but it tastes amazing – and it wowed guests at more than one dinner party.

Veal chops with rosemary butter

Veal Chops with Rosemary Butter for French Fridays with Dorie on’s pick again). A super simple dish which reminded us of the usefulness and fabulousness of compound butters which we don’t use enough.

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..

Butter-braised lobster

Butter braised lobster from Around my French Table for French Fridays with Dorie on eatlivetravelwrite.comDecadent, yes and a treat for a special occasion but hey, how could you not love lobster poached in butter?

Seafood pot-au-feu

Dorie Greenspan seafood pot au feu from Around my French Table for French Fridays with Dorie on 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

Warm weather vegetable pot-au-feu

Dorie Greenspan's warm weather pot au feuWe 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.


Orange-almond tart

Dorie Greenspan orange almond tart close up Dorie Greenspan orange almond tart blueberriesBefore 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!).

Gâteau Basque

Slice of Gateau Basque on eatlivetravelwrite.comWhile 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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25 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie: Favourite recipes from Around my French Table”

  1. Bill would have chosen ALL the duck recipes—and he adored the veal chops, too. I love that you included Mr. Neil’s picks as well. I knew I’d want to update my list after reading today’s posts!

  2. I love how you went through each of the chapters with Neil. I’d be chuffed too, at such a comprehensive list! At the end, it all came down to the recipes I didn’t tweak and have made many, many times.

  3. Before I scrolled down, I said to myself: Don’t expect to see any fish recipes and then … And there’s even one that you chose yourself. Hooray! Beautiful … as always. xo

  4. Narrowing down was nigh *impossible*.

    Obviously there were heaps more we enjoyed. In fact – and kudos to you, Dorie – if Mardi and I had to do a list of “not likes”, it would be mightily small. I think the ones that (for me) didn’t work would fit on one hand, easily. (Salmon in a jar, anyone? 😉 )

    I think my choices tended to sometimes be ones that were a bit “new”. I have to say, even coming up with that list above was difficult! (I was left muttering things like “What do you mean I can’t include the curried mussels as well…”)

    So one per chapter was the best I could do. Braised beef ribs and seafood pot-au-feu would likely be my top top – depending on whether I felt fishy or meaty. And the almond orange tart for dessert.

    Thanks for the journey, Dorie! 🙂

  5. I impressed to see the fish! I liked how you broke it down by section of the book. I may finally be able to choose if I do that too. Did you know that of all the recipes it is the deserts that I have to make up the most? lol… different strokes…

  6. Not an easy task at all and many on your list could have easily appeared on mine as well. My husband also came up with a list of five, but I was not as generous and only added one of his to my final post:-)

  7. 4 PM on a Friday night and I start reading your blog. Now I can’t wait for dinner, which incidentally,
    will look nothing like all those delicious recipes. Fantastic selection, so many I have forgotten. Great job.

  8. Nope, it wasn’t an easy task! I started with 15 and whittled and whittled with ruthless judgment until I got to 5. So much delicious food!

  9. Beautiful post! If I had completed all the recipes as you have I would have a hard time narrowing them down as well. 🙂 Love your selections!

  10. I love your list! I sort of cheated and named more that 5, but cloaked them in sub-lists. I like that you and Neil chose the list together too. This project really was a family affair, wasn’t it? Now I want to start remaking everything in the book, or at least all the other Dorista favorites.

  11. I am sad that I found out about this challenge too late to begin with the group, but it isn’t going to stop me from undertaking it! I’ve been so inspired by the posts I have seen that I can’t help myself!

  12. Now, I’m second-guessing myself – Gâteau Basque…I love the Gâteau Basque. Why isn’t it on my list? Good thing I’ve posted my (far too long) list already. Great choices and it’s wonderful to see how this group has bolstered our skills and confidence while broadening our palates.

  13. The Orange Almond tart and the Gâteau Basque were wonderful winners on this end, too! I can’t wait to give your blueberry version a try…love blueberries! All your choices were terrific, but I too was surprised to see fish on your list! Great choices, Mardi!

  14. What a great list – and love how you decided to categorize them to come up with your choices. So many of choices of yours were on my short-list. Multi-tasking desserts for sure! All of your choices look wonderful – and remind me to either re-make, or try in the first place for a couple I’ve missed. Well done! What an accomplishment!

  15. It looks like a great list – and it sounds as if Mr Neil got a look in to the selection. I loved the orange almond tart, and a surprise for me was Mdme Mamans chopped liver – expected to hate it, but loved it.

  16. I love that you included Neil’s picks! 😉

    The dessert that I made most often was the double chocolate mousse …tart? 🙂 I loved that one! SO yummy!

  17. You had me loving this post at the get go with the “one five”. Love it. I am sure that so many of us found it difficult to whittle the list down to only five once we started down memory lane. I found the journey down the old blog posts to be extremely enjoyable and should have done it sooner…except I was busy doing the current posts LOL. It is really a treasured archive we have all created. Love your selections and the reasoning behind them. So fun to have “met” Mr. Neil along the way too 🙂 Gerard’s Mustard Tart seems to be on everyone’s list – how interesting !

  18. Mardi and Neil, An absolutely amazing post. What was so much fun for me is that as I scrolled down, I tried to pre-guess what you’d both pick in each chapter category. Missed the Sardine Escabeche – you threw me a curve ball on that one, Neil. It didn’t surprise me that you both made nice poultry and meat choices. I haven’t had breakfast yet and those made me hungry. I could not make a favorite choice among the three duck recipes. Perhaps, the recipe with (Colorado) peaches won out because of where I live. Neil, where was a moule recipe? C’mon. Christine’s soups were bright, n’est-ce pas. The lobster in butter – remembering when I spent the weekend with the Lesters and we made it together. So many of your choices were good memories for me also. A terrific post. Again, congratulations on making all the FFWD recipes, thank you for your good work and involvement with Jamie Oliver and keep working with those kids. Go Canada.

  19. Great list! I could have easily made a top 15 list, and really my top 5 list was chosen pretty arbitrarily from my longer list of favorites. I forgot how good the warm weather vegetable pot-au-feu until you reminded me of it!

  20. If it makes you feel any better, I could only narrow it down to 21. Ummmm….
    I am impressed that you were able to pick a favorite out of the fish category. So much pretty food – I could stare at this post all night…


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