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Butterflied Leg of Lamb à la Provençale

As summer is winding down and the grilling season for many of us is coming to an end, I’d like to propose an easy and delicious alternative to the usual burgers, brats, dogs and ribs.Butterflied Leg of Lamb Provençale

Unless you’re experienced at butterflying, ask your butcher to do this for you. That’s the only tricky part. If you do try it yourself, make sure that the meat is the same thickness across the surface so it will cook evenly.

This is one of the most delicious and spectacular dishes you can cook on your grill. Your guests will be totally wowed by how fabulous it tastes, and how quickly it cooks. I made it for my friends Sunday afternoon. It disappeared quickly along with the Niçoise Potato Salad below and a delicious leafy greens salad contributed by one of my guests. We washed it down with several bottles of delicious Gigondas – perhaps the perfect accompaniment to a Provençal lamb dish. Read more »

Harbinger of Spring

Asparagus1Tall, slender stalks of asparagus standing at attention like soldiers guarding the pump on Uncle Loy’s farm come immediately to mind when I feel the first breezes of Spring. I’ve always loved asparagus. As toddlers, my sister and I used to pull up those first stalks, rinse them off under the cool water from the well, and eat them raw. When a plate of perfectly cooked spears are set before me, I anticipate their lovely crunch. They need no fancier topping than a touch of sweet butter and a splash of fresh lemon juice. I’m in heaven! Read more »

Chocolate Truffle Cake

a decadent treat for your Valentine

a decadent treat for your Valentine

The perfect dessert for your chocoholic Valentine, this cake is almost like a big truffle. It’s incredibly easy to make but no one will ever suspect. It benefits from being made a day or two ahead. Just don’t frost it until time to serve it. Read more »

Boeuf Bourguignon

(Hearty Beef Stew in Red Wine with Onions and Mushrooms)

hearty and warming dinner for a cold winter's night

hearty and warming dinner for a cold winter’s night

I can tell the story of my life with this dish. It was the first dinner I ever cooked for my family. I was eleven and used the recipe from Mom’s Joy of Cooking. We all loved stews and braised meats, so I made it many times. Then Julia’s version came along and mine took on new dimensions. Eating it in France brought still more depth. It is surely one of my favorite dishes to eat or to serve to loved ones, and the one I traditionally make for my birthday dinner.

This is an essential dish to have in your repertoire because, besides being heart-warming and delicious, it benefits from being prepared in advance and reheated; AND leftovers freeze well. What’s more, you may be surprised to learn that almost exactly the same recipe, when prepared with chicken instead of beef, becomes the world-famous (and equally tasty) Coq au Vin! [You are welcome to message me to obtain the transitional recipe.] Read more »

(Maybe the World’s Best) Peach Cobbler

peachcobEons ago, an old boyfriend of my sister Nancy’s was craving Peach Cobbler the way his mother had made it. Many attempts and long searching turned up a recipe with a poured crust! Many years have passed, the boyfriend is long gone, but the recipe prevails. Read more »

Souvenir de Julia

June with Julia ChildBoston was the host city for the 1989 IACP Annual Conference. When we were planning the kick-off media event (held in September 1988), Julia said she would be happy to host it at her home if the Boston IACP members would agree to cater the party.  I had recently developed this recipe for Scallop Mousse, and decided it would be my contribution.

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Linguine with Clam Sauce Deluxe

Linguine with Clam Sauce (always with canned clams in 1950-60’s Chicago) was a staple everynight dinner when I was growing up. My dad particularly liked the version with red sauce. Me, I liked both red and white, but always thought the white was “prettier.”  Read more »

Endives Salad with Sage/Sherry Vinaigrette

During my time in Paris in December I enjoyed a festive dinner with friends at Josephine, Chez Dumonet. Our evening started with a bottle of 1973 Doisy Daene Sauternes and foie gras. I suggested adding an Endives and Roquefort salad to our first course for the table, as Roquefort is also a classic pairing with Sauternes. Read more »

Tasting Wine in Burgundy

Among the things I like best about what I do is getting to taste extraordinary wines in beautiful places. Today we visited the winery of one of my good friends. Located in the town of Meursault, Evening Land makes nuanced Burgundies, both white and red.

We tasted through an delicious selection on this sunny afternoon. Milles mercis to Mark and Whitney.

À votre Santé!

I Love Lemons

Lemons may be the most underestimated and underrated of all fruit.  When someone is asked to name their favorite fruit, how often do you hear the answer: lemons?

I’m not even sure I thought of lemons as a “fruit” when I was a child back in Chicago, Illinois.  Sure, we enjoyed glasses of cold, sweet lemonade on hot  summer afternoons (always made from freshly squeezed lemons, there was none of that powdered stuff back then). We even sold the beverage from a little stand in front of our apartment building, but no one we knew ever actually ATE a lemon!

And I remember my dad once made a Caesar Salad in our big mahogany bowl. I watched in amazement as he rubbed the bowl with garlic. He mashed an anchovy, then squeezed the lemon and made a paste before adding the olive oil.  Tossed with crisp romaine leaves, it was a delight for my young taste buds.  I can’t imagine Caesar Salad without that burst of lemon. Read more »

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