November 26, 2012
This is the first meal I prepared after I arrived in Nice. One of the best things and worst things about moving is a new kitchen. Best: it’s so clean! Worst: there’s no food in it! So I ran to Monoprix and came back with the essentials (eggs, pasta, cheese, lemons, bacon, butter, and wine) and some stuff for dinner (salmon, broccoli, parsley). Because apparently, whenever I need to make a single-girl dinner, it ends up being salmon.
Like many of the recipes I share with you, this one tastes and sounds fancy, but is a total cinch to make. Just wrap up all the ingredients in a paper packet and bake; that’s it. I made it for a solo dinner, but I can see making this for guests too — baking off several packets at once and opening them all up at the table, puffs of lemon-scented steam escaping from the open packets.
You can use whatever herbs you like in the packet, and even mix it up by adding different oils, spices, and vegetables. I served my salmon with buttered pasta and steamed broccoli with parmesan, letting the juices from the packet run into the rest of the plate, imparting the pasta and vegetables with the flavors and lemon and brown butter.
cooking, mains |
Tags: bake, beurre noisette, brown butter, cooking, dinner, easy, fish, food, french, healthy, lemon, main dish, microwave, oven, parchment paper, poisson en papillote, salmon, salmon fillet, salmon in paper, salmon in parchment, saumon en papillote, single lady, single serving |
September 10, 2012
Sometimes, I get infatuated with the idea of dessert recipes that are, shall we say, involved. I suppose I like the challenge. When my first-ever batch of macarons failed spectacularly, with gooey insides that stuck to the parchment paper and cracked, wrinkled tops, I ended up spending months making several batches of macarons every week until I got them perfect every time. I spent a sweaty summer day making puff pastry dough from scratch. I once made a towering croquembouche for no other occasion than that I was bored on a Saturday.
I kind of thought that lemon meringue tarts would be like that. I wanted to attempt these because the tartes au citron meringuée at the bakeries around our place are never as lemony or tart as I want them to be. My palate requires a strong acidic component to compete with that tall cloud of marshmallow-like meringue.
September 5, 2012
Okay, hear me out on this one. I know that dehydrating citrus zest isn’t nearly as widely practiced or ballyhooed as, say, making stock, but it should be. Think about all that orange juice we consume. All that fresh-squeezed lemon juice going into your vinaigrettes. The limes you squeeze over guacamole and Thai food.
Now think about how often you need lemon or lime zest for a completely different recipe, and have to go out and buy more citrus which sits in your fridge looking pale and naked after you’ve stripped it of zest.
The best way to get around this scenario is the waste-not-want-not method: just zest your citrus any time you’re going to use it for just its juice or flesh, and let the zest try out before bottling it and saving it. One minute of extra work and no fancy dehydrator necessary; since the bits of zest are so small and oily, they’ll dry out quite well on your counter. It doesn’t have the nose-smacking pungency of the fresh stuff, but it makes up for it by working its way into dishes you’d never think to pull out a whole lemon for — but since you’ve got a bottle of the stuff there on your shelf, well, why not?
Plus, it makes the house smell really good while it dries. Continue Reading
August 10, 2012
Digestifs are big in this country. An after-dinner sip of cognac or port makes sense to me — a little boozy punch in the face to get you off to dreamland a little easier, and maybe get the cheese funk off your breath.
Tim’s a cognac man. I am… well, I have a bigger sweet tooth than he does. While he often takes a post-dinner glass of Courvoisier, I wanted something a little less burney on the way down, and after leaving my beer brewing supplies in the states, I missed the experimentation in the make-your-own adult-type beverages department.