Sorry about being Doris Downer yesterday; I was just in a funk. It was probably brought on by being cooped up for so long, and then going through the whole time change. I’ve picked myself up, brushed myself off, and I’m ready to start again!
We’re traveling to France today! I love French cooking, but much of it can be very rich and high in calories. So, I try to streamline some of the dishes to make them healthier. [sometimes!!!] French cuisine can also be very time consuming with many steps and ingredients. However, the end result is delicious.
I thought about doing Coq au vin, which is chicken in wine. I like to use the little Cornish game hens for this dish. Then I considered Coquilles Saint Jacques, a scallop dish. However, scallops aren’t in season. So I’ll hold off on that. In the end, I decided to make Bœuf Bourguignon, a beef stew in wine sauce. I even found a recipe for doing it in the slow cooker! It does involve some separate work, though, so it’s not just the dumping of ingredients into the crock. The beef has to be browned in bacon fat, then placed in the crock. Onions, carrots, beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, and garlic all get sautéed in the same skillet. Then it all goes into the crock to simmer with a bay leaf. Towards the end, the wine gets added, and little mushrooms. I plan to serve it with potatoes and French bread.
Then I thought about French desserts. Of course, crème brulée comes to mind, and I have a great recipe. Unfortunately, two of my ramekins broke, and I need a small torch for the burnt sugar. I’ll save that for another time. I’m leaning toward cream puffs, which are fairly easy, but I’ll need my husband’s help for one of the steps (a brisk stirring of the pâte á choux, the pastry dough, while it’s on the stove.) If he’s willing, I’ll go with that. If not, maybe mousse au chocolat will work. We’ll see.
As for yesterday’s baking, I made the apple bread in mini loaf pans. That way, I can freeze several loaves, and always have them ready to serve. That was an easy recipe in that I used chunky applesauce in place of the apples. It is so moist and there’s no peeling and chopping. I always go for my spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger – and they really add a depth of flavor. (Plus, the house smells fantastic!) Even Kasey was sniffing the air!!
Well, I’ll let you know about the French excursion. Fingers crossed that it will taste good and my boys will like it.