French Potato and Tomato Salad

French Potato and Tomato Salad by Jonathan Bardzik

Recipe excerpt from:
Simple Summer: a recipe for joy and connection (Second Edition)
by Jonathan Bardzik

Serves 6-8

With summer’s smoky, rich, grilled meats, breads and starchy vegetables like corn, skip the mayo and use a light vinaigrette for pasta and potato salads. It holds up better under outdoor heat too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fingerling potatoes
  • 4 tbs chopped herbs like tarragon, basil, parsley and chives
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

For dressing:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup olive oil – the good stuff!

Directions:

Boil potatoes in salted water. When you can easily pierce them with a knife, with just a little resistance remaining in the center, drain and rest while starting your vinaigrette.

Make dressing: Sprinkle garlic generously with coarse salt and mash into a paste by dragging it across your cutting board with the flat side of a chef’s knife. Place garlic paste in a medium bowl with vinegar and mustard. Season with pepper and whisk to combine. Set aside and let rest for 15-20 minutes while flavors combine. Drizzle oil into vinegar mixture, while whisking, to form a creamy emulsion.

Assemble salad: When potatoes are just cool enough to handle, cut into 1” pieces. Add to large bowl with herbs and garlic and toss together. Let rest for five minutes while the hot potatoes release flavorful oils from the garlic and herbs, then dress your salad to coat with 2/3 cup vinaigrette. Set potatoes aside for 15-20 minutes to absorb dressing.

Toss tomatoes into salad and add additional dressing as needed. Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional fresh herbs as desired.

TIP: If you can’t find fingerlings, use another low-starch potato like baby reds or Yukon Gold.

Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon, from the Dordogne

Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon, from the Dordogne

Recipe excerpt from:
Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy
by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Serves 4 to 6
Equipment: large heavy skillet with a lid, tongs
Preparation Time: 10 minutes if the chicken is in pieces; 20 if not
Cooking Time: 40 minutes max
Difficulty Level: simple

This is a dish from a farm in the Dordogne, where the walnuts are sweet, fat, and buttery tasting, and they make a perfect complement to poultry. This is the kind of dish that you settle down to with comfort and anticipation, because it’s got all the right elements, from cloves of garlic bursting with their sweet flavor to the golden chicken and walnuts and the tang of lemon that lifts the dish out of the ordinary. Serve this with a lovely Chardonnay.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 3½- to 4-pound (1.8 to 2 kg) chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 breast pieces, 2 wings with portion of breast attached, 2 legs, 2 thighs), giblets reserved
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ to 2 cups (375 to 500 ml) white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1¼ cups (140 g) walnut halves or large pieces
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, brown the chicken pieces, seasoning them liberally with salt and pepper, until they are golden, about 5 minutes per side, using tongs to turn the chicken pieces.
  2. Add the lemon juice, ½ cup (125 ml) of the wine, and the garlic cloves to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the chicken is nearly cooked through, about 15 minutes. Then stir the walnuts into the skillet, along with the giblets, cover, and continue to cook for about 8 minutes. Remove the cover from the skillet and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the pan juices have evaporated and the chicken, walnuts, and garlic are golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Be sure to watch the walnuts, for they tend to brown easily. If they are getting too brown at any point in the cooking, remove and return them to the pan just before serving.
  3. Transfer the chicken, garlic, and walnuts to a warmed serving platter and deglaze the skillet with the remaining wine, scraping the bottom to loosen any caramelized bits. Begin by adding the smaller amount of wine; if you need more, top it up with the remaining wine and cook until the sauce is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Then pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with the parsley sprigs, and serve immediately.

Recipe from Plat Du Jour – French Dinners Made Easy by Susan Herrmann Loomis.  Used with permission.

Curly Endive Salad with Hot Bacon and Goat Cheese

Curly Endive Salad with Hot Bacon and Goat Cheese

Recipe excerpt from:
Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy
by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Serves 6
Equipment: large heatproof salad bowl, baking sheet, large heavy skillet
Preparation Time: 15 minutes max
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty Level: simple

There is no salad more classic nor more delicious than frisée aux lardons et chêvre, perhaps the most popular in the French retinue of composed salads that are served as plats du jour. This is certainly one of my favorites, because it offers everything—crunchy, fresh, salty, nourishing. Since frisée—curly endive—is a winter green and goat cheese is best in winter, this is a winter dish, to be eaten in a cozy environment, accompanied by a lightly chilled Sancerre Blanc.

For The Greens:
11 ounces (330 g) curly endive (about 12 cups, loosely packed) or escarole, rinsed, patted dry, and torn into small pieces
1 large shallot (2 ounces; 70 g), cut into paper-thin rounds
1 garlic clove, cut into tiny dice

For the Toasts:
12 small slices baguette or other fresh crusty bread
1 garlic clove
3 small goat cheeses (3.5 ounces; 105 g each), such as Crottin de Chavignol, each cut into 2 horizontal rounds, or six 1-inch (2.5 cm) rounds of goat cheese

For Serving:
8 ounces (250 g) slab bacon, rind removed, cut into 1-by-¼-by-¼-inch (2.5 cmby-6 mm-by-6 mm) pieces 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, if needed
3 tablespoons (45 ml) best quality red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt (optional)

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Prepare the greens: Place the curly endive, shallot, and garlic in a large heatproof salad bowl, and toss to mix.
  3. Prepare the toasts: Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them on one side about 3 inches (7.5 cm) from the heat element for about 2 minutes. Remove from the broiler and rub on both sides with the whole garlic clove. Place one round of cheese on the untoasted side of six toasted bread slices and place them, along with the remaining pieces of bread, untoasted side up, under the broiler. Broil until the cheese is golden and bubbling and the bread is toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Place the bacon in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, just until it is golden, about 5 minutes. Depending upon how much fat is rendered from the bacon, add up to 3 tablespoons oil because you want 4 tablespoons (60 ml) total of fat. Add the vinegar, standing back as it gives off steam. Stir, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then pour over the salad. Toss thoroughly, seasoning generously with pepper and salt if necessary, and toss again.
  5. Divide the salad among six warmed salad plates. Place a cheese-topped toast atop each salad, and one piece of plain toast on the side of the plate. Serve immediately.

Astuces:

 • French bacon, and some American brands, are notably lean, so your bacon may need oil for cooking. Have oil at the ready if you need it. If you don’t and wind up with more than 4 tablespoons in the pan, simply drain any excess.

• Note that I ask you to cut the garlic into tiny dice rather than mince it. This is because the “bite” of a piece of garlic is necessary, and if it’s minced, it tends to disappear into the salad.

Recipe from Plat Du Jour – French Dinners Made Easy by Susan Herrmann Loomis.  Used with permission.

Grilled Salsa Salad

Melissa's Grilled Salsa Saladby Chef Tom Fraker
Melissa’s World Variety Produce

Sweet and savory, this delicious salad is perfect for those summer months when the grill is always fired up.

6 large Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded

limes, halved
garlic cloves, peeled
2 large avocados, halved lengthwise and pitted
1 large mango, halved lengthwise and seeded (do not peel)
sweet onion, thickly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
15 dried tepin chile peppers, ground
Salt
1 head butter lettuce

Melissa's Great Pepper CookbookPreheat grill to medium heat. Brush tomato and next 5 ingredients (through onion) with oil. Place fruits and vegetables on grill rack; grill, rotating halfway through grilling to achieve even grill marks, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set limes aside.

Peel and finely dice remaining grilled fruits and vegetables. In a bowl, combine fruits and vegetables, cilantro , and chile; toss together. Squeeze in lime juice; sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve with butter lettuce leaves.

Recipe from The Great Pepper Cookbook

Appreciating Lobster

Everything you’d want to know about enjoying Lobster.

Play

Oysters Rockefeller

Antoine’s guards their recipe very closely. It definitely does not contain spinach or bacon, but is said to contain parsley, celery and scallions.

Tom Fitzmorris Replica Recipe

Antonie's Oysters Rockefeller RecipeMr. Fitzmorris says it took him about 50 tries to match the flavor of Antoine’s recipe. So if you want to give it a try, I’d say he saved you a good deal of time and expense.

  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup scallion tops,chopped
  • 2 cups parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh fennel, chopped (bulbs,stalks and/or fronds are fine)
  • 1 cup watercress, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 3 anchovy filets, rinsed and chopped
  • Liquor from 4 dozen oysters plus enough water to make 2 cups of liquid
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 drops green food coloring (Fitzmorris says this is optional, but authentic)
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup very fine fresh bread crumbs
  • 4 dozen oysters
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Combine the vegetables and anchovies in small batches, and process to a near puree in a food processor, using enough of the oyster liquor/water mixture to keep things moving.
  3. Combine the vegetable/anchovy mixture with the rest of the liquid in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring every now and then, until the excess water is gone, but the greens reman very moist. Add the sugar, ketchup, salt, white pepper, cayenne, Worchestershire, bitters and food coloring.
  4. Make a blond roux with the butter and flour. Blend well into the greens, until the sauce takes on a lighter texture. Mix in the bread crumbs.
  5. Place the fresh oysters into oyster shells, small ovenproof ramekins or gratin dishes. Top each oyster with a generous tablespoon (or more, if you like) of the sauce. Bake fifteen minutes, until the sauce barely begins to brown. Serve immediately.
    Note: If you bake the oysters on shells, serve on a bed of rock salt to keep the shells steady.

Yield: 4 Dozen

Bon Appetit!

From Hungry Town, A Culinary History of New Orleans by Tom Fitzmorris
Courtesy of Tom Fitzmorris

Maple Salmon

Maple SalmonRecipe courtesy of Wild Things Seafood
1 1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound Salmon fillets

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt and pepper
  3. Place a salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.
  4. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes or until easily flaked with a fork.