I’ve been cooking a lot of French meals lately, all this despite my mild fear of being ‘pegged’ as a French cook…more than other cuisines. This weekend I used one of Dorie Greenspan’s cookbooks, one from Pat Wells, and another two French cookbooks.

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How does this happen? Why is that French cooking is so intriguing for me? I keep trying to eschew it…for no more reason that there are so many other cuisines to play with. Well, oh well.
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IMG_0472.JPGIt rained today, and not a torrent but a steady on-and-off fall which briefly inconvenienced me in the morning while biking to Caffe Trieste before beginning my day at The Bowl. Little things like the weather can be inspiring, though, and with the fall of this welcome rain my mind immediately turned to a classic of Portuguese cuisine: Caldo Verde (Green soup).
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IMG_0850.JPGI’m not usually drawn to foods from Eastern Europe–but when Saveur sent out its weekly collection of simple (one supposes) midweek meals, this Chicken Paprikash meal was out there for consideration. So I considered.

What the hell.
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Another late night at ‘the Bowl’ working till 8pm, and a promise from wifey and guest Jonathan that they would wait till I got home so I could try out a pressure cooker variation of Crab and Avocado Risotto.
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IMG_0847.JPGA lovely guest list with our standard-bearer guests Bruno and Astrid, and this time accompanied by our niece Ella and her fiancé Daniel. The guest of honor was our brother-in-law Jonathan whose birthday was that week, and somehow I was cajoled once again into doing French (twist my arm, go ahead…twist it some more….yesssssss). Read the rest of this entry »

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Our friend Bruno was complaining that it had been years since he had tasted a decent Cassoulet, that classic peasant dish from the southwest of France that engenders such constant disagreement as to what is, indeed, ‘classic’ or ‘traditional’.

A lot of fuss over what is essentially franks and beans, Frenchified. Read the rest of this entry »

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Well, here was a surprise from the San Francisco Chronicle. I thought it was interesting enough to take a shot at.

I started out with a few slices of Black Forest ham, a few slices of provolone, and some Manila mangoes. For the bread, I got some local slider brioche buns from Petit Pains which really wrapped up the flavor circle. With a light dab of some German sweet mustard, about three minutes per side, the little sliders were utterly fanTAStic.

I’ve been kinda busy lately, and haven’t been posting my cooking images much, so here is a bit of a collection of dishes and events that haven’t made it into the blog.

Some were real winners, others merely passable, and some had great potential. The foods here represent a bevy of events, wherein some were actually planned out, others merely thrown together, and others made for simple week nights with varied success.

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The house is completely white now, covered with primer. I spent most of the day cleaning the bedroom, vacuuming (oh, yeah, we do it every week–SNORT), finding things I haven’t seen for months, preparing the inside of the house for the painters to finish up, blah blah blah. Read the rest of this entry »

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OK, for all you silly cooks who think that a fine meal of duck breast on a weeknight is ridiculous, please… Give it up.

I worked until 8PM tonight, and about 5PM I decided to grab a couple of fresh Pekin duck breasts for dinner. They were small, but perfect for a quick dinner later than perhaps a typical night.

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