IMG_0538.JPGWell, try as I may, I cannot seem to escape from pursuing more French dish mastery. Am I a master? Oh, god, far from it, but…but, I’m getting better. And this odd, unconscious selection of French cuisine is, while not surprising given the general appeal of their cuisine, is still surprising…to me.

Tonight I attempted (and reasonably succeeded at) Feuillete Savoyard and an a companying dish: Poireaux Vinaigrette. For those as challenged as me when it comes to pronunciation of some French words, I’ll admit to listening to Maurice Chevalier records as a kid and practicing ad infinitum saying ‘Ma Cherie‘ as the straw hat-bedecked French singer would.

Not that it helps with Feuilleté. This is, to the best of my Internet acumen, the French term for ‘puff pastry’ whereas ‘Savoyard’ refers to any denizen or creation coming out of the French departement of Savoy, an area in the southeast of that country.

So I’ll make it simpler for you: I made a cheese and smoked ham in a puff pastry…and YOU can too. Smoked ham. Smoked raclette (my choice). Puff pastry. And Bechamel, simply a cooked blend of butter and flour with milk and cream or creme fraiche.

Put them all together and they will think you are frickin’ Jacques Pepin.

For an addition, I also made Poireaux Vinaigrette just for gits and shiggles. The secrets I learned? Trim away the outer layers of the leeks as they are a bit too tough and manage to endure the steaming process. The vinaigrette, a classic one with mustard, was quite successful, and the garnish of bits of hard boiled egg made it kinda pretty.

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Still waiting in the wings, a flourless chocolate hazelnut cake. It’s supposed to be rich and chocolatey.

By god it is. I ended up making two cakes since this cake required being baked in a bain-marie and my 9″ springform couldn’t fit in any of my large baking pans. So I made two smaller ones, a 7″ and a 6″.

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If our friends had been able to respond to our invitation, they might have been able to enjoy taking home one of these cakes. So stand on notice–if you want a sweetass dessert, come to dinner Sunday night if you’re able. I don’t have any dinner plans, but I’ll come up with something.

My wife shouldn’t be the only one to enjoy the few things I manage to do well.

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