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Michael’s Mayonnaise

My husband makes the mayonnaise in our house and that’s why it is called Michael’s Mayonnaise!  He makes it for no other reason but that he likes making it and it tastes so good!  He started out using the recipe in Mastering French Cooking because […]

Troisgros Tomato Vinaigrette

Troisgros Tomato Vinaigrette

The Troisgros brothers have a great affinity for using vinegar in their cooking and Adrienne took that to heart.  This wonderfully simple Troisgros Tomato Vinaigrette is more sauce than emulsion and is perfect on Sea Bass or to dress up any simply cooked fish.  You […]

Blueberry Polenta Upside Down Cake

Blueberry Polenta Upside Down Cake

Easy Blueberry Polenta Cake is a lovely alternative to the traditional dessert. The polenta gives it a nutty taste and is lighter than you would expect.

Blueberry Polenta Upside Down Cake

August 14, 2017
: 6-8 servings

By:

Ingredients
  • Vegetable oil for greasing pan
  • ¼ cup + ¾ cup sugar, divided
  • 3 cups blueberries
  • 2 large eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 2/3 cup olive oil (not extra virgin) or sunflower oil
  • ½ cup regular or instant polenta
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Directions
  • Step 1 Heat oven to 350 F
  • Step 2 Grease and line base and sides of a 9-inch square or round cake pan with baking parchment and then grease the parchment. Sprinkle the ¼ cup of sugar over the base of the pan and cover evenly with blueberries.
  • Step 3 In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, ¾ cup of sugar and orange zest. Whisk until pale and thick. Add orange juice and oil. Whisk until blended.
  • Step 4 In a separate bowl, whisk together polenta, flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to egg mixture. Whisk until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
  • Step 5 Bake for 45 – 55 minutes until golden brown and springy to touch. A toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for about 5 minutes. Carefully invert cake onto a serving plate, and slowly peel off parchment paper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Flaky Tart Pastry

Flaky Tart Pastry

Adrienne gave me Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Pie and Pastry Bible for Christmas one year and afterward I abandoned all other recipes for flaky tart pastry.  This recipe takes all the guesswork out of making pastry and, though the process is a bit unusual, it requires […]

OMG Beurre Blanc!

OMG Beurre Blanc!

Many experienced home chefs cringe at the thought of making a beurre blanc sauce, as I did.  The first time I made it I didn’t have Adrienne by my side coaching me, I was on my own in my kitchen in New Jersey.  Adrienne and […]

Do you Chiffonade your basil?

Do you Chiffonade your basil?

The term chiffonade means to slice something into narrow ribbons, the way you would slice cabbage to make coleslaw.

This video  will show you how to quickly chiffonade any leafy vegetable or herb into narrow ribbons.  The example we show in the video is with basil to dress a tomato salad because that is how Adrienne first taught me to chiffonade.  I now use this skill with a knife but also with scissors for a myriad of kitchen tasks.  The great thing about using this method for basil is that it is so quick you can literally do it at the last minute with a pair of scissors before you take the salad to the table.

Knife Skills: How to Chiffonade

Let me know what you do with this skill and post or share pictures on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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Chop onions quickly without losing a finger!

Chop onions quickly without losing a finger!

Here is the first in a series of simple videos with tips and tricks I learned from Adrienne!   Knife Skills: Chopping & Mincing Onions Quickly chopping or mincing onions is a task you do over and over in the kitchen.  This video shows you […]

The Cooking with Adrienne Book is Published!

The Cooking with Adrienne Book is Published!

A Story of Friendship and Food As I was writing Cooking with Adrienne book it became clear that in addition to being a cookbook this is also the amazing, often hilarious, story of a woman who became the American doyenne of French cuisine from the Sixties through the […]

Sauce Parisienne…Old School or Retro Cool??

Sauce Parisienne…Old School or Retro Cool??

 

I recently had to replace my copy of Mastering The Art of French Cooking because the spine had split  and the pages were falling out.   While flipping through my shiny new copy I came across a sauce Adrienne and I had never made: Sauce Parisienne.  I don’t know why we never made it but it sounded like something I should try, at least once!  It is a reduction of the liquid you use to poach fish – either stock or wine and water – a roux of flour and butter, egg yolk and cream.   The result is a subtle taste of fish from the poaching liquid and lushness from the egg yolk and cream.

In Mastering, Julia suggests after dressing the fish fillets with the sauce you sprinkle them with cheese and finish under the broiler.  That was the Old School part which I abandoned after testing it.  But the sauce itself was delicious and easy – which is what we all want!

I ordered Dover Sole from our fishmonger and served it with the sauce, boiled potatoes and green beans that you see in the picture above. The sauce will keep in the fridge – I didn’t try freezing it – and works beautifully on fish cakes and even sea bass fillets. (more…)

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Q&A with Michel Guerard

Q&A with Michel Guerard

One of Adrienne’s favorite chefs, Michel Guérard, is interviewed by Time Magazine, 40 years after he first appeared on the cover.  But Adrienne first tasted his food five years prior to that… she always was ahead of the curve! Here he reveals his current thoughts […]

Mis en Place…What’s That?

Mis en Place…What’s That?

Everything in its Place ~ Mis en Place The French term mis en place (pronounced MEEZ ahn plahs) comes from professional kitchens and refers to the process of getting everything ready to cook.  Home cooks can take a page from the pros here because, although it […]

Michel Guerard’s Warm Tomato Tart

Michel Guerard’s Warm Tomato Tart

Michel Guerard’s recipe for a delicious and easy warm tomato tart is the perfect way to use up the last of the summer tomatoes and basil.   Adrienne loved Michel’s food and loved tomatoes – so this is a match made in heaven!

I think plum tomatoes work best.  If you can find good beefsteaks go for it but be sure to remove all the seeds and liquid or you will end up with a soggy crust.

Chef Michel’s tart is pictured above.

Mine was 20161017_200922not quite so pretty but definitely tasty.

 

(more…)

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Tartare de Legumes or Cool Summer Vegetables

Tartare de Legumes or Cool Summer Vegetables

Adrienne gave me the recipe for Tartare de Legumes 20 years ago when I was complaining to her that I couldn’t get my kids to eat vegetables.  I didn’t make the recipe until just last night…Adrienne clearly didn’t understand what would and wouldn’t appeal to most young […]

Marché Forville destination food market

Marché Forville destination food market

Ever since they started travelling to France, Adrienne had wanted a kitchen to cook the food she was drooling over in every market they visited.  Marché Forville was about to become her destination food market.  In the USA in the late seventies it was still […]

Foodie Friends and Piggy Weekends

Foodie Friends and Piggy Weekends

Every year beginning in 1988 six foodie friends got together for a weekend in The Hamptons and cooked their little foodie hearts out!  It was called the Dewey Lane Eating Club (DLEC) – after the location of the first event.  Adrienne was the architect of the menu and the head chef but everyone participated in the preparation and cooking of the food.   Except for her husband who brought the wine.

Over the years the venue changed but the name of the club stuck. I was invited to join the group in 2007.  That year it morphed into the Piggy Weekend because of a fabulous roast suckling pig we slow cooked on the BBQ and devoured. Subsequently the regular members were assigned or acquired piggy related monikers.  In the picture here from the August 2013 weekend when we reprised the Piggy menu, we are from left to right: Michael – Pig Latin, our hostess Lisa – Miss Piggy, Sharon – Free Range Piggy, Christopher – procurer of the pig and master grillman, Allison – daughter of our hosts and wife of the grillman, Martin – Not a Pig, Adrienne – Pig Pen, our host Dan – Piguin (inside joke!) and me – Pastry Pig.  We were ten little piggies if you count the pig!

 

 

 

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Vinegar Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Vinegar Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

This is a quickie version of the Tomate Provençal recipe from Cooking with Adrienne, Volume I.  If you are like me, towards the end of winter you are bored with root vegetables and the bounty of summer is a long way off.  But you can brighten […]

A day without champagne is like a day without  foie gras!

A day without champagne is like a day without foie gras!

On one of my first trips to France with Adrienne and Martin in the early Nineties, we literally had champagne and foie gras at almost every meal!   Admittedly we were in the Champagne region for the first few days and then in Aquitaine but it all […]

Simple Sea Bass with Sauce Vierge

Simple Sea Bass with Sauce Vierge

We all know we should be eating more fish.  Especially after the holidays most of us are feeling a bit over indulged.  But many people feel that cooking fish can be troublesome: there is the smell, and the bones and the not overcooking it.  And then what do you serve with it so that isn’t boringly healthy?

I have two solutions to this dilemma:  Sea bass fillets and Sauce Vierge.

Sea bass fillets have hardly any bones and are wonderfully easy to cook using this ingenious method from Pierre Wynants, former chef at Comme Chez Soi restaurant in Brussels.  It all but eliminates the smell and takes the guesswork out the cooking time.

Sauce Vierge is an easy, Provencal-like sauce that is served room temperature and has no butter or creme.   It is made from fresh or tinned chopped tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs.  A simple yet delicious sauce.

In under 30 minutes you will have a  ‘Comme Chez Soi’ meal, which means as if the chef cooked for you at his home.  And if you are really pressed for time, try the Troisgros’ Tomato Vinaigrette Sauce which requires no cooking at all.

(more…)

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Mousseline de Saumon

Mousseline de Saumon

Adrienne made these lovely menu cards for many of her dinner parties in the late Sixties and Seventies.  As I looked through them I noticed there was a dish that appeared regularly but which Adrienne and I had never made together: Mousseline de Saumon. After a bit of digging […]

Pissaladière Niçoise

Pissaladière Niçoise

I first had a Pissaladière Niçoise at the restaurant Le Nid d’Aigle, in the mountains above Nice. I loved it and not just because of the picturesque moment captured in the photo!  When I returned (solo) from my escapade I made it  for Adrienne and it became one of our favorites. […]

Fluting Mushrooms on the bidet

Fluting Mushrooms on the bidet

I had never heard of ‘fluting’ mushrooms until  Adrienne’s husband told me this story.  In the late Sixties Adrienne took a series of cooking lessons in Paris with Simca Beck, co-author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  One day she taught  Adrienne how to flute a mushroom, even though the practice was long out of style. Fluting involves carving a design into white button mushrooms so that when they are cooked they look decorative on the plate.    It takes a lot of practice in order to get it right but Adrienne loved mushrooms.  On her way back to the hotel she and her husband were staying in on the Left Bank she bought a pile of white button mushrooms.  With no kitchen sink to practice in, Adrienne perched on the edge of the bidet fluting away!  I can just picture the young and earnest Adrienne not wanting to make a mess but so determined to learn the technique!

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Craig Claiborne

“In my next life I want to come back as Adrienne and Martin!”  Craig Claiborne was the food editor and restaurant critic for The NY Times and got to know Adrienne and her husband after repeated meetings at restaurants, on airplanes, in cooking events all […]

Ratatouille in winter

Ratatouille in winter

Making ratatouille in the winter may sound perverse but when the ingredients are seasonably available in the summer the last thing you really want to do is spend the afternoon in the kitchen standing over a hot stove.   But now as the days are shorter and the […]


My Diary

The chefs, the food and Adrienne

The chefs, the food and Adrienne

The ‘New Cuisine’

Adrienne began travelling to Europe with her husband in 1960. The term ‘foodie’ had not yet been coined but Adrienne was certainly one of the first. Her pursuit of great food – in restaurants and at home – led her to develop a wide network of chefs, restaurateurs, critics and writers. Adrienne’s inner circle included Michelin three starred chefs Gérard Boyer, Alain Chapel, Michel Guérard, Frédy Girardet, Jean and Pierre Troisgros (and later Michel), Roger Vergé and Pierre Wynants; the late restaurateur M. Vrinat of Taillevent, restaurant critic Craig Claiborne and food writer, critic and personal friend, Gael Greene.

A with Jean Troisgros Nov 1976
Mondavi kitchen with Jean Troisgros 1976
Adrienne with Alain Chapel Oct 1972
With Alain Chapel 1972

Many of the chefs were in the throes of developing a ‘Nouvelle Cuisine’ which revolutionized restaurant cooking during the Sixties and Seventies.   In later years the term was hijacked to represent small servings with a multitude of decoration which had no relationship to the food.  This was far from the founding chefs cuisine.

During the early days of the ‘new’ Cuisine Adrienne was honing her palate in their restaurants and learning how to reproduce their food in her kitchen. All the while working as a successful investment portfolio manager for a large bank in NYC.

Adrienne and I began travelling together in 1990.  Over the next two decades we became BFFs – Best Foodie Friends – dedicated to growing, cooking and eating the best food possible.

A and M Guerard
with Michel Guerard at the Mondavi Vineyards

We were an unlikely culinary duo.  She was a smart, sexy Elizabeth Taylor look-alike who flirted her way into the inner circle of the great French chefs to become an accomplished cook on her own.  I was a small town girl with limited exposure to haute cuisine. But dessert was my passion and pastry was my forte.

Adrienne now has a form of Frontotemporal Degeneration dementia called Primary Progressive Aphasia which affects her ability to speak or execute complex tasks.  She can no longer cook a meal.  But she still enjoys eating and never hesitates to offer criticism or praise with a wink or a frown.  A portion of the profits from the sale of my book ‘Cooking with Adrienne, A Story of Friendship and Food’, will be donated to finding a cure.  Find out more here.

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Quick and Easy

Michel Guerard’s Warm Tomato Tart

Michel Guerard’s Warm Tomato Tart

Michel Guerard’s recipe for a delicious and easy warm tomato tart is the perfect way to use up the last of the summer tomatoes and basil.   Adrienne loved Michel’s food and loved tomatoes – so this is a match made in heaven! I think plum […]

Tartare de Legumes or Cool Summer Vegetables

Tartare de Legumes or Cool Summer Vegetables

Adrienne gave me the recipe for Tartare de Legumes 20 years ago when I was complaining to her that I couldn’t get my kids to eat vegetables.  I didn’t make the recipe until just last night…Adrienne clearly didn’t understand what would and wouldn’t appeal to most young […]

Vinegar Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Vinegar Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

This is a quickie version of the Tomate Provençal recipe from Cooking with Adrienne, Volume I.  If you are like me, towards the end of winter you are bored with root vegetables and the bounty of summer is a long way off.  But you can brighten […]

Simple Sea Bass with Sauce Vierge

Simple Sea Bass with Sauce Vierge

We all know we should be eating more fish.  Especially after the holidays most of us are feeling a bit over indulged.  But many people feel that cooking fish can be troublesome: there is the smell, and the bones and the not overcooking it.  And […]