Vive la Clafoutis!
Recipes Vive la Clafoutis!

Ah, the 14th of July! The season of fresh, local cherries. The celebration of Bastille Day. The time to bake a fruity dessert for this week’s Dessert Corps project. Oh, hey… look at that. It’s like a cosmic alignment of forces telling me it’s time to make a cherry clafoutis, the traditional custard pudding of Limousin in the heart of la belle France . As it happens, the fantastic Dessert Corps volunteer crew provided me with a half-dozen eggs and more than a pound of gorgeous, blushing Rainier Cherries — sweet, fragrant and fresh from the Greenpoint farmers’ market.

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Recipes Preserved Grapes & Pecans: A Way with Les Conserves

On a trip to Paris a while back, I stopped in a bookshop on a quest for cookbooks. There were many fine volumes, but one in particular stood out as a must-have. Les Conserves is a glossy, photo-packed soft-cover (Produced by a French division of Reader’s Digest! Why don’t they make such lovely books for English readers?) is ideal for a French neophyte like me. Just look at this recipe for grape preserves.

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Food Quote Friday: Ronald Wallace

“Sometimes I wish I had habits a man wouldn’t kick, faults a good man could be proud of. I’d be an expatriate from myself, all ink-pen and paper in a Paris café where the waiters were elegant and surly, the women relaxed and extravagant with their bobbed hair and bonbons, their perfumed Galoises, their oysters and canapés, and I’d be writing about war and old losses —” — Ronald Wallace from “Literature in the 21st Century”

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Food Quote Friday: Alice May Brock

“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.” — Alice May Brock

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Recession-Proof Recipes: La Crepe Complete
Recipes Recession-Proof Recipes: La Crepe Complete

Last week’s Recession-Proof Recipe examined stock and gave a fast variation for Pho. Pho is some of my favorite simple peasant food, and this week, I’d like to take an economical eating cue from yet another group of peasants. Like yesterday’s cassoulet, a humble country casserole that’s often elevated beyond its original station, the sometimes pretentiously presented French crêpe is essentially just a thin pancake with tasty tidbits rolled up inside it.

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The Chowder Bowl

The Super Bowl is a copyrighted phrase owned by the NFL, so I guess I’m not even really supposed to mention those words together in this here blog post. I somehow doubt the league will run me down with a cease and desist order. Even so, maybe I’ll just call it “The Big Game” to play it safe. You’ll all know what I’m talking about, no? So I was thinking the other day… The Big Game is coming up this very weekend (February 3rd, for those of you who only watch this one game each year) and I know that our newest national holiday is pretty much locked down as far as the menu goes.

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Recipes The Bûche de Noël: It’s Log! It’s Log!

“So it’s like a giant Yodel.” My boss was watching me glaze the yule log cake as he said this. I really couldn’t argue with the assessment. For those who don’t know the Yodel, fret not. It’s an East Coast thing. As it turns out, Yodels or Ding Dongs or whathaveyou, are essentially tiny yule logs. One of my exceedingly cool coworkers is a punk rock guitar goddess, the captain of a multi-championship roller derby team and the proud owner of one of those cursed right-around-Christmas birthdays.

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Recipe Rock Star #2: Mise will change your life.

This is lesson #2. Missed lesson #1? It’s back here. Recipe Rock Star Lesson #2: Your Mise en Place will change your cooking. And maybe your life. In my experience, professional cooks populating the high-end kitchens of America love to butcher the French language. It’s how we poke the 800 lb gorilla. You see, back in the day, it was the great French chefs — Escoffier in particular — who codified, modernized and organized the professional kitchen.

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Food Quote Friday: John Keats

“Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.” John Keats (1795-1821)

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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