We started it last year with Frank Stitts’s Bottega Favorita cookbook: everyone prepare a dish or two from the same cookbook and we have a dinner party to see how the recipes work out. We’ve had many successful parties in this manner. Last Sunday was no different. A the resident cookbook junky, I chose Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook Around My French Table since I’m such a huge fan of her book Baking: From My Home to Yours and of her blog.
One of reasons why I enjoy her cookbooks so much is that each recipe starts off with a lot of text either explaining the genesis of the recipe or a funny anecdote or something. As someone sits and reads a cookbook cover to cover, I love it. This book is not strictly French food either. It’s recipes you can imagine people making in their homes with all of the influence of various ethnic cuisines melded together. I chose to make the Chicken in a Pot (featured on the cover) which used preserved lemons and an Olive Fougasse. More detailed photos of the various foods made are here. At some point hunger won out and we sat down to eat before I could take more pictures.
I’ve been playing with new camera, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3, which is so awesome but I have no idea how to use it. Taking pictures of food is hard! The color and texture don’t often translate. Plus I have no special lights and it’s getting darker earlier, so natural lighting is scarce. Here are two photos I took of the baked Olive Fougasse:
The first one was taken with the bread in front of the window with the sun shining on it.
In the second picture, the sun is behind me. Very different, no?
The recipes were so simple to make and utterly delicious. We had kir and gougeres to start, some cheese and crackers from Formaggio Kitchen and the Olive Fougasse. For the main course, we at the Chicken in a Pot, Delicatta squash with Apple and Grapes, Spice Butter Glazed Carrots, and Potatoes Au Gratin. We finished with a fantastic Apple Cake recipe with Cinnamon ice cream from Christina’s.