French Frdays with Dorie

Monday, January 3, 2011

I'm back with Beef Daube, Potato Leek Soup and Not Just for Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread Cake

The question is, am I better than ever?  Well, one can but dream.  I rarely make New Year's Resolutions.  For me they tend to be New Year's Eve Resolutions and last about that long!  However, this year, I am vowing to be a better blogger.

To that end, I have been trying to catch up on my all of the Dorie recipes.  This doesn't just mean Tuesdays with Dorie.  I am also now a member of the group French Fridays with Dorie.  I have the suspicion that I am going to be a fairly silent partner in this group as I can not get its website to cooperate with me in the least.

Apparently I am a word press moron.  I get logged in and get taken to my profile.  That's it folks.  If I want to see the website contents I have to look from an unlogged in perspective.  Rather daunting since we get to vote on these recipes and I love to spread my opinion as far as I can.

I have made two of the French Friday dishes so far.  I made the Beef Daube and the Potato Leek Soup.  I am accustomed to be stunned by how tasty Dorie's recipes are and the Beef Daube is no exception.  It took me a bit longer to pull it all together, than I expected, but the taste was worth it.

After browning the beef cubes, I slowly cooked the onions and shallots.  I added the beef, carrots, and parsnips to the pan and prepared to add the red wine.  I used a delightful Yellow Tail Shiraz - not because of the taste - I have no wine taste buds.  I bought it solely based on price.  I know, I know, cook only with something you would drink by the glass - but honestly - they all taste the same to me - that being the case, I figured saving seven or eight bucks was the wise choice. 

I then learned that I had no clue how to work my Pampered Chef corkscrew.  I am positive I did it wrong because (a) a little metal thing and some plastic shards came off of it and (b) it barely budged the cork.  However, with the help of a paring knife and infinite patience I was able to work the blasted cork out of the bottle.  Oh, for a saber and the skill to simply lop off the top of the damned bottle!  After a quick visit to Sur La Table, I am prepared to open bottles without a sword, once again.

Regardless.  The stew simmered for the requisite 2.5 hours and when pulled from the oven, it both smelled and tasted divine.  Don't judge it by this mediocre photo. I have been eating the stew for the last few days and it is getting a little forlorn looking.

I am still slightly undecided about the potato leek soup.  It has a lovely pale, pale green color to it and a nice flavor.  However, it is decidedly leek and not so decidedly potato in nature.  I think it may be a soup that is tastier on the second day, so I shall make my ultimate decision after it chills for a time. 

I pureed my soup with my immersion blender - a tool I rarely find the opportunity to use but am liking more and more every time that opportunity does arise.  I chose to do that because I got a bit sidetracked when making the stew and it boiled longer than necessary.  I actually thought it was a lost cause.  I swear that blasted milk had separated into water and whey!  Tres gros!  However, a few quick swirls with the blender and I had creamy loveliness. 

If I am still on the fence after my next tasting, I shall boil up a potato or two and toss them into the pot.  I am sure their addition will bring this soup from pretty good to fine and dandy.

Finally for Tuesdays with Dorie, where have I been all these weeks?  Well, sometimes baking and not posting and sometimes not getting my act together to bake.  I have certainly made more of the last few months selections than one can tell from my blogs and I will get those postings online as soon as is feasible.  I made the cranberry shortcake several weeks ago.  I absolutely loved this cake. 

I must have spread my jam more thinly than was anticipated because I had quite a bit of the jam remaining.  I wanted to make more of the jam for Christmas presents, but I never saw cranberries in the grocery store this year.  Most have been another blight of some kind!

Everyone who had a taste of this cake pronounced it excellent.  It was easy and quick to bake and will definitely become part of my go-to repertoire.

No comments: