Sunday, November 15, 2009

And a food blog too

because food always makes me feel better - even just reading, writing or talking about it.

I made my/our favorite salad, Frisee with Lardons (aka Salade Lyonnaise), for dinner. But my version is not quite the classic preparation. For one thing, I don't use frisee - I just use mixed spring greens. And because it is a dinner, I feel the need to bulk up the greens with another vegetable. I use a variety of different ones, depending on the season and what I have in the fridge.

Tonight it was asparagus (I know, not seasonal, but on sale and looking good). I cooked the bacon, then poured off some of the grease - but not all - and seared the asparagus in it. One thing this salad has taught me is that everything is even more delicious when cooked in a bit of bacon grease. Then I poached the eggs. While they were cooking I got the plates ready, mixed up a quick vinaigrette and drizzled it over the greens, bacon and asparagus. The hot poached egg went over the top of it all.  (Usually we have toast with it instead of the traditional croutons, but I forgot even that tonight - and didn't have any good bread anyway. No one minded). Yum!

I love this dinner. It's fast, easy, simple and delicious. It also feels healthy and good for you, even though it includes bacon. And, since I initially ate it (and made it the first time) in Paris, I feel exotic while I'm preparing and eating it. Always a good thing.

Oh, and not to neglect the sweets - I made a coffee cake this morning that was delicious despite some wild substitutions. I started a cranberry coffee cake, which had sounded good but I had no milk. What to do? The only substitutes in the cupboard were coconut milk or sweetened, condensed milk. I'd already added the sugar to the recipe so that meant the sweetened milk was out, but I was very unsure if coconut milk would act the same. With a mental shrug (nothing ventured, nothing gained) I went ahead with it. Then I was too lazy to dig through my cupboard and find a flat bottom to my springform pan, so just used the bundt-type bottom that was already attached. And for some, inspired, reason decided to put the streusel topping on the bottom with the batter on top. And it worked splendidly! I tend to shy away from coffee cake because it's too dry and the top just crumbles off, but this was moist, with a tangy kick from the cranberries and the streusel was almost crunchy and caramelized on the top. Thank goodness we had the Buttner clan to bring it to or I would have eaten the whole thing.


  1. Hey Jen,
    What a lovely meal! I don't like frisee, so I would have liked your salad even better than the original.
    Made me think of our wonderful meal this summer at Bastille with Kris.
    Miss you

  2. I know! After our fun evening, that's another great memory I have when I'm making this salad. Layers of good memories with this dinner.