Coq au vin is the French man’s version of one of my favorite Dominican dishes, pollo guisado. If you grew up in the Caribbean you, like me, have fond memories of the tangy creole chicken stew seasoned with sour oranges, oregano, tomatoes, and smoky sweet ajicitos (which grew in my backyard, by the way). So what to do when half of the ingredients that make up this flavorful dish can’t be found without having to schlep to a mercadito in Washington Heights or a remote part of Brooklyn? You have to get creative.
Enter Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I’ve been staring at the elegant fleur de lys-stamped tome for the past three years, dog-earing classics like Moules a la Mariniere (mussles with wine) and Navarin Printanier (lamb stew with spring vegetables), but never once having the courage (or the time) to dive into one of these elaborate dishes. This week, however, whether spurred by the rainy forecast or the ridiculously decadent meal I recently had at Daniel, I felt inspired. more »
Pommes Dauphinoise and a toast12.28.11
And…exhale. After all the holiday parties, tree-trimming, gift exchanges, and last-minute shopping frenzies, being back in the kitchen again was a perfect opportunity to slow things down. So Ana, my mother-in-law and one of my favorite cooks, and I prepared Pommes Dauphinoise (au gratin potatoes) from the Food 52 Holiday Recipe and Survival Guide cookbook that I reviewed last week. We peeled, sliced, grated, sprinkled, and created a delicate rendition of the classic potato dish, all the while using the iPad as a guide, and infusing the house with mouthwatering aromas of nutty gruyère and lemony thyme. We then served it as one of the main characters in a totally simple, cozy meal of hearty pasteles, glazed ham, avocado salad, and red wine. We toasted to family and to being together. Thanks Alex, for capturing the story with your beautiful images. more »