two countries. many kitchens. one table.

carrot soufflé

November 7th, 2013

chef morgan

making carrots count and thank you chef Trotter

recipe: carrot soufflé

This week we bring to the table another side for Thanksgiving: carrot soufflé. I wrote this recipe long ago and have used it for various occasions and events. While it was inspired by a visit to Paris in my twenties, I dedicate it to chef Charlie Trotter who left us this week. 

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Belgium endive chopped salad with blue cheese honey dressing

October 28th, 2013

chef morgan chopped salad

“white gold” with autumn accessories  

Belgium endive chopped salad with blue cheese honey dressing

Quoi de Neuf  (What’s happening) this week other than Halloween?

Well, the word on the streets of Paris and Los Angeles are entertaining as they are different. In Paris, the taxi cab drivers are allegedly trying to run Uber out of the City of Light. In turn, there is a petition being circulated to keep Uber in the city. It is all so very French.  Read the rest of this entry »

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quinoa risotto with mushrooms

October 18th, 2013

chef morgan

close to nature: a two-starred Michelin restaurant; a Parisien canary; and a “super food”
quinoa risotto with mushrooms

At summer’s end, when we return from France, there seems to be some sort of an animal dilemma in our Los Angeles de facto farm. Last year it was the mean chicken scenario in the coup and the surprise male rabbit situation which necessitated an immediate trip to the veterinarian for Mister Snowy. 

This summer it was the finch.

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Paris weekend getaway: Venice, Italy

October 6th, 2013

chef morgan Venice
 “Big” Venice with a little sole (à la menuière)

I had an inside tip. It was an inside tip on a Paris apartment and not just any apartment, an apartment in a beautiful building on avenue Georges Mandel. My friend’s mother told her that if I acted fast, I could preview the apartment before it was officially on the market. Was I interested? Bien sûr ! (of course). Good apartments in Paris are far and few in between and they are taken immediately. The tip was better than chocolate praline from Patrick Roger.

As luck would have it I registered to run a marathon in Venice, Italy in a week. Everything seems to be a quick plane ride from Paris so I made an appointment to preview the apartment before I headed to Venice. It would be a tight schedule: three countries; four days. This week I want to take you there. Venez avec moi (come with me) à Venice, Italy with a Paris stop, a marathon detour, and a favorite fish recipe: sole à la meuienere.

Allez y (let’s go) !!!

LM

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sole à la meunière

October 2nd, 2013

DSC08617

sole à la meunière 
(sole meunière)

This is the classic way to prepare sole à la meunière.The method is surprisingly simple and a good recipe to keep on file. A simple combination of browned butter and fresh lemon juice will give the sauce a nutty and slightly tangy taste. I reduced the butter but if you want more sauce to brown, add more cold butter (clarified butter does not brown). Dover sole has a meaty but delicate taste. If you cannot find Dover sole you can subsitute other types of sole. You can use trout as well. If you add toasted almond slices you then have trout almandine.

 

serves 2

you need:

fish and sauce

4 fillets from 1 beautiful Dover sole (skin on or off)
all-purpose flour (as needed)
kosher salt (as needed)
freshly ground black pepper (as needed)

1 ½ tablespoons clarified, unsalted butter
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh Italian parsley

gros sel de Guérande (to taste)
freshly ground pepper (to taste) Read the rest of this entry »

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tartelette aux figues

September 21st, 2013

chef morgan fig tartlet

what is a fig to do ?

tartelette aux figues
(fig tartlets) 

Fig season in the U.S. is short, but sweet. They always seem to be here at the same time we are transitioning from Summer to early Fall with its demands of work and school. I like to think that the change in the market is giving us a sweet treat to ease the craziness of our schedules. Along with figs, the markets are filled with varieties of grapes and the early harvest of apples and pears. Heirloom tomatoes are disappearing with the sun.

chef morgan figs

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panzanella

September 13th, 2013

chef morgan mail

this is farm to table: preparing food in the middle of a farm

panzanella

This week I did something I have never done: I gave a cooking demonstration in the middle of a farm field. McGrath Family Farm in Camarillo, California was the farm.

chef morgan mcgrath family farm

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tartare de daurade (sea bream tartare)

September 5th, 2013

chef morgan tartare

La Rentrée, l’art du cru, and what Parisens really eat

 recipe: tartare de daurade (sea bream tartare) 

If you have traveled to France in the month of August you know that the country really comes to a halt. As a friend aptly noted, “Ah… grandes vacances, where everyone is out and out of it.” C’est vrai (it is true).

For the month of August (although it is creeping into July as well) there is a customary and societal expectation of absenteeism. Everyone takes time to re-charge their battery and spend time with their family. This uniform expectation of doing nothing and getting nothing “accomplished”  I have grown to love as there seems to be no downtime due to texts and emails sent to your portable phone. When you accept that nothing — nothing — will just get done in August, it is very liberating (although as an American it took me some time to come to terms with the notion). You plan around it and guess what? Everything still gets done. French time.

chef morgan train

 

 My daughter took this photograph on the train returning to Paris from Nice. I like it because to me it says “au revoir” (bye, see you again) to the summer. 

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Paris day trip: Château de Fontainebleau

August 30th, 2013

chef morgan

Paris day trip: Château de Fontainebleau 

emperors, strawberries, and a canoe on carp lake

recipe: summer strawberries with lime sugar and fresh mint 

Not far from Paris is a château rich in history. Yes, there are many. However, this particular château was inhabited for seven centuries by the royal and imperial French elite (most famously by  Napoleon I and Josephine). Surrounded by breathtaking courtyards, fountains, canal, gardens, a park, and a lake, it is a perfect Paris day trip. It is the Château de Fontainebleau and this week’s recipe, summer strawberries with lime sugar and fresh mint, was inspired by a visit to this château. So until you get there in person – venez avec moi (come with me)à la Château de Fontainebleau. 

Allez -y (let’s go) !

LM

chef morgan strawberries 2

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A.O.C. olives, a castle, and a beautiful village

August 17th, 2013

chef morgan

Les Baux-de-Provence

green olive tapenade (with steamed cod)

Provence is full of olive trees but there is only one area in Provence where the olives and olive oil are certified “A.O.C.”  It is the  Vallée des Les Baux de Provence. When I discovered this piece of culinary trivia, the day trip was planned. The olives seduced me, but the history and culture kept me there. So come with me – venez avec moi – à Les Baux-de-Provence (which inspired this week’s recipe: green olive tapenade with steamed cod).

Allez-y  (let’s go) !

LM Read the rest of this entry »

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