seared tuna rolls with micro greens

October 2nd, 2014

chef lisa baker morgan

Kona, “Blazeman,” and the log-roll

Recipe: seared tuna roll with micro greens

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venez avec moi à Dijon

June 2nd, 2014

chef morgan a table Dijon

Paris Day Trip

venez avec moi à Dijon

This post is dedicated to Sandy Kiratsoulis and Barbara Bomes.
May the new chapters in your lives bring forth beautiful experiences filled with adventure. You will be missed. 

The desk sits in front of the window giving me a direct view of the stone apartments and Parisian rooftops across the way. Inspiring and distracting. I was supposed to sit at my desk and complete revisions on a manuscript. Deadlines. However, as I looked at the rooftops facing me my thoughts drifted to the lengthy list of places I have yet to discover and I found myself getting up and down from my desk for things like making a snack for which I was not really hungry.

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Salade Niçoise (à ma façon)

May 18th, 2014

nicoise 3
a dream kitchen, a village in Provence, and a favorite salad  

Salade Niçoise (à ma façon)
(salad Niçoise my may)

There was a photograph of a kitchen on Instagram which gathered several “likes” and one person commented, “my dream kitchen.” It made me think. What is my “dream” kitchen?” Do I have one? What would be in it?  The topic is hardly unique. Elizabeth David wrote an article about the same thing but I believe the discussion was prompted by magazine competitions, not an Instagram photo. Times are different but the question is still fun.

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a chip, a root and a little bacon … Happy New Year from Paris

December 29th, 2012

celeriac purée with crumbled bacon and potato chips

a chip, a root and a little bacon … Happy New Year from Paris

France often utilizes western ideas with French sensibilities of moderation. Take potato chips for example. For the last few months in France, la tendence (the “in” thing) is the use potato chips as a garnish or minor embellishment rather than a snack food (or meal, as the case may be). This idea of embracing a favorite American snack food with moderation inspired this week’s simple pleasure: celery root purée with crumbled bacon and potato chips. Read the rest of this entry »

falling leaves in Paris and autumn simplicity on your plate

November 30th, 2012

 

paris fall leaves man with dog

falling leaves in Paris and autumn simplicity on your plate:
scallop “macarons” with chanterelles and thyme

I have only seen it snow once in Paris and the snow didn’t stick. This year while Paris has seen a couple rainy and “see your breath” chilly days, overall it has been beautiful and 5 or 6 degrees Celsius warmer than usual for late November. Parisians have been out in droves, profiting from the gift of warmer weather. Although the holidays are approaching, right now it is not holiday decor which covers the city, but blankets of golden leaves. Watching Parisians play in the leaves (and the city workers haul mounds of the leaves to compost piles) I thought of the poem Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost where he talks about the lightness and the “harvest” of falling leaves. I wanted to “harvest” leaves. In particular, I wanted to capture  the color scheme and lightness of these golden leaves and the flavors of autumn and put it on a plate in a simply way. That thought inspired this week’s simple pleasure: seared scallop “macarons” with chanterelles and fresh thyme. 

scallop “macarons” with chanterelles and thyme

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comfort food perfect for the season: spaghetti squash à la carbonara

November 21st, 2012

 spaghetti squash carbonara

from a special cheese to a brasserie on Saint Dominque, 
comfort food perfect for the season:
spaghetti squash à la carbonara  

I held in my hand a beautiful ewe’s (sheep) milk Italian cheese, Pecorino Rustico Pepato, I got from Norbert (The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills). The cheese, spiked with black pepper, reminded me carbonara. Eager to use the cheese but hesitant to use it on routine spaghetti pasta with little nutritional value, a basket full of winter squash caught my eye. Inspiration for this week’s simple pleasure was found: spaghetti squash à la carbonara. 

spaghetti squash

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seeing things from the downside-up and the inside-out

August 20th, 2012

 Pont de L’Archêveché bridge paris 

seeing things from the downside-up and the inside-out: 
melon and honey-ricotta cannoli (with raspberry coulis)

It is the combination of a famous bridge in Paris and a honey bee crashing our dinner party which inspired this week’s simple pleasure: melon and honey – ricotta cannoli (with raspberry coulis). Also this week, peach and tarragon clafoutis. Both recipes make the most of summer’s end. 

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venez avec moi L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and summer melon gazpacho

August 3rd, 2012

  

 treasures on the river Sorgue 

accidental tourist discovering culinary treasures on the river Sorgue:
venez avec moi L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

summer melon gazpacho

Petit dejeuner (breakfast) in Provence. The Provençal sun is streaming through the window and the local rooster is announcing the day with not-to-be-missed vigor. Our breakfast table looks Matisse-like with fresh fruit, cheeses, yogurt, jams, farm butter, bread and viennoiseries artfully served in porcelain dishes and baskets, all chosen with the same deliberation a poet would use to select words for the page. The smell of the cut melon filled the room. We hungrily ate everything in front of us with our eyes before our mouths even opened. We are in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. I was so taken with the people here (and the food) that I was compelled to return within weeks of my first (accidental) discovery and my visits inspired this week’s simple pleasure: summer melon gazpacho. However, before you go to the recipe, venez avec moi (come with me) to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue; it is not just for antiques any more.

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

 

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venez avec moi à Gordes

July 10th, 2012

 

Chef Morgan Gordes

 picking cherries in the valley of the Gods: venez avec moi à Gordes 

 It is 9:30 p.m. and the sun is setting, but not so quickly. The sun is taking its time; everyone is. It is difficult to put an end to a day filled with Provençal sun, the calming smell of lavender, and the song of the complacent cicadas. As I write, I see expansive green valleys filled with cherry trees below me. The sound of pea-gravel crunching under the waiter’s feet (as he brings me a Châteauneuf-du-Pape and something warm for my shoulders) is only a momentary distraction from the twenty birds swirling above my head trying to get in their last flight before heading to bed. I am in Luberon. I have eaten and explored my way through the day: jambon with truffles; cherries I picked off the trees;  fougasse lush with salty olives and olive oil; wild boar sausage; fresh chèvre bathed in crushed lavender and honey, aïoli with perfectly steamed vegetables; rosés from nearby vineyards; hearty and robust reds from nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I think I found the land of the Gods and perhaps that is why the Romans had once claimed it as their own centuries ago. It am in Gordes and it is Gordes which inspired this week’s simple pleasure, cherries poached in fresh lavender and thyme. However, before you go there, come with me to one of the Luberon’s most beautiful villages: venez avec moi à Gordes. 

Chef Morgan Gordes Sunset

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a one year anniversary and life is just peachy: summer peach mousse with crushed almonds and rose biscuits

June 25th, 2012

 

Chef morgan red shoes and Eiffel tower

a one year anniversary and life is just peachy:
summer peach mousse with crushed almonds and rose biscuits

Paris is historical, inspirational, and romantic. For many people, it is bon goût (good taste) in all meanings of the word – gastronomically, artistically, architecturally, in fashion – to name a few. For me, my red chef shoes bring me here time and time again and the magic never dulls. One year ago I finally found an  apartment in this city which I fell in love with so many years ago. It is this anniversary which inspired this week’s simple pleasure: summer peach mousse with crushed almonds and rose biscuits.

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