Porcini Parmentier with crispy shallots and garlic and mushroom jus

December 16th, 2014

chef morgan a table

Porcini Parmentier 

with crispy shallots and garlic and mushroom jus

Hachis Parmentier or Parmentier is the French version of the English Shepherd’s Pie, to which people more often refer probably because it seems easier to pronounce. Any way you dish it, parmentier is comfort food. Hearty and warm. Perfect for the winter weather.

Let it snow (or rain). Read the rest of this entry »

summer caponata

July 17th, 2014

DSC01702

a successful vacation (by Oscar Wilde)

summer caponata

Vacation. Actually, it is more like this VACATION ! 

This year I thought I would try something new: take a vacation and NOT work. You know get out of the kitchen, enjoy the cooking of others (often), step out of my routine, and detach from my computer. So far so good. Oscar Wilde said that “moderation is a fatal thing [and] nothing succeeds like excess.” By Mr. Wilde’s standard, I have been highly successful in my vacation thus far. Read the rest of this entry »

strawberry gazpacho

July 3rd, 2014

chef morgan

“It’s A Life”

Strawberry Gazpacho 

Julia Child said that, “You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.” I believe that she was correct. 

With that thought in mind I left my comfort zone of classes or cooking privately in people’s homes or their offices, to work in a Parisian kitchen. It is not unusual for cooks to do this because seeing the way other people do things is often an inspirational springboard for your creativity and there is always so much to learn. And then there is the fact that it is fun (well, if you like this type of thing…working throughout the day and night and coming hone after midnight smelling of food.. it is not something that is attractive to the majority of people). “It’s a life.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

cucumber and avocado salad (salade de concombre et avocat)

March 8th, 2013

cucumber and avocado salad

 “a pinch” should apply only to seasoning

cucumber and avocado salad

It was the threat of a Saint Patrick’s Day pinch which inspired this week’s simple pleasure: avocado and cucumber salad. Read the rest of this entry »

living it up on Mardi Gras (or all winter long)

February 12th, 2013

 child with Romanesco Cauliflower fettechini with Gorgonzola  for Mardi Gras 

living it up (on Mardi Gras) in a savory and seasonal way:

Romanesco Cauliflower fettechini with Gorgonzola 

Romanesco cauliflower is in the markets right now and the tight, pointed green curds are nutty tasting and delicious. Given that we have two celebrations in one week - Mardi Gras and Saint Valentine’s Day – a little culinary indulgence in a tasteful, seasonal, and savory way inspired this week’s simple pleasure: Romanesco Cauliflower fettechini with Gorgonzola. (However, if you prefer to celebrate Mardi Gras with something sweet, try making traditional beignets !  recipe here.) 

 

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Romanesco cauliflower Fettechini with Gorgonzola

February 12th, 2013

 

Romanesco Cauliflower fettechini with Gorgonzola  for Mardi Gras

Romanesco cauliflower Fettechini with Gorgonzola 

 

serves 6-8

preparation time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 15 minutes

Romanesco Cauliflower fettechini with Gorgonzola  for Mardi Gras ingredients, pine nuts gorgonzola, heavy cream

what you need:

  • 1 head Romanesco cauliflower (or any cauliflower), cut into small florets (~ 10 ounces)
  • ½ pound dry fettechini
  • 8 ounces Gorgonzola (or quality semi-soft blue cheese such as St Agur), crumbled
  • 1-2 tablespoons cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts, toasted    
  • ~ 1 teaspoon gros sel de Guérande (and to taste)
  • freshly ground black ground pepper (to taste) Read the rest of this entry »

the perfect Madeleine

February 5th, 2013

 the perfect Madeleine being handed off to another girl

dear Madeleine, please be mine !

how to bake the perfect Madeleine 

So it is like this: a half-birthday celebration, a reduced-sugar school policy, and several requests for a favorite snack recipe (just in time for your Valentine’s celebration) which all inspired this week’s simple pleasure: vanilla bean Madeleines.

girl eating the perfect Madeleine  

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preserved Meyer lemons

January 21st, 2013



close up shot of Meyer lemon with salt and a glass jar ready to be preserved 

preserved Meyer lemons

 

 

makes 1 large Le Parfait jar (34 ounces)fresh lemons on a wood table

 

 

what you need:

10-12 Meyer lemons
~½ cup kosher salt
fresh lemon juice (as needed)
1-2 bay leafs 
10 black peppercorns
French thyme or lavender (optional) 
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

 

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terre à terre

January 14th, 2013

mushrooms, black truffles and terre à terre;  mushroom soup with truffled straws

mushrooms, black truffles and terre à terre
mushroom soup with truffled straws

It became our holy grail; a sort of “Da Vinci Code” chase by default. I am not talking about a religious relic or an art piece. I am talking about soup. Over the holidays, the daily soup special on every Parisian menu seemed to be velouté de champignons (cream of mushroom soup). Miam ! The problem was this: by the time we headed out to eat, the mushroom soup was gone. It happened a few times. Even twice in one evening. Frustrated, we became obsessed (and I vowed not to cook for the week, at least I tried). Finally, we managed to get our rumps in gear earlier and we finally had the sought-after mushroom soup. As I watched my friend, a Paris first-timer, enjoy his soup, made with French butter and fresh cream, I was inspired to recreate it (a bit healthier and vegetarian) and combine it with another one of his new favorite things and that thought inspired this week’s simple pleasure: mushroom soup with truffled straws.

girl with mushroom earring Read the rest of this entry »