Archive for French
For Day Four, it’s back to a continental classic! An under appreciated treat of French cuisine is a well prepared classic tri-fold omelet with a little melted brie in the center. Add fresh pasta with a drizzle of Alfredo sauce and….
- 2 cups flour (about 9 ounces)
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 2 Tbs water
- ½ tsp. salt
- Staples: olive oil, salt
Combine all the ingredients of a stand mixer, or make a well with the dry ingredients on a working surface, and add the eggs, water and oil. Gently start the mixer on low, mixing until the dough appears crumbly and binds together when squeezed in your hand. If mixing by hand, add the water to achieve the same consistency. The exact amount of water required may vary by the flour, ambient humidity, and other factors, so you need to go by the look and feel versus specific amounts. Next, knead the dough, if working by hand or use the dough hook attachment if using a stand mixer. Knead until the dough takes on a shiny appearance or pulls away from the ball. Rest at least one hour, wrapped in the refrigerator. Once the dough is rested, use the settings on your pasta rollers or measure out to about 1/32 of an inch for linguine or fettuccine. Cut the pasta with a sharp knife, or use the pasta cutting mechanism of your mixer. Dust the pasta with a little flour to prevent sticking. Bring salted water with a few drops of olive oil added to a boil, add the pasta, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until it is out al dente The pasta can be made ahead of time and keep for several days in the refrigerator. Serves 4
- 1 Tbs butter
- 1 Tbs flour
- 4 oz. parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 cups milk
- ½ tsp. white pepper
- Staples: butter, pepper
in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour was together. When you have a soft white paste (or blonde roux), add the milk. Continue to heat until the sauce it just starts to thicken, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the cheese. Season with the white pepper.
This flavorful cut of meat comes from the diaphragm on the plate primal. It does require the tough sinewy band that runs through it removed, the cut is then butterflied and pounded slightly to an even thickness for cooking. Seared and topped with an amazing pan sauce ( and a teaser of foie gras on top) it is an over the top delight, truly reminiscent of the classic French bistro steak. Which means, of course, it is served with parma truffle pommes frites!
What to follow the amazing scallop dish, something terribly French and delicious. Hanger steak, ’nuff said.
Why am I a Francophile? I often wondered that. I am not French. I have been to France and been ridiculed and ignored when my French fell too harshly on the ears of Parisiennes. Perhaps it is their dedication as a society and culture to food and wine that strikes a common chord. Ah wine, yes, where would the world’s current standard of wine be but for the French? Then I read the latest wine and health study; it was from France and published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The punch line, or should I say wine-stain: People who drink alcohol in low or moderate amounts are healthier than those who abstain.
The study looked at 149,733 people divided into those
- that never drank (abstainers)
- low consumers (< 10gms)
- moderate consumers (10-30gms)
- heavy consumers (> 30gms).
Ten grams is roughly one drink. Those in the low and moderate category fared better, with respect to overall health, than either the heavy drinkers or abstainers. Subjectively, they fared better with respect to physical activity and respiratory function. Objectively, both men and women with increased alcohol intake had higher HDL, or “good” cholesterol levels. Moderate male drinkers also had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, lower resting heart rate, less stress and depression and an overall more favorable (lower) BMI (body mass index), the last being a measure of obesity. Moderate female drinkers had lower blood pressure and smaller waist-hip circumference measurements compared to abstainers.
For those in the study over 30, the most common form of alcohol consumed was wine. Interestingly, those French who drank were also more likely to smoke than their abstinent counterparts, yet the health benefits persisted. The conclusion of the study was that compared with abstainers, moderate consumers enjoy “a superior overall health status and a lower risk of (cardiovascular disease).”
Yes, findings like this are why I am a Francophile.
The French paradox redux, Vive le paradox!