Posts Tagged ‘french


Crème Fraîche

  Crème fraîche (pronounced krem fresh) is a thickened cream that is used in many traditional French dishes.  It has a tangy and nutty flavor that is similar to sour cream.  The main advantage of using crème fraîche is that, unlike sour cream, it does not separate or curdle when heated.  This makes it perfect for using as a thickener in soups or sauces.  It is also delicious on eggs, fruit and can serve as a substitute for sour cream in most recipes.  Still hard to find in many areas, a convincing facsimile can be made in your very own kitchen. 

The winner of the 1985 Belmont Stakes was a gelding named Creme Fraiche.


● 1 cup heavy cream, warmed to 100° F (avoid ultra pasteurized) 

● 1 tbsp. sour cream or cultured buttermilk (I have had the most success with sour cream.  Again, avoid ultra pasteurized.) 

Combine ingredients in a jar and allow to sit, loosely covered, at room temperature for 12-24 hours before refrigerating. 

Crème fraîche will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.



  Originally a French sauce, mayonnaise has been adopted as the preeminent sandwich spread.  Sadly, due to fear of raw eggs and the convenience of bottled options, homemade mayo is becoming a thing of the past.  Not only is this mayonnaise light and vibrant, it lifts any recipe that calls for it to a new level.


Mayo mixed with capers, chopped gherkins and fresh dill makes tartar sauce.

  Though the recipe is modified, I found that Alton Brown’s method was the easiest way to get a good emulsion going.  If there are any concerns about using raw eggs, pasteurized eggs can be substituted.  All ingredients should be at room temperature.

•  ½ tsp. white pepper

•  ½ tsp. salt (not Kosher)

•  2 pinches sugar

•  ½ tsp. dry mustard

•  1 tsp. English or Dijon mustard

•  2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

•  1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

•  1 cup corn oil

•  1 egg yolk

In a glass bowl, whisk together the yolk and the dry ingredients.

Combine lemon juice, vinegar and English mustard in a separate bowl then thoroughly whisk half into the yolk mixture.

Whisking quickly, slowly add oil until the liquid thickens and lightens.

Stream oil in until half is left, then add the rest of the lemon juice mixture.

Whisk in the rest of the oil.

Refrigerate for up to one week.

  If the mayonnaise separates, place a fresh egg yolk in a bowl and slowly whisk in the broken mixture.


Basic Vinaigrette

  This recipe is very versatile and helpful to have.  Not just limited to salads, this vinaigrette is great on grilled chicken or fish (especially if using the lemon juice) and also makes  a delicious dip for crusty breads.  Tossing some steamed vegetables with it like green beans or broccoli creates a delicious side.  Besides being an excellent standalone dressing, it is also the base for many vinaigrette variations.  Any of your favorite dried herbs or even a tablespoon of drained horseradish can be added to this recipe for an extra kick.  Since this vinaigrette is made with olive oil, it might solidify in the refrigerator.  If this happens, all you have to do is let the bottle sit in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes and shake well.

Vinaigrette should always be mixed or shaken immediately before use.

Vinaigrette should always be mixed or shaken immediately before use.

2 oz. red wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

¼ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil


• Whisk red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper together in a bowl.

• Whisk briskly and stream in the olive oil until thoroughly combined.

• Let the dressing sit at room temperature for an hour before removing the garlic and serving.



  This is what I always do with stale bread or heels.  Homemade croutons are cheap, easy to make and incredibly delicious.  They even make an excellent snack on their own.  Once you have the method down, the flavors and spices can be adjusted to your liking.  Put these in a salad and it will be lifted to a whole new level.

"Crouton" comes from the French word for "crust."

"Crouton" comes from the French word for "crust."

• 1 loaf worth of stale bread or heels

• 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

• 4 tbsp. olive oil

• Salt, to taste


Cut the bread into ¾” pieces and arrange on a baking sheet. 

Bake in a 175° oven until dry and as crisp as you prefer, but not browned.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the garlic cloves.

After the garlic is fragrant and browned, remove it from the pan and add the bread.

Toss the croutons in the oil until golden brown, remove from heat and season liberally with salt.


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