February Charm City Cookbooking

February 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Cookbooks, Dessert, Dinner | 5 Comments

Last month’s enormous and fabulous feast was hosted by Coralie and boy was it delicious! 6 of us made dishes from La Cucina Italiana and they all turned out beautifully (even my ravioli – thanks to Becca!)

This month’s feast was hosted by yours truly and true to my nature, I picked a cookbook very dear to my heart (in more ways than one!) Barefoot in Paris! This cookbook is amazing and Ina really does have a knack for making incredible dishes within every cook’s reach.

I made the Loin of Pork with Green Peppercorns, Joanne made the Goat Cheese Tart, Renee made the Spinach in Puff Pastry and the Provençal Vegetable Soup, Julie made the Celery Root Puree and Haricot Verts and and lastly Coralie made the Peaches in Sauternes for dessert! Check out our tasty delights below!

This glorious puff pastry concoction is definitely the best way to get spinach in your diet and it has pine nuts too! Oh to die for.

Renee also made this tasty Provençal vegetable soup with leeks, onions, carrots and potatoes and topped it off with a great pistou- (NOT pesto auntie helen!) Ina’s version of pistou is made from garlic, tomato paste, basil leaves and fresh parmesan cheese! It’s the perfect addition to the hearty soup.

Joanne’s goat cheese tart was delicious- homemade pastry crust (expertly baked 😉 ) and its filled with a bunch of shallots, herbed goat cheese, some basil, cream and eggs. The flavor contrast between the shallots and goat cheese was my favorite part!

And here is our dinner! Julie made a celery root and potato puree, the perfect base for the pork! I had never tasted celery root- and surprise! It tastes like celery! This is a much brighter and (healthier?) way to make mashed potatoes. The haricot verts also tasted great with the roasted peppers and red onions.

The sauce for the pork loin was exciting for me to make- I have never used the oven juices from a roasted meat to make a gravy like this and I got to use my new roasting pan in the oven AND the stove (thanks Grandma!). Green peppercorns are an interesting addition to this- first I let them sit in chicken stock to reconstitute and then added them to the sauce. They were the perfect little zing for each bite of this dish!

Dessert- which I neglected to take a photograph of (little help from the Coralie camera- perhaps?) simply because I was craving some sweet and the wine was in full force! Ina, and every other good chef, is clear about how simple ingredients (as long as they are good quality) mixed together just right can be sublime. Just peach slices, sugar, and decadent Sauternes. Who knew that shriveled little infected grapes could produce something so divine?

Overall- like always it was a positively fantastic night full of very good conversation, delicious wine and superb eats! Next month is at Joanne’s humble abode in Keswick! Can’t wait!



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  1. i checked out your blog entry for it and yum, danish braid! that is just like croissants, huh? and i should have definitely added some filling or made pain au chocolat. cuz what’s better than flaky butter dough? flaky, butter dough FILLED with sweet stuff, duh. 🙂

  2. That was some GOOD food! I shouldn’t be looking at these pictures right now — I didn’t have lunch today and they’re making me very, very hungry.

  3. Oh, I wish cook book club was next weekend…I do love you all so!

  4. yeah! i’ve been commenting on all the portland food blogs for weeks now! like, c’mon, post back!!! 🙂 and i noticed you weren’t on food buzz, is it bad? it seems kinda pretentious, like 8 million people became my friend right away and started ‘buzzing’ me. i still don’t know how it works… should i whack it?

    i want to do ‘blogher’ too.

  5. this looks so awesomely fun! none of my friends like to cook!!!!

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