March Charm City Cookbooking: French Laundry

April 1, 2011 at 10:36 am | Posted in Appetizer, Cookbooks | 3 Comments

As tonight is the occasion of our April Cookbook club and Maria’s first hosting, I wanted to make sure we got the March post written up! This French Laundry cookbook club was the most adventurous of them all and it was the best food we have collectively ever made! Because I was traveling to Richmond the day before, Joanne tried to go easy on me and let me have the cheese course. It turns out the one I chose – Corsu Vecchio with Spiced Carrot Salad, was still not easy at all! But I did have enough time to make it that afternoon so all was good! And wow did I impress myself with the execution of this recipe. Normally French Laundry cuisine is left to Ned and I am the sous chef, but I took this recipe and ran! (all the way to happy bellies at the dining table!)


So go for the jump to see some more of my steps, and go to our Charm City Cookbooking post where you can see all of our beautiful and delicious dishes!

The execution of my dish started on Thursday night, where I shredded some carrots and baked them at 200 degrees for four hours to dry them out. On Sunday I used a mortar and pestle to crumble the dried carrots and make a carrot powder!


At Joanne’s house I first started with making carrot juice. I love her juicer and I love carrot juice! It is so sweet!


Here are the carrot leftovers from the juicer. Very pretty, no?


I took the 3/4 cup of carrot juice and boiled it down to 2 tablespoons of liquid on the stove. Then I got some cloves, a cinnamon stick, and peppercorns and heated them until fragrant. Joanne has a coffee grinder specifically for spices so in they went and about 3 tablespoons came out! Unfortunately for me, the recipe only required a pinch of these spices… grrr to you TK.


Then I got started on my brunoise…. another ingredient that only requires a little bit! This time I think it was 2 tablespoons… I methodically cut up radish…


Carrot… and leek.


I love being able to control my knife to make these perfect little cuts. (hello perfectionist!)


In addition to these pictures, Alayne shredded up some carrots for me and I mixed those up in the carrot juice and pinch of spice and then added the brunoise (seen above). And I took a 1/2 cup of golden raisins, plumped them up in hot water on the stove and then put them in the blender to make a puree.

And then it was ready to plate! First a dollop of puree, then a mound of the carrot/brunoise mixture.


Then I sliced up Manchego into perfect little triangles and carefully arranged them in a fan design (there was no easily available Corsu Vecchio to be found at Wegmans or Whole Foods, so I went with Manchego!). Then I put a line of the carrot powder down the side!


C’est Magnifique!



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  1. You are brave to tackle the French Laundry – I am so intimidated by that book! I just ordered Ad Hoc because I’ve been swooning over it for months I finally cracked – your carrot salad look perfect!

  2. 1. I am so impressed with your prowess in the kitchen. Well done!

    2. This makes me want to go out and stock up on cookbooks.

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