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Provencal Christmas Bread Recipe

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Perhaps the most popular of the Christmas traditions in Provence is les treize desserts, or the thirteen desserts, to be enjoyed following Midnight Mass. The star of the thirteen desserts is pompe à l’huile, sometimes called fougasse, a sweet, light, openwork bread made with olive oil and flavored with orange blossom water and citrus zest. (While traditional, these flavoring are optional and the bread will still taste delicious without.) This tasty bread may also be enjoyed throughout the year in other variations. The sugar can be increased for a sweeter bread, or a savory version could be made with less sugar and other flavorings, like aniseed, or with olives and herbs. Whichever version you choose to make, this bread will warm your kitchen with wonderful aromas and delight all those at your table. 3 3⁄4 cups Flour (plus more for kneading dough) 1⁄4 cup Sugar (*optional to add more...

Palmiers Recipe

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Palmiers Recipe Palmers are a delightful pastry and wonderful in their simplicity. In less than an hour and with just a few ingredients, you can create a delicious dessert or tea time snack. Preparation could not be easier, and after making these just one time, you’ll be able to make Palmiers without a recipe and perhaps with some additional flavorings. These are perfect to whip up for surprise guests or to offer at the end of meal with a cup of coffee. Palmiers have a fantastic, crisp crunch, but beware, because with that fantastic crunch comes a scattering of crumbs. Have a napkin handy!   Ingredients: 1 Sheet Puff Pastry, thawed 2 – 3 Tablespoons Butter, melted and cooled (approximate amount) 1/4 Cup Sugar (approximate amount)   Method: Sprinkle sugar on a flat work surface, then roll out puff pastry into a large square — around 12 inches by 12 inches. Be sure to...

Goat Cheese Nirvana

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Goat Cheese Nirvana I am a bona fide goat cheese lover. If you’re not, I implore you to sample some real, honest to goodness, French goat cheese and just try to resist it’s magical spell. French goat cheese, or chèvre, comes in a variety of shapes and styles, diverse flavor profiles and textures. Often named after their region of origin, French goat cheeses range from tangy to mild, creamy to firm, slightly tart to somewhat sweet, grassy or with a hint of walnut, plain or enhanced. The beauty of goat cheese is that it can stand on its own or heighten a dish. Try some. Try a lot. And soon you’ll be a goat cheese lover too! The Seemingly Endless Varieties… There are three main types of goat cheese: fresh, soft-ripened and aged. Fresh goat cheese is soft, spreadable, rindless, white and often molded into a log. Feta and Le Cornilly are two examples. Soft-ripened goat cheese has either a...

Coq Au Vin Recipe

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Coq Au Vin Recipe   Coq au vin, or chicken in wine, is a lovely, comforting dish for fall. Once the initial prep work is completed, this dish is mostly hands off, left to gently simmer on the stove top. As with most braises and stews, this recipe is a guideline, easily adapted to your own taste. There are as many versions of coq au vin as there are people who’ve made it — follow the basic method and trust your instincts. Each ingredient is meant to increase the depth of flavor, so adjust the ingredients to your own palate. I’m not a fan of pearl onions, for instance, so I used a combination of leeks, shallots and onions. Feel free to use the more traditional pearl onion in your dish if that is your preference. Be mindful to use a wine that you would want to drink from a glass — it will be the underlying flavor of the dish.I like Côtes du Rhone or Pinot Noir. This is a great dish...

Panisse Recipe – A Delicious Provencal Snack

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Panisse Recipe – A Delicious Provencal Snack   Panisse, or chick pea fries, are great for snacking or as a side dish alongside meat or seafood.   Crisp on the outside, creamy and fluffy on the inside, Panisse can be served plain, with just salt and pepper, or with condiments for dipping, such as aioli. Easily modified to your palate, panisse also tastes great with additional seasonings like herbs (rosemary pairs wonderfully), garlic, cumin or lemon zest. The panisse mixture can be prepared ahead, cut into almost any shape, then fried just before serving. This recipe can also be scaled up or down.  Time: 45 minutes active, plus resting time Ingredients: 2 Cups Water 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil (*optional, but I think it lends a creaminess) 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt 2 Cups and 2 Tablespoons Chickpea Flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill) Oil, for frying (I like olive oil, but a neutral oil...

10 Great Things To Do With Fresh Figs

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I’m a bit of a fig purist. A fresh fig, just off the tree, still warm from the sun, is my idea of heaven. These are hard to come by, though, and the truth is I like figs in any form: as jam, in a tart, dried, broiled, even as ice cream.