Saturday usually means spending the day making something more laborious than we would normally have time for on a weekday. Matthew gifted me the latest cookbook from my favorite food writer, David Lebovitz, for my birthday (My Paris Kitchen), but I waited until he was home so we could dig into our first recipe from it together.
French cooking is no joke. I'm not a big rule follower, and French cooking requires a lot of line-by-line instructions to be followed exactly. David Lebovitz manages to create recipes that infuse French culinary traditions while not being overly obtuse. If I can follow it without the itch to stray, anyone can. And lucky for me, Matthew is a big rule follower, so he keeps me in check.
We are huge fans of meat pie dishes as we both grew up with Southern grandparents. Naturally, the first dish we had to attempt was the Chicken pot Parmentier -- a French-style chicken take on a beef pie.
The recipe called for two little tablespoons of white wine, so we had to open something we wanted to drink. We still had one bottle of Sauvignon Blanc left from Matthew's recent travels to Fairview Winery in South Africa. We know very little about wine and food pairings, but it actually worked beautifully.
One issue we had to troubleshoot through was ricing the potatoes. We don't have a potato ricer, and David Lebovitz explicitly states not to mash them with a beater to make sure the potatoes stayed light and not gluey. We made a shot-in-the-dark call that the KitchenAid mixer with the grater attachment would be the best shot... and it worked! Perfectly riced potatoes.
During the final step of piping the potatoes on, I couldn't for the life of me find my metal tips, so we winged it with a pastry bag with a small cut opening.
This recipe took some time, so by the time it came out of the oven, we were starving and dug in before photographing the end result! (Picture the final photo with a crispier brown edge).
SOUNDTRACK: French Gypsy Jazz. Listen here.
COOKBOOK: My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz
I couldn't resist these beautiful peonies at the market. They match my tattoos!