French Friday ~ quinoa, fruit, and nut salad

quinoa, fruit, and nut salad

Wow. I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted (about a month and a half)! And it’s been almost just as long since I’ve cooked or baked something from Around My French Table.

And I’m afraid I haven’t been shooting much lately, either. Jim, the boys, and I took a road trip to Florida in March to visit family, and I didn’t even shoot much while I was there. I’m feeling out of touch with my camera … like I’ve lost my groove.

As far as French Fridays are concerned, this salad was all it took to get inspired and get back to cooking out of that awesome book.

quinoa, fruit, and nut salad
quinoa, fruit, and nut salad
quinoa, fruit, and nut salad

This salad is easy and delicious. All of the flavors and textures are wonderful. My choice of fruits and nuts were dried apricots, raisins, golden raisin, pepitas, sunflower nuts, and almonds. My herb of choice was cilantro, and its pop really rounded out the salad perfectly.

Now, off to get back in the photography groove.

French Friday ~ orange-almond tart

orange-almond tart

This tart is my new favorite recipe from Around My French Table, Dorie Greenspan‘s newest book. (If  you’re new to this site, I’m cooking my way through AMFT with a group of cooks over at French Fridays With Dorie.)

orange-almond tart
orange-almond tart

I had never made a tart with almond pastry cream. And you know what? It is the real star of this tart.

orange-almond tart

As a matter of fact, if you made this tart with only the pastry cream and no oranges, no one would complain.

orange-almond tart
orange-almond tart
orange-almond tart
orange-almond tart

But the oranges are beautiful and add a wonderful, subtle bitterness after they’ve been baked.

Yes, this is my new favorite.

Next week: pancetta green beans
Last week: basque potato tortilla

French Friday ~ basque potato tortilla

basque potato tortilla

I’m not a fan of potato-egg dishes, and I wish I had made one of the other variations of the tortilla: the onion-herb, the mushroom, or the spinach-green onion tortilla. But it was incredibly easy to put together, and I’ll be adding this to my arsenal of easy supper or lunch dishes.

basque potato tortilla

I used my new Stirsby to cook the potatoes and onions. It’s a great tool … easier to use than a wooden spoon. I’ll be using this bad boy often.

basque potato tortilla

basque potato tortilla

basque potato tortilla

basque potato tortilla

Next week: orange-almond tart
Last week: chicken b’stilla

French Friday ~ chicken b’stilla

chicken b'stilla

As I gathered the spices for the chicken b’stilla, I thought of the ancient spice trade routes and the influence those traders had on so many cultures. The aromas of the spices in this dish, especially as you’re making the sauce for the filling, are amazing.

I can imagine the excitement that some home cooks must have felt when they discovered the flavors of new spices from other parts of the world. What did the French cook think the first time she smelled cinnamon, ginger, or saffron? Or the Indian cook the first time she smelled coriander?

The chicken b’stilla, a Moroccan dish, is a perfect example of the blending of flavors from different regions of the world: ginger, from South Asia; coriander, native to southern Europe, North Africa, and southwestern Asia; cinnamon, from Southeast Asia; and saffron, from southwestern Asia. And all together? They smell like Morocco.

What are the chances?

chicken b'stilla

Next week: basque potato tortilla.
Last week: michel rostang’s double chocolate mousse cake (skipped).
Two weeks ago: gnocchi à la parisienne.