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Frenchie and a Spring Tartine

24 Feb

Spring isn’t for another 24 days but it seems it already settled in the southeast.

In the cool of the evening, you can already feel the calm and serenity of the elements.

The birds came back during the day and they welcome the sun at dawn.

This isn’t without saying that one winter here looks completely different from a Boston winter – except for those 2 days of snow.

The joyful white blanket of winter that I miss so very much.

And just like that it disappeared – sliding back into spring.

The thrill of traveling near and far in January – the first month of the year, the first trips of a new year.

Charleston, San Francisco, Sonoma.

Family, work and friends.

Colors to capture, smells to remember, landscapes to observe, new memories to make.

Elusive treasures, little fragments of happiness.

And even though spring has arrived at my house early and unannounced, I thought it best to celebrate this new season in the kitchen as well.

A green tartine for a bright spring.

Smoked Salmon/Prosciutto Tartines with Edamame Horseradish Spread

1/3 cup (50 g) cannellini beans

3/4 cup (100 g) edamame – shelled

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1 small shallot – chopped

1/2 cup (30 g) of arugula – packed

1/4 cup (60 ml) of olive oil

1/8 cup (30 ml) of walnut oil + more for drizzling

3 teaspoons of freshly grated horseradish root (note: if you are sensitive to horseradish, 3 teasp. will only give a slight faint after taste. Add more as needed depending on preferences)

1 Tbsp of sesame seeds

5-6 oz (140-170 g) of smoked salmon or prosciutto

freshly ground pepper

multicolored baby beets – raw and thinly sliced

crusty country bread – thinly sliced

In a food processor, add the beans, edamame, salt, shallot, arugula, and olive oil.

Pulse for 20 seconds until it turns into a paste.

Add the walnut oil and horseradish. Pulse for another 5-10 seconds.

Spread the edamame horseradish spread on lightly toasted bread slices. Top the tartine with smoked salmon (my favorite) or prosciutto and raw, crunchy baby beets thin slices.

Sprinkle the tartine with more sea salt, freshly ground pepper and an extra drizzle of walnut oil.


Frenchie and a Tartine Salée

8 Oct

I didn’t realize that mentioning a quick, simple rhubarb and cheese tartine in a previous post would trigger email messages to get the recipe.

A highly sought-after tartine?

Well, maybe not… but your requests and questions created this post.

It is that time of the year again when the garden is producing its last gems.

When the second batch of beans I planted very late this season starts to come out.

Or the tomatoes that never stop on giving.

And when the cats hunt for human body heat early mornings and at nights turning themselves into hard-t0-move encrusted mussels stuck on their rock.

Me being the rock.

It is that time of the year again when spending a half day at Russel Orchards in Ipswich, MA becomes unavoidable.

The farm, the squash varieties, the apples, the barn.

Fall smells coming out of their kitchen where apple pies, apple cider and blueberry cobblers are stewing, cooking, simmering and taunting me.

My eyes drawn to the brightly colored pumpkin patches.

Orange everywhere.

But the luscious green acorn squash in their giant crate won me over.

This tartine is perfect for an apéro dînatoire.

A sweet and salty mix hitting the spot while waiting for dinner to be served.

I usually eat it for lunch, with a side of cold spicy blackened chicken or a salad.

The colors of the figs and the compote blend so well together.

Like the transitioning colors of summer and fall.

Dark but light and bright.

It happens around that time too.

When the kitchen smells like bourbon and fruit stewing on the stove.

Already thinking about making new chocolate truffles for the Holidays.

A giant red kuri squash sitting on the counter, begging to be cut open and used in muffins or a soup.

Digging to find the tiny, brightly yellow truffle oil bottle in the cabinet.

Red Japanese sweet potatoes with creamy white insides waiting to be baked in foil packets with a drizzle of oil.

Fall is here!

And with fall, the 2-year blog-iversary of Frenchie and the Yankee this past September 30th!

A time to celebrate…

Roquefort and Fig Tartine with Bourbon-Flavored Rhubarb Compote

for 6 slices/tartines

1 lb (455 g) of rhubarb stalks – ends trimmed and cut in small pieces

1/3 cup (65 g) of blonde cane sugar

2 Tbsp of honey – I use buckwheat honey

1 Tbsp of bourbon (or replace with water if preferred) – I use the extraordinary and admirable spiced Diabolique bourbon

4- 6 figs – thinly sliced

4-6 oz (113-170 g) of Roquefort

zest of 1 organic lemon

1 Tbsp of finely chopped lemon thyme (or thyme)

a handful of sliced almonds

1 loaf of rustic country bread – use gluten-free bread as a replacement

freshly ground pepper

sea salt – optional

Prepare the compote first. Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil and reduce to medium-low heat. Let the compote simmer and stew for 13-15 min or until soft. Let cool.

Preheat the oven to 380 °F (195 °C).

In a bowl, mash the Roquefort with the lemon zest and lemon thyme. Use a fork to mix all the ingredients together.

Slice the bread and spread about 1 Tbsp of the cheese mixture on each slice.

Spread about 1.5 teaspoon of the rhubarb compote on top of the Roquefort on each slice.

Place some fig slices on top and put the tartines in the oven for 15 minutes.

Let the tartines cool at room temperature. Sprinkle sliced almonds and pepper on top and serve.

Optional: sprinkle a bit of sea salt on the figs.

Keep the left over compote for other tartines or for spreading on bread in the morning.

Frenchie and the Rillettes

22 Nov

Shredded pork cooked in fat to be spread on bread? Sign me up!

Rillettes are similar to pâté in a sense that they are made with pork and are eaten on slices of bread. Traditionally, rillettes are made with pork – you’ll find nowadays that goose, duck, chicken and even salmon have all made it to the Rillettesland. But here, we’re talking fatty pork belly or pork shoulder.

Salt, fat and more fat are what makes rillettes worthwhile. While you probably won’t find them in the stores in the U.S., you can buy them at any supermarket in France. However, not all rillettes are good rillettes. Trust me, I know! If you’re from the Le Mans, Tours, Angers area, you were probably born with a slice of bread smothered with rillettes already in your mouth – in other words, you were born with a very sensitive and acute rillettes palate. Good rillettes are salty, not too cold and served at room temperature, rich in texture and grey in color – bronze is also a good color but certainly NOT pink! – smooth, soft, rich in taste and they have to have pieces – I will not budge on this! Feeling up to the challenge yet? Let’s get rustic then… French rustic.


1.5 lb (750 g) of pork neck, or belly, or shoulder

0.5 lb (150 g) of pork back fat

0.5 cup (100 ml) of dry white wine

3 juniper berries, lightly crushed

3 teaspoons of sea salt (remember, rillettes are salty. If it’s not enough, do not hesitate to add more)

3 teaspoons of dried thyme

2 teaspoons of ground nutmeg

3 teaspoons of black peppercorns

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1.5 teaspoon of ground allspice

some ground cloves

1 big garlic clove – crushed

Preheat the oven to 140 °F (275 °C). Cut the meat and fat in short strips and place them in a deep sauce pan with all of the other ingredients. Mix well and cover. Cook for 4 hours. The pork should become soft and swimming in liquid fat.

Pour the meat and the fat into a sieve placed over a bowl so you can keep the fat. With 2 forks, shred the meat still warm. Season if necessary – add salt, nutmeg, pepper and all spice if needed. Depending on the meat and the quality of it, you might need to add more. You are going to want to end up with salty tasty meat shredded morsels.

Place the meat in a terrine dish, or a crock, and leave it to cool completely. In the meantime, strain the hot fat through a sieve again – you might need to use a damp muslin for this depending on your sieve.

Once the pork is completely cold in the crock pot, pour the fat over it so it covers it in its entirety. If the fat has solidified, you will need to melt it first. Cover the crock pot, place in the fridge for up to a week. Always serve at room temperature with a fresh French bread – baguette or country bread.


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