Chicken Cordon Bleu with Mornay Sauce

Let’s set the record straight: The Paris-based cooking school has nothing to do with this dish. The specific origins remain a bit of a mystery, but the original (with veal) is likely a cousin in Germany’s schnitzel family, and may have originated in Austria. Taste the ham and cheese before you start; overly salty or smoky versions of either can overwhelm this dish. Secure the chicken parcels by threading a trussing needle … [Read more...]

Moules à la Mariniére

Something big happened in my life recently. Taylor Shellfish Farms opened a store in my neighborhood. I'm a huge fan of, well, any shellfish to be honest. But mussels - moules in French - make me weak at the knees. Combined with fries and a crisp glass of white wine, it's probably one of my favorite meals ever. In France, mussels are often referred to as “moules de bouchot,” which isn’t a type but a reference to the way … [Read more...]

Do the French appreciate Julia?

Does it matter? A recent story in the The New York Times notes that despite her canonization as the unofficial ambassador for French cuisine in this country, most French people haven't heard of Julia Child. In a way, it makes sense. Her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, was always intended for an American audience. It was never translated to French for one obvious reasons -- in theory, the French know how to … [Read more...]