Every time we travel, Son and I always come back with a long list of foods we want to try making at home.
(Usually, that list includes every single thing we ate on our trip.)
Normally, it remains a long list, and we never actually get around to trying to cook any of the foods we had on our trip. But for some reason, this trip was different – I actually managed to replicate, or make my own version of, many of the foods we ate in Europe.
I had originally intended to post each travel post with a recipe… but let’s be realistic, I’d never have written a single post if I’d had to try to cook something for every single restaurant we tried. And also, life has a tendency of getting away from me – although we’re long past the London portion of the trip, there are still a good five recipes that I actually did make, that haven’t made it to the blog yet!
But such is life.
The recipes will show up here and there, I imagine.
But let’s start with this one: as I mentioned in the post about our dinner at Les Cocottes, I’ve never before been so enamored with a salad. Something so good… I just had to try it out at home!
The lovely thing about this is that it’s incredibly easy to make, and quite elegant to serve. The most difficult part about this is poaching the eggs… which isn’t even that hard to do! (Seriously – this was my first time ever in my life poaching eggs, and I was terrified… and then it turned out to be nothing at all.)
There’s a bite from the frisée, a tang from the vinnaigrette, richness from the bacon, and creaminess from the poached eggs. Serve with some toasted baguette slices, and you’ve got the perfect lunch – or an excellent start to a dinner party!
Recipe from The Kitchn
- 4 cups (about 4 oz) frisée lettuce, torn into large bite-size pieces
- 1-2 slices thick bacon, sliced against the grain into 1/4″ pieces
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 medium shallot, finely minced
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook the bacon pieces in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from heat. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, reserving the rendered fat.
- Fill a saucepan with 4 inches of water and add the white vinegar. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Crack each egg into small bowl, being careful not to break the yolks. With a slotted spoon, stir the simmering water to create a whirlpool, then slide the first egg into the middle of the swirl. Using the back of the spoon, coax the whites to stay close to the yolk. Repeat with the second egg. Simmer the eggs for 2-3 minutes. When cooked, use the slotted spoon to transfer each egg to a bowl of warm water. Trim off any straggling pieces of cooked egg white.
- Place the frisée in a large bowl.
- Reheat the skillet with the rendered bacon fat over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the red wine vinegar and mustard and stir to combine. Stir in the bacon pieces.
- Immediately pour the hot dressing over the greens and toss. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Divide the salad between two bowls and top each with a poached egg. Season the eggs with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.
Happy Pi(e) Day!!!
As a unabashed math nerd, this is definitely my favorite food holiday.
Because really, who doesn’t love an excuse to eat pie?!
And since pi(e) day falls oh so close to St. Patrick’s Day, a Beef and Guinness Pie fits the holidays perfectly!
I had originally intended for this to be part of the Fridgg Top Ten series we were doing for about a month. It was so much fun to have an excuse to cook all sorts of recipes that I might not otherwise! But it took so much time… and there were a lot of things that I was “supposed” to make that just weren’t things that would get eaten around here – like waaaay more desserts that a household of two can (or should!) reasonably consume.
You’ll still see some of the recipes – there were quite a few things that got cooked and photographed for future Top Ten posts that will show up on Fridgg eventually. But this is the year where we’re letting go of all the things that just don’t work for us… and the Top Ten series just wasn’t working.
But back to the pie! Definitely no regret about trying this recipe out. I made it during a period of cold and rain… so I can authoritatively tell you that it’s perfect comfort food.
Confession… we didn’t use the Guinness. We don’t love the taste, don’t typically have beer in the house, and let’s be honest, I was just plain too damn lazy to go out and get some just for this recipe. So I replaced it with an equal amount of beef stock.
Don’t do what I did. Holy mother of ducks, was it salty! If you don’t want to use the Guinness, maybe replace it with a different beer, or use half beef stock and half water instead?
But despite the beef stock faux pas, this was still really, really tasty.
Whether you’re celebrating Pi(e) Day or St. Patrick’s Day… you should definitely try this!
Beef and Guinness Pie
Recipe from Abbe’s Cooking Antics.
Warning: if you’re going to make this, read all the directions ahead of time! In total it will take at least 5 hours to make, although most of that time is hands-off so you can do something else at the same time.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 4oz white mushrooms, sliced
- 1lb good quality stewing steak
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped OR 1 tsp dried rosemary
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 heaping tbsp plain flour
- 9 fl oz Guinness (half a can)
- 4 fl oz beef stock
- 4oz cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 store-bought pie crusts, or your favorite recipe for a double crust
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof saucepan on a low heat.
- Add the onions and fry gently for about 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat up, add the garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, beef, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Stir it all together gently.
- Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, then stir in the flour and cook for a minute before pouring in the Guinness and beef stock.
- Bring to a simmer, then cover the pan with a lid and place in the preheated oven for about 1 and half hours.
- Remove the pan from the oven and give it a stir then put it back into the oven and continue to cook for another hour, or until the meat is very tender. Remove from the oven.
- If at this stage your beef pie filling is still a bit wet, put it back on the stovetop and simmer gently to reduce the sauciness a bit. If it’s too wet your pie base will turn to mush – too dry and you’ll have no sauce in your pie.
- When you’re happy with the consistency, stir in half of the cheese, and remove from any heat.
- Allow to cool for at least an hour (to prevent a soggy pie bottom).
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Grease a pie dish with butter.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out one half of your pie crusts to 1/8″ thick.
- Line the base of your greased pie dish with the crust.
- Roll out the remaining crust to the same thickness, large enough to form a lid.
- Spoon the pie filling into your crust-lined pie dish.
- Scatter the other half of the cheddar across the top of the pie filling.
- Brush the beaten egg around the edges of the crust, then place the second pie crust on top.
- Pinch the edges together to form a crust and trim to fit the pie dish.
- Brush the top with beaten egg and make a small slit with a knife in the center of your pie crust, to allow steam to escape.
- Bake the pie for 45 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked, puffed, and golden.
The true purpose of our Europe trip was business – a client who is based in Germany wanted us to travel out there to work with their team in person for a week.
We stayed in Hotel DORMERO, which reminded me of a Vegas hotel – it was gigantic, had a bunch of restaurants, and even had a threater connected to it.
Plus their breakfasts were 👍 👍
Work was productive, but obviously the best part of the trip was the food.
A certain somebody (*cough* Son *cough*) couldn’t get enough of the bretzels (soft pretzels) with butter that showed up in our conference room every morning.
But only half of the bagels came with butter… so one of our awesome German coworkers ran to the grocery store to pick up some Kerrygold butter for the rest of the pretzels.
(German meeting food is way better than American meeting food!)
And ordinarily, you’d think, cafeteria food? Mehhhh.
But the cafeteria food we got on that trip was the best food we had in Germany.
And not that’s not a judgement on the rest of the food we had in Germany – the cafeteria food was just that good!
Lunch included German favorites such as currywurst, schnitzel, spaetzle, and spargle (white asparagus).
And it was all SO good.
(Plus, “spargle!” is just fun to say.)
Not to mention, pastries!
One of our German coworkers brought in these delicious pastries that are apparently a Stuttgart specialty – they’re called “bobbes”, which apparently means “butt” in Swabian (the region of Germany that we’re in).
And on our last day, one of our coworkers brought in these strudel pastries (I never quite got the name of them). Very tasty.
The food in Germany was a delight!
(And three years later, a certain somebody is *still* craving those bretzels…)
My wanderings around my world this week started with…
(Me from a decade ago is wondering what the **** is wrong with me, to be voluntarily eating bell peppers?!)
(Me right now asserts that these are actually ridiculously delicious, and yes I’m questioning my sanity too.)
Our koi pond.
The little monsters are getting huge!
We’re mostly just amazed they’ve survived this long.
Current dinner: green curry with sweet potatoes and green beans, miso salmon, and brown rice.
Made a ginormous batch of all three last weekend, and we’ve eaten it every night since (and haven’t gotten sick of it yet!)
Adore this article about a great friendship that crosses generations.
Where are you wandering this week?
It’s really quite unfair of you to be so lovely on the day we had to leave.
We had gotten quite comfortable in our little hotel, with the tiniest elevator I’ve ever seen, and the charming but odd gentleman who manned the front desk.
And the bakery!
A girl could get used to getting tasty sandwiches and pain au chocolat every morning, at a charming shop just steps from her front door.
The gorgeous architecture…
The beautiful language…
… and you weren’t nearly so rude as they told me you’d be.
In fact, we were quite charmed by you.
But leave, we must.
After all, the true reason for this trip was business, and our client sadly was not located in France.
But don’t worry, Paris. We’ll remember you fondly.
(Especially your food!)
But for now, we’re off…