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Fat Rascals

In my childhood, Fat Rascals were a favorite of mine, currant-spiked buns resembling a sweet scone but with more butter. The dough is mixed just like scones.  Rascals are best eaten very fresh, perhaps warm from the oven. Ingredients: 2 cups/250 g flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 cup/125 g butter, diced 1/3 cup/75

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Guinea Hen

Guinea Hen with Ceps

When I go to southern France and mushrooms are in season, I look forward to the particularly meaty, pungent ceps (also called boletus and porcini or “little pigs’, the Italian name). Ceps dry wonderfully well, an intense, fragrant addition to sauces and soups. They are outstanding with game birds such as guinea hen or pheasant,

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Choux Pastry

Choux Pastry

Choux Pastry is the foundation for so many delicious pastries, including one of my favorites – gougères.  The key to making this light pastry dough well is to measure extremely accurately.

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Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise

Everyone should know how to make a good mayonnaise. The key is to add the oil in slowly at the beginning so that the mixture emulsifies. 

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Gratin of Seasonal Greens

The Forgotten Sauce

Whether you call it by its classy French name Béchamel, from the 18th century French Marquis of the same name, know it as “cream gravy” as they do in Texas and much of the South, or simply call it White Sauce as the English like me do, I’m struck by how it’s become the forgotten sauce.

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Raspberry Valentine

For the perfect pink for Valentine’s Day, I’ve layered a mixture of fresh raspberries, whipped cream and grated chocolate with a few flaked almonds for texture. to display the layers, you can use stemmed wine glasses or even clear glass tumblers instead of the traditional soda glasses I suggest here. Long-stemmed spoons are a good

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Duck-Confit-Salad

Duck Confit Salad

A colorful mix of tart greens — white and red endive, arugula, watercress, pea greens — is good for this salad. You’ll find canned duck leg confit in a can. Serves 4 2 confit duck legs 1 small bulb fennel 1 medium head white Belgian endive 1 medium head red Belgian endive or one more

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Peaches

Golden Peach Jam

Peaches are in peak season right now and my favorite way to preserve them is to make jam. This time of year you can find ripe peaches almost anywhere and our local farmer’s market had a bushel at a price that couldn’t be beaten. Making jam is a two-day process as the peaches should macerate with

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Robert, Morrison and Anne

Socca

Socca, traditional to Provence, are thin pancakes based on chickpea flour and mixed only with water and a spoonful of olive oil. Possible flavorings include an aromatic spice such as cumin or a chopped herb such as thyme or rosemary. Socca have become favorite cocktail snacks, at their best piping hot, though they are just

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