Got this week’s recipe from Parisian Home Cooking by Michael Roberts. Picked it up at the library. There are so many recipes in there that I want to try so it was hard to pick, it took until Tuesday morning to settle on something. I decided to try out three recipes: Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes, Shallots and Garlic, a Tomato Salad and Cream Puffs.

3 tbs olive oil – (had)
1/3 cup shallots – $.66 (bought two, one sliced shallot equaled about 1/3 cup)
3 cloves garlic – $.50
1 1/4 pd. red roma tomatoes – $1.95 (bought 10, used 8 over all, 4 here)
1/2 tsp dried thyme – had
1 1/2 tsp salt – had
pepper – had
10 eggs – $1.95 (bought a dozen)
2 tbs butter (unsalted) – had
2 tbs parsley – (didn’t use)

Since this was a Parisian cooking book the author recommended cooking eggs the french way, which is to say put the eggs into a heavy saucepan and whisk away for 6 minutes, remove from heat whisk for 30 seconds, put back on heat whisk for 2 minutes and so on.

So that is what I started doing. After more than 15 minutes I still had this:

So…I put them into a heavy skillet and cooked them up the way I know! The red you see is a tomato mixture you add to the eggs.

naked tomatoes!

You take tomatoes peel them and mix in the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook it in the olive oil. After it had reduced you add about half to the eggs.

When the eggs are done (no matter how you cook them) you add the rest of the tomato mixture to the top.

scrambled eggs with tomatoes, shallots and garlic

For the next course I made a Tomato Salad.

6 tomatoes – (used 4 see above)
1/2 tsp salt
sea salt – (didn’t use)
1 tsp dijon – (had)
1 clove garlic – (see above)
1 tbs white wine vinegar – $2.55 (needed some anyway)
1 tbs lemon juice – $.59 (tree in backyard is all out)
1/4 cup herb-infused olive oil – $4.99 ( a little pricey but a great addition to my oils and vinegars!)
3 tbs chives – (didn’t use. didn’t look very fresh)

Basically just quarter up some tomatoes, sprinkle with the sea salt and pepper (I used regular salt) then combine the mustard, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl, slowly add the oil. Once all combined spoon over the tomatoes and sprinkle with chives – if you want to.

tomato salad

For the last course I whipped up some Cream Puffs. I had made the puffs and cream beforehand then after dinner combined the two and served.

1 cup water
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
5 tbs unsalted butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs – (had some chicken eggs from mother-in-law that I used)
1 cup heavy cream – $2.99 (pricey!)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbs confectioners sugar – (thought I had turned out i didn’t)
3 tbs sour cream – $1.29 (ps.- overall I spend $16.60- feed 5 and have ingredients to add with what I already have on hand to tacos the next night)

Brought the water, salt, sugar and butter to a boil in a saucepan. When butter was melted I stirred in the flour, returned to stovetop and cooked over medium heat until I had a nice dough.

I took the dough and seperated it into mounds on a cookie sheet.

Then baked in 350 oven for 25 minutes, took them out let cool then cut crosswise.

For the cream I put the heavy cream and vanilla into a chilled bowl and whipped away. You are supposed to keep whipping until it gets stiff then add the confectioners sugar and sour cream, then chill until serving. My cream never really got stiff and I got tired of whisking. I was all out of confectioner’s sugar so just added the sour cream and went ahead and chilled.

When it was time to spread it on the puff it had hardened a bit in the fridge. I went ahead and spread it on half the puffs then put the tops on sprinkled with a little sugar and served.

cream puffs

The dinner was a complete success! Everyone liked the eggs, although I thought that there was a tad too much thyme and you probably don’t need 3 tbs of olive oil to cook the tomatoes in as it looked a little greasy.  But everyone finished their eggs and went yum! Only B didn’t eat the tomatoes and R doesn’t really like tomatoes but liked these ones. I think it was the dressing that did it, A licked all the dressing off his tomato then tried to give the rest to R! Too funny!  With the cream puffs I was a little apprehensive as I didn’t use the confectioners’ sugar and my cream didn’t stiffen like I would have liked, but again success! My picky B really, really dug these! And the rest didn’t seem to have a problem as there was silence (golden!) for a while as everyone was savoring these little delights. and a cream puff..or two..

I really enjoyed cooking this meal. The satisfaction lingered for hours. My stomach was full of eggs, I still tasted the olive oil dressing on my lips and my tongue was sated with the sweet, crusty choux chantilly. I found that Parisian cooking is about taking your time and using simple ingredients dressed up with flavorful oils and herbs.

Now to find a French cook mentor to show me how to use patience for those eggs!