Domesticity Log: October 1, 2011: Blackberry Galette

Oh, this galette. I made the pastry dough the night before and then woke up bright and early to tuck some ground almonds and the farmer’s market blackberries I froze a month ago into a lovely little dough circle. It was amazing - one of those things that becomes legend amongst the people you feed, like, “Remember that pie thing you made for breakfast once?” Adapted from Laura Calder - I just changed the fruit.


Laura Calder’s {Herb Crusted Lamb Chops}

1 rack of lamb, frenched (about 8 cutlets)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup/40 g fresh breadcrumbs
¼ cup/30 g grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme and rosemary, chopped

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F/220 degrees C.

Season the meat with salt and pepper. Mix together the oil and mustard, then slather all over the rack to coat well. Mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese and herbs, then pack the mixture onto the lamb rack.

Place the lamb on a rack, bones arching upwards, in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it and place in oven. Roast until the meat is done to your liking. 20 minutes will give you medium-rare meat. Let the meat rest out of the oven 10 minutes before carving.

{Accordion Potatoes}

About 10 medium potatoes, such as Yukon gold, scrubbed clean
Bay leaves
Fresh sprigs thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C.

Cut slices across the potatoes like slicing hard-boiled eggs, only without slicing the knife all the way through the potato. Insert a few herbs into each potato, between the slices. Lay them on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until brown and crisp on the outside and soft inside, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

An easy summer drinks recipe from Laura Calder:


  • For the lemon syrup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Peel from 2 lemons, julienned, reserve lemon juice for drink
  • Fresh mint sprigs
  • Ice
  • Cold water


Put the sugar and lemon peel in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil just 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool. Store the syrup in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

Put 1 tablespoon of lemon syrup in a glass with a few ice cubes and a sprig of fresh mint. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Stir in cold water, to taste. Sweeten with more syrup, if you like.

I can’t believe I missed Laura Calder signing books where I work! School’s got me I guess…

Whatever! She is so charming. I would have been too dorky if I saw her in person, that’s what I’ll keep telling myself.

This is a video about her visit to All the Best Fine Foods where she signed a couple copies of her new book, Dinner Chez Moi.

I kind of like that she’s been hopping from place to place for three years without showing any sign of wear and tear. 

I love her weird haircut.

Note: I think I can hear Bonnie Gotlieb thanking someone for fetching her Challah order in the background.


So we got cable today. And now I can watch Laura Calder, French chef girl-crush, as much as I want. Which is a lot. Oh boy.

{Cheese & Herb Soufflé}

I’m always looking for herb-incorporated recipes ever since I started my herb garden. Fresh herbs can really pull a recipe together by infusing the dish with unparalleled aromas and flavors. Here’s my take, and first successful attempt at Laura Calder’s Cheese & Herb Soufflé.


1 cup/250 g milk
1 bay leaf
½ small onion, peeled
Pinch paprika
Grated Parmesan cheese, for dusting the dish
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 ½ tablespoons flour
3 eggs, separated plus 1 egg white
3 ounces/100 g cheese, grated or mashed
1 generous tablespoon chopped fresh herbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Branch fresh rosemary, cut in 3


Put the milk with the bay leaf, onion, and pinch of paprika in a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside to infuse 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 8 (½-cup/125 ml) ramekins or 1 (4-cup/1 liter) souffle dish, and dust with the grated Parmesan cheese.

In a clean saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook 1 minute. Gradually whisk over the milk, and cook, stirring, until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and beat in the yolks. Stir through the cheese and herbs. Season well with salt and pepper.

Beat the whites to stiff peaks with a pinch of salt. Stir a spoonful into the yolk mixture, then pour the yolk mixture onto the remaining whites and gently fold together. Pour into the souffle dish and bake until risen and set, but still slightly creamy in the center, about 30 minutes, depending on the size of the souffle dishes. Serve immediately before it slumps.

It’s a cold day, kind of jonesing for something substantial – and French – for dinner tonight. So here’s Basil beef with fingerling potatoes.


  • For the beef
  • 2 pounds beef fillet, at room temperature
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons (zest of 1 lemon, and the juice of 2 lemons)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper

    For the beef:
    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

    Roast the meat 15 minutes in a roasting pan. Remove, and cool. Thinly slice with a sharp knife.

    Mix the oil, lemon zest and juice, and basil in a bowl. Toss with the meat in a glass casserole. Season the mixture with salt, and pepper, and spread the mixture out, cover, and refrigerate all day or overnight, turning once or twice. Serve at room temperature.

    For the potatoes:
    Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Salt it, as you would for pasta. Add the potatoes, and cook until tender when you test them with a fork. Drain. Toss the potatoes in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Here’s how I know cold weather is upon us: I’m craving comfort food. Here’s a recipe for pork chops with potatoes from the lovely Laura Calder.


  • 4 fatty pork chops
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon pork fat, or butter
  • 1 ½ pounds/750 g potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • slices bacon
  • ½ teaspoon juniper berries
  • ½cup/125 ml white wine,ciderorbeer
  • ½cup/125ml beef or chicken stock
  • A handful of chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

    Heat the oven to 325 degrees F/160 degrees C.

    Cut slivers in the pork chops and slide in slices of garlic. Heat the pork fat or butter in a pan on high heat. Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper and brown them, about 3 minutes per side.

    Arrange half the potatoes and onions in a casserole. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lay the chops on top. Scatter over the bacon and juniper berries. Cover with the remaining potatoes and onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper again. Pour over the wine. Cut a piece of parchment to fit over the potatoes and pork chops and lay it in on top. Bake the dish for about 1 hour 30 minutes, pouring in the stock halfway through baking. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.

Still my favorite Food Network show and host.

Need some French Wife Food at Home? She’s the answer. :P


Summer… cooking at home.

Carrot confiture.. I love this recipe. I had made it earlier and I ended up consuming the whole batch I made last time so I decided to make it again today. The first time I made it and tasted it I was so happy with the way it turned out I wrote a letter to Laura Calder at her website management email and thanked her. I LOVE watching her on French food at home and she seems like a real lovely lady.

I love cooking so I look up to her since she was quite the rebel ;) and she followed her dream to become a cook. (A dream that I had as a kid.)

Click here to see the video and recipe and make it for yourself: I agree with her when she said that it does not taste like anything you would expect it to taste like. I hate carrots but this was just heavenly.

Be true to yourself.
When people tell you you can’t do something, prove them wrong.”