Chicken Liver, Pear, and Cognac Mousse

Pear

I knew today that summer was almost at an end when I saw the first new crop pears at the grocery store. It astonishes me how rapidly this one has sped past. I love autumn, but I’m not ready for it to be cold and for the days to get shorter. I have loved this summer’s late sunsets and balmy, languid twilights, which, in the Northwest, stretch on for hours. But today it finally felt like time to post this recipe, which I have kept in my back pocket for several months now. This is an old-school chicken liver mousse á la Julia Child. Far easier than a paté, this type of mousse can literally be whipped up in under twenty minutes, not including the time it needs to set (at least four hours in the fridge). It’s great when you’re cooking for a party and don’t want to fuss at the last minute. Continue reading

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Moules Marinières

There are as many recipes for this classic preparation of mussels as there are crotchety fishermen on the Normandy coast. Some people use butter, some use olive oil, some add bay leaves and fresh thyme. On a few things, however, everyone is agreed: the recipe must involve white wine, onion or shallots, parsley, and just a touch of cream. Continue reading

Vanilla Cardamom Panna Cotta

Panna cotta is kind of like artisanal ice cream you can make at home without an ice cream maker. You can infuse it with sexy flavours. You can impress your friends, who may not realise quite how easy it is to make. DON’T TELL THEM. Why should you? A well-made panna cotta, in which the balance of sugar and cream and gelatin is struck just right, is gorgeous. Infused with exciting flavours (Turmeric! Rhubarb! Saffron!) it is a seductive bourgeois dessert. Continue reading