Foodiva's Kitchen: French Fridays With Dorie – Provençal Olive Fougasse & Almond Flounder Meunière

Friday, May 11, 2012

French Fridays With Dorie – Provençal Olive Fougasse & Almond Flounder Meunière


The internet connection in our home has gotten so bad lately that I haven’t been motivated to post anything over the past two weeks. Of course, that may just be a convenient excuse because truthfully, I’ve been in a bit of a blogging funk. The truly bad news is, the funk started in January... it’s now May and it hasn't completely gone. Does anyone know if there is a therapist one can talk to for this sort of thing? 


Anyway, while I haven’t been blogging, I’ve been up to a few things. Most notably, I’ve been turning myself into a fitness monster. True, there is that need to lose a couple of pounds around the crucial areas…it’s either that lose the clothes that I can no longer fit into. The second option is a smidgen unbearable to think about so a few weeks ago I signed up for Zumba (ie. crazy fast Latin dancing) classes 4 times a week and cycle around 60 miles twice a week, resting my body on Sundays. Yes, I’m toned and tanned and feel really good about myself, but blogging? Meh…too darn tired. 


Despite not having the energy or focus to string a few words together to form a decent blog post, I have been busy in the kitchen. I’ve been cooking and baking and making ice cream and photographing them all for, fingers crossed, future posts. Like last week's French Fridays With Dorie recipe, Almond Flounder Meunière, for example. You may have noticed that I hadn't managed to post it up at all. But not so this week's Provençal Olive Fougasse, a bread recipe that I had really wanted to try. Well, you all know my personal history with yeasted dough...


In Dorie's instructions, the dough should be rested for at least 6 hours or overnight but I didn't do that. Not for lack of time but more due to my bad habit of speed reading recipes... yes, I skimmed through the page once and forgot all about this step until the dough was shaped and ready to go into the oven. Too late! I'm not sure whether the overnight resting time will make much difference to the gluten-icity of the dough or bread texture, but my fougasse turned out just fine. It was delicious, with a crisp crust outside and soft on the inside. Although I've seen many fougasse recipes over the years, this was actually my first time making it, and the recipe was such a gem to follow that I wondered why I hadn't done it earlier!

Flavorwise, I had no oil-cured black olives (or any olives) to mix into the dough so I used dried figs instead. I figured the figs would go better with the orange zest than the lemon one, so I went with orange. The sweetness and fragrance of both the figs and orange played off of the savory profile created by the fresh rosemary. I decided to sprinkle the top with pink gourmet river salt which was lightly instead of overly salty. A quick, spicy olive oil dip infused with Thai chilis (snipped at the ends) rounded off the sweet-salty-savory and spicy experience. We all loved it, and I would definitely make these again for when we have guests round to the house.


Above is my plate for last week's recipe, Almond Flounder Meunière. Like many of the other Doristas, I couldn't find any flounder sold here so I substituted that with seabass instead. Not that I wasn't secretly happy about it, as I didn't really fancy the thought of frying up Ariel's helpless little friend in my pan. It was served simply with lemon wedges, cherry tomatoes and artemisia greens. This was also a big hit at home, and so delicious, light and easy to make I couldn't quite believe it. 

As usual for FFWD, the recipes can be found in Dorie Greenspan's award-winning cookbook, Around My French Table. However, I found an online version of the fougasse recipe on Serious Eats that you can refer to.

Do hop over to the other Doristas' sites (links here and here) to see how they fared with these two recipes. Have a lovely weekend!

40 comments:

Elin said...

Maya...your fougasse and flounder dish looks great. Love your nicely shaped fougasse. Internet over here is slow too at times. Hope it gets better over at your side and we look forward to your posts. Have a wonderful Mother's Day with your family :)

Maya Mohd said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments, Elin. I enjoyed both these easy recipes, like many of us who tried them. Happy Mother's Day to you too! :)

Kathy said...

Maya, Beautiful fougasse and your fish looks so very delicious!
Good luck with your fitness regimen….sometimes you just need a break to get your creative juices flowing! The weather here has been beautiful and quite frankly I’d rather be outside in my garden than on my computer! Have a great Mother’s Day!

Maya Mohd said...

Hiya Kathy! Yes, you're right...I'll just call it an extended break! Lol. Enjoy the lovely weather and I hope you'll enjoy a weekend full of pampering :).

Pacheco Patty said...

Everything looks delicious! Ive been struggling with the blogging funk too! I'm loving instagram and enjoy following you there;-)

Guyla said...

Your fougasse is beautiful and I like the idea of figs and orange zest. Maybe next time I'll try that combo! Your fish looks great too! We loved both of these recipes. I've been through several blogging malaises myself. I think they tend to come in spring or during stressful times. Sometimes there are just too many interesting things to do!

Cher Rockwell said...

Maya - beautiful job (of course...).
Hey, nothing wrong with spending time in the outdoor world. Running & I have been taking the time to become friends again. It's not as simple to be friend with exercise as it used to be...
Have a lovely weekend.

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Maya - what a beautiful and delicious looking Almond Seabass Meunière, it looks fresh and light and just great!

The Provencal Fougasse "sans" Olives looks so yummy too - great pictures, appetizing colors and a great post - and all that with that exhausting exercise program! Wonderful!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Maya Mohd said...

Patty, well at least you can say you had that lovely golfing holiday in Scotland to distract you from blogging! Anyway, I'm on IG regularly now and I must say, I've connected more with some bloggers through it than via any other forums, even this blog!

Maya Mohd said...

Guyla, many thanks. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this. Maybe you're right...my life probably got more interesting lately that there aren't enough hours in the day to fit in blogging! ;)

Maya Mohd said...

Cher, the thing is, exercise and I were never best buddies to start with, lol. I'm glad you're being reacquainted with running...I haven't done that for a while, it's just too hot most days here. Besides, I now tend to take the lazy option of cycling!

Sandra M. said...

You did phenomenal job Maya! What a fantastic looking bread!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Your fougasse looks absolutely delicious!

Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } said...

What an absolutely beautiful bread - I love the shape and color. Stunning!!!

Kris' Kitchen said...

haha...your rib cage is beautiful and dried figs sound like a great addition to this flavorful dough. I'm thinking about a variety of min-ins for this bread and I'm adding dried figs to the top of my list. Your fougasse looks perfect and I like your creative presentation...as always.

Maya Oryan said...

Zumba is cool, but your fougasse is genius:) Looks delicious!!

gobakeyourself said...

You have done a spectacular job on this dish - it looks wonderful :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers said...

I absolutely love your bread. You captured it so beautifully!

Mary Hirsch said...

Maya, Totally impressed with the workout regimen and that takes a little discipline in itself. Having just finished a hike to Parker Lake at Mammoth, I discovered a few extra jiggles that weren't there last year. Need to firm those up. Going to work on that. But, about that fougasse. My neighbor has fig trees that are bountiful and, among the things I will make this year when they ripen up, are some breads. A good idea. Your fish looks wonderful, also. At least you're in the kitchen even if you haven't posted, but it's fun to read your Posts so hope you are back.

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious looking meal

RecipeNewZ said...

Beautiful fougase!

Priscilla @ShesCookin said...

lol, you do not want to be frying flounder if your baby girl is in love with Ariel;) I've been seeing your cycling updates on Instagram - you go girl! Love the fougasse with chiles on the side!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Hi Maya! Beautiful work as always! The shape of bread is very interesting. I love your seabass too!

Teresa said...

It's interesting that it came out so well without the long rest (though that's dangerous for me to know, since I'm a notoriously last-minute baker when given the opportunity). It looks beautiful and your additions and dip sound delicious.

I have to say that I've been a bad blogger of late, too. Something to do with the weather getting better, I suspect.

acookingmizer said...

yours made me run into the kitchen to have the last of my bread! :) Great job!

Nana said...

Both of those recipes turned out beautiful. That is such
a perfect piece of fish and I love the presentation with
the lemon and tomato. Good luck on the fitness
regime. I give you a lot of credit.

Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings said...

I saw Patty's Olive Fougasse post as well! So delicious!!! It reminds me of a summer picnic in the South of France - just me and my bike and a bountiful picnic basket! Happy Mother's Day!

Betsy said...

What a great pair of recipes. I was thinking this would be great with dried fruit, so the figs seem just right, still very Provencal! The fish looks yummy too. I hope you get over your blogging funk soon, Maya. Sounds like you are spending time doing things you enjoy, so keep it up!

Pola M said...

Oh that fougasse looks great!

Ei said...

I feel you on the blogging funk, Maya. I feel unmotivated, and I don't know why. Guess there's just too much going on to want to spend my few minutes of down time writing about dinner from four days ago. I baked the fougasse and loved it, but I've yet to write about it. We'll see if it gets done...ever. Wish I could say that my energy was being routed into transforming my body into a fitness machine, but that's not the case. If anything, I feel like a round dumpling. Ahhhhh! :-) On that note, I should go get this giant booty dressed for the gym.

Lilly said...

Hi Maya! It’s been way to long since I visited your blog. I just went through my reading list and so many recipes I haven’t looked at! I’m ashamed! Soooo sorry for not keeping up. I’ve seen some very interesting things I have to check out (purple potato bunny cookies??)

Good job on the bread. It reminds me of palm/banana leaves, so pretty.

And thumbs up for getting back in shape! I still need to find my mojo, maybe you can send some my way?

Spicie Foodie said...

Maya, Good for you for being so motivated about exercise. I need some of that motivation as I get easily board with routine exercise. Your Fougasse looks perfect. As does the fish- I have to try them both. Hope you are well :)

Trix said...

Funny, I have rededicated myself to working out lately ... and it's so exhausting!! But satisfying - good for you, girl. I know the cure for blogging blahs: go on a little trip. Really! Completely invigorating. Your dishes look gorgeous : )

www.you-made-that.com said...

I know it's hard to balance all we want to do, I struggle with it at times too. Your bread looks fabulous! I love the rustic feel of it.

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts said...

Your bread is gorgeous! It can be hard to balance life. We all get in funks every once in awhile!

Lizzy said...

Oh, both your bread and fish look divine! I'm getting close to that burnout stage, too...there's just not enough time in the day!!! I do miss seeing your posts, though :) xoxo

Trevor Sis Boom said...

I get the blogging blahs all the time. And I have a great internet connection. Just happens. But seriously girl, I have not seen a better looking fougasse than this. Beautiful.

Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} said...

The bread is so beautiful Maya!
I've been struggling with my blog for a while now, seems I have less and less time and when I get a break I'm way to tired and can't put few words together.
Hope you'll get your blogging Mojo back soon. Hugs!

Liren said...

I SO know what you mean about the blogging funk - and I do find that the more time I spend in the gym the happier I am, but definitely less motivated to stay up late to write a post! But wow, this is just gorgeous!

Beth Michelle said...

Maya, this bread is gorgeous!!! You did an amazing job! I love that you subbed in figs instead of olives. The fish as well looks so delicious.
I know what you mean about a blogging funk. It happens to us all. Glad to have you back though!

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