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!