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Article ‘Serious Pasta alla Norma’
beautiful recipe. i would like to subscribe to your website please.
g di cuore

Article ‘Homemade Pistachio Paste’
Hello:
            If you want pistachio paste, you want it to taste like pistachios.   Why the almond, that is a flavour that is powerful?

Do you have a recipe for pistachio cream?
Charlie

Article ‘Frying Eggplants like a Persian Mama’
This is how I have done mine for years to avoid the oil soaked sponges, I like most of the peel on as well, but to make it easier to bite through, I use a citrus zester to make scores lengthwise. I must try the sumac with them.
Joyce

  • FX's answer→ Good tip the citrus zester!

Article ‘Kampot Pepper Plantation’
FX! You're back! I'm so happy - thrilled even. I discovered your blog and read every article a few years ago. And since then - silence. It has however been on my list of 'check this every six months or so' and see if it's changed. I've not even read the above article yet - I'm just so thrilled you're back. Looking forward to more updates. And best i'd get reading! Bravo!!! ☺️
Eliot

  • FX's answer→ Thanks a lot for remembering me Eliot! Hope you'll see here some new stuff you like!

Article ‘Frying Eggplants like a Persian Mama’
Does this method also work if you cut the eggplant lengthwise, in planks?
Joy D'Alessio

Article ‘Cardamom Plantation Visit’
Can we cultivate cardamom under the shade of the teak plant.Or does it needs more sun light.
Rengit Singh

Article ‘One for the road at The Last drop in Edinburgh’
My husband and I from Nicaragua visited Edingburgh more than 10 years ago and we loved it.  I have always felt a great attraction for Scotland and for me it was an special time visiting its incredible historical places.  We visited the Last drop Pub, which is an emblematic place in Edinburgh, which all tourists should visit.  I would like very much to come back to Edinburgh - maybe one day!


Verónica Artiles

Article ‘A Visit to Rungis, The World's Biggest Food Market’
Really enjoyed this article about Rungis - I'm a chef and would really love to visit one day!! Agree the meat market may not be for the faint-hearted but if we respect the animal by cooking it well who are we to say whether it's right or wrong.  Will try and find your piece on Tokyo now!
Heather

  • FX's answer→ Thank Heather glad you liked the article!

Article ‘FXcuisine on Japanese TV’
This is too cool for words! So happy for you!
Cynthia

  • FX's answer→ Thanks a lot Cynthia!

Article ‘Khoresht-e Bademjan’
Gosh, you've made me hungry.

I too share your sentiments about the acidity in the ingredients used in Persian cuisine. I find it too sour for me. Whenever I go to the US Pacific, I do pick up some Persian ingredients to bring back home to the Caribbean.
Cynthia

  • FX's answer→ Ah yes the famous Teherangeles must offer lots of opportunities to pick up good quality Persian ingredients! Thanks for your visit Cynthia!

Article ‘Dhal Makhani with homegrown beans’
I made dal makhani a couple of weeks ago too. I was visiting Trinidad and brought back some black gram dal with me.
Cynthia

  • FX's answer→ Ah it does take weeks to burn off those calories but a really fine recipe don't you agree?

Article ‘Processing shelling beans from my garden’
Tumble-dryer trick for drying beans in their shells:

After harvesting, put beanpods straight into a pillowcase (or similar - a gauze bag would be even better) & tie the top securely. Put into tumble dryer that is set to max for an hour!

Hey presto, beans are now perfecly dry (no more mouldy beans) and when you open the pillowcase you will find that the tumble action has shaken most of the beans out of their pods.




tim

  • FX's answer→ Tim, thanks this is a really fun trick and it sounds like it could really work. I'll see if I can try it at home with some other beans I have, just don't want to introduce dirt in the machine, I think a couple plastic bags + some heavy ball would be safer.

Article ‘Processing shelling beans from my garden’
Beans in a jar are so pretty! And after the first time your teeth meet a tiny pebble, you become very serious about picking over the dried beans before cooking, right?
I grow a couple of rows of beans every year, and although I know some varieties are advertised specifically for drying, I'm inclined to think that any bean left to dry in the pod becomes a shell bean (or "shelly bean" as I've been taught to call them), and any shelly bean picked young enough can be enjoyed steamed, pod and all. But maybe I just haven't tried enough bean varieties to know better? I grow mostly heirloom varieties from the eastern US, and yellow and green French filet beans.
Quinn

  • FX's answer→ Indeed they look gorgeous in their jars! I think Borlottis are really better fresh than dried but dry some anway.

Article ‘Dhal Makhani with homegrown beans’
WOW...I deeply believe that one of the GREAT cuisines is Indian. It is far more complex than most people know.
Chef RM

  • FX's answer→ Indeed Indian cuisines are extremely rich with many centuries worth of traditions and successful combinations and all sorts of unique cooking methods (dum, dhungaar, bhunao, ...) and, compared to for instance Chinese cooking, there is a wealth of Indian-published book available in English with less common, more authentic recipes.

Article ‘Processing shelling beans from my garden’
Wonderful article! makes me want to grow again after many years of just buying beans. When I go to the amazing Monterey Market in Berkeley, CA they have tons of heirloom varieties of beans. I picked up a few on a recent trip and had fun making pasta e fagioli with them just to try something different!
Can you tell me more about the steel slug barrier? We have a slug problem here-does it stop them from climbing over?
marie

  • FX's answer→ Oh yes I love pasta e fagioli too! Now for the slugs if you can live with the ugliness of the steel, they are just flat steel plates with the top folded 45 degrees. As long as you remove the slugs already inside (check out the big brain on Francois here!) and make sure plants growing directly outside do not offer bridges for slugs to climb over that little fence, then they work 100%. I researched this and tested it, it is really total slug protection. But some years I don't use it and only use little slug pellets instead (depending on the area you will grow in it is too cumbersome to set up for only a few months due to rotation). This year I put plastic slug collars around the pumpkins and doubled the seeds for the beans. "Sow one of the crow, one for the rat, one to rot and one to grow".

Article ‘Dhal Makhani with homegrown beans’
Sorry, but 5 dl is a scant 2 cups. So glad you are back - you were sorely missed by me. Leila, Denmark
Leila Karlslund

  • FX's answer→ I stand corrected! Very right, a scant 2 cup it is. Article updated for unmetric quantities. Thanks!

Article ‘Processing shelling beans from my garden’
Welcome back FX!  Love this tutorial. I agree with Christine's comment. I buy Rancho Gordo beans, especially those that are rather difficult to find elsewhere, like Tarbais.  Nan
Nan

  • FX's answer→ Ah well the Tarbais are not too hard to find here in Europe but I got all sorts of funny beans from America such as Carole Deppe's Beefy Resilient Grex and Gaucho. I also got tons from Terroir Seeds and Biaugerme and Kokopelli such as Midnight Black Turtle, Flageolet Chevrier, Jaune de Chine, Haricot Maïs, Rattlesnake beans. But Tarbais was one of the best tasting.

Article ‘Dhal Makhani with homegrown beans’
Great photo's and a great blog FX. What is "5dl" of cream. thx.
Tony Hall

  • FX's answer→ Ah Tony 5dl is what Americans call "1 cup" - sorry for that!

Article ‘Dhal Makhani with homegrown beans’
So deliciously decadent!
BK

  • FX's answer→ Thanks, decadent it is!

Article ‘Dhal Makhani with homegrown beans’
It is so good to see you back.

You and Chefsteps are my favorites.

Cheers,

Peter
Peter Durand

  • FX's answer→ Well this is quite a favorable comparison for good old me! Thanks!

Article ‘Processing shelling beans from my garden’
Why ave you placed flower pots on the top of some of the poles in the peapatch?
John-Christopher

  • FX's answer→ John-Christopher, those pots are both makeshift festoons and they serve as labels (I write the name of the variety on them). The last people who gardened here were Dutch and they saved every single terracotta pot they got when they bought plants in. I have more than 1000 and nobody wants them, so there is quite a pressure to find ways to upcycle them as we say nowadays.

Article ‘Processing shelling beans from my garden’
From the beginning to the end it is a pleasure to see you growing, harvesting and using beans. The photos are great. We grow manly the French bush beans as they do best in our subtropical climate. I cook a lot with dried beans, mainly I use Italian beans which I buy, but would like to try again to grow my own to dry.
Titania

  • FX's answer→ Thanks Titania! I think there are lots of shelling beans that work in warmer climates if you look for them, maybe you could try Phaseolus acutifolius for instance. But to me so far both Tarbais and Borlotti are best tasting!

Article ‘Processing shelling beans from my garden’
I just got a notification that you were posting again! So happy to see it! Are you familiar with Rancho Gordo Beans? They are based in Napa California and have been very instrumental in bringing heirloom beans from North America back into broader production. Their beans are really delicious.
Christine

  • FX's answer→ Hello Christine, thanks for visiting! Yes I have their books about beans and recipe, but this year I only grow italian beans. But I once grew some of their varieties and also Carol Deppe's

Article ‘Dhal Makhani with homegrown beans’
Up to 500 g of butter, along with 5 dl of heavy cream, for 500 g of beans?! :-O
I love butter, F-X, I really do, but I don't think I could eat more than two forkfuls of that. Two delicious forkfuls, but nevertheless only two.
Laura

  • FX's answer→ Yes the recipe uses as much butter as dry beans ... but I never dared to myself!

Article ‘Dhal Makhani with homegrown beans’
Another gorgeous looking recipe FX, wonderfully informative as usual. I was similarly disabused of my notions about Indian cooking by the Subcontinent's love of Ghee!
Ashleigh Haze

  • FX's answer→ Thanks Ashleigh! I really think that good butter is much better here than store-bought ghee.

Article ‘Dhal Makhani with homegrown beans’
I love it already! BUTTER!
Karel

  • FX's answer→ Everything is better with butter!

Article ‘Aioli - Mediterranean Garlic Sauce’
El ajoaceite, por lo menos aquí en España es sólo aceite, ajo y un poco de sal. esa es la receta tradicional. y mucho mortero ;-)

Pilar

  • FX's answer→ Tienes razon, no se necesita huovas!

Article ‘Dhal Makhani with homegrown beans’
This recipe reminds me the time when I tried to cook a Murgh Makhani based on a recipe from the same book. It was delicious, although it was nothing like the stuff they serve in indian restaurants around here...

BTW, on an unrelated note, could you post a recipr for a serious Bouillabaisse? I happen to have many mediterranean fish in my part of the world (such as John Dory, Hake, and Rascasse Rouge), and I'd love to see how to cook them properly...
TFP

  • FX's answer→ Good point indeed Murgh Makhani is a really popular cousin of this recipe!

    No unfortunately I am not a huge fan of fish, living in a landlocked country the kind of sea fish we get is like cooking Wooly Mammoth from the Ice Age...

Article ‘Swiss Saffron Harvest’
hello
i am from iran
nice to meet your article
iran is a mom of zafron in world
your pictures is nice
by
ali

  • FX's answer→ Thanks

Article ‘Khoresht-e Bademjan’
Finalmente!
Che bei regali che ci fai ogni volta, post meravigliosi, foto che sembra di poter toccare il cibo con le dita!
Per favore non stare più così a lungo lontano dal blog, rimani con noi.
Intanto pregheremo qualche dio pagano per la tua salute, che te la conservi a lungo.
Grazie ancora,
Claudio.


Chefclaude

  • FX's answer→ Claudio, grazie mille per queste parole gentilissime!

Article ‘Japanese TV behind the scenes’
What a gorgeous set of recipes FX! Truly spectacular.

I do have a question, the second image from the bottom with the ingredients for the squash polenta: what appears to be a clove of nutmeg is labelled "garlic" in Japanese. Am I wrong or is the caption wrong?!
Ashleigh Haze

  • FX's answer→ Ah a serious linguist with a sharp eye is in my kitchen tonight! Indeed nutmeg it is, the caption is wrong! Thanks for letting me know!

Article ‘Kampot Pepper Plantation’
I echo the joy of your other loyal readers, and am delighted to see you posting regularly again! Warmest wishes from Canada.
Lyubov

  • FX's answer→ Glad you remembered me!

Article ‘Scottish Deep-Fried Pizza’
OMG :o that looks SOOOOO GOOOOOD!! wish I lived where they served those things.
ivan washington

  • FX's answer→ Ah well you can still make them yourself with a bit of batter, a lot of oil and a frozen pizza!

Article ‘Duck Tour d'Argent’
Hmm, canard rouennais signifies at first the method to kill the duck:she is garotted. So all the juices, blood etc.are kept inside. A duck killed "normally" (nantais) wouldn't give the desired result.
The blood shouldn't coagulate, but the protein is used make the 'liaison' of the sauce (like an egg yolk does for other dishes, eg. Bavaroise (but NOT Sc. hollandais). Blod (or fresh boudin noir mixed up with some vinegar)is common  for liaison in dishes of game, the civets
Dr. Heinrich Backhausen

  • FX's answer→ Thanks for these excellent clarification, very interesting!

Article ‘Italian Minestrone Vegetable Soup’
Excelente y didáctico. Lo invita a hacerla en su propia cocina.

Antonio

  • FX's answer→ Gracias!

Article ‘Visiting Pierre Hermé's Pastry Shop in Paris’
With the long lines, is there a way to browse before deciding?  It seems looking around should be a colorful part of the experience and care should be made in deciding.  You mention a booklet.  It that readily available, with desriptions of flavors?  Is there a time to go that is the least crowded or the worst?  Thanks, Annie
Annie

  • FX's answer→ Well the line goes alongside the counter so indeed you have time to look at each item profusely before your number is up! I suppose that if you come outside lunch hours and weekends there should be little waiting. This is one of the few shops where I don't mind the waiting too much.

Article ‘Khoresht-e Bademjan’
Lovely, just lovely. And don't have to add anything else, do I? ;)
Christopher Hjertsson

  • FX's answer→ Thanks Christopher!

Article ‘Spaghetti in Squid Ink Sauce’
In Wales (where I was born) we have a delecy called Larva Bread. this is simply cleaned and cooked seaweed collected on a beach 'farm' near Swansea. As I am in south Africa friends either send or bring tins of the Larva Bread to me. I intend to experiment on using this Bread (which is not bread!) to a tomato, onion, parsley and garlic sauce and serving it with pasta. Wish me luck!

SUZANNE GLYN TOPZAND

  • FX's answer→ Ah I think the name does not help much in spreading this Welsh delicacy across the world!

Article ‘French Garlic Soup’
Finally made this roasted garlic soup! Interesting layers of flavour. I had a small sweet potato, so I boiled it in the stock water till soft before adding it to the soup mixture. Must say that my garlic was too brown even though the oven was only at 160-170 C - perhaps caused by my pouring olive oil over the cut halves beforehand. It was easy to lift the skin off the top half but the bottom half was so fiddly and I had to use a fork to dig out each segment. :D
The soup had a smoky flavour, according to my other half. I also had to run a Stabmixer in it to puree the browned garlic cloves and potato chunks. My soup was browner than yours - because of the orange-coloured sweet potato and over-browned garlic. :D
Jy

  • FX's answer→ Glad you tried and that it worked out for you!

Article ‘Khoresht-e Bademjan’
Holy cow you are back! I started reading your website with my (then girlfriend) wife in 2006 while we were in college for recipes to try and make for our date night. The first recipe of yours we tried (and still our favorite) was your Scandinavian sour cream apple pie. We use to visit your website religiously for new recipes and were distraught after your leave of absence. We had a destination wedding in Italy 1 month ago and have been traveling since (known Kyoto). Your website came up in our travels when we decided to take a day trip on the Bernina Express from Tirano into Switzerland and we reminisced about your website remembering your were Swiss. By chance I decided to look at the website once more and am now pleasantly surprised that you are back! Looking forward to following your updates once again like the good old days!

Hope all is well!

John - Long time admirer from Los Angeles

John

  • FX's answer→ Well thanks John, this is very nice to hear! That Scandinavian sour cream apple pie is the first ever I had found on the Internet the first day I ever browsed...quite an event. Congratulations of the wedding and glad you visited Switzerland! You'll see a number of new articles and more are on the way.

Article ‘The World's Largest Cookware Market - Kappabashi-Dori in Tokyo’
Love your article and big help for me.
But would you know or remember a shop/s that sells Takoyaki pan?
Thanks.

Bernadette

  • FX's answer→ No worry Bernadette, every other shop in Kappabashi-Dori sells all sorts of Takoyaki pans. Finding one there is about as hard as locating a Starbucks Coffee in Brooklyn!

Article ‘Japanese TV behind the scenes’
What a surprise to find you back. This is best blog...nobody has done it better than you. Welcome back!!
Your kitchen is fabulous...if I ever redo one again, I'll have this arrangement in mind.
Helen McHargue

  • FX's answer→ Thanks a lot Helen, glad you remembered me!

Article ‘Kampot Pepper Plantation’
I am so happy you're back, Mr. FX! You are one of my food heroes!
Kurt Tee

  • FX's answer→ Well thanks Kurt, hope you will like the new articles!

Article ‘Japanese TV behind the scenes’
What a great experience it must've been? So fun to see pictures from the pre production!
Anna Frankenberg

  • FX's answer→ Yes this was really fun but obviously it is also quite a bit of work, it is always nice when things eventually get broadcasted more or less like one hoped they would be!

Article ‘Khoresht-e Bademjan’
Can't wait to try this out in the weekend, just looks (and almost smells through the screen) delicious!
Alejandro

  • FX's answer→ Good luck then.

Article ‘Khoresht-e Bademjan’
I think the key to a juicy omelette is heat. I suspect that it has something to do with the way the egg protein molecules curl up in different kinds of heat - think of a classic French omelette made with vigorous stirring during cooking over high heat, and the country-style omelette which merely lifts the eggs and cooks slower, exposing them to more heat and making it dryer. I personally enjoy the drier, spongier texture of baked omelettes, the vegetables that fill out most of the volume are plenty juicy in their own right.
Øystein

  • FX's answer→ OK I get it these are different from French omelettes, I'll give it a go!

Article ‘Khoresht-e Bademjan’
Try Persian eggplant omelette - kookoo bademjan! Since you love walnuts, you'll be pleased to know that it includes those as well as the baked flesh of a big eggplant, a big fistful of chopped herbs to your liking (I recommend parsley, coriander and a little mint), turmeric, and leeks or onions, all sautéed together. Original recipes specify tomato slices on top but I think you can omit those. Then pour over an egg mixture with a little flour whisked in to bind moisture and support the frail eggs, like for a quiche, and finish off the omelette in the oven after letting it bubble under a lid on the stovetop until almost set. It's one of my favourite Persian recipes for sure, and it's quick and easy with some bread, salad and olives on the side for a light weeknight supper. And the name is fun to say for an added bonus.

Øystein

  • FX's answer→ Thanks a lot for the pointer, this sounds really interesting! Is there any way to avoid the dryness of such baked egg dishes (same problem with frittata)?

Article ‘Khoresht-e Bademjan’
This looks fxing delicious as per usual. Keep the aubergine/eggplant recipes coming please !
Julien

  • FX's answer→ Will do!

Article ‘Khoresht-e Bademjan’
Dear Uncle Francois, as brilliant as always! I almost feel the taste of this sauce!
thank you!
Kate

  • FX's answer→ Thanks Kate!

Article ‘Khoresht-e Bademjan’
I don't have a steamer so what can I do?  Why not just slowly braise them in the spiced  tomato sauce for 3-4 hours? I do  so for Greek style lamb shanks in a cinnamon tomato sauce and it works  well.
Steve

  • FX's answer→ No problem Steve, a steamer is just one lazy, expensive but surefire option.  Other ways are a small sous-vide setup, a very low oven or, of course, a slow simmering in the tomato sauce. All will yield acceptable to good results in terms of mest texture, but if you find a way of keeping an exact temperature for a very long time, you will get perfect texture every time. But perfect texture is not essential here!

Article ‘Frying Eggplants like a Persian Mama’
I sometimes find that just baking them dries them out too much, or they are brown before they are tender.  where I've had the most success in replicating pan-fried eggplant's texture and flavor is this:

1) Steam eggplant slices or cubes until just tender (microwaving also works well)
2) Spritz or drizzle with oil and seasonings and roast or broil in the oven until nicely browned

It works great - seriously! One of my favorite party dishes is eggplant sliced fairly thin, steamed and "oven fried", then mixed into plain Greek yogurt flavored witha clove of minced garlic and salt and pepper. It's incredible with pita, chips, or crudite - much more than the sum of its parts. A sprinkle of sumac and drizzle of olive oil gild the lily.
Christina

  • FX's answer→ Now this is a really good idea, Christina! I will try that in the combi oven - what do you say, 40' @ 85C and 100% humidity then 10' @ 220C and 0% ?

Article ‘Khoresht-e Bademjan’
where did you go for the last 6 plus years?  I enjoyed your site for a long time then it just went inactive. I was worried you had abandoned it.  

Looking forward to new posts.

Glad you are back.
Wendell

  • FX's answer→ I got lost in the kitchen! No worry I just was busy doing other stuff, this kind of blogging takes a lot of time and builds up a gentle pressure to keep coming with new articles regularly. At some point this comes at the expense of other things so I chose not go on a blogging sabbatical.

Article ‘Khoresht-e Bademjan’
Adapting recipes to suit one's tastes is preferable to never attempting a recipe due to it being too sour, rich, sweet, oily, etc. I adapt recipes all the time (including mum's not-to-be-messed-with Chinese recipes) and often find that I prefer the original version, after all. Sometimes tastebuds adapt to new flavours quite quickly! By the way, your spot on Japanese TV was terrific. Didn't understand a word but Japanese facial expressions are the best!
Milagritos





The Passion of the Boar
«Without the fine work of Mr. FX, some of us would die without ever having seen a
senescent castle dog barking at a gutted corpse of wild boar that dangles
head-down from the stone wall, blood dropping among windstrewn flower petals and
dust.»

After Cheese Comes Nothing


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