Poulet Vallée d’Auge (roast chicken with apples)

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Normandy is a region known for several things: cows and amazing farm-fresh butter and cream, beautiful cliff-lined coasts, the D-day beaches, Camembert, Livarot, Neufchâtel and Pont l’Evêque cheese, and of course, all things apple: Calvados (an apple Brandy made in the sub-region of the same name), hard cider and Pommeau (an apple liqueur), to name a few. Imagine a recipe that combines several of these gems into one succulent dish and you’ve got the Poulet Vallée d’Auge, which just means chicken from Vallée d’Auge, a small sub-region in Lower Normandy. It’s just as rich as you might expect, but the tart and sweet apples cut right through all of that richness, bringing balance and amazing sweet and savory notes.

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Classic gougères (cheese puffs)

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Pâte à choux is one of my all-time favorite things to make. It’s one of those recipes that seems daunting but isn’t. At several points during the process you’ll probably think you ruined them. You didn’t. Have faith in the process, and have fun! Pâte à choux is not only a crowd pleaser but it’s also one of those easy things that people will think you slaved over. It’s delicious without being overwhelming, it’s light enough that you can eat several without feeling too guilty and I think they’re a blast to make. This is a very classic savory take, as opposed to a cream puff, where shredded cheese is incorporated directly into the dough giving the entire puff a subtle flavor. Continue reading

Fresh pasta and classic beef bourguignon

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Beef bourguignon, a classic French beef and red wine stew, is easily my all-time favorite winter comfort food. The absolute best part is that while the recipe does require a bit of work and time, it gets better with age and you’ll have enough stew to feed two people at least 3-4 times. Another plus? Your house will smell absolutely amazing on the day that you make this dish and it will warm you up on a cold winter day. Continue reading