Grilled honey mustard tenderloin & a simple salad

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I never knew how amazing pork tenderloin could be on the grill. Seriously? How did I not know this? About 80% of all the meat Jérôme eats is pork, so I’ve definitely had to find new and fun uses for tenderloin, or filet mignon as it’s known in France, over the years. In the winter I usually make it as a ragoût, cutting it into medallions and cooking it with white wine, cream, leeks and other veggies. In the spring and summer months, I tended more towards searing and finishing off in the oven, adding balsamic reductions or making plum chutneys to wake up the flavor of the pork. I even marinated one with Coca Cola recently, and it turned out to be one of my most favorite ways to cook tenderloin. But grilling it? Totally simpler, and perfect for summer. Continue reading

My favorite green beans (hot or cold)

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I despised green beans for a long time once I was an adult. I didn’t mind them as a child, contrary to canned peas. It was only once I got older that I realized that the problem wasn’t the peas then, nor the green beans now. It was the can. It’s a texture thing. I can’t do the mush. Once I realized that peas didn’t have to be mushy and olive colored but vibrant green and crisp, I loved them. Once I discovered that green beans could have the same, tasty fate, I stopped giving them the cold shoulder.

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UPDATED! Green bean casserole, done right

I made this dish again this year, and luckily was able to take some better photos. Enjoy!
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While I grew up eating my Mom’s green bean casserole (and loved it!), made with canned this and canned that, I knew deep down that it could be better. I also secretly feared presenting something so processed to my French beau. I also couldn’t find fried onions or cream of mushroom soup anywhere. So, I made from-scratch green bean casserole, and it was divine. This was nearly one year ago, and in honor of the looming Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I’d post about it today.

I got into cooking rather recently. Before moving to France six years ago (6!), aside from grilled cheese, pasta and various ready-made just-add-this-or-that dishes, I didn’t do much of anything in the kitchen, aside from eating, of course. When I moved here, I discovered so many things: rabbit, real home-made sauces and vinaigrettes, fresh market vegetables cooked just so, bread, lamb, and so on and so forth. I spent the first few years quietly observing, and finally was able to put what I’d absorbed into action once I was “out on my own,” meaning done being a nanny and actually living a normal life and cooking myself, and not for the kids. The real turning point was meeting my boyfriend. Continue reading