Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my birthday and rather than go out to celebrate, I chose to stay in and cook dinner myself. I have been wanting to cook Ina's beef bourguignon ever since the day I first made it eight months ago. It's a bit labor intensive so not a recipe I would make an your average night plus I didn't crave it during the summer so this was the perfect excuse to make it.

= heaven on earth!

I also made a little salad creation of my own, an adaptation from the "salad verte" at Le Pichet, one of my favorite French bistros in town. It turned out to be a delicious dinner and the best part is all the leftovers we get to enjoy today!

Butter Lettuce Salad with Hazelnuts & Orange Dijon Vinaigrette

1 head butter lettuce
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted and skins taken off

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 t honey
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T red wine vinegar
2 T good olive oil
1/2 clove garlic, minced and mashed into a paste with a sprinkle of salt
freshly ground black pepper

To toast and skin hazelnuts:
Preheat oven to 300. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the skins crack. Let cool on a kitchen towel, then roll the hazelnuts in the towel until skins flakes off.

I love to call hazelnuts "filberts" so I figured I should know why they go by both names. Here's the answer from the Global Gourmet:

The most commonly accepted explanation is because hazelnuts mature on or around St. Philibert's Day, August 20. Other historians believe the term filbert derives from the German vollbart meaning full beard, a reference to the appearance of the husked shell. Although the current definition of filbert tends to refer to commercial cultivated crops of hazelnuts, the terms hazelnut and filbert are generally used interchangeably. Hazelnuts are also known as cobnuts in some areas. Other experts claim these are all different varieties of the nut, but once shelled, they are quite difficult to tell apart.

1 comment:

Erika said...

We are so much alike! I cooked a dinner party for myself for my birthday this was the best. Happy Birthday!