ASTUCE: you may use any vegetable you like here, in any quantity you like, but small spring vegetables are best, and radishes, which keep their cheery color are essential. Sometimes I use baby turnips; if I can’t find spring onions, I use shallots; and occasionally I double the amount of asparagus. Also, if cilantro is hard to find, then use the finest extra-virgin olive oil all by itself. You’ll miss the vivid green color and the subtle flavor of the cilantro, but the dish will be delicious. Have fun!
This is a gorgeous and very simple recipe that you can make for a cozy family dinner, or even when the boss comes over. It’s impressive and deeply flavorful, dramatic to present, delicious to enjoy!
ASTUCE: I suggest stuffing the chicken with either an orange or two clementines, but you don’t have to. I love the slight additional flavor they add, and their juice squeezed over the chicken right before serving, but I promise this dish is fabulous without them too. The vinegar poured over the chicken adds a touch of welcome acidity to the sauce and crisps up the skin too.
Rabbit is easily found in most places in the U.S., though it will often be in the frozen food department. Try to find it. It’s beautiful meat – lean, subtle, tender, and it cooks so well, wrapped in bacon, over the coals. The by-word is slow, even cooking. Just be patient, turn it regularly and you’ll have a feast on your hands. And if you cannot find rabbit, use chicken….!
This is a recipe that you make in a thrice, preferably on the gas grill, then have just slightly warm and ready to serve to guests the minute they walk in the door. I make them when the grill is heated, but before I cook dinner…it’s a perfect solution for an appetizer, to serve alongside rose in the summer, champagne any time of year! Or, as I did recently, glasses of chilled Pastis, to ward off the intense heat of a mid-summer evening.
ASTUCE: you’ll need to supervise the almonds towards the end, as they can burn quickly. And when you strew the sugar don’t worry – what doesn’t stick to the almonds will burn off the grill.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: mesh gas grill, wooden spatula
Simple and elegant, this is a dish you can grill for a quick family weeknight dinner as easily as you can for a more dressed up Saturday night meal with friends. Pork is often served with something sweet, like apples or pears; here, I put the sweetness right on the pork. It lifts its flavor with deep caramelization. I suggest serving it with grilled asparagus or zucchini (pages xx), a mound of toasty bulgur (page xx), and a light red such as a Saumur Champigny.
ASTUCE: before you put the pork chops in the marinade, slit the fat around the edges so the chop won’t curl as it grills
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: whisk, bowl, rubber spatula, long tongs, long metal spatula
PREPARATION AND GRILLING TIME: at least 1 hour marinating time; 30 minutes including resting time
DIFFIUCLTY LEVEL: simple
Grilled bread. The first time I made this for French friends, they couldn’t believe it. How could something so simple and basic be SO GOOD? French is such a bread culture yet bread has its place, and that place is sliced, in a basket, as a support for cheese, a pusher for salad, a sopper for sauce. Grilled? It really takes the Italians for that, and here, I’ve crossed the border and introduced it to France! And just in case you wondered, everyone I know is making it now! Because this is quick, you can make it while the grill is heating, and have it ready for guests when they arrive so they don’t notice that dinner isn’t quite ready!
ASTUCE: I brush the bread with oil – not too much – before grilling, then brush it again once it’s off the grill. This avoids flare-ups which might add a not-so-good flavor to the toasted bread. It also keeps the fat level down. I get a wonderful organic bread from the food coop in Louviers that looks as though it was made for a giant – it’s a long, fat loaf studded with grains and made with the greatest blend of spelt and wheat flours. Try and find something similar for this recipe.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: long tongs, pastry brush
PREPARATION TIME: about 4 minutes
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: simple
Here, the simple purity of summer tomatoes and red bell peppers grilled gently over the coals, teamed with farm-fresh cucumbers, garlic, and onions makes this the most refreshing gazpacho you’re likely to taste. It speaks of the finest and most fresh ingredients, softly spiked with hot pepper and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Simple to prepare, I predict that once you’ve tried it, your summer meals will rarely be without it!
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: long tongs, metal spatula, wood chips or grapevine cuttings sarments de vigne, food processor
PREPARATION AND GRILL TIME: 2 hours and 25 minutes, including 2 hours chilling time (minimum).
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: simple
This is a compilation rather than a true recipe, organized to make it easy to follow.