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Susan Herrmann Loomis

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Susan Herrmann Loomis

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Average rating: 3.91 · 5,487 ratings · 399 reviews · 17 distinct worksSimilar authors
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“Another key to a perfect salad is the sauce, or vinaigrette. Most people don’t think of vinaigrette as a sauce but it is one of the most important in the French repertoire. It always includes mustard, and shallot, garlic, or chives, either vinegar or lemon juice, and most often peanut oil, though olive and canola oil are rapidly becoming more common. The proportions are 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon mustard, ¼ cup (60ml) oil, a pinch of salt. There can be more to a vinaigrette. Try adding a bit of soy sauce (1 teaspoon) when you add the vinegar, mix oils or use just a nut oil—hazelnut and walnut are my favorites, but almond and peanut oil are delicious, too. You can add different herbs aside from the traditional chives—try tarragon, mint, thyme, basil, or fennel fronds—a flavored mustard, a mix of ground peppercorns. One vital tip for making a great salad, whether green, composed, or otherwise, is to thoroughly toss the leaves in the vinaigrette. Some people ask me if they should toss salad with their hands. My resounding response is “Ugh.” Apparently someone at some time said the French do this but I’ve never witnessed this behavior and cannot imagine anything worse. The best utensils for tossing salad are a wooden spoon and fork, though you can use whatever is easiest for you. The point is to fatiguer la salade, tire out the lettuce, by lifting it up and out of the bowl, turning it, and letting it fall back into the bowl as many times as it takes for the lettuce leaves to begin to feel heavy. When they do, they’re perfectly dressed. And finally, toss the lettuce right before you plan to serve the salad. You cannot do this in advance. The acid in the vinaigrette begins to “cook” the leaves almost immediately—they’ll soon be wilted and soft if they’re left to sit.”
Susan Herrmann Loomis, In a French Kitchen: Tales and Traditions of Everyday Home Cooking in France

“At the start and toward the end of the season it simply isn’t, but it still feels wonderful. It wakes you up to your toes yet your heart stays warm and beats fast, a reminder of all that is good and wonderful in life.”
Susan Herrmann Loomis, On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town

“LENTILS WITH SAUSAGES { LENTILLES AUX SAUCISSES } My friend Fabienne makes this dish at the drop of a hat, because it’s quick, simple, satisfying, and delicious! Traditional vegetables in a dish like this are carrots, celery, onions, and perhaps fennel, which make it so flavorful. Sometimes it’s fun to go a bit wild, though, as Fabienne says. “I use red bell pepper,” she said. “It gives the dish exciting color and flavor.” Whichever vegetables you use, be sure to dice them so they blend in nicely. This calls for a hearty red, from Cahors. NOTE: You need delicious pork for this recipe. I’ve suggested kielbasa and slab bacon; use pork belly or unsmoked bacon, salt pork that you’ve boiled in fresh water twice first, or fresh pork sausages. 1 tablespoon duck fat or extra-virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, diced 1 small red bell pepper, seeds and pith removed Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 large clove garlic, green germ removed, minced 1 cup (250g) green lentils (ideally lentilles de Puy), picked over for small stones, rinsed 1 bouquet garni 1 (8-ounce; 250g) Morteau or kielbasa, cut into ½-inch (1.2cm) rounds 2 to 3 fresh sausages (about 8 ounces; 250g total), cut into 2-inch (5cm) pieces 6 ounces (180g) lean slab bacon, cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) chunks Fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish Grainy mustard, for serving Melt the duck fat in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and stir. Season with salt and black pepper and cook until the onions are translucent, stirring frequently so they don’t stick, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Add the lentils, stir, and add water to cover them by 1 inch (2.5cm). Add the bouquet garni, pushing it under the water. Raise the heat to medium-high and when the water boils, reduce the heat to medium so it is simmering, partially cover, and cook until the lentils begin to soften, about 15 minutes. Add the meats, pushing them into the lentils, and additional water if necessary to make sure that the lentils are moist. Return the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the lentils are “al dente” and not too soft, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from the heat and ladle into four shallow soup bowls. Garnish with a generous grind of black pepper and a parsley leaf. Serve immediately with the mustard alongside. SERVES 4”
Susan Herrmann Loomis, In a French Kitchen: Tales and Traditions of Everyday Home Cooking in France




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