French Fridays with Dorie
Please forgive me for I have sinned. Well, perhaps ‘sinned’ is too strong a word but I had to make some substitutions for this week’s French Friday’s with Dorie assignment. [Gasp!] I know what you are probably saying, “Silly Sis Boom, people make substitutions all the time with recipes. That certainly is no sin! Gosh, I even encourage such creativity with my Bonne Idée sidebars.” This is true Dorie but I usually eschew substitutions for food projects unless absolutely necessary. Heck, I’ve even been known to chortle privately at Doristas who substitute too aggressively and then end up with something completely unrecognizable (or inedible?) and then wonder where they went wrong. Now I am guilty of substitution frenzy and feeling a bit guilty about it.
I just couldn’t help myself! I’d feel a lot worse if it didn’t taste so good!
I’m sure that under normal circumstances subbing an ingredient or two would not get any notice. I only made two substitutions on this dish and ended up transforming what was to be your pasta entre into an incredible dessert!
As I read through the recipe (in addition to your book you also posted it on your blog) I thought the ingredient list looked quite good. Just not for a pasta. Too each his own, right? So in thinking about substitutions I traded apples for the linguine and made a caramel sauce for the Parmesan. I guess I just didn’t think my family would go much for the ‘pasta with granola’ vibe I as getting off this dish. (I was also a bit chicken to ask them to try.)
I realize the outcome is not much of an innovation. People make baked apples all the time but after reading the back story to your recipe, the one about mendiants, monastic orders and beggars, I will never think the same way about this simple baked treat. I’ve even renamed it Baked Apples Mendiant in your honor. Whoever thought those French Christmas treat mendiants, with their disk of chocolate, fried fruits and nuts would inspire a pasta?
The caramel sauce (my stand in for the chocolate mendiant disk) is quite easy to make (as you know) and adding a splash of lemon juice to it sets the apple off nicely. Once its on the plate and you cut it open the mendiantastic filling spills out in all its oozy, chewy glory. I can’t vouch for your pasta version but I’m sure if you serve this dessert to your family they will be begging you for it often.
Even though I didn’t make the linguine version this week I am still quite anxious to see and read the other Dorista’s stories of it this week. I’m sure there will be many who may have felt trepidation at this dish but then ventured forth anyway only to really love it. They are more courageous than I. I wonder if their substitutions affected their outcome as dramatically as mine? If it turns out this dish is the barn burner that you say it is I may rethink and try it out when the less adventurous family is not around. (I do loved browned butter in pasta…sigh.)
Will the Dorista’s family members be begging to have them make this again and again? We’ll have to stay tuned to find out!
Baked Apples “Mendiant” with Caramel Sauce