French Fridays with Dorie
Parisians must do a lot of sitting around drinking wine and nibbling on savory cheese breads as I’ve been crossing paths with several recipes lately and all them talk about sipping wine with them. Back in December while sifting through my my new amour’s things when he wasn’t paying attention, I discovered a recipe for a savory loaf — he referred to as a ‘cake’. He positioned it as a great appetizer “to go with pre dinner drinks or a glass of Calvados.” I am rarely sipping on a glass of Calvados but, eh, if David likes it then that is good enough for me! I rushed right out and bought a bottle — just in case he should ever come for a visit. I was quite anxious to try this one out since the lemon/fennel seed combination really peaked my interest.
No sooner did I actually make this stuff than the Dorista Grand Poobahs announced our first March assignment would be Dorie’s Chive and Cheese Bread. My cup runeth over with Calvados and cheesey bread. Essentially, this is another one of Dorie’s non-recipe recipes highlighting a dish that can really take just about anything you dish out at it. This of course makes it perfect as all you really need for this type of quick bread is 1 tablespoon of baking powder and some salt. (And eggs, and flour…you get the idea.) After that just about anything you have taking up space in the fridge can be baked into a loaf to go with your Calvados.
So…guess who forgot the baking powder on his first go at this recipe? Uh huh. I caught my mistake after 10 minutes and briefly entertained the idea of writing about Dorie’s Cheesy Chive biscuits but I changed my mind since I had plenty of cheese and chives on hand and could start another round. The subsequent loaf turned out beautifully.
If this were a contest I would have to give it to the Apricot Almond Lemon Loaf Cake thingie. Its much finer texture and sublime depth of flavors mixed perfectly with the nutty Gruyeres. This quick bread is something special in a way that the obvious pairing of chives and cheese could not be. And before you jump all over me I’m not dishing Dorie here –both quite good and when you have two similar things within days of each other its impossible not to draw comparisons.
Lets just say that the next time I make Dorie’s version, my Bonne Idea will be to omit the chives and walnuts and in their place I’ll add lemon zest, almonds, fennel seeds and dried apricots.
Just sayin’. Since it is my new secret crush’s recipe I will make again and again so I will post it here. Dorie’s recipe is, as usual, in her book. You can email me if you want it but I think you really want this one instead… Just sayin’.