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My earliest attempt at cookery began with the filleting of my sister's goldfish at age 2 and cooking my pet rabbits by age 7. Life has been downhill ever since.

Cooking Petit Farcis for My Chère Maman

Chère Maman:

Though I know you will never read this letter I want to thank you for everything you have ever done for me. Your passion for life, food, and wine (though not necessarily always in that order) has inspired me my entire life.

You taught me the valuable lessons that helped shape the person standing here today. You demonstrated that through hard work and perseverance anything is possible. No dream is too big to realize. Though I feel it’s imperative to add that a very healthy dose of French stubbornness is important too. …

How to Make French Sausage at Home

Learn how to easily make French sausages at home. They are not much different than Italian sausages other than the flavorings. In France, these sausages are called saucisses de Campagne or country sausages. They are coarse cut with a highly seasoned filling. Perfect for outdoor eating and grilling. As an added bonus, I cook the sausages with potatoes lyonnaise (pommes lyonnaise), a classic French potato preparation that is delicious and easy to make at home.

French Country Sausages by Francois de Melogue

For this recipe, you will need to have a meat grinder of some kind for this recipe or at least know someone who does. The…

Chicken K’Dra from Paula Wolfert’s Classic Book

When I was a young boy I used to ‘steal’ my mother’s cookbooks and read them late into the night. The dishes took me to far-off exotic places. One of my favorite authors was Paula Wolfert. Her 1973 classic cookbook, “Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco” would captivate me like no other. Her words taught me the awesome power that food has to transport people somewhere else — to tell stories and share distant cultures. In a large way, she is responsible for my relationship with food and helped shape my career as a chef.

Moroccan Chicken K’dra by Francois de Melogue

Paula Wolfert’s books are…

Tasty Ways to Bring More Wild Foods into Your Diet

Well folks, it’s that time of year again when tables across America are besieged by mounds of garlicky wild ramps. Both Chefs and home cooks alike are running rampant (pardon the pun) with their creations. In Vermont, I walk past endless fields of wild ramps stretching out as far as my eye can see.

Ramps, also known as wild leeks, wild garlic, or forest garlic are the country’s favorite wild foraged food. Using ramps at home is quite easy as they are extremely versatile, and lend themselves easily to almost any dish.

Wild Ramps by Francois de Melogue

Last night, the wife and I dug out…

Green Pasta Dough with Wild Ramps

One of my favorite springtime dishes of all time is a classic daube of lamb, a Provencal stew made from unctuous lamb slowly simmered in rose with lavender honey until it is impossibly tender. Traditionally daubes are served with something starchy like pasta or gnocchi. In Nice, they often accompany daubes with a dark green gnocchi (Pate Nicoise) that simmers in the stew for the final 30 minutes. The same dough can be rolled out into fresh green pasta instead.

Watch MY Video Recipe Here

Fresh Ramp Pasta photographed by Francois de Melogue

Foraging in Vermont

Lately, I have been finding lots of wild garlic (ramps) on my morning walks with…

Salade Lyonnaise and other Tasty Ways to Use Dandelions

What is the best strategy to eliminate those pesky dandelions from your lawn? Eat Them — That’s right. Make a classic Salade Lyonnaise (Salade Lyonnaise is a classic bistro salad where either frisee (curly endive) or dandelion greens are tossed in a hot bacon dressing and topped with poached eggs). In the old days, people actually planted dandelions in their yards to eat them. Dandelion greens are highly nutritious and an excellent source of vitamin A, C, and K. Loaded with minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Dandelions are filled with anti-oxidants and reported to fight inflammation, reduce cholesterol…

The Mother of All Quiches For Mother’s Day

Quiche Lorraine is perhaps the most famous of all quiches. Purists will tell you that only bacon, cream, and eggs are allowed. Though it is common to find other ingredients like Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and even chives. The original quiche Lorraine may not include cheese, but I won’t tell anyone if you decide to add one cup of shredded Gruyere to the mix.

Download my FREE beginner’s guide to quiches for a planning schedule, 6 additional quiche recipes, and a list of kitchen-tested tips to guarantee a perfect quiche every time.

Learn the Best Ways to Clean and Prepare Mussels

I love cooking mussels at home because they are both quick and easy to do. Really the ultimate fast food dish. My favorite mussel recipes are a comforting cross between a soup and a hearty hot meal. Once you master the basic preparation, you can easily add a few different ingredients to create your own new variations. Be sure to serve with plenty of toasted bread for dipping into the flavor-packed broth or even try serving with French Fries.

Turmeric and Ginger Mussels photographed by Francois de Melogue

How to Clean and Debeard Mussels

It is important to only clean the mussels within an hour of cooking them. Tap any open mussels on the counter…

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Tarte Tatin

A lot of people want to buy artichokes and don’t know what to make with them. Today I want to show you the best way to eat and prepare artichokes. Learn how to make a simple Provencal artichoke and goat cheese tarte Tatin.

Artichoke Tarte Tatin by Francois de Melogue

This is my wife Lisa’s favorite dish of all time. I owe my marriage and consequently my son to the merits of my artichoke tart. I originally developed the recipe while I was the Chef at Pili Pili restaurant in Chicago. One evening, my future wife came in for dinner with…

A Classic Dessert that Never Gets Old

Here’s a great project to tackle this weekend — make these insanely delicious chocolate profiteroles stuffed with vanilla ice cream, then showered with a hot chocolate sauce at the table. Yes, it is a cliche; yes it is a dish from another decade; yes it is really good.

Profiteroles are the perfect home dessert and guaranteed to please everyone, from small children to grown adults. And once you master the dough for profiteroles you can easily make several other classics like a feather-light beignet, gougères, and crispy potato puffs known as Pommes Dauphine.

The first step is to make cream puffs, a.k.a. profiteroles, a.k.a. choux paste, a.k.a. pâte à choux

Choux paste is a simple French…

Francois de Melogue

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