French Cooking: Chou Farci and Roasted Asparagus

Well hello there. I hope you haven't noticed my terrible absence of French cooking lately. Truth be told, July through this past weekend was tough. Every weekend was packed with events and the weeks flew by. It became terribly hard to keep up with working, the blog, exciting things I have in the works for the blog and cooking for the blog. Needless to say, we're eating spring in summer. But, I do want to give my friend Katie from Beneath the Chandelier a quick shout-out. Her beautiful wedding this weekend finished a very long six weeks for me but I wouldn't have had it any other way. 

This week's menu (part one), is simple in that there are only two items. But don't let them fool you. One in particular was rather difficult to arrange and it took a lot of patience on my part. Let's just say, assembling a dish with steaming hot, flimsy cabbage leaves is most definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The end result was worth all the trouble though. Both dishes were incredibly tasty and quite honestly, don't seem French at all. But...I guess they are!

MAIN: Chou Farci
Mimi describes Chou Farci in A Kitchen In France as "a weekend lunch or an appetizer for a decadent feast." I don't know how anyone could eat this as an appetizer because it is so dense and filling. It's almost like a vegetable lasagna. Instead of noodles, you're using savoy cabbage. Instead of having a bitter taste, the cabbage becomes sweet during cooking and there is a lot of cooking time. The filling is a ground beef mixture with more veggies and plenty of flavor. This was surprisingly (for some reason) an incredibly delicious dish. It was rich, tasty and filling but not overly so. I mean, it is a spring dish.

SIDE: Roast Asparagus with Chervil
I personally love asparagus, especially roasted. I think it's sweet and refreshing. It's also one of those vegetables only available for a small amount of time each year so it's almost like a treat. This particular asparagus recipe should be a favorite to any bacon lovers because it's wrapped in bacon. Moreso tied together with bacon but same idea. There's bacon! There are also cheese shavings on top and if bacon doesn't make everything better, cheese sure does. Asparagus roasts rather quickly so I would recommend keeping a close eye on it. You only want it to cook long enough for the bacon to cook through. Having a little bite to the asparagus is always ideal. I would recommend this particular recipe to anyone wanting to try asparagus. It's less intimidating with the bacon and cheese and boy is it delightful. 

This Friday, I'll finally get to those desserts I've been talking about. Then in a few weeks we will be starting the summer menu (finally) which kicks tarts with a whopping 4-course meal. Dessert included of course. End of summer is one of the best times of year for produce so everything is tasting très bien!