A few months ago we did a Q & A with Dorie Greenspan, cookbook author, foodblogger, pop-up cookie baker, Friend of Pierre, and generally nice person, on the occasion of her new book, Around My French Table, which was slated to come out this October.
Imagine our surprise when — unlike many new restaurants, and dinner dates — the book showed up even earlier than promised. (Thanks to @ruhlman, who spends more time online than we do, for the heads up.) So we thought we'd take the opportunity to ask Greenspan a few more questions. It's kind of an occupational hazard.
Squid Ink: So are you happy with the new book?
Dorie Greenspan: I'm thrilled with the new book! In some ways I feel like it completes a story. Baking From My Home to Yours was a personal record of 30 years of baking at home. With Around My French Table I not only get to prove to people that I was a responsible wife, mother and friend and fed everyone 'real' food before I brought out dessert, I get to write about my longstanding love affair with the food, people and culture of France. Together, I think these two books might be my culinary autobiography.
In addition, I was very lucky to work with the same team that made Baking From My Home to Yours so beautiful — Alan Richardson, Karen Tack and Deb Donohue — and I think they outdid themselves (no easy thing) here. We did a bunch of the pictures in my kitchen in Connecticut – which is where all of the recipes were tested – and it was tremendous fun. It was like a big grown-up pajama party with a lot of great food. I loved when we had Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good for an afternoon snack. Not that we needed a snack after breakfasting on Cheez-it-ish Crackers and lunching on Moules Mariniere, Chicken-in-a-Pot (the cover recipe) and a lot of Slow-Roasted Tomatoes.
SI: What's your favorite recipe from the book?
DG: You know that's an impossible question to answer. I know you do. I'm not even sure I can narrow it down to five favorites. I love the food in the book! I love it because there are wonderful old recipes (like Beef on a String, which is my traditional New Year's Eve party dish), surprising new dishes (like Coconut-Lemongrass Braised Pork) and so many recipes that are both easy-peasy and chic (like Anne LeBlanc's Avocado and Pistachio Nut Oil – the title and the ingredient list are almost the same).
Since I can't choose a single favorite, here are just a few of the recipes I make over and over: Gougeres; Salmon Rillettes; Cheese-Topped Onion Soup; Salmon and Potatoes in a Jar; Tuna, Mozzarella and Basil Pizzas; Lamb and Dried Apricot Tagine; Café Salle Pleyel Hamburgers (leave it to the French to teach us something about our national icon); Endives, Apples and Grapes (another dish that's easy and chic); Marie-Helene's Apple Cake; the Sable Breton Galette. I'll stop. Can you tell I love this food?
SI: What have you been doing this summer?
DG: I spent the last part of the summer in Paris, where I worked with the terrific filmmaker, David Turecamo, on two videos, one in which Yves Camdeborde, chef-owner of the really, really popular Le Comptoir, and I make his Tuna-Mozzarella Pizza in his kitchen, and the other in which the adorable Alice Vasseur and I work together in my kitchen to make her Sweet Cheesecake Tart, a recipe she learned when she was 7 years old and going to Le Cordon Bleu. Stay tuned!
SI: Any more cookie pop-ups in the works?
DG: Stay tuned here as well. My son and CookieBar partner, Joshua, and I are baking up something special for the holidays.