French Cooking: Week Three

For those that have read the book (or have seen the movie) Julie and Julia, you may be aware that there’s a nice little added benefit to cooking and eating French food all of the time…you gain a little weight.  I decided to keep the French food to a minimum during the week, leaving it for just a few meals a week rather than every other meal (you won’t believe how much Thai food I eat during the week because I’m craving it like crazy).

For this past weekend, I decided to do another pasta dish as well as something a little different for me…wine sausages.

Saturday’s Dinner: Pasta with Artichoke Cream and Chicken

2.3This recipe I found on Food & Wine.  My end result was a little different than what was required in the actual recipe.  I used gluten-free penne and salsa for the tomatoes (although I think the cherry tomatoes would have been better).  I also used leftover shredded chicken I had prepared and frozen a couple of weeks ago and sprinkled a little red pepper on the outside for a little kick.

All in all, it was pretty good.  I used what I had on hand (the rainstorm on Friday night kept me from picking up fresher ingredients from the grocery store).  I think next time, I would add some peas and definitely have cherry tomatoes on hand.

My little French loving foodie feline loved it.  She knows when French food is being cooked up.  She has to have some.


Sunday’s Dinner: Wine Sausages

This recipe I found in French Food at Homeby Laura Calder.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 thin or 4 fat pork sausages
2 onions, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white white
A handful of chopped fresh parsley

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Prick the sausages with a fork to prevent them from bursting, and brown them on all sides. Remove. Add the onions and shallots to the pan and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over and stir for 1 minute to combine thoroughly. Whisk in the wine. Return the sausages to the pan, cover, and cook until they are done, about 15 minutes.

Remove the sausages and boil down the sauce if it’s too liquid, which is unlikely. Spoon the sauce over the sausages and sprinkle with parsley to serve.

Ok…so what did I do differently? Calder notes that you need to purchase ‘respectable sausages’ in order for the results to impress you.  I’m going to have to agree wholeheartedly with that.

I used chicken apple sausages from the grocer.  While it tasted fine…it could have been better with a better kind of sausage.  But what can I say?  I was trying to cut some calories and find a healthier version.

3.3 I paired the sausages with some brown rice and green beans (cooked in the microwave with olive oil, salt and pepper and shaved almonds).

It was tasty the first night, but the leftovers the next night were even better because the wine started to really soak into the sausages.


One ingredient that I seem to use in almost every recipe are shallots.  I had purchased the dried version in the spice aisle.  After week three of making French food on the weekends, I’m almost completely out.  Shallots are practically a staple in French food, so buy plenty of it if you plan to undertake a few French meals of your own.

I’ll be taking next weekend off from cooking since I’ll be heading on vacation.  Week four of French cooking will commence the final weekend in June.

On July 1, we’ll be switching over to Italy and all things Italian.

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