January 19, 2007

Top 100 - 73 Through 80

73. La Table Bretonne in Béziers, France. This little crêperie in the center of Béziers offers delicious, savory buckwheat crêpes and tempting, sweet crêpes for dessert. My favorites are the Tartiflette, filled with bacon, potatoes and reblochon cheese, and the Popeye, filled with spinach, crème fraîche and emmenthal cheese. Dessert options include crêpes covered in cinnamon and apple compote with vanilla ice cream, a crêpe spread with homemade, bittersweet chocolate sauce and toasted almonds and the famous, flaming crêpes Suzette. The owner's are a delightful husband and wife team, he cooks and she works the dining room.

La Table Bretonne
21, rue Viennet
34500 Béziers
+33 (0)

74. A Crawfish Boil. Imagine a mound of bright, red crawfish mixed with potatoes and chunks of corn on the cob, piled high in the middle of a newspaper covered picnic table. The air is thick with the tempting aroma of cayenne, onions, garlic and bay leaves. Scoop one up, pinch da tail and suck da head!

75. Walla Walla Sweet Onions. We enjoyed these all summer long when I was growing up. Tomato and onion salad, one of my mom's greatest summer recipes, was my favorite. This sweet, mild onion originated in Corsica and was brought to this small town in southeast Washington State in the 1800's by a French soldier. It is now celebrated every year during the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival.

76. Piperade. A vibrant and hearty dish from the Basque region. Serve with plenty of crusty bread.


1 onion, thinly sliced
3-4 Peppers - mix of red and green, at least one of each, chopped into large pieces
3-4 large, ripe tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped
fresh chili, according to taste and desired heat
2 cloves garlic, minced
bay leaf (fresh preferably)
salt to taste
4 eggs, beaten

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan. Gently cook the onion until it is soft. Add the peppers, and cook gently for 10 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, garlic, chili and herbs, and continue to cook until everything is tender and has melted together.
Add the beaten eggs to the mixture and stir, evenly and quickly so the eggs blend nicely into the sauce.

77. The Heat Resistant Spatula. I have three of these and think they're the greatest invention! They're virtually indestructible and withstand heat up to 500 degrees.

78. Copper River Salmon. One of the richest, tastiest salmon in the world. It's nutty flavor and stunning red color can be savored for only three to four weeks a year, from around May 15 until early June. Last year's price per pound was over $30.00, but if you can find some, it is well worth the price.

79. Dim Sum. When we lived in San Francisco, Sunday mornings meant dim sum for brunch. Trolleys stacked with little plates of various kinds of steamed and fried dumplings, sautéed vegetables, noodles and roasted meats are wheeled around for you to pick and choose from. A great alternative to omelets, waffles and hash browns.

80. Granny Smith Apple Sorbet. This was one of the sorbet choices on the menu at the restaurant where I was a pastry chef. I haven't made it in years but still remember the sweet, tart and tangy flavor. I'm making it again as soon as I get an ice cream maker.

Granny Smith Apple Sorbet

6 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
2/3 C. lemon juice, lime juice, or a combination of both
1/3 C. sugar
1/3 C. calvados or applejack

Slice 5 of the apples and puree in a blender or food processor. Chop the sixth apple finely.
Combine all ingredients and whisk together until sugar is dissolved.
Pour into 1 1/2 quart (or larger) ice cream maker and process until firm following the manufacturer's instructions.
Serve immediately, or freeze for later use.

Serves 6.
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