09 September 2011

French Fridays with Dorie: Creamy, cheesy, garlicky rice with spinach


So...I finally caved in. After constantly hearing all the buzz about Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours and seeing all the fun that people are having in the virtual cooking club French Fridays with Dorie (FFWD), where members make and post a new recipe from the book every Friday, I broke down and bought it (this despite my pledge that I wouldn't buy anymore cookbooks). Though the beautiful, hardcover, 544-page (yes, you read right) masterpiece arrived over a month ago, tonight was the first time that I actually cooked from it and marks my first post for FFWD!

Dorie's book contains French classics, interesting dishes that Dorie and her family and friends have enjoyed in different parts of France (she splits her time between Paris, New York and Connecticut) as well as random creations from her kitchen. Most of the recipes are very simple and accompanied by charming anecdotes, hints and Dorie's warm, personal, encouraging tone.


This dish of creamy, cheesy, garlicky rice with spinach is no different. Dorie explains that her husband adores risotto (just like Luis and I!), but that French restaurants just can't get it right. She wonders why the French version can't just be called creamy rice since that's what it usually resembles and comes up with this yummy dish. I just knew that it would be delicious...I mean, how can you go wrong with cheese, garlic, cream and spinach all in one dish!?!?


I made a few modifications to Dorie's recipe, increasing the amount of garlic (you can never have too much garlic!), decreasing the cheese (I used Emmental) and replacing the heavy cream called for with crème fraîche (that's all I had). And...la honte...I couldn't find any fresh spinach at the supermarket (that's what I get for going at closing time) and so subbed frozen...thus the bright green color of my rice. Unlike a traditional risotto, you cook the rice all at once, which means that this is super simple and quick. My kind of recipe! We both loved the creamy, garlicky goodness of it and agreed that this should be on the regular rotation for weeknight dinners. I served it with a simple salad of arugula, grape tomatoes and caper berries, but I like Dorie's idea of making stuffed peppers with it. Imagine some beautiful red or yellow peppers with this green rice inside. Yum!


* FFWD members don't publish Dorie's recipes on our blogs. We encourage you to buy her book instead...you won't regret it! *

On another note, thanks to all of you who buzzed my Peach Salsa into yesterday's Foodbuzz Top 9! Much appreciated!

20 comments:

  1. Creamy, garlicky, and cheesy. Three of my favorite things! This rice looks so tasty!

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  2. What a beautiful green color! This looks and sounds wonderful! I agree with your decision to add more garlic. I usually do for almost every recipe I try. Good for the heart and soul! :)

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  3. What fun French Friday with Dori! I have her book and have prepared a few of the dishes or taken some idea's and made my own recipe.
    Your dish is beautiful.

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  4. welcome to FFWD! I've only been at it a month and I've had a great time. The color using the frozen spinach looks great! And who doesn't love a good garlicky dish?

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  5. Yay! So glad to see you here!!! I think your rice is beautiful - so green!

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  6. Great that you've joined the Dorie Friday club. I really have to get that book! Hmm I can just smell that extra garlic. Sounds wonderful and love how you used crème fraîche, too. Fun presentation!

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  7. Welcome to FFWD! Your rice and photos are beautiful! We loved this dish, too.

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  8. Welcome to FFWD. Your rice looks good here and the beautiful photos of them makes me drool. Looks colorful !

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  9. I'm a recent stuffed pepper convert, and I think this would be a fantastic filling!

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  10. Your rice looks amazing! Welcome to FFWD! :)

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  11. Welcome to FFWD - It's my first full month, and I can't wait for Friday to read everyone's posts!

    I love the verdi color of your rice! It makes it look so appetizing! I also added much more garlic - can't have too much of that!

    Happy French Friday!

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  12. Welcome to our Dorista adventures! Love the changes you made. I completely agree it needed more garlic! And I love your plating. You rock sista!

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  13. Welcome aboard!
    Looks like your first recipe was a success!

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  14. Welcome, welcome! I'm glad to know that this works with frozen spinach too. I love the very green color. You were right to add more garlic. Now that I think about it, my rice was more creamy and cheesy than garlicky. Nice job!

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  15. your rice is REALLY green!! But it looks pretty tasty! : )

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  16. I have already read so much about this ominous club and this recipe is sparking my interest even more! ;)
    Looks beautiful and I think I like your modifications! there is NEVER too much garlic! ;))

    Cheers,
    Tobias

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  17. Welcome to the group! A few people used frozen spinach - it's nice to know it works for this recipe. Definitely try the stuffed peppers - they make a great main course.

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  18. Totally stunning! And I love your presentation!

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  19. That dish looks amazing!

    I am definitely going to have to buy that book - I love French recipes.

    I love the idea of the weekly recipe club.

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