French Fridays with Dorie: Never Doubt Dorie

The "we-just-finished-cooking-all-the-way-though-a-book-but-aren't-ready-to-let-it-go-posts" continue this week with "The Never-Doubt-Dorie Moment"
Choose the recipe that might not have been your favorite or even something you enjoyed making or even something you were skeptical about but which taught you a technique or gave you an idea or provided a lesson of some kind.

Well, then.

This is one of those posts that I really wish I wasn't writing while my battered, food-stained copy of Around My French Table is sitting 1700 miles away. As pore over the titles of the recipes that we so adventurously cooked through over the past several years, I noticed a handful of recipes that I remembered going into thinking "what in tarnation are we trying to do here?" Most ended up being winners and a small minority didn't come in first place. Or second. Or third. Only a couple of recipes left permanent trauma. (Sorry, salmon in a jar and shrimp and cellophane noodles - it's not you, it's me... No. It was really you.) 

I think it is pretty stinking impressive that after cooking through an entire book, I can only pick out a couple of recipes that were a negative experience. (Especially, if you consider how impossible it was for me to choose my favorite five recipes). That is a >99% success rate.

Looking back, there is a particular recipe that sticks out as being one I just couldn't wrap my brain around. It ended up being one of my favorites. I am not sure why I ever doubted that anything cooked in butter could be less than delicious, but I did. I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

Grapes cooked in butter are crack. I was prepared to not like Endive, Apples and Grapes. I wasn't prepared to love it.
"I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!
And I would eat them in a boat!
And I would eat them with a goat...
And I will eat them in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
They are so good - so good - you see!

So I will eat them in a box.
And I will eat them with a fox.
And I will eat them in a house.
And I will eat them with a mouse.
And I will eat them here and there.
Say! I will eat them ANHYWHERE!"

Lyrics courtesy of "Green Eggs & Ham": FLAHERTY, STEPHEN CHARLES/AHRENS, LYNN/GEISEL, THEO SEUSS P/K/A DR. SEUSS. © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Something about that recipe resonated with me. It wasn't just about grapes and butter (even though it WAS about the grapes and butter), it was the realization that giving something a try can be very rewarding. (Except for shredded coconut - no matter how many times and ways I try that, I will never be a fan.)

Crack grapes, who knew?

Peace out.


This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.


  1. LOL - "grapes in butter are crack". I love your reasons for liking this dish, despite its initial apparent weirdness. Have a great weekend, wherever you ate (hopefully a trip for pleasure not work!).

  2. Grapes and butter. Yes. I never doubted Dorie for this one but I can see how one would. Yes, giving something a try (and trusting Dorie) is the one thing I have learned from this experience too!

  3. Yes, I'm so glad I made many of those recipes that gave me pause when I read through the directions. I wasn't so thrilled with this recipe, but many others surprised me (salmon in the jar!).

  4. Impressive statistics indeed. I also don't have too many which I didn't like, but I have quite a few which I was skeptical about going in. And yes, the endives with grapes was certainly one of them. Still sounds weird to say, but now I just know better!

  5. That is one we will have over and over (and it's one of Kevin's absolute favourites from the book). I've been looking through the book carefully for these wrap up posts and I was surprised at how few recipes there were that I wouldn't happily have again.

  6. This is so funny - when I wrote the recipe, I was afraid that the endives would be the thing that would make people turn the page. The grapes?! Ha! xoDorie

  7. That is another recipe on my "makeup" list! And now, I'm super curious about it!

  8. Grapes are not my favorite but you are selling them really well here. At least this is an easy recipe to minify - to borrow from the Mardi book.

  9. That was a really head shaking dish for me too. I had a friend over for dinner the night I was making the endive grape dish who works for the restaurateur Danny Meyers. She thought the recipe sounding interesting. Her opinion trumps mine and I went with it. We both ended up loving it too.

  10. You and my son share the same sentiments on coconut. I have not made this recipe yet but will do so. Thanks for the recommendation.

  11. And I would eat them with a goat... Cher, you have such a wonderful, creative voice! This is one of the recipes that I did not get around to making, but grapes and butter... we'll see. I'm mot an endive fan, so it didn't resonate. But you are absolutely correct, there were plenty of recipes that were counter-intuitive that turned out to be winners.

  12. Another popular pick! I knew I would like this one--I love endives and butter--but I'm sure I was in the minority going on. It's hard to list many things that aren't good cooked in butter...

  13. Love your post, you always make me laugh. That was one recipe I enjoyed.

  14. This was a favorite for me too! Only I made mine with chestnuts instead of endive. I was skeptical, but like you say, grapes cooked in butter are crack!

  15. This is one I do want to go back and make up, especially now that you say grapes in butter are crack. ;) I didn't have too many recipes that we did not like either.

  16. Cher, always such fun reading your posts - I had totally forgotten about this particular recipe - I remember that we liked it but I have not had a chance to make it again. But I should, like all the other recipes that we enjoyed so much!
    tahnks for another hilarious post!
    "See" you soon,

  17. I'm going to have to revisit the crack grapes. I remember how good the endive in butter was, but now I'm thinking I must have left the grapes out because you know how Howard is about fruit in savory dishes... I'd like to serve HIM some green eggs and ham. See you Friday!


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