Do you ever eat at a restaurant and love a dish so much that you want to recreate it at home? This is one of the reasons I started cooking. When I first came to New York City in my early 20’s from Texas, everything I tasted was new. I started experimenting and trying dishes that I ate in restaurants. I still do the same thing today.

On vacation in Provence this summer, we ate at a great little neighborhood place called Le Bistro des Alpilles in Saint-Remy. One of the meals I had there was a simple little dish of sauteed langoustines with a puree of fennel and potato. It was so clean and precise. I vowed to make it myself when I got home….


So I did!


Fennel-Potato Puree: Serves 2
1 fennel bulb

2 small Yukon gold potatoes

1 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1 tablespoon salt

Peel the potatoes and roughly chop the fennel, removing the hard core in the center. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the potatoes and fennel with the rest of the ingredients. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.

In a food processor, puree the mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Sauteed Shrimp with Pernod: Serves 2

(Pernod is the name brand of a type of French alcohol called Pastis. It has a licorice flavor and is great to cook with)

Clean a pound of jumbo shrimp and season it with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat a skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.

Add the shrimp to the pan with a generous sprinkling of fresh thyme. Saute just until the shrimp is opaque and pink on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip the shrimp over and add a splash of Pernod to the pan (about 1/4 cup). Continue cooking 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately with the fennel-potato puree.