Category Archives: recipes

luxurious finger food (well, that you eat with your fingers)

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This recipe will demand some time to make but none of the step are complicated. You can prepare everything in advance and put everything together at the last minutes. If you do so, the avocado cream has to be covered with film  and you shoulf put the avocado stone in the cream until it’s time to serve. The stone is helping to keep the green colour. If you like fishy flavor, you can add a few salmon eggs on top.  The base will inflate while cooking but, like a soufflé, it will come down while it cools. Which is good as it leaves a little place to put the filling! Don’t over cook the base as it will be too dry and not as good wether for the texture or the taste.

Soft nibbles, avocado cream, grapefruit and fresh herbs 

For the base :

2 egg yolk + 2 whole eggs

salt and pepper

1 tsp of grounded cumin

100ml of sour cream

40g of grated parmesan

1 tbsp of freshly minced dill

To garnish :

2 pink grapefruit

1 avocado

1 tsp of minced mint

1 tsp of minced dill

a few very small leaves of mint

a few leaves of dill

some Espelette pepper

  • Turn on the oven at 180°C.
  • To make the base: Beat the eggs and the yolks, salt and pepper. Add the cumin, the sour cream, the grated parmesan, and the dill. Mix until it’s smooth. Cook a little tsp of the mix on a pan so you can taste and rectify the seasoning if necessary.
  • Pour the mix onto silicone mould (diameter of about 4 cm) and cook in the oven for 10 minutes without over cooking.
  • Leave the base to cool on a rack.
  • Press one of the pink grapefruit and mix part of this juice with the avocado. You should get a soft cream that holds. It shouldn’t “melt”. It’s better to have a too thick cream in which you can add more juice than the opposite (unless you have more avocado to rectify!). Add salt and the Espelette pepper to taste.
  • Peel the other grapefruit to get into the meat. Separate the segments and cut them in triangles.
  • On each base, place a small spoon of the avocado cream, a grapefruit triangle, a bit of Espelette pepper, a small mint leave and one of dill.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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fresh and crunchy raw vegetables for all next semester!

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When I think about it salad doesn’t appeal to me. I imagine somme watery and old lettuce or unrecognisable veggie under tons of mayonnaise. Of course nothing compares to a freshly picked lettuce with some great seasoning; not what you find in supermarkets! I’m more tempted by raw vegetables that would be crunchy and fresh. It always satisfy my appetite.

Today, two examples very simple to make and delicious right now that the days are beginning to shorten, the evening are becoming chilly and nights and mornings are getting cold.

But I’m not yet ready to dive into auutumn just yet, so to accompany a bowl of miso soup, a plate of steamy risotto or a slice of very good bread with a bit of salty butter, I choose those two ideas.

The first one is inspired by a friend from Chili. She makes it with white cabbage, lime and fresh coriander. Here is my version with what I had on hand!

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Press 1 pink grapefruit and keep the meat that detaches from it (although try to leave the little inside skin away) and press 2 lemons . Thinly cut 1 pointed cabbage, either with a mandoline (vegetable slicer) or a very good knife. Cut 2 avocados in half, take the pit out and peel the fruits as you would oranges. Cut the avocados in thin slices then in chunks.

In a salad bowl, put the grapefruit meat, the avocados, then pour a generous amount of the citrus juice. Add the cabbage, a bit of olive oil and some salt. Mix delicately.

It’s delicious with grilled meat on a BBQ, slow cooked fish, hot tofu… For the version from Chili, use lime instead of lemon and grapefruit and add minced fresh coriander.

The second recipe:

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I recieved about 2 kilos of beetroot from generous friends who have a very beautiful garden. Beetroot seem to have enjoy the summer weather, so there are a LOT af it! I need to find ways to cook them that won’t bore the family after two meals. I prefer raw beetroot as the cooked version (except in a red velvet chocolatey cake) as I find it less earthy and more sugary. besides I love the crunchy feel of beets under my teeth.

With a mandoline (vegetable slicer), I make very thin and supple slices of beetroot. I sesaon it simply:                                         2-3 tbsp of olive oil                                                                                                                                                                     1 tbsp of apple vinegar                                                                                                                                                               a dozen roughly minced hazelnut                                                                                                                                                some salt 

Yesterday that salad accompanied some patties made with tuna, goat cheese and oat flakes. It’s great with a piece of cheese like Comté or with quinoa mixed with fresh herbs such as young spinach, parsley and chervil. You can replace half the olive oil with hazelnut oil.

May those two easy recipes accompany you through autumn and winter!

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Spring rolls

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SPRING ROLLS WITH CUCUMBER

This fresh recipe is also crunchy and full of layers of flavors that awakens the taste buds. You can change it to make it a salad. 

The sauce works on steamed vegetables, slow cooked poultry, white fish or silken tofu… You can prepare a lot of the sauce and keep it in the fridge for a few days. Take those rolls for a pic-nic or lunch but wrap them separately so they don’t stick together and stay humid. 

For 12

Sauce & marinade :

150ml soy sauce

120ml lemon juice

4 tbsp fresh peeled and grated ginger

1 peeled, minced garlic clove

1 deseeded Thaï red pepper, thinly minced (use gloves while working with hot peppers)

2 tsp of sugar

freshly ground pepper

  • Put everything in a bowl, mix well and put aside.

The rolls :

2 cucumbers, peeled to makes stripes, deseeded and cut in thin julienne

1 avocado cut in thin stripes

1 carrot, peeled and cut in julienne about  7,5 to 10cm long

1 red pepper, deseeded and cut in thin stripes

200g thin rice noodles (prepared as said on the package)

1 dozen fresh coriander branches, minced

2 tbsp of sesame oil

12 rice paper sheets

  • First marinate the cucumber. Prepare all the other ingredients then sieve the cucumber but keep the sauce for service.
  • Put the rice sheets, one by one, in warm (but not hot) water so it softens.
  • Garnish the soften sheets with the noodles, then with a little of each ingredients. Roll, folowing the instructions on the rice paper package.

Garnish :

1 small handful of grilled and salted peanuts, coarsely minced

To serve:

  • Cut each roll in two, put on a plate, pour some sauce and sprinkle with the peanuts.
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This is a recipe that makes me travel. I also forget the weather, if it’s a bit too warm to be comfortable or a bit cold for the season. There is some sweetness, some acidity, some salt, a bit of umami. It’s quite balanced and the meat eater won’t miss the meat here although you can add some chicken or shrimp in each roll. Actually, I find it more whole when prepared this way. I guess I could add some crunchy onions but I don’t really miss it here.

I think spring rolls are a great way to eat lots of veggie and to adapt to each season although you might want to change the name then!

What is your favorite spring roll recipe?

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Salmon candy (or tofu, chicken, duck…)

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This is a recipe I love, it’s easy to make, very tasty ( a bit of umami there that’s quite attractive to the taste buds) and versatile.

You can adapt the sauce to suit your diet: use it on another fish, on poultry (duck is great and chicken too), or on tofu.

The ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp of red miso
  • 3 tbsp of mapple syrup
  • 1 tsp of sake or rice vinegar
  • salmon filet, white fish, chicken or duck breast, firm miso

    Turn on the oven at 85°C.

    Mix the red miso with the mapple syrup and the sake to get a smooth sauce. Pour over your protein and put in dish.

    Cook in the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes, until cooked through. As it is a very low temperature, the protein still melt in your mouth and that’s why I call it salmon candy.

    I serve it with steamed rice, steamed brocoli that I sauté for a few minutes with soy sauce and a bit of coconut oil in a hot wok. I like to add some sprouts (like sprouted leeks) and peanuts.

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I really like the flavors and the depth of the taste coming from those simple yet luxurious ingredients. I love some Asian food now and then but I’m not really convince by the (lack of) quality from the take away around my home. Also, I’d like to avoid MSG or too much refined sugar.

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spring menu

Today it’s pretty windy and we fear everything will fly away. But still spring is there! Flowers bloomed on the cherry tree and you better enjoy it before the wind takes it all! Leaves are burgeoning and green is coming into our plates! 

Last Friday, during one of my cooking classes, we made:

spinach salad with chorizo and oranges

   

risotto with spring onions, curried chicken and al dente vegetables with fresh herbs: carotts, green asparagus and snowpeas wth flat leaf parsley, chervil and tarragon

 and soft still warm madeleines !

I’m sharing with you

THE SPINACH SALAD WITH ORANGES & CHORIZO 

For 8 

2 bags of spinach, stems removed

2 peeled and minced shallots

3 oranges 

1 table spoon of mustard

some chorizo in slices

salt and pepper to taste

some olive oil

• Wash the spinach. 

• Heat a pan and grill the chorizo with the shallots until soft and lightly golden. 

• Wash 2 of the 3 oranges and zest them. Peel it to get to the “meat”. Take the orange’s supremes with a very good knife then press what’s left to get as much juice as possible.

• Press the last orange and add to the previous juice. 

• Mix the mustard with salt and pepper. Add the zest and the orange juice. Mix welle and whilemixing, add the olive oil little by little so you get a beautiful emulsion. Pour the vinaigrette on the spinach, to taste. Add the oranges’ supremes and the chorizo. 

• Mix well, serve and eat right away. 

For vegetarian and vegan, you can replace the chorizo by grilling peeled almond with salt and paprika (if it’s smoked it’s even better)!


This delicious menu is to be shared among good friends hopefully with a ray of sun like in this pcture over our service table!

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eggs and breakfast

Sometimes, simplicity is all that the body and mind are asking for. When it’s cold and I have to get away from a warm and comfy bed, my taste buds are asking for something warm and comfy!

Like everybody else, I don’t have hours ahead of me in the morning.

 I love a simple egg with some melted cheddar cheese, espelette hot red pepper, sprouts and fresh basil.

It’s quick and nourishing. It’s filling and the colours are helping to start the day!

So it’s not always necessary to spen hours in the kitchen in order to eat well and you don’t need a cupboard or a fridge full of fancy stuffs.

Sometimes I skip the cheese and the green but the only thing I can’t do without is the espelette red hot pepper.

It comes from some part of France (pays Basque in the South East near Spain) and for me it’s like a magic powder that brings some depth to a simple meal.

Try it next time you taste like the sauce is missing something. Often, it’s either a few drops of lemon juice or a pinch of red hot pepper. It’s a light red pepper, not too hot but subtle in flavor. But if you like it spicy, don’t hesitate to use another one!

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chestnut financiers

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What to do with egg white when you make cannelés or crème brûlée? Here is a great idea that everyone will enjoy!
I love financiers!
It’s soft and delicious especially when you take time to brown the butter as it should be!
It’s easy to make and to take for a pic nic if you can resist eating them all at once!

For this recipe, I chose a mix of almond and chestnut but you can make it 100% almond or replace the chestnut by pistachio.
Because I’m crazy about matcha green tea, I can’t resist adding a spoon of the emerald powder to the mix when it’s all almond.

I use whole sugar as it has a caramel like taste that goes really well with chestnut.

140g of salted butter
3 eggs’ whites
100g whole sugar
60g powdered almonds
20g powdered chestnuts
50g flour

Turn the oven on at 160°C.
You can mix whole chestnuts and almonds in a blender if you can’t find grounded nuts.
Melt the butter in a pan until golden brown (beurre noisette pr chestnut butter!)
Leave to cool a little.
Grill the chestnut powder at 160°C for 10 minutes. Leave to cool and turn the oven up at 220°C.
Mix the flour + sugar + almond and chestnut powders.
Add the whites while whisking.
Add the butter also while whisking.
When the mix is smooth, pour into financier molds (about 8 mm deep rectangles)and cook in the oven for 7-8 minutes. Leave to cook on a cooling rack.

You can replace the flour by the same amount of almond powder. It works really well and suits the gluten sensitive while everyone can enjoy it.
If you want to avoid lactose, you can replace the butter with the coconut oil. You can’t brown the coconut oil so it’s important to use the whole sugar.
I choose rapadura or muscovado or any whole sugar.
Sometimes this sugar is a bit “thick” so you can mix it to get a finer sugar.

One bite, hold by the finger tips, to eat with tea, coffee or hot chocolate. A golden bite like gold!

  • baby food but not quite

    Being a mother is quite time consuming and the perfect test to see how you adapt to new situation! As soon as you get around to breast feeding or to organizing bottle schedule, you have to learn how to give real food to your, already, a few months old!

    So, here are a few ideas of mix that you can actually use for adults too, mixed or not, to accompany some protein (vegan or vegetarian or meat) and, maybe a few raw veggies to get some crunch.

    I cook everything in an electric steamer then I mix and I might add some water if the mix is too thick which can be the case with rice.

    You’ll have a few * to give you ideas to complete the mix to get an adult meal.

    Until now, my baby has eaten all of it without spitting it out!

    potatoes + beetroot*

    rice + cherry tomatoes

    cucumber + millet

    parsnip + rice + basil**

    quinoa + broccoli

    sweet potatoes + mushrooms

    turnip + millet

    potatoes + parsnip + fresh coriander

    fennel + rice***

    pumpkin + cauliflower

    potatoes + zucchini

    celeriac + basmati rice

    sweet potatoes + carrots

    I either add some virgin olive oil or some organic butter.

    It’s so great to see my kid test new food and to see the promise of so many shared meals!

    * The potatoes and beetroot purée is great and delicious. It would be perfect with some fresh ruccola and goat cheese. Why not a few chopped hazelnuts and for the meat eater, a nice steak.

    **I also tried the parsnip and rice with fresh coriander. For adults, adding some freshly grounded coriander would be delicious. I would keep them unmixed and serve it with a curry made with coconut milk and lots of veggies. If you need protein, you can add some lentils or some chicken to the mix.

    Don’t hesitate to add heat!

    ***If you use some arborio rice (the round one for risotto), you could serve it with Italian sausage containing fennel seeds or heat some fennel seeds in a hot pan and add cubes of firm marinated tofu.

    Marinate the tofu in a mix of olive oil, freshly grounded fennel seeds, salt and pepper.

    Add some sauce made with a reduction of white wine, shallots, a little water and saffron. When the reduction is ready add either butter or olive oil to emulsify.

     

     

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    steamed matcha cake

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     I do love green tea and I’m always ready to try dessert recipes containing matcha powder (matcha green tea is use in Japanese Tea ceremony).  This tea works beautifully with white chocolate and almond but this recipe makes steamed cake called Mushipan in Japan.

     As I used whole sugar (I feel less guilty eating sweets made with whole sugar!), my cakes have kind of a look from the seventies!

    But it’s delicious!

    You  have to eat them the day you made them as they won’t be as good when they dry out.

    It(s very good with sweet azukis purée but as it takes time to cook, I skipped it this time around.DSC00214b

    For 6

    125g flour

    3 tsp matcha tea powder

    2 tsp baking powder

    1 egg lightly beaten

    100 ml raw milk

    4 tbsp rapadura, muscovado or whole cane sugar

    4 tbsp of olive oil (choose a fruity one)

     Line 6 round tin with papercups of use cupcake silicone mould.

    Preheat your steamer (or the pan on which you’ll add you steam basket). The water has to be really hot when you add the cakes in the basket.

     

    In a bowl, mix the flour, the matcha tea, the baking  powder and a pinch of salt.

    In another bowl, whisk the egg with the milk, the sugar and the olive oil.

    Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ones but don’t overwork the dough.

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    Divide the dough into the 6 papercups and put the tins in the basket of your steamer. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

    Check if it’s done with a skewer or a knife. The blade has to come out clean. 

    Take the tin out and leave to cool for about 10 minutes before you eat it.

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    You can replace wheat flour with rice flour or almond meal.

    You can replace cow milk with any vegan one but I love coconut and rice.

     It’s not possible to make green tea powder at home but for another tea cake, you can infuse green tea leaves in the milk warmed at 60°C for 10 minutes. Filter the milk before using.