Category Archives: base

sheet zucchini pie

The more time passes, the more the process of making pies please me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved eating blueberry or cherry pies but making them seemed boring.

Now I’m enjoying it more.

Even though I’ve started with the salty stuff, I’m growing founder of the sweet homemade pies!

So here is a savory pie. I find ti delicious, cheap, easy to make and nourishing. And super easy to adapt to all seasons.

I’m imagining this pie with sheets of butternut instead of zucchini!

When I say sheets I mean really thin slices of the vegetable cut with a mandolin.

You can decline this recipe with any vegetable coming your way: fennel, tomatoes, parsnip, turnip, carrot,…

Usually, I make pies with a gluten free crust. Why? I find it more interesting for my taste buds, it varies my diet and it suits this kind of recipe really well. You get more flavor from one simple dish.

Ingredients for a 24cm pie:

100g buckwheat flour

50g rice flour

30g quinoa flour

1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

85g cold butter cut in cubes or thin slices*

1 small egg (optional)

3 tbsp of cold water or 4,5 tbsp if not using the egg 

1 firm zucchini

1 fresh goat cheese or 200g of ewe ricotta

2 tbsp of mustard

With a pastry blender or with your hand, mix the flours with the butter. When the mix is sandy, add the egg and/or the water.

Add the water little by little to get the right consistency. You need to form a ball.

Wrap the dough in plastic film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Turn the oven on at 180°C.

Roll the dough on parchment paper and transfer in your pie tin.

You can skip the parchment paper by oiling the tin then cover the bottom with flour.

Prick the dough with a fork and cut as is in the oven for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, cut thin slices of zucchini (almost translucent slices). The best way to do it is to use a mandolin: the slices will have the same thickness and you’ll gain time. Watch your fingers though!

On the precooked dough, spread the mustard with the back of a spoon then crumble the cheese on top. Add the zucchini slices. I add them in spiral starting from the outside and I make several layers until all the slices are on the pie. Add salt and pepper. Be careful with the salt as there are some in the cheese already.

Cook the pie in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. The more the pie cooks the dryer it will be. To get a softer texture, cut the slices a bit thicker or cook for a shorter time.

Don’t hesitate to add basil, mint, rosemary, thyme or any fresh herbs you have in your garden.

You have the base, you can have fun now.

* For the vegan and lactose intolerant, replace butter with coconut or olive oil. 

Replace the cheese with:

1,5 cup of cashew nuts: soaked 12 hours in fresh water, rinsed and drained 

1 organic and cleaned lemon: finely grate the zest and juice the fruit

2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

Mix the cashew nuts. Add the zest and lemon juice, the nutritional yeast and the salt. Mix for one more minute and taste to rectify seasoning. Use as you would the cheese.

 

Quick! some raw sauce to enjoy before the sun’s gone again!

Quick, quick, before the sun disapears again… a sudden need for raw food!

If you have great quality and in season ingredients, it’s almost enough by itself! Like my own best of (although I should be patient and wait for a while, though knowing August will be the best time): tomatoes with just a few drops of great olive oil, a bit of sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper.

I try all the tomatoes I can get my hands on: ancient varieties, green, yellow, Italian, heart shaped, big, small, cherry… I can’t get enough!

But today, as I have to be quick about enjoying the weather (tomorrow it’ll rain again), I decided to make a delicious raw sauce in which I will dip the vegetables I have on hand. Maybe I’ll put a teaspoon or two inside an halved avocado. If I can stop myself from eating it directly from the bowl 

It would be wonderfull with cabbage rolls or California style rolls (I just roll a nori sheet around some julienned vegetables and spread this sauce before I wrap the sheet and can’t wait to taste!). For the meat and fish eaters, it would be very good with chicken, turkey or any fish, either raw (for the fish) or steamed (for meat and fish).

Just blend:

4 tsp of white miso 

2cm fresh ginger roughly chopped

4 tsp of lime juice

2 tsp of almond butter

4 tsp of water

It’s great with tahini instead of almond.

I would suggest you make more of the sauce, respecting the ratios. It keeps for a few days in the fridge (I can’t help spooning in the bowl every time I pass by the fridge…).

I add the water carefully to get the right texture. You don’t want it to be too liquid.

So, if in your part of the world, spring has a hard time showing up, give it a hint with this recipe!

irresistible tapenade


 An irresistible recipe, under the condition that you like the ingredients!

Don’t hesitate to make twice the amount as you can keep it for about 2 months in the fridge.

Well, in my house, it never lasts that long and we use it on bread, on pasta, or on steamed vegetables. 

Of course, but do I have to repeat it, the quality of the ingredients makes all the difference.

I received salted capers (hard to get in my neighborhood)  and they’re more subtle than those preserved in vinegar. But if you only have those preserved in vinegar, it’ll be delicious too!

You won’t need three Michelin stars to make it right, nor just one star for that matter, just a small food processor, a blender, or,  for the purists, with a mortar, a pestle, and some muscles.

250g pitted black olives (not too salty if possible)

3 tbsp of drained capers (or rinsed if it’s preserved in salt) 

50g of anchovies

2 pressed garlic cloves

thyme, rosemary (as the chef feels it)

10cl olive oil(and a little bit to cover and preserve)

1 tbsp of lemon juice (unless you use capers in vinegar) 

freshly grounded black pepper

Mix all the ingredients but the pepper and the lemon juice.

Don’t overmix as it’s better if it’s a bit lumpy and not too smooth.

Add pepper and lemon juice.

Pour in a sterilised jar, knock the bottom of the jar on your hand to have less air inside the mix and cover with olive oil to prevent oxidation.

With a few slices of fresh bread…! Irresistible!

a good brioche

 

 I don’t know why but I’ve been a bit obsessed with brioche. I always wanted to try and I never did until yesterday… I received a French book called “un croissant à Paris” written by Keda Black and edited by Marabout. What I like about this book is that the pictures are great but the result look like something I can make at home and not like the too beautiful result of a well trained and well equipped professional! 

 

Brioche does smell great to cook and once made. It’s not hard to make (a bit like bread but with more ingredients).

So here is Keda Black’s recipe (although I didn’t use as much salt as her – 1 tbsp seems too much to me).

 500g flour (I use semi-whole wheat)

1 tsp of salt 

2 tbsp sugar

5 eggs

25 ml luke warm milk

15g fresh yeast 

250g butter

Cut the butter in small pieces.

Mix the yeast in the luke warm milk.

Mix the flour with the salt and the sugar. In the middle of the flour, add the milk and the egg.

Start kneading and add the butter little by little.

Knead for 8 minutes if by hand or 3 minutes if using a stand-mixer.

Leave to rest for 2 hours covered in plastic wrap.

Spread butter on a brioche mould (or any other mould), pour the dough in, brush the top with some beaten egg, and leave to rest for 2 more hours.

 

Heat the oven at 190°C and brush some more beaten egg on top of the brioche then cook for about 45 to 50 minutes. To be sure the brioche is cook, prick a knife inside: if the blade is greasy but neat, it’s cooked. If the dough sticks to the blade, it’s not!

Leave to cool on a cooling rack and eat with

-just some great farm butter

-a zesty jam like raspberry or blackcurrant

-some goose rillettes

-a few mashed sardines with chervil

>The result ? the recipe is easy to follow and the brioche was really convincing!

 

 Here’s the book, in case you understand French:

little buns with flakes and hazelnut

You can decline bread as much as you’d like… As I had some flakes left in my cupboards, just before the “best before” date, I decided to add it to my dough. I was convince by the result.

While I was kneading the dough, I was eating hazelnut and I decided to add what was left over in the little bag to the dough as well. Second good idea!

100g of flakes (I mixed quinoa and buckwheat flakes)

400g semi-whole organic flour 

6g sea salt flakes 

300ml luke warm water 

1 bag of dry yeast(11g)

1 handfull of hazelnuts 

 Dilute the yeast in the luke warm water.

Mix the flakes with the flour and the salt.

Add the liquid to the flour and knead until the dough comes easily of the bowl. The dough should be supple and elastic. Add the hazelnuts and keep kneading to incorporate them. Form a nice ball and cover with a wet towel. leave to rest for about 2 hours or even overnight.

Knead the dough again and form small balls. Make an incision on each bun and powder with a small amount of flour. 

I put the dough on a cast iron skillet and covered it with an upside-down cast iron pot (I don’t have a pot big enough for 6 small buns!).

Put in the cold oven and turn the temperature to 240°C.

Leave to cook for 40 minutes at the bottom of the oven.

For the last 5 minutes, take the lid off and spread a little water on each bun. Place them in the top part of the oven so it goldens them.

Leave them to cool on a cooling rack then enjoy with some great farm butter!

The crust is crusty (lucky me!), the hazelnut are hidden in the dough and make a great tasty surprise, the falkes add depth to the taste of those buns. And I can’t get enough of the cooking smell!

 I think it’s soothing to make my own bread, to feel the dough form under my fingers, to develop the elasticity of the dough, to wait for it to rest, and to discover the cooked buns, everytime a little different then previously. I like to “knock”on the bread to hear the hollowed noise and to feel the crust.

Nothing is as simple as bread where the list of ingredients are concerned and yet… Bread making needs experience.

To eat it I wait for the bread to cool a little and I feel nourished by it. Nothing like the boring breaqd from supermarkets or even from some bakers.

And did I mention the great smell ?!

batbot – the Moroccan bread

Batbot are flat bread cooked on a frying pan. You tuck a piece of it to eat tajine or couscous.

Mine are very thin but I think that, traditionally, it should be thicker. So mine are crusty and not soft. I like it crusty and use it like a spoon. the soft ones absorb the sauce. I guess I should make both kind to make everyone happy!

In the classic recipe, you have to mix half durum wheat flour (like the one to make pasta dough) and half wheat flour (like the one used for pastry). I didn’t have the durum wheat flour so I made do without it although I think it’s great for your batbot’s texture.

So I’ll have to do it again with the miw of flour and with thicker dough!

For about 40 breads

1kg of wheat flour(half durum wheat)

1 tsp sea salt flakes

1 pack of fresh yeast (about 40g)

500ml of thawed water

3 tbsp olive oil

Mix the yeast in the water.

Mix the flour with the salt.

Pour water/yeast and olive oil in the middle of the flour.

Knead until the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl anymore.

Spread the dough on a flour working board and cut it with a cookie cutter or a glass.

Put the disks on cooking paper, cover with a wet towel and leave to rest 1 hour.

Spread the dough to get thin galette.

If you want thicker bread, cut them the right size to start with and don’t spread it after it has rested.

Cook them one by one on a warm frying pan. Oil it lightly using an oiled paper towel. 

When little bubbles form on the bread, turn it over.

 

one cherry or one lemon pie

I’m sure you noticed I love lemon! Especially in desserts!

I wanted a cherry pie and the baker didn’t have any so I decided to make some myself. I made a brisée dough, I added cherry jam with added sugar. It was so good I didn’t have time to take a picture.

So I had to make another pie. I used the same base but covered it in lemon cream.

Here is the base for the pie dough. It’ll cover a 24 cm tin:

95g butter at room temperature

1/2 tsp of salt

2,5 cl water

125g flour

Whip the butter with the salt. Add the water and whip some more then add the flour and mix with a pastry blender without overworking it. Form a ball, wrap in film and put to rest in the fridge for 2 hours.

Roll the dough and transfer into your pie tin covered with cooking parchment.

Use a fork to prick the dough all over.

Cook in the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes.

You can use small ceramic balls so the cooking is even and the dough doesn’t make “bubbles”. In that case, cook it 10 minutes with the ceramic balls then 5 minutes without. 

For the cherry pie:

Cook the dough 10 minutes, add the cherry jam on top and cook for 10 more minutes.

It’s not cherry season and the cherries bathing in sugary syrup isn’t appealing to me so I found a great no added sugar jam (100% fruits). It was delicious and well paired with this dough.

For the lemon pie:

You can use already made lemon curd or make this recipe:

100ml lemon juice

zest of one lemon (organic, washed, finely grated)

1g agar-agar powder

70g sugar

2 eggs

125g butter in cubes 

Bring the lemon juice and the zest to boil with the agar-agar and half the sugar for 3à seconds.

Beat the eggs with the rest of sugar until white.

Pour the boiling liquid on the eggs while whisking. Pour back into the pan and heat until the first bubble. Take away from heat and pour over the butter. Mix so the butter melts and mix with an electric mixer. Leave to cool, put in the fridge then mix again.

Spread on the dough and serve.

This cream is way better on its own or with some sablés cookies. The pie dough is best with the cherries! 

2 sauces: ketchup & sweet chilli

 

Here are two easy sauce to realise at home. It’s so much tastier (and healthier) then the store bought one, it’s worth the little time.

The ketchup to accompany your homemade burgers and the sweet chilli sauce to go with Spring rolls.

KETCHUP

800g canned tomatoes, blended

1 small minced onion 

2 tbsp of olive oil 

1 tbsp tomato paste 

150g of muscovado sugar (or unrefined sugar) 

120ml cider vinegar

1/2 tsp sea salt flakes 

In a big pan, melt the onion in a bit of olive oil until soft.

Add the tomatoes, the tomato paste, the sugar, vinegar, and salt.

Leave to simmer, uncovered, until it thickens while stirring now and then. It takes about 1 hour. If it’s not thick enough to your taste, add 1 tbsp of arrow-root, bring the sauce to boil while whisking.

Blend the ketchup so the sauce is smooth and leave to cool.

Sterilise a glass bottle or jar in boiling water and transfer the sauce. Close the lid and put the jar upside down until cold.

Keep in the fridge. Wait at least a couple of hours before eating it. The next day would be better if you can wait.

 

SWEET CHILLI SAUCE

This sweet sauce gets away with those who don’t like it hot!

Well, depending on the chilli you choose, you’ll get more hotness or not. Smaller chillis tend to be hotter then bigger ones but there are so many kinds, you should ask your grocer for help.

500g muscovado or unrefined sugar 

300ml cider vinegar (2 x 150ml as you don’t use all at once)

1 lime zested and juiced

125g deseeded hot peppers 

1 red pepper

1 onion

1 tsp tomato paste

25g garlic

25g fresh ginger

1 tsp sea salt flakes

2 tbsp olive oil

Mince the garlic, ginger, onion, and red pepper.

Pour the oil in a pan and heat. Add the ingredients 1 by 1 stirring for one minute before adding the next. Start with the garlic then the hot peppers, the onion, the red pepper, to end with the ginger.

Add 150ml of the vinegar and the tomato paste. Bring to boil.

If you want to smell be carefull because hot vinegar steam will hurt your nostrils! Don’t go too close! 

Cover then turn off the heat and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

Blend so the sauce is smooth.

Pour into the pan again, add the juice and grated zest of the lime, the rest of the vinegar, the sugar, and salt.

Bring to boil once more, and leave to simmer for half an hour.

Sterilise a glass bottle or jar in boiling water and transfer the sauce. Close the lid and put the jar upside down until cold.

Keep in the fridge.

I serve it with Spring rolls, nems, chicken or even fish, with fresh coriander or fresh mint.

 

a good pizza

Well, now that we know how to make bread, we’re ready for pizzas! 

Personally, when I make bread, I take a piece of the dough to make pizzas. After, what you put on your pizza, like tacos or burgers, is an affair of taste! 

 

A little reminder about the dough:

For 1kg of flour, you need about 500ml of water, 10g sea salt flakes, and 1 small piece of fresh yeast (42g).

If you wanna go from the start, don’t hesitate to go back on the “bread recipe” page.

After the first rest of the dough, I leave 2/3 for the bread and keep 1/3 for the pizzas.

To that third, I add 3 tbsp of olive oil, I knead until the oil is completely incorporated in the dough.

I cut it in 3 to make smaller balls and I leave to rest under a clean and humid towel for 30 to 40 minutes.

After that, as I’m not a pizzaïolo, I use a rolling pin. Don’t forget to put some flour on your tabletop or it will stick.

Then I decorate it first with tomato purée (very classic for a red pizza). On the picture illustrating my words, there’s the vegetarian pizza with artichoke’s hearts and cheddar cheese, one fishy pizza with anchovies, black olives and mozzarella, and a meaty pizza with mozzarella, Parma ham, Parmiggiano shavings and fresh basil (those last 3 ingredients aren’t cooked but added just before service).

Sometimes I make a big rectangle and make two different toppings.

Now, you need the secret for a great crust… I found it by Jamie Oliver who advices to use a cast iron board directly under the pizza in a very warm oven.

I tested it and… it works!

I placed the pizza on a cast iron skillet (my oven is small, so it was the best way to go) in a 240°C oven for about 15 minutes. The thing is that your oven has to be really hot to start with. I was impatient once and the crust of the first pizza wasn’t completely cooked which is awful. Happily, the second one was great as then the 240°C had been reached!

One day I’ll cook my pizza in my BBQ (I have one with a lid) so I’ll have the smoky taste of the traditional stuff!

Buon appetito a tutti!

 

homemade burger bread

just in time for you to train… BBQ season will soon be here!

I love to invite close friends and have a burger party. Everyone can put whatever they like on it and you don’t have to worry about who likes what as long as there’s some choice like: beef burger, bacon, cheddar cheese, salad, tomato, chickpea burger, ketchup, mayonnaise, hot sauce, pickles… well everyone has his favorite!

So here is a great recipe to make your own burger breads. It’s a lot healthier and tastier then those you buy in the store. And it makes your house smell great!

You need:

360g organic flour (T110)

200ml milk (cow or vegan)

10g fresh yeast

1 tbsp of whole sugar 

2g salt

2 tsp lemon juice

20g butter

some sesame seeds so it looks “real” (I haven’t put any).

Thaw the milk (if you put your finger in it, it should be comfortable and not hot). Mix in the yeast.

Melt the butter but don’t heat it too much.

Pour the flour in a bowl, add the salt and the sugar, and mix.

In the middle add the milk and the yeast, the lemon juice then the butter. Mix with a wooden spoon. When it starts to come off the side, you can knead it by hand.

When it forms a nice ball and when it doesn’t stick to your fingers, leave it in the bowl covered with a wet towel and leave to rest in a warm place.

After 1 hour, knead again and divide the dough in 5 or 6 small balls. Put them on an oven dish covered in baking paper. Leave some space in between.

Cover with the humid towel and leave to rest 15 more minutes.

During that time, turn the oven on at 210°C.

 Brush each bread with a little bit of milk. Put in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes until the bread is golden.

Leave to cool on a rack before cutting them in half and garnishing it with whatever you fancy!