Category Archives: first course

goat cheese briouates

It’s easy but it takes a little while to make so invite your guests in the kitchen to prepare them with you!

Goat cheese briouates are a Moroccan delight, crusty and soft, savory, to eat as starters or as an appetizer, serve it on a plate or in a buffet…

Don’t hesitate to replace the spices and herbs to make different kinds.


Here is the recipe of the day!
brick paper (or fresh rice paper for the gluten intolerant)

fresh goat cheese

pistachio (chopped coarsely)

1 organic lemon (washed)

a few mint leaves

2-3 saffron threads

Put the saffron threads in a teaspoon of water.

Use a zester to remove the zest of the lemon then cut it thinly with a sharp knife.

With a fork, mash the goat cheese and mix with the saffron, the zest, the pistachios and the mint.

Put one small spoonful of this mix on a brick sheet and roll to form triangles.

Oil a frying pan and cook the briouates until golden (about 3 minutes on each side).

Serve hot, at room temperature or even cold. 

Don’t forget the napkins: it’s crunchy!

If you want to replace the saffron, the mint and the pistachios, here are a couple ideas:

basil, pine nuts, parmesan

coriander, caraway powder, almonds

hazelnuts, garlic, rosemary


duck and pistachio pâté

Oh yes, I know, time flies and, before tonight, I haven’t found any to share any new recipe!

So, I will give you this gorgeous recipe for a duck terrine with pistachios and port. It made my week-end and the leftovers made my lunch today as, like any terrine should be, it gets better with time.

It’s an easy one to make!


1 duck magret or filet without the skin

2 peeled garlic cloves

1/4 + 1/4 tsp of dried thyme

120ml of red port (and a small glass for the cook!)

1kg of minced pork and veal (if you can mince it yourself, it’ll be even better)

15 thin slices of prosciutto crudo (raw Italian ham) 

100g minced pancetta (cut it with a good knife, not your meat grinder)

90g unsalted, peeled pistachios

salt and pepper

Marinate the duck magret/filet with half the port, 1 garlic clove cut in half, and 1/4 tsp of dried thyme. Leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Drain the duck and keep the marinade.

Preheat the oven at 180°C.

Mix the minced meat with 1 minced garlic clove, 1/4 tsp of thyme, the other half of the port (and cheers to you!), the duck marinade, the minced pancetta, pistachios, salt and pepper.

To taste the seasoning, cook a small spoon of the mix, taste and correct the seasoning if necessary. Be aware that the pancetta is salty. Mix well.

Cover your terrine with the prosciutto crudo and leave some hanging out so you can fold it on top of your terrine.

Add half the mince meat and press well. Cut the duck so you can cover the whole length of the terrine on top of the meat. Add the other half of the mince meat and cover with the hanging ham.

Cover then put in a shallow dish with water (enough to get to mid high of the terrine).

Put in the oven and cook for about 1h30.

Leave to cool before putting in the fridge overnight then serve with another port glass, in front of a warm open fire, and surrounded by great and funny friends.


As I don’t think I’ll have time to come back before next year, I wish you all some delicious and appetizing parties for this end of 2012! And that 2013 will be lucky, savory, and shared!



Parsnip velouté with miso

Trish Deseine is a great cook. She’s Irish and lives in Paris. She writes beautiful books and in the last one I learned she worked with Donna Hay whom I find fantastic also.

I don’t think her last book exists in English (not yet at least) but just in case you get French its called “Grande table, petite cuisine” and it’s edited by Marabout.

I adapted this recipe from her book (I made it dairy free as I don’t find necessary to add cream to this delicious and tasty soup). I think that cream tends to blend/bland the taste instead of elevating it.


It’s the perfect soup for the cold weather and it changes from the pumkin soup (which I also love).

It’s a great soup to serve at a nice dinner and it’s very healthy. I do love tasty but healthy recipes so I need to share them when I can. And this one is so easy to make… One more bonus!

The red miso and maple syrup mix is delicious in itself and it’s really close to the hoisin sauce. Although here there is no additives of any kind (if you choose your ingredients well, of course). I think I’ll use it next time I make spring rolls or duck. 


 For 6 persons:

750g of washed and peeled parsnip 

1 liter of home made chicken or vegetable stock (or water if you don’t have any)

salt, pepper

3 tbsp of red miso 

2 tbsp of maple syrup 

Cut the parsnip in pieces.

Bring the stock to boil and add the parsnip. Cook them about 20 minutes until cooked through.

Mix to get a thick and creamy soup.

Mix the red miso and the maple syrup to dilute them well.

Répartir Divide the soup in the bowls and add the miso sauce on top. Don’t over mix so you get a nice contrast.

Serve warm and enjoy!



curried shrimp with salad and fruits

This dish (could be first or main course) is full of flavours and can quickly be made if all the ingredients are ready.

You can adapt it to all season, choosing seasonal fruits and salad.

Be careful not to overcook the shrimp or it’ll be dry and sandy. The shrimp should be translucent and firm to the teeth. 


Flavored oil for the marinade:

-125 ml olive oil

-1/2 vanilla pod

-1 organic lemon, washed 

-about 20 shrimps

-some curry (either a homemade mix or a great quality powder curry – hot or not depending of your taste)


-young leaves (salad, spinach,…) washed or any seasonal leaves 

-3 tbsp olive oil

-1 lemon juice

-sea salt flakes

-freshly grounded black pepper

Marinated fruits:

-seasonal fruits, washed: nectarine, peaches, pears, apples, mango…

-1/2 vanilla pod

-2 washed organic lemon

-3 cm fresh washed ginger



With a fine grater, grate the zest then juice the lemons. Pour in a bowl (a container with a lid would be perfect). Add the ginger roughly minced and the half grated vanilla pod (pod and grains).

Slice the fruits (no need to peel them on if they’re organic). Add them to the bowl/container and add water to cover.

Leave to marinate in the fridge for a night, a day or, at least, 2 hours.


Grate the vanilla pod and put the grains and the grated pod in the olive oil. Thinly grate the lemon zest and add to the oil.

Skin the shrimp, rinse and drain them then add to the oil. Leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes.


Mix the lemon juice with sea salt flakes, pepper and olive oil.

Cooking and dressing:

Drain the shrimp.

Heat a pan with some olive oil. Cook the shrimp with a bit of curry powder. Don’t overcook!

Mix the salad with the vinaigrette and put a handful on each plate. Add the some drained fruits then the shrimp and serve right away.


You can prepare more flavored oil as it keeps for a dozen days. Use it on fish (steamed or in papillote), with fruits for desserts, in a cake dough or as a bas to a vinaigrette…

You can use dry vanilla pod from a previous recipe (be sure it still full of flavors).

You can add a more covering curry sauce made with coconut milk and curry paste but I don’t think it’s necessary as long as the ingredients are of great quality!

cured cod with beeroot and vodka

 This is a great recipe, easy to make but that you’ll have to prepare well in advance.

We made it with mackerel at Christmas and ate it as a condiment with rye bread and sour cream. In this recipe, I made it with cod filets wich are thicker then mackerel and so not as salty.

I’ve found this recipe in Donna Hay’s magazine. Donna Hay is Australian and has a way to make cooking simple.

The fish is pink because of the beetroot.

It’s crucial to choose well the ingredients:

-raw and organic beetroot, firm

-coarse grey sea salt (rich in minerals)

-very fresh fish. Make this recipe the day of your purchase.


2 tbsp of black pepper in grains, lightly crushed

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley

600g coarse sea salt

220g of sugar

1 beetroot, peeled and grated

60ml of vodka

1200g of cod filet with skin on

250g of cour cream

1 tsp wasabi powder

1 tsp grated horseradish

1 bunch of cleaned watercress

rye bread (sourdough is better)

freshly grounded pepper

olive oil (cold pressed)

Mix the pepper grains, parsley (chopped), sea salt, sugar, grated beetroot, and vodka.

Put 2 pieces of plastic film on a cutting board. Spread half the salt mix on the film, place the fish filet on top and cover with the rest of the salt;

Wrap the fish tightly and put on a plate. On top, put a smaller plate with heavy objects.

Leave in the fridge for 36 hours, turning the fish upside-down every 12 hours.

Unwrap the fish and brush the salt. Rince well, dry with some paper towel.

To serve:

Cut the fish in thin slices.

Mix the sour cream with the wasabi and horseradish. Taste and add some more wasabi or horseradish if you like but don’t add salt as the fish is salty enough.

Serve the fish with the cream, watercress, rye bread slices, freshly ground pepper and a few drops of olive oil.

It’s delicious in or with a salad of beetroot, kohlrabi and lamb’s lettuce seasoned with grilled sesame oil.


raw avocado and purslane soup

 super easy to make, this soup is delicious and healthy

You just need to blend:

1 peeled avocado

the juice of one lemon

2 handful of thoroughly washed purslane

2 tbsp of cold pressed olive oil

sea salt flakes to the taste

and that’s it! You can add a little water if the soup is too thick.

if you like it, you can add 1/2 a garlic clove. My garlic is so strong at the moment, I passed on it!

You can replace the purslane by young spinach, chervil, lamb’s lettuce. 

I first tried this soup when I was a trainee at Tan restaurant in Brussels. This restaurant specialises in living food served either raw or slowly cooked at low temperatures (dehydration, low temperature oven, steaming…). 

It was a great experience to learn new techniques and new ways to serve food, very different from what you learn at cooking school!

All the ingredients were organic. The vegetables were the centre of the plate though they serve meat and fish.

This soup was serve with homemade Essene bread (often flavored with dried tomatoes and rosemary). On top of the soup, you can add a little shaved carrots, beets, and some sprouts.

The avocado is rich but super healthy, full of antioxidants and fibres. It’s great for the skin, the liver, and to feel full.

The purslane is rich in omega 3 fatty acid so this recipe is perfect as those fatty acids don’t like heat. You should buy it as fresh as you can and eat it the day of purchase.


dried duck – super easy

This is a delicious and easy way to dry some duck magret!

Clean and dry the meat. 

Put it on a bed of chunky grey sea salt and a branch of thyme or rosemary.

Cover the meat with another branch of herb and more salt until you don’t see the duck anymore.

Then you have to put some weight on top. I wrapped some pots with cling film so you get the weird picture here! 

Everything goes in the fridge for 24 hours.

And that’s what it becomes:

The magret has now lost weight! You have to take as much of the salt away. You can recycle the salt that was on top by drying it in the oven (throw the salt on the bottom as it’s soaked). You will use the recycled salt next time on the bottom.

You still need to wait for 2 days so the salt will diffuse inside the meat (if you don’t wait it will be too salty outside and not at all in the center).

Thinly cut the meat (with a very good knife like a sushi knife or yanagiba).

Serve with a fennel salad with dried tomato or with Asian noodles and Asian flavors.

It also works with other meat or fish or with other herbs (a bit like gravlax salmon from Sweden).



chicken burger with cherry tomatoes salad

for 8 burgers

Mix :

2 peeled and minced garlic cloves

2 minced young onions or chives

2 tbsp of minced basil

2 tbsp of minced flat leaf parsley

5 minced fresh rosemary leaves

600g of minced chicken (you can use a good knife, it doesn’t have to be super fine… it’s even better if it’s a bit chunky)

6 minced dried tomatoes

Form the chicken burgers and leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour (if you don’t have time for rest, it still works).

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and cook the burgers 5-6 minutes on each side.

Serve with a cherry tomato salad:

cut the cherry tomatoes in halves, mix with 1 red pepper (deseeded and minced), 1/2 a bunch of minced fresh cilantro, the juice of 1 lime, and sea salt flakes.


goat cheese soufflé

40g butter

75g of flour (any kind)

450ml milk

6 eggs (yolks and white aside)

150g goat cheese (crumbled)

In a pan, melt the butter, add the flour and stir for a minute. Add the milk little by little while whisking.

Cook for 2 minutes until the mix thickens. Take away from the heat and add the egg yolks one by one then the crumbled goat cheese. Add salt and pepper (taste because the need of salt will depend on the chosen goat cheese).

Beat the whites until fluffy but not too firm. Add them delicately to the previous mix.

Oil some small bowls or ramekins (go well to the top). Pour the mix in.

Cook in the oven at 190°C for 10-12 minutes.

Serve with a fennel salad with lemon juice and hot pepper (mince the desseded hot pepper very thinly, cut the fennel with a mandoline slicer, add sea salt flakes, olive oil, and lemon juice).

duck parmentier with celeriac purée

For 12 persons – This recipe is perfect to prepare in advance

Cut parchment paper in strips to coat the interior of stainless steel rings (10cm diametre and 4 cm hight).

In a big cast iron pot, melt 3 tbsp of duck grease and cook 1 big red minced onion and 2 minced garlic cloves.

Add 1,5 kg of duck magret or breast (about 6 pieces) and stir.

Add 240 ml with dry white wine and 600ml of warm chicken stock.

Wash 2 organic lemons and take the zest away with a peeler (no need for it to small). Add them to the stock.

Open 6 cardamom pods, take the grains out and add in the pan. Add 1 stick of cinnamon and 1 tsp of Sechuan pepper. Salt lightly.

Half cover and cook for 2 hours and stir frequently.

Strain the meat (and keep the sauce) and crumble it.

Take the cinnamon out of the sauce, put back the meat, mix, taste, and salt if necessary.

Peel the celeriac, cut it in cubes, steam it until cooked (about 20-25 minutes) and mix it until it’s a purée. Add 40 cl ofrice milk, 20g of parmesan, 50g of half-salted butter, salt, pepper, and adjust to taste.

Mix 60g of grated parmesan with 30g or almond powder.

Preheat the oven at 210°C.

In 12 stainless steel rings, place the parchment paper inside the ring, press down some meat and cover with the purée.

Powder with a mix of grated parmesan and almond powder. Dress the rings on an oven tray covered with parchment paper.

Place a small piece of butter on top.

Place the rings in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

The meat keeps for a few days. You can prepare the purée the day before. You can dress the rings the day before also so this meal is perfect if you don’t have time on the D day!

Serve with parsnip dices blanched (1 minute in boiling water) and pan fry it in a little bit olive oil with salt and pepper.

Reheat the duck sauce and put some in the plates.

Serve with minced chives (better minced then just put there like on the picture) and a pear chutney.