Welcome

Welcome in my blog !
First let me tell you that, as it is the translation of a French blog, I use the metric system for my measurements and all the temperatures are given in Celsius !

New category: I tasted it for you. The idea is to pick up random products that are unknow to me, to taste them, cook them, describe them and give my opinion on them.

Enjoy !

13/10/2012

Apple rhubarb compote

Français
How about a nice dessert, now? For me, it was typical of childhood, the kind of stuff you eat when going home… But homemade, it is so much better, and so simple to do. It is a good trick to know when you have some leftovers, for example.


Ingredients (for 2 people)
2 rhubarb stems
2 apples (choose them sweet, to balance the sourness of the rhubarb)
2 soup spoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation
Cut the fruits in dices, put them in a saucepan with the brown sugar and cook for about 10 min (don’t put a high heat so that it doesn’t burn). Add cinnamon after about 5 min. The fruits will progressively release their juice, and when you like the texture, you can stop cooking and pour in bowls.

The proportion of fruits will vary depending on your taste. Same goes for the sugar. I recommend crunchy French toasts to go with it!

Bon appétit!!!

Vegetable risotto with fennel, bell pepper, tomatoes and carrots

Français
I must say the first time I tasted fennel, a few years ago, I hated it. But then I thought it would be good to try again, but this time, to cook it with other vegetables, not alone. And I dare say, that way, it was much better. Fennel, like celery, is not to be eaten alone… Delicious!! This risotto is colourful, tasty and crispy.


I love risottos, there are so many variations, and one aspect that stays: the creamy texture. And risotto with vegetables is even better: the vegetables melt into the rice and give it their perfume! I will tell you the perfect method to make a good risotto. It is simple, so if you follow it, it will be great!

Ingredients (for 2-3 people)
120 g round rice (it’s important for the creamy texture of the dish)
1 or 2 small carrots
1 bell pepper (I chose a yellow one)
2 tomatoes
1 fennel
1 onion
1 stock cube
Salt, pepper
Parmesan (optional)

Preparation
Cut all the vegetables in dices, chop the onion. In a sauté pan, brown in some oil the onion, then the fennel and carrots, then the other vegetables and the rice. When the rice is translucid, break the stock cube over the sauté pan and add, little by little, boiling water. Stir well all along, so that all the rice gets soft (once you get this method right, you will find it is impossible to miss a perfect risotto!). Add salt and pepper. The cooking time for a good risotto is about 18 min. It’s important to add the water progressively, so that you don’t have too much in the end. Taste the rice after 15-18 min to check if it is ready or if it needs a little more water.
Once your rice is cooked, serve immediately with some parmesan.

If you want, you can add 10 cl white wine to the water.

Bon appétit!!!

Chocolate fondant

Here is a tip if you are in charge of the birthday cake! It’s quite easy to prepare, and the fondant « touch » will always impress your guests! It’s one of the first recipes I learnt how to cook when I was a teen, so now I almost do it eyes closed (and yeah, once when on the phone, but it is not to be recommended J). So, except if your guests hate chocolate (poor dears), you won’t miss your target!


Ingredients
125 g butter
125 g sugar
125 g dark chocolate
75 g floor
3 eggs
½ sachet dried yeast
Some flaked almonds

Preparation
Preheat the oven at 180°.
Melt the butter and the chocolate, then bring them together (the method here).
Separately, mix the egg yolks and the sugar. Add the chocolate-butter mix, then the flour and dried yeast.
Beat the egg whites until stiff, and then add them very gently.
Butter a round mould, pour the mixture and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
Bake for 25 min at 180°.

The secret is in the baking. If you bake for too long, you will have a regular cake, not a fondant. I indicated the time for my oven, sadly, they are all different. So once you have the perfect baking time for your oven, write it down!!

Bon appétit!!

29/09/2012

Pear - hazelnuts crumble

Français
A third suggestion for a crumble, if you found the other ones too common. This recipe is rather a winter recipe. I found it really good. Maybe one of my favourite crumbles! The two flavours really go well together.



Ingredients
4 pears (choose them very juicy and sweet!!)
50g hazelnuts 
150 g flour
250g sugar
150g butter
Salt

Preparation
Preheat the oven at 180°.

Peal the pears, cut them in dice and sprinkle them with some sugar. Chop the hazelnuts and put them in a large bowl with the flour, the rest of the sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the butter with the fingers only.

Pour the fruits in a buttered mould, put the mixture above. Bake 30 min at 180°. Serve lukewarm or cold.


Enjoy!

Bon appétit!!!

21/09/2012

Tapenade (sauce based on olives)

The tapenade is a sauce very typical from the south of France. Mostly composed of olives (green or black, but I prefer it with green ones, not that strong), it is very tasty, quite strong, and it goes perfectly well together with Mediterranean dishes.
Although it may sound sophisticated, it is very easy to prepare, so if you can’t find it in your stores, let’s go!


Ingredients
100g olives
The juice of half a lemon
Herbs de Provence (a mix of rosemary, parsley, thyme, etc.)
5 soup spoons of olive oil
A garlic clove

Mix everything in a blender (like I said, easy).
You can keep it 1 week in the fridge without problem (more if it is well stored)

Bon appétit!!!

Escalope alla milanesa with Curly (French appetizers)

Français
Today I want to present to you a new concept which is currently very popular: the food diversion. Basically, you cook a very traditional meal, but you use an odd ingredient. You can use anything from Nutella, to Haribo candies, Philadelphia... In France, these recipes are also called "Inavouables" (unadmittable), because of these weird ingredients. 



Today I will cook with "curlies" which are French crispy appetizers made of peanuts (and other stuff, obviously). They are used to replace the breadcrumbs in the recipe.

Food diversion is very funny, and it is great to cook for kids : usually the recipes are easy to do, and it allows to make them discover new stuffs while sticking to old references.


Ingredients (for 2 people)
2 calf escalopes
2 eggs
2 large soup spoons flour
1 bowl of Curly
1 lemon
1 tomato

Preparation
In a plate, pour the beaten eggs, in a second, the flour with salt and pepper, and in a third, the crushed curlies. Heat up a frying pan, pour oil.
First dip the escalope completely in the flour, then in the eggs, then in the curlies. The escalope must be each time fully covered by the mixture.
Cook in the frying pan (both sides).
Serve with the lemon cut in 4, the slice tomato, and salad, rice or pasta.

Both typical and original, and tasty on the top of it!

Bon appétit!!

20/09/2012

A plate from Majorca : Trampo and Pa amb oli

Today I present to you 2 recipes I discovered while living in Majorca, which is, by the way, a wonderful place. Both are very popular recipes, and easy to cook as well.


TRAMPO

It is a very typical salad. It would also be a good starter.

Ingredients (for 3-4 people)
2 green bell peppers
3-4 tomatoes
1 onion
Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper

Preparation
Cut everything in dices, mix together and prepare a vinaigrette with the olive oil and the vinegar. Serve it chilled.


PA AMB OLI

It’s THE dish you serve when you have guests. The way you serve it is self-explanatory: everything is put separately on the table, and everyone prepares his spa amb oli the way he likes. Ideal when vegetarians and non vegetarians have to eat together! You have to prepare everything just before you eat, otherwise the oil will soak the bread, and it is not so tasty anymore.

Ingredients (count 2 slices per person)
Sliced bread
Cooked ham (in slices)
Sliced cheese (like Swiss cheese)
1 tomato
Olive oil and pepper

Preparation
In a plate, put the slice of bread. Slice the tomato, and place it on the bread. Poor a trickle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Put a slice of cheese, then roll the ham and put it on the top. Just eat!


I really like this dish; it is very simple, but delicious. Typical of the Mallorquin way of being, I think. For the record, in Catalan, pa amb oli simply means bread with oil!

To go with both dishes, I prepared a cream with creamy goat cheese and walnut oil. Not at all mallorquin, but delicious.

Bon appétit !!!

28/07/2012

Strawberry-rhubarb pie


Français.
Did you know that Eva Longoria had a cookbook? Well, I didn't, until a few weeks ago when I discovered it. I tried one recipe, to "test" the lady. I dare say, this pie was amazing!! This pie is an American classic, both sweet and a little bit acid. I loved it!!


Ingredients
2 pie crusts (remember to prepare them in advance, and don't put so much salt, 4-5 g will suffice, as the pie is sweet)
500g strawberries
500g rhubarb
The zest and the juice of a lemon
40g flour
120g sugar
1 soup spoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk to brown the pie
Whipped cream

Preparation
Preheat the oven at 200°. Cut the rhubarb in dices and the strawberries in 4. Bring them together and add the sugar, vanilla, the zest and juice and the flour. Let it rest for 10 min.
Meanwhile, spread a pie crust and place it in a round mould. Don't forget to pierce the bottom with a fork. Let some pie crust fall over the edge of the mould. Pour the fruits inside.
Spread the second pie crust and cut strips. Place them over the fruits in the shape of a grid. Fold the pie crust that fell over the edges to "close" the pie. Put the egg yolk with a brush and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 10 min at 200°, then 35 min at 180°. Let cool down, then serve with whipped cream.


If you prefer, you can let the second pie crust as it, and cover completely the pie.

As I am French, I converted all the measurements in grams, but let me point out that in just ONE recipe, I found Fahrenheits, ounces, pounds, cups ... No, really, my dear American friends, are you sure you don't want to try the metric system?? Pleeeeease, I'm not exactly a killer at math!!! :)

Bon appétit !!!!

Rice salad with tomatoes, corn, pineapple, kidney beans and sesame seeds

Français.
For this summer, let's prepare this delicious salad, which is both tasty and colourful !!


Ingredients
200g rice
200 g tinned corn
1 small tin of kidney beans
2 tomatoes
1 green bell pepper
1 onion
Some lettuce
4 slices of pineapple
1 soup spoon sesame seeds
A vinaigrette

(To make a vinaigrette, mix 2 soup spoons of vinegar with a teaspoon of mustard and 4-5 soup spoons of oil, add salt and pepper).

Preparation
Cook the rice, cool down (with cold water) and drain it.
Cut the onion in slices, the tomatoes in 4, the bell pepper and the pineapple in dices. Bring together the rice, the drained kidney beans and corn, the pineapple and the bell pepper.
Mix with the vinaigrette.
On the plates, put lettuce, then the rice salad. Decorate with tomatoes and onion slices. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bon appétit !!!

26/07/2012

Milk rice with apricots

Français. Here is a delicious dessert, original and tasty!!!


Ingredients
500g dried apricots
150 round rice
1 litre milk
200g sugar
1 soup spoon vanilla extract
100g powdered almonds

Preparation
Boil the milk in a saucepan, pour the rice and cook for about 30 min, until the milk is almost totally absorbed.
Add 150g sugar, 50g powdered almonds and the vanilla. Stir for 2 min and let cool down.
Meanwhile, put the apricots in a sauce pan with 2 glasses of water and 50g sugar. Cook for 15 min. Spare some apricots to decorate.
Preheat the oven at 180°.
Butter a rectangular mould, pour half the rice, add the apricots and then the rest of the rice. Sprinkle with powdered almonds.
Bake for about 25 min. Decorate with the rest of the apricots.


You can also serve it with some caramel or a cream.

Bon appétit!!!

Chicken and mushrooms pie

Français.
I found this recipe on a French blog, but it seems that it comes from Jamie Oliver. So am I translating a translation? Anyway. It is delicious.


Ingredients (for 4-5 people)
500 g chicken meat
1 puff pastry*
150g white mushrooms
1 or 2 onions
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 soup spoons flour
2 teaspoons mustard
Thyme and laurel
1 large soup spoon crème fraîche
30 cl stock (chicken flavour)
Salt and pepper, butter for the mould.

* I think the dish was a bit hard to serve, so I think it would be a good idea to use 2 puff pastries, 1 under and 1 above.

Preparation
Preheat the oven at 180°.
Cut the chicken in bites, the mushrooms in slices, and chop the onions. Put the chicken in a sauté pan with 3 soup spoons of oil.
Add salt and pepper, then the onions. Mix and add the mushrooms, the nutmeg, thyme and laurel. Mix, add the cream, the flour, the mustard and the stock.
Let the sauce thicken, pour in the mould. Place the puff pastry above and place the sides inside the mould. Mark with a knife and put some water or egg yolk with a brush.
Put in the oven and bake for 30 min.


Hint : I think it would be nice to add a leek to the dish!! 

Bon appétit !!!

03/07/2012

Onion rings

Français.
I love onion rings, but you can’t go to the restaurant every time you want some, can you? So I tried to do some myself, and this recipe is great! I couldn’t imagine it was so easy to do! Even better than the restaurant.


Ingredients (for about 2 people)
1 large onion
70g wheat flour
70g corn flour
100g breadcrumbs*
1 egg
1 glass of water
Oil to fry, salt and pepper
Chilli sauce to serve with

* No need to buy some, just reduce 6 – 7 French toasts to powder

Preparation
Bring together the 2 flours, the egg and the water little by little. Stir until you get a homogeny mixture.
Cut the onion in slices and separate the layers. Heat up the oil in a frying pan.
Put the onion slices in the mixture, then in the breadcrumbs, and brown them in the oil, both faces. Then, take them out and place them on kitchen paper.
Serve with the chilli sauce.

Bon appétit!!!

Tagliatelle pasta with bell pepper and tapenade

Français.
Sick of spaghetti with tomato sauce? This is a great change! Go for this colourful plate, delicious and with different flavours!


If you can't find tapenade anywhere, do it yourself!

Ingredients (for 2 people)
Tagliatelle pasta (6 to 8 rolls)
1 red bell pepper
50 to 100g tapenade
½ lemon
1 shallot
Basil leaves

Preparation
Cook the pasta.
Chop the shallot and brown it in a frying pan. Add the bell pepper cut in dices and the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper and let cook 4-5 min. when the pasta is ready, add it to the pan. Mix well, add tapenade, and decorate with basil and lemon slices.

Bon appétit!!!

Grated potatoes and leek (Hashbrown)

Français.
This is a very nice recipe for the summer. It comes from Lorraine, the region of my youth. Easy to do and delicious (but don't try to save some for later, it doesn't like to wait and be re-heated. Serve it with a lettuce, very simply, or with some meat.


Ingredients (for 2 people)
400g potatoes
1 leek
1 onion
Crème fraîche
Salt and pepper, oil to fry

Preparation
Peel the leek (take away the first leaves) and boil 15 min into boiling water. Cut it in strips.
Peel and grate the potatoes and onion. Press to get rid of the juice. Add the leek, the crème and the egg, salt and pepper. Make some « pancakes » and fry them both sides in hot water in a frying pan.

You should make small portions; it will be easier to fry than larger ones.

Bon appétit!!!

Kiwi and mango mousse

Français.
Our family secret is the chocolate mousse, a recipe I plan to give you, soon, but not today! Today we will try another mousse, with fruits. It is delicious, easy to make and you can of course change the fruits once you have understood how to proceed! Strawberries, for example.


Ingredients (for 6 verrines)
Kiwi mousse
4 kiwis (+1 to decorate)
50g sugar
2 eggs
1 pinch of salt
Mango mousse
2 mangos
50g sugar
2 eggs
1 pinch of salt

Preparation
For the kiwi mousse: cut the kiwis in dices and crush them.
Mix the sugar and egg yolks, then mix them with the kiwi in a saucepan. Cook for about 3 min, keep stirring. Then, remove from heat. If necessary, mix with a blender.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Add them slowly to the kiwis. Put in the fridge while you prepare the mango.

Kiwi on the left, mango on the right

For the mango mousse: peel the mangos and cut into dices. Bring together the sugar and egg yolks, mix with the mango in a blender.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and add them.
Prepare the verrines: first the kiwi mousse, then the mango mousse. Decorate with fruit dices. Let it rest in the fridge for 5 to 6 hours.

A handy trick for your egg whites: it will be easier to beat them if they are very fresh. And how to know if you have beaten long enough? Turn (slowly!) the pot upside down. The eggs are not supposed to move. If they do, keep beating.

Bon appétit!!!

30/06/2012

Coriander-tomato chutney

Français.
To go with the samosas, I tested this chutney recipe. It is Indian so it is spicy; I think I will never get used to it!


What is the chutney? It’s an Indian salsa which is served with many dishes. There are many possibilities, and the one I chose is easy and quick to prepare, but it must rest a long time in the fridge so that the spices perfume the preparation. Ideally, you should prepare it the eve of the day when you will need it.

Ingredients (for a marmalade’s pot)
Fresh coriander
1 soup spoon fresh mint leaves
1 small piece of grated ginger
4 to 5 green peppers
3 small tomatoes
1 small red onion
Salt

Preparation
Wash and mix all the ingredients together in a blender. Let it rest some hours in the fridge.

For my recipe, I used chilli powder and ginger and coriander in powder, because it can be hard to find everything fresh (1 teaspoon powdered ginger, 1 teaspoon coriander, and ½ chilli powder).

For those who don’t like it too hot, you can put only half an onion, or put more tomatoes …

Bon appétit!!!

Samosas with peas and potatoes

Français.
I’m back in the translation process after some very busy days! Here we have an Indian recipe. It is quite funny and easy to do, and it is delicious.



Ingredients (for about 10 pieces)
4 potatoes
250g tinned peas
1 soup spoon olive oil
1 soup spoon grated ginger
1 soup spoon powder cardamom
Salt and pepper
Oil to fry
For the crust
350g flour
150g ghee or butter
1 soup spoon cumin
7g salt
1 glass of water

Preparation
Boil the potatoes.
Prepare the crust: mix the ingredients and add the water little by little. Make a ball and let it rest 30 min (proceed like for the pie crust).
Heat up the oil in a saucepan. Brown the spices and add the potatoes and peas. Add salt and pepper. Stop the fire and let cool down.
Spread the crust and cut triangles. Stuff with the peas/potatoes mix and bring the sides together.
Heat up oil in a sauté pan and fry the samosas for about 5 min, brown every side. Place on paper towels. Serve warm with chutney.

I tried the following chutney recipe: tomato-coriander. It really tastes better with chutney.

Bon appétit!!!