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 !

31/05/2012

Apple crumble

Français
Crumble is a dessert I really like! It is very easy to find different flavours, just change the fruits! That way you don’t get tired.

Here is the basic recipes, crumble with apples.

 Ingredients
4 apples 
125 g flour
170 g butter
90 g de brown sugar
1 pinch of salt
Rum
Raisins
Powder cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream

Preparation
Dip the raisins into rum (optional, if you want it to be alcohol free, replace the rum by water).
In a large bowl, mix the flour with the salt and 65g brown sugar. With the fingers, add 125g butter.
Cut the apples into dices; put them in a pan with the rest of the sugar to caramelize them. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Butter a mould, put the apples and the raisins, and then cover with the mixture.
Bake 20 min at 190° in an oven.
Serve it with ice cream.

Bon appétit!!

Moelleux with dark chocolate

Français 
Moelleux means soft in French. And it is just what these cakes are. They look backed outside, but inside, the heart is still melting, and this is why they are delicious and amazing! You can eat them right after the backing, or keep them a day more.
  

Ingredients (for 8 moelleux)
140 g dark chocolate (70 % cacao)
4 eggs
100 g butter + 20 g for the moulds
50 g almond powder
20 g flour + 20 g for the moulds
75 g sugar
1 soup spoon icing sugar
1 pinch of salt

Preparation
Make the butter and the chocolate melt and mix them. Meanwhile, beat the eggs, the sugar and the salt until the mixture gets white. Add the butter-chocolate mix. Add the flour and the almond powder. Keep in the fridge for 30 min.
Pre-heat the oven at 200°. Butter and put flour in 8 muffin moulds. Bake for 10 min.
Take out of the oven and wait for 3 min before unmolding in the service plates. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.


The baking is the key. Too few and you won’t be able to unmold. Too much and you will no longer have a moelleux, just a regular chocolate cake.

Bon appétit!!!

How to mix properly butter and chocolate

Français.
This is the secret recipe for success, a trick that I learnt from my father and that goes for every chocolate cake. Once you know it, you will spare a lot of time. And it will never fail you. So be attentive!

1)  Make water boil in a kettle. Break the chocolate into bites in a bowl and pour the boiling water. Let it rest for about 5 min. Ok, I know, people often think that it is weird. But it really works very well, and the water doesn’t mix with the chocolate. (Like for the oil, you know, they always do layers).
2) Put the butter in another bowl and put it in the microwave for like 30 seconds. It is better if it isn’t’ totally liquid but rather creamy.
3) When the chocolate is ready, threw carefully the water away and add the butter immediately. Stir with a teaspoon until you have a creamy and homogeny chocolate.
Then you can add this to your recipe. It is far quicker than other techniques like the double boiler. Try it next time!

Note: the chocolate won’t harden again if you put fat (butter or oil). That’s why you mustn’t wait when you pour the butter.

CAUTION: this method only works with dark chocolate. With white chocolate, which is too fatty, the chocolate will mix with the water, and it doesn't work. Better to use a double boiler
Bon appétit!!

Chicken wings with pineapple

Français.
This is a great recipe for those who like bitter-sweet meals. I’m not sure of the origin of the recipe, it looks like wok cooking. It’s quite easy to prepare and it looks very nice. And delicious to eat with the fingers (so I wouldn’t serve it to my boss J)! The secret lies in the sauce.


Ingredients (for 4 people)
12 chicken wings
12 pineapple slices (in a tin)
1 spoon sauce soya sauce
1 teaspoon chilli pepper
1 soup spoon meat extract
1 soup spoon mustard
1 soup spoon sesame oil
2 soup spoon corn oil
2 soup spoon honey vinegar
Salt and pepper

Preparation

Mix both oils and the soya sauce, beat while adding vinegar, chilli pepper, meat extract and mustard. Add a little salt and pepper.
Place the wings in a dish and baste with the half of the sauce. Do the same with the pineapple slices.
Place a sauté pan on high heat; seal the chicken during 10 min on both faces. Then add the pineapple and cook 5 more minutes on low heat. Baste with what is left of the sauce.


You can serve it with or without rice. I recommend you collect the rest of the sauce to serve with the meal. In order to prevent the chicken from burning, add a little sunflower oil.

Bon appétit!!!

Green salad with red cabbage and grapefruit

Français.
This salad is great for a first course, it is colourful and refreshing. There are also several possible variations that I will suggest later!


Ingredients (for 4 people)
2 grapefruits
1 soup spoon of honey
3 soup spoon walnut oil
1 salad
1/4 red cabbage
1 cucumber
2 soup spoons sunflower seeds and 2 of marrow seeds

Preparation
Grate the zest from one grapefruit. Peel the 2 grapefruits to the pulp. If there is juice, save it for the sauce. Slice the cucumber and cut the cabbage into sticks. Cut the salad into small bites.
Mix the honey and oil with the grapefruit juice. Add salt and pepper. You can also add lemon juice.
Prepare the salad: in plates, place the salad, then the red cabbage, the grapefruit and the cucumber (you can make a pile or place them next to each other). Sprinkle with the zests and the seeds.
Pour the sauce and serve.

Variations
The walnut oil gives a special taste to the sauce. You can also replace it with olive oil, or sunflower oil. You can also replace the seeds with pistachios for example, or the grapefruits with oranges or apples. If you don't like the red cabbage, you can put avocadoes.

Bon appétit !!

Pasta salad with raw vegetables

Français.
This is a classic, easy and delicious, for summer and picnics. You can think of a thousand variation around the vegetables you can add. And everybody will enjoy it. So let's change from pasta with tomato sauce!


Ingredients (for 4 people)
300g pasta like macaroni or farfalle
1 carrot
1 green bell pepper
Cheese dice (emmental, comté, gruyère cheese...)
270g tinned corn
125g ham (or chicken or turkey white meat)
A small box of cherry tomatoes
125ml vinaigrette*

Preparation
Cook the pasta into salted boiling water, then drain them and rinse them immediately under cold water, so that they don't stick (that way you really don't need to add butter!).
Cut the carrots and bell pepper in julienne (short sticks). Cut the ham and the cheese into dices. Mix them and the vegetables with the pasta and add the vinaigrette.

*Tipp: to make a vinaigrette: mix together a teaspoon of mustard, a soup spoon of vinegar, 2 or 3 of olive oil, plus salt and pepper. You can also add a soup spoon of crème fraîche, but I don't think it is necessary.

Bon appétit !!

30/05/2012

Lassi with strawberries

Français.
Let's bite some strawberries first!


To enjoy the fine days, let's prepare this Indian drink, which is both delicious and refreshing. Very easy to prepare too. It's basically a kind of milk-shake, but without ice cream. You can make it with many fruits, like here strawberries, and I also made it with banana. Mangoes are also great.


Ingredients
250g yogurt
250g fruits
15cl milk
Sugar (as desire)
Ice cubes

Preparation
Mix the fruits, the yogurt and the sugar together. Add ice cubes and serve very chilled.


Bon appétit!!!

Cannelloni a la ricotta

Français.
Let's go to Italia now!! I must say it took me a little while to catch the knack, and I adapted the recipe I found but then, it was really great. Again, I recommend to serve it with a green salad.


Ingredients (for 4 people, count 2 cannelloni per person)
300g lasagne
25cl tomato sauce
150g grated parmesan
For the stuffing: 
250g ricotta
2 eggs
30g butter (optional)
75g parmesan
2 soup spoons chopped parsley
1 pinch nutmeg


Preparation
Prepare the stuffing: beat together the ingredients, add salt and pepper. 
Pre-heat the oven at 190°. 
Prepare the cannelloni: put the lasagnes into boiling water for about 2 min, then place them on a cloth. Put 1 soup spoon stuffing on 1 end, wind them a bit and put some more stuffing on the other end.
CAREFUL: As they tend to stick on each other, I do them 2 by to and prepare them progressively.
Place the cannelloni in a buttered dish. Keep some stuffing to put it on the cannelloni (they will be less dry). I think it would be also good to add some Bechamel sauce next time.
Cover with tomato sauce and parmesan.
Bake 25 min at 190°.

Bon appétit!!

Clafoutis with vegetable and ham

Français.
Now, a French recipe!! The clafoutis is first a dessert, a cake made with cherries, the one my grand-mother always did. On the contrary, this recipe is a main course, or can also be served as a first course. It is delicious and perfect for the summer!


Ingredients (for 6 people)
4 eggs
50cl milk
120g flour
1/2 sachet of dried yeast
1 leek
1 carrot
1 courgette
4 small broccolis
1 onion
75g grated gruyère cheese
120 g ham
Oil + butter for the mould
Salt and pepper

Preparation
Cut the carrots, leek and onion into rings, and the courgette into dices. Cook them 5 min into boiling salted water, then drain and brown 10 min in a frying pan with oil.
Pre-heat the oven at 180°. Cut the ham in dices.
Apart, beat the eggs with the milk, a pinch of salt, pepper, flour and yeast. Add the Gruyère cheese, the vegetables and the ham. Butter a mould and pour the mixture.
Bake 40 min at 180°.


Serve it with a lettuce, it is even better.

I don't like broccolis, so I skip. And you can basically put any vegetables you can think of.

Bon appétit !

Walnut and chocolate muffins

Français.
Let's start with a simple recipe, and with chocolate, because I love chocolate!! Muffins are great with a nice chocolate or cappuccino, but eat one and you are full! You can do this recipe just with chocolate, but I prefer to add the flavour of nuts (by the way, walnuts are the typical product of the town I currently live in!).


Ingredients (for 12 muffins)
3 eggs
250g sugar
1 sachet of dried yeast
250g flour
10cl milk
120g melted butter
1 pinch of salt
150g dark chocolate
60g walnuts

Preparation
Mix the eggs and sugar until the mixture is getting white. Add yeast, flour, melted butter and salt.
Chop together the chocolate and the walnuts (in a blender for example). Add them to the  mixture 
Butter the muffin moulds and pour the  mixture .
Bake 20 to 25 min at 175°. 

Tipp: I usually bake for 5 min less than what is put on the recipe, and check if it is necessary to extend the cooking time. Better than having burnt cakes.
It is usually said that you don't need to butter the moulds. I listened to that. Once. The result was terrible, I couldn't unmold the muffins. So, once bitten, twice shy!

Bon appétit !!!

Welcome!!


I'm proud to introduce to you this blog, which is actually the translation of my French blog, http://delicesdunenovice.blogspot.fr/. I'm a French translator and I love cooking, but I soon understood, when I started to write my French blog, that the friends who were most interested in it were the ones who couldn't read French. So here I am, doing it in English, as well as I can.


With this blog, I hope to offer easy recipes from the whole world for everybody to cook. And to give now and then the tricks I learnt myself, to make everybody's life easier. Feel free to comment, make suggestions, and above all, suggest recipes of your own country, I would love to try them!!!

So if you are ready to follow me, let's go !!!