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 !

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!!!

23/06/2012

Masala flan (agar, tea and spices)

Français
Remember the Tchaï masala? I love it, and I’m still doing my experiments with agar. And now I find a recipe which combines both!! Wonderful. I couldn’t resist. The result is delicious, the spices perfume the flan.


Ingredients (for 4 people)
1 teaspoon powdered cardamom
3 cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch of powdered ginger
2g agar
3 teabags Darjeeling (I used dark tea leaves in 2 tea infusers)
70g brown sugar
25cl soya milk
5cl soya cream
Some soya whipped cream
1 soup spoon cinnamon to decorate

Preparation
Mix the spices. Heat 25cl water and the agar. Boil, lower the fire and add the tea and the spices. Let cook 1 min 30.
Stop the heat; add the sugar, the cream and the milk. Remove the tea and pour in 4 verrines (you can filter to remove the spices). Let cool down and place 1 hour in the fridge.
Serve in a plate with some cinnamon and whipped cream.

Bon appétit!!!

Cheese cream verrine with honey vinaigrette and bean sprouts (agar)

Français
I had heard so much about agar that I wanted to try it. What is it? It’s a white powder made with algae and is used as a gelatine. The result of the experiment: it is a bit hard to find all the ingredients, but you get really nice first courses. With the agar, be sophisticated and original is really easy. You also discover new tastes.


Ingredients (for 3 or 4 verrines)
100g fresh goat’s cheese
50ml oats cream (I replaced it with soya cream, couldn’t find it)
Pepper, thyme
100ml soya milk
2g agar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 soup spoon walnut oil
Bean sprouts

Preparation
Crush the cheese with the cream until you get a creamy mixture. Add the pepper and thyme. In a saucepan, add the milk and the agar. Warm up for 30 seconds, add to the milk, mix and pour in verrines. Let cool down and leave 1 hour in the fridge.
When you serve, mix the oil, honey and vinegar to get a vinaigrette. Unmold the verrines in the plates, sprinkle with bean sprouts and vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

You can also leave the cream in the verrines and add the bean sprouts and vinaigrette on the top.

I found the recipe in a French book:


Bon appétit!!!

22/06/2012

Argentinean empanadas and mate

Français.
Let’s now travel to Argentina with a recipe that I learnt directly from an Argentinean friend. For those who wouldn’t know what it is, it is a kind of shortcrust that is stuffed. There are several ways to stuff them, so I will first explain the stuff that I made today, then some variations.


THE CRUST

It looks a lot like shortcrust, and it’s important to make it well, otherwise you will have a hard time stuffing. It must be slightly elastic so that it won’t break.

Ingredients (for about 9 empanadas)
150g water
150g butter
1 egg
7g salt
Flour (I don’t know exactly how much because I always add it progressively, but count with 500g to be sure you will have enough)

Preparation
Melt the butter with the water in the microwaves. Then, add the egg and the salt. Mix with a fork and add progressively the flour until you get a ball that no longer sticks to the fingers. Then, abandon the fork and finish with the hands to have a ball looking like the photo, and let it rest until the stuffing is ready.


CHOCLO STUFFING

Choclo simply means corn in Argentinean Spanish.

Ingredients
½ red bell pepper
1 small tin of corn
1 onion
2 soup spoons flour
1 soup spoon corn starch
Salt and pepper

Preparation

Chop the onion, cut the bell pepper in dices. Brown the onion in some oil in a sauce pan, then add the vegetables, salt, pepper, the corn starch and some flour. You can also perfume it with mixed herbs. Mix it well, let it thicken a bit, and remove from the fire.

PREPARATION OF THE EMPANADAS

Preheat the oven at 180°.
Spread the crust, (not too thin, otherwise it will tear), cut circles with an upside bowl. Put some stuffing on the half of the circle and close the empanada. Join the 2 sides with the teeth of a fork.
Bake 30 min at 180°.


VARIATIONS

You can also prepare other stuffings:
-          Roquefort cheese and crème fraîche
-          Mince meat, tomatoes and onions

MATE


What to drink with the empanadas? (Alright, apart from an Argentinean wine). The mate is a bit more original. It is the Argentinean way to drink tea. It’s quite bitter, so the sensible ones may pass!

How does it work? You fill the bottle gourd (called mate) with yerba mate, special tea leaves. The metallic "straw" is pierced on the bottom, so that you can drink without swallowing the leaves. You pour the hot water little by little, and here you go.

This drink is ideal when it gets hot: did you know that when it is warm, the best to quench one’s thirst is to drink warm drinks!!!

To finish my story telling, let me explain how it is drunk: the one who offers the mate drinks the first round (the bitterest part!), then fills it again and gives the mate to his neighbour. It’s great on the beach (even if the said beach is stuck on the north of Germany and is not exactly the Pacific ocean, some imagination does the trick). And as for the good points, it’s a great drink for the health, no sugar but a lot of antioxidants and some more. And as I bought it organic, no pesticides (or I hope so!!). And yeah, you will get used to the bitterness. 


Bon appétit!!

19/06/2012

Fruits gratin

Français.
My sister suggested this recipe, and I tried it later, it is delicious! So let’s see how this blog becomes a family one! This recipe is ideal if you have various fruits that are going to be lost, and that you want to serve them as a dessert in an elegant way.


Ingredients (for 5 people)
1 pineapple
5 kiwis
5 eggs
150g sugar
1 soup spoon crème fraîche
(You can put the fruits you want! apples, oranges, pears, apricots, cherries … depending on the season and on what you have home).

Preparation
Pre-heat the oven (grill position). Peel and cut the fruits in dices. In a bowl, put the eggs and warm them in a double boiler in a saucepan. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture gets thicker. Stop the fire and add the crème fraîche.
Bring together the mixture and the fruits. Place in 5 individual ramekins.
Place in the oven and bake for about 5 min. Serve immediately.


Bon appétit!!!

Chicken escalope with mushrooms and spaetzle pasta

Français.
Let’s see now a simple and easy recipe. And an opportunity to prepare some meat. Spaetzle are a kind of pasta from Germany and the Alsace region, and they taste differently from Italian pasta, it is a good way to be original.



Ingredients (for 2 people)
2 chicken escalopes (or turkey)
Spaetzle (about 200g)
20cl crème fraîche
400g white mushrooms
½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon mixed herbs

Preparation
Cook the Spaetzle in boiling water (check the packaging instructions as they need more time than spaghetti to be cooked).
Meanwhile, cook the escalopes with some oil in a frying pan. Add salt and pepper. After 5 min, add crème fraîche and the mushrooms (if they are fresh, cut them in slices). Perfume with paprika and mixed herbs. Add some more salt and pepper if necessary. When the pasta is ready, serve.

Bon appétit!!! 

3 flavours verrines: goat's cheese - walnut, cherry tomatoes and smoked bacon

Français.
Today, let’s start with a verrine, as I like to prepare them, they are beautiful and fun! I particularly liked the goat’s cheese-walnut flavour.


Ingredients (for 2 verrines)
200g cherry tomatoes
150g fresh goat’s cheese
1 or 2 soup spoons walnut oil
3 soup spoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Mixed herbs, thyme
4 slices of smoked bacon

Preparation
Preheat the oven at 180°. Mix the olive oil and the sugar, cut the cherry tomatoes in 2, baste with the oil and sugar and bake for about 25 min in the oven (check the oven so that it doesn’t burn).
Mix the cheese with the walnut oil (the quantity depends on the taste). Add some pepper and mixed herbs. Store in the fridge. Cut the bacon in strips.
Take the tomatoes out of the oven and crush them. Add thyme.
Prepare the verrines: put some cheese, then tomatoes, and the bacon. Decorate with a cherry tomato and walnuts if you have some.

You can put the bacon strips as it or fry them in a pan to obtain bacon chips.

Bon appétit!!

18/06/2012

Ginger and dates cake

Français.
I was in a mood for something sweet, this cake is delicious and a bit spicy! And it smells really good!


Ingredients
120g flour
150g sugar
150g salted butter
2 soup spoons candied ginger*
2 eggs
20cl milk
100g dates (without the stones)
1 soup spoon vanilla extract
1 sachet dried yeast
* I couldn’t find any, so I cooked fresh ginger cut in small dices with some water and sugar for about 10 min.

Preparation
Pre-heat the oven at 180°. Chop the dates.
Mix the butter and the sugar, and then add the dried yeast, then the eggs, the chopped dates, the vanilla and the milk. Add the ginger dices.
Butter a rectangular mould, pour the mixture. Bake for 50 min.
Let it cool down before you unmold it.

Bon appétit!!!

Cannelloni stuffed with cabbage and spices

Français.
That’s quite a lot of cabbage recipes that I am doing lately. But indeed the one I had to buy for the borsch was really big, and it was a good opportunity to search good and original ways to cook the cabbage. We had enough soup for now, so we will now see the result of the union between cabbage and pasta.



Ingredients (for 4 people – 2 cannelloni per person)
8 lasagnes
1 large onion
200g lardons
½ white cabbage (about 600g)
20cl crème fraîche (if you want a lighter recipe, put 2 yogurts)
30cl stock
1 soup spoon white wine
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric (or paprika, I used it to give colour to the dish)

Preparation
Pre-heat the oven at 180°.
Cut the cabbage in fine strips (get rid of the heart). Chop the onion and brown it in a saucepan with the lardons (to prevent the lardons from producing too much fat, cook them before 5 min in boiling water. That way they are much better looking.). Then, add the cabbage, the wine, the crème fraîche, the spices, salt and pepper. Stir. Let it simmer 5-10 min.
Meanwhile, cook the lasagne in boiling water: put them 2 by 2 in the saucepan so that they don’t stick together, then place them on a cloth and stuff them with the cabbage mixture.
Place the stuffed cannelloni in a gratin dish, baste with the stock. As I had some cabbage left, I put it over the cannelloni.
Put in the oven and bake for 30 min.

Note that I found it better the next day, because the spices had had time to perfume the cabbage.

Bon appétit!!!

14/06/2012

Spicy soup with cabbage and tomatoes

Français.
I made this recipe a day when I add a cold, it was raining, and I had a big rest of cabbage from another recipe. And it was the perfect dish to enlighten a bad day! Of course you can change the vegetable mix as you want. The spices are great to compensate the blandness of the cabbage, they go perfectly well together.


Ingredients (for 4 people)
300g white cabbage
1 large potato
1 large onion
1 small tin of tomatoes.
1 stock cube
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Pepper

Preparation
In a casserole dish or a large saucepan, warm up some oil and add the chopped onion which you brown with the cumin. Then add the potato peeled and cut in dices, the cabbage cut in strips, and the tomatoes. Add pepper and paprika. Cover with water and add the stock cube. Make boil and let simmer for about 20 min. mix the soup with a hand blender, add the corn starch and mix again. Serve it warm.

If you want variations, you could add a leek, a turnip or carrots … Anything left in the fridge goes. If you think the soup is too spicy, you can add some crème fraîche in it.

Bon appétit!!!

3 flavours verrine: bell pepper cream, feta cheese and guacamole

Français.
I was searching for a first course recipe and I found this one on a French website. It is delicious, very beautiful and elegant, and it offers a great mix of flavour.


Ingredients (for 4 verrines)
2 red bell peppers
200 g feta cheese
2 avocados
3 soup spoons fromage blanc
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon cumin
The juice of ½ green lemon
Mixed herbs
Olive oil
Powdered ginger
Chilli powder
Salt and pepper


Preparation
Bell pepper cream: cut the bell peppers in small dices. Brown them in olive oil with a garlic clove and mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 min. Then, mix them in a blender and add 2 soup spoons of fromage blanc to get a bell pepper cream. Store it in the fridge; it has to be cold when you prepare the verrines.
Feta: crush the feta with a fork and add olive oil, mixed herbs, cumin, pepper and 1 soup spoon of fromage blanc. The mixture mustn’t be too dry, you can add some more fromage blanc (or oil) if necessary. Store it in the fridge.
Guacamole: crush the avocados with a fork, add the lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, salt, pepper, ginger and chilli powder (quantity depending on the taste you want, I put 1 teaspoon of ginger and ¼ teaspoon of chilli powder).
Prepare the verrines: first put 1 layer of feta, then guacamole and then bell pepper cream. Serve it chilled.

Bon appétit!!

Stuffed tomatoes (and potatoes) with mince meat

Français.
This is a nice recipe, it is not only easy to prepare but has also a nice presentation. It is a typical recipe in France, and it is always successful!


Ingredients (for 4 people)
Tomatoes (1 or 2 per person, depending on the size)
400g mince meat
1 onion
1 egg
Dry bread
5-10cl milk
Mixed herbs, or tarragon, parsley,
Paprika
To go with it
Stuffed potatoes or rice

Preparation
Prepare the stuffing: in a large bowl, bring together some crumbled bread and the milk. Add mixed herbs, salt and pepper, the chopped onion and the egg. Crumble the meat and mix.
Cut the top of the potatoes, then remove the tomato pulp with a teaspoon (careful not to pierce the bottom of the tomato). Put the pulp in the sauce pan you will use, it will make a sauce. Stuff the tomatoes with the meat, put the top back and place them in the saucepan. Add some water (in the saucepan, but not directly on the tomatoes) so that t won’t burn (you can also add some more water anytime during the cooking process if necessary). Put some salt on the tomatoes. You can also put some paprika in the water to colour it!
Cover and cook for about 30 min. Check regularly to prevent the dish from burning.

To serve with the dish, you can also stuff potatoes the same way. In that case, count 1 tomato and 1 potato per person. Or you can serve it with rice. In that case, make sure there is water in the saucepan, so you can have a sauce for the rice.

Bon appétit!!!

13/06/2012

Polenta gratin and tomato-mozzarella salad

Français.
This is a great recipe for summer. Easy to make depending on the quantity you will serve, it can be a first or a main course.


Ingredients (for 4 people)
½ litre stock
150g corn semolina
Chive
80g fontanina cheese (or edamer)
20g grated parmesan
50ml milk
Salt, pepper and butter for the mould
For the salad:
Tomato
Mozzarella
Green salad
Basil
Vinaigrette (1 soup spoon vinegar, 1 of mustard, 2 of olive oil, salt and pepper)

Preparation
Make the stock boil, pour the polenta and mix well. Add the chive and pepper and let cook. When the liquid is absorbed, pour on a cooking plaque and flatten it at 1 cm thick. Let it cool down.




Pre-heat the oven at 200°. Butter a mould. Cut the polenta in squares, place in the mould. Above, place the cheese slices and sprinkle with parmesan. Pour the milk. Bake for about 35 min and watch the baking process.


 Meanwhile, prepare the salad. Cut the tomato and the mozzarella in slices. Add salt, pepper and some vinaigrette or olive oil. Decorate with basil and add green salad.


Once the gratin is ready and golden, serve it with the salad or serve in 2 different plates.

Bon appétit !!!