Archive | Cooking Classes RSS feed for this section

Haddock and Leek Fondue Crumble

27 Sep

Last Monday, I was looking for a nice place to have lunch with a friend I had not seen for years. As you know, many good places are closed on Monday to recover from the busy Saturdays and Sundays.
Convinced it would be closed too, I went on the website of the restaurant Le Petit Matieu. Luckily…. they are open on Mondays….
A friend of mine recommended the place because it is good, simple and warm but also because it has been opened by a former Gregoire Ferrandi student who runs the place by itself with another girl still learning in the same school.
There I was on Monday, the place was really busy, especially for a Monday and the Menu very simple…. 2 starters (Thin Tomato Tart or Cauliflower Soup), 2 mains (Veal “Blanquette” or Haddock and Leek Crumble), 1 dessert (Chocolate Chip Cookie) and at night, you have a A la Carte Menu with lots of products and wines from Corsica (the place the owner comes from)…
As I really don’t like the “Blanquette”, I choose the crumble even if the haddock is not my favorite fish…
Guess what, I loved it…. so much that I tried it during one of my Market Class.
We choose a great piece of smoked haddock at the Baudoyer Market, choose great leeks as well and used good white wine and cream of course….
photo 5(2)
Here is the recipe:

Ingredients for the Leek Fondue:

  • 2 onions diced
  • 6-8 leeks washed and thinly sliced, green part cut off
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Cooking Olive Oil
  • Salt and freshly Ground Pepper
  • White Wine to deglaze (2 tbsp)
  • Cream or Milk and Cream used to poach the haddock

2-Leek Fondue Ingredients


In a pan, start to cook the onions with oil and butter until they get a nice golden color.
Add the seasoned leek .
Once the water is evaporated and the leeks start to soften, deglaze with white wine.
Let it reduce and add 1/2 cup of cream or the poaching liquid of the haddock.
Let it simmer for another 6-8 minutes, taste and rectify the seasoning.
Set aside.

Ingredients for the Crumble Mix:

  • 200g of butter diced and cold
  • 200g of flour
  • 100-150g of young Parmesan finely grated
  • Ground Pepper (no salt as Parmesan is salty already)
  • 150g of Breadcrumbs (Chapelure) if you wish a crunchier texture
  • Finely chopped aromatic herbs (optional)



By hand or on a low speed with your Kitchen Aid, mix together all the ingredients until you obtain a crumbly mix ready to spread on top of your dish, keep in the fridge.

Ingredients for the Haddock:

  • 1.5kg of Smoked Haddock
  • 1l of cream
  • 1l of milk
  • a bay leave


Pour the haddock in a large pan and cover with milk and cream, add a bay leave.
Bring the mix to a boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside and let it cool down.
Remove the haddock from the pan and start to tear apart the flesh, get rid of the skin and bones.
In a gratin dish, spread a layer of leek, add the haddock flakes on top and repeat the process until you have reach 1/2 to 2/3 of the dish.
Spread the crumble on top and cook in the oven 20-30 min at 200° C (about 350°F).
6-Assembling Crumble
The crumble is ready when the surface is golden brown and the crumble mix crunchy and soft at the same time but not raw in the middle.
8-Ready to Eat

Serve it with a generous salad and white wine.

Crumble Haddock-Fondue de Poireaux


Ingrédients pour la Fondue de Poireaux:

  • 2 oignons émincés
  • 6-8 poireaux lavés et émincés
  • 1 cas de beurre
  • 1 cas d’huile d’olive
  • Sel et Poivre du Moulin
  • 2 cas de vin blanc pour déglacer
  • De la crème liquide ou le liquide de pochage du haddock


Dans une grande poêle à fond épais, faites revenir les oignons dans de l’huile et du beurre jusqu’à ce qu’ils deviennent translucides et prennent une jolie couleur dorée.

Ajoutez les poireaux émincés et laisser les réduire jusqu’à évaporation de l’eau qu’ils contiennent.

Lorsque les poireaux sont tendres et commencent à dorer, déglacez au vin blanc puis ajoutez 10 cl de crème ou de liquide de pochage.

Faites réduire, ajustez l’assaisonnement et gardez de côté.

Ingrédients pour le Crumble:

  • 200g de beurre froid et coupé en dés
  • 200g de farine
  • 100-150g de Parmesan râpé
  • Poivre du Moulin (pas de Sel car le Parmesan est déjà très sale)
  • 150g de Chapelure pour donner une texture plus croustillante
  • Des herbes aromatiques finement émincées


Dans le bol de votre Kitchen Aid ou dans un grand saladier et à la main, mixez tous les ingrédients ensemble (à vitesse moyenne au Kitchen Aid) jusqu’à obtention d’une pâte friable.

Gardez-la au réfrigérateur jusqu’à utilisation.


Ingrédients pour le Haddock:

  • 1.5kg de Haddock fume
  • 1l de crème liquide
  • 1l de lait entier
  • 1 feuille de laurier


Placez le haddock dans une grande casserole remplie de crème et de lait. Ajoutez le laurier et porter à ébullition. Laissez frémir 4-5 minutes et laissez reposer.

Une fois refroidi, émiettez le haddock et jetez les arêtes et la peau.

Commencez le montage du crumble et préchauffez votre four à 180-200° C.

Dans un grand plat à gratin, étalez une généreuse couche de poireaux puis recouvrez de haddock et de nouveau de poireaux. Si le mix est un peu sec, ajoutez un peu de liquide de pochage.

Finissez en parsemant la surface d’une généreuse couche de crumble.

Faites cuire 20-30 minutes. Le crumble est prêt lorsque la surface a pris une jolie coloration dorée et que le crumble est cuit et croustillant. Il ne doit pas rester cru.

Servez tout de suite avec une généreuse salade verte bien assaisonnée.





Teaching Macaroons when the weather is stormy…. not the best idea!

16 Feb

One week after my 1st Macaroon Class at the Biltmore, here we go again with 6 students thrilled to learn how to create perfect macaroons….

As usual, everybody is happy to be here and we start the class in a relax mood despite the stormy weather that took place in the morning which means heavy sudden showers….

Stormy weather is also known as a nightmare for pastry chef as the moist is not good for puff pastry, choux pastry, crispy tuiles….. and as I was afraid of…. not good for macaroons either!

Eventually, we achieved our class with pretty good results but the consistency of the mix quickly became runny when it should be smoothly firm…. and the “croutage” of the macaroons took forever….. we had to find the best spot in the kitchen to move all the trays, lower the temperature and start shivering and finally bake the shells even if they were still sticky and shiny….

Some of them rose in funny ways, others burst but most of them behave and allowed us to create beautiful macaroons.

Macaroons-2nd session

Macaroons-2nd session-result

Here is the result…. not so bad…..!

And for those of you who want the recipe…. here is the link:

Macaroons Caramel Beurre Salé

Chocolate Festival Demo….. What a great time!

27 Jan

As I wrote yesterday…. Today was the last day of the 7th Chocolate Festival at Fairchild Tropical Garden.

I was doing a demo at noon and as it’s a really great place for kids, we all went there as it was only an 1/2 hour demo!

Those last few days, I have to say that I am back to my bad habits of mixing all the hours, days, appointments…. I don’t know if it’s because of the full moon or because I have to much to think about but it started from the beginning of the day, arriving 1/2 hour late at my yoga class (my good resolution for 2013…. 1 yoga class a day for 1 month!)…. as I thought it was at 9.00am.

Being 1/2 hour ahead on my schedule, I prepped everything and took the time to check my mails before going to the festival….. and ended up being almost late for my demo.

I did not know the parking of the Garden was so huge for the festival….. and as we arrived at the rush hour, we had to park really far from the demonstration tent….. it took us forever to reach the place as we also met people we knew on our way….

I had something like 5 minutes to get organized and brief my army of assistants which I am not use to have, get that microphone on my head and get used to talk with it (wao, I can be noisy….) then realize that there is quite a lot of people in front of me! Actually, it reminded me of the day of my wedding as I got married in open air under a similar tent!

Being late was the first positive point as I did not really had time to get scared but the second positive point was my twins who happened to be very participative especially my daughter who loves to spend hours with me when I am cooking and always ask for tasting…. As she saw the great stage, the audience, the cooking tools and the chocolate on the table….. she rushed to me, took place next to me and did not move from that moment except for chocolate…..

I have to say that it really created a great atmosphere, people were just having lots of fun as I was chopping chocolate then sharing small pieces with the twins before melting it…. it really looked like I was cooking from home for my family and as I was focused on the demo and my daughter, I forgot about the crazy amount of people looking at me and laughing when my daughter was acting like a monkey to put a finger in the chocolate sauce….

Anyway, 1/2 hour is so short that time really flies away and you not even started that it’s already finished.

Once the demo was over, I quickly explained how to present the mini fondants for canapes or plated desert and had some of the participants to come to the stage and practice the piping of the white chocolate mousse.

It was really great to get so many people, especially teenagers, coming on the stage and take the time to learn how to handle a piping bag.

We finished the demo with a raffle….. of course I asked my daughter to pick a ticket (only one…..!) and she made someone happy with a great Whole Foods voucher! It was really a nice way to conclude the demo.

Also, great was the energy of the students assisting all the chefs coming, washing utensils, plating for 100 people, getting you anything you need and even playing with the kids when they did not have to. Unfortunately, they did not have any cakes as all the samples disappeared in  a flash and I am really ashamed of that as they are really working hard….

Last but not least, the team organizing Fairchild events is really great. Always available, smiling and friendly, they even offered all the chefs a nice frame to thank us for our support. What a delicate intention!

The whole thing really makes you want to participate more often to such events. Let’s hope there will be many more editions!

Fairchild Demo-2

Guess who’s the Chef?

Fairchild Demo-3

Disappointed…. it was not icing sugar but plain flour….

Fairchild Demo-1

Piping, Plating but not thinking there’s a lot of people watching….


Cute little frame…. thank you Fairchild team.

Teaching at the Biltmore…. maybe one of my best Macaroon’s Class

23 Jan

Yesterday, I was teaching a Macaroon Class at The Biltmore Culinary Academy.

A bit tired by all the upcoming events of the new Year I was still very happy to go there and meet a new team and new students.

First of all, I have to say that location and setting definitely make the difference…. The Biltmore is an amazing Palace in one of the most attractive part of Coral Gables, the golf course is beautiful and the whole place really makes you feel in a Palace.

Biltmore Daytime

The team at the Culinary Academy is very professional and welcoming at the same time. There is no pressure, the set-up goes smoothly but effectively. I just need to ask once for an ingredient/utensil and it appears right in front of me as if by magic!

The room is great and the decoration is just like I love it. All white, stainless steel and chalkboard. It feels clean but not cold, serious but not intimidating.


Olivier, the French pastry chef working a couple of doors further also pop-up at some point and chat with me while measuring my ingredients. It’s casual and professional at the same time, he brings me his Kitchen Aid and tells me about the tricky ovens and also talk about France, Miami and his family. It’s good to feel like part of the team when it’s only your first time in a place!

Biltmore Macaroons Ingredients

At 6.30, only one student…. of course, we are in Miami and on top of that, a big accident happened right in front of the Hotel…..! Anyway, it gives us time to talk about the class while they arrive one by one and enjoy a piece of cheese, some nuts or a fresh drink.

Once everybody’s arrived, we start the class and everything run smoothly, after the demo, the students have to work by themselves and usually, this part gets a bit crazy…. not this time. I am just wondering whether they really need to learn how to make macaroons…. they get the perfect consistency, do not struggle with the piping bag, layer the macaroons so easily…. I am just very impressed!

As we have extra time while waiting for the shells to bake and the ganache to set, we quickly make some Nougatine and keep on chatting about recipes, Paris, London, restaurants…. Indeed, it is very entertaining and I feel rather like a guest than a teacher in here.

9.20….. Time flies and we assemble the macaroons before leaving. Everybody respect my piece of advice…. they’ll try the macaroons the next day, once the shells will be flavored by the ganache!

Macaroon Frantics

Only one bad point….. it’s freezing out there but pastry classes should always be as it’s the best way to create perfect pastry! Even the students where sneezing all class long and I came back home with feet as cold as I am used to have them when I am in France and it is -10°C outside…. Then if you wish to come, bring socks and hoodies to make sure the whole experience is fantastic….!

Look, even when you are leaving, the place is magic. See you on the 30th of January!

Biltmore at Night

Also…. here is the link for the macaroons we did:

Macaroon Caramel Fleur de Sel recipe

and just have a look at the Index of the Recipes for a greater range of flavor.

Thanksgiving in a rush….. the basics!

21 Nov

The last weeks have been full of Thanksgiving classes, menus and catering…. I have to say that I had NEVER cooked a Thanksgiving dinner before and I had to get in touch with my sister who spent almost the last decade in Connecticut and who knows  a lot more than I do about the traditions of Thanksgiving.

Thanks to her tips, recipes, web references…. I came to find the right way to manage a full menu that fits in a 2 1/2 hours hands-on class as well as in a small oven!

We organized the class at my friend Laure’s home who had found 4 other volunteers eager to learn more about Thanksgiving! And you know what… they did it which mean that you can also… especially if you are not chatting and tasting good wines at the same time as we did!

Enjoy cooking and Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is the menu

For the Brussels Sprouts, you just need to have a look at the last post to get the recipe…. and for the Financiers and Panacotta, they are in the index of the recipes as well…. or just click on them to open a new page….

I just added the Moroccan Carrots as an additional option for the sides even if I really advise you to give a try to the Brussels Sprouts… many people have changed their mind once they tried those ones!

Let’s talk about Turkey now…. I choose Turkey breast to be able to achieve my classes and demos within 2 1/2 hours and also to save some space in my oven but keep in mind that breasts are very fragile and can get very dry if you overcook them. Seal them well in the foil and cut them just before serving to keep the moist inside!

Turkey Breast with Pan Gravy


  • A 5- to 7-pound fresh turkey breast
  • Sea salt & ground pepper
  • Chopped herbs & spices such as thyme, rosemary, garlic, ginger, cumin…
  • Vegetable oil
  • Honey


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
Brush the turkey breast with vegetable oil and honey. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, herbs, and spices.
Insert a meat thermometer to the center of the breast. Wrap and seal the breast in heavy aluminum foil. Place on a wire rack in a shallow roasting pan.

Roast the turkey breast until the meat thermometer reaches 170 degrees F. (up to 2-3 hours). Open the aluminum foil about 30 minutes before the breast is done and baste 2 times with the drippings.

Pan Gravy

Once the turkey is cooked, let it rest on a rack and pour all the juices and drippings in the roasting pan.
Add a little chicken broth as well as a little white wine and let it reduce on medium heat.
Depending on how you like it, add one or 2 tsp of butter to make it more glossy or 1tsp of flour to get it thicker.

Hasselback Potatoes


  • A dozen of potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Aromatic herns (rosemary, thyme, oregano…)
  • Garlic


Preheat oven to 400 F.
Wash and cut the potatoes into 2 lengthways. Then cut them across at about 1-2 mm intervals.
Place them on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped herbs if you wish. Spread garlic cloves unpeeled around the potatoes as well.

Cook them for about 40 minutes until they are soft in the center.
Transfer on a serving dish and serve with the turkey and carrots. You can also serve them with sour cream or greek yogurt mixed with freshly chopped chive.

Moroccan Carrots


  • 3lb of carrots
  • 2 tbsp good olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander


Preheat oven to 400.
Peel and trim the carrots. Cut them lengthways then into 2-3 inches sticks. In a bowl whisk olive oil, spices, salt and pepper. Cover a roasting tray with parchment paper and spread the carrots on it then cover with the spiced olive oil and get them evenly coated.
Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until nicely grilled on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to grill the carrots evenly.
The carrots are ready to serve.

Baby Leaves Salad with Oranges, Cranberries & Caramelized Walnuts


  • 1 bag of fresh mixed leaves
  • 3 oranges unwaxed, untreated and washed
  • 1 handful of dried cranberries
  • olive oil, salt & pepper
  • 1 handful of walnuts slightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup of sugar


Grate the zest of the 3 oranges and keep it in a bowl.
Using a serrated knife, peel the skin of the orange then cut the orange segments on top of a large bowl to save the orange juice.
In a frying pan, pour the sugar and start a caramel, once it start to melt and gets a nice golden color, pour the walnuts in it and get them evenly coated with the caramel. Pour them on a silicon mat or parchment paper until they are cool.

Whisk together the orange juice, zest, olive oil, salt and pepper. Adjust the seasoning and add vinegar if you want it more acid.
Roughly chop the caramelized walnuts.
Toss the baby leaves with the dressing.
On a nice serving dish or in a salad bowl, layer the baby leaves and spread walnuts, cranberries and orange segments. Drizzle a little bit of the remaining dressing and serve.

Tapas Express Once Again

20 Nov

A few weeks ago my friend Charles called me to organize another Tapas session with his clients. First I was delighted… Then as he told me that they were skilled cooks and wine connoisseur, I simply got scared!
Will I be able to surprize them if only interest them?
After a few sleepless nights thinking about the menu and many drafts dropped in the bin, I came to rely on some of my favourite cookbooks to structurate the evening menu.

The Ottolenghi Cookbook by Yottam Ottolenghi for the Broccolini Salad and the Marinated Burrata
Fusion by Peter Gordon for the Kofte and the Fritters
Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook for the Blondie recipe
Last but not least, I used the Divertimenti recipe for my cookies and adapted it my way as I used to do when I was at the Cafe!

The idea was to bring them fresh ideas through recipes as well as products that they are not used to have when they are in Paris.That’s why I choose Yotam Ottolenghi recipe for the range of unusual products he’s using in his recipes such as Middle Eastern or Asian products. I chose Peter Gordon for his ability to transform our basics into trendy fusion dish. At last, I chose the Hummingbird Bakery for it’s appealing deserts that last as well as they taste!

And to match those Tapas, I have asked again my “caviste” to provide me a fine selection of wines from France as well as foreign countries.

For the Champagne he chose a 2006 Larmandier-Bernier Champagne like the last time but he chose a Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs which was even more complex and tasty…

For the Red Wine, he gave me a 2004 Argentinian Wine called Cuvelier los Andes. Strong enough to drink with the Spicy Koftes, Fritters and Broccolini but not overpowering in order to enjoy the complexity of the Tapas ingredients.

And last but not least, I asked him for a white wine for the desert but not a sweet one as I am not fond of them and I did not want to saturate my guests with sugar as the Blondie and Cookies are already very sweet!
He found an 2007 Alsacian 2007 Schoenenbourg Grand Cru Domaine Marcel Deiss with candied fruits notes as well as mineral notes. It was very complex and perfectly balanced the simplicity of the deserts we had prepared. It also brought a little freshness by the end of the tasting which was very pleasant as we all got a little tired by our long evening in the kitchen.

Here is the full description of the Wine Tasting explained by Lea & Sandeman and the Tapas Menu with the recipes.

2006 LARMANDIER-BERNIER Vieilles Vignes de Cramant Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Grand Cru

Pierre Larmandier is well placed with his Grand Cru vineyard in Cramant, planted in 1960 and 1932 . This is a minimal ‘dosage’, and is an ‘Extra Brut’ (less than 3g residual sugar), but the creamy texture, developed fruit, and subtle hint of oak gives a certain richness to this very delicious wine.

2004 GRAND VIN Cuvelier los Andes

The Gran Vin is a selection of the best wines, and a blend of 75% Malbec, 15% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, given 11 months in French oak ‘barriques’. Notes of spice and pepper, plenty of rich and racey dark fruit with a very long finish.

2007 SCHOENENBOURG Grand Cru Domaine Marcel Deiss

From a mosaic of small parcels in this gypsum-rich Grand Cru planted in the 1930s to Pinot Gris, Riesling (both “red” or “black” variants!), Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Sylvaner, Deiss’ 2007 Schoenenbourg smells bittersweetly of iris, freesia, fennel pollen, crystallized ginger, and candied orange rind. Hugely rich and carrying a load of sugar, it nevertheless displays uncanny transparency to inner-mouth floral nuances, subtle spices, and alkaline, chalky mineral notes. This shows less finishing sweetness than the 2006 and
displays kaleidoscopic flavor interaction. Expect it to dazzle for the next quarter century.


Tapas Menu


Marinated Burrata with Tomato Wedges

Corn, Dates and 5 Spices Fritters with Tomato and Avocado Salsa

Quinoa and Lamb Kofte with a Yogurt Sauce

Broccolini Salad with Sweet Sesame Dressing 

Blondie served with a Frozen Yogurt Ice-Cream

White Chocolate and Pistachio Cookies





Marinated Burrata with Tomato Wedges


125g of Burrata
1-2 ripe tomatoes

Ingredients for the Marinade

1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 lemon zest
8 basil leaves shredded
1tsp minced oregano
1 tsp very fine olive oil
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1/2 garlic clove crushed
1/4 tsp Maldon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper


In a pan or a baking tray, roast the fennel seeds then let them cool down and crush them in a mortar. Mix them with the marinade ingredients.
Roughly tear the Burrata into pieces and cover them with the marinade for 15 to 30 minutes.
Before serving, slice the tomatoes into wedges and plate it with some Burrata and marinade on top.

Corn, Dates and 5 Spices Fritters with Tomato and Avocado Salsa

Ingredients for the Fritters

50g of flour
25g of wholemeal flour
25g of polenta
1,5 tsp of caster sugar
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of 5 spices
1/4 tsp of salt
1 egg white
165ml of buttermilk
15ml of avocado oil
75g of sweet corn
6 fresh Medjool dates pitted and cut into 8 slices

Ingredients for the Salsa

1 small ripe avocado
1-2 tomatoes
10ml of avocado oil
15ml of lemon juice
1 handful of mixed leaves


In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
In another bowl, whisk the egg white with the yogurt and avocado oil and incorporate the dry ingredients. You will obtain a thick mix.
Add the sweet corn and the dates and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Prepare the salsa:
Cut the avocado and the tomatoes into small dices. Coat them with the lemon juice and the oil. Season with salt and pepper and keep on the side.

Cook the fritters:
Heat a large frying pan, add a little avocado oil and drop a few spoons of the mix all over the pan but with enough space in between each so that they spread without toiching each other.
Turn them on the other side once they have a nice golden brown colour. Let them cook 1-2 minutes on each side. Place them on a plate and keep on doing until you finish the mix.
Before serving, add the mixed leaves to the salsa and put 1-2 fritters on a plate with a spoon on salsa on top of each.

Quinoa and Lamb Kofte with a Yogurt Sauce


50g of quinoa
250g of minced lamb
15ml of soy sauce
1 small handfull of parsley roughly chopped
1 small handfull of coriander roughly chopped
1 small handfull of dill roughly chopped
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds roast
1/4 tsp of cloves crushed
1 tsp of crushed chilli

Ingredients for the Olive and Anchovy Sauce

3 anchovy filets
2 garlic cloves
1 small handfull of mint
25ml of olive oil
25g of green olive paste
30ml de vinaigre de vin blanc ou de cidre
30 ml of cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

Ingredients for the Cucumber and Sumac Sauce

1/4 cucumber
75g of greek yogurt
1,5 tsp of sumac


Place the wooden skewers in a jug of hot water to soften the wood.
Bring to a boil a pan of salted water. Rince the quinoa 20 seconds under cold water then cook it in the pan for 8 to 12 minutes until it start to open. The quinoa is cooked when it is tender butbstill a bit crunchy.
Pass it through a sieve and let it cool down then mix it with the other ingredients. Work the mix to get it homogenous and let it rest about 1 hour in the fridge.
Divide it into 8 balls then work them until younhave the shape of a small sausage that you will insert on a skewer. Let them rest.

While that time, prepare the anchovy sauce.
Place the mint, anchovies and garlic in a mortar and crush them, then add the olive oil, the olive paste and the vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Keep it on the side.

Now prepare the yogurt sauce.
Cut the cucumbers into quarters, remove the seeds in the centre and cut them into small cubes. Mix them with the yogurt and the sumac and keep it on the side.

Lightly brush the kofte with olive oil and grill them 2-3 minutes at a medium heat. Turn them when they get a nice brown coloration. If you are doing it in a pan, bring the oil to a high heat, sear the beef quickly on each side and put in on the side in a dish. When all the skewers are pre-cooked, cover the disf with foil and finish the cooking of the meat in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 180°.

Place the kofte on a large serving plate with a bowl of sauce on the side.

Broccolini Salad with Sweet Sesame Dressing


100g of broccolini
40g of french beans
60g of sugar snap peas
1 tsp of groundnut oil
10g of fresh coriander
1tsp of sesame seeds
1/2 tsp of nigella seeds

Ingredients for the Dressing

25g of tahine
20ml of water
1/2 garlic clove crushed
1/4 tsp of tamari soy sauce
1 tsp of quality honey
1 tsp of cider vinegar
2.5 tsp of mirin


Prepare the sauce
In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until you obtain a thick and creamy sauce that will be easy to spad. otherwise, add a little water and check the seasoning.

Get read of the broccolini leaves and cut them the size of the beans.
Bring to a boil a large pan of salted water and blanch the french beans for 3-4 minutes then the sugar snap for about 2 minutes then the broccolini for 2-3 minutes. Use the same water and place the greens under cold runnin water once they are cooked in order to stop them from cooking longer and to keep their green color. The greens are cooked but still a little crunchy as they are used for a salad.
In a pan, quickly roast the seeds and let them cool down.
Coat the greens with the oil and mix them with the seeds and coriand leaves. Place them on a serving dish and serve with the sauce on the side or pour it on top at the last minute.



140g of white chocolate blanc (buttons or roughly chopped)
125g of butter
150g of caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
210g of plain flour
1 pinch of salt
1 handful of roasted and roughly chopped pecans


Brush a brownie dish (46x23cm) with melted butter and cover it with parchment paper.
Preheat your oven to 160°.
In a bain-marie, melt the white chocolate and the butter and let it cool down then add the sugar, eggs and vanilla.
At last, add the flour, salt and pecans until you obtain an homogenous mix.
Pour it in the mold ans cook it 35-40 minutes until it gets a nice golden brown colour. The blondie is cooked when its center is still smooth but not liquid.
Let it cool down and cut it into squares before serving.

White Chocolate and Pistachio Cookies


250g of soft butter
400g of light brown sugar
75g of cast sugar
2 eggs
20ml of vanilla extract
500g of flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of salt
2 handfull of white chocolate (buttons)
1 handfull of roasted pistachios


In the bol of your Kitchen Aid, whisk together the butter and sugars until it gets airy and white tehn incorporate the eggs and vanilla.
Mix together all the dry ingredients except chocolate and pistachios then incorporate them to the mix. Once you have an homogenous mix, reduce the speed and incorporate the chocolate and pistachio or do it by hand if you prefer.
Divide the dough into 3 to 4 balls and put them on parchment paper rectangles then roll them into logs and wrap them in the paper. Keep them in the fridge for at least an hour or freeze them if you want to use the dough later.
Pheat the oven to 180°.
Divide the dough into portions of 70g and put them on a tray covered with parchment paper. Leave enough space in between each cookies as they will increase while cooking.
cook for 11 minutes until the edges of the cookie gets golden brown.
The dough in the center looks uncook but don’t worry, it keeps on cooking while esting. Let them cool down completly and serve them straight away.


Tapas Night…!

10 Sep

Last Thursday, a friend of mine came from Paris with two of his clients for a shopping trip in London. In order to surprise them, he asked me to organise a Cookery Class…. After a few phone calls and quite a lot of emails exchanged we came to a final decision: Tapas Class with a Wine Tasting!

For the wine, I asked my husband to bring me a nice selection from Lea & Sandeman, something original but classic and something tasty but light enough to match with the tasting of 7 different tapas…. What a challenge but he made it….

For the tasty as well as festive part he brought me a Larmandier-Bernier Champagne, a very delicate Blanc de Blancs. Small sparkling bubbles that transform your mouth into a nightclub but become velvet once you swallow them!

As a second choice, he surprised us with a Bolgheri Italian red wine – Le Macchiole – pretty light and very different from the many Chianti and Lambrusco that we are used to be proposed everywhere! It was perfect as a second choice. It did not overwhelm the tapas and left some space for the tastng of the last wine.

Last choice was the white wine, he chose a French one which might look as a classical choice but it was not. It was a Macon Vergisson La Roche 2008 from Burgundy; fresh and mineral…. very refreshing….

While they were enjoying the Champagne bubbles, we’ve been talking about the program of the evening, the importance of choosing products of quality as Tapas is mainly based on it. The point of doing Tapas is that it requires little cooking, last minute presentation for a lot of pleasure! The idea was to discover that pleasure within 7 steps and ” wines…

Here is the list of the Tapas program:

  • Pecorino stuffed Dates in a Pancetta Crust
  • Sugar Snap Peas sautéed with Chorizo
  • Parmesan Sablés with a Sun Blushed Tomato and Green Olives Tapenade
  • Skewers of Grilled Halloumi and Marinated Vegetables Ribbons
  • Smoked Salmon and Goat’s Cheese Croustades
  • Grilled Chicken Skewers with a Sate Dip
  • Rose and Raspberry Financiers



Pecorino stuffed Dates in a Pancetta Crust



  • 12 Medjool dates unpitied and half sliced
  • 12 slices of Pancetta
  • 120g of Pecorino
  • 12 skewers


Preheat your oven to 200°

Slice your Pecorino about the lenght of the dates but smaller so that it fits in and 1cm wide. Insert each piece in a date.

Roll the date in a Pancetta slice and use a skewer to get everything to hold together.

Place them on a baking tray covered with parchment paper or a silicon mat and cook for about 10 minutes until the Pancetta becomes crispy.

Let it cool down for at least 5 minutes. The Pancetta is crusty, the dates and Pecorino are melting in your mouth.


Sugar Snap Peas sautéed with Chorizo



  • 200g of fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed, washed and dried
  • About 8 cm of mild or spicy Chorizo
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • Reduced Balsamic Vinegar


Cut into 2 and in the diagonal the sugar snap peas.

Thinly slice the spring onions in the diagonal (about 2mm).

Cut the Chorizo into small sticks about 4cm high and 3-4mm wide.

Heat a pan without oil and sauté the chorizo until it gets crispy. Get rid of the excess of oil but keep some to sauté the sugar snap peas.Cook them 2 to 3 minutes and deglaze them with a little drop of Balsamic.

Place them in small plates and decorate with the spring onions.

Serve hot.

Parmesan Sablés with a Sun Blushed Tomato and Green Olives Tapenade


Ingredients for the Sun-blushed Tomatoes and Green Olives Tapenade: 

  • 120 g of sun-blushed tomatoes
  • 100 g of pitted green olives
  • 2 tbsp of pine nuts
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper



Pour all the ingredients in the bowl of your blender, blend it little by little using the turbo function if you have one. As a result, the tapenade will be grainy.

Taste and adjust the seasoning depending on your preference.

Ingredients for the Sablés:

  • 150g cold butter cut into dices
  • 200g flour
  • 150g ground parmesan
  • Freshly ground pepper


Preheat your oven to 200°.

In a large bowl or with the paddle of your Kitchen Aid, work together all the ingredients until you obtain a soft homogenous dough.

Divide it into small balls of the same size and press it at the bottom of your mini molds (1/2 high).

Cook it for 10-15 min depending on the size of the balls.

Let it rest in the mold until completely cooled down.

Once cold, put them on a plate and add a small spoon of tapenade on top.

Decorate with a baby leave of basil.


Skewers of Grilled Halloumi and Marinated Vegetables Ribbons


  • 3-4 carots
  • 2 courgettes
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 slice of Halloumi
  • Fresh Herbs



Trim carrots and courgettes and peel the carrots.

With a peeler, cut thin ribbons of carrots and courgettes lenghtways. If you do it in advance, keep them in a bowl of cold water otherwise, the marinade will overcook them and you will loose all their crunchiness.

In a bowl, prepare the marinade: mix together the oil, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Put the ribbons in it for 15-20 minutes.

While that time, heat a grill and place the Halloumi on it. Press one side then the other in order to have nice golden brown grill marks on each side. Let it rest a few minutes then slice it into cubes about 1cm.

Roughly chop the herbs of your choice (charvil, parsley, basil, mint).

On a toothpick, alternate vegetable ribbons and Halloumi dice (2-3).

Sprinkle herbs on top of it.


Smoked Salmon and Goat’s Cheese Croustades


  • 24 croustades
  • 2 large slices of smoked salmon
  • 200g of fresh goat’s cheese (no rind)
  • Freshly grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Dill roughly chopped

In a bowl, crush the goat’s cheese with a fork.

Roughly chop the salmon and add it to the goat’s cheese, mix together and add the lemon zest, pepper and roughly chopped dill. If it’s too dry, add a little lemon juice until it gets softer.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Just before serving*, spoon a small amount of the filling in the croustade and decorate with fresh dill.

* Don’t fill the croustades too much in advance otherwise, they will get soft.

Grilled Chicken Skewers with a Sate Dip


Ingredients for the Chicken:

  • 120ml of sunflower oil
  • 15ml of dark soy sauce
  • 30ml of oyster sauce
  • 1/2tsp of ground turmeric
  • 2 chicken breasts


Method for the marinade:

In a tall container, pour hot water and put the skewers in it. It will soften the wood and avoid any wooden pieces get stuck in the chicken.

Get rid of any excess of fat or bones then slice the chicken breasts lenghtways within pieces 2-3cm wide.

In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients of the marinade, then put the chicken breast pieces in it and get them well coated. Turmeric has a strong power of coloration. If the bowl has a lid, just check it carefully otherwise, you can wear chicken gloves. Let them rest at least 1/2hour.

Ingredients for the Sate sauce:

  • 90ml of creamy coconut milk
  • 1tsp Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tbsp of ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of crunchy peanut butter
  • Salt and pepper

Method for the Sate sauce:

In a small pan, bring to a boil the coconut milk then incorporate the red curry paste and give it a good whisk to get it dissolved.

Reduce the heat and add the turmeric, sugar, peanut butter, salt and pepper. Taste and add some more curry paste, sugar or peanut butter depending on your own taste.

Method for the skewers:

Pin each chicken stripes at the end of the skewer. Do not compress it as it has to grill homogeneously.

Pour a little oil on a very hot plancha or large frying pan and cook the skewers 2-3min on each side in order to have a nice golden brown coloration. If the pieces are too wide to get it cooked within that time, you can finish their cooking in an oven at 150°. In that case, cover them with the rest of the marinade and a piece of foil paper. It will keep them moist.

Just before serving, reheat the Sate sauce and give it a good whisk before pouring it in a bowl.

Place the skewers on a servind plate with the bowl next to it.

You can sprinkle some crushed roasted peanuts on top.

Rose and Raspberry Financiers

Ingredients: for 18 Financiers

  • 170g of butter
  • 120 g almond powder
  • 140 g icing sugar
  • 40 g flour
  • 4 white eggs
  • 1 tbsp of rose essence
  • 18 raspberries fresh or frozen


Preheat your oven to 150°

Put the butter in a pan and melt it until it gets a hazelnut color…. don’t let it burn!

Mix well together the almond, flour, icing sugar and egg whites.

Pour the butter in the mix and keep on whisking.

Add the rose essence.

Pour the mix in your mold (silicon is better as you don’t need to fight to get the cakes out of it!) and press a raspberry in the center of each case.

Cook it for about 15′ until it gets a nice golden color.

Let them cool down on a rack and enjoy….