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Spice up your nuts….

3 Nov

4-Roasted Nuts

Here is a very simple recipe I intended to post for a long time now.

We used to prep those nuts for the partners when I use to work in London and I keep prepping them as everybody crave for them.

It will take you very little time, ingredients and lots of pleasure.

 

1-Ingredinets

 

Ingredients for a good reserve of nuts:

  • a handful of Macadamias
  • a handful of Pecans
  • a handful of Cashews
  • 1.5 tbsp of canola oil
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp Smoked Paprika (sweet or hot depending on your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

In a bowl, mix together the oil, salt and paprika then rub the nuts with the mix.

2-Tray

Spread them on a tray covered with parchment paper then roast them in the oven for about 5 minutes until they get a nice golden brown coloration and release a nice smell of roasted nuts.

Stir them halfway through while they are in the oven so that they roast properly then let them cool down for a few minutes.

If they are very oily, pour them on a tray covered with kitchen paper in order to absorb the excess of oil then serve them straight away with drinks or use them to bring flavor to your salads, rice or Bulgour salads for example.

You can use other nuts such as almonds, Brazilian nuts, walnuts….. try to keep in mind that they have to be the same size otherwise they wont roast the same way, some may start to burn while the other one will be undercooked.

You can also do that with seeds (sunflower, pumpkin….) or use other spices but I really like the special flavor of the smoked paprika.

3-Roasted Nuts

Noix Rôties au Paprika Fumé

 

Ingrédients :

  • 1 poignée de Macadamias
  • 1 poignée de Pecans
  • 1 poignée de Cajous
  • 1 a 1,5 cas d’huile d’arachide
  • ½ to 1 cac de paprika fumé (doux ou fort selon votre goût)
  • ½ cac de sel de mer

Méthode :

Préchauffez votre four à 180°C.

Mixez l’huile, le paprika et le sel dans un grand bol, enduisez bien les noix avec ce mix puis dispersez-les en une seule couche sur une plaque couverte de papier sulfurisé.

Faites-les rôtir au four environ 5 minutes. Secouez la plaque en cours de cuisson pour faire rôtir les noix sur l’autre face.

Les noix sont prêtes lorsqu’elles prennent une jolie coloration dorée-brune et laissent échapper une agréable odeur de noix rôties.

Laissez-les refroidir et si elles sont trop grasses, faites-les passer sur une plaque couverte de papier absorbant pour vous débarrasser de l’excès d’huile.

Servez à l’apéritif ou utilisez-les pour relever une salade verte ou un plat de riz par exemple.

Vous pouvez bien sûr utiliser d’autres noix telles que les noisettes, amandes ou pistaches par exemple mais gardez bien en tête qu’il faut que les noix aient une taille similaire pour qu’elles rôtissent uniformément sinon certaines risquent de brûler quand les autres seront encore crues.

De même vous pouvez vous amusez avec les épices mais le paprika fumé reste mon épice favorite pour donner du caractère à ce mix de noix.

Pumpkin and Mascarpone Soup….

26 Oct

Soupe Pres Cup_4

There we are….. Switching to Winter hour gave us an additional hour to sleep this week-end but also shorter days for the weeks to come!

Even if we have an amazing Autumn with bright blue sky and pretty warm weather, it’s still a bit chilly when the sun disappears.

So it just reminds us that we will soon crave for hot soups by the fireplace.

Here is my first soup of the season.

I choose the pumpkin because of Thanksgiving and Halloween…. just one idea among thousands to accommodate that squash that will decorate your house for the upcoming week.

Potimarron Potimarron-Grille

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 1 chestnut pumpkin
  • 1 onion – diced
  • fresh thyme leaves – about 1/2 tsp
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Mascarpone
  • 1/2 tsp cumin (optional)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Cut the pumpkin into large wedges and scoop out the center with a spoon until you got rid of all the seeds and stringy parts.

Place them on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Grill them for 20-25 minutes until a blade gets easily through it.

Let them cool down then scoop the flesh out of the skin.

Drizzle a pan with olive oil and start to cook the diced onion with salt, pepper and cumin. When it gets soft and a nice golden coloration, add the pumpkin flesh, thyme and cover with chicken stock.

Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes then mix it with a hand blender until it gets smooth.

Roasted Pumpkin Blender

Rectify the seasoning then add the Mascarpone and mix it again.*

Serve it hot with a spoon of whipped Mascarpone, a dash of Tabasco or seeds to decorate. Soupe Pres Verrine

* If the mix is too thick, add some more stock or water and blend it again.

* If the mix is too liquid, before adding the Mascarpone, dice a peeled potato and add it to the soup. Cook it on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes then mix it again. If you have reached the right consistency, add the Mascarpone.

Soupe au Potimarron et au Mascarpone

 

Ingrédients pour 4 personnes:

  • 1 potimarron
  • 1 oignon émincé
  • ½ cc de feuilles de thym frais
  • 500 ml de fond de volaille
  • 125 ml de Mascarpone
  • 1/2 cc de cumin (optionnel)
  • Huile d’olive
  • Sel et poivre

 

Méthode:

Préchauffez votre four à 200°C.

Coupez le potimarron en 2 et ôtez toutes les graines et la partie filandreuse à l’aide d’une cuillère.

Coupez le potimarron en quartiers et posez-les sur une plaque couverte de papier sulfurisé.

Versez un filet d’huile d’olive, assaisonnez de sel et de poivre et faites cuire 20-25 minutes jusqu’à ce que le potimarron soit cuit, une lame le traverse sans résistance.

Laissez-le refroidir sur le côté.

Dans un fait-tout, faites revenir l’oignon jusqu’à ce qu’il prenne une jolie coloration dorée.

Pendant ce temps, détachez la chair du potimarron de la peau à l’aide d’une cuillère ou d’un couteau. Versez la chair du potimarron dans le fait-tout, ajoutez le cumin et couvrez avec 500ml de fond de volaille.

Laissez cuire à feu moyen pendant 15-20 minutes puis mixez le tout à l’aide d’un robot plongeant jusqu’à obtention d’une soupe onctueuse et lisse.*

Ajustez l’assaisonnement puis versez le Mascarpone et remixez.

Servez chaud avec quelques gouttes de Tabasco, une cuillère de Mascarpone fouetté ou quelques graines pour décorer.

* Si la soupe est trop épaisse, ajoutez un peu d’eau ou de fond de volaille jusqu’à obtention de la consistance souhaitée.

* Si la soupe est trop liquide, pelez et découpez en petits dés une pomme de terre et ajoutez-la à la soupe, faites cuire a feu moyen 5-10 minutes et mixez de nouveau. Ajoutez ensuite le Mascarpone.

What’s for lunch on Sunday?

12 Oct

Being in town on Sundays – rather than in the countryside – usually means there was some parties the night before. As a result, we often try to catch-up with friends for a late lunch in a comfortable place where we can enjoy being lazy for some time.
Being a bit tired, I also like simple menus…. if I am not up to a good burger, it will be a Smoked Salmon Bagel with Cream Cheese and Lemon.

Doing it yourself is very simple as well… here are a few tips:

 

Bagel-Salmon-Cream Cheese

Ingredients for 4 Bagels:

  • 4 fresh bagels (my favorite is with poppy-seeds on top)
  • 1 Philadelphia cream-cheese pack (not the other brands)
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 slices of high-quality smoked-salmon
  • freshly ground pepper
  • dill (optional)
  • 3-4 handfuls of mixed leaves
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon juice

Preparation:

As for the baguette, the best Bagels are the ones of the day. Don’t go for industrial or frozen ones, rather get them at the closest Deli selling them for really fresh and moist ones. In France, you have more and more bagel places selling them by the unit or you can also buy them at Marks and Spencer.

Only use Philadelphia cream-cheese, this is the only one to me because I am looking for a specific flavor and creaminess. In France, Monoprix sell the brand now and maybe other shops as well.

To prepare it, simply slice the bagel into 2 using a bread knife and quickly grill the bread in the toaster at a medium temperature.

Spread Philadelphia on both slices, add the smoked salmon cut into thin slices to make it easier to eat once assembled.

Grind some fresh pepper on top, press lemon juice as well, maybe spread some dill.

You can prepare a nice salad on the side. Mix olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice to your taste and gently toss the salad with the dressing.

Place both slices on a plate with a handful of salad on the side.

You are ready to go….. happiness is only one bite away from you.

* If you just want to get a good bagel in the street, as I told you, many places have opened but the only one that I have always loved is in the 6th district. It’s been open for years now and I still crave for the food they prep. The place is very tinny and you usually buy it to take-away:

Bagels and Brownie

12 rue Notre Dame des Champs
75006Paris

 

 

Parmesan and Rosemary Shortbreads with a Poppy-Seed Crust

5 Oct

Having a bunch of friends coming for a drink at home but only bags of crisps to propose?

Here is a great recipe that you can prepare in advance and store in the freezer. They work like cookie dough, you cut it and bake it according to your needs.

The seeds crust make it look sophisticate and the rosemary flavor will bring you back to your last holidays in the South…..

   IMG_0349

Ingredients:

  • 140g of flour
  • 100g of finely grated Parmesan
  • 100g of butter
  • a pinch of pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh rosemary finely chopped

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 1 tbsp of poppy-seeds

Method:

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix them with the tips of your fingers. The mix will look like powder then it will form a soft and uniform ball.

This can also be made with a Kitchen Aid, using the paddle attachment.

Roll the dough into logs about 4 cm diameter then roll them in poppy seeds until it creates a nice crust.

Wrap the logs in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

IMG_0344

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Unwrap the logs and cut them into thin slices – 3-4mm.

IMG_0343

IMG_0346

Place them on a tray covered with parchment paper or silicon mat and bake for 7-8 minutes until the edges gets a nice golden brown color.

Let them cool down until they become hard.

IMG_0348

IMG_0347

These shortbreads can keep up to one week in an airtight container.

Serve them as they are or top them with some tapenade or sun-dried tomatoes.

You can also have fun and change the flavor.

Use Pecorino instead of Parmesan, Cayenne Pepper instead of Rosemary, Sesame Seeds instead of Poppy Seeds….

IMG_0350

Sablés Parmesan-Romarin en croûte de Pavots

 

Ingrédients:

  • 140g de farine
  • 100g de Parmesan finement râpé
  • 100g de beurre
  • une pincée de poivre du moulin
  • 1/2 cc de romarin frais finement émincé

Ingrédients pour la croûte:

1 cas de graines de pavot

Méthode:

Dans un bol, mixez du bout des doigts tous les ingrédients. Vous allez obtenir une poudre puis en la travaillant plus longuement, vous obtiendrez une pate homogène.

Vous pouvez aussi le faire dans le bol de votre Kitchen Aid en utilisant la feuille.

Divisez la pâte en 2-3 portions et formez des rouleaux de 3-4 cm de diamètre.

Roulez-les dans les graines de pavot jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient bien recouverts.

Enveloppez-les dans du film étirable et réservez-les au réfrigérateur au moins 1 heure.

Préchauffez votre four à 180 °C.

Coupez les rouleaux en tranches de 3-4 mm d’épaisseur et disposez-les sur une plaque recouverte de papier sulfurisé ou d’un tapis silicone.

Faites-les cuire 7-8 minutes jusqu’à ce que les bords prennent une jolie coloration dorée.

Laissez-les reposer jusqu’à ce que les sablés durcissent.

Vous pouvez les conserver jusqu’à une semaine dans une boîte hermétique et à l’abri de l’humidité.

Apple Crumble with Raspberry Jam

9 Feb

    It’s been a few years since I started this blog now and I just realized that one of my favorite recipe is missing.
And such a well-known one….! The Crumble…..
Of course you have thousands of variations on the crumble and I have mine as well but I keep it pretty simple and if you happen to be short on almond powder and/or can’t find raspberries, just deal without it! Replace almond with flour and raspberries by whatever you like and maybe just a couple more apples!
What we need to keep in mind is just that we want to enjoy the combination of the crunchy crumbs and the melting cooked fruits….!

1-Apple

Ingredients for 8-10 people

For the fruit base:

  • 12-14 small cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into quarters or cubes
  • 100g of butter
  • 1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 400g of raspberries fresh, frozen or in a jam (in that case, don’t put the sugar and reduce the honey to 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • the seeds of a vanilla pod

For the crumble:

  • 200g of butter cut into dices
  • 200g of almond powder
  • 200g of flour
  • 75g of sugar

Method:

In a large pan, melt the butter and start to cook the apples on medium heat.
Add the honey, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla seeds and cover with a lid. Stir from time to time until the apples start to soften.

2-Apples Cooking

In the meantime, prepare the crumble mix. In a bowl, mix together by hand all the ingredients until you obtain nice crumbs. If you keep working the mix it will become a dough. You have to stop just the step before.

3-Crumbles

Preheat your oven to 180.
When the apples are slightly cooked, pour them in a oven dish. Add the raspberries or raspberry jam on top and swirl them in or cover them with some more apples.
Layer evenly the crumbs on top and bake for 30-40 minutes until the top gets a nice golden brown color.

4-Layers

Serve it hot or cold with cream, ice-cream or custard.

5-Resultat

Crumble Pommes Framboises

Ingredients pour 8-10 personnes

Pour la base aux fruits:

  • 12-14 petites pommes pelées, coupées en quartiers ou en cubes
  • 100g de beurre
  • 100ml de miel ou de sirop d’érable
  • 120g de sucre
  • 400g de framboises fraiches ou surgelées ou en confiture (dans ce cas, retirez le sucre et réduire la quantité de miel à 75ml)
  • 1cc de cannelle en poudre
  • les graines d’une gousse de vanille

Pour le crumble:

  • 200g de beurre coupés en dés
  • 200g d’amandes en poudre
  • 200g de farine
  • 75g de sucre

Méthode:

Dans une grande casserole, faites fondre le beurre et commencez à cuire les pommes en ajoutant le miel, le sucre, la cannelle et la vanille. Couvrez et laissez cuire sans trop remuer pour éviter l’effet compotée et garder le fruit intact.
Préchauffez votre four à 180°C.
Préparez le crumble. Dans un saladier, travaillez à la main tous les ingrédients jusqu’à obtention de grosses miettes, les crumbles. Si vous travaillez trop le mix, vous obtiendrez une boule de pâte et si vous ne le travaillez pas assez, le mix sablera mais ne formera pas de petites boules.
Répartissez les pommes dans un plat allant au four et dispersez les framboises ou la confiture à la surface. Incorporez-les en sillon à l’aide d’une cuillère ou recouvrez-les ensuite d’une autre couche de pommes.
Dispersez ensuite les crumbles à la surface pour obtenir une couche homogène.
Faites cuire au four 30-40 minutes jusqu’à ce que la surface prenne une jolie coloration dorée.
Servez chaud ou froid, avec de la crème, de la glace ou une crème anglaise.

Local and Seasonal Winter Salad with Endives, Pears and Mountain Cheese

28 Dec

Winter time in Serre-Chevallier…. I am cooking for a nice family of foodies expecting quality food with local and seasonal products….. just what I love!

Of course, they expect meals more sophisticated than Cheese Fondue, Raclette or Tartiflette…. otherwise, they would go to the restaurants rather than hiring a chef.

Let’s be inventive then…. and propose an alternative to the classic apple, walnut and endive salad.

Today, I decided to replace apples with pears and create a nice dressing with fried bacon strips, walnuts, cider vinegar and Dijon mustard to bring lots of flavor to the salad. And as a final touch, rather than a classic Emmenthal or colorful Mimolette shavings, I used a young Tomme de Savoie to bring some more texture to that crunchy salad.

Want to give it a try?

Let’s start then!

4-Endives, Pears and Dressing

Ingredients for 6-8 persons:

  • 6 endives medium size
  • 4 pears, neither too ripe nor too firm
  • a handful of walnuts
  • 150-200g of bacon strips
  • 150g of Mountain Cheese such as a young Tomme de Savoie
  • 1 tbsp of Dijon Mustard
  • Cider Vinegar
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

2-Pears, Endives, Tomme

Method:

If you prepare the salad slightly in advance, have a juiced lemon at hand to pour on top of the sliced endives and pears so that they do not oxidized and become brownish.

Prepare the garnish:

In a frying pan, pour the bacon strips and turn the heat on. When it start to make lots of noise, the bacon starts to get a nice coloration. Give them a good shake or stir them and let them cook longer until they get evenly cooked and crusty.

Gather them on one half of the pan and pour the hazelnut on the other half to roast them slightly on low heat.

Deglaze with Cider Vinegar -about 2-3 tbsp- until it evaporates then turn the heat of and add 1 tbsp of mustard, a little more vinegar and 2-3 tbsp of oil. Stir the whole mix until the bacon and walnuts get evenly coated with the dressing. Let it rest on the side.

Garniture

Wash the endives and remove the surrounding leaves if they don’t look good. Cut the endives lengthways and remove the center in a shape of a pyramid. Slice them into 1 inch stripes and set aside in a large bowl with lemon juice on top.

Wash the pears and cut them into quarters, remove the center and cut them into thin slices about 2-3mm. Set them aside on top of the endives with lemon juice on top.

At last prepare the cheese. Remove the rind then cut it into thin slices – about the same size as the pears. Keep it at hand.

3-Ingredients Prepares

Once ready to serve, pour the dressing with the walnuts and bacon on top of the endives and pears then spread the cheese on top.

Bring it to the table and toss it.

5-Assemble and Toss

Salade d’Endives, Poires, Noix et Fromage de Montagne

Ingrédients pour 6-8 personnes:

  • 6 endives de taille moyenne
  • 4 poires, ni trop mures, ni trop fermes
  • une poignée de noix
  • 150-200g de lardons
  • 150g de fromage de montagne tel que la Tomme de Savoie
  • 1 cas de Moutarde de Dijon
  • Vinaigre de Cidre
  • Huile végétale
  • Sel et Poivre

Méthode:

Si vous préparez cette salade en avance, préparez un jus de citron pour le verser sur les endives et les poires afin d’éviter que celles-ci ne s’oxydent au contact de l’air et ne brunissent.

Préparez la garniture :

Faites revenir le bacon dans une grande poêle à feu moyen. Quand ils commencent à grésiller, remuez un peu afin de les dorer uniformément. Laissez-les revenir jusqu’à ce qu’ils prennent une belle couleur dorée-brune et soient croustillants.

Poussez-les sur une moitie de la poêle et parsemez l’autre moitié de noix pour les torréfier 2-3 minutes à feu doux.

Déglacez le tout avec 2-3 cas de vinaigre de cidre jusqu’à ce qu’il s’évapore. Hors du feu, ajoutez une généreuse cas de moutarde, un peu plus de vinaigre et 2-3 cas d’huile pour créer la vinaigrette. Mélangez bien pour que les noix et les lardons soient bien enrobés et laissez reposer.

Lavez les endives et débarrassez-les des feuilles abîmées. Coupez-les en deux dans le sens de la longueur et ôtez le cœur en forme de pyramide. Emincez-les en lanières, placez-les dans un grand saladier de 2-3mm et arrosez-les de jus de citron.

Lavez les poires et coupez-les en quartiers. Otez le centre et coupez-les en tranches fines de 2-3mm. Arrosez-les de jus de citron et placez-les au dessus des endives.

Pour le fromage, ôtez la croute et coupez-le en fines lamelles de la taille des poires. Gardez-les a portée de main.

Au moment de servir, versez la garniture-assaisonnement sur les endives et les poires puis parsemez de lamelles de fromage.

Apportez le plat a table et servez après avoir pris le temps de bien fatiguer la salade pour que la garniture imprègne les endives et les poires.

Goat’s Cheese Soufflés and Twice-Baked Soufflés…. Yes, you can prep them ahead!

24 Nov

As I have been teaching Soufflés classes at La Cuisine Paris for quite some times now, I talked a lot about a recipe we used to do at Travers Smith for the Partner’s buffet.

They liked the Soufflés but as you know, Soufflés is anything but a buffet dish as it has to be served as soon as it is cooked!

They found a solution to that matter indeed…. Here it is: the Twice-Baked Soufflés.

Of course you loose part of the puffiness of the Soufflés but you can still enjoy a moment of lightness which is not so bad when you add the cream to it!

The best part of that recipe is the fact that at last we found a way to prep Soufflés ahead!

Ingredients for the Béchamel / Mornay Sauce:

  • 60g of butter
  • 60g of plain flour
  • 350 ml of whole milk hot or at room temperature
  • salt & pepper
  • nutmeg
  • 75g of fresh goat’s cheese, mashed (the Béchamel becomes a Mornay sauce or Cheese sauce)
  • 1 tbsp of freshly gratted Parmesan

Ingredients for the Soufflés:

  • Mornay/Cheese Sauce
  • 2 tbsp of freshly chopped herbs (parsley, chives, chervil…)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites

Ingredients for the Twice-Baked Soufflés:

  • 2 cups of cream

Method for the Béchamel/Cheese Sauce :

In a large deep pan, melt the butter and add all the flour at the same time when the butter starts to boil.

Using a whisk, cook the “roux” for 2 minutes in order to get rid of the taste of the flour. You obtain a thick paste getting a color slightly brown.

Gradually add the milk (hot or at least at room temperature to avoid the lumps) to the “roux”.

Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

It will be hard in the beginning and you will work on a thick paste but as you add the milk, the Béchamel will get a nice silky look and get more and more liquid depending on the consistency you are looking for.

Bring the Béchamel to a boil at least 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Adjust the seasoning and reserve until needed. (cover with cling film in contact if you do not use it soon enough otherwise, a crust will appear at the surface.

Add the fresh goat’s cheese (mashed) and the grated Parmesan to your Béchamel, it will then becomes a cheese sauce called Mornay sauce in French. Incorporate it to the Béchamel and stir until the cheese is fully melted.

Allow to cool for a few minutes.

1-Roux

2-Add Milk

Method for the Soufflés:

While the Cheese Sauce is resting, preheat your oven to 180°C.

Melt 20 g of butter in a pan and grease 6 soufflé dishes, using a brush from bottom to the top to help the rising of the soufflé. Sprinkle with flour and remove any excess. Keep the ramequins in the fridge.

Fold the yolks in thoroughly and taste for seasoning, also add the freshly chopped herbs.

Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks with a pinch of salt.

Fold one third of the egg whites into the mixture to slacken it and then fold in the rest gently to keep the the air.

Divide the mixture between the prepared ramequins and stop 1 inch from the top as it will rise a lot. Smooth the surface of each and pass your thumb on the edges to get rid of any excess of mixture.

Bake for about 20 minutes until well puffed and firm to the touch.

Serve them straight ahead with a great green salad on the side.

photo 5 photo 5

Method for the Twice-Baked Soufflés:

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Let the soufflés rest for a few minutes, the will get flat but will be easy to get out of the molds.

Simply invert them onto a gratin dish keeping space in between each soufflés or in Crème Brûlée dishes if you want to serve them individually.

Pour over 1/3 cup of cream on each soufflé to moisten them thoroughly, season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

The soufflés will-look swollen and golden. Serve them in the small dish or in the gratin dish with a generous green salad.photo 5