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La Source: great new restaurant close to Pinarello in South Corsica

21 Aug

As we went to South Corsica with my brother’s family and another couple of great friends 3 weeks ago, we discovered a great place, only 5 minutes walk from our beach that opened a few days after our arrival. It is called La Source.

As we have 7 kids following, it was a great opportunity to find a good spot to have lunch, drinks, ice-cream or even dinner close by.

The place belongs to Patrice who used to work all over the world in Michelin stars restaurants and great palaces. He never counted his hours, he was really dedicated to his work but at some point he wanted time for himself, time to take a deep breath and enjoy his skills.

That’s exactly what he is doing at La Source. He created a nice little restaurant, almost a “paillotte”. You can access the place by the road or the beach and you are just in the middle of a field of Mediterranean trees with a small wooden house under which he created a bar and his kitchen.

1-On the way

The access through the beach…

2-La Source_edited-1

The small beach in front of the restaurant, the bar and the view.

Once you are there, you are welcomed by the owner Patrice Alexandre, very relax in bermudas and flip-flops. A huge smile on his face and a musical accent.

Here we are, relax and happy, feeling like at home.

He serves us Corsican chestnut beer, rose wine and also a great sweet wine called Suleone made with 3 different grapes: Muscat, Chardonnay and Chenin. Usually, this is not something I like but I gave it a try with Cecile and we soon became addicted! We had our bottle reserved at the bar….!

3-Our Suleone

Our “reserved” bottle of Suleone, a nice sweet wine, perfect as an evening drink. We brought one back in Paris. To be opened when the days get shorter and the weather colder….

For the food, the menu is straightforward, a great pasta dish, cured meats, great Mozzarella and Burrata, good tomatoes, antipasti plate and Frito Misto with a delicious Wasabi mayonnaise. A selection of artisan ice cream such as Mandarine and a few deserts.

What makes it successful is that Patrice sources is products with great care and cook them with passion. It can take time but who cares, we are on holidays with great friends, amazing view and no stress!

And if we are hungry, we still have a basket of really fresh bread and tasty butter to keep us waiting!

4-Burrata

The Burrata served with Corsican cured pork.

5-Tomato Trio

The trio of Tomatoes served with the dressing in a bottle.

6-Assortiments

La Source Plate: an assortment of specialties selected and cooked by Patrice.

Yes indeed, this is a place to go before it becomes too well-known. Hopefully, the owner is passionate enough to keep it as it is right now but we can’t blame him if he grows bigger within the next year.

As long as he keeps on being so welcoming and nice with our kids, we’ll keep on coming and sharing great moments with him.

7-Kids Paradise

Also a great place for kids…. the chef’s pasta at any time and a lot of space to play while we are enjoying our drinks and plates….

La Source: Patrice Alexandre

Sainte Lucie de Porto Vecchio

Caramontinu 20144

Tel: 06 27 16 71 33

Potato Rösti…. the easy way

25 Mar

We have so many ways to cook potatoes without wasting time that when it comes to serving rösti, they are frozen ones most of the time….

I have to agree on the fact that they are time consuming but real home-made ones are really worth it especially when they are served straight away.

First of all, if you have a food processor, the good news is that you are already saving 1/3 of your preparation time!

Also, if it’s your first time, keep that recipe for your family. You will not feel like a frying machine afterward as you may need to do them into 1 to 2 batches!

Still up for the experience? Let’s go then.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 medium floury potatoes per person such as Bintje
  • Sea salt & ground black pepper
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Cheese, onions, other vegetables, garlic, aromatic herbs optional *

Rosti-Ingredients

Method

Peel and coarsely grate the potatoes. Fold them in a clean towel and squeeze them on top of a sink or bowl to remove as much moisture as possible. Do not hesitate to do it into two times if you are preparing a lot of potatoes. That step is really important as the consistency will not be the same if there is too much moist left.

2-Peel,Grat,Shred

Season the grated potatoes with salt and black pepper, then divide them into equal portions – small heaps about the size of a walnut.

3-Season and Divide

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a tbsp of butter and a tbsp of olive oil.

Place the potato heaps one by one and carefully in the pan and gently flatten them by pressing on top. They will become nice small “galettes” about 4-5 cm diameter and 1 cm high.

Let the rösti fry gently for 3-4 minutes. Do not move them during those 3-4 minutes otherwise it will never get that nice golden-brown crust. Then, turn them upside down and cook them for another 3-4 minutes on the other side.

Have a plate or dish covered with kitchen paper at hand and once the rösti are golden-brown all over and tender all the way through, remove them from the pan and drain them on the kitchen paper.

4-Heat Pan and Cook 5-Plate and Kitchen Paper 6-Other Face

If the pan is quite clean, keep on frying the remaining rösti. Just add some more olive oil and butter if needed and have your pan at the right heat.

You can serve them straight away or if you plan to serve them later, reheat them on a roasting tray before serving.

Also if your rösti are larger and thicker, they might not be cooked in the center. In that case, preheat your oven to 180°C and place the rösti on a roasting tray covered with parchment paper. Cook them for another 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your rösti. That way, you will spend less time with the frying pan step and also you will avoid burning your rösti.

7-Result

Rösti are perfect for kids as they are crispy on the outside and melting in the inside. But they are also great for the grown-ups as a side for a Sunday roast and even served smaller as an appetizer to dip in a sour cream and chives sauce or a tarragon mayonnaise for example.

8-Result Dressed

Variations: this recipe is the base of the rösti but you can have fun and integrate grated carrots, courgettes, onions… You can give them more taste with garlic and finely chopped aromatic herbs or spices. You can also add some cheese for a richer version. Just keep in mind that you need the right balance of moist to have a nice result.

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….

photo(1)

Cute little frame…. thank you Fairchild team.

Chocolate Festival Demo at Fairchild Tropical Garden

26 Jan

Tomorrow, I am doing a demonstration at the 7th Chocolate Festival at Fairchild Tropical Garden.

Thanks to Whole Foods, all the chefs are being provided with top quality products for the samples and demos. As we had to pick-up our groceries bags at Fairchild, I took the opportunity to have a quick look around and see what it looked like when it was empty….

It’s so quiet….. and peaceful….. I guess tomorrow will be crowded and noisy and it’s for the best!

Time to go back home and prepare my samples for 100 people!

On the menu for Sunday demo:

Mini Chocolate Fondants

(you already know them, it was one of my first posts)

White Chocolate Mousse

If you can’t get there…. here are the recipes! Enjoy….

Chocolate Festival

Mini Dark Chocolate Fondants Recipe

 

Ingredients (makes about 16 minis)

  • 120g good quality dark chocolate
  • 120g butter (salted butter gives a nice flavour!)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp flour or almond powder
  • Optional flavour: orange blossom water, coffee essence, rum…

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • In a bain-marie, melt the butter and the chocolate together.
  • Let it cool down, then add the sugar and mix well.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time.
  • Then add the flour or almond powder and any extra flavor you want to add.
  • Fill the moulds 2/3 to the top. Using a measuring jug will make it easier to pour.
  • Bake for about 15min. The cakes will crackle on the outside but stay very soft inside.
  • Let the minis cool down in their moulds. Then get them out of their moulds by pressing on the bottom of the moulds.
  • You can keep those cakes in your fridge for a few days and take them out of the fridge about one hour before serving.

Mini Choc-1 Mini Choc-2 Mini Choc-3b Mini Choc-4

White Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Ingredients (for 6 people) using a siphon:

  • 170 g – 6oz of white chocolate
  • 20 cl double cream

Method with a siphon:

  • Grate or finely chop the white chocolate and place it in a large bowl.
  • Bring the cream to a boil and pour it on top of the white chocolate.
  • Cover and leave it to rest a few minutes then gently mix it until you end-up with a smooth mix.
  • Let it cool down at least 20 minutes and pour it into a 1/2l siphon.
  • Install the gas cartridge and give a good shake to the siphon once it is ready to use. Keep it in the fridge for 2 hours.
  • Just before serving, head down; create chocolate mousse verrine or shapes on a plate.
  • Serve and taste straight away.

White Choc Mousse-1

 

Ingredients (for 6 people) : if you do not have a siphon

  • 170 g – 6oz of white chocolate
  • 10 cl whipping cream + 15 cl whipping cream

Method 

  • In a pan, melt the white chocolate with 10cl of whipping cream.
  • Let it cool down.
  • Whisk 15cl of whipping cream into a firm Chantilly and incorporate it carefully to the melted white chocolate.
  • Let the mousse rest a few hours before serving.
  • You can either pour it into a piping bag with a fluted nozzle and let it rest in it to create nice shapes straight from the piping bag or you can use two spoons and create nice “quenelles” that you will delicately lay down next to the fondants.

White Choc Mousse-2

White Choc Mousse-3

Pinecrest Farmers’ Market… use all your senses, indulge yourself as well!

6 Jan

Almost one week since we are back from Europe…. it’s already high time to enjoy the Farmers’ Markets as it’s the best season to find the best products from Florida.

Fruits & Veg Stalls

Pinecrest Farmers’ Market is open all year long every Sunday but I can tell you that you don’t go to the same market when it takes place in September or in January!

Today was sunny as usual and I decided that the twins would have fun over there (which means I wanted to have fun)…. Indeed, this is the perfect place to get them to use all their senses…. watching live lobsters, smelling amazing flowers, touching funny fruits, listening to popcorn popping and tasting any food on display even if a bit spicy or sour…..

Think about it as field trip…. and do forget your grocery basket….

1-Watching….

…. the amazing colors of the fruits and vegetables stalls, the live lobsters…

Crabs

Fruits and Veg

2-Smelling…

…the flowers, the freshly picked strawberries, the hot paella, the bright red tomatoes….

orchids and more-2

3-Touching…

…even if it’s not really authorized…. the Jack Fruit skin, the Lobsters’ feelers, the lime wedges, the freshly baked bread….

Empanadas, Conch Fritters & Pickles

4-Listening….

…to the popcorn being cooked in front of you, the crackling of the meat on the BBQ, the people chatting and laughing…

Popcorn 2

5-Tasting…

…almost anything! From ceviche and guacamole to apple sausages, vegan curry, crazy range of honey, caramelized popcorn, corn fritters and crab meat! By the end of the market, your kids do not really need to have a proper lunch at all!

Some like it hot

Avocado

From the food truck to the plate…. the conch fritters. Served with lime wedges and American sauce!

Conch Fritters

THE Cookies Recipe….

24 Jul

Being on Maternity leave while waiting for the twins, I thought I would be much more writing on the blog but the joy of being in my family and all the events that happens during the summer kept me far away from my computer but not from my kitchen.

As my belly keeps on growing bigger and bigger, I have switched from cooking to getting other people to cook for me…. For that purpose, kids are the best partners ever….. all my nieces and nephews have enjoyed a little baking time especially when the recipe at stake is the cookie or the chocolate fondant….

Here is my best “aide” in the kitchen, Alice, always there to bake, after a splash in the pool or even early in the morning after her breakfast.

As the recipe of the Fondant is already in the blog, I’ll focus on the Cookie recipe that I discovered while working at Divertimenti. I tried a lot of other recipes but this one is the best base for all my cookies. Easy to prepare, it’s a really tasty one and I did not have any complain ever about their taste.

Here is the basic recipe but you can replace the chocolate chips by other fillings such as:

– White Chocolate & Pistachios

– Muesli

– Orange Peel & Sultanas

– Chocolate & Nougatine*

– Peanut Butter…

In that case, you put about the same volume of the replacing ingredients instead of the chocolate chips.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 2 long logs – about 10 medium cookies per log

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3,5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method

  • Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)
  • Beat in the eggs & the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.
  • In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients except the chocolate & beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips & incorporate them quickly – 5-10 seconds with the electric mixer or by hand.
  • Once the dough is ready, divide it into 2 or 3 and put each of them in the middle of a piece of parchment paper. Shape them into a log about 4 cm diameter and wrap them into the parchment paper.
  • If you are in a rush and need to bake them ASAP -because of starving kids running around you like vultures or unexpected guests for tea time, dinner…- place the log at least** 10 to 20 minutes in the freezer. Otherwise, put them in your fridge and bake them whenever you need some. You can also freeze them for a later use but trust me, a log of cookie dough never last longer than 2-3 days!
  • Once the dough is cold and firm to the touch, preheat your oven to 180° and slice the dough into 60-70g portions (about 1cm wide) and put each portion on a tray lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Keep at least 6-7 cm between each portion as they will spread while baking.
  • Bake for about 11 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. The dough is still very soft to the touch and you may want to bake them longer*** thinking they are not ready but trust me they are. Get them out of the oven and let them rest until cold.
  • The result is a batch of soft cookies with melting chocolate inside.

White Chocolate & Pistachios Cookies


*The nougatine is very easy to prepare if it’s for the cookies and it’s really worth trying it, as it really gives an additional texture to your cookies... I will try to add the recipe ASAP on the blog.

**It’s important that the dough gets cold and firm to the touch because it’s the reason why you will have beautifully shaped cookies. If the dough is too soft, it will spread much more in the oven when you will bake them.

***If you prefer your cookies crispy and crunchy then leave them another 4-5 minutes in the oven.

The Cookies Team…


… and the Chocolate Chip Cookies


COOKIES

Ingrédients pour une 20aine de cookies

  • 250g de beurre à température ambiante
  • 400g de cassonade
  • 90g de sucre
  • 2 œufs
  • 15ml d’extrait de vanille
  • 385 g de farine
  • 5g de levure chimique
  • 5g de bicarbonate de soude
  • 5g de sel
  • 300g de chocolat noir*

Méthode

  • Crémez le beurre et le sucre à l’aide d’un batteur plat à vitesse moyenne et jusqu’à obtention d’une consistance crémeuse mais aérienne. Environ 30 secondes.
  • Incorporez les œufs et l’extrait de vanille tout en continuant à battre environ 30 secondes.
  • Mixez tous les ingrédients secs ensemble sauf le chocolat et incorporez-les à puissance douce pendant 15-20 secondes.
  • Incorporez rapidement le chocolat en petits morceaux ou pastilles pour éviter qu’il ne s’échauffe et colore la pâte en fondant.
  • Divisez la pâte en 2-3 tas de tailles homogènes et formez des boudins d’environ 5-6cm de diamètre.
  • Enveloppez-les dans du papier sulfurisé.
  • Préchauffez votre four à 180° avant de cuire les cookies. Divisez les boudins en tranches de 70g environ et placez-les sur une plaque de cuisson munie d’une feuille de papier sulfurisé.
  • Espacez les cookies suffisamment pour qu’ils puissent se développer en cours de cuisson.
  • Faites-les cuire 10-11 minutes et glissez-les sur une grille de refroidissement dès leur sortie du four pour qu’ils refroidissent.


Red Velvet Cupcakes….. so kitsch!

15 Jun

After a few messages on facebook with Kelina, my American food-lover friend, she led me to try a traditional recipe from the U.S.

I never heard about it and discovered I was the only one in my kitchen! When they saw me looking for red food coloring, they all asked the same question “Are you going to cook red velvet cake????”

The name of the cake is pretty relevant…. Red because of the food coloring you use (some use beetroot as well) and velvet because of the moisture of the cake especially with the cream-cheese icing….

For those who never heard neither tried….. here is the recipe! I got it from Martha Stewart website.

For 18 cupcakes cooked in a muffin tin:

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (such as Van Houten)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or greek yogurt)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

photo 2 (5)

Preheat your oven at 180° and grease your muffin tin with melted butter.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt.

On a medium high speed, whisk together the oil and sugar then add the eggs one by one.

Once incorporated, add the vanilla extract and the food colouring and the flour mixture.

In a bowl mix the baking soda and vinegar and pour it in the batter.

With a spoon, divide the batter among the muffin cups filling each three-quarters full.

Cook for about 20 minutes and think about rotating the tin after 10 minutes so that the cupcakes get all cooked the same way.

Use a cake tester to know if they are cooked. If it comes out clean, they are. You can let them cool on a wire rack and start preparing your frosting.

For the frosting

  • 230 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 340 g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 760 g  sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

photo 3 (5)

In a food processor, whisk the butter and cream cheese, add the sugar and the vanilla extract and keep on mixing until smooth.Spoon it on top of each cupcake and serve it immediately.

If you want a more sophisticate topping, keep the frosting refrigerate a few minutes in a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip (8). It will then be hard enough to pipe it onto each cupcake, and to form a peak.

IMG_0082

IMG_0083

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RED VELVET CUPCAKES

 

Ingrédients pour 18 cupcakes

  • 275g de farine
  • 30g de cacao en poudre (Van Houten)
  • 5g de sel
  • 170g de sucre
  • 335ml d’huile végétale
  • 2 œufs
  • 1/2 cac de colorant rouge (pâte ou liquide)
  • 5ml d’extrait de vanille
  • 225ml de yaourt a la grecque
  • 7-8g de bicarbonate de soude
  • 10ml de vinaigre blanc

Méthode

Préchauffez  votre four a 180° et enduire les moules à cupcakes de beurre fondu.
Mélangez dans un bol la farine, la levure et le cacao.
Battez à vitesse moyenne l’huile et le sucre en poudre puis ajoutez les œufs un à un.
Incorporez ensuite l’extrait de vanille, le colorant rouge et enfin le mix farine, cacao.
Mélangez le bicarbonate et le vinaigre dans un petit bol et incorporez-le à la préparation.
Une fois que cette dernière est bien homogène, munissez-vous d’une bonne cuillère et remplissez les moules aux ¾ sinon ils risquent de trop lever et déborder.
Faites cuire les cupcakes 20 minutes environ et pensez à faire tourner la plaque en cours de cuisson pour avoir une qualité de cuisson uniforme.
Les cupcakes sont cuits si une lame insérée au centre en ressort propre.
Laissez-les refroidir sur une grille et préparez le frosting pendant ce temps.

Ingrédients pour le frosting

  • 230 g de beurre à température ambiante
  • 340 g de cream cheese (Philadelphia) à température ambiante
  • 760 g  de sucre en poudre
  • 3-4 ml d’extrait de vanille

Méthode pour le frosting

Fouettez le beurre et la crème à vitesse moyenne puis ajoutez progressivement le sucre et l’extrait de vanille. La préparation doit être souple mais ferme et dense.
Si elle est un peu trop molle, conservez-la au frais 20 minutes pour obtenir une consistance facile à étaler.
Décorez  vos cupcakes à l’aide d’une poche à douille ou simplement d’une spatule.
Parsemez la surface de brisures de cupcake rouge ou de petites décorations comestibles telles que des étoiles, cœurs ou lettres de couleur.

photo 2 photo 5 (3)