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Chicken Olives (Paupiettes) with Ricotta, Tartufata and Pinenuts

6 Jan

 This recipe is especially written for my friend Camille who seemed to want to give it a try as she soon will get married. Yes indeed, she wants to broaden her recipe folder to become a perfect housewife…. just kidding of course, she’s just a real foodie and when she read it was stuffed with ricotta and tartufata, she wanted to know the recipe!

Also I wanted to write about that recipe because it is one of the techniques I have been teaching dozens of time at the Cookery School and my clients have always been delighted and eager to do it again at home.

If you are scared of using caul fat, I’ll write a couple of options to get through the recipe without it. Especially if you can’t use pork or if you live abroad as it might be difficult to source it even if you have a traditional butcher!

photo 2(4)

 Ingredients for 6 people

  • 6 chicken breasts – ask your butcher to get them flat like for a Milanese Scallop
  • 300g of Ricotta
  • 1tbsp of tartufata (black truffle sauce)
  • 1/2 cup of toasted pinenuts, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • caul fat*
  • butcher string
  • butter and oil for the pan
  • white wine to deglaze
  • butter and cream for the sauce
  • herbs for decoration such as flat parsley or chervil

Method:

In a bowl, mix together the Ricotta, tartufata, pine nuts and season with salt and pepper.
Taste and rectify the seasoning.

1-Garniture

Cut a piece of caul fat slightly bigger than the scallop.
Lay it flat on a clean surface, season your chicken with salt and pepper and lay it on top of the caul fat.
At that stage you can transfer both the chicken and caul fat in a small bowl, ring or cup to help you getting the right shape.
Add a spoon of the ricotta mix in the center and fold back the chicken on top then the caul fat. Tear apart the excess of caul fat then place the string on the working surface and turn the bowl upside down to place the paupiette on top.
Now, do as you do when you are gift wrapping and get the paupiette well sealed by the string.

2-Crepine-Paupiette

If you have an excess of ricotta mix, keep it to create a nice sauce.
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Once you have prepared all the paupiettes, heat a pan just big enough for the 6 paupiettes to fit in. Add a tbsp of oil and butter and when it is hot enough to sear your meat, place the paupiettes in, next to each other.
Give them a good golden brown coloration and turn them upside down to do the same on the other side.
Get rid of the excess of fat.
If your pan can get in the oven, deglaze it with 1/2 cup of white wine and finish the cooking of the paupiettes for 15-20 minutes. The wine will keep them moist in the oven.

3-Cooking Paupiettes
If it doesn’t, transfer them in an oven dish and cook them for another 15-20 minutes. Deglaze the pan with1/2 cup of white wine and pour it on top of the paupiettes.

IMG_6312
You can cover the paupiettes with foil to keep them very tender.
Before serving, remove the paupiettes from the pan and using the juice they released, start to create the sauce. Add the ricotta leftover if you have some then add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of cream and 1tbsp of butter. Let it reduce a little and season with salt and pepper.

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You can serve the sauce like that on top of the paupiette or in a saucer on the side or if you want it silky, pass it through a thieve to get rid of any ricotta and truffle bits as well as the pinenuts.
With a knife or scissors, cut the string and remove it.

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Place the paupiette in the middle of the plate and pour a little sauce on top. Decorate with fresh herbs and serve it straight away. You can also enhance the colour by spreading crushed pink peppercorn on top or Piment d’Espelette powder.
You can also cut it into two and place one half on the other in an angle.

*If you don’t want to use caul fat, simply change the shape of your paupiette and make it longer and in a shape of a tube so that you can seal the ricotta as well as you are able to. The caul fat helps to keep the whole paupiette together but if you are careful enough to fill the scallop with the appropriate amount of mix, you can deal with the string only. You can see the result on the picture on top or even better on the third one on top.

Paupiettes de Poulet a la Ricotta, Tartufata et Pignons de Pin

Ingrédients pour 6 personnes:

  • 6 escalopes de poulet – demandez a votre boucher de les aplatir comme pour des escalopes milanaises
  • 300g de Ricotta
  • 1 cas de tartufata
  • 1 petite poignée de pignons de pin torréfiés et grossièrement hachés
  • sel et poivre du moulin
  • crépine de porc
  • ficelle de boucher
  • huile et beurre pour la poêle
  • vin blanc pour déglacer
  • crème et beurre pour la sauce
  • herbes fraîches pour décorer ( persil plat, cerfeuil…)

Méthode:

Dans un bol, mixez la ricotta, la tartufata et les pignons. Assaisonnez de sel et de poivre, réservez.
Découpez la crépine en morceaux un peu plus grands que les escalopes.
Assaisonnez les escalopes et placez-les au dessus de la crépine.
Vous pouvez placez la crépine et l’escalope dans un cercle ou un petit bol pour obtenir une belle forme de paupiette.
Déposez une cuillère de mix de ricotta au centre et refermez la paupiette avec l’escalope puis la crépine. Coupez l’excès de crépine et retournez la paupiette sur le fil de boucher.
Comme pour un emballage cadeau, utilisez la ficelle pour bien maintenir la paupiette en lui donnant 4 tours.
Réservez.
Faites préchauffer votre four à 180°C puis chauffez une poêle pouvant contenir les 6 paupiettes  avec un peu de beurre et d’huile. Quand celle-ci est bien chaude, déposez les paupiettes et donnez leur une belle coloration dorée brune.
Retournez-les pour colorer l’autre côté.
Jetez l’excès de gras et déglacer la poêle au vin blanc pour créer le fond de sauce et garder les paupiettes tendres pendant leur cuisson au four. Placer la poêle au four 15-20 minutes ou si celle-ci n’est pas adaptée au four, débarrassez les paupiettes et le fond de sauce dans un plat.
Recouvrez éventuellement de papier aluminium.
A la fin de la cuisson, récupérez le jus de cuisson et ajoutez le reste de ricotta à la truffe si vous en avez. Allongez avec un peu de crème et de beurre à feu moyen. Laissez réduire, rectifiez l’assaisonnement et utilisez tel quel ou passez la sauce au chinois si vous voulez une sauce soyeuse.
A l’aide d’un couteau ou de ciseaux, ôtez la ficelle des paupiettes. Placez chaque paupiette au milieu de l’assiette et recouvrir d’un filet de sauce. Décorez avec un brin d’herbe fraîche et éventuellement des brisures de baies roses ou de Piment d’Espelette pour la couleur.
Vous pouvez aussi coupez en 2 la paupiette et la servir en posant une moitié en travers de l’autre afin de mettre en valeur la garniture.

There’s something about Mushrooms…

4 Dec

The season is almost gone and I still did not write about them….. the mushrooms.

Usually, you either love them or hate them, you fear the idea of picking mushrooms because you might pick toxic ones or love the idea of looking for your dinner in the wood!

We are lucky enough to be surrounded with woods at my Dad’s home and even more lucky to have great spots for mushrooms such as chanterelles, ceps, “trompette de la mort” and “pieds de mouton”.

Indeed, some years are really crazy and we have to throw away some of them, we cook them, we dry them, we freeze them and we offer a lot to our relatives.

This year was so-so, just enough for our great family even if we wish there was more ceps.

Here is a few ideas to cook them and match them and also a few tips to cook them the right way.

Autumn 2 Autumn 3 Autumn

Simply Mushrooms:

  • wild mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  • butter and oil
  • a garlic clove crushed
  • freshly chopped herbs

Recolte

First of all, you need to clean the mushrooms and this step takes quite some time….. Get your friends, cousins, sister-in-law….. sit in the kitchen with a good cup of tea or glass of wine and get started.

You never wash the mushrooms, they are essentially made of water and if they rest in it, they will loose all their flavor.

Using your hands, a brush or a tea towel, remove any leaves, earth or insects.

Get a great pan and drizzle with oil and a good spoon of butter, once the butter is melted, add the mushrooms and the garlic if you want more flavor. Season with salt and pepper. The pan can look overloaded, the mushrooms will quickly release all the water and shrink tremendously.

Do not throw away the water, most of the flavor is in it, the mushrooms will be tasteless if you do that!

Cook them on medium heat until the water has evaporated. Stir from time to time.

The mushrooms are ready once they melt in your mouth. There is no more sensation of biting something raw and chewy.

Just before serving, you can spread chopped herbs on the mushrooms and cook them another 2-3 minutes.

Trompette des Morts Cuites

Trompette des Morts

Pieds de Mouton

Pieds de Mouton

Other ways to cook Mushrooms:

Chanterelle, Bacon and Linguine

The Chanterelle, Bacon and Linguine Recipe

Partridges and Chanterelles

You can also cook them with poultry or meat. Once you have sealed the poultry or beef and start cooking it, spread the mushrooms around it and let them cook. They will bring more flavor and also benefit from the flavor of the poultry or beef.

Simply check from time to time that the mushrooms do not burn. It may happen with long cooking times, the water fully evaporates. Simply add some stock, white wine or water.

Perdreaux et ChanterellesPartridges and Chanterelles

in that case you also have to pluck the birds…..

Plumage

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.

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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

 

Hollandaise Sauce: another basic worth knowing

7 Nov

Among the favorite Sauces that my family ask for when I come to cook for them, the Hollandaise is in the top 3.

Yes indeed, it is a perfect match for fish and they do love fish when they do not eat beef!

As I spent a few days in Groix this Summer, I was lucky enough to be there for my cousin birthday. They had been fishing all time long and brought back a crazy amount of Soles.

4-Plancha

They did not ask me to fillet them but they wanted a good sauce rather than a simple squeeze of lemon on top.

So I did an Hollandaise!

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 10 ml of water
  • 125g of butter (clarified if possible)
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • salt and pepper

Method:

In a bain-marie or in a heavy bottom pan on low heat, whisk together the egg yolks and water until it gets foamy and start to thicken. You are making a zabaglione by slowly cooking and whisking the egg yolks. Stop whisking once the zabaglione is thick enough which means that you can see the bottom of the pan for a few seconds when you whisk.

Get off the heat and keep on whisking then add little by little the butter and keep on whisking. Either pour the butter melted or add it cut in pieces and let it melt while whisking.

The Hollandaise is homogenous and has a thick but liquid consistency.

Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper. You can even add the lemon zest if you want to have a strong lemon flavor.

Adjust the seasoning and serve it straight away or keep it in a bain-marie before serving.

1-Hollandaise Prep

2-Hollandaise with Soles

Little tip: If you want to serve it later and the sauce splits, put it back on the heat and whisk again. Add a cube of ice, it will help to bring back together the sauce.

3-Result

Sauce Hollandaise

Ingrédients:

  • 10ml d’eau
  • 125 g de beurre
  • 1 citron jaune
  • 2 jaunes d’oeufs
  • Sel et Poivre

Méthode:

Dans une casserole à fond épais ou dans un bain-marie,  mélangez les jaunes d’oeufs et l’eau. Faites les cuire à feu doux en fouettant continuellement. Vous êtes en train de préparer un sabayon.

Continuez à fouetter jusqu’à ce que vous puissiez voir le fond de la casserole. Le sabayon est prêt lorsqu’il est épais et aéré, continuez de fouetter hors du feu et incorporez le beurre (clarifié, fondu ou en cubes) petit à petit.

Assaisonnez de sel, poivre et d’un jus de citron. Si vous voulez accentuer le goût, vous pouvez ajouter le zest du citron.

Servez la sauce ou réservez-la au bain-marie jusqu’à son utilisation.

Astuce: si la sauce se dissocie, fouettez-la à feu doux et ajoutez un glaçon pour qu’elle redevienne homogène.

Fruits and Frangipane Tartlets

4 Nov

Yes indeed, it’s only 5pm and the sky is dark and you still have a few hours to keep yourself busy at home because you do not even think about going out in the rainy and windy streets even for shopping….

If you happen to have a cupboard full of pastry ingredients and some fruits in a basket or in the freezer, here is a recipe that will keep you busy long enough!

On the pictures, you’ll see some variations but also some ideas to present them: whip some cream and fold caramelized nuts in it, serve with a small vodka glass filled with custard or with a spoon of ice-cream for example.

photo 3

Apple and Frangipane Tart

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Fig and Frangipane Tartlet with Caramelized Slivered Almond Whipped Cream

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SWEET PASTRY DOUGH (Makes 1 large tart or 8 individuals)*

  • 250g of flour
  • 5g of salt
  • 100g of icing sugar
  • 125g of butter cold and diced
  • 1 egg whisked
  • Plain flour to roll out the dough
  • Iced water if necessary

*To make your pastry more original, you can add spices or flavor to it. For example, I add a tbsp of poppy seeds, a grated lemon zest, a tsp of ginger, cinnamon or sometimes I put only 180g of flour and 70g of almond powder. It will make the difference….!

METHOD**

By hand: Place the flour, icing sugar, salt and cold diced butter in a bowl and start bringing the ingredients together until they form a light bread crumb consistency.  Now, add the egg and combine completely. Add a little water if the dough is to dry. Form a ball with the pastry and wrap it in cling film. Let it rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.  This freezes beautifully.

With a Magimix: Sift the flour, salt and icing sugar into the bowl of a food processor and add the cold diced butter.  Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Whisk the egg and add to the pastry mixture and stir well to bring together, adding a little more iced water if necessary.  Bring the pastry together into a flat disc, wrap it with cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

Once the pastry is firm enough to roll out, sift a little flour on a clean surface and on your rolling pin and start rolling out your dough until it is 3-4mm thick. As the dough is very fragile, you can either fold it from the center into 4 like a “crepe” or roll it gently on your rolling pin and unroll it on top of the pastry case.

Once it is on top of your pastry case, press gently towards the bottom of the case so that the dough perfectly fits to the pastry case. Remove the excess of dough using a sharp knife around the edges of the case or simply roll once the rolling pin on top of the case. The excess will fall in a very clean way.

In a preheated oven (200°) bake the pastry case blind for 10-15 minutes until it gets a nice golden color. The dough is cooked but still need to cook longer as you will add the almond cream. Remove and let it cool down on a rack or fill it straight away.

** As usual, if you are in a hurry, you can use a ready to roll sweet pastry, it will save you a little time. You’ll just have to go straight to the baking instruction.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE ALMOND CREAM:

  • 150g of butter at room temperature
  • 150g of sugar
  • 150g of ground almond
  • 150g of eggs (about 3 medium eggs)
  • optional flavor: 1tbsp of rose water or orange blossom water, seeds of a vanilla pod, 1 tbsp of rum, 1 lemon zest, 1 tbsp of pistachio paste…

METHOD FOR THE ALMOND CREAM:

In a bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until it gets white, creamy and fluffy.

Add the ground almonds then the eggs. You will obtain a thick and smooth paste.

You can use it straight away or keep it refrigerated up to 3 days in an airtight container or with clingfilm in contact.

photo 5

INGREDIENTS FOR THE TART OR TARTLETS:

Fresh seasonal fruits:

  • figs cut into 4 base still attached
  • sliced pears or apples
  • apricots cut in halved
  • peaches or nectarines quartered
  • cherries stoned and halved
  • red fruits whole or sliced into 2 for strawberries
  • prunes stoned and halved

METHOD FOR TART OR TARTLETS:

Spoon the almond cream in the tart shell until it reaches half its height.

Press the fruits in it so that it looks nice.

Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the almond cream gets a nice golden brown color and a knife comes out clean when inserted inside.

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Red Berries Tartlets
  IMG_4620 Fig and Frangipane Tartlet with Caramelized Slivered Almond Whipped Cream

photo 2  Apple and Frangipane Tart

Cauliflower Gratin…. Autumn is in the air! Let’s focus on the Bechamel technique

31 Oct

Yes indeed…. Temperatures are dropping down, we are looking for scarves, gloves and comforting food of course!

As I am traveling every week-end to the countryside, I am on a family mood cooking. Earthy dishes for the younger and the older….

Cauliflower gratin is part of those dishes. Because it contains veggies, it is considered as an healthy dish and because it is covered with cheese sauce, it is appreciated by the kids as well as the grown-ups.

It’s also an opportunity to get back to the basics and focus on the White sauce called Béchamel in France and also on the fact that once you add cheese in it, it becomes a cheese sauce that is called Mornay sauce in French.

Ingredients for the Béchamel / Mornay Sauce:

  • 75g of butter
  • 75g of plain flour
  • 1 l of whole milk
  • salt & pepper
  • nutmeg
  • a generous handful of grated cheese such as Emmenthal or mild Cheddar (the Béchamel becomes a Mornay sauce or Cheese sauce)

Ingredients for the Cauliflower Gratin:

  • Béchamel or Mornay sauce
  • A cauliflower, cut into florets

Method for the Béchamel :

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.

1-Roux

2-Add Milk

Method for the Cauliflower Gratin:

You can add grated cheese to your Béchamel, it will then becomes a cheese sauce called Mornay sauce in French. Use freshly grated Emmenthal, Mild Cheddar or Parmesan for example. Incorporate it to the Béchamel and stir until the cheese is fully melted.

Bring to a boil a large pan filled with water. Add some salt and boil the cauliflower until it is cooked.

The cauliflower is cooked when you can pierce it with a knife without any resistance.

Pass it through a colander. You can use it straight away if your Béchamel or Mornay sauce is ready.

3-Chou Fleur Mornay

5-Ingredients

4-Gratin

Preheat your oven to 200°C (350°F).

In a gratin dish, spread a generous serving spoon of Mornay sauce on the bottom of the dish so that the cauliflower lay on a moist base.

Spread the cauliflower on top and cover with the Mornay sauce.

The cauliflower has to be coated with the sauce.

Bake it in the oven until it gets a nice golden brown color on top.

Serve it hot with meat, fish, green salad or cold meat.

 Gratin de Chou-Fleur / Sauce Béchamel-Mornay

Ingrédients pour la Sauce Béchamel / Mornay:

  • 75g de beurre
  • 75g de farine
  • 1 l de lait entier porté à ébullition ou à température ambiante
  • sel et poivre
  • 1 pincée de noix de muscade
  • 1 bonne poignée de fromage râpé tel que du Gruyère, du Cheddar ou du Parmesan

Ingrédients pour le Gratin de Chou-Fleur:

  • Sauce Béchamel ou Mornay
  • Un chou-fleur détaillé en bouquets de tailles moyennes

Méthode pour la Sauce Béchamel :

Dans une casserole à hauts bords et assez large, faites fondre le beurre puis une fois que celui-ci est bien chaud, ajoutez toute la farine d’un seul coup.

A l’aide d’un fouet, travaillez le « roux » et portez-le à ébullition 1 à 2 minutes pour ne pas garder un arrière-gout de farine. Le roux doit prendre une jolie couleur dorée-brune.

Commencez à incorporer le lait (chaud ou à température ambiante pour éviter le développement de grumeaux). Le roux va s’épaissir et prendre un aspect pâteux, continuez à incorporer doucement le lait et à le travailler au fouet pour que le lait s’intègre au roux.

Petit à petit, la préparation va se détendre et prendre un aspect uniforme. Plus vous ajouterez du lait, plus la Béchamel sera liquide. Ajoutez plus ou moins de lait selon la consistance désirée. Pour le gratin, il faut que la Béchamel soit suffisamment liquide pour bien couvrir le chou-fleur.

Assaisonnez de sel, poivre et noix de muscade. Si vous ajoutez du fromage après, réduisez la quantité de sel.

Portez la Béchamel a ébullition 3 à 4 minutes en remuant constamment.

Gardez de côté jusqu’à utilisation. Couvrez de film transparent à contact si elle ne doit pas être utilisée dans l’heure sinon, une croûte se formera à la surface.

Méthode pour le Gratin de Chou-Fleur:

Si vous le souhaitez, vous pouvez ajoutez du fromage à la Béchamel pour en faire une Sauce Mornay. Tant que la Béchamel est chaude, incorporez-le jusqu’à ce qu’il ait totalement fondu.

Faites cuire le chou-fleur dans une grande casserole d’eau bouillante et salée. Le chou-fleur est cuit lorsque vous pouvez le percer avec un couteau sans résistance.

Egouttez-les et garder les de côté jusqu’au moment de l’assemblage.

Préchauffez votre four à 200 °C.

Si votre Sauce est prête, versez une généreuse cuillère de service au fond d’un plat a gratin.

Versez le chou-fleur sur cette Sauce et recouvrez avec le reste de la sauce. Le chou-fleur doit être bien enrobé de sauce et uniformément réparti dans le plat.

Faites cuire le gratin au four 15-20 minutes, jusqu’à ce que le gratin prenne une jolie coloration brune en surface.

Servez tout de suite avec une bonne salade verte ou en accompagnement d’une viande, d’un poisson.

Easter Tradition: the almost 7h Leg of Lamb…. Once again, it’s one of my Mum’s recipe

25 Apr

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For Easter, the menu is almost always the same….. Hard-boiled eggs with shells decorated by the kids generation of the moment….

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They are served with a tasty home-made mayonnaise divided into 3 to propose different flavors such as chives, ketchup, curry or simply plain mayo….
As a main we traditionnaly share 2-3 legs of lamb depending on our number…. And the sides are potatoes, butter beans and greens sometimes!
For dessert, as the kids are chocolate hunting after lunch and the table decorated with lots of rabbits and eggs in chocolate, we do not really have any specials. Fruits sometimes or ice cream and biscuits….!

 

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As you have understood, the highlight of the lunch is the leg of lamb especially when my mother cooks it. She wakes-up way too early in the morning to make sure that it will cook as many hours as possible.
No need to do that…. You can also serve that dish for dinner if you want to.
Just make sure that you can have wide open windows for a while as this is a very smelly dish that will infuse your whole house however big it is….

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Ingredients

  • 3-4 kilos of large potatoes for gratin
  • 1-2 legs of lamb
  • 2-3 garlic cloves per leg
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh aromatic herbs

Method

First of all, have your meat out of the fridge 1-2 hours before so that it gets at room temperature.
Preheat your oven to 150-160°.

Start with the preparation of the potatoes.
Peel all the potatoes and using a mandoline or the slicer of your food processor get them all sliced. Remove the excess of troubled water (due to the starch) they are rendering and place them at the bottom of a large and deep gratin dish that can contain the leg of lamb as well.
As you layer the potatoes, season with salt and pepper from time to time and fill the gratin dish halfway through or even 2/3.

Using a sharp knife, make a few incision in different parts of the lamb leg and insert in each one 1/2 a garlic clove. It will infuse the meat while cooking.
Season with salt and freshly crushed pepper. Rub with oil and spread chopped aromatic herbs on top such as thyme, rosemary….
Place the leg of lamb on top of the potatoes, the bone can slightly get out of the dish as long as it is not covered with meat.

Place it in the oven and cook it for a few hours.

If you have home-made vegetable stock use it otherwise, bring water to a boil in your kettle and dissolve 1-2 cubes of vegetable stock and keep the liquid at hand.

After one hour of cooking, pour a laddle of stock on top of the lamb so that it does not get dry. Keep on repeating that process all along the cooking of the meat. Simply think about flipping upside down the lamb to get the other side roasted as well.

The stock will rinse the meat and the juice will get coat the potatoes. That will make them very soft and tasty.

If the meat gets a little dry after 3-4 hours, you can cover it with foil.

After the 5-7 hours of cooking, the meat is ready to be cut. It should be very soft and tear appart by itself.

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You may still need a knife to get through the whole piece of lamb.

Place them on top of the potatoes or in a serving dish next to the potatoes.

If you have an excess of juice, place it in a small jug and serve it on the side, along with the potatoes amd lamb.

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