Tag Archives: tomato

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

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Tomatoes Feast: Slow Roasted Tomatoes and a Pizza Adaptation….

14 Aug

As I spent part of my Summer in South Corsica, I have been lucky enough to use and taste really good local products among which the tomato of course!

We also had amazing basil, aromatic herbs, fresh garlic, courgettes and cured meat of course.

But tomatoes…. they had dozens of them… yellow, green, beef, on the vine….. you can create colorful dishes using only tomatoes!

That’s why I wanted to keep on cooking with them after Corsica.

As I arrived at my cousin’s house on the “Ile de Groix” which is on the West Coast of France, close to Lorient, I decided to slow-roast them for a change. And it was a delicious side for the grilled sausages we had for lunch.

Now I am in Auvergne, I have used them for a pizza as I had a pizza dough, mozzarella and pasta paste leftovers to get rid of…. Indeed, for a leftover dish, I’ll even order it at the restaurant!

pizza 4

Ingredients for a tray of Slow Roasted Tomatoes:

  • a baking tray covered with parchment paper
  • about 20 tomatoes on the vine, washed and cut in halves
  • a head of garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled
  • 1 tsp of fennel seeds
  • thyme, oregano, rosemary…. dried or fresh
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp of caster sugar
  • olive oil

Method:

Preheat your oven to 150°C.

Place your tomatoes next to each other on the tray, do not hesitate to squeeze them as they will loose a lot of juice and shrink.

Spread the garlic cloves, herbs, seeds, salt, pepper, sugar and drizzle generously with olive oil.

1-Raw Tomatoes

Place in the oven for at least 1-2 hours. You can decrease the temperature to 120°C and cook them up to 3-4 hours.

The tomatoes are ready when they have shrunk and lost most of their juice. The longer you cook them, the more they will shrink and get a strong taste.

Depending on the temperature of the oven, they will get slightly dark on top, choose the lower temperature to avoid that.

As you have kept the garlic in the shell, you will obtain a yummy garlic paste ready to eat or to use in a risotto for example.

2-Cooked

You can serve them hot or cold as a side, spread them on a green salad, keep them in a jar in olive oil, process them to get a tasty tomato tapenade or use them for a tomato tart, Tatin or pizza.

I have served them with grilled meat at lunch last week and used them to get rid of the leftovers at home: pizza dough, mozzarella, Sacla sauce (pepper and mozzarella) and lots of rocket and shaved Parmesan on top.

3-Result

For the Pizza:

Preheat your oven to 200°C. Place your pizza dough on a baking tray covered with parchment paper.

Simply spread a thin layer of sauce with a spoon on the pizza dough, cover with the sliced mozzarella then add the slow roasted tomatoes on top.

Bake for 15 minutes then spread a generous amount of rocket on top, shave fresh Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil or pizza spicy oil and serve it straight away….

Tomates Confites au Four

Ingrédients pour une plaque de Tomates Confites:

  • une plaque de cuisson couverte de papier sulfurisé
  • une vingtaine de tomates grappes, lavées et coupées en 2
  • une tête d’ail, gousses séparées mais non épluchées
  • 1 cc de graines de fenouil
  • du thym, de l’origan, du romarin, frais ou séché
  • sel et poivre du moulin
  • 1 cc de sucre en poudre
  • huile d’olive

Méthode:

Préchauffez votre four à 150°C.

Placez vos tomates côte à côte sans qu’elles se chevauchent mais en les serrant bien sur la plaque. Elles vont réduire. En revanche si elles se chevauchent, elles ne vont pas confire mais bouillir.

Faites les cuire 1 à 2 heures jusqu’à ce qu’elles aient bien rendu l’essentiel de leur jus. Plus elles vont cuire, plus elles auront un effet « confites ». Dans ce cas, optez pour une cuisson plus longue de 3-4 heures à 120°C.

Servez-les chaudes ou froides en guise d’accompagnement, faites-en des conserves en les immergeant dans de l’huile d’olive, passez-les au blender pour en faire une bonne tapenade ou utilisez-les pour en faire des tartes fines aux tomates, des Tatins ou encore de bonnes pizzas.

Pour la Pizza:

Pour finir les restes, je les ai associées à une pâte à pizza, de la sauce Sacla poivron-mozzarella et de la mozzarella.

Préchauffez votre four à 200°C.

Placez la pâte à pizza sur une plaque de cuisson couverte de papier sulfurisé. Etalez genereusement la sauce Sacla poivron-mozzarella jusqu’a 1-2 cm du bord puis disposez les tranches de mozzarella et recouvrez de tomates confites.

Faites cuire 15 min puis recouvrez la pizza de roquette et de Parmesan en copeaux.

pizza 1

Pizza 2

pizza 3

Back to the basics…. but still worth knowing! The Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

21 Jan

I know that many of you are rather craving for a hot soup or a good stew but I am still in Miami for a few weeks and this is the high season for fruits and vegetables…. And I really love to write that this dish is seasonal in January…. it may never happen to me again.

Let’s enjoy! Next year, I’ll most probably write about Tomato Soup!

Tomate-Mozza-3

 

Ingredients: for 6 people

  • 500g of cherry tomatoes or 6 vine tomatoes
  • 1-2 Mozzarella di Buffala or Burrata
  • a bunch of Basil
  • Good quality olive oil
  • A lemon juice
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Toasted pinenuts optional

Method:

Tomato Mozzarella is one of the easiest salad to prepare. It is not time consuming, it’s fresh and only few people does not like it…. Perfect for great family table in the summer or BBQ buffet!

Only one advice…. if you can get the best products for that recipe, it will really make the difference.

Really good tomatoes such as the Italian ones that leave a really pleasant smell on your fingers we you rub them. Mozzarella di Buffala or even Burrata that is creamier than the Mozzarella. Many shops sell cheap Mozzarella that have bland taste and a texture not as close as the creamy Buffala. For the Basil, if you have some in your garden, at least you’ll be sure it’s fresh. Otherwise, just smell it to make up your mind. And last but not least, use a rich olive oil with lots of flavor.

Once this is said….. you are almost done!

There is 2 ways to prepare Tomato Mozzarella. Either sliced and presented on long flat dishes or diced and presented in salad bowl. As we usually have it served sliced, I wanted to show you the other way.

Either cut into 2-3 mm slices your tomato or dice them or cut them into 2 if it is cherry tomatoes.

Cut the Mozzarella into 2-3 mm slices as well and if the slices are bigger than the tomatoes, cut them into 2 so that they match the tomato size. Otherwise dice or tear the mozzarella/burrata into small pieces matching the tomatoes.

Whisk together a lemon juice with 50ml of olive oil, add salt and pepper.

Wash the basil leaves, dry them and place them on top of each other to make it easier to shred (do not chop the basil otherwise it will get dark very quickly).

If you are doing the sliced presentation. Place your tomato one after another on a flat dish and insert a slice of Mozzarella in between each slice or every 2 slices. Scatter the shredded basil all over the surface and generously pour the marinade on top of the dish. Serve it straight away.

For the diced presentation, gather the tomato and mozzarella in a nice salad bowl, add the basil to the marinade and pour it on top of the salad. Mix it gently especially if you are using Burrata as it will coat the tomato and make it look messy.

For presentation scatter pine nuts on top and serve it straight away.

The diced option:

Tomates Mozza-1

Tomate-Mozza-2

The sliced option:

Tomates-Mozza-Sliced-2

Tomates-Mozza-Sliced-3

Tomates-Mozza-Sliced-4

Ingredients: pour 6 personnes

  • 500g de tomates cerises ou 6 tomates en grappes
  • 1-2 boules de Mozzarella di Buffala ou de Burrata
  • 1 bouquet de basilic
  • De l’huile d’olive de bonne qualité
  • 1 jus de citron
  • Sel & Poivre
  • Des pignons de pin grillés (optionnel)

Méthode:

La salade tomates-mozzarella fait partie des plats simples et rapides à préparer. Parfait pour les grands repas de famille ou les buffets pour apporter une belle touche de couleur.

Un seul conseil qui n’est pas des moindres, pour une bonne salade tomates-mozza, choisissez des produits de qualité.

Les tomates doivent être fraîches et savoureuses. Rien de pire qu’une tomate farineuse et sans goût. Une bonne tomate laisse une odeur très parfumée sur le doigt quand vous en frottez la surface.

Il en va de même pour la Mozzarella, évitez les mozzarellas bon marché qui n’ont aucun goût et encore moins de crémeux. Les AOC telles que la Mozzarella di Buffala ou la Burrata sont plus coûteuses mais font vraiment la différence.

Pour le basilic, si vous avez la chance d’en faire pousser dans votre jardin ou sur le bord de votre fenêtre, soyez généreux et taillez gaiement votre plant. C’est pour la bonne cause. Evitez le basilic desséché ou surgelé si possible.

Pour finir, choisissez une huile d’olive riche en goût car c’est elle qui va révéler tous les éléments de votre salade et leur donner une unité savoureuse.

Une fois ce petit point produit fait, vous avez quasiment terminé!

Il y a 2 façons de préparer la salade tomate-mozza. Soit en tranches présentées sur un plat long et en une seule couche, soit en dés, dans un saladier en guise d’accompagnement ou de garniture.

Coupez les tomates en tranches de 2-3 mm ou en petits dés ou en 2 si il s’agit de tomates-cerises.

Coupez la Mozzarella de la même façon, en tranches de 2-3 mm ou en petit dés. Si les tomates sont de petites tailles, recoupez les tranches de Mozzarella en 2 ou en 4 pour qu’elles soient de la même taille que les tranches de tomates. Pour la Burrata, si celle-ci est très fondante, détaillez-la en lamelles du bout des doigts.

Pour la sauce, émulsionnez un jus de citron avec 50 ml d’huile d’olive, salez et poivrez selon votre goût.

Rincez et séchez le basilic. Pour émincez le basilic, superposez les feuilles les unes sur les autres afin d’aller plus vite. Evitez de hacher le basilic car il s’oxydera et prendra une couleur brune peu appétissante.

Pour la présentation en tranches, placez une tomate en tranches sur un des bords de votre plat et insérez toutes les tranches ou toutes les 2 tranches, une tranche de mozzarella. Continuez jusqu’à ce que le plat soit généreusement recouvert.

Parsemez de basilic émincé et arrosez de sauce huile d’olive-citron. Servez immédiatement.

Pour la présentation en dés, rassemblez les tomates et la mozzarella dans un saladier, ajoutez le basilic à la sauce et versez le tout sur le mélange. Mixez le tout délicatement pour éviter que le crémeux de la mozzarella ne se dépose trop sur la tomate et lui donne un aspect “poisseux”.

Vous pouvez parsemez des pignons de pin grillés en surface et ajouter une ou 2 feuilles de basilic pour la présentation.

Crab… 3 ways

8 Jan

crab 3 ways

After our tour of Pinecrest Farmer’s Market, we ended-up with so many things (as usual) that I had to figure out what to do with it…..

That’s how I ended up with that post about crab. Except when you are living by the sea, crab is not really in your every day menu. It’s rather a treat.

Still, we need to accommodate it in a nice way to enjoy all its flavor potential.

Here it is: my crab, 3 ways.

  • Crab with drinks with lemon or homemade mayonnaise,
  • Crab, Fennel, Almond and Pomegranate Salad as a starter or light lunch salad,
  • Mediterranean Crab Linguine as a main.

For those of you still living in London, many places sell crab meat but I used to love walking by The Fish Place on Kensington Church Street, the fishmongers work in front of you and you can see them working on dozens of crabs and other fishes to make them look so great that they are priceless. Even though, the crab meat is really good and worth the price if you are craving for it. At least you won’t have to spend your priceless time working on the crab.

LF064213_942long

Crab with drinks

Ingredients

  • crab’s pincer
  • crab cracker
  • lemon and/or lime
  • mayonnaise* (natural, ketchup, garlic…)
  • napkins
  • a good bottle of white wine such as Sancerre or Entre-Deux-Mers (if you stop by The Fish Place, just keep walking a little further and stop by Lea & Sandemann for a perfect match)

* I’ll try to write a post about mayonnaise but this is definitely something I am not good at. My mum, sisters and even best friends make it so much better that I never took the time to work on it properly. I’ll gather their best recipes for you.

Method

Just gather a small bunch of really good friends on a sunny day and get your fingers dirty working on the crab!

Crab, Fennel, Almond & Pomegranate Salad

Ingredients – serves 4 as a starter

  • 1/2 fennel
  • 1 lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of crab meat or 4-5 crab’s pincers
  • 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1/4 cup whole or slivered almonds
  • 1/2 tsp butter
  • 2 handful mixed leaves
  • salt and pepper

Method

First of all, start with the fennel as it needs to marinate.

Cut the leafy parts and set them aside then cut the fennel into 2. You need to remove the center of the fennel, this is the part that looks like a triangle. You can remove it with a knife, make two incisions and pull it off.

Once you are done, thinly slice the fennel and pour it in a bowl. Squeeze a lemon juice on top to prevent it from getting brown with oxydation then add olive oil, salt and pepper to marinate it. Set aside in the fridge.

Fennel Cutting

If you did not buy your crab meat already prepared, break the crab’s pincer and carefully get rid of the cartilages and shells. Reserve the crab meat in a bowl.

Cut your pomegranate into two and as explained in the Pomegranate Post, use a wooden spoon to get the seeds out of it.Reserve in a bowl.

Thinly slice your almonds if you did not find slivered one and in a pan, gently fry them with a little butter, salt and pepper. This step will really make the whole salad different in term of flavor. The butter will release the flavor of the almonds and add richness to the whole dish. Reserve in a bowl.

Get all your ingredients at hand and start assembling your salad. If you serve it as a starter, present it individually in small flat bowls or on a long flat serving dish. It will really enhance the whole dish.

Gently toss the mixed leaves with olive oil, salt, pepper and some of the fennel marinade. Spread a generous layer on the dish you choose then sprinkle fennel, crab, pomegranate seeds and almonds one after another.

You can chop the leafy part of the fennel and use it as you would use dill to bring more flavor but it’s really up to your taste.

As for the Crab with drinks, this starter goes along very well with a light and crispy white wine.

Crab Salad

Mediterranean Crab Linguine

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of crab meat or 7-8 crab’s pincers
  • 1 onion thinly diced
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1 courgette thinly diced, skin on
  • 1 large tomato or 2-3 tomatoes on the vine thinly diced
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp white wine – optional
  • 4-5 basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • a drop of Tabasco
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pack of linguine
  • pine nuts gently toasted

Method

Once again, if you did not buy your crab meat already prepared, break the crab’s pincer and carefully get rid of the cartilages and shells. Reserve the crab meat in a bowl.

Get all the vegetables thinly diced and ready to cook.

Ingredients

In a frying pan, gently cook the diced onion with olive oil, when it gets translucent, add the garlic then 2-3 minutes later add the diced courgette.

The heat must not be too strong in order to preserve the shape of the vegetables. Once the courgette gets soft, add the tomato and keep on cooking for 2-3 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice (and white wine if you have some) on top of it and season with salt and pepper. Cover and reserve on very low heat.

Sauce Base Prep

During that process, bring to a boil a large pan filled with water for the linguine. Add salt to it.

Cook the linguine al dente – should be 9 minutes but check the package for instructions.

At last, finish the crab sauce. Add the crab meat and cook it for 1-2 minutes, add the basil and cook it for another minute. Adjust the seasoning up to your taste. At that stage, I like to add 1-2 drops of Tabasco.

Drain the linguine and pour a generous amount of them in individual flat bowls or in a large serving dish.

Pour the crab sauce on top of it and serve it straight away. You can sprinkle pine nuts on top of it and if you really can’t imagine your pasta without Parmesan, go for it but at least you should try it as it is….

Cooking Pasta

To me pasta is definitely a Sunday night dish. No need to add anything on the side, no need to think about quantity…. make as much as you want. Pasta is really great the day after as well!

Result 2

Tomato Tatin… almost seasonal in Miami!

1 Nov

As I left France (already) 3 months ago, brothers & sisters were still on holidays, we had lots of time for doing just what we wanted to and it was a good opportunity to visit some of the great markets that we are lucky to have in our countryside.

Some of you will always have butter and jam in their fridge, ham and gherkins, champagne and caviar….. mine is always full of fresh salads and vegetables…. Boring? Not at all, let me prove it to you as I proved it to the whole family especially the male section…..!

Ingredients

  • 1 portion of puff pastry – preferably ready to use
  • 4-5 fleshy tomatoes on the vine
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Caster sugar
  • Fresh rosemary, thyme or oregano
  • Basil pesto optional

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F
Cut the tomatoes into wedges, remove the seeds and drain most of the juice.

Cover a tart pan with parchment paper, place the wedges next to each other and as close a possible as they will shrink while cooking.

Drizzle with some pesto or just with olive oil, salt and pepper, chopped herbs and a little sugar then cook it in the oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until the tomatoes get soft and start to shrink. The juice of the tomatoes should have evaporated and if you have put sugar it has started to slightly caramelize.

Unroll your puff pastry on top of the dish and fold back into the dish the excess of puff pastry.*

Bake it for 15-20 minutes until the puff pastry is thoroughly cooked and gets a nice golden brown color.
As the tart is still hot, turn it upside down on a serving plate and gently remove the parchment paper.**

Let it cool down a little and drizzle pesto all over the tart.
You can finish with some fresh rocket or other baby leaves to decorate.
Serve it hot or cold, on a buffet or as a starter with a bunch of mixed leaves on the side, a great board of cheese and lots of delicatessen to make sure the WHOLE family loves it.

*You can also make individual tarts for starter. Use tartlets pan and process the same way. It will make 6-8 tarts about 10cm diameter.

**If you wait too long, the sugar caramel will get hard and stick to the bottom of the dish. If this happen, quickly put your tart back in the oven to soften the caramel.