While the cat's away…

May 30th, 2010 § 6 comments § permalink

When one of us is away for dinner, ’cause on a business trip or going out with the guys/gals we indulge ourselves in these cherished gourmandises that the other half just won’t give into…. For my dutchie, his lonely orgies range from KFC (one of my worst food nightmares) to more chicken wings, pork chops and other preferably over-sized meat cuts with minimum-sized veggie portions. I give into cheese (his worst food nightmare), veggies, more cheese and veggies, salads, soups, risottos, a good plate of pasta alla carbonara, or a homemade quiche with plenty of veggies and cheese just like this one…

Leek and Tome de Savoie Quiche

What about you… What are your secret and cherished gourmandises that you keep for the days when the cat’s away?

» Read the rest of this entry «

While the cat’s away…

May 30th, 2010 § 4 comments § permalink

When one of us is away for dinner, ’cause on a business trip or going out with the guys/gals we indulge ourselves in these cherished gourmandises that the other half just won’t give into…. For my dutchie, his lonely orgies range from KFC (one of my worst food nightmares) to more chicken wings, pork chops and other preferably over-sized meat cuts with minimum-sized veggie portions. I give into cheese (his worst food nightmare), veggies, more cheese and veggies, salads, soups, risottos, a good plate of pasta alla carbonara, or a homemade quiche with plenty of veggies and cheese just like this one…

Leek and Tome de Savoie Quiche

What about you… What are your secret and cherished gourmandises that you keep for the days when the cat’s away?

» Read the rest of this entry «

The social 'quiche'

April 17th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

 

My day job is taking over my life lately and I’m in survival mode.
So many treats I’d like to share with you and so little time on my hands…It’s seems it’s gonna last for a while, so don’t worry if it is a bit quiet the coming weeks. I’ll be back!

Anyway, here’s a short one for today, one of the little black dresses of my culinary repertoire, a ‘quiche’… Savoury tarts like salads are really just a no-fuss love story. Ready in no time, you can dress them up or down for about any occasion: mini fancy bites for a cocktail or chique apetizers, or warm with a salad or soup in almost any shape and you can fill it up with whatever you have at hand that day. 

 

Tonight I’ll be making one with spinach and ‘brandade’, a salted cod fish specialty out the city where I grew up, Nimes. Comforting and sunny, perfect for relaxing while catching up with my best friend. In the mean time, I’ve got another of my faves ready for you: a ‘tarte a l’oignon’ we feasted on while playing cards and drinking vin de savoie during my last ski holidays (ages ago… it seems).


Tarte à l'oignon (2)

Onion tart
Tarte à l’oignon

serves 4 to 8 pers.
prep: 10 min. cook: 20 min + 20 min

Ingredients:
350 g puff pastry (I used 1 ready to use roll)
600 g onions, cleaned, peeled and cut into thin slices,
200 g shallots, cleaned, peeled and cut into thin slices,
30 g butter,
1 tsp brown sugar,
3 eggs,
20 cl whipping cream,
5 cl milk, (you can use more milk and less cream if you wish)

salt and pepper to taste,
nutmeg to taste,

Pre-heat the oven at 180 deg C. Line the dough in a tart mold and bake blind for 15 minutes. In the meantime, melt the butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the onions and shallots and toss to coat in butter, season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently from time to time for 10 to 15 minutes or until the onions juices are reduced. Sprinkle the sugar and raise the heat from medium to medium high heat.  Toss regularly for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onions and shallots turn a nice golden caramel colour. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, beat in the whipping cream, season to taste with sea salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Spread the cooled onions and shallots in the tart shell and pour in the eggs and cream mixture. Bake for 20 minutes at 180 deg C or until nicely golden. Serve hot for lunch or dinner with a salade, warm cut into bites as an appetizer or cold in slices for a picknick.

Bon appétit!

morning sun in val tho

 

 

The social ‘quiche’

April 17th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

 

My day job is taking over my life lately and I’m in survival mode.
So many treats I’d like to share with you and so little time on my hands…It’s seems it’s gonna last for a while, so don’t worry if it is a bit quiet the coming weeks. I’ll be back!

Anyway, here’s a short one for today, one of the little black dresses of my culinary repertoire, a ‘quiche’… Savoury tarts like salads are really just a no-fuss love story. Ready in no time, you can dress them up or down for about any occasion: mini fancy bites for a cocktail or chique apetizers, or warm with a salad or soup in almost any shape and you can fill it up with whatever you have at hand that day. 

 

Tonight I’ll be making one with spinach and ‘brandade’, a salted cod fish specialty out the city where I grew up, Nimes. Comforting and sunny, perfect for relaxing while catching up with my best friend. In the mean time, I’ve got another of my faves ready for you: a ‘tarte a l’oignon’ we feasted on while playing cards and drinking vin de savoie during my last ski holidays (ages ago… it seems).


Tarte à l'oignon (2)

Onion tart
Tarte à l’oignon

serves 4 to 8 pers.
prep: 10 min. cook: 20 min + 20 min

Ingredients:
350 g puff pastry (I used 1 ready to use roll)
600 g onions, cleaned, peeled and cut into thin slices,
200 g shallots, cleaned, peeled and cut into thin slices,
30 g butter,
1 tsp brown sugar,
3 eggs,
20 cl whipping cream,
5 cl milk, (you can use more milk and less cream if you wish)

salt and pepper to taste,
nutmeg to taste,

Pre-heat the oven at 180 deg C. Line the dough in a tart mold and bake blind for 15 minutes. In the meantime, melt the butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the onions and shallots and toss to coat in butter, season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently from time to time for 10 to 15 minutes or until the onions juices are reduced. Sprinkle the sugar and raise the heat from medium to medium high heat.  Toss regularly for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onions and shallots turn a nice golden caramel colour. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, beat in the whipping cream, season to taste with sea salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Spread the cooled onions and shallots in the tart shell and pour in the eggs and cream mixture. Bake for 20 minutes at 180 deg C or until nicely golden. Serve hot for lunch or dinner with a salade, warm cut into bites as an appetizer or cold in slices for a picknick.

Bon appétit!

morning sun in val tho

 

 

Go West: Sea, Sun and…. Fruits de Mer

September 30th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Ils ont les chapeaux ronds, vive la bretagne… Ils ont les chapeaux ronds, vive les Bretons!

Dinard
La grand plage in Dinard

I know I’ve been complaining about the weather quite a lot on this blog lately… well, not today!
Last weekend me and my dutchy went west to Brittany for a family weekend.
I couldn’t have dreamt for a better time to introduce my dutchie to the laidback way of life and many treasures of Bretagne… I just wish we had a few extra days.

garden_mamieYas
The garden in Dinard

On Friday morning, we reached the north coast of Bretagne and beautiful St Malo bathed with sun and enjoyed a delicious meal in Dinard in the warmth of a sunny terrace: I still remember the taste of the fabulous “galettes de sarrasin” (traditional savoury buckwheat pancakes) that the grandmother of my girlfriend prepared especially for our venue. With a full stomach and after a deserved walk along the beach overseeing St-Malo, we were back on the road crossing the green and hilly countryside of Bretagne towards the south coast, to our final destination, the small village of Colpo next to Vannes. My uncle and his wife were of course awaiting us with another delicious meal, and many stories.

josselin
The castle of Josselin

My uncle is one of the best storytellers I happen to know. In a few words he takes you back to the ancient times of Bretagne among the Celts and Gallos, Merlin, the dukes of Brittany and other heroes who made Bretagne the mysterious and eclectic place it still is today. On Saturday, after a late breakfast in the garden we managed to have a peak to the almost closing market of Vannes. I like the end of the market, when the stalls are being packed with a rare efficiency, when the late clients run for the last bargains of the day… After a quick look into “les Halles”, the daily covered market with its many cheese, charcuterie and butcher stalls, we headed to the covered fish market where we made our way with difficulty around the flooding waters announcing the cleaning and closing time. Despite of the turmoil around we could still admire some of the largest specimens of the day, such as the shark on the picture below or this white tuna from the island of Yeu. We were so busy looking around that I left almost empty handed, with just a pot of buckwheat honey.

shark_vannes
Fish market in Vannes

After a tour of the city guided by my favourite guide and uncle, we left the already dying effervescence of the closing market towards St Goustan, a small harbour along the Auray, a river ending its journey in the Gulf of Vannes. This small harbour dates back to the roman times when fleeing from the huge roman galleys, the Gaul where escaping upstream on their small crafts. There, we lost track of time enjoying mussels and cervoise in a little bistro terrace along the river.

golfeDeVannesostreiculteur_vannes
huitres_vannesbigorneaux
Oyster farm “La Godaille”

In the end of the afternoon we drove along the Gulf. It was too late for our original plan to reach one of its entrances in Locmariaquer famous for its Megalithic monuments which date as far as between 4700 and 3800 BC. However, there was no way we would skip a visit to an oysterfarm… our dinner was at stake. We stopped  at the “Godailles” oyster farm close to Baden along the Gulf where a large choice of fresh oysters with various sizes and shapes, palourdes (clams) and bigorneaux (winkles) where awaiting us. They are bred directly in the gulf, along the currents. We settled for four dozen of “creuses n3”, a dozen of clams and a few hundred grams of winkles to nibble. Before we left her, the oyster farmer insisted on giving us a bottle of sea water and some laurel leaves to cook the bigorneaux. What a delicious dinner we made back in Colpo!

bigorneaux2huitres_vannes2palourdes

Bigorneaux
winkles

apetizer
serves 4 to 8. cook: 3 min

Ingredients:
300g of winkles,
1.5l sea water,
1 laurel leave,
pepper to taste
small picksRince the bigorneaux still alive. Put the sea water to boil with the laurel and pepper. Cook the bigorneaux for 3min…. Nibble with a glass of fresh white wine while your uncle and husband are opening the oysters. 
Bon appétit!

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