A Christmas special: Chicken breast sous-vide, shiitake and sake sauce

December 16th, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

Second opus of this year Christmas menu… The main, chicken. It’s a fun one and it will make an impression. We’re gonna cook sous-vide today.

Don’t be scared, it’s easy, I promise (and you don’t need fancy equipment to try it).

Chicken breast sous-vide, shiitake and sake sauce

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Who's afraid of the Christmas turkey?

December 14th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Qua Christmas traditions, there’s more than enough to choose from in the family: French on my side, Dutch and British for my other half (my ‘dutchie’ is also half brit)…
Usually, I pick a bit of everything (well, with a lot from French, to be completely honest).
With the years, my Christmas eve dinners have turned up as a joyous multicultural mess:

From oysters and foie gras next to the more northern style heartwarming soups
, the Chapon, the goose or the game, the French Christmas log or fancy entremet and the British Christmas pudding, the dutch cookies and spices…. Except for one thing: Turkey.

dinde
Lesson learned: unless the bird is bigger than you or your oven, a turkey is nothing to be afraid of!

Not that I don’t like it or that it’s extremely difficult to prepare. Maybe I’ve been secretely traumatised by monster sized turkeys ending up on the head of Mr Bean or Joe in Friends. Maybe I had some bad experiences with dried out turkeys and concrete like compact stuffings that almost make you choke. Maybe I just grew up inspired by my mum’s constant search for mouthwatering originality in the kitchen… Well, actually, I think it was just another of these dishes that for some hidden inconscious feeling I didn’t dare to cook. Just like cheesecakes before.

Anyway, last year I finally gave in my dutchie’s wishes for a good old Christmas turkey, and I must say that with a little organisation and a lot of faith, it turned out good, really good: 
It was golden on the outside, tender on the inside, delicately perfumed with truffle that I inserted under the skin and the traditionnal stuffing with chestnuts was rich, fragrant and comforting yet not to compact thanks to the addition of grated apples and silky greek yoghurt. I served it with a simple gravy made of the cooking juices, sauteed green beans with wild mushrooms and celeriac mash.

And you, will you dare turkey this Christmas?

 

» Read the rest of this entry «

Who’s afraid of the Christmas turkey?

December 14th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Qua Christmas traditions, there’s more than enough to choose from in the family: French on my side, Dutch and British for my other half (my ‘dutchie’ is also half brit)…
Usually, I pick a bit of everything (well, with a lot from French, to be completely honest).
With the years, my Christmas eve dinners have turned up as a joyous multicultural mess:

From oysters and foie gras next to the more northern style heartwarming soups
, the Chapon, the goose or the game, the French Christmas log or fancy entremet and the British Christmas pudding, the dutch cookies and spices…. Except for one thing: Turkey.

dinde
Lesson learned: unless the bird is bigger than you or your oven, a turkey is nothing to be afraid of!

Not that I don’t like it or that it’s extremely difficult to prepare. Maybe I’ve been secretely traumatised by monster sized turkeys ending up on the head of Mr Bean or Joe in Friends. Maybe I had some bad experiences with dried out turkeys and concrete like compact stuffings that almost make you choke. Maybe I just grew up inspired by my mum’s constant search for mouthwatering originality in the kitchen… Well, actually, I think it was just another of these dishes that for some hidden inconscious feeling I didn’t dare to cook. Just like cheesecakes before.

Anyway, last year I finally gave in my dutchie’s wishes for a good old Christmas turkey, and I must say that with a little organisation and a lot of faith, it turned out good, really good: 
It was golden on the outside, tender on the inside, delicately perfumed with truffle that I inserted under the skin and the traditionnal stuffing with chestnuts was rich, fragrant and comforting yet not to compact thanks to the addition of grated apples and silky greek yoghurt. I served it with a simple gravy made of the cooking juices, sauteed green beans with wild mushrooms and celeriac mash.

And you, will you dare turkey this Christmas?

 

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Chanterelle Mea Culpa

October 23rd, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

Yep, the lazy gourmande is back. It’s been a long while. I missed you all.
I’ve been wondering how I could make it up to you…
And then, I was drooling in front of the mouthwatering automn specials of the duch cooking magazine Wining & dining when I found this little gem…  a tender mini-bite with chanterelles and old sheep cheese that will make you feel like going mushroom-picking next weekend.

Mini-cakes des sous-bois
Just for you… A personal interpretation of Wining and Dining automn proof mini-muffins*
 

Of course, I couldn’t help bringing in my personnal touch to the original recipe*, but that was mostly ’cause I missed part of the ingredients in my cupboards.

 

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The wind of change…

November 19th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Don’t you ever have that feeling that life is just going too fast for you at times?

Be so lucky if you don’t… I am that dreamy, somewhat lazy type of girl who likes to take life slowly, very slowly. I might seem adventurous at first sight, but god knows I’m not. Lately, a wind of change is blowing over my head. I needed it, I wanted it, and now it’s there. It’s all good things, but still, it’s all going soooo fast and I am having a little trouble to cope with everything.

Among those changes, I am working on a completely new layout for my kitchen diaries. I want it to be a surprise so I won’t tell much about it. I promise, you should all found out about it sometimes in the next couple weeks.

In the mean time, here’s something to keep you waiting….
One of these evenings, I came home from work once again exhausted, dreaming of a soup, my bed and a feel good movie. Yet, I had invited a few friends for dinner. I had bought several seasonal treats during the week: rabbit, wild mushrooms…. but I didn’t have one minute to think of what I could cook out of it.  Too tired to be fussy, my mind was quickly made. A glass of white wine in my hand to , and the cocotte on the stove, I got started. A little more than an hour later, dinner was ready… It turned out as one my favourite impro of this autumn
! a great comfy but still impressive dish that required very little prep and effort but did marvels on that cold and dark night. It would go great with a celeriac gratin or puree. I went for what I had around: red cabbage with apples. A good match too.

rabbit and mushrooms
comfy food for cold automn evenings

Rabbit with wild mushrooms
Lapin aux champignons sauvages

serves 4 pers.
prep: 10 min. cook: 1 hr

Ingredients:
1.2 kg rabbit, cut in parts,
4 shallots, chopped,
1 garlic clove, peeled and germ removed
25 g butter,
2 Tsp olive oil,
1 “bouquet garni” (laurel, parsley, thyme)
30 cl dry white wine,
10 cl water,
3 Tsp mustard,
750 g wild mushrooms brushed, whole or halved,

sea salt and pepper to taste,

In a cocotte on high heat, brown the rabbit parts on all sides in the butter and olive oil. Add the chopped shallots, the garlic clove and the bouquet garni. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Pour the white whine and water and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat, cover and leave to simmer on low heat for 40 min, stirring once in while. Mix in the mustard, leave to simmer 5 min uncovered and finally add the mushrooms, toss to coat the mushrooms with the sauce and leave to simmer covered for 10 more minutes.

Bon appétit!

* notes

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