Monday’s quickie special: roasted roots and sausage…

January 31st, 2011 § 4 comments § permalink

On mondays, I like quickies… food-wise I mean. Uncomplicated food, comfy, and prep’ed in minutes. Something to rest from my weekend cooking frenzies. Something to start the week on a good bite.

Roasted root vegetables and sausage

I’m sure you enjoy them too, once in a while and probably more often that you dare to admit…

So, let me introduce a new style of recipes on the blog: the ‘Monday’s quickie specials’. No long stories, no fancy step by step recipes. Just ‘a little bit of this and a lot of that’ kind of cooking. Hope you like these quickies as much as we do ūüėČ !

Here we go…

» 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 √† 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 √† 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

 

 

Dutch comfy food for a monthly mingle

January 27th, 2008 § 5 comments § permalink

In the heart of the dutch winter, when it’s freezing cold outside, dark and rainy, when my stomach crave for some comfort food that will warm me up from head to toe… I cook dutch!¬†When it comes to winter comfort food, dutch know their way in the kitchen: steaming hot erwtensoup (pea soup) with smoked sausage, creamy potato hutspot* or stamppot* with chicory or¬†boerenkool,¬†served with meatballs, sausages or bacon and a rich flavoured gravy… Might not¬†sound like¬†michelin star¬†gastronomy to you, but I¬†assure you,¬†once you have tried the real homemade stuff, you’ll ask for more.¬†

I’ve been willing to post about my¬†weakness for dutch winter food since the beginning of the winter season but didn’t come to it yet.¬†Then last week, I stumbled over the theme¬†of¬†the Monthly Mingle event organised by Meetah from What’s for lunch honey? : comfort food! What a perfect occasion. Further,¬†some days ago,¬† while having dinner in a dutch “Eetcaf√©”, I¬†couldn’t help overhearing¬†some expats at a table next to me complaining of the lack of culinary traditions in Holland….

So, to lovely Meetah and¬†to all the too many expats in the Netherlands who cannot stop complaining about the lack of culinary culture in this country… Here’s one of my dutch winter favourite comfort food, the dutch ‘boeuf bourguignon’, the king of dutch stews,¬†the ‘Hachee’. ¬†Lean stewing steak,¬†a lot of¬†shallots and oignons, browned in butter and delicately flavoured with juniper berries, bay leaves and cloves, simmered slowly¬†in a lot of beer until the meat falls apart… Lekker**!

Hachee
The king of dutch stews


My recipe is probably far from the traditionnal one but has been approved by many dutch so far. It is inspired from my favourite dutch cookbook¬†(in english! …didn’t speak dutch at the time I got it): “Dutch cooking – The new kitchen” from Manon Sikkel and Michiel Klonhammer.
Just like boeuf bourguignon, in private, I love to have my Hachee with macaroni. When I have guests, I’ll serve it with a celeriac mash. Always a success.¬†


Hachee
Dutch hash stew РBoeuf mijoté à la hollandaise

serves 6 pers.
prep: 30 min. cook: 2 hrs

Ingredients:
1.5 kg lean stewing steak, diced in chunks fom ~3×3 cm
1 handful flour,
60g butter,
200g shallots, peeled and chopped
500g onions, peeled and sliced thinly
500 ml beer,
1 Tsp sugar

2 bay leaves,
3 cloves,
6 juniper berries,
sea salt and pepper to taste,
optionnal: 2 slices of bread generously spread with mustard

Hachee ingredients


Put the pieces of meat in a plastic bac with a handful of flour and shake to coat the meat. Melt the 2 thirds¬†of the¬†butter (40g)¬†in a cocotte or heavy casserole and sear the meat on high heat (proceed in two¬†batches to get the meat nicely brown). Reserve the meat, add the remaining butter and sauteed the onions (reserve ~100 g for later)¬†and shallots¬†over¬†a low to medium heat until transparent.¬†Pour back¬†the meat, season to taste with sea salt and pepper and add the sugar, the cloves, bay leaves and juniper berries. — At that moment, the original recipe calls for¬†two slices of bread crust removed, spread with mustard and added in chunks to the cocotte which should help thicken the stew (use then 750ml beer). Somehow, I have always inadvertantly missed that step without consequences, but will surely try it next time.¬†— Then cover with beer and leave to simmer covered for about 2 hours. Serve hot with macaroni al dente or mashed¬†celeriac or potatoes.¬†

Eet smakkelijk!
potato
My dutch potato “stampper”

Mashed Celeriac
Purée de Céleri rave

serves 6 pers.
prep: 10 + 5 min. cook: 20 min
Ingredients:
1 celeriac (~800g), cleaned, peeled and diced in 2 cm x 2 cm chunks***
4 potatoes (~300g), cleaned, peeled and diced
30g butter,
10cl liquid cream,

1 Tsp coarse sea salt,
pepper to taste,

Put a large amount of water to boil together with 1 Tsp of sea salt. When the water is boiling, add the celeriac and potatoes and cook for 15 to 20 min on medium heat or until the celeriac and potato are tender. Drain. Add half of the liquid cream, slightly warmed, ¬†and mash using a fork or a dutch “stampper”¬† (don’t blend, the mash should be coarse). Add the butter and eventually add some more liquid cream to adjust the texture to your taste. Season with freshly crushed pepper. Serve hot!
If you wish, the vegetables can be boiled in advance, don’t drain and reserve covered until¬†15min before serving. Then reheat on low-fire, mash and season at the last moment.

Bon appétit!

* stamppot is a typical winter dutch dish calling for boiled potatoes coarsely mashed with roughly chopped season vegetables (raw or cooked) such as chicory, white loaf, carrots and oignons (this latest version being called hutspot)
** Lekker is dutch for yummy!
***  To avoid browning, keep covered in cold water seasoned with lemon juice

When the mood is down…

December 11th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Today was one of these days when everything goes wrong and I wish I had just stayed in bed dreaming of a better one: too much work, not enough time, not enough sleep, good friends in trouble… I guess¬†It happens to everyone once in a while (I think). I have a whole batch of remedies ready: A good bath, a glass of red wine, a¬†cooking magazine, a nice dinner¬†and a cuddle would usually help me getting through it. Only, it’s been a week, a whole week… and I don’t know what’s coming next.

What do you do then?

… For a moment, in the tram, on the way home, I thought a portion of tajine with chicken, raisins and onions in the freezer would save me. My mum’s recipe, warm, spicy and sweet just like when I was a kid, with couscous steamed over a spicy bouillon. There’s nothing like mum’s cooking when the mood is down!

But sometimes a bad¬†week is really a bad¬†week¬†and there’s not much to do about it: there was no tajine in the freezer,¬†we finished it a few weeks ago already. Good thing I saved you a picture!

tajine de poulet aux raisins

Going for a bath now… and who knows, tomorrow the christmas spirit might finally kick in.

 

Tajine with chicken, onions and raisins just like mum
Tajine de poulet aux oignons et aux raisins comme maman

serves 4 to 5 pers.
prep: 20 min. cook: 1 hr

Ingredients:
1 farm chicken (~1.5 kg) cleaned and cut in parts,
200g raisins,
1 bowl of warm tea,
800g oignons, peeled,
50g butter,
1 garlic clove,
1tsp ginger powder,
1tsp cinnamon,
1 pinch saffron,
1 pinch coriander powder,
2 cloves,
a few parsley sprigs
2 Tsp honey

sea salt and pepper to taste,

chicken

Rince the raisins and put them to marinate in a bowl of warm tea. Brown the chicken on all sides in a cocotte (or in a large a thick bottom pan) with the butter, on high¬†heat. If you want to use a real tajine, first brown the chicken in a large pan and then transfer into the tajine. Add two of the onions, quartered, the garlic clove, the parsley, the cloves, ginger, saffron, coriander and¬†half of the¬†tsp cinnamon. Season with sea salt and pepper. Pour the tea used to marinate the raisins to cover the meat (you can add a bit of extra water if there’s not enough tea). Lower the heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes. In the mean time, slice the rest of the oignons in thin slices. Add them to the cocotte, toss and leave to simmer covered¬†for 20 more minutes. add the raisins and remaining¬†1/2 tsp cinnamon toss and simmer covered for¬†10 more minutes.¬†¬†Remove the chicken and reserve on a serving dish covered with aluminum foil, add 2 Tsp of honey and reduce the sauce on medium to high fire for 5 to 10 min. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve hot with couscous steamed over a spicy bouillon or rice.

Bon appétit!

Where’s the meat?

October 13th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Lately, one of my carnivore relatives who had just discovered my blog made the remark that there was something essential missing on this blog: MEAT! I didn’t believe her until I went through my archives… Since I started this blog, I hardly published a couple of meat recipes. I was schoked, I had to rectify that.

So, readers, here is the truth: I am far from a vegeterian. I LOVE meat, all kinds of meat (except maybe some of the pork pieces). One of my favourites is a juicy and rare “cote de boeuf” from the barbecue… that says it all. I cook meat too: in tajines, stews, on the grill… Yet, I must admit that since I moved in with my dutchie and discovered his innate talent and pleasure in handling meat I often leave him my place in the kitchen when meat is involved. What can I say: when it comes to love… and perfectly cooked meat, it is all a matter of compromises!

If I can convince my dutchie in giving some of his secrets away, I’ll be introducing a new post category in the near feature to give you a glance of his cooking talents: there will be plenty of meat! In the mean time, here’s a sample of my personal meat recipes. The recipe itself is a chutney that makes a perfect stuffing or sauce with white meat (veal, chicken or pork “filet mignon”).

grapechutney_veal2006_1grapechutney_veal2006_2
grapes_chutney_chicken2007_2grapes_chutney_chicken2007
On top is the veal tenderloin version, below is the chicken version.
Personnaly I have a little preference for the veal. I leave the choice to you!

Grapes chutney saus

prep: 10 min cook: 15 min

Ingredients:
400g ripe green grapes (preferably without pit)
1 small red oignon
1 tsp of rasped fresh ginger
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 clove
10 cl dry fruity white wine (chardonnay, viognier…)
1 knob of butter
sea salt and pepper to taste.

Wash the grapes, peel half of them and then halve them all, remove the pits if necessary. Chop the oignon in thin slices. In a small cooking pan, sauteed the grapes, oignon and spices with the butter for 5 min on high fire. Add the wine and bring to boil. Lower the fire after the 1st boil. Leave to reduce for 10min (check once in a while so that you don’t end up with burned jam).This chutney is perfect to use as a filling or a sauce with white meat such as chicken filet, veal or pork filet mignon. I like to make a crust of filo or¬†puff pastry around the meat. Then bake in the oven at 200 deg C for 10 to 20 min depending on the weight of your meat portions.Bon app√©tit!

Where's the meat?

October 13th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Lately, one of my carnivore relatives who had just discovered my blog made the remark that there was something essential missing on this blog: MEAT! I didn’t believe her until I went through my archives… Since I started this blog, I hardly published a couple of meat recipes. I was schoked, I had to rectify that.

So, readers, here is the truth: I am far from a vegeterian. I LOVE meat, all kinds of meat (except maybe some of the pork pieces). One of my favourites is a juicy and rare “cote de boeuf” from the barbecue… that says it all. I cook meat too: in tajines, stews, on the grill… Yet, I must admit that since I moved in with my dutchie and discovered his innate talent and pleasure in handling meat I often leave him my place in the kitchen when meat is involved. What can I say: when it comes to love… and perfectly cooked meat, it is all a matter of compromises!

If I can convince my dutchie in giving some of his secrets away, I’ll be introducing a new post category in the near feature to give you a glance of his cooking talents: there will be plenty of meat! In the mean time, here’s a sample of my personal meat recipes. The recipe itself is a chutney that makes a perfect stuffing or sauce with white meat (veal, chicken or pork “filet mignon”).

grapechutney_veal2006_1grapechutney_veal2006_2
grapes_chutney_chicken2007_2grapes_chutney_chicken2007
On top is the veal tenderloin version, below is the chicken version.
Personnaly I have a little preference for the veal. I leave the choice to you!

Grapes chutney saus

prep: 10 min cook: 15 min

Ingredients:
400g ripe green grapes (preferably without pit)
1 small red oignon
1 tsp of rasped fresh ginger
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 clove
10 cl dry fruity white wine (chardonnay, viognier…)
1 knob of butter
sea salt and pepper to taste.

Wash the grapes, peel half of them and then halve them all, remove the pits if necessary. Chop the oignon in thin slices. In a small cooking pan, sauteed the grapes, oignon and spices with the butter for 5 min on high fire. Add the wine and bring to boil. Lower the fire after the 1st boil. Leave to reduce for 10min (check once in a while so that you don’t end up with burned jam).This chutney is perfect to use as a filling or a sauce with white meat such as chicken filet, veal or pork filet mignon. I like to make a crust of filo or¬†puff pastry around the meat. Then bake in the oven at 200 deg C for 10 to 20 min depending on the weight of your meat portions.Bon app√©tit!

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