A Berbere vegetarian tajine

January 30th, 2013 § 4 comments § permalink

Berbere vegetarian tajine

So, cooking for Moroccan Quirky Friday was so much fun. Thanks to Christine and to those who joined in the fun and had a taste of my Moroccan cuisine! Special thanks too to my friend Sophie for being such a dedicated and talented sous-chef!

Many asked for the recipes of the tajines I cooked that evening…
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On food romance, Italian zabaione, citrus, vanilla and pain d’epices

February 12th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Personal taste is a funny thing. While la gourmande’s idea of food romance lies in a plate of Linguine a la Vongole, it is spareribs that will rhyme with sexiness in the ears of her dutchie!

Citrus and vanilla zabaione with toasted gingerbread

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La Soupe de Maman

October 1st, 2010 § 6 comments § permalink

So much warmth and love in just a bowl of soup… My Mum’s Harira.

It’s all the warmth and heartiness of the love of a mother for her children, the color and spiciness of a buzzing and happy family reunion, the mix of simplicity and complexity of an ancestral tradition… an epiphany.

Harira [1]

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Sexy pears

November 20th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

Whenever I come around the mouthwatering combination of poached pears and silky chocolate sauce, I can’t help but feeling butterflies in my belly. Not surprising, you would think, for a gourmande like me.

Well, not this kind of butterflies I must admit (blushing)… Couldn’t really explain why though until I stumbled upon that vintage french advertisement from the eighties for a world famous chocolate brand, and then I remembered: the very first awakening of my sensuality taste buds…

Ok, maybe that’s a bit cheesy… but, well, I was still very young and naive back in the eighties. And honestly, will the poached pears/chocolate sauce combi ever taste the same way to you after this? Let’s make a test…

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Fighting for the last bone…

November 14th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

If I tell you that the scene below was immortalised one couple of Sundays ago at my dinner table, you might wonder what on earth I serve my guests for dinner for them to fight over the last bone with such rage.


Well I did too, because in less time I needed to have a bite myself that’s about all that was left of the generous pieces of full flavoured autumn lamb that won me over in the display of my beloved butcher…
Not less that one whole boned shoulder and four shanks that had been patiently simmering on my stove through the afternoon until falling of the bone, slowly but surely caramelised with the toffee like dates and delicately topped with shiny, deep pink drops of a ripe pomegranate.

Now if I tell you we were only four and there was enough for an army, this might convince you that there is something almost magic about the tajine like recipe I’m about to share with you. If not, take a look further down this post for a quick glimpse of what it looked like before landing on my dinner table or even better, check out the link to the original ‘grimoire’ from which I stole this mouth-watering spell, my favourite foodies magazine, the french ELLE a Table.

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Paris for Sinterklaas…

December 2nd, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

Still a few days before Sinterklaas!
It seems I’ve been a good girl this year: Sinterklaas is treating me with a getaway to Paris where I’ll go and see a friend’s play, visit a few exhibitions (Picasso, here I come) and eat a couple of Macarons from Pierre Herme… Not bad. Bedankt Sinterklaas!


No way I could avoid baking the famous Speculaas, though… My batches are ready, awaiting quietly in their metal tin.
This year, I used fresh flour coming directly from the mill and aside from the typical wood mold shaped speculaas, I baked small square shapes, perfect with a cup of coffee. The result is crunchier than ever.

For those who still want to bake speculaas before friday, remember that the dough needs a little rest (count at least half a day although one night would be best) so… get baking!

You’ll find the recipe I posted last year for Sinterklaas eve right there. I have updated the recipe with some tips based on this year’s experience.

Bon Appetit and happy ‘Sinterklaas’!

More pumpkin… with an oriental touch

November 15th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Pumpkins are still beautiful on the market stalls and as usual, I couldn’t resist… 
It was a long time since I reached out for my tajine far away on the upper kitchen shelf and pumpkin goes so well with the traditionnal spices for tajines like ginger and cinnamon.
I had to give it a try.

And it was all worth it: the fragrant and warm tajine with lamb and pumpkin that came out of the kitchen was gone in no time.

Pumpkin Tajine
A tajine with an automnal vibe

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In the Bag: My mini halloween pumpkin puppets

October 31st, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

Halloween hadn’t really reached France when I was a kid. That might explain that I never really got so enthusiastic about the whole thing even now that Halloween is taking over Europe. However, as a gourmande, there’s one thing I love about Halloween… 
I love pumpkin in all its edible forms (especially soup!) and thanks to Halloween I can indulge myself in a one month pumpkin cure every october!

Talking about pumpkin, it’s the main theme of Julia’s ‘In the Bag Event’ this month. It’s a long while since I had the occasion to participate, but I definitely cannot pass on this one. Unfortunately, I’m nothing of a pumpkin carver and there will be no scary carved pumpkin in my bag but I’m sure Julia won’t complain with what I made up instead.  

In honour of Julia’s In the Bag event and of those who brought Halloween and its pumpkins to me, I’ve improvised some mini-mini muffins with roasted pumpkin and hazelnuts and tiny little pieces of dried apricots. Now, I’m not sure they will scare many of you, but I doubt you can resist them…

My Halloween Pumpkin Puppets
And let me present you with my not so scary mini halloween pumpkin muffins puppets!

So, what will it be for you: trick or treat…

Happy Halloween to you all, happy pumpkin day!

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Farniente and summer greens

August 16th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

I had big plans for my kitchen diaries this summer. Somehow I always tend to have big plans for everything and far too little time to realise them. As my mom says: my eyes are always bigger than my stomach! Unfortunately, I’ve kind of overdone it the last years and especially the last 8 months.

Now, there’s no choice, it’s time to recharge the batteries… From time to time I miss the rush of adrenaline I have when juggling with ten things at a time. But I must say, farniente is good… Sometimes lazyness is just necessary. Luckily there’s no better time than summer for a little farniente and I hope you’re allowing yourself a little bit of it too.

My kitchen is taking a little bit of rest too, although it still has to deal with my latest crave for sunny and summery greens. I’ve managed to save you a bite from our last barbecue: easy and sunny salads with a definite meditterranean touch… Here are two of them for a start*.
Enjoy and don’t forget to take it easy!


Morrocan greens
Salade de poivrons et tomates a la marocaine (recipe will come later), salade de courgettes a la menthe et carrotes au cumin et a la coriandre… had a hard time saving you a bite!

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My kitchen goes skiing!

March 7th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Les menuires

The kitchen will be closed for the coming 10 days… It’s time for well deserved holidays.
Ok almost closed: it seems I’m the designated cook for the trip.
In the mean time here’s something to spice up your week a little!

See u soon!

Chicken and prawns red thai curry

4 pers. prep: 20 min cook: 15min + 10 min

500g chicken filet (~3)
250g tiger prawns (raw and peeled)

400g mixed vegetables (for ex. peppers, green beans,
soja, chinese cabbage, oignons, leaks, carrots…)
cleaned, peeled and chopped400ml coconut milk
3 Tsp red curry paste
2 Tsp fish saus (Nuoc Nam)
2 Tsp brown sugar
a few kafir leaves (or 1 tsp pureed lemongrass)
5 Tsp. wok oil (or olive oil)
a handfull fresh thai basil
sea salt, pepper

Prepare your ingredients: dice your chicken filet into ~ 2/2.5 cm dices, prepare the prawns (in my case unfreeze them!), wash, peel and slice the vegetables thinly (or if you’re in a hurry use a ready “asian like” vegetable mix from your favourite supermarket…). Set aside, ready next to the stove. In a small cooking pan, mix the curry paste (I usually start with 2Tsp and adjust during the reduction), sugar, fish saus and coconut milk, add the kafir leaves or lemongrass and cook on low fire for about 15 min until the saus reduces from one third. 15 min before serving time, bring half of the oil to warm up in a wok or large pan on high fire. Sauteed the chicken for 5 min (you might need 2 rounds, so that your chicken get quickly seared and golden). Reserve. In the same wok/pan, sauteed the prawns for a couple of minutes until colored. Reserve, with the chicken. Still in the same pan, add the rest of the oil, sauteed the vegetables 3 to 4 minuts until seared but still crunchy, lower the fire, add the curry saus, chicken and prawns, cook for five more minutes. Just before serving, add the roughly cut basil, transfer to your seving dish, serve and enjoy right away, with some rice and eventually some warm nans.

Bon appétit!

Lemon rice
4 pers. prep: 5 min cook: 15min

300g pandan or thai rice,
100ml coconut milk,
500ml water,
the zest of a lemon,
1 lemongrass stick,
sea salt and pepper to taste.
In a pan, pour the rice and cold liquids. Add the lemon zest and lemongrass, season to taste. Bring to boil on normal fire, then cover up and lower the fire. After about 15 min, the liquids are absorbed and your rice is ready.

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