Cooking with the kid: Pea and Zucchini quiche

February 6th, 2016 § 1 comment § permalink

 

 Always find it fun too cook with my kids (when I’ve got time on my hands). 

The little lady is at the age (18 months) when she’ll run to the kitchen whenever i am in there insisting on helping with everything: from cooking to unloading the dishwasher and the errands. So cute… although a bit annoying/stressfull at times. She’ll push the kitchen step stool to the counter and get perched on it ready for action. We usually cook soup, lunch and tea time together. Petit Tom is more interested in legos lately than in everyday cooking but will join in to bake.

Some time ago i shared some handy tips for stressless cooking with kids. This quiche (and most sweet or savoury tarts) is great to cook together and to get the kiddos interested into veggies and new tastes. Don’t be offended though if like mine they nibble more during the cooking process than during the actual meal!

Pea and zucchini quiche
Quiche aux petits pois et courgettes

Serves 4, prep 15 min bake 25 min

Ingredients

  • 1 roll puff pastry (~350 g)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 large zucchini, finely sliced
  • 100 g green peas (i used frozen)
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 150 ml creme fraiche or double cream
  • 80 g grated parmeggiano reggiano
  • 1 handful fresh herbs (i used mostly basil with a bit of chives and oregano), finely chopped
  • zest of  half a lemon (organic), grated
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. Preheat the oven at 190 °C. Line a 28 cm circular tart shape (or a rectangular oven dish ~30cmx20cm) with baking paper and the rolled out puff pastry [or have the kid do it]
  2. Heat up the oil in a large frying pan on medium to high heat. Stir fry the onion for a minute or two, then add the finely sliced zucchini and the peas. Stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until the zucchini starts to soften and color. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  3. In a bowl, whip the eggs lightly. Incorporate the creme fraiche/double cream, whipping the mixture slowly. Stir in the 3/4 of the parmeggiano, lemon zest and fresh herbs. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. [the babe helps here too at although I supervise the breaking of the eggs and hand the ingredients one by one]
  4. Distribute the veggies evenly over the dough, pour the egg mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. [the kid will do well here too but beware for the gourmands who will nibble all the peas before they reach the quiche 😉 ] Delicately put in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until nicely golden. Leave to cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

 

Cooking with Petit Tom: Moroccan meatballs

June 14th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

Cooking with kids - Moroccan meatballs

Since Petit Tom has been around, I have secretly been longing for that day where he and I would share the kitchen and cook a meal together (Yes I know… I am a crazy foodie).

Last week friday was bliss. We cooked together for real for the first time. Not just like pricking the dough with a fork… A real dish. Moroccan meatballs. One of my favorite as a kid too.
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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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Warm and spicy, very comfy…

February 23rd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Today, I’d like to give a little praise to the foodies around the net who make me drool regularly in front of my computer.  To start with, I’ve chosen two seasonal treats I have tested and adopted because they are all I like on lazy winter days like today… simple, warm, spicy, very comfy. Sounds good to you too?

Velouté anisé (2)
A spoon of provence… The warm and fragrant ‘velouté anisé’ from Miss Epices’

The first one is a long time favourite I picked from my online french recipe bible Marmiton*. I’ve been using and abusing from Marmiton for ages before I even had set my eyes on the foodies blogging network. I mostly use it to look for cooking techniques and inspiration on how to cook a specific ingredient. However, there are a couple of recipes that I follow almost to the letter, like this fragrant and velvety fennel and zucchini soup from Miss Epices, exhaled with a gulp of pastis and a dash of lemon juice. The zucchini gives it an amazing smooth and velvety texture. It’s warm and refreshing at the same time, a trip to provence at every spoon. I love it during the cold winter nights when I feel nostalgic of my Provence but it also makes an original soup dish for a fancy dinner.

Pear and ginger crumble (2)
Warm, spicy, crunchy… soothing! The pear and ginger crumble from Holler

The second one was a ‘love-at-first-sight’ encounter, a couple of weeks ago while I was drooling in front of the round-up of the Januari in the bag challenge on Julia’s A slice of cherry pie. I was in pretty bad shape that day: feverish, with a flu and a red clown like nose, longing for something sweet, warm and spicy to pep me up. The pear and ginger crumble from Holler on her vegeterian blog Tinned Tomatoes was my salvation. The juicy pears, the spicy ginger and the crunchy almonds. It looked perfect. It was perfect:  warm, spicy, fudgy and crunchy… Soothing. Like Holler advises, it will do miracles with a scoop of vanilla ice cream… or a spoon of crème fraiche. I had to slightly adapt the recipe because I was missing a few ingredients and because I was craving for candied chinese ginger (while Holler used powdered ginger). Thank you so much Holler, I think this crumble will become a regular in my kitchen!

That’s it for today, but I’m working on a new section in the sidebar so that I can share my  ‘drooling’ and ‘to-do’ list with you in the near future. In the mean time, I’ve posted my versions of Miss Epice’s and Holler’s recipes below… Take a look at the original recipes on Marmiton (in french) and Holler’s blog.

Velouté anisé (1)
Velvety fennel and zucchini soup with a dash of Pastis
Velouté anisé
 
source: Miss Epice on Marmiton (in French)
serves 4 to 6 pers.
prep: 10 min. cook: 15 min

Ingredients:
1 large zucchini roughly chopped,
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped (keep some of the green leaves to decorate)
1 Tsp olive oil,
750 ml chicken or vegetable stock,

salt and pepper to taste,
1 Tsp cream cheese (optionnal)
A gulp of pastis,
A dash of lemon juice.

In a deep cooking pan, sauteed the zucchini and fennel in the olive oil for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Pour the stock and season to taste with salt and pepper. When it comes to a boil, lower the heat and leave to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the fennel is tender. Leave to cool a bit before blending the soup with the cream cheese. Heat up on low heat, and season with a gulp of Pastis and a dash of lemon juice just before serving.

Bon appétit!

Pear and ginger crumble (1)
Pear and ginger crumble
Crumble aux poires et au gingembre

source: Holler on Tinned Tomatoes
serves 6 to 8 pers.
prep: x min. cook: y min

Ingredients:
4 firm and juicy pears (I used Doyenne the Comice which are quite large, count ~1kg fruit), peeled and chopped in chunks,
50g candied chinese ginger (I thought it was perfect, my dutchie thought it was a tad too much… maybe I’ll try 25g next time!), chopped thinly,

Juice of half a lemon, (I usually pou the juice directly on the pears when I peel them to avoid oxydation)
3 Tsp raw cane sugar,
a pinch of cinnamon,
a pinch of cardamom,
freshly ground pepper,
a knob of butter,

For the crumble topping:
80g butter, cold, and cut in small pieces,
50g finely ground almonds,
50 g all purpose flour,
3 Tsp raw cane sugar,
a pinch of salt,
zest of a lemon,

2 handful of blanched almonds halves,

Usually, I first prepare the crumble dough: In a bowl, mix the butter with all the other dough ingredients (except the almond halves) with a wooden spoon until it crumbles (you can also use your fingers, but the warmth of your body might have the butter melt faster that you would like). Refrigerate until further use.

Preheat the oven at 180 deg. In a frying pan, melt the knob of butter and throw in the pears and lemon juice, the ginger, sugar and spices. Toss a couple of minutes on high heat until the flavours and juices get together.
Pour in a large oven dish greased with butter and sprinkle withe the crumble dough and the almond halves. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crumble crust turns golden. Serve slightly warm.
Bon appétit!

* With more than 40000 recipes to this day, Marmiton is a very complete and well organised recipe database in french where anyone can post, search, comment on recipes. Attractive with seasonal themes, cooking and decoration tips and workshops animated by famous french bloggers. Ok, it’s all in french but if you’re not a french speaker, you might want to have a look at it’s little english brother Let’s cook french

Mandoline melody

September 18th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Luckily for you, I am not in the mood to sing or exert any musical talent that I don’t have! Not that it would really matter for you anyway as I have not yet become acquainted with podcasts and other blog fancy tricks…

No, today, I would like to introduce you to one of my best friends in the kitchen: my mandoline…
[nb – can’t put my hands on my camera cable and the card transfer doesn’t work properly, so no paparazzi picture of my mandoline today, you’ll have to wait a bit…]

I love vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, zucchinis, oignons, paprikas… well, to sum up: I love vegetables and I mostly like them cooked in thin slices, al dente or in salads. I also love to cook my fish on the grill or “en papillote” with a few extra thin slices of lemon that will caramelise impregneted with the fish juices, mmmm! Unfortunately, I do not yet fully master the art of handling a knife in the japanese style and there’s not a square centimeter left in my kitchen for a fancy food processor. Yet, I am blessed, I have my mandoline! I don’t really know what the exact term is in english or in dutch, if you know, feel free to let me know!

Now, if you’ve got one, wether it’s old and sentimental, inherited from your grandma or cheap, once bought on a small french market in the south of france during your holidays, or fancy, in shiny inox from your favourite cookshop, or asian style in a cheesy colour with a lot of chinese or japanese characters on the box (that’s mine)… here’s one great vegetable for you to try and play the mandoline….

zucchiniTagliatelles

Zucchini Tagliatelles
Tagiatelles de courgettes

serves 2. prep: 5 min cook: 5 min

Ingredients:
2 zucchinis (or if you live like me in the netherlands where they worship huge monster size vegetables… the smallest ‘monster courgette’ you can find… )
1 small clove of garlic

a handfull fresh basil
1 Tsp freshly grated parmeggiano
1 Tsp roasted pinenuts
2 Tsp fragrant virgin olive oil
sea salt, pepper

Wash the zucchinis and chop the ends. Take your magic mandoline, tune the spacing in order to obtain slices of ~2mm and use it to slice the zucchinis in the length (not your fingers!)… 30s later, rince the mandoline with fresh water, put it to dry, smile! you’re almost done. Now, if you have a little a bit of time before the dinner (this dish should be finalized just before serving), season the zucchini tagliatelles with sea salt and leave to drain in a clean cloth or some kitchen paper. If not, just go ahead with the recipe… In a large pan on high fire, add a Tsp of olive oil, add the zucchinis, season with salt (if not done already) and pepper, shake your pan a little, let’s say 2 to 3 minutes not more. Take out of the fire, add the basil pressed garlic clove, pinenuts, parmeggiano and one last tablespoon of olive oil, mix a bit. You’re done! Now hurry to the table, take a deep breath to enjoy the fragrances and … eat while it’s hot!

Bon appétit!

Nb. No need to mention that you can of course do this dish without a mandoline… Use a sharp knife, beware of your fingers.

Spring, asparagus and zucchini

May 15th, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

Last friday, in the end of the afternoon, I was just back from the local supermarket with an empty basket, depressed from the lack of choice and determined not to cook that night when my dutchie called: his father was paying us a surprise visit… He had something to celebrate! Good timing as I had prepared my dish for the next Blog Apetit event! It was perfect for a celebration and I would have two guinea pigs instead of one! I won’t get into details now (I will tell you all about it on the 23rd of may). However, I can tell you that it is a starter. The main dish was another story: the fridge was almost empty except from a few veal sausages and luckily some fresh zuchini and green asparagus. No way I would go back to the shop though… There was nothing inspiring to find there anyway! I first thought to keep it simple and serve the sausages with the vegetables sauteed and some plain rice. My dutchie is often complaining that I overdo it when we have guests! For sure I will prove him wrong this time… That was counting without the Champagne! After a happy and animated borrel* with the three of us I thought I would get started with the dinner. Starter ready to serve, oven on, vegetables cleaned and chopped, water for the rice… Maybe it was the golden champagne bubbles… a naughty little voice inside of me suggested I couldn’t just serve plain rice and sausages after such a nice drink and starter! I looked around my kitchen: rice, zucchinis, asparagus! And there was still some home made chicken stock in the fridge… There was room for a little twist in my cooking plans. Happy again, I got started. 20 minutes later dinner was on the table. My dutchie’s father served himself three times!

risotto

Spring zucchini and asparagus risotto
(risotto printanier aux courgettes blanches et pointes d’asperges)

3 pers. prep: 10 min cook.:20 min

Ingredients:
2 white zucchini (light green in fact)
100 g green asperge tips
1 shallot
~300g basmati rice (risotto experts… do not scream: I had no arborio or risotto rice around!)
50 g parmezan cheese (grate it youself, it tastes so much better)
a few chive sprigs
1 Tsp. olive oil
a knob of butter
sea salt, pepper
2dl dry white wine (I used the chardonnay we started after the champagne)
5dl chicken stock
Chop the shallot and cut the zucchinis in small pieces. Warm up the stock. In a big pan, put half of the olive oil to heat. Add the shallot and after a few minutes the rice. Stir. When the rice is translucid, cover with the wine and some stock (my stock was well seasoned so I didn’t add extra salt). Stir and lower the fire. Stir regularly and add some stock whenever it starts to dry out. Cook until the rice gets tender (about 15 min). In the mean time, heat the rest of the olive oil in a skillet. When the pan is hot add the zucchini and aparagus tips, season with salt and pepper. Stir fry for 5 min. Set aside. When the risotto is about ready add the vegetables and stir. Then add the grated cheese, the knob of butter, the chives and season to taste with fresh grinded pepper. Stir energically and serve immediately.Bon appétit!

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