Blueberry Jam – Confiture de Myrtilles

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Ingredients:

3 cups blueberries

1 cup sugar or maple syrup or sweetener – to taste

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp chia seeds

Put the blueberries, vanilla extract and sugar in a medium pan over medium heat, mix well. Let this boil for 15 minutes, then let it cool down.

Add the chia seeds, stirring well and let rest a few hours. Put in glass jars and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

You can make this jam with raspberries, strawberries, cherries with almond extract or plums. You can add the juice of a lemon for the flavor and to keep the color vibrant.

Very good on toasts, or ice cream! and can be done sugar free with your favorite sweetener.

Bon appétit !

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Ladybugs – Coccinelles

IMG_1534Ingredients;

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

a bag of spinach, or arugula salad

1 small can or jar of black, small olives

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 tsp corn starch

8 oz feta cheese

Cut one end of each tomato, to leave place for the head. Cut them in half lengthwise, cut half of the back as on the picture.

Cut one end of each olive, then cut in half to make the head.

Cut 1/2″ slices in the cheese. Depending on the size, cut in 4, 6 or 8 wedges.

Put a leaf of salad on each wedge, a ladybug on top.

Dilute the cornstarch in the cold vinegar. Bring to a boil, stir for about one minute until the liquid is more like a cream. Let this cool down, then place in a ziplock, cut a corner and make the dots on the tomatoes.

Voila, bon appétit !

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Sauce Provençale – Tomato Sauce

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Ingredients for 2:

2 tbsp olive oil
½ large onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste or 2 tbsp dried tomatoes cut into pieces
1 pound fresh, chopped tomatoes
½ pound mushrooms – optional –
2 tbsp chopped black olives
Lemon peel of ¼ lemon
Juice of a lemon
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper

Topping:
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil or parsley
Shaved Parmesan

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
Add onion and stir for a few minutes until it starts to soften.
Add garlic and stir for a few minutes until lightly golden.
Add sliced mushrooms and stir. Add tomato paste or dried tomatoes, and tomatoes.
Cook for about 10 minutes or until thickened. Add olives, lemon peel, lemon juice and season with salt, pepper and herbs.

Very good with chicken, fish, pasta, rice…
You can top with Parmesan and fresh basil or parsley.

Bon appetit !

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Clafouti – fruit in a pancake-like batter

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Ingredients for 4 to 6 people:

1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup gluten free flour
1 1/4 cups almond milk or any other milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla or almond extract
about 3 cups of fruit; cherries, raspberries, pitted prunes or pears

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a medium size baking dish – or individual ramekins – sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar.

Beat the eggs and 1/3 cup of sugar in a bowl. Add the flour, then milk and vanilla extract. You can also use a blender.

Meanwhile arrange the fruit in a single layer in the baking dish. Pour the batter over them and bake until the top is golden brown,  about 35  minutes for individual dishes, 55 minutes for a larger one. A knife plunged in the center should come out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Traditionally a clafouti is made with cherries. I used frozen ones today.

Bon appetit !

Fleurs de salade / Salad flowers

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Today I would like to show you how to make the cute edible flowers that you usually see in Asian restaurants. It’s easier than it looks… 

Just wash and peel your favorite crisp vegetables. Then, like sharpening a pencil, insert carrots, cucumbers, squash, zucchini or parsnips in the sharpener to create ribbons. Arrange the ribbons in a nice way. You can also add a miniature corn cob in the center to make it more realistic.

The tool I purchased on internet is: Easy Carrot Curler from Norpro, about $5.
An additional crinkle cutter blade is attached on the side to groove the vegetables.

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Gratin Dauphinois

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2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into thin slices
1/2 cup heavy or sour cream
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/16 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup grated cheese

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the sliced potatoes, water and wine to a gentle simmer. Continue simmering for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread the potato-wine mixture into a baking dish. Mine is 8 x 8″. Add the cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes and bake for 30-40 minutes. Turn the broiler on for a few minutes if the potatoes are not golden on top.

You can substitute 1 cup broth for the cream and water. You can also add grilled onions or garlic and bacon to this dish.

Bon appetit !
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Creme Brulee

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Ingredients for 5 small ramekins

2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 quart water for the oven
raspberries, 1/2 tsp brandy, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp or the vanilla extract, into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Discard the vanilla bean, add the brandy.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup sugar and the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Add the cream little by little, stirring constantly. Pour the liquid into the ramekins. Add a few raspberries in each one. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling, about 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan, let them cool down. Then cover them and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the fridge for about 30 minutes. Divide the remaining 1/4 cup sugar among the dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar to form a crispy top. Or put them under the broiler for just a few minutes . Allow the creme to sit for about 5 minutes before serving. You can add more raspberries and mint leaves on top as decoration.

Bon appetit !

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