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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Classic French Bistro Sandwich, Croque-Monsieur

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I know what you are thinking, with a name like this, even for Julia Child, there will be 3 pages of explanation… but follow me:

Ingredients per person:

2 slices of Gluten Free bread

2 slices of ham

4 tablespoons of sour cream or crème fraîche

6 tablespoons of shaved cheese, preferably Gruyère, you can use a vegetable peeler to do this

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°.

Spread the first bread slice with  one tablespoon of  cream on each side all the way to the edges. Place it in an oven proof dish or on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Top with two tablespoons of cheese, then ham folded, again two tablespoons of cheese, then the other slice of bread spread on both sides with the rest of the cream. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake until cheese is brown and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Use the broiler if needed.

Now for the pronunciation, it is similar to crock-meu-ssi-eu  😉

Et voila, bon appétit !

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Far Breton – Prune Cake

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Very popular cake from Brittany. Can be served warm or cold in the baking dish. Excellent for breakfast!

Ingredients;

11oz prunes – pitted is easier – about 25

2 cups milk – I like almond milk

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

2/3 cup GF flour

1 tbsp of alcohol or 1 tsp of vanilla extract, optional

Soak the prunes in warm water for a few hours if they are dry. You can flavor the water with a tbsp of alcohol or a tsp of vanilla extract.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Combine the eggs and sugar in a bowl, mix well.

Add the flour, mix, then add the milk.

Butter a 10″ oven-proof dish. Drain the prunes if needed and arrange them in the dish. Cover with the batter and bake for about 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown.

Bon appetit !

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Oeufs en Cocotte – Eggs in a pot

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Ingredients for 2 persons:

  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 to 4 medium size mushrooms
  • 1 shallot, or some onion, or 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • handful of chopped herbs, fresh or dried; parsley, dill or chives, herbs from provence
  • 2 eggs
  • Optional; blue cheese, Gruyere or Camembert

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place in it a baking dish with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Clean the mushrooms, remove part or all the stems, then slice them. Also slice the shallot after removing the outer skin. Brown in a pan with butter.

Place this mix in the bottom of the ramekins.

Crack an egg on top, add the crème fraîche mixed with the herbs. Top with some cheese if you want.

Place the ramekins in the baking dish, and bake for  about 15 minutes or until the egg yolks are set to your liking.

Serve warm with bread and a salad.

Bon appetit !

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Financiers Express

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Financiers (pronounced fee-nahng-syehr) are French tea cakes with a soft and moist texture. You can bake them in individual tart pans (molds) or muffin tins.  

Ingredients for 5 large muffins:
1 stick unsalted butter, or 1 stick salted butter and skip the salt
1/4 cup gluten free flour
1/2 cup ground almonds (I use almond meal)
1/2 cup confectioner (powdered or icing) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Butter the molds with a pastry brush or some paper towel.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the lightly beaten egg whites, vanilla, and butter. Fill each mold almost to the rim and bake for about 20 minutes (less for smaller ones) until the cookies have become golden brown around the edges and are springy to the touch.

Excellent eaten warm from the oven, but can be covered and stored for a few days at room temperature or in the refrigerator. You can also enjoy them with jam, chocolate sauce, ice cream or a fruit salad.

Bon appetit !

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Nid de printemps – Spring nest

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Ingredients for about 4 nests:

3 cups shredded hash browns, I used frozen ones.

1 cup shredded cheese: I used parmesan, romano and asiago. You can put Gruyere or blue cheese too.

2 eggs

6 to 8 slices of bacon

12 quail eggs

salad with small leaves like water cress

salt and pepper

optional; hollandaise sauce

Boil water in a pan and add the quail eggs for about 5 minutes until they are hard boiled. When they are colder, delicately remove  the shell.

Brown 4 slices of bacon twisted to make like tree branches. Cut the rest of the bacon in small pieces and brown also. Remove and set aside.

In a salad bowl, mix the hash browns, cheese, regular eggs, some salt, pepper and pieces of bacon.

In the pan used to brown the bacon, put 1/4 of this mixture and form the shape of a nest. Flip with a spatula after at least 5 minutes, the nest should be light brown. If you have enough space, you can cook several nests at the same time.

On a plate, arrange a nest with 3 quail eggs and on the side a twist of bacon and some salad.

You can make a hollandaise sauce to go with this dish, following the instructions on the packet. Serve it on the side.

If you can’t find quail eggs at your regular store, Asian stores generally carry them.

Perfect for a brunch or light meal.

Bon appetit !

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