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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Yogurt Cake – Gateau au Yaourt

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This cake is very popular in France, almost all the children learn how to make it. We will use the empty yogurt container as a measuring tool.

Ingredients:

1 yogurt, vanilla or plain + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 stick unsalted, melted butter + 1 tablespoon to coat the dish

2 yogurt cups of sugar

2 yogurt cups of gluten free baking mix, I used Pamela’s

1 yogurt cup of shredded coconut

1 yogurt cup of chocolate chips

3 eggs

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter an oven proof dish, this one is about 9″ in diameter.

Mix the ingredients in a large bowl, in this order. Whisking well before adding each ingredient.

Pour batter into prepared dish. Bake until top of the cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.

You can put 2 to 3 diced apples or bananas instead of the chocolate chips.

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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Chocolate Fudge Salami – Saucisson au Chocolat

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Ingredients;

7oz dark chocolate = 1 cup

1 stick butter = 8 tablespoons

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1 box gluten free cookies, preferably shortbread

1 cup powdered sugar + 2 tablespoons for the presentation

 

Directions;

Let the chocolate melt with a few drops of water for 1 minute in the microwave.

Add the butter for another 30 seconds.

Mix well. If necessary, add a few more seconds in the microwave.

Add the almonds, cookies broken into small pieces and sugar.

Mix delicately with a fork or spoon.

Put this mixture on a long piece of plastic wrap. Shape like a salami, folding the plastic tightly around. You could also make two small ones.

Keep in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Remove the plastic film and dust with the remaining sugar.

Keep at room temperature for one hour, so it’s easier to slice.

You can replace the almonds with hazelnuts halved, peanuts or mini marshmallows.

Bon appétit !

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Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleon – Millefeuille de Betterave au Fromage de Chèvre

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It’s typical in France to serve a beet salad with goat cheese. I modernized the recipe to look more festive. You can serve it with a vinaigrette.

For 2 Napoleons:

2 small or one large beet

4oz fresh goat cheese = 4 tablespoons

2 tablespoons sour cream

A pinch of cayenne pepper

A dash of sea salt

Crushed walnuts, save 2 whole for the presentation

Fresh parsley

Preparation:

Cut the beets in about 1/4″ slices.

Mix the cheese, salt, pepper and cream. Put this preparation in a zip-lock and cut a corner, or use a pastry pipe. You can also simply use a spoon.

Place a slice of beet, then spread some cream mix on top, add some crushed walnuts. Then add another slice of beet, cream and walnuts. Go on with the layers and cover with a last slice of beet, preferably a flat slice. Top with a dollop of the cream mix, a walnut, and some parsley.

Assemble your second Napoleon the same way.

Store in the fridge until serving.

Bon appétit !

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Poulet a la Concannon – Chicken a la Concannon

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I created this recipe for my friends Helen and Jim Concannon and to honor the Livermore Valley’s wine heritage. It’s like a coq au vin, but with a few new twists.

You will need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chicken cut in 6 or 8 pieces
4 ounces bacon, diced
Sea salt and 12 black peppercorns
A few garlic cloves
1/2 bottle (375 ml) to 1 bottle red Concannon wine
1 cup broth (optional)
1 fresh rosemary sprig
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 pound small whole onions, peeled
1/2 pound small mushrooms, cleaned
3 ounces black olives with their juice
zest from one organic lemon

Directions:

Day 1

Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof pot. Add the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly.

Add the wine, if you put only half a bottle, add a cup of broth or water. The meat should be covered by the liquid, adjust if necessary.

Add the peppercorns, 2 teaspoons salt, garlic cloves, lemon zest and rosemary. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then let cook on low heat for one hour.

Day 2

Filter the juice and discard the peppercorn, garlic, zest and rosemary.

In a saute pan, brown the bacon (remove), then the onions (remove), then the mushrooms. Cook each ingredient until brown. Transfer them to the pot with the chicken.

In the pot, add the olives with their juice, and the honey. Mix the cornstarch with some cold water in a small bowl, until totally smooth. Then transfer to the pot.

Bring the stew to a  simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. If the sauce is too liquid, adjust with more cornstarch.

You can do this dish in one day but it’s better reheated. You can add the juice of one lemon at the last minute. I just used the stove but you can do most of the cooking – except the browning – in the oven at 350 degres F.

Bon appétit !

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