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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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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Boeuf Bourguignon

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Ingredients for 2 persons:

1 & 1/2 pounds boneless beef, chuck or sirloin tip, cut into chunks
4 oz bacon or 3 slices cut into lardons
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil, optional
4 carrots, peeled and cut in chunks
6 pearl or baby onions, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 large glass of red or white wine
1 large glass of water
1 cube of beef broth
1 lb small potatoes or fresh mushroom, sliced or halved depending on their size
1 bouquet garni (made from bay leaf, parsley, and thyme sprigs), pepper and salt

Heat the oil or butter in a dutch oven. Working in batches, brown the meat on all sides. When the meat is done, remove it and cook the bacon, carrots and onions in the same pot until lightly golden. Add the crushed garlic, and cook one minute. Add the wine, water with the cube, and the bouquet garni. Return the meat to the pot. Mix the cornstarch with a few tablespoons of water in a cup. Then add it to the pan and mix well. Cover, and let it simmer until the meat is very tender, about 3 hours.

Add the mushroom or potatoes and cook an additional 30 minutes. Adjust the seasoning. Even better the next day. Serve with fresh parsley sprinkled on top.

You can also use a crock pot instead but it’s still important to brown before.

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Crepes

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Ingredients, for 6 crepes:

1 & 1/2 cups milk – you can also use rice milk
1/3 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
1 & 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled, optional
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
– butter for the pan –

Fillings:
Savory (choose from) sour cream, ham, tomatoes, greens, smoked salmon, cheese; blue, Gruyere, goat…
Sweet (choose from) jam, marmalade, chocolate sauce, Nutella, lemon juice and sugar, slices of banana with chocolate, coconut, honey…

Add the first 6 ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined. Or put the two kinds of flour together in a bowl. Create a cavity in the center, add the eggs one by one mixing well, then add the milk slowly with the butter and salt. You can also use a mixer instead. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes or store in the refrigerator overnight.

Heat a non-stick skillet over low-medium heat. Add a sliver of butter and coat the bottom of the pan. Mix the batter, then pour about 1/4-1/3 cup into the center of the pan. Tilt the pan back and forth until the batter totally covers the pan. Cook 3 to 4 minutes and then carefully flip with a spatula. Cook for another 2 minutes or so and then remove. You can add the filling when the second side is cooking, it will melt and warm up.

Mix the batter in between crepes so it doesn’t separate.
Continue until you’ve used up all the batter or store the rest in the fridge.

Usually the first crepe doesn’t look too good, but it gets better!
The crepes with buckwheat taste better with a savory filling. You can also make crepes without buckwheat, just regular or GF flour and the other ingredients.

Bon appetit!

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Mon gateau au chocolat

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Ingrédients :

100 g de chocolat noir à 70%
100 g de beurre salé
100 g de sucre
2 cuillères à soupe de maïzena ou farine sans gluten
3 gros oeufs

Préchauffer le four à 180 °c. Dans une casserole, faire fondre le beurre salé et le chocolat noir à feu tres doux ou au bain-marie en remuant.

Retirer la casserole du feu, ajouter le sucre et la maïzena.

Puis les oeufs, un à un, en remuant vigoureusement.

Verser la préparation dans des ramequins et cuire pendant 30 minutes. Le dessus devrait être gonflé et un peu craquelé.

Bon appétit !

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