Monday, December 24, 2007

Chocolate Yule Log


Note: the French version is here.

Sorry dear readers I don't have time to write the English version. I just did the French one (here). I'm in a motel up North New-York city on our way to Quebec to celebrate Christmas ( a white one I guess). I will do it as soon as I have time, I promise!!

Also I would like to say: BRAVO to the Daring Bakers who (not like me, I didn't have time to bake this month, was traveling too much: Nantes, Madrid, New-York, Quebec!) fulfilled the challenge!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Foie gras on mango French toast

Note: the French version is here on my other food blog.



A week ago I took my second cooking class at Lenôtre school in Cannes. The first class was all about macarons, those lovely cute French cookies.
Lenôtre is a top notch pastry shop in Cannes, on rue d' Antibes not far away from La Croisette. Gaston Lenôtre is a top pastry chef. He wrote THE DEFINITE pastry book.
Lenôtre's school trained the best stars in pastry like Pierre Hermé. I could write endlessly about Lenôtre, I have such admiration about the art of pastry developed by this talented chef. Oh! one more thing before diving into Christmas menu, don't forget to donate to Menu for Hope IV, I am giving away a prize (code EU28): a lunch date at ... Lenôtre, you bet!

In France, Foie gras is truly a luxurious ingredient and a synonym for celebration!! Adding it to your menu will guarantee your feast to be a true success!

Here I am sharing with you a great Holidays appetizer: foie gras on mango French toast.

Ingredients: (for a party of 6)
- one Foie Gras lobe around 550g (or 6 "steak" like pieces)
- 1dl (6 to 7 tablespoons) of Porto wine
- 1/2 dl (3 to 4 tablespoons) of Xeres vinegar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup of whole milk (please no skim milk here!)
- half a baguette
- 1 mango
- coarse ground pepper
- kosher salt and regular salt

Directions:
1- Remove from the foie gras lobe all the visible nerves. Cut into 6 equal "steak" like pieces. Place into the fridge.
2- Peel and cut the mango into thin slices.
3- Heat olive oil in a skillet, add the mango slices with coarse ground pepper and regular salt. Set aside.
4- Make French toasts (in France we call it pain perdu, it was a classic at my house. It's wonderful to transform old bread into a delicious dessert or snack): beat the egg with milk. Dip the slices of bread into the egg mixture (remember to flip them so both sides are coated). Place them into a skillet with warm olive oil, at medium heat.
5- Reduce the Porto wine and Xeres vinegar at medium heat.
6- Criss-cross the foie gras with fine cuts, add salt and pepper. Cook them like the French toasts in a skillet and olive oil.
7- Present like in the picture :-)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Note: the French version is here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Goat cheese and mache risotto

Note: the French version is here on my other food blog La cuisine de Babeth.



Here I'm back after few adventures in the kitchen (a great class at Lenôtre school in Cannes all about Christmas menu and French Holidays cooking, stay tuned for more!), a nasty illness, a surprise Birthday party to organize, the return of my husband and ... work!

After that busy period there was very little time left to post my participation for Aurely's Food blog game :"Blog me your recipe". It's pretty simple and amusing too. Participants have to "steal" a recipe from the blog Aurely points you to and badaboom you have to rush to your kitchen and redo one recipe.
Flo from "Un Flo de bonnes choses"already stolen one of my cream split peas and bacon soup.
My mission was to dig into a great blog: "Beau à la louche" and pick a victim err... a recipe.
I took my pick and the winner is: "Goat cheese and baby spinach risotto"
I followed the recipe but replaced the spinach by mache salad (a seasonal pick!)

Ingredients: (for party of 2)
- 120g (3/4 cup) of Arborio rice
- 1/2 onion
- 400ml (1 and 3/4 cup) of chicken broth (made from Kub bouillon cube dissolved in water)
- 50ml (around 1/4 cup) of white wine
- one Crottin de Chavignol (goat cheese)
- 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
- olive oil (aka e.v.o.o.)
- 1 cup of mache salad or baby spinach

Directions:
1- Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the cut out onion.
2- Add the rice and mix till the rice is coated with oil.
3- Pour the broth ladle by ladle. Note: wait for the rice to absorb the broth before pouring the next ladle.
4- When the risotto rice is cooked add the cut out goat cheese, mache salad and Parmesan. Mix few minutes at low heat.

Note: the French version is here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Menu for Hope IV

Note: French version of this post here on my other food blog La cuisine de Babeth.



You may not be familiar with menu for hope even if this is the fourth edition :-)
Menu for Hope is an annual fund raising event in support of the UN World Food Program. One wonderful blogger is behind all this charitable movement: Pim. She's blogging in English from Chez Pim. The devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia inspired her to find a way to help

Each year, food bloggers from all over the world join forces to host the Menu for Hope online offering an array of delectable culinary prizes: books, cooking gears or cooking dates. For every US$10, the donor receive a virtual raffle ticket toward a prize of their choice. All you need is $10 and a bit of luck.

As Pim says:" We may never eradicate hunger from the face of the earth, but why should that stop us from trying?"

This year as usual also the money will be given to the UN' s Worl Food Programme and in particular Lesotho children.

Here in Europe menu for hope is managed by Fanny from the lovely Foofbeam blog. She centralized all the info.

Ok, and you may say what is Babeth offering? Well, I'm offering a lunch date with me at Café Lenôtre in Cannes (Lenôtre is one of best pastry in France). If you' re living in the area or I'm sure you may plan a trip to the French Riviera (you know we just kidnapped the sun: is always shinning). See at the end of this post how you can win a lunch date with me in Cannes :-)

To bid and win go to: firstgiving web site here and my code prize is" EU28.
Winners will be announced the 9th of January on Pim' s blog.

Hope we all participate a little to help a lot!


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Candied onion recipe!

Note: the French version is here on my other food blog La cuisine de Babeth.



Once upon a time a plump onion got lost in my kitchen, or how once I bought a bulky onion for clear conscience (healthy-wise). If you know me a little bit you that I have a dreadful aversion for raw onions. Pissaladière (typically French Riviera onion tart) is fine in my menu, more than fine actually :-).

This onion stays a while on my kitchen counter; we looked at each other a lot. I really didn't know what to do with it. And one day: Bingo! (No I didn't see the mega lottery winning numbers) I remembered that I have somewhere a recipe of candied onion in kosher salt. I just needed to find the recipe now ...

Result is very nice: visually and taste wise (I must admit I will re-try this recipe for sure). The onion is just sweet like it should not too much. I had it with a chicory salad and real vinaigrette (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper whisked in a bowl). I'm sure it will be also perfect with mayonnaise.

Before giving you my recipe I would like to talk a little bit about my next post. I spent a full afternoon at Lenôtre école gourmande in Cannes (where I learned how to make beautiful macarons) cooking a full Christmas diner. Stay tuned :-)

Ingredients:
-one onion
-kosher salt (gros sel)

Directions:
1- Preheat the oven at 425 F.
2- Place in an oven-proof pan a next of kosher salt.
3- Cut the base of the onion and in the flesh make a cross with your knife.
4- Put in the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 300 F and let it cook for 1 hour.

For oven conversions I use this very useful link from Food Network.
Note: the French version is here.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Garlic pork roast with its crispy potatoes

Note: The French version is here on my other food blog La cuisine de Babeth.



As I
promised, after my charitable duty yesterday and Brad Pitt's picture showing :-) today will be all about food.

I love to have diner parties at home (and to go to, in that case I don't have to clean the dishes (my kitchen is too tiny to let a dishwasher in, ARGHHH)). That started a long long time ago (well not so long, I'm not that old anyway) when I was in College, then continued and grow when I was a Californian and never dies.

In College diner parties were pretty simple and frugal. Me and my friends didn't have any money. So we had: pasta parties, tartiflette parties (a typical French dish from the mountains, not to mention that it's a winter dish) and crepes parties. Very often I baked a cake, chocolate or fruit one (let me confess: chocolate was and still is my favorite).

Then in California I was part of a joyful Wednesday diners group. I was the only French in the middle of bunch of Americans. I was making a serious effort to cook French food for them, and I was kind of proud of my results: cheese souffle, creme anglaise, creme brulee, quiche lorraine and so on. Also I will never be grateful enough to them for being so patient with my broken English. I learn a lot among them. Thanks guys!

The other day I was having a small diner party at home with 2 guy friends of mine. So as you know men need their piece of meat, no way I would have been able to serve girly food like beet mouse or fat-free tatziki. So that night, on the menu we had: fresh green salad, garlic pork roast with its crispy potatoes and a chocolate tart (recipe another day my dear readers, it will come this is on of my classics).

Garlic pork roast with its crispy potatoes:
Ingredients:
-1 3lbs boneless pork loin roast (larded one so the meat keeps all its moist)
-8 to 10 garlic cloves
-6 medium potatoes
-dry thyme
-sea salt and pepper
-butter


Directions:
1- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2- Undress the garlic cloves.
3- Peel and cut into slices the potatoes.
4- Place the pork roast in a buttered roasting pan.
5- With a knife pick the meat for each garlic cloves and introduce the cloves into them. (by picking with a knife it's easier introduce the cloves inside the meat). Put aside 3 or 4 cloves.
6- Place the potatoes' slices around the roast; put the remaining cloves on top of the potatoes.
7- Sprinkle with thyme, pepper and salt.
8- Roast it uncovered in the oven, 20 to 30 minutes per pound.

Bon appétit!

Other pork recipes:
- cured pork with green lentils
- Carrot and turnip pork roast

Note: The French version is here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Brad Pitt' s Christmas wish!


(Today Show, NBC picture)

Oh, I hear you even from my screen, not again she skipped the recipe! Yes but I promise, tomorrow I will publish a great one, a so-typically French one!
Anyway let's come back to our raviolis.
What is Brad Pitt's Christmas wish hum?
Well the guy, quite a normal guy (LOL) is part of a great and generous charitable project: the Make It Right project (see the web site here). And on his Christmas list there is: a home for everybody in New Orleans!

You can, like me, watch Brad chatting with Ann Curry on yesterday Today Show (video here).
If you are still here, and did not rush to watch Bradddddddddddd :-) the Make it Right project is to rebuild in a devastated area: New Orleans (remember Katrina and what happened to New Orleans? The city underwater, people in shelters or in the streets with no water, no food).

The MIR project is to build green affordable houses in New-Orleans. They even thought about new possible flooding and houses will be built on piles.
On the MIR project web site you can visit a virtual house that will be built in NoLa.
It's Christmas time so why not to donate a little, there is no minimum and what I really like it that you can while visiting the virtual house donate for a compact fluorescent bulb ($5), or a rooftop solar system or even adopt a house i.e. buy the full house.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Plastic is not eco-friendly!

Note: The French version of this post is here.



Today on our blog-plate no recipe but some exposure for some great and smart eco-friendly products that I love! I'm doing it for free; I'm not paid and will not receive any free gifts, not even a diner with Bruce Willis :-). I just love their products, smart and eco-friendly!
Are you, like me fed up by all the plastics cups coming out of your company coffee machine? Plastic cups that are going straight to the trash.
Are you, like me sick of all the plastic plates/forks/spoons/cups that you put into the trashcan after a BBQ/party or picnic?

Well my friend I found the solution: BIOSYLVA products! (Ok their web-page is only in French but you can contact them or me to have more info)
Biosylva plates/cups and silverware are disposable like your red or blue plastic cups but are not made from oil and are not taking centuries to disappear! They are 100% compostable, on other great aspect of Biosylva: the company respect eco-friendly processes.
And my dear friends it's not more expensive than plastic! How great is that?

Now let's have a look at their products:

Palm tree wood plates:


Sugar cane plates, bowls and cups (can you believe it: sugar cane plates! and they can go into the microwave! no it's not Sci-Fi):

Cellulose cups (organic cellulose):


So if you're like their products as much I love them why not talking about them at work, asking your favorite store to register them.
To contact them go to their web site: BIOSYLVA


Note: The French version of this post is here.
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