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Pork Parisienne with wild rice and black pepper cognac sauce

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P1070350The meat is best prepared from veal slices butter-tenderly cut, and lightly pounded flat, salted and then rolled in flour and whipped eggs and again rolled in flour. The flour must not be pressed into the meat, so that they stay dry and can be “souffled”!

Finally they must be fried in good proportion of clarified butter or oil at temperature 160-170 degrees or until they are golden yellow. The Parisienne must swim in the fat, otherwise it will not cook evenly. During the frying the Parisienne is repeatedly slightly tossed around the pan. Also during the frying, fat can be scooped from the pan with a spoon and poured onto the meat. The Parisienne is done after it turns golden yellow. Place Parisiennes onto plates

For the black pepper rum sauce: 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, coarsely crushed, 2 tablespoons clarified, unsalted butter, 3/4 cup beef stock or broth, 3 tablespoons cognac, 3/4 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon green peppercorns in brine, drained and slightly crushed, and 1 tablespoon of red peppercorns

First roast the black and green or red peppercorns in a frying pan without adding any fat! (3-5 minutes, do not let tem burned) This step is the most important because the roasting procedure will provide an extra super intense flavor to the sauce. Add the stock to the sauté pan and whisk until the crispy bits release from bottom of pan. Allow the liquid to reduce for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-high heat. Add cognac, heavy cream, and green peppercorns to the pan. Increase heat to high and cook, whisking continually, until sauce thickens slightly, just enough to coat the back of a spoon; this will take 5 to 7 minutes.

Season the sauce, to taste, with salt. Place Parisienne slices on plates, top with sauce and serve with wild rice immediately.

 

Asparagus pizza with sesame seeds

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P1070347Ingredients: flour, for work surface, 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, 5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded, 1 egg, 1 1/2 pounds medium or thick green asparagus, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper, 1 lemon, sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Smear the sides of dough with egg yolk. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on top lemon slices and toss some sesame seeds as well. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. You can replace Gruyere cheese with 200 ml sour cream mixed with one egg yolk.

Coq au vin á la Sylvie

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P1070301Last week the weather was sunny and warm enough so I decided to invite some friends to celebrate the spring with a French classic, the Coq au vin! The recipe comes from my auntie, Sylvie who is from Paris and by the way she is the best cook ever! As side dish I offered pasta! With red wine it was a big hit!

Here is the recipe

Ingredients: 1½ tbsp olive oil, 3 rashers (100g) dry-cured, smoked back bacon, fat trimmed, chopped, 12 small shallots, 2 free-range chicken leg (460g), skin removed, 4 free-range chicken thigh with bone and skin (650g), skin removed, 2 free-range, skinless, boneless chicken breast (280g, 3 garlic clove, finely chopped, 3 tbsp brandy or Cognac, 600ml red wine, 150ml good-quality chicken stock, 2 tsp tomato purée, 3 thyme sprigs, 2 rosemary sprigs and 2 bay leaves, to make a bouquet garni, small handful chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

For the mushrooms: 11/2 olive oil, 250g chestnut mushroom, halved if large

for the thickener: 2 tablespoons of plain flour, 1½ tsp olive oil, 1 tsp softened butter

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan or flameproof dish. Tip in the bacon and fry until crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Add the shallots to the pan and fry, stirring or shaking the pan often, for 5-8 minutes until well browned all over. Remove and set aside with the bacon.
  2. Pat the chicken pieces dry with kitchen paper. Pour the remaining oil into the pan, then fry half the chicken pieces, turning regularly, for 5-8 minutes until well browned. Remove, then repeat with the remaining chicken. Remove and set aside.
  3. Scatter in the garlic and fry briefly, then, with the heat medium-high, pour in the brandy or Cognac, stirring the bottom of the pan to deglaze. The alcohol should sizzle and start to evaporate so there is not much left.
  4. Return the chicken legs and thighs to the pan along with any juices, then pour in a little of the wine, stirring the bottom of the pan again. Stir in the rest of the wine, the stock and tomato purée, drop in the bouquet garni, season with pepper and a pinch of salt, then return the bacon and shallots to the pan. Cover, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, add the chicken breasts and cook for 50 mins-1hr.
  5. Just before ready to serve, heat the oil for the mushrooms in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the mushrooms and fry over a high heat for a few minutes until golden. Remove and keep warm.
  6. Lift the chicken, shallots and bacon from the pan and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Remove the bouquet garni. To make the thickener, mix the flour, olive oil and butter in a small bowl using the back of a teaspoon. Bring the wine mixture to a gentle boil, then gradually drop in small pieces of the thickener, whisking each piece in using a wire whisk. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Scatter the mushrooms over the chicken, then pour over the wine sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Onion in saffron sauce with meatballs

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P1060620 (1)White onion is a type of dry onion that has a pure, white skin and a sweet, mild white flesh. They are ideal for cooking or adding raw to salads. They can be sautéed to a dark brown color and served to provide a sweet and tart flavor to other foods. When I discovered it on the local market I had already known what to do from it: the oven baked onion with saffron sauce. I tasted it first in France at the Auberge Beuville’s in Quercy and it was so good because of the saffron together with the white wine and of course with the white onion so I asked the recipe from the chef! Last week I gave it a try and the recipe really lived up to my expectations!

Ingredients for the meatballs: 500 gr pork mince, 80 g fresh breadcrumbs, 2 cloves of garlic, crushed, 1 small onion, very finely chopped, ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg, 1 egg, beaten, flour, for dusting, 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil, roughly chopped flat leaf parsley, to serve

For the Saffron sauce: 80 ml (⅓ cup) extra virgin olive oil, 1 large onion, halved and finely sliced, crushed, large pinch saffron threads, 1½ tsp sweet paprika, 250 ml (1 cup) white wine, 625 ml (2 ½ cups) chicken stock, 55 g (⅓ cup) almond meal, 25 g (⅓ cup) fresh breadcrumbs

Directions: Cut into half the white onions then put it into the oven and cook for 20 minutes on 180 degrees (without any grease). Take them out and hollow them. Keep the onion fleshes.

Make the sauce: heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium, add the onion hollowed fleshes then cook, stirring often, for 7-8 minutes or until very soft. Add the saffron and paprika, almonds, then cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant then add the wine. Bring the wine to a simmer then cook for 5 minutes over medium or until the wine has reduced slightly then add the stock. Bring to a simmer then stir in the crumbs and almond meal and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the onions on the plates and fill them with the onion fleshes and spoon over some saffron sauce. Place the tops on them.

Combine the mince, crumbs, garlic, onion, nutmeg and egg in a bowl. Season well with salt and pepper then using clean hands, mix to combine well. Take half spoon of the mixture and roll it into balls. Dust the balls in bread crumble. Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium add the meatballs then cook, turning often, for 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon to drain off as much of the oil as possible, transfer the balls to the sauce and gently stir to combine well.

Bring the sauce back to a simmer then serve the meat balls and sauce, with the white onions and croquettes.

 

 

Dates and Chia seeds energizer snack

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Rezept-Powerkugeln-aus-Datteln-Trockenbirnen-Chiasamen-und-Mandeln-bei-for-me-1-size-3This energizer snack with dates, dried quinces or pears, Chia, almond and pumpkin seeds makes a perfect, healthy after sport or afternoon delight.

Ingredients for 30: 30 g pumpkin seeds, 30 g almond, 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, 2 tbsp chocolate chips or chocolate, 100 g dates, 100 g pear or quince, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cardamom, 2 tbsp Chia seeds, 1 tbsp Agave or Maple syrup, 1 pinch of salt

Directions: Combine the pumpkin seeds, ground almonds, sunflower seeds together and add the chocolate chips to seeds. Chop the dates and candied quince or pear finely, mix them well, season with cinnamon and cardamom, add Chia seeds and sweeten with Agave or Maple syrup. Add this mixture to the seeds. Season with a pinch of salt. Weigh out teaspoonful doses from the dollop and form balls.

 

Carrot cake revolution

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Rose-and-almond-cakeThis originally Italian carrot and almond cake is a big hit! Moist and delicious!

Ingredients: 300 g ground almonds, 300 g carrots, 100 g flour, 200 g brown sugar, 1 packet vanilla sugar, 3 teaspoons of baking flour, 90 ml oil or butter, 4 tbsp rum, 4 eggs, 1 orange, 2-3 tbsp rose water (optional)

Methods: Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and side with non-stick baking paper.

Place the orange in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the butter, sugar and eggs and process until well combined. Add the grated carrot, flour, almond meal and baking powder and process to combine.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Top with flaked almonds. Bake in oven for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 1 hour to cool. Cut into wedges and serve with cream or powdered sugar, or roughly smashed pistachios or cover with powdered rose petals.Orange-Almond-Cake-GF-600x450

The best quinoa salad

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Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa, 1 3/4 cup water, 100 g chickpeas (canned), 100 g soy bean, 2-3 tbsp fresh coriander, pepper, 6 cherry tomatoes, salt, 3 tbsp lime juice or raspberry vinegar, 4 tbsp oil

Methods:

11053052Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, and rinse under cold, running water until the water no longer foams. Bring the quinoa, with salt and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Once done, stir in the chickpeas, beans, tomatoes, flavor with coriander. Then mix lime juice and olive oil together. Season with salt, and pepper. Pour over quinoa and vegetable mixture. To serve sprinkle quinoa salad with chopped fresh parsley.