Posts filed under ‘French’

Galette des Rois – Half-size version

galette

aka the Louisiana King Cake or the Spanish roscón de reyes bread

Usually served on Epiphany, January 6. This dessert often includes a small prize called a fève, hidden inside the filling, the lucky guest who finds the fève becomes the “king” or “queen”.

My parents, who both live with me now, expressed disappointment that galettes were not readily available after the holidays in CA, so I made it happen.

1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 sheet store-bought puff pastry, thawed
1 dried fava bean, an optional small prize called a fève (optional)
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Thaw one sheet puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 425°F

Filling
(makes enough for two half-size galettes and freezes well)
Combine almond meal, granulated sugar, 1 egg, butter, vanilla, flour, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, blend until a smooth paste forms
set aside

Cake
Roll out a sheet of puff pastry to thin slightly and form into a rectangle
cut in half the long way
place one half on a parchment-lined baking sheet
cover it in an even layer of almond cream, leave a 1/2 inch border
(now is time to nestle the fève in the almond cream if you want)

Brush the edge with water
lay the second half of puff pastry on top of the first
crimp the edge with fingers and a fork or knife to seal well
bake for 15 minutes
dust the cake with the powdered sugar and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, until the puff pastry becomes a deep golden brown

Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes before serving

February 3, 2020 at 10:16 pm 2 comments

Artisan Boule

IMG_20190727_152350_111

The original recipe comes from an episode of Martha Stewart Bakes on PBS. I have changed a few things, so I’ve included a link to the original post just in case you’re interested in checking it out. I recommend a stand mixer for bread baking, but doing it by hand is fine, just takes a bit more effort. This style bread loves a steam oven, to create one at home, use 2 cups of ice cubes tossed into a preheated cast-iron skillet before baking.

Poolish (French), Biga (Italian), Sponge (English)
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup AP flour

Stir together yeast, water, and flour
cover with plastic wrap, or use a bowl with a tight-fitting lid, and let stand at room temperature 8 to 12 hours

Dough – large loaf
1 teaspoon yeast
1 2/3 cups warm water
3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Dough – small loaf
1/2 teaspoon yeast
3/4 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rye flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Pour the poolish into mixer bowl
fit mixer with a dough hook
add flours and water
mix on medium speed until well combined
add salt
allow the dough to knead for 8-10 minutes

Move the dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours

When dough is doubled in bulk, move to a lightly floured surface
pat dough into a 12×10 inch rectangle, approximately
fold into thirds, then in half
flip so seams are facing down
gently shape into a ball

Return to an oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 1 hour

Preheat oven to 450°F
place cast-iron skillet in oven to preheat along with a pizza stone (I recommend a stone for bread baking, but baking on a cookie sheet should give you great results)

After the second rise, on a floured surface, repeat the folding process
gather the corners and pinch together, and shape into a tight ball
transfer dough, seam-side down, to a piece of parchment paper
adjust shape as needed
loosely cover with a dish towel
let rise for a third time, about 45 minutes

Lightly dust surface of bread with flour
with a very sharp knife or razor, score surface in a decorative pattern
carefully slide parchment onto baking sheet, then into the oven, or straight to the pizza stone

Carefully add ice to heated skillet
bake for 45 to 50 minutes
when bottom is solid when tapped and you get a hollow sound, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving
(I know it isn’t very scientific, but it works. You can always use an instant-read thermometer; bread is fully cooked when it reaches approximate 200°F.)

July 30, 2019 at 8:06 pm Leave a comment

Lemon Yogurt Cake

img_20190127_135407_737

Lots of recipes for this cake online these days. I’ve simplified and tweaked my mother’s original French recipe. “How so?’ you ask. I’ve lessened the amount of sugar, feel free to add up to a cup. I chose not to glaze it. And I did not separate the eggs, beating the whites to stiff peaks, folding them into the rest of the batter. I like the texture as baked here.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup plain yogurt
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350°F

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt
in another bowl whisk together eggs, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and oil
add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until well combined

Pour batter into to greased loaf pan
bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of loaf comes out clean

Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes
then transfer to a rack to completely cool to room temperature

January 30, 2019 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

Pâté de Campagne

img_20190128_111222_268

aka Country Style Pate

My mother use to keep her recipes in a little metal box; all the separate pieces of paper tattered and stained from use. When she and my father decided to join me in CA, they arrived with only 3 small suitcases, filled with very little from their 60 plus years together. I have to admit that I’m more than a little bit disappointed that the box of recipes was not included in the things my mother chose to bring with them.

img_20190127_111710_482

1 tablespoon butter (or bacon fat, or oil)
1 onion, finely diced
3-4 clove garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound bacon, finely diced
6 ounces chicken livers, trimmed and finely diced
1 egg
1 slice bread, cubed
1-2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2-3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F

Toss cubed bread with milk to make a panade
make sure the bread is submerged in milk and well coated
set aside

Saute onion, garlic, and carrot in fat of choice until softened
allow to cool

In a large bowl combine meats, onion, garlic, carrot, egg, panade, and seasonings
place bay leaves on the bottom of loaf pan
pour meat mixture into loaf pan
bang filled pan on the counter a couple of time to get rid of any bubbles

Cover loaf pan tightly with foil
place in a bain marie
bake for 1 1/2 hours

When done baking, remove from oven, drain the fat, and dump the water from the bain marie
place the loaf pan back in the now emply baking dish
then put a clean loaf pan on top of the pate to compress the loaf until cool
when cool, refrigerate overnight

Slice and serve on bread or crackers, with cornichon

This recipe makes quite a bit, so I sliced into 1 inch pieces, wrapped in plastic and foil, and froze for enjoying in the future.

January 29, 2019 at 9:40 pm Leave a comment

Citrus Soufflé for One

IMG_20170606_174340_397

FYI, soufflés are not hard to make and are very forgiving!

1 egg, separated into different bowls (the yolk needs to go into a heat-proof bowl)
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 teaspoons flour
1 tablespoon citrus juice of choice
1/2 teaspoon zest
pinch of salt
1 four-ounce ramekins

Preheat oven to 400°F
prepare ramekin by greasing and sprinkling with sugar to coat the inside completely
bring approximately 1 inch of water to a slow boil in a sauce pan, or use a double boiler

Whisk together the egg yolk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, flour, salt, zest, and juice
place over the boiling water
whisking continuously, warm until thickened
once it begins to thicken, remove from heat and set aside

Now beat egg white and remaining sugar to stiff peaks

Fold beaten egg white into yolk mixture
fill the ramekin
run your thumb along the ramekin edge to create an indent and clean up any drops

Lower oven temperature to 350°F
place filled ramekin on cookie sheet
bake for 15-20 minutes

For Two
2 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons juice
1 teaspoon zest
pinch of salt
2 four-ounce ramekins

The perfect rule to follow: 1 egg per person/serving. If you’re cooking for 3 people, make a 3-egg soufflé, increasing ingredients incrementally.

June 7, 2017 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

Clafoutis – A small batch

clafoutis

Strawberry Clafoutis

Pronounced kla-foo-TEE; is a simple fruit and custard dessert.

1/3 cup milk (use cream if you’re feeling indulgent)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup fresh fruit (chopped apple or pear, pitted cherries, peaches, or plums)
butter for greasing the dish
powdered sugar for dusting
pinch of salt
3  4-ounce ramekins

Preheat oven to 350°F

Place fruit in the buttered ramekin

Whisk together milk, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt
pour batter over fruit and bake for approximately 15 minutes

Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm
these do not store well, they should be eaten fresh from the oven

June 22, 2016 at 4:38 pm 4 comments

Steamed Leeks with Vinaigrette

1 bunch of leeks (trimmed, sliced in half, and washed well)
1/4 cup of your favorite vinaigrette or Italian-style dressing

Steam leeks for 5 – 7 minutes
remove from heat
poor dressing over leeks while still hot
mix well, cool, and serve

February 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment

Rabbit Fricassee

rabbit

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I don’t often add commentary to a recipe post; it kind of gets on my nerves when researching a recipe and I’m obligated to read through an anecdote, often with pictures, to find I need to scroll to the bottom of the post to find the recipe or click through with another hyperlink. Sure, many are humorous and amusing, but I’m on a mission and I want that recipe… NOW!

I feel this recipe however, needs an introduction, if not a disclaimer. I’m sure there will be some blow back, and I’m sorry if it causes offense, if not out right disgust. But there are many out there, like me, who love rabbit.

I have to say that rabbit does not taste like chicken, but if you prefer, it can easily be exchanged for chicken in this recipe.

1 rabbit, butchered
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
mushrooms, fresh or canned (optional)
1 bay leaves
1/2 cup white wine (or use water, or all stock)
1/2 cup veal stock (I use chicken)
salt and pepper
parsley, chopped
oil for sautéing

Salt and pepper the rabbit pieces and brown rabbit pieces
remove from pan and set aside
brown onions and garlic
add tomatoes and mushrooms
add wine, stock, and seasonings
heat through and return rabbit pieces to sauce
simmer for 30 minutes covered on stove top (or 15 minutes in a pressure cooker)

Salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle with chopped parsley
serve over buttered egg noodles

Many thanks Cy for your offering of the rabbit in question.

November 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm Leave a comment

Merguez Boulettes

 

merguez

 

Merguez are spicy mutton/lamb or beef-based fresh sausages in North African cuisine that has a distinctive red hue, from all the chili. It’s very popular in France, Israel, the Middle East, and northern Europe. I absolutely love merguez sausages, but unfortunately I haven’t had much luck finding it locally. Since I’m not terribly motivated to attempt sausage making, I decided to alter the form but keep the flavors.

The green flecks pictured is chopped spinach that was leftover, so I threw it in.

1/2 pound ground lamb (or beef)
1 tablespoon prepared harissa (I’ve used sambal or siracha)
3 cloves garlic, grated
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F

Form mixture into golf ball size meatballs
place on a foil covered baking sheet

Bake for 15-20 minutes

This recipe can easily be doubled.

September 28, 2011 at 9:09 pm Leave a comment

Crème Caramel – A small batch

creme-caramel

1/4 cup + 1/3 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4  4-ounce ramekins

Preheat oven to 350°

Caramel
In a heavy-bottom saucepan heat 1/3 cup sugar and water over medium until melted and a light caramel colored, swirling pan occasionally
immediately pour caramel into ramekins and set aside

Custard
Whisk together eggs, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until well blended
whisk in milk and vanilla
pour custard mixture into ramekins

Place filled ramekins into hot-water-filled roasting pan
bake 35-40 minutes or until center of custard is just set
remove ramekins from water/roasting pan and cool completely
cover with plastic wrap
refrigerate 4 hours or until custard is well chilled

Loosen the custard from the ramekin with a small spatula, paring, or butter knife run along the edge
invert onto a plate and serve

These are great made in small mason jars for brown bag meals as well.

June 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

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