Radishes with Butter and Salt

Still in the mood to re-create what I enjoyed during my childhood, here is another simple one: radishes with salt and butter.

It doesn’t need to be big, just few radishes for each person in order to get the diner/lunch started.

Ingredients

1 or 2 bunch of radishes.

Unsalted butter at room temperature.

Salt.

Preparation 

Trim the radishes and cut off the leafy greens by leaving a half inch intact, just so that it is easier to hold the radishes while dipping.

Serve on a platter with the radishes, butter and salt.

Slice the radish almost through the leafy greens but not completely. The radish should not be cut into two but slightly open so that you can put some butter into the opening.

Dip in the salt and take a bite. This step can be repeated as long as you still have some of the radish left!

Most importantly: enjoy!

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Classic French Carrot Salad

This recipe has been a childhood classic starter for lunch or diner.

It is an easy and fresh salad and I remember enjoying it a lot during meals at my parents and at my grand-parent’s place.

I am writing here with the recipe of the balsamic vinaigrette that I am using but you can also use a lemon vinaigrette (just replace the balsamic vinegar with lemon juice).

Another option is the one that my brother and my sister were enjoying: instead of a vinaigrette, they would just add sugar to the shredded carrots. I was never tempted by it but they really enjoy it. And would still have it as a starter for lunch/diner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 medium size carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon(pinch) ground black pepper

Preparation:

In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, mustard, and olive oil together until the dressing is completely blended. Stir the dressing into the shredded carrots. Sprinkle the carrot salad with the salt, pepper, and garlic and mix together.

This serves 2 to 4.

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A macaron affair with Ladurée

There are these odd days where thoughts and encounters are randomly pointing towards one particular thing or person.

You know what I am talking about: when you think about someone and few hours later you happen to meet this person. Can I call that intuition?

Anyway, the other day I had in my mind the post I wanted to write about the new Ladurée opening soon in Soho.

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They announced its takeover of the Barolo space on West Broadway (and Spring) way back in June 2012, and it’s finally scheduled to open in mid-November this year.

The “biggest Ladurée in the world” will include three salons, a restaurant, a macaron shop, a full bakery, and a terrace. Chairman David Holder is bringing in chefs from the Paris Ladurée to re-create the menu offered at the flagship on Champs-Elysées, which means you can expect black-truffle omelettes and pan-fried foie gras.

Grub Street is mentioning that the macarons will still be flown in fresh from France every day… what a treat!

This big stateside opening is one of many to come: the first-ever Miami store was scheduled to open this month on 1108 Lincoln Road. It will be similar in size to the small Ladurée shop on the Upper East Side — but with a special Champagne bar. Plus: A collection of macarons in Art Deco colors will launch in time for Art Basel.

Prepare for the Parisian pastry institution to infiltrate the rest of the country, as the company is currently real-estate shopping in Los Angeles and Chicago.

I worked for 6 month at the corporate office of Ladurée Paris, replacing the International Financial Controller on maternity leave. At that time, the UK and Japan stores were open and the US plan was in motion.

Ladurée just doesn’t want to open in a city or a neighborhood – they want to open at the best location there and they will wait for it – no matter what.

And that’s what was in my mind when I randomly found the new recipe book by Ladurée during my lunchtime: Entertaining – recipes, ideas and inspiration.

I was completely ecstatic! I have the first one they issued with desserts recipes and I know about the second one with savory recipes but I had no idea about this one!

Needless to say that I had to buy it and impatiently wait till evening to read through it.

It is like having a piece of art that helps you make another delicatessen piece of art…

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Yoghurt Cake with Pears

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Last week-end, I felt like cooking and eating one of my grand-mother’s all time favorite : the yoghurt cake.

It is a very simple and healthy recipe. You can add fruits or chocolate chips to it.

I added Pears since we are in the fall season and because I love the balance of the cake and the tenderness of the pear.

The base of this recipe is 1 small plain yoghurt: Put the yoghurt into a bowl and then add the rest of the ingredients using the empty yoghurt cup as measuring cup.

Ingredients

1 small plain yoghurt

sugar: 2 yohurts

flour: 3 yoghurts

olive oil: 1/2 yoghurt

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of baking powder.

2 pealed and chopped pears (or more depending on your taste).

Mix everything together and put in the oven during 30-45 min at around 300-350 Fharenheit / 180 Celsius.

Enjoy!

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Eggplant and Tomato Gratin

My mom gave me this original recipe recently. I don’t know how she discovered it but she was very happy with it especially because my brother loved it, when he is not a big fan of vegetables, really not.
He got himself a second portion of it during dinner, that says it all.

I decided to give it a try and really liked it. I also discovered that my husband is unfortunately not a big fan of eggplants…

This dish is great to be served as a side with fish or meat but is not enough on it’s own for a meal.

Eggplant and Tomato Gratin

Ingredients
– 3 middle sized eggplants
– 4 big tomatoes
– 2 garlic gloves
– 150g / 5.2 oz shredded cheese

Wash the eggplants and tomatoes.
Peel the tomatoes. The trick to easily peel them: put them for a few minutes in boiling water until you see the skin starting to crack.
Cool them off and peel them.

In a pan, cook on low to middle heat the eggplant slices with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Let them melt, add the chopped garlic and let cook for another 5 minutes.

Put the slices in an oven-proof dish.
Cover with sliced tomatoes.
Cover with cheese.
Add another row of tomatoes and on top of that another row of cheese.

Put in the pre-heated oven for 25 min on 410’F / 210’C.

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Post Hurricane recovery dinner – Duck Confit with sautéed potatoes and ratatouille

The hurricane Sandy left us 4 days without power, heat or hot water.
After moving back home I felt the need to get comfort through food.

This diner is what my grand mother would cook in my childhood when we would visit her in south of France: duck confit with sautéed potatoes (cooked in duck fat) and ratatouille.

I soooo love this food and it is such a great reminder of my childhood… It was such a great recovery diner 🙂

Duck confit with sautéed potatoes and ratatouille.

Ratatouille
– 1 zucchini, chopped
– 2 tomatoes, sliced
– 1 onion, chopped

In a pan on medium heat, sauted the onion in olive oil, about 5 minutes until they start to soften.
Add the chopped zucchinis, salt, pepper, and basil. Cook on high heat, while stirring, until zucchini get slightly brown.
Put on low heat and let cook for some time. Stir occasionally.

When zucchini is half way cooked, add the sliced tomatoes and let cook on low heat until you get juice from the tomatoes and zucchini is well cooked.

You can also use thyme, rosemary and baby leaf for more flavor. I use basil because I like it a lot and have it most often in my kitchen.

Note also that this is my own personal recipe of ratatouille as usually there is also eggplant.
I don’t often have eggplant at home and the cooking is longer to have a good ratatouille. I just found a easier and faster way to make a good vegetable dish, almost as a ratatouille and very flavorful 🙂

Duck confit

I will not give you here the recipe to make duck confit from scratch. My great-grand parents knew how to do it (they had a farm in south-west of France) but I always saw my family get it already done, just ready to be heated and served 🙂
This one was then quite easy as I just had to open the can and heat it in a pan.

Sautéed potatoes

Boil the potatoes using the pressure cooker.
Chop them (not too small).
In a pan, use the fat from the duck confit to sautéed the potatoes, add salt and garlic.
Stir occasionally so that it doesn’t stick.

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Zucchini and Tomato Quiche

It had been quite a while since we had quiche and I had this need for a quiche last night 🙂

Quiche is one of my specialty. I did the regular quiche Lorraine for quite long time and switched to a version with vegetables when I started eating less meat.
I love the one with zucchini and tomatoes, it’s fresh, healthy & vegetarian 🙂

– 1 pie crust ( trick to avoid having the crust all watery because of the tomatoes: cook it half way in the oven before)
– 2 small or 1 bug zucchini
– 2 medium tomatoes
– 100 ml of milch (3.5 oz or the equivalent if a small tea cup)
– 3 eggs

Mix with a fork the eggs and the milch.
Add salt & pepper.
Cut the tomatoes & zucchinis in small pieces. Mix with the milch/egg.

Cook for at least 45 min at 350/400F.

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I like to have a small salad in the side when I eat quiche and this time I decided to try with watermelon.

It was fresh, good and original, it definitely changed the taste, from a salty note to a very fruity one.
It was pretty good!

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