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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Gobi Matar / Cauliflower and green Peas Curry

Last week-end, my husband was craving gobi matar which is cauliflower and green peas curry.

Instead of the green peas, I used green beans since I didn’t have green peas in the fridge and it was as delicious 🙂

If you have the base spices used in Indian cooking, this recipe is very easy and takes about 30 min. I used the Gobi Matar recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor as guide line.

Ingredients

Cauliflower: 1 medium, separated into florets

Green beans: 1 cup

Tomato: 1/2 medium, chopped

Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon

Ginger paste: 1 teaspoon

Garlic: 1 head, chopped

Coriander powder: 2 teaspoon

Red Chili powder: up to 1/2 teaspoon (I only put some using the head of my knife since I don’t like when it is spicy)

Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon

Garan masala: 1 teaspoon

 

Method

Heat some olive oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Once they start changing color, add the garlic and ginger paste and sauted for hald a minute. You will start smelling the ginger.

Add coriander powder, turmeric powder and red chilli powder and sauted for another half a minute.

Add the chopped tomato and cook until it becomes mushy.

Add cauliflower, green beans and 1 cup water. Salt and mix well.

Cook for about 8 to 10 min. Add the Garam masala, mix and cook for another 8 to 10 min.

You can garnish with fresh coriander leaves and eat with roti or paratha.

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Paneer Bhurji

On Sunday, my husband suggested to have paneer Bhurji since we had some left in the fridge.

We had also some baguette and we thought that it would be great to eat the paneer bhurji with it.

Since the baguette was one day old, I put it for few minutes in the oven so it would get slightly toasted and it was delicious with the paneer bhurji.

Ingredients

– 300g of paneer (if fresh: mashed into a crumbly texture. I didn’t have it fresh and cut it into small cubes)

– 1 medium onion chopped

– 1 tomato chopped

– 1/4 tsp turmeric

– 1/4 tsp coriander powder

– 1/4 tsp garram massala (optional)

– 1/4 cumin seeds

Preparation

– Heat the oil in a pan on a medium flame, till hot. Add the cumin seeds and fry till Théo starter to crack open

– Add the onions and fry till soft. Add the tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes are pulpy.

– Add spices and mix well. Fry for 2 minutes.

– Add the paneer. Mix well and cook for 2 more minutes. If the paneer gives off water at this stage, cook till the water has dried up. Turn off fire.

Season with salt, if desired. Garnish with the chopped fresh coriander and serve hot with Chapatis or Parathas, or baguette!

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My 2013 Cooking Challenge

Here is my new project for 2013!

I want to find more time to cook or at least finally try and discover some recipes that I have heard of, never tried before or simply as “bring the childhood recipes back into my life”.

I will not necessarily do the list in this order, it is just how it came up.
The goal would be to do one recipe every month for the rest of the year.

My 2013 Cooking Challenge

1. Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam (or in-season fruits)
2. Duck confit Garbure Soup
3. S’mores
4. Cheese Souffle / Souffle au fromage
5. Risotto
6. Indian seasonal vegetable dish
7. Savory Crepes
8. Chocolate recipe from the book “Atelier Chocolat”
9. Cupcakes
10. Gulab Jamun

Details & Explanations

1. Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam (or any in-season fruit) – when I was in France the year before moving back to the U.S., me and my best friend Claire spent a few winter Sunday afternoons making jam in my parents kitchen. I discovered and learned from her and love home made jams 🙂

2. Duck confit Garbure Soup – this a traditional soup from Bearn in South West of France. My grand-mother used to do it, it is delicious and a perfect winter healthy meal.

3. S’mores – my friend Ellie mentioned it recently and was “amazed” that I had no idea on what she was talking about… the very next day, I found this blog post on the same subject… the signs were obvious, we thus have a date for a “S’mores” diner. It will certainly be the first item to be completed on this list!

4. Cheese Souffle / Souffle au fromage – My mom used to make this dish when I was a kid and I have great memories of it. It is not easy to make but I want to try so that my husband can taste it!

5. Risotto – it might seem silly but I have never cooked a risotto before, and it time to start!

6. Indian seasonal vegetable dish – I want to become more comfortable in cooking Indian food and for that I need to try, even though it will take me some time at the beginning, especially on weekdays once I am back from work…

7. Savory Crepes – my husband has been asking for home made Crepes, since we got back from Brittany and had the most delicious Crepes on earth in Carantec. I’m serious: it is really the best place I have ever eaten Crepes.

8. Chocolate recipe from “Atelier Chocolat” – a book that my brother and his girlfriend gifted me for Christmas. It seems complicated or at least that is in my mind but it doesn’t seem that hard when reading it. I just need to do it!

9. Cupcakes – since this list has French and Indian cooking, I thought I needed to have something from here as well. I already tried with success pancakes (see my post here ) and thought that the next on the list would be cupcakes 🙂

10. Gulab Jamun – this is my favorite Indian sweet (with Jellabys) and this week-end, my husband’s cousin was telling me how to make them. A must try!

Let me know your thoughts about the challenge, about one of the item/recipe and any help/suggestion or encouragement will be helpful!

Thanks and happy blogging!

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Pictures Credit:

http://www.owlhaven.net/2008/06/10/strawberry-rhubarb-jam/

http://www.52kitchenadventures.com/2012/05/02/gluten-free-cupcakes-with-nutella-cloud-frosting/

http://www.france-voyage.com/travel-guide/photo-garbure-1381_2.htm

http://www.phamfatale.com/id_1625/title_Galette-Complete-Savory-Crepe-Recipe/

http://nutritionfor.us/2012/07/butternut-squash-risotto-recipe/

http://cooksjoy.com/blog/2012/11/gulab-jamun-milk-powder-method.html

http://www.lacuisinedebernard.com/2011/03/le-souffle-au-fromage.html

http://littleindiana.com/2012/07/4-smores-themed-recipes-you-can-really-sink-your-teeth-into/

http://palakkadcooking.blogspot.com/2012/11/aloo-gobi.html

Endive Winter Salad

Winter is not completely over but I can feel how everyone around me would like to see spring come up.
Last week, few people including me got lighter sweaters and jackets out again but it was still pretty cold and windy, which doesn’t help. We all got back into our winter jackets, putting our spring ones on hold for a little bit more.

It is nice cooking according to the season and we used to have this salad during winter in my family when I grew up.

Winter salad

Ingredients

– 3 endives
– 2 apples (ideally Golden, or any slightly acid kind)
– gruyere
– 100g / 3.5oz coarsely chopped walnuts
– 100g / 3.5oz bacon (optional)

You can add or reduce quantities based on your preferences and a good balance between the ingredients. The apple brings a freshness to balance the “heaviness” of the gruyere and walnuts.
You can also put tomatoes instead of apples and use another kind of cheese, like blue cheese, Gorgonzola or Roquefort, just to name a few.

This salad can be served as an appetizer (antipasti) or can be an entree on its self, for which i add the bacon.

Preparation

Wash and chop the endives crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Peel and cut the apples.
Cut the gruyere in small pieces.

In a bowl, mix the endives, apples, gruyere and walnuts. Add vinaigrette. I like to do the basic vinaigrette with olive oil, mustard and balsamic vinegar. For this salad, it is also nice to add some honey to the vinaigrette.

Just before serving, cook the sliced bacon in a pan. You don’t need to add olive oil in the pan, the fat of the bacon will do the job when reducing.

Put the salad on each plates and add a little bit of bacon on top of each before serving.

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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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Grapefruit, Avocado & Tomato Salad

Staying at home for hurricane Sandy with lots of supply is just making me wanna cook…

To get vitamins, I decided to do this really good and original salad.

This one of my so-called secret recipe: everybody is very surprised by the combination and even if some are doubtful, it ends up always being a huge success. And nobody can guess the sauce 🙂

Grapefruit, Avocado & Tomato Salad

Ingredients
– 1 grapefruit
– 2 small tomatoes
– 1 avocado
– 1 tbsp of mayonnaise

Preparation

Take off all the skin of the grapefruit Di you only have the flesh.

This part might be the longest, especially if you ate not used to do it.
I am not a big fan if anything time consuming when cooking but this is so much better that it’s worth the time and effort.

Cut the avocado and tomatoes in small pieces and mix everything together.

Add 1 tbsp of mayonnaise in the mix.

You can also replace the avocado with shrimps for a non-vegetarian version, also delish!

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This is America – Sunday Pancakes

Sunday morning, I got woken up by a bad dream and I was also craving for pancakes.

I spent some time in bed looking for the perfect recipe both on American and French websites.

I always need to read few different recipes to get a feel of it and then make my own.

I came up with this one:

Ingredients

– 8.8 oz / 250g flour
– Salt
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 1/2 tsp baking powder = 1/2 sachet of “levure chimique” (in France we have ready made size sachet of backing powder and all recipes are going with 1/2 or 1 sachet)
– 1 sachet of vanilla-flavored sugar (also a very French cooking thing) which is the equivalent of 1 tsp sugar + 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 eggs
– 11.8 oz / 37.5 cl milk
– 2 oz / 50 g butter

Preparation

1. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, levure/backing powder, sugar & vanilla extract (or sucre vanillé).

2. In 2 other different bowls, separate the yellow and the white of the eggs. Mix the milk with the yellow of the eggs. Add this mix slowly to the first bowl. The trick is to mix slowly to keep it lump free as much as possible.

3. Add to this mixture the melted butter and mix well.

4. Add a pinch of salt to egg whites and whisk them with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks.
Fold them gently into the mixture.

5. Heat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium to low heat; brush griddle lightly with oil. Drop batter by generous 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle, the pancake will naturally takes its form on its own.

Cook until bubbles form on tops of pancakes and bottoms are golden, about 3 minutes. Turn pancakes over and cook until golden brown on bottoms, about 2 minutes.

To keep them all warm, put them in low heated oven once they are cooked.

Enjoy with maple syrup, fruits such as bananas, blueberries, strawberries and also with some Nutella.

I tried other recipes before but didn’t really succeeded. This one turned out to make delicious & not too heavy pancakes.

I would encourage everybody to try it out!

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