Chili Kabobs and Gratin Dauphinois ( also known as Scalloped Potatoes)


I don’t know if this is because this week was preceding Spring Break, but it has been a week from….so much to do and so little time. But at the Wagner’s house, the tradition remains: no eating out which meant no matter how tired, or busy I was I cooked. Oh, but I am not complaining as it is a way for me to also chill out and catch up with the news, and the children . On the menu, yesterday we had pork tenderloin chili in kabobs and scalloped potatoes…. yum….

The recipe of the pork tenderloin, was adaptated from a recipe from Tosca’s eating clean diet. You can also substitute the pork with fish or chicken. The recipe of the Gratin Dauphinois is mine, or my mom’s:-)

Ingredients:

2 small pork tenderloins or 1lb of chicken breast, 1 red bell pepper cut in 1 inch square, 2 Tsb of olive oil, 1 1/2 of balsamic vinegar, juice of a fresh lime, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1/2 tsp of paprika, 1 large onion chopped in large quarter ( for the kebobs), 2 garlic cloves, pressed, 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper, sea salt, 8 big russet potatoes, 1 cup of heavy cream or milk, 1/2 onions sliced, nutmeg, 3 cups of grated swiss cheese or emmenthal, pepper.

For the kebobs: in a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and lime juice, chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprikka, salt, pressed garlic. Then cut the meat in 1 inch squares, and place everything ( meat and seasoning in a plastic bag to coat the meat).

In the meantime, slice your potatoes very thinly and spread them in a shallow pan until you reach the middle of the pan, spread the sliced onion, sprinkle salt, pepper and nutmeg and spread the grated cheese ( about 2 cups). Cover the cheese with more sliced potatoes and repeat the process until you reach the top where you will spread more cheese. Pour the cream over the potatoes ( it should come to about 3/4 of your pan). Place in over at 375 for 45 minutes to one hour. I like my potatoes to be really soft and the onion to become golden and sometimes it may take a whole hour to get it depending on the type of oven you are working with. Once the potatoes are about ready, turn your grill to medium high, thread the onion pieces, the bell pepper and the meat onto the skewers. Grill the skewers for 8 to 12 minutes and you are ready to eat:-)

Of course, if you want to watch your diet, you may not want to have scalloped potatoes…………..Tosca would not recommend my side-dish, a bit rich. Oh well…….we only live once….

Cooking Workshop


Last Sunday, we had a cooking workshop at my house. Several of my friends came, curious to learn to cook healthy meals using the flexible non-stick cookware that I am now representing. We had a great time! We learned to make a Chillies Rellenos Bake, which is almost like a quiche except that is has a Mexican twist to it. We also learned to make stuffed ginger salmon with a soy-honey marinade. Yes, i know… I did not want to share my secrets but I thought they would appreciate the gesture….

For desserts, we had triple chocolate cupcakes. So delicious!!!! I can assure you that my guests had much fun decorating the cupcakes and sampling them.

Today I will share with you the recipe of the Chillies Rellenos Bake… You can eat this as a main meal with a salad or as an appetizer as we did.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1/4 tbs. of salt

  • 2 drops of pepper sauce ( I skipped that ingredient because I do not like spicy food).
  • 1 cup of Monterrey Jack Cheese or Pepper Jack, shredded
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 can of chopped green chilies, undrained.
  • salsa

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and pour the content in a quiche form, here we used the flower mold (item: FM000426), or you can use a muffin mold ( FP002915) to make individuals portions. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. You may need to cook it less, or more time if the middle is not set.

To serve, flip the Chilies Rellenos Bake onto a serving tray, scoop salsa in the middle and serve.

Look how clean the pan is…

The best part is that to clean this dish, you only need to use a bit of soapy water. The pan is practically clean, with nothing stuck on the sides.

 

 

And look at the salmon before going into the oven

 

 

 

 

Cooking

 

 

 

 

 

And being served. All of this in less than 10 minutes!

 

Easy Cooking….and Cleaning


Most people are like me, they are either working or so busy with all the to-do list a day brings that it is a challenge to cook a meal in more than 30 minutes. What if you found the perfect tool that would allow you to cook meals in less than 10 minutes, and clean your kitchen in less than 5…That would be a dream, wouldn’t it? What if I told you that that tool not only allows you to do all that, but it also allows you to eat healthy, and make your meals look fancy.

Now, I am sure I grabbed your attention;-)

Well this tool exists, it is a non-stick flexible cookware manufactured in France, and sold here in the US through independent representatives.  I just recently agree to represent the company here in South Carolina. If you want to know more, or attend one of the cooking party I am offering to present this product, please contact me at Cecile.cuisine@yahoo.com or call me at (864)494-4494. My next party will be on Sunday, April 10th from 3:00 till 5:00. Sign up!!!! It is a lot of fun:-)

White Chocolate Mousse with Wasabi Ganache and Strawberry Puree


In France, dinners always end with cheese or dessert and it is not different at our house. I watch my weight carefully so I don’t always folow that rule, but my children really abide by it:-)Because I have my favorite cheeses, and they are either not easy to find or they cost a lot of money,  eating cheese after dinner has been a thing of the past;-( So dessert it was this evening. I had been looking at that recipe of White chocolate Mousse with Wasabi for a while, and really wanted to see what it would taste like. So this is what I fixed this evening for our after dinner treat. I loved it. That wasabi mixed in the white chocolate for the ganache really had an amazing and surprising taste. It was sweet and spicy at the same time and really brought up the flavor of the strawberry. My children and my husband were not fond of it. Then again, they don’t care for exotic flavors. But don’t you think they look pretty:-)

Honey Soy Grilled Salmon Stuffed with Fresh Ginger


While my family were having this amazing flank steak that aromatized the whole house, I proceeded to prepare my dinner. I am not much of a meat person. I love fish so much that I would be happy to eat it 7 days out of 7;-)

Today I decided to go with salmon. It is truly one of my favorite fish  because it is easy to cook and does not need much preparation. Salmon has so much flavors in itself, that it is delicious to eat it simply grilled on an outdoor grill. Of course this is what I could have done, but instead I tried to utilize the left-over ginger root I had used earlier this week. I stuffed the salmon with it, and baste the salmon with a soy honey, black sesame seed marinade. The whole concoction was simply amazing!! I am not kidding, I kept going ” ha, hum, ho…” it was so good. The ginger really aromatized the whole fish from inside out and kept it so moist. I don’t think that I have ever eaten a salmon that tasted so good.

Ginger stuffed Salmon with Honey-soy glaze for 2 people:

  • 1 lb salmon,
  • fresh ginger peeled and grated( 2 inches root),
  • 2 Tbsp of honey
  • 2 Tbsp of soy sauce, 
  • 1 tsp of dark sesame seed (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper to taste.
  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Skin the salmon, slice indentations in the salmon across the length every inch.
  3. Fill each indentation with grated fresh ginger.
  4. Mix together the soy sauce and the honey and brush the salmon with it.
  5. Place the salmon on the deep flexipat and cook for 10 minutes or less if the salmon is thin and small.
  6. When serving, drizzle more sauce over the salmon.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Flank Steak with Boursin Mashed Potatoes


Looking at cookbooks is one of my favorite things in the world. I love any kind of cookbooks but the one with the pictures are my favorite because they allow me to visualize what the recipe should look like at the finish. But the thing I love even more is exercise or cook. What a duo, right?! So this evening, instead of going out as most people would, I was happy to just browse through the grocery store in search of what I could fix for my family and I. And after much walking around to find my inspiration, I decided to go with Flank Steak for my children and husband. It is easy, tasty and not so bad for you being a lean meat. But what to cook with it? Mashed potatoes are a favorite at our house so potatoes it will be. I decided to go with a meal my mom used to fix often at our house in France when I was growing up:  Flank Steak also known as Bavette in France, Boursin mashed potatoes and sauteed green beens.

Ingredients for 3 or 4: 1 lb of flank steak, 5 big yukon potatoes, about 1 lb of green beans, 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 boursin cheese, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 bundle of fresh parsley, olive oil, fresh thyme, balsamic vinegar, 1 Tb of mustard, salt and pepper to taste.

First peel the potatoes, dice them, place them in a big pot, cover them water, add 2 Tb of coarse salt, bring to boil and cook until the potatoes are soft. While the potatoes are cooking, baste the flank steak with olive oil, sprinkle salt, pepper and fresh thyme on both sides and put aside. Steam the beans. In a large frying pan, melt 1 Tb of butter, saute the beans, dice the cloves of garlic very thinly, chop the parsley and toss it all on the beans. Mix, toss and cook until the beans are sauteed and the garlic has turned golden. Turn the heat down and keep warm while you are preparing the mashed potatoes. Drain the potatoes, mash them, put in the boursin cheese and mix well. Add heavy cream in the mashed potatoes to make them moist and fluffy ( you may not need 1 whole cup of cream). Set aside. Now it is time to prepare the sauce that will go over the flank steak ( not necessary, but add a good flavor to the meat). In a electric chopper, place a handful of parsley leaves, 1 clove of garlic, 2 Tb of balsamic vinegar, 1 Tb of mustard, salt and pepper and chop until you have a paste.

Cook the flank steak on a very hot grill for 2 minutes on either side until the meat is medium rare. Slice the meat very thinly against the meat grain. Place on plates, drizzle the parsley sauce over it. Add green beans and mashed potatoes and serve. Bon Appetit!

French Macarons


Hurry, Hurry!!! Fresh Macarons are being delivered this morning at The Deli Korner on Fernwood Glendale Road. They are best eaten the day they are made! So Don’t wait! They come in boxes of 4 or 9. Today’s flavors are vanilla, chocolate and raspberry. Again, you can always place an order at cecile.cuisine@yahoo.com.

Pasta Carbonara- my family’s favorite


” Yum, it smells good in here”, I heard this evening as I was fixing my dinner. So I said, ” I am glad you like it, but I am sorry to tell you that this is not for you”. I know now, after 15 years of marriage what my husband and children will eat, and tofu and coconut is not on their list. So that also meant that something needed to be brewed for them quickly. It is a workday… homeworks to do.. not a lot of time;-( so for them. A favorite of the house: Pasta Carbonara. It is easy and so so good!!!!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tb of butter,
  • a pack of bacon uncooked,
  • 1 cup of heavy cream,
  • 1 egg,
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese,
  • salt and pepper to taste,
  • 1 small pack of linguine.
  1. Fill a big pot with water, add about 1 Tb of salt.
  2. Bring the water to boil.
  3. While the water is getting hot, melt the butter in a small saucer.
  4. Once the butter has melted, pour the heavy cream and the parmesan in the butter.
  5. Mix well with a whisk.
  6. Season to taste and add a whole egg.
  7. Stir well over medium heat, and keep on stirring until the cream is getting thicker but make sure that the cream does not boil or the sauce will curdle. Set aside.
  8. Keep the sauce/ cream warm by leaving it on the cookstove over very low heat. Meanwhile, slice your bacon very thinly and sizzle it in a frying pan.
  9. Cook until most fat has melted. The bacon should be crisp.
  10. Drain the bacon from its fat, and place in a bowl.
  11. Pat the bacon with paper towel to absorb the fat. Keep aside.
  12. Once the water is finally boiling, throw in your pasta and cook until al dente ( about 1o minutes).
  13. Once cooked, drain the pasta, and mix in a few tablespoons of cream.
  14. To serve, place pasta on a plate, spoon the sauce over the pasta, place the bacon on top, and sprinkle fresh parmesan on top. Et voila!!! Ta Da

Eat with great appetite!!!!! and don’t worry about calories… it is so worth it:-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Bangkok Curry Tofu/ or Chicken


Since I had some coconut milk left-over in my fridge, I had to find a recipe that would let me use it. One of my favorite dish in the entire world is a coconut curry dish at Thai Taste in Spartanburg so i thought why not try to fix that dish at home. The recipe I am presenting is prepared with Tofu. Don’t be alarmed though, you can also cook this dish with fresh chicken breast.

You will need:

  • 1 pkg of  Extra Firm tofu or 3 small chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tsp dark toasted sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup cream of coconut
  • 1-2 tablespoons golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
  • salt/ pepper to taste
  • 4 green onions finally chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 cup spinach, washed and cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 can of water chestnuts
  • 1 can of bamboo shoots
  • 1 container of fresh snap peas
  • 1/2  toasted chopped peanuts if desired
  • cooked rice if wanted

Cut tofu block into 1-inch cubes, or do the same with the chicken breast. In a frying pan or a wok, heat the peanut oil and sesame oil till and stir fry the tofu or chicken 2 minutes per side. Remove the tofu/ or chicken and set aside. Toss the minced garlic and the white of the green onions  in the remaining oil and stir fry till garlic and the white part of the onions are golden brown. Next, stir in the cream of coconut, the brown sugar, the curry powder, and the salt. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Add the tofu/ or chicken, the green part of the onion, red bell pepper, spinach, snap peas, and water chestnuts. Cook for about 10
minutes. Add the spinach until it starts to wilt. Serve immediately. You may serve on rice. It is very filling without the rice. I love it!!!

Our Sunday Treat: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes


On Sunday, I like to spend a little more time in the kitchen and cook things that I do not have time to cook during the week. But this week, and this Sunday has been a little more busy than usual so I cooked a much simpler meal than I will post tomorrow. Even Lisa, my daughter gave me a hand with our dessert for this evening: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes from the Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook. She did a great job, not only were they good looking, but they were truly to die for….
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flower
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/3 cup strong brewed coffee or expresso
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
Frosting:
12 ounces of Semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 cup of chocolate chips of your choice ( i like the white ones, they give a bit of contrast)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Line about 12 cupcake molds or muffin tins with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray.

To make the cupcakes, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar and the white sugar. Whisk in the milk, coffee and melted butter. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Divide the batter among the 12 cupcakes, about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes.

To make the frosting, melt 12 ounces of chocolate, heat the cream until hot and mix it in the melted chocolate. Add butter and mix well. Let it rest until it has cooled down ( about 1 hour or less if you place it in the fridge). Spread the frosting on the cupcake using a pastry bag. Sprinkle chocolate chips to decorate. Didn’t she do a great job?! That’s my girl:-)