Flank Steak with Caramelized Onions and Spaghetti with White Wine and Cherry Tomato Sauce


Where does time go? Do you ever wonder?! As years go by, it seems that time evades even more quickly from year to year… but this week seem to have been even faster than usual. My list of things kept getting longer and longer and my days seemed to run faster and faster…Having two computers crash also this week did not help either and that would explain why my blog entries have been so scarce. I have been cooking, but could not post anything.
This recipe is quick and easy to do. You may not even need to fix both. Having the Spaghetti as a main meal would suffice if you accompany it with a salad.

For the Flank steak recipe, you will need:
2 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 big red onion diced and chopped, 1/2 cup of honey, 1/2 cup of sherry wine. 1 whole flank steak filet, 2 tbsp of fresh oregano, 1 1/2 tsp of paprika.

For the pasta recipe you will need 12 oz of uncooked spaghetti, 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 Tbsp of sugar, 1 red onion sliced and diced, 1 cup of white wine ( chardonnay), 1 cup of chicken broth, 1 tsp of flour, a pinch of crushed red pepper flake, 1 tsp of fresh oregano, thin slices of Parmigiano cheese.

In a frying pan, warm up 2 Tbsp of olive oil, saute the onions until they become golden and translucent, throw in the honey and the sherry wine and let it simmer slowly until the onions caramelize. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the meal.
For the Spaghetti, fill a big pot with water and bring to boil. When the water is boiling, throw in the spaghetti and cook 10 minutes until they become al dente.
While the spaghetti are cooking, warm up the oil, saute your onion until they become golden and translucent, throw in the flour and mix well until the flour has coated the onions, throw in the wine and the broth, stir well and bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper, add the sugar, 1 tsp of chopped oregano, the cherry tomatoes cut in half, (and the crushed red pepper flake if you want to). Let it simmer until the “sauce” is getting thicker.

For the meat, turn the grill to medium-high heat. In a small bowl, mix in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of pepper, 1 tsp of paprika, 1 tbsp fresh oregano thinly chopped. Baste the filet with the marinade, and grill on the grill for 4 minutes on either side. Remove from the grill. Let it stand for 5 minutes before cutting in very thin slices.

Once the pasta are cooked, drain them. Place the pasta on plates and drizzle the tomato wine sauce over it. Add the cheese on top. Place the steak on the other corner of the plate and place the onions over it also. Enjoy!!!!

Aragula, Mango and Asparagus Salad: Very refreshing and so simple!


After an heavy Easter lunch, all I craved on Sunday night was something light and refreshing. I had plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in my fridge so i thought why don’t I mix it all together. Last month the Food and Wine issue had a special on asparagus and they had a few recipes of salad with green asparagus. Unlike them, though I did not cook them. I simply cut the asparagus in very thin slices.

Ingredients for 4 : a box of aragula, 1 whole mango, 4 asparagus sliced very thinly, 4 chopped hazelnuts toasted and coarsely chopped, and 1/8 of a red onion.
For the dressing: 1 Tbsp of honey, 1 Tbsp of dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 3 Tbsp of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix all the ingredients together until the dressing becomes thicker. Throw in the aragula and toss. Place the aragula on each plate. Divide the mango pieces and the asparagus evenly among all 4 plates. Layer a few onion slices on top and sprinkle the chopped hazelnut on top. Enjoy!!!

You may add some very thinly sliced manchego or reggiano cheese if you wanted.

Paques… Easter in France.


Yesterday it was Paques at our house. Paques is the French word for Easter. And just like many American, we too went to church, ate a nice brunch with family and ate chocolate that the Easter Bunny brought us.
Paques is celebrated in France a lot like here in the US. Family reunite for the long week-end ( Friday and Monday is often a holiday). And on Sunday, everyone goes to church and gather for a big lunch. The traditional Easter lunch is very similar to the American one- there will be deviled eggs, charcuterie ( cold cut), seasonal salads, lamb ( a roast, a leg or lamb chops), fresh spring vegetables, cheese, a fabulous dessert with chocolate, coffee, and digestifs ( after drink) . French people will probably buy the cakes instead of making them as Patisserie will have a large array of beautifull cakes with Easter decoration. The main difference between a French dinner and an American one would be the time spent at the table. The average time spent for such a meal would be between 3 and 4 hours. Why?! because dishes keep on coming and because French people like to enjoy their meal, and eat slowly.
The predominant religion in France is Roman-Catholic (90%). Therefore, you will rarely see more than one church in a village or a city unless the city is very large, and needs more than one catholic church. Most churches have a bell, which is rung joyfully throughout the year marking various events and the passage of time. On the Thursday before Good Friday, all church bells in France are silenced in acknowledgement of Jesus’ death. But children are told that the bell’s chimes have flown to Rome to see the Pope and get blessed by the Pope. The bells will ring again on Easter morning at the end of the morning service to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and to declare that is alive again. On their way back from Rome to the steeple, the bells will be dropping chocolate eggs, chocolate bells and chocolate hens so when the children exit the church, they can pick up all the goodies that the bells have left for them :-)
Easter morning is a happy time for children who cannot wait to hear the sounds of the bells because they know that the bells have left goodies for them to find. They will look for those goodies right in the parking lot of the church, and will hurry home to find what was left there. Sometimes, children will even find little bells that fell and did not make it back. They are just amazed…
Paques at my house, of course, could not be exactly as what I was accustomed to as a child or my poor children would have not understood why their Easter was different than that of their friends. They never got an Easter basket from the bunny, instead the bunny gave them an empty basket and they had to find their goodies outside and in the house that he had left. And it worked!!!!
Yesterday, for the first time, we did not go hunt for eggs. They are too old and they would have probably thought that I was a lunatic, if I had….
Instead we went to church and we gathered with the whole family for an Easter Brunch. We all brought something to eat. I brought deviled eggs, shrimp salad, mini vanilla cupcaked with chocolate frosting, and ice cream cake. On the menu , we had sausages, pork tenderloins, pasta salad, green beans salad, potaoes salad, and lamb stew.
What did you do for Easter, and what did you have to eat?

Papillottes of Grouper in a Ginger and Orange Juice


Are you familiar with fresh Ginger? It is a root that you grate in order to add flavors and spice to a dish. It is wonderful with fruits, more particularly citrus. It tastes great with any food, but I like it the best with fish and seafood.

So tonite, I thought I would try a recipe that was posted on a French blog. The recipe is quite simple and quick, but amazing in taste. I did not prepare anything with this dish, but I would suggest preparing a coconut risotto to accompany this fish. It would be amazing!

What takes time, but is fun to do is the papillottes or boxes in which the fish cooks. Come to my next cooking class, and you too can learn how..

For this recipe, you will need:

4 filets, 2 oranges, fresh ginger, 40 g of butter, nutmeg, coriander, green asparagus. 1 paper box for each person. 

Press the orange, and warm the juice in a little saucepan. Cook until the juice has reduced to half its content. Add  the butter, the ginger, the nutmeg and the coriander, salt and pepper.

Place the filets in the papillotte, drizzle the sauce over it. Place it all in an aluminium foil, close the aluminium foil over the papillotte. Cook in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.

Open the papillottes, drizzle some orange zest and coriander and et voila!

Bon Appetit!

Easter is almost here! Don’t forget to get your Macarons…


They would be the perfect gift  for an Easter present!

They already looked so festive with their pastels colors, and they would be a change to the usual chocolate eggs!

A fresh batch was delivered this morning at the Deli Korner so don’t forget to get yours!

You may also place an order at Cecile.cuisine@yahoo.com

or call 864-494-4494. 

Look at what we have for you! Aren’t they not perfect for the occasion!

  • Bags of 4 / 6 Macarons

  • Boxes of 6

 

  • Boxes of 12

  • Easter chinese box of 12 macarons

  • Easter Metal box of 13 Macarons.

  • Easter “Paint Bucket” ( 20+ macarons)

They come in many flavors!

Look at the Macarons page to choose the flavor that you want!

The Deli Korner will have chocolate, choco-mint, vanilla and raspberry. Hurry before they are all gone!

Chicken Cordon Bleu And Roasted Parmesan Potatoes


I love to cook , but when your audience is as difficult as my dear husband and children, it is difficult to cook for them.

Why? Because they have specific tastes and likes.  So when the dish you prepare is not on their list, they are careful. They ask questions, they taste and make comments ( positive or negative) Since two of my closed family members have very limited palate, I have to justify why I am presenting them with new recipes …

See Cooking for me is an escape. I read cookbooks and magazines and dream how they will taste, and how I can serve it as such or change it. So as you would expect, everyweeek at our house is a different week. If the meals often stay the same for my husband and daughter, it varies quite often and is rarely the same for my son and myself. Theo is like me, he likes to try things. New food, new spices, new tastes.

Today, though, I did not feel like cooking two meals so I just went with a classic: Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Did you know that the recipe is not even French;-)

“Chicken Cordon Bleu is a relatively recent American creation, drawing upon techniques from both chicken Kiev, and similar schnitzel dishes. The earliest reference to Chicken Cordon Bleu in the New York Times is dated to 1967, while similar veal recipes are found from at least 1955.The term “Cordon Bleu” is translated from French as Blue Ribbon. The chicken dish should not be confused with the cooking school of the same name” Wikepedia.

For this dinner, you will need the following:

Ingredients: 6 potatoes cut in the length in 8 wedges. Parmesan, olive oil, 4 chicken breast, 4  proscuitto slice, 4 slice of swiss cheese, cream, salt and pepper to taste.

Skin the potatoes and cut them in 8 in their length. In a plastic bag, place all the ingredients. Add  the sliced potatoes in the bag, and shake them to coat. Place them on a deep flexi pan or a silpat and abke in the oven for 15 minutes at 425. Turn the potatoes 7 minutes in the cooking so all sides of the potaoes will be crispy.

For the chicken cordon bleu. Butterfly the chicken breast, place 1 slice of proscuitto and 1 slice of cheese and close the breast with toothpick as shown.  Melt 1 Tbsp of better in a frying pan, and saute your chicken breast until it becomes golden, turn and saute the other side. When the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken from the pan. Add the cream to the pan and stir to clean up the pan of all the brown pieces. Bring to boil until the sauce has reduced  and has become thicker. You may also add  2 Tbsp of scotch to add flavor.

To serve, place the potatoes on the plate,  cut the breast of chicken in half, remove the toothtick and drizzle the sauce over it.

This dish is quite simple and quick to fix, but you might want to substitute low fat cheese and skip the cream for a mucher lighter version.

Bon Appetit!