A Summer’s Favorite: Succotash


In the summer I don’t like to eat a lot, and when I do eat, i like it to be light and refreshing. Luckily summer has so many fresh produces that it is easy to have a full dinner with just vegetables. My favorite thing to eat is Ratatouille but I can eat, eat , eat and eat vegetables all day long. Today I will propose you with a bean recipe that is very light unlike the Barbecue beans you will often see at cook-outs. It is a nice substitution, that is at the same time light and not so heavy.

Ingredients ( 4-6 people) : 1/2 bag of frozen corn ( 1 lb), 1 bag of frozen baby-lima beans, 4 strips of bacon uncooked, 1/2 sweet onions, pepper and salt to taste, 1 Tbsp of fresh thyme  1/4 cup of heavy cream if you desire.

Cut the bacon in small strips and cook in a saucepan until the bacon is cooked but not crispy, remove the bacon drippings. Add the diced onion and cook until it becomes translucent and golden. Add the frozen lima beans and corn and cook with the bacon and onions for about 2 minutes. Add 1 -1 1/2 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper ( about 1/4 tsp of pepper, 1 tsp of salt) and thyme. Cook for about 15 minutes. At the end, you may want to add cream to have a creamier succotash.

Bon Appetit!

Memorial Celebration at Cecile’s


Even though my husband and I are not from “around here” as some would say here, we pride ourselves to live in this beautiful country. And we will celebrate accordingly when the occasion arises. And of course, as most people here, we too had a true American cook-out yesterday except that we may have had a bit of a French and German influence on ours;-)

The party started at 3. Kids and adults were invited to go swimming. Dinner was served around 6:30 despite my husband complaining that it was too early and that too many people were still having fun in the pool. Too much fun!!!!

What do you do?!?! What is the right thing to do in this case? Do you just serve dinner, and hope that they will still feel welcome to stay a little while longer, or do you wait until everybody is out of the pool and you run into the risk of them leaving the party without eating and leaving you with plenty of left-overs;-0

I did exactly as I planned, and served dinner at 6:30. People ate whenever they felt like it,  and left the party at their own time. I think everybody was gone by 10pm. I guess you could say that the party went well, and I would have to agree. I had a good time too. My sweet children helped me with the cleaning so the place looked like new shortly after everybody had vacated the place.

On the menu, we had:

  • barbecue chicken,
  • hot-dogs,
  • burgers,
  • chips,
  • broccoli salad,
  • German potato salad,
  • succotash,
  • patriotic cupcakes and red, white and blue verrines.

Believe me, my guests did not go home hungry…..

Toasted Sesame Oil and Soy Glazed Brocoli


I love broccoli,  and I usually eat it as is ” au naturel”. I like it plain, steamed. But with teenagers, you have to find creative ways to offer broccoli so that it won’t  have such a strong broccoli flavor. The recipe I am presenting is very easy, and quite good. Even my children ate some;-)

Ingredients: about 4 cups of broccoli, 1 Tbsp of toasted sesame oil, 1 Tbsp of low sodium soy sauce, 1 tsp of sesame seeds.

In a bowl, mix together the sesame oil and the soy sauce. Add the broccoli  and toss to cover the broccoli well with the dressing.

Place on silpat, and bake in oven 8 minutes in a warm oven at 400.

Enjoy!!!

Verrine de Fraise au Basilique ( Basil Strawberry)


I was cutting and dicing strawberry this evening for tomorrow dinner party when my sweet daughter said: “Mom, can I please have some?” I was not about to refuse. Lisa and Theo will eat fruits, but you have to remind them to do so.. and when there are better choices available, you guessed it;-), that’s not fruit that they will eat.

 

So even though I was dicing those strawberry for my tomorrow’s white chocolate strawberry verrine, I let her have some.

I however “season” them with fresh basil.

You should try! It is very refreshing and it enhances the strawberry flavor.

Ingredients for 4: 4 cups of diced strawberry, 4 Tbsp of sugar, 24 leaves of basil finely chopped or 4 tsp of chopped basil.

In a bowl, mix together the strawberry, the Basil,  and the sugar.

 

Spoon the mixture in little bowls. Add a dollop of whipped cream ( I used bought whipped cream), and sprinkle more basil on top of the cream. Serve with meringues if you desire.

Bon Appetit!

Maple Glazed Salmon with Vanilla Emulsion


I always stay busy. But when I finally find a minute to relax, I love to read culinary magazines, and flip through the pages of various cookbooks in search of inspiring recipes. Yesterday, I had seen a recipe of fish served with a vanilla sauce. It sparked my interest so much that today it was all I thought of. I imagined the type of fish I could use, and the vegetables to accompany it. So as soon as I got out of work, I went to the Fresh Market, and bought fresh corn on the cob and salmon. I was determined to cook that recipe. I actually followed the recipe to the letter even though some of the ingredients were somewhat surprising: vanilla, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, bourbon, broth and cream. I was a little sceptic, but the picture was really appetizing so I decided to go ahead.

What a disaster. That was awful! So much for a yummy dinner. I was not beaten though. I was determined to fix my fish with a vanilla sauce. And so I improvised.

Whoah… that combination of flavor was amazing!  I was almost in heaven. I totally loved the mixture of tastes. You need to try!!!

Ingredients for 2 persons:

  • 1 salmon filet of about 3-4 inches.
  • maple syrup
  • salt
  • pepper

Ingredients for the cream of corn:

  • 1 tbsp of butter,
  • 1/4 sweet onion diced,
  • 4 corn husks,
  • 1/4 heavy cream
  • salt
  • and pepper to taste,
  • (1 tsp of vanilla extract if wanted)
  • 1/3 cup of water.

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/3 of a vanilla bean 

A. Salmon:

  1. Place the salmon on the flexipan.
  2. Pour some maple syrup in a little container, and with a brush, glaze the filet.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake in a warm oven at 350 for 8 minutes.
  5. While the salmon is cooking, place the corn on the cob ( 4)  in a large round mold, cover it with the octogonal silpat, and cook in microwave for 5 minutes or for 10 minutes in the oven.
  6. Remove the corn from the husk with a knife. You may season with salt and pepper or not ( I did not).

You may also fix a cream of corn instead: 1 tbsp of butter, 1/4 sweet onion diced, 4 corn husks, 1/4 heavy cream. salt and pepper to taste, (1 tsp of vanilla extract if wanted). 1/3 cup of water.

  1.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan and saute the onions until they become translucent and golden.
  2. Throw in the corn kernels that you would have previously removed from the cob with a knife.
  3. Add 1/3 cup of water. Bring to boil and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the 1/4 cup of heavy cream and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  5. For the sauce, Pour 1/4 cup of heavy cream in a saucepan and place 1/3 of a vanilla bean that you would have previously cut in half and remove the seeds.
  6. Bring to boil, and let it simmer until the cream has reduced to half and has become thicker.

To serve, spoon the corn on the plate, place the filet on top of the corn, and drizzle the vanilla sauce over it.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!!

Girls’ Night Out Cooking Class


It is a very busy time of the year with the end of the school, and all that it involves, but we all need a time to relax and unwind. If you have nothing planned, or just need to get out of the house, come to Cecile’s Cuisine

for

 Girl’s Night Out Cooking Class.

6:30-8:30

We will learn to prepare:

  • 1 hors d’oeuvre
  • 1 appetizer
  • 1 entree with sides
  • 1 dessert

Call to inquire at 864-494-4494 or e-mail at Cecile.cuisine@yahoo.com

Hope to see you!!!


Flash Sauteed Tuna with Sweet and Sour Sauce


Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to do only what you wanted to do?! Yes it would be…Today if I could have, I would have stayed home. I would have looked at recipes and played in my kitchen… I find this so much fun… Well instead I went to work:-(

Consequently my day went by very quickly, too quickly in fact to allow me to think of something fun to cook. So today, I am sorry to disappoint you my dear readers, but today was a quick meal that was not very thought of. I nontheless enjoyed it very much.. While my family was having the Etouffade de Pomme de Terre, I was having Tuna. I love Tuna….

Sashimi tuna is on top of my list so today I prepared my tuna very rare with a bit of a sauce.

For the sauce you will need: 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, 1/4 cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup of chicken broth, 2 garlic cloves, pressed. 2 Tbsp of light soy sauce, 1 tsp of corstarch, 2 tbs of honey, 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil, 2 Tbsp of fresh ginger grated, 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes ( to add spice if you want), and black and white sesame seeds for adding colors:-)

Combine all the ingredients, whisk and bring to boil. Lower the temperature and cook over low temperature until the sauce thickens. Set aside.

For the tuna, 1 Tsp of butter, 1 tuna steak per person.

Melt the butter in a frying pan and when it is sizzling, cook the tuna steak for 1 minutes on each side so that it is just brown on either side but red on the inside. I like my tuna rare, so you may want to cook it a little longer if you want it more cook.

To serve slice each tuna in small 1/2 inch strips and drizzle the sauce over it.

BON APPETIT!!!