Mahi Mahi Over a Bed of Whole Rice and Red Pepper Salsa



After reading many of my entries, you may have noticed that:

1. I like to go grocery shopping every day so that I can get the freshest of ingredients.

2. I need to cook two meals a night because my family and I have different tastes.

3. I rather eat healthy.

4. I like to go to a store named Costco.

I am certain that you are finding very surprising the fact that I  like such a store as French people like little boutiques and rather buy “a la piece” rather  than in bulk. Well I love Costco because they have great products and the quality and the price is wonderful. It just happened that they also have the BEST fish in town. Their fish is fresh, it displays the packaging date, and it is twice as cheap as the grocery stores in town. On my routine trip to Costco, I was happy to find Mahi among their selection. Mahi at a reasonable price is a rare find! So guess what will be my dinner? Mahi Mahi.

I wanted to poach the Mahi and serve it with a citrus rice and a citrus compote but the lack of time made me use what I had on hand.

Ingredients for 2 people: 1 big piece of Mahi, 1 1/2 cups of roasted bell pepper salsa from Costco, 3/4 cup of white wine, 1/2 cup of brown rice, 1 1/2 cups of light broth, 1 small yellow onion diced very thinly, salt and pepper to taste.

I a small bowl, pour 1/2 cup of roasted red pepper salsa and 1/4 cup of white wine. Add 1/8 tsp of salt, 1/16 tsp of pepper. Stir well. Place the piece of Mahi Mahi in a ziploc bag, pour this mixture over it and place the bag in the fridge. Let it marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the brown rice. You may cook the brown rice according to the package directions ( boiling water…) or you can cook the easy way and cook your rice in the round mold. Place the 1/2 cup of rice in the round mold, add 3/4 cup of warm broth in the round mold. Cover the round mold with the octogonal silpat and cook for 12 minutes. I want my rice al dente because I will cook it some more in the oven. If you want to cook your rice through, I would suggest cooking it for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the octogonal silpat and fluff up the rice. Place the marinated mahi over the rice. Cover the round mold again with the octogonal silpat and cook for 6-8 minutes in a warm oven at 375. It will achieve the same result as if you had poached your fish or cook it a l’etouffe.

While the Mahi is cooking, prepare the sauce that will go over your fish. You will need to first saute your onion in 1 tsp of olive oil. When the onions are golden and soft, add 1 tsp of flour and stir so as to brown the flour and coat the onions. Add 1/2 cup of warm broth, 1 cup of roasted bell pepper salsa and 1/2 cup of white wine. Bring to boil. Season to taste.

To serve the fish, spoon the rice on the plate first, then place the filet of Mahi on top and drizzle the sauce over the fish. Et voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Hachi Parmentier and Haricots Verts with Sun-dried Tomatoes


On sunday, I usually like to cook a nice gourmet dinner but a lot happened this week-end that made me feel a bit drained. As a result comfort food seemed to be a quick solution to my laziness.

Ingredients for the hachi parmentier for 4: 6 medium-sized potatoes, 2 1/2  cup of heavy cream, 1 lb. of lean ground beef, fresh parsley,  1 medium onion, 1 cup of swiss cheese, 1/8 tsp of garlic salt, 1/16 tsp of pepper, seasoning…

To make the Hachi Parmentier, you will need to make mashed potatoes, you may make them the traditional way cooked in water, or you can cook them in the round mold and save time!!! So peel the potatoes, dice them in small cubes, place them in the round mold. Add 1 tsp of water and a dash of salt, cover the round mold with the octogonal silpat  and microwave for 7-8 minutes. Mash the potatoes with a potato press until it is very smooth. Add the warm heavy cream that you would have previously warmed up in the microwave for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of swiss cheese and stir until the potatoes make a smooth “puree”, not too runny and not too thick. You may need to add more cream if needed. Add the garlic salt, the pepper and stir. Add more salt if you deem it necessary. Set aside. Now you need to prepare the beef that will go in the mashed potatoes. Slice and dice your onion. Saute your onion in a frying pan in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Saute your onion until golden and translucent. Stir in the beef and cook it until it turns brown. Add 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of fresh parsley ( dry parsley is fine too). Taste and add more seasoning if you think it requires more salt.

Empty half of the potato puree in the round mold. Add the cooked beef and cover the beef with the rest of the potatoes. Sprinkle another 1/2 to 1 cup of swiss cheese and cook in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes to brown the cheese.

While the hachi parmentier is cooking, prepare the haricots verts.

Ingredients for the haricots verts: 1/2 bag of green beans from Costco or 2 small bag of 8 oz. 2 tbsp of sundried tomatoes ( preserved in oil) chopped thinly, 1/2 tsp of basil, 1/8 tsp of sea salt, 1/16 tsp of pepper.

Trim the haricots verts and place them in the round mold. Cover the mold with the octogonal silpat and microwave for 6 minutes. Uncover the round mold, add all the ingredients mentioned above and stir well.

To serve, spoon the hachi parmentier on the plate, add a few haricots verts and serve.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking !!!

Sesame Seared Tuna with Citrus Salsa


Do you have days that never end?!?! Yesterday was one of those. I had so much to do between teaching and getting ready for a cooking class that I did not have time to eat or snack before heading out. Luckily I had bought some tuna the night before. If you are short on time and still wish to have a yummy and healthy dinner, I would suggest that you buy tuna. Tuna is a great fish. It has very little “fish”taste, cooks so so fast, and needs very little dressing. The sesame seeds and the sesame oil in this recipe gives it so much flavor that you would not need to add anything to it. I had wanted to prepare a citrus salsa and since I had several fruits on hand this is what I use to dress my tuna.

Ingredients for the salsa for 2 people: 1 blood orange, 1 tangerine, 1 clementine, 1/4 red grapefruit, 2 tbsp  of light soy sauce, 1 tsp of fresh ginger grated.

Peel the fruits. Open the fruits and remove the skin from the each segment of all citrus. Cut each segment in tiny pieces. Add 1 tsp of grated fresh ginger, 2 tbsp of soy sauce and mix well. Set aside.

Ingredients for the tuna for 1-2: 1 tuna steak, 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil, 1 tbsp of sesame seed, salt, pepper, raw brown sugar.

Place the tuna steak on a plate, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and raw brown sugar. Then pour the sesame seeds over the steak and press them onto the steak. Flip the tuna steak and repeat those steps. In a small frying pan, warm up the sesame oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is sizzling, add the tuna and cook it to your satisfaction. ( I love my tuna rare so I only cook it for maybe a minute on each side). Flip the steak and cook the same way.

Place the steak on a plate and let it rest while you are deglazing the pan. Take two plates and scoop a few tablespoons of the salsa on each plate. Cut the steak into very thin strips and lay those strips on top of the salsa. Pour the juice of the salsa ( you will need to have at least 1/3 cup of juice- if you don’t, use some bottle orange juice) into the warm frying pan and deglaze the pan. The juice will boil and as it does, scrape the bottom of the frying pan. The juice should become thicker. Drizzle that juice over the slices of tuna. ET voila;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Mashed Potatoes with a French Twist


I do not know if this applies to most German family, but potatoes are my husband’s favorite and if I am asking what he would like to eat , his answer would generally be potatoes with something else;-)

Well it was a bit late when I got home on Tuesday, and though my meal was planned, that of my beloved husband and children was not. No worry…. it was going to be quick. Sear some steaks for them and fix potatoes….mashed potatoes. So here I was fixing potatoes and as I was ready to set them on the table, Lisa, my daughter said: ” They are good but a bit tasteless…” which make me think that cheese would be a different addition, but what kind??? We had brie, lots of it ( we always some at our house;-) so here came this idea.

Ingredients for 4: 6 medium-sized potatoes, 3 cups of milk ( low-fat, whole milk or even heavy cream), 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/8 tsp of pepper, about 10 oz of brie cheese ( of which you will have removed the outer white layer) diced.

Peel the potatoes, and dice them in small cubes. Place them all in the round mold, add 1 tsp of water, a pinch of salt and close the round mold with the octogonal silpat. Microwave for 7 minutes. With a potato press, press the potatoes in a large bowl. Add the  milk or heavy cream, salt, pepper, and stir well. Add the diced brie and mix well. Serve at once. C’est tout!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Sauteed Scallops over a Bed of Brussels Sprout Stir Fry.


Besides sweet potatoes, winter vegetables are not as attractive to my children are as the summer ones. As a result I have to find ways to cook them in various ways. Today I was trying to use those extra brussels sprouts that no one wanted to eat.

Ingredients for 2: 1/4 white sweet onion cut thinly, 3 strip of bacon cut in thin strips. about 20 brussels ( or have a small bag), 6-8 fresh scallops, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup of white wine.

Clean the brussels sprouts by cutting the end and peeling the first layers of leaves. Place then in a bowl of water to rinse them. Remove them from the water and cut them in half. Place them in the round mold and cover the round mold with the octogonal silpat. Microwave for 3 minutes. Cut them in thin strips and set aside.

In a large frying pan, place the bacon and cook on medium-high until the fat is melting. When the fat is melting, add the diced onion and cook until the onions are becoming golden and soft. The bacon should still be soft. Add the diced brussels sprouts and saute them in the onion and bacon mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir. Add the wine and cook until the wine has evaporated. Empty the content of the pan in a large bowl and start cooking the scallops. In the same frying pan, add 1 tbsp of butter and cook at medium-high until it starts sizzling. When the butter is sizzling, add the scallops and cook them for 1 minute on each sides just enough to brown them. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. To serve, place the brussels sprouts stir fry on the plate and place the scallops a top the vegetables. How easy what that?!?!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Looking for a quick meal? Try La Truffade


Have you had the experience to taste a food or fare that was so good that the memory of it stayed with you throughout the years?!?! I have plenty of those. I will say, however, that being a big fervant of cheese, my favorite recipes are those that I tasted during one of my girl scout trip in the hills and volcanoes of Auvergne. My most favorite one was a dish called Aligot. It is a sort of mashed potato made with potato, cream and melted cheese. The cheese that is used is called “Cantal”. It is difficult to find it here, and even when you do, it is so expensive that it is never anything i can cook here in the States. This week-end however as I was shopping at Costco for various items I found “young Asiago”. The cheese reminded me so much of the Cantal that I purchased with the intention to make the recipe of Aligot. And so this evening, this is what i set up to cook. Except that I realized I had not bought any meats to accompany the potato dish so I changed my mind, and made another similar potato dish called Truffade. Unlike the Aligot, where the potato is mashed and mixed with cream and cheese, truffade is like a potato casserole where all the  ingredients are mixed to bake or cook together.

Ingredients for 3-4: 5 large potatoes, 1 big sweet white onion, 1 package of lean bacon uncooked but cut in thin strips and small slices, 2 cups of young asiago cheese diced in small cubes, salt, pepper and fresh or dry parsley.

Peel the potatoes and cut them in small cubes. Place the potatoes in the large round mold. Add 1 tsp of water, a dash of salt, and cover the round mold with the octogonal silpat. Cook in the microwave for 8 minutes. Meanwhile in a large saute pan, cook the bacon. When the bacon is starting to cook and the fat is starting to melt, add the diced onion. Cook both on medium heat until the onion is becoming soft and golden. Drain the fat off the pan, and empty the bacon and the onions in the round mold. Season the potatoes with 1/4 tsp of salt. 1/8 tsp of pepper and 1 tsp of parsley. Toss. Add the diced cheese and mix well. Place in a warm oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Serve with a salad.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Quick and Healthy Sweet Potato Chips


I subscribe to many blogs. Most of them are either from France or from Canada. I think my attraction to those blogs is the fact that 1. they speak French, 2. a lot of the recipes are avant-garde so they can be inspiring though I never hardly cook what they propose because their recipes are time consuming. The recipe I am presenting today though is from the Blog called Assiettes Gourmandes. The author tells us her about her culinary experiences all over France and sometimes offer recipes she tasted. The recipe she proposed was intriguing and so quick that I had to try it.

Ingredients: sweet potatoes, beets, parnips, potatoes, olive oil, sea salt.

With a potato peeler or a mandoline, cut thin strip of vegetables. Place those strips on a silpat and with a pastry brush, coat each slice with olive oil. Cook in the micro-wave on high for 3-5 minutes. The recipe suggested 3 minutes on each sides but I had to cook mine 5 minutes. The vegetable should become dry and lose its moisture but should not burn or get any dar coloration. Remove the silpat from the microwave. Flip the vegetables and coat them with olive oil again. Cook on high for 3-5 minutes. Remove the silpat from the microwave and let the vegetables dry out and cool for a few minutes. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle some sea salt. Eat!! if you have too many, store them in a plastic bag so they will not soften up. Et voila!!!

Those chips were excellent to snack on, and so much heathier and cheaper than the store bought. You ought to try.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Pistachio and Orange Peel Coated Chicken with Roasted Brocoli


This week as I was refilling some of my spices at the Fresh Market, I saw a bag labeled “Granulated Orange Peel” and thought it could become a great coating for chicken. And this is what became my dinner.

Ingredients for 2 : 2 chicken breasts, (1/4 cup of pistachio, 1 tsp of granulated orange peel, 1 tbsp of orange juice, 1 tbsp of maple, 1/16 tsp of salt, 1/32 tsp of pepper ) per chicken breast. 1 1/4 cup of chicken broth, 1/4 cup of mandarin orange, 1/4 cup of white wine, 1 tsp of flour,

In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup of pistachio, 1 tsp of granulated orange peel, 1 tbsp of orange juice, 1 tbsp of maple, 1/16 tsp of salt, 1/32 tsp of pepper per breast and mix well. Place the chicken over a silpat or a flexipan and cover the chicken breast with this mixture. Cook in a warm oven for 13-15 minutes. Once it has cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes for the chicken to reabsorbe all the juices. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce that you may add over the chicken. In a small saucepan melt 1 tbsp of butter and when the butter has melted add 1 tsp of flour. Make a roux ( cook until the flour is turning golden brown), throw in 1/4 cup of mandarin juice, 1/4 cup of white wine, 1/4 cup of chicken broth and stir over medium low temperature until it is thickening. Add a dash of salt and pepper, 1 tbsp of maple and stir. Drizzle over the chicken.

I serve my chicken with oven-roasted brocoli and apple ( recipe to follow)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Fancy Easy Napoleon: Blackberry Napoleon


People are uncomfortable using ingredients, or food that they are not familiar with. Fillo dough is one of them. When I use this medium in my cooking classes, most attendees are either very unfamiliar with it, or confide that they are too scared to use it. Fillo dough is very easy to use and make delicious and beautiful fares. In one of my previous post, I presented you a fat-free Strawberry Napoleon. It was so easy to make and a delight to eat. In this recipe I am making a Napoleon again but used blackberry because they offer a beautiful contrast against the whipped cream , but you can use any fruit your heart desires;-)

Ingredients for 4: I pack of the fillo dough, 1 box of blackberry ( about 8 oz), 4 tbsp of melted butter, granulated sugar, 1 1/2 of heavy cream, 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

Take one of the pack out of the package of the fillo dough and place the other one back into the freezer. Unroll the fillo dough out on the roulpat and cut a series of 2.5 inches circles.You will need to count the sheets of fillo dough and cut as many circles as you need.  You will need 12 sheets or circles per person. Divide those circles in series of two sheets. With a pastry brush, spread the melted butter on each one of them and stack them with another 2 sheet circles. Sprinkle some granulated sugar. Place them on the silpat and cook those stacks at 410 for 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the whipped cream. Place the cream in a mixer, 2 tbsp of sugar and the vanilla extract and whip the cream at medium low-speed and whip until the cream, is forming soft peaks. Set aside. Remove the circles from the oven and let them cool completely before assembling them.

To prepare the Napoleon, place one circle on a plate spoon about 2 tbsp of whipped cream and place the blackberries all over the whipped cream . Place another circle and repeat. Place another circle and sprinkle some granulated sugar and squirt a bit of whipped cream for decoration. Et voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Poached Sea Bass with Coconut Reduction


Meaty white fish are my favorite. Unfortunateley they are hard to find. So I cannot tell you how happy I was to see Sea Bass at the Fresh Market tonite:-)

I wanted it poached, with fresh vegetables and a light sauce. To tell you the truth, I did not really want to poach it in broth as most poach recipes called for so I thought of using my Demarle Cookware to get the same result. The recipe today was inspired by a recipe from Guy Fieri that was featured on the foodnetwork called Asian-Style Baked Mahi Mahi.

For two people, you will need the following ingredients: 1 large size sea bass piece ( about 1/2 lb or 8 oz. ), 1 cup of fresh snow peas, half of a red bell-pepper sliced thinly, 2 carrots peeled and sliced into small coins, 1/4 cup of coconut milk, 1/4 cup of chicken or vegetable broth, 1 tsp of fish sauce, 1/16 tsp of salt, 1/32 tsp of pepper, 1 tbsp of fresh or dry basil, 1 inch of fresh ginger grated, 1 large garlic clove pressed.

Mix all the ingredients mentioned above except for the vegetables and for the fish. Place the fish in this mixture and let it marinade for at least 30 minutes. After that time has elapsed, place the vegetables in the round mold, drizzle  3 tbsp of the marinade on top of the vegetables. Cover the round mold with the octogonal silpat and microwave for 2 minutes. Remove the round mold from the microwave, open it and place the fish atop the vegetables. Cover the round mold with the octogonal again and cook in a warm oven at 35o for 12-15 minutes. While the fish is cooking, empty the marinade in a small saucepan and bring to boil. When the mixture has come to boil, lower the temperature and let it simmer until the sauce reduces to half. To serve, place the vegetables on the plate. Place the fish atop of the vegetables and drizzle some of that sauce over the fish ( or not. The fish is great without the sauce, and if you are looking to cut down calories, then eat it without;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!