Meyer Lemon and Poppy Seed Pound Cake


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One of my customer asked if my mold would hold a pound cake and how long it would take for it to bake. Since I am not one that bakes a lot of pound cakes, i decided to fix a few so as to check those details and also to find the best recipe ever. I will say that my favorite pound cake comes from the blog page entitled Plain Chicken. I did change a few things. I needed to reduce the quantities and I substituted butter to the shortening she had listed in the recipe ( not fan of this). Anyway, try it, it is delicious;-)

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Ingredients for one Pound cake:

  • 1 cup or 2 sticks of butter
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp or 10 gr. of baking powder
  • 2/4 tsp of salt
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 4 tbsp of lemon juice or about the juice of one entire lemon
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 4 tbsp of poppy seeds
  1. Turn the oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients ( flour, salt, baking powder and poppy seeds) and set aside.
  3. In a mixer, place the butter and the sugar and beat until it has doubled in size and is very fluffy.photo 1
  4. Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the milk. Mix well in between each addition.
  5. Mix in the lemon zest and the lemon juice.photo 2
  6. Pour in the mold of your choice. I chose to use the sunshine mold. Make sure that you leave an inch off the top so that the cake will not overflow. 
  7. Bake in the oven at 350 for 55 minutes ( you may cook it a little more times if you are using a tin or a glass bakeware. Demarle bakeware seems to bake things much quicker. Also all oven cook at different temperature so you may need to check for doneness with a toothpick.
  8. Eat as such, or with sides of your choice;-) Yumm….

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Meyer Lemon and Poppy Seed Pound Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 75 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for one Pound cake:

  • 1 cup or 2 sticks of butter
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp or 10 gr. of baking powder
  • 2/4 tsp of salt
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 4 tbsp of lemon juice or about the juice of one entire lemon
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 4 tbsp of poppy seeds
  1. Turn the oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients ( flour, salt, baking powder and poppy seeds) and set aside.
  3. In a mixer, place the butter and the sugar and beat until it has doubled in size and is very fluffy.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the milk. Mix well in between each addition.
  5. Mix in the lemon zest and the lemon juice.
  6. Pour in the mold of your choice. I chose to use the sunflower mold. Make sure that you leave an inch off the top so that the cake will not overflow.
  7. Bake in the oven at 350 for 55 minutes ( you may cook it a little more times if you are using a tin or a glass bakeware. Demarle bakeware seems to bake things much quicker. Also all oven cook at different temperature so you may need to check for doneness with a toothpick.
  8. Eat as such, or with sides of your choice;-) Yumm….

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Kartofel Salat or German Potato Salad Made Easy


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If you have attended one of my cooking class or read my blog, you will know that I often joke about my German husband liking his potatoes so much. He is well aware so when this week-end he heard on the Today’s Show that Potatoes were regarded as a super food and that it was better to eat one medium baked potato than 2 bananas, he teased, teased and teased me some more.
What he failed to mention, however, that those potatoes needed to be eaten without additional ingredients to have the benefits mentioned ( hard to do!!!), but I guess i need to let him enjoy his bragging rights for a while;-). Because I was unable to find the link to the video, I will share with you an article that I found while looking for it. Very interesting;-). The article entitled “The Ultimate Wonder Food” was published on The Daily Mail almost a year ago.

In his honor, I will share with you one of his favorite potato recipe: The German Salad, or also called Kartofelt Salat made the easy way.

Ingredients for 6 people:

  • 6 medium sized potatoes ( I like the Yukon Gold)
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • 1 small white onion chopped very thinly
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of white vinegar ( it will depend on your taste, personally I like to use 1/2 cup).
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of pepper
  • a bundle of fresh parsley chopped, or about 2-3 tbsp. of chopped parsley (optional)
  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until they are cooked, but firm or place them into the large round mold, place the octogonal silpat on the top of the mold and microwave them for 12-13 minutes ( it will depend on your microwave).photo 1
  2. When the potatoes are cooked, grab one with a kitchen towel, peel the skin and slice it thinly into a large bowl.photo 2
  3. Warm up 1 cup of broth and pour it over the potatoes.
  4. Then add the olive oil, the white vinegar and the chopped parsley and mix well.
  5. Let the salad sit for a good 15 minutes so that the potatoes will have a chance to absorb the dressing. Et voila!!! Simple, easy and almost as good as the original one cooked in water.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Kartofel Salat or German Potato Salad Made Easy

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 6 medium sized potatoes ( I like the Yukon Gold)
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • 1 small white onion chopped very thinly
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of white vinegar ( it will depend on your taste- personally I use 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp of pepper
  • a bundle of fresh parsley chopped, or about 2-3 tbsp of chopped parsley (optional)
  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until they are cooked, but firm or place them into the large round mold, place the octogonal silpat on the top of the mold and microwave them for 12-13 minutes ( it will depend on your microwave).
  2. When the potatoes are cooked, grab one with a kitchen towel, peel the skin and slice it thinly into a large bowl.
  3. Continue the process until you have used all the potatoes.
  4. Chop a medium sized onion and add it to the sliced potatoes.
  5. Warm up 1 cup of broth and pour it over the potatoes.
  6. Then add the olive oil, the white vinegar and the chopped parsley and mix well.
  7. Let the salad sit for a good 15 minutes so that the potatoes will have a chance to absorb the dressing. Et voila!!! Simple, easy and almost as good as the original one cooked in water.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

 

Steamed Rice


 

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Would you like to cook your rice in less than 15 minute mess free? I  have the solution. Use your round mold to steam your rice. You can flavor your rice any way your want, by adding any spice to the water, or by even substituting the water with broth, tomato juice, and even coconut milk.

Ingredients for 6 people:

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 4 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil, or butter
  1. Place the rice, water and salt into the large round mold. Place the round mold onto a plate. Cover the mold with the octogonal silpat and cook the rice for 13-15 minutes. It will depend on the rice that  you will use and the microwave as well. At 10 minutes, remove the octogonal and fluff up the rice. Add either a tbsp of olive oil, or butter and continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes making a total of 13-15 minutes. Easy and mess free!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Maple Syrup Flavored Brussells Sprouts



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My mom was a great person, and a great cook. What I hated about her, however, is that she believed we needed to eat a little bit of everything on the premises that all food brought various vitamins and nutrients. That is the reason why she served us many vegetables, and other food such as  liver  because it was good for us. For example, liver and spinach were good for iron, oranges for their vitamin B.  etc cetera…

I will tell you that even though she was a fabulous cook, I did not always like her cooking. One of the thing I really disliked as a child in fact was Brussels sprouts. They were bitter, smelled awful , and they were not gentle to my stomach.
It took me many years to cook them when I got married. I cannot remember exactly why I cooked them again. I think my husband liked them (in fact it is one of the very few vegetables he likes and will eat).
My children never liked them, but to follow the tradition, they had to eat them because  eating vegetables is good for you.

However it did not matter how often, or how different I served them. Both my children hated them, making faces with every bite they took.

What happened one day really came as a surprise. Lisa and I were grocery shopping one day, and I picked up a bag of Brussel Sprouts. I surely thought that if she was going to comment on my choice, she was going to scream why I would choose to pick them. But she did not. Instead of a statement of disgust, she actually inquired to see if they were for us, and when I told us that they were not, she gave a sigh, looked pitiful and said: Mom , can you get some for us. Really???? Had I heard right? really ??? I was shocked!!!
All I can say is that you she probably likes them because i am using bacon and maple to flavor them, and I am using my demarle mold to steam them which makes them so much better, and so much tastier!

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Ingredients for 4-6 people:

  • a bag of brussel sprouts ( about 12oz)
  • 2 tbsp of bacon bits from costco
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  1. Place the brussels sprouts in the sink filled with water and a tbsp of white vinegar.
  2. Cut the stem of the Brussel sprout, and peel the first and maybe the second leaf of the sprout. Repeat with each sprout.
  3. Cut each Brussel sprout in half, and place them into the round mold.
  4. Add the bacon bits. Place the octogonal silpat on top of the round mold to cover the round mold and place it in the microwave to cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile turn the oven to 425.image
  5. When the Brussels sprouts are cooked. Pour the maple syrup and the olive oil over the Brussel sprouts and stir.image
  6. Place a large silpat over a large perforated sheet and spread the Brussels sprouts over the silpat.image
  7. Place them into the oven and cook for another 8-10 minutes or until they are getting a golden color.
  8. Enjoy!!! I know my sweet daughter does. I hope that your family and children will enjoy them :-)image

Bon appetit and happy cooking!!!!

Le Marceau or Scrumptious Chocolate Cake


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I should have posted this dessert months ago, but time has been so scarce that it is seeing only the light of the day today. I know many of you have asked to get this recipe, so here it is;-) A Vos fourneaux mes chers amis!!!

On birthdays, we are expected to invite the whole family over to celebrate the event. I never understood why, but I have gone along this tradition ever since I have been married to my husband. So since I am to cook, and since we are celebrating someone special, i always always ask what my husband, son, or daughter wish to eat on their special day.

When my oldest child  Lisa  turned 18 this year, she requested the following : Beef Wellington, Macaroni and Cheese Appetizers, a chocolate dessert and anything in between. I figured the rest out making sure it would please her. I think we had macaroni and cheese appetizers bites, mini crab cakes, truffle flavored potatoes, green beans and a very very yummy dessert.

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She loves chocolate mousse and love decadent desserts like me so i thought i would bake a cake out of the wonderful book of Stephane Glacier called Le Marceau from hi s beautiful bool called Tartes, Gouters, and Entremets.

I adapted his recipe since it was designed to make 4 cakes, and not everything turns out the same with American ingredients and ovens.

Chocolate Cake:

  • 57 gr. of yolk
  • 50 gr. of sugar
  • 20 gr. of dark chocolate cocoa
  • 29 gr. of flour
  • 57 gr. of egg whites
  • 12 gr. of sugar
  • 20 gr. of butter

Praline Crunch:

  • 175 gr. of pralin ( recipe here).
  • 63 gr. of milk chocolate
  • 8 gr. of hazelnut oil to be found at the fresh market ( or any fancy grocery store)
  • 125 gr. of feuillantine ( very thin waffer from France, if you do not have any, you may replace with cigarette russes ( it will not be as good, but it will work).

Mousse au chocolat:

  • 20 gr. of water
  • 100 gr. of sugar
  • 67 gr. of yolk
  • 100 gr. of eggs
  • 235 gr. of chocolate ( preferably 65% cocoa (I like Ghiradhelli)
  • 340 gr. of heavy cream

Vanilla Syrup:

  • 125 gr. of water
  • 100 gr. of sugar
  • 2 gr. of vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 125 gr. of heavy cream
  • 100 gr. of Syrup ( 60 gr. of sugar, 40 gr. of water brought to boil)
  • 25 gr. of glucose or corn syrup
  • 300 gr. of dark chocolate chips such as bittersweet Ghiradhelli.

First we want to prepare the cake so that it will completely cold when we will assemble to cake.

  1. Beat the egg whites with 12 gr. of sugar until they are forming hard peaks. Set aside.
  2. Place the egg yolks in a kitchen mixer and beat the egg yolks with 50 gr. of sugar until they are foamy and have doubled in volume. Set aside.
  3. Place the butter in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or until it is completely melted. Set aside.
  4. Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture carefully so as not to deflate the egg whites.
  5. Mix the flour, cocoa and add it to the egg white/ egg yolk mixture.
  6. Add the rest of the egg whites to it.
  7. Slowly mix in the melted butter.
  8. Pour the batter into a medium round that you would have placed on a medium perforated sheet, and cook in a warm oven of 320 for 20-25 minutes (or until the tooth pick comes out clean).
  9. When the cake is cool. Unmold it from the round mold. photo 2
  10. Slice it in half and set it aside.photo 3
  11. Let’s do the syrup as well since it needs to cool: place 100 gr of sugar, 125 gr of water, and 1 tbsp of vanilla extract into a small saucepan and bring to boil. When it has, turn the heat off and set it  aside to cool.
  12.  Let’s prepare the Praline Crunch: Place the chocolate into a small bowl and microwave it for 60-90 seconds or until it is melted and fluid.
  13. Pour this chocolate into a kitchen mixer. Add the pralin, the hazelnut oil and the feuillantine and pulse a few seconds so as to make a paste like texture.
  14. Place the metal round onto a medium silpat that you would have placed on a perforated sheet.
  15. Pour the praline croustillant inside the metal round and spread it out evenly. Place it in the fridge to cure.
  16. Prepare the mousse: in a small saucepan place the water and 100 gr of sugar and cook over high temperature. Cook until you are starting to see large bubbles or your thermometer is showing 118c.photo 4
  17. Mix the egg yolks, and eggs into a kitchen mixer until they are becoming foamy. Slowly pour the syrup while you are still beating the eggs. And beat on high until the mixture has cooled down completely.
  18. Set aside.
  19. Meanwhile place the chocolate into a medium sized bowl and cook for 90 seconds to 2 minutes until it is melted and free if lumps. You may need to add 30 more seconds to get to the right consistency. Set aside.
  20. In another kitchen mixer, beat the cream into a soft peak whipped cream.
  21. With a spatula carefully fold in the whipped cream into the chocolate.
  22. Whisk the mixture to get an even mixture.
  23. Add the egg mixture and mix well until the mixture is homogeneous.
  24. Yeah, now it is time to assemble the cake!! With a spatula, spread a bit of the mousse atop of the pralin layer.
  25. Pour the syrup into a rectangular cookie sheet and soak up the cake with that syrup. You will need to either turn the cake, or pour some on top of the cake to make sure that the cake is throughly soaked with that syrup.
  26. Place one cake on top of the mousse. Press hard so as to glue the cake to the mousse.
  27. Top the cake with 1/2 of the mousse.
  28. Place the other half of the cake.
  29. Cover the cake with the remainder of the mousse.photo 2
  30. Place the cake in the freezer to set at least one hour.
  31. Meanwhile prepare the chocolate glaze. In a microwavable container, pour in the cream, syrup, and the glucose and cook for 1 minute in the microwave or until it is hot. Pour the mixture over the chocolate chips that you would have placed into a bowl. Let the mixture sit for a while to let the chocolate chips melt on their own.
  32. After 1-2 minutes, start stirring. Let the mixture cool a bit before glazing the cake.
  33. Place the cake onto a cooling rack, and pour the ganache over the cake.
  34. Collect the ganache that dripped down and pour it over the cake again. Be careful to only use “clean ganache” without cake debris so that the cake will look shiny and even.
  35. Place the cake into the fridge to cool.
  36. Decorate the cake as you wish. I used vanilla flavored macarons;-)photo 4
  37. Et voila!!! Miam , miam. Definitely one of the best cake I have ever made!!! Merci Stephane!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Easy Yummy Potato Cupcake


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If today casseroles are no longer part of our  dinner menu, they used to be more present on our table many years ago. Et oui ( well, yes), as a young bride and a young mother I tried to fix meals that were recommended by my friends and casseroles were often the suggestions i received. Some i loved and some I really did not… But all in all, they slowly disappeared from our menu because they were not really that healthy for us ( and me who slowly developed bad cholesterol), and my husband who never really was fond of  them anyway( the picky eater that he is).

Well the reason why i am presenting this recipe today is because i was trying to think of quick easy recipe for a cooking class I did last week for busy moms like me and an old potato recipe came to me.  You may have fixed this recipe 10 years ago. It was very popular then. It had shredded potato, a cream of mushroom, and sour cream.

I will tell you that I did not even thought to look for the recipe. I just thought to add whatever I thought would taste great so there it is;-)

Ingredients for about 15 large cupcakes size, or about 38 mini cupcakes:

  • 1 bag of shredded potato thawed out
  • 1 can of cream of onion ( from any brand)
  • 1 cup of sour cream or even ricotta
  • 1/2 cup of finely diced onion ( I used purple)
  • 1/2 cup of green onion
  • 2 cups of cheddar cheese ( one for the mixture and one for the topping)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper

( I think adding 1 cup of bacon bits would be great to this recipe also;-)

  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Place a large cupcake tray, or a  mini cupcake tray onto a medium perforated sheet and set aside.
  3. PLace all the ingredients into  a large bowl. image
  4. Mix everything together.image
  5. And fill the cupcakes to the top.
  6. Sprinkle some cheese over the top of each cupcake. Cook for 20-30 minutes.image
  7. Easy and Yummy ( and hardly anything to clean since those molds are non-stick!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Pork Pot Stickers


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I cook many things at home because I am very curious.  And if something appeals to me I want to try it. But because my husband does not stray much from his favorite ( potato, pasta and German food), it is difficult to cook new things for him. So when there is something out there, different that he likes, I will jump on it and make it;-)

I love Asian Food, I love sushi and Thai. Since he will not eat sushi, we occasionally eat thai food though we have to really twist his arms and help him turn left to the Thai Place, and not to the right to his favorite German restaurant Gerhard’s:-)

There he will order two things, Pork Pot stickers and Beef Pasta stir fry.

I have not tried to fix the latter because the pasta are quite different and I am not sure that i could duplicate that, but since Pot Stickers are well liked at our house, I decided one day that I would try my hands at it. And I will say that they are so easy to make, yummy, really cheap and and and…………they can be frozen to be used at a later time;-)

If you try to make them, give your self some times because they will make a large bunch and it takes a bit of times to make the “ravioli”.

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Ingredients for about 80:

  • 1 bag of brocoli slaw
  • 12 oz or 1 pack of ground chicken, turkey or pork(today I used pork).
  • 3 tbsp of fresh ginger grated
  • 2 garlic cloves pressed
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper
  • 1 pack of wontons

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tsbp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil
  1. Steam the brocoli slaw according to directions, (or place it into the large round mold, place the octogonal silpat on top of that and cook it for 5 minutes.) Let it cool.
  2. When the brocoli is cold, chop it.
  3. Place it into  a large bowl, add the meat, all the other ingredients and mix well.photo 1
  4. Place the rectangular roulpat on your counter and lay as many wonton on it as you can. Place about a teaspoon  of the meat mixture in the middle of each wonton.photo 2
  5. With a silicone brush, wet the sides of each wonton with water and close the wontons to make a triangle.photo 4photo 3
  6. If you do decide to freeze them, place them flat on a large silpat that you would place on a large perforated sheet. Make sure that they are not touching or they will stick to one another and it will be impossible to separate them as they are very fragile.  Freeze them as such and when they are frozen, place them in a ziploc bag to keep for later use. 
  7. Place a large frying pan on the stove, melt one tbsp of butter and when the butter is sizzling, place as many wontons as you can in the pan.
  8. Sear them for a minute and then turn them.photo 5
  9. Throw 1/4 cup of water over the pot stickers and place the lid over them. Cook them for 5 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile prepare the sauce that goes with it.photo
  11. Eat while they are warm. photo 1

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Kielbasa Sausage and Potato Soup


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My daughter is a senior and consequently is spending her very last year with us. BOO hoo… As a responsible adult, she has therefore been applying to various colleges over the US, some close and some not so close. In fact a bit further than we would like it to be.. but this is how life goes….

Because of a lack of time, we decided to visit a few colleges during this Christmas break. Well, I know most colleges are empty during this time but it is difficult to get some days off when you have a full time job. Any way, after offering a delicious Christmas dinner to my family on the 25th of December, we quickly cleaned everything, packed our suitcases to drive towards Florida on the 26th at 6:00 am. Though the timing was a bit hectic, we were happy to leave the Carolinas to find the sunny weather and warmth of Florida. Well, after being back I am happy to say that Lisa did not find a colleges that she fell “in love with” just yet, so may be she will not be going too too far. We can dream, right???

Well as we made our return back to the Carolinas yesterday, we also left the warmth of  Florida and found ourselves coming to an even colder state than we had left. It was 23 yesterday when we got home. BRRRR…

After a long drive, sitting more than 15 hours in the car, I was not really in the mood to cook dinner, but i was so cold that a soup really sounded appetizing. Well, after a long week of absence, I can say that little can be found in the fridge, and so i had to do with what I had: Potato and Kielbasa Sausage.

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Ingredients for a large pot of soup for 10 people:

  • 1 onion sliced thinly
  • 1 kielbasa sausage sliced thinly and cut in quarters
  • 8 medium sized potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 4 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  • 1-2 cup of cream
  1. Place the large pot on top of the stove and turn the heat to medium high. Add the butter and melt it.
  2. When the butter is sizzling, add the onions and saute them until they become translucent and golden.photo 1
  3. Add the sausages and saute them as well.
  4. Then add the potato cubes to the onion mixture and saute them as well for a few minutes until they become a bit golden.photo 2
  5. Pour in the broth and bring the mixture to boil. Lower the temperature to medium low and cook for at least 30 minutes or the potatoes are tender. Add salt, pepper and stir well. For a faster option, you may transfer the content of the pot into a large round mold, place the octogonal silpat on top to close it and cook the potatoes for 13 minutes. Then transfer the content back into the pot. Pour the broth over the potatoes, add salt, and pepper and bring it to boil. Lower the temperature and cook for 5 minutes.photo 1
  6. Add the cream and mill the mixture until it is smooth.photo
  7. If  you wish to have a soup free of lumps, you may sieve the soup through a fine sieve. I did not, and still enjoy it very much. Warm and cozy. Yum!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Transfer the content of the pot into the large round

Green Bean Casserole My French Way;-)


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The first time I was introduced to a casserole was about 15 years ago. My husband  and I had been invited to a dinner party/ dinner club and everyone had been invited to contribute to the meal by bringing something. I cannot recall what i brought, but what i recalled is the food that i tasted. Some was good, some average and some just below average. What i remembered is a green bean casserole. I had never seen green beans served other than steamed, sauteed in a pan, or served as a salad before that evening. I tasted it and though many people went on and on about it, i was really not impressed.

I will tell you that I never really ventured to make a green bean casserole until this week-end. In the october issue of Fine Cooking, there was a recipe that looked so yummy that I needed to try it. Except that i hardly followed the recipe because I did not have everything on hand.

Ingredients for a casserole of 8-10 people:

  • 2 lbs of green beans rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 leek 
  • 1 onion
  • 1 box of mushroom
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 cup of broth
  • 1 cup of milk/ or cream
  • salt and pepper
  1. Rinse the leeks, chop them very thinly and set them aside.
  2. Slice the onion in half. Slice 1 half in thin rings.photo 1
  3. Place them into a bowl, drizzle some flour, mix them well.photo 3
  4. Fry them a bit a time in a sauteed pan until they are golden brown. Set them aside.
  5. Chop the other half of the onion.
  6. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and cook it until it is sizzling. Add the onion and saute them until they are becoming a light yellow and are translucent. Add the leek and do the same.
  7. Then add the sliced mushrooms. Cook them until they are brown and the liquid has evaporated.
  8. Add the flour and stir well.IMG_2874
  9. Add the white wine and bring the mixture to boil.
  10. Lower the temperature, add the broth, the cream and cook until the mixture is thickening.IMG_2875
  11. Meanwhile, steam the beans for 4 minutes until they are cooked, but firm.
  12. I choose the use my round mold to steam the beans because it is much quicker: trim the green beans and place them into a large round bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Place the octogonal silpat on top to close it off and cook the beans in the microwave for 6 minutes.
  13. Drain the water, place the beans into a casserole dish. I chose my large round mold again because it is non-stick so no scrubbing;-) when it will be cleaning time.
  14. Pour the sauce over the beans, mix well and cook the “casserole” for 20-30 minutes.
  15. When it is time to serve the casserole, mix the casserole to distribute the sauce. Sprinkle the sauteed onions over the casserole and enjoy;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

French Green Bean Salad in Maple Dressing


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Do you have teenage children? I do, I have two. And though I hate that they are grown already and soon ready to leave me, i do enjoy the fact that they are driving on their own. It has truly been a blessing having my daughter drive herself and her brother to school and run errands for me. And run errands, she does… every day. The other day i sent her to get some French green beans for a cooking class and in spite of finding some, she bought some regular green beans, not quite the same taste, or texture. I cooked them the same way I would have my French green beans, but i was not too too satisfied. Any way, we cooked them, we ate them and there were gone.

Because I had another bag in the fridge, i decided to fix a salad with them. Growing up in France, we often had green beans salad with fresh sliced onions. I never was fond of it, that is why I decided that i could use cooked onions instead. I also added maple syrup to my vinaigrette to sweeten the taste of the vinaigrette = Bingo;-) I loved, loved, loved it. I hope that you will give it a try.

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Ingredients for 4-6:

  • 1 bag of green beans ( about 16 oz.)
  • 2 tbsp of Dijon Mustard ( or other strong mustard)
  • 2 tbsp of champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup ( good quality)
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 of a large onion to make 1/4 cup of caramelized onions.
  1. Drop 1-2 tbsp of olive oil into a large frying pan and heat it up until it is starting to sizzle. Add the chopped onion and saute it for a few minutes stirring constantly.
  2. Reduce the heat and continue cooking the onions until they are becoming an amber color. It will take at least 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper, stir and set aside to cool.
  3. Rinse the green beans, trim the ends and place them in the round mold. Place the octogonal silpat  on the large round mold. Place the round mold on the microwave and cook it for 4 minutes.
  4. When the beans are cooked, let them cool. Cut them in 1/2 inch.
  5. In  a large bowl, mix all the ingredients to make the dressing ( oil, olive oil, salt, pepper, maple, mustard). Add the cut beans and the caramelized onions and mix well.

photo 4

You may add 1/4 cup of toasted pecans, 1/4 cup of gorgonzola cheese crumbled, and 1/4 cup of cranberries ( that you would have previously soaked in water for 2 minutes) for extra flavor and for variation. 

photo 1

Well, i have to say that this salad was a winner at my table, even my son and husband went for second. Yeah!!!! And I have enjoyed it so much myself that I have been eating it for dinner and lunch these past 2 days.

I know that i will be serving it for Thanksgiving, easy fast and still yummy;-) I hope that you will give it a try.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!