Bouchon de Cauliflower


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As a child, I remembered staying hours at a table to finish my vegetables. I hated peas. Especially the ones that I called “facon  grand-mere”. If  you grew up in France, you would be able to recall those peas I am talking about, the ones cooked with sauteed onion, and maybe lettuce. It sounds disgusting, but now that I am adult, I love those peas.

Do you have one of those picky eaters  at your house???

Though I was not a fan of vegetables, because they were often, just steamed and seasoned with salt and pepper,  I liked cauliflower. I liked them because my mom would make a casserole like dish. It included a white sauce ( also called bechamel sauce) and a lot of swiss cheese. I guess yon can say that it was a healthier version of broccoli and velvetta.

I wish my mom had found ways to disguise the other vegetables I hate so much;-)

Today I would like to share with you a retake of the Cauliflower Béchamel Dish if you will. It is easy to make, yummy, and can be served as an appetizer. Today I used cauliflower, but you coud use any other vegetables to hide;-)

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Ingredients for 20 bouchons, or 20 bites:

  • 250 gr. or about 1 cup of cauliflower ( or any other vegetables)
  • 20 gr.  or about 1/8 cup of parmesan
  • 30 gr.  or about 1/3 cup of swiss cheese
  • 30 gr.  or  2 tbsp of flour
  • 20 cl or 7 oz of milk
  • 20 cl or about 7 oz. of cream
  • 2 eggs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • camembert or Brie
  1. Steam the vegetable so that it will be soft enough to mash. Of course you can do this however you wish. At my house, fan of the Demarle products, I like to use my large round mold. I place the vegetable in the large round mold. I cover the mold with the octogonal silpat, and steam the vegetables for 3minutes.IMG_1256
  2. With a fork mash the vegetable, here the cauliflower.IMG_1257
  3. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.IMG_1258
  4. Season with salt and pepper so that they will be to your liking. A dash of each will be enough though.
  5. Place the mini muffin tray on a perforated sheet. If using regular metalware, do not forget to spray the muffin tray with lots of oil so that the cauliflower bites will not stick. No need to do this with the demarle cookware.
  6. Cut little squares of brie, or camembert of about 1/2 inch or 1/5 cm and place them in the opening of each mini muffin.IMG_1260
  7. Pour the mixture over brie.
  8. Cook in a warm oven at 400 for 15-20 minutes.IMG_1261IMG_1262
  9. ENJOY!!!IMG_1263

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Cauliflower Bouchons

  • Servings: 10 people
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 20 bouchons, or 20 bites:

  • 250 gr. or about 1 cup of cauliflower ( or any other vegetables)
  • 20 gr. or about 1/8 cup of parmesan
  • 30 gr. or about 1/3 cup of swiss cheese
  • 30 gr. or 2 tbsp of flour
  • 20 cl or 7 oz of milk
  • 20 cl or about 7 oz. of cream
  • 2 eggs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • camembert or Brie
  1. Steam the vegetable so that it will be soft enough to mash. Of course you can do this however you wish. At my house, fan of the Demarle products, I like to use my large round mold. I place the vegetable in the large round mold. I cover the mold with the octogonal silpat, and steam the vegetables for 3minutes.
  2. With a fork mash the vegetable, here the cauliflower.
  3. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper so that they will be to your liking. A dash of each will be enough though.
  5. Place the mini muffin tray on a perforated sheet. If using regular metalware, do not forget to spray the muffin tray with lots of oil so that the cauliflower bites will not stick. No need to do this with the demarle cookware.
  6. Cut little squares of brie, or camembert of about 1/2 inch or 1/5 cm and place them in the opening of each mini muffin.
  7. Pour the mixture over brie. the in a mini muffin
  8. Cook in a warm oven at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Mint Chocolate Pie, for PI Day


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Some of you probably know that I teach school in my spare time;-) Yes, I have a job, a real job that helps me pay my bills;-) I teach French to children aged 5 to 14. I love it!!! Well this week, has certainly been an interesting week with some of my students talking about  Pi day. Every time they came to my room, they kept asking if I knew that Friday was Pi Day, and telling me how crazy it would be. I remembered that when my children were in Middle school, they had a huge celebration at the end of their Pi Unit and were invited to bring in pies to share….Friday turned out to be a normal day, I was worried that they would be crazy coming to my class after eating pies, but the day went unnoticed;-) Yeah!!!

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I did not really paid attention to that Pi Day until this morning, when I looked at all the e-mails that mentioned this historical moment???

So I looked it up…

Did you know that this year March 14 is a very special Pi Day, become it only comes once in a century.

Why, because the number Pi is 3.141592653589793. And today being the 14th of March 2015 at 9:26 and 53 is closer to that number;-)

So what to do on this special day, well of course we need to bake some forms of pie, since we are celebrating the first five digits in the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

In this special day, I will share with you a fun, easy recipe that are to please the little and the big ones: Chocolate Mint Pies.

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Ingredients for 30-32 Medium Sized Tartlets

  • 5 oz. of bitter-sweet chocolate Chips ( I used Ghiradhelli)
  • 5 oz. of Andes Chocolate Chips
  • 5 oz. of Heavy cream
  • 1 pack of sugar cookie dough ( I used Pillsbury’s)
  1. I guess you can use a mini muffin pan, but I used the Demarle Medium Tartlet Silpain  that I placed on a medium perforated sheet for even cooking. The dough does not stick and makes a beautiful finish when you use the silpain;-). IMG_1330
  2. Cut the sugar cookie dough with a sharp knife in rounds of about 1/6 to 1/4 of an inch.IMG_1322
  3. Place each round in each tartlet opening, and press them down gently. If you want to use the whole log of sugar cookie, you will need to make two batches. IMG_1324
  4. Cook the cookie dough at 400 for 7 minutes. IMG_1327
  5. When the cookie dough is baked, remove the pan from the oven, and with a very narrow shot glass, or a shaper press the dough down so you will have  a perfectly shaped and deep pie shell. IMG_1328IMG_1329
  6. Let the pie shells cool down at room temperature.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the filling which is a sort of ganache. In a small bowl, place the chocolate chips and the andes chips.IMG_1323
  8. Warm the cream either over the stove top, or in the microwave until it boils.  I warmed mine up in the microwave because it only takes 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
  9. When the cream is hot, pour it over the chocolate chips, but DO NOT STIR!! IMG_1325The chocolate chips will need to melt on their own. After 1 minute, start stirring either with a fork or a small whisk and stir until it becomes an even smooth texture. If you still see a few grains or the ganache is not completely smooth, warm it up over a bath of boiling water for a few minutes, or back in the microwave for 30 seconds. IMG_1326
  10. Pour the ganache into a ziploc bag, cut the corner and carefully fill the pies.
  11. Place the pies in the fridge to cool and for the chocolate ganache to take. IMG_1331
  12. When they are completely cold, put a dab of frosting into a small zilpoc bag and decorate to make the Pi Sign. Et Voila!!! Yum, easy ;-)
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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chocolate Mint Pi

  • Servings: 10 people
  • Time: 7 minutes
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 30-32 Medium Sized Tartlets

  • 5 oz. of bitter sweet chocolate Chips ( I used Ghiradhelli)
  • 5 oz. of Andes Chocolate Chips
  • 5 oz. of Heavy cream
  • 1 pack of sugar cookie dough ( I used Pillsbury’s)
  1. I guess you can use a mini muffin pan, but I used the Demarle Medium Tartlet Silpain. The dough does not stick and makes a beautiful finish when you use the silpain;-).
  2. Cut the sugar cookie dough with a sharp knife in rounds of about 1/6 to 1/4 of an inch. Place each round in each tartlet opening, and press them down gently. If you want to use the whole log of sugar cookie, you will need to make two batches.
  3. Cook the cookie dough at 400 for 7 minutes.
  4. When the cookie dough is baked, remove the pan from the oven, and with a very narrow shot glass, or a shaper, press the dough down so you will have a perfectly shaped and deep pie shell.
  5. Let the pie shells cool down at room temperature.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the filling which is a sort of ganache. In a small bowl, place the chocolate chips and the andes chips. Warm the cream either over the stove top, or in the microwave until it boils. I warmed mine up in the microwave because it only takes 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
  7. When the cream is hot, pour it over the chocolate chips, but DO NOT STIR!! The chocolate chips will need to melt on their own. After 1 minute, start stirring either with a fork or a small whisk and stir until it becomes an even smooth texture. If you still see a few grains or the ganache is not completely smooth, warm it up over a bath of boiling water for a few minutes, or back in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  8. Pour the ganache into a ziploc bag, cut the corner and carefully fill the pies.
  9. Place the pies in the fridge to cool and for the chocolate ganache to take.
  10. When they are completely cold, put a dab of frosting into a small zilpoc bag and decorate to make the Pi Sign. Et Voila!!! Yum, easy ;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 If you like to see, or read this recipe, please share. Merci Beaucoup!!!

Cauliflower Bites


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Winter vegetables are very limited. There is not much more besides  roots, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. Of course, I could be eating all that my stores offer ( which is everything), but as a French person, I believe it is best to eat fruit and vegetables that are in season.

I am not fan of cabbage, and my family do not like carrots.  As the result, I often cook brocoli and cauliflower in the winter time. It is not a problem because I like them both.

You  can do so many things with both vegetables! You can roast, puree, steam, saute them,make soups.. So many things in fact that that if you were to open my fridge at any point in the winter, you would find both;-).

Well, when I looked in the fridge today, I realized that I had two bags of cauliflower. Since I had already made a soup and a casserole a few days ago, I did not want to serve them again as such. I had been meaning to make that cauliflower pizza that has been going around on faceboook, but time has been so scarce lately that I have not had time to make it and I was not really in the mood for pizza…

Anyway, I was adamant about making something with my cauliflower this evening. I had seen the recipe from DamDelicious , that I decided that I was going to give it a try this evening. Except I was going to make it somewhat  healthier;-)) and somewhat less messy and faster.

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Here we go:

Ingredients for 6-8 people:

  • 3/4 bag of cauliflower from Costco, or 1 1/2 lbs of cauliflower heads
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan
  • 1/2 cup of italian bread crumbs
  • a spicy seasoning of your choice, I used Zesty Mediterranean from Demarle

Dill Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 tsp of dill seasoning from Demarle
  • 2 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp of sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a small bowl, place the eggs and mix them well.IMG_1296
    In another bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, the parmesan and the zesty Mediterranean Spice from Demarle. Set aside.IMG_1297
  2. Either cut the cauliflower head into small florets or buy the florets, That is what I did.
  3. Dip the florets into the egg,IMG_1298
  4. Then into the parmesan and place them onto the silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet. IMG_1299
  5. Roast at 425 for 10 minutes. You can eat as such, they are quite yummy, or you can make a dipping sauce.IMG_1301IMG_1304IMG_1306
  6. Mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce together, and enjoy with our reservation. Miami, miam;-)IMG_1307

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking !!!

Cauliflower Bites

  • Servings: 6-8 people
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print
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Ingredients for 6-8 people:

  • 3/4 bag of cauliflower from Costco, or 1 1/2 lbs of cauliflower heads
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan
  • 1/2 cup of italian bread crumbs
  • a spicy seasoning of your choice, I used Zesty Mediterranean from Demarle

Dill Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 tsp of dill seasoning from Demarle
  • 2 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp of sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a small bowl, place the eggs and mix them well. In another bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, the parmesan and the zesty Mediterranean Spice from Demarle. Set aside.
  2. Either cut the cauliflower head into small florets or buy the florets, That is what I did.
  3. Dip the florets into the egg, then into the parmesan and place them onto the silpat.
  4. Roast at 425 for 10 minutes. You can eat as such, they are quite yummy, or you can make a dipping sauce.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy with our reservation. Miami, miam;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking !!!

If you like what you read or see, please share;-) Merci beaucoup!!!

Coconut Covered Shrimps


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If you live around me, you know that i offer cooking classes all the times. Cooking classes to novice chefs and to more advanced cooks. I try to offer various dinner ideas so as to appeal to everyone. It can be learning to cook healthy quick dinner ideas, or to perfect a technique, or simply to learn a style of cooking that one is not familiar with. No matter the audience, no matter the menu, I am having fun because I am in a kitchen playing and teaching.

If you go to this link, you will be able to view the times and menu of each cooking classes though this month, my availability has been limited due several elements.

Any way, at one of my latest cooking classes, we focused on Asian Cooking. On the menu, we had Coconut Covered Shrimps, Curry and Mint Chicken Kebabs, Organo Salmon Spring Rolls, and Sushi.

Today I would like to offer you the recipe of coconut covered shrimps. It is easy, fast, delicious, very inexpensive and most likely to please everyone at your house little and big.

Ingredients to make 50 coconut covered shrimps:

  • 1 bag of uncooked frozen shrimps from Costco ( I like to shop there, the products are great quality, and very inexpensive compared to many other grocery store. Of course, you would not have to fix the whole bag)
  • 1 bag of 14 oz of sweetened coconut flakes
  • 3 eggs 
  • 2 cups of flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 jars of sweet and sour ( unless you want to make your very own).
  1. Defrost the amount of shrimps you wish to use. I had a whole crowd, so we used the whole bag.
  2. Remove the tail of each shrimp.
  3. Mount the shrimp on a small wooden skewer. Set aside, ad prepare your food station.IMG_1066
  4. In a large bowl, place 2 cups of flour. In another bowl, beat the 4 eggs with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 of pepper. Mix well. And in another bowl, empty the coconut flakes.
  5. Dip the shrimps in the flour, then in the egg mixture, then in the coconut and place them onto the large silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet.  You will need 3 large silpats to cook them all.IMG_1040
  6. Turn the oven to 400, and when the oven has reached its temperature, spray some olive oil, or coconut oil over the shrimps.
  7. Bake the shrimps for 8 to 10 minutes or until the shrimps have turned pinkish and the coconut has become a golden brown.IMG_1042
  8. Eat them as they come out of the oven with a bit of sweet and sour sauce. Yum!!! You will see that it is hard to stop at a couple;-)IMG_1071

Easy, fast, healthy and delicious, my motto!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Coconut Covered Shrimps

  • Servings: 8-10 people
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients to make 50 coconut covered shrimps:

  • 1 bag of uncooked frozen shrimps from Costco ( I like to shop there, the products are great quality, and very inexpensive compared to many other grocery store. Of course, you would not have to fix the whole bag)
  • 1 bag of 14 oz of sweetened coconut flakes
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 jars of sweet and sour ( unless you want to make your very own).

 

  1. Defrost the amount of shrimps you wish to use. I had a whole crowd, so we used the whole bag.
  2. Remove the tail of each shrimp.
  3. Mount the shrimp on a small wooden skewer. Set aside, ad prepare your food station.
  4. In a large bowl, place 2 cups of flour. In another bowl, beat the 4 eggs with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 of pepper. Mix well. And in another bowl, empty the coconut flakes.
  5. Dip the shrimps in the flour, then in the egg mixture, then in the coconut and place them onto the large silpat that you would have place d on a large perforated sheet. You will need 3 large silpats to cook them all.
  6. Turn the oven to 400, and when the oven has reached its temperature, spray some olive oil, or coconut oil over the shrimps.
  7. Bake the shrimps for 8 to 10 minutes or until the shrimps have turned pinkish and the coconut has become a golden brown.
  8. Eat them as they come out of the oven with a bit of sweet and sour sauce. Yum!!! You will see that it is hard to stop at a couple;-)

Easy, fast, healthy and delicious, my motto!!!

 

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

If you like what you read and see, please share. Merci Beaucoup!!!

Meyer Lemon Granita


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Meyer lemon is my top favorite fruit. It is hard to explain what a Meyer lemon is, other that it has an exceptional taste. If I can describe it, it smells and tastes a bit like a mix of lemon and mandarin: tangy, subtle …yummy!!!

I am not fan of lemon, but love, love, love Meyer lemon. The problem is that they are very very seasonal and it can be difficult to find them. In fact, in our little town, only one grocery store carry them.

So no need to say that when they arrive on the stand, I purchase them … sometimes not even knowing what I am going to do with them.

Well, this time around I bought a few dozens and decided to make a lemon granita. I could have made sorbets but was too lazy to take out my ice cream machine.

For some of you who do no know what is the difference between a sorbet and a granita.

Here is the explanation:

A granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings – no dairy is involved. Basic granita begins with a boiled sugar syrup which is added into a fruit juice. The granita is then placed in the freezer in a shallow pan and scraped occasionally with a fork which produces a course texture.

A sorbet, on the other hand, is a frozen dessert made from sugar, water and fruit juice or fruit puree, sometimes chocolate, and sometimes wine, and/or liqueur.* Sorbet also has no dairy ingredients, but is frozen in an ice cream freezer for a smoother texture .

So depending which freezing process you will be using,, you will end up with a granita or a sorbet. Whichever, it is delicious.

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Ingredients for 4 cups of Meyer Lemon Sorbet or Granita.

  • 2 cups of Meyer Lemon Juice ( which comes from about  11 lemons)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of Meyer Lemon zest
  1. In a small saucepan, cook the water and the sugar to make a syrup.photo 2
  2. Meanwhile zest about 2 lemons to get the zest that you need. Set aside.
  3. Also juice all the lemons so that you will have about 2 cups of fresh juice.
  4. Add the lemon juice and the zest to the syrup and mix well.
  5. Either use an ice-cream maker to make the sorbet according to the machine , or fill a container with the mixture and place the container into the freezer so that it will freeze.
  6. If you are making a granita, place the container in the freezer for several hours ( 5 hours at least).photo 3
  7. With the spoon, scrape the frozen mixture. You will be making the granita. photo 4
  8. Serve as a dessert, or in between meals to help with cleansing, and digestion.
  9. Easy, Yummy and delicious:-)photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Meyer Lemon Granita

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 12 hours
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print
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Ingredients for 4 cups of Meyer Lemon Granita.

  • 2 cups of Meyer Lemon Juice ( which comes from about 11 lemons)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of Meyer Lemon zest
    1. In a small saucepan, cook the water and the sugar to make a syrup.
    2. Meanwhile zest about 2 lemons to get the zest that you need. Set aside.
    3. Also juice all the lemons so that you will have about 2 cups of fresh juice.
    4. Add the lemon juice and the zest to the syrup and mix well.
    5. Either use an ice-cream maker to make the sorbet according to the machine , or fill a container with the mixture and place the container into the freezer so that it will freeze.
    6. If you are making a granita, place the container in the freezer for several hours ( 5 hours at least).
    7. With the spoon, scrape the frozen mixture. You will be making the granita.
    8. Serve as a dessert, or in between meals to help with cleansing, and digestion. Eh voila,  Easy, Yummy and delicious!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Homemade Bounty


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In the evening, after dinner, my husband likes to fix himself a cup of coffee, and sit on his sofa to watch a movie. He also likes to eat “a betthupfer” ( evening treat)  while watching his movie. It can be an ice-cream, a dessert that I made, a chocolate bar, or even a bag of those miniature candy bars ( Milkie way, Twix, Almond joy).

As I was scrolling through the internet in search of ideas for my cooking classes, I came across the Almond Joy, or Bounty recipe. It looked so easy that, of course, i could not pass it. So Here it is:

For About 30 small bounty:

  • 1 can of condensed Milk
  • 300 gr. of coconut flakes
  • Chocolate Chips
  1. In a large bowl mix the coconut flakes and the condensed milk, and mix well.photo 1
  2. With a small spoon, pick a tablespoon of that mixture and mold it into a small oval that you will place on the silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet. Continue until all has been used.photo 1
  3. Place them into the freezer to freeze for a minimum of an hour.
  4. When the coconut is hard, place the chocolate into a microwable bowl and cook it for 90 seconds. Stir with a fork. If needed, cook for another 30 seconds or until the chocolate is liquid.
  5. Place a coconut oval onto a fork and dip it into the melted chocolate. Place the chocolate covered coconut onto the silpat again. Place the tray back into the freezer so that the chocolate will cure.

Or

  1. With a pastry brush, “paint” the inside of the mold of your choice. I used two trays: the oval tray and the pop tray. Place the tray into the fridge, or freezer to cure the chocolate.photo
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Mix together the coconut flakes and the condensed milk and fill the cavities of the tray. photo 2
  3. Place the tray back into the freezer. Let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour or until the coconut is frozen.
  4. With the pastry brush, brush the top of the coconut, and voila!!!photo 3
  5. Cheap Home-made Bounty. Yummm!!! You try!photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Oven Roasted Asparagus with Sesame Seeds


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Asparagus are one of those vegetables that can be seasoned so many ways to accomodate your entree. Since I was serving an Asian flavored dinner, I thought to flavor my aspargus with toasted sesame seed oil, and sesame seeds. Yum, and fast!

Ingredients for 4:

  • 12-16 asparagus
  • 1 tsp  of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 picnh of pepper
  • 1 tsp of sesame seeds
  1. Trim the aspargus by breaking the ends.
  2. Then place then into a bowl. Drizzle the oil over the asparagus, and with your fingers, turn the asparagus inside the bowl so as to coat them well.
  3. Place the asparagus onto a small silpat that you would have placed onto a small perforated sheet.photo 1
  4. Cook them into the oven for 3 minutes if very tiny, 5 minutes if normal size, and 7-8 minutes if larger than your thumb. Serve with your entree. Yummy!!! Crunchy! Un vrai delice.photo 4

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!