Moules Marinieres or Mussels in a Wine Sauce


 

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Please forgive my very long absence. This has been an eventful spring and summer for me. Loss of my father-in-law, school letting out, my son graduating, then going on to college ( he went to a summer camp to get ready for what awaits him in the fall at the military academy that he will be going to.), and then vacation started…with the usual in and out of the house.

If you have not seen much recipes, this would be explained by two reasons. One because I had to place myself and my son on a diet to help him trim down the necessary pounds that he needed to lose to fit the requirement of his school.

And two because I have not been cooking as much, preferring eating carpaccio, ceviche and salads rather than cooked meals… though maybe I should have shared those?!?!

After a couple of weeks of training in Charleston, my son finally came yesterday for the week-end. And though he did not complain about the food, in fact called it “pretty good”, I wanted to cook something that he really like: Mussels.

My most favorite ones are the one cooked in curry and coconut milk- I  love Asian food so much and  all those exotic flavors that Curry Mussels count as one of my favorite.

But he wanted the traditional ones, so this is what I will share with you today. I may have already posted a recipe, but this one is slightly different.

Now, I do not know where you will be buying your mussels. I bought mine at Costco, because I do not live closed to the ocean, and Costco offer the best there. But shop the stores in your area, you may have better options.

Before cooking your mussels, you will have to do two things.

  1. rinse your mussels under running water and scrub them a but with a sponge or even a nail brush to remove the dirt, or the algue.
  2. discard any mussels that are wide opened. If they are slightly opened, touch the inside with a knife to see if they are alive. If the shell closes, then they are alive and good to eat. If they are not, then toss it in the trash.

Once you have done those two steps, you are ready to cook them. Now be careful, it only takes a few minutes to cook mussels ( 5-8 minutes at the very very most), so be sure that all your sides are ready before you start.

Generally, mussels are accompanied by French fries or pommes frites, but sautéed potatoes would be good as well. A Boston salad would be a great addition also to both.

Here we go…

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of Mussels
  • 1 onion sliced thinly,
  • 2 garlic cloves,
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley,
  • 4 tbsp of butter,
  • 1 cup of white wine,
  • 1 lemon,
  • 1 tbsp of flour,
  • salt and pepper to taste,
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream.

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  1. Clean up the onion and cut it in half. You can slice and dice the onion ver thinly with the knife, but these days I like to use my special tool from Demarle. It really chops my onion really fast, and I do not tear up.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter and saute the garlic, then add the onion.
  3. Add the mussels and stir until they start to open up. Cover for a few minutes, and cook the mussels until they open up. Stir repeatedly so as to make sure that all mussels open up.
  4. Then add the wine, salt, pepper,  1/8 cup of the fresh parsley, and bring to boil. Stir as well. Turn the heat down and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of butter, add flour and make a roux ( cook until the flour turns golden), add 2 cups of the mussel liquid, stir and cook for 2 minutes until it thickens.
  6. Then add the cream and continue stirring. Pour it all over the mussels and stir.
  7. Sprinkle the parsley over the mussels.
  8. Serve the mussels in soup bowls, and accompany them with Pommes-frites, and whatever else you wish to serve. If you wish to serve wine, a nice Riesling or a Golden Ale Beer is a great addition. Et voila. Enjoy!!!

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My Theodor was happy. So much so that he ate two large bowls . preferring to eat his mussels over his fries. I would say that that this dinner was a win;-))))

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Mussels in Parsley, Onion and Wine Sauce, or Moules Marinières

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 6-10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of Mussels
  • 1 onion sliced thinly,
  • 2 garlic cloves,
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley,
  • 4 tbsp of butter,
  • 1 cup of white wine,
  • 1 lemon,
  • 1 tbsp of flour,
  • salt and pepper to taste,
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
  1. Clean up the onion and cut it in half.
  2. You can slice and dice the onion ver thinly with the knife, but these days I like to use my special tool from Demarle. It really chops my onion really fast, and I do not tear up.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt butter and saute the garlic, then add the onion.
  4. Add the mussels and stir until they start to open up. Cover for a few minutes, and cook the mussels until they open up. Stir repeatedly so as to make sure that all mussels open up.
  5. Then add the wine, salt, pepper, 1/8 cup of the fresh parsley, and bring to boil. Stir as well. Turn the heat down and set aside.
  6. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of butter, add flour and make a roux ( cook until the flour turns golden), add 2 cups of the mussel liquid, stir and cook for 2 minutes until it thickens.
  7. Then add the cream and continue stirring. Pour it all over the mussels and stir.
  8. Sprinkle the parsley over the mussels.
  9. Serve the mussels in soup bowls, and accompany them with Pommes-frites, and whatever else you wish to serve. If you wish to serve wine, a nice Riesling or a Golden Ale Beer is a great addition. Et voila. Enjoy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

March 21st is Macaron Day!!!


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Did you know that today is National Macaron Day. For those of you who do not know what a Macaron is, Macaron is a scrumptious delicious bitesize dessert originally from France. Those sweet desserts   are made with egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar and ground almond. It is usually filled with buttercream, jam, or flavored ganache.

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It is hard to describe a macaron. People often  want to compare them to meringues because they are light like meringues, and a bit fluffy like them also, but that would not give them justice!!!

Macarons  are like heaven in your mouth. Those cloud like cookies will take you by surprise.  Because of their crunchy shell, you will not expect their smooth and soft, delicate filling inside that will melt  in your mouth  releasing their delicate flavors.

A very re-known Chef by the name of François Payard once described his sensation when eating one:” the many different flavors textures and flavors will hit you all at once”.

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Have you had yours today??? If you have not, it is probably too late, though it depends where you live. But if you live in my corner of the world, you are probably out of luck.

But,  Easter is coming soon, so you can always order some for a special someone. They make for great gifts, and they are very impressive!!!

And they will,  always always please your crowd!!!

Not really sure what to bring your mom, or grandmother for Easter. Don’t just settle for chocolate eggs, bought from the local grocery store. Get them something that has personality, get them something that is  fabulous like those Parisian Macarons. They are yummy, delicious, you will not regret it. Plus they are gluten free.

Let me know if you wish to order some. ( Minimum Order is a dozen per flavor).

Special Easter Flavors

Box of 12 :$15(2 macarons of each flavor) or

Box of 24 : $27 ( 4 macarons of each flavors)

Strawberry

Vanilla

Pistachio

Blueberry

Lemon

Apricot

Strawberry

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The usual Flavors are as followed:

chocolate
coffee
vanilla
choco/ mint
raspberry
strawberry
almond
lemon
lime
orange
anis/ licorice
black berry
lavender
rose
green tea
hazelnut
pistachio
mandarin
grapefruit
coconut
peppermint
peanut butter
maple syrup
dulce de leche


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Please place your order 48 hours in advance as Macarons are best eaten fresh, and they will need to be made the day prior of the delivery. Thank you! ( Price upon request).

Call to order at 864-494-4494.

March Cooking Classes


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Please join me for some fun time and for some yummy food!!!

Sunday, March 13th ( St Patrick’s Day Fun Appetizers)3:00-5:00

Tuesday, March 15th ( Easy Dinner) 6:30-8:30

Sunday, March 20th ( Easter Dinner) 3:00-5:00

Tuesday, March 22nd ( Easter Dinner) 6:30-8:30

Tuesday, March 29th ( Fun Appetizers) 6:30-8:30

Sample Menu of one of my latest Easy Dinner presented at our last cooking class:

  • Baby Portobello Mushrooms and Asiago Cheese Tartlets
  • Baked Parmesan Crusted Ravioli with Marina Dipping Sauce
  • Sirachi Chicken Kebabs
  • Spinach and Parmesan Balls
  • Raspberry and Lemon Cream Cake

 

In this class format, you will have a chance to sit, relax and learn many tips from your instructor. I will demonstrate how to make the recipes and you will enjoy a generous tasting of all the recipes we are making.

( For regulars $25. The fee is waived if a purchase of Demarle cookware is placed of +$60). Does not apply to the class at the Culinary Hub.

You may RSVP at cecile.cuisine@yahoo.com or call 864-494-4494.

Marzipan Truffles


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What is Valentine’s Day? A day where we are given the chance to express our love, and feelings to a person who may know, or not know about us. It is a day where people flock to stores to buy boxes of chocolates, flowers and cards. We are brought to think that we have to buy things to show our love when we should just do things to show our love. Valentine’s Day should be a day to spend with your loved ones. It is having tea with your grandparents, going to the gym with the person that cares about you.  It is cooking dinner from scratch with everyone!!! Not just you in the kitchen. It is going for a jog and then going for brunch. It is so many things…

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It does not have to be fancy as long as it is with your loved ones, as long as it is planned.

Valentine’s day at our house was not fancy … We did not dress up. We did not buy fancy things..

I spent my week-end making things for my love ones. I made Raspberry, Banana, Pistachio Macarons for my in-laws, Pralinés and Marzipan chocolates for my husband. And my husband and I, we shopped together for what we were going to cook together.

My husband most favorite thing to eat, besides POTATOES ( kidding lol), is marzipan. It is very hard to find good ones in the States. And if you do find some,they are very expensive. Do you know that it is actually very easy to make some. So I actually decided to make some heart-shaped chocolate truffles for today. I thought I would share.

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Ingredients for about 30 truffles:

  • about 4 oz. of ghiradhelli dark chocolate chips of coating
  • about 3 oz. of ghiradhelli White chocolate for decoration
  • 1½ cup blanched almond 
  • 1½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp quality pure almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp rose-water
  • 1 egg white 
  1. Warm up the chocolate into a small bowl for 90 seconds and with a pastry brush, brush the sides of each heart.IMG_3578
  2. place the tray in the fridge so that the chocolate will cure. Meanwhile prepare the marzipan.
  3. Place the almond in the chopper and chop them until you have a powder mixture.IMG_3574
  4. Add to it the powdered sugar in a food processor and pulse until combined and any lumps are broken up.IMG_3575
  5. Add the almond extract and rose-water and mix to combine.
  6. Add the egg white and process until a thick dough is formed. If the dough is still too wet and sticky, add more powdered sugar and ground almonds. It will firm up once it is refrigerated however.IMG_3579
  7. Take the marzipan dough onto the roul’pat and knead a few times.IMG_3580
  8. Form it into a log, wrap it up in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  9. Take the log out, cut some pieces out.IMG_3582
  10. Place one piece in each opening. Press down so that the marzipan is filling completely the chocolate heart.IMG_3584
  11. Place the tray in the fridge to cool.
  12. Warm the chocolate and close up the chocolate heart.IMG_4615
  13. Place the tray back in the fridge.
  14. gently remove the heart from the tray.IMG_4617
  15. You may need to trim the edges of the heart with a knife for smoother edges.
  16. For added decoration, decorate the chocolate with colored chocolate.
  17. Place the chocolate onto the roul’pat together.
  18. Place about 3 oz. of white chocolate of Ghiradhelli into a small bowl. Place it into the microwave and melt it for 90 seconds. Add some coloring of your choice. I used a dot of burgundy Wilton.
  19. Place the chocolate into a small plastic bag and drizzle over the chocolates.
  20. Let the chocolates cures before touching them. IMG_4618
  21. Package the chocolates at your likings. Et voila!!!

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Marzipan Truffles

  • Servings: 30 people
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for about 30 truffles:

  • about 4 oz. of ghiradhelli dark chocolate chips of coating
  • about 3 oz. of Ghiradhelli White Chocolate Chips for decorating
  • 1½ cup blanched almond
  • 1½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp quality pure almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp rose water
  • 1 egg white
  1. Warm up the chocolate into a small bowl for 90 seconds and with a pastry brush, brush the sides of each heart.
  2. Place the tray in the fridge so that the chocolate will cure. Meanwhile prepare the marzipan.
  3. Place the almond in the chopper and chop them until you have a powder mixture.
  4. Add to it the powdered sugar in a food processor and pulse until combined and any lumps are broken up.
  5. Add the almond extract and rose-water and mix to combine.
  6. Add the egg white and process until a thick dough is formed. If the dough is still too wet and sticky, add more powdered sugar and ground almonds. It will firm up once it is refrigerated however.
  7. Take the marzipan dough onto the roul’pat and knead a few times.
  8. Form it into a log, wrap it up in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  9. take the log out, cut some pieces out, and place one piece in each opening. press down so that the marzipan is filling completely the chocolate heart.
  10. Place the tray in the fridge to cool.
    Warm the chocolate and close up the chocolate heart.
  11. Place the tray back in the fridge.
  12. Gentlty remove the heart from the tray.
  13. You may need to trim the edges of the heart with a knife for smoother edges.
  14. For added decoration, decorate the chocolate with colored chocolate.
  15. Place the chocolate onto the roul’pat together.
  16. Place about 3 oz. of white chocolate of Ghiradhelli into a small bowl. Place it into the microwave and melt it for 90 seconds. Add some coloring of your choice. I used a dot of burgundy Wilton.
  17. Place the chocolate into a small plastic bag and drizzle over the chocolates.
  18. Let the chocolates cures before touching them.
  19. For added decoration, melt more colored chocolate and drizzle over the chocolates.
  20. Package the chocolates at your likings. Et voila

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Raspberry Chipotle Beef Meatballs



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This past Sunday, I hosted a Super Bowl Appetizer cooking class for some of my friends and acquaintances to show off some easy recipes that were delicious, but that could be prepared in advance. Because it is fun to host a Super bowl party or to go to one. What is less fun is to try to get ready, while getting the food ready on time and warm for the guests. I hope that you will try this recipe. It is easy to fix, delicious and actually quite healthy because I am only using lean ground beef. It can also be prepared in advance, even frozen and warmed up right before your guests arrive or right before you are ready to go.

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Ingredients for 6-8 people:

  • 1 pack of lean ground beef ( 1 1/2 lbs),
  • 3/4 cup of bread crumbs,
  • 1/2 tbs of garlic salt,
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper,
  • 1 egg,

Sauce:

  • 2 times 1/4 Maple Chipotle SauceIMG_4579
  • 2 times 1/4 seedless raspberry jam
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl, or mixer and mix all until you have a well blended mixture.IMG_4475
  2. With a small ice-cream or cookie cutter, scoop small balls and place them into the deep flexipan that you would have already placed on a perforated  sheet. Of course, if you do not have, you can just use a regular cookie sheet that you will line with parchment paper.IMG_4476
  3. Cook them for about 15 minutes.IMG_4482
  4. While they are cooking, mix the raspberry and the maple chipotle sauce.IMG_4481
  5. When the meatballs are done, pour half of the sauce over them and mix well to coat the meatballs.IMG_4483IMG_4484 Put them back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes.IMG_4491
  6. When they come out, pour the other sauce and coat them again before eating them. Enjoy!!!IMG_4492 2

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Raspberry Chipotle Beef Meatballs

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 6-8 people:

  • 1 pack of lean ground beef (  1 1/2 lbs),
  • 3/4 cup of bread crumbs,
  • 1/2 tbs of garlic salt,
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper,
  • 1 egg,

Sauce:

  • 2 times 1/4 Maple Chipotle Sauce
  • 2 times 1/4 seedless raspberry jam
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl, or mixer and mix all until you have a well blended mixture.
  2. With a small ice-cream or cookie cutter, scoop small balls and place them into the deep flexipan that you would have already placed on a cookie sheet.
  3. Cook them for about 15 minutes. While they are cooking, mix the raspberry and the maple chipotle sauce.
  4. When the meatballs are done, pour half of the sauce over them and mix well to coat the meatballs.
  5. Put them back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
  6. When they come out, pour the other sauce and coat them again before eating them. Enjoy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Barbecue Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites


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I love, love my cell phone. I love to be able to check on my children, call whenever I can, text, take pictures. I love it all. What I love less, is the ability to browse the internet. A friend told me that she does not like to go on Facebook because she feels that it swallows her, and that can waste hours in what feels only seconds of her time. I think what i like the least is the ability to get on the internet. Once I get there, I get lost either in the clothes, or in the food… and I spend hours, ….. Do you have that problem???

This recipe is just one of them I saw on Pinterest. I just added mon “petit grain” as we say in French because I did not want to use some of the ingredients and was unable to locate the raspberry Chipotle Sauce as suggested.  I added bits here and there and I am also using my Demarle cookware to cook it ( easy to clean, and non-stick). Of course any pan would do. I hope that you will try them. They cook so fast and are deliiiiiciiouss!!!! Yes, not very healthy but delicious!!!!

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Ingredients for about 4-6 people (it is a wide range, but those are so good it is hard to stop at 4 or 5;-)))

  • 2 chicken breasts,
  • 6 bacon strips cut in fourth,
  • 1/3 cup of barbecue sauce,
  • 2-3 tbsp of brown sugar,
  • salt and pepper.
  1. Trim the chicken so that it is cleaned of fat and nerves.IMG_4501
  2. Slice the chicken breast half in its length, then cut each half into small bites of about 1 inch wide ( about 5-6 cut per half).IMG_4502
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.IMG_4503
  4. Then roll each bite within the bacon strip.
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  5. Place the bacon wrapped chicken into the deep flexipan that you would have placed onto a medium perforated sheet.IMG_4506
  6. Pour the barbecue sauce over the top of the bacon and with a brush, brush evenly the barbecue sauce.IMG_4508
  7. Sprinkle the sugar all over the chickenIMG_4510
  8. and bake the chicken for 30 minutes at 400 or until the bacon is crisp and the fat has melted.IMG_4511 You may cook it longer if you need to, but I was happy with the texture after 30 minutes.IMG_4512 2

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Barbecue Bacon Chicken Bites

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for about 4-6 people (it is a wide range, but those are so good it is hard to stop at 4 or 5;-)))

  • 2 chicken breasts,
  • 6 bacon strips cut in fourth,
  • 1/3 cup of barbecue sauce,
  • 2-3 tbsp of brown sugar,
  • salt and pepper.
  1. Trim the chicken so that it is cleaned of fat and nerves.
  2. Slice the chicken breast half in its length, then cut each half into small bites of about 1 inch wide ( about 5-6 cut per half).
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Then roll each bite within the bacon strip.
  5. Place the chicken into the deep flexipan.
  6. Pour the barbecue sauce over the top of the bacon and with a brush, brush evenly the barbecue sauce.
  7. Sprinkle the sugar all over the chicken and bake the chicken for 30 minutes at 400 or until the bacon is crisp and the grease has melted.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Strawberries Balls for The Super Bowl


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What type of food are you offering your guests for Super bowl??? Well, if I were hosting, I would be making all kinds of food… But I am not. We will be joining some friends of ours. So Guess what??? I will only be making a few things. Mini Pretzels, Mustard, Ham and Cheese Pretzels Bites and Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

I will be posting those recipes very soon. But today I am just going to share with you the easiest of all desserts: Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

All you need is good quality Chocolate, and fresh strawberries.

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Ingredients for 1 box of chocolate or about 30 strawberries:

  • 1 box of strawberries
  • 6 oz. of bittersweet chocolate from Ghiradhelli
  • 1 0z of white chocolate

I love the Ghiradhelli Chocolate because it is the ONLY chocolate that will melt perfectly to a liquid form in the microwave so Do not use Hershey, or Nestlé. The chocolate will not melt unless you add butter.

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Place the chocolate chips in the microwave for 90 seconds. Stir and place it back into the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds if needed.
  2. Take one strawberry at a time, and dip it in the chocolate. Place the chocolate onto a large silpat that you would have previously placed on a perforated sheet for support. Repeat until it is done.IMG_4471
  3. Place the strawberries into the fridge to cool. When the chocolate has settled.
  4. Place the white chocolate into a small container and melt it the microwave for a few seconds ( 30 seconds). It should soft to the fingers. IMG_4532
  5. Pour the melted chocolate into a small plastic bag. Push the chocolate to the end of the plastic bag.IMG_4533
  6. Cut the tip and draw lines on the strawberries to make it look like the football.IMG_4473
  7. Place the strawberries back into the fridge to cool. Et voila!!!IMG_4519

 

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Football Strawberries for Super Bowl

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

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Ingredients for 1 box of chocolate or about 30 strawberries:

  • 1 box of strawberries
  • 6 oz. of bittersweet chocolate from Ghiradhelli
  • 1-0z of white chocolate
  • 1 plastic bag

I love the Ghiradhelli Chocolate because it is the ONLY chocolate that will melt perfectly to a liquid form in the microwave so Do not use hershey, or Nestlé.

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Place the chocolate chips in the microwave for 90 seconds. Stir and place it back into the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds if needed.
  2. Take one strawberry at a time and dip it in the chocolate. Place the chocolate onto a large silpat that you would have previously placed on a perforated sheet. Repeat until it is done.
  3. Place the strawberries into the fridge to cool. When the chocolate has settled.
  4. Place the white chocolate into a small container and melt it it the microwave for a few seconds ( 30 seconds).
  5. Pour the melted chocolate into a small plastic bag. Push the chocolate to the end of the plastic bag.
  6. Cut the tip and draw lines on the strawberries to make it look like the football.
  7. Place the strawberries back into the fridge to cool. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!