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
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
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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!!!

French Salad with Lemon Flavored Oven Roasted Salmon


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What do you eat when you are not very hungry, you do not really want to cook, but you are trying to be really good??? Most people would say cereals, some people would say popcorn and some would say salad. It is not very often that I don’t want to cook, but with the beautiful days coming, I have been more keen on reading my book in the sun, than spending time in my kitchen. Still one has to eat, and since we don’t generally eat out, or order out, someone ( me) has to cook. Last night was meat salad and pan roasted potatoes for my husband, and salad and salmon for me- good, easy and satisfying;-)

Ingredients for 1-2 person:

  • 1 petite filet of salmon ( fresh or frozen that you would have thawn out)
  • 1 small head of boston lettuce
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 -1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of strong mustard ( grey poupon or even stronger)
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • lemon
  1. Place the salmon on a pan. Here we will be using either the deep flexipan or the medium silpat that we would have placed on the medium perforared sheet.
  2. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and drizzle a bit of lemon juice over the salmon. Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes ( depending on how you like it).
  3. Meanwhile rinse the salad, and prepare the salad dressing. In a small bowl, mix all together the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper and stir well so that it will thicken ( yes this is the true French dressing ( not that yucky orange looking dressing that we sell here;-(
  4. Add the salad to the dressing and toss well.
  5. Then add the salmon that you would have cut in smaller pieces.
  6. Toss again and serve. Yum!! A real delight, fresh, light and tasty;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

French Salad with Lemon Flavored Oven Roasted Salmon

  • Servings: 1-2 people
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
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Ingredients for 1-2 person:

  • 1 petite filet of salmon ( fresh or frozen that you would have thawn out)
  • 1 small head of boston lettuce
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 -1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of strong mustard ( grey poupon or even stronger)
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • lemon
  1. Place the salmon on a pan. Here we will be using either the deep flexipan or the medium silpat that we would have placed on the medium perforated sheet.
  2. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and drizzle a bit of lemon juice over the salmon. Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes ( depending on how you like it).
  3. Meanwhile rinse the salad, and prepare the salad dressing. In a small bowl, mix all together the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper and stir well so that it will thicken ( yes this is the true French dressing ( not that yucky orange looking dressing that we sell here;-(
  4. Add the salad to the dressing and toss well. Then add the salmon that you would have cut in smaller pieces.
  5. Toss again and serve. Yum!! A real delight, fresh, light and tasty;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

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
  • 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!!!

Spicy Shrimps


photo 1This past Thursday, I hosted a Beer Dinner Cooking Class for several members of a beer dinner club. The event was not closed and therefore many other people were able to join in the fun. We had fun, and since many attendees told me that they wished to do that again, I will say that everyone had a good time as well. I hope  you will be able to join in the fun next time.

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I used the Culinary Hub Kitchen downtown to host the event, and divided the kitchen into 6 stations. The attendees were divided into the various stations. Everyone was responsible for one course of the meal to be shared at the end.

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Our “Chefs en Herbes” made the following dishes:

  • Bacon and Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Apricot and Gorgonzola tartlets
  • Spicy Shrimps in Wontons Cups
  • Caesar Salad on Croutons Tartlets
  • Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with a Beer and Balsamic Reduction
  • Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Boursin Potato Cupcake
  • And for the finale, we had The Chocolate Marceau with Sliced Strawberries.

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Today i would like to share with you the recipe of “Spicy Shrimps”. The recipe was adapted from The Beeroness.com blog.

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Ingredients to make about 60 bite-size appetizers:

  • 4 tsp of paprika
  • 10 garlic cloves either grated or minced
  • 2 tsp of chili powder
  • 2 tsp of red chili flake
  • 1/4 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup of beer ( we used a blond, or light one)
  • 8 tsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 lbs of raw shrimps, peeled, deveined
  • Olive oil. 
  • a pack of 60 wontons
  • Oil in a vaporizator
  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Peel, and remove the tails of the shrimps. Place the shrimps into a colander and rinse them over running water.
  3. With a paper towel, pat the shrimps dry and place them into a bowl. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt, a dash of pepper and stir well to coat the shrimps.
  4. Place the shrimps onto a large flexipan that you would have placed onto a medium perforated sheet and cook them for 8 minutes at 400.
  5. Meanwhile, place 2 mini muffin pans onto two medium perforated sheets, and place a wonton in each muffin opening. Push the wontons in carefully so that the bottom will be flat, but be careful not to tear the wonton.
  6. Spray olive oil over the wontons. Cook the wontons for 6-8 minutes or until they have become a golden brown.
  7. When they are done, set them aside.
  8. Prepare the sauce for the shrimps.
  9. Melt the butter into a medium-sized saucepan.
  10. When the butter is starting to sizzle add the garlic. Stir and cook for a minute or 2.
  11. Add the other spices, then the tomato sauce and the beer. Mix well. Bring the mixture to boil, and when it has come to boil, turn it down and continue cooking until it reduces to half.
  12. While the sauce is cooking, chop the shrimps very small, and add them to the sauce.
  13. Spoon the spicy shrimps in the wontons cups and eat at once! Yum!!!photo 2

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Pretty Salmon


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A few weeks ago my sister-in-law gave me a cookbook entitled the Happy in the Kitchen by Michel Richard. She said that she thought of me when she saw the book for three reasons. The primary reason was because the title of the cook reminded her of my signature ” Bon appetit and Happy cooking” . The second reason she purchased the book was because she noticed that there were silpats and fleximolds on the pictures of the preface. Finally she bought the book because it presented very uncommon but fun ” out of the box'” recipes and thought I could find some inspiration in it. Well she was right:-)
I love cookbooks!!!  But will only buy cookbooks that have beautiful picture and that present challenging out of the box recipes. In my collection I have many books from Stephane glacier, Thomas Keller,  Gordon Ramsey, Alain Ducasse and Christophe Michalak.. fun, fun, fun.

Yesterday in search of an inspiration for our dinner, or for a dessert I lingered over the book that she gave me. There were so many recipes I would have loved to make but settled on the salmon only because I had all the ingredients st home.

Ingredients for 2-4:

  • A bundle of fresh green asparagus ( normal sizes, not too thin, or too large)
  • A thick salmon filet of about 16 inches in length
  • olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Lemon Beurre Blanc Recipe:

  • the juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of butter or 1/2 to 1 stick of butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Trim the asparagus by breaking the ends.
  2. With a potato peeler, peel all the asparagus.photo 1
  3. Rinse them over running water
  4. Place the asparagus in the large round mold, cover the octogonal silpat and microwave them for 2 minutes.photo 2
  5. Meanwhile, slice the salmon filet in half in its thickness without cutting the edges of the salmon.
  6. Place the asparagus inside the salmon as shown below.
  7. Trim the asparagus ends so that the asparagus flush with the salmon.photo 3
  8. Cut the salmon in 2 or 4 equal portions.photo 4
  9. Place those stuffed filets on the flexipan.
  10. Drizzle oil with the oil spritzer, spritz some olive oil. Season with des salt and pepper and cook in s warm over for 5 minutes.photo 3
  11. Meanwhile, prepare the lemon beurre blanc: in a small saucepan, warm up the white wine, the lemon juice and the cream and bring the mixture to boil.
  12. Cook the mixture until it reduces to about 2 tablespoons.photo 3
  13. Add the butter and whip it in. photo 5
  14. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dash of sugar if you think that the lemon beurre blanc is too sour.
  15. Place the salmon on individual plates and drizzle the sauce over the fish and eat up. Miam, Miam!!!photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Baby Greens with Orange Flavored Salmon and Citrus Dressing


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How is the fish market in your home town? ours is not the best…

If I want fish I have to make 3 decisions:

1. do I want to drive 30 minutes to go to a fish camp and get fresh fish?

2. Do I want to pay overprice for a small piece of fish at the local market?

3. or do i want to buy a whole filet at the local Costco and eat days in and out of that fish?

Well the answer is often the latter, because I rather save some money and eat good quality fish. The fish at Costco is always fresh and top quality. And NO, I do not own any stock in this store;-) I just did my homework and know where to get good quality food for a good price…

The problem of course is that a whole filet is a bit much for me and my child. So what do i do? Well I often end up fixing the whole filet and eat it for lunch.

Sometimes i make sandwiches and dress my salmon with fresh tomatoes and  aoili. Sometimes I just make a salad and top my salad with my salmon. Yummy:-)

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This is what I did a few days ago:

Ingredients for 2 :

  • 8 oz. of orange flavored salmon (that I baked in the oven)
  • 1 bag of baby greensphoto 5
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp of blood-orange olive oil
  • 1/16 tsp of salt
  • 1/32 tsp of pepper
  • 2 tbsp of almond slices
  • 2 tbsp. of Chow Mein Noodles
  • Optional Mandarin slices, or fresh orange slices
  1. In a large bowl, mix the vinegar, salt, pepper and orange olive oil.
  2. Add the baby greens, the almond and the chow mein noodles and toss well.
  3. Place the salad on individual plates.
  4. Lay a few mandarin or orange slices on top the salad and add the salmon.
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ET voila!!! Simple but delicious;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Pan Seared Salmon with Orange Flavored Olive Oil


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If you were to ask me what i wanted to eat for dinner, the answer would most likely be fish, fish, or scallops. I love fish. I like it best grilled, roasted or pan-seared. I like any fish medium rare so that they are still moist, and flaky. My most favorite fish are tuna, salmon, and mahi mahi…

The reason I think that i love those fish, is that they are very mild when they are fresh. They do not have a fishy odor and almost do not taste “fishy”. And they need very little prep to taste great.

Because I had just brought an orange-flavored olive oil from convention, i was dying to try it and thought that it would marry well with the salmon I had in my fridge, and grapefruit in my kitchen so here it was i came up with for my dinner last night. Very easy, very yummy and so healthy!!!!

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Ingredients for 2-4:

The grilled Salmon:

  • 1 large salmon filet of about 2 lbs
  • 2 tsp of orange- flavored olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

The Grapefruit Salsa:

  • 1 grapefruit peeled
  • 1 tsbp of the grapefruit zest
  • 1 tsp of orange flavored olive oilphoto 1
  • 1/16 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 cup of purple onion chopped thinly
  • optional 1/16 tsp of red pepper flakes
  1. With the Demarle grater, zest the grapefruit, collect about 1 tbsp of the zest and place it into a small bowl.
  2. Then peel the grapefruit, remove the meat of the fruit from the grapefruit quarters, chop it and place it in a small bowl.
  3. Add the diced red onion, salt, pepper, olive oil, optional red pepper flakes and mix well. Set aside.
  4. Place the large frying pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. When the pan is hot, add 1 tsp of olive oil.
  5. When the oil is starting to get warm ( it will start sizzling), add the salmon filet.photo 3
  6. Cook it for 2 minutes. Then with a polyamide spatula, flip the salmon on its other side and cook for another 2 minutes  ( or more if you like your salmon cooked well).
  7. Drizzle 1 tsp of orange-flavored olive oil on top of the grilled salmon, sprinkle some sea salt and pepper,  and divide the salmon individually by the numbers of your guests.
  8. Spoon some of the salsa over the salmon and enjoy! I did!!

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IF YOU RATHER BAKE YOUR SALMON, PLACE THE SALMON ON A SILPAT AND COOK IT IN THE OVEN FOR 8 MINUTES AT 400. 

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!