Basil, Thyme and Parmesan Oven Roasted Potatoes

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Do you love summer? I do, I do!!! I love the heat as long as I can go swimming and I love wearing those cute light summer dresses. For those of you who may not know me, I am really a girly girl. I wear a dress every time I can.

Summer is the best time to wear dresses because you don’t have to deal with panty hoses, and jackets to match. Plus summer dresses come in some many fun colors that it would be difficult to wear some of them in other season. Think about it- Would you wear a canary yellow, or a bright pink in winter or spring? I am certain that people would be looking at me as if I came from another planet if I did.

In the summer, and you may have noticed my lack of posts, I don’t like to stay in my kitchen too long because it gets hot with the stove on and I rather be outside enjoying the outdoor. Sometimes I even go for a jog at 9 in the evening because it finally gets cool. No need to say that for dinner it is not fancy, it is a lot of fish and chicken on the grill.  I also to make salads, and easy things.

This past Sunday, for our family dinner I decided to fix steak  with grilled asparagus and corn. Because there was not any room left on the grill for potatoes I decided to roast them in the oven. Quick, easy and yummy!!

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Ingredients for 4-6 people:

  • 8 small potatoes,
  • 1/3 cup of parmesan,
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil,
  • 2 tbsp of dry basil
  • 1 tbsp of dry thyme
  • 1/4 tsp of salt,
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper.
  1. Peel the potatoes and slice them in quarters.
  2. Place the potatoes in the large round mold, cover it the octogonal silpat and cook them for 5 minutes.
  3. Empty the potatoes in a large bowl, drizzle the olive oil, and sprinkle the salt, pepper, thyme, basil, and parmesan. Toss the potatoes so that they are well coated with the olive oil and everything else.
  4. Empty the potatoes on the large perforated sheet covered with a large silpat and spread out the potatoes.
  5. Cook them in the oven for 15 minutes at 450.
  6. Sprinkle some sea salt and eat up! Yum!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Steamed Potatoes with Melted Brie and Caramelized Onion


I don’t want make any generalization about German men, but based on my experience and on my acquaintances, it seems that they like, should I say, love potatoes. And if you ask them what they would like to eat, it will be most likely potato. Is it a curse or a blessing?!?! I think that most women would welcome this fact because this make cooking dinner easy. Me… it makes cooking twice as hard as I don’t care for potatoes and rather eat vegetables ( no, potatoes does not really belong to the family of vegetable contrary to what husband wants me to think;-)

So while I was getting my dinner ready ( lobster with cream of corn), I also had to think what i was going to fix for him and the rest of my family. It was going to be easy: brats and potatoes.

Today I wanted to add variety to his vegetable of choice and this is what I came up with: Steamed Potatoes with Melted Brie and Caramelized Onions)

Ingredients for 3-4:

  • 6 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 brie
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them in 1 inch cubes. Rinse the potatoes well under running water and steam them as you would normally. I am choosing to steam them with Demarleathome cookware as it allows me to steam most vegetables in very little time. I place them into the large round mold. Add a pinch of salt. Place the octogonal silpat on top of the large round and cook the potatoes for  6-8 minutes. IF THE MOLD IS FULL TO THE TOP, COOK THEM FOR 8 MINUTES. IF IT IS LESS, 6 MINUTES IF ENOUGH.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the caramelized onions. Drop 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large saute pan, and warm it up. When the oil is hot, add the sliced onion and cook over medium high until the onions are becoming a nice dark golden color. Set  aside.
  3. Remove the brie from its paper, place it on a plate and cook in the microwave for 2
  4. Divide the potatoes equally among each plate and drizzle the melted brie over the potatoes. Sprinkle some of the caramelized onions and enjoy!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

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Sheppard Pie Cupcakes or Cupcakes of Hachi Parmentier


One of my children’s favorite food is Hachi Parmentier and I thought that it would be fun to make this dish into cupcakes so that we could easily just pop them into our mouth on any of our family movie night.

What is Hachi parmentier? Hachi parmentier is very similar to Sheppard Pie. It is a dish that layer minced ground beef in between layers of mashed potatoes.

According to Wikipedia, the word “hachis” means a dish in which the ingredients are chopped or minced, from the same root as the English word “hatchet”. The dish “Hachi Parmentier” was named after Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, a French pharmacist, nutritionist, and inventor who, in the late 18th century, was instrumental in the promotion of the potato as an edible crop.

I did not know that about this dish, what i knew is that this dish is one of those easy French comforting  recipe that is quickly made and that makes everyone happy. A bit like a good Mac and Cheese does here in the USA.

It used to be one of my top dish growing up, and I am happy to see that it is the same for my children;-)

There are many recipes of Hachi parmentier outthere, but this one is the traditional one. This recipe is just made from memory of watching my mom.
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Ingredients for 40 mini cupcakes:

  • 1 pack of wontons or 40 wontons wraps
  • 6 medium-sized potatoes,
  • 2 1/2 cup of heavy cream,
  • 1 lb. of lean ground beef,
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped,
  • 1 medium onion,
  • 1 cup of swiss cheese,
  • 1/8 tsp of garlic salt,
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper,
  • seasoning…

To make the Hachi Parmentier, you will need to make mashed potatoes, you may make them the traditional way cooked in water, or you can cook them in the round mold and save time!!!

  1. Peel the potatoes, dice them in small cubes, place them in the round mold.
  2. Add 1 tsp of water and a dash of salt.
  3. Cover the round mold with the octogonal silpat and microwave for 13-15 minutes.
  4. Empty the potatoes into a bowl and mash the potatoes with a potato press until it is very smooth. Add the warm heavy cream that you would have previously warmed up in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic salt, the pepper and stir. Add more salt if you deem it necessary.
  6. Pour the mashed potatoes back into the large round mold again, cover with the octogonal silpat and cook for another 2 minutes to make them 2
  7. Set aside.Now you need to prepare the beef that will go in the mashed potatoes.
  8. Slice and dice your onion.
  9. Saute your onion in a frying pan in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until golden and translucent.
  10. Stir in the beef and cook it until it turns brown. Add 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of fresh parsley ( dry parsley is fine too). Taste and add more seasoning if you think it requires more salt.
  11. Place a wonton wrap into each cupcake hole of the mini muffin 1
  12. Spoon about 1 tsp of potato into each
  13. Add 1 tsp of the meat 3
  14. Cover the meat with another teaspoon of mashed 1
  15. Sprinkle some swiss cheese over each cupcake.
  16. Cook in the oven at 400 for 15 minutes to brown the cheese. Et voila!!!photo 2

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Salade Nicoise Revisited

The first time I ordered a salad as an appetizer here in the USA, I was a bit surprised to see all the things that was included. There was cheese, various vegetables, nuts,  even meat amid the greeny leaves. In France, when you order a green salad as an appetizer, it is usually a very plain salad. It does not include many vegetables. I think the reason is because a salad is usually eaten as a ” cleanser” between the main meal and the cheese/ or dessert.

When we eat generous salads such as those we know here in the USA ( Chef SAlad), they are replacing a meal. Those salads are found on lunch menus in the summer, and they rarely have lettuce as their main base. There are two popular salad that you will see on menus in the summer: Salade composee which often has rice as its main base, and salade nicoise that is made with steamed potatoes, steamed green beans, fresh onions and tomatoes. There are millions of recipes out-there, but the traditional one includes red purple onions, artichokes, anchovies, eggs and tuna.

Growing up, it seemed that when we had left-over potatoes, this is what my mom made. I will tell you that I ate so much of it that it took me a while to make it again.  But tonite since I had small quantities of everything, it occured to me that I could make a warm salade nicoise for my dinner with what i had in my fridge.

The French Salade Nicoise is seasoned with a traditional red white vinaigrette but I gave it my twist.

Ingredients for 4: 

  • 12 small red potatoes
  •  about 2 cups bag of fresh green beans or haricots verts
  • 1/2 purple onions sliced very thinly.
  • 1 box of baby tomatoes
  • 2 filet of tuna sashimi
  • 4 tbsp ol balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2-3 tsp of smokehouse maple herb mix from Costco.
  • 1/4. tsp of sea salt.

Rinse the potatoes very well and place them in the large round mold. Add a dash of salt, and a tsp of water. Cover the round mold and cook in the microwave for 6-8 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked but still firm. Let the potatoes cool and then slice them in narrow slices. Set aside. Then place about 2 cups of green beans or haricots verts in the round mold, cover the round mold again with the octogonal silpat and cook for 5 minutes. Set the beans aside.

On a plate, sprinkle about 2 tbsp of the maple and lay the tuna into the smokehouse maple seasoning so that it will be covered with the spice. Repeat this process on all sides.

Place a small frying pan on a hot stove at medium-high, and add 1/2 tbsp of butter. When the butter is sizzling, add the tuna steak and sear it for 1 minute. Season with some salt. Turn it over and repeat so as to sear all sides. Remove the tuna from the pan and set it aside.

In the same frying pan, add the sliced onions and cook them until they are becoming a golden brown. Throw in the pan the balsamic vinegar, the olive oil and 1 tbsp of the maple seasoning, and bring to boil. Turn the heat down to low, add the sliced potatoes, the beans, the fresh tomatoes and stir. Cook this mixture for only 1 minute or 2. Add 1/2 tsp of sea salt. Toss. Plate the “salad” on plates. Slice the tuna in narrow slices, lay them over the salad. Drizzle more sauces over the tuna, et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Quick Potato Dish with Pancetta and St Aubrey

This past Saturday, I had a cooking class and a million of other things to do so I really did not feel like going out anywhere. All I wanted was to eat a comforting home-cooked meal. Of course my next question to my family was what they wanted to eat. I am sure that you already know their reply:-)…POTATOES.  Well I concorded,  and since I was going to Greenville anyway I thought I could use some really good French cheese to put on those potatoes ( that I would buy at WholeFood).

My dinner turned to be a green salad and cheese. Yes, you may know that  I am lactose intolerant, but sometimes I will buy and eat cheese simply because it is my upmost favorite food. It is my ” peche mignon” so sometimes I just endure the pain just to eat cheese. It is worth the pain;-) I wanted to buy my favorite ” Comte”, but bought an aged emmenthal and a few goat cheese. YUM, YUM. I was just so happy with my cheese that is all I ate. But I serve my family a potato dish of baked potatoes with pancetta and St Aubre:

Ingredients for 3-4:

  • 1 bag of small young potatoes of about 1.5 to 2lbs ( white or red)
  • 1 pack or about 12 slices of pancetta uncooked,
  • 8 oz or more of St Aubrey or a cheese that has a lot of flavor such as an aged camembert, or St Aubrey.
  • salt and pepper to taste

Since the potatoes are young, and the skin is very thin, you do not need to skin the potatoes. Instead, with a sponge, scrub the skins and rinse the potatoes. Cut the potatoes in quarters of about 1 inch. Place the potatoes into the round mold. Add a pinch of salt, 1 tsp of water, cover the mold with the octogonal silpat  and cook the potatoes for 8-10 minutes or until they are cooked. They still should be a bit firm, but not hard!

Meanwhile roll the pancetta slices into a roll, and make small slices off that roll. Slice the cheese into thin slices as well.

Carefull remove the octogonal silpat, add the pancetta, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/8 of pepper and stir. Top the potatoes with the cheese slices and place the round mold into a warm oven of 4oo for 15 minutes.

Serve with a green salad and a meat of your choice. At my house, it was a German bratwurst;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Steak Gorgonzola with Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes Casserole

IF you don’t have a lot of time on your hands but want to impress your loved ones with dinner: Serve Steak! It requires little to no preparation, and if your steak is of great quality, you don’t even have to serve a sauce to accompany it.

I was running out of time this evening ( heard that before;-), and wanted to use the gorgonzola in my fridge so decided that it would be a great topping for my steak:

Ingredients for 4: 4 small beef tenderloins, 4 thin slices of gorgonzola, salt, pepper and butter.

In a large frying pan, melt 1 tbsp of butter. When the butter is sizzling, place the steaks and cook for 1 minutes on medium-high heat. Flip them over and cook them also for 1-2 minutes on medium-high. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until the meat is cooked at the temperature that you like. Place the gorgonzola slices on each steak, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 1-2 minutes until the gorgonzola is melting and the steaks are cooked to your liking. Serve the steaks with a side of potatoes and fresh steamed vegetables. I served mine with glazed carrots, and a sun-dried tomato and goat cheese scallopped potato casserole.

Sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese Scalloped Potato Casserole:

Ingredients: 6 big potatoes, 6oz. of goat cheese crumbled, 1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes puree or chopped very thinly, 2 cups of ( milk, skim milk, or cream), salt, pepper.

Peel the potatoes and slice them very thinly. Layer 1/3 of the potatoes in the large round mold. Sprinkle some salt, and pepper and add 1/3 of the goat cheese crumbled and the sundried tomatoes. Repeat this process twice so that you have three layers of poatoes, goat cheese, sundried tomatoes. Drizzle the liquid of your choice (I used heavy cream) over the potato casserole and place the casserole in a warm oven of 375 for 45 minutes ( the longer they cook, the softer and the better it tastes!)

Glazed Carrots: 2 bags of the colored carrots from Publix, 1 tbsp of brown sugar, 1 tsp of butter, 1/8 tsp of salt, 1/16 tsp of pepper.

Place the carrots in the round mold, sprinkle the brown sugar, salt and pepper on top of the carrot. Drizzle the melted better. Cover the round mold with the octogonal silpat and cook for 4 minutes.

Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Herb Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary Infused Mashed Potatoes

Cooking is my passion. So when dinner time arrives, it is play time. Most of the time I have an idea of what I want to fix ( as far as what I WANT). But it is a challenge to cook for the rest of my gang. They like repetition and are very traditional in their taste. After perusing through the meat selection in search what to prepare for my family, I saw that end piece tenderloin and decided this would be my family dinner. I usually sauté filet mignon and cook tenderloins in the oven. When cooking a beef tenderloin in the oven you want to make sure to either marinade the meat well before cooking it or coat it with something if you are not going to sauté it. Today I chose the latter one. It is faster, leaner and much easier way to prepare the meat.

Ingredients for 2-3: 1 small end piece of tenderloin ( about 1lb.) 1/4 cup of bread crumbs, 1 tbsp of garlic\ parsley mix, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/8 tsp of ground pepper, 2 tbsp of very finely chopped parsley, Dijon mustard.

In a bowl mix all the ingredients mentioned above except for the mustard and the beef. Set aside.
Place the tenderloin on a large plate and with a knife or a spatula coat the salmon entirely with the mustard. Then empty part of the bread crumb mixture on one side of the plate and roll the tenderloin in it. You may help by pressing the crumbs onto the tenderloins with your hands.

Place the tenderloin on a large flexipan and cook in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes for rare ( or more depending on your meat temperature preferences). When the meat is cooked to your satisfaction, remove it from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes so that it will reabsorb all the juices.

I served my beef with rosemary infused potatoes.

Ingredients: 8 small russet potatoes peeled and diced, 1 1/2 cup of either milk, cream or broth, 2 tbsp of fresh rosemary, salt and pepper.
In a small saucepan place the milk or the other liquid you chose to cook with the rosemary. Bring it to boil. When it is boiling, lower the temperature and let it simmer do that the rosemary will fragrant the cream or broth. Meanwhile place the potatoes in the large round mold, cover the mold with the octagonal silpat and microwave them for 8 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the microwave and purée the potatoes. Drain the rosemary from the liquid you are using and slowly add it to the puree potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

I also serve fresh steamed vegetables ( bag of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots) that I microwave in my round mold for 5 minutes.
To plate, place a slice of that tenderloin on the plate with some potatoes and fresh steamed vegetables. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!