Salmon, Chives and Cream Cheese Canapé


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What to do for appetizers when you have a few people over and don’t want to serve the boring dip, salsa and chips?? you make those really fancy appetizers. They are pretty, taste wonderful and will impress any crowd.

Ingredients for 12 canapes:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry,
  • 1 pack of smoked salmon,
  • cream cheese at room temperature,
  • fresh dill or chives chopped,
  • coarse black pepper.
  1. Place the puff pastry onto the silpat.
  2. With the rolling pin, roll it thinner ( not too much, just a bit).
  3. Cut the rectangle into 12 squares ( or smaller if you want to make bit sizes).
  4. With a butter knife, spread the cream cheese in the middle of each square.
  5. Place 2 slices of salmon a top the cream cheese.IMG_0008
  6. Sprinkle some dill or chives. Fold the two sides over the salmon. It will look like a diamond.
  7. Sprinkle some coarse pepper. Continue this process until you have used all the puff pastry. Place the canapé on a silpat that you would have previously placed atop a medium perforated sheet.IMG_0009
  8. Cook in warm oven at 400 for 15 minutes. Miam, Miam…IMG_0013

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Smoked Salmon, Chives and Cream Cheese Canape

  • Servings: 6 people
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 12 canapes:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry,
  • 1 pack of smoked salmon,
  • cream cheese at room temperature,
  • fresh dill or chives chopped,
  • coarse black pepper.
  1. Place the puff pastry onto the silpat.With the rolling pin, roll it thinner ( not too much, just a bit).
  2. Cut the rectangle into 12 squares ( or smaller if you want to make bit sizes).
  3. With a butter knife, spread the cream cheese in the middle of each square.
  4. Place 2 slices of salmon a top the cream cheese.
  5. Sprinkle some dill or chives.
  6. Fold the two sides over the salmon. It will long like a diamond.
  7. Sprinkle some coarse pepper. Continue this process until you have used all the puff pastry.
  8. Place the canapé on a silpat that you would have previously placed atop a medium perforated sheet.
  9. Cook in warm oven at 400 for 15 minutes. Miam, Miam..

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Cinnamon Rolls…


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The first time I came in the USA was in 1993, It was just a few months shy of my 21st birthday. It was an eye-opening experience I will tell you… If at first I was not really impressed with the environment I had landed in ( Mid June, 100 degree weather, high humidity, lone house amid large acreage, in the rural environment of South Carolina…), I soon learned to like it, and appreciate it. Today it will be exactly 21 years since I first put my foot on this strange land, and I am happy to have stayed and to have chosen it as my home. One of the thing that really took me by surprise, at first, was the size of everything: big houses, huge plated dinners, large interstates, gigantic cars…But what surprised me the most was what people ate. I could go on and on for hours about the food I was not accustomed to see, but today I will talk about cinnamon.

I never liked cinnamon growing up. I despised it so much, in fact, that it would me make me sick. I could not smell it, much  less eat it.

Cinnamon is pretty inexistant in France. You will see it, at times, in recipes of homemade ginger bread, but you will never see it mixed with apples.  So I really was astonishing to me to see the amount of cinannon that was used here in everything: Apple pies, pies, sweet potatoes casserole, gum, candies. The family,  I stayed with that first year,  would prepare cinnamon toasts which was a piece of bread slathered with butter, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and then toasted. The odor was so strong, it would make me want to exit the room. As time went by, though, my sensitivity to cinnamon disappeared. I really think it is because I got used to smell it in everything, especially at Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Today after 20 years, I cook with it occasionally, and it will not bother me. I actually like it. How funny how your senses change and adapt over time;-)

How ironic that after 20 years, I am sharing with you a recipe of Cinnamon rolls. Why did I cook them?? For whatever reason, I craved to eat them. And I was not about to buy the Pillsbury kind;-)))

The recipe I used is from Paula Deen. I adjusted a few things though.

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This recipe is good to make about 14 cinnamon buns:

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1 cup of warm milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp of butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • 1 stick of butter melted 
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (in the recipe, it suggests using 2, but I used one and it was plenty!!)

Glaze:

  • 6 tbsp of butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or vanilla bean extract ( much better)
  • 6 oz. of cream cheese at room temperature.IMG_1796
  1. Turn the oven to 2oo, or turn your warming oven if you have one.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in about 2 tbsp of warm milk,  and set aside.IMG_1779
  3. In a very large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg.IMG_1780
  4. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well until the dough is homogeneous.IMG_1781
  5. Then add the yeast.
  6. Finally add the rest of the flour ( it may another 1 1/2 to 2 more cups).
  7. Knead dough inside the bowl.IMG_1782
  8. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place the bowl in the oven that you would have turned off and propped the door open. Let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  9. When time is up, take the dough and place it on the roulpat ( non-stick silicone map) that you would have spread over you counter.
  10. With the rolling-pin, roll out the dough  into a 11 by 20-inch rectangle. You will not need flour is your dough is the right consistency and is not sticky. I did not need any.IMG_1783
  11. Place the butter in a small bowl, melt it in the microwave for 30 seconds or until it is melted and with a brush, brush the butter all over the dough.
  12. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the buttered dough.IMG_1784
  13. Roll the dough up from the top so that you will end up with a 20 inch long roll.IMG_1785
  14. Cut the rolls into 12 to 15 slices.IMG_1786
  15. I placed mine into the large round mold, but it was not enough room for the dough to expand, so you will use the grande mold. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan. If you have any melted butter, drizzle it over the dough. IMG_1787
  16. Place the pan back either into the oven to the warming drawer,  and let rise until dough has doubled, about 45 minutes.
  17. Bake for about 20 minutes or until it is a nice golden brown color.IMG_1788
  18. While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. Place the butter and cream cheese in the microwave and warm them up for 20 seconds so that they are soft. Place the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla into a kitchen mixer, and beat the mixture on high.
  19. Spoon and spread the glaze over the rolls as soon as you are removing them from the oven.IMG_1790
  20. And try not to eat them all at once. Yummy!! And yes, I have been eating them. Such a yummy easy treats for my weekend breakfast;-)) You TRY!!!!IMG_1793

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Cinnamon Rolls

  • Servings: 5-15 people
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1 cup of warm milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp of butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • 1 stick of butter melted
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (in the recipe, it suggests using 2, but I used one and it was plenty!!)

Glaze:

  • 6 tbsp of butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or vanilla bean extract ( much better)
  • 6 oz. of cream cheese at room temperature.
  1. Turn the oven to 2oo, or turn your warming oven if you have one.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in about 2 tbsp of of warm milk, and set aside.
  3. In a very large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg.
  4. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well until the dough is homogeneous.
  5. Then add the yeast.
  6. Finally add the rest of the flour ( it may another 1 1/2 to 2 more cups).
  7. Knead dough inside the bowl.
  8. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place the bowl in the oven that you would have turned off and propped the door open. Let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  9. When time is up, take the dough and place it on the roulpat ( non-stick silicone map) that you would have spread over you counter.
  10. With the rolling-pin, roll out the dough into a 11 by 20-inch rectangle. You will not need flour is your dough is the right consistency and is not sticky. I did not need any.
  11. Place the butter in a small bowl, melt it in the microwave for 30 seconds or until it is melted and with a brush, brush the butter all over the dough.
  12. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the buttered dough.
  13. Roll the dough up from the top so that you will end up with a 20 inch long roll.
  14. Cut the rolls into 12 to 15 slices. I placed mine into the large round mold, but it was not enough room for the dough to expand, so you will use the grande mold. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan. If you have any melted butter, drizzle it over the dough.
  15. Place the pan back either into the oven to the warming drawer, and let rise until dough has doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 20 minutes or until it is a nice golden brown color.
  16. While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. Place the butter and cream cheese in the microwave and warm them up for 20 seconds so that they are soft. Place the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla into a kitchen mixer, and beat the mixture on high.
  17. Spoon and spread the glaze over the rolls as soon as you are removing them from the oven. And try not to eat them all at once. Yummy!! And yes, I have been eating them. Such a yummy easy treat for my weekend breakfast;-)) Yuu TRY!!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Guimauve a la Banane or Banana Flavored Marshmallow


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It is funny how life changes you. Ten years ago my house needed to be impeccable for me to be happy. The house needed to be clean, and in order everywhere. Every bibelot, every paper needed to be in its place. Not a spec of dust were to be seen. Even my children toys needed to be put away after being played. And then we moved. We moved to a bigger house, not a fancy house like the previous one, but a good home. The home we chose, is one that we really live in. It is spacious and roomy and it has plenty of doors for me to shut if I don’t want to see the mess behind it. It is a home I don’t feel stressed if it is not straightened all the time. It is a house I feel comfortable getting in and out with wet feet if I want to. It is a house I can cook in without reservation. It is my home;-)

When my children were smaller, I never really let them cook with me because I was concerned about the mess they were going to make. Today  i love to have people over to cook with. It does not matter if we are going to make a mess, and if the floor is going to be covered with flour. We will have fun.. we will make memories… and then I will clean it up and it will look all good again;-)

I hope that you will too.

Today I hosted a cooking class for several beautiful young ladies and we had much fun. Yes there was a gigantic mess all around when we were done. Yes, there were tons of dishes to be done and lots of sugar and flour on the floor, but we made some great recipes and  they enjoyed learning and tasting. We made Baked Brie with Pepper Jelly, Teriyaki Chicken, Boursin Potato Cupcakes, Broccoli Souffle, Strawberry Tart and Marshmallows;-) Yum.

I will share the recipe of Marshmallow. It is fairly easy to make, very inexpensive, quite fast I think.. and it is really yummy. I adapted the recipe from Mercotte.

Ingredients for about 4 dozens of marshmallows or guimauves:

  • 250 gr. of sugar
  • 80 ml of water or 80 gr. of water
  • 12 gr. or two packs of gelatin in powder
  • 3 tbsp of water to mix with the gelatin.
  • 90 gr. of egg whites at room temperature
  • 2 drops of lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of banana extract or more if you want a stronger taste
  • a few drops of yellow coloring ( optional)
  • 50 gr. of powdered sugar
  • 40 gr. of corn starch
    1. In a large bowl, mix the corn starch and the powdered sugar.
    2. Lay a large roul’pat on your kitchen counter and dust the roul’pat with this mixture of sugar and corn starch. Place the rectangular frame on top of the roul’pat. Set aside for later usage.
    3. In a small container, mix the gelatin with 3 p of water. Let it rest.
    4. In a small saucepan, cook the water and the sugar and bring it to boil. Cook the syrup until you have large bubbles and the sugar is starting to turn a bit yellow. ( On the thermometer, it should come up to 130 c. )
    5. While the syrup is coming to temperature, place the egg whites, lemon drops and salt in a large bowl and beat it until you are getting  beaten egg whites with soft peaks.
    6. When the syrup has come to 130 c in temperature, start pouring it slowly in the egg whites, on the side of the mixer while still beating the egg whites. Add the coloring and the banana extract and beat it in.
    7. Place the gelatin in the microwave and cook it for 15 sec. Pour the melted gelatin into the egg mixture and beat well.
    8. Turn the mixer to high, and beat the egg whites until they are completely cold.photo 2
    9. With a spatula, put a bit of the marshmallow mixture into a pastry bag and make fun shapes with the paste on the roul’pat. We made some zigzag, some bows, some hearts, some knots. photo 3
    10. With the rest of the paste, pour it inside the frame making a rectangle of about 8×5 and about 1 inch width.photo 4
    11. Dust more corn/flour mixture on the marshmallows and let them rest for about 2 hours.photo 1
    12. When the marshmallows have rested, you can take a large knife and cut square of marshmallows.photo 5
    13. Keep them in a sealed container for a week. Miam, Miam…photo 3

 

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Guimauve a la banane, or Banana Flavored marshmallows

  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

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Ingredients for about 4 dozens of marshmallows or guimauves:

  • 250 gr. of sugar
  • 80 ml of water or 80 gr. of water
  • 12 gr. or two packs of gelatin in powder
  • 3 tbsp of water to mix with the gelatin.
  • 90 gr. of egg whites at room temperature
  • 2 drops of lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of banana extract or more if you want a stronger taste
  • a few drops of yellow coloring ( optional)
  • 50 gr. of powdered sugar
  • 40 gr. of corn starch
  1. In a large bowl, mix the corn starch and the powdered sugar.
  2. Lay a large roul’pat on your kitchen counter and dust the roul’pat with this mixture of sugar and corn starch. Place the rectangular frame on top of the roul’pat. Set aside for later usage.
  3. In a small container, mix the gelatin with 3 tbsp of water. Let it rest.
    In a small saucepan, cook the water and the sugar and bring it to boil.
  4. Cook the syrup until you have large bubbles and the sugar is starting to turn a bit yellow. ( On the thermometer, it should come up to 130 c. )
  5. While the syrup is coming to temperature, place the egg whites, lemon drops and salt in a large bowl and beat it until you are getting beaten egg whites with soft peaks.
  6. When the syrup has come to 130 c in temperature, start pouring it slowly in the egg whites, on the side of the mixer while still beating the egg whites.
  7. Add the coloring and the banana extract and beat it in.
  8. Place the gelatin in the microwave and cook it for 15 sec. Pour the melted gelatin into the egg mixture and beat well.
  9. Turn the mixer to high, and beat the egg whites until they are completely cold.
  10. With a spatula, put a bit of the marshmallow mixture into a pastry bag and make fun shapes with the paste on the roul’pat. We made some zigzag, some bows, some hearts, some knots.
  11. With the rest of the paste, pour it inside the frame making a rectangle of about 8×5 and about 1 inch width.
  12. Dust more corn/flour mixture on the marshmallows and let them rest for about 2 hours.
  13. When the marshmallows have rested, you can take a large knife and cut square of marshmallows.
  14. Keep them in a sealed container for a week. Miam, Miam…

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Pork Pot Stickers


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

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

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

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

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

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Ingredients for about 80:

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

Ingredients for the sauce:

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

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Manhattan Chicken


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Ever since I came back from Convention and tasted the Blood Orange Olive Oil that Demarle is selling, I have enjoyed making recipes with that olive oil. That salmon that I made a few weeks ago was to die for;-)

I really love that orange flavor on seafood or meat! and for some reason, anything citrus these days have become appetizing to me.

As I was reading the latest magazine of Light Cooking, I found a recipe entitled Manhattan Chicken. Though the recipe was enticing, I did not like that they sauteed the chicken in olive oil, and covered the chicken with the Manhattan Sauce before serving. The chicken did not really absorb the flavors of the sauce so I changed the recipe a bit and this is what came up, more flavorful;0

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Ingredients for 1-2 people:

  • 1 chicken breast per 2 people,
  • 1 tbsp of light soy sauce,
  • 1 tbsp of orange marmalade with,
  • 1 tbsp of bourbon or whiskey.

For the Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp of light soy sauce,
  • 1 tbsp of bourbon
  • and 1 tbsp or 1/4 cup of orange marmalade ( depending how strong you want your sauce to taste) If you want your sauce to be more diluted, and not taste so much like bourbon, increase the amount of marmalade;-)
  1. Pound the chicken in between the roulpat to make it flatter and this way  it will cook more evenly.
  2. Place the chicken in a ziploc bag and pour the marinade over it.
  3. Let the chicken marinade 30 minutes to a few hours.
  4. After the chicken has marinated, turn the oven to 400, or turn on your grill if you rather grill your meat.
  5. Place the chicken on a flexipat and cook for 15 minutes, or grill on a grill.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan cook all the ingredients given above for the sauce for a few minutes.
  7. Before serving, or slicing the chicken, let it rest for a few minutes on the flexipan. Cover the pan with a silpat so that it will not cool down to fast.
  8. Slice the chicken breast in tiny strips, pour this sauce over the chicken.
  9. Serve with vegetables of your choices. I served it with grilled sliced zucchinis and squash. Yummy!!!

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 Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Easy Chicken Parmigiano


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I love Italian food, great Italian food. I love to eat it and I love to fix it. So how did I learn to make good Italian food? Well the answer is very simple. I learned it from my first boyfriend’s grandmother. She was Sicilian and she taught many wonderful recipes such as Gnocchi, Fresh Pasta, Osso Bucco and Chicken Parmigiano.

I love to fix Italian food, but like French food, many recipes takes much time to prepare and cook.  For those reasons, fixing French and Italian fare is not practical to fix on a school night. Today however I will share a quick way that will allow to fix Chicken Parmigiano in less than 30 minutes.

Chicken Parmigiano for 4-6 people:

  • 4 chicken breasts,
  • 1/4 tsp of salt,
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper,
  • 1/4 tsp of garlic powder,
  • 1/2 cup of italian bread crumb,
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan,
  • 2 eggs,
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce,
  • 1/2-1 cup of italian cheese shredded
  • oil spray
  1. Turn the oven on the 400.
  2. Clean the chicken breast of any fat.
  3. Then place one chicken breast inside the roulpat and fold the roulpat over the chicken breast.
  4. With the rolling pin, pound the chicken breast to flatten it a bit. Remove the chicken breast and repeat this process with the other ones.
  5. In a bowl, break 2 eggs and mix them with a fork. Add to it, the 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/8 tsp of pepper, 1/4 tsp of garlic powder and mix well. Then place the chicken breast in this mixture and turn it so that it will be well coated with the  egg mixture.
  6. In another bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the parmesan.
  7. With your fingers, transfer the chicken breasts in the bread mixture  and turn the chickem so that it will be coated with the bread mixture.photo 3
  8. Take a large silpat or the deep flexipan ( previously laid on perforated sheet) and lay the chicken breasts on the it.
  9. Use an oil spray or a vegetable spray and spray the chicken breasts with the oil spray.
  10. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 13 minutes. For regular bakeware, cook the chicken for 25 minutes or until it is done. photo 1
  11. When the chicken has a nice golden color, remove it from the oven and drizzle the tomato sauce on it.
  12. Sprinkle the cheese and cook the chicken for another 5 minutes at 425 so that it can get a nice golden color. Et voila!!!photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Lime, Honey and Soy Marinated Chicken


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Lime again?!?! Well yes… I have so many that I need to use them. Just kidding. I loved the shrimps that i fixed a few days ago that i thought to do the same with chicken. Except that I needed to season the chicken with some salt and just thought of soy sauce instead. Well, this chicken is a winner in my book. ” C’est gouteux et fin “comme on  dirait francais;-) It is tasty, it has a delicate flavor and it is perfect for this season: light and delicious:-)

Ingredients for 2 people:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp of lime juice
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • the zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce.

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  1. clean the chicken breasts of any nerves and fat.
  2. rinse the chicken breast under running water.
  3. Pat dry the chicken breast with a paper towel.
  4. place a chicken breast on the small roulpat and fold the roulpat on top of it.
  5. with a rolling-pin, beat the chicken to flatten the chicken breast and even it out.
  6. Place the chicken in a ziploc bac.
  7. in a small bowl, mix all the ingredients mentioned above and stir.
  8. pour this mixture over the chicken and marinade the chicken for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  9. Remove the chicken breasts from the bag and place them inside the round mold or on a flexipan and cook them for 13-15 minutes at 400. If using a regular pan, cook your chicken for 20 minutes.
  10. remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before cutting it. photo 1
  11. serve the chicken with roasted or steamed asparagus. Et voila!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Napoleon


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This past week I was left with some puff pastry and though I could have used it  to make dinner one night, I chose to keep this treasure to make a fun concoction.photo

On week-ends I like to spend time in my kitchen and make up desserts. Yesterday I really wanted to do something fancy without spending hours in the kitchen and that’s when I thought of making a much admired French dessert called Napoleon.photo

Though today this dessert is known as Napoleon, it used to be called Millefeuille which described this dessert perfectly, more so in fact that Napoleon. Indeed Millefeuille  means a thousand layers which defines perfectly what  a Napoleon is: a dessert made of 3 layers of puff pastries and pastry cream.
Ingredients for 3 large individual Napoleon or 13 mini ones:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry thaw out in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for the Creme Patissiere, or PAstry cream:

  • 410 gr. or 14.45 oz. of whole milk,
  • 5 egg yolks,
  • 80 gr. or 2.80 oz of granulated sugar,
  • 20 gr. or .71 oz of flour,
  • 20 gr. or .71 oz of corn flour,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • 1 stick of butter.
  • 1 vanilla bean.
  1. With a knife, cut the vanilla bean in its length. Then with the back of knife, push the vanilla seeds out of the beans and place them into the milk.
  2. In a small saucepan warm up the milk with the vanilla bean, and the vanilla seeds and bring the mixture to boil.
  3. Meanwhile, in  large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish.
  4. Add the flour and the corn starch to the eggs and mix.
  5. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir.
  6. Place the milk/ egg mixture back onto the stove and cook until the mixture is bubbling and is becoming really thick. Remove the pastry cream from the stove, place it into a bowl. Cover it tightly with a plastic wrap and let it cool.

While the pastry cream is cooling, prepare the layer of puff pastries for the dessert.

  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Place the off pastry sheet on the roulpat and with a rolling pin, spread the dough out to make a rectangle of 12.5 by 9. Roll the pastry into the roulpat and place it in the fridge to cool for 15 to 30 minutes.photo 2
  3. Remove the pastry from the fridge. At this point you may want to cut equal rectangles to make the Napoleon. You would need 10 rectangles of about 2.5 x 4.5.photo 1
  4. If you wish to make smaller Napoleon, I would advise to bake the phillo as a entire sheet and to cut it later.
  5. Place a silpat above the pastry. Turn it around and peel the puff pastry off the roulpat carefully making sure not to stretch it.
  6. Place another silpat on the phillo dough, and a perforated sheet to keep some weight on the pastry and prevent it from rising too much:-)photo
  7. Bake in a warm oven for 15-17 minutes. It should be golden. It may still be soft but it will harden as it cools down.
  8. Let the puff pastries cool completely before assembling the dessert.
  9. If you have not cut the rectangles before baking, you may do it now. You will need 10 rectangles of 4.5 x 2.5 or 40 rectangles of 2.5 x 11/4 for the mini ones.
  10. Pour the cream into a piping bag with a sscalloped tip and pipe the cream onto the first rectangle. Place another rectangle and pipe the cream again.photo
  11. Place another rectangle to finish.
  12. At this point, you are done and  you can just sprinkle some powdered sugar over the Napoleon, or prepare un glacage ( icing)

Ingredients for the glacage ( icing):

  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp of water.
  • Vanilla for flavouring.
  • 1/4 cup of bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 plastig bag or ziploc bag.
  1. In a small container, mix the first 3 ingredients, and with a pastry brush, brush the icing over the top layer of each Napoleon.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 40 to 60 seconds and pour the melted chocolate in a small ziploc bag. Cut the end of the bag to make a very narrow opening.
  3. Draw lines on the icing.

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With a toothpick draw an imaginary line to make drawings on the icing going from left to right, and the other line from right to left as shown below: photo 5

Et voila!!! Lots of steps, but really easy to make. Your turn;-)photo 2

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Out of This World Chocolate Eclairs


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Saturday evening I had guests for dinner. What to fix for desserts??? The choices are endless…but it had been a while since I had eaten eclairs and I really did not want to make a cake. What I knew that it needed to be chocolate so I made chocolate eclairs:

Ingredients for 8 normal-size eclairs or 16 small ones:

For the choux pastry:

  • 8 cl  or 1/4 cup,1 tbsp and 1 tsp of milk,
  • 8 cl or 1/4 cup,1 tbsp and 1 tsp of water,
  • 1/16 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of sugar,
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp of butter,
  • 1/2 cup of flour,
  • 1 pinch of salt, 
  • 2 large eggs.
  1. In a saucepan, heat up the milk, water, salt, and sugar.
  2. Add the butter cut up in pieces.
  3. When the butter has completely melted, bring the mixture to boil.
  4. Remove the pan from the stove and add the flour by stirring very well.
  5. Place the pan back on the stove ( it must be turned off, but will still be warm), and stir and stir with a heat-resistant spatula until the dough starts becoming a ball and will no longer stick to the rims of the pan.
  6. Remove the pan from the stove, empty the dough into a cold bowl and add the eggs to the dough one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
  7. Place the dough in a pastry bag, with the large circular opening make long sticks of about 5 inches or 2 inches for small ones on a large silpat that you would have previously lay on a large perforated sheet.
  8. Place the perforated sheet in a warm oven of 350 and cook the eclairs for 15 minutes for the small ones or about 25 minutes for the large ones. The dough should be brown and dry on all sides. If the dough is a little bit soft, continue cooking the eclairs for 1-3 more minutes. Take them out to cool.
  9. When they are cold, or cool enough, cut the top off at about 2/3 high of the eclairs. Set aside.

Ingredients for the Pastry Cream:  

  • 325 gr or 1 1/3 cup of whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks,  
  • 65 gr or 4.5 tbsp of sugar,
  • 15 gr. or 3 tsp of flour,
  • 15 gr. or 3 tsp of corn starch,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • 200 gr. of bittersweet chocolate chips ( Ghiradhelli Preferably)
  • 80 gr. of butter
  1. In  large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish.
  2. Add the flour and the corn starch to the eggs and mix.
  3. Warm up the milk over the stove, or in the microwave for 2 minutes,
  4. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir. Place the milk/ egg mixture back onto the stove and cook until the mixture is bubbling and is becoming really thick. Remove the pastry cream from the stove, and place it into a bowl. Set aside.
  5. Pour the pastry cream in the flexipan.
  6. Cover the pastry cream with some plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to cool.
  7. Place the chocolate chips and the butter into a microwable bowl and microwave for 2 minutes or until the chocolate is completely melted.
  8. With a small whisk, mix the butter and the chocolate until you have a homogeneous mixture.
  9. Pour this mixture into the bowl.
  10. Pour the pastry cream into the same bowl, mix well.
  11. Pour this mixture into a pastry bag and fill each eclairs as shown below.

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Now let’s prepare the ganache for the glacage of the eclairs. This recipe yields more than you will need but you can freeze the rest for later use.

Ganache:

  • 100 gr. of chocolate chips
  • 100 gr. of heavy cream
  • 40 gr. of butter
  • 32 gr. of honey
  1. Place the chocolate and the butter in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the cream and the honey in a microwable container and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate and butter and mix well until the chocolate and butter have become a smooth ganache. If the chocolate is not completely melted, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and free of lumps.
  4. Take each top and dip them into the ganache.
  5. Place each top on the roulpat in case of any drippings and leave them there until the ganache is cured.
  6. Place the top on each eclairs.

Et voila!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chicken Coated with Apricot, Bourbon and Mustard Sauce


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Have you indulged much over the holidays? I will say that i did not. Not because I tried to be good, but all that I made  was gone before I had time to have second. The cookies that I made were offered to my fellow co-workers at school. The macarons I made for my Christmas gifts were mostly gone as gifts, and my buche de Noel was all eaten by my two children before I had the chance to eat a piece. Boo hoo..

Well for those of you who need to start fixing lighter dinner option, I will offer you this quick recipe of baked chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup of apricot marmalade
  • 1/3 cup of bourbon
  • 2 tbsp of old-fashioned mustard
  • 1 /4 tsp or more of red pepper flakes
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. First you will want to tenderize the chicken so that it will more tender.
  2. Cleanse the chicken by removing any nerves and fat.
  3. Then rinse each chicken breast under running cold water.
  4. Pat the chicken breasts dry.
  5. One at a time, place a chicken breast on the rectangular roulpat, fold the roulpat over the meat and with the rolling-pin, pound the chicken lightly to flatten it.
  6. Repeat this process for all chicken breast.
  7. Place all the chicken breast on the deep flexipat, and season the chicken by sprinkling salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside.
  8. Place all the ingredients mentioned above besides the chicken and the salt and pepper in  a small saucepan and bring it to boil. Cook for a few minutes.
  9. Divide the sauce equally into two small bowls.
  10. With a pastry brush, brush the chicken with this mixture.
  11. Cook in a warm oven at 400 for 15 minutes.
  12. When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it stand for a few minutes for the juices to be reabsorbed.
  13. Slice the chicken and serve.
  14. Drizzle more sauce over the chicken. Et voila!

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I served my chicken with oven roasted potatoes, zucchini spaghetti.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!