Bouchon de Cauliflower


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

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

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

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

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

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Ingredients for 20 bouchons, or 20 bites:

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

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Cauliflower Bouchons

  • Servings: 10 people
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 20 bouchons, or 20 bites:

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

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

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!!!

Croque Madame


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If you are a friend of mine of Facebook, you knew that I went home for Christmas. It is very rare that I will make the trip home for the holidays because we spend Christmas Eve here with family and then leave for France on Christmas day which always makes for a very short trip. Moreover, the airfare can be very expensive at this time of the year so we tend to not do that too often. This year, however, we chose to take the trip for several reasons:

1. we had sky miles that help us pay for our airfares.

2. having lost my grandmother this summer, I needed to spend time with my “surrogate” mother, my aunt and showed her how much she meant to us.

3. It had been more than a year since I had gone home.

So we went home. My daughter brought her boyfriend along so obviously we toured Paris as if we had never done so. 

It was all so beautiful!!!!IMG_0494

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Since we were staying at my aunt’s, we didn’t get to dine out often because my aunt wanted to spoil us with yummy French homemade meals and because we were just as happy staying home in company of our loved ones.

The only time we ate out was to stop for a coffee at a cafe, dessert and tea at a Tea salon, or for lunch.

One day as we were walking around the Galeries Lafayette, everyone was getting hungry so we decided to stop for a bite at the famous Cafe de La paix.

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If you have never been, it is worth the stop. It is on the pricey side, but the food and the service is so upscale that  you will not be disappointed with going there.

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The menu is so selective, that we could have ordered Caviar, foie gras, Oysters on the shelf, but we were so hungry and cold that everyone of us ordered the same thing: Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame.

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I have long been familiar with Croque Madame and Croque Monsieur, but the one I had at that restaurant was so outstanding that the minute I got home, I made some the recreate those flavor I had eaten.

Why Do I share this recipe only now?? because that way my sweet daughter can follow my recipe and make it herself if she decides to;-)

Ingredients for 4 Croque Madame:

  • 8 slices of honey wheat or white bread
  • butter
  • 8 slices of good quality ham ( not to thin)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2-3 tbsp of flour
  • 5 cups of gruyere grated
  • hot mustard ( French Dijon preferably)
  1. Turn the oven to 400. Slather some butter on each side of bread, and lay the bread flat on a large silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet.
  2. Place the bread in the oven to toast for 5-8 minutes or until the bread is a light brown color.
  3. While the bread is toasting, melt 2 tbsp of butter in a medium sized saucepan and when the butter has melted, add 2 tbsp of flour. Stir the flour to make a roux.
  4. Warm up the milk in the microwave for 2 minutes and pour it over the roux. Continue stirring until the milk thickens and make a thick white sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and add 1 cup of grated gruyere. Stir well.
  5. To assemble the croque monsieur, place a toast down. Spread some mustard, sprinkle some grated cheese ( about 1/4 cup), then place the slice of ham, IMG_0930sprinkle another 1/4 cup of cheese.IMG_0928
  6. Place another toast on top. IMG_0931
  7. Spread about 1/4 cup of white sauce on the top of the bread. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup of cheese.IMG_0932
  8. Repeat the same process for the rest of the toasts.
  9. Place the toasts back onto the large silpat and toast them for another 10 minutes at 400,  or until the cheese is melted and golden.IMG_0933
  10. Meanwhile, warm up a small frying pan over medium high heat. Melt 1 tbsp of butter and when the butter is sizzling, crack an egg. and sizzle it.
  11. To serve, place the egg over the cheese toast, and eat the sandwich with a green salad in a mustard vinaigrette.IMG_0935Easy, Yummy and Conforting!!! Perfect for those winter months;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

You like what you just read, please share;-) Merci Beaucoup!!!

Croque Madame

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 4 Croque Madame:

  • 8 slices of honey wheat or white bread
  • butter
  • 8 slices of good quality ham ( not to thin)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2-3 tbsp of flour
  • 5 cups of gruyere grated
  • hot mustard ( French Dijon preferably)
  1. Turn the oven to 400. Slather some butter on each side of bread, and lay the bread flat on a large silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet.
  2. Place the bread in the oven to toast for 5-8 minutes or until the bread is a light brown color.
  3. While the bread is toasting, melt 2 tbsp of butter in a medium sized saucepan and when the butter has melted, add  2 tbsp of flour. Stir the flour to make a roux.
  4. Warm up the milk in the microwave for 2 minutes and pour it over the roux. Continue stirring until the milk thickens and make a thick white sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and add 1 cup of grated gruyere. Stir well.
  5. To assemble the croque monsieur, place a toast down. Spread some mustard, sprinkle some grated cheese ( about 1/4 cup), then place the slice of ham, sprinkle another 1/4 cup of cheese. Place another toast on top. Spread about 1/4 cup of white sauce on the top of the bread. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup of cheese.
  6. Repeat the same process for the rest of the toasts.
  7. Place the toasts back onto the large silpat and toast them for another 10 minutes at 400 or until the cheese is melted and golden.
  8. Meanwhile, warm up a small frying pan over medium high heat. Melt 1 tbsp of butter and when the butter is sizzling, crack an egg. and sizzle it.
  9. To serve, place the egg over the cheese toast, and eat the sandwich with a green salad in a mustard vinaigrette. Easy, Yummy and Conforting!!! Perfect for those winter months;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chocolat Chaud (Hot Cocoa)- the Parisian Way


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Theo, my child came inside this afternoon and opened all the cabinets in search of a hot cocoa mix. There was not one. So he asked if I knew where it would be.. of course no where. he looked so disappointed that i decided to make some from scratch. It is really not that hard. In fact there is nothing easier than hot cocoa. All yu need is good quality chocolate and milk.

Yes, unlike the urban belief, hot cocoa is not made with cream or half and half, the thickness comes from the chocolate. In fact if you do not believe me, let the hot cocoa cool a bit and you will see that it will become very thick almost as thick as a chocolate fudge or syrup. Yum!!!!

I topped the top of the hot cocoa with whipped cream, but you would need to.

Ingredients for 4 small cups:

  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 130 gr. of 5 oz of chocolate chips ( bittersweet with 60% cocoa minimum)
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  1. Place the milk into  a cup and warm it up in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  2. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate chips. stir and pour it into a small saucepan.
  3. Bring the mixture to boil. When the mixture has boiled, turn off the heat.
  4. Beat the cream into hard peaks. Pour the chocolate into  4 teacups ( this is so rich, that you will not need to have more).
  5. Spoon a dollop of whipped cream over the hot chocolate.
  6. Sprinkle a few chocolate beads over the whipped cream and without much , enjoy this yummy delightful brew.

Even better with macarons;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Coioking!!!

Healthy Hot Cocoa


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Today it snowed, and it is supposed to snow tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. As resident of South Carolina, it is not often that we see snow. And if we see, it is usually here for a day and then it vanishes. But today it seems that it is here to stay. I love snow, so I am happy. Moreover here in the South, the world shuts down when it snows so school is cancelled as well. Yeah;-) More me time.

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Anyway, with the cold temperature out there, there is nothing better than a hot cocoa to warm you up from the inside out. I love hot cocoa… but hot cocoa is one of those treats that is so so good, it is not really good for it.

So here is a substitute that tastes nearly as wonderful and is very good for you.

Ingredients for 1 cup:

  • 1 cup of expresso, or brewed coffee
  • 1 cup of light almond milk ( only 30 calories a cup)
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder ( i used Muscle Milk)
  • 1/2 tbsp of dark cocoa from Hershey’s

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend it for a few minutes. It can be drank cold or warm. I like it both ways. YUM!!!

I love this treat because I do not feel guilty drinking this. the dark cocoa from Hershey really help masking the taste of the protein powder.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Prosciutto and Watercress Tart


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Ahh Spring break… it is almost here.. i can see it and yet it seems so far away…. 5 Days. 5 days and I will be enjoying my Spring Break and sleeping late;-) Yeah…

Well Spring Break is not here yet, and I have still a thousand things to do before I am on vacation: Homeworks, quizzes to review with my child… and the rest of my duties as a mom.

Monday was exactly that: a thousand things to do and no time…So of course I did not spend much time trying to fix dinner. I looked in my fridge, and gathered what I had: prosciutto, puff pastry ( yep another one- my fridge is a veritable treasure box).

Ingredients for 6:

  • 1 puff pastry sheet thaw out ( 30 minutes to 45 min.) Keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use it or it will become sticky and will not unfold.
  • 8oz. of proscuitto finely sliced
  • 8 oz. of italian cheese mix
  • 1-2 tbsp. of rosemary Herb Blend
  • 2-3 cups of watercress
  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Place the roul’pat on your counter and place the puff pastry on it.
  3. Unfold it and with a rolling pin, spread the pastry so that it will fit the flexipan perfectly.
  4. With a fork, prick the bottom of the pie.
  5. Spread the cheese evenly over the pie dough.photo
  6. Place the prosciutto all over the cheese, do not lay the sheets flat. I kind of gather them up a bit.photo
  7. Sprinkle the rosemary herb blend over the prosciutto.photo
  8. Cook the tart for 15-18 minutes or until the edges are a golden brown.
  9. Before cutting the tart, spread the watercress over the tart.photo
  10. Slice the tart over a cutting board and slice the tart in 8 pieces.
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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Hazelnut and Cranberry Bar


So all the bars from last week were gone by Friday evening, and I did not think about fixing some until I was looking for a snack on Sunday afternoon. As always, I just took what i had on hand to make those bars. This time I did not add any sugar since I subtituted the agave juice with honey. I liked them better in fact, not as sweet.

Ingredients: 2 cups of almond, 2 cups of pecan, 1 cup of hazelnut, 2 cups of dried cranberries, 1/4 cup of almond butter, 1/2 cup of honey.

Place all the nuts on the flexipat and place the flexipat in a warm oven of 375 for 10 minutes or until the nuts are getting toasted and fragrant. Remove them from the oven and empty them into a large chopper, add the cranberries and chop until it is coarsely chopped.  Place the honey and the almond butter in a microwavable bowl and warm them up for a minute. Empty the content of the bowl into the nut mixture and pulse a few times to mix up the almond butter to the nuts. Empty the nut mixture onto a flexipat and cook in a warm oven of 375 for 10 minutes. Remove the flexipat from the oven and let it cool. Flip the side of the flexipan and slide the nut bar onto a chopping board. With a sharp knife, cut bars of 1 inch by 3 inches. Place the bars into a airproof container and eat as you wish. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!