Savory Tomato and Feta Cheese Pie

I cannot believe that summer is already coming to its end. And with it, its yummy vegetables. I am really going to miss those yummy tomatoes, and squash and fresh corn….I guess unconsciously these past few days I have been cooking all those yummy recipes so as to enjoy the last of those vegetables….

Today I made a quick tomato pie. If you are at loss of what to cook, that is a great alternative for pizza and much much healthier!!!

Ingredients: 1 pie crust, 5 roma tomatoes sliced thinly, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of heavy cream or milk or skim milk, 1 cup of feta cheese crumbled, 1/2 tsp of sea salt, 1/4 tsp of fresh pepper, 2 tbsp of fresh basil chopped or 1 1/2 tbsp of dry basil.

Unroll the pie crust, and place it in a large tart tray or in the large individual tartlet tray. Poke the dough with a fork so as to prevent air pocket. Spread the tomatoes thinly in a circle, starting from the outside of the pie, to the inside of the pie. In a bowl mix the  eggs, the milk, salt and pepper. Pour the content over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the feta cheese and the basil, and bake again in the oven for 15-20 minutes for the individual pies, or 30 minutes for the large one.  Et voila! How easy was that;-) Your turn!!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Lemon Pepper Glazed Chicken with Pineapple and Blueberry Salsa

What do you do when you have pineapple and blueberries left-overs, and no one at your home will eat fruits or desserts with fruits in it?! Well if you are me;-) you make salsa so I can eat them with my meal. Originally I was wanting to eat Grouper with this salsa, but Groupe is nowhere to be found in this town;-(oh well….

Ingredients: 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 of Miel de Maguey, juice and zest of one lime, 4 chicken breasts, 1  cup of pineapple sliced very thinly, 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries, 2 inch of fresh ginger grated coarsely, 1 tbsp of mint chopped very thinly, 1 tbsp of honey.

First you will want to prepare the marinade for the chicken: You will need 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup of Miel de Maguey (Mexican Alcohol of Agave), 1/4 cup of honey, juice and zest of one lime, 2 tbsp of corn starch.) Put all the following ingredients in a small saucepan, and mix well. Bring the mixture to boil, and stir until the sauce has thickened a bit. Turn the heat off and let it cool. Keep half of the marinade for marinading the chicken, and keep the rest of the marinade for drizzling over the chicken once it is cooked. You will want to marinade your chicken at least 2-4 hours before cooking it.

While the chicken is marinading, fix the salsa. You will need for the Pineapple salsa: 1  cup of pineapple sliced very thinly, 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries, 2 inch of fresh ginger grated coarsely, 1 tbsp of mint chopped very thinly, 1 tbsp of honey. Mix all together and set it aside until you are ready to serve it.

Place the chicken on the silpat, and glaze the chicken with the  marinade. Sprinkle some lemon pepper over the chicken and cook for 15 minutes at 375. Brush the chicken every 8 minutes with the marinade. You can also cook the chicken for 1-15 over high heat on your grill.

To serve, slice the chicken and serve the salsa over it.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

NB: This salsa would be great over fish! very light…

Orange Flower Flavored Pancake Souffle

My child Theo came home with a friend last night. So this meant that this morning instead of letting him search for his own breakfast I had to fix something. The problem was that I had to be somewhere around the times those boys were going to get up. I wanted to fix them pancakes or waffles but those need to be prepared on the spot as they are best eaten warm. I did not want to just get them bagels… too boring… So what else was I to do?

I had seen a recipe of a pancake souffle muffin in a Fine Cooking magazine and I thought this was a great idea for today. So I followed the recipe…. Isn’t it so funny that when you are following a recipe, it never ever turn out like it does in the magazine, or taste like what you expected it. Their recipe was a bit boring and flavorless… The boys ate those anyway… but not satisfied with theirs, I had to twik that recipe to make it taste right. And here it is…

Ingredients for 18 muffins:

  • 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour,
  • 3/4 cup of cake flour,
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda,
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder,
  • 1/2 tsp of kosher salt,
  • 3 eggs separated,
  • 3 tbsp of melted butter,
  • 1/2 cup of sugar,
  • 2 tbsp of vanilla extract,
  • 2 tbsp of orange flower extract,
  • 2 cups of buttermilk.

Ingredients for the fruit salad:

  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries diced,
  • 1 cup of raspberries,
  • 1/3 cup of sugar.

Materials: Demarle bowls, spatulas, whip, big muffin tray, deep heart tray.

  1. Turn your oven to 375. In the bowl of your electronic mixer, place the egg whites and beat them until they start making peaks. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, place your egg yolks with the sugar and beat until they become thicker and a light color of yellow.
  3. Add the melted butter, the vanilla, the orange flower extract and mix well.
  4. In another bowl, mix the flours, the baking soda and the baking powder together.
  5. And slowly add the flour blend mixture to the egg mixture only 1/2 cup at a time. Mix well.
  6. Add 1/4 cup of buttermilk and beat well. Continue this process until all the flour and all the buttermilk has been added.
  7. Then start adding the egg whites carefully into the batter, but be careful not to “deflate” them. It is okay if you still see a little bit of the egg white in the batter.
  8. Fill up each muffin tray to 3/4.
  9. And bake for 12-15 minutes. They should be a light golden color.

To serve, place on your guest plate one muffin souffle or more, and spoon the fruit mixture over it. You may also add some whipped cream or vanilla creme fraiche.

Recipe of Vanilla Creme Fraiche: Creme Fraiche is actually French. It is very difficult to find it here in the USA, but if you do, it is very expensive. So If you really want creme fraiche, why not make it yourself. It is so easy… Mix 2 tbsp of buttermilk in 2 cups of heavy cream and let it stand at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours until the cream is becoming thicker. When it has gotten thick enough, cover it and place it in the refrigerator. It will stay good for 7 to 10 days.

In order to make Vanilla Creme fraiche, stir 4 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of vanilla extract in the creme fraiche, et Voila.

To eat the Pancake souffle, spoon the fruits over the souffle and add a bit creme fraiche.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Summer Fruit Tartlets

Summer is one of my favorite season of the year for many reasons. As a teacher, I have my summer off, and have the leisure to do what I want. The weather is perfect to go to the beach and do fun outdoors activities as long as it is early in the day;-). And for a healthy freak like me, summer offers you a wonderful array of vegetables and fruits to dine on: Squash, zucchini, cuccumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, peaches, strawberry, berries…. you name it.. you have it..

Well, since I am always on the go, I am not one who can own a garden as it requires much care, time and attention. Therefore I have to go to my grocery store, or my neighboring farmer’s market to buy my vegetables and fruits. The problem with that, is the fact there are so many tempting choices in those places. So I often end up buying more than I can cook or serve at once. And of course this was the case this week with fruits. Everywhere I turned, they were yummy fruits: blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, mango, kiwis, peaches. Since I just could not make a decision on what to purchase, I just bought one of everything. So now, I have to find ways to cook or prepare those fruits so that everybody here will eat them. The solution to the problem: add whipped cream or chocolate and it will disappear.

So today my daughter and I fixed summer fruit tartlets. They are so easy to make, and so delicious…You can make mini tartlets or individuals tartlets. Of course the pies would take 100 times better if it was made out of Pate Sablee, but we were trying to be quick.

Ingredients: 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 tsbp of vanilla extract, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1 pie crust, fresh fruits of your choice ( I used kiwis, strawberry and blueberries).

Materials: Flexipan of tartlet tray ( medium, small or large depending on how you want to serve them. We chose the small tartlet trays so we could snack on those tartlets rather having them as desserts). You will also need the Demarle dough cutter that would best fit the size of the tartlets you are fixing ( 2 1/4 for the small tartlet, 3 1/16 for the medium, 3 7/8 for the large), Demarle whip, spatula, Demarle paring knife, the roulpat, a whipping bag, and a nice tip for the pastry bag.

Turn the oven to 325. Lay out the pie crust on the roulpat and cut out the dough for each of the tartlets. I used the scalloped edge. With a fork, puncture small holes in the dough. Cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they become golden. Remove from the oven, and let them cool. Meanwhile in a electric mixer, place 1 cup of heavy cream with 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tbsp of sugar and whip until it becomes thick and makes peaks. Place the whipped cream in the pastry bag, and pipe the cream in each tartlet ( they should be cold at this point or the cream will melt.) With the paring knife, slice the fruits thinly to make them fit nicely on your tart. Decorate the tartlets as you like. We used kiwis, strawberries and blueberries. Miam….

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Sinful Chocolate Tarts

I had guests for dinner this week-end so I had to find something yummy to eat. The possibilities can be endless in the array of desserts. But since my children or husband do not care for fruit desserts, I had to find something to make. The problem was time again… Well, I did not really want to spend my day in the kitchen.  I wanted to find something good, but fast to make, and my children wanted chocolate so i decided to go for a bittersweet chocolate tart with a mixed berry salad.

Ingredients: 1 pie crust dough, 1 cup of heavy cream, 16 oz of chocolate chips ( bittersweet preferably), 1 cup of raspberry, 1 cup of blackberry, 4 tbsp of granulated sugar.

Materials: the 3 7/8 inch round cutter, the tart tray, the pastry bag, one of the fancy opening, the demarle whip, the demarle bowl, 1 medium sized bowl.

Spread the pie dough, and with the scalloped round cutter, cut the individuals tarts. Place them in the mold. Pierce the bottom of the pie with a fork. Bake in the oven at 325 for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place the heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 2 minutes. Be careful that the cream does not boil over. Pour the cream over the chocolate.

Let it rest for a minute to let the chocolate melt. Stir and whip until the mixture is very smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture in the pastry bag, and fill up the individuals pies counterclockwise. Decorate as you wish.

Mixed berries salad: in a medium sized bowl, place the berries and the sugar and mix well.

To serve, place one tartlet on a dessert plate, place 2 tbsp of fruit salad in one corner, vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream in the other corner. Enjoy!!! you will…. I promise;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!