Portobello Pizza


photo 4

I love mushrooms, but neither of my children like them so it is not often that i will have them for dinner. Sometimes I will fix sautéed mushrooms as a side to my dinner, but more so in the winter.

Two days ago however, one of my customer, asked me to do a cooking class for her friends and asked that I do a vegetarian menu. She even suggested that I presented a recipe of Portobello mushroom as the “main entrée”. I love Portobello mushroom but i never ever thought to fix them at home until them  and had no clue what I was going to do.

I guess I could have gone to a cookbook, or search for a recipe but instead i decided to duplicate a dish that was once my favorite: Gerhard’s Cafe Portobello Pizza. I said that this was once my favorite because they stopped offering this wonderful appetizer a few years ago.

I tried to remember what was on his pizza and tried to come up with something similar. What I came up is very very similar. I hope that you will enjoy this. It has been my lunch for a couple of days now and I am loving it;-)

Ingredients for 1:

  • 1 Portobello mushroom
  • 1 Roma tomato sliced very thinly
  • 1 tbsp of fresh basil chopped thinly
  • 1/3 cup of grated feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp of mediterranean vinegar from Demarle
  • 1 tbsp of basil olive oil
  • 1/16 tsp of salt
  • 1/32 tsp of pepper
  1. With a dry paper towel, wipe the mushroom clean.
  2. Place the mushroom face up on a silpat that you would have placed on a perforated sheet, or on a flexipat if you are fixing more than one.
  3. Place the tomatoes on top of the mushroom as shown below.photo 1
  4. Disperse the chopped basil over the tomatoes.
  5. Add the cheese.photo 2
  6. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and drizzle this on top  of the mushroom.
  7. Cook the mushroom in a warm oven of 400 for 15 minutes.
  8. Eat as soon as it comes out of the oven, as an entrée or appetizer. YUM!!!photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Maple Smokehouse Pork Tenderloin



If you read me before, you will know that I am a fan of Costco for the variety, freshness, and price of its produce. A month ago, they sold a smokehouse pork tenderloin that i just loved, loved, loved. So the other day, I decided to make this for our dinner, and drove 30 minutes to go to the Costco just for to get that meat, only to find out that they no longer sold it…

I was a bit upset, but highly dissapointed because I was really looking forward to the taste of that meat again. Luckily I had read the ingredients and figure that i could make it taste just like that too. So I made up a recipe with liquid smoke, various spices and tried it. Though I liked it ok, it did not quite taste like it. So I tried another time, except this time I used their smokehouse herb mix. It was almost as good. So happy;-)

Ingredients for 4:

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 2 tsbp of the smokehouse herb mix
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup of chicken broth

Place the tenderloin on a large plate and rub the herb mix all over the tenderloin. Place the tenderloin in a ziploc bag and back into the refrigerator. Let it marinade for 2 hours or more.

Turn the oven to 400. Take the meat out of the fridge, and place it either on a flexipat. With a pastry brush, brush some olive oil on the tenderloin, sprinkle more of the herb mixture as well on each tenderloin. Cook the meat for 20-25 minutes depending on the width of the pork tenderloin or until a meat thermometer register 150F. When the meat is cooked, remove the pork tenderloin from the oven, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Remove the tenderloin from the flexipat, add 1 cup of broth to the pan, and mix and scrape the juices. Drizzle this “sauce” on the tenderloin. Et voila!!!

I served the tenderloin with roasted Sweet potatoes fries, and roasted corn. So good!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Framboisier or Raspberry Cake


Last week was my mother-in-law’s birthday and since she loves, loves, loves raspberry I thought of making her a Framboisier. I really wanted to make her a Raspberry Bavarois but since it requires several hours to set and I did not have time to bake her cake before her actual birthday I decided to make her a Framboisier out of Sable Breton and Creme Patissiere ( Pastry cream). Both require very little time to prepare, and can make succulent and wonderful looking cakes.

For the cake base, we will be making a salty shortbread dough or in French “Sable Breton”.

Ingredients for 10-12 individual tartlets, or 2 10 inches tarts:

8 oz or 225 gr. of all purpose flour, 1 pinch of sea salt, 1 tbsp of baking powder, 2/3 cup of salted butter at room temperature, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, 4 large eggs lightly beaten.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together and set aside. In a mixer, beat the butter until is is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time and continue beating until they are well incorporated. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and with your hands kneel the dough until it is homogeneous. Mold the dough into a ball, place it inside a ziploc bag and place it in the fridge.

While the dough is “resting”, prepare the cream for the cake. We are making une creme patissiere also known as pastry cream.

Ingredients: 1 cup of whole milk, 1/2 vanilla bean, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 3 large egg yolks, 2 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch, 1/2 of a tube of marzipan from Odense or about 3 oz of marzipan paste( can be found in most grocery store).

Pour the milk into a small saucepan. With a sharp knife, cut the bean in half in its length and with the tip of the knife, scrape the seeds out of the bean. Place the seeds and the bean into the milk and cook the milk until is is almost boiling. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture is becoming lighter in color and is becoming fluffer. Add the cornstarch and mix well. Pour the milk slowly into the egg mixture while stirring. Place the mixture back onto the stove and cook at a medium temperature until it is becoming really really thick. Remove it from the stove. Add the marzipan, mix and place the mixture into a bowl and into the fridge to cool.

Turn the oven to 350. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out so that it is about 1.5 cm thick or 5/8 inch thick. Roll out two discs of about 10 inches, and place those discs into two large round mold. With a fork prick the dough and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the dough is a pale golden color.

If you are making individual cakes, you can use metal pastry rings of about 3 inches. Cut the dough with the pastry rings, lift the ring and the dough and place both onto a silpat. And cook like that for 8-10 minutes.

You may also cut the dough in circles, and place each circle into a muffin pan to cook. It will take about 8-10 minutes as well.

When the dough or the “Sable Breton” has turned to a light brown color, remove the sable from the oven and let them cool.

To assemble:

For the large, pipe the marzipan pastry cream all over the cake and place the raspberry on top of the cream. Sprinkle some powdered sugar for added decoration.

For the individuals cakes, pipe a very small amount of  pastry cream all over each cake to allow the raspberries to stick. Place the raspberry only on the outer part of the cake. Then pipe more cream in the middle inside the ring of raspberry.

For added effects, melt 1/4 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips into the microwave for about 60 sec. When the chocolate is melted, use a pastry brush and make streaks of chocolate onto a silpat. Let the chocolate set, and brush more chocolate on each streaks. Repeat this process at least 4 times in all. Then place the silpat into the freezer for the chocolate to set.

Once the chocolate is set, place one on each cake. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on the chocolate.

Decorate the plate with some raspberry syrup, and place each cake in the center of the cake. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Smoked Salmon Pizza


What did you guys do this Friday? Me, not a whole lot. There is a ton I could have done, a ton I should have done but after a full week back at school, I was ready to kick my heels and take it slow. I was adamant in taking care of myself. So I first went to the gym for an hour, hung at the pool for an hour or two and went for a long run. Of course after I was done with all my “playtime” there was hardly time to cook dinner so I had to find something in my fridge. And I found whole wheat tortilla, smoked salmon, and other various vegetables.

Salmon pizza is one of my favourite pizza.When I was living in France and we would go to pizzeria, I would always order the quatro pizza or the salmon pizza. So having this bit of smoked salmon in my fridge made me think of making my own.

Ingredients per person: 1 whole wheat tortilla, 3 tbsp of creme fraiche, about 100 gr. of smoked salmon, a few tbsp of very thinly red purple onion. 1 tsp of chopped chives,

PLace the whole wheat tortilla on the large silpat that was placed on a perforated sheet, spray the creme fraiche over the whole wheat tortilla, lay the salmon filet over the creme fraiche. Then spread a few onion slices and the chopped chives over the salmon. Cook the pizza in a warm oven at 415  for about 5-7 minutes.

Serve with a salad. Et voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Raspberry Macaron with Lemon Mousseline


People celebrate birthdays.

Me… I hide and mourn because it is another year that has gone by, and a year older that i become;-(

I usually do not like to celebrate my birthday. i don’t like the attention and I don’t like the idea of celebrating another year that has slipped by;-( On that day, I like to just disappear. This year however, i had a very special birthday ( no longer in my 20th;-( booh whooh). To celebrate the occasion, a large portion of my family came to visit from France:-). So of course, this time I really could not hide, or pretend it was not be.

Instead we decided to offer a small dinner party. FUN!!! Since i love to cook. The kick though, I was not allowed to cook (per my family and my husband) so we went to a venue here in Spartanburg. The place offered good food, but since I never was able to find a dessert there, I thought I would bring my very own on my birthday.

I wanted to offer something elegant, delicious and not too heavy. Originally i wanted to make a chocolate dome, but since several of my guests do not like chocolate i decided to offer un Framboisier. It is a fairly easy dessert if you know how to make macarons, and it is a very impressive dessert.

( I would like to apologize for not offering a recipe using ounces and cups, but this dessert needs to be very precised in order to work).

The recipe of macaron was adapted from La cuisine de Mercotte, and the lemon mousse from the very reknown French pastry maker Stephane Glacier ( with whom I had the privilege to work with this past month).

Ingredients for 15 large macarons: 22o gr of egg white at room temperature, 450 gr. of powdered sugar, 250 gr. of almond mill/ or almond flour, 60 gr. of granulated sugar, 1 pinch of salt, 2 drops of red coloring, 2 drops of lemon juice.

Turn the oven to 293. Place two large silpats on 2 large perforated sheets. In a large bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and the almond flour. In the bowl of a large mixer, place the eggs, the salt and the lemon juice and start beating the egg whites until they are foaming. Then add the sugar slowly, 2 drops of red coloring,  and beat until the egg whites form hard peaks.

Slowly add the almond mill/sugar mixture into the egg mixture with a spatula by slowly folding the flour mixture into the egg. Stir slowly until the egg/ sugar mixture starts making a shiny, even dough.

Place the macaron “paste” into” a pastry bag and pipe 2 inches circles at 1 inch interval on the silpat. Bake the macarons for 17 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool before peeling them off from the silpat.

Lemon Mousseline: 500 gr. of milk, 1 lemon zest, 125 gr. of sugar, 50 gr. eggs, 75  gr. egg yolks, 45 gr. of corn starch, 2 stick of butter, 4 boxes of raspberry.

Warm up the milk until is hot, and almost at a boiling point. Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix the eggs, egg yolks and the sugar. Then add the cornstarch. Slowly pour on the milk onto the egg mixture and stir. Empty this mixture into a large pot and cook at medium-high until the mixture thickens and starts making a few bubbles. Remove the pot from the stove, add the lemon zest and mix well. Empty this mixture onto a large flexipan, cover the flexipan with a plastic wrap tightly so a skin will not form, and let it cool at room temperature before placing it into the fridge.

When the pastry cream is cold, empty it into the bowl of a large mixer and beat in the soft butter a little at a time. When all the butter has been added, pulse the mixer to a faster speed for 1-2 minutes. Fill a pastry bag with the mousseline cream, and pipe the mousse on a macaron in the center of the macaron at a distance of 1/3 of an inch off the border of the macaron. Place fresh raspberry around the cream, and place another macaron on top of the cream and the raspberry. Pipe a star on the middle of the macaron, and top the star with a raspberry. Et voila!!!

Isn’t it magnifique????

maintenant c’est votre tour.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!