Moules Marinieres or Mussels in a Wine Sauce


 

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Please forgive my very long absence. This has been an eventful spring and summer for me. Loss of my father-in-law, school letting out, my son graduating, then going on to college ( he went to a summer camp to get ready for what awaits him in the fall at the military academy that he will be going to.), and then vacation started…with the usual in and out of the house.

If you have not seen much recipes, this would be explained by two reasons. One because I had to place myself and my son on a diet to help him trim down the necessary pounds that he needed to lose to fit the requirement of his school.

And two because I have not been cooking as much, preferring eating carpaccio, ceviche and salads rather than cooked meals… though maybe I should have shared those?!?!

After a couple of weeks of training in Charleston, my son finally came yesterday for the week-end. And though he did not complain about the food, in fact called it “pretty good”, I wanted to cook something that he really like: Mussels.

My most favorite ones are the one cooked in curry and coconut milk- I  love Asian food so much and  all those exotic flavors that Curry Mussels count as one of my favorite.

But he wanted the traditional ones, so this is what I will share with you today. I may have already posted a recipe, but this one is slightly different.

Now, I do not know where you will be buying your mussels. I bought mine at Costco, because I do not live closed to the ocean, and Costco offer the best there. But shop the stores in your area, you may have better options.

Before cooking your mussels, you will have to do two things.

  1. rinse your mussels under running water and scrub them a but with a sponge or even a nail brush to remove the dirt, or the algue.
  2. discard any mussels that are wide opened. If they are slightly opened, touch the inside with a knife to see if they are alive. If the shell closes, then they are alive and good to eat. If they are not, then toss it in the trash.

Once you have done those two steps, you are ready to cook them. Now be careful, it only takes a few minutes to cook mussels ( 5-8 minutes at the very very most), so be sure that all your sides are ready before you start.

Generally, mussels are accompanied by French fries or pommes frites, but sautéed potatoes would be good as well. A Boston salad would be a great addition also to both.

Here we go…

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of Mussels
  • 1 onion sliced thinly,
  • 2 garlic cloves,
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley,
  • 4 tbsp of butter,
  • 1 cup of white wine,
  • 1 lemon,
  • 1 tbsp of flour,
  • salt and pepper to taste,
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream.

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  1. Clean up the onion and cut it in half. You can slice and dice the onion ver thinly with the knife, but these days I like to use my special tool from Demarle. It really chops my onion really fast, and I do not tear up.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter and saute the garlic, then add the onion.
  3. Add the mussels and stir until they start to open up. Cover for a few minutes, and cook the mussels until they open up. Stir repeatedly so as to make sure that all mussels open up.
  4. Then add the wine, salt, pepper,  1/8 cup of the fresh parsley, and bring to boil. Stir as well. Turn the heat down and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of butter, add flour and make a roux ( cook until the flour turns golden), add 2 cups of the mussel liquid, stir and cook for 2 minutes until it thickens.
  6. Then add the cream and continue stirring. Pour it all over the mussels and stir.
  7. Sprinkle the parsley over the mussels.
  8. Serve the mussels in soup bowls, and accompany them with Pommes-frites, and whatever else you wish to serve. If you wish to serve wine, a nice Riesling or a Golden Ale Beer is a great addition. Et voila. Enjoy!!!

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My Theodor was happy. So much so that he ate two large bowls . preferring to eat his mussels over his fries. I would say that that this dinner was a win;-))))

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Mussels in Parsley, Onion and Wine Sauce, or Moules Marinières

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of Mussels
  • 1 onion sliced thinly,
  • 2 garlic cloves,
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley,
  • 4 tbsp of butter,
  • 1 cup of white wine,
  • 1 lemon,
  • 1 tbsp of flour,
  • salt and pepper to taste,
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
  1. Clean up the onion and cut it in half.
  2. You can slice and dice the onion ver thinly with the knife, but these days I like to use my special tool from Demarle. It really chops my onion really fast, and I do not tear up.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt butter and saute the garlic, then add the onion.
  4. Add the mussels and stir until they start to open up. Cover for a few minutes, and cook the mussels until they open up. Stir repeatedly so as to make sure that all mussels open up.
  5. Then add the wine, salt, pepper, 1/8 cup of the fresh parsley, and bring to boil. Stir as well. Turn the heat down and set aside.
  6. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of butter, add flour and make a roux ( cook until the flour turns golden), add 2 cups of the mussel liquid, stir and cook for 2 minutes until it thickens.
  7. Then add the cream and continue stirring. Pour it all over the mussels and stir.
  8. Sprinkle the parsley over the mussels.
  9. Serve the mussels in soup bowls, and accompany them with Pommes-frites, and whatever else you wish to serve. If you wish to serve wine, a nice Riesling or a Golden Ale Beer is a great addition. Et voila. Enjoy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Garlic Smashed Potatoes


 

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When you are married to a German man, and he wants to eat potatoes every evening, or almost every evening, you start being creative on fixing those potatoes. I either use recipes from families, and friends, or make up my own. The recipe that I am presenting to you today was inspired by one that I had seen on pinterest.

I cannot recall which recipe it was, nor who posted it, but I wanted to share with you my twist on it. As it is easy as 1, 2, 3 and it is really delicious!!!!

Ingredients for 4:

  • a bag of small new potatoes
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 2 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 1 large clove of garlic or 2 small ones

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  1. Place the potatoes in the sink and with a small bruch, clean them well.IMG_3068
  2. Steam the potatoes for 6 minutes or until  they are somewhat cooked. I use my demarle cookware because it makes my life easy, but you can use any steamer to steam your potatoes.
  3. If using the demarle cookware, place the potatoes inside the large round mold and place the octagonal silpat on top of it. Place the round mold in the microwave and cook the potatoes for 6 minutes. They should be soft, but still firm.IMG_3072
  4. Now, it is time to smash your potatoes. Get a cookie sheet ready by placing a parchment paper, or if you are using a silpat, place the silpat on top of a perforated sheet. Take one potato and smash it with a palm of your hand. I use either a kitchen towel to protect my hand from the heat, or my octagonal silpat.IMG_3107 2IMG_3108 2
  5. Place the smash potato on the cookie sheet, or silpat and repeat until you have exhausted all potatoes.IMG_3074
  6. With a knife or  chopper, chop the parsley and the garlic very thinly. I used my Demarle chopper and it does a great job!!!In the demarle chopper, place 1/4 cup of olive oil, the garlic, fresh parsley and chop it all until you have a paste.IMG_3109 2
  7. Either with the brush or with a spoon, top each potato with the mixture. Then sprinkle some sea salt and black pepper.IMG_3075IMG_3110 2
  8. Place the potatoes into the oven at 400 and cook them for 15 minutes.IMG_3078

Enjoy!!!

( I don’t usually eat potatoes, but it was very hard to resist those, they were so yummy!!! The garlic gets crunchy, a true “delice”)

Parsley and Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
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Ingredients for 6-8:

  • a bag of small new potatoes
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 2 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 1 large clove of garlic or 2 small ones
  1. Place the potatoes in the sink and with a small bruch, clean them well.
  2. Steam the potatoes for 6 minutes or until they are somewhat cooked. I use my demarle cookware because it makes my life easy, but you can use any steamer to steam your potatoes.
    If using the demarle cookware, place the potatoes inside the large round mold and place the octagonal silpat on top of it. Place the round mold in the microwave and cook the potatoes for 6 minutes. They should be soft, but still firm.
  3. Now, it is time to smash your potatoes. Get a cookie sheet ready by placing a parchment paper, or if you are using a silpat, place the silpat on top of a perforated sheet.
  4. Take one potato and smash it with a palm of your hand. I use either a kitchen towel to protect my hand from the heat, or my octagonal silpat.
  5. Place the smash potato on the cookie sheet, or silpat and repeat until you have exhausted all potatoes.
  6. With a knife or chopper, chop the parsley and the garlic very thinly. I used my Demarle chopper and it does a great job!!!In the demarle chopper, place 1/4 cup of olive oil, the garlic, fresh parsley and chop it all until you have a paste.
  7. Either with the brush or with a spoon, top each potato with the mixture. Then sprinkle some sea salt and black pepper.
  8. Place the potatoes into the oven at 400 and cook them for 15 minutes.
    Enjoy!!!

( I don’t usually eat potatoes, but it was very hard to resist those, they were so yummy!!! The garlic gets crunchy, a true “delice”)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Easy Pan Sauteed Potatoes


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Whoah.. I cannot believe that it has been several months since I wrote or posted something. I apologize!!! Life has been busy … I am certain that it has been the same on your side of the world. Well one of the benefits of being a teacher, is that you have several weeks off in the summer. This allows me to do all the things that I have been wanting to do, but did not find the time to…

One of them has been sleeping a bit later, and the other one has been to write my recipes so here it is.

Today the recipe will be very simple, and very quick. I will serve as a side, and I hope that you will enjoy it.

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Ingredients for 4: 

  • 6 medium-sized or 8 small Yukon Gold
  • 1 cloves of garlic pressed
  • 1 tsp of fresh chopped parsley
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbsp of butter ( or goose, or duck fat)
  1. Peel the potatoes, cut the potatoes in slim slices,  and steam them. You can steam them however you can ( in a microwable bag, a steamer) until they are steamed, but they are still firm. If you have some of the Demarle cookware, place the potatoes into the large round mold, that you would have placed on a plate. Cover the large round mold with the octogonal silpat and microwave the potatoes for 6 minutes.
  2. Carefully lift off the octogonal silpat to let the steam out. IMG_1750
  3. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, warm up 2 tbsp of duck/ goose fat or butter until it is sizzling.IMG_1752
  4. Add the potatoes, and cook them over a medium high stove. Let them cook a bit ( 1-2 minutes) before flipping them.
  5. And continue the process until the potatoes are the texture that you want.
  6. When the potatoes are cooked, add the chopped parsley and garlic and stir.IMG_1753
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Simple Pan Sauteed Potatoes

  • Servings: 4 people
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
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Ingredients for 4:

  • 6 medium-sized or 8 small Yukon Gold
  • 1 cloves of garlic pressed
  • 1 tsp of fresh chopped parsley
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbsp of butter ( or goose, or duck fat)
  1. Peel the potatoes, cut them in slim slices, and steam them. You can steam them however you can ( in a microwable bag, a steamer) until they are steamed, but they are still firm. If you have some of the Demarle cookware, place the potatoes into the large round mold, that you would have placed on a plate. Cover the large round mold with the octogonal silpat and microwave the potatoes for 6 minutes.
  2. Carefully lift off the octogonal silpat to release the steam.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, warm up 2 tbsp of duck/ goose fat or butter until it is sizzling.
  4. Add the potatoes and cook them over a medium high stove. Let them cook a bit ( 1-2 minutes) before flipping them.
  5. And continue the process until the potatoes are the texture that you want.
  6. When the potatoes are cooked, add the chopped parsley and garlic and stir.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Baked Brie the Simple Way


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This past Saturday I had a  very busy plate: Cooking class at 10 for 12 young ladies and a small order of appetizers for that same afternoon. I could have cooked dinner, but i chose to go for a long run and to play in my kitchen so when it was time for dinner there was nothing to offer. I will tell you that I really was not in the mood to make dinner because I knew that what I wanted to cook would not please my husband, and what he wanted was not going to please me. So what to do??? I did not want to go out for dinner and we did not want to take out. As i opened my fridge for inspiration, i saw two small brie that Lisa had purchased for the cooking class.

My family loves baked Brie and especially Garlic Baked Brie. They were introduced to this yummy appetizer in France and I thought that tonite this easy appetizer would make for a fun dinner option.  Easy, simple, Yummy. ….Yeah i know, not to healthy but it was Saturday night so who cares…

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Ingredients for 2-4:

  • 2 individual sized brie from President
  • 8 garlic cloves peeled and sliced in half
  • 2 baguette uncooked from the freezer section of the grocery store or from Costco.
  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Remove the brie from its box and its wrapping.
  3. Place the brie on a cutting board.
  4. With a sharp knife, make 8 cuts on the top of the brie all around.photo 1
  5. Place a half  of a garlic in each slit.
  6. Place the brie and the baguette on a silpat and cook for 8 minutes.photo 3
  7. when the brie is ready, remove it from the oven.photo 1
  8. Place it on a plate and eat with the sliced bread, and sliced apples. You can also serve a salad to eat along. Et voila!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Gnocchi with a Garlic, Sun-dried Tomato Sauce


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France just like many countries in the world attract people from all places and nations. Some come to France because they love the French culture and language, some come for education. Some came for the work and business opportunities. If France was attractive for its work opportunities in the past, France is now suffering from a very high unemployment. But in the past many people came. For example people from Eastern Europe migrated in the North of France to work in mines, people from Spain came for manual labour, people from French colonies came to France for education and civil rights, and people from Italy came to France for banking

Over the years, those people assimilated themselves more or less into the French culture, but all of them brought with them a bit of their heritage and cuisine;-)

If in the past restaurants in France only served French cuisine, over the years and decades, the Culinary scenery became much diverse. There are restaurants of all cuisine: Japanese, Moroccan, Greek, Chinese,  Italian.

My parents love good cuisine, but they also liked to try new things so they took us once in a while to various ethnic restaurants to taste different food. I am thankful for that. It had allowed me to learn about other flavors and appreciated other cuisine.

Unfortunately it has also made me more demanding of my meals because I know what is authentic. Because I learned to make fresh pastas and fresh ravioli or gnocchi, it is difficult for me to appreciate anything that is packaged. In fact, until today I had never bought packaged gnocchi because I never liked their consistency – How would I know??? because most restaurants here in the States never serve fresh home-made pasta;-(

But the other day, while shopping at Costo I saw a package of Gnocchi and decided to fix it for my family. They are easy to fix and cook in no time ( easy dinner 😉

Well, I will say that they are pretty good. Of course not as good as home-made ones, but one of the best i have eaten in the past.

This evening I served them with a garlic, sun-dried tomato sauce. It was well appreciated by all.

Ingredients for 4-6:

  • 1 package of gnocchi ( it has 3 pouches in them)
  • 2 cloves of garlic pressed
  • 1/3 cup of sun-dried tomato  ( soft ones. I prefer those marinated in olive oil).
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 bag of about 3 oz of fresh arugula
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar ( optional)
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • fresh shredded parmesan
  • salt
  • pepper

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  1. Fill a large pot with water and add 1 tbsp of salt. Bring this water to boil.
  2. While the water is cooking, prepare the sauce.
  3. In a large frying pan, warm up 1 tsp of olive oil.
  4. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and saute it.
  5. Add the sun dried tomatoes and saute them as well.
  6. Add the arugula and saute them.
  7. Pour the wine, bring the mixture to boil while stirring continuously.
  8. Add 1 tsp of brown sugar.
  9. Add the cream and bring to boil as well.  Scrape the bottom of the pan.
  10. Lower the temperature, but continue cooking the mixture at a medium-high temperature until the sauce is thickening up. It should coat the back of a spoon.
  11. When the sauce is to your liking. Remove it from the stove and keep it warm.
  12. When the water is boiling, add the gnocchi. Cook them for about 5 minutes.
  13. When the gnocchi are cooked, drain them. Add 1 tbsp of butter and stir.
  14. Add the sauce to the gnocchi and mix well.
  15. Spoon the mixture in individual pasta bowl and sprinkle some fresh parmesan. C’est tout 😉

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Pasta with a Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Sauce


Once in a a blue moon, I can cook other things than potatoes for my husband;-). On those days, my choices are still limited : croque-monsieurs, crepes or pastas. Today too lazy to fix crepes, and wanting to fix a more balanced meal, I chose to cook pasta. Cooking pasta is so much fun, because you can dress the pasta in a million different way, yet when your family do not care to have seafood or vegetables in their pasta, it somewhat restricts you with what you can prepare. Since my husband loved red pepper, i chose to prepare the pasta with a red pepper sauce. I usually make a creamy sauce where I puree the red pepper and add cream, but tonite I decided to go a lighter way.

Ingredients: 2 red pepper, 1 whole head of garlic, salt and pepper to taste, linguini or spaghetti, 2 tbsp of fresh basil chopped, 1 package of four cheese italian sausages from Johnsville, olive oil, fresh parmesan.

Slice the red pepper in half, remove the seeds and place the red pepper open face down on  a silpat as well as the garlic head.  Cook in a warm oven at 450 for 30 minutes or until the skin of the red pepper is scorching. Remove the red pepper from the oven and place them in a ziploc bag. Place them in the fridge to cool.

Meanwhile add 1 tsp of olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil is getting hot, add the sausages and cook them on medium-high for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium low, cover the pan and cook them for another 7-10 minutes or until they are cooked through. Make sure to turn them during cooking so that they are cooked evenly on all sides. When the sausages are cooked, set the pan aside and keep warm until the rest of the meal is ready.

Cook the pasta according to the directions of the package. While the pasta are cooking, prepare the sauce. When the pepper have cooled ( 10-15 minutes), remove the peppers one by one from the ziploc bag and peel them. Place the red pepper and the garlic in a chopper and puree them. Add the chopped basil, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/8 tsp of pepper and mix well. When the pastas are cooked, drain them and add 1/4 cup of the sauce in the pasta. Mix well. Slice the sausages in 1 inch cut and add them to the pasta. Serve tha pasta on each plate, drizzle more sauce and sprinkle some fresh parmesan. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Lemon and Garlic Pan Saute Trout with Dill Haricots Verts


Today is my youngest child’s birthday. He turned 14. We had chosen not to celebrate his birthday with a big family dinner since we had 2 family birthday parties this week-end already, and he had marching band rehearsal until 6:45. I really felt bad to postpone his birthday until next Sunday so I wanted to make sure that he would at least eat something he would love. So this morning, i inquired him about his wishes for dinner. Guess what he answered;-)….. “I don’t know” That’s what he said. Well, now I had to figure out what to cook. And I chose to prepare caesar’s salad, spaghetti carbonara and chocolate cake for them…So now that their meal was chosen, all I had to do is figure out my meal. And my answer came when I saw those good looking fresh trout filet at Publix this evening. Yum!!!

I love trout. It is very mild in taste and if prepared properly does not have a fishy taste. I love its meat. It is very fine and delicate. The fish is so thin that it requires very little cooking time. Great advantage when you are trying to fix two dinners at once ( like me). The best part of this fish is that it requires no frills. It is such a good fish, that just flash saute with a little bit of butter and parsley is enough! But what to fix with it… Haricots verts seemed like a great addition!

Ingredients ( for 1 person): 1 trout filet, garlic salt to taste, 1 tbsp of butter, half of a lemon.

Pat dry the trout filet with a paper towel, and sprinkle garlic salt and pepper on either side. Turn your stove to medium high. In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter and let it sizzle. When the butter is browning, place the trout skin up in the pan. Saute the trout for 1-2 minutes until it goldens. Flip the trout and saute it for 1-2 minutes again until the skin is becoming brown and crispy. Squeeze half of a lemon all over the trout. Lower the temperature to low- medium, and cover the frying pan with a lid. Keep it covered for 1-2 minutes until the trout is cooked through, and the meat has turned to white ( and is no longer pink). Be careful not to overcook.

Lemon and Dill Haricots Verts: 1 bag of haricots verts, 1 tsp of lemon dill demarle herb mix, salt to taste.

While the trout is cooking, place the haricots  verts in the large fleximold, cover with the octogonal silpat and cook for 3 minutes. When the beans are cooked, add 1 tsp of lemon/ dill Demarle herb mix,  1/2 tsp of olive oil, and salt to taste to the beans and mix well.

To serve, place the dill haricots vert on the side of the plate, and place the trout filet on the other side. For decoration, slice very thin slice of lemon and place atop the fish. Not bad for a dinner cooked in less than 5 minutes:-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!