Gorgonzola, Purple Onion and Honey Pizza

photo 4Yesterday like most Sunday, I tried to cook a good dinner. As I set out my ingredients for all I intended to cook for dinner  ( scalloped potatoes, Ribs, Green Beans and Strawberry tart)t I got hungry. I could have just snacked on things here and there but I had been dreaming about fixing pizza with gorgonzola and honey and decided to fix it as our appetizers.

I used whole wheat tortillas in the past to make quick pizzas, and since I had a few left over from a previous dinner, I decided to make my pizza with it. Whole wheat tortillas is a much healthier substitution to pizza dough, and it cooks much faster.

Ingredients for 4 individual pizzas:

  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 24 thin slices of gorgonzola
  • 1/2 purple onion sliced very thinly as well
  • pepper
  • 4 tsp of honey
  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Place a large silpat on a large perforated sheet. Place the four tortillas on the large silpat.
  3. Lay the gorgonzola all over each tortilla.photo 1
  4. Then top the gorgonzola with the sliced purple onion.photo 2
  5. Sprinkle some pepper.
  6. Cook in the oven for 5-6 minutes. I placed my pizza on the top tier of the oven.
  7. photo 3Warm the honey for 10 seconds in the microwave and drizzle it over each pizza.
  8. Cut in squares and enjoy as an entree, or as an appetizer as we did here;-)photo 5

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

A Basic: French Onion Soup

I love fall, but I hate the dull days that sometimes it brings. A week ago, the day was so gloomy that, had I not been working, I would have probably spent my day on the couch watching tv and being comfortable. Well at dinner time, I did not feel any better. I wanted good comfort food. So I made French Onion Soup.

Today I will share with you my husband’s favorite: French Onion Soup

There are millions of recipes out there, but this one I learned  from my mom, and I love it because it is a bit sweet.

Ingredients for 4:

  • 3 purple onions sliced very thin
  • 4-5 cup of broth ( beef broth ( homemade or in a can)
  • 2 tbsp of  sugar
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 2/3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Stale bread, or country style bread
  • 1 cup or more of grated Emmenthal or Swiss cheese 

In a large pot, warm up the olive oil, and when the oil is warm, add the onions. Stir and stir until the onions are becoming a brownish color and are tender. It will take at least 10 minutes to get the onions caramelized.

When the onions are a nice brown color, add the sugar and cook for a few minutes on a medium-low temperature. Then add the warm broth, the wine, the fresh thyme, and the laurel leaf. Stir and bring the mixture to boil. When the soup has come to boil, lower the temperature and cook the soup for at least 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

While the soup is cooking, cut thin pieces of bread, place them on a silpat and toast them in the oven at 400 for 5 minutes. Laddle the soup in individual bowls.

Place a toasted bread in each bowl on top of the soup. Add 1/4 cup of cheese over the bread. Place the bowl back into the oven and cook for a few minutes ( 5-7) or until the cheese is melted and is becoming crispy.

I am usually not fond of onion soup, because it is so hard on my stomach, but this soup tastes so good and so sweet that it is difficult not to be tempted. In fact i could not help but having a cup and it was un vrai delice;-) It warmed my heart and my soul. What good end  to my day;-)

Bon Appetit and happy Cooking!!!

Parsley and Onion Risotto

Growing up my mom would either make white rice or what I used to call ” sticky rice”. She would make that “sticky rice” in many flavors. She would make it with curry, onion, parmesan, tomato… I really was not fond of that type of rice then. All i wanted was boiled white rice with a ton of butter and fresh Emmenthal… Yummm!!!

Today i love that “sticky rice”. In fact, I would rather “sticky rice” than that plain white rice au naturel.  Well, it took me many years to figure out that what she cooked all along was risotto. Isn’t it funny???

Today I will present you the recipe of parsley and onion risotto. It is yummy, easy to fix, and can accompany many meats or fish. I served it with herb coated pork tenderloin.

Ingredients for 4:

  • 8 z. of risotto rice
  • 1 purple onion sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  • 4 tbsp of fresh parsley
  • 5-6 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp of butter or mascarpone ( optional)
  • grated parmesan ( optional)

In a medium-sized pot, warm up the olive oil so it is hot. When the oil is hot, add the onion and saute them. Lower the temperature to medium/ low and continue cooking the onions until they are a light brown yellow and are soft. Then add the rice, the chopped parsley  and stir to coat with the olive oil. Pour 2 cup of hot broth over the rice and stir. Bring the mixture to boil, and when it has come to boil, lower the temperature and cook at a low temperature. Stir often. When the broth is all gone, add more and stir. Cook until the rice is al dente. When the rice is to your liking, add 2 tbsp. of butter, or 2 tbsp of mascapone, 1/2 cup of parmesan. Et voila!!! You eat it by itself or with a meat.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Fettuccini a la Gorgonzola with Roasted Pancetta, Purple Onions and Tomatoes

If it was up to my husband and my children, they would eat Spaghetti a la Bolognese or Spaghetti Carbonara every time I wanted to fix pastas. But today I did not listen to their wishes. I had some Gorgonzola in the fridge and decided it would be the dressing for todays’ pasta.

Ingredients: 1/4 purple onions sliced thinly, 1 cup of baby tomatoes sliced in half, 1 pack of fettuccine, 2 tbsp of butter, 1 cup of heavy cream, 1/3 cup of gorgonzola crumbled, 1/4 cup of pancetta very thinly sliced, 1 egg, salt and pepper, olive oil.

Place the sliced onions and the halved tomatoes in a large bowl, add 1 tsp of olive oil and mix to coat the vegetables. Spread the vegetables on the silpat that you would have previously placed on a perforated sheet. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes and onions for 8-10 minutes at 375.

Place the pancetta on a silpat as well and roast it too for 8-10 minutes. It will become crisp.

While the vegetables are cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions. And while this is cooking, prepare the gorgonzola sauce.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and when it is starting to sizzle, add the warm heavy cream. Stir, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the crumbled Gorgonzola, a dash of salt and pepper and stir while cooking until the gorgonzola is completly melted. Add 1 egg and mix well at a low temperature until the sauce is getting thicker. Set aside.

Drain the pasta, and add the sauce to the pasta. Mix well. Add the roasted vegetables and mix again. Spoon the pasta on each plate and crumble the pancetta on top of the pasta. And serve with garlic bread and arugula salad. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Oven-Roasted Summer Vegetables

If you read this blog, you either know me personally or have come to one of my cooking class. And so you know that I love to cook. I love to cook so much in fact that you will find me in my kitchen 200% of the time when I am home. People paint, collect stamps. Me, I play with food, I try new flavors and ingredients and I make up recipes. It is rewarding in itself to eat what you have prepared. It is even better when the food tastes great and it is good for you. This recipe is such a recipe. It is so yummy, you feel as if you splurges when in fact it is very healthy.  With the Demarle cookware, nothing tastes like you even tasted things. Vegetables taste so fresh and so yummy… Try this recipe, it is yummy and so fast to make. You will love it!!!

Ingredients for 4: 2 small zucchini sliced and 4 small summer squash sliced and cut very thinly, 1/2 box of cherry tomatoes, 1 small red or orange bell pepper sliced thinly, 1/4 purple onion sliced thinly, 1 tbsp of rosemary, thyme Demarle seasoning, salt, pepper and 1 tbsp of olive oil.

Place all the diced vegetables in a bowl, drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil and mix well to coat the vegetables. Empty the vegetables on the silpat and spread them out. Sprinkle the onions. Then sprinkle salt, pepper, the rosemary seasoning and a bit of parmesan and cook in a warm oven at 400 for 8-10 minutes. C’est tout!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

A few days ago as I was munching on almonds, I suddenly felt an atrocious pain and realized that I broke a tooth. One of my molar;-(..Of course, I had to have this fixed which was not making me too happy. Going to the dentist is not my favorite thing to do, getting this new crown was going to put a dent in my Thanksgiving shopping ( just kidding), and having this fixed so close to the famous feast was putting a dip into my mood.

You can only guess that after spending a few hours at the dentist yesterday, and a new crown in my mouth, I did not feel like eating a whole lot, in fact nothing. I fixed dinner for my family and just hang out with them with a cup of coffee in my hand. A few hours later however, after having taken a few advils, I was starving but could not see anything that would not hurt me. So I thought: ” Soup, Soup…” except that there were none in my fridge. No problem. I had a small pumpkin and decided this would be what I would have. This recipe is inspired by a wonderful friend and cook named Rodney who shared with me what he cooked recently. I followed some of his recommendations, and this is what I made.

Ingredients for 4-6 servings: 1 small pumpkin called the pie pumpkin, 1 purple onion, 1/3 cup of dark muscovado sugar, salt and pepper, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth.

Peel and dice the pumpkin in 1 inch squares. Place the diced pumpkin in a large bowl, drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1/8 tsp of seal salt, 1/16 tsp of fresh ground pepper and mix well so that the pumpkin is well coated. Spread the pumpkin on a deep Flexipan that you would have placed on top of a perforated sheet. Spread the diced onions over the pumpkin, and sprinkle 1/3 cup of the Muscovado sugar on top of the pumpkin and onions. Cook in a warm oven for 15 minutes at 425. After the pumpkin has cooked, empty it all into a large bowl and with a mixer, pure the soup. Slowly add the hot broth as you puree the vegetables. You may eat the soup at this point ( I did and it tasted great) or you can empty the soup into a pot and cook it for another 15-20 minutes to infuse the broth and make the soup even more wonderful. Add more salt and pepper if needed ( i did not). To make the soup more creamier, you can also add a dollop of mascarpone cheese or Creme Fraiche. Et Voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Monk Fish Poached in Oolong Tea

I love to cook  consequently we do not go out often. When we are out-of-town, on the other hand, I look forward going out and eating out. I look for places that are avant-garde. This allows me to see the different fares that are available out there, other than  what we are exposed to here in Spartanburg. A few months ago, I had dinner in Greenville at Devoreaux – I highly recommend it, very good, very different, it is a new cuisine, very modern, very inventive in its preparation and flavors.  My friend ordered Seared Foie Gras with Oolong Tea. I loved the flavors. In fact I loved the dish so much that I have been dreaming of making something with oolong tea ever since. I wanted to try a recipe with fish, a very fine fish such as Mahi or monk fish. So I have been making those recipes with various teas, and various way but never got the flavors I was looking for until now. In this recipe, the fish is poached in tea and white wine and served over basmati rice.

Ingredients: 1 lb of monk fish cleaned up and diced in 1 inch squares, 1 big red onion or 2 small ones chopped very thinly, 1 cup of white wine, 4 cups of water, 4 tea packets of oolong tea, and 2 tea packet of acai berry pomegranate tea, 1 tbsp of brown sugar, 1 cup of basmati rice, salt and pepper, 2 tbsp of butter.

Place 4 cups of water in a saucepan and bring the water to boil. Place all tea bags in the water to steep for 5 minutes. You will use  2 cups for poaching the fish, and 2 cups as the sauce for the fish to which you will need to add 1 tbsp of sugar.

In a small saucepan, add 2 cups of water, 1/4 tsp of salt and bring the water to boil. When the water if boiling, add the rice, stir and lower the temperature. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Drain the rice, add 1 tbsp of butter, stir and set aside.

In a frying pan, place 2 tbsp of butter and saute the onion until the onion is getting translucent and soft. Remove 1/2 of the onion from the frying pan and place it in a small container. Continue cooking the other half of the onions until they are caramelized and turning brown and crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In a small saucepan, place the soft onion, 1 cup of white wine, 2 cup of tea, 1/8 tsp of salt, 1/16 tsp of pepper and bring to boil. When the water is boiling, add the fish and poached for 5 minutes, or until the fish is becoming translucent. Drain the fish and the onion from the broth and set aside.

To serve, spoon the rice in a shallow plate. Top the rice with the fish and the onions. Place a few caramelized onions atop the fish and add 1/2 cup of the sweet tea. Et Voila….

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Thyme Beef Kabobs

When you go home to your family, do you ask them what they wish to eat? and what do they answer? I don’t know…. well, at my house they never really know what they want to eat, but they surely know what it is that they don’t want to eat… So my suggestions always end up nowhere, and I end up fixing either pasta, or potato something for the 3/4 of my family. I was going to grill my chicken, so since I did not want to spend hours in the kitchen, I thought to serve them beef tenderloin kebabs. Quick, and good!’

Recipe: 3 large tenderloins steaks, 1 red bell pepper, 1 purple onion, olive oil, 2tbsp of thyme fresh or dry, 1/16 tsp of pepper, 1/8 tsp of salt.

Cut the meat, and the bell pepper in 1 inch square. Cut the onion also in larger chunks so that you can use them for the kebabs. Place all in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, the thyme, salt and pepper and mix well. Skewer the meat, bell pepper and the onion onto the wooden skewers that you would have previously soaked in water ( to avoid the wood from burning on the grill). Grill on high for 2 1/2 minutes on each side.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!