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!!!

Croquembouche


 

photo 4Last week was Mother’s day and as such, it called for a fabulous dessert. But what to do??? Having seen eclairs, profiteroles at every corner of cooking magazines and facebook profiles, I could not help but making my own the night prior to Mother’s Day. So at 10 o’clock in the evening, this is what I was doing in my kitchen.

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Ingredients for 16-20 small cream puffs or croquembouches:

  • 80 ml  or 2 oz of milk
  • 80 ml or about 2 oz of water
  • 70 gr, or about 5 1/2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 10 gr. or 2 tsp of sugar
  • 100 gr. or about 1/2 cup and 2 tbsp. of flour
  • 2 eggs

Creme Patissiere, or Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • 330 gr. or 11 oz. of milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 yolks
  • 70 gr. or 1/4 cup and 1 tsp of sugar
  • 12 gr.  or about 1 tbsp of flour
  • 12 gr, or about 1 tbsp of corn starch

Caramel:

  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • patience 
  1. In a saucepan, heat up the milk, water, salt, and sugar.
  2. Add the butter cut up in pieces.
  3. When the butter has completely melted, bring the mixture to boil.photo 1
  4. Remove the pan from the stove and add the flour by stirring very well.photo 4
  5. Place the pan back on the stove ( it must be turned off, but will still be warm), and stir and stir with a heat-resistant spatula until the dough starts becoming a ball and will no longer stick to the rims of the pan.
  6. Remove the pan from the stove, empty the dough into a cold bowl and add the eggs to the dough one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
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  8. Place the dough in a pastry bag, with the large circular tips make large rounds of about  1 1/2 inches wide  on a large silpat that you would have previously lay on a large perforated sheet.photo 3
  9. Place the perforated sheet in a warm oven of 350 and cook the cream puffs for 20 minutes. The dough should be brown and dry on all sides. If the dough is a little bit soft, continue cooking the puffs for 1-3 more minutes. Take them out to cool. photo 5Set them aside to prepare the pastry cream or creme patissiere.
  10. In large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish.
  11. Add the flour and the corn starch to the eggs and mix.
  12. Open the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds out of the bean and put them into the milk.
  13. Warm up the milk over the stove, or in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  14. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir. Place the milk/ egg mixture back onto the stove and cook until the mixture is bubbling and is becoming really thick. Remove the pastry cream from the stove, and place it into a bowl. Set aside.
  15. Pour the pastry cream in a round mold..
  16. Cover the pastry cream with some plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to cool.
  17. When the cream is completely cool, make a small indentation to fill the cream puffs with the pastry cream and lay them upside down for easier access when you are going to fill them up.
  18. Fill the pastry bag with the vanilla cream and fill each cream puffs.photo 1
  19. Place the puffs back onto the silpat, and prepare the caramel.
  20. Empty the cup of sugar into  a medium-sized saucepan and place the saucepan onto the stove at a medium high temperature. DO NOT STIR!!!
  21. Only start stirring once the sugar is turning an amber color on the outside rim of the saucepan. Stir until all the sugar has turned that amber color. Reduce the heat to low, and leave the  pan on it so that the caramel will not harden.
  22. Dip the head of each cream puff into the caramel and place them back onto the silpat until the caramel has hardened, and has cooled.photo 2

Eat when they are cool. I dare you to only eat one, or two. They are so good, you will want to eat them all at once!!!photo 5Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Easy Yummy Potato Cupcake


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If today casseroles are no longer part of our  dinner menu, they used to be more present on our table many years ago. Et oui ( well, yes), as a young bride and a young mother I tried to fix meals that were recommended by my friends and casseroles were often the suggestions i received. Some i loved and some I really did not… But all in all, they slowly disappeared from our menu because they were not really that healthy for us ( and me who slowly developed bad cholesterol), and my husband who never really was fond of  them anyway( the picky eater that he is).

Well the reason why i am presenting this recipe today is because i was trying to think of quick easy recipe for a cooking class I did last week for busy moms like me and an old potato recipe came to me.  You may have fixed this recipe 10 years ago. It was very popular then. It had shredded potato, a cream of mushroom, and sour cream.

I will tell you that I did not even thought to look for the recipe. I just thought to add whatever I thought would taste great so there it is;-)

Ingredients for about 15 large cupcakes size, or about 38 mini cupcakes:

  • 1 bag of shredded potato thawed out
  • 1 can of cream of onion ( from any brand)
  • 1 cup of sour cream or even ricotta
  • 1/2 cup of finely diced onion ( I used purple)
  • 1/2 cup of green onion
  • 2 cups of cheddar cheese ( one for the mixture and one for the topping)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper

( I think adding 1 cup of bacon bits would be great to this recipe also;-)

  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Place a large cupcake tray, or a  mini cupcake tray onto a medium perforated sheet and set aside.
  3. PLace all the ingredients into  a large bowl. image
  4. Mix everything together.image
  5. And fill the cupcakes to the top.
  6. Sprinkle some cheese over the top of each cupcake. Cook for 20-30 minutes.image
  7. Easy and Yummy ( and hardly anything to clean since those molds are non-stick!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Green Curry Chicken Panang


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This past weekend, I had the pleasure to keep my nephew for the weekend. Since most of my husband’s family lives in town, it is rare that any of my nieces or nephews spend the nights at our house. It only happens if my children wants to have sleepover with them or if their parents are going out-of-town. This past weekend my brother-in-law decided to go away for the weekend with his wife and thus let us keep Aksel, my nephew.
My weekends are usually quite boring, we rarely go out as I am happy to just relax and do nothing.  But this weekend, having company, we decided to go here and there. One night we went to the movies, another night we did pizza and movies, and another night we went to a restaurant to eat Thai food. One of my favorite:-) and my children. I ordered the same as : always : Chicken Curry Panang with steamed tofu…. Yum!!!

Well this weekend as I was cleaning my refrigerator and needed to cook some of the chicken I had left over, I decided to cook another curry dish for my school luncheons…;-)

Better than a peanut butter sandwich, right!!?!:-)

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Ingredients for 4:

  • 1 tbsp of sesame or peanut oil
  • 1/2 container of the green curry paste or about 4 tbsp. 
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 2 chicken breasts cleaned, and diced in small cubes
  • 1-2 bags of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup of carrot matches
  • 1/ 2 red pepper diced very small
  • 1/2 yellow or orange pepper diced very small as well. 
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 cups of cooked rice
  1. In a large date pan, warm up the oil and sauté the chicken on all sides. season with salt and pepper.
  2. Remove the chicken from the sauté pan and set aside.
  3. In the same sauté pan, stir in the curry paste.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk, the brown sugar and stir. Bring the mixture to boil.
  5. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Them add the peppers, carrots and spinach and bring the mixture to boil again.
  7. Stir , reduce the temperature and cook do 5 minutes.
  8. When ready spoon some rice ( or not) and spoon the mixture over the rice.
  9. Enjoy!!!

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Bon appetit and Happy Cooking!!!!

Parmesan And Basil Roasted Asparagus


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Looking for a quick vegetable that is so yummy by itself?! Search no more. Make those yummy asparagus to compliment any meat or fish.

Ingredients for 4:

  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. First rinse the asparagus under running water.
  3. Trim the end not by using a knife, but by breaking the ends, holding the end with one hand, holding the asparagus closer to the end with your other hand.
  4. Place all the asparagus inside a bowl.
  5. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil over the asparagus, and with your hands stir so that all the asparagus are well coated with olive oil.
  6. PLace the asparagus flat on a silpat that you would have placed on a perforated sheet.photo 1
  7. Sprinkle some salt, and pepper.
  8. Sprinkle some Basil/ Rosemary Demarle Seasoning and some parmesan.photo 2
  9. And cook in the oven for 3 minutes if they are smaller than your pinkie, 5 if they are the size of your index ( which is the normal size), and 7-8 if they are bigger than your thumb.
  10. Remove from the oven and enjoy!!!

photo 3Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Shamrock Whoopie Pies


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Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone!!!

I hope you guys had a fun day today. Did you go party somewhere fun, and drink some green beer;-)

St Patrick’s Day sure looks like a lot of fun. Looking at picture of green tainted rivers, parades and green beer, it certainly looks like many people are having a great time. I hope one day I will get to see that too. It must be quite impressive to see a river green!! Do you think that I would enjoy this holiday even though I don’t like to drink beer.. Would that make a difference?

Well Spartanburg, SC, had nothing of that. It was a very quiet Sunday here. I certainly enjoyed the beautiful weather, and the warm temperature and  sure hope that Spring is here to stay!

So instead of celebrating St Patrick’s DAy like many of you, I celebrated mine in my kitchen trying to make Shamrock Whoopie Pies. Well they look more like Fleur de Lys Thank Shamrock, but I certainly tried.

And What do I think of them??? They taste great!!! Nothing like a fluffy and yummy French Pastry but they are pretty good:-) and they are easy to do:-)

Ingredients for 15 Whoopie pies:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 T light corn syrup
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 oz. green liquid food coloring
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare 2 large perforated sheets by placing a large silpat on two perforated sheets.
  2. In a mixer, beat the butter and the sugar on medium high-speed until it is light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and beat until it is well incorporated. Add the  vanilla and the corn syrup and beat about 30 seconds more.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.photo 1
  5. Add 1/3 of the mix to the batter and beat on low speed until it is just incorporated. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and beat until just incorporated.photo 2
  6. Repeat step 5 until you have used all the dry mix and all the buttermilk.
  7. Add food coloring.Do not over beat.
  8. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe the dough onto the silpat by making shamrocks.photo 3
  9. Place the perforated sheet into the oven and bake about 6 (if on a silpat and perforarted sheet),  otherwise 8 minutes or until the cookies are set.photo 4
  10. When cooked, let them cool on the perforated sheet.
  11. Meanwhile prepare the filling.

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 jar of marshmallow paste
  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  1. Place all the ingredients into a mixer and beat until it becomes thick.
  2. Spoon the filling into a pastry bag and pipe the filling onto a whoopie pie.photo 5
  3. Place a top on each whoppie pie et voila!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Parmesan and Mexican Chili Pepper Chicken Tenders


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It was a bit late when I got home one night from a cooking class, and I know that you are not supposed to eat after 8:00, but when you are starving, you are going to eat… and it may be whatever you find. Luckily for me, we don’t have any bad snacks to snack on when we are hungry.. only cheese and fruits. Well those were not at all tempting, so I started gathering a few things on my counter to fix my dinner: chicken , parmesan, chili powder…

If you like chicken tenders with a bite, try those. They are pretty good! Not too spicy, just a bit… perfect;-)

Ingredients for 12 chicken tenders:

  • 2 breast of chicken
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan
  • 2 tsp of Mexican Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 egg
  1. Turn the oven on the 400.
  2. Clean the chicken breast of any fat.
  3. Then place one chicken breast inside the roulpat and fold the roulpat over the chicken breast.
  4. With the rolling pin, pound the chicken breast to flatten it a bit. Remove the chicken breast and repeat this process with the other ones.
  5. Place the chicken breast on the chopping block and slice the chicken in its width in small strips of 1/3 of an inch. Place those strips in the metal bowl and add the salt and pepper.
  6. Mix well to coat the chicken. Add the egg and mix well again to make sure that all chicken strips are well coated with the egg mixture.
  7. In another bowl, mix the parmesan and the Mexican Chili Powder and mix well.photo
  8. With your fingers, transfer the chicken strips in the bread mixture and mix so that the chicken fingers will be coated with the mixture. Take a large silpat or 2 medium silpat ( previously laid on perforated sheet) and lay the chicken breasts on the it.photo
  9. Place the perforated sheet in the oven and cook for 6-8 minutes.

I ate those yummy chicken tenders with some steamed broccoli slaw. 😉

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!