Leek and Potato Soup

Meals in France are somewhat different than here in the States. We usually start our meal with an appetizer of some sort, if it is not Charcuterie ( cold Cuts), it is a soup in the winter and crudites in the summer ( fresh vegetables such as carrot salad). We then  have a main entree with meat, starch and vegetables which is followed by a salad with cheese and of course dessert. After the holidays, you can imagine, those desserts often become light sweets such as yogurts or fruits.

My mom made the best soups. One of my favorite soup growing up was carrot, potato and leek soup. And with this weather, I have been craving to eat this soup… the problem?!?! Leeks. It has been difficult to find leeks so today when i saw them, you can imagine that  I quickly grabbed a few of them to make that soup. Except that when I got home I realized I had forgotten to buy carrots… Oh well… today was going to be potato, leek soup.

Ingredients: 3 leeks, 5 medium sized potatoes, 1 cup of white wine, 5 cups of chicken broth, salt and pepper to taste, 3 tbsp of butter.

Trim the leeks to about 1 inch away from the white part. Cut the leek in half and rinse under water to clean all the sand. Chop the leek very thinly. In a large pot, melt the butter and when the butter is sizzling, add the chopped leeks. Turn the heat to low-medium heat to sweat the leeks for about 5 minutes. Add the cubed potatoes to the pot, and stir. Add the white wine and cook for a few minutes. Then add the broth to the pot and bring to boil. When it has come to boil, lower the temperature and cook for 20 minutes. With an emulsion mixer, puree the soup and add more broth if you think the soup needs to be more liquid. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. When serving, add chopped chives  and a dollop of sour cream and eat. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

NB: by the way, those are not leeks pictured here;-)

Chocolate and Caramel Tiramisu- YUM!!!

I don’t eat a lot of desert, but when I do, it needs to be out of the ordinary and spectacular. It must;-) because I don’t want to waste those hours on a treadmill for nothing…Luckily the only desert that I really love are the homemade kind and the one from true French Patisserie so i am safe… I only indulge whenever I go out of town or when I made my own deserts. Since on the week-end, i let myself indulge a little more, I decided  to create une verrine ( desert served in a  shot glass). I got my inspiration from a French cookbook called “verrines sucrees” from the ESI Editions. Their verrine was a plain mascarpone mousse whereas mine is made with chocolate ( chocolate makes everything taste better:-)

Ingredients for 6 big glasses or 15 small shot glasses:

For the caramel: 120 gr of sugar, 50 gr of salted butter, 80ml or 2.5 oz of heavy cream.

Place a small saucepan on a stove on medium-high heat, and put half of the sugar in the pan. When the sugar is starting to melt and is bubbling, add the rest of the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon. When the sugar is turning into a light brown caramel, remove it from the stove, add the melted butter and the cream ( it needs to be warm so as to prevent  splashing). Mix well and set aside.

Tiramisu mousse: 3 eggs, 60 gr. of sugar, 1 box of mascarpone, 6 shortbread cookies or sables bretons crumbled, 8oz of bittersweet chocolate( preferebly ghiradhelli).

Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir to make it smooth and set aside to cool. Separate the yolks from the egg whites. In a large sauce pan, bring some water to boil. When the water is boiling, lower the temperature and place the bowl with the egg yolks and the sugar on top of the boiling water. Keep the egg yolks over the steaming water until the yolks are warm to the touch, but make sure to stir so that the egg yolks will not curd. When the yolks are warm and the sugar has almost melted, place the bowl on your mixer and beat the egg yolks until they triple in volume and become whitish.  Slowly add the mascarpone and the melted but cool chocolate.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, and incorporate them into the mascarpone mixture.

To create the verrine, fill the verrine with the chocolate/ mascarpone mixture up to half of the glass. Top with shortbread crumbles, then with the caramel. Then fill up the glass with more chocolate mascarpone mixture. Sprinkle some powder cocoa, and some chocolate shavings or raw chocolate crumbs. Place the verrrine in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 3 hours. After that, devour;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Peach Tart

I love fruits, and I will eat them a plenty during the day, but for dessert, I don’t want fruit. I want a real dessert. Something that is yummy, and delicate…Well right now the best thing to eat or to add to your menu is Peaches. They are so flavorful…

In France, there are many fruit desserts. You can have charlotte, bavarois, napoleon, mousse and of course tartes. Today I will offer you the recipe of a peach tart, and its espuma. Both are very easy to make again, but so delicate and so light. Not heavy at all, and not too sweet… the way fruit desserts should be!

Ingredients for 4 tarts:

  • 1/2 peach per person, so 2 peaches.
  • 1 puff pastry dough,
  • 1/4 cup of almond flour or mill
  • sugar.


  • 1 medium saucepan,
  • 1 small frying pan,
  • measuring cups,
  • spatula,
  • dough cutter of 3 7/8 and 3 1/16,
  • deep  flexipan tray with its perforated sheet, round bowl.
  1. To make the tart: roll out the puff pastry dough with a rolling pin to thin it out a bit.
  2. With the larger dough cutter, cut a circle in your dough to make it the bottom of your pie.
  3. With the 3 7/8 and the 31/16, make a ring that you will place on top of your circle that will become the sides of your tart.
  4. Repeat this process for each individual tart you need to make. Set the empty tarts on a flexipan tray.
  5. Sprinkle some almond flour on each tart ( about 1 tbsp per each tart.)This is done so that the almond mill will absorb the moisture o the peach and will not make the dough soaggy.
  6. Slice your peaches in half and cut those halves in the length to make 6 slices.
  7. Place all of them in a large bowl, and sprinkle with sugar ( 1 Tbsp per peach), and lemon juice ( 2 to 3 drops per peach).
  8. Mix well to coat the peaches slices with the sugar.
  9. Rearrange the slices on the tart to remake the half of the peach.
  10. Sprinkle more sugar and lemon juice.
  11. You may add 1 tsp of butter on top of each tart to help the dough become golden. Bake in warm oven at 400 for 15 minutes.
  12. Serve with Espuma and Vanilla Ice Cream. YUM!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

The Right Meal for YOU!!!!

Wouldn’t you like to learn to cook a quick, and easy meal that is also delicious and beautiful in appearance. Well, I hope your answer is “YES!!!!”.

So I invite you all to come to my cooking class this Thursday night to learn to cook:

  • Mozzarella and Tomato Caprese
  • Delight Ginger chicken
  • Rice Pilaf
  • Dill  Green Beans
  • and Summer Fruit Tartlets…
Doesn’t it sound amazing?! Now, what if I told you that preparing such a gourmet dinner would not take you more than 30 minutes… Are you sold yet?
So come on to my house this Thursday to learn to prepare such a delicious meal. Just let me know so I will know how much to prepare for at 864-494-4494 or e-mail me at Cecile.cuisine@yahoo.com
Free for first time attendees ( $25 otherwise. Fee will be waived if an order is placed)