Tomatoes a la Provencale


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Hello readers, and everyone else. How are you?? I know, I know it has been a while. It is crazy how time passes and how I find it difficult to write my recipes and share them with you. Contrary to my lack of posts, I have been cooking. But my family and I have had so much family visiting recently that it is difficult to find time to allocate to my blog.

Any way here I am. Before you will have no more tomatoes in your backyard, I wanted to share this yummy and very very easy recipe of Tomates Provencales.

There are a million recipes out there, but really the best part of this recipe, is that you can pretty much use all that you have in your  cabinets to flavor those tomatoes.

Indeed, the recipe calls for Bread crumbs, but you can substitute it with crackers, or bagel chips that you would have crushed. One day, I even used some white cheddar cheez-it because I did not have any more bread crumbs.

  • Ingredients for 4-6 people:
    1-2 tomatoes per person, so about 8,
  • 1/4 cup of italian bread crumbs,
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan,
  • 1 tbsp of garlic salt.
  • 1 tsp of rosemary thyme seasoning from demarle
  1. Place all the dry ingredients into a small bowl and mix well.IMG_2667
  2. Cut the roma tomatoes in half.IMG_2666
  3. Place them into a flexipan or a large round.
  4. Sprinkle the bread mixture over the top of the tomatoes.IMG_2668
  5. Drizlle some olive oil to wet the bread crumbs
  6. Bake the tomatoes for 15-20 minutes.IMG_2671

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Portobello Pizza


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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!!!

Tomato, Bacon Sandwich


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Yesterday was the last day of school. Yeah!!! and once I finished everything and was allowed to go home, I went home, put on comfortable clothes and relaxed in the back patio.  It was so lovely that I stayed there until the sun set which was almost till 9pm. Needless to say that at this time i did not really want to fix dinner so I let my family fix what they wanted while i decided to use the tomatoes I had purchased a few days ago from a local farmer,

Ingredients for 2 tomato sandwiches:

  • 1 ripe tomato sliced in 5 slices
  • 4 whole wheat toasts
  • 1- 2 tsp of mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper
  • optional gorgonzola
  • 6 bacon strips/ or about 3 tbsp of bacon bits
  1. turn the oven to 400.
  2. place the toast on a silpat and toast for 5 minutes. You may also use your toaster to toast the bread.
  3. remove the toast from the oven and spread some mayonnaise on all toasts.photo 1
  4. Place the bacon strips on 2 of the toasts, then the tomatoes slices.photo 4
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. At this point you may want to add some fresh Gorgonzola. I do sometimes;-)photo 5
  7. Place the final toast. Press with your hand, cut and enjoy. Yummy!!!photo 2

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Pan Seared Sea Bass on a Bed of Grilled Endives.


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This morning, I wanted to eat fish so bad, that as soon as I left school I went straight  to the Fresh Market with the hope to find either sea bass or grouper. They are my two favorite white fish in the world. The meat is so tender and flaky that very little is required to make them taste great. As I had a few Belgium endives in my fridge and a rest of tomato salsa, I decided that those two would be a great addition to my meal this evening.

This recipe, though not very hard is very tasty and super super easy. Give it a try, you will not mess up!!!

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Ingredients for 2 :

  • 3 large Belgium Endives rinsed well and
  • 1 large filet of Chilean Sea Bass
  • 2 Roma tomatoes chopped thinly
  • 1/4 cup or about 1/4 of a middle-sized red onion diced thinly 
  • 1/2 tbsp of fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 to  1 tbsp of butter.
  1. Turn the oven to 375.
  2. Rinse the belgium endives under running water and with a paper towel, dry them well. Then slice them in half in their length.
  3. In a medium frying pan, melt half of the butter and let it become hot.
  4. When the butter is starting to sizzle, add the belgium endives, and place them down as shown on the picture below.photo
  5. Sprinkle a bit os salt and pepper to season them.
  6. Saute them for a minute or so. Then flip them and saute the other side for another minute. Drizzle some lemon juice, sprinkle more salt and pepper and cook for another minute.
  7. Remove the endives from the frying pan, and place them face down in the large round mold.
  8. In the same frying pan, melt the other 1/4- 1/2 tbsp of butter.
  9. When the butter is sizzling, add the fish that you would have previously patted dry with a paper towel. Saute the fish for a minute on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Place the fish atop the saute Bleigium endives, or on the side. Season with salt and pepper.photo
  11. Place the octogonal silpat on top of the round mold. Place the large round mold onto a medium perforated sheet and place both into the oven.
  12. Cook for 5-7 minutes. I like my fish moist and flaky. You may need to cook a little longer if you like it more done.

While the fish is cooking, prepare the tomato salsa.

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the diced roma tomatoes, diced red onion, cilantro.
  2. Then add the olive oil and 1/8 tsp of salt and 1/16 of pepper and mix well.

To serve, place the endives and fish on individual plates and spoon a few tablespoons of the tomato salsa over the fish. Enjoy!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Salade Nicoise Revisited


The first time I ordered a salad as an appetizer here in the USA, I was a bit surprised to see all the things that was included. There was cheese, various vegetables, nuts,  even meat amid the greeny leaves. In France, when you order a green salad as an appetizer, it is usually a very plain salad. It does not include many vegetables. I think the reason is because a salad is usually eaten as a ” cleanser” between the main meal and the cheese/ or dessert.

When we eat generous salads such as those we know here in the USA ( Chef SAlad), they are replacing a meal. Those salads are found on lunch menus in the summer, and they rarely have lettuce as their main base. There are two popular salad that you will see on menus in the summer: Salade composee which often has rice as its main base, and salade nicoise that is made with steamed potatoes, steamed green beans, fresh onions and tomatoes. There are millions of recipes out-there, but the traditional one includes red purple onions, artichokes, anchovies, eggs and tuna.

Growing up, it seemed that when we had left-over potatoes, this is what my mom made. I will tell you that I ate so much of it that it took me a while to make it again.  But tonite since I had small quantities of everything, it occured to me that I could make a warm salade nicoise for my dinner with what i had in my fridge.

The French Salade Nicoise is seasoned with a traditional red white vinaigrette but I gave it my twist.

Ingredients for 4: 

  • 12 small red potatoes
  •  about 2 cups bag of fresh green beans or haricots verts
  • 1/2 purple onions sliced very thinly.
  • 1 box of baby tomatoes
  • 2 filet of tuna sashimi
  • 4 tbsp ol balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2-3 tsp of smokehouse maple herb mix from Costco.
  • 1/4. tsp of sea salt.

Rinse the potatoes very well and place them in the large round mold. Add a dash of salt, and a tsp of water. Cover the round mold and cook in the microwave for 6-8 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked but still firm. Let the potatoes cool and then slice them in narrow slices. Set aside. Then place about 2 cups of green beans or haricots verts in the round mold, cover the round mold again with the octogonal silpat and cook for 5 minutes. Set the beans aside.

On a plate, sprinkle about 2 tbsp of the maple and lay the tuna into the smokehouse maple seasoning so that it will be covered with the spice. Repeat this process on all sides.

Place a small frying pan on a hot stove at medium-high, and add 1/2 tbsp of butter. When the butter is sizzling, add the tuna steak and sear it for 1 minute. Season with some salt. Turn it over and repeat so as to sear all sides. Remove the tuna from the pan and set it aside.

In the same frying pan, add the sliced onions and cook them until they are becoming a golden brown. Throw in the pan the balsamic vinegar, the olive oil and 1 tbsp of the maple seasoning, and bring to boil. Turn the heat down to low, add the sliced potatoes, the beans, the fresh tomatoes and stir. Cook this mixture for only 1 minute or 2. Add 1/2 tsp of sea salt. Toss. Plate the “salad” on plates. Slice the tuna in narrow slices, lay them over the salad. Drizzle more sauces over the tuna, et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Breakfast Tomato Crustless Quiche


What do you eat for breakfast? Like a true French person, I love to eat bread with butter and jelly and of course I love my croissants. Because croissants, or shall I say, “good croissants” are hard to find in our area and I am cautious of their effect on my waistline, I only eat croissants on the week-ends if I find some good ones. Generally my breakfast will be scrambled white eggs and a croissant on week-ends. During the week, it really depends. Sometimes it is whole wheat bread with butter and jelly, sometimes it is cereals, and sometimes it is fruit. This week for whatever reason, nothing really stroke me fancy for breakfast.  But I know the importance of eating breakfast, I tried to fix some scrambled eggs on Monday morning. Result: I was happy with my breakfast but ran late that morning…It is too much trouble to prepare the eggs, eat and clean…

So i started to think that quiche would be great and that is what i fixed last night.

I used my large round mold tray and made 6 individuals quiches. You may heat them up or eat them cold. Which i did this morning.

Ingredients:

6 eggs, 2 1/2 cup of milk ( I used lactose fat free milk), 3 roma tomatoes, 10 oz of shredded gorgonzola cheese, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of freshly ground pepper.

Slice the roma tomatoes very thinly, sprinkle some salt over them and lay them on some paper towels. Set them aside for a few minutes. In a large bowl, add all the other ingredients except the gorgonzola and mix well.

Take the large round mold and layer the tomatoes in a flower pattern. I placed 5 slices so it looked like a 5 petal flower. Sprinkle the gorgonzola on top, making sure to divide the cheese evenly. Take the egg mixture and empty it evenly in all 6 “circles. Place the tray in the warm oven at 375 and cook for 20 minutes or until the top is nice and golden, and the middle of the quiche is firm, and not liquid.

Eat the quiche as it comes out of the oven for dinner with a salad, or eat it cold  like me for breakfast. It was fabulous! and I was happy and satisfied this morning.

NB: You could also add a pie crust if you wished. Same cooking time!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

A Summer Vegetable Side: Ratatouille.


If you have a few squashes, zucchinis and tomatoes left in your fridge, you can make a quick yummy side: Ratatouille. Now your man is probably not going to like it. I know… even in France very few men like ratatouille but ladies if you like vegetables, you will love this side!!! Even if no-one here eats it, I will eat it for lunch and dinner until it is all gone. I love to eat it cold as a side to a grilled meat or scrambled eggs, or warm over fresh pasta and grated parmesan.

Ingredients: 4 tbsp of olive oil, 2 medium sized yellow onions, 2- 3 bell peppers diced ( not green), 2 eggplants cubed, 3 zucchinis cubed, 3 yellow squashes cubed, 4-6 tomatoes peeled and diced, 2 tbsp of fresh basil chopped, 2 tbsp of fresh parsley chopped, 1 tbsp of fresh oregano chopped, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of fresh back pepper.

In a large stockpot, warm up the olive oil and saute the yellow onions until they are becoming golden and soft. Add the bell peppers and saute them. Stir regularly to prevent scorching. Add the 1/2 of the tomatoes, and stir. Add zucchinis and squashes and eggplants and saute them. Stir well. Add the rest of the tomatoes. Bring to boil. Add salt, pepper and the herbs and stir. Lower the temperature and let it simmer for 2-3 hours until the vegetables have somewhat “melted” and lost their shapes. Eat warm as a vegetables or cold with a yummy omelet. Yum!