Sun-Dried Tomato, Arugula, Ham and Parmesan Crustless Quiches


photoAfter spending a week having copious breakfast, I tried to resume to my school breakfast this Monday ( smoothies or cereal bars),  but was not satisfied and was famined by the time 10am came. So last night  I decided to make some crustless quiches.
At first I thought of making one of my favorite, Asparagus and Boursin crustless quiches but since I had other ingredients on hand, i decided to play a bit.

My quiche may not look that appetizing,  but it was very good and very satisfying. I think next time I will however place arugula at the bottom of the quiche and not at the top for esthetic reason.

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Ingredients for 6 individual quiches:

  • 6 tbsp of sun-dried tomatoes ( the soft ones, or the one preserved in olive oil)
  • 6 tbsp of shredded parmesan
  • 8 oz. of fat-free ham ( sliced thinly and cut in small squares)
  • 3 oz. of fresh arugula chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups of milk
  • dash of pepper
  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Place the large round tray on a medium perforated sheet.
  3. Divide the ham among each round.
  4. Continue with the parmesan and finally the sun-dried tomatoes.photo
  5. Divide the arugula equally in each round.photo
  6. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and the milk. Season lightly with some pepper.
  7. Pour the egg mixture in each round equally.
  8. Bake in a warm oven for 25 minutes.
  9. Eat warm or cold.

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Arugula, Asian Pear, Asparagus, and Wasabi Soy Peas Salad


Yesterday I wanted to change things up, so i bought a flank steak for our dinner. Because neither my husband, not my daughter were fan of the meat ( they found it tough;-(, they only like beef tenderloin). I was left with a bit of meat left-over. So tonite I fixed myself this salad to accompany the cold flank steak meat I had left, and it made me feel so happy from inside and out.

Good looking food makes me happy, and if it tastes great and has the advantage to make me feel great, then it makes me even more happy from the inside. I loved the balance between the sweetness of the vinaigrette/the asian pear, the tartness of the arugula salad, and the spiciness of the wasabi soy bean. Un vrai delice!!!

Ingredients for  the salad for 2:

  • 4 handful or about 2 oz. of arugula salad
  • 4 fresh asparagus sliced in an angle with a potato peeler
  • 2-4 tbsp of wasabi coated peas ( whole, or broken in pieces)
  • 1/2 of an Asian pear

Ingredients for the dressing: 

  • 2 tbsp of champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of walnut oil
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup ( of good quality)
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper

First you will want to prepare all the ingredients that will go into the salad. With a potato peeler, slice in an angle the asparagus into small and thin strips. Set aside. Then cut the pear in half. Core the half that you will use. Then with a sharp knife, cut thin half slices out of the Asian Pear. Set aside.

Prepare the vinaigrette. In a large bowl, mix the walnut oil with the champagne vinegar. Then add the maple, salt and pepper and mix well to emulsify the vinaigrette ( or dressing) a bit.

Add the arugula salad to the bowl. Then add the sliced pears, sliced asparagus, and wasabi soy peas. You can add them as they are, but if you are worried about your teeth, then break them in pieces ( those things are quite hard)using a mortar. Toss the salad.

If you don’t have any left-over meat, but wish to have the same. Get a small flank steak. Place the flank steak on a plate. With a pastry brush, brush a little bit of olive oil on once side. Sprinkle salt, pepper and 1 tsp of green onion herb blend on that one side.

Place a frying pan on a stove and turn the heat to medium-high. In a large frying pan, melt 1 tbsp of butter. When the butter is sizzling, place the meat and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then with a fork, turn the meat. Brush olive oil, sprinkle salt, pepper and green onion herb bland and cook for another 2-3 minutes (5 to 7 minutes total for medium-rare). Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let it stand covered with foil for 5 minutes. Then slice very very thinly.

Serve on individual plates. Disperse the meat on top of the salad and eat up. So so yummy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Oven Baked Pork Tenderloins with Mustard and Fig Jam


Can you believe that school is back?! I can’t hardly believe that summer is coming to its end… Well at least, it has been fun to see the kids at school and see how excited they are all to be back. Seeing that they have lost little of their French is so heart-warming also;-) I guess i did something right:-)

It is difficult to get everything done in the evening when school is going on. Papers need to be filled up, homework need to be done and dinner needs to be fixed in a timely manner and not at 9 or 10 as I have been doing this summer….

As I made my way home, I was already thinking of what to cook this evening so i stopped by the grocery store to get what i needed. As I walked in, I was welcome with a display of fresh figs;-) They look so good and so ripe that i could not just leave them there to go bad.. and so I picked a box.

We used to have a very big fig tree outside my bedroom’s window in France and i  remember reaching to get the fig from the windows as I would close or open my shutters. Those figs were so sweet and so juicy. They were so so good! What would I give to taste those again….

Well, the figs I bought this evening were sweet but were a bit of a disappointment… not juicy enough for me to eat them as they were. I am certain they will taste fine in a tart or in anything I enterprise to make…. First I thought of making a mascarpone tart with them, but then, i realized that I had the pork  cooking in the oven and decided that those figs would be a good side to my meat.

Ingredients for 4-6 people: 2 pork tenderloin, 4 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, 1 tbsp of thyme/ rosemary blend from Demarle.

Turn the oven to 375. Remove the pork from the packaging. Rinse them under running water, and pat them dry. Place the two tenderloin on the flexipan or a large grande mold. With a pastry brush, brush both tenderloin with olive oil. Sprinkle the tenderloin with salt, pepper and the Demarle thyme blend. Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes for medium ( if the tenderloin is slim, cook for 20 minutes. If it is thicker, cook for 30 minutes).

While the pork is cooking, cook the fig jelly.

Ingredients:  16 oz of fresh fig cut in quarters, 1/4 cup of honey, 1/3 cup of sugar, the zest of a fresh lime, 2 tbsp of sharp dijon mustard, 1/3 cup of white wine, the juice of 1 lime.

In a small saucepan, place the quartered figs, the sugar and the honey and cook on a medium temperature for 10-15 minutes.  Stir frequently. When the sugar is melted and the figs are “melting”. Remove the saucepan from the stove, and empty the fig jam into a chopper. Chop the mixture. Empty this mixture into a small saucepan, add 2 tbsp of mustard, 1/3 cup of white wine, the lime juice and stir. Cook for a few minutes at medium temperature.

When the tenderloins are cooked, set them outside, cover them with aluminium foil and let them rest for a few minutes. Slice thinly and drizzle the fig sauce over the pork.

Et Voila!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Vanilla-Flavored Eclairs or Salambos


Well today is Sunday, and it is my day to indulge in a dessert. I could have done a cake but I wanted something creamy and light so I decided on a Salambo. Salambos are a vanilla flavored eclairs with a caramel icing. For those of you, who are afraid to make eclairs, you should try this recipe. It works almost every time! The recipe is taken from the book Eclairs By the Marabout Editions ( found in France).

First you will want to prepare the creme patissiere.

Ingredients:  

  • 325 gr or 1 1/3 cup of milk,
  • 4 egg yolks,  
  • 65 gr or 4.5 tbsp of sugar,
  • 15 gr. or 3 tsp of flour,
  • 15 gr. or 3 tsp of corn starch,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • 1/2 vanilla bean,
  • 1-2 tbsp of grand marnier ( optional).

With a knife, cut the vanilla bean in its length. Then with the back of knife, push the vanilla seeds out of the beans and place them into the milk. In a small saucepan warm up the milk with the vanilla bean, and the vanilla seeds and bring the mixture to boil. Meanwhile, in  large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish. Add the flour and the corn starch to the eggs and mix. 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, place it into a bowl. Cover it tightly with a plastic wrap and let it cool.

Now let’s prepare the eclairs, this recipe yields about 8 normal size eclairs ( about 3 inch long):

For the choux pastry:

  • 8 cl  or 1/4 cup,1 tbsp and 1 tsp of milk,
  • 8 cl or 1/4 cup,1 tbsp and 1 tsp of water,
  • 1/16 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of sugar,
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp of butter,
  • 1/2 cup of flour,
  • 2 large eggs.

In the saucepan, heat up the milk, salt, and sugar. Add the butter cut up in pieces. When the butter has completely melted, bring the mixture to boil. Remove the pan from the stove and add the flour by stirring very well. 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. 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. Place the dough in a pastry bag, with the large circular opening make long sticks of about 5 inches or 2 inches for small ones on a large silpat that you would have previously lay on a large perforated sheet. Sprinkle the eclairs with some confectioner’s sugar and cook them in a warm oven at 350 for 15 minutes for the small ones or about 25 minutes for the large ones. The dough should become brown and dry on all sides. If the dough is a little bit soft, continue cooking the eclairs for 1-3 more minutes. Take them out to cool.

Now prepare the caramel icing: 2 cup of sugar.

Place the sugar into a large saucepan and place it on the stove on medium-high temperature. Cook until the sugar is burning and becoming caramel. Then start stirring and remove the caramel from the stove when it is becoming an amber color. With thongs, dip each eclairs into the caramel and place them on a silpat or roulpat to cool. If the caramel is becoming too hard and it is becoming too difficult to coat the eclairs, place the caramel back on the stove for a minute or two.

With a sharp knife, cut each eclair in its length. Flavor the vanilla cream with Grand Marnier ( I did not flavor the whole cream because I do not care for the alcohol), and place the cream into a pastry bag with a star opening. Pipe the cream into the eclairs and place the top back onto the eclairs.

Et voila!!!

Serve as they are, or add whipped cream and fruit.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!