September 29, 2010

Stuffed Summer Squash

A while ago, I read about summer squash on Pascale’s blog, C’est moi qui l’ai fait! and it made me want to try that vegetable I had never tasted before. Its skin is very soft and you can eat it, and it smelled nice of squash while cooking. In terms of taste, however, summer squash is very neutral, and I found it was good to eat it with something a bit spicy and tasty to compensate.

Stuffed Summer Squash – serves 2

  • • 2 summer squashes
  • • A can of mixed beans in chilli sauce
  • • 1 courgette, cut into cubes
  • • Black pepper

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  • 2. Scoop the flesh out of the squashes, keeping a little hat.
  • 3. In a bowl, mix the beans with their sauce, the courgette and some black pepper. Stuff the squashes with the mixture, put the hat on and cook in the oven for 45min. Serve with a green salad.
  • Pâtisson Farci – pour 2 personnes

  • • 2 pâtissons
  • • 1 boîte de haricots mélangés (rouges et blancs) à la sauce pimentée
  • • 1 courgette, coupée en cubes
  • • Poivre noir

  • 1. Préchauffer le four à 190°C.
  • 2. Evider les pâtissons et garder un petit chapeau pour chacun.
  • 3. Dans un bol, mélanger les haricots avec leur sauce, la courgette et du poivre noir. Farcir les pâtissons de ce mélange, leur mettre leur chapeau et enfourner pour 45min. Servir avec une salade verte.
  • September 25, 2010

    Plum and Blackberry Shortbread Mini Crumbles

    September is a month of transition. Summer into autumn. Summer is not exactly over but there is a feeling of autumn in the air. In terms of food, this time of year brings us beautiful things to eat. Plums and blackberries are amongst these.

    On Sundays, we like to be lazy and take our time. We often go to the park in the afternoon, lie on a blanket and read a good book. Last time, we had taken these mini crumbles with us, and they were the perfect snack to enjoy at the park.

    Plum and Blackberry Shortbread Mini Crumbles – makes 6 mini crumbles

  • • 3 damsons, quartered
  • • 6 red plums, quartered
  • • 200g blackberries
  • • 6 tbsp sugar
  • • 12 butter shortbreads

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • 2. Place the shortbreads in a kitchen towel and crush them with a rolling pin.
  • 3. Place the fruits in 6 individual dishes and sprinkle them with the sugar. Cover with the crushed shortbread and put in the oven.
  • 4. Cook for 30min until golden. Best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  • Mini Crumbles aux Prunes, Mûres et Shortbread – pour 6 mini crumbles

  • • 3 quetsches, coupées en quartiers
  • • 6 prunes rouges, coupées en quartiers
  • • 200g de mûres
  • • 6cs de sucre en poudre
  • • 12 shortbreads pur beurre

  • 1. Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
  • 2. Mettre les shortbreads dans un torchon et les écraser à l’aide d’un rouleau à pâtisserie.
  • 3. Répartir les fruits dans 6 ramequins et les saupoudrer de sucre. Couvrir avec les miettes de shortbread et mettre au four.
  • 4. Cuire 30min jusqu’à ce que le dessus soit doré. Servir tiède avec une boule de glace à la vanille.
  • September 20, 2010

    Corn on the Cob and Camping in Cornwall

    We spent our weekend in Cornwall, camping. I like going back to simple things: falling asleep with the sound of the ocean, hiking along the coast, waking up with the birds singing, going blackberry picking, looking at the stars, swimming in turquoise waters...

    To me, barbecue is associated with camping. The perfect food to enjoy the outdoors. We had one on our 1st night with mushroom burgers, corn on the cob, toasted pitta bread and salad, and for pudding, bananas with chocolate.

    White Chocolate and Peanut Butter Blondies with Red Apples, eaten on the beach after a strenuous hike.

    Corn on the Cob – serves 2

  • • 2 corn cobs

  • 1. Heat the barbie. Remove the outer leaves of the corn. Once the BBQ is hot, cook your corn on it for about 20-30min, turning frequently. Alternatively, if you do not have a BBQ, you can cook the corn in a pan of boiling water for 10min.
  • 2. Leave to cool for a bit, be careful it might be very hot! Tuck in!
  • 3. Serving suggestions: on its own or with herbs and butter or with chillis and cheese or with a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Épis de Maïs – pour 2 personnes

  • • 2 épis de maïs

  • 1. Préchauffer le barbecue. Retirer les feuilles des épis de maïs. Quand le BBQ est prêt, y déposer les épis et faire cuire pendant 20-30min en tournant régulièrement. Alternativement, si vous n’avez pas de BBQ, faire cuire le maïs dans une casserole d’eau bouillante pendant 10min.
  • 2. Laisser refroidir un peu, attention, le maïs peut être très chaud ! Déguster !
  • 3. Suggestions : Servir le maïs tel quel ou avec du beurre et des herbes fraîches ou avec des rondelles de piment et du fromage râpé ou avec du jus de citron vert.
  • September 15, 2010

    Grilled Aubergines and Tomato Coulis

    My grand-mother always says that a dish is even better if it looks nice. Eating with the eyes before eating with the mouth. I like that idea. It is true that a well presented dish will make you have an enjoyable experience before even starting to eat it.

    This recipe, you might have guessed, was given to me by my grand-mother – although I have changed it slightly. Don’t you find it looks like a flower?

    And here are more flowers, some beautiful sun flowers I found at the market. I had them in my shopping basket when I arrived at work on that day, and my colleague found them so nice that she went to the market to get some too! They brought sunshine in our flat.

    Grilled Aubergines and Tomato Coulis – serves 6
  • • 4 aubergines, thinly sliced
  • • Olive oil
  • • Salt, pepper
  • • 2 cans chopped tomatoes, drained
  • • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • • 1tbsp herbes de Provence

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • 2. Place the aubergines slices on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and brush them with olive oil.
  • 3. Cook in the oven for about 40min, until they are cooked through but not burnt.
  • 4. Prepare the tomato sauce. Heat 2tbsp olive oil in a saucepan, add the chopped tomatoes without their juices, the garlic, the herbs, salt and pepper. Leave to cook on a medium to slow heat for about 30min, until it has reduced to a purée consistency.
  • 5. Leave to cool down the aubergines and the coulis. Place the sauce in a little pot and put in the centre of a plate of serving dish. Arrange the aubergine slices around it so that it looks like a flower.
  • Aubergines Grillées et Coulis de Tomates – pour 6 personnes
  • • 4 aubergines, coupées en fines tranches
  • • Huile d’olive
  • • Sel et poivre
  • • 2 boîtes de tomates concassées, égouttées
  • • 2 gousses d’ail, émincées
  • • 2cs d’herbes de Provence

  • 1. Préchauffer le four sur 200°C.
  • 2. Disposer les tranches d’aubergine sur une plaque à four, saupoudrer de sel et les brosser au pinceau avec de l’huile d’olive.
  • 3. Faire cuire au four pendant environ 40min, jusqu’à ce que les aubergines soient cuites mais pas brulées.
  • 4. Préparer la sauce tomate. Faire chauffer 2cs d’huile d’olive dans une casserole, ajouter les tomates sans leur jus, l’ail, les herbes, du sel et du poivre. Faire cuire à feu moyen à doux pendant environ 30min, jusqu’à ce que la sauce soit réduite en purée.
  • 5. Laisser les aubergines et le coulis refroidir. Placer ensuite le coulis dans un petit pot au centre d’une assiette et disposer les tranches d’aubergine autour, comme une marguerite.
  • September 10, 2010

    Raspberry Brownies

    A dark rainy day – feeling like the only thing I wanted to do was to curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea and a piece of cake;
  • +
  • Raspberries – some beautiful raspberries left, probably the last ones I’d eat before next summer;
  • +
  • A recipe cut in an old magazine – that had been in my recipe folder for ages without I ever tried it;
  • =raspberry brownies

    Raspberry Brownies – serves 6

  • • 200g dark chocolate cut into squares
  • • 4 eggs
  • • 100g brown sugar
  • • 200g butter
  • • 120g flour
  • • A pinch of salt
  • • 100g walnuts, chopped
  • • 200g raspberries
  • • Icing sugar

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • 2. Melt the chocolate with the butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  • 3. In a bowl, whip the eggs with the brown sugar. Add the chocolate and butter, the flour, salt and walnuts and mix well.
  • 4. Pour half of the mixture in an oven-proof dish. Cover with 150g of raspberries and pour over the rest of the mixture.
  • 5. Cook in the oven 30min.
  • 6. Remove from the dish once it has cooled down a bit, cut into squares and sprinkle with icing sugar. Eat with the rest of the raspberries.
  • Brownies aux Framboises – pour 6 personnes

  • • 200g de chocolat noir coupé en carrés
  • • 4 œufs
  • • 100g de sucre roux
  • • 200g de beurre
  • • 120g de farine
  • • 1 pincée de sel
  • • 100g de noix, hachées
  • • 200g de framboises
  • • Sucre glace

  • 1. Préchauffer le four à 180°C.
  • 2. Faire fondre le chocolat avec le beurre au bain-marie.
  • 3. Dans un bol, fouetter les œufs avec le sucre roux. Ajouter le chocolat et le beurre, la farine, le sel et les noix et bien mélanger.
  • 4. Verser la moitié de la préparation dans un plat à four, recouvrir de 150g de framboises et verser dessus le reste de la préparation.
  • 5. Faire cuire au four 30min.
  • 6. Démouler tiède, couper en carrés et saupoudrer le sucre glace. Servir avec le reste des framboises.
  • September 06, 2010

    Tomato, Cheese and Mustard Tart

    A tomato tart on a wooden background

    Tomatoes, again? Yes! That is a fruit that keeps inspiring me. Today is a tart recipe, very easy. What makes it a bit special is the mustard: it gives a nice kick to the dish.

    A tomato tart on a wooden background

    Green tomatoes on the vine

    The other day, the vegetable merchant at the market handed me the newsletter from his organic farm. In it, they were talking about tomatoes. They explained that tomatoes that you buy at the supermarket are picked unripe, and they ripen ‘on the vine’, that is actually on the little green piece of vine that’s left when you buy them. Hence why they are often tasteless: they have never seen the sun and ripened in fridges. At the organic farm, they leave the fruits ripen on the plant and pick them once ripe and full of sunshine. And I can tell you what a difference it makes. They taste gorgeous!

    Green tomatoes on the vine

    My grand-father used to have a very big vegetable garden where he was cultivating all sorts of vegs. When we were kids, we loved going in his garden, pick cherry tomatoes from the plant and eat them straight away. Tomatoes never tested better than that to me.

    Tomato tart on a wooden background

    Tomato, Cheese and Mustard Tart – serves 4
    •210g light spelt flour
    •A pinch of salt
    •1egg, beaten
    •60ml olive oil + 2tbsp
    •4-5tbsp water
    •3tbsp Dijon mustard
    •200g Swiss gruyere, sliced
    •4 or 5 tomatoes, sliced
    •1 sprig of fresh thyme
    •Black pepper

    1. To prepare the dough, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the beaten egg, 60ml olive oil and water and mix together until you obtain a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30min.
    2. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
    3. Roll the dough with a rolling pin between two sheets of baking paper and place it into the dish. Prick it with a fork.
    4. Spread the mustard on the pastry.
    5. Cover with cheese slices and then tomato slices. Sprinkle with olive oil, black pepper and the thyme. Put in the oven for 40min.
    6. Serve with a green salad. Best eaten warm.

    Tarte à la Tomate et à la Moutarde – pour 4 personnes
    •210g de farine de petit épeautre
    •Une pincée de sel
    •1 œuf, battu
    •60ml d’huile d’olive
    •4-5cs d’eau
    •3cs de moutarde de Dijon
    •200g de comté, coupé en tranches
    •5 ou 6 tomates, coupées en rondelles
    •1 branche de thym frais

    1. Pour préparer la pâte, mélanger la farine et le sel dans un saladier, et y creuser un puits. Ajouter l’œuf battu, les 60ml d’huile d’olive et l’eau, et mélanger jusqu'à l’obtention d’une pâte souple. L’envelopper dans du film plastique et mettre au réfrigérateur 30min.
    2. Préchauffer le four à 200°C.
    3. Étaler la pâte entre deux feuilles de papier sulfurisé, et la mettre dans un moule à tarte. En piquer le fond à la fourchette.
    4. Étaler la moutarde sur le fond de tarte.
    5. Recouvrir de tranches de fromages et de rondelles de tomates. Arroser d’huile d’olive, poivrer et parsemer de thym. Enfourner pour 40min.
    6. Servir avec une salade verte. A manger chaud.

    September 03, 2010

    Bristol

    Last weekend was a bank holiday and we set to explore the big city of the West Country: Bristol! We both liked it.

    We wandered around town, exploring the parks, streets, museums, and the quays. The weather was beautiful, which added to the charm of the city. There was a place I wanted to go to for lunch: Bordeaux Quay. I had heard very good things about it and we were not disappointed. The cuisine was refined and the service pretty smart. The restaurant was not opened at lunch time so we had our meal at the brasserie. The place is also a deli and cooking classes are held regularly. Definitely a good address!

    Our walk took us further, to Clifton Suspension Bridge, where we enjoyed flapjacks and brownies from Boston Tea Party, another favourite café.

    We came back tired from walking but glad to have finally decided to explore Brizzle. We’ll have to come back for sure!