Friday, December 16, 2011

So good!

It has been a long time before I really try to make some macarons. I was scared to mess them up cause everybody was saying that it is really hard to succeed. But I did it!!!

For 70 halves (30 to 35 macarons)

110gr ground almonds
200gr icing sugar
90gr egg whites
35gr granulated sugar
FM food color

Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Mix the ground almond and the icing sugar together.
Whisk the egg whites with the sugar and add the food color had that point, if necessary. Add the powder in the egg whites slowly using a spatula.
You have to prepare a baking sheet with a parchment paper,
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe out small rounds onto the baking sheet. Leave them out to dry for about 30 minutes. They will form a light crust, make sure it has formed before you bake them.
Cook for 13 minutes.

- To save money and go green, start preheating the oven while the macarons are drying.
- To make the ground almond-icing sugar mix really thin, you can process it with a food processor and sift it.
- On the back of the parchment paper, you can draw some circles to get the same regular size for your macarons.
- Leave the macarons 24h in the fridge before to eat them, they will be better.

For that recipe, I use a chocolate ganache based on 100gr of chocalate with 10cl of heavy cream.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

And now, the turkey...

..of course cause there is no Thanksgiving with no turkey. I am kidding, that recipe is simple with a good organisation, no problem. I know that for this year it's to late but you will be on time for next year or for christmas.

For 6-8 people

The turkey recipe :
2 turkey thighs
6-8 sweet potatoes
30 brussels sprouts
FM salt, pepper, olive oil
1/2 qt chicken stock

Peel and cube the sweet potatoes (1/2in side)
Clean the Brussels sprouts. Cut them in half.
In a bowl, mix the vegetables together, add the seasoning and some olive oil. Mix it and pour in a roast pan.

Now take off the bones from the turkey thighs and butterfly them. Add some seasoning and stuff them with the stuffing you prepare the day before. Roll them and place them on the vegetables, drizzle some olive oil. Add half of the chicken stock and place in the oven that you preheat at 400oF for 30 minutes.
After that you have to check the point of cook of the vegetables with a paring knife. Mix them and if the meat has a pretty good coloration, use some foil to cover it. If the meat is lighty colored, keep cooking uncovered. At that point you may need to add some chicken stock.
from now on, check every 15 minutes.

When it is ready to your taste...a table!

Advices :
- You can use a string to rool up the turkey but if you roll it up well, it will be easiest without it. Trust me.
- you could warm up your stock, thus, you will not take the risk to brake your pan with the difference of the temperature and it will cook faster.
- The turkey should not be dry cause the flavor will be gone. So touch the meat with a finger and as a chicken when the meat is hard, it should be good.

If you are looking at the picture, you will tell me "where are the meat rolls?". I know, I know, but for the picture I wanted to do it pretty to make you hungry. Usually you bring the roasted pan in the middle of the table and you serve like that. Please enjoy and have a good time!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The cornbread recipe

For 6-8 people

The cornbread recipe :
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 425oF. Butter and flour your baking pan.
Melt the butter in the microwave.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk and the eggs. Add the melted butter. Add the dried mixture. Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake for 20' until the cornbread just begins to brown.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The stuffing

Today there is no picture!
But here is the stuffing recipe I made for my turkey.

On D-1 day

For 6-8 people

The stuffing recipe :
1 cup onions thinly diced
1 cup celery thinly diced
1 cup white mushrooms diced
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 stick butter
FM breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, sage, rosemary, thym
2 cups chicken stock

In a saute pan, pour diced onions-celery-mushrooms into melted butter, cook lightly.
Add raisins, salt, pepper and herbs.
Add chicken stock and toss the breadcrumbs into stuffing until the mixture is nicely moistened.
Set aside and let it cool.

Advices :
- I used some white mushrooms but oysters or black trumpet mushrooms could be really good too, more expensive though
- You could prep.are your own chicken stock but there is some good one in your grocery store.
- If you have some bacon, add it at the beginning with the butter to bring some more flavors to your stuffing.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

as I promised

I am going to divide the prep time  in 2 days: what you can do on D-1 day  and what you can do on D day. Of course you can do everything on D day but do not forget that on that day you have to finish to cook, dress yourself and be with your family/friends. So organize yourself to get some free time and you have to start cooking pn D-1 day.

What you can cook on D-1 day :

For 8 peoples

The cranberries relish :
12oz cranberries
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 cloves
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup eau
1/2 tsp chinese spices
1 small star anise
1 apple

Pour all the ingredients in a sauce pan, except the apple, and boil under medium heat uncover during 6'.
During that time, peel and dice the apple. Add it to the cranberries relish and cook for 4' more.

Advices :
- The relish is really acid and bitter. So feel free to add more sugar as desire but let me tell you "the sauce works very well like that when eaten with the all meal".
- For the spices, you can change the spices as you like .

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Did you know it?

Let play with spices or herbs in our plate for a better health!

Tomorrow I will post the first Thanksgiving recipe, as promised.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oops!!!! People are crazy!

He wants a second spouse : the first one kill him, cut him and COOK him (sorry that is in French)

Wherever you are living, whoever you are, you always need to respect the person who is cooking for you at home, otherwise...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Today, I am going to cook for Thanksgiving. Tradition, tradition!
So we will get a Turkey breast (we are just two at home so a whole turkey would be too much), a cranberries relish, some stuffing and some sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
Let me go cook, take some pictures and I am coming back to you as soon as possible.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Empty your fridge

As I like to say, it is often when you have almost nothing to eat or when you are working under pressure that you imagine the simplest dish but good. Is it not great?

For example, last Sunday, I've opened my fridge and I've found some chicken, spaghetti pasta, spring onions, red and green bell peppers, sesame seeds, cream and soy sauce.
Boom, it was done. I cleaned and chopped all the vegetables, I shredded the chicken and did a creamy soy sauce. Stir all the ingredients together and you will get a fresh meal, easy to do and really good for a sunny summer evening.

Sauce :
1 tbs soy sauce
3 tbs heavy cream
FM pepper

After making the sauce, you think that it is still too salted, you can add some cream.
I dropped some tabasco sauce in my plate to add some spicy and hot flavor, but it's up to you.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Jeremy Esterly : save the name

Since I am living in Cleveland, Jeremy Esterly is on the front page.
Just to summerize Fire, food and drink, Dim and den sum food truck, Lola bistro and now Paragon, it seems like nothing can stop him. Today he won the Grassfed Beef Top Chef Grill-off at the Cleveland Garlic Festival. Here is what he was serving to the judge:

Why am I speaking about him? Just because Jeremy is a great guy, really hard worker, strong energy and full of projects.
Remember his name cause I am pretty sure you will ear about him again in the future.
So Jeremy, good luck to you and see you around.

Cleveland Garlic Festival

This week-end on Shaker Square, have fun, the Cleveland Garlic festival is open!!
Good food provided by local Chefs, good local products, good atmosphere.
It is all week-end long.
You can find all the informations in the link above
So see you there.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The mint religieuse

In France, you will find some religieuses in every bakery, usually with a chocolate or coffee flavor. The joke  is unfortunatly only showing in French where menthe religieuse (mint religieuse) sounds exactely like mante religieuse (this).

Trust me, once you will taste it, you would like to get more.

To do that dessert, you need to do a cream puff pastry dough, a pastry cream and a plain frosting.
For this recipe, you have to make two sizes of puff pastry, one with a 2 inches ball and one with a 1 inch ball. The pastry cream will not be done with a vanilla flavor, but with some fresh mint leaves. You will mix the mint with half of the sugar that you will infuse in the milk. Then just follow the cream pastry recipe.

Plain frosting
1/2 egg white
7/8 cup confectionners sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2 drop green food color

You have to get a really nice soft mix, if not, you can warm it up a little bit in a microwave.

Now you have to fill your puff pastry balls with the mint pastry cream, and to put some frosting on each ball. Place a small ball on the top of each big ball. Chill the religieuse in your fridge for an hour.

Now it is time to enjoy.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pastry cream : crème pâtissière

8 servings

Pastry cream :
25 fl oz milk
6 eggs yolks
5 3/4 oz sugar
3 1/2 oz flour
1/2 vanilla bean

Pour the milk in a saucepan. Squeeze in the vanilla seeds from the vanilla bean.. Add to the saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the yolks with sugar until the mixture is pale yellow. Whisk in the flour, and pour the hot milk on this preparation.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
Whisk it until the pastry cream comes to a full boil and start to be thicker. Pour into a bowl. Discard the vanilla bean.
Cover the cream with a plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the cream.
Chill it quikly.

When the pastry cream is completely cold, it is ready to be eaten or to be used for another dessert like an eclair, a religieuse or a choux

Advices :
- Of course you can replace the vanilla bean with vanilla extract or another flavor

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cream Puff Pastry Dough : Pâte à choux

Preheat the oven at 400°F.

8 servings

Cream Puff Pastry Dough :
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/4 cups AP flour
4 eggs

Combine the water, salt, sugar and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. The butter must be completely melted by the time the liquid boils, so adjust the heat as needed.
Aside from the stove, immediately dump all of the flour at once into the saucepan.  Using the wooden spoon, stir to make the mixture come together into a thick paste. Reduce the heat to medium-low, continue stirring until the dough stop sticking to the saucepan.
Transfer the dough to the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one by one, letting each addition absorb into the dough before adding more.
Use the dough immediately. Transfer it to a pastry bag and piped for the most uniform shapes.
Brush the piped dough with some beaten eggs.
Cook for 25-30 minutes.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cherry dessert

Two words to describe that dessert : simple and efficient.
Simple to do it, all parts of the recipe are easy to execute.
Efficient by the effect you will feel when you will bring the first bite to your mouth.

6 servings

Panna cotta :
2-3 gelatine leaves
16 fl oz heavy cream
4 fl oz milk
1 vanilla bean (Op)
2 1/2 oz sugar

Heat the cream, milk, vanilla seeds and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
Soften the gelatin in cold water. Press it to remove as much water as possible. Add it to the hot cream mixture and stir until dissolved.
Divide the same quantity of panna cotta into your chosen recipient.
Place in the fridge for minimum 2 hours.

Cherry jam :
1 lb cherry
4 oz sugar
sqz lemon juice
sqz pure almond extract (Op)
FM water

Clean and pit the cherries.
In a pan, mix and heat all the ingredients. Cook it slowly until you get half of the initial volume. Stir frequently.
When you get the desired consistence, let it cool.

Crisp :
1 3/4 oz almonds powder
1 3/4 oz sugar
1 3/4 oz flour
1 3/4 oz softed butter

Let the butter soften at room temperature. Add all the ingredients, if it is too moisture, add a bit more flour.
Put it in the fridge for 1h minimum. During that time, turn on your oven at 350F, take a sheet tray, crushed the dough and cook it, stir it frequently until the crisp get a blond coloration. Once it is done, keep the crisp in a cookie container.

Once that 3 first steps are done and the panna cotta looks like jelly, top it with some cherry compote and finish with some crisp. Now it is ready to eat.

Advices :
- The 3 first steps could be done the day before, like this, you will be sure that the panna cotta will be fully ready.
- Do not forget, use soften butter and NOT melted butter, for a better result at the end.
- The recipe is with cherry fruit but you can switch to other fruits. Also if you want to replace the pure almond extract with some spices, feel free to do so.
- For the crisp, if you prefer to use some pistachio powder, hazelnut powder, pecan powder... it is up to you!
- For a better presentation, use transparent container like martini glass. Layers will be more visible.
- Keep one cherrry per person or a piece of fruits choice for decoration purpose.

sqz : squeeze bottle, one pressure to get the exact quantity of liquid you need.
Op : optional
FM : for memory, you have to think about it but you do not have any quantity to respect.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Farmer market

I am living in a country where farmer markets are starting to develop a little bit every where around our place. But what is that? They are not so different from our French market on the "place du village", except perhaps by the size and the diversity of products that you can find. You will get a contact with the local farmers who try to deal directly with the customers. Most of the time, fruits, vegetables or pastry would be sold. I have rarely seen some meats or fishs.
It is nice, fresh and it remind me of France!
That time, as you can see, we got in our basket : zucchini and yellow squash, green beans, kohlrabi, cucumber, banana pepper, tomatoes and sherry tomatoes, onions and salad.
And that for one week!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Melon is good

Melon is good
You do not need to work on it forever
To make it better
Melon and prosciutto
The first one unseasonned
The second perfectly salted
Sit down
And eat....

Sunday, July 31, 2011

E.S.C.F. : Ecole Superieure de Cuisine Francaise (School of Culinary Art in Paris)

I'd like to speak about the ESCF in Paris (6 Arr.), France. This school offers the opportunity for everybody who already had a bachelor degre to become a chef. For that you need to get the two first diplomas which are CAP-BEP. Then, you can try to pass the ESCF entry exam. If you got it, before the school, you will be asked to find a job in the restaurant business to increase your cooking skills, your knowledge and your motivation.
They created that school for the professionnals who would like to get some knowledges about accountancy, price cost....
ESCF is about two years and each year is divided by 6 months at school and 6 months training in the best hotels or restaurants in France. At the end of the school, you will present your dissertation in front of a jury (composed by a chef, an accountant, a banker...).
You will get your diploma if the jury think that your business plan is good.
Interestingly, there is a formation for people who speak English.
If you are interested in, let check the website (above) and there is a restaurant in the school where you can visit the kitchens and see the students working before being served.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why did I become a Chef?

That's a good question not just because I asked it, well..., but because it's a good one.
I could justify that choice with severals good and wrong reasons, but if I want to be honest, two reasons arrived on top of the list.

The first one is that I was dreaming to make a World tour and found a position in every countries I would have the chance to leave my bags. I like the idea that if you start to appreciate the food in the country you are, you start to understand the history and the country.

The second one is cooking let you the opportunity to work for someone or better for yourself and that, almost every where you want.

15 years later, I have no regret.

So I did not do a World tour but I had already did lots of trips and the idea to open my own business could happen one day, who knows...