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Mandarin Chicken

So much was lost when Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. Lives, homes, jobs,... but also the little things that we hold dear to our hearts: photo albums, treasured heirlooms or beloved recipes. The Times-Picayune collected and published some of the latter that people went looking for in the years that followed Katrina. Mandarin Chicken was one of these recipes.  This clipping was sent to us by my partner's stepmother a few years ago. Since then, we have received nearly a hundred requests to share this recipe. Note: Every Chinese restaurant in New Orleans has its own version of Mandarin sauce. It seems to us that this one needs a few pinches of Chinese five spice in the sauce. Also, it is usually served with crushed peanuts and chopped scallions sprinkled on top.
This recipe comes from Fong's Chinese restaurant in Kenner.


MANDARIN CHICKEN

Egg Batter
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 eggs
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Accent
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking…

Torta Caprese

Last year, one of my coworkers came back from Naples, Italy with an original dessert created on the island of Capri. It is a flourless cake, both rich in flavor and light in texture. It is normally enjoyed "as is", but a little bit of Chantilly cream on the side never hurt anybody!




CAKE
6 oz. (170 g) dark chocolate (I used 64% cocoa)
3/4 cup (160 g) unsalted butter, cut in dice
3 large eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cup ground almond meal (I used 125 g)
1 tablespoon amaretto (or any other almond liquor)
Confectioner's (icing) sugar to sprinkle






Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Butter and line an 8-inch wide (20 cm) springform pan  with baking paper.
In a double boiler (or in a microwave oven), melt the chocolate and butter together. Let cool.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar with electric beaters until the mixture turns a pale yelllow and triples in volume.
Using a spatula, gently fold the chocolate mixture, alternating with the ground almond meal and amaretto, into the egg mi…

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse

Here in Menton, la FĂȘte du Citron (Lemon Festival) is almost upon us. This year's theme is Broadway Musicals. A couple of years ago, the citrus structures were inspired by a famous Jules Verne novel, Les tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine (Tribulations of a Chinaman in China).


And when life gives you lemons, you make... lemon desserts! My partner found this amazing lemon mousse recipe online, which I tweaked slightly to match the ingredients I find here. The original recipe can be found here: http://www.cookingclassy.com/lemon-cheesecake-mousse/
For my version of it (less sweet, but same silky smooth texture), keep reading.



LEMON CHEESECAKE MOUSSE
Yields 6 to 10 servings.

CRUST
1 cup crushed Speculoos cookies (brown sugar cinnamon cookies)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon (42g) butter, melted

MOUSSE 
2 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon water
3 sheets unflavored gelatin (or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons powder gelatin)
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
Yellow foo…