Showing posts from May, 2012

Raspberry and Cream Cheese Tartelettes

There is a good chance that my partner and I will be hired to cater for the parliament elections at the French embassy in a couple of weeks. We've already worked up a menu, both for lunch and dinner courses, but I wanted to experiment with a new crust recipe this weekend, before I use it for one of the desserts I plan on making for the big event. I was pleased with the result. The pâte sablée (crumbly crust) came out great and worked wonderfully with the cream cheese and the fresh raspberries.

RASPBERRY AND CREAM CHEESE TARTELETTES Makes about 10 tartlets or 1 whole pie

Pâte Sablée / Crumbly Crust 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/2 cup white sugar 2 egg yolks 1 tablespoon water pinch of salt
Beat egg yolks, sugar and water with hand whisk until mixture sugar dissolves and mixture turns a pale yellow. Mix flour and salt. Cut butter into squares. Using your hands, squeeze butter chunks and flour until texture looks like sand. Pour egg mixture over flour/b…

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.


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…

Light Delight

For all the health conscious out there (me included, from time to time), here's a dessert, light and airy, that will delight your palate without the guilty feelings. 

1 cup blueberries 1 pound of fromage blanc (here, you could substitute either plain yogurt, ricotta cheese, or even cream cheese) 2/3 cup white sugar 3 large egg whites 1 teaspoon almond extract 4 gelatin leaves (2 grams each) 1/2 blueberry coulis (see recipe below) sprig of mint (optional)
Blueberry coulis 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) 1/2 cup white sugar
Make coulis by bringing to a boil blueberries and sugar in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until blueberries have bursted and mixture thickens. Sieve the coulis to remove blueberry skins and set aside. In a bowl, mix fromage blanc with sugar and almond extract. Place gelatin leaves in a small bowl filled with cold water to soften. In a saucepan, bring to a boil 3 tablespoons of water. Remove from heat. Squee…


Yesterday I made some focaccia bread. Of course, we ate some when it was fresh out of the oven. We finished it today by cutting it in slivers which we dipped in white bean puree and baba ganoush that Mark made from scratch this morning. A real treat!
FOCACCIA BREAD 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pinch ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup warm water

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
fresh basil leaves
1 purple onion

In a small bowl, dilute dry yeast in warm water and sugar. Let bubble (5 min.).
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, yeast mixture, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, black pepper and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Probably the single best cookie ever created! And now, with this recipe we found on, we can make them over and over.
CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES Yields about 1 1/2 dozen large cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted 1 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 egg 1 egg yolk 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 1 cup chopped nuts (we used pecans and salted cashews)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Shape dough into balls (from 2 tablespoons of dough each) and place onto the prepared cookie she…

May 1st!

It's Labor Day today, pretty much everywhere in Europe (obviously, with the exception of the part of Switzerland that we live in, since all the shops are open). So we decided to do some gardening and were fortunate enough to find one of our favorites (hibiscus) in the garden store just a short walk away from our house.