Saturday, 23 July 2011

Strawberries in cointreau

Preparation Time
5 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2)
250g (1 punnet) strawberries, washed, hulled, halved
2 tbs Cointreau liqueur
60g good-quality dark chocolate
3 tbs double thick cream

Place the strawberries and Cointreau in a medium bowl and stir until well combined. Cover and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours to macerate.

Run a vegetable peeler to peel along the long edge of the block of chocolate to make chocolate curls. Set aside until serving.

To serve, spoon the strawberry mixture into serving bowls. Top with cream and chocolate curls.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Warm Goat's Cheese Salad

Warm Goat's Cheese Salad with Honey and Walnuts

Serves 4.

Goat cheese - 8 slices
Mixture of salad leaves
Balsamic dressing
Whole wheat bread - 8 slices
Honey - About 8 teaspoons
Salt and pepper
Olive Oil - About 8 teaspoons
1 handful walnuts, toasted in a hot oven for 5 minutes
Herbes de provence

1. Wash, dry and tear the lettuce and place on a plate.
2. Season with balsamic dressing, pepper and salt.
3. Slice the bread and put one table spoon of honey on each slice of bread.
4. Place the goats cheese on top, add olive oil and herbes de provence.
5. Place in a hot oven until the cheese starts to go brown.
6. Place the toasted bread on top of the lettuce. scatter walnuts and serve immediately.

.......bon appétit .....

Monday, 21 February 2011

Pain d’Epices

Pain d’Epices

Pain d’épices is my favourite afternoon snack when I feel the need for a slightly sweet treat.

Makes one 9-inch (23cm) loaf


2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered almonds
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 large egg, at room temperature
100 mls milk
1 cup (340g) honey
1 tablespoon finely-grated orange zest

1. Preheat the oven to 350º (180ºC). Butter a 9-inch (23cm) loaf pan, dust it with flour, then tap out any excess.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, the ground spices and salt in a bowl.
3. Warm the milk and honey in a small saucepan.

4. Add the egg to the milk and honey mixture, then add the dry ingredients in three additions, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure everything gets mixed in evenly.

5. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top will bake to a somewhat dark color, which is normal.

6. Cool 10 minutes, then tip the cake out of the loaf pan. Let cool completely before slicing.

Storage: Pain d’épices can be wrapped in plastic and stored for at least a week, during which time the flavors will meld and it’ll get denser. It can also be frozen for a few months.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Roquefort pear salad


1 head leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
3 pears - peeled, cored and chopped - tin are just as good if you do not have fresh
5 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled
1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard - we use dijon but any mustard will do
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste


1.For the dressing, blend oil, vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, mustard, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper.

2.In a large serving bowl, layer lettuce, pears, blue cheese, avocado, and green onions. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with walnuts, and serve.

Note we serve it with chunks of crusty french bread....c'est tres delicieux!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Rôti de porc à la moutarde et au miel

Préparation : 10 mn
Cuisson : 1h30

Ingrédients (pour 6 personnes) :
- 1 rôti de porc de 1,2 kg environ
- 1 cuillère à soupe de moutarde de dijon
- 2 cuillères à soupe de miel
- 1 gousse d'ail pressée et dégermée ou 1 cuillère à café d'ail en poudre
- sel et poivre au goût
- 2 oignons coupés en rondelles
- 1/4 l de bouillon de volaille

Préparation :

Mélanger tous les ingrédients ensemble, sauf le rôti et les rondelles d'oignons.

Badigeonner le rôti de cette sauce et le coucher sur les oignons. Rectifier l'assaisonnement si besoin.

Ajouter le bouillon, couvrir le rôti et mettre au four à 180°C (thermostat 6) pendant environ 1h30.

Pour vérifier la cuisson, piquer avec un cure-dent. S'il pénètre facilement, le rôti est à point.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

French Style Roast Lamb with Potatoes Dauphinoise

Apologies for the lack of posts, but here is a recipe that I made for lunch today.......


Serves up to 10

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 3.5 to 3.75 hours
Use a 40 cm rectangular dish

2 to 2 ⁄ 2 kg (4 to 5 pounds) leg of lamb
250 ml ( cup) chicken or lamb stock
2 garlic cloves, cut into quarters
500 ml (2 cups) full-bodied, dry red wine
8 sprigs rosemary, broken into small pieces
450 g (pound) canned flageolet or cannelli beans, drained and rinsed
2 shallots, peeled and left whole
8 large carrots, cut into large chunks
2 teaspoons redcurrant jelly
A little vegetable oil, for greasing
Tablespoon cornflour
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 80°C/Gas Mark 4.

Trim the lamb of any excess pieces of fat. Pierce the flesh several times and push pieces of garlic and rosemary into the holes.
Place the lamb in the lightly greased dish. Brush a little oil over the top and season well.

Put all the prepared vegetables around the lamb with any remaining pieces of rosemary,the stock, and 250 ml (cup) of the wine. Cover the top loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.

Transfer to the oven and roast for hour, then reduce the temperature to 325°F/ 60°C/Gas Mark 3 and continue roasting for about 2 hours longer. The meat should still be a little pink at this stage.
Remove the foil and add the beans around the meat. Return the pan, uncovered, to the oven for 30 to 45 minutes longer until the meat is cooked to the degree you prefer.

Transfer the lamb to a warm serving platter or carving tray. Cover with foil and a dish towel and leave to rest for 0 to 5 minutes. While the lamb is resting, make the sauce.

Remove most of the vegetables using a slotted spoon; keep these hot. Place the dish over a medium heat on the hob. Add the remaining wine and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir in the redcurrant jelly and cornflour blended with a little cold water.
Simmer, stirring, until the sauce is thick and glossy.

Carve the lamb thickly and serve each portion with a few of the vegetables and beans and some sauce spooned over.


Serves up to 10

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 to 45 minutes + parboiling the potatoes

0.5 kg (3 pounds 5 ounces) waxy potatoes,
4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Peeled large garlic clove, halved
25 g ( cup) finely grated Gruyère cheese
5 g (tablespoon) butter, softened
250 ml ( cup) double cream
25 ml (1 ⁄2 cup) milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the potatoes into 5 mm (1 ⁄4 inch) slices. Put them into a large saucepan on the hob, cover with cold water and a little salt, and bring to a boil on a high heat.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Do not overcook at this stage because even waxy potatoes can begin to break up; drain well.

Rub the inside of the gratin dish with the cut garlic and grease with a little of the butter.

Preheat the oven to 325°F/60°C/Gas Mark 3. Put half the potatoes into the dish, spreading them evenly. Sprinkle with a little of the nutmeg and some seasoning.

Add half the cheese and then another layer of potatoes, nutmeg, and seasoning.

Beat together the cream and the milk and pour evenly over the potatoes. Finish by scattering the remaining cheese on top with a few small pieces of butter dotted over the surface.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until a deep crisp brown crust forms.
Serve immediately from the dish.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

French Onion Soup

50g butter
1kg brown onions , thinly sliced
2 tbsp thyme , picked leaves
3 tbsp dry sherry
beef stock fresh, cube or concentrate made up to 1.2 litres

1 baguette , sliced
1 garlic clove , halved
extra-virgin olive oil
100g Gruyère , grated

1.Heat the butter in a large pan and gently cook the onion and thyme until the onion is softened but not browned - about 20 minutes. Increase the heat slightly and cook for 15 minutes, until the onion becomes dark golden, sticky and caramelised, stirring now and again to stop it catching. Add the sherry and simmer for 2-3 minutes, then add the stock and bring to the boil. Season. Simmer for 10 minutes.

2.Meanwhile, toast the bread, rub each slice with garlic, then drizzle with a little oil. Sprinkle with the cheese and grill until golden and bubbling. Serve the soup with the cheese croutons on top.