Monday, September 26, 2011

Wanna try a Sweet Red Pepper Cream Shot ???

 In France, Verrines and small Plates are a big hit. Imagine serving you favorite appetizers in small glasses or in small spoons.

Everyone loves the idea:
You are a picky or a small eater ?? you can just sample a couple of them.
You are a big hungry man ?? you can eat as many verrines as you want, without any guilt, the portions are small and irresistible !!!!

I love small portions & I absolutely love roasted Peppers so I wanted to share with you this Sweet Red Pepper Cream ...  oh man,  it was so miamm, so yummmy, so hmmmm !!!

The only "technical" part of this recipe is that you need to broil the Peppers in order to peel them easily (see the recipe below for directions).

Then you mix the Pepper meat with Mascarpone & Spices, add a hint of red Pimento (the secret Ingredient to spice up a little bit this creamy Soup), et voila, you're done in 3 minutes !!!

A bientot & bon Appetit !

Emilie your French Chef

La recette de Creme de Poivrons Rouges (Cold Sweet Red Pepper creamy Soup)

Ingredients for 8 Verrines (= small Glasses):

- 4 red sweet Peppers
- 8 o.z. Mascarpone

- Red Cayenne Pimento
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

Black the Peppers in the broiler turning the peppers over halfway through (around 5mn each side or until they are black).

Remove them from the oven and put them in a plastic bag. Close the bag. They will steam in the bag and will start loosing their skins.

After 10mn, open the bag, and peel the pepper with a knife (it is very easy). Slice them and remove the seeds.

Put the Mascarpone, the Peppers meat, some Salt & Pepper and a hint of red Cayenne Pimento into a blender.

Mix everything. Taste and add more Salt or Pepper if necessary.

Serve warm for starter or cold in small glasses / cups for small appetizers.
Add 1 or 2 drops of Olive Oil on the top and sprinkle a few of red Cayenne Pimento (add a string of Chive for decoration if you want).

Friday, September 23, 2011

Crispy Swiss Cheese Nuggets with "La Vache qui rit" ... the "Laughing Cow" !!

When kids think about Cheese, they think about Babybel, Mozzarella Stick, Cream Cheese and also ... the famous "Vache Qui Rit" (the Laughing Cow) ...

I bet the first time you tasted this piece of "triangle Cheese" you said : "Is that Cheese, really ??" - "It's not bad, it's not good, it tastes almost nothing !!" - "Why is this cow always laughing, does she make fun of me ???"

OK, you're right, the Laughing Cow is not the best cheese to spread on a crispy baguette BUT, it is a great ingredient for quick & funny recipes: use it in Croque Monsieur (mooo!), in a Cheese Sauce for Pasta (mooo!), in Gougeres (mooo!) ... or in a crispy Nuggets (mooo moooo!)

Tonight I decided to make some "Croquettes croustillantes de Vache Qui Rit" ("crispy Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese Nuggets").
Imagine a crispy ball with a warm, melted Swiss Cream Cheese inside ... say moooo !!!

The ingredients are simple and your kids will love doing these small cheese balls by hand (OK, it is sticky, but it is funny ;-)
Believe me or not, from now on you will always have "Vache Qui Rit" in your fridge !!!

These small Croquettes (Nuggets) are great Appetizers to go with a glass of wine, and they are also perfect with a green Salad on weekdays  !!!

For other smart recipes with Vache Qui Rit, click here (sorry, the link is in French ... just ask me if you need some help ;-)

A bientot et bon Appetit
Emilie your French Chef

La recette de Croquettes Croustillantes de Vache qui Rit (crispy Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese Nuggets)

Ingredients for 4 people:
- 12 pieces of Vache Qui Rit
- 3 Eggs
- 1 cup of all purpose Flour
- 1 cup of homemade of  a mix of Panko & Breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons of Olive oil (use Hazelnut Oil for a delicious different taste)
- 1 tablespoon of Butter
- Salt & Pepper
 Remove the 12pieces of Vache Qui Rit pieces from the fridge and sprinkle them with Salt & Pepper.
By hand, make a 
ball with each piece (sticky !!) and a
rrange the 12 balls on a platter. Put them in the freezer 30 minutes.

In a bowl beat eggs, salt and pepper.

Roll the balls of Vache Qui Rit in flour, then in eggs and finally roll in breadcrumbs.

Once again, roll each ball in eggs and finally in breadcrumbs.

Heat the Oil and Butter in a frying pan (medium heat) and cook the balls 
on all sides until you get a brown color (around 5mn)
Place on Paper Towel to remove the excess of fat and 
serve warm with a salad or for appetizer with a toothpick.

Ideas :
- you can also sprinkle the balls with parmesan just before removing from the pan

- you can roll you balls in Herbes de Provence, or chopped Basil,  or Spices (Curry, Paprika, Cumin ...) before freezing the balls
- you can cook the balls in Truffle Oil
- ...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Grilled Fish Fillet over grilled Veggies, my delicious P.V.R.M. (Post Vacation Recovery Meal)

After 8 days discovering and enjoying California (a week full of delicious food, yummy ice cream, great wine from the Napa Valley, etc ...) followed by a week at home with our family visiting us from France, it is necessary to enjoy a light dinner at home tonight (necessary is the really the good word, trust me ;-)

BUT I'm not a crazy girl, a light dinner doesn't mean eating only a baby carrot and a piece of apple tonight (I need to treat myself and also ... to keep my hubby happy ;-)

SO, light means a well-balanced meal with fresh Fish, a lot of tasty Veggies & Herbs and a splash of Olive Oil, et voila !!

I decided to buy fresh Cod Fillets, Tomatoes, Red & Yellow Peppers, Onions and Zucchinis. You can choose different kind of fish and veggies.

I like the Cod because it has a mild flavor, low fat content and a dense, flaky flesh.
It is also it is cheap fish, perfect for a weekday night ;-)

I chopped all the vegetables and arrange them in layers into an oven safe dish. I added herbs, olive oil, salt & pepper (OMG, it smells so good !).

After 30mn in the oven, the veggies start melting, simmering in their juice !!

I added the fish on the top, and15mn later, the fish is just perfectly grilled ...

I served on warm plates with the juice.
Awwww.... that is a no-guilty, easy & tasty recipe !!!

A bientot et Bon Appetit !
Emilie your French Chef

La recette de Grilled Cod Fillet over grilled Vegetables

Ingredients for 4 people:

4 Fillets of your favorite fresh Fish : Salmon, Cod, Sole, Monkfish, Flounder ...
6 Tomatoes cut into very thin slices
1 Red sweet Pepper cut into very thin strips
1 Yellow sweet Pepper cut into very thin strips
6 Zucchinis cut into very thin slices
1 Onion cut into very thin slices
Herbs : Thyme, Basil, Chive, etc ...
Herbes de Provence
Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Drizzle a little oil in the bottom of a oven safe dish.
Arrange the vegetable slices in layers, starting with the tomatoes.
Drizzle a little of olive oil between the slices and sprinkle salt & pepper, garlic, and herbs between each layers. Add 1/2 cup of water and season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Remove from the oven and add the fish fillet on the top. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil on the fish.
Season with salt and pepper, herbes de Provence, and fresh Herbs (you can also add Parmesan on top if you want).

Roast for 15 mn or until the fish is cooked and have a beautiful brown color.

Serve hot on warm plate, with a bed of veggies and the fish on the top.