Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Summer has begun and for annual trip to France with the kids. My as little as possible and spend as much time as possible at the pool! I am proud to tell....I succeeded very well today!
But with a house full, there still are meals to be prepared. stay as close to my goal as possible, the BBQ is my best friend!
Today, pork tenderloins marinated in mustard and herbs from the garden.

Grilled Pork Tenderloins

Serves 8

3 Tbsp mustard
1 lemon for juice
5 sprigs tarragon chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
4 pork tenderloins, butterflied and cut in thirds

Mix together, with a wooden fork or a whisk, the mustard, lemon juice, tarragon, garlic and olive oil.
Pour over the prepared pork and marinate for at least 2 hours.

Grill about 8 minutes on each side. Serve with a salad or a ratatouille.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Potato Salad

Memorial weekend call for potato salad. This is a classic recipe, with may be a French twist...Tarragon! The French love tarragon and we do put it in a lot of dishes...including potato salad. In this recipe, the tarragon I used comes from our garden. I have to admit that this year it is particularly beautiful!

Potato Salad

Serves 10

6 lbs small red potatoes
2 Tbsp coarse salt
1/2 lb pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch strips
2 cups homemade mayonnaise
3/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
4 shallots, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Wash the potatoes and transfer to a large sauce pan filled with cold water. Add the coarse salt and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, reduce the heat and cook until a knife goes through the potato smoothly, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and cool with cold water.

Cut the potatoes in half, or any size you like. Transfer to a large salad bowl.

While the potatoes are cooking, saute the pancetta until golden. Transfer to a plate lined with taper towel to absorb the grease. Set aside.

Add the tarragon, shallots, pancetta to the potatoes. Add the mayonnaise, a little at a time (it is easier to add than remove!) and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The salad is better if prepared the day before. It allows the flavors to blend. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Berry Tart

Nicole organized a last minute dinner party at her house, with the usual suspects. They know who they are!!
I only had about two and a half hours to come up with a dessert and make it too!!
I went to the store and as it happens most of the time, I found my inspiration there.

A berry pie!
You already know my strawberry pie, so this time I changed the fruit, got a new crust recipe and with the help of a quickly prepared pastry cream, and ... voila!

Berry Tart

Serves 8

Recipe for one Sugar Crust (the recipe is for two crusts)

One Vanilla Pastry Cream recipe


1/3 cup raspberry jam, or other berry jam
2 Tbsp raspberry liquor (or any liquor of your choice)

Bake the crust according to directions. Let cool
Spread the pastry cream on the crust.
Place the berries in circles on top of the cream.

In a small saucepan, heat the jam. When hot, pass through a sieve to remove the seeds. Add a the raspberry liquor.

Brush the top of the berries with the jam mixture.
Reserve in a cool place, but you do not need to refrigerate before serving.

Should you have leftover (and I seriously doubt you will!), you may keep the pie in the fridge. The crust should stay dry and crunchy!

Summer Pasta Salad

Field day at Sturgis, Julie and Dylan's school. I do not have much time to volunteer my time there, between school, Ardeo, soccer and everything else...! But I always have time to cook.

A pasta salad seemed like the perfect choice for a group of hungry teenagers on Field Day!!!

Summer Pasta Salad

Serves 15

2 lbs dry Farfalle (I love Barilla!)
1 orange bell pepper, diced really small
1 yellow bell pepper, diced really small
1/2 red onion, minced
1 bunch chive minced
5 garlic cloves, minced finely
1/2 bunch fresh basil (about 1/2 cup packed leaves), chopped finely
1 small cucumber, seeded and diced small
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
about 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to box direction, al dente.
When cooked, drizzle about 1/4 cup olive oil and mix well. It should prevent the pasta from sticking.

When fully cooled, add the bell peppers, red onion, the chive (but reserve about 2 tbsp for presentation), the diced cucumber, and about half the cherry tomatoes (reserve the rest for presentation).
Mix well.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the basil, garlic and olive oil until it forms a thick sauce. Add the lemon juice and pulse to mix.

Add the sauce to the pasta salad and mix well.
Season with salt and pepper.

Before serving, sprinkle the remaining chive on to of the salad and place the cherry tomatoes too.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Homemade Mayonnaise

I do not like mayonnaise! Anyone in our family knows that.
Well, let's rephrase ...I do not like store bought mayonnaise! But I do love a creamy homemade mayo!!
I do use this recipe, with flavor variations, for a "Fondue Bourguignonne", and of course, as I did this Memorial weekend, for the classic potato salad.


Makes about 1 1/2 cups

2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lime for juice, or 1/2 lemon

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the mustard until well blended. Add the salt.
Add the oils, alternating vegetable and olive, in a thin but steady stream, whisking constantly.
The mayonnaise will start to shape. Keep adding the oils until you have the desired quantity of mayonnaise. It is possible to add more than on cup of oil total.
Toward the end, add the lime juice for a little "tang".

Keep refrigerated.

For a "Fondue Bourguignonne", or meat fondue, do not add any lemon.
You then need to divide the mayonnaise in smaller bowls and season each with different flavors.
Aioli: Add pressed garlic to the mayonnaise.
Curry: add a pinch of curry powder, according to your tastes.
You can add Ketchup, or paprika, lemon and any other spice you like. Have fun!!