Monday, October 31, 2011

Profiteroles au Chocolat

I finally get to spend a little more time at home now that the season is slowing down, and I love it! My mother is visiting from France, as are my friend Isabelle's parents...and that is all we need for an excuse to organize dinner parties!
Sunday night was at the DeDeckos and Monday night at our house. Grilled leg of lamb with spice rub and a mint yogurt sauce, Bob's marinated chicken, couscous and roasted red peppers. All very delicious! And for dessert...Profiteroles au chocolat!!!

Profiteroles au Chocolat

Serves 8

24 puffs (see Pate a choux recipe)
Vanilla ice cream, preferably home made
2 cups chocolate sauce

Cut the top off the puffs and reserve.

Place one scoop of vanilla ice cream in the bottom part of the puff and place cover on top.

Transfer 3 filled puffs per plate and pour the hot chocolate sauce on top.


For faster last minute assembly, prepare the ice cream ahead: line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the ice cream scoops on it. Keep in the freezer until ready to assemble the dessert.

Chocolate sauce

I use this recipe for the Profiteroles au chocolat, but it is also very good on vanilla ice cream alone!!! I usually make more than I need and freeze the rest. To use, simply scoop it out of the container and heat for a few seconds in the microwave.

Chocolate sauce

Makes about 2 cups

8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp butter

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan. When hot, pour over the chocolate and let stand for a few minutes. Mix gently to combine. Add the butter and mix again. If too thick, you can add more cream.

The sauce is ready to use.

You can also flavor it with a liquor of your choice, or coffee, vanilla...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Arugula Salad with Pears and Dried Cranberries

I went for lunch with my friend Peggy the other day and had a great salad at Wicked! Of course theirs was a little more elaborate but this version is perfect to try at home.

Arugula Salad with Pears and Dried Cranberries

Serves 6

5 oz fresh Arugula salad
2 ripe pears, peeled and diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tsp balsamic cream

Salt and pepper

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl. Place the pears, dried cranberries and crumbled goat cheese on top.

Mix the ingredients for the dressing and pour on the salad. Mix well.

Enjoy as a light lunch or a side dish with pork or chicken.


You may add a little to the pears but poaching them in a ginger syrup:

2 pears peeled but whole
 2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled  and cut into thin slices

In a small saucepan, stir the sugar into the water until dissolved. Add the ginger.

Place the pears standing upright into the saucepan. Liquid should just cover the pears.

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer gently for about one hour, until the pears are soft.
Remove from the heat and let the pears stand in the ginger syrup until cool.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fresh Linguine with Clam Sauce

Bob tries to get a rest from cooking when I am home at night!...Not very often as I work at the restaurant at least 5 nights a week! So on the tow nights that I am home, I try new recipes... The Mango and Pineapple Salsa was one of them.
Last night, watching Julie's and Emilie's soccer game, I got inspired... Pasta with a light white sauce... A clam sauce was the recipe of choice! And since I did not have time to go and get fresh clams, cook them and collect the broth, I opted for canned clams, chopped, and bottled clam juice. A great way to have a seafood pasta dish during the week, ready in 20 minutes!

Of course, next time we will cook clams, I will make sure to keep the broth and freeze it for my next sauce!

Fresh Linguine with Clam Sauce

Serves 5

1 shallot, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cup white wine
1 lemon for zest
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 1/2 cup clam juice
3 cups chopped clams (fresh or canned)
2 Tbsp cornstarch

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and add the shallots and half the garlic. When fragrant and lightly browned, add the white wine, the clams, the clam juice, half the parsley, the lemon zest and the rest of the garlic.

Let simmer to reduce for about 30 minutes.
Mix the cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of the sauce, in a small bowl. Add to the sauce in small increment, until you have reached the desired consistency. Some people like it thicker, other lighter!!

Before serving, add the rest of the parsley and serve over fresh linguini.