Friday, June 29, 2012

Mini Ratatouille Tartes

Everybody loves a good Ratatouille! And everyone definitely loves tartes! Both together.....Delicious! This recipe is basically the same one I have always used, but the vegetables are diced instead of simply sliced. And I added goat cheese and black olives!

Mini Ratatouille Tartes

Makes 12

One recipe Whole Wheat Pie Crust

1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 Vidalia onion, diced
3 small zucchini, diced
1 small eggplant, diced
3 plum tomatoes, diced
6 garlic cloves, chopped very finely
Fresh herbs, such as Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary...chopped

One container crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup chopped black olives

Salt and pepper 

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan and add the onion. Cook on medium low heat, for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add more oil to the pan and add the peppers. Cook until soft and slightly colored. Add a pinch of fresh herbs and some garlic and salt and pepper to taste. When cooked, transfer to the bowl.

Repeat with the zucchini.

Add more oil to the pan and add the eggplants. cook for a few minutes, adding more oil if necessary (eggplant do absorb a lot of oil). Add the plum tomatoes and cook until eggplants are tender, lightly brown and the tomatoes have cooked. The juices in the pan should not be watery, but a bit thick. Add the seasoning and then return the previously cooked vegetables to the pan. Toss all vegetables together and adjust seasoning if necessary. 

Roll out the crust and cut 12 disks, about 1/4-inch thick. Place on a lined sheet pan and bake at 350F for about 15 minutes, until it starts to get some color. Poke holes with a fork to avoid bubbles. 

When done, remove from the oven and let cool.

Place about 1/3 cup of ratatouille on top of the crust, top with crumbled goat cheese and black olives and return to the 350F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese has somewhat melted and tartes are hot.

Serve with a nice cool Rose wine!!!

Dark Chocolate Mousse

I know I already have a recipe for Chocolate Mousse on this blog. But this one is quite different, a bit more subtle in taste. It also requires more time to make...but the result is ...delicious! Oh! and it is inspired by Cyril Lignac, a talented young French chef.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

Serves 8

300 g bittersweet chocolate
400 g heavy cream
30 g sugar
3 Tbsp water
4 egg yolks

Beat the heavy cream until stiff peak form. Refrigerate.

Mix together the water and sugar in a small sauce pan and heat slowly on low heat until the sugar has melted. Set aside.

Whisk the egg yolks until pale yellow and light, with an electric mixer. Slowly add the hot syrup, still whisking. Keep whisking until the mixture increases in volume and cools off.

Melt the chocolate on top a double broiler. Still with the electric mixer, incorporate the melted chocolate to the egg mixture. When well mixed in, add the whipped cream with a rubber spatula.

Divide the mousse into glasses, or transfer to a large serving bowl and refrigerate.

Serve topped with whipped cream or simply as is!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Raspberry Financier

We celebrated Julie's graduation from Sturgis Charter Public School on June 3. As any celebration at the Steven's, there was family, friends and a lot of food involved!
I made the traditional Piece Montee, of course, as well as some new desserts. The Raspberry Financier was a new recipe for me and a successful one! Fresh raspberries and almond cake go so well together!

Financier aux Framboises

serves 12

1 lb fresh raspberries (500 g)
7 oz butter (200g)
8 large egg whites
8 oz confectioner sugar (225 g)
6 oz almond flour (170 g)
4 oz flour (110 g)

Preheat the oven to 340F.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, on low heat, until it becomes golden and gives out a hazelnut aroma. Do not burn it!

Whisk the egg whites slightly, until they begin to foam.

In a larger bowl, mix together the almond flour, all purpose flour and confectioner sugar. Add the egg whites to the bowl, whisking the batter as you pour. Add the melted butter and mix.

Pour the batter in a buttered and floured rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle the raspberries on top, pushing them slightly into the batter.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden.

Let cool and dust with confectioner sugar before serving.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Herb Salsa Verde

I always thought that flank steak had to be marinated...I was wrong! I found a recipe in my last issue of Bon Appetit magazine of Flank Steak with herb Salsa Verde that seemed really good. So I tried it, with a few modification and all three kids said it was the best steak ever!!! Time to share the recipe!!!

Herb Salsa Verde

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup fresh tarragon
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 cup fresh parsley
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, stir together half the olive oil, lemon zest and garlic. Set aside.

Chop the fresh herb coarsely and add to the bowl. Let marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes, then add the remaining oil.

Season with salt and pepper.

Grill the flank steak: Take the steak out of the fridge about 30 minutes before grilling. Pound both sides with the small spike side of a meat pounder. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat the grill. When really hot, cook the steak on high heat, both sides, without covering.

When cooked, let stand 5 minutes to allow juices to settle. lice across the grain and serve with a wedge of lemon!

This sauce is also delicious with fish or chicken...

And I used leftovers for a pesto: Transfer to food processor and add nuts (I only had Hazelnuts that day!) and Parmesan cheese...Adjust the olive oil and serve over pasta!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sauteed Scallops

Summer does not mean you have to grill absolutely everything! And on a rainy night, this scallop recipe is great and easy. The leeks give it a fell of comfort food, lite version!

Sauteed Scallops with leeks

Serves 6

30 sea scallops (5 each)
3 leeks, clean and sliced thin
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp olive oil

Saute the leeks in a hot pan with 1Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil, until soft, but not brown.

In the same skillet, heat again 1 Tbsp each of butter and olive oil. Add the scallops, without crowding the pan. Repeat with as many batches as needed. Cook on each side until golden, no more that a few minutes.

Plate: place some leeks on each plate, top with the sauteed scallops and sprinkle with the butter sauce that is left in the pan. Add a side of Jasmine rice