Saturday, February 24, 2007

Beef Stroganoff with croquette potatoes

I'm a little behind with my posts, and am spending less time in the kitchen. Busy with a trip to England to prepare, Lizzy's birthday, weekend visits...
So this recipe is a couple of weeks old. The beef Stroganov owes the name to its creator, (and not Strogonov it would appear) and is of course a Russian classic. As for the croquette potatoes, they went down very well with the girls...


Preparation : 1 hour
Cooking : 3 minutes
Ingredients for 4
800 gr lean beef filet
2 tbsp oil
10 gr butter
1 chopped onion
1 tsp mild paprika
10 cl white wine
4 cl veal stock
1/2 tsp concentrated tomato puree
10 cl crème fraîche
Salt and pepper

  • Cut the beef into cubes of 1cm. Season with salt, pepper and paprika.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, and sear the cubes of meat (with should remain rare.)
  • Drain,
  • Drain, and set aside the beef in a metal bowl.
  • Add the tomato concentrate to the veal stock.
  • Remove some of the oil from the frying pan, and add the chopped onion.
  • Soften for 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Deglaze with white wine, and leave to reduce.
  • Add the veal stock, and reduce once more.
  • Add the drained meat cubes.
  • Add the crème fraîche, and reduce for a further 3 minutes.

Croquettes potatoes

Preparation : 1 hour
Refridgerator : 1 hour
Cooking time : 2 minutes per pan
1 kg pototoes (ex. Bintje)
1 whole egg and 3 yolks
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
75 gr butter
100 gr golden breadcrumbs
Plain flour
Salt and pepper


  • Peel and wash the potatoes. Cut into small pieces and place in a saucepan of cold water.
  • Salt, and cook for 30 minutes on a high heat.
  • Drain the potatoes, and press through a mill. Return the mash to a saucepan on a moderate heat, stirring constantly, to evaporate some of the humidity.
  • Off the heat, mix in 75 gr of butter and 3 egg yolks to the hot puree, incorporating each one fully before adding the next.
  • Season with salt and pepper and the ground nutmeg. Spread the puree into a dish, and leave in the fridge for one hour. This will firm the potato making it easier to handle.
  • Flour a board and kneed the potato puree to make it smooth. Take one large spoonful of the mixture and mould it into a cylinder. Do the same with the remainder of the puree.
  • Place 100 gr of breadcrumbs onto a plate.
  • Beat the whole egg with a pinch of salt.
  • Dip each croquette into the beaten egg until completely coated, and then roll in the breadcrumbs.
  • Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a deep fryer to 170°c. Deep fry the croquettes in this hot but not smoking oil for around 2 minutes.
  • Drain the croquettes on absorbant paper.

Keep warm in the oven until serving.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ideas for Aperitif n°2

This week is Lizzy's birthday, and as a treat tomorrow we're going straight to the Paris horse show from the gates of school. They of course love horses, which is not excactly my case... And when I see Becky getting thrown off, my fear only increases...
After some quite heavy cooking these last few weeks, I'm trying to lighten things, hoping even to loose a few excess kilos before the end-of-year celebrations. Here are a few ideas to get into the a festive mood...


Parmesan Cornets
Preparation : 45 minutes
Cooking : 30 minutes
for around 30 Cornets
150 gr grated parmesan
150 gr ricotta
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp freshly chopped chive
3 slices of proscuitto ham
2 fresh or dried figs

  • Preaheat the oven to 200° (mark 7).
  • Place 4 circles on a sheet of oven-proof paper.
  • Sprinkle 3 tsps of grated parmesan cheese evenly inside each of the circles.


  • Bake for 3 minutes, until the cheese melts and turns golden.
  • Use a spatula to remove each circle of cheese, and roll each around a cone made from cardboard or stiff paper. If the cheese hardens too quickly, return it to the oven for a few seconds.


  • Prepare the rest of the cornets using the same technique (4 cornets at a time).
  • Beat the ricotta with the lemon juice and the milk. Set aside in the fridge.
  • Brown the proscuitto ham slices slightly in a frying pan.
  • Dice into small pieces and add to the ricotta.
  • Fill each cornet with this mixture, and decorate with a slice of fig.


Mushrooms marinated in chilli pepper
Preparation : 20 minutes
Marinade : 30 minutes
700 gr of button mushrooms
25 cl olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 pressed garlic glove
1/4 tbsp sugar
1 chopped red chilli pepper
1 chopped green chilli pepper
1 tbsp freshly chopped de coriander
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley


  • Wash the mushrooms thoroughly and place in a bowl.
  • Mix the oil, the lemon juice, garlic, sugar, herbs and the peppers.
  • Add the marinade to the mushrooms, cover, and leave for 30 minutes.

You can marinate the mushrooms up to one week beforehandand and store in the fridge.

Semi-dried tomatoes
Preparation : 10 minutes
Refridgerator : 24 heures
Cooking : 2 h 30

16 cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 160 °C ( th2-3). Cut the tomatoes into 4. Place them skin-side up on a sheet of foil on a baking tray.


  • Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, and pepper, and the chopped thyme.
  • Cook for 2h30 in the oven.
  • Remove from the oven, add the olive oil, and leave to cool.
  • Store in a clean container in the fridge for at least 24 hours before serving.

These tomatoes will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for one week.

Pepper cigarettes
Preparation : 30 minutes
Refridgeration : 2 hours
Cooking : 10 minutes
20 pieces
1 red pepper
60 gr grated gruyère or cheddar cheese
30 gr grated parmesan
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp freshly chopped parsley
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
2 drops of tabasco sauce
10 slices of white bread
10 gr melted butter


  • Cut the pepper, remove the seeds, and place skin-side up under a hot grill until the skin blackens. Leave to cool in a plastic bag or in aluminium foil, and peel when cooled.
  • Chop into small pieces and place in a bowl with the cheeses, the mayonnaise, herbs, tabasco sauce, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Trim the sides of the bread slices, and flatten with a rolling pin.
  • Brush both sides with the melted butter.
  • Spread the pepper mix onto the bread, leaving a 1 cm border all around.
  • Roll up the bread, and attach with cocktail sticks.
  • Cover, and leave in the fridge for 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 180° (mk 5).
  • Cut each roll into 2, and secure each one with a cocktail stick.
  • Bake for 10 minutes until crisp.

You can prepare the cigarettes the previous day before baking.

Idées "Apéritif" épisode 1

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Salmon in spinach with pilaf rice

This recipe is a much simplified version of a dish by the German chef Heinz Winkler. He dressed the dish with caviar...


Preparation : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes + 20 minutes for the pilaf rice
Ingredients for 4
400 gr salmon filet
100 gr white fish flesh
1 egg
10 cl double cream
Ground nutmeg
30 large spinach leaves
Sauce :
20 cl fish stock
20 cl white wine
20 cl Noilly Prat (or similar dry Vermouth liqour)
1 shopped shallot
10 gr butter
Salt, pepper
Pilaf rice:
1 1/2 glasses long grain rice
20 gr butter
1 chopped onion
1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, bay-leaves wrapped together)


Pilaf rice
  • Softened the chopped onion in 10 gr of butter.
  • Add the rice, and heat for a few minutes without colouring the rice.
  • Add 1.5 l of boiling water, season with salt and pepper and add the bouquet garni.
  • Bring to the boil, cover with oven-proof paper, and a lid.
  • Cook in the oven at 200°c for between 16 and 18 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, and let the rice rest and rise for a few minutes.
  • Place the rice in a metal bowl, add 10 gr of butter, and mix the rice with a fork.
  • Keep warm, covered with the oven-proof paper.

Salmon in spinach leaves

  • Divide the salmon into equal pieces of around 100 gr.
  • Remove the stalks from the spinach, and plunge into boiling water for 5 seconds. Drain, and spread onto a dry towel.
  • Cut the white fish flesh into small chunks, season with salt and pepper, and mix in a food processor.
  • Add the egg, the double cream and the ground nutmeg.
  • Spread a piece of plastic film onto a chopping board.
  • Lay out a rectangle of spinach leaves (two-layers thick).


  • Spread the fish mousse on top, about 1cm thick, using a spatula. Place the seasoned salmon filets on top.


  • Trim the plastic film, and wrap the spinach leaves over the top of the salmon.
  • Steam-cook for 10 minutes.

Noilly Prat sauce :

  • Place the Noilly Prat, white wine and chopped shallot in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  • Add the fish stock, and reduce by one-third.
  • Add the butter, and simmer for 6 minutes.
  • Liquidiez the sauce, and then add in caviar or lumpfish eggs.

Slice the salmon, and dress the plate with the sauce.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cabbage with duck fillet stuffing, Celery and apple brandade

A recipe from the magazine Avantages. This is a recipe I often come back to, because it's simply my favourite amongst many. This is a recipe for a Sunday, quite long to prepare but fairly simple to execute. I also shorten it during the week, to use up left-over meat and vegetables.

I accompany here with a recipe for a brandade of celery and apple, which we discovered during a lesson from Charles Soussin in the Fraîch'attitude kitchen with fellow-bloggers Ester, Doriann, Marie-laure, Adèle, Requia, Muriel and Marie. A very useful lesson, which makes a good addition to the numerous cookery books...
And the girls were so pleased with their apple sauce...


: 1 h 30
Cooking : 45 minutes
Ingredients for 6
16 large cabbage leaves
250 gr finely chopped cooked ham
1 duck fillet confit
1 tbsp duck fat
125 gr diced bacon
250 gr onions
125 gr carrots
1 stick of celery
25 gr chopped parsley
1 mixed herb bouquet (2 twigs of thyme, 2 laurel leaves)
1 pressed garlic clove
1 shallot
24 slightly crushed juniper berries
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
50 gr chopped white bread + 50 gr chopped granary bread
10 cl sweet white wine
6 chopped plums
3 tbsp milk
2 eggs
Celery and apple Brandade (recipe by Charles Soussin) :
1/2 celeriac
1/2 lemon
4 apple
1/2 l milk


  • Cut the onions, shallot, carrots and celery into small cubes.
  • Melt the duck fat in a frying pan. Add the vegetables, the herb bouquet, and soften for 5 minutes, whilst stirring.


  • Add the garlic and white wine. Cover for 5 minutes, on a medium heat.
  • Add the diced bacon, uncover, and let the bacon cook. Remove from the heat, and discard the herb bouquet.
  • Add the chopped cooked ham, the chopped bread, the parsley and the juniper berries. Mix well.
  • Remove the skin and any bone from the duck fillet. Chop the meat very finely, add it into the frying pan, and add the milk.
  • Beat the eggs with a fork and add into the frying pan (still off the heat), mix well.
  • Preaheat the oven to mark 6 (200°). Half-fill a large dish with water and place in the oven.
  • Boil the cabbage leaves for 5 minutes in salted water. Drain, then place in cold water.
  • Trim the edges of the cabbage.


  • Line the serving dish with plastic film, and brush the lining with duck fat.
  • Layer the cabbage leaves to line the walls and bottom of the dish (let the leaves on the side overlap the outside of the dish.)


  • Pour in half of the stuffing, followed by half of the chopped plums.
  • Then cover with a layer of cabbage leaves, before filling the rest of the dish with the remaining stuffing and plums.


  • Fold the cabbage leaves lining the sides of the dish over the top to close the terrine.


  • Cover the whole dish with aluminium foil, and place in the oven in the bain-marie.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Before tuning out, turo the dish over a leave for a while to allow any condensation to run off.

Celery and apple Brandade :

  • Peel the celeriac with a knife, and pour a little lemon juice over.
  • Cut into small cubes.
  • Cover with milk in a saucepan, and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Mix into a purée with a liquidizer.
  • Boil the peeled and chopped apples in water (no sugar) into a compote, and mix into the celeriac puree.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the terrine warm with the celery purée, accompanied with roast chestnuts.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Salmon fishcakes

A quick and easy recipe to prepare. The secret of good fishcakes is to use fresh fish, and home-made potato puree and breadcrumbs. Other white fish or even smoked haddock will work well with this recipe.


Preparation : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Ingredients for 4

450 gr cooked salmon
450 gr potatoes (floury type) boiled and mashed
25 gr softened butter
2 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp fresh dill
1 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
Juice of 1/2 lemon
15 gr plain white flour
1 beaten egg
150 gr of breadcrumbs
4 tbsp oil
Salt and white pepper

  • Crush the cooked salmon with a fork, making sure that no bones or skin remain.
  • Mix the salmon with the the boiled and coarsely mashed potatoes in a large bowl.
  • Add in the softened butter and mustard seeds. Mix well, then add in the dill, parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and white pepper.
  • Divide the mixture into 8 parts, and with each, form into a ball and then flatten slightly into a disc.
  • Coat each disc first in flour, then beaten egg, and finally in breadcrumbs.
  • Warm the oil in a very hot frying pan.
  • Fry the fishcakes until golden brown.
  • Drain with absorbant paper, and serve hot.

Fishcakes served with a simple salad


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tournedos Rossini and braised endives

This is a real French classic, "le tournedos Rossini", which legend has it the famous composer, who was rather a gourmet, passed on to the chef at the Café Anglais.


Preparation : 20 minutes
Cooking Time : 20 minutes
Ingredients for 4
4 beef tournedos cuts
4 slices of bread
100 gr of part-cooked foie gras
1 truffle
20 cl veal stock
10 cl Madera wine
140 gr butter
1 tbsp oil
Salt, pepper
As all the ingredients are cooked seperately, everything must be kept warm between hot plates.
  • Cut circles from the sliced bread the same diameter as the tournedos. Fry both sides until golden in a little butter.
  • Fry the tournedos in the oil with 20 gr of butter for 1 to 2 minutes each side. Season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
  • Cut the foie gras into round discs of the same diameter as the tournedos. Warm them gently in the frying pan. Cut the truffle into 8 thin slices, and grate the remainder.
  • Place the bread circles onto the serving plates, with the tournedos placed on top, and finally followed by the foie gras. Keep warm.
  • Pour the madera wine into the same frying pan and leave to reduce. Add the veal stock, the truffle juice, along with the grated and sliced truffle. Reduce.
  • Off the heat, melt the remaining butter into the sauce.
  • Dress the tournedos with the sauce, and 2 slices of truffle per tournedos.

Braised endives from a recipe by Chef Eric Léautey.


Ingredients for 4
4 endives
1 lemon cut into slices
1 carrot
20 cl veal stock
1 onion
50 gr butter

  • Wash, drain and chop the endives into 2 along the length, and remove the heart.
  • Place them in a saucepan with the butter, the lemon slices, salt, thyme, and cover with water.
  • Place a sheet of greaseproof paper with a hole cut in the centre over the top of the pan, and cook gently for 10 minutes.
  • Cut the onion and carrots into small cubes. Brown in a frying pan with a little butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Drain the endives, and place them with the onions and carrots in an oven dish.
  • Add the veal stock.
  • Braise in the oven with no lid on the dish for 30 minutes at 120° (mark 4).

Serve in the braising juices

Monday, January 22, 2007

Morello cherry chocolate tears

Chocolate, cherries, and more chocolate...


Preparation : 1 h 30
Ingredients for 22 chocolate tears
200 gr dark chocolate chopped into pieces
22 pitted and drained Morello cherries
Chocolate mousse
60 gr dark chocolate
1 tbsp single cream
1 egg yolk
1 egg white
1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
80 ml very cold single cream

  • Cut 22 3cm by 11cm rectangles from oven-proof paper.
  • Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then off the heat, place a bowl containing the chocolate pieces into the hot water. Avoid the bowl touching the saucepan, and stir the chocolate as it melts.
  • Spread a thin layer of chocolate onto a paper rectangle using a spatula. Press the two ends together to form a tear-shape, and hold together. Place on a plate to cool, and repeat th operation with the other rectangles. If the chocolate begins to harden, place it back in the bain-marie, but always off the heat.


  • Place a small teaspoon of melted chocolate onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, and place the chocolate tear on top, pressing gently. Repeat for each tear. Leave to harden completely, then trim each chocolate with a sharp knife.


  • Delicately lift each chocolate from the paper with a spatula.


  • Cut the morello cherries into two.
  • Chocolate mousse filling : Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie as above. Add one spoon of single cream and the egg yolk, and mix well.
  • Put the gelatin powder in 2 teaspoons of water in a bowl. Place this bowl in a bain-marie to dissolve the gelatin completely. Then add to the chocolate.
  • Whip the cold cream with a whisk, and add then mix it into the chocolate mousse.
  • Beat the egg white to snow, and fold it into the chocolate mousse.
  • Place a cherry into each chocolate tear, and then cover with the chocolate mousse. Fill each chocolate to the very top, as the mousse will tend to settle.

Leave in the fridge for one hour before serving.