8-minute no-mixer homemade French short pastry dough (pâte brisée)

wpid-wp-1424445282001.jpegOne of the reason I don’t cook more often a savory tart or quiche is because I tend to be lazy and hate washing the bowl and accessories of my electric mixer. I take it for granted that the dough must be done with a mixer, but you know what? there was a time when I didn’t own one, and I clearly remember that it did not stop me to prepare the dough… So today I decided I should properly time how long it takes to prepare a savory dough. In France we call it the Pâte brisée. It means literally the broken dough, and it is our version of the short pastry dough. The advantages of doing it VS buying it ready made is that it is super cheap, super delicious, and super empty of all the usual crap conservatives and non-necessary ingredients with chemical sounding names. Long story short: I timed myself and it took me 8 minutes to prepare the dough, washing my hand included. Here is how:

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup no-salt butter (That’s 2/3 of a stick)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cold water

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Céleri rémoulade (remoulade style celeriac root) a health-benefits packed winter salad.

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This vegetable does look ugly and smells strong, but I love this recipe. In fact, if I wasn’t too lazy to wash my electric grater, I would have it more often. This dish is super easy, super fast and super healthy. For once, I am offering a recipe that I have modified from the original. Basically, if you want the authentic remoulade recipe, just put mayonnaise instead of the sauce I am offering below, et voilà. A perfect post holiday vitamin packed dinner meal. You may chose to serve it with a couple of hardboiled eggs or a few slices of turkey ham, to get a bit more protein.

If you are more on the gourmet side, I encourage you to have a few slices of San Daniele ham, and a piece of country bread with butter… just saying… Read the rest of this entry »


Meet my Beef Burgundy (Boeuf Bourguignon)

wpid-wp-1417383482982.jpegI believe this is one of the most popular French dish known in the USA. It is traditionally cooked with red wine from Bourgogne (Burgundy region). This region of France is famous for it great wine, and its great beef, therefore you can imagine that the better wine and the better beef: the better the meal!

In my youth, I remember my family eating this sometimes on Sunday lunch, in fall and winter. We would go to mass for the 10 AM service, while the stew would be simmering. Once back home and hungry, we would be greeted by the familiar and promising smell…  My mum would make sure there was enough to have second serve, and usually served it with either boiled potatoes, pasta or plain rice.

Time has past, and I had a chance to taste many Bourguignon, from other friends and family, top restaurant tables, or hidden countryside restaurants… I experimented several variations and I am happy to offer below my recipe. This is the way I like it, with Read the rest of this entry »


Hachis parmentier, a French version of the shepherd’s pie.

This dish is very simple and popular, and usually is made from leftover meat. This might be a recipe for reusing your Holiday’s meat leftover. Also, it is one of this mouth watering comfort food dish, with a hint of sophistication! I say it is perfect for the fall and winter season. (and with a glass of Merlot…)

Parmentier by François Dumont

Parmentier by François Dumont

The origin of the Hachis Parmentier date from the late 18th century. Antoine-Auguste Parmentier, trained as a nutritionist, realized the potential of the potatoes as a nutrient rich vegetable. Until then, this vegetable was not popular, and seen as inedible. This discovery was particularly important as it enabled poor families to survive through starvation periods.

The Hachis Parmentier is therefore made of minced meat, and mash potatoes. This dish is very flexible, and allows many variations based on what you have in the fridge basically. In the recipe below, I used ground turkey with onion and parsley, and a simple mash potatoes homemade with butter. Because the dish is whole, I usually serve this with a simple batavia salad. I like it with provence style tomatoes too, to add a complementary acid taste with it.

Recipe

  • 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes
  • Easy, you can involve your children in mashing the potatoes 🙂

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Veal Blanket (Blanquette de veau)

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As the fall is providing its beautiful landscapes, offering amazing color palettes wherever you walk, drive, hike… The fall is also a little cold-ish, wet-ish and soon enough we are looking for comfort with warm flavorful dishes to share with familiar faces.

Here is my mum signature dish: the veal blanket. It has such name because this dish, is a white stew. The pieces of top-quality veal are presented in a creamy white sauce that has a little dash of lemon.

Since I developed my practice of this recipe, and following my husband’s refined taste, I have added a few carrots and mushrooms to the sauce. We usually serve this with basmati rice. We love the velvety taste of the sauce mixed with the rice… It works well too with linguini pasta, or boiled potatoes. Best to serve it with either a light pinot noir (chose a wine that claims the grapes were grown on the top of a hill, so it will not be too overwhelming), or a chablis (some chablis from Burgundy are exquisite… but we get into a pricey area).

Another variation, if you don’t have the budget to afford top veal meat is to practice the recipe using chicken. Just use boneless and skinless pieces of chicken, and cut them in stew size (1 square inch). Then follow the steps of the recipe, simply swapping the veal with the chicken. I made it, and it works.

Recipe:

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes, + 2 hours of simmering.
  • Serves 3 – 4

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Provence style tomatoes

Les tomates à la provençales (Provence style tomatoes) is a very versatile dish that can be a great side for most grilled meats, starting from a good steak. It can also be prepared and used in a quiche, adding goat chess, or bacon with it. Finally you can have it with eggs, any style. It is closed to what is known in the USA as broiled tomatoes. But the perfume of garlic and herbs transport you to the summer in Provence…

Ingredients for 2 or 3 people (if served as a side to a steak):

  • wpid-wp-1408999313692.jpeg3 large tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp of time leaves
  • 1 tbsp of rosemary leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil

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The country pâté – my style

IMG_1474Impress your guest with this yummy and simple country pâté. This tastes so genuine that your guest will feel like they are at a French restaurant! This simple pâté is quick to prepare and is better if you do it a few days ahead. It can be frozen too. The final touch (or should I say the final French Touch) is to serve it with couple of toasted baguette pieces, and few gherkins…

it is healthy as it is reasonably low in fat perfect for many diet restriction as it is carb – gluten – lactose free. It is full of protein and iron! It is a perfect dish for week day with green leaves and a slice of bread, or more sophisticated as an appetizer with toasts for your guests. I love it with sliced tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and a piece of country bread.

 

 

Let’s get started:

 

You need:

  • a terrine dish or 2 (you can use a regular oven dish and use aluminum to create a lid, that’s fine too. Make sure the dish is deep enough to create the pâté shape)IMG_1444
  • a mixer robot
  • a larger dish (like a gratin dish) for the bain-marie cooking style.
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes
  • Cooking : 1h30 minutes at 370°F, in a bain-marie (the terrine is 2/3 dipped in a larger dish with boiling temperature water)
  • Rest : 24 to 72 hours in the fridge

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