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Frenchie and a Memorable Year

23 Dec

Farewell to a memorable year.

2014 is closing its doors soon and the time to look back at a year’s worth of pictures, recipes, family, colors, friends and food has come.

Ending the year feeling thankful.

Thankful for the people met along the way, the friendships that became stronger, the food and joys of cooking shared with many, the family visits and trips that continue to make me look at the world in a different way.

But also ending the year on a fun note with the interview Lindsey at Lost in Cheeseland wrote last month about Frenchie and the Yankee as part of her Franco File Friday column. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can read the interview here.

Lindsey is an incredibly talented blogger and a wonderful friend. I wish we lived in the same city so we could eat chocolate regularly over tea and coffee.

And lastly, the fun assignment to work on an exclusive Thanksgiving recipe last month for the November issue of the Charlotte Observer/South Park Magazine team.

To tell you the truth, I could see myself making this recipe during the Holiday Season as well so I included it below.

A happy and merry end of 2014 to all.

Winter

Spring

Summer

Fall

<Note to the readers outside of the U.S.: I wrote the recipe for an American magazine and did not include the conversions as I usually do on the blog. Please email me for details.>

Bourbon-flavored Cranberry Clafoutis

for a 9″ round 1-quart shallow baking dish

1⅓ cup (6 oz.) fresh cranberries, divided into 1 heaping cup (5 oz.) and ⅓ cup (1 oz.)

½ cup (2.5 oz.) dried cranberries

⅔ cup plus 1 Tbsp. Bourbon

½ cup Grand Marnier

2 tsp. vanilla extract

unsalted butter, for the mold

½ cup natural cane sugar plus 2 Tbsp., for the mold

4 Tbsp. quinoa flour

2 Tbsp. almond meal

2 Tbsp. finely ground tapioca flour

½ tsp. sea salt

finely grated zest of ½ organic orange

3 eggs

⅔ cup whole milk

¾ cup heavy cream

½ Tbsp. turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 400 °F.

Bring 1 heaping cup (5 oz.) of the fresh cranberries, dried cranberries, ⅔ cup of the Bourbon, Grand Marnier and 1 tsp. of the vanilla extract to a boil in an 11″ sauté pan. When boiling, continue to simmer over medium to low heat for 8-10 min stirring often or until the juice is reduced to about 1 Tbsp. Transfer in a small bowl and set aside to let the cranberries and juice cool.

Generously butter the baking dish and sprinkle 2 Tbsp. of the sugar all over the bottom and sides. Tap the excess out.

In a bowl, combine ½ cup of the sugar, quinoa flour, almond meal, tapioca flour, sea salt and orange zest. Beat in the eggs until well combined. Add and stir in the milk, heavy cream, 1 Tbsp. of the Bourbon, and 1 tsp. of the vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.

Pour the cooked cranberries and the remaining juice into the baking dish. Arrange them to cover the bottom. Pour the batter on top. Scatter the ⅓ cup (1 oz.) of fresh uncooked cranberries evenly on top. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and bake the clafoutis for 35-40 min until the center is set and the top is golden brown.

Serve at room temperature or cold.

Frenchie and a Peach Summer Salad

18 Aug

Summer local peachesScenes from SoCalWhat can I say? When the peaches from Georgia and South Carolina are abundant, salads, tarts and cobblers become staple items on the kitchen counter.

Mixing peaches and tomatoes is one of my favorite food pairing.

It’s a bit unusual but when you think about it more it just makes sense.

Blueberries and lemon.

Honeydew and cucumber.

Strawberries and basil.

… et maintenant, les pêches et les tomates.

Honey-roasted cherry tomatoes Near San Diego, CA Colorful Charlotte's 4th Ward Out and about in SoCalI started to make this salad before I left for Southern California.

It followed me all summer long so far.

Picnic on the grass under giant trees.

Warm summer dinner on the balcony.

Friend’s evening garden party.

Sunday pot luck by the river.

Or on-the-go for a light lunch.

I like it a lot, if it wasn’t obvious already, and I hope you will too!

Coronado Hotel in San Diego Light, sun and food Longing for the oceanPart of me still feels like I am on vacation when I make it.

It has summer written all over it.

In fact, it screams bright blue skies and sunny golden hues.

Encore un peu de salade?

Oui, avec plaisir…

Temecula, CA green patio The colors of summer Manhattan Beach California scenery, feet in the water.Ruby red, bold yellow, leafy green.

Summer in a plate.

A salty sweet combination to make and enjoy over and over.

There is just something light about it that reminds me of the feeling I had when eating at Fishing with Dynamite on Manhattan Beach.

I don’t know if it was the light, the space, the many bright windows or the food, but it was a delicious summer experience.

And eating this salad directly from the salad bowl with your feet up outside in the heat is also highly recommended.

Coast to coast from CA to MA Temecula vines Beautiful Georgetown in DCA perfect summer saladPeach and Tomato Summer Salad with Ginger Tarragon Vinaigrette

serves 6-8

2 lb (900 g) of ripe tomatoes – mix and match as much as you can – I use big red tomatoes, small red, yellow, and black cherry tomatoes

9 oz (255 g) of ripe peaches – cut in wedges

4 oz (115 g) of black olives

20 basil leaves – roughly chopped

4 Tbsp of olive oil

1 Tbsp of raspberry vinegar

1 teaspoon of mustard

1.5 teaspoon of maple syrup – or honey

1×1″ (2,5 cm x 2,5 cm) of fresh ginger – peeled and cubed

15 tarragon leaves

4 oz (115 g) of feta cheese – crumbled

a handful of pine nuts

freshly ground pepper

Cut, chop, slice the tomatoes to end up with a variety of different cuts: wedges, small slices, pieces, halves etc. I like to halve the cherry tomatoes and cut the bigger tomatoes in wedges.

In a big bowl, drop half of the tomatoes, peaches, black olives and chopped basil leaves. Keep the rest separate for now.

In a small food processor, mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette: olive oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, fresh ginger and tarragon leaves.

Pulse until the vinaigrette is smooth, emulsified and the ginger and tarragon are well blended. Add more fresh ginger or tarragon depending on taste and strength of the herb.

Pour half of the vinaigrette over the salad in the big bowl. Mix delicately.

Add the rest of the tomatoes, peaches and black olives on top. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped basil leaves.

Sprinkle the salad with the feta cheese, pine nuts and ground pepper.

With a big spoon, add small dollops of the vinaigrette over the peach and tomato salad.

Put the left over vinaigrette in a pourer and serve next to the salad for extra helpings.

Georgetown lime house

Frenchie and the SoCal Dates

29 May

San Diego, CA

I cannot believe how long it’s been since the last post.

Pas d’excuse !

You know how it goes…

Neck and shoulder issues in March without the possibility of looking up or down.

No cooking. No photos.

Food poisoning in April.

No cooking. Oh no, no cooking for sure! No photos.

The fear of the blank page. It’s been so long!

And then May travels.

I’ve traveled coast to coast this past month and am ready to bring back lots of memories, experiences, food and colors.

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Still on the road but wanted to share this nut cake with you.

You can always catch up with me on Instagram where I post pictures daily.

For my non-dairy friends, this cake is actually dairy-free.

Inspirations from my Southern California travels.

The sweet discovery of local SoCal dates at the San Diego Hillcrest farmers’ market.

Is it wrong to say I brought 2 pounds of those dates back with me?

The market was everything I have yearned for in a market.

Filled with fresh food, ethnic diversity, love, colors and smiles.

But so is this part of California and I ought to post more photos from my latest discoveries later.

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Until then, hello from New York City while I am enjoying a date or two as I type this post

I did bring some with me – guilty!

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IMG_4915

Date and Honey Nut Cake with Olive Oil

makes a 12×9 cake (30×23 cm)

2/3 cup (160 ml) of olive oil

1/3 cup (80 ml) of honey

4 eggs at room temperature

1 cup (235 ml) of almond milk

1 vanilla bean – scrapped and seeded

1 cup (120 g) of almond meal or flour

1/2 cup (60 g) of cashew meal or flour

1/2 cup (60 g) of coconut flour

3 tablespoons of chestnut flour

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

2 tablespoons of baking powder

6 oz (170 g) of dates – pitted and chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C) and grease the inside of the baking dish with olive oil and a brush. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stander mixer on high speed, beat the olive oil with the honey until well incorporated and smooth.

Add the eggs and continue to mix until blended in.

Add the milk and the vanilla seeds and continue to blend.

In a small bowl, combine the flours (almond, cashew, coconut and chestnut) with the sea salt and baking powder.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the bowl and reduce to speed to slow. Mix slowly until well combined.

When creamy, remove the bowl from the stander mixer and scrape the sides with a spatula.

Add the chopped dates to the dough and spread in the pan.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out dry.

Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting squares and serving.

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