French Recipes

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Brussels Sprout Salad with Marinated Feta Cheese Recipe

We're in a funny period. It's not cold enough to make soup, but we're starting to get fall and wintry ingredients such as figs and Brussels sprouts despite the hot weather. I bought some Brussels sprouts from the local market and decided to make a salad with them. I think the brininess of the feta complements the flavor of the Brussels sprouts really well. I marinated some feta cheese with lemon juice, lemon zest and pink and green peppercorns, and added it to the steamed and grilled Brussels sprouts. The result is something that in no way resembles the boiled, lifeless Brussels sprouts that are reviled by kids and adults alike. In fact, the girls absolutely love Brussels sprouts, and they completely inhaled the salad. 

This winter, I'll post a Brussels sprout gratin that no one can resist . Stay tuned!


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Savory Goat Ricotta Cheese Puffs Recipe

There are guests coming tomorrow, and as usual I had no clue about what to make. I scoured my pantry and found a bag of macadamia nuts, just waiting to be used. I made walnut pesto yesterday, and I didn't feel like making another pasta and pesto dish. As they say, variety is the spice of life. 

I think appetizers are perfect for dinner parties; they allow people to nibble without interrupting the flow of conversation. I often make some sort of mini puff pastry, and I thought a macadamia pesto would be the perfect filling. However, a traditional pesto would be too thin on its own, so I added some homemade crème fraîche and some goat ricotta cheese. As you may have noticed, I'm a huge fan of goat ricotta cheese, and I get it whenever it's available at the local creamery.

Today, I made the pesto and the dough, tested out and baked a couple of puffs in the oven for tasting. The smell was intoxicating, and it was really difficult to snap a couple of photos before everyone descended upon them. 

You can freeze both the pesto and the dough. If you often have last minute guests as we do, it's easy to pop them out of the freezer and bake them. Your guests will love them, and you'll be a rockstar without much effort!


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Vietnamese-Style Stuffed Tomatoes (Tomates Farcies) Recipe

A lot of Vietnamese dishes are inspired by French cuisine, because Vietnam was a longtime colony of the French empire. Tomates farcies (cà chua nhồi thịt in Vietnamese) is no exception. In Vietnam, it is referred to as tomates farcies, which literally translates to "stuffed tomatoes tomatoes"!

Traditional French stuffed tomatoes are filled with garlic bread crumbs, chair à saucisse and chopped jambon de Bayonne (sausage meat and prosciutto). The Vietnamese version uses the same filling as meat eggrolls.

I used veal for its low fat content as well as its texture and color for this dish. And most important, it cooks pretty fast. You can certainly use any other meat, such as ground beef.

 


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Kiwi Tart with Pastry Cream (Tarte au Kiwi et a la Creme Patissiere) Recipe

A local bakery makes these wonderful kiwi tarts that everyone in the family loves. I just bought some really nice golden kiwis from the local market and I thought I'd try my hand at making a kiwi tart, but with my own twist.

I used a walnut dough with the standard crème pâtissière. Instead of coating the bottom of the pastry with chocolate, I drizzled it over the top. The chocolate and kiwi go well together and they mesh very well with the velvety cream and the texture of the walnut tart shell.


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Tuiles Aux Amandes (Almond Tuiles) Recipe

Today we made some ginger ice cream in the ice cream machine we got Daddy, my father-in-law, last Father's day. The machine requires no pre-freezing, which is very convenient. I got the recipe for this frozen treat from PastryPal, which is written by Irina. We made half of the volume since it was the first time we were trying this recipe out. Irina's recipe calls for 4 egg yolks, but I wasn't about to throw away the 4 egg whites so I decide to make some almond tuiles.

Tuiles aux amandes are crisp thin cookies topped with slivered almonds. It's a great garnish for ice cream because of the texture contrast between the crispy cookie and the creamy frozen treat.

 


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