French Recipes

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Smoked Eggplant Tart Recipe Recipe

Smoked Eggplant Tart Recipe

06.05.13 by Jackie

I had one leftover smoked eggplant from the weekend. I used large, heavy, firm eggplants that I brushed with a bit of oil so the oil could absorb the smoky flavor from the hot charcoals. This evening, I peeled the paper-like skin and processed it with sesame chutney (til chutney in Urdu). I fried a shallot, added a little mound of butter, then added ground beef, fresh dill and tomatoes. This preparation made the perfect filling for a savory tart.

If you do not have a grill, you could replicate similar flavors using an Indian cooking method, which was my husband's grandmother's. Simply heat a piece of charcoal, preferably natural charcoal, directly over a flame until it's bright red and transfer it to small metal tin that you place in the center of a saucepan filled with the puréed eggplant. Drizzle a little oil over the hot coal to provide smoke, then immediately cover the saucepan with a lid to trap the smoke and let infuse into the spread.


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Sirloin Steak with Artichoke Butter Recipe

Here in the Bay Area, the weather has been gorgeous. I lit up my grill for the first time this season and made my favorite meal: top sirloin steak that I garnished with a dollop of artichoke butter, marinated artichokes capellini pasta and grilled artichokes.  

I cooked the steak a la plancha by placing a cast iron griddle over the charcoal grill. The hot plancha created a nice crust around the steaks, which I had marinated in soy sauce to tenderize. Simple, juicy and delicious!


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French Macarons flavored with Cherries  Recipe

After posting recipes for almost 5 years, I realized I had never paid homage to the most famous French pastry: le macaron. Today is my attempt to correct this oversight. I made cherry-flavored macarons since this delicious red fruit is finally available in the market.

Making this delicate confection is very time-consuming but so rewarding. I'm not as good at it as I would love to be. They really should rise a bit more in volume, but the meringue still looks decent and the taste is there. The elements of the macaron are egg whites, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, almond flour and a bit food coloring. This assembly is also tricky as the shells can be crushed very easily. I simply add a small mound of cherry-flavored white chocolate ganache and then holding them by the base of the cookie, gently press the two shells together against each other to form the beautiful sandwich cookie


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Kale and Broccoli Crepe Recipe Recipe

Kale and Broccoli Crepe Recipe

05.21.13 by Jackie

My sister-in-law Lya had a sleepover with her girlfriends here last weekend. They had to wake up very early the following day to participate in The Color Run™ 5k paint race event. I promised I'd give them a large breakfast so they'd have enough energy. I served them sweet potato tarte amandine (check out the photo on Facebook), thumbprint cookies and crepes. I prepared plenty of crêpe batter the night before so I was able to use the rest for lunch and create light, savory crepes. I filled them with a cheesy mascarpone sauce, sautéed kale and broccoli.

Don't be fooled by the abundance of greens; this healthy, savory crêpe is very flavorful and filling. The, creamy sauce will keep you full until it's time for the next meal. 

 


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Red Wine Braised Duck Leg Recipe Recipe

Whenever I prepare duck meat, I try to add a lot of spices to attenuate the strong gamey flavor. The spice mixture I used in this recipe is a combination of dried red chilies, fresh oregano, cumin seeds, a cinnamon stick, star anise and fried onion paste. A little red wine vinegar brings these flavors together and also helps to tenderize the meat.

I seared the duck legs and then braised them in a red wine reduction and chicken stock liquid. The duck cooked slowly for a couple of hours until it almost fell off the bone. Don't be intimated by the amount of chiles in the recipe because once cooked, the meat is going to be extra flavorful and not overly spicy. 

Stay tuned tomorrow to see what I did with the leftover duck meat and the spicy gravy. 


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