Brown Butter Crouton and Mandarin Segment Salad with a Sugar Cane Vinaigrette Recipe

Again! I had a leftover baguette from last night's dinner. But never fear, I had a plan. I have a number of go-to recipes that are tailored for leftovers. Waste not, want not.

Croutons are a perfect way to recycle stale, crusty bread. To kick up the flavor, I soaked the bread in brown butter. In French, brown butter is called beurre noisette, which literally means hazelnut butter. It really does impart a nutty flavor to the croutons. I used the extra brown butter for the vinaigrette that I paired with sugar cane juice and sugar cane vinegar. I also added whole mandarin segments to add a citrus-y flavor.


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Rose Panna Cotta with Grenadine Syrup and Crunchy French Pralines  Recipe

Panna cotta is a very easy recipe. It is as versatile as crème brulée or pot de crème. The base is just a dairy with a gelling agent like agar or gelatin. You can create your own signature version by adding your own twist to it. You can use different flavors like rose, strawberry, pandan, peppermint, mocha or any other savory flavor that you can imagine. It is a true culinary chameleon.  


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Vegetarian Indian Curry Tofu Pot Pie Recipe

A pot pie is a medley of vegetables and meat in a thick sauce, wrapped in a pie crust. I love chicken pot pie. Unfortunately, I can never share this meal with my hubby Lulu since he's a vegetarian. I always try to adapt what i eat to Lulu's dietary restrictions. Today, I tested a fusion pot pie based on the sauce from my Ma-Po tofu recipe and a curry sauce. I added fried tofu for the protein, and included shitake mushrooms with the vegetables that traditionally go into this English dish.

Of course, if you love meat like me, you could substitute cooked chicken for the tofu.

vegetarian pot pie


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Savory Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Beluga Lentil Relish (Panna Cotta au Chevre et sa Macedoine de Legumes) Recipe

Panna cotta de chèvre frais et sa macédoine de légumes is a summery dish. It was such a sunny day today in the Bay Area, so I decided to make something refreshing and light.

In case you don't know, panna cotta is a firm jelly. It can be either be savory or sweet. Instead of using gelatin, I used agar for the vegetarians in the house. I paired the panna cottas with mixed vegetables and lentils to get a balanced meal with proteins, dairy and veggies.  

I served them in little verrines. Verrine is just a fancy word for glasses but they are the latest trend in French cooking. If you host a buffet-style dinner, it's the ideal way to run a stress free party as this dish can be prepared in advance.

savory panna cotta


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Date, Hazelnut and Chocolate filled Croissant-Shaped Rugelach Recipe

Lulu, my husband, has been asking for Rugelach for a while. He has fond memories of the rugelach that his best friend'smom would make when Lulu was a child. Rugelach which means little twists in Yiddish is rolled, filled pastries. It is not overly sweet. The filling can range from chocolate, to fruits, to nuts, and any combination of the three. I picked dates, hazelnuts and chocolate and I think the marriage is pretty successful as it tastes very similar to a Nutella-filled baklava.

I've never made it before and so when through some of my cookbook and found several recipes for the dish. In particular, I liked Martha Stewart's preparation from her cookbook Martha Stewart's cookies p. 288. I adapted it to my taste and to what I had available in my pantry.

I think that it's still kosher but I'm not sure if it's "kosher for Passover". I could have use brandy, extracts or date syrup but I chose not to, to respect the tradition.


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