04/13/2018

Roules au fromage recipe

 

Roules au fromage ... all your childhood in a plate !!!

This was our " hamburger" , mac and cheese , our fast food ,  the one thing our mum would buy at the butcher and just warm up in the oven ....one of the first thing we buy when in France , but Pascal's craving was too strong to wait any longer and he thought I could probably figure out how to make them at home from scratch ....the result was even better than the "real deal" from the French deli !

Best of all is that you can make the shells in advance ( I even froze 4 to use later )  You can fill up the roules and have then ready in your fridge up to a few days ahead of time  . Serve with a nice green salad and you have a delicious meal in no time !

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Most of what you'll need is already in your pantry or fridge : Butter , flour , milk , eggs . You'll also need some shredded Parmesan cheese ( not grated not shaved ) and a sheet of puff pastry to make 6 shells  ( I get the frozen ones from Pepperidge Farms ) 

First roll the puff pastry on a floured surface . It has to be thin but not too thin  ( the roller and egg will give you a scale since I forgot to measure ...hoops ) Cut into 6 long pieces .

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Since I did not have any Cannoli molds , I made some with heavy duty aluminum foil and I think it may work even better when you have to remove the cooked shells as aluminum can be crushed thinner .

2 important things : The molds have to be way longer than the actual pastry so you have something to grab when it comes to removing the aluminum and you have to butter the foil very well to make that tricky step easy . Brush 1" on one side of the pastry along the length with some lightly beaten egg white so it will glue the over lapping pastry as you roll it on the mold . That took a practice run without the "glue" so I would suggest that you try out also before to wet the dough . Then brush some egg wash to color the shells when they'll cook .

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Cook in a hot oven 425F for about 13-15 mns . The shells have to be a bit under cooked as they will go in the oven again later. Let cool down then remove the aluminum molds . You can crush the aluminum to make this easier , but it should be a breeze if you butter them well .

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The filling is a simple Bechamel or white sauce that needs to be thick enough not to run off when you'll warm up the rolls again . Here are the measurements for 2 rolls :

50grams / 4 Tbs butter , 50grams / 5 Tbs Flour , 30ml Milk / 1 1/4 cup , 25 gr / 2 oz shredded Parmesan, nutmeg , salt to taste

( I put the measurements in grams as well for those who have a scale , also because it is easier to multiply quantities for 4 or 6 shells )

Melt the butter in a saucepan , when hot , ad the flour slowly and let "foam" while mixing with a whisk the whole time . Cook just a few minutes and keep light colored before to ad the milk .Because this is will be a thick sauce , adding the milk is a bit more difficult as it thicken very quickly and makes lumps. But it is also easy to break those lumps when whisking a thicker sauce so don't be scared , just ad the milk in 3 times and smooth in between .

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Take off the heat and ad seasoning , salt, pepper, nutmeg ( enough to show in the batter ), the shredded parmesan cheese and mix well 

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 Pour this mix into a ziploc bag that will serve as pipping bag . Let it cool a bit more at room temperature . Do not wait until it is too cold to pipe into the shells or the dough will be hard and rubbery .Finish each end with some extra shredded cheese to garnish .

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At this point you can refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to serve . Bake to re heat in the oven for about 15-20mns at 375F , until crust and cheese are  golden .

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Plan better than me and serve with a green salad for a complete meal ! 

Enjoy !

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20:30 Posted by Marielle Giai in Recipes | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

01/29/2018

La Chandeleur

In France , 40 days after Christmas every year on February 2nd , we celebrate " La Chandeleur " by making crepes ! 

The date actually marks when Jesus was presented at the temple in Jerusalem.But Before becoming a religious holiday, Chandeleur stemmed from several pagan traditions celebrating the fertility of the earth and the beginning of the end of winter.

It's said that in the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I started the Festival des Chandelles on this date, a candlelit procession through the streets of Rome that culminated in placing the blessed candles in the churches. Gelasius linked this custom to crêpes by handing out galettes (a type of salty crêpe) to poor pilgrims who arrived in Rome that day.

Nowadays the crepes themselves are the most important thing about La Chandeleur !

Last Saturday , was crepe party in our little back kitchen . I demonstrated how to make them and we all sampled some of our new delicious spreads to go along

Making crepe is fun for all and easy as 1 - 2 - 3 !

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Un : You NEED this "gadget"  .  
I will never make crepes any other way now that I've tried this ...I didn't think it could beat my century old recipe but it is just as delicious and so much easier ! Plus it is 100% guaranteed to work !
Trust a French cook ...and I know Crepes ....  

IMG_8374 (Large).JPGFill in with milk to the marked line , then ad flour to the next line , crack 2 eggs and shake !

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  Deux: I added a few extras just because ...vanilla beans, orange flower blossom...wta ever you like best !

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Trois: No lumps , perfect consistency crepe batter going in !

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Swirl and cook on high heat until it browns on the side and bubble ...just like pancakes. It is all in the "tour de main" to make an even crepe, not too thin or too thick .

IMG_8381 (Large).JPGThen comes the flip ...traditionally you flip the crepe with one hand  while holding a coin in the other hand ....if the crepe land in the pan , it is good fortune , good harvest to come . I can do that ...or could do that ...but nowadays I play it safe : my technique is to get a very flat spatula under the crepe all the way to the center and then flip . 1st Crepe is usually "bad" and either trashed or for the cook ...as the cook , I take that 1st bad crepe with just sugar ...you can really taste the vanilla , orange zest...

IMG_8382 (Large).JPGA real good crepe is soft and melt in your mouth...the secret is all the fat you put in the batter: whole milk versus skim milk ; my ancient recipe even says that to make "fine" crepes add more eggs  ...most of the ones we buy at farmer's markets , trucks...are like cardboard to me and made under low heat witch is not ideal . I like to melt a little chunk of butter after I flip the crepe, let it melt , ad some Grand Marnier and granulated sugar . It is soaked in juices and the most delicious crepe you can ever serve !

 

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Quatre: Oh well ...we need Creme Chantilly s'il vous plait ! 
An other totally ingenious gadget that makes whipped cream in less than a minute . Just ad room temperature heavy whipping cream in the jar with the 3 special silicon balls , a little powder sugar and shake ...it is magic ! No mess , no electric whip ...and the  whipped cream stays whipped for a couple of days if you can resist eating it all !
 

IMG_8385 (Large).JPGEt voila ! Now you are ready for the Chandeleur !

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 These not so "gadgets" after all ...are any kitchen's best tool ! The chicken is fabulous ,infused with flavors , steamed and not dry ...served with roasted chestnuts warmed up in the gravy ...even better than potatoes !

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The secret is in the holes ....will make your pizza crust evenly crunchy ...IMG_8741 (Large).JPG

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22:11 Posted by Marielle Giai in Recipes | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

04/05/2017

One of my favorite Easter lamb recipe !

This is a very traditional lamb shoulder recipe typical from Provence and the perfect Easter meal . Lamb shoulder are almost impossible to find here but you can make this sauce with any other lamb roast .

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In your baking pan  put a lemon ( sliced , seeds removed ) and a whole can of anchovies in olive oil ( do not be scared by the anchovies ..their bones will melt during cooking and they won't give a fishy taste to your lamb at all but a nice deep salty flavor ...this is actually the secret ingredient ....if you don't tell , they won't know but they will love it ! ) , then some garlic cloves ( i usually boil them first for 15 mns to pre-cook them , that avoid to have them dry out and still be hard ...this way they will melt in your gravy )  If you are doing a leg of lamb you will probably have to double all these proportions . Lay over you lamb ( shoulder , leg or rack) . Insert a few garlic cloves rolled in thyme and salt under the skin. Rub with herbs, rosemary works very well , salt and olive oil ;  bake .Once the meat is done , put aside . Remove the slices of lemon , take the skin of the garlic cloves and mix it all with the cooking juices to make the best gravy to accompany a lamb dish .

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DSCN3066 [800x600].jpgI like to serve my lamb with green beans, a potatoe gratin ( gratin d'auphinois de preference ! ) and an eggplant gratin too ....

For the gratin d'auphinois : slice with a mandoline thin slices of potatoes . Layer them in a baking dish  with herbes de Provence ,sliced onions , salt and pepper. Cover with whipping cream or chicken broth if you do not want the dairy and fat !In Provence we do broth but in the rest of France they do cream and sometime cheese ....up to you .  Bake until done ...make sure it doesn't get to dry ...ad some liquid if necessary .

The eggplant "papeton" : skin and cube the eggplants ( 2 ) saute in oilve oil , ad salt , 2 bay leaves and cover immediately so the eggplant will give out water . Ad 2 crushed garlic cloves, thyme and cook cover until the eggplant make a mash .Ad a bit of water if it gets too dry . Take off the heat and ad 2 eggs beaten. Pour in a baking dish and bake in a double boiler until done ( 1 hour or so ) VOILA !!!

I appologize if my photos are not the best because I always remenber to take them when I'm in the midle of the cooking process and my hands are a mess or in a rush when I serve it because we really want to eat  right away !!! Can't wait when it's that good :)

 

20:26 Posted by Marielle Giai in Recipes | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

09/03/2016

Tomates a la Provencale

Tomates a la Provencale  !

If you haven't tried my recipe yet , it's not too late ....Tomatoes are great right now !

Not the prettiest looking tomatoes but I promise the best tasting ones you'll ever have !  It is like a confit of tomatoes , rich in flavors . I serve them cold on bread as an appetizer but you can also serve them warm as a side to any dish . And the best is that it is the easiest recipe ever !

The secret ? Buy some over ripped tomatoes at your local farmer's market . I buy mine from a stand in Little Italy or Hillcrest farmer's market . They have them in a bag and they are only around $5 / bag so it is Ok even if there is a couple bad ones in the mix .

In a large non stick pan , pour a nice bed of olive oil . Wash , dry and cut the tomatoes in 2 as on the photo . Place cut side down in the oil . Cover and cook on medium high for about 15mns  . You want the skin to become loose .Water will come out of the tomatoes into the pan , boiling .

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Remove from the heat , uncover and let cool off a few minutes witch will make flipping them easier . Gently turn the tomatoes cut side up .DSC_3799 [1280x768].JPG

Ad a pinch of sugar , salt and pepper on each tomato , herbes de Provence and traditionally garlic and parsley . We like them plain so I do not ad these  but I 'll sprinkle a little grated parmigiano  cheese just before to serve .DSC_3800 [1280x768].JPG

Wait ! You are not done yet !! Cover again and simmer now on low until there is no more juice in the pan wich can take 1h to 1h 1/2. Check once in a while .DSC_3801 [1280x768].JPG

Restaurants will just seared the tomatoes on the grill to give them pretty grill marks , put the garlic and parsley to garnish and serve as a good looking  fake Tomate a la Provencale ! Yes , mine are  not the best looking  but you will love the condensed flavors and your guest will too ! DSC_3802 [1280x768].JPG

20:42 Posted by Marielle Giai in Recipes | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

01/08/2016

6th of january : The Epiphany ...to celebrate , the french eat a "Galette des Rois" or a king's cake .

With the French ... it's always about food ! To celebrate the Epiphany until the end of January , people host parties or dinners where they serve for desert a special cake  " Galette des Rois " with a "feve" ( charm hidden inside ). It can be  a coin , a bean or a tiny santon figurine .  Who ever gets it , is crown the king  with a gold paper crown  and is hosting the next party :)

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The frangipane is a very easy cake to make and here is my recipe :

Mix together with a spatula:

150grs /5.3oz Ground almonds

150grs/5.3oz Sugar

150grs/5.3oz sweet butter  creamed not melted

3 large whole eggs

2 tsp of almond extract

Line a buttered pie mold with a puff pastry ( the frozen ones from pepperridge farm work great) . Make tiny holes with  a fork . Fill with the batter and cover with a second puff pastry sheet . Close it , brush with a mix of egg yolk and milk so the pie will brown....you can decorate it with extra pieces of puff pastry or simply use a knife to make some diamond designs .

Bake at 400F for about 40mns or until golden brown . Eat still a bit warm or re- heat  if are eating it later ! Toast with some apple cider or Champagne !

04:26 Posted by Marielle Giai in Recipes | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

11/26/2015

Le Souffle au fromage

This must be the best kept secret by every French cook ... and there is a good reason why : Every time you serve this , you totally amaze your guests ! But it is so easy to make ...you don't want them to know how easy it was to whip this up in just about 20 mns ....

Today Pierre will unveil the recipe of THE Cheese Souffle !

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For 4 ramequins :

50 grs of butter  -  50 grs flour -  250 ml of milk - 150 grs of cheese ( italian mix from Trader Joe's is tasty ) - 5 eggs  - nutmeg - Herbes de Provence

First you have to make a thick "Bechamel sauce " . This is a base sauce to a lot of french recipes and hopefully you have already mastered this one . It took me a while to get this right when I first started cooking ....I had just moved out of my parents home and in with Pascal into a tiny studio in Nice . I was 18 and had never cooked before as my mum was always cooking so much . Learning over the phone , without any proportions because my mum could do it in her sleep without measuring  , on an old electric cook top was not easy ...I made it too thick , too thin , with a lot of lumps but I finally got it !

Us for my 18th birthday ...some 30 years ago !

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In a sauce pan melt the butter . When hot ad all the flour at once and mix well to make a "roux" Let it bubble and cook until lightly colored ( a few minutes ) Then ad the warm milk and keep mixing at it will thicken right away . You want a smooth,  heavy , sticky thick texture for the souffle . Take away from the heat and let cool a little.

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While the batter is cooling off . Separate the whites from the yolks . Keep only 4 yolks . Ad them one by one into the batter , mixing well right away so they blend in and not cook in contact . Sprinkle some nutmeg , Herbes de Provence and finally ad the cheese mix .

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Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until and nice and firm . Fold into the batter until smooth .

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IMG_8957 [1280x768].JPGButter and flour the inside of the 4 ramequins . Pour the mix into the dishes . This is the most important note and THE secret to any successful souffle : you must "clean "the inside of the ramequin  by sliding a knife  blade along the rim to separate the batter from the dish allowing it to rise freely and straight up . If there is some batter touching on an area , this will stick and make the souffle only rise on the other sides ...look crooked and not cook evenly . Cook for 30mns at 350F and serve immediately as the souffle will deflate as soon as you take it out of the oven .

Enjoy and amaze your guests too !

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22:35 Posted by Marielle Giai in Recipes | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

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