Meat

Un Noël à la campagne 4: Beef tournedos with bone marrow and steamed vegetable parcels.

Et voilà! Le plat principal ( the main dish)! Beef tournedos with bone marrow and steamed vegetable parcels. The beef is local, from our Limousin department and couldn’t be more tender..it is cut from the filet and enjoyed with the marrow served on top, sprinkled withmy favorite fleur de sel..wonderful…I am a hypocrite, I can’t be a vegetarian! The sauce is made from a shallot, red wine, a few drops of balsamic vinegar and a few cubes of ice cold butter, whisked into the reduced wine sauce. If you have never made a simple red wine sauce like this, you are missing out on a succulent slice of life!

tournedos de boeuf 5

beef tournedos & marrow recette1

Une pincée de fleur de sel:

  • Tournedos cut from beef filet is the most tender pieces and need quick cooking.
  • Order of preparation to serve your tournedos/ 1. Prepare the vegetable parcels. 2. Bard the tournedos. 3.Cut the shallots for the sauce. 4.Cook the marrow. 5.Cook the meat. 6.Cook the vegetables. 7.Reduce the sauce. 8.Serve.
  • The cooking foil can withstand  temperatures of up to 220degr. C.
  • The marrow can be removed from the whole bone beforehand and poached in stock for 3-5 minutes, instead of frying in a pan.
  • Replace 1 cup of wine with 1 cup veal stock for a lighter sauce.
  • Instead of cooking the vegetable parcels in the microwave, it can be baked in the oven at 180 degr. C for about 15 minutes.
  •  Choose other vegetables, but keep to a maximum of three.
  • You can find professional cooking foil here and a demo on one way to use it.
  • Have fun!

**********************************************************************************************

Our Christmas this year is once again in the barn with  dry mossed branches from the woods, stuck in a pot, assisted with rocks and stones from the “building site” ( the house area)..pampilles from Marinell’s wedding, rusted keys, and last but not least..our little owls. I am also somewhat off faerie lights and went for tiny lanterns instead, burning with a tealight every evening till late night. It sort of replaced our candle we usually burn for December in memory of everybody we love.

1noël 2012

16noël 2012

13noël 2012

14noël 2012

11noël 2012

18noël 2012

Isn’t it great to just for once in a year let the child in us loose, whichever way you choose it…? I hope by now your tree is up, how simple or elaborate..I hope you have a tiny something with a bow under your tree for someone else…I hope you have a candle burning…I hope you have love for someone around you, and I hope your heart is filled with hope..

19noël 2012

  • Tomorrow we will end our menu with an apple turret for dessert with a touch of amaretto..I just love dessert! One should enjoy dessert, small quantity, but it resounds off a meal beautifully..I can’t wait for tomorrow..why? Because I get to eat the dessert after I photographed it, of course!
  • I have to pass on another good French film; if you think you would like the previous ones I advised, you would like this too _ I am a sucker for vintage French films...La tranchée des espoirs.

à demain mes chers amis

Ronelle


Un noël à la campagne 1: Marinated herring and litchi cups, and foie gras with mango toasts.

It is a crazy time, the end of the year. Whether winter or summer, it is Christmas, gifts, parties, holidays, celebrations…and food. thank goodness it only happens once a year. I have decided to propose a menu over the following 5 days. A series of posts covering “Un Noël à la campagne“. (And non, it is NOT our Christmas menu.) I’ve chosen light food, a little bit more creamy, warm, cold, great French cheese and a showstopper dessert. But don’t fret. Most of the dishes can be made ahead of time and others without fuss or long processes. I hope it inspires you to play around with ideas of your own. The secret to a Christmas dinner is always… keep it simple and small and DON’T WASTE!

menu-un noël à la campagne
******************************************************
..Apéritif :
..marinated herring and litchi cups and foie gras and mango bites..
litchi cups and foie gras bites
..recette..
apéritif recette
Pincée de fleur de sel:
  • Use any other fish you prefer, even tartare de poisson(raw fish).
  • Cut the litchis on the opposite sides of the stem to make for pretty “lids”.
  • Use small kiwis instead of litchis and crab meat instead of fish.
  • Eat with small demitasse spoons.
  • Keep in fridge until served.
  • Use ham or other preferred cold meat instead of foie gras.
  • When using cold beef, add some mustard between the layers.
  • Use other firm slices of fruit in season instead of mango.
  • Work on five helpings of each per person to leave room for the rest of the dinner to follow.
******************************************************************************************
Noël window displays in Paris:
On a cold evening last week in Paris, I grabbed mon chéri and my camera at 23:00 to go snap some images of Lafayette and Printemps, famous for their Noël window displays. Here are somze images and just for that child in you, click on the following images to see the displays in action.. These displays always make me giggle with pleasure!
..vitrine Luis Vuiton..
*
..ball..Dior- Printemps..
lights 2
..Dior – Printemps..
lights 4
..my favorite vitrine!..ice skating – Printemps..it reminds me of myself..on the ice, wrong way up and wondering how to camouflage my embarrassment in the most elegant way!
lights 7
..at the ball – Printemps..
lights 16
..la Fayette house..
lights 3
..table exhibits;.
lights 12
..Lafayette house vitrine
lights 9
*****************************************************************************
  • The menu will continue tomorrow with the amuse bouche: Two salmon and avocado terrine.
  • A nice French film for December – Tous les matins du monde with Gèrard Dépardieu ane Anne Brochet. It won the Louis Delluc prize for best film and the César for best music in 1992.
  • Some links of the window displays:

à demain

Ronelle


Red cabbage with plums and beetroot..and Beaujolais wines amidst hues of red.

I initially thought I would post a recipe for “du vin chaud” (mulkled wine), to celebrate the last of my fall colour posts. But then I “fell” upon this recipe..red cabbage..beetroot…apples…pork fillet..and it won me over. So here I give you the  voluptuous, dark reds of beetroot and purple cooked cabbage, lazy late-fall plums instead of apples and a juicy, tender pork fillet.

Une pincée de fleur de sel:

  • I used late season red plums, but use apples if you prefer.
  • Use cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar if you use apples.
  • Add a handful of dry  Gobi berries.
  • Avoid cooking the cabbage to death… remove from the heat when it still has a bite, because it continues cooking, reaching the perfect stage while standing a bit.
  • Also good with veal.
  • If you are vegetarian,  the pork can be replaced by large roasted or stuffed mushrooms, or fish fillets.
  • Can also accompany a frittata or boiled eggs.

Recipe adapted from “Filet mignon de porc, chou poêlé; des recettes pour reçevoir; le grand livre Hachette.”

Yesterday was  Beaujolais Thursday, the day when new Beaujolais and le vin primeur of the season are sold worldwide.  It is tradition in our house to have a meal somewhere with a glass of Beaujolais. It is a day I always look forward to and this year was no different. It is also the last post of my autumn color inspiration and I can’t think of a better way to end it than to toast the wine reds of nature with a young Beaujolais 2012..

..Tchin tchin..!

And so, with a touch of sadness  I say good bye to the splendour of fall. It is time to move on.

à trés bientôt!

Ronelle


Grandmothers’ day, Hawaii and a bistrot spirit.

Today is Grandmothers’ day here in France. everywhere “les Mamies” were taken out to lunches, flower shops were open(normally closed on Sundays) and husbands and children walked around with small bouquets for their sweet “Mamie” I wish I had a “Mamie” who I could spoil today, but the best I could do, was join in the fun at out Cecile’s bar, “le café du Centre” in Beaulieu sur Dordogne, where everybody gathered in happy spirit for coffee and croissants!

..Cecile..

Of course that is something just up my alley, for I adore my coffee and I adore my croissant. I’m not a very routine and organized focused person, but not a day goes by that I don’t routinely start my day with my  black “café allongé, un verre d’eau, un croissant and the day’s journal, La Montagne.

..my habitual café et croissant..

And so…right there, this morning, next to mon Chéri, among our cafés and croissant crumbs, camera, lenses and writing carnets and laughter of Cecile’s clients, the idea was born for a new blog. I am up for change!

..le café du centre..

So maybe I will move over from Myfrenchkitchen to Café & croissant, which will just be about everything I encounter in my everyday life…I suppose not much different from what I’ve done on Myfrenchkitchen. and of course food is included….man can’t live on croissants alone! I am considering having only the one blog…for my art, for our coin Perdu and its country life and restoration and all things that I find brings sense to this challenging life we live. But maybe I won’t move…I will of course lose many of my readers and will have to start all over and my URL will change which is always a complicated story for all involved. But where is a will, is a way. I need to move on to something new…some new juice! The future will lead me.

..Café & croissant..

I’m also leaving this week for a week or two in Hawaii with mon Chéri. All tech stuff will stay behind, except for my camera. I’m taking only my bathing suit, sketching tools and little black number…for all those dinners awaiting me! I want to switch off and indulge in nature the sun and surroundings, let my senses treat me every day. Can you tell I’m excited?

..early morning..

..sunset..

And to round off this post…I made a curry chicken tagine for dinner..

  • Chicken cut into portions, browned in olive oil and madras curry. Added potatoes cut in cubes, onions cut roughly, a handful of organic dried apricots, chopped preserved lemon, a tablspoon of wild flower honey and some homemade chicken stock from the freezer. Bring to the boil and slowly simmer until you have a thick sauce and tender vegetable and chicken.
  • Add some spices of your taste…I used cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper and crushed juniper berries.
  • Serve with couscous.
  • Bon appétit!!

aloha!

ronelle


A sweet mustard sauce…and the end of 2011.

This is a very popular recipe from “Winning recipes from Huisgenoot wenresepte” a great south African recipe book. I can’t imagine a south African household without this recipe. I make it only at end of the year as a dip with some warm cocktail sausages or some shaved green beans, since it is a bit too sweet for me to use with a meal. It is very quick and easy and ideal for that last minute “bring something to eat along”. Even the French, who guard their mustard with sacré dignité, stumble over their principles for more than one dip into the sweet mustard bowl! Hope you enjoy it.

Suggestions:

  • Be sure to use white vinegar, or else the mustard sauce will be coloured an unappetizing dark colour.
  • Serve as a dip with warm cocktail sausages, or cold slices of meat or add to sliced green beans as an accompaniment.

…and some last days of 2011

Before I get into the stream of the new year’s living…I greet you with a last view on the end of the 2011. (Don’t worry, this will be the last post about ME!!)

I promise the next posts will not be about me but be more exciting for you all…some book researches, some give-aways, some restaurant reviews, some courses, some kitchen stories, some tips and tools, some new foods on the market, some how-to’s, some travel stories around food, some visits to French homes, some visits to boulangeries and bucheries and chocolateries…and more!

But for now…saying goodbye to 2011 with images of time spent STILL at coin Perdu..

..gathering moss for our Christmas eve dinner with my daughter’s mate, Sponge Bob tagging along…

..some tête de moine cheese..?

…and enjoying some champagne and oysters on our walks in the forest..

..oysters with a mango vinaigrette..

..a set table for Christmas eve- resembling our forest with its owls and birds and wild heather, moss..

..a courgette and smoked espuma as amuse bouche for Christmas eve..

..christmas day table resmebled the stream running through our forest, with pebbles, the ever present owls, some winter snow, ice crystals hanging from branches, birds and the silver stream with the moonlight reflecting by means of tiny tealights and candles..

…grey moss and stars surrounding the moon and stream and pebbles…can you hear the water trickling..?

…and Sponge Bob brought along some sparkles for our starter of scallops with a parsley sauce and chanterelles mushrooms…!

..reveling in the colours and moons of Jupiter..

..a winter ascending moon and evening star at twilight(Venus)..

..and of course sun sleeping…!

..lots of riding..

..some whispering..

..and trotting..

..early morning training..

..isn’t this beautiful…man and his horse..?

..moving as one..

May we all ride into this new year as one with our dreams and ideals, our goals, our principles, beliefs and hopes..

à bientôt!

Ronelle


Foie gras with mango .. and December ambiance 2010.

Foie gras is a traditional favourite in our home for Christmas. Along with oysters and “vin chaud” (or gluhwein), it always appears on our menu. Some years will see our foie gras home made in a terrine, served cold and some years it will be fried, served with warm mango and toasted brioche.


  1. Cut raw foie gras into escalopes of about 1.5-2mm thick. Dust lightly with flour and leave in the fridge until needed.
  2. Peel and cut a mango in thin slices. Heat a pan with a knob of butter and add the mango slices. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and fry until caramelized.
  3. Keep warm.
  4. Cut some brioche in slices, toast and cut on the diagonal into two halves.
  5. Heat non stick pan to hot, add the escalopes of foie gras and fry on one side until caramelized. Turn over and tquickly touch the other side. Remove from the heat and serve immediatly.
  6. To serve: Place one half of the brioche on a plate. Place a slice of fried foie gras on top. Finish off with slices of mango  and place the second half of the brioche askew.  Serve immediately.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

…My own space…

“So what are you hanging around here for, Mrs duck? You belong on the beautiful lake out there, not here with the people, this isn’t your place…”

“Well, I’m fed here, all kinds of goodies and I like it, so why not? You enjoy it out here on the terrace with your cheesecake, why can’t I…. and don’t be so selfish with it by the way, share some!  See the German tourists over there? No selfishness at that table!”

“No, you can’t have cheesecake. I’m a human, this is what we humans do. You’re an animal, a duck, you don’t eat cheesecake and you don’t belong on a terrace. And by the way, where are your ducklings?”

“Oh, smarten up! We’re not in the Middle Ages any more! And my ducklings are fine, they’re in good hands.  They’re with the nanny. I need my own space too, you know!”

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Suggestions:

  • Have your pan hot before putting in your escalopes of foie gras.
  • Sear on one side and turn over for a quick touch on the other side and serve immediately.
  • Other fruit like plums, peaches, apple, pear and figs can be done the same way and served warm with the foie gras.

…and December ambiance 2010


And here we are again in the special month of December, with its cold and dark days, bright lights, snow and frost, snuggling in front of fireplaces and cupping our hand around a cup of hot chocolate, indulging in our nostalgias and reflecting on christmas dinners.

Our christmas tree gets decorated on the 1st day of December and for the rest of December we light a candle ever night to rememeber those who we loved or still love. And decorating the christmas tree means more than Santa Claus and Noel and gifts and the three kings, or the crib and a baby…it is a witness to our memories and tender sentiments which come to us in this month, the end of a year, when reflection on the past and pondering on future dreams travel with us towards the new year.

…May your December be whatever you wish it to be and may happiness be your biggest wish…


Previous years:

Duo de chocolat.. and December ambiance 2009

December ambiance 2008 with cinnamon dumplings

First day of December 2007

..à la prochaine..

Ronelle

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥


Oven roasted rosemary lamb…and an ode to the rosemary.

Rosemary and lamb. A perfect combination.

Suggestions:

  1. Other/or mixture of herbs can be used along with rosemary. Rinse them and use them wet to line your oven pan.
  2. Chicken and pork can be used the same way, cut off excess from pork.
  3. It is worth it to invest in a meat thermometer. It gives you your desired stage of cooking and keeps the guessing and disappointment out of oven roasted pieces.
  4. A piece of meat does shrink alot when roasted at high temperature. But it is still tender and juicy. If you want less shrinkage, bake for longer at 150-160 °C.
  5. Temperatures for lamb: (taken from “La grand Larousse gatronomique)
  • rare:  from 60-62 °C (very pink with pink juices still running)
  • medium: from 62-64°C (pink with clear juices running)
  • well done: >64°C (slightly pink to completely cooked/gray)


You smell like rosemary“, said our daughter when she hugged me at the train station. I bloomed. I liked the thought of smelling like rosemary. It says…mother. Care . Childhood. Home. Remembrance.

Later that night, after our dinner of rosemary lamb and catching up on her life as a young working woman, I lay in bed dwelling on her words and my thoughts drifted off. I dreamed how wonderful it would be if our daughters would talk about  us one day along the lines of something like this:

My mother was cook in the kitchen. My father was cook at the barbecue. And between them grew a rosemary bush. I have my own rosemary bush now and when I walk past it and feel my legs brushing the leaves, a heady fragrance envelops me making me feel lightheaded with memories. I smell my mother after her fiddling in the garden among her roses and herbs and I see my father bending over the rosemary bush, cutting and snipping leaves for his lamb cutlets. Our mealtimes were festively spent around a table in the garden, or in the summer kitchen by die barbecue or under the walnut tree overlooking hills or elegantly candle lit in the dining room or simple and homey around the kitchen table. I recall hours of inventing new recipes, cooking and preparing, tasting wines, all the while eating at pretty set tables around laughter and jokes, teasing and chatting and many a times heart-to-heart talks.

I have no doubt, that there where they are now, they still reign as queen of the kitchen and king of the barbecue. And between them, a rosemary bush grows high and lush”.

…Hartman’s handmade rosemary brush- a piece of copper piping, a string pulled through to the other side with a loop…

…snip some rosemary branches and tie the one end of the string around

…pull at the other end of the string, fix the stems inside the copper pipe and cut the tips to form a firm brush -  baste your meat with melted butter, marinade…

…voilà a fresh rosemary brush…

…some rosemary folie for a home- in teapots, in a jug, on a door, on linen, as a kebab, on oven roasted vegetables, with preserved quince…

..until next time!!..


Pork chops with spices and cherry tomatoes(Cotelettes de porc epicées aux tomates cerises.)

A simple family meal, using one of the secret spices of Zlamushka. See previous post on Zlamushka’s secret spices.

Pork cotelets with Zlamushka's spices 2

add secret spices, cherry tomatoes, serve with cooked wheat…

Pork cotelets with Zlamushka's spices secret spices 2

Corn  pork cotelets with cooked corn

pork chops with spices

Suggestions:

  • Any other meat can be used
  • Use these spices with oven baked winter root vegetables
  • Crush the mixture together in a mortar and pastle to a paste.
  • Serve with white/wholewheat rice, or cooked wheat or fluffy steamed potatoes.

…autumn…

autumn 2 autumn 1


Corréze ham and vegetable parcels

A while ago Nina posted some delicous rolls and I’ve been threatening to make them ever since… I adapted her recipe a bit acoording to the ingredients we have available here in the country side in Corréze. I also wanted to give them a little bit of Greek touch.  They are delicious – whichever way they come! Quick, easy, colourful and fingerlicking good. Thanks Nina!

…veggie parcels…

corréze ham and vegetable rolls 9-2-2009 5-09-21 PM

I added some feta cheese to these rolls and made the sauce with greek joghurt, having someone special in mind when I made them this afternoon.

For Adela and John, two friends currently in Skiathos, Greece for 3 months. Adela is a regular reader here and I think this might be something she would enjoy. They love good food! So. May this be goo..ood..!

Thanks to Adela and all the other faithful readers who visit regularly and enjoy Myfrenchkitchen…I appreciate your support!

…sucrine, basil, string beans, feta, nectarine – voilà!…

preparing vegetable parcels 9-2-2009 4-28-08 PM

Corréze ham and veggie parcels 2…old but still working…

old door handle 8-26-2009 8-32-34 AMold lock 2 8-26-2009 8-33-15 AM


Boeuf bourguignon

I thought eating would be over now after the indulgence of the holidays. But hunger still shows up.  And the colder the days, the more we turn to  soups and stews. Boeuf bourguignon is just one of those old classics that never disappoint.

boeufbourguignon

…man and his beast…

beeste3-2-23-2008-11-32-16-am



Ostrich strips with broccoli gratin and mint carrot salad.

I dedicate this post to Ovarian Cancer Awareness. Continue reading under the photos.

Ostrich is an extremely healthy meat, loaded in protein and vitamins, low in fat. It is tender and tasty on its own and delicious served with sauces like a mustard sauce or even a sweeter orange sauce. Served with bright green and yellow coloured vegetables like broccoli and carrots, you’ll have a visually appetizing as well as healthy meal.

Ostrich strips with mint carrot salad.

  • 4 pieces of ostrich, cut from the steak, about 3 cm thick.
  • whole peppercorns
  • caraway seeds
  • fleur de sel or kosher salt
  • 3 carrots
  • chopped  fresh mint
  • chopped fresh Italian leaf parsley
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • olive oil and/or coconut oil
  • toasted walnuts
  • broccoli
  • créme frâiche
  • grated cheddar cheese
  1. Peel the carrots and then peel into thin ribbons with the peeler.
  2. Finely chop the mint and parsley, add to the carrots along with the walnuts, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix together lightly.
  3. Steam the broccoli, dry and turn out into a 4 ramekins. Top each with a teaspoon of créme frâiche, sprinkle with cheese and brown under the grill until the cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Crush the peppercorns and caraway seeds together in a mortar and pestle. Rub some oilve oil onto all sides of the ostrich fillets, cat entirely with the crushed pepper mixture and leave in the fridge for an hour.
  5. Heat some coconut oil or olive oil in a pan, and fry the pieces of ostrich about 4 minutes on each side for a medium rare fillet. Slice each piece into strips, season with fleur de sel/kosher salt and serve immediately with the broccoli gratin and the carrot salad on the side.
  6. Variations on the carrot salad: Instead of ribbons, cut into julienne, grate or cut into thin spaghetti. Substitute walnuts for dry roasted pine nuts. Add a teaspoon of honey to the lemon, olive oil dressing.

Serves 4 people

…just had my monthly facial and pedicure…

O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of Gina DePalma, author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchenand Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy, Jenn of The Leftover Queen, and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are asking you to donate to the:
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund

From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67. The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2008 and about 15,520 women will die from the disease.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.

In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.


Oven baked lemon chicken with herbs

With our weather being somewhat cooler and the rain pouring down constantly, our bones are in need of some warmer nourishment. The grey skies whispered lemon chicken. So we had the old classic, lemon chicken with herbs. An ever popular meal, so easily done in the oven and sliced at the table, which leaves you with ample time to indulge in that book you just glance at every time you speed past it.

Oven baked lemon chicken with herbs

Do I need to give the recipe?

  • Take a chicken, clean it. Flee into your garden and cut herbs to heart’s delight…tarragon is a must. Lemon cut into chunks is a must. As is some butter, salt and pepper and two or three shallots. Then just stuff the chicken with all ingredients, rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake in a 180 deg. C oven for about an hour or until you have clear juices running when piercing the chicken into the thick flesh of the thigh next to the bone, normally the part which takes the longest to cook. Turn the chicken over and drizzle often with the pan juices.
  • In the meantime prepare some vegetables. I used green asparagus, of which I snapped the ends off and some cherry tomatoes. Clean and dry them.
  • When the chicken is done, remove from the pan and cover with foil on a serving platter. Skim off the excess fat from the pan.
  • Arrange the asparagus in the pan and roast at 200 deg. c until nicely caramelized. Add the tomatoes 10 minutes before the asparagus is done and roast until the tomatoes start shrinking.
  • Serve on the platter alongside the chicken, drizzle with the pan juices and serve the rest of the sauce on the side.

*for more about herbs and it’s uses, see “In my herb garden”

…the more you pick, the better I grow…

This is an entry for WHB, whith this week’s host being Wandering chopsticks.


Ham spring rolls

The past weekend was summer. Beautiful long, lingering days. On weekends like this, you want energy. You want healthy. A ham spring roll.

Ham spring rolls

There is no formal recipe for this.  See what your fridge and pantry comes up with and take the road to fresh and seasonal.

  1. Cut some vegetables into matchsticks. I’ve used carrot, cucumber, mango, rocket leaves and chives. Place a slice of ham on a chopping board and stack some vegetables onto the one end. roll up tight and secure with a toothpick or tie with a chive(softened in boiling water for a second or two).
  2. Serve with a dipping sauce made of natural joghurt and chopped herbs and splashed with a swirl of lemon juice.
  3. Or serve with a lime ginger sauce: A tablespoon of each – freshly squeezed lime juice, rice wine vinegar, mirrin, soja sauce and some grated ginger and chopped lemon grass. Taste and adjust.

This is an entry for Weekend herb blogging, hosted this week by Ahn at Foodloversjourney.


Lamb-shanks with a curry sultana sauce

Time for a little indulgence. Although January is a month of light eating, the desire for something more substantial and velvety arises on cold, rainy evenings. Then we take comfort in slow cooking meat meals with a voluptuous sauce, where we sit back and lick our fingers and sweep the sauce from our plates with fresh chunky bread. This is a recipe from Mariëtte Crafford’s book, Sonskynkafee(Sunshine café), a delicious book filled with stories and great recipes.

currylambshanks.jpg

Lamb-shanks with a curry sultana sauce

  • 6 small lamb-shanks with the bone cleaned and a nice helping of meat
  • olive oil
  • 500 ml organic chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • a chopped onion
  • a few open cardamom pods
  • 3 tablespoons masala
  • 5 t cumin seeds
  • 5 t white  mustard seeds
  • 5 t black mustard seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, leaned and crushed
  • a piece of ginger root, grated
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • 150 ml yogurt
  • 250 ml sultana raisins
  • salt and pepper
  • 150ml cream
  • 125 ml flaked almonds
  • fresh coriander/parsley leaves
  1. Sauté the lamb-shanks in oil in a heavy based casserole until nicely browned, cover with the stock, add the lemon juice, cinnamon and bay leaves and cook uncovered until the lams begins to soften.
  2. Sauté the onion and add to the lamb.
  3. Mix all the spices with the 4 tablespoons of water and add to the lamb.
  4. Season to taste.
  5. Stir in the yogurt and add the sultana raisins. Simmer gently until the lamb is very tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  6. Stir in the cream and leave for 10 minutes to heat through.
  7. Serve with rice in bowls, pour over some sauce and finish off with a sprinkling of flaked almonds and fresh coriander/parsley leaves.

                                                  Serves six

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Turkey and foie gras mini pie.

One filling, one pie three ways.

Using different little pots/containers, you can create an interesting array of pies. I used different sizes and shapes of ramekins and little flower pots and ended with some individual little potpies. Because we’re in the festiv season, I used foie gras along with the turkey for the filling as well as cubes of boudin blanc (milk/white sausage) and black truffles from Perigord. For the small mini pies, I omitted the foie gras, since it gets too oily once the foie gras is heated, making the small pies too soggy. It can be replaced with chicken livers and a cubed smoked cheese sausage for some stronger flavour.

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Turkey and foie gras pie.

  • about 400g turkey filets
  • 80 g bacon
  •  200 g store bought puff pastry
  • 1 large onion, quatered and sliced
  • 150 g mushrooms
  • 1 white sausage (optional)
  • 100 g uncooked foie gras (optional)
  • 1 truffle
  • 1 organic chicken stock cube
  • 1 egg yolk
  • parsley, salt and pepper
  • sherry vinegar
  1. Cover the bases of the pie containers with the puff pastry. Cut some circles to cover and some fun shapes to decorate. Place on an oven tin and set aside in the fridge.
  2. Sauté the sliced onion in some olive oil until tranclucent , remove to a plate and keep aside.
  3. Cut the turkey filets into bite size pieces.
  4. Brown the turkey meat and the bacon in the onion pan, remove to a plate and keep aside.
  5. Sauté the mushrooms in the same pan over high heat, until just wilted. Mix with the meat and onions, season and keep aside.
  6. Deglaze the pan with about 150ml of chicken stock, with a liberal drizzle of sherry vinegar. Remove from the stove and add the truffle juice.
  7. Remove the skin of the white sausage and cut into cubes.
  8. Cut the foie gras into cubes.
  9. Finely chop the truffle.
  10. Fill the pies with the turkey mixture, top off with some sausages and foie gras, sprinkle with truffle and chopped parsley and a light drizzling of deglazed sauce. Brush a little egg yolks over the seams, cover with a pastry circle and lightly “pinch” the edges together.
  11. Leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, essential for the pastry to puff up during cooking.
  12. Just before baking, brush the pies with egg yolk and bake the cold pies in a hot oven at 230 deg. C for 20 to 25 minutes.

                  Serves about 4 people for a main meal, or 8 people as a starter

This is an entry for The mini pie revolution, of which Ann at Redacted recipes and Karyn at Threepotato are the hosts.


Monday night’s dinner

On Mondays dinner is simple. It depends on what the fridge and vegetable basket deliver. Tonight will see a tomato salad and turkey breast on the menu. And since it is Monday, we’ll pass on the glass of wine and start off with a glass of Perrier and of course…an apron.

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Turkey breast filet with warm tomato salad

  • 4 turkey breasts filets
  • a variety of tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • a lemon, sliced
  • a handful of basil leaves
  • a green chili of your choice
  • 2 spring onions, shredded on the diagonal
  • tomato vinegar/sherry vinegar
    1. Sautee the turkey breasts along with the lemon slices in some olive oil until nice browned. Season with salt and pepper.
    2. Cut the tomatoes in chunks, leaving the smaller ones whole and leaving some cherry tomatoes on the vine.
    3. Shred the spring onion on the diagonal.
    4. Sautee the smaller tomatoes, the cherry tomatoes on the vine and the spring onions in some olive oil until warmed through and the tomatoes begin to burst. Keep the cherry tomatoes on the vine aside for decoration.
    5. In a bowl, lightly mix the tomato chunks, the tomato- and onion mixture, the basil leaves and the chopped chili. Season with salt and pepper.
    6. Deglaze the tomato pan with the vinegar.
    7. To plate: Serve the turkey breast on a serving of salad. Top with a slice of caramelized lemon and the cherry tomato on the vine.Drizzle with the pan juices, a sprinkling of freshly milled pepper and to finish off, a last drizzling of olive oil.
    8. Serve immediately
    9. Serves 4

To finish off our meal, we’ll indulge in a handful of fresh cherries.

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Commentaires

MMmm

Everything looks and sounds great – I’m absolutely going to make this meal one day this week.

Posté par Casey, 19-06-2007 à 20:54

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–>Ronell! How in the world did I miss this fabulous cooking blog of yours!! Ohmygoodness, one of my passions is cooking and I will be a frequent visitor here.

Posté par Brenda, 20-06-2007 à 20:59

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–>Thanks for the comments…happy you that you like it.
ronell


Easy and tasty

Sunday was a glorious day and one of only a few since April. We were outside the whole day, absorbing the beauty of this summers day, the warmth, the clear skies. The trail of smoke from our neighbor, preparing lunch on the barbeque, prompted us to change our plans and to have lunch instead of dinner over the open fire.

Butterflied chicken with an orange/honey glaze.

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  • One organic chicken, butterflied
  • The juice of about 3 oranges
  • The zest of one orange
  • A good teaspoonful of honey
  • Some thyme
  • Salt and fresh milled pepper
  • A Gracious knob of butter
  • A few branches of rosemary tied into a glazing brush
  • A spoonful of Cointreau for the flambé
  1. Light a fire, first for good ambiance and then for good heat.
  2. In a mug that can take the heat, mix the juice of the oranges, zest, honey, thyme and butter. Melt on the side of the grill over gentle heat.
  3. While the chicken is slowly grilling over the coals, you glaze frequently with your rosemary brush and orange butter. Salt and pepper the chicken right after that first glaze.
  4. When the chicken looks good, smells good, and the juices run clear when pierced into the thickest part, it is reoved from the heat and placed on a platter.
  5. Heat the Cointreau in a big spoon, light and pour over the chicken.
  6. Cut into portions at the table and serve with slices of orange, lightly caramelized for a minute or two on the grill.
  7. Serves about 4.

Onions in the skin

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  • About 4 big onions, unpeeled
  • Chopped chives, sage and marjoram
  • Knob of butter
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Cut a cross in each onion at the top without cutting right through. Fill with piece of butter, the chopped herbs, salt and pepper and sprinkel with the lemon juice.
  2. Place inside a dish which goes inside a big pot/casserole that can go onto the fire. Place the lid on and “bake” inside the pot for until soft. Some new potatoes can be added along with the onions. Another alternative would be to wrap in foil and place in the coals, but we prefer doing it this way.
  3. Serve, sprinkled with some fresh herbs and a sprinkling of black pepper.
  4. Serves 4

Grilled melon with caramel sauce

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  • Two small lemons
  • Caramel sauce
  • Vanilla ice cream
  1. Cut each melon in half, remove the seeds
  2. Place each half upside down on the grill over meduim heat. When the flesh is nicely caramelized, turn over.
  3. Drizzle some caramel sauce into the cavity. Leave for a minute or two on the heat.
  4. Remove from the heat and serve immediately with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  5. Alternative: the caramel sauce can be replaced by a lavender honey, and a lavender ice cream, sprinkled with some lavender flowers.

Commentaires

–>hello there, i like to stuff onions (also in their skins) with polenta and parmesan – a lovely side for a steak for example. the melon and caramel sounds divine… i must try this when i am back from holidays and have my weber at my disposal again!

Posté par johanna, 10-07-2007 à 23:12

–>Oh, yea. Your idea to use the rosemary as a brush to baste is brilliant. Please, tell the story behind the idea? I love it.

Posté par Lucy Vanel, 27-07-2007 à 21:30


Ice cream versus salad

Ice cream versus salad

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How I love painting. And tennis. And I do love my garden, my house. Shopping. What else. Oh yes, and I love eating! Good food, healthy food, bad food, ordinary food, new food, traditional food, adventurous food…all food.

I am sitting here right now, licking a huge Magnum ice cream. A double caramel! Sweet and nerve rackingly rich, deliciously creamy, luscious, sticky, voluptuous and sensual…and far too small. While I am indulging in my ice cream I have a healthy menu for you, a great one for a long, lingering lunch on a hot summers afternoon around a huge table with great friends!

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To start off: make a tomato mozzarella salad, using nice small vine tomatoes, some buffalo mozzarella torn into bite size pieces… stuff some in your mouth while you’re at it. Tear some basil leaves and lastly, sprinkle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and mill some fresh pepper and then add a sprinkling of finely chopped sun dried tomatoes.To finish off, mix gently with your hands and then lick off those fingers, serve on a pretty plate and enjoy with crusty bread.

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For the main meal you dig your beautiful platter out of the back of the cupboard, give it a rinse and then fill it with…crispy green leaves of your choice, mesclun, spinach, rocket and other herbs and don’t forget somecrunchy red cabbage sliced finely for great color and crunch….

In the middle you stack some cooked quinoa, first sauteed in coconut oil with some red onions and then cooked until just done.

On top of that, beet cut into chunks, hand fulls of organic grated carrot and around the rim, little bundles of steamed asparagus wrapped in prosciutto or parma ham. And finish off with a little sweetness; a handful of golden raisins and pumpkin seeds and a Calamata olive or two. I like some green peppercorns sprinkled too. Finish off with a vinaigrette of your choice, some more crusty bread, a bottle of good Rose and you’re off to hear all the Oohs and Aahs from your hungry, anticipating guests waiting at the table! And do enter with flare…why else have you gone to so much trouble!

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Dessert. No can’t do without dessert. To keep to the theme of health, you take lots and lots of strawberries…do the usual, and cut them roughly into chunks. Using a large fork, you crush them until pulpy but not to a puree. Then you add a large handful of chopped mint, which you ventured into your garden for early morning, with your hat and herbs scissors and gloves…and of course you pulled out some weeds while you were there. OK, the mint..you add this generous handful of mint to your strawberries and follow up with some balsamic vinegar and if you like your strawberries a bit sweeter, add some honey. Just before you put this beautiful dessert in the fridge, take a big spoonful to taste…you should be able to just sigh with pleasure, if not, then start over. Serve it in some beautiful glasses where its beauty can be seen. Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt, drizzle with some honey, a swirl of syrupy reduced balsamic vinegar, a dash of milled black pepper and of course, a small mint leaf…and please, don’t plant a tree!

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So, off I go to fetch another Magnum…enjoy your lunch!


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