Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a wonderful New Year 2012! May it be filled with joy, health and many wonderful meals!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Onion and Mustard Quiche

Pate Brisé (Flaky Pie Crust):

236 grams pastry flour, sifted
a pinch of salt
115 grams of salted butter
1 extra large egg yolk
4 tablespoons cold water

Lightly grease a 29 cm (11 1/4 inch) pie plate. Sift the pastry flour and the salt together. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the dry mixture. Incorporate the butter into the flour with your hands until the butter is well incorporated into the flour.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and the cold water. Add to the dry mixture. Incorporate the egg and water mixture to the dry mixture with your hands until a dough forms. Do not over mix as this will create a tough pie crust. If the dough is difficult to handle right away cover the dough and cool for 15 minutes in the fridge. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius (350 Farenheit). Roll out the pie crust to fit the pie plate. With a fork prick the pie dough and add some pie weights or dry beans to the pie plate before pre-baking the crust (this is to prevent the pie crust from rising in the oven). Bake the pie crust for about 15 minutes or until the pie crust is lightly golden in color.

3 large white onions, chopped
3 large eggs
1 Tablespoon olive oil
200 mL 35% cream
100 ml milk
100 grams grated comté (or gruyère)
150 grams Dijonnaise mustard (à l'ancienne)
pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Chop the onions and sauté them in a large skillet with the olive oil. Once the onions are translucent, remove them from the pan and let them cool.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, milk and cheese. Add the mustard and the cheese and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the mixture into a pre-baked pie shell and place in a 350 F (180 C) oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until quiche is golden. Let quiche cool slightly before serving.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Cranberry and Orange Muffins

This is cranberry season in Quebec and I love those tart little red berries. They inspire me to try all kinds of different recipes! This is an easy and delicious muffin recipe that I tried and everyone at home seems to love. You can taste the tartness of the cranberries as the muffins are not very sweet. They freeze very well too. I found this recipe on the site:

I particularly like to buy fresh cranberries now and freeze them for the coming months.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup soft unsalted butter
1 tablespoon orange zest
3/4 cup orange juice
1 egg
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

Cream butter with sugar and add orange zest.
Mix together flour, baking powder baking soda and salt in a bowl.
Add the egg to the butter mixture and mix well.
Add the flour mixture and orange juice to the mixture alternating.
Add the cranberries and nuts (optional) to the mixture and mix incorporate by hand.
Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake in a 350 F oven for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Yields: 12 to 14 regular sized muffins.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cranberry and Lemon Muffins

I created this recipe while in my pastrymaking class last week. Our project was to create a muffin recipe. I was happy with the results. I prefered the muffins without the pistachios though.

Another student in my pastrymaking classes, Anlor also has a culinary blog. It can be viewed at: She also has some fabulous photos of what we create in our classes!

Makes about 12 muffins.

180 grams all-purpose flour
6 grams baking powder
3 large eggs
170 grams granulated sugar
150 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 lemons (zest and juice)
150 grams dried cranberries
4 Tablespoons whisky, brandy or cognace
100 grams unsalted pistachios, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven 180 C or 350 F.
Cooking time: 30 to 35 minutes.

Wash the lemons.
Grate the zest of the 2 lemons and squeeze the lemon juice.
Place the whisky, the lemon juice and the dried cranberries in a pot and heat until the mixture boils. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool.
Melt the butter and let it cool.
Mix and strain the baking powder and the flour.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and the sugar together by hand until the mixture doubles in volume and becomes foamy. Add the flour mixutre a little at a time and the melted butter.
Incorporate the lemon zest into the mixture.
Roll the cranberries in some extra flour to coat them lightly and add them delicately into the mixture.
Fill the muffin tins about two thirds full and bake them in a 180 C (350 F) oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Greek Cheese and Leek Pie

This is a wonderful leek and cheese pie. It can be eaten warm or cold with a crispy salad on the side. It can also be cut into cubes and served as an entree with drinks.

1 large yellow onion, sliced
60 ml / 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, total weight about 450 grams / 1 lb, chopped
115 grams / 4 oz / 1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
2.5 ml / 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
3 large (US extra large) eggs, lightly beaten
200 grams /7 oz Greek (strained plain) yogurt
300 grams / 11 oz feta cheese, cubed
115 grams /4 oz /1 - 1 1/3 cups freshly grated Gruyère or Parmesan cheese
45-60 ml / 3-4 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill (I used parsley because my boyfriend dislikes dill)
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Serves 4

1. Sauté the onion in the oil until light golden. Add the leeks and cook over a low heat for 10-12 minutes until soft. Cool a little.

2. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F / Gas 4. Lightly grease a 23 cm / 9 inch round springform cake tin (pan). Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Stir in the eggs, then the yougurt and feta cheese, and finally the leed and onion mixture. Set aside 30 ml / 2 Tablespoons of the grated Gruyère or Parmesan and add the rest to the batter, with the dill or parsley. Mix well and season.

3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top and bake for 55-60 minutes until golden. Let the pie cool before removing it from the tin. Serve in wedges and offer some tasty olive oil to be drizzled on top. Garnish with lemon wedges, black olives and radishes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Normande Apple Pie

Apple season is in full swing in Quebec and the apples are tart this time of the year. Just the way I like them for an apple pie! I was at Jean Talon market (the largest farmer market in the Montreal region) this weekend and I bought new harvest Quebec apples. This is definitely one of my favorite apple pie recipes. The house just smells divine while this apple pie is baking in the oven. The aromas of apples, cinnamon and vanilla fill the house.

Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Crust):

112 grams unsalted butter
100 grams icing sugar
25 grams glucose
40 grams egg
250 grams pastry flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Soften the butter.
2. Cream the butter with the icing sugar and the glucose.
3. Beat the egg and add progressively to the mixture.
4. Sift the pastry flour and add to the mixture.
5. Knead the mixture only until the mixture is homogenous. Do not overwork the mixture.

1 1/2 pounds tart apples, peeled and cored
1/3 cup sugar (I used 1/4 cups sugar)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 egg
1/3 cup granulated sugar (I used 1/4 cups sugar)
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 Tablespoons Calvados or Cognac
Confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare the pastry and line the tart pan according to the recipe, baking it for only 12 minutes (or until lightly golden).

Slice the apples into 1/8-inch lengthwise slices. Mix with the sugar and cinnamon and arrange in concentric circles in the tart crust. Bake for 20 minutes, or until apples begin to color. Cool while preparing the custard.

TO MAKE THE CUSTARD, beat the egg and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Add the flour and beat until smooth. Add the cream and the Calvados and beat until smooth.

Pour the mixture over the apples and return tart to the oven. After 10 minutes, sprinkle the top with confectioners' sugar. Continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the custard is set and the top is browned. Serve this tart warm.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

aubergines with tomato topping (melitzanes imam bayildi)

With tomato and eggplant season in full force in Quebec, my greek origins are being awakened. Nothing pleases me more than an eggplant and tomato dish. Here is a wonderful eggplant dish that I recently made. I recommend this dish for someone who really loves eggplants because the vegetable is really prominent!

aubergines with tomato topping

3 medium aubergines (eggplant), total weight about 800 g / 1 3/4 lb
150 ml (2/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500 g (1 1/4 lb) fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) each dried oregano and thyme
2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) sugar
45 ml (3 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
15 ml (1 tbsp) tomato purée (paste) diluted in 150 ml (2/3 cup) hot water
salt and ground black pepper

Serves 4

1. Trim the aubergines, then slice them into rounds about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick. Place in salted water for 1 hour and rinse and pat dry. Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan and shallow-fry the aubergines in batches, turning them over once, until light golden on both sides. As each batch is cooked, lift the slices out and arrange them side by side in a large roasting dish.

2. Heat the rest of the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions utnil lightly coloured. Add the garlic and when aromatic, add the tomatoes and a little water. Season, stir in the oregano, thyme and sugar, then cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Stir the parsley into the sauce, then pile 15-30 ml/1-2 tbsp of the mixture on each slice of aubergine. Pour the diluted tomato purée into the dish, adding it to a corner, to avoid disturbing the aubergines. Bake the aubergines for 20-25 minutes, basting them once.

4. Serve hot or at room temperature, either accompanied by a salad as a main course or as part of the mezethes for a party.