Tomato & black olive tapenade

This is not the traditional tapenade, which is made with black olives, anchovies, capers and fresh basil. But it is an interesting variation.

1/4 lb of sun dried tomatoes (dry weight)
3 sprigs of fresh basil
1 clove of garlic
2 oven roasted tomatoes cooked for 1h. with olive oil, garlic and parsley
olive oil
1 cup of black olives pitted
1 tsp of wine vinegar

  • Cook the sun dried tomatoes in some chicken stock. If you are patient peel them! Set aside.
  • Put the leaves of fresh basil and garlic clove in the food processor. Process.
  • Add the cooked tomatoes to the mixture and purée. Add the wine vinegar. With motor   running gradually add oil to emulsify. Remove and set aside.
  • Coarsely chop the sun dried tomatoes and olives. Add to the puréed mixture.
  • Correct seasoning.

Terrine de courgettes au basilic

From Marie-France magazine.

3 lb of zucchini
4 Tbsp of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp of chopped parsley
3 oz of parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp of bread crumbs
4 eggs
basil, salt, and pepper

  • Wash the zucchini but do not peel.  Dice 2 1/2 lb and cook slightly in olive oil.
  • Add garlic, parsley and basil.
  • In the meantime beat the eggs, add the parmesan cheese, the bread crumbs, the salt and pepper.
  • When the zucchini are tender, squish them with a fork and add to the egg mixture.
  • Oil a deep bread pan.
  • Slice the rest of the zucchini and cook in a frying pan with olive oil until golden.
  • Decorate the mold with the pieces.
  • Gently drop the egg and zucchini mixture in the pan and cook at 325°F, in a bain-marie, for 45 minutes.
  • Unmold when cold.

Soufflé de gourillos

4 Tbsp of sweet butter + 1 tsp to coat the mold
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 scallions, sliced thin
1 head of escarole trimmed of some green leafy part (about 5 cups)
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup of water
4 Tbsp of flour
1 cup of milk
pepper
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of grated Cheddar cheese (strips optional)
3 egg yolks
7 egg whites

  • Butter 1 1/2 quart soufflé mold and add the parmesan cheese.  Coat the mold and refrigerate.  Reserve the parmesan not needed in the coating.
  • Slice the trimmed escarole coarsely
  • Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a saucepan and sauté the sliced scallions until just tender.
  • Add the escarole, salt and water. Cook on high for 5 minutes.
  • Uncover and continue cooking for a few minutes until all liquid has evaporated.
  • Make a béchamel sauce with the remaining butter, flour and milk.
  • Add the yolks, mix well. Add salad mixture, Worcestershire sauce and the grated cheddar cheese
  • Whip the whites until they form a peak
  • Fold in the escarole mixture gently
  • Fill the mold to the edges.  At this point the soufflé can be refrigerated for a couple of hours.
  • At baking time sprinkle the reserved parmesan cheese and place the soufflé on a cookie sheet        in a 375°F preheated oven.
  • Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • 5 minutes before the soufflé is done you can arrange the strips in a decorative pattern on top.

Soufflé aux épinards

For a 6 cup mold (4-6 servings):

2 Tbsp and 1/2 of butter
3 Tbsp of flour
1 cup of milk
pepper, salt, nutmeg
4 eggs (separated) & 1 egg white
1/4 cup of fresh swiss cheese, grated
1/2 cup of spinach

For an 8 cup mold (6-8 servings):

3 1/2 Tbsp of butter
4 1/2 Tbsp of flour
1 1/2 cup of milk
6 eggs separated & 1 egg white
1/2 cup of cheese
3/4 cup of spinach

  • Preheat oven at 400°F
  • Butter a soufflé dish
  • Bring the milk to a boil
  • In another pan melt the butter, mix in the flour on medium heat. This is a roux.
  • Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  • Slowly add milk to the roux and bring it to a boil, cook for a few minutes (this is a béchamel).
  • Let it cool.
  • In the meantime cook the spinach (washed and with the ribs taken off) and squeeze it dry.
  • Add to the béchamel and also mix into it the egg yolks one at a time, then the cheese.
  • Beat the egg whites to a soft peak stage and gently fold in the spinach mixture.
  • Pour into the soufflé mold.
  • Cook in preheated oven, turned down at 375°F, for 20 minutes.

Soufflé au fromage

For a 6 cup mold (4-6 servings):

2 1/2 Tbsp of butter
3 Tbsp of flour
1 cup of milk
pepper, salt, nutmeg
4 eggs (separated) & 1 egg white
3/4 cup of swiss cheese, grated

For an 8 cup mold (6-8 servings):

3 1/2 Tbsp of butter
4 1/2 Tbsp of flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
pepper, salt, nutmeg
6 eggs separated & 1 egg white
1 1/4 cups of cheese

For a flan dish:

2 Tbsp of butter
2 Tbsp of flour
1 cup of milk
pepper, salt, nutmeg
3 eggs (separated)
3 oz of swiss cheese, grated (or Beaufort cheese for a different taste)

  • Preheat the oven at 400°F
  • Butter the soufflé mold
  • Bring the milk to a boil.
  • Melt butter and mix in the flour on medium heat.
  • Add milk slowly to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil and let it cook for a few minutes.
  • Let cool.
  • Whip the egg whites to a soft peak stage.
  • Add the egg yolks to the flour mixture one at a time, and mix well.
  • Gently fold in the egg whites and the cheese.
  • Put in preheated oven and turn the heat down to 375°F.
  • Cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

Salade tourangelle

This is a salad made with different vegetables, raw or cooked, each kept separate, but served together in the same dish.  You can include:

Asparagus tips, artichoke hearts or green beans – cooked and sprinkled with a vinaigrette to which you have added pepper, some finely chopped shallots, tarragon, and a little garlic and parsley.

Raw Savoy cabbage or red cabbage – sliced thin and sprinkled with the above dressing.

Sticks of celery – remove all the strings and serve raw, sprinkle with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Raw button mushrooms – finely sliced and sprinkle with lemon juice. Dress with heavy cream flavored with mustard and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Cucumbers – marinated with vinegar and salt, drained. Dress with sour cream and fresh dill.

Roast 1 or 2 cups of walnuts in a 400°F oven for 8 minutes. Chop coarsely and sprinkle in the various dressings

 

Salade Niçoise

There are many variations of this salad, but the classic one has only the ingredients listed below. Principally a spring or summer salad, it uses the freshest raw vegetables when they are ripe and abundant.

6 ripe but firm tomatoes
1 cucumber, partly peeled and sliced
1 head of Boston lettuce or Bibb or red leaf
1/2 lb of fresh lima beans (don’t use if not fresh)
6 small purple artichokes (or marinated artichokes)
1 fennel bulb, sliced in ¼ inch strips
2 green peppers (Italian preferably) seeded and sliced
1 spanish onion, sliced
a handful of radishes
4 hard boiled eggs, cut in half lengthwise
10 anchovy fillets
handful of small black olives
Chapons (stale bread brushed with garlic)
fresh basil, garlic
vinaigrette dressing

  • Wash and quarter the tomatoes, salt lightly and drain for 10 minutes.
  • Peel and slice the cucumber, drain on paper towel for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare the other vegetables and the eggs, anchovy fillets and olives.
  • Prepare the chapons.
  • To make the vinaigrette, mix 1 part vinegar and 3 parts olive oil.  Add the garlic and the basil.
  • Arrange the vegetables on a shallow dish, surround with lettuce leaves and chapons.   Pour the vinaigrette over it.
  • Toss gently just before serving.

Roasted red peppers

This is a traditional appetizer in the South of France. Often, the peppers are roasted in an open grill. The pieces of wood for the fire are the “sarmens” which are the trimmings of the local vineyard bushes used to add flavor to the peppers.

4 red peppers
1 Tbsp of vinegar (or 1/2 lemon and 1/2 balsamic vinegar)
1 Tbsp of Dijon mustard
6 Tbsp of olive oil
2 garlic cloves and a few sprigs of parsley

  • Roast the peppers under the broiler turning them until all the skin of the peppers is slightly black.
  • Put the peppers in a brown bag or strong plastic bag and close it to retain the moisture. This step will help in peeling off the skin.
  • When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and discard the stem and the seeds inside.
  • Flatten the peppers on a wooden board and slice them very thin.
  • Prepare a vinaigrette sauce: mix the vinegar and the mustard together, slowly add the olive oil. (you can triple the recipe and do this in the food processor)
  • Chopped the garlic and parsley, add to the vinaigrette sauce and pour it over the roasted peppers. Let stand at room temperature before serving on French bread.

Poor man’s caviar

This cold appetizer can be used as a dip on a slice of French bread or served on a bed of lettuce.

1 big eggplant or 2 small ones
2 or 3 big tomatoes (canned or cooked)
2 Tbsp of olive oil
2 onions sliced
1 green pepper sliced
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp of dry white wine
2 Tbsp of olive oil

  • If fresh tomatoes are used: remove the seeds and the skin, chopped coarsely and cook gently with salt, pepper, garlic and bay leaf for about 15 minutes.
  • Bake the eggplant with the skin on at 400°F for one hour or until soft.
  • Scrape the pulp of the eggplant in a saucepan and discard the skin.
  • Add 2 or 3 big tomatoes (canned or cooked) to the eggplant.
  • Put the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onions and pepper until tender.
  • Add to the eggplant mixture, mix in the garlic and cook slowly until all liquid is evaporated.
  • Add salt and pepper and the wine.  Let cool.
  • Before serving add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and some chopped parsley.

Petits chaussons au Roquefort

Another way to use the pâte brisée!  The rolled out dough is cut in small 3 inch squares instead of a large pie crust and each piece is filled in the center and folded into a triangle.

1/4 lb of Roquefort
1/2 stick of unsalted butter softened
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsps of cognac
pepper
chives or minced onion tops
1 ‑ 3 Tbsps of whipping cream
1 egg beaten with ½ Tb of water (egg wash)

  • Mash the Roquefort and beat in the butter, egg yolk, cognac, pepper, chives.
  • Beat in the cream by tablespoons. The mixture should be thick.
  • Cut the dough in 3″ squares and fill each center. Run a brush, wet with water, on the edges.
  • Fold and press the edges firmly. Press the end of a fork all around the edges for decoration.
  • Paint the top of each chausson with the egg wash.
  • Make a design on the surface of the dough with the back of a knife or a fork.  Poke a hole in the center of each chausson.
  • Place on a baking dish and refrigerate until firm.  Preheat oven to 425 °F
  • Bake in upper third of the oven until brown (about 15 minutes)