Tarte aux courgettes

3 Tbsp of butter
4 cups of zucchini, sliced
1 cup of onions
1/2 cup of chopped parsley, 2 cloves of garlic (optional)
salt, pepper
1/2 Tbsp sweet basil leaves
2 eggs
2 cups of mozzarella cheese and swiss cheese
1 pie crust, e.g. pâte brisée
dijon mustard (optional)

  • Heat oven to 375°F
  • In a skillet cook onions until slightly brown, add the zucchini and cook until tender.
  • Stir in parsley and seasonings.
  • In a bowl, blend eggs and cheeses.
  • Stir into the vegetable mixture.
  • Put in a precooked 10 or 11 inch pie crust (for extra flavor spread a strong mustard on the bottom of the crust).
  • Bake at 375°F for 18 to 20 minutes.

Tarte au fromage blanc

Serves 10, with a coulis of strawberries (below).

Fromage blanc

The day before the tarte is to be served, combine:

2 cups of small-curd cottage cheese
2 cups of whole milk yogurt (I use Stonyfield Farm)

  • Put the mixture in the food processor and purée until smooth.
  • Line a sieve with cheesecloth, transfer the mixture into it and set over a bowl for 8 to 12     hours at room temperature. It should render at least a cup of liquid.
  • Gently transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

1-1/2 cups of Graham crackers (ground in food processor)
4 Tbsp of sweet butter (softened)
1/4 cup of sugar
3 cups of fromage blanc
3 large eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/4 tsp of almond extract

  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • With a fork, mix the graham crackers, butter and sugar until all combined.
  • Line a springform pan with the mixture, spreading it evenly. Pat it down gently.
  • In the large bowl of an electric mixer, with a pastry dough attachment (not the whip) blend together the drained cheese mixture and the sugar.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Add the vanilla and almond extracts.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan. Turn the oven down to 350°F after a few minutes and cook until firm in the center, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Coulis of strawberries

16 oz package of frozen strawberries
½ cup of instant disolving sugar
2 Tbs of lemon juice or Cognac

Purée the unfrozen strawberries in a food processor. Pass through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Whisk in sugar and lemon juice or Cognac.

 

Spinach pie

Serves 6 to 8 people.

A 10½ inches pie pan with 1 inch side and removable bottom can be used. But any other cake pan with less diameter and more depth also works well. The removable bottom is not essential since the pie unmolds easily.

3 eggs
1 pound of cottage cheese
1/4 lb Swiss cheese, grated
2 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of melted butter
1 large onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup of parsley, chopped
1 package of fresh spinach, lightly cooked & drained
1 teaspoon each of pepper & salt
1 partly baked pie shell (pâte brisée)  

  • Beat eggs and cheeses together.
  • Melt butter in a frying pan and brown the onion. Add the spinach, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Add to the egg and cheese mixture.
  • Pour into pie shell.
  • Bake at 375°F  for about 30 minutes or until slightly brown on top.

Quiche Lorraine

For pie crust instructions, please see the Pâte brisée recipe.

Filling

6 slices of fried bacon
about 1/4 lb of swiss cheese
4 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of milk
1/2 Tbsp of corn starch
1/4 tsp of nutmeg, salt and pepper

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Mix corn starch with the milk, starting with just a few drop to avoid lumps.
  • Put the cream and eggs in a bowl and mix well. Add the milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  • Spread the bacon and the cheese in the pre-baked pie crust. Gently add the egg and milk mixture over it.
  • Cook in the oven for 45 minutes or until brown on top (a knife inserted in the middle of the quiche should come out clean).

Onion & cottage cheese pizza

This is a perfect appetizer to do when you are already making bread dough. Use half of the recipe above to make 2 free form pizza.  Roll each half of the dough very thin and set on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate while making the filling.

Filling

5 or 6 large onions, sliced and cooked with 2 Tbsp of oil
2 eggs
1 cup of cottage cheese & 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
salt, pepper, nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Beat the eggs and the cottage cheese together and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  • Pour into the cooled dough. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and cook until the crust is browned. About 20 to 30 minutes.

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 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.