2012-04-25

Banana Bread out of nowhere



2 bananas and a half, that's what was left after my sister in law came !
Ripe and black, I don't like bananas, but I still wanted to bake a banana bread.
In fact, a week before I had tried a recipe from a blog I like but it was a huge deception,
it happens and it won't stop me from picking more recipes from her blog !

Most of all, I don't like bananas, so I changed the recipe to adapt it to my taste.
I've went through a lot of different recipes. But with the basics, 
I made a version just for me and my strange taste in bananas.
It's a healthy one, and the result is exactly as I expected : soft, light, flavoured and healthy !


  Preparation    I was confident in my abilities, once you've missed the first one, the second one 
can't go much worse, right ? Really easy to make, don't overfill your pan and prefer a slow cooking 
to a fast one.

  Tasting    I really loved it, between the carrot bread and the healthy bread, this one is my favorite ! 
Still, I don't like ripe bananas and their smell !

  To conclude    I've bought more bananas, I'll add some zests, yogurt, bananas, chocolate ? 
Well I'll try other ones as soon as I find the time !

- drawing in the car, sorry for the shaking ! -


For 2 medium cakes, or one big pan
   You will need :   
3/4 lb of bananas (ripe)
- 3 medium or 2 big ones -
3.5oz whole wheat flour (100gr)
- little less than 1 cup -
5,3oz white flour (150gr)
 - 1 cup and 2tbsp -
1,5tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda
2 eggs
 2oz/60gr lowfat yogurt
1/4 cup +1tbsp orange juice (2.4fl.oz)
3 tbsp rhum-
1tsp vanilla extract
2,5tbsp blond sugar 



Preheat oven at 450°F
Chop bananas without miwing them too much, addd in rhum and vanilla.
Set aside.
\\ Don't use a blender, it's better with some pieces of bananas ! :) //
Whisk flours and powders with cocoa. Set aside.
\\ I pass it in a strainer to avoid balls of baking powder //

Whisk eggs and sugar until foamy
- 1 or 2 minutes -
Stir in orange juice and yogurt(image 1)
Stir in the banana mix (image 2)
Pour the flour little by little, stir until smooth but don't knead it too much.
Pour it in your buttered and floured pan.
Fill it by half
Pur in the oven, change the temperature to 350°F and bake for 50 minutes or so.
Turn of, and let it dry a bit in opened-oven 20 minutes.
Turn out when it's at room temperature.

To serve for breakfast or teatime, with milk honey, butter or just as it is !




2012-03-24

Savory Muffins : tomato & goat cheese



A savory sweet to bring for a snack or a lunch break, it goes great with greens, salad etc...
I took that recipe from "Delectation culinaire"'s blog



  Réalisation    I had never tried a savory muffins... well, it's exactly like a sweet one ! 
Easy, quick and you can adapt the recipe according to your tastes.
The longest part is to chop the goat cheese and remove the tomato seeds, but that's optionnal.
I had a little problem with the original recipe, I had to put one more egg in the mix. You may have the same issue as me.

  Dégustation    Texture is really light and fluffy :) Absolutely delicious and with a lot of flavours.

  Conclusion     This recipe could be a cake instead of a muffin, but a muffin shap is cuter, right ?

À venir : more savory muffins ! ;)


For 6 to 8 savory muffins
   You will need :   
1/2cup flour (5,3oz/150gr)
1/2cup of chopped goat cheese (5,3oz/150gr)
1 big tomato
- or too small ones -
2tsp baking powder
- 1,5tsp double acting baking powder -
1 large egg
- or 2 smalls -
1/4 cup milk (2,7oz/8cL)
1/6 cup olive oil (2oz/6cL)
+1tsp herbes de provence mix

Preheat the oven at 375°F
Preparation
Drop the tomato 30 seconds in boiling water, and 30 secondes in cold water. 
Dry, peel and cut the tomato in half. Remove the seeds and the stem.
Cut it in dice, reserve.
\\ Tomato seeds will glue themself on your intestin's, avoid eating them :) //

Chopp the goat cheese in a bowl
\\ The easiest way to do it is an a bowl //


Préparer la pâte
Stir flour with baking powder, tomato and herbs.
In another bowl, stir by hand milk, oil and egg(s).
Mix well, then add the flour-mix in 4 times.
Stir in by hand the goat cheese.


Fill your muffin tins


Cook 12 to 15 minutes,
Let it cool before turn out !


2012-03-13

Fish pastillas @ Bertrand Gueneron


Bertrand, I know him since I was a kid
He used to work in luxury gastronomy restaurants
now, he has his own restaurant in Paris : Le Bascou
\\ My review of the Bascou at the end of this post ! //

Guéneron, la volupté, la discrétion
C'est simple : en sortant, on a l'impression qu'on nous a confié une adresse fragile, 
noble et sentimentale (...). C'est comme un cadeau qu'on n'ose porter trop loin (...) 
douceur, compréhension et bienveillante volupté.
Le Figaro, François Simon.
Translation : Gueneron, subtility and sensual delight
It's easy to describe : once out, you feel as you've been entrusted a noble, sentimental and fragile address.  It's as a gift that you barely dare giving away. Softness, understanding and bright delight.

Préparez vos papilles, c’est la meilleure adresse du quartier
Depuis que Bertrand Guéneron, formé par Senderens, a repris ce restaurant basque un peu mou du béret, le Bascou a pris un sacré coup de piment sur la tête. C’est fête de Bayonne à chaque plat...
Le Fooding.com
Translation : Prepare your taste bud, it's the best address of the neighborhood
Since Bertrand Guerneron, trained by Senderens, became the owner/Chef of this uninteresting restaurant, the Bascou took a strong "chili on his head"/became of great interest. It's Bayonne's festival all around the menu, each appetizer, main course or desert... !




This recipe is light, savory and slighlty sweet. I made it 3 times 
(it took me 3 times to make it perfectly)
Though we enjoyed it every time :)
The first time it was after a quick chat over the phone, I interpretated it but I had some doubts.
Then Bertrand answered my questions for a second try, and finally, the 3rd was perfect !



  Réalisation    Easy when you know what to expect and how to manipulate Filo dough. I didn't have all the ingredients, butthankfully, they are easy to use in other recipes :) (Filo dough > appetizer or deserts, dry apricots > cakes or sweets, raw pine nuts > salads, savory muffins).In the USA, Filo dough are bought frozen, so you have to use them correctly, I'll explain it all. The folding of the pastilla can be tricky, the most important skill to have : be quick about it !

  Dégustation    Surprisingly delicious. The fish is amazingly tender.
I goes alltogether perfectly. It's a delicate, fresh and light combination of flavours. The filo dough are so light that you don't even taste these (only 2) But they bring a crusty + and maintain it together.
I loved the cinnamon and the suga on the top, but some don't like the sweet/savory blend, then it's optionnal.

- "Dinner is ready !"-


Serves 4
- 4 adults, or 5 smaller ones -

   You will need :   
for the pastillas
2/3lb of wild salmon (300gr)
2/3lb of catfish (300gr de cabillaud)
8 filo dough sheets
3tbsp fresh basil, sliced
6 to 8 leaves  -
2tbsp raw pine nutes
- 1tbsp coarsely choped, 1tbsp whole -
2tbsp dry apricots, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil (5cL)
1tsp cumin powder
cinnamon, powdered sugar

\\ I put a lot of basil, a bit more apricots, a bit less oil ! //

On the side
3 tomatoes, peeled and heart removed
2tbsp green olives, slices
1tbsp black olives, sliced
Green salad
Oil & Vinegar

"My" on the side
First, I did as Bertrand said, and the second time, 
I cooked some zucchinis in a pan, with pine nuts and cumin powder.


The day before, take the filo dough out of the freezer and put it in the fridge 

Prepare the "on the side"
Rinse and dry the salad and the tomatoes
Bring to a boil in a saucepan, water and 1 pinch of salt.

Cut the extremity of the tomatoes to remove the stem.
Put them in the boiling water for 10 secondes, them in cold water for 30 secondes.
\\ It's realy quick ! You don't want to cook the tomato //
Place the tomato on a cutting board, remove the skin with a knife, it must wear off easily.
Cut them in half (in the length) and remove the heart. Cut them in dices.
Serve on the salad.
Stirr olive oil and balsamic vinegar with your sliced olives, spread on the salad.
Refrigerate.

\\ Make an extra of salsa : 
in a ramequin, slices olives + 2tsp vinegar + 3 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper //

Prepare the pastillas
Preheat the oven at 410°F
Remove the fish's skins and cut them in dice (regular dice size)
Chop finely your dry apricots.
In a bowl, stir the fish, with the fresh basil, cumin powder, raw pine nuts, apricots and olive oil.


Stir, divide in 4


Unroll the filo dough
\\ You have to use them quickly, because they get dry and fragile in the air //
Place 1/4 of the mix on a filo sheet, spread a little bit in a disk shape.
Fold the sides on the top to obtain a round shape. Put a second sheet on the top and return the pastilla upside down. Fold it before the first one breaks.
\\ To make a nice fold, I turn clockwise, doing small triangles from the center //
Place the pastilla in a plate before cooking it.
Fold the 4 pastillas.
Heat your pan at medium/high heat, grease it with an absorbent paper dipped in oil.
Place the pastilla and let them get golden 1min30 on each side.
Be careful they don't burn. They must be golden, not black !
\\ The filo dough burns too quickly ! //
Place the pastillas in a oven-dish or on a tray covered with parchment paper.
Cook in the oven (it must be real hot ! 410°F) for 6 minutes



As soon as the pastilla are out of the oven, spread cinnnamon and powdered sugar on the top.
Place the pastilla in the center of the plate, surrended by the salad.
Ready to serve !


Thanks to Bertrand Gueneron who entrusted me with that recipe !

Elue Ambassade du pays Basque : Au Bascou
Un sympathique établissement qui présente un rapport qualité prix des plus avantageux.
Derrière une devanture discrète se cache une véritable vitrine de la côte basque, (..), et même si le chef, Bertrand Guénéron (ancien second au Lucas carton), est breton, les nourritures toutes en saveur et en nuances, elles, sont bien du sud-ouest.
Le Journal du Parlement 
Translation : Elected embassy of the Pays Basque (Hinterlands) : the Bascou
A nice and charming place with a great value for money. Behind a shy storefront is hidden a true window to the Pays Basque. Even if the Chef  Bertrand Gueneron (ex 2nd at the Lucas Carton) is from brittany, the flavours, are savory and delicate as the ones of the south-west.


"Dans cette auberge basque, ensoleillée de piments suspendus... la cloche sonne gaiement pour signaler que les plats sont prêts. On propose ici des nourritures sensuelles et gourmandes, de quoi en tout cas se faire plaisir sans prendre un gramme. Un vrai bonheur..."
Le Journal du Dimanche, nov 06
In this basque Inn, enlightned by hanged chili... the bell happiy rings to announce a new dish coming up. Sensuality and generous food is proposed... you can discover and enjoy without gaining any weight... a real pleasure !




So, the Bascou :) 
In this brassery/restaurant, Bertrand is always here and he contributes to the warmth and the jolly atmospehere of the place. He comes out of the kitchen at the beginning and at the end of his service. He speaks and learns something about each of his client. He listends, advises, compliments or critics.
They are aways booked, no surprise :)
In the menu, you'll find a lot of basque-dishes, but not only.

He has succeded to make the place a romantic and inimate restaurant as much as it's a family one.
The room is deep and narrow, each table has its own vital space.
As soon as you get in, you know you will spend a marvelous evening.

The design is also really interesting : each chair has its story, from a theater, an opera, a bistro etc.
The Bascou in a restaurant with a lot of character.

I really love it :)

2012-03-08

Glazed zucchini soup, or gaspacho with fresh herbs


This month, I'm one of the judge for the VGR March Recipe challenge
The Theme : Saint Patrick, cooking green


For this theme, I've decided to propose you a soup, or a gaspacho 
depending on how adventurous you are ! 
Warm, with a slice of bread and goat cheese : light and delicious
Cold, with fresh herbs on the top, it's a bowl of freshness and healthyness.
One more time, I've been inspired by a recipe of Guy Savoy

  Preparation    Easy, but if you want to eat it cooled, you have to prepare it in advance. 
The cooking takes 10 minutes ! Then you mix it and it's done.
This soup must be kept refrigerated and can be frozen. You can use a lot of zucchinis, you won't need a lot of ingredients, and it's delicious.

  Tasting    Delicate, fresh, you can enjoy the taste of zucchinis with the lightness of the mint and the chervil. Really light, it's rather a broth than a soup, the consistency is liquid : like a gaspacho actually.
Served glazed in a cup is the perfect amount. Don't pour a whole bowl when cold, it's an appetizer. 
Served warm, it becomes a warm zucchinis broth, the frsh herbs are no longer useful but with a slice of bread and cheese, on which you spread some fresh herbs : yummy ! 

  To conclude    It's a healthy recipe, even a diet one actually. So I would advise you to serve it cold for the appetizer, before a big roast with fries ahah. Otherwise, it's perfect for spring and summer season.


Serves 6 to 8
   You will need :   
1lb zucchinis (500gr)
- 4 to 5 zucchinis -
3cup water (80cL)
2tbsp olive oil
1tsp sea salt
fresh chervil sprig and mint

Cooking zucchinis
Rinse your zucchinis, cut the extremity. Slice them real thin.
In a casserole, heat the olive oil 20secondes, add in your zucchinis.
At medium heat, stir 5 minutes until they lose some water. They must not golden.

Add in water and salt, bring to a boil at high heat, then lower the heat, cover and bring it to a gently boil 4 minutes. Until zucchinis are really soft when you insert a knife in them.


Mixing
Pour it in a blender, bend until smooth
Let it cool down at room temperature before refrigerate.

Serve
Chop the herbs : as much chervil sprig as mint
Spread them on the soup
Serve :)

2012-03-02

Le Far Breton : Pitted prunes batter cake


The "Far breton" is a famous cake from Brittany, France. Some versions have Rhum or Kirsch.
Vanilla flavoured, it looks ands tastes like a French Flan (Custard Tart) 
though a bit heavier and dense, BUT it's so easy and quick to make, that we don't really care :)

This recipe has been perfected along the years by a family from brittany :
my step-brother's mother kindly shared it with me, thank you Yvonne !

  Preparation    Hard to do easier than that ;) Cooking time can change depending on your oven. 
I used a glass-pan (Pyrex) and it was longer than expected. 
I have added more prunes than I was supposed to, for a perfect dose of fruits :)

  Tasting    It has to be eaten fresh and cool, so you'll have to wait a bit before tasting it ;) 
According to me, proportions seem perfect. I've seen others on websites with more sugar or flour. 
This one was delicious. It was not as heavy as I remembered some bought in stores !

  To conclude    It took us a few days to finish the pan, there is only 2 of us :) But we both liked it.


Serves 8
   You will need :   
1cup 3/4 flour (7oz/200gr)
1cup white sugar (7oz/200gr)
4 eggs
4 cups hot milk (34 fl.oz/1L)
12 to 15 pitted prunes
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven at 350°F (180°C) with the buttered pan inside.

Hot milk
Heat the milk with the vanilla in a medium saucepan. (it must not boil)

Main batter
In a large bowl, mix sugar with flour. Add in the eggs one by one until homogeneous.

Pour the milk
When the milk is steaming but not boiling, pour it slowly on the previous mix, 
stir by hand with a wooden spoon. 
\\ Take your time, don't pour it at once or you will completely miss the recipe //


Pouring
Take the warm pan out of the oven, place the pitted prunes in it 2 inches apart.
Add more or remove some depending on the size of your mold.
Pour slowly the batter on them, really slowly or the prunes will move.

Baking
Bake 1h or so, turn off the oven and let it bake 15 more minutes.
Mine took 1h15 to bake completely. (+15minutes in the oven)
- If you use a stone-pan it can be quicker -
The top must be golden
Mine had a strange shape when out of the oven :D
I should have turned it front to back at halftime-baking... do so !


Let it cool down at room temperature, then cover with a plastic film and reserve in the fridge.
Eat after at least 4 hours in the fridge !




2012-02-25

The Lemon cake : one of my favourite classics


Each one has its own recipe, its own version of that cake. More or less buttery, acid etc...
I hadn't done it in a few months and suddenly I realized it shoud be on my bog since it's a recipe I've kept in my cookbook for a while now :)
I hope you'll like it as much as I do. Its advantage is that it can be baked in different kind of mold, 
it's really easy to make and it suits all seasons.

Why don't I have an lemon or an orange tree in my garden ?

  Preparation    Easy, it takes 15 minutes to put in the oven

  Tasting    I really do love that cake :) So fresh but amost like a pound cake, delicious !

  To conclude    It's definitly a recipe that I'll keep all my life


Serves 10 to 12
   You will need :   
1 stick softened unsalted butter (4oz)
- vous pouvez arrondir à 100gr en France -
2/3 cup white sugar (4.6oz/130gr)
1 cup 1/3 +1tbsp flour (6oz/175gr)
4tbsp milk :)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 organic meyer lemon
2tsp baking powder

For the icing
2/3 cup powdered sugar (100gr)
lemon juice

Making the cake
Grate the lemon zests. Reserve


Preheat the oven at 360°F
Butter your mold with a cooking spray

Using a food processor
Mix butter and sugar, then add in eggs. Add in the milk, the vanilla. 
Add in the flour and the zests. Mix everything at least 2 minutes.

By hand
Work butter and sugar until creamy,
stir in the eggs until homogeneous.

Stir in milk, vanilla.
Stir in the flour with the baking powder and the zests.


Pour it in your mold unil 2/3 full
Bake 30 to 45 minutes

Check cooking at 30 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the cake to check the moist.
Let cool down 20 minutes before turning out.


Making the lemon icing
Mix the sugar with the lemon juice. Add the emon juice spoon by spoon. 
Stirring after each spoon. And keep adding spoons until you have the right consistency.
It must be a cream, liquid enough to be spread, but not too liquid !

Pour it on your cake when it's out of the oven