Pumpkin and Bacon Pillows

Pumpkin and Bacon Pillows!

Pumpkin and Bacon Pillows!

Get ready for full-blown flavour in this simple appetizer, main meal or side dish… Crispy, golden, creamy pumpkin and bacon filled heaven….

The Recipe!
1/2 cup of canned pumpkin filling
1/3 cream cheese
1/3 cup brown sugar
3-4 strips of cooked bacon, chopped
2-3   10″ flour tortillas
1 egg white
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper

Pumpkin and Bacon Pillows!

Pumpkin and Bacon Pillows!

La Methode!
1. Combine pumpkin, cream cheese, brown sugar, salt, pepper and bacon in a medium bowl. Mix well.
2. Cut 10″ tortillas in 4 wedges, place a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin filling in the center of each wedge.
Wet the edges of the tortilla with the egg white using a pastry brush. Fold the wedges and press the edges with a fork to seal.
3. Fry in a large pan with 3/4 inch of oil on a low heat until both sides are golden brown, flipping them 1/2 way through cooking time – about 5 minutes.
Serve with a sweet dipping sauce if desired!

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Gougères Cheese Puffs with Shrimp

Gougères with Shrimp

Gougères with Shrimp

Easy, delectable French cheese puff pastry filled with herbed sautéd shrimp…..one of my favorites.

Ingredients;

1 cup of milk
5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1½ cups grated Gruyère or Emmentaler cheese

 

Herbed shrimp;

1/4 lb of medium shrimp, peeled.
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of Herbs De Province

Gougères
Gougères

La Methode!

Preheat oven to 375°. Bring spices,butter and 1 cup milk to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until butter is dissolved. Remove from flame and add flour, stirring to combine.
Over a medium heat, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan,is a bit dried out and forms a ball, taking about 1-2 minutes. Continue this another few minutes longer until it is no longer sticky. Allow the dough cool a bit for a few minutes. Beat eggs in one at a time, blending well with each egg. Blend in the cheese.
Use a tablespoon to place a 2 inch ball of dough 2 inches apart on baking sheets with parchment paper.Brush dough balls with egg wash and top with a bit of shredded cheese.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
As they are baking, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in one of extra virgin olive oil and herbs. Add shrimp and sauté until shrimp is done, about 3 minutes on a low-medium fire.
Cut tops off of gougère and place a few shrimp on each with herbed butter. Place top of gougère as seen in picture, partially covering.

Gougères

Gougères

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French Country Shepard’s Pie

French Country Shepard's Pie

French Country Shepard’s Pie

Such a great comfort food dish that is savory and so easy!!! Impress your family with little effort and great aromas that will fill your home…

The Recipe!
2 Lb chuck roast or steak
2 lbs of russet potatoes
2-4 large carrots chopped (use 4 if you love carrots!)
3 medium to large onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups of frozen peas
2 cups of corn
3-4 tablespoons of tomato paste (optional but adds GREAT flavor)
3 cups of beef broth
1/2 stick of butter, 1 cup of sour cream and 1/2 cup of cream to make the mashed potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

French Country Shepard's Pie

French Country Shepard’s Pie

La Methode!
Place all of the ingredients (except peas) in a 7 quart dutch oven or crock pot cook in a 325 oven for 4 hours, or 7-8 hours in a crock pot. Check to add more beef stock if necessary 3/4 through the cooking time.
Remove the potatoes and stir the peas in the pot and let them cook for only another 10 minutes. Add lots of fresh pepper and salt if necessary.
Mash the potatoes with sour cream, butter, cream and a few tablespoons of the beef broth from the crock pot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve each plate with the stew topped with the mashed potatoes and a bit of broth on top.
Bon Appetite!

French Country Shepard's Pie

French Country Shepard’s Pie

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Winter Buttercup Soup

Winter Buttercup Soup

Winter Buttercup Soup

Winter is about to strike! Warm your heart and soul with this beautiful, easy and healthy soup that can easily be this evenings dinner with a nice warm French Bread.. Bon Appétit!

The Recipe!
____________

2 small or 1 large buttercup squash
1 can of chopped or whole tomatoes (14-16oz)
1 3/4 cups of creme fraiche (2 cups of sour cream mixed with 1 cup of heavy cream and left covered with plastic wrap on the counter overnight).
2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
Honey to taste to counter the acidity of the tomato
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons of Herbs De Province

Winter Buttercup Soup

Winter Buttercup Soup

La Methode!
____________

Quarter the squash, scoop out seeds and microwave until tender, about 10 minutes.
Scoop the buttercup flesh out of the skin and add all of the ingredients (besides salt, pepper and honey) in a 4 quart pot and simmer on a low fire for 1 1/2 hours, covered for 1/2 the cooking time, stirring occasionally. Mix the soup to a creamy consistently with an immersion blender. Add salt, pepper and honey to taste.

Bon Appétit!

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New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder
New England Clam Chowder

Thank you Mon Oncle (My Uncle) Jean for Inspiration on your award winning clam chowder recipe! This recipe reminds me of being a young boy in his famous French restaurant on Cape Cod – it was amazing, creamy and packed with great flavour and great ingredients!

The Recipe!

~ 4 cups of chicken broth ( I make mine with chicken base so that it’s nice and tasty! )
~ 2.5 lbs of red bliss potatoes, cut into cubes. Don’t peel them!!
~ 1 LB of natural (no nitrates/nitrites) bacon
~ 2 LBS of DICED spanish or sweet onion
~ 2 Sticks of butter
~ 3 cups of heavy cream
~ 1 1/4 lbs of mushrooms (cut them in two and no smaller so that they have a visual presence)
~ 2 bottles of clam juice – 8 oz bottle (I used lobster juice for a variation)
~ 6 cans of clams (6.5 oz) I used a combination of chopped and whole

New England Clam Chowder
New England Clam Chowder
New England Clam Chowder
New England Clam Chowder

La Methode!


Cook 1/2 of the cubed potatoes in the 4 cups of chicken stock in a medium to large COVERED pot until the potatoes are tender on a low simmer.

~ Meanwhile cook the bacon in a large (7 quart) dutch oven.

~ When the bacon is cooked, remove from it from the pan and chop it into medium to small pieces.

~ Sauté the chopped onion on a low to medium heat in the bacon fat until it is a light golden brown. Remove from fire as the diced potatoes finish cooking.

~ When the potatoes cooking in the chicken stock are tender, remove from the heat, add one bottle of clam juice and puree using a stick / immersion blender.  Add another bottle of clam juice if it is to dry to blend.

~ Add pureed potatoes to the large dutch oven containing the sautéed onion as well as 3 cups of heavy cream, the remainder of the bottled clam juice, the remainder of cubed potatoes, chopped bacon, 2 sticks of butter, mushrooms, and the juice from the canned clams (reserve the clams for the last step).

~ Cover and cook on a low simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender (about 45 minutes)

~ Add the clams and cook another 10 minutes.

Voila!! Now enjoy the most flavorful chowder that I know of, and an old family recipe!! Serve with a nice crusty, buttered French bread.
Freeze leftover for another day when you don’t have time for cooking!!

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French Bread Pizza

Fresh tomatoes from the garden are used on a fresh oven baked French bread to make a pizza like no other.

Fresh tomatoes from the garden are used on a fresh oven baked French bread to make a pizza like no other.

French bread is the canvas for the taste of summer. Use farm stand or garden tomatoes for real tomato flavour. You won’t believe how gorgeous the fusion of a few simple ingredients can produce. An explosion of summer flavour, French style.

The Recipe!

One French Bread or Baguette. I used a cheese French Bread! French Blue cheese or Stilton of choice – there are so many varieties! Dried onion flakes Toasted sesame oil Fresh cracked pepper Sesame seeds Sea salt Onion powder French Bread Pizza

La Methode

Pre-warm oven to 350 degrees.
Slice bread on a slight diagonal for effect.
Sprinkle slices with onion powder and top with tomato slices.
Drizzle with toasted sesame oil and sprinkle a touch of salt.
Add crumbled blue cheese to liking and sprinkle with dried onion, sesame seeds and fresh ground pepper.
Place in pre-warmed oven until cheese is slightly melted, about 10 minutes.
Enjoy!!!French Bread Pizza

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Roasted Beets and Carrots with Brown Basmati Rice


IMG_9294

The Recipe!

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Roasted Beets and Carrots Roasted Carrots and Beets
Purple Carrots
3 lbs of carrots (I used purple)
3 lbs of beets (I used golden)
3 large shallots
2 large sweet onions
Extra- virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh ground Pepper
Herbs De Province
Beets

La Method!

Cut the carrots lengthwise to about the size of a thick pencil.
Quarter the beets if small, or cut thinner if they are larger (as in video)
Chop the shallots and onion into large slivers.
Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and coat with extra-virgin olive oil (about 1/4 cup) and sprinkle with sea salt (about a tablespoon), two tablespoons of Herbs De Province and lots of fresh cracked pepper. Place vegetables on one or two baking sheets lined with foil. Place in the oven at 400 degrees until roasted, about 45 minutes. Done when still a bit crisp, but browned.

Brown Basmati Rice with Tuscan Kale Brown Basmati Rice with Tuscan Kale

2 cups of Organic Brown Basmati Rice OR 1 Cup of rice and 1 cup of Hard White Winter Wheat Berry (this is what I used)
Approximately 5-6 cups of water (use vegetable broth and delete chicken base listed below for vegetarian dish)
10 oz of chopped Tuscan Kale
3 tablespoons of Chicken Base
2 large onions, slivered.
Salt, pepper and Herbs De Province to taste.

IMG_9287

La Method!
Place 3 cups of water in a large dutch oven (about 5 quart) and bring to a boil.
Add rice, onion, and chicken base. Stir, cover and reduce to a simmer. Add Kale when most of the liquid is absorbed. Cook for approximately 1 hour total, stirring on occasion and adding additional cup of water if necessary. You may have to cook longer and add more water depending on the conditions. The rice should be a bit chewy. Season at the end with salt, pepper and Herbs De Province.

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Rapini Francois

Rapini Francois

Rapini Francois

Rapini Francois

Rapini Francois

Here certainly is Nouvelle Cuisine as I blend elements of my family’s cuisine with other European flavours and ingredients. Rapini, or Broccoli Rabe Is a cruciferous vegetable that has fallen in favour to many chefs around the world for it’s nutty, bitter and somewhat pungent taste. It makes a great canvas for the savory tomato based ground chuck sauce. They work very nicely together with different elements and textures – all to compliment each other. Only foodies need apply here. These flavours don’t come with training wheels….

Rapini Francois

Rapini Francois

The Recipe!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The sauce:
1 1/4 lb of ground chuck
1/3 cup of dried onion (works better than fresh onion as it absorbs tomato juice)
1 tablespoon of fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked coriander (I have a separate pepper mill for coriander!)
1 teaspoon of smoked chipotle pepper flake ( you can use 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes instead, or omit)
1 tablespoon of dried basil
28 oz can of crushed (organic please) tomatoes
1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
Sea salt

Ground Chuck Tomato Sauce

Ground Chuck Tomato Sauce

Rapini Prep:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1 bunch of rapine (appx. 1 lb.)
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
Herbs De Province
2 tablespoons of malt or rice vinegar
1 slightly heaping tablespoon of dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper

Rapini Francois

Rapini Francois

Rapini Francois

La Methode!
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Brown the beef in a large sauté pan.
Add the remainder of the ingredients and let simmer for 25 minutes on a low to medium flame, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, place the oil and butter in the bottom of another large (6 quart or so) sauté pan on allow to medium flame. When butter melts, add rapini and let wilt for a minute. Add the remainder of the ingredients and TOSS WELL. Cook for another 5 minutes and shut off the heat. The leaves will be very tender and the stems very crisp.
Place the Rapini on a nice serving platter and top with the sauce. Garnish on top with slices of fresh tomato (and freshly shaved Parmesan if desired)

Rapini Francois

Rapini Francois

Rapini Francois

Rapini Francois

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Soupe a L’Oignon et Porc

Soupe a L'Oignon et Porc

Lots of tender sweet onions with beans and garden tomatoes make the back drop for a phenomenal soup/stew infused with marinated pork. Slow cook this all day in a crock pot and you have a home filled with glorious aroma and a meal that begs to be shared with a nice crusty French Baguette.

The Recipe:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2 cups of cleaned, dried navy beans
3 1/2 lbs of cubed pork (I used a pork shoulder) which can be marinated if desired in a dry rub of paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and fresh cracked pepper over night in the refrigerator.
9 cups of water

6 small or 4 large sweet onions diced
2 1/2 lbs of fresh garden tomatoes, cored or 1 1/4 cans (28 oz can) of ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of malt vinegar
2 tablespoons of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons of powdered sage
1 1/2 teaspoons of powdered rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons of powdered thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons of marjoram or oregano

Soupe a L'Oignon et Porc

La Methode!

~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is the easy part. Place all of the ingredients into a large crock pot (at least 6 quart), stir well and place on a high heat setting for 4 hours, then low heat for another 4 hours. Stir a few times during the cooking. Place a cookie sheet under the crock pot for potential spillage.

Soupe a L'Oignon et Porc

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Poisson à la Tomate Crème (Fish in a Tomato Cream Sauce / Pasta with Tomato Cream sauce)

Poisson Tomate Crème

Sumptuous. Velvet. Gorgeous and Fresh. This is what describes a seafood dish that accents the most celebrated fruit of the summer: The Tomato. This very simple, but elegant and delicious dish is part of a second bonus recipe. Place this sauce over a nice German pasta like Spaetzle and you have two killer dishes. Ready in less than 30 minutes? Seriously….

Tomato Cream Sauce

The Recipe!
~~~~~~~~~~~~
8-9 oz fillet (per person) of a medium to thick fleshed fish such as Hake, Yellow tail or Grey Sole
OR
1 package of Spaetzle (German pasta)
The Sauce:
1 stick of butter (Julia approves this I’m quite sure)
1 cup of whipped cream cheese
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1/4 cup of spiced rum (The secret ingredient!)
1 tablespoon of honey
One large or two medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

Garden Tomatoes

Poisson Tomate Crème

La Methode:
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Place all of the sauce ingredients into a small saucier pot over a very low heat. Whisk occasionally until well blended, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir carefully on occasion, careful not to break the tomato wedges up too much. Simmer an additional 7-10 minutes to infuse the delicate tomato flavour.

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

For Pasta: Have boiling water ready and cook the pasta according to package directions. Spaetzle takes longer than other pastas – about 12-14 minutes.
For fish: season fillet with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Place in a large sauté pan that has been heated with one tablespoon of butter, one of extra-virgin olive oil over a low to medium heat. Flip after about 4 minutes and remove from pan when it easily flakes, about another 5 minutes.

Poisson Tomate Crème

Top the pasta or fish with this gorgeous sauce and garnish with Herbs De Province.
Serve with a sturdy white wine, or a German white such as Riesling.

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