dimanche 8 juin 2014

Balsamic Strawberry Basil Pie



When I was little, my dad would often put strawberries in salad. When the fruits weren't quite ripe enough, he would stir a little balsamic vinegar and orange juice with the cut strawberries... That concoction would magically make the strawberries much sweeter and tastier.


Somehow, I remembered this trick when I decided to bake this summer classic. Yes, summer is finally here!

Ingredients:
  • 1 pie crust
Filling:
  • 3 cups of strawberries, cut in quarter
  • 3 tbs. sugar
  • 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs. corn starch
  • 10 leaves of basil, shredded in small pieces
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Mix all the filling ingredients together.
  3. Pour the filling in the pie-crust.
  4. Bake at 400 F for 5 minutes.
  5. Turn the oven down to 350F,
  6. Bake for an additional 35 minutes.
  7. Let cool before cutting and serving. 



mardi 4 mars 2014

Macaroni au fromage, cidre et pommes



Le macaroni au fromage est mon pêché mignon. Que ce soit en boîte (Kraft Dinner) avec des petits pois, ou dans un resto servi avec du homard, je pourrais en manger plusieurs fois par semaine.

Le fromage et les pommes sont sans contredit un couple parfait, mais en voyant cette recette sur Pinterest, j’avais quelques doutes sur le résultat final. Heureusement, j’ai tout de même essayé la recette. En la cuisinant, j’ai évidemment pensé à mon amie M., qui, tout comme moi, raffole du cidre.

Ingrédients (pour 2 personnes et un lunch)
  • 350 grammes de pâtes courtes
  • 1 pomme verte, coupée en dés
  • 1 oignon, coupé en dés
  • 3 c à table de farine
  • 1 tasse de cidre (idéalement un cidre qui n’est pas trop sucré)
  • 1 tasse de crème à cuisson
  • 3 tasses de fromage cheddar râpé
  • ¼ tasse de parmesan
  • ¼ tasse de chapelure (ou panko)
  • Sel et Poivre
  1. Cuire les pâtes selon les directives, pour qu’elles soient al dente. Égoutter.
  2. Préchauffer le four à 350F.
  3. Mettre un peu de beurre dans une poêle, faire cuire les pommes et les onions à feu moyen pendant 10 minutes.
  4. Ajouter la farine au mélange, enrober les pommes et les oignons.
  5. Ajouter le cidre en remuant constamment. Cuire 1 minute.
  6. Ajouter la crème en remuant constamment.
  7. Ajouter 2 ½ tasses de fromage au mélange. Remuer jusqu’à ce que le fromage soit fondu.
  8. Mélanger les pâtes et la sauce. Verser dans un plat allant au four.
  9. Mélanger la chapelure, ¼ tasse de cheddar, ¼ tasse de parmesan, sel et poivre.
  10. Verser le mélange de chapelure sur les pâtes.
  11. Cuire au four pendant 15 minutes ou jusqu’à ce que la chapelure soit dorée.

mardi 28 janvier 2014

Jalapeño Poppers


Are you hosting a Super Bowl Party and have not yet finished your menu? 
Are you a guest to a party and don't know what to bring?
Do you hate football but love Super Bowl food?
Here's the answer: Homemade Jalapeno Poppers (so much better than frozen, out-of-the-box).


12 jalapos
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup grated cheddar
1/4 ts cayenne pepper
1/4 ts cumin
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko


1. Cut the jalapenos in half. Remove stem and seeds.
2. Mix the cream cheese, cheddar, cayenne and cumin in a small bowl.
3. Fill the half jalapenos with the cheese mix.
4. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
5. One by one, dip the jalapeno halves in flour, egg then panko. Place on the cookie sheet.
6. Bake 30 mins at 350 F or until golden.

Enjoy!

mardi 21 janvier 2014

Fennel Tomato Soup



Unlike every child in the United States, I did not grow up eating tomato soup. I only recently discovered the pleasure of grilled cheese and tomato soup.

I borrowed this recipe from the latest book of one of my favorite Montréal chefs, Josée Distasio. In her "Carnet Rouge", she revisits comfort food recipes, including tomato soup.

I changed some of her suggested ingredients and quantities, and the final result was delicious.


3 tbs olive oil
2 cups onion and/or leek, diced
1/4 cup rice
2 cups fennel, diced
4 ts fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
Salt & Pepper

1. Heat the oil over medium heat, cook onion/leek for 8 minutes.
2. Add the fennel, cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the fennel seeds and garlic. Stir. Cook for 1 minute.
4. Add the rice, tomatoes and broth. Bring to boil.
5. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
6. Season with salt & pepper.
7. Blend with a stick blender.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, shaved parmesan, croutons or fresh parsley.

dimanche 19 janvier 2014

Pistachio crusted scallops


For New Year's Eve, my friends S and L cooked a delicious meal. So good that I decided to cook it again, a few days later, when W's dad came over for dinner. And again, two weekends later. 
Perfect served with pasta (with some of the scallops dressing), a lemon and vegetable risotto or an arugula salad.


Scallops 
12 large scallops (3 per person)
1 tbs butter, softened
½ cup pistachio, shelled and chopped
Salt & Pepper
Zest of ½ lemon

Dressing (for the scallops)
½ lemon, juiced
1 tbs olive oil
1 ts shallot (or red onion), finely diced

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
2. In a small bowl, mix the butter, pistachios, lemon zest and salt & pepper. 
3. In a hot oven-proof skillet, grill the scallops for 1 minute on high heat (until they are golden brown).
3. Remove the pan from the heat, flips the scallops and top the grilled side with pistachio butter.
4. Cook the scallops in the oven for 10 minutes (or less if you use smaller scallops).
5. Plate and drizzle some dressing on top.


lundi 13 janvier 2014

Grated Apple Pie


Who doesn't love pie? This entirely homemade* version is quick to bake, and will definitely impress your guests. The grated apples give the pie a non-traditional look.

*If, like me, you had never really made your own pie dough before, this easy dough recipe will convince you that is it not worth buying a pre-cooked crust. All you need is a manual pastry blender.




Dough
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ ts salt
  • 2 oz cold butter, diced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • cold water
1.     Using a manual pastry blender (or your fingers) mix the flour, salt and butter until it reaches pea-size pieces.
2.     Add the egg, and mix until the dough comes together. 
3.     If the dough is too dry and will not come together, add a teaspoon of water. Repeat, as needed.
4.     Shape the dough into a ball and refrigerate (in a plastic wrap) for at least 30 minutes.
5.     Before rolling the dough, let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
6.     Roll the dough on a floured surface, place in your pie dish, and cut off the extra dough.

Filling (largely inspired by a recipe from Ricardo)
  • 3 large McIntosh Apples, grated (approx. 3 cups)
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • ¾ cups of sugar or 3/4 cups of maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (if using sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
1.     Heat the oven to 375 F.
2.     Peel and grate the apples. Mix the lemon juice with the grated apples right away.
3.     If using the sugar, mix sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch in a bowl.
4.     Incorporate the sugar mixture to the apples.
5.     Pour the apples in the crust. Even out.
6.     Cook for 50 minutes.

If using the maple syrup, skip step 2 and 3 and instead mix the cornstarch and maple syrup directly with the apples. I did not use cinnamon with the maple syrup.