31 May 2008

Rhubarb crumble version 2

My European tour is keeping me very busy and away from the computer, which I guess is a good thing, but I don't have time to make any post, so before this month ends I thought I had to publish at least one post.
Yesterday I made for my friends in Switzerland the following version of

Rhubarb and Strawberry crumble
For 6 people
6 rhubarb stick
6 strawberries
200 gr almond powder
100 gr spelt flour
140 gr sugar
100 gr butter
1 TBSP lemon juice (approx.)

Peel and dice the rhubarb, clean and dice the strawberries, place all in an oven proof dish or in individual ramekins.
Mix by hand almond powder, spelt flour, sugar, butter and lemon juice and place the mix on top of the fruits.
Place in pre-heated oven at 190 C for 25 mn or so
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream (or alone).

16 May 2008


For the past week and a half I have been in Europe, I did some cooking but mostly took lots of photos and I wanted to share a few of them here.
Enjoy these views of a French garden...

12 May 2008

Secret Ingredient: Lemon - Part 3

To finish this meal with a lemon twist I made a Gluten Free Rhubarb & Strawberry Crumble with a dash of Meyer lemon.

Rhubarb & Strawberry Crumble
For 6 large individual portions
80 gr Amaranth flour
80 gr Quinoa flour
100 gr Ground Almonds (not quite as a powder to give a bit of crunch)
200 gr Organic Cane Sugar
90 gr unsalted butter
6 large fresh rhubarb stalks
9 strawberries
Heavy whipping cream

Peel the Rhubarb stalks and dice
Clean and dice the strawberries
Place rhubarb and strawberries in individual ramekins

Prepare the crumble:
Mix all the flours, almonds, sugar and butter in a bowl using a fork or in a mixing bowl using the large paddle, add the juice of 1 Meyer lemon.

Place even amounts of the crumble on top of each ramekins.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 210 C/400 F for about 25 mn
Half way through the baking time pour a couple of TBSP of heavy whipping cream on top of the crumble and finish baking.

Serve with a swig of heavy whipping cream and enjoy warm.

08 May 2008

Secret Ingredient: Lemon - Part 2

After the velvety asparagus soup I made a very French dish called Blanquette de Veau, it's a veal stew with a lemon twist.
This is my Mom's recipe who has it from her own Mother.

Blanquette de Veau
For 6
2 to 2.5 pounds veal stew (it will depend on the crowd you entertain, whether they are big eaters or not...)
2 TBSP all purpose unbleached flour
3 sliced carrots
1 bunch of fresh Parsley
Salt, pepper
2 TBSP sour cream
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Soak the veal pieces in cold water for 30 mn.
When ready drain the water, dry the meat with paper towel and place it in a hot pan with a bit of oil, do not brown the meat.
When all the meat has taken a white color sprinkle 2 TBSP of flour over it, stir and add a bit of water.
Then pour over the sliced carrots, half of the parsley thinly cut, salt and pepper then add more water, enough to cover the meat and stir.
Close your pot (I use a cast iron pot) and let it simmer on low heat for 1 h to 1.5 hour, stirring occasionally.
When you are ready to serve add at the last minute 2 TBSP of sour cream and the juice of half a lemon and stir.
Serve hot with white rice or as I did with fingerling potatoes.

02 May 2008

Secret ingredient: Lemon - Part 1

Here in the US there is a TV show called the Iron Chef where a few chefs are competing with a limited amount of time to prepare a few dishes and just as they are about to start they are given a "secret ingredient" by the judges to be included in all the different dishes.
The last dinner we hosted I decided to have my own "secret ingredient" and to integrate it in all my dishes.

This secret ingredient was Lemon.

And the first dish was a Velvety Asparagus Soup with a tinge of lemon
For 6

2 bunches of fresh asparagus (I used green ones)
1 medium size shallot, peeled and chopped
6 pints of chicken broth (or 6 pints of water and 1 chicken broth cube)
Zest of 1/4 of a lemon (you don't want to overpower the soup with lemon)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 TBSP Olive oil
1.5 TBSP Butter
2 TBSP flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and peel the asparagus, the easiest way is to use a potato peeler with the swivel head and rest the asparagus flat on a board.
Cut the heads of and reserve them.
Cut the stems in approx. 2"/5cm long sticks.
In a cast iron pot (or other) on high heat fry the shallot in a bit of olive oil, then add the asparagus sticks, after 5 mn pour the chicken broth/water + cube, add salt and pepper to taste and grate 1/4 of a lemon zest and add the juice of half a lemon and let simmer covered on gentle heat for 30mn or so.
While it is simmering steam the asparagus heads in a separate pot, do not overcook, they should be a bit crunchy (5 to 8mn should be enough).
Prepare a "roux" in a separate pot: melt 1.5 TBSP butter, sprinkle 2 TBSP flour and whisk, then use a ladle to pour some of the simmering broth on the butter/flour mix and whisk adding more broth as needed till you obtain a smooth liquid custard looking mix.
Blend the simmering asparagus soup with a hand held blender then pour the custard looking mix in the blended asparagus and let cook for another 10mn.
When ready to serve place asparagus heads cut in 2 length ways in the soup and serve immediately.

I like using the cast iron pot for this as it cooks using less energy since it retains the heat better, it looks nice as a serving dish and keeps the soup hot and it is convenient as you do not need to transfer the soup to another container.