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recipe

Tiger prawns and mussels cari

Tiger prawns and mussels cari

This recipe is very similar to the way we cook fish in Reunion Island. There aren't any mussels in this part of the world, but the sauce works really well with shellfish. It's rather easy to make too. And quite an impressive dish to serve at a dinner party.

Picture of a tiger prawns and mussel cari, still in the pan, with parsley on top, the recipe is available on the blog of the cookery school Gourmandises Academie, Cambridge

Ingredients:

 

 1 kg of mussels

8 whole tiger prawns

A tin of chopped tomatoes

One chopped onion

4 cloves of garlic

Ginger, the size of a tsp

A bit of chopped parsley

Vegetable oil

Fresh thyme

 

Method:

Start by removing the heads of the tiger prawns. In a pan, add three tbsp of vegetable oil, and  add the heads. As soon as they start colouring, add the onion and the thyme. Crush the garlic and ginger into a paste and add to the pan. Once your garlic is cooked add a tin of chopped tomatoes. Turn the heat down and let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every now and then, add a bit water if the sauce starts drying out. After 30 minutes, add the prawns tails, once they start colouring throw in the mussels. Lid on and let everything cook for 5 minutes.  Add some fresh parsley before serving.

Bon appétit!

Corinne

You can watch the step by step method of this recipe on YouTube

As it is courgettes season, you might also want to check out my chocolate courgettes cake

Categories
recipe

Moules marinières à la créole

Moules marinières à la créole

I was told once, that the best recipes often come from mistakes or lack of ingredients, Tarte Tatin is one of them. "Moules marinières à la créole" is most definitely one of those too. I know what you're thinking, how can "moules marinières" be creole? Well, let me tell you how. I love mussels. I tend to cook them the same way we cook fish in Reunion Island, i.e in a rich tomato sauce flavoured with thyme, ginger, lost of garlic and turmeric. So, here I am in the kitchen prepping everything for my creole mussels. The pan is on the stove, I add the oil, fry my onions, then go and look for the tin of tomato, and I haven't got one! Damn it! I had everything prepped for it, what do I do now? Plan B, what do I have in my fridge that I could accommodate with those ingredients? A bottle of white wine and a little bit of tomato puree... So, my onions are now cooked so let's rustle up something new then...

Picture of mussels cooked and opened in the pot, you can learn how to make this dish on the blog of the cookery school Gourmandises Academie, Cambridge

Ingredients:

 

1 kg of fresh mussels 

Ginger, the size of a TBSP

5 cloves of garlic

Half bottle of white wine

Fresh thyme

A little bit of turmeric

A TBSP of tomato puree

Double cream

One onion

Three TBSP of vegetable oil

You will need a deep pan for this.

 

Method:

First thing first, clean your mussels. I plunge them in cold water and scrub off the barnacles and hairy beard that are on the shells. Discard of the ones that are open still. In a pan, add your vegetable oil and onions and fry until the onions are translucent. Crush your garlic and ginger into a paste and add to the pan, stir and cook for a minute, add a little bit of turmeric at this point, not too much, less than a 1/4 of a tsp. Then add your white wine, the fresh thyme and the tomato puree. Stir everything and let your sauce simmer for about 15 minutes. Add your mussels and a little bit of double cream, lid on and let them cook for a good five minutes until they’re all opened. Et voilà! I didn’t think that turmeric, ginger and garlic would work with white wine, but it absolutely does! I hope you give it a go, well worth it!

Bon appétit!

Corinne

If you enjoy shell fish you might like to try “Lobster tail in a rich tomato and turmeric sauce”. 

Categories
recipe

Le cari de poisson de papa

Le cari de poisson de papa

Making the most of my 79 year old dad right now in Reunion, and most importantly his culinary knowledge. This is a classic of Reunion cuisine and so easy to make too. My father used a tropical fish called "poisson ananas" that we find here in Reunion island. But you can use bass or cod that are quite meaty and will hold their shape in the broth.

Ingredients:

This recipe will serve 4 people

Two big whole sea bass, (ask your fish monger to cut the fish into big chunks, keeping the head)

One whole garlic

Chillies (depending on your taste buds as much or as little as you like) 

One whole onion

1/2 tsp turmeric

Ginger (the size of a table spoon) 

Fresh Thyme

A tin of chopped tomatoes 

Vegetable oil

Method:

First, crush your garlic, ginger and chilli into a paste. In a pan, add a tbsp of vegetable oil (not olive oil, it doesn’t work with this recipe). Start by adding your onions and thyme, stir until the onions become translucent. Then add your garlic, your ginger and your chilli paste and stir again for a minute then add your turmeric and your tomatoes. Stir and let this lovely sauce simmer for 30 minutes, then add your fish chunks including the head (it gives flavour to the fish stew) and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring after 5. That’s it. Before serving, remove the heads, then add some chopped fresh parsley. In Reunion, we tend to serve it with plain Basmati rice. Delicious! Et voilà!

Bon appétit!

Corinne

You can watch my dad making his cari on YouTube

Categories
recipe

Basquaise style chicken

Basquaise style chicken

Basquaise style chicken, is so easy to make and so comforting too. "Poulet Basquaise" is a classic of the Basque region. The key ingredient is "Espelette chilli", but as it's not always easy to find in the UK, I have replaced it with paprika, which is very similar. This dish is also perfect for entertaining, its velvety sauce at the end is always a hit.

picture of a blue casserole dish on top of a towel with red stripes, with pieces of chicken, red and green peppers in a tomato sauce, the recipe is available on the blog of the cookery school Gourmandises Academie, Cambridge

Ingredients:

3 chicken thighs (chicken legs work well too)

Two peppers (green and red for contrast)

A glass of white wine

One onion (thinly sliced)

5 cloves of garlic (crushed and sliced)

Fresh thyme

A table spoon of tomato paste

Method:

I use a cast iron pan, but any heavy base pan will do. Season your thighs with salt and pepper first. Then, brown the chicken on both sides,  in a little bit of olive oil. Take the meat out of the pan. Then add the thyme and the onion. Once the onion has reached that translucent colour, add the garlic and stir. Slice the peppers into strips and add them to the pan, give them a good stir again. Add the tomato puree, a glass of wine and a sprinkle of paprika. Put the chicken thighs back on top, cover, reduce the heat and let it simmer for a good 45 minutes, giving it a stir now and then. The dish is ready once the peppers are soft and the sauce velvety. I serve my poulet basquaise with rice.   

Bon appétit!

Corinne

You can watch the step by step method of this recipe on YouTube

If you enjoy peppers you may want to give my padrón peppers recipe a go.

Categories
recipe

Duck confit

Duck confit

Duck confit or confit de canard is something I really miss from France. It's so versatile and can be used in so many ways all year round, in a super comforting cassoulet or to accompany a simple salade verte in the summer. So I thought I would show you how to make it. It's not really difficult, you just need a little bit of patience as it will take you a good two days to get together. But the result is so worth it. So I do hope you give it a go.

picture of a terrine dish with a cloth around it, filled with goose fat and bits of meat appearing on the surface, you can learn how to make this confit on the blog of cooking school Gourmandises Academie

Ingredients:

4 duck legs 

Sea salt

Bay leaves

Thyme

Garlic

Black pepper corns

750 g of duck fat

A glass of water

Method:

This recipe happens over two days.

On day one, place your duck legs on a tray and add your garlic, pepper corns and your herbs, as much or as little depending on your taste. Rub your duck legs generously with salt. Cover the tray with cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for 24 hours.

On day two. Slowly melt your duck fat in a pan, be careful not to bring it to the boil. Rinse your duck legs thoroughly under a cold tap to get rid of the salt. Put them in a pan with the herbs, pepper corns and garlic and pour the melted duck fat over them, don’t forget to add a glass of water also (the water prevents the legs from sticking and burning at the bottom of the pan). Cook them on a very low heat for a good 3 hours, until the meat is nice and tender, almost falling off the bone. At that stage, I transfer the legs in a smaller container, like a terrine and cover them with the duck fat. The confit will keep in the fridge, for a good month or more if totally covered with fat. You can use them in a cassoulet, or lightly fry them in a pan and eat them with sautéed potatoes or even a green salad. 

Bon appétit!

Corinne

You can watch the step by step method of this recipe on YouTube, part one and part two.

This is the season for comfort food, here’s another recipe you might like to try, chicken parcels.

Categories
recipe

Marmelade d’oranges amères 

Marmelade d'oranges amères 

As always, there is nothing quite like home made! I love marmalade, especially on a good chunk of freshly baked brioche with salted butter. Although it is a bit of a process to make, I urge you to give it a go. You won't regret it! It's actually not difficult to achieve, you just need to arm yourself with a bit of patience. It's like liquid gold in a jar!

picture of a small glazed green terracota pot with orange marmalade inside and 5 jars of marmalade, recipe is available on the blog of cookery school Gourmandises Academie, Cambridge

Ingredients:

 

1 kg of Seville oranges 

2.5 litres of water

The juice of one lemon

1 kg of sugar

A bit of muslin

Steralized jars

Method:

Cut your oranges in half and squeeze out all of the juices. You will end up with quite a lot of pip and flesh from the oranges, place them in the muslin bag and tie it with a string.  

Cut the orange peels in half and using a sharp knife cut them into shreds, I like quite chunky shreds, but you may choose to cut finer ones, it’s up to you. In a large pan, add the water, orange juice, the peel and the muslin bag. Bring the pan to a boil, reduce the heat and let everything simmer for a good two hours or more. Your peel needs to be soft when squeezed between your fingers.  

Once your peel is soft, take the pan off the heat, add the lemon juice as well as the sugar, squeeze out all the goodness from the muslin bag into the pan too. Give it a good stir to mix the sugar. At this point, I actually leave it overnight, so the sugar properly dissolve and flavours develop. The next day, bring the pan to the boil stirring now and then to make sure that nothing sticks to the bottom. There will be a point when your marmalade will start boiling fiercely. Place a small plate in the freezer, and let everything boil fiercely for an extra 10 minutes or so. At that point, take the pan off the heat, take your plate out of the freezer, and put a little bit of your marmalade on it. Place the plate back in the freezer for a minute, take it out and roll your finger against the jam, if it crinkles, your jam is ready, if not let it boil for another five minutes and test again.

Pour your jam into steralized jars straight away.

Bon appétit!

Corinne

For regular, instant updates, follow me on Instagram.

For more recipes like this, take a look at my other blog posts here.

Categories
Christmas baking recipe

Elevate your Christmas desserts with sponge fingers

Elevate your Christmas desserts with sponge fingers

These moreish French biscuits called "Biscuits à la cuillère" are perfect if you are making a trifle, a tiramisu or those fancy French verrine desserts this Christmas. Whichever you choose to make, you have to give this recipe a go. You can buy sponge fingers in any supermarkets, but there is nothing quite like the home made ones. They are so easy to make too, so let's "Elevate your Christmas desserts with sponge fingers" this year.

Image of sponge fingers dusted with icing sugar on a baking tray, you can learn how to make this recipe on the blog of cookery school Gourmandises Academie, Cambridge

Ingredients:

 

3 eggs 

100 g of sugar (granulated or caster)

100 g of plain flour

Icing sugar

Three baking tray covered with baking paper 

Pre-heat your oven at 180º C

Method:

Separate egg whites and yolks. In a bowl,  mix the sugar and the egg whites to a stiff meringue consistency. Quickly whip your egg yolks and fold them into the meringue. Then add the flour and gently fold in too. Add this mixture to a piping bag and start piping strips on your baking tray, not too close to each over as they will expand once in the oven. Then, sprinkle your sponge fingers generously with icing sugar before they hit the oven. Bake for 10 minutes in a pre-heated 180° C oven. Use them in your triffle, tiramisu and verrines. Or just place them in beautiful cellophane bags with a ribbon and gift them to your friends.

 

Bon appétit!

Corinne

If you’re looking for a more savoury festive recipe, take a look at my “Lobster tail in a rich tomato and turmeric sauce”

Categories
recipe

Braised cabbage with turmeric, ginger and belly pork

Braised cabbage with turmeric, ginger and belly pork

This is a family favourite at this time of year and a little different from the traditional recipes using cabbage. The recipe itself is from Reunion Island, and one that my mum used to cook a lot in winter. The fat from the belly pork mixed with the ginger and turmeric, turns the simple, humble cabbage into a culinary delight. It's not too difficult to make either, so I do hope you give it a go.

Image with a pot containing belly pork cooked with cabbage leaves, recipe can be found on the blog of cooking school Gourmandises Academie, Cambridge

Ingredients:

 

500 g of pork belly cut into cubes 

One cabbage, best to use savoy/green leaves cabbage

Half tsp of turmeric

8 to 10 cloves of garlic

Ginger (the size of a TBSP)

3 fresh tomatoes 

You will need either a heavy base saucepan or a non stick pan to cook this

 

Method:

Cut your cabbage into small quarters, it doesn’t have to be finely chopped. Crush your garlic and ginger into a paste. In a pan, add one tbsp of vegetable oil (you don’t want to use olive oil here at all), once the oil is hot add your diced belly pork salt and pepper to season and fry until golden brown. You’re looking for those brownie bits at the bottom of the pan, they will give flavour to the dish. Then add your turmeric, garlic and ginger paste and stir for a minute or so. Add your cabbage, stir and then add your tomatoes. Pour a small glass of hot water  over the top, stir, bring the heat down and let it simmer for 40/45 minutes, until you have a lovely velvety sauce at the bottom. In Reunion we serve it with rice or polenta, mash potatoes would work great too. 

Bon appétit!

Corinne

You can watch the step by step video on YouTube.

If you enjoy flavoursome autumnal dishes you might want to have a go at my “baked cauliflower with turmeric”

Categories
recipe

Chicken curry with courgettes

Chicken curry with courgettes

Courgettes, no matter the weather are a great crop to have in a kitchen garden. But they always produce so much. The good thing is, they can be added to just about any dish, a curry is always a good option. So here is mine "chicken curry with courgettes" and a good dollop of creme fraiche at the end, yep never too far from my French roots!

image with a blue pan on a wooden table, filled with bits of chicken in a tomato sauce and parsley on top, recipe available at cookery school Gourmandises Academie, Cambridge

Ingredients:

This recipe is for 4 people

3 courgettes cut into small pieces

1 chopped onion

4 cloves of garlic

Ginger (the size of a table spoon) 

1 TBSP of tomato puree

2 TBSP of hot chicken curry powder (mild, if you don’t like the heat)

4 chicken thighs, cut into pieces, with the bone and skin

200 ml of water

A dollop of creme fraiche

Fresh coriander to sprinkle on before serving

Vegetable oil

Method:

I use chicken thighs because they have much more flavour than the breast, with the skin on please! But if you must, use breast.  

I know this is not the way they do it in India, but I like to brown my meat for extra flavour. So, in a pan, add two to 3 TBSP of vegetable oil and fry your pieces of chicken until golden brown. Then, add your chopped onion and stir for a minute or two. Crush your garlic and ginger into a paste and add to the mix. Add your curry powder and courgettes and stir. Finally add your tomato puree. Pour your water, stir, turn the heat down and let your curry seemer for half an hour. 10 minutes before the end, add a good dollop of creme fraiche.  Springle with fresh coriander before serving. Serve with basmati rice or a gorgeous bit of naan bread. 

Bon appétit!

Corinne

As it is courgettes season, you might also want to check out my Malaysian inspired pickeld courgettes.

Categories
Team building

How do you motivate your team?

How do you motivate your team?

A big question at this moment in time, when employers are struggling to find the right match. So, yes when you have a team, how do you reward them? And how do you make sure that your employees know that they have done a good job? And nowadays salary is only half the story!

image of a group of people gathered around a table with coloured mats, making dough during a corporate team bonding activity at cookery school gourmandises academie, Cambridge

So how do you reward your team?

It’s a real challenge in the corporate world at the moment. When I look back at my own corporate career, the companies that come back to mind are strangely enough the ones where I felt my work was valued and appreciated. The CEO of one of those companies for example, would give us a bottle of Veuve Cliquot every Christmas, and he delivered them himself. That same CEO, came to our office one afternoon and treated my colleague and I to a concert of Madonna, yep VIP tickets! (Yes I was a bit of a fan at the time, not anymore!). I have very fond memories of that time. 
 

I was watching a program recently featuring the Head chef at the Elysée Palace. A very stressful position, he remembers president Chirac very fondly because he would take the time at the end of his busy day to personally ring him to say thank you for the his hard work. And that was something he apparently did on a regular basis, whereas president Mitterand, in his 14 years in power only came down the kitchen once! A thank you can go a long way!

In my time, I’m talking the nineties here, employees satisfaction was not as big as today on a company’s agenda.

In a very competitive job market, a good salary is just not enough in terms of recruitment or to maintain employees satisfaction. 

From corporate gifts, team building activities, spa, gift vouchers the list goes on, today, there is an array of possibilities when it comes to rewarding a team. 

Activities around well being, enjoyment and relaxation often get a big thumbs up.

Here at the Académie we have an array of activities for your team to enjoy.

 

We recently had the HR team from Blancco UK. Their team works remotely and comes from around the world. The team gathered in Cambridge. They wrapped up their day of meetings with a baking class at the Académie before heading off to Newmarket for a meal. Employees included locals but some came from India and Sweden. Baking was a great way to relax, bond and have a bit of fun. Everyone went back with a big smile on their face and a box of their own creations to enjoy later. 

Get in touch if you’re looking to reward your team.

Corinne

You can also have a look at our corporate workshops for ideas.