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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”. 

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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.

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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.

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recipe

Passion fruit crême brulée: my Easter dessert

Passion fruit crême brulée: my Easter dessert

I know, why passion fruit for Easter and not chocolate? Well, because why not? Life is too short I say, plus trust me it's a delicious dessert, indulgent and sophisticated at the same time. So here you have it "Passion fruit crême brulée: my Easter dessert" And it's super easy to make, so what's not to like?

image with a dark background with a spoon and a creme brulee, you can find the recipe on the blog of cookery school gourmandises academie, cambridge

Ingredients:

3 passion fruits

400 ml double cream

100 ml milk

1 vanilla pod

100 g granulated sugar

6 eggs yolks

2 to 3 tbs light brown sugar for the topping.

You will need 4 to six ramekins for this dessert and an oven proof tray for your bain marie

Pre-heat your oven at 150º C

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 150°C static. Whisk the sugar and egg  yolks until light and creamy.  Split your vanilla pod in half, with a knife take out the black seeds and mix them with the sugar and egg mixture and put the pod in the milk. Bring your milk and double cream to  boiling point. Then slowly pour onto your egg mix whisking all the time (you can use a strainer at this point, I personnally don’t, the choice is yours).

Add the passion fruit at the bottom of your ramekins and pour the cream over the top. This mix is enough for 4 to 6 pots.

Cook in a hot bain-marie in a 150°C oven for 40 minutes to an hour. (it’s cooked when you have a slight wobble).

Once cooked, leave to cool and put in the fridge for at least three hours. Once completely cold sprinkle some light brown sugar on the top of your ramekins. You can either use a blow torch or the grill to caramelise the top.

Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!

Corinne

 

If you’re looking for a more chocolaty dessert for Easter you my like to try my boozy raspberry brownies

Categories
Christmas baking recipe

Cinnamon Christmas sablés dipped in dark chocolate

Cinnamon Christmas sablés dipped in dark chocolate

These little biscuits are easy to make and would make a lovely little treat for friends and family to enjoy at Christmas. They could also make the perfect stocking filler. Sablés don't traditionally include cinnamon but as we're heading into the festive season, why not add a little bit of Christmas cheer to them. So here you have it my "Cinnamon Christmas sablés dipped in dark chocolate"

image of a box of biscuits that have been dipped in dark chocolate and the lid on the side of the box with a father christmas on it, you can learn how to make these biscuits at cookery school gourmandises academie, cambridge

Ingredients:

1 egg 

125 g unsalted butter 

125 g of granulated sugar 

250 g of plain flour

1 TSP of cinnamon

150 g of dark chocolate

A baking tray lined with baking paper

Cookie cutters, I am using a “petit beurre” cookie cutter, but you can use any shape cutter for this.

Pre-heat your oven at 180º C

 

Method:

In a food processor, mix the dry ingredients first (flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon) then add the egg and mix until your mixture forms a dough. If you don’t have a food processor, rub your dry ingredients into breadcrumbs then add the egg and mix until it turns into a dough, don’t knead it. Once your sablés pastry is ready, add a little bit of flour to your worktop and roll your pastry to a 3 mm thickness.  Then cut the biscuits shape using a cookie cutter of your choice, how about a festive one in this case, place them on your baking tray. Little tip, place your tray in the fridge for 15 minutes, that way your sablés will stick to the tray and stay flat. Only then, place them in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. This mix should make between 25 and 30 biscuits.  Let them cool on a rack. Meanwhile, slowly melt your dark chocolate over a bain marie, once your sablés are cool, dip their tip into the dark chocolate as shown on the picture. They are delicious with a cup of tea, or just wrap them beautifully and treat your friends and family.

Sablé pastry can also be used to make a fruit tart, like a “tarte aux fraises” for example.

Bon appétit

Corinne

You may also like to try my festive Butternut squash and cinnamon Bundt cake

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recipe

Apple tarte fine

Apple tarte fine

Apple tarte fine, is the simplest recipe ever! It's perfect at this time of year, especially if you have a glut of apples. You can also easily adapt it and use plums instead of apples or even jazz it up by adding a few blueberries or blackberries for example. So what's not to like? Here you have it "apple tarte fine"

Apple tarte fine

Ingredients:

A roll of puff pastry

Muscovado or demerara sugar (you can use caster sugar but you won’t get that indulgent caramel flavour)

70 g salted butter

3 to 4  apples depending how big they are (you can use any type of apples for this)

A baking tray big enough to hold your pastry (lined with baking paper, I personally keep the paper the pastry comes with) 

Pre-heat your oven at 180º C

Method:

First thing first, slice your apples thinly, about 3 to 5 mm thick. Then prepare your pastry, with a knife I draw a rectangle close to the edges of my pastry to create a border. Then I lay my apples in rows until they have completely covered my puff pastry.  At that point, sprinkle your apples with a generous amount of muscovado sugar, and add nuggets of butter on top of your apples. To add a bit of colour I also added a few blueberries, you could use blackberries also at this time of year. Pop your tart in the oven, for 20 minutes or until the edges and bottom of the tart are cooked. This is a dessert that can be eaten warm or cold, the choice is yours.  

Bon appetit!

Corinne

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

As it is apple season, you might also want to check out my mince meat recipe

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recipe

French summer classic: Cherry clafoutis

French summer classic: cherry clafoutis

This is most definitely a French summer classic: cherry clafoutis. One my mum used to make often at this time of year, there were so many fruits coming from the allotment and this recipe is just perfect for it. I'm using cherries but you could easily use raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, any fruits would work really. And it is so easy to make, so what's not to like, the perfect summer pudding!

French summer classic: cherry clafoutis

Ingredients:

 

4 eggs 

45 g unsalted butter (melted)

150 g of sugar (granulated or caster)

50 g ground almonds 

100 g of plain flour

250 ml of milk

50 ml of double cream

650 g of cherries

Not essential but highly recommended, 3 tbsp of rum

8″ baking tin (buttered) 

Pre-heat your oven at 180º C

Method:

First thing first, butter your baking tray, and place all the cherries at the bottom. Now, there is a big debate in France about clafoutis aux cerises, stones or no stones. I’m team stones in and even stork. The stone actually adds flavour to your pudding. But I shan’t decide for you and won’t be offended if you decide not to add them, although, let’s face it, it is more work!

In a bowl, quickly whisk the sugar and eggs together, then add your flour and ground almonds and whisk again. Then add your milk, cream and melted butter and give it a last mix. Pour your mixture over the cherries and pop your tray in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until your clafoutis is nice and golden on top. And that is all there is to it, so simple and delicious. You can savour your clafoutis, warm or cold, with a dollop of cream or a good vanilla ice cream. 

 

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

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recipe

Strawberry and cream, rhubarb tartelettes, my Jubilee pudding

Strawberry and cream, rhubarb tartelettes, my Jubilee pudding

I may be from a country where we got rid of our royals during the revolution, but one thing I do enjoy about Britain are the royal celebrations. Especially when it means an extra day off and involves pudding and plenty of bubbly! 70 years on the thrown has to be celebrated handsomely and pompously. I'll be hosting my own royal "pique-nique" with family and friends of course. And yes there will be pudding, plenty of it as you can imagine in my house! So here you have it, "my strawberry and cream rhubarb tartelettes, my Jubilee pudding". And dare I say it, it's fit for a Queen!

Ingredients:

One roll of sweet shortcrust

500 g of strawberries 

300 ml double cream

3 TBSP of icing sugar

4 rhubarb sticks 

2 Tbsp of plain flour

120 g ground almonds

2 eggs

120 g of sugar (any type of sugar will work)

120 g melted butter

A muffin tray (it will give you some very dip filled tartelettes, that you would not get with a standard cupcake tray)

Cookie cutter 

Pre-heat your oven at 180º C

Method:

For the frangipane:

Mix the butter, flour, grounds almonds, sugar and eggs into a paste and set aside.

Take your pastry out of the fridge at least 15 minutes before use. Then, using your pastry cutters, cut out some circular pieces of pastry and place them in each case of your muffin tray (you’ll want those circular pieces to be a little bit bigger than your muffin  cases so there is enough space to fill them).  Prick the bottom of your pastry with a fork. Then, place some rhubarb at the bottom and add a teaspoon of frangipane on top.

Place your tray in the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until your little tartelettes are golden brown on top. Take them out of the tray and let them cool down on a rack.

In the meantime, prepare your chantilly cream, by whisking your double cream, icing sugar and vanilla paste to soft peaks. Place your chantilly into a piping bag fit with a star shaped nozzle. 

When your tartelettes are cool, pipe some chantilly cream in the centre of your tartelettes, as per picture, then slice your strawberries in half and place them around the centre of the chantilly cream. Then add a bit more chantilly cream to finish them off nicely. 

Et voilà!

Enjoy them with a glass bubbly!

Bon appétit!⠀

Corinne x

If you fancy another regal recipe how about my avocado and prawn croustade 

Categories
recipe

Lobster tail in a rich tomato and turmeric sauce

Lobster tail in a rich tomato and turmeric sauce

Being in Reunion Island, I had to publish a recipe full of sunshine but also ever so easy to make and with Valentine's day only a month away, you might like to have a go at my "Lobster tail in a rich tomato and turmeric sauce". It's a rather impressive, delicious and straight forward recipe to follow. The lobster tails can easily be replaced by Kings prawns. This is a very festive dish that my mum used to make a lot for special events and the festive season. A recipe to impress your Valentine for sure.

Ingredients:

2 lobster tails ( one tail per person)

2 tomatoes roughly chopped

1 finely chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic crushed

Fresh thyme

Fresh parsley

Two chillies (mild or hot depending on your taste buds)roughly chopped

1/4 tsp of turmeric

Fresh grated ginger (about the size of half a tsp)

Method:

In a pan, add a tbsp of vegetable oil (not olive oil as you want the full flavour of the lobster). Start by adding your onions and thyme, stir until the onion becomes translucent. Then add your garlic, your ginger and your chilli and stir again for a minute then add your turmeric and your tomatoes. Stir and let this lovely sauce simmer for 30 minutes (if the sauce dries out a little bit, add a little bit of hot water), then add your lobster tails and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring after 5. That’s it, add some chopped fresh parsley before serving. In Reunion, we tend to serve it with plain Basmati rice. Delicious! Et voilà!

You can find lobster tails at Waitrose, but also The Fin Boys, or Crystal Waters Ltd on Cambridge market.

Bon appétit!⠀

Corrine x

Categories
Christmas baking recipe

Christmassy madeleines with orange and lemon zest

Christmassy madeleines with orange and lemon zest

These little morsels will always take me back to my childhood. Funny enough, we never used to make them, my mum would always buy them. I just remember enjoying them as my after school snack. They are actually super easy to make, and the mix will keep for a good week in the fridge, so you can enjoy them fresh every day. They are the perfect little treat at this time of year too. You can make them with the kids. Wrap them beautifully and give them away to friends and family, perfect Christmas gift. So here you have it my "Christmassy madeleines with orange and lemon zest".

Ingredients:

125 g melted unsalted butter

125 g plain flour

3 medium eggs

4 g baking powder

125 g sugar

A pinch of salt

Zest of an orange and a lemon

A madeleines tray

Method:

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder. Whisk the eggs and sugar to a white consistency and add your zest. Slowly fold in your flour. Then add your melted butter in one go and mix again. Cover your bowl with cling film and put it in the fridge for at least an hour. This will allow the flavours to develop and the mixture to rise properly. This mixture can actually be kept for a week in the fridge, so you can actually bake fresh madeleines every day. Butter and flour your madeleines tray and fill it with a tsp of your mixture. Bake them for 10 minutes or until golden brown in a pre-heated 180° C oven. Get them out of the tray as soon as they come out of the oven. You can eat them warm. Otherwise let them cool down and dip them in dark chocolate for an extra bit of indulgence. Et voilà!

Tip: when your cake is completely cool, dust the top with cocoa powder 

Joyeux Noël!⠀

Corrine x