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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

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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

Asparagus Tart with creme fraiche and comte

Asparagus tart with creme fraiche and comte

It may have been rather chilly lately but that does not mean one can't dream about those gorgeous alfresco evenings that the summer brings. And I may have the perfect recipe for you. My "asparagus tart with creme fraiche and comte", it's also one I like to serve for lunch at the Academie, at this time of year. Asparagus are in season, and this recipe is perfect for them.

Ingredients:

One block of puff pastry 

Two bunches of asparagus 

3 TBSP of creme fraiche

100 g of comte cheese (you can also use cheddar)

Black pepper to season

 

 

Method:

Start by cutting the end of your asparagus stems as they tend to be hard.

In a pan pour a litre of water with a tbsp of salt and bring to the boil and then throw your asparagus. Leave them to cook for 3 minutes, then drain them and let them cool.

Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 180° C and start preparing your puff pastry. I keep the pastry on the parchment paper it comes with. Then, with a knife I draw a rectangle close to the edges of my pastry, to create a border. Spread 3 tbsp of creme fraiche and add your asparagus, season with a bit of black pepper and add the cheese on top. (At this point, you could easily add pieces of prociutto or parma ham).

Et voilà, baked in a hot oven for a good 30 minutes. Serve with a gorgeous salad.

Bon appétit!⠀

Corinne x

You may also like to try this other gorgeous summer recipe using puff pastry, click here

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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

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recipe

Tarte provençale with tapenade, goat cheese, roasted tomatoes and peppers

Tarte provençale with tapenade, goat cheese, roasted tomatoes and peppers

Although we've had a rather chilli month of April, there are signs of better, warmer days ahead of us. As we get excited about those long summer evenings, that we can finally spend with family and friends, I may just have the perfect recipe for you to savour with a glass of wine or two. So here you have it, my "Tarte provençale with tapenade, goat cheese, roasted tomatoes and peppers".

Ingredients:

400 g roasted cherry tomatoes

1 red pepper

280 g of tapenade

One roll of puff pastry (try to purchase puff pastry entirely made with butter and not palm oil).

100 g goat cheese

Method:

You will need to have roasted your pepper and tomatoes first, and let them cool down before you start. I roast my tomatoes separately from the pepper with a drizzle of olive oil (it usually takes 30 minutes), in a hot oven at 180 ° C fan.

Once that’s done, put a baking tray in a pre-heated 180 ° C oven. This process will prevent the “soggy bottom” scenario.

Then start assembling your tart.

Roll out your pastry. Tip: I leave my pastry on the baking parchment it comes with. Then, I spread the tapenade evenly on top (Tapenade is very easy to make yourself you can find the recipe here), add your tomatoes and pepper (I sliced it into strips) and finish by adding bits of goat cheese on top. It is as simple as that. Then I take out my tray that has nicely been warming up in the oven and lift my tart onto the tray. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Et voilà

P.S. If you are making your own tapenade, use good black olives, like kalamata. You can find these in the supermarket but also very good delis such as Burwash for example.

Bon appétit!⠀

Corrine x

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recipe

Roast chicken with orzo, chorizo and haricot verts

Roast chicken with orzo, chorizo and haricot verts

If you're looking for something simple and delicious to cook for either an evening meal "en famille" or even a little cosy dinner party with friends, when lockdown is over of course, then this Roast chicken with orzo, chorizo and haricots verts is most certainly a winner.

Ingredients:

For a family of four:

4 chicken legs

one onion roughly chopped

one punnet of cherry tomatoes

Fresh thyme

225 g of Spanish chorizo sliced

One glass of white wine

300 g of haricots verts (can be fresh or frozen)

400 g of Orzo

Pre-heat your oven at 180° C

Method:

Cook your orzo, using the same method for cooking pasta. Bring a pan of water to the boil and then add your orzo, let it cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Once cooked drain the water.

In an oven tray start by adding the thyme, onion, tomatoes, haricots verts and  chorizo, season your chicken with salt and pepper and place it on top. Then add one glass of white wine and one glass of water and place in the oven. Let it cook until the chicken starts getting brown but not completely brown. That should take 40 to 45 minutes depending on your oven. At that point, take your tray out of the oven, there should still be quite a bit of sauce , but that is fine. Take the chicken out of the tray, then add your orzo and mix in the sauce, put the chicken back on top and back in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, until your chicken is totally brown. Serve hot…

P.S if you don’t have orzo, you can use paella rice for this

Try to go for a very good quality chicken I get mine from either Burwash or Longhorn Farmshop

Bon appétit!⠀

Corrine x

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recipe

A mother’s day treat, vols au vent filled with a salmon mousse

A mother's day treat, vols au vent filled with a salmon mousse

March, my birthday month and also the one for Mother's day. So a big month of celebrations in my household. And that can only mean one thing "food glorious food!" The down side is that unfortunately, we will still be in lockdown and unable to get a trip to the pub or the restaurant. But, to be honest, a celebration, be it at home or elsewhere is still a celebration. So I have the perfect, little recipe for you to try. It's posh but so easy to do and definitely moreish. So here you have it "A mother's day treat, vols au vent filled with a salmon mousse"

A mother's day treat, vols au vent filled with a salmon mousse

Ingredients:

A roll of puff pastry

200 g of smoked salmon

Juice and zest of one lime

50 ml of double cream

One egg

Preparation:

Line a tray with baking paper. Pre-heat your oven at 180° C

Start by preparing your egg wash. Add 2 pinch of salt to your egg and mix. Leave to the side while you prepare your mousse.  This method will prevent your egg wash from being lumpy.

To make the vols au vent, you will need two round cookie cutters, one bigger than the other. Start by cutting with the big one, then using the small cutter cut into the middle of the one you’ve cut before as per picture below. Make sure not to go too dip the second time. Make as many as you can with your pastry. Brush them with your egg wash and pop them in the oven for 10 minutes, until golden brown on top. Once cooked, pop them onto a cooling rack.

 Now pop all your salmon into a food processor and mix until totally smooth in texture, then add your cream. Now, this is where you have to be super careful, mix again, but only for 2 seconds, it’s more a quick whisk than anything else. If you mix too much you won’t have a smooth mousse but a split like butter texture and you don’t want that. Poor into a bowl, add your lime juice and zest and mix.

Cut the top of your vols au vent and spoon your lovely salmon mousse into them, I tend to use a pipping bag at that stage, but if you don’t have one, spooning your mousse is fine. Et voilà.

I like to enjoy these with a glass of bubbly

If you’re looking for a Mother’s day treat, head over to Gourmandises

Or you might also be interested in my pâtisserie box or a cookery voucher, these are valid for a year.

Bon appétit!⠀

Corrine x