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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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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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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 

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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

Mum’s chicken chasseur

Mum's chicken chasseur

Although I come from a very tropical part of the world, I have come to enjoy autumn and its slow motion, the beautiful colours and of course, comforting and hearty food. One dish that smells autumn to me is my Mum's chicken chasseur. She always used to make it at this time of year, I can even remember the smell of the white wine as soon as I stepped through the door after school. But coming from Reunion Island and living in the South of France, her chicken chasseur is not quite the one you would normally see in a traditional French household. So yes, she actually added a little bit of turmeric to her chasseur's sauce, not even a 1/4 of a tsp, she also added some green olives. Although it sounds weird and almost like "this is not gonna work kind of sentiment", trust me it just does. The turmeric adds earthiness to the dish and the sharpness of the olives just works well against the smoky lardons. Just give it a go, it's delicious.

Ingredients:

4 chicken legs

One onion (chopped)

2 cloves of garlic (crushed and chopped)

Thyme

Bay leaves (2 leaves is enough)

Parsley (chopped)

80 g of green pitted olives

150 g Lardons

A bottle of dry white wine

300 g closed cup mushrooms (sliced)

Turmeric

You will need a heavy based pan with a lid for this dish

Method:

Start by browning your chicken legs in two TBSP of vegetable oil. Once brown, take the chicken out of the pan and add your lardons and your mushrooms and stir them around constantly in your pan until all the water has gone. Then add your chopped onion and stir again until they’re soft, add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves and stir for a minute. Then put your chicken back in the pan, season with salt and pepper, but not too much salt as you already have some from your lardons. At that point add your olives and a bit of turmeric (less than a 1/4 of tsp) and stir, pour your wine. Bring it to the boil, then turn the heat right down, lid on and let your chicken cook for an hour. The sauce should have reduced and be velvety by then, if it’s still runny, live it to cook a little longer. Before serving add the fresh parsley on top. Et voilà!

Chef’s tip: this meal is actually best enjoyed the next day.

 Good quality farm shops to get your chicken from: Longhorn or Leech and Sons

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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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