Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blueberry Bread Pudding

Three things I love about this dish:
- it is easy and delicious
- it can be made ahead of time
- it is versatile: perfect for Sunday breakfast, or a brunch party, or add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and it becomes a yummy summer dessert!

Serves 4-6 people
  • ½ cup (not packed) brown sugar = 50 g de cassonade
  • 2 tablespoons butter = 30 g de beurre
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup = 1 cuillère à soupe de sirop d'érable
  • 1 cup blueberries = 130 g de myrtilles
  • 4 thick slices sweet bread (I use Trader Joe's Texas Toast) = 4 tranches épaisses de pain brioché
  • ¾ cup milk = 175 ml de lait
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract = ½ cuillère à café d'extrait de vanille
  • pinch of salt = une pincée de sel
  • 2 large eggs = 2 oeufs

Combine sugar, butter and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently,  until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Pour sugar mixture into a 8 x 8–inch greased baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with blueberries.

Cut bread into 1-inch chunks. Arrange bread over blueberries.

Combine milk, vanilla, salt, and eggs in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until frothy. Pour over bread. Cover and chill in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.

Uncover pan and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F/ 180°C. Bake for 30 minutes.

Spoon into bowls and drizzle with blueberry syrup from the bottom of the pan. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Antipasto Pasta Salad

It's this time of year when we all look forward to BBQ, picnics and outdoor potlucks with friends! Bring this salad to your next get-together and watch people come back for seconds and thirds! Trust me, even those who supposedly hate anchovies and capers (which are “hidden” in the dressing) will enjoy the bright, tangy taste of this dish.

If possible, make and dress this pasta salad a day ahead: allowing it to marinate overnight creates the strongest and best flavor.
Makes 12-16 servings

For the salad:
  • 8 oz. dry tri-color rotini pasta = 225 g de rotini “3 couleurs” ou autres pâtes pour salade
  • 1 seeded and half-moon sliced cucumber ( about 2 cups) = 1 concombre, épépiné et coupé en demi-lunes
  • 6 oz. halved grape tomatoes (about 1 cup) = 170 g de tomates cerises, coupées en deux
  • 6 oz. halved ciliegine (fresh small mozzarella balls) (about 1 cup) = 170 gr de ciliegine (petites boules de mozarella fraiche), coupées en deux
  • 4 oz. Genoa salami, diced (about 1 cup) = 115 g de salami italien, coupé en morceaux
  • ½ to 1 red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup) = ½ à 1 oignon rouge, coupé en fines lamelles
  • 3 oz. pitted kalamata olives,chopped (about ¾ cup) = 85 g d'olives kalamata dénoyautées, coupées en quatre
  • 2 oz. pickled pepperoncini, rinsed and stemmed (about ½ cup) = 55 g de pepperoncini (petits piments italiens vert clair, conservés en bocal dans du vinaigre), rinsés et tiges coupées
  • 3 oz. roasted red peppers, sliced (about ½ cup) = 85 g de poivrons rouges rotis, coupés en lamelles
  • 3 oz. marinated artichoke hearts or crowns, quartered (about ½ cup) = 85 g de coeurs d'artichauts marinés, coupés en quatre.

For the vinaigrette:
  • 1 ½ tablespoons capers, drained = 1 ½ cuillère à soupe de câpres
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons anchovy paste = 1 à 2 cuillères à café de pâte d'anchois ou pissalat
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic = 2 cuillères à café d'ail émincé
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar = 60 ml de vinaigre de vin rouge
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano = 1 cuillère à café d'origan
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil = 6 cuillères à soupe d'huile d'olive
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste = poivre noir moulu

Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente (about 8 minutes). Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

In food processor, pulse capers, anchovy paste and garlic. Add vinegar and oregano and pulse to combine. With processor on, slowly drizzle olive oil through the chute. Blend until emulsified. Season with black pepper – I think the capers and anchovy paste provide enough natural saltiness, but feel free to season with additional sea salt if you wish.

Assemble the salad by mixing together cooked pasta, cucumbers, tomatoes, mozzarella, salami, onion, olives, pepperoncini, roasted peppers and artichoke hearts in a large serving bowl. Pour vinaigrette on top and toss to coat.

Refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours). Adjust seasonings (salt & pepper) and add a splash of red wine vinegar before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Slow-Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Garlic & Thyme

This is one of my favorite chicken recipes. And not just because there is almost no work involved. Plan ahead and start early as the chicken needs to roast for a little over 2 ½ hours. As the chicken cooks, it will fill your house with lovely summery aromas. The chicken pieces end up golden brown on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside. The garlic cloves and lemon chunks turn sweet and with the help of a little fresh thyme (or rosemary if you prefer), they infuse the chicken with the most incredible flavors.

This is truly a satisfying, easy and delicious chicken dish that practically cooks itself. Serve it with sautéed green beans or zuchini and eggplant. Per-fec-tion!

Makes 4-6 servings (based on a recipe by Nigella Lawson in Nigella Fresh/Forever Summer )
  • 1 organic chicken (approx. 3½ to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces = 1 poulet bio, coupé en 10 morceaux
  • 1 head garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves = 1 tête d'ail, séparée en gousses (non-pelées)
  • 2 organic lemons, cut into chunks = 2 citrons bio ou non-traités, coupés en quartiers
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme = quelques branches de thym frais
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil = 2 cuillères à soupe d'huile d'olive
  • ⅓ to ½ cup white wine = environ 100 ml de vin blanc
  • Sea salt & black pepper = sel et poivre

Preheat the oven to 300°F / 150°C.

Put chicken pieces (skin side up) into a roasting pan and add garlic cloves, lemon chunks and thyme. Brush olive oil all over the chicken and pour white wine on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil (or lid) and put in the oven to slow-cook for about 2 hours.

Uncover the roasting pan, and turn up the oven to 400°F / 200°c. Cook for another 30–45 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Madeleines are delicious little sponge cakes and a classic French treat, for kids snack or grown-ups teatime alike. I have tried several recipes with mixed results (too lemony, too bland, too dense, hump-less) and finally came up with my own. The addition of brown sugar and maple syrup give my madeleines a nice golden color, as well as a subtle, yet distinctive flavor.

To me, the trick to achieving the ultimate “bosse” (hump) every time is to chill the batter and the pan (the thermal shock helps the batter rise quickly) and allow the batter to spread while baking (vs. filling and spreading the uncooked batter in the molds). Also, most recipes recommend to preheat oven to 425°F or even 450°F. At that temperature, my madeleines always ended up with a burnt bottom so 400°F is what works for me but you may have to experiment.

The madeleine pan, critical to get the traditional shell-like shape, can now be found in most stores. You don't need to buy several pans, just work in batches but make sure you cool, clean, butter, flour and chill pan between each batch.

Makes 24 madeleines
  • 3 eggs = 3 oeufs
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar = 75 g de sucre
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (packed) = 50 g de vergeoise ou cassonade
  • Pinch of salt = une pincée de sel
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup = 1 cuillère à soupe de sirop d'érable
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour = 120 g de farine
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder = 1 cuillère à café de levure chimique
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened + extra for greasing pan = 140 g de beurre, ramolli + extra pour graisser les moules

In bowl of standing mixer, beat together eggs and sugars for about 5 minutes. Add maple syrup and beat for one more minute. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and gently fold it into the previous mixture. Add butter and mix until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill batter in fridge for at least 2 hours.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F / 200°C. Brush madeleine molds with butter. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Place in the freezer for a few minutes. Drop 1 scant tablespoon batter into each mold.

Bake madeleines until golden about 9-10 minutes. Immediately remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mango & Black Bean Quinoa Salad

This salad is fresh and uncomplicated, yet filling. The quinoa and black beans provide plenty of protein and fiber while the mango adds a touch of sweetness and color.

I really love the convenience of canned beans. I always have them in my pantry (garbanzo, cannellini, kidney...) to quickly incorporate in salads or make dips and spreads. I usually get the organic, no-salt-added kind in BPA-free cans. But of course, you can buy dry beans and cook them yourself: for this salad, you'll need 10 oz. (285 g) cooked black beans, let them cool completely before combining with the other ingredients.

Quinoa has become a popular grain in recent years -- well, actually it is a seed. If you can cook rice, you can cook quinoa. Do give it a try!

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa = 150 g de quinoa cuit
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped = 1 mangue, épluchée et coupée en morceaux
  • 3 or 4 green onions, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup) = 3 ou 4 oignons verts, coupés en fines tranches
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed = 1 boite de 425 g de haricots noirs, égouttés et rinsés
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh cilantro = 1 cuillère à soupe de coriandre fraiche, finement ciselée
  • Juice from 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons) = jus d'1 citron vert
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil = 2 cuillères à soupe d'huile d'olive
  • ½ teaspoon salt = ½ cuillère à café de sel
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper = ¼ cuillère à café de poivre

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently to mix. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Grilled Chicken in Lime-Cilantro Marinade

Yes. Another marinade... I told you I was a fan! This exotic one goes well with any poultry or fish. Marinate, then grill with whatever method is convenient to you: grilling pan on the stove, indoor or outdoor grill. For a light lunch or dinner, slice and serve on top of mixed greens. If you are craving carbs, it's a great companion to my Southwestern rice casserole.

Makes 4 servings
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts = 4 blancs de poulet
  • A bunch of fresh cilantro = une botte de coriandre fraiche (feuilles)
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves = 2 gousses d'ail, écrasées
  • ½ cup olive oil = 120 ml d'huile d'olive
  • Juice from 2 limes = jus de 2 citrons verts
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin = 2 cuillères à café de cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder = 1 cuillère à café de ancho chile (en poudre)
  • salt and black pepper = sel et poivre

Place chicken breasts in a large ziplock bag. Combine marinade ingredients together in a food processor or blender and pour over chicken. Marinate in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours.

Remove chicken from bag, season with additional salt and pepper, and grill about seven minutes per side. Enjoy!