Monday, May 19, 2014

Blueberry Muffins

This basic recipe yields super moist, airy muffins and works with other fruit as well. Actually, I just made another batch today, this time with rhubarb and strawberries. Oh my, that combo was delicious, but there's something about blueberry muffins I just love, love, love. Depending on my mood, I either use lemon zest to brighten the flavors, or vanilla extract for a little more sweetness. Your choice!

Makes 12 muffins
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached flour = 175 g de farine
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder = 2 cuillères à café de levure chimique
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda = ¼ cuillère à café de bicarbonate de sodium
  • Pinch of salt = une pincée de sel
  • 1 egg, beaten = 1 oeuf, battu
  • 5 fl. oz. Milk = 150 ml de lait
  • ½ cup butter, melted = 110 g de beurre, fondu
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR zest from 1 lemon = 1 cuillère à café de vanille OU le zeste d'un citron
  • ½ to ¾ cup sugar = 100 à 150 g de sucre
  • 1 ½ cups blueberries (fresh or frozen) = 180 g de myrtilles

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.

Combine the egg, milk, butter and vanilla extract or lemon zest in another bowl. Add to the dry mixture. Mix until just combined, don't over stir. Gently fold in sugar and blueberries.

Divide evenly between a 12-muffin tin and bake for 18 to 22 minutes. Enjoy!

Note: if you like a little bit of a crunchy top, sprinkle some brown sugar before baking.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Savory Bread Pudding

Lots of things going on in at the beginning of May: Cooking Club, Teacher Appreciation Week and Mother's day... This savory bread pudding is a great addition to any brunch you might be invited to. It is super easy to make, and convenient too, as you put everything together the night before, then let it rest in the fridge overnight for the bread to absorb all the custard and bake in the morning. It is also very versatile: I have made it with kale and butternut squash in the fall and zucchini and roasted grape tomatoes in the summer. I like to keep it vegetarian but you could definitely add bacon or sausage. I recommend using good, rustic, whole-grain French bread and any combination cheeses you like – I am a big fan of Trader Joe's Quattro Formaggio, a blend of asiago, fontina, parmesan and provolone.

Serves 8-10
  • 2 tablespoons butter = 30 g de beurre
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped = 1 oignon, coupé en morceaux
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped = 1 poivron rouge, coupé en morceaux
  • 6 oz. baby spinach = 170 g de jeunes pousses d'épinards
  • Salt & pepper = sel et poivre
  • Pinch nutmeg = une pincée de noix de muscade
  • 8 cups cubed (1 inch) French bread (½ lb) = 225 g de pain (baguette, batard), coupé en cubes de 2 cm
  • 2 cups grated cheese = 170 g de fromage râpé
  • 2 ¾ cups milk = 650 ml de lait
  • 6 eggs = 6 oeufs
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard = 2 cuillères à soupe de moutarde forte
Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat, add onion and bell pepper and cook stirring, until soft (about 5 minutes). Season with about ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in handfuls of spinach, and cook until it all wilts. Remove from heat.
Mix bread cubes, cheese and spinach mixture in a very large bowl. Transfer to to a buttered gratin dish.
Whisk together milk, eggs, mustard, and another ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and pour evenly over the bread mixture. Chill, covered with plastic wrap, overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Let bread pudding stand at room temperature 30-45 minutes.
Bake, uncovered, until puffed and golden brown, about 50 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!