Vanilla Creme Brulee

Absolutely amazing what a little cream, a little sugar and couple of eggs can turn into….  Perfect restaurant quality dessert. A rich custard topped with a hard layer of caramel.  This Vanilla creme brulee is very easy to make if you follow all the steps correctly.

It will perfectly complete your  cafe gourmand if the crème brûlée is served in small ramekins.

Look at this short video ! 🙂

Vanilla Crème brûlée

Natalija
Use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, if you don’t have vanilla bean. You could add 2 Tbsp. of rum into the cream if desired. If you don’t own a blow torch, you can always use your broiler as well. You will need to move the top rack in your oven up as high as it will go.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 6 hrs 11 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 120 g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 640 ml whipping cream
  • 6 tsp granulated sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the cream. In a medium bowl, combine together sugar, eggs yolks, vanilla and whisk.
  • Add the cream a little at a time and stir. Remove the scum with a tea spoon.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and pour it into the ramekins. Divide cream mixture among ramekins (about 6 ramekins).
  • Arrange the ramekins in a baking pan with deep sides. And carefully pour water around ramekins so that the water level must reach about 2/3 of the ramekins.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. You will know its ready when the custard is wobbly and jiggle from side to side when nudged (it looks like jello).
  • Remove the custard from the water bath and let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours (overnight).
  • Before serving, cover each cold creme brulee evenly with sugar (1 tsp). Caramelize using a propane torch. If you don’t have one propane torch, use the broiler: put the oven rack about 6 inches away from the broiler. Place the custards on the baking sheet and broil for about 3-5 minutes, or until sugar bubbles and turns golden brown. (Keep a close eye on them, they can burn quickly)

Notes

With remaining eggs white, you could make some Coconut cookies.

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Tuna Quiche

This French open-faced pie with canned tuna, egg & cream filling seems completely simple, but it is so delicious. Don’t forget to add mustard to this Tuna Quiche, it will give a charm to it.

Tuna Quiche

Natalija
I usually serve it with green salad. Aragula works the best.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 sheet all butter puff pastry
  • 200 g tuna in water (drained)
  • 1-2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 ml sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tomato
  • 30 g cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lay the puff pastry out on a baking sheet. Prick all over with a fork.
  • Pop in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the crust starts to turn light gold. Remove the pastry from the oven, pressing the center down with a fork, if it puffed up a bit.
  • Meanwhile mix tuna and mayonnaise with fork. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Spread the mustard across centre. (I use mustard “a l’ancienne).
  • Spoon the tuna mix on top.
  • Combine eggs with sour cream and mix together. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour over tuna.
  • Slice tomato and arrange them on top of your quiche. Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until quiche is golden brown.
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Salmon Теrrine

Make a Salmon Terrine with fresh and smoked salmon, eggs, sour cream, and parsley. This elegant french recipe is a refined and delicious appetizer and it is perfect for cold buffets. Serve the terrine with mayonnaise, vegetables, or a green salad.

Salmon Terrine

Natalija
This Salmon Terrine is served cold and gets even better the next day. Very convenient to prepare in advance.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g salmon fillet with no skin or bones
  • 5 eggs
  • 250 г sour cream
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 250 g smoked salmon cut into small pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 390° F (180°C). Grease a loaf pan using cooking oil.
  • Cut the fresh salmon into pieces and mix with a food processor.
  • Add the eggs and mix well.
  • Add the sour cream and parsley.
  • Add the smoked salmon, salt and pepper. Mix with a spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.
  • Allow the salmon terrine to cool before removing it from the pan. Serve the dish chilled.
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Boursin™ Stuffed Mushrooms

Tasty and very easy recipe with only 2 main ingredients that you can find in every store: mushrooms and Boursin.

Boursin Stuffed Mushrooms

Natalija
The Boursin™ Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese is aleredy salty enough so don’t add more salt. On the other end, if you like spicy food, season with pepper.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 30 small mushrooms (Cremini or Button Mushrooms)
  • 1 block Boursin™ Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Some fresh herbs (cilantro, green onion, parsley) finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Wash and dry mushrooms. Remove stems. (You can use them for another recipe),
  • Place mushroom caps on a baking sheet. Season with pepper. Fill each mushroom’s hole with 1-2 tsps of Boursin™.
  • Bake about 25 minutes until mushrooms are golden and cooked through.
  • Sprinkle the baked mushrooms with fresh herbs and they’re ready to be served!
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Tomato Tart

Who said that tarts are only for dessert? Fill a square of puff pastry with colorful mosaic of tomatoes, cheese, Dijon mustard, herbs de Provence. Then surprise your friends or family with this savory piece of artwork.

Tomato Tart

Natalija
This mediterranean tart is a must make. You can make it with tomatoes of the same or different size, of different colors and different varieties. The most important thing is that they are ripe and flavorful. Perfect dish for small crowds.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 8 persons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 sheet all butter puff pastry
  • 1-2 Tblsp Dijion mustard
  • 5-6 tomatoes
  • 30 g shreaded cheese (parmesan)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • herbs de provence (optional)
  • couple basil leaf (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Cut tomatoes into thin (0.5 cm) slices. Put them in a single layer on paper towel. Pat dry with paper towel.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. On the floured piece of parchment paper roll out the puff pastry and poke all over with a fork, to release the steam while baking.
  • Evenly spread with dijon mustard.
  • Arrange the tomatoes on top. Fold the edges of dough.
  • Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with cheese and herbs.
  • Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for about 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked through and the cheese is softening and colouring at the edges.
  • Cut the tart into quarters, garnish with fresh basil and serve.
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Vegetable Tian

This is not a ratatouille, it is a “tian!” I often have to correct my guests when they ask me if this is a ratatouille. 😉

Tian is a french recipe of baked vegetables made with alternating rows of sliced eggplant, tomato, onion and zucchini. A tian itself is an earthenware dish that goes from the oven to table. Everything baked in this dish is called tian.

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Vegetable Tian

To make the tian look more appealing, use vegetables with similar widths.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Natalija

Ingredients

  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 7 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1-2 zucchini
  • 1-2 summer squash
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp herbs de provence

Instructions

  • Peel and cut the onion into half moons. Peel and cut the garlic into 2-4 pieces.
  • In a medium skillet heat 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil until hot, add onion and sauté until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 400℉. Spread the cooked onion on the bottom of a baking dish.
  • Cut zucchini and summer squash into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Core and cut tomatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  • Arrange the zucchini, eggplant, squash and tomatoes in alternating rows. Continue until the baking dish is filled.
  • Sprinkle the vegetables with salt, pepper, Herbs de Provence and drizzle with the remaining olive oil.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and golden. If the vegetables are not ready, but the top is starting to burn, cover the tian with aluminum foil.

Puff Pastry-Wrapped Shrimps

The reason I love making Puff Pastry-Wrapped Shrimp so much is the simple ingredients. And because I almost always have frozen shrimp and puff pastry left in my freezer!

Puff Pastry-Wrapped Shrimps

Natalija
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 20 medium peeled shrimps
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 sheet all butter puff pastry
  • 1 egg

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 380 degrees F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Season shrimp with salt, pepper and seasoning.
  • Roll out the pastry dough and cut into 1 cm wide strips.
  • Starting at the top, wind one pastry strip around one shrimp, slightly overlapping the pastry and ending just before the tail. Repeat with each shrimp.
  • Place shrimp onto the baking sheet. Beat the egg in a small bowl with a fork, to make egg wash. Brush the shrimp pastry with egg wash.
  • Bake for about 12 min, or until golden brown. Do not overcook.
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Puff Pastry Swirls With Smoked Salmon

What could be better with puff pastry than sour cream and smoked salmon? Kids and adults will really appreciate these savory small appetizers. The best part is, they are very simple to make. All it takes is spreading the filling onto the puff pastry, rolling it up, cutting it into rolls and bake.

Puff Pastry Swirls With Smoked Salmon

Natalija
You can cut the puff pastry sheet in half and make two rolls, but this is only if you want to make them super tiny.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Servings 15 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 1 sheet all butter puff pastry
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • A bit of dill fresh or dried
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 200 g smoked salmon slices

Instructions
 

  • Roll the puff pastry out with rolling pin into 1/2 inch thick square. Spread the sour cream on the top. Leave about 1cm around the edges. Sprinkle with tiny chopped dill.
  • Arrange the smoked salmon evenly on top of the puff pastry sheet.
  • Starting at one end, roll the pastry up as tightly as possible.
  • Tightly cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. It will be much easier to cut cold roll.
  • Preheat the oven to 380 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With a very sharp knife, cut the roll into 1 cm slices.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and transfer them to the baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 15 -20 minutes until the “snails” are puffed and golden.
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Hachis Parmentier

Hachis Parmentier is a delicious French casserole made with layers of mashed potatoes and ground beef.

The dish is named after Antoine Parmentier (1737-1813). He was a French pharmacist who made potatoes popular in Paris and northern France.

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Hachis Parmentier

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Natalija

Ingredients

  • 1 kg large potatoes
  • 100 g butter (50+30+20)
  • 50 ml milk (heated)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 500 g ground beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 30 g grated cheese
  • Some seasonings or minced parsley (optional)

Instructions

  • Peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes. Boil in salted water until easily pricked with fork, about 20 minutes. Then drain water.
  • Add 50 g of butter and mash. Add warmed milk and mash together to smooth consistency. Taste the puree, add more salt if needed.
  • Peel and chop the onion and garlic.
  • Melt 30 g of butter in a large pan and saute onion and garlic until soft.
  • Add ground beef and cook until browned. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Take the pan off the fire and let cool down a little. Add a row egg.
  • Process to finer texture by using a food processor, if desired.
  • Preheat oven to 380F/190C. Grease baking dish.
  • Add 1/2 of mashed potatoes in thin layer to the prepared dish. Then layer beef preparation on top of potatoes. You can also add your favorite seasonings at this point or some chopped parsley. (This time, I added paprika).
  • Top with remaining potatoes. You can make some shapes on the top using the fork. Add remaining butter and dot on the potatoes. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes until the top is golden.

Easy Walnut Cake

There are quite a few nut cake recipes; but this one, which my mother-in-law is preparing is a little different. With that easy walnut cake, you can really taste the taste of nuts thanks to the small pieces that crunch under your teeth!

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Easy Walnut Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Christophe

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 220 g sugar
  • 100 ml milk
  • 90 ml olive oil
  • 200 g sifted flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 300 g walnuts
  • 40 g butter
  • Some confectioner's sugar
  • Few walnuts halves

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 380 degrees F. Grease and flour a round cake pan or line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  • Using a mixer, beat eggs with sugar.
  • Add milk, olive oil, flour, and baking powder. Mix well.
  • Place the walnuts in the zip-lock and cruch them using a pastry pin.
  • Pour the batter in the cake pan (mould). Lay walnuts halves on top of the cake.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. The cake should be well raised with a thin crust but not fully baked. Place the pieces of butter on top of the cake.
  • Continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven, allow to cool before removing it from the mold.
  • Dust it with powdered sugar before serving.
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