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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Whole Roast Duck With Apple and Cranberry Stuffing

Impress your holiday guests this year with crisp, delicious and full of juices roasted duck. This recipe is very simple and easy to make. The best way to serve it is with mashed potatoes.

Whole Roast Duck With Apples And Cranberry Stuffing

Natalija
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 35 mins
Resting time 10 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (2 kg, or more) duck
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 g butter (or 2 Tbsp olive oil)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 apples Granny Smith
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Wash and pat dry duck with paper towels. Season inside and outside with salt and pepper.
  • Peel and finely chop the onion.
  • Cut celery into thin slices.
  • Peel, core and cut apples into small cubes.
  • Heat olive oil or butter in a frying pan. Add onion and celery and sauté for 3-4 minutes until golden. Season with some salt and pepper.
  • Add apples and cranberries. Remove from the heat.
  • Add bread crumbs and mix well.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Stuff duck with prepared stuffing. Secure skin underneath with skewer or toothpicks.
  • Rub the skin with olive oil and place it into the roasting pan with the breast side down. Roast for one hour.
  • Baste all over every 15-20 minutes with juices from the bottom of the pan.
  • Flip the duck over and continue to roast for another 20-30 minutes. Cover wings and legs with foil if it gets too brown.
  • The duck is done if the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted in the thickest part of the leg. Remove from the oven and cover the duck with aluminum foil for at least 10 minutes.
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Pumpkin Soup

French recipe for a silky and smooth Pumpkin Soup with two main ingredients. Healthy, colorful, and easy to make. If you have a blender, you have to try this recipe as soon as pumpkins are in season.
To impress your guests, serve this soup in individual pumpkins.

Pumpkin Soup

Natalija
This soup is delicious and silky even without any cream. I add very little, just to make it look beautiful.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 leeks (white part only)
  • 1 medium pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin (about 1.5 kg)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Some heavy whipping cream or sour cream (optional)
  • Some fresh herbs (cilantro, green onion, parsley) to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Wash and chop the leeks.
  • Wash the pumpkin and cut it in half horizontally. Scrape the inside of the pumpkin clean with the spoon or ice cream scoop (you can use the seeds for another recipe).
  • Peel and cut into regular cubes.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook and stir leeks until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add pumpkin cubes and cook for 5-7 more minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Transfer the veggies into a large pot. Add just enough water to cover them, and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Simmer about 15 minutes until the pumpkin is cooked.
  • Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Add a little more boiling water if the soup is too thick. Taste for flavor, and feel free to add more salt or pepper.
  • Serve hot, with sour or heavy whipping cream and fresh herbs.

For a special presentation:

  • Cut off the top of a small pumpkin and scrape the inside.
  • Before adding the soup, heat the pumpkin for few minutes in the oven, then add the hot soup and serve immediately.
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Cheese and Garlic Stuffed Tomatoes

You can serve this Cheese and garlic stuffed tomatoes as a starter or as a salad.

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Cheese and Garlic Stuffed Tomatoes

Course Appetizers
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Natalija

Ingredients

  • 18 large cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup grated cheese american, cheddar, etc.
  • fresh herbs chives, parsley, basil leaves
  • 2-3 Tbs mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cut off the top of cherry tomatoes. Keep the tops for presentation.
  • Using a small spoon, scoop out the insides of the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes upside-down on a paper towel.
  • Remove juice and seeds from the pulp. Mince the pulp.
  • Press garlic using a garlic press. Mix the cheese and garlic together.
  • Add mayonnaise, finely chopped herbs and tomato pulp. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
  • Using a spoon, add cheese filling to the tomatoes and place the tops back on top of your cherry tomatoes.
  • Refrigerate tomatoes before serving.

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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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.

Buckwheat Crepes

The “Galettes de Sarrasin” – traditional french buckwheat crepes that can be served with savory filling: ham & cheese (Galette Jambon Fromage), veggies, eggs, mushrooms, salmon…  The filling option is endless. My Breton husband loves them so much, he eats them plain with butter or with jam.

This recipe is gluten free!

Buckwheat Crepes

Natalija
One of the most common tips you’re likely to encounter for this buckwheat pancakes is to let the batter rest for at least 2 hours. If overnight, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Servings 12 crepes

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g buckwheat flour sifted
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 350 ml milk
  • 350 ml water
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 g melted butter
  • butter for cooking

Instructions
 

  • Combine buckwheat flour with salt, milk and water together.
  • Add eggs.
  • Add melted butter and whisk until smooth.
  • Cover with plastic and and let rest for 2 hours.
  • Heat a lightly buttered nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1/4 cupful batter to skillet and immediately tilt to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook until edges start to dry and center is set, for about 30 seconds, lift with spatula and cook the other side for couple more seconds, move them to the cutting board.
  • Always keep your eyes on the pan.
  • Brush each crepe with butter and serve while they are still hot.
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