Eggplant Parmesan is the first recipe share from one of our fellow home cook contributors and French Culinary Institute graduate, Carole Lawrence. While on a recent trip to Italy, Carole spent much of her time sourcing the local farmers markets and cooking up a storm – experimenting with new dishes and replicating some of her favorites, like this classic Italian homestyle recipe which you can find on her page here @ Cooking with Carole.
We are looking forward to sharing more of Carole’s culinary delights in upcoming posts from Le Menu Maison so stay tuned. Merci Beaucoup Carole!
Eggplant or aubergine is an edible fruit which can be used as a substitute for meat in vegetarian dishes. Although low in nutrients, eggplant absorbs cooking fats and sauces, further enhancing the flavors of eggplant dishes. So spark your culinary imagination with eggplant which can be steamed, stir-fried, pan fried, deep fried, barbecued, roasted, stewed, curried, pickled or stuffed.
Whether you’re mixing up a French Sorbet, Italian Sorbetto or an American Sherbet this summer, these variations of frozen, low-cal desserts blend perfectly with fresh mangoes straight from the tree. Packed full of vitamin C and folate, this juicy tropical stone fruit can also be savored in drinks, sauces and chutney or eaten in a raw state, anytime.
1 generous sized ripened mango
•• To prepare the mango using a hedgehog cut, you must first remove the stone.•• Wide and flat, the stone rests on one of the two sides. •• In determining which side the stone is resting on, gently insert your knife until you can feel resistance from the center, then angle the knife slightly and cut into the mango and around the stone, dividing the mango in half.•• Remove the stone which is surprisingly large and well defined.•• Using the pointed tip of the knife, cut square cubes into the flesh of the mango, creating a hedgehog cut. •• Using a tablespoon, remove the small cubes from the skin and place into a medium sized mixing bowl. •• Blend the mango cubes using a hand-held blender until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. •• Place the mango sorbet in a container or dessert dishes of your choice and allow to freeze until hard, overnight.••
Whether it’s breakfast, brunch, a luncheon for two or a light dinner for one, omelettes are a perfect centerpiece for other healthy and delicious accompaniments of your choice, anytime!
6 organic free range eggs
5 branches fresh parsley
2 tbsps butter
1/4 cup of half & half or whole milk
salt and pepper to taste
•• Prepare the fresh parsley by throughly washing and removing the leaves from the stems. •• Finely chop the leaves and set aside. •• In a mixing bowl combine 1/4 cup of half & half or whole milk along with salt and pepper to taste. •• Preheat a non stick frying pan over a low heat and set your serving plate next to the stove top. •• In the same mixing bowl, crack each egg and then add the parsley. •• Blend the ingredients using a fork, taking care not to aggressively over-mix. •• With the frying pan sufficiently heated, increase the temperature to medium/high and add 2 tbsps of butter. •• Allow the butter to melt evenly and maintained without any burning. •• Immediately pour in the egg mixture even if the butter is not completely melted. •• The eggs should then sit for a few seconds, but no longer. •• Using a spatula, slowly and consistently push the eggs from one side of the pan to the opposite side of the pan, creating wrinkles, of sorts. •• This is where a mild panic may set in…but don’t surrender! Continue on by pushing side to side until the eggs are no longer liquid, but still appear a little wet. •• Turn off the heat and tilt your frying pan in an angle when lifting it off the stove. •• This positioning allows for the omelette to roll and fold directly onto the serving plate. •• The technique of rolling and folding is why this dish is called “omelette roulée” which translates as “rolled omelette”. ••
The origin ofVichyssoise is a subject of debate among the culinary elite, including beloved American chef, writer and television personality, Julia Child and Louis Diat, a world renowned French chef and culinary writer who cooked for nobility, prime ministers and ambassadors. But in keeping with our love of folklore and all things traditionally French, we’re going to go with the tale of King Louis XV of France.As the story goes, Louis was afraid of being poisoned and in response had so many servants taste-test the potato leek soup that by the time the soup finally reached him, it had turned cold. However surprisingly, the king rather enjoyed and ultimately preferred the coolness of Vichyssoise over the intended warmth in serving. This basic soup recipe not only invites varying serving temperatures, but also varying versions of ingredients that can include other vegetables or a dash or two of crème frâiche!
1 1/2 quarts water
1 tsp salt
4 medium gold potatoes
3 tsp butter
1 medium sized leek
1/2 medium sweet onion
1 tbsp butter
1 garlic clove with skin
1/2 glass white wine (optional)
5 sprigs fresh chive
3 branches fresh parsley
•• Using a large sauce pan with a cover and over a medium high heat, bring 1 1/2 quarts of water and 1 tsp of salt to a brisk boil. •• Reduce the heat to low to maintain a hot water temperature. •• Peel and dice 4 potatoes into very small-size cubes. •• Rinse and set aside in a bowl of cold water to prevent the potatoes from turning dark. •• Throughly cleanse the leek and remove all residual sand and dirt from between the leaves.•• Finely cut the leek into pieces of approximately 1/8”, including a desired portion of the green leaves as well. •• In a large bowl, rinse the leeks one more time and strain. •• Using a large sauté pan, melt 3 tsp butter over a medium low heat. •• Add the leeks and allow to sweat for approximately 5-6 minutes or until all of the liquid has evaporated. •• The leeks should appear softand sweet to the taste, indicating readiness. •• Set the leeks aside in a separate bowl. ••
•• Peel and dice a half sweet onion into small cubes. •• Using the same sauté pan, combine the onions with 1 tbsp of butter and a crunched garlic clove with the skin intact. For approximately 7 minutes, allow the onions to sweat until soft and golden. •• Remove the skin of the garlic which will have naturally separated and discard. •• Add the potatoes and mouillérwith a few tbsps of cold water or a 1/2 glass of white wine. •• Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the potatoes become soft. •• Add the leeks and cover with 1 1/2 quarts of the reserved hot water. •• Create a broth by cooking over a very low heat for another 10 minutes. •• Strain the broth into a large mixing bowl or use a ladle to separate the vegetables from the broth and place aside. •• Using a hand-held mixer, blend the potato and leek mixture into a creamy and smooth purée. •• Evenly mix the purée into the bowl of broth to create Vichyssoise, then transfer into the sauté pan and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. •• Optional is the addition of a little more butter or crème fraîche for added creaminess. •• Either at room temperature or refrigerated, chill the soup to the desired temperature. •• Pour the Vichyssoise into a serving bowl and garnish with finely cut fresh chive. •• Serve with a homemade crusty French bread and butter! ••
With summertime settling in, I had a sudden craving for potato salad. Without having all the ingredients on-hand for a homemade mayonnaise, I made do with what was available and by chance, the salad turned out to be really delicious…even without the mayonnaise!
3 medium sized red potatoes
3 hard boiled eggs
1 tsp tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
5 branches of fresh cilantro
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 fresh lemon
salt and pepper to taste
•• Clean and peel the potatoes, then cut into bitesize cubes of approximately 2”. •• Place the potatoes in a medium sauce pan and cover with water, approximately 2/3 high. •• Add salt to taste. •• Over a high heat, bring the potatoes up to to a hard boil, then reduce the heat to medium low for 10 minutes or until readiness. •• The potatoes should be cooked through but firm, to avoid mash potatoes, if overcooked. •• Strain the water from the potatoes and allow to cool. •• Using a small pan, add 1 tsp of olive oil and sauté the garlic clove with the skin intact. •• Once golden, set aside and remove the skin when cooled. •• Prepare 3 hard boiled eggs by boiling for approximately 7 minutes. •• Submerge the eggs in cold water and allow to cool. •• Remove the shells by making a dent, then gently roll each egg across a clean kitchen towel, which will neatly crack the shell all around for a clean and easy removal. •• Cut the eggs into sections. •• In a medium size mixing bowl, mash the eggs in with the garlic clove by using a fork or a potato masher, to a fine consistency. •• De-stem 5 branches of fresh cilantro and ciseler cut the leaves. •• Add the cilantro in with the eggs, along with 4 tbsps of olive oil, 1 tsp of white vinegar and the juice of 1/2 fresh lemon. •• Salt and pepper to taste and continue to mix until reaching a creamy paste. •• Gently fold in the potatoes. •• Arrange on a serving platter and Voila! ••