Creamy Guacamole

Guacamole Crémeux

Serves 2

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Where Mexican and French cuisine meet…try this healthy and delicious guacamole recipe that’s always popular at home and across the globe (provided you can get your hands on the freshest ingredients)!  Soooooo good!!


INGREDIENTS

2 ripe Hass avocados

1/2 lime or lemon – freshly squeezed

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tsp water

5 branches of cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

3 large carrots 

2 celery branches

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PREPARATION

•• Begin by peeling the carrots and removing the leaves from the branches of celery. •• Throughly wash the carrots and celery, taking extra care to remove any sand from the bottom portions of the celery branches. •• Using a bâtonnets culinary cutting technique, cut the carrots and celery into small short sticks of approximately 4 inches in length. •• Gently roll each avocado between your hands or on a clean kitchen surface to soften the pulp. •• Using a mini Cuisinart food processor, blend the cilantro first. •• Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. •• Fold each section of the avocado in half and squeeze the pulp over the cilantro. •• Add salt, pepper, olive oil, water and freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice. •• Blend until you observe a nice creamy texture. •• Serve with carrots, celery and corn chips of course! •• 

•• Voilà•• 


 

Potato Purée & Salmon

Parmentier Marguerite

Serves 4

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Bruno created this special recipe in honor of a true renaissance woman…my beloved grandmother, Margaret Davey Richardson. Widowed at a young age with six children, Margaret was an accomplished woman ahead of her time; possessing extraordinary intellect, understated elegance and a flawless style. Committed to excellence in all that she did, Margaret was revered as a mother, grandmother, successful businesswoman, fine arts painter, fascinating story teller and a refined culinary creator of healthy homestyle French cuisine.  Although Bruno’s Parmentier Marguerite is not exact to “Nanny’s Fish Dish”…it’s just as wonderfully delicious in taste and memories!  ∼ Joanne ∼


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Margaret Davey Richardson

INGREDIENTS

3-4 fresh salmon filets without the skin

6-7 medium sized potatoes for purée •• mashed

5 fresh carrots sliced into bite sized pieces

2 pats of butter

fresh lemon zest from 1/2 lemon

light drizzle of dry white wine

2 green onions finely chopped

1/2 cup Gruyère cheese grated

2-3 sprigs parsley finely chopped

2-3 sprigs cilantro finely chopped

sea salt & pepper to taste

frisée salad greens

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PREPARATION

•• Prepare the salmon filets by rinsing and drying thoroughly with paper towels, absorbing any excess moisture. •• Cook the potatoes by boiling with the skins in tact. •• Boil the carrots until tender then set aside to cool. •• In a buttered casserole dish, layer the entire bottom with the salmon filets. •• Sprinkle with lemon zest, green onion, parsley, cilantro, sea salt and pepper. •• Very lightly drizzle with a dry white wine that is of the same quality that you would also drink. •• Create another layer by adding the carrots and grated Gruyère cheese, noting that each layer should be balanced and not dominate the other. •• Place the casserole dish into a preheated oven of 350° and partially bake for approximately 10 minutes, then remove. •• Once your potatoes are fully cooked, remove the skins and puree or mash with a manual hand-held masher. •• Layer the potato puree on top, return to the oven and cook for approximately 45 minutes until golden brown, noting that most of the moisture has evaporated. •• Keep the dish in the oven but turned off to allow for further evaporation for another 20 minutes. •• Slice into portions and serve over a bed of frisée salad greens. ••

•• Délicieux ••

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Springtime Marguerites in the Fontainebleau Forest

 

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Gratin de Pâtes Sauce Béchamel

Serves 4

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Comfort food and wintery weekends go together…just like macaroni and cheese. Here’s our latest culinary experiment using the French version with an American twist…gluten free penne pasta, sauce Béchamel, grated Monterey Jack and a wee bit of other healthy ingredients!


INGREDIENTS

1 box of gluten-free penne pasta

1 quart of whole milk or half & half

1 cup of grated Gruyère cheese or Monterey Jack

2 carrots

2 celery branches

1/2 sweet onion

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup of organic unbleached or spelt flour

1/2 cup of butter

1tsp of salt

pepper and nutmeg to taste


PREPARATION

•• In a large pan or pasta pot, bring your water to a full boil before adding salt to taste along with the pasta. •• Cook the pasta to “al dente” (cooked but firm). •• Réserver (put a side) a cup of the pasta water before straining and set aside the cooked pasta in the strainer. •• While the pasta is cooking, grate the cheese and begin preparing the vegetables. •• Peel and cut your carrots into small pieces of approximately 1/8 inch. •• Remove dirt from the celery branches and cut likewise into pieces of 1/8 inch. •• In a sauté pan combine the vegetables with one tbsp of olive oil and cook for 2 – 3 minutes over a medium to high heat. •• Réserver in a small dish. •• Cut one half of the sweet onion into finely small quarters.  •• Remove the skin from the garlic and cut into fine pieces, then crunch the garlic along with a small amount of salt, using the flat side of a chef knife. •• Using the same sauté pan, place a tsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of butter and combine the chopped onion and crunched garlic. •• Let the mixture sweat (cook until tender) for 8 minutes at a low to medium heat, with the lid on. •• Add the carrots and celery back into the same pan and réserver. •• Preheat your oven at 400 degrees. ••

Preparing the Béchamel

•• Using a sauce pan over a low heat, slowly the melt butter until you see the formation of small bubbles. •• Add salt, pepper and nutmeg (optional) to taste. •• Gradually introduce the flour by mixing slowly with a whisk to create a paste. •• This is called a roux, which should not be overcooked or allowed to become brown. •• Remove the roux from the heat and then add 1 quart of milk into the roux, mix until smooth and without the formation of any lumps. ••

•• Place the sauce pan back over a low heat, mixing the roux slowly and until it becomes firm. •• If you observe that the roux is quickly becoming too firm, remove the pan from the heat, but continue to mix. •• If the roux is becoming too thick, add sparing amounts of the reserved pasta water for desired lightness. •• Your Béchamel is now ready…presenting as a beautiful smooth sauce without any lumps. •• Add to your Béchamel the vegetable mixture and 1/4 cup the grated cheese, mixing throughly. •• In a buttered baking dish, evenly arrange the pasta and cover with the Béchamel. •• Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. •• Place the dish on the upper rack of the oven and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees.  •• Cook for approximately 25 minutes and until top is nicely golden and crisp. •• For extra crispiness, broil for a few minutes, but you must stay on it or the dish will burn quickly. •• Serve piping hot. ••

•• Ooh la la!!! ••


 

 

Mussels and French Fries

Moules Marinières et Frites

Serves 2

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When shopping for mussels, take note of the origins and also of the smell. Good mussels should have the scent of the sea. Salt sparingly, if needed.


INGREDIENTS

2 liters or 8 cups of fresh mussels

2 green onions, chopped including the stalks or 2 shallots if preferred

1 tbsp olive oil

2-3 stalks of chopped fennel including the leaves

2-3 cloves of freshly crushed garlic

3 branches of fresh parsley

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp butter (optional)

1 medium glass of white or rosé wine

1 tbsp crème fraîche

herbed sea salt to taste

1/4 bouquet of freshly chopped parsley to garnish

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Remember that the choice and quality of your wine selection for cooking should always be equivalent to the quality of what you would also enjoy with your meal.


PREPARATION

•• Soak the mussels in the sink for about 20 minutes. •• Using a small scrub brush or small sharpened knife to scrape, remove the algae and any debris. •• Check each one individually and discard any mussel that is opened, partially opened or cracked. •• To prepare the broth, slowly heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium to large cast iron pot. •• Add the green onions or shallots, garlic and fennel stirring slowly and occasionally over a low flame until the mixture is golden. •• Do not cover. •• Adding 2 tbsp of butter is optional. •• Add the fresh herbs and one glass of white or rosé wine. •• Simmer for approximately 10 minutes, being mindful that the mixture does not reduce down too far. •• Add the mussels and turn the flame to high, cooking for approximately 6-7 minutes. •• To mix the mussels, use a pair of heavy duty kitchen mitts and shake the covered pot of opened mussels over the sink. •• Once cooked to your preference, set the mussels aside in a serving dish, discarding any stray herb branches. •• Using the same pot, combine a liberal amount of the broth with 1 to 2 tbsp of crème fraîche. •• Let it reduce further and pour the broth over the mussels. •• Garnish with finely chopped parsley. •• Any remaining broth can be saved for future use in chowders, etc. •• Store the unused broth in a glass jar with a tight lid and freeze. ••

•• Bon Appétit ••

 

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Frites

French Fries

Serves 2


INGREDIENTS

6 medium sized potatoes

(Charlotte, New, Fingerlings or White Round varieties)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large clove of garlic

sea salt to taste

1/4 bouquet of freshly chopped parsley to garnish

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PREPARATION

•• Preheat your oven to 350°. •• Using a small scrub brush, rinse and scrub clean the potatoes, leaving the skins on (if they are fresh from the farm, organic or bio). •• Cut the potatoes thinly and vertically. •• Soak the potatoes in a large bowl of ice cold water for approximately 10 minutes then towel dry. •• Using the bottom portion of a broiling pan or a cookie sheet, arrange your potatoes in a thin layer, with each potato slice resting separately. •• Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil over the potatoes and mix using your hand. •• Crush a large clove of garlic, retaining the skin and place it in the center of the baking sheet. •• Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the potatoes start to become gold and crispy. •• You can also flip the potato slices over, but doing so too early will yield overly softened slices. •• Optional is broiling the potatoes at the end for another five minutes. However, you must stay on it to avoid burning. •• Place the potatoes into a serving bowl lined with paper towels and sprinkle with course herbed sea salt and finely chopped fresh parsley. ••

•• Voila••


 

A French Breakfast

alt=“morning coffee poured from Italian press food photography Bruno Gaget”

Breaking the fast in France is typically fuss-free and minimal.  Great starts begin with fresh fruits in season and tartine, which is another name for your favorite crusty bread topped with butter and “confiture” (jam). Morning coffee is “café au lait” (coffee with milk) served in a small bowl which comes in handy when dipping your tartine.

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Warm up your January in the kitchen with homemade French thyme baguette! Slice into desired portion sizes fresh from the oven, then top with softened butter and your favorite confiture. Another perfect and healthy accompaniment to a French breakfast is a simple fruit salad in season with just a sprinkling of shaved organic chocolat!

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Bonne Journée.