Velvety Carrot Soup

Carrots Velouté

Serves 2

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This simple soup recipe is a French traditional family favorite that combines the nutritional value of carrots along with a subtle amount of the irresistible Indian spices of cumin or curry. Warming, healthy and délicieux!


INGREDIENTS

6 medium to large sized carrots

1 large red onion

1 garlic clove

4 tsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 branch of fresh fennel (anise)

1/2 tsp of curry or cumin

1 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup white wine

3 cups water

3 branches of thyme

salt and pepper to taste

alt=“Chopped Carrots for Velouté Soup Recipe Healthy Homestyle French Cooking Le Menu Maison Food Blog Bruno Gaget”

PREPARATION

•• Peel the skins from the carrots and throughly cleanse under clear water to remove any residue of dirt. •• Remove the ends and then cut the length of each carrot into thin slices, approximately 1/8-inch thick. ••

•• To prepare the onion, begin by chopping the top off, then cut the onion in half, leaving the root attached. •• Peel the skin away, discarding the brown layers until you are left with the white onion halves. •• Make 2 or 3 horizontal cuts into the first onion half, then cut down vertically, holding the onion together as you chop. •• Repeat with same cuts with the other half.••

•• Under running water, cleanse the fennel branch and remove some of the feathery leaves for presentation, then cut the branch lengthwise into thin slices.••

•• Using a large pan, heat the butter and olive oil over a medium low heat. •• When the butter begins to bubble, add the carrots first, followed by the onion, garlic, fennel, cumin and salt and pepper. •• Gently mix together, cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes, occasionally stirring.  •• Add a 1/4 cup of water or white wine to déglacer and continue to cook and mix for another 2 minutes. •• Add the chicken stock, 3 cups of water and 3 branches of fresh thyme. •• Continue to cook for 30 minutes over a low heat until the carrots are throughly softened. ••

•• Remove the thyme branches and allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes. •• Using a hand-held blender, blend the mixture until it becomes a velvety smooth “velouté”. •• Transfer the velouté into a large serving bowl or individual bowls. •• Sprinkle a few fennel leaves for presentation and serve with a warm crusty French bread and butter.••

•• Voila! ••

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White Bordeaux Sangria

Sangria Bordeaux Blanc

With the waning days of summer, there is still time to grab your basket and gather up some fruit for a refreshing white Bordeaux sangria! Celebrate the end of summer by mixing up a white or red French Bordeaux wine with the best of fruits in season. For added sweetness, hold the sugar and sweeten with honey to taste. So spread out a blanket in the last lushness of sweet summer grass for an impromptu romantic apéritif for two.

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INGREDIENTS

1 bottle of mid-priced French white Bordeaux wine of your choice

red and white grapes

1 orange

2 early McIntosh apples

2 peaches

1 nectarine

1 lemon

1 lime

honey to taste – optional

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PREPARATION

•• Throughly wash and rinse all of the fruit, leaving the skins intact. •• Remove the cores from the apples and the pits from peaches and nectarine, then slice the fruit into small mouth-sized portions. •• Set aside the grapes, uncut. •• Place the fruit into a large pitcher and pour the full bottle of wine over the fruit. ••Add the desired amount of red and white grapes, in addition to honey to taste. •• Refrigerate the sangria for a minimum of 5 hours to overnight, allowing the fruit to ferment. •• To serve, spoon the fruit into large white wine glasses, then slowly pour the sangria over. ••

•• Santé to the Summer of 2019! ••

TIP •• What to do with the left over fruit from the white Bordeaux sangria?  Start another sangria by combining the deliciously fermented fruit with a red French Bordeaux! ••

alt=“Kalamata Olives Purée Kontoulis Family Olive Grove Homemade French Bread Appetizer Food Blog French Healthy Homestyle Recipes Bruno Gaget”

The perfect accompaniment to enjoying this sangria is homemade french bread topped with an olive purée from the Kontoulis Family Olive Grove in Messinia, Greece. Producers of high quality, extra virgin olive oil, this first cold press and all natural olive oil and purée can be found at the Westport Farmers’ Market in Westport, Connecticut or you can order it online @ kontoulisfamily.com.

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Eggplant Parmesan

A Classic Italian Dish

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!

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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.


 

Mango Sorbet

Sorbet à la Mangue

Serves 2

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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.


INGREDIENTS

1 generous sized ripened mango

alt=“Mango Food Blog French Healthy Homestyle Recipes From Le Menu Maison Bruno Gaget”

PREPARATION

•• 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.••

••Voila!••

alt=“Mango Hedgehog Cut Food Blog French Healthy Homestyle Cooking Recipes From Le Menu Maison Bruno Gaget”
Hedgehog Cut

 

Vichyssoise Soup

Soupe Vichyssoise

Serves 2

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The origin of Vichyssoise 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! 


INGREDIENTS

 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

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PREPARATION

•• 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 soft and 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 mouillér with 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! ••

•• Voilà! ••

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