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••


 

Classic Poule au Pot

alt=“Poule au Pot French Recipe Chicken in a Pot Le Menu Maison Food Blog Bruno Gaget”

Poule au Pot

Chicken in a Pot

Serves 4


Poule au Pot is a traditional French country recipe that translates into English as “chicken in a pot.” It is this dish that France’s King Henry IV referred to when he declared that each working peasant should never lack the means of having a chicken in the pot, every Sunday. Under Henry’s leadership, the plight of the French worker and peasant were clearly understood, with peace and prosperity restored to France after decades of religious wars. 


INGREDIENTS

1 whole chicken with the cavity cleared and cleansed

1 quart of chicken stock

4 medium sized white or waxy potatoes

2 leeks

6 large carrots

2 turnips

1 stalk of celery including the branches

3 onions

1 lemon

2 cloves of garlic

6 buds of cloves

a bouquet of fresh herbs consisting of

3 bay leafs, 1 branch of rosemary and a few branches of thyme

alt=“Poule au Pot Chicken in a Pot French traditional Recipe French Food Blog Le Menu Maison Bruno Gaget”

PREPARATION

•• Place the chicken in a large pot filled with cold water. •• Over a medium heat, bring to a boil and blanchir for 3 minutes. •• Remove the chicken from the pot and reserve to the side. •• Discard the water. •• Peel and leave whole, the potatoes, turnips, carrots, onions and garlic. •• Insert 6 buds of clove into one of the onions. •• Prepare your leeks by first removing the area of roots. •• Cut each leek lengthwise in half, then turn over in a 1/4 direction and cut again, allowing the leek to open up. •• Under running water, rinse well all the residual sand and dirt burrowed between the leaves. •• Using 1/2 of the lemon, citronner the exterior of the chicken. •• Fill the cavity with fresh herbs and the remaining lemon half, if desired. •• With the pot empty, place the carrots at the bottom. •• Introduce the chicken and arrange the leeks and remaining vegetables around it. •• Immerse the chicken with 1 quart of chicken stock and top with cold water. •• Add salt and pepper to taste and cover. •• Over a medium heat, bring the chicken to a boil and control it for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  •• Stir regularly to remove excess vegetable foam, observing that the chicken remains in tact. •• Once you’ve determined that your Poule au Pot is properly cooked, remove the chicken and vegetables from the pot. •• Using a chinois, filter the remaining broth to clarify, for serving. •• To present, gently remove the skin, which should fall away effortlessly. •• Formally serve the chicken alongside the vegetables or carve and serve in individual soup bowls with a generous amount of the clarified broth ladled over. •• Pair with a light dry Sancerre from the Loire or a Chablis from the Burgundy region. ••

•• Fantastique ••


•• Tip •• For any next day leftovers, de-bone the chicken and combine with the remaining vegetables into a large skillet. Add 1 cup of the clarified chicken broth reserved from the day prior. Warm over a low heat for approximately 10 minutes. Present and top with a delectable sautéed mushroom sauce supreme.


 

Baked Artichokes Anyone?

Artichauts Cuits au Four

Baked Artichokes

Serves 2

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INGREDIENTS

2 large fresh artichokes

(best in season from March through May)

3 cloves garlic

3-4 sprigs of fresh parsley

1 cup fresh gluten free bread crumbs or gluten free crackers

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup white wine, Chardonnay

herbed sea salt & pepper to taste

4 tbsp butter

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PREPARATION

•• Warm the oven to 350°. Using a serrated knife, remove the stems and approximately 1/4 of the leaves from the top. •• Steam the artichokes in a pot of boiling water for 5-6 minutes for medium sized and 15 minutes for large. •• Once the leaves become tender, remove from the steam and retain a cup of the water for later use. •• On a plastic cutting board, finely chop the garlic and parsley while mixing together as the parsley absorbs some of the strength of the garlic. •• Mix in the bread crumbs, herbed sea salt and pepper to taste. •• Place the artichokes in a large bowl and pour the bread crumb mixture over the tops of the artichokes. •• Gently spread the leaves apart allowing the crumbs to trickle down inside, filling the leaves. •• Place the artichokes in a baking dish and lightly drizzle olive oil over the top. •• Mouiller the artichokes with some of the reserved steamed artichoke water and white wine to moisten. •• Top with pats of butter. •• Pour additional water into the bottom of the baking dish and cover with foil. •• Bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown. ••

•• ooh la la ••


Miettes de Pain Sans Gluten

Gluten Free Breadcrumbs

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PREPARATION

Slice dried gluten free bread into small cubes.

••

Using a hand-held masher or mortar and pestle, grind the bread cubes until fine.

••

For later use, add herbed sea salt.

••

Gluten free crackers can also be substituted.

••


 

Gratin Dauphinois for the Holiday Home Menu

alt=“Gratin Dauphinois Potato Gratin Cook and Shoot Food Photography Bruno Gaget”

Gratin Dauphinois

Potato Gratin

Serves 4

 


When selecting potatoes for this dish, look for small to medium sized, high quality, low-starch varieties such as Charlotte, New, Fingerlings or White Round.


 

alt=“Potatoes Charlottes Fingerlings Food Photography Bruno Gaget”

INGREDIENTS

12 young potatoes

2 tbsp butter

herbed sea salt to taste

1 fresh garlic clove crushed

1 pint of whole milk

1/4 bouquet of fresh parsley chopped to garnish

Optional – Gruyère cheese

alt=“Sliced Potatoes for Gratin Dauphinois Technique Food Photography Bruno Gaget”

PREPARATION

•• Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. •• With the skins left intact, wash the potatoes with a scrub brush. •• Cut the potatoes in half then thinly slice into smaller segments. •• Place the slices in a large bowl of cold water and then rinse through a colander until the water runs clear. •• Transfer the potatoes to a clean dry dish towel and pat dry to absorb the remaining water. •• In a buttered casserole dish, create layers of  potato slices and sprinkle with herbed sea salt and crushed garlic on each layer •• Pour the milk over the potatoes bringing the liquid to approximately 3/4 to the top of the layered potatoes. •• Sprinkle with more herbed sea salt, if desired. ••

•• Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil that has been generously “buttered” on the interior facing side. •• Bake in the oven at 325° for approximately 90 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the top is golden brown.••

•• Garnish with freshly chopped parsley. ••

  •• Magnifique ••