Île Flottantes (Floating Island) Recipe

Sprinkled on top of these delicate meringues—which float in a vanilla custard—are praline roses, caramel-coated almonds dyed a bright pink. The color’s a bit shocking, but they’re a staple of Lyonnaise pâtisseries and lend a nice crunch and color to this white-on-white backdrop.

INGREDIENTS

2 1⁄2 cups sugar, divided

1  cup water, divided

1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1⁄2 cups  sliced almonds

8  extra large egg whites, at room temperature

1⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Creme Anglaise

4  extra-large egg yolks

1⁄2 cup sugar

1  teaspoon cornstarch

1 3⁄4 cups  scalded milk

1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1⁄2 teaspoons cognac

1⁄2 vanilla bean, seeds of (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2 FOR THE CARAMEL: Heat 1 1/2 cup of the sugar and 1/2 cup of the water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Cook over medium heat until the syrup turns a warm caramel color. Don’t stir, just swirl it in the pan.

3 Turn off the heat, add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 teaspoons of the vanilla; be careful, the syrup will bubble violently.

4 Stir and cook over high heat until the caramel reaches 230 degrees F. (thread stage) on a candy thermometer. Set aside.

5 FOR THE PRALINE: Combine the almonds with 1/4 cup of the caramel and spread them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the almonds are lightly browned.

6 Allow to cool at room temperature and then break up in pieces.

7 Lower the oven to 250°F Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

8 FOR THE MERINGUES: Beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed until frothy.

9 Turn the mixer on high speed and add the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Beat until the egg whites are very stiff and glossy.

10 Whisk in the remaining teaspoon of vanilla. With dessert spoons place 12 mounds of meringue on parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

11 FOR THE CREME ANGLAISE:

12 Beat the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.

13 With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs. Pour the custard mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened. The custard will coat the spoon like heavy cream. Don’t cook it above 180F or the eggs will scramble!

14 Pour the sauce through a fine strainer, add the vanilla extract, Cognac, and vanilla seeds, if using, and chill.

15 FOR SERVING: Pour creme anglaise on the bottom of individual plates. Place a meringue on top of each serving, drizzle with caramel sauce, sprinkle with praline, and serve.

16 To make a day or two ahead, leave the caramel and praline at room temperature and refrigerate the creme anglaise. Bake the meringues before guests arrive and assemble the desserts just before serving.

Croissants Recipe

Croissants are the most popular pastry in the all world. If you talk about croissant everyone will know what you are talking about. In France we eat them for breakfast mostly. I love the crunch of this delicious fluffy pastry. French people love dipping them in our Coffee or in my case, Hot Chocolat. This recipe is advanced, but easier if you carefully follow the instructions. The quality of the ingredients you buy also makes a big difference so try to get the highest quality ingredients you can and they will turn out better.

Preparation Time: 1 hr

Cook Time: 20 min

Yield: 20 servings

Level: Advanced

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ounce fresh yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup white or packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, or more
  • 1 pound unsalted Amish butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a mixer with a dough hook, place the yeast, flour, sugar, salt, and the milk and mix for 2 minutes until a soft moist dough forms on the hook. If most of the flour isn’t moistened with this quantity of milk, add more, a tablespoon at a time until it is moistened and smooth, using up to 4 tablespoons.
  2. Turn mixer on high and mix for another 4 minutes until very smooth and elastic.
  3. Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured board, cover with a damp tea towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes to relax the gluten.
  4. Remove the towel and, using a French rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10 by 9-inch rectangle 5/8-inch thick. Wrap in plastic then chill for 1 hour and up to overnight.
  5. Ten minutes before the dough is done resting in the refrigerator, prepare the butter. Beat it with your rolling pin on a floured surface to soften it and form a rectangle 6 by 8 1/2 inches. Place it between parchment paper or plastic wrap and set aside.
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it on a floured work surface into a 10 by 15-inch and 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Brush any excess flour off the dough. Place the shorter side of the dough parallel to the front of your body on the work surface. Place the butter in the middle, long-ways. Fold the bottom up over the butter and brush off any excess flour and then fold the top down over the butter to overlap and encase the butter. Press down lightly with the rolling pin to push all the layers together and make sure they have contact.
  7. Continue rolling the laminated (layered) dough to form a new 10 by 15-inch rectangle, patching any holes with a dusting of flour where butter may have popped through. Fold into thirds, like a letter, brush off any excess flour and mark it with an indentation made by poking your finger once at the corner of the dough meaning you have completed the first “turn”.
  8. Wrap well in plastic and chill 1 hour and up to overnight. Do this again three more times (some people only do 3 turns total, some do 6, some do 3 plus what’s called a “wallet” turn for the last one which is a 4 fold turn that’s folded into itself like a book jacket) marking it accordingly each time and chilling in between each turn.
  9. After the fourth turn, you can let the dough chill overnight, or, for 1 hour, or, roll it out to a 13 by 24-inch square that is a little less than 1/4-inch thick and cut out your croissants and shape them.
  10. You can roll out your dough and cut it with a sharp large knife into 6-inch strips then cut them into triangles, 4 inches wide at the base of the triangle (or for a more curved croissant cut the triangles 6 inches wide).
  11. Stretch these triangles again 9 inches long, then place on the work surface and put a piece of scrap dough in the center of the wide end to enclose, which will plump up the center.
  12. Roll the triangles up towards you starting at the wide end and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment lined sheet pan with the tip tucked under and the ends slightly curved in to make a crescent shape. You may freeze the croissants at this point, or, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk and brush the croissants with this egg wash.
  13. To proof the croissants, place them in an oven that is warm but not turned on, with a pan of hot water in the bottom to create a moist environment like a proof box. Set aside to proof for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours until puffed up and spongy to the touch. Remove from the oven.
  14. Spritz a preheated 425 degree F oven with water, close the door, and get the croissants. Place the croissants in the oven and spritz again, close the door and turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.
  15. After 10 minutes, rotate your pan if they are cooking unevenly and turn the oven down to 375 degrees F. Bake another 5 to 8 minutes until golden brown.

HACHIS PARMENTIER (MASHED POTATO CASSEROLE)

The French love casseroles. It’s one of the most popular family dinner dishes. I will always remember my time around the table with my family. In France dinner is the most important moment of the day. I will share with you all my family recipes.

READY IN: 40 mins

SERVES: 8

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large frying pan, cook the onions & garlic in the butter & olive oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes, ground beef, herbs, salt & pepper. Cook until the meat is browned thoroughly.
  3. Turn off heat & add egg yolk & Parmesan cheese, stirring to mix completely.
  4. Spread the meat in the bottom of a lightly oiled oven proof dish (a 9×13 would be perfect).
  5. Spread the potatoes on top of the meat mixture.
  6. Finish by sprinkling the grated cheese on top.
  7. Bake in 400 deg oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted & the potatoes lightly browned.

Creamy Pumpkin soup recipe

This creamy pumpkin soup is even better if it’s made a day ahead of time. Just refrigerate it overnight, reheat it on the stovetop and then add garnish immediately before serving.

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Crème fraîche, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Once the butter is just beginning to brown, add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, sugar, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree and broth, stir to incorporate, season with salt and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cream and let cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth.
  8. If needed, add additional water or broth to reach desired consistency. Return the mixture to the pot or large a sauce pan.
  9. Serve warm.

French Tomatoes Farcies (Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes) Recipe

This is one of our family favorites! In France you typically don’t find this dish at a restaurant, it’s usually cooked at home. It’s a super easy meal! Our family often eats it with a side of rice. When served, the tomatoes are very juicy and the rice soaks up a lot of that awesome flavor on your plate—yum!

Tomates Farcies Recipe

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Gruyere
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut the tops off of each tomato and set them aside for later.
  3. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and scoop out the innards. Be careful not to pierce through the tomato flesh.
  4. Sprinkle tomatoes with sea salt and turn them upside down so that the excess water drains out.
  5. Mix together all the other ingredients, except the olive oil by hand until combined.
  6. Place the stuffing in each tomato, sprinkle with Gruyére, cover with the cut tomato slice and drizzle a little extra olive oil on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes, then allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Omelet de la Mère Poulard

The restaurant Mère Poulard which is situated at the base of Mont St Michel makes the most legendary omelettes in France. They are cooked over an open fire, in a copper pan with an extremely long handle. Their recipe is top secret, but many French chefs claim they know it. The funny thing is, everyone who “knows” the recipe has a different guess: no whites, whites whipped separately, adding crème fraiche, Normandy butter, and on and on. But nobody really knows! So, if you visit Mont Saint Michel, one of the 7 man-made wonders of the world you should experience the original. It’s worth paying $40 omelette! It’s a historic experience!

But, if a trip to Mont Saint Michel isn’t in your near future, I found this recipe by American Mary Pochez who runs cookery classes in France at the stunning 18th century Château de la Barbée in the Loire.

Ingredients for one large omelette

4 eggs

12 cl of crème fraiche

Salt and pepper

40 gr of butter

Optional: Mushrooms, cheese and lardons

How to make an omelette Mere Poulard style

In a bowl, crack open 2 eggs. Add the yolks of 2 more, leaving 2 whites aside.

Whip the eggs on low speed for 5 minutes and add the crème fraiche, beating for another 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

Whip the 2 other whites into soft peaks and fold gently into the rest of the eggs.

Melt butter in a non-stick frying pan and pour egg mixture into the hot pan*.

Cook slowly for about 5 minutes, the surface should be slightly liquid still – then fold in half**.

Serve immediately while it’s still hot, with a green salad and/or fried potatoes.

*If you want to add cheese, sprinkle on top while cooking.

** Fry mushrooms and lardons and sprinkle on top before folding.

Provencal Tian Recipe

I love this Vegetable Tian. It is healthy and uses simple ingredients: zucchini, potatoes, and tomato slices. It’s seasoned and topped with a lot of yummy parmesan cheese!

This dish is perfect as a side dish for any dinner or party. Pick proportionately sized veggies, for example, your tomato shouldn’t be twice the size of your potato.

Ingredients for Vegetable Tian:

2 medium  Zucchini

3 Roma Tomatoes

1 medium Yellow Onion

2 large cloves of pressed Garlic

2 to 3 Potatoes (depending on their size)

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Thyme

1  Tbsp Dill (or 1/2 Tbsp dried dill)

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

Olive Oil (2 Tbsp for the Onion Mix, 2 Tbsp for the Seasoning Mix)

Instructions:

Preheat the Oven to 375˚F.

1. Prepare your veggies: Slice Zucchini & Tomatoes 1/4″ thick. Peel and slice Potatoes. Chop Onion. Peal Garlic.

2. Preheat skillet on medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp Olive Oil. Add Onion and saute for 5 minutes until Onions are lightly browned, soft, and translucent.

3. Press the Garlic into the pan and stir for 2 minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat and put your mix into your baking dish.

4. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 tsp Salt, 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, 1 Tbsp Thyme, 1 Tbsp Dill and 2 Tbsp Olive Oil.

5. Place Zucchini and Potatoes in a large bowl. Pour the seasoning mix over the veggies and mix to coat.

6. Arrange your veggies in your baking dish interchanging Potatoes with Tomatoes and Zucchini. Cover with foil and bake at 375˚ F for 35 minutes.

7. Remove foil, sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese and bake an additional 30 minutes.

Enjoy, it’s so yummy!