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Tag: cheese

Turkey rolls with mustard & cream

This special yet simple dish recipe was given to me by one of my butchers in Paris. I could stay hours talking to him – he had the knowledge and ‘savoir-faire’ that I seeked.   He always had inspiring ideas and old-fashioned recipes that I love, and he sure knows how to cook  the ‘viande’ to his liking. I tend to associate turkey with Christmas or Thanksgiving holidays, and never thought I could end up with such a succulent and different dish. The sauce is a delightful mix of white wine, mustard, and crème fraîche – it is so good I always make sure to make a copious amount as everybody at the table always asks for more. I was advised to use slim turkey filets because the meat is softer than veal or chicken. Once cooked I serve these rolls sliced, and they look so inviting with the layers of ham and cheese. I like serving this with simple wheat (I use Ebly) – it’s a nice change from pasta or rice. My kids love this dish – they even call it ‘a gourmet meal’ because they think the rolls look so fancy!

Ingredients:

4 thinly sliced turkey breast filet

4 slices ham

200 grs grated Gruyère or Emmental cheese

200 grs crème fraîche

1 tbsp mustard (or 2 if you like it stronger)

150 ml white wine

Cooking ficelle/string to wrap your turkey rolls

Salt and pepper to taste

You’ll be needing a clean working surface, and aluminium foil to lay out the turkey filet. I always work with silicone gloves to make these roulades (rolls).

Lay the turkey filet flat and start layering with a slice of ham, then sprinkle a  generous  amount of grated cheese – make sure not to over fill as it won’t roll properly. Add some salt and pepper and roll the filet into a roulade and secure it with the ficelle (as if you were tying a string on a parcel).  See photo.  Repeat with the other filets.

Now you can start cooking your parcels.  Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pan/ cocotte, when it starts to sizzle add the parcels until golden on all sides.  Don’t worry if it’s not cooked through as you will let it cook slowly later on.  When the turkey filets are golden, add the white wine and let it reduce for 4 minutes.  Lower the heat to its lowest setting and cover, letting it simmer for 20 minutes.  Finally add the crème fraîche and mustard for 1 minute and stir.  Before serving cut off and remove the strings, slice the roll (see photo). Voilà, c’est prêt!

Georges, my butcher in Paris.

Gougères (traditional cheese puffs)

Whether you are going to a Michelin star restaurant or at a friend’s house in France, you will most likely be served gougères to accompany your aperitif drinks (drinks served before a meal). Gougères are traditional cheese puffs made with either Emmenthal, Comté or Gruyère cheese. These little luxuries are perfect with champagne or wine (they are often served during wine-tastings) – and so chic if you have them home-made. Originally from Burgundy, these puffs were invented in the 17th century in a patisserie called ‘Le ramequin de Bourgogne’. So next time you have guests, why don’t you dazzle them with these golden puffs.

Ingredients (makes about 40)

250 ml water
100 grs salted butter
150 grs plain flour
180 grs grated Emmenthal or Gruyère cheese
4 eggs
A dash of ground nutmeg
1 egg yolk for glazing
A dash of salt and pepper

Pre-heat the over 180° celcius.

In a saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil. Add the flour, stirring very fast and take immediately off the heat. By now the batter will be roughly in the form of a soft ball. Add the eggs, one by one and stir. It’s important to add the eggs slowly – don’t worry if it looks too thick, just continue to stir as it will eventually become a smooth batter. Finally add the cheese, salt & pepper and stir to a good dewy batter.

Prepare a baking tray line with parchment paper. You have two choices for preparing the gougères: either put the dough in a pastry bag with a standard tip and pipe walnut sized mounds, or spoon and shape with the help of two teaspoons and evenly shaped ball (again like the size of a walnut). Glaze with the egg yolk for a golden baked finish. Sprinkle the puffs lightly with grated cheese.

Leave an adequate space between each gougères and bake for 25 minutes approx or until puffy and golden. Serve immediately.

ps: You can prepare these in advance and either refrigerate or freeze them. Just take them out again before serving and heat in a high-heat oven for 5-7 minutes.

Quiche Lorraine

Most French people in my entourage know how to make a good quiche Lorraine – this dish is as classic as a baguette and is part of the french culinary heritage. I did find out recently that it was originally German, but somehow turned French when cheese was added to the recipe in the Lorraine region. It’s the perfect light lunch to have, some sort of comfort food for most. My father-in-law loves this quiche, and I serve it with a spinach salad, roasted pine nuts, radishes and avocado. Simple and delightful. As I am a busy mom, I use Herta’s pate feuilleutée (ready-rolled puff pastry), the quality is excellent. But when I have time, I will make my own pastry. It is best to use your pastry straight from the fridge when it is still cold – I find the results are better. Nothing beats a home-cooked quiche Lorraine fresh from the oven. And here’s the best part, it takes about 10 minutes to prepare.

Ingredients (for 4-6)

200 grs chopped bacon
4 eggs
150 ml crème fraiche
2 handful or grated Emmenthal or Gruyère
100 ml milk
5 grs ground nutmeg
salt and pepper

Pastry

230 grs sheet of puff pastry (bought in store)

Pre-heat your oven 220° degrees celsius.

Fry the lardons without any oil until golden and cooked. Place aside on kitchen towel to absorb excess fat. In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk, crème fraiche, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Whisk the mixture till it becomes light and slightly frothy. Roll out your pastry and line your baking dish. Pour the egg/milk mixture, sprinkle the grated cheese and bacon evenly. Bake for 30 minutes and leave to rest 5 minutes before serving.

To serve with spinach salad with roasted pine nuts, radishes and avocado.

Ingredients

200 grs baby spinach leaves
A handful of pine nuts
6 radishes (finely sliced)
1 avocado (chopped)
5 tbps Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
1 tsp mustard
Salt and pepper

Prepare the vinaigrette in a salad bowl, first add olive oil, whisk in the vinegar, then the mustard, followed by salt and pepper. In a frying pan, place the pine nuts and roast for 5 minutes on a low heat or until golden. Leave to cool. Toss in the washed spinach leaves, sliced radishes, chopped avocado and sprinkle with the pine nuts.

Galettes

On week-ends we love having galettes. Galette is another word for savoury pancake made with buckwheat flour and served with savoury garnishing. If you go to a market and order a pancake, you will often be asked galette or crêpe. A crêpe today is referred to as a pancake made of wheat flour and served with sweet garnishing such as sugar, jam, chocolate. There really are no strict rules as it is very common to have savoury crêpes these days. Being a busy mom, I buy my galettes at the local fromagerie (cheese store) – the quality is excellent. But when I have time, I prepare the batter myself. It’s such a delicious classic meal from Brittany. Cider is perfect to accompany this meal, but buttermilk is the traditional match.

Ingredients

6 galettes
6 eggs
6 slices ham
1 pack white button mushrooms (rinsed and sliced)
Grated Emmental or Gruyère cheese
Butter

Fry the mushrooms in a frying pan with the butter, set aside. It takes about 4 minutes. I like to fry the eggs sunny side up just before so they are ready and warm. Set aside.

For each galettes, repeat the same procedure: melt a small amount of butter in a frying pan and place the galette. Add the piece of ham, sprinkle a handful of cheese and cook on a low heat till the cheese melts. Put the fried egg on the cheese, add the mushrooms on top and season with salt and pepper. Fold the pancake (see photo). Serve with a salad.

Buckwheat pancake batter (sarrasin)

250 grs buckwheat flour
2 eggs
30 grs melted butter
1 pinch salt
500 ml milk

In a large bowl, mix the buckwheat flour and make a well in the middle. Add the eggs in the center, slowly combine and stir the milk, melted butter and salt. Make sure to stir constantly and firmly so you won’t get lumps in the batter. Cover with a plate and leave to rest for at least an hour.
Heat your oven on a low heat so you can place your galettes to keep warm. When the batter is ready, melt a teaspoon of butter in a frying pan. Add one ladle of batter to form a pancake. Fry approx 2-3 minutes on a medium heat until golden. Flip sides and repeat.