Durum semolina muffins with mozzarella and black olives

I had spotted this polenta muffins recipe on Fourmi‘s blog a while back.

The first attempt led to a second : the sesame oil was much too strong for my taste. Which is why in my second version of these muffins, I proceeded to make some changes : as I was out of polenta, I replaced it with fine durum semolina. I garnished the muffins with mozzarella and black olives, and the sesame oil was replaced with peanut oil.

For about 8 muffins:

100 g of fine durum semolina

120 g of flour

15cl of milk

6 cl of peanut oil

10g of brown sugar

Salt and pepper

1 ball of mozzarella

1/2 can of pitted black olives.

Preheat the oven to 180 ° C.

Mix all the dry ingredients in large bowl.

Form a well in the center and pour in the milk and oil.

Mix well with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth.

It should be slightly elastic, not pasty.

Cut the mozzarella and black olives into small pieces.

Fold into batter.

Pour the mixture into the muffin tins. (I’m still a fan of my little paper cups).

Bake for about 20 minutes.

Let the muffins cool to room temperature.

This second batch of muffins disappeared so quickly, I had to fight to keep a couple for my pictures!

 

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Posted in accompagnement/side-dish, entrée, Facile et rapide/Quick and easy, goûter/snacks, salé/salty, sucré-salé/salty-sweet, Végétarien/Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Redcurrant and white chocolate muffins

 

 

There are times, where it is the combination of colors that matters, more than the ingredients. With December approaching fast, I had cravings for red and white. And for sweets of course, hence these little currant-white chocolate muffins in my kitchen.

For 12-18 muffins:

150 g of brown sugar

4 eggs

300g of flour

baking powder

100g of milk (yes that’s the way it was written in the recipe grams, so I didn’t complicate things, and just continued to watch the grams on my measuring cup)

50g of cream (I didn’t have any on hand so I left that out when I mad the muffins – but it was too bad, they were a bit drier than they should have been).

120g of sunflower/peanut oil.

1 pinch of salt

1 punnet of redcurrants

180g of white chocolate

Preheat oven to 180 ° C.

Beat the sugar and eggs.

Add the flour, baking powder, milk and cream.

Mix well.

Then add oil and salt.

The dough should be smooth.

Adjust the consistency if needed, should the dough be too compact or too liquid.

Stir in the coarsely chopped white chocolate(personally I like bigger chunks that don’t melt completely in the cooking process)

Then gently mix the dough with a wooden spoon to incorporate the previously washed redcurrants.

Pour the dough into the molds (previously floured or protected with small paper cups).

Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. (my recipe said to turn out the muffins still warm – that’s why I like my little paper molds – it keeps it all nice and clean).

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Christelle’s fennel cream soup and pesto scallops

I’m siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick !

I basically spent the weekend huddled in a corner of my couch, hiding under a huge blanket, with a box of tissues, cough syrup, the tv remote, laptop and book handy. Apart from the not being able to breathe through my nose part, it was a pretty good weekend :)

In between liters of home brewed infusion of fresh ginger, lemon juice and honey (which I highly recommend to all cold & sniffles-candidates), I felt like « comfort food ». Something warm and healthy, uncomplicated and most importantly, who would not require any grocery shopping … going out, in the cold, with people brrrrrr! No way!

I had kept in stock Christelle’s recipe: fennel soup (yes, again!) and bay scallops with pesto. I didn’t have bay scallops, just « plain » scallops, but it’s just as good right? … A little mixing, and a bit of toasted baguette later, and I was in heaven.

I’ll refer you to the recipe for the rest, and I will now return to the depth of my couch. I have a few tv series episodes waiting for me … :)

Good Monday everyone!  :)

 

 

 

 

 

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Zucchini and bacon cheesecake

There are times where two ideas come to obsess you so much, they eventually merge and make one new idea, a sort of hybrid version of the two initial ones.

It’s kind of what happened to me: Parisdansmacuisine’s article about those individual maple syrup cheesecakes, using magic tupperwares (I-must-get-them!) And the Gourmandiseuse’s butternut, that I already talked about recently here, were side by side in my mind. But it wasn’t until a couple of zucchinis made their way into my fridge that it all went tilt! I needed a cheesecake with Parisdansmacuisine’s presentation, and I had to use the Gourmandiseuse’s cheesecake friendly way of preparing veggies. There it was!

Impatient as I am, I couldn’t wait for the EmpilOdéco tupperwares to be put up for sale, so I just went with the equipment I had available in the kitchen to get to my goal. A savory zucchini and bacon cheesecake.

I really wanted to be able to turn the cheescakes out (photo requirement) but assume that in small ramekins, it will be just as good (and less hassle: p)

So, let’s get down to business:

For 4 to 6 people:

4 zucchinis

200g of bacon (optional)

3 eggs

200g of Philadelphia cream cheese (or equivalent)

McVities Shortbreads

70g of butter

Salt, pepper, ground garlic, ground nutmeg.

Preheat the oven to 180 ° C.

Wash the zucchini, cut it into pieces and put it to cook in a pan with a little water.

Meanwhile, prepare the cheesecake base: Melt the butter in the microwave.

Then with a mortar and pestle, mix the melted butter with the McVities until you obtain a malleable paste. (Neither too sandy nor too oily – I know, I’m being super accurate:))

Grease and flour your ramekins (if you want to try turning them out afterwards …)

Press your McVities paste at the bottom of the ramekins (fill them up to about 1 / 3). Reserve.

Once your zucchini is cooked, remove it from the heat and drain. Add the salt, pepper, garlic and nutmeg. Mix. Add the tray of Philadelphia, eggs, and mix again.

In a small pan on the side, cook your bacon and add them to your zucchini preparation. (Optional)

Finish filling your ramekins with the zucchini.

Bake 20-25 minutes.

Remove from oven when the preparation has turned a light golden brown color.

Cool to room temperature.

Reheat in the oven a few minutes before serving ( I always find it better to reheat than to serve them immediately. It gives the zucchini time to solidify a little).

And there we have it : yet another cheesecake variation out in the open :)

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Small raspberry pie with basil flavored whipped cream

Tadaaa, I finally got around to trying something else than my thyme flavored whipped cream!

I gave in to temptation : the greengrocer on my street corner had this end of the day promotion I just couldn’t resist : 3 punnets of raspberries for 5 €!

So I took the opportunity to test an idea that had been on my mind for a couple of days : basil flavored whipped cream!

A couple of fresh basil leaves later … here’s the result!

 

For 4 tartlets:

1 shortcrust pastry

2 punnets of raspberries

sugar

a handful of fresh basil leaves

33cl of liquid cream

Powdered sugar

Lay and press the pastry into the tarlet molds.

Give the pastry a few fork stabs.

Top with the raspberries.

Sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat the cream in a saucepan with the basil leaves.

Bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and mix the cream with the basil until it emulsifies well.

Add one to two tablespoons of powdered sugar, and mix again.

Pour the cream into a cream whipper, and put it in the fridge to cool. (I made mine the day before – the basil had time to infuse the cream and it was even better!)

Once the tartlets are cooked, remove them from the oven and let them cool to room temperature.

The tartlets must be cold before serving if you want whipped cream to hold without melting!

Just before serving, remove the whipper from the fridge and cover the pies with a little basil flavored whipped cream.

Eat up!


I really liked this version of whipped cream: it provides that little something extra compared to a classic dessert, without requiring any big special effort!

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Round zucchinis with a pleurotus and walnut filling and egg topping

How can you surrender to a deep craving for both zucchini and mushrooms all at the same time?

Combine the two of course!

Here is the recipe for a perfect weekend dinner. Simple and effective!

For 2 persons:

4 small round zucchinis

4 eggs

200g of Philadelphia cream cheese (or equivalent).

400g of pleurotus mushrooms (or other mushrooms, depending on your preference)

200g shelled walnuts

Salt, pepper, garlic

Preheat oven to 180 ° C.

Fill a cooking pot with salted water to boil (you should be able to fully immerse the zucchini).

Wash the zucchini, cut off the top part, and empty them. (Leave about 1/2cm of flesh on the sides).

Dip in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes tops. The skin should still be firm.

Remove the zucchini from water, and place them in a baking dish. Reserve.

In a sauce pan, cook the Philadelphia with the previously washed and coarsely chopped mushrooms. Add the walnuts, salt, pepper and a little garlic powder. Stir from time to time.

Once the mushrooms are cooked and the Philadelphia has melted (you must have obtained a thick sauce), remove from heat.

Fill the zucchinis with the mix of Philadelphia and mushrooms. When filling, form a small well in which you will place the raw egg (it must be deep enough to hold the egg yolk).

Bake the zucchini topped eggs for 15-20 minutes.

Egg yolks should be a little hard and the egg white well cooked when you remove the zucchinis from the oven.

You can serve the zucchini with what I call bacon « cigarettes »: roll the bacon slices to form small cylinders. Hold them in place with toothpicks if necessary. Bake a few minutes time until they turn crispy.

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Pink Sweets …

More cupcakes, more pink!

A small pink dessert pink amongst all these red dishes can’t possibly hurt! :)

So then, here’s another recipe: cupcakes still, but pink, and with a rose flavour this time. It’s incredibly delicious! I also took the opportunity to go all the way with icing and my decorations. The prettier, the better!

For about 16 small cupcakes:

100g of flour

1 / 4 of a teaspoon of salt

1 / 2 of ateaspoon of baking soda (or baking powder, it also works)

100g of sugar

100g of soft butter

1 tablespoon of rose water (I found mine randomly on the shelf of a Franprix … but it’s really not common in parisian supermarkets is it?)

2 eggs

For the icing:

250g of powder sugar

1 egg white

Juice of 1 / 2 a lemon

Pink food coloring (optional, but it’s so much fun!)

Here we go!

Preheat your oven to 180 ° C.

Mix the flour, salt and baking soda. Save for later.

In a second bowl, pour the sugar and add the butter that you’ll have cut into pieces.

Pour the rose water.

Mix until the mixture whitens and becomes creamy.

Add the eggs and mix well to homogenize the whole thing.

Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into the mixture.

Continue until you obtain a smooth paste.

Fill the cupcake molds up to 2 / 3 with the paste and bake 15 to 20 minutes until the cupcakes are golden brown.

Remove from oven and let the cupcakes cool before decorating them with your icing.

Prepare the icing:

Mix the powder sugar and egg white together in a bowl.

Stir in the lemon juice gradually. Whisk until the mixture thickens.

It should form a ribbon at the end of the whip (or at the end of your finger if you’ve dipped it in to taste :p)

Add sugar or lemon juice if the consistency of the mix needs to be adjusted.

Pour a few drops of food coloring and continue to stir until you obtain the desired color (be careful if your preparation is a little too pasty, add the coloring first to see if it is not enough, before adding lemon juice).

Spread the icing, using a spoon or with a pastry bag (if the icing does not hold using a pastry bag, try adding a little powder sugar to make it a little more consistent).

Add your decorations.
Let the icing harden at room temperature.

Eat them all!

I think it’s my favorite cupcake recipe so far!

Oh, and this recipe comes from the same book than last time.

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Fennel-carrot cream soup with steam-cooked clams

This winter will be that of fennel. I am amazed  by the texture of this vegetable when mixed to make soup. It’s so incredibly smooth and creamy! I’m the type of girl who’ll add a touch of cream in a soup, but it becomes quite irrelevant here!

So, fennel, soup: I loosely based myself on this recipe for these dinner plans – a light and delicious supper, if I can say so myself!

Serves 4 (or 2 hungry people):

500g of clams (or any other shellfish)

2 fennels

4-5 carrots

3 cloves of garlic

1 onion

White wine

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Wash the clams.

Cover with 1 / 3 of water and 2 / 3 of white wine in a pan.

Add a clove of garlic cut into small pieces.

Cover and cook on medium heat.

Peel the carrots, wash the fennel.

Cut into cubes.

Slice the onion and the 2 cloves of garlic,

Sauté both onion and garlic in a pan with a little olive oil.

Add the fennel and carrots.

Cover with water and cook 20-30 minutes.

Mix well until mixture is smooth.

Add salt, pepper (I added some coriander too).

Serve hot with clams.

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Posted in Facile et rapide/Quick and easy, Légumes/Vegetables, plat principal/main dish, Poisson&Co/Fish&Co, salé/salty, Soupes/Soup | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Creamy carrot-tomato soup and its thyme flavored whipped cream

This autumn-winter (a mix of both, there are no seasons anymore right?) gets me in the mood for red and orange colors in my plate.

And with the temperatures dropping these past days, I got my loyal mixer out of the cupboard again, along with all my soup recipes!

So here is the recipe I was looking for last time, that I eventually dug out.

A carrot-tomato cream soup with its thyme whipped cream. AAAAaaaaah, bliss!

Thyme whipped cream, well, let’s just say I’m nuts about it. It’s sooooooo, good! (So every time I make some, I always make a ton too much, and put it on everything I have for the next week).

As for the cream soup, it’s a classic that works all year round : it can be had either cold or warm.

Put the two together, and here you have a winning recipe. Works every time!

For 4 people:

1 kg of carrots

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 small can of tomato paste (really small, otherwise the carrot will disappear!)

1 cube of chicken stock

20cl of liquid cream

2-5 sprigs of thyme (I always put 5-6 – I love it when the cream is well infused)

Salt and pepper

Peel the carrots, cut them into pieces.

Peel the onion and cut it into quarters.

Put it all in a saucepan with the cube of stock, the tomato paste and the peeled garlic cloves.

Cover with water, and cook for about 20 minutes. Cover the pan.

Remove from the heat and blend well.

For the thyme whipped cream:

Pour the cream into a saucepan and add the thyme sprigs.

Bring to a boil, then let cool with the sprigs of thyme so as to let them infuse well.

Strain the cream with a chinoise.

For the whipped cream, there are 3 schools, depending on the equipment you have at your disposal: you either have a cream whipper,  a mixer, or enough elbow grease to help you the cream well whipped!

That’s it! Pour your soup (hot or cold) into its container, cover with whipped cream, maybe sprinkle a little pepper and salt for a final touch, and enjoy!

I love to serve this as an entrée in coffee cups:)

So what’s your favorite soup?

 

 

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Posted in accompagnement/side-dish, entrée, Facile et rapide/Quick and easy, Légumes/Vegetables, salé/salty, Soupes/Soup, Végétarien/Vegetarian | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bell pepper tatin

I was trying to find something totally different in my stock of Saveurs magazines when I randomly leafed my way to this recipe.

It was quick and easy, and I happened to have all the ingredients for it in my fridge : my dinner plans were all cut out for me!

For 6 people :

3 red bell peppers

2 red onions

2 ready made puff paste rolls

1 generous tablespoon of honey

3 tablespoons of olive oil

butter for the molds

fresh thyme

salt, pepper

Preheat your oven at 200°C.

Wash and seed the bell peppers.

Peel and chop the onions.

Cut the peppers in stripes of 2 to 3 cm thick.

Put the peppers and onion in a pan, and cook with the oil, thyme and honey for approximatively 15mn medium heat. Stir from time to time.

Butter your individual pie pans, and arrange the stripes of bell pepper, rounded side facing downwards, in tight rows at in the pan with the onions.

Dispose circles of puff paste (of a larger diameter than that of the pan) on top of the peppers and bring the extra paste between the veggies and the pan.

Put in the oven for 30-35 minutes, and unmold on the plates, peppers facing upwards.

Can be eaten cold or warm.

 

 

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Posted in entrée, Facile et rapide/Quick and easy, Légumes/Vegetables, plat principal/main dish, salé/salty, sucré-salé/salty-sweet, Végétarien/Vegetarian | Tagged , , | Leave a comment