Friday, December 31, 2010

New years eve

New years eve

Coming back from Lake Tohoe snow, we decide to make some food in our own kitchen. Here they are:

1. Bouchee a la reine

2. Hummus without garlic

3. Fage Greek yogurt with wild blueberry jam

4. Canape de fois gras

5. Canape de salmon
















Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gratin de choux fleur, gratin d'asperges

Gratin de choux fleur, gratin d'asperges

It was very delicious.

Olivier diligently made the sauce bechamel. It was a good success. Everybody loved it.



Noodle soup from leftover vegetable

Noodle soup from leftover vegetable

Leo wanted mom's instant noodle soup, so I boiled some water, put a big spoon of the leftover vegetable stew, diluted into soup, then added instant noodle. Done.

I was warned again that it was too shameful to show such a simple no cooking food. However, I still would like to record it as a memory of the daily happenings.

I am sorry for its simplicity.


Gesier d’oie, potato and salad

Gesier d’oie, potato and salad

Oliver usually does serious stuff. We are both quiet "sans frontier", as long as it is delicious, whichever cuisine is enjoyed in our family.



Serve 4

Ingredients:
1 can of gesier d’oie
2 potatoes
2 handfuls of spring mix salad
1 branches of fresh thyme
Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

Cooking:
For potato:
1. In a sauce pan, boil potato for 20 minutes, cool and peel off skin and cut to chunky slices
2. In a frying pan, put in sliced potato, one tablespoon of goose oil and thyme, pan fry the potato for 5 minutes

For gesier:
1. In a sauce pan, empty the gesier can and heat for 5 minutes in slow fire
2. Take out gesier put aside

For salad:
1. In a salad bowl, mix olive oil, mustard and pepper
2. Add in salad, and toss till the dressing is evenly dispensed

Assemble the potato, gesier and salad in a salad plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.
Enjoy

Stew of all leftover vegetables before departing

Stew of all leftover vegetables before departing

Without notice, our ski vacation is coming to an end. Tonight is our last meal.
Olivier opened a can of "gesier d'oie", heated in pan. The whole house was infused by its aroma.
I chopped every single vegetable available, put in pot, stewed for 10 minutes then added one spoon of the goose oil. It was so delicious, so homey, so country, so winter!



Serve 4
10 minutes

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of cooking oil,
1 tablespoon of goose oil,
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 zucchinis, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
¼ cabbage, chopped
¼ savoy cabbage, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Salt, pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of dried herbs such as parsley, basil and oregano



Cooking:
1. Heat 2 spoons of cooking oil in wok in medium high heat about half minute or till the oil hot,
2. Put all vegetables and herbs
3. Cover and cook for 5 minutes,
4. Add goose oil,
5. Stir, and cook for another 5 minutes
6. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
7. Serve

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Stew of tomato, zucchini and yellow squash

Stew of tomato, zucchini and yellow squash

Yesterday's pot au feu was wonderful.Today's addition of vegetation in its left over stock was still good, but less exciting because of lack of change.

I want so stir fry style stew, in which the vegetables are softened by heat in its own juice instead of boiled.

Therefore, in comes this dish. It is so much more exciting than the plain boiled.



Serve 4
10 minutes

Ingredients:
2 table spoons of cooking oil,
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 zucchinis, chopped
2 yellow squash, chopped
Salt, pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of dried parsley leaf (or herb of your preference)



Cooking:
1. Heat 2 spoons of cooking oil in wok in medium high heat about half minute or till the oil hot,
2. Put vegetables and herbs
3. Cover and cook for 5 minutes,
4. Stir, and cook for another 2 minutes
5. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
6. Serve

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pot au feu

Pot au feu

Winter is about pot au feu.
We came back from snow storm, put meat and vegetable in pot, turned on slow fire then enjoyed our family life. Hockey monopoly, jacuzzi, all these in the wonderful aroma of pot au feu.
If there is a key to this recipe, then it is love.
There does not require any skill, any technique. The key ingredient is love, the key technique is patience. It works for any meat, any vegetable, any length of time. Keep adding, keep enjoying, for one day, one week, one month, one century.

In China, there are some restaurants serve soup that cooked with stock traced back hundreds of years ago. I believe it true in many other ancient culture.




Serve 4 persons
At least 2 hours

Ingredients:
2 lb meat with bones, including oxtail, rib or other
1 turnip
1 savoy cabbage
1 leek
1 onion
2 potatoes
1 bouquet garni
a few whole pepper
10 cups of water
salt and pepper to taste

Cooking:
1. Put a big pot on fire,
2. Put in rinsed meat, vegetables, pepper and bouquet garni
3. Cook in slow fire for 3 hours
4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
5. Serve

Tip: It is best the put salt at last. The slow cooked soup brings out the sweetness of the vegetables. The last minute salt enhances it to the most.

This soup is can be enjoyed on and on with adding new vegetables.

Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt Parfait

We made brioche a few days ago. It has become very dried. The only way to eat is to soften it.

Last night I saw Sunset magazine had some pictures of parfait. Why not? But I was running short of yogurt in fridge.

Today we entered Raleys, I went to yogurt directly. Then I was set to a new test.



Here is video of this desert:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_PaND6BpAc

Serve 2 persons
2 minute for preparation, at least 2 hours for cooling

Ingredients:
2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 cup of brioche crumble
2 tablespoons of wild blueberry jam

Making:
1. Put one tablespoon of yogurt on bottom of a glass
2. Put in one spoon of brioche crumble
3. Add another layer of yogurt
4. Put on tablespoon of jam
5. Add another layer of yogurt
6. Garnish with maple syrup on desire

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate

Last night, I was cold, hungry and wanted some milk. But 3 days without grocery shopping left only very limited milk that might not be enough for our breakfast. I could not leave my boys out of milk in the morning. So, I endured the temptation of a cup of hot milk.

In the morning, I woke up seeing that there was milk left for me. I knew they saved for me. How touching. I had to enjoy to the full by making hot thick chocolate.Besides, we finally finished the cereal bars that we soaked in milk every morning!




Serve 1 person
5 minute

Ingredients:
2 cup of whole milk, or deduced fat, or fat free
1 teaspoon of all-purpose flour,
2 pieces of dark chocolate from chocolate bar (about 40 grams)
1 teaspoon of Nutella,
Dusts of cocoa powder

Making:
1. Heat a sauce pan,
2. Pour in milk,
3. Add chocolate, Nutella and flour
4. Bring to boil while keep stirring
5. Dust with cocoa power
6. Enjoy

Monday, December 27, 2010

Vanilla yogurt with strawberry jam

Vanilla yogurt with strawberry jam

Back from Ski, we dipped into Jacuzzi. The temperature was set at OT plus 4, means over temperature plus 4 more degrees.
It was not hot, it was steaming!!! Leo could not even get in.

A few minutes later, it exceeded my endurance also. We got out, craving for something fresh. This cup of fresh yogurt did just do.

Of course, I did not forget the marble design which is a must for me when eat yogurt with jam. To ensure a successful design, the jam should be soft, so I stirred the jam in the bottle before putting on top of yogurt. It was very important.

I always wanted to do this with my students. I think they will like it. Food is art, life is art.





Serve 1 person
1 minute

Ingredients:
1 cup of vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon of strawberry jam

Making:
1. Put yogurt in a glass bowl,
2. Add strawberry jam
3. Stir delicately to make marble design
4. Present and enjoy

Tortellini soup with tomato and sausage

Tortellini soup with tomato and sausage




Today is the fourth day we ski. This morning, I was tired and didn't get up until 10.

However, the weather was wonderful, bright sunshine, blue sky, white mountain. It could not get better than this. We spent a whole day ski Mt. Rose, then struck in traffic, no time for grocery shopping.

Here is the left over vegetables only good for another tortellini soup. I am quite ashamed of showing it since it so shamefully not sophisticate.

It was very comfy.



Serve 4 persons
15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
1 cup of dried tortellini
6 cups of soup
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cabbage, chopped
2 cans of mini sausages
Salt and pepper to taste
Herb of your choice


Cooking:
1. Put cooking oil in pot, heat with medium high fire,
2. Put in tomato and cabbage, cook for I minute,
3. Add 6 cups of water, bring to boil,
4. Add one cup of dried tortellini, and mini sausages,
5. Simmer for 15 minutes,
6. Add salt and pepper taste,
7. Serve.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tortellini Soup

Tortellini Soup

I used to have soup every day, every meal. May it be simple as adding soy sauce to boiling water, or complicate as a seafood cioppinio, soup is a must.

Today's dinner was spaghetti Carbonara al dente. I can not chew, so I made this soup. It is the first time that I made pasta soup. Ici, maintenant, I love it.

When eating, I added some marinating oil from the mozzarella, it was full of flavor.








Serve 4 person
15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup of dried tortellini
6 cups of soup
1 handful of broccoli head
1/4 cabbage, torn into bitable sized pieces by hand
Salt, pepper and oil to taste

Cooking:
1. Boil 6 bowl of water in medium high fire,
2. Put in broccoli, cabbage, tortellini, bring to boil
3. Simmer for 15 minutes
4. Add salt and pepper and oil to taste
5. Serve

Stew of celery, potato, eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash

Stew of celery, potato, eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash

I had a huge dental operation. Besides the breathtaking pain and medical bill, I have to suffer at least two weeks of soft food. Soft as no need to use teeth.

For almost a week, I eat vegetable stews, and I am still not fed up.

The cooking method is real simple, put chopped vegetables in pot, add oil, cover, cooking for 5 to ten minutes. Vegetable become soft. Add salt and pepper at the end or on table when serving.

I feel this is far from the authentic trained cooking method. However, it comes out always right. My vegetables have never betrayed me. Each time they surprise me how good the real flavor of its own good.

Here is this disastrous looking but fantastic tasting dish.





Serve 4
15 minutes

Ingredients:
2 table spoons of cooking oil,
2 branches of celery, chopped,
1 potato, peeled and chopped,
2 Italian eggplant, chopped,
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
Salt, pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of dried parsley leaf (or herb of your preference)



Cooking:
1. Heat 2 spoons of cooking oil in wok in medium high heat about half minute or till the oil hot,
2. Put in celery, cook for1 minutes
3. Put in potato, eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash
4. Cover and let cook in for 5 minutes
5. Stir and cover again for cooking another 5 minutes
6. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
7. Serve

Fried tofu with baby Chinese cabbage and julienne carrot

Fried tofu with baby Chinese cabbage and julienne carrot


Serve 4 to 6,
10 minutes
(3 minutes for cleaning and cutting, 5 – 7 minutes for cooking)

Ingredients:
2 table spoons of cooking oil,
1 lbs of baby Chinese cabbage, torn by hand
½ pound of fried tofu, cut to 1 inch dice
1 carrot, julienned,
Salt, pepper to taste


Cooking:
1. Heat 2 spoons of cooking oil in wok in medium high heat about half minute or till the oil hot,
2. Put baby cabbage and fried tofu,
3. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes,
4. Stir and cook for another minute,
5. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
6. Serve

Spring mix salad with cucumber

Spring mix salad with cucumber



Serve 4 persons
5 minutes


Ingredients:
½ lb of spring-mix salad, washed and dried
2 Persian cucumbers, peeled and sliced to 3 mm thin,
2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil,
1 tea spoon of Dijon mustard, fin et fort
Salt and pepper to taste


Cooking:
1. For dressing, mix olive oil with mustard in a big salad bowl,
2. Add in spring-mix salad and cucumber, mix well,
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper,
4. Serve

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Brioche

Brioche

We baked this brioche from scratch. All we do is following the recipe on the flour package.



Marinated mozzarella and tomato


Marinated mozzarella and tomato



Serve 4 persons
2 minutes


Ingredients:
2 heirloom tomatoes, medium size
½ lb of marinated mozzarella
Salt, pepper to taste
Dash of balsamic vinegar

Cooking:
1. Cut tomatoes to chunky dices
2. Mix with marinated mozzarella
3. Sprinkle with dash of balsamic vinegar
4. Serve


Tip: Add a dash of extra virgin olive oil of your preference to enhance flavor.

Pumpkin Soup 南瓜汤

Kabocha pumpkin soup



Serve 6 persons
20 minutes for preparation, (5 minutes for preparing, 15 minutes for cooking)


Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
1 kabocha pumpkin about 2 lbs, skin off, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ lb fresh cream
2 cups of water
Salt, pepper to taste

Cooking:
1. Heat cooking oil in pot and add garlic and onion to cook for 1 minutes
2. Put in pumpkin
3. Add water, cover, bring to boil
4. Simmer for 10 minutes
5. Stop fire
6. Add cream, blend till smooth
7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
8. Serve

Tip: If the soup turns out to thick, you can add water. If too thin or watery, you can dip in toasted bread when eating.

Tahoe tiramisu

Lake Tahoe Tiramisu

I call it Lake Tahoe Tiramisu because we are spending our white Christmas in Lake Tahoe a rented chalet. We do not have all the material we need. It is an improvised version, but burned out good.

I do not have picture of it because we finished it before I take picture.




Serve 4 persons
10 minutes for preparation,
4 hours for cooling

Ingredients:
20 finger cookies
1 cup of strong coffee
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of sugar
½ pound of mascarpone


Cooking:
1. Beat egg yolks with sugar for 2 minutes or till it well blended,
2. Blend in Mascarpone to make a thick creamy mixture
3. Dip finger biscuit in strong coffee and take out quickly
4. Put one layer of creamy mixture on bottom of a glass cookie pen
5. Put ten dipped finger cookies
6. Put another layer of creamy mixture
7. Add another layer of 10 dipped finger cookies
8. Cover with creamy mixture
9. Cover up and leave in refrigerator for 4 hours
10. Serve

Tip: This is an improvised version of tiramisu due to lack of material such as liquor and cocoa power.
It turns out less rich but more refreshing.

Tofu in egg white with broccoli


Tofu in egg white with broccoli





Serve 4 persons
10 minutes

Ingredients:
2 table spoons of cooking oil
2 handfuls of broccoli head broken to pieces
3 eggs white, beaten with salt and pepper
1 pack of firm tofu, cut to chunky pieces and mixed with egg white
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of herbs of your choice, such as parsley or basil

Cooking:
1. Heat 2 spoons of cooking oil in wok in medium high heat about half minute or till the oil hot,
2. Put in egg white and tofu mixture, cook for 1 minutes or till the mixture lightly cooked,
3. Put in herb and broccoli,
4. Cover and let simmer for 2 minutes,
5. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes
6. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
7. Serve



Tip: you can use whole egg for richer taste. Here I use the white because it is the left over from making tiramisu.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Bowl of Instant Noodle


A Bowl of Instant Noodle



Serve 1 person

5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pack of instant noodle

1 bowl of water

1 ladle of oxtail stock

1 handful of broccoli head

2 leaves of cabbage, torn to bitable size pieces by hand

Cooking:

1. Boil one bowl of water in medium high fire,

2. Put in broccoli and cabbage, instant noodle and condiments package

3. Add one ladle of oxtail stock, bring to boil again

4. Serve

Tip: any other vegetable of your preference will work

Oxtail stock is optional as well as substitutable

Stew of tomato, celery, zucchini, yellow squash and cauliflower

Stew of tomato, celery, zucchini, yellow squash and cauliflower




Serve 4 to 6,
10 minutes
(3 minutes for cleaning and cutting, 5 – 7 minutes for cooking)

Ingredients:
2 table spoons of cooking oil,
2 tomatoes, medium size, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
¼ of a cauliflower, broken to chunky pieces
2 branches of celery, chopped
Salt, pepper to taste
One cup of water (preferable stock)


Cooking:
1. Heat 2 spoons of cooking oil in wok in medium high heat about half minute or till the oil hot,
2. Put in tomato, celery, cook for1 minutes
3. Put in zucchini, yellow squash and cauliflower
4. Cover and let cook in for 5 minutes
5. Add one cup of water, stir and cook for another 5 minutes
6. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
7. Serve

Tip: Substitute water with stock, either veggie or non-veggie, can enhance the flavor,
Add some herbs such as parsley or basil gives the dish a more distinguished taste.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stir fried carrot, eggplant and cabbage with sweet basil leaf


Stir fried carrot, eggplant and cabbage with sweet basil leaf

Serve 4 to 6,

10 minutes

(3 minutes for cleaning and cutting, 5 – 7 minutes for cooking)

Ingredients:

2 table spoons of cooking oil,

1 branch of sweet basil, cut to small pieces

3 Italian eggplants, medium size, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

½ cabbage, medium size, chopped

Salt, pepper to taste

Cooking:

1. Heat 2 spoons of cooking oil in wok in medium high heat about half minute or till the oil hot,

2. Put in carrot, cook for 1 minutes or till the carrot lightly softened,

3. Put in eggplant and cabbage,

4. Cover and let cook in for 5 minutes

5. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes

6. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste

7. Serve

Tip: Since I use the vegetables fresh from the local farmers market, I do not need to put water when cooking. The moisture of the vegetables make this dish soft and juicy.

If you like it crunchy, you can either reduce the cook time or do not cover, or both.