In all my years of teaching cuisine Francaise, I have never tired of the basics! They are the backbone of good cooking. Try and use the freshest ingredients you can find. When we lived in France, I would go to the market in the morning and find vegetables which were picked from the ground at 5:00 a.m. that same day! We might not be able to get our fruits and vegetables that fresh all the time, but the next best thing is to visit your local farmer’s markets. The food is healthier, and you are supporting your local community!
Tarte Amandine (Pear & Almond Tart)
Preheat the oven to 240 C/410 F. Unroll the pastry and place in a pie or tart pan. Place the pears rounded side facing up in the pan on top of the pastry. Whisk the evaporated milk, eggs, ground almonds and sugar together as if you were making an omlette. Pour the mixture on the pears. Bake on the lower shelf of your oven for approx. 35 minutes. Serves 6-8.
This is fantastic! Easy and quick to make, but delivers a lot of flavor. Steaming the fish keeps it healthy and flavorful! This is a meal in itself, but some basmati or jasmine rice on the side would be nice!
Saumon en Papillote
Preheat either your gas grill or oven to 375 C. Cut four large squares of parchment paper, approx. 10 inches square. Drizzle the parchment with a bit of olive oil. Place the fillets of salmon on top. Sprinkle some garlic, chili and shallot over each piece of fish. Divide the remaining ingredients equally and arrange on top. Season with salt and pepper.
Wrap the parchment to form a package, folding the edges to seal them tightly. Place either on the grill over indirect heat or on a baking sheet if using the oven. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Serves 4
Aubergines Provencales (Eggplant in the Style of Provence)
The recipe below is great served with grilled fish, poultry, lamb, or on its own. I make it often in the summer. Preheat your gas grill to 350F, broiler, or build a wood fire to medium heat. Cut the eggplants in two lengthwise. (I used the small Italian ones, otherwise cut into slices 1/2 inch thick). Generously oil the outside. Brush a little oil on the interior of each half. Mince the garlic, shallots, and parsley, and mic together with a good sized handful of fresh breadcrumbs and 2-3 Tablespoons of butter. Place each eggplant on the grill (if using small Italian ones, place skin side down first). After 5-10 minutes or so, mound a small amount of the garlic/shallot/parsley mixture on the surface of each eggplant (not skin side). Season with salt and pepper. Continue grilling till eggplants are tender and cooked through. Serves 3 (left overs are great chopped up with some fresh past and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese).