Oven Baked Camembert with a Nectarine, Pomegranate and thyme salsa

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Ingredients:

  • 1 camembert
  • 1/2 bunch thyme
  • 2 nectarine
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tablespoon honey

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven at 200 degrees celsius.
  • Place Camembert on a flat baking tray lined with baking paper, and bake for 14 minutes
  • Dice the nectarines, seed the pomegranate and pick the thyme, then mix them together with a touch of cherry vinegar.
  • Serve with a Chateau Mazerolles Benoit Cote de Blaye, available at www.airoldifinewines.com.au
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Christmas Lunch : Honey and Spice Quail with a Fresh Grapes and Nuts Salad

DSC_0823It’s that time of the year again, the festive season is nearly here! Time to start planning what you’re going to eat for Christmas lunch or even Christmas eve. It is an exciting time of the year with all the cooking, baking and tasting of all those delicious Christmas dishes.

The honey and spice quail is good way to start your Christmas lunch, as you can have it as part of a sharing platter or as an entrée on its own. This recipe is a spin on the more traditional ( Caille aux Raisin) Quail with a grape sauce. I chose to marinate it in honey, verjuice, 5 spice, tangerine peel and sage to give the meat a unique flavour. I made a fresh grapes, rocket and nuts salad to match my quails, the salad adds freshness to the dish and complement it perfectly.

quail5_lefermier_231115Honey and Spice pan seared quail: serve 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 boned quails, Halved
  • 8 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tea spoon 5 spice
  • 375ml verjuice
  • 100ml water
  • 1 bunch sage, chopped
  • 1 garlic head, quartered
  • 10 peppercorn
  • 2 tangerine peel

Method:

  1. Mix the honey, verjuice, water, five spice and sage together.
  2. Place the quail in a container deep enough to contain the marinade.
  3. Pour the marinate over the quails and leave to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  4. Take the quail out of the marinade and pat dry. Heat up a large frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.
  5. Cook the quail skin side down first for about 4 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Turn the quail around and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove the quails from the pan and pour the marinade in, reduce until it starts to thicken and then put the quails back in and toss them around to coat them with the sauce.

quail6_lefermier_241115For the salad;

Ingredients:

  • 50g almond, roughly chopped
  • 30g pinenuts
  • 50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 150g fresh grapes, halved
  • 150g baby rocket
  • 150g baby leaves

Method:

  1. Mix the almonds, pinenuts, hazelnuts  together in a salad bowl.
  2. Mix with the fresh grapes and baby leaves.
  3. Whisk 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, pinch of salt, 1 clove crush garlic and olive oil to taste together and drizzle over the salad.

 

DSC_0805Wine Suggestion: Domaine de Baron’Arques Le Chardonnay Limoux from www.airoldifinewines.com.au


Dark Chocolate and Orange Truffles

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Truffles by origin aren’t a Christmas food, but with their indulgent ingredients, luxurious coatings and bite-sized portions, it’s easy to see why they’ve become associated with festive frivolity and make the perfect edible gift. Plus, they are relatively simple to make and so for those of you wanting to get the kids involved with holiday baking, this is a sticky-finger licking good option!

You can take a classic truffle recipe like this one and add any kind of fresh flavouring that will complement chocolate. I suggest mint, raspberry, or orange, which is what I’ve included in my recipe today.

Ingredients:

  •  250g Dark Chocolate
  • 100g Unsalted Butter (diced)
  • 2 Egg Yolk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 20 caster sugar
  • 80 g icing sugar
  • 50 g cacao powder
  • 3 orange zest

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Method:

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil on the stove.
  2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place it in a heat resistant bowl, like a stainless steel one for example.
  3. Turn the heat down to a minimum and place the bowl of chocolate on top of the sauce pan. Leave it slowly melt over the Bain-Marie.
  4. When the chocolate has completely melted, slowly add the diced butter while stirring.
  5. Once the butter has melted, take the chocolate of the heat and add the egg yolk, vanilla, caster sugar, icing sugar and the orange zest. Mix it all together and place it in the fridge to solidify.
  6. Once solidified, form little balls of chocolate and roll them in a mixture of icing sugar and cacao powder.

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I suggest you serve those delicious treat with coffee or tea after your Christmas lunch or as part of you dessert maybe!

Those tasty treats can also be enjoyed with a glass of Domaine de Viranel “Gourmandise” available from www.airoldifinewines.com.au

Christmas Day Lunch “Aussie Style”: Part 1

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I hope you enjoyed a taste (get it?!) of some of the French dishes that I love cooking and sharing during the holiday season. Over the next few posts I’ll show you what’s on my menu for an Australian Christmas Lunch, but with a small French twist of course!

Summer in the land down under is all about seafood, and we are so lucky to enjoy such great quality produce. It’s a must on the menu so for my Christmas Day entrée I’ve chosen Mussels in a white wine and garlic sauce. The sauce is just as important as the mussels in this dish and shouldn’t be left behind. So, make sure to pair with a fresh baguette or loaf of your choice.

Main is the classic turkey, but for those of you who find the whole bird daunting, why not try a Turkey breast roast! You can treat it almost like a pork loin roast, with a flavoursome stuffing (like the fig, hazelnut and orange one I’ve made), served with a sweet cranberry relish to top it off. It’s much easier, still looks impressive on the Christmas table and will also taste delicious as leftovers in a Boxing Day sandwich.

I’d never had a trifle before I’d come to Australia, but now I couldn’t imagine a Christmas day without one. Family secret ingredients abound with this dish, and I’d wager that no two taste the same. I love this kind of dish, which allows people to truly make it their own. It may not be haute cuisine, but it’s fun, casual and refreshing on a hot day, which to me describes the perfect Aussie Christmas dish to finish off a festive family gathering.

So dig in, and have a very Merry Christmas!

Garlic Mussels:

Ingredients:

  •  2kg Mussels
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 Brown Onion
  • 200g butter
  • 6 clove garlic
  • 250mL Dry White Wine

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Method:

  1. Heat up a deep cooking pot on medium heat with a little bit of olive oil.
  2. Dice the onion and crush the garlic. Wash, dry and chop the parsley.
  3. Put the mussels into the hot cooking pot, pour in the white wine, onion and garlic, cover with a lid and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes until the mussels open up.
  4. Add the parsley and butter, cook for a few more minutes on low heat so that butter slowly melts and combines with the mussel juice.
  5. You can thicken the sauce a little bit if you want with a little bit of corn flour mixed with some water or leave the sauce as is, which is what I did as I find it refreshing.
  6. Serve straight away with some crusty, fresh bread to soak up all the delicious juice!

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I recommend a Chateau “Briand” Bergerac Blanc to go with the garlic mussels, available from www.airoldifinewines.com.au