Grand Marnier and Orange Crème Brulée

creme brulee blog photo 5   Orange and Grand Marnier Crème Brulee: The  Crème Brulée  was  born in the XVII  century. During this period dishes were served to guests in  three different service , by the time all the quest received their meals it would be cold. During a dinner organized by Phillip D’orleans, he complained that his “ Crème”  was too cold. They had the idea to apply a hot iron on top to warm up the cream. Instead it caramelised the top without warming up the cream, the “ Crème Brulée “ was born.     creme brulee blog photo 2

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Recipe:

18 yolk

350 g sugar

orange zest

20 ml Grand Marnier

1.2 litres cream

Method: Boil the cream and orange zest , whisk egg yolks and sugar together• Pour the cream in the egg and sugar mix and whisk, then pour the mix back in the pot• Wash your bowl and dry it with a clean towel• Cook the Crème on a medium heat stirring it with a wooden spoon and whisking it from time to time.  Using a thermometer cook the Crème until about 80 degrees, you should see a swirl of fat forming at the top• Pour the cream back into the cleaned bowl and whisk for a few minutes until it cools down a little bit. Place an orange segment at the bottom of your  Crème brulée dish and pour the crème over,  put the crème  in the fridge overnight or until set• To caramelised it, sprinkle a thin layer of caster or raw sugar over the top, and caramelise it with a small blow torch or a Crème Brulée iron•   Can also be served with some almond tuiles •

grand marnier photo blog

Porc a la Normande ( slow cook pork fillet in cider and Calvados)

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Normandy is located in north west of France. Normandy is well known for their apple cider, lamb and their beef, but I think most people would know Normandy for their famous cheeses such as Camembert, Livarot , Pont l’Évêque and Brillat-Savarin. As you can tell with this recipe cream is an important ingredient in “Normand” cooking . Normandy is also the biggest producer of oysters, mussels and coquille saint Jacques( scallops) in France. Normandy was  the home of the author of one of the first French cuisine cookbook ” Le Viandier” , Guillaume Tirel known as “Taillevent”.

For the pork ragout :

–          2 Pork fillets or diced pork

–          4 Shallots

–          ¾ litre Apple cider

–          400g Sliced mushroom

–          1 glass Calvados ( Apple brandy)

–          3 Apples

–          200 ml Crème Fraiche

Method: Heat up your pot on high heat with a bit of olive oil then add half of the meat. Cook until it starts to colour then take the meat out and repeat the process with the rest of the meat• Put the meat back in the pot and add the calvados and “Flamber”•  Add the shallots and  colour them for a few minutes•  Add the peeled and diced apples, cover with cider, season with salt and pepper and cook on low heat for 30-40 minutes• Add the sliced mushroom and cook for a further 15-20 minutes• Before serving add the crème fraiche . Reduce the sauce if necessary.

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For the “ Tomates Provencale” ( Provencale tomato)

–          5  vine tomato

–          ½ Bunch continental parsley

–          4 garlic cloves

–          ½ cup bread crumbs (optional)

Method:  Cut the tomatoes in half sideways and place them on a roasting tray • Crush the garlic, chop the parsley and mix them together• Drizzle the tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper• Sprinkle the garlic and parsley over the top and roast at 180 degree celcius for 10-12 minutes.

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Chicken Chasseur

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Sauce chasseur also known as “hunter sauceis a brown sauce used in French cooking traditionally to cook game meat such as venison, rabbit, wild fowl and other meats. It often contains mushroom and shallots. Traditionally, while returning from the hunt, the hunters would pick the mushrooms that they would then use to prepare the sauce. In this recipe i used port instead of brandy as i find that it give the sauce more body. Chasseur is thought to have been invented by Philippe de Mornay, who is also credited with inventing Mornay sauce, bechamel, sauce Lyonnaise, and sauce Porto.

 

Chicken Chasseur

For the chicken:

–          500g chicken thighs
–          4 shallots
–          4 garlic cloves
–          1 bunch thyme
–          1 punnet Swiss brown mushroom
–          150g sliced bacon
–          150ml port
–          150 ml red wine
–          600 ml vegetable stock
–          Salt and  pepper
–          Corn flour

Method: Heat up your pot on medium heat with a drizzle of olive • Slice the shallots, crushed the garlic and chop the thyme • Add the shallots, thyme and garlic to the pot and cook on medium heat for a few minutes or until the shallots starts to brown a little • Dice the bacon and add them to the pot • Roughly cut the chicken thighs and add them to the casserole. Cook the chicken until golden brown • Add the port and reduce by about half, then add the red wine and again reduce by about half • Finally add the vegetable stock and cook on high heat until it starts boiling then turn the heat down to medium and cook for 30 minutes • Mix a little bit of corn flour with some water and add to the sauce to thicken it • Season to taste.

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For the roasted potatoes:

–          600g desire potatoes
–          2 sprigs rosemary
–          Olive oil

Method: Peel the potato • Put them in a pot and submerge them with cold water, cook them until just tender • Drain them and shake them well to get rough edges • Spread them on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast in a hot oven (220 degrees celcius) until crispy • Take them out of the oven and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and salt.

Bon Appetit,
Le Fermier

Garlic and chili mussels with homemade spaghetti

 

Mussels with a Mediterranean twist, in this recipe I’ve add a little bit of spicy salami which I think gives it that extra “kick”, that meaty and spicy flavour goes hand in hand with the mussels, and that soft and succulent texture from the homemade fresh spaghetti is just amazing. Together they create an amazing dish.

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For the Pasta :

– 750 g semolina

– 250 g flour

– 5 eggs

– 1 cup water

– 2 Tbs olive oil

– Pinch of salt

Method : Mix semolina, plain flour, & salt together • Whisk the eggs then add them to the semolina, then add the water and olive oil and mix until combined • Cut the dough into small pieces • Roll the dough with a rolling pin until thin enough to put through the pasta machine • Starts rolling on number 1 to 4 then fold the dough on itself and start again from number 1 to 7 • Roll the dough through the spaghetti attachment of the pasta machine and lay the pasta on a flat dry tray and sprinkle with semolina to avoid sticking • Cook in salted boiling water for 2 minutes, drain the water from the pot, refresh the pasta by rinsing in cold water and drain again • Drizzle a little olive oil over the pasta to avoid sticking.

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For the mussel sauce:

– 2 kg mussels

– 2 brown onions

– 4 clove garlic

– ½ bunch thyme

– 2 can crushed tomato

– 4 dried chili

– 50 g spicy salami

– 150 ml white wine

Method : With a small knife remove the “ beard” on the mussels and scratch any residue on the mussels and rinse them quickly under cold water• Heat up you pot on a high heat, pour the white wine and turn the heat down to medium then add your mussels and cover, cook until the mussels open up• Once opened pour the mussels and juice in a bowl, keep aside about 10 mussels in the shell for presentation later, take the rest out of the shell and keep the juice for the sauce• Heat up a pot, add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the diced onions, crushed garlic, thyme, diced salami and chopped dried chili and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes• Add the shelled mussels and stir, strain the mussel juice using a fine strainer then add half into the pot. Add the crushed tomato and cook for about 8-10 minutes on a low heat• Add the remaining mussels on top and season to taste.

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Pan Fried Snapper with Braised Chickpea and Pancetta

 

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Snapper or “ Dorade “ in French is one of those fish that  has a “meaty” texture and a strong taste, but I have to say is one of my favourite fish. Its “meatiness “ is why this fish goes perfectly with the braised chickpea and pancetta, the texture of the chickpea and the spicy flavour of the mild pancetta binds so well with the snapper. Enjoy this wonderful dish.

Bon appetit.

 

For the chick pea :

–          1 packet dried chickpeas ( about 375 g )

–          2 brown onions

–          5 cloves garlic

–          1 bunch thyme

–          1 Table spoon tomato paste

–          1 litre vegetable stock

–          4-5 thickly sliced pancetta

–           2 dried chili

–          2 teaspoon corn flour

 

Method :  Soak the chickpeas in cold water overnight. Dice your onions, crush the garlic, chop the thyme and dice the pancetta• Pour about 50 ml of olive oil in your pot and add your onions, garlic, thyme and diced pancetta and cook for 5 minutes• Add the chickpeas and stir• Add the stock and cook for about 1 hour on medium heat or until tender• To thicken the sauce, mix the corn flour with a little bit of water, just enough to dissolve it and pour it into the sauce while mixing• Season to taste

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For the fish:

–          4 snapper fillets

–          Salt and pepper

–          Olive oil

 

Method : Using a sharp knife slightly cut the skin of the fish , this will allow the heat to go through the fish quicker resulting in a shorter cooking time and also prevent the fish from curling while cooking• Season the fish with salt and pepper• Heat up a large frying pan on medium heat and drizzle with olive oil, once the pan starts smoking gently add the fish skin side down• When the fish is cooked about ¾ of the way turn it and turn the gas off, leave for 30 second and rest•

 

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Lemon and Meringue Tart

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Lemon Meringue Tart is such a beautiful dessert. The acidity of the lemon and the sweetness of the Italian meringue balance each other beautifully. In this recipe I use home grown lemons which I think make a different, as they are sweeter and free of any chemicals. This tantalising tart used to be my reason for going to the market back in the village I grew up in, in France; going to the patisserie stall to get one of those delicious treats was very exciting every time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sweet Pastry:

–          140 g caster sugar

–          160 g beurre

–          400 g plain flour

–          2 whole eggs

Method : Dice the butter into small pieces and put it into the mixer • Add the sugar and mix until well combined • Add the egg one by one then add the flour, mixing until combined • Do not over mix the dough • Put the dough on the bench and flatten it a little. This will make it easier to roll later • Wrap it in glad wrap and put in the fridge for 1 ½ hours • Take it out and let  the dough come to room temperature • Flour your bench and roll the dough to about 2-3 millimetres • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees • Carefully put the dough in the tart tray, put a layer of baking paper over it and pour rice over it making sure it goes all around the sides (alternatively you can use pie weights if you have them) to prevent the sides from falling during the cooking. This process is called blind baking • The reason we are blind baking the pastry is because we are not cooking the mix as it is already cook • Cook for about 4 minutes or until the sides colour a little bit, take the baking paper off and bake for a further 1 minute • Once the pasty has cooled down, fill it with the lemon curd to about 2 millimetres of the top.

Lemon Curd:

–          140 ml lemon juice

–          150 g butter

–          2 lemon zest

–          10 eggs

–          450 g sugar

Method: Juice and zest the lemon and pour it into a pot • Add the butter and cook on medium heat until melted • Add half the sugar and whisk • Whisk the eggs and add the rest of the sugar • Whisk for a minute then add to the lemon and butter mix • One the mix starts bubbling, cook on medium heat for about 5-6 minutes while whisking • Once cooked, pour into a clean bowl and whisk to cool down once every few minutes.

Italian meringue

–          2 egg whites

–          200 g caster sugar

Method : Put the sugar in a sauce pan with a little bit of water, just enough to melt the sugar • Whisk the egg white on medium speed • Using a cooking thermometer, once at 118 degrees, slowly pour the sugar in the egg whites while whisking • Once the sugar is all in, whisk on full speed until cooled. Spread the meringue on top of the tart using a spatula or a pipping bag with a nozzle • Blow torch the meringue lightly to give it a bit of colour.

Ready to serve

Bon Appetit