Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Gnocchi

You know how making gnocchi from scratch is technically very simple, and yet so many things can go wrong that it often ends badly and leaves the cook very frustrated? Well, count on Cook’s Illustrated to make the process foolproof! I made their gnocchi recipe and loved it. The keys are to bake the potatoes instead of boiling them and peel the immediately, thus removing extra moisture; to rice the potatoes instead of mashing them, thereby preventing lumps; and to weigh the amount of riced potatoes used and then add the appropriate amount of flour so that there’s no guesswork. It is not a fast process, to be sure, but it was actually quite simple. And the resulting gnocchi were so good! Flavorful and fluffy and just perfect. I still need to work on my shaping technique, so I’ll look up a video for that next time.

I made this with a brown butter sauce because I had one last stick of lactose-free butter in the freezer and this seemed like the perfect use for it (since it’s not going to work with margarine). You could also make a tomato sauce for them and/or top them with parmesan.

Note that this makes a relatively small amount of gnocchi, perhaps enough for 2-3 adult servings (which we made into a meal for 2 adults and 2 children). I made them during the day and left them in the fridge until I was ready to boil them at dinner time.

For the gnocchi
2 lbs. russet potatoes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 oz. all-purpose flour, plus more for the counter
1 tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. salt

For the brown butter sauce
4 Tbsp. lactose-free butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 small shallot, minced
1 tsp. minced fresh sage
1 ½ tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt (omit this if your butter is salted)

For the gnocchi
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 450 °F. Using a paring knife, poke each potato 8 times over the entire surface. Microwave the potatoes until slightly softened at the ends, about 10 minutes, flipping the potatoes halfway through cooking. Transfer the potatoes directly to the oven rack and bake until a skewer glides easily through flesh and the potatoes yield to gentle pressure, 18 to 20 minutes.

Holding each potato with a potholder or kitchen towel (silicone oven mitts are great here), peel with a paring knife (I used a vegetable peeler, because I never mastered the art of peeling with a paring knife). Process the potatoes through a ricer or food mill onto a rimmed baking sheet. Gently spread the potatoes into an even layer and let cool for 5 minutes.

Transfer 16 ounces of warm potatoes to a bowl (the rest can be used for something else). Using a fork, gently stir in the egg until just combined. Sprinkle the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt over the potato mixture. Using a fork, gently combine until no pockets of dry flour remain. Press the mixture into a rough ball, transfer to a lightly floured counter, and gently knead until smooth but slightly sticky, about 1 minute, lightly dusting the counter with flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and dust liberally with flour. Cut the dough into 8 pieces. Lightly dust the counter with flour. Gently roll a piece of dough into a ½-inch-thick rope, dusting with flour to prevent sticking. Cut the rope into ¾-inch lengths. Holding a fork with tines facing down in one hand, press each dough piece cut side down against the tines with the thumb of the other hand to create an indentation. Roll the dough down the tines to form ridges on the sides. If the dough sticks, dust thumb or fork with flour. Transfer the formed gnocchi to sheets and repeat with remaining dough.

For the sauce
Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally, until butter is browned and releases a nutty aroma, about 1 ½ minutes. Off heat, add shallot and sage, stirring until shallot is fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and salt; cover to keep warm.

Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt. Using parchment paper as a sling, gently lower gnocchi from 1 sheet into water and cook until firm and just cooked through, about 90 seconds (gnocchi should float to surface after about 1 minute). Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked gnocchi to skillet with sauce. Repeat with remaining gnocchi. Gently toss gnocchi with sauce and serve.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Pouding au chocolat ultra-crémeux



Il s’agit ici de la deuxième recette du spécial Coup de Pouce Cuisine sur le chocolat que le Petit Prince me réclamait après que sa grand-mère lui eut montré la photo. « Maman, can you make the chocolate pudding with the hearts? » Et j’ai pédalé un peu, parce que je me suis rendu compte que même si je faisais ledit pouding, si j’avais le malheur de le servir sans les cœurs dessus (comme sur la photo du livre), le Petit Prince allait être déçu. Mais les cœurs sont faits avec de la crème fouettée teinte en rose, et je n’ai pas de crème sans lactose ici… J’ai donc fouetté de l’aquafaba avec un peu de poudre de betterave avant de servir. Soyez quand même avertis que ce mélange se conserve mal même avec l’ajout de crème de tartre, alors c’est bon pour le premier soir, mais pas pour le suivant. Heureusement, le pouding avait déjà fait sa première impression (excellente, d’ailleurs), alors ce n’était pas grave.

Je vous le dis tout de suite, c’était tellement bon! Je me demande même s’il faudrait que j’en fasse ma recette habituelle. Je vous donne ci-dessous les ingrédients que j’ai utilisés pour la rendre sans lactose. J’ai trouvé le pouding peut-être un tantinet trop sucré – j’avais utilisé du chocolat 50 %, alors je crois que la prochaine fois, soit je réduirais la quantité de sucre, soit je la laisserais telle quelle mais j’utiliserais du chocolat 60 %, voire 70 %.

¾ tasse de sucre (voir note plus haut)
3 c. à soupe de fécule de maïs
2 c. à soupe de cacao (tamisé)
1 ¾ tasse de lait de coco (soit 1 boîte de conserve)
1 ¼ tasse de lait sans lactose
1 c. à soupe de beurre sans lactose ou de margarine
2 c. à thé de vanille
¼ c. à thé de sel
8 oz. de chocolat mi-amer, haché (voir note plus haut)

Dans une grande casserole, mélanger le sucre, la fécule de maïs et le cacao. À l’aide d’un fouet, incorporer le lait de coco et le lait. Cuire à feu moyen, en remuant de temps à autre, jusqu’à ce que la préparation soit bouillonnante et ait épaissi. Retirer du feu.

Dans la casserole, ajouter le beurre, la vanille, le sel et le chocolat et bien mélanger. Verser le pouding dans 8 ramequins d’une capacité de ¾ tasse. Couvrir directement la surface di pouding d’une pellicule plastique et réfrigérer 3 heures ou jusqu’à ce que le pouding ait refroidi. Servir garni de crème sans lactose fouettée ou équivalent (si désiré).

Nigella Lawson's Scones



I made Nigella Lawson’s scones from How To Be A Domestic Goddess. I’m going to assume that these are typical British scones, because Nigella Lawson is British (and she pronounces “scone” to rhyme with “gone” instead of “cone”, but let’s not get into that). I found them to be very light and similar to American biscuits (say, these), and not like the heartier scones I am used to for breakfast – this is probably more the type of scone one has with tea. I made the cherry and orange variation, adding 75 grams of dried cherries and the zest of a mandarin (instead of half an orange), and I took the liberty of sprinkling some sugar on top of the egg wash. They were great with orange marmalade, but I think that the cream of tartar gave then a strong acidic taste (like baking powder would have), so I wouldn’t recommend them plain. Hence Nigella Lawson’s clotted cream and treacle serving suggestion, I suppose!

They were incredibly fast to make, especially since I used the food processor. They are best the same day, so I froze some of my batch. I got a total of 14 scones.

500 g. plain flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
4½ tsp. cream of tartar
4 Tbsp. cold lactose-free butter, diced (I used margarine)
2 Tbsp. vegetable shortening, in teaspooned lumps (or use another 2 Tbsp. butter)
300 milliliters of lactose-free milk
1 large egg (beaten, for egg-wash)

Preheat the oven to 425 °F.

Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar into a large bowl. Rub in the fats till it goes like damp sand (I did this in the food processor, as always). Add the milk all at once, mix briefly - briefly being the operative word - and then turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly to form a dough.

Roll out to about 3-cm thickness. Dip the cutter into some flour, then stamp out at least 10 scones. You get 12 in all from this, but may need to reroll for the last 2. Place on the baking tray very close together - the idea is that they bulge and stick together on cooking - then brush the tops with the egg-wash. (Confession: I totally forgot to cluster them together.) Put in the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until risen and golden.


Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peach-Mustard Sauce

I got this recipe from an article on barbecuing in Bon Appétit. Except, well, you know me and grills, so I decided to put the pork in a 350 °F oven for 40 minutes. This was a really big hit! In the photos in the magazine, the sauce has a gorgeous yellow-orange shade, but mine turned out on the reddish side of pink. It contains ketchup, which probably explains both the shade and the fact that the Little Prince liked it so much! That being said, I’d consider making it without ketchup, and I even wonder whether the magazine used any in the first place – it’s a recipe from a restaurant called B’s Cracklin’ Barbeque in Georgia, so if anyone has been there, feel free to comment! The photo they have on their menu also has bright yellow sauce. The recipe was supposed to make 1 cup of sauce, but I got a little over 2 cups, presumably because I had big peaches.

I served the pork with broccoli slaw on the side.

For the peach-mustard sauce
2 large ripe peaches
¼ cup ketchup (see note above)
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. light brown sugar
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
½ tsp. (or more) kosher salt

Purée peaches, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, pepper, and ½ tsp. salt in a blender until mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste sauce and season with more salt if needed.

For the pork tenderloins
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 lb. each)
4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
Vegetable oil, for the grill (see note above)
½ cup peach preserves (I used apricot because I already had some on hand)

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper and rub all over. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour (yeah, I didn’t do that). Meanwhile, prepare a grill for medium heat and brush grate with oil.

Brush pork with some preserves. Grill, turning every 4 minutes or so and brushing with any remaining preserves, until charred on all sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 130°, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Slice ½" thick. (I put the pork in a 350 °F oven for 40 minutes and I aim closer to an internal temperature of 165 °F; I had put apricot preserves on it before putting it in the oven and I added a bit more once it was done.)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Rosewater Madeleines



My parents went to France last year and their hotel in Toulouse was across the street from a store that sells all kinds of kitchenware. My mother asked me if I wanted her to bring me back anything, and I couldn’t pass up a madeleine tin! It’s almost flat, so it really didn’t take up that much room in her suitcase, and I love that I have a real French madeleine tin. Finding a good madeleine recipe took longer than I thought, though. I first tried maple almond madeleines that, while good, did not satisfy me. There was too much batter for my standard tin (I would have needed to make something like three batches), they stuck to the pan despite my greasing it, and they were not what I had in mind for a madeleine, as neither the taste nor texture were what I had expected.


So I looked through some of my cookbooks, and after my initial disappointment that David Lebovit’z Ready for Dessert didn’t have a recipe for them, I realized that Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess did have one. But it didn’t work as written, as the baking temperature was much too high; plus, I had to adapt it to my standard-size pan, as opposed to her miniature pan.

The version below is mine, slightly adapted from Nigella Lawson’s. Note that a more traditional version would probably have you replace the rose water with finely grated lemon zest and/or vanilla. Use lactose-free butter if you have it, but know that I used Earth Balance stick margarine without any problem. To be really precise, you can melt 5 tablespoons of it, weigh out 50 grams for the recipe, and use the rest to grease the madeleine tin (with leftovers), which is what I did the first time I made it, but on the second go-round, I found that melting 4 tablespoons total was just enough. Finally, you can put regular sugar in the food processor to make it more like caster sugar – since the amount is given by weight, it’s very easy to measure. These came out perfect! I was very happy with them.


50 g. lactose-free butter, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing (see note above)
1 large egg
40 g. caster sugar
1 pinch of salt
45 g. all-purpose flour (white flour, not white whole wheat this time)
1 Tbsp. rosewater
icing sugar, for dusting

Melt all the butter over a low heat, then leave to cool.

Beat the egg, caster sugar and salt in a bowl for about 5 minutes, preferably with an electric mixer of some sort, until it’s as thick as mayonnaise. Then sift the flour into the egg and sugar mixture and fold it in with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Set aside a scant tablespoon of the cooled, melted butter (for greasing the madeleine tin) and fold in the rest along with the rosewater. Mix well, but not too vigorously.

Leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour, then take out and leave at room temperature for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 °F.

Generously brush the insides of the madeleine tin (I used a standard tin with 12 indentations) with the tablespoon of butter (melting more if you feel you need it) before filling them with the cake mixture. I had roughly 1 heaping tablespoon per indentation. Don’t worry about covering the molded indentations; in the heat of the oven, the mixture will spread before it rises.

Bake for 8 minutes (you could check a bit before, and if your oven runs colder than mine, it could take a few minutes longer, but mine were spot-on at 8 minutes).

Turn out and let cool on a rack, then dust with icing sugar.

Sans se casser la tête

Parfois, on a besoin d’une idée-repas simple et rapide, sans trop avoir à se casser la tête. Par exemple, de l’houmous avec des légumes rôtis, servi avec pain pita ou quelque chose comme des boulettes de dinde (maison ou pas). Dans la même veine, il y a la sauce crémeuse au tahini de ma mère, que j’ai mangée à quelques reprises cet été et que j’ai refaite depuis. La recette est tirée du livre Barbecue et cuisine d’été de Coup de Pouce, où elle accompagne une salade de poulet et d’endives. Je ne pensais pas en parler, d’où le manque de photos, mais cette sauce est tellement bonne que je me dois de la partager! Je vous donne ci-dessous ma version de la marinade pour le poulet – vous le faites cuire comme vous voulez ensuite, que ce soit sur le gril, dans la poêle ou au four. La sauce crémeuse au tahini, elle, va avec tout! Du poulet, des légumes, une salade verte, une salade pas verte, un bol buddha, etc. C’est magique! En fait, ce n’est pas mêlant, j’en mangerais à la cuillère. Ici, je l’avais servie avec du poulet, de la laitue Boston, un petit pain et des carottes inspirées de celles-ci.

Pour la marinade (pour 4 poitrines de poulet, environ 1 lb. en tout)
2 c. à soupe d’huile d’olive
1 échalote, hachée finement
1 c. à soupe de zeste de citron râpé
¼ c. à thé de sel
¼ c. à thé de poivre

Mélanger les ingrédients. Ajouter les poitrines de poulet et retourner pour bien les enrober. Laisser mariner au réfrigérateur pendant 4 heures (je les y ai laissées toute la journée), puis faire cuire le poulet.

Pour l’incomparable sauce crémeuse au tahini
¼ tasse de yogourt grec sans lactose nature
¼ tasse de tahini
3 c. à soupe de jus de citron
2 c. à soupe d’eau chaude
½ c. à thé de cumin moulu
¼ c. à thé de sel
¼ c. à thé de poivre

Mélanger les ingrédients jusqu’à ce que la préparation soit homogène (je fais ça dans un petit pot avec un couvercle). Servir ou conserver au réfrigérateur.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Galettes pour superhéros



Le titre de cette recette de Cuisine futée, parents pressés n’est pas très descriptif, je l’admets. En même temps, si j’appelle ça des galettes aux pépites de chocolat, c’est omettre beaucoup d’information, mais si je dis galettes aux légumes et aux pépites de chocolat, ça risque d’en aliéner certains! J’ai fait ces galettes en pensant à la boîte à lunch du Petit Prince, et ça tombait bien parce qu’il nous restait une courgette dans le frigo. Je recommande fortement les pépites de chocolat miniatures, comme ça il y a du chocolat dans chaque bouchée. Toute la maisonnée a a-do-ré! J’ai obtenu 21 galettes et j’en ai mis au congélateur pour plus tard.

2 carottes pelées, coupées en tronçons
1 courgette verte (zucchini) pelée, coupée en tronçons
4 petits champignons blancs, coupés en 4
2 œufs
¾ tasse de sucre
¼ tasse d’huile de canola
½ tasse de compote de pommes non sucrée
2 c. à thé de vanille
2 tasses de farine de blé entier (j’ai pris de la farine de blé blond)
1 ½ tasse de flocons d’avoine à cuisson rapide
1 c. à thé de poudre à pâte
2 c. à thé de cannelle moulue
½ tasse de pépites de chocolat mi-sucré miniatures

Préchauffer le four à 350 °F. Placer la grille au centre du four. Tapisser deux plaques de cuisson de papier parchemin ou d’un silpat.

Au robot culinaire, hacher les carottes. Ajouter la courgette et les champignons et mélanger jusqu’à ce que les légumes soient finement hachés. Ajouter les œufs, le sucre, l’huile, la compote et la vanille à même le récipient du robot. Mélanger pour que la préparation soit homogène.

Dans un bol moyen, mélanger à la fourchette la farine, le gruau, la poudre à pâte, la cannelle et les pépites de chocolat.

Incorporer le mélange de légumes aux ingrédients secs. Bien mélanger à la fourchette.

À l’aide d’une cuillère à crème glacée, former 24 boules de pâte et les déposer sur les plaques à cuisson (j’en ai obtenu 21). Aplatir avec une fourchette pour former des galettes.

Cuire au four de 20 à 25 minutes où jusqu’à ce que les galettes soient légèrement dorées.

Tahini Blondies



Here’s a quick little post as I try to work my way through the backlog of photos and notes meant for my blog; hopefully I’ll have time to post something else later this evening. I made tahini brownies not too long ago, so I figured I’d follow that up with tahini blondies. The recipe is from Real Simple and it was changed a bit in the online version – the cooking time is a bit longer than in the print version, which I approve of as I think mine were slightly undercooked. It’s a very simple dessert that I’d like to make again! We all liked it. I’d consider folding in some white chocolate chips next time.

1¾ cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup tahini
¼ cup lactose-free butter or margarine, melted
2 large eggs
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. flaky sea salt (I used Maldon sea salt)

Preheat oven to 325 °F. Line an 8”-square dish with parchment paper and grease the paper.

Stir together brown sugar, tahini, butter, and eggs in a large bowl until smooth.

Stir in flour, kosher salt, and baking soda. Spread mixture in the prepared dish. Sprinkle batter with sea salt. Bake in preheated oven until browned and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes (or until blondies reach room temperature). Cut into 9 squares.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Ham and Cheese Muffins

In anticipation of the Little Prince starting school and our collective desire to send him there with a lunchbox most days (as opposed to having him buy something at the cafeteria), I bought the Weelicious Lunches cookbook. I really like it, even though to me it skews very American. By that, I mean that there’s a whole section with variations of the peanut butter-jelly sandwich, whereas I, as a French Canadian, didn’t even realize that PB&J was a thing until my tweens (when I was living in the U.S., I should add), and never once had that in my school lunch. I did have peanut butter on bread in the morning on occasion, but in my family, we always paired it with honey, not jam. In any case, it’s full of a lot of recipes that look great to me, but I’m also afraid that my kid would never go for them. I’ve decided to try some anyway and simply make sure that he has a backup component in the meal that I know he’ll like (for example, I made the beet and carrot salad from the cookbook, but used it as a side and made sure that the Little Prince had another side and a main that he would like – turns out he didn’t magically start liking the salad, but hey, at least I sent him to school with beets in his lunchbox and it wasn’t a total failure, so there’s that).

So, ham and cheese muffins looked like they might work, in that my kid usually likes ham, and cheese, and muffins, so at least there were no red flags. The Engineer bought three thick slices of ham from the butcher, and I cut them into cubes, but only used about half for the recipe, along with half of a package of cheddar. Since I didn’t know what else to do with the rest of the ham and didn’t want it going to waste, I took a chance and simply made a second batch of muffins. A batch is supposed to make 18 muffins, but I ended up with 16 in the first batch and 17 in the second. As it turns out, the Little Prince loved these (phew!), and they freeze beautifully, so they’re a really good addition to my repertoire. Note that instead of a mix of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, I used only white whole wheat flour. Suggestion of sides: cucumber slices, red grapes, freeze-dried yogurt dots.

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (see note above)
1 cup whole wheat flour (see note above)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 ¼ cups buttermilk (lactose-free milk with a splash of lemon juice on it)
2 large eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (white or orange works)
1 cup ham, finely chopped or cubed

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease 18 muffins cups on two muffins tins (give or take).

Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and maple syrup and stir to combine. Add the buttermilk to the egg mixture and stir.

Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and stir until just combined. Fold in the cheese and ham.

Scoop the batter 2/3 of the way up into the greased muffin cups and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Pizza oeufs-bacon



Vous allez me dire que j’ai déjà fait une pizza-déjeuner récemment, et c’est vrai, c’est un peu répétitif. Mais il y avait un dossier dans Coup de Pouce avec plein de pizzas cuites sur le gril. Et moi, bien sûr, j’ai adapté pour la faire cuire au four, parce que le gril m’intimide. Toujours est-il que la variation œufs-bacon était la seule qui me semblait vraiment intéressante (pêches-prosciutto, ça avait l’air bon aussi, mais ça me rappelait trop celle-là). C’était tellement bon, et tellement bien reçu de tout le monde, que je la partage ici. Contrairement à la plupart de mes recettes, celle-ci donne 4 petites portions, alors pensez à la doubler au besoin (mais pour faire deux pizzas tour à tour au lieu d’une seule grosse pizza!). Vous pouvez aussi faire quatre pizzas individuelles, mais alors au four, c’est nettement moins pratique qu’une seule.

1 lb. de pâte à pizza
2 c. à soupe d’huile d’olive
3 tasses de cheddar blanc sans lactose râpé
8 tranches de bacon cuites et émiettées
4 œufs
ciboulette fraîche, hachée

Placer une pierre à pizza dans le four et préchauffer ce dernier à 375 °F. Mettre un cercle de papier parchemin de 12 pouces de diamètre sur une pelle à enfourner et y parsemer de la semoule de maïs.

Sur une surface légèrement farinée, abaisser la pâte à pizza en un cercle d’environ 11 pouces de diamètre. Poser la pâte sur le cercle de papier parchemin.

Étendre l’huile d’olive sur la pâte abaissée, puis couvrir du cheddar, du bacon, et des œufs (vous pouvez les casser directement au-dessus de la pizza ou alors les casser dans une tasse et les verser sur la pizza).

Enfourner pendant 20 minutes avec le papier (ça protège la pierre à pizza et c’est plus facile à manipuler). Au sortir du four, couvrir de ciboulette et servir.