Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Muffins au maïs et aux framboises

J’ai pu feuilleter plusieurs numéros du magazine Ricardo cet été (ma mère a un abonnement, et il y en avait toute une pile au chalet). J’ai essayé certaines recettes qui sont tombées à plat (jus de melon d’eau puis sorbet express au melon d’eau, tiens), mais d’autres étaient vraiment réussies. C’est le cas de ces muffins au maïs et aux framboises, que j’ai faits sans les canneberges séchées de la recette d’origine. Bon, je suis la seule à les manger, parce que l’Ingénieur et le Renard détestent les framboises et que le Petit Prince a déclaré ne vouloir manger les muffins que s’ils contiennent du chocolat, apparemment. Mais moi, j’adore! La farine de maïs leur donne un goût délicieux, et le yogourt les garde moelleux. Ils se congèlent bien, en plus!

À noter que pour la farine, j’ai pris de la farine de blé blond, comme d’habitude, et j’en ai utilisé 150 grammes, même si cela correspond plus à 1 ¼ tasse qu’à la simple tasse demandée. J’ai aussi ajouté une pincée de sel, quand même!

1 tasse (150 g.) de farine tout usage non blanchie (voir note plus haut)
½ tasse (60 g.) de semoule de maïs fine
2 c. à thé de poudre à pâte
1 pincée de sel cachère
2 œufs
½ tasse (100 g.) de sucre
½ tasse d’huile végétale
1 tasse de yogourt grec nature
1 ½ tasse de framboises surgelées

Placer la grille au centre du four. Préchauffer le four à 375 °F. Chemiser 12 moules à muffins de caissettes de papier ou de silicone.

Dans un bol, mélanger la farine, la semoule de maïs et la poudre à pâte. Réserver.

Dans un autre bol, mélanger au fouet les œufs, le sucre et l’huile. Incorporer le mélange de farine. Ajouter le yogourt et mélanger jusqu’à ce que la pâte soit homogène. À la cuillère de bois, ajouter les framboises. Répartir la pâte dans les moules.

Cuire au four 20 minutes ou jusqu’à ce qu’un cure-dents inséré au centre d’un muffin en ressorte propre. Laisser refroidir. Servir avec du yogourt nature, si désiré.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Summer 2018

I haven’t gotten around to recapping the summer, even though school started a few weeks ago already. In my defense, summer doesn’t actually end until September 21st, right?

So over the summer, while in Montreal, I got to try Natrel’s lactose-free ice cream. The vanilla flavor was very good, but my favorite was the saly caramel! There are five flavors in all, but I’m not sure they’re all available in Quebec – British Columbia seems to be their testing ground. This ice cream comes in small packages, like Häagen Daz or Ben & Jerry’s, but without being as fancy or as wild with the flavors. Still, I’ve always preferred that format over large tubs that get frosted over by the time you finish them. I look forward to eating more!

I tried assortments of chocolates from two places for the first time. There was a box of 10 jewels by Christophe Morel – presentation was beautiful, but there was no insulating packaging for shipping, so a few of the chocolate were stuck to the box; I suppose I’m lucky they hadn’t melted further! They were good, but many of them had caramel or nuts, which aren’t really my thing in chocolate.

Then I bought a selection of nine at Chocolats Privilège (this is the place at Jean-Talon Market where I have bought cocoa nibs previously). These were more to my liking, because they were more melt-in-your-mouth while still having original flavors (though, to be fair, I didn’t have them shipped and don’t know how they would have compared to the other ones in that aspect). The box also comes with instructions for the best range of temperatures in which to store the chocolates as well as a “best before” date a month down the road; both these factors make me feel like the chocolate makers are more professional, though obviously that’s just an impression. These chocolates were also a bit less expensive, so all in all, that’s what I’d lean toward next time.

I took the opportunity to make a chocolate peanut butter icebox cake again, to much acclaim. (And this time, the Engineer had been warned not to snack on the chocolate wafers, so I had enough to decorate the top of the cake properly!)

I also made a cake for the Little Prince’s birthday, following his precise instructions regarding contents (chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, chocolate chips, M&Ms, and sprinkles) and their placement (the chocolate chips are in between the two cake layers, which is why you can’t see them here).

As for restaurants, the Engineer and I celebrated out tenth (!) wedding anniversary at Maison Boulud, which is in the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Montreal. I started with the acorn-fed senorio iberico ham, followed it up with the egg yolk ravioli with sheep milk ricotta and spinach coulis, and for dessert, the chocolate coolant with fleur de sel liquid caramel and caramelized milk (and obviously I had some LactoJoy to go with this meal!).

Since my parents are such great babysitters, we went on another date in a nice restaurant: Chez l’Épicier, in the Old Port, which I’d been meaning to try out for a while. I started with the sourdough bread, wild honey and brown butter appetizer, then had the filet mignon with onions and potatoes, and finally the white chocolate aero, rose milk and pink peppercorns for dessert (more LactoJoy, naturally). Presentation was superb, and as much as I loved the food, I think I was even more enamored with the ceramic dishware. I’d have bought a few pieces on the spot!

Also, my mother took me to lunch at Europea, where Jérôme Ferrer is the executive chef; the restaurant is a member of Relais & Châteaux. We had the four-course discovery menu: lobster cappuccino with truffle purée; smoked duck ham and beef tartare, fresh mustard leaves, wild souffléed rice and taro chips, heart of frisée salad; roasted Cornish hen, smoked mashed potatoes, asparagus and root vegetables, bold meat juice reduction; strawberry trifle, candies and sweets (which included tiny lemon madeleines, meringues and cotton candy). This was one of the best meals I’ve had, ever! The lunch menu also offers excellent value. This is one place where I really hope to go again!

Finally, I surprised myself and bought… Crocs. See, I always thought of Crocs as unsightly clogs with holes, which only children and people with no self-respect wore. But I was wrong! I saw some shoes on which Drew Barrymore collaborated and realized I should go take a closer look in a brick-and-mortar store. To be clear, it’s not because they were designed by a celebrity, but it made me realize how stylish some Crocs are! So I went and tried on a few pairs (not hers, in the end), before settling on Swiftwater sandals in turquoise, which replaced my beat-up Land’s End sandals. They haven’t even come close to giving me blisters, which is incredibly surprising for me! Granted, I haven’t worn them for long walks in the Texas heat, but we’ll see how they fare. I’ve also acquired a pair of Kadee flats in black and have loved them so far. Plus, these shoes are really not expensive! I’m including two pictures with the old pair I’m getting rid of on the left, and the new Crocs on the right for comparison. It may be rubber, but it’s a step up, at least for casual occasions.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Salade de patates douces façon tex-mex

J’ai essayé une recette estivale de tomates grillées à l’ail, mais nous l’avons tous trouvée moyenne. (J’ai réduit les restes en purée et je les ai mis au congélateur, en espérant les passer dans une sauce tomate.) J’ai aussi fait un souper en me basant sur une recette du magazine Ricardo (pas en ligne) pour des tacos au bœuf et aux patates douces, avec des avocats et des oignons, qui étaient tout simplement délicieux!

Pour faire le pont avec ces goûts tex-mex et les tomates d’été, j’ai ensuite fait une salade de patates douces tirée du magazine Tellement bon! avec une belle tomate de variété ancienne. Malheureusement, le magazine n’est plus publié, alors la recette ne se trouve pas en ligne non plus, mais je trouvais ça tellement dommage de ne pas vous en faire profiter que je l’ai recopiée ci-dessous en l’adaptant un peu. C’est exactement le genre de chose que j’aime manger le midi, et il y avait assez de variété pour plaire au Renard. Bon appétit!

3 patates douces, pelées et coupées en cubes d’environ 1 ½ po.
2 c. à soupe d’huile d’olive
1 pincée de piment fort (ou de piment coréen, ou rien du tout)
sel et poivre, au goût
1 boîte (15 oz ou 19 oz, selon le pays) de haricots noirs, rincés et égouttés
1 boîte de maïs en grains, égoutté
2 avocats, en dés
8 oz. de tomates, en gros cubes
1 petit oignon rouge, en lamelles
1 petite botte de coriandre, grossièrement hachée
le jus de 1 lime

Préchauffer le four à 400 °F. Sur une plaque à cuisson, mettre les cubes de patate douce, puis les enrober de 1 c. à soupe d’huile, de flocons de piment fort, de sel et de poivre. Les faire rôtir 30 minutes ou jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient tendres.

Dans un grand bol, mélanger les haricots, le maïs, les avocats, les tomates, l’oignon, la coriandre, le jus de lime et 1 c. à soupe d’huile d’olive, en remuant délicatement pour éviter d’écraser les avocats. (Moi, je mets les avocats seulement avant de servir, ce qui permet de garder les restes beaux plus longtemps.)

Répartir la salade dans 4 assiettes, garnir des patates douces rôties et servir.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Chocolate Chips Scones

I was surprised to find that I don’t have a recipe for chocolate chip scones on here yet. I mean, I made pear and chocolate chip scones and then ginger and chocolate chunk scones, but not plain chocolate chip. So of course I had to remedy that with this recipe! We all loved it, but then again, chocolate chips for breakfast are an easy sell.

2 cups (250 g.) all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (1 stick; 115 g.) lactose-free butter, frozen (or very cold)
½ cup lactose-free cream, plus an extra 2 Tbsp. for brushing
½ cup (100 g.) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 heaping cup (180 g.) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
coarse sugar for sprinkling on top before baking (optional)
confectioners' sugar for topping after baking (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Adjust baking rack to the middle-low position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together. Grate the frozen butter. (You can do this by hand or with a food processor, but as I like using the food processor instead of a bowl and a fork or pastry cutter to mix scone dough, I cut corners and cut the butter into little cubes instead.) Toss the grated butter into the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk ½ cup lactose-free cream, the brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract together. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then toss the mixture together with a rubber spatula until everything appears moistened. Mix in the chocolate chips. With floured hands, work the dough into a ball as best you can and transfer to a floured surface. Press into a neat 8″ disc and cut into 8 equal wedges with a very sharp knife. Place scones at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Brush scones with remaining cream, then sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired (it adds some nice crunch!).

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Double Chocolate Tart with Black Pepper Ice Cream and Candied Nuts

I got this recipe from Bon Appétit years ago (the online edition says it was published in 2011, which somehow is even more years ago than I thought). It calls for cream, so I waited until I was in Canada to get lactose-free cream; that being said, coconut milk would be a reasonable substitute here. I used semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate and loved it, so that’s what I’m writing below. Since I couldn’t find skinned hazelnuts and really didn’t want to bother skinning them myself, I used macadamia nuts instead. OH, wow, was this ever wonderful! Everyone loved it. And FYI, leftover ice cream is delicious with warm chocolate syrup!

For the ice cream
2 cups lactose-free cream
2 cups lactose-free whole milk
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp. kosher salt
9 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper

For the candied nuts
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg white
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¾ cup skinned hazelnuts (see note above)

For the tart
6 ½ oz. chocolate wafer cookies (such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, about 28 cookies), coarsely broken
5 Tbsp. lactose-free butter, melted
15 oz. high-quality semi-sweet chocolate (such as Valrhona, Scharffen Berger, or Lindt), chopped
1 ¼ cups lactose-free cream

For the ice cream
Bring cream, milk, ½ cup sugar, and salt to a boil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar; remove from heat.

Whisk egg yolks and remaining ½ cup sugar in a large bowl to blend; gradually whisk in hot milk mixture and return to saucepan. Stir over low heat until custard thickens and your finger leaves a path on the back of a spoon when drawn across, about 6 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Stir in pepper. Set bowl over a large bowl of ice water; stir until cold.

Process custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a container, cover, and freeze. (The ice cream can be made up to 3 days ahead.)

For the candied nuts
Preheat oven to 250 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk sugar, egg white, and salt in a medium bowl just until bubbles form. Stir in hazelnuts. Spread out on prepared sheet. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until nuts are golden brown and caramelized, about 50 minutes. (The nuts can be made a day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

For the tart
Preheat oven to 325 °F. Coat tart pan with nonstick spray (I used a tart pan with a removable bottom).

Finely grind cookies in a food processor. Drizzle butter over; pulse until blended. Press evenly onto bottom and up sides of pan. Bake until firm, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour over chocolate; stir until melted. Pour filling over cooled crust. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days (mine lasted a bit longer and suffered no ill effects).

Remove the tart pan side. Cut tart into wedges, working quickly as tart will become gooey as it sits (this was not actually a big issue for me); place 1 piece on each plate. Serve with a scoop of black pepper ice cream and garnish with candied hazelnuts.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Cornets au fromage ricotta et aux pépites de chocolat

Quand j’étais au Québec cet été, j’ai lu un numéro du magazine 3 fois par jour où il y avait toute une section sur le fromage ricotta, avec une recette de fromage ricotta maison et plein d’autres recettes pour l’utiliser. L’une d’entre elles s’intitulait « Cornets à la crème de ricotta aux pépites de chocolat » et elle m’a fait penser à des cannolis. Et vu que j’aimais tellement les cannolis quand j’étais petite (et que je ne peux plus en manger depuis que je suis intolérante au lactose), j’ai fait des cannolis. Mais en fait, je n’ai pas suivi la recette, je m’en suis plutôt inspirée! J’ai aimé l’idée d’utiliser des cornets au lieu des coquilles de cannolis, qui peuvent être difficiles à trouver, mais j’ai fait ma recette de ricotta et je n’ai pas fait congeler la garniture. (Si vous êtes vraiment, mais vraiment, motivés, vous pouvez même faire les coquilles vous-mêmes avec cette recette-ci.) J’ai aussi utilisé des pépites de chocolat miniatures, que je trouve plus appropriée dans ce cas-ci. Ci-dessous, ma recette de ricotta, puis la garniture inspirée de 3 fois par jour. Nous avons vraiment adoré! Ça me rappelait vraiment les cannolis de mon enfance, en légèrement moins sucré (j’ajoute donc une indication ci-dessous). Le Petit Prince a tellement aimé ça qu’il les a préférés à de la vraie crème glacée! Vraiment, c’est à refaire. Buon appetito!

Pour le fromage ricotta
3 tasses de lait entier sans lactose
1 tasse de crème sans lactose (ou alors 1 autre tasse de lait entier sans lactose)
½ c. à thé de gros sel de mer
3 c. à soupe de jus de citron fraîchement pressé

Verser le lait, la crème et le sel dans une grande casserole et y fixer un thermomètre à bonbons. Faire chauffer le lait jusqu’à 190 °F en le mélangeant de temps à autre pour l’empêcher de brûler au fond de la casserole. Retirer du feu et ajouter le jus de citron, en mélangeant doucement d’un geste ou deux. Laisser reposer le tout pendant 5 minutes.

Tapisser une passoire de quelques épaisseurs d’étamine et la placer au-dessus d’un grand bol (pour recueillir le petit-lait). Verser le contenu de la casserole dans la passoire et laisser le caillé reposer pendant au moins 1 heure; le fromage ricotta sera alors mou et facile à étendre. Après 2 heures, il sera un peu plus ferme, un peu comme du fromage à la crème. Jeter le petit-lait (ou le garder pour cuisiner autre chose, si le cœur vous en dit). Utiliser le fromage ricotta tout de suite ou le transférer dans un contenant hermétique et le réfrigérer jusqu’à une semaine.

Pour les cornets
1 ½ tasse de ricotta sans lactose (voir plus haut)
3 (ou 4) c. à soupe de sucre en poudre
1 c. à thé de vanille
¼ c. à thé de cannelle (facultatif)
½ tasse de pépites de chocolat miniatures
6 cornets gaufrés ou sucrés

Mélanger au robot le fromage ricotta, le sucre en poudre, la vanille et la cannelle jusqu’à homogénéité. Puis, avec une cuillère de bois ou une spatule, incorporer les pépites de chocolat au mélange. En garnir les cornets.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Creamy Balsamic Mushroom Bacon Chicken

Contrary to what it may seem, given my last two posts, I do not spend my whole summer eating caramel. I make the occasional savory dish, too! Like this creamy balsamic mushroom bacon chicken. Okay, yes, it still calls for cream, but I never have it the rest of the year, so it balances out. This was delicious, by the way!

With 4 chicken breasts, it would seem that the yield should be 4 servings, but we had much more than that! I ended up freezing the leftovers. This is good served with potatoes and a green salad, for example.

1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
5 slices of bacon, chopped
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
½ cup chicken broth
1 cup lactose-free cream
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
chopped parsley, to garnish

In a large skillet, pour 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook the chicken on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden-brown and cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.

Add the bacon to the skillet and cook until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside on plate. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook until tender. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Add the chicken broth, cream, balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to the skillet. Whisk over medium high heat until it starts to thicken 3-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the sauce.
Add chicken to the skillet and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Top with crispy bacon and chopped parsley.