Basil and cheese salted cake – Christmas Eve Menu 1/9

049The first part of my Christmas Eve aperitif was done with those basil and cheese salted cakes.

Preheat the oven at 350 °F. Mix together 1 cup of milk, 1.5 oz of butter, three eggs, 2.5 oz of flour, 3.5 oz of grated swiss cheese, 10 sheets of basil, salt and pepper. Distribute the preparation in a pan  for little cakes. Put in the oven for 20 minutes. Cool in the kitchen out of the pan. It’s ready for a fantastic aperitif.

Bon appétit !

Go to the restaurant with the kids

Have you ever been afraid to go to a restaurant with your little kids because they will be like monsters? Hoping they won’t run around the tables and shout? Well, usually, you would prefer to hire a babysitter, right ?

I keep my three kids with me each time we go to a restaurant (except when we want to have a romantic dinner, of course). We have the kids accompany us since they were babies. I can tell you, I don’t spend my time running after them. They just sit quietly at the table and trust me, I don’t give them medications to be nice :).

Here is my secret : give them food they love like nuggets with french fries, for example, or bread and ice cream. During the time they eat, they are nice. I’ve bought two booster seats for the twins which look like suit cases when it’s closed.

After they’ve eaten, if you haven’t finished your own lunch, give them a game you have brought from home. My favorites for the restaurant are books and coloring. For the babies, as their attention is way shorter than ours, even with their favorite toy, I keep with me a lollipop and blanket to relax at the end of the lunch. Enjoy your day !

Glass cup in the green cream of asparagus soup and in the chorizo – Christmas Eve Menu 2/9

070That second part of my Christmas Eve aperitif is easy to do, very original and really good.

To do it for 12 glass cups, you need 24 cooked green asparagus, 12 asparagus tips, 2 cups of cream, 15 slides of pepperoni, salt and pepper.

Mix everything together until you have a nice green cream. Rectify the seasoning and put the cream in your glass cups. Add an asparagus tip on the top of each cup. It’s ready.

Bon appétit !

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Prunes in the bacon – Christmas Eve Menu 3/9

013The third part of my Christmas Eve aperitif was prunes in the bacon. Your kids can do it and for sure, everybody would like it.

Preheat your oven at 400 °F. Take 20 prunes and 10 slices of bacon. Cut in two parts the slices of bacon. Roll up every prune in a slice of bacon. Cross the roll with a toothpick to attach it. Put the rolls in an oven plate and put it in the oven for 5 minutes. It’s ready to serve.

Bon appétit !

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Quails in mandarins with a risotto in hazelnuts – Christmas Eve Menu 8/9

094My second main course was a success, specially the risotto.

To do it for 12 guests, you need :

For the meat : 12 quails, 12 mandarins, 6 vanilla pods, 6 tablespoon of honey, 6 tablespoon of oil, 1.5 oz of butter, salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven at 400 °F. In a big frying pan, warm the butter and roast the quails on each side. Peel the mandarins and separate the pieces of the fruits. Cut each vanilla pods in two, take all the vanilla powder and put it in a bowl. Add and mix in the bowl the oil and the honey with the vanilla.

In an oven plate, put the quails with the mandarins around. Baste the meat and mandarins with the vanilla sauce. Put the plate in the oven for 20 minutes. During that time, don’t forget to baste the dish with its own juice (every five minutes). It’s cooked, you can serve it.

For the risotto : 17 oz of rice ( round rice for risotto), 2 onions, 4 cups of vegetable broth, 2 oz of crushed hazelnuts, 4 tablespoons of white wine, 1 oz of butter, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Prepare the risotto. Warm the vegetable broth. Peel and slice thinly onions. Warm the oil and the butter in a frying pan wok. Make in the frying pan the rice return and the onions until they are translucent. Add the white wine and cook it until the wine is completely absorbed. Add a ladle of broth in the rice, mix slowly and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Continue to cook it slowly 20 minutes. During that time, add the broth each time the rice had absorbed it. Add salt and pepper at your convenience.

In an other frying pan, roast the crushed hazelnuts for 5 minutes. Add it in the risotto and mix slowly. The risotto is ready.

Bon appétit !

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Baked Alaska – Christmas Eve Menu 9/9

005That dessert was the best success of my Christmas Eve dinner. All my guests had liked it.

To do it, you need : 4 cups of vanilla ice cream.

For the biscuit : 6 eggs, 7 oz of sugar, 5 oz of flour, the zest of a lemon, 2 pinches of salt, 1 oz of almonds fringes.

Preheat your oven at 400 °F. Mix together 3 eggs, 3 egg yolks (reserve egg whites), the sugar and zest of lemon. When it’s homogeneous, add the flour and a pinch of salt and mix it. Beat egg whites until stiff with the second pinch of salt. Incorporate the whites into snow in the preparation. Pour on a pastry baking tray covered with parchment paper and strew flaked almonds. Cook in the oven during 12 minutes. Put out the plate and cool the biscuit. Put some cling film inside a loaf pan. Cut the biscuit at the good size to put one in the bottom of the loaf pan. Put the ice cream on the top of the biscuit and finish with the second biscuit you have already cut at the good size.

Put in the freezer until time to serve it at your guests. When you are ready, take out the cake of the freezer and go in the kitchen to prepare the Italian-style meringue. Preheat the oven at 400 °F.

To do the meringue, you need : 3 egg whites, 3.5 oz of sugar and one pinch of salt.

Put in a bowl the egg whites, the salt and half of the sugar. Beat egg whites until stiff for 2 minutes, add the second half of the sugar and beat again for two more minutes.

Turn out the cake on a pastry baking tray. Coat the biscuit of meringue with a spatula. Make some drawings on it with a fork. Put in the oven for 5 minutes and serve your Baked Alaska just after in a nice plate.

Bon appétit !

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scallop in a champagne sauce – Christmas Eve menu 7/9

092My first main course is really fast to do and really good. You can do it when your guests are around the table and have started to eat.

To do it, you need for 12 guests : 36 fresh scallops, 3/4 cup of liquid cream, 2/3 of a champagne bottle, some chervil, some chive, 2 shallots, 1 oz of butter, salt and pepper.

In a frying pan, put the butter and the scallops (you have already washed and wiped with an absorbing paper). Frying the scallops 2 minutes on each side. Reserve it out of the frying pan. Mix the shallots in little pieces. Put the champagne and the shallots in the frying pan and cook it until the champagne reduce by half its volume. Then, add the chervil and the chive you have cut in little pieces with the cream. Put some salt and pepper, at your convenience. Add the scallop to hot it a little bit (around 1 minute).

Dispatch the scallops and the champagne sauce in your serving plates. It’s ready to eat.

Bon appétit !

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Foie gras in three versions – foie gras crème brûlée – Christmas Eve Menu 6/9

076The third and last part of my starter was the foie gras crème brûlée. This recipe is my husband’s and it’s a really good one.

To do it, you need : 3.5 oz of draw foie gras, 2 egg yolks, 0.5 cup of milk, 3.5 oz of liquid cream, an apple, 1 oz of brown sugar, salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven at 200 °F. Peel and cut the apple in little cubes. Put it a pan and warm it slowly with a little bite of water for 30 minutes, to make a stewed apples. Mix the foie gras. Add the egg yolks, cream and milk. Add a little bite of salt and pepper and mix again until you have an homogeneous preparation. Mix together the foie gras sauce and the stewed apples. Pour preparation into glass cups. Cook it for 20 minutes in the oven. Let cool it in the kitchen and in a second time, in the fridge.

Just before to serve it, put some brown sugar on the top of each glass cup and caramelize it with the steakhouse of the oven or a blowtorch. It’s ready to serve.

Bon appétit !

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To finish, if you want to serve to your guests the same starter than I’ve done, take some nice plates and put in each one puff, one candy and one crème brûlée. Now, you can manage a nice surprise at the table with this starter which just looks like a dessert.

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Foie gras in three versions – foie gras candy – Christmas Eve Menu 5/9

077The second part of my starter was the foie gras candy. To make 12 candies, you need : 4.5 oz of raw foie gras, a big apple, 2 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of Monbazillac (french sweet wine), 12 sheets of dough phyllo, salt and pepper.

Peel the apple and hollow out then cut it in little squares. Cook it slowly in a pan with the brown sugar and the wine.

Preheat the oven at 400 °F. Cut the foie gras in 12 equal pieces. Fold up sheets of dough phyllo in four. Put some egg yolk on the sheets. Put a piece of foie gras in the middle with a teaspoon of apple, a little bit of salt and pepper. Close the sheets like a candy. Cross the end of the candy with toothpicks to be sure it stay closed. Put in an oven plate and put in the oven for 5 minutes. It’s ready to serve.

Bon appétit !

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Foie gras in three versions – puff with a foie gras moss – Christmas Eve Menu 4/9

078That starter was a real success. All the family was really surprised to find as a starter, a dish which look like a dessert. There is three parts on it : a puff with a foie gras moss, a foie gras candy and a foie gras crème brûlée.

To do the puff with a foie gras moss, you need : 7 oz of cooked foie gras and 3/4 cup of liquid cream for the moss and, for the puff pastry, 3 eggs, 1.7 oz of butter, 3.5 oz of flour and 3/4 cup of water.

Start with the puff pastry : in a pan, boil the water with the butter. Stop the fire and put all the flour. Beat strongly until the dough is homogeneous. Then put the pan on the fire set very low, until the dough dry out and get loose of the pan. Put the dough in a bowl and leave it cooling. When it’s cold (about 15 minutes later), add an egg and beat strongly until it disappeared in the dough. Repeat it with the second egg and the third egg.

Preheat the oven at 350 °F. Take a plate of pastry and two teaspoons. In a spoon, you take some dough and you form a little bowl on the plate of pastry. Repeat it until you used all the dough (about 20 puffs). Put the plate in the oven for 20 minutes. Put off the oven but don’t open it. You should leave the puffs inside during 2 hours to dry. They are ready to be cut and furnished.

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The foie gras moss : cut the foie gras in pieces and put it in a pan with the liquid cream and cook it slowly until the foie gras become a sauce. Put that preparation in a bowl and cool it in the kitchen (about 1 hour)  then, in the fridge (at least 2 hours).

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One hour before to serve it, cut the puffs and furnish it with the cold foie gras moss. It’s ready.

Bon appétit !