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 !

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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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 !

Menu of the Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve in France is the most popular Family celebration in the year, like Thanksgiving in the US. Each year, one member of my family organize the dinner in his home and invite all the rest of the family. This year, the dinner is at home. I have invited my parents, my sister, my parents in law and my brother in law with his wife and their kids. We would be 13 people around the table if everybody could come.

Here you have the feast menu I will suggest to my family to celebrate Chritmas Eve. This time, it will be a lot of work but I love to cook, I have taken a day off to cook and my nanny will keep the babies during the day. In France, we love to stay around a table with a good dinner and, as we do not have many opportunities to find us all together in the year, we can stay sitting for a long time to talk, eat and drink, in the french way of life.

The menu :

The apéritif : soup of champagne, basil cakes like canelés, prunes in the bacon and glass cup of espuma of chorizo with a cream of asparagus.

The starter : Foie gras in three versions and presented like a dessert, with 1- a puff with foie gras ice cream, 2- a foie gras candy and 3- a foie gras crème brûlée. To drink, a Sauternes.

First main course : scallop in a champagne sauce. To drink, a Tariquet.

Second main course : quails in mandarins with a risotto in hazelnuts. To drink, a Pomerol.

Dessert : Baked Alaska. To drink, a Clairette de Die Imperial.

At midnight, we would have finished the dinner and open the gifts we have offered to each other, except for the kids who would sleep at that time. They will wait the morning to open the gifts Santa would brought for them.

If some of thoose dishes give you some ideas, I promess you will find all thoose receipes on my blog just after Christmas Eve and, maybe you could try it for the New Year’s Eve.

Eggs mimosa

Here is a very simple starter to make that’s delicious. Once more, it is a classic of french cooking. This starter is also very fast to do (10 minutes) and to cook (10 minutes). Why that name ? Because when you chop the egg yolks, it looks like a mimosa flower.

To make the eggs mimosa to serve 4 : 4 eggs, 4 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of chopped basil.

Boil the eggs for 10 minutes. Cool and peel. Halve lengthwise. Remove the egg yolk without tearing the egg white.

Chop the egg yolks and mix it with mayonnaise and chopped basil.

Put the egg whites on a plate and fill it with the egg yolk mixture. You can arrange the plate with some salad and tomatoes. It’s ready to serve.

You’ve got a lot of variants of that starter : for example, you can replace the basil with parsley, or pepper to give a red color, or by tuna, or chopped olives. And for a specific day, why not put some truffles in the egg yolks ?!

Bon appétit !

Pâté

In France, we have a lot of different pâté’s recipes. This one is a traditional recipe of farmhouse pâté, which is great as starter or to make a sandwich. It’s really fast to prepare but you need 3 hours to cook it and wait the day after to become really cool before to eat the pâté.

To make it, you need : 35 oz of pig meat (take meat with fat), 2 eggs, 2 cups of hot milk, 0.7 oz of salt, 0.1 oz of pepper, 0.05 oz of 4 spices, 1 oz of sheets of parsley, 2 shallots sliced thinly, a bay leaf and a little glass of Cognac (around 1/4 cup).

Chop the meat. In a big bowl, mix all the ingredients, except the bay leaf. Then, put your preparation in a terrine which can go in the oven. On the top, put the bay leaf to perfume the terrine during the cooking. Start your oven with a temperature of 300 °F. Your terrine will be cooking in the bath marries, so put some watter in a plate and your terrine inside before to enter it in the oven for 3 hours. The first 2.5 hours, cook the pâté with the lid of the terrine then, remove it for the 30 minutes to give your terrine a nice color.

Your pâté is cooked. Leave it cooling in the kitchen then, put it in your fridge for 24 hours before to taste it as a starter or to make a sandwich. You can keep it in the fridge for 2 weeks. You can serve it with some gherkins, it’s delicious.

Bon appétit !

Vegetables’ tartar

This is one of my favorite appetizer to amaze my guests when the weather is hot. That recipe is really fresh and can start a good dinner.

You need 7 oz of sour cream, 0.5 oz of chive, 0.25 oz of basil and some mint leaves, one melon (not too big), 2 cucumbers, salt and pepper.

Cut the herbs (chive, basil and mint) in tinny peaces. In a salad bowl, mix together the sour cream with the herbs, salt and pepper at your convenience. Cut the melon and the cucumbers in little cubes (without the skin and the pips) and put them in separated bowls. Put the three bowls in the fridge for one hour at least to be very fresh.

When it’s time to eat, mix the cucumber and melon’s cubes with the sauce in the salad bowl.

To have a nice presentation, take a plat and put the tartar in the middle with a circle and finish with a mint leave on the top. If you don’t have a circle, you can do it with a clean can (not too high) without the two lids.  Repeat this operation for each of the guests.

Bon appétit !