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Monday, February 6, 2017

Blanched Garlic


It seems that the subject of blanching garlic has come up recently for me several times and I have been recommending what I learned in cooking school for this process, i.e. bringing the peeled cloves to boiling, in water, up to 3 times (cover cloves with water, bring to a boil, strain and repeat 2 more times).  Each time the cloves are boiled, their flavour will mellow.

I blanch garlic in order to remove the bitterness and potent bite of it when it is raw.  This is especially useful in recipes like gaspacho, hummus, aioli, as I find the taste of raw garlic tends to overpower the more delicate flavours of the other ingredients.

This is really a question of preference and if you like garlic, then by all means, go ahead and use it raw to your hearts content.  For me,  garlic is good but in small doses and I find myself now using blanched or pickled garlic scapes from Québec (fleur d'ail) more and more in many recipes that call for regular garlic.


You can buy pickled garlic scapes on line at Le petit mas

If you've blanched more cloves than you need, keep them in the refrigerator for a few days in an airtight container or cover them in oil and freeze them.  They will be easy to scoop out for other dishes as the oil will not freeze.  


Here is a quick video on blanching garlic:



















Friday, December 16, 2016

Whipped Shortbread





With Christmas just one week away, it's time to start preparing.

The recipe for these wonderful, buttery whipped shortbread cookies has been in storage for the past 5 years while we were away.  When I made them last week, I remembered why these are always a hit.  The texture is perfect for shortbread and the use of salted butter creates a wonderful balance.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Mousse

Inspiration:  The amazing Pecan Pumpkin Butter at Williams Sonoma





I have been working at Williams Sonoma in Brossard now for about 5 months.  It is a wonderful and magical food place that fills me with joy every time I walk into it.  I have been teaching cooking classes on the weekend.  Saturdays are for the kids and Sunday is for adult classes.    The best part of the whole experience is the people I get to meet and talk food with (I am learning as much as they are) and the taste testing of all the wonderful prepared WS food staples.  Plus, I get to test all the equipment - Oh joy! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Foie Gras Ravioli with Sweet Onion Cream

















This was one of those fabulous appetizers that you order and when you put it in your mouth, you have to close your eyes to get the full effect of the combination of tastes and textures!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Chewy Soft Pretzels and Stretchy Cheese Sauce

Inspiration:  This year's Octoberfest and baseball season.





When I am looking to create a recipe I usually go through the same process:  If it is something new that I have never made before, I will study different recipes on the internet.  I also study the why's of how something works and one of my favourite sites to get information is Serious Eats (seriously, this is an exceptionally good site).  I will then use my intuition and experience and try to create something that is tailored to my own likes and preferences and that hopefully will work.  Sometimes, if I'm lucky, I can get a recipe right the very first time but often, it is a trial and error process that requires a lot of fine tuning and taste testing.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Beer and Cheddar Soup

Inspiration:  Octoberfest!




Guaranteed hit if you are a beer lover.  I'm not but I really think the flavours of this soup are interesting in a really good way.   Had this add Bristro Vallier a while ago and have been wanting to recreate it ever since.  With the colder weather just around the corner, I feel this would be a great comforting starter for a weekend meal.  Choose you favourite local beer - one that's not too bitter and enjoy! 

Cream of Mushroom, Duxelle with Foie Gras Shavings



I had this wonderful soup as an entrée recently when we had the chance to return to Paris (aka happiness) for a few days. The combination of the flavours was really good and I thought that the way it was presented was interesting. The soup was very light and foamy with texture coming from the duxelle (finely chopped mushrooms and shallots) and sautéed whole mushrooms.  The addition of some foie gras added creaminess and a touch of decadence to the dish.

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