S: French Cookbook
FC: La Bonne Ailment | By Michael Cheng
1: Table of contents | Cinnamon Palmiers..................................................................................page 2 Poire Belle-Hélne Pear Belle-Hélne...............................................................page 3 Salade de Fruits frais Fresh fruit Salad...........................................................page 4 Soupe L'ail............................................................................................page 5 Soupe L'oignon........................................................................................page 6 Filet Truffe Truffled Filet...........................................................................page 7 Blancs de Poulet Dores..............................................................................page 8 Paste Jardinaire au Fromage.......................................................................page 9 Croque-Monsieur Chez Jean........................................................................page 10 Croque Madame......................................................................................page 11 Baguette...............................................................................................page 12-13 The history............................................................................................page 14 | 1
2: Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/4 cup butter, melted 1/2 lb puff pastry (1 sheet store bought) 1 egg, beaten | Cinnamon Palmiers | Preparation: Preheat an oven to 400F. Stir together the sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter until it forms a paste. Roll the pastry dough into a large rectangle, about 15-inches by 12-inches. Using a pastry brush or spoon, spread the cinnamon sugar paste in a thin, even layer over the dough. Starting at the long ends of the rectangle, loosely roll each side inward until they meet in the middle. To hold difficult pastry together, brush it with the egg, if needed. Slice the pastry crosswise into 1/4-inch palmiers – they’ll look like little scrolls - and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 12-15 minutes, until they puff and turn golden brown. Remove them from the baking sheet and serve warm or at room temperature. This cinnamon palmiers recipe makes 30 cookies.
3: Recipe : 1- Peel the pears and rub them right away with lemon to keep them from getting dark ; cut them in halves and take the core away with a pointed knife. 2- In medium heavy saucepan, pour the water, sugar, and the juice of left lemon, mix together and bring to the boil ; let simmer for 3 minutes, then put the pears in, cover with a lid and let the fruits poach for 5 minutes, turning them upside down once or twice. Strain (but keep the juice) them and let them cool down. | Ingredients for 4 people : - 4 big pears, ripe and tasty - 1/2 lemon - 70 grams [21/2 oz] sugar - 25 cl [8 fl oz] water - 8 vanilla ice cream balls - 200 grams [7 oz] black chocolate - 2 Tablespoons sour cream | Poire Belle-Hélne Pear Belle-Hélne | 3- Display two half pears in each of the rib dish. 4- Cut the chocolate in small squares and put them in a small heavy saucepan with 4 spoons of the pear juice from cooking. Melt the whole over a low heat, stirring non stop with a wooden spoon until smooth. The chocolate must not stick to the pan. | TRICK : you can drop steps 1 and 2 and buy canned pears. This dessert can then become very easy to make and the special "last minute friends over" ; you can impress a lot by "improvising" this type of dessert... You can chose to serve the chocolate separately in small saucers.
4: Salade de Fruits frais Fresh fruit Salad | Ingredients for 8 people : - 2 apples - 2 pears - 2 bananas - 250 gr [9 oz] strawberries - 250 gr [9 oz] grape - 2 kiwis - 1 pink grapefruit - 1 orange - the juice of 2 lemons | Recipe : 1- Wash the apples, pears and grape ; peel the grapefruit and the orange ; wash and hull the strawberries. 2- In a salad bowl, put the grapes, the strawberries cut in halves ; add the kiwis cut in small pieces, small pieces of orange and grapefruit (take the inside skin off if it is too thick). Drizzle with half of the lemon juice and gently mix a bit. 3- Cut the pears and apples in small pieces and add them to the whole ; peel the bananas, cut them in slices and add them too ; gently mix each time you add a fruit so that lemon juice keeps them from turning dark. 4- Refrigerate for one or two hours before serving. | TRICK : even if this dish is cold and could be prepared in advance, it must not be prepared too long ahead because the fruit would not look and taste so fresh. Of course, put any fruit you would like, the only rule is to balance flavors (some sweet, some sour, some bitter) and to vary colors as much as possible (you need red, green, white, yellow...)
5: Preparation: Put garlic into boiling water for several minutes and then peel and mash it with a fork or pestle; Place the cold water, the bay leaf, the mashed garlic and the salt and pepper into a pot; Bring the liquid to a boil and sprinkle in the vermicelli. Bring it back to a boil and then let it quickly simmer over a medium fire for an additional 5 minutes or until 'al dente'; Place the 2 egg yokes into a bowl, beating them with a fork. Then, carefully pour them into the quickly simmering liquid so that the yokes do not coagulate; Rectify the seasoning; Serve with the stale bread and a loose 'ball' of grated cheese. | SOUPE L'AIL | Ingredients for 4: 1 quart of water; 4 cloves of garlic; 4 oz. of fine vermicelli; 1 soup spoon of virgin olive oil; 2 egg yokes; 1 bay leaf; 4 slices of stale bread; 1 ball [60 g] of grated Gruyre; Salt and pepper.
6: SOUPE L'OIGNON | Ingredients for 4: 4 large red or yellow onions; 1 1/2 quarts of cold water; 2 soup spoons of virgin olive oil; 2 soup spoons of butter; 1 heaping soup spoon of flour; 4 slices of bread; 4 oz of grated Gruyre; Salt and pepper. Preparation: Peel the onions and cut them into thin slices; Melt a tbs oil and a tbs butter in a deep pot and add the onions, cooking them until they are transparent, but not brown; Once transparent, dust them with the flour and stir them with a wooden spoon, over a hot fire, to brown the flour; Add the water, together with the sliced onions, and the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes; While simmering, cut the slices of bread into quarters and sauté them, in the remaining oil and butter, until golden brown; Place the golden-brown bread on the bottom of oven-proof soup bowls and set the oven to a hot, 400 degree oven, for several minutes; When the onion liquid has cooked for the 20 minutes, pour it into the 4 prepared, hot bowls. Sprinkle heavily with the grated cheese and place the mixture into the hot oven for about 12 minutes.
7: FILET TRUFFÉ Truffled Filet | Ingredients for 4: 4 5-oz filet mignon steaks; White truffle oil; 2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano; 1/2 lb lettuce or field greens; 1 tbs red wine vinegar; 1 tbs balsamic vinegar; 6 tbs extra-virgin olive oil; 1 tbs unsalted butter; Cracked pepper and fines herbs for the steak; Salt, ground pepper and fines herbs for the greens; A sheet of waxed paper to cover the steaks. Preparation: Several hours before eating, sprinkle ample amounts of the cracked pepper and fines herbs over the steaks. Place the wax paper over the pepper-fines herbs combination and press down to set the herbs and pepper into the steaks. Put aside; Shave the cheese with a vegetable peeler. Set aside; Immediately before grilling the steaks, wash and dry the greens. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt and ground pepper. Put aside; Warm the plates in a medium oven; Grill the steaks for 5 minutes on each side. Preheat a frying pan. Then, when you remove the steaks from the grill, place the butter and 1 tbs of oil in the pan and pan fry the steaks, over a medium flame, to finish them to your liking. When done, drizzle the white truffle oil over the steaks; Toss the greens with the dressing. Place 1/4th of the greens on each plate and center the steaks on the greens; Top each steak with the shaved cheese and serve. Note: You can serve potatoes, and other vegetables, with this dish. Fix them the way you prefer. You can substitute any high quality, hard grating cheese, that is aged for more than 6 months, for the Parmigiano-Reggiano. But remember, each cheese will lend its own individuality to the meal.
8: BLANCS DE POULET DORÉS | Ingredients for four: 1/3 cup of pine nuts; 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; 1 clove peeled garlic; 1/8 cup packed parsley leaves; 1 tsp rosemary 4 boneless and skinless half chicken breasts; 4 tsp Dijon mustard; Tsp olive oil to oil the baking dish. Preparation Toast the pine nuts in a 300 degree oven until golden. While toasting, trim the fat from the chicken breasts; Coarsely chop the toasted nuts, the cheese, the garlic and the parsley in a food processor. Place in a large, flat pan; Brush the top side of each breast with 1 tablespoon of the mustard and then press the top of each breast into the nut mixture; Arrange the breasts, coated side up, on a lightly oiled baking dish and top with the remaining nut mixture; Bake the breasts in a 375 degree oven, in the baking dish, for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown. Note: You can substitute any good quality, naturally made hard, well aged [in excess of 6 months] grating cheese for the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cheeses to consider, among others, are: Cheddar, Emmental, Manchego, Abondance, Asiago, Beaufort, Cantal, Cheshire, Comté, Dry Jack, Grana Padano, etc. Each cheese will lend its character to the taste of the breasts.
9: PASTA JARDINAIRE AU FROMAGE | Ingredients: 1/4 lb pancetta [Italian bacon] 2 tbs virgin olive oil 1/2 cup red onions 3 large cloves of garlic 12 oz butternut squash 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper 1 tsp dried sage or 2 tsp fresh 1 can chicken broth 12 oz kale [about 16 cups, lightly packed] 2/3 lb whole wheat pasta tubes 1/3 lb Fontina Valle d'Aosta cheese Serves: 4 persons Preparation: Slice the pancetta 1/8-inch thick, slicing again in half, and make strips 1/2 inch wide and set aside; Dice the onions large and reserve; Peel and slice the garlic and set aside; Cut the squash into 3/4-inch cubes and reserve; Remove the kale stems and set aside; Cut the cheese into small cubes and set aside; Cook the pancetta, in a frying pan with high sides, for 4 to 5 minutes over a medium low heat. Stir occasionally, until it starts to curl. Remove from pan and reserve; Raise the heat to medium and add the olive oil and onions. Cook until the onions are slightly soft; Add the garlic and squash, season with salt, pepper and sage and cook 2 more minutes; Pour in the broth and add the kale [if the kale doesn't fit into the pan all at once, add it in batches since it will wilt down]; Cover the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes, until the vegetables are tender; When simmering begins, bring 3 qts of water, with the salt, to a boil. Add the pasta, cooking it according to the package instructions, until 'al dente; Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the vegetables and toss; When the ingredients are almost evenly distributed, add the cheese and toss until the cheese just starts to soften and melt a bit; Dish into Italian pasta bowls, sprinkle with pancetta and serve.
10: CROQUE-MONSIEUR CHEZ JEAN [Grilled Cheese and Ham Sandwich] | Ingredients: 8 slices of crust less white bread 4 tbs heavy cream 4 slices of Gruyre cheese 4 slices of ham 2 eggs. 1 tbs Butter Salt, pepper, herbs de Provence Serves: 4 people Preparation: Beat the 2 whole eggs in a container and add the cream, salt, pepper and herbs; Dredge the bread in this mixture; Put 4 slices of the battered bread into a hot frying pan and reduce the heat to simmer; Place 1 slice each of the cheese and the ham on each slice of bread. Cap each build-up with a battered slice of bread; Cover the pan and simmer on both sides until done, checking frequently [about 10 minutes]. Note 1: You can make this recipe into one for a Croque-Madame by sautéing an egg, sunny-side up, sprinkled with salt, pepper and herbs and placing it on top of the Croque-Monsieur. Note 2: The above recipe can be deep fried by substituting about 54 g of grated Gruyre, for the sliced cheese.
11: Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 8 slices sandwich bread 4 ounces baked ham, thinly sliced 2 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese, divided 4 tablespoons butter, softened 4 eggs 2 tablespoons canola oil 4 tablespoons Béchamel sauce, divided Preparation: Preheat the broiler to the lowest heat setting. Evenly divide and spread the mustard on 4 slices of bread. Place a few slices of ham, followed by 1/2 cup Gruyere, on the mustard-side of the bread. Cover the cheese with the remaining slices of bread and spread the butter on the outside surfaces of the sandwiches. Preheat a skillet over medium heat to fry the eggs while the sandwiches broil. Fry one egg at a time, as desired. Place the sandwiches on an ungreased baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes, turn them over, cover with the remaining cheese, and continue cooking until they are crispy and golden brown, about 5 additional minutes. Serve each hot sandwich with a fried egg and 1 tablespoon of Béchamel sauce on top. *This recipe makes 4 sandwiches. | Croque Madame
12: Ingredients 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 1/4 cup, (2 ounces) very warm water ( 105 to 115 degrees F) 3 cups, (13 1/2 ounces) unbleached allpurpose flour 1 cup, (4 1/2 ounces) cake flour (see note) 2 1/4 teaspoons Kosher salt 1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon, (10 1/2 ounces) cool water ( 75 degrees F) Directions Combine the yeast and the warm water in a small bowl and stir with a fork to dissolve the yeast. Let stand for 3 minutes. Combine the flours and salt in a large bowl. Pour the cool water and the yeast mixture over the flour, and mix with your fingers to form a shaggy mass. Move the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 4 minutes. It should be supple and resilient, but not too smooth at this point. Let the dough rest on the work surface for 20 minutes, covered with plastic wrap or a light towel. (This rest period is the autolyse.) Knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes. Don't overknead it: The dough should be smooth, stretchy, and resilient. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it in the bowl to coat with oil, and cover it with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature ( 75 to 77 degrees F) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until nearly doubled in volume. Gently deflate the dough and fold it over itself in the bowl. Reshape it into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 1 1/4 hours or until it has nearly doubled again. Gently deflate the dough again, reshape into a round, cover, and let rise for about 1 hour. Place the dough on a very lightly floured surface and divide it into 3 equal pieces (about 10 ounces each). Gently stretch one piece into a rectangle, leaving some large bubbles in the dough. Fold the top third down and the bottom third up as if you were folding a business letter. Now form the loaf into a log by rolling the dough over from left to right and sealing the seam with the heel of your palm. Fold the dough over about 1/ 3 of the way each time, seal the length of the loaf, then repeat. You want to gently draw the skin tight over the surface of the baguette while leaving some air bubbles in the dough. Seal the seam, being careful not to tear the skin of the dough or deflate its airy structure. Set aside on the work surface to relax before elongating it, and repeat the shaping process with remaining pieces of dough. | Baguette
13: Now elongate each baguette, starting with the first one you shaped, by rolling it back and forth on the work surface. Begin with both hands over the center of the loaf and work them out to the ends until the loaf reaches the desired length. (Don't get carried away, or the baguettes won't fit in your oven!) Place the finished loaves on a peel or upside down baking sheet lined with parchment paper and generously sprinkled with cornmeal or on a baguette pan. Cover the loaves with well oiled plastic or a floured cloth and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes until the loaves are slightly plump but still not doubled in volume. The final rise is short, because you want the baguettes to be slightly under proofed; this will give them a better oven spring, resulting in loaves with a light, airy crumb and more flared cuts. Thirty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Place a baking stone in the oven to preheat, and place an empty water pan directly under the stone. Use a very sharp razor blade or lame to make 3 to 5 slashes, depending on the length of your loaves, on the top of each baguette. The cuts should run from one end of the loaf to the other, rather than across it remember, the blade should be held at a 30 degree angle to the loaf so that the cuts pop open in the oven. Be careful not to press down too hard, or you may deflate the loaves. Using a plant sprayer, mist the loaves. Gently slide the loaves onto the preheated stone, or place the baguette mold in the oven. Pour 1 cup of very hot water into the water pan and quickly close the oven door. After 1 minute, mist the loaves and oven walls 6 to 8 times and close the door. After 2 more minutes, spray the loaves and the oven walls again. Bake for 12 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake for 25 to 30 minutes longer until the loaves are golden brown and crisp. Move them to a rack to cool. Enjoy your baguettes still slightly warm with some soft, ripe French cheese and a glass of wine. Note: If cake flour is not available, you can use the same amount of unbleached all purpose flour, but cake flour will give the baguette a lighter texture. | Baguette continued...
14: Poire Belle-Hélne Pear Belle-Hélne "Beautiful Helen pears" were invented in Paris in the 19th century and were named after an opera by Offenbach. A romantic introduction for this French dessert par excellence, a true classic, found in at least about half of the restaurants of the Hexagon. It only takes a few minutes to assemble this dish if you use ready-made ingredients; it is actually not much longer to prepare half of them from scratch (the poached pears and the melted chocolate). You can even make ice cream and cookies from scratch for a deluxe version. | The History Behind This Great Food | Baguettes are closely connected to France and especially to Paris, though they are made around the world. The word itself was not used to refer to a type of bread until about 1920, but what is now known as "baguette" may have existed well before that. Though the baguette today is often considered one of the symbols of French culture | French arts and culture are not geographically bounded. This includes French architecture, archeology, abbeys and cathedrals, art information, art galleries, artists, festivals, the fine arts, museums and historical information. French food still stays in the number one spot, as the worldwide favorite. Home gourmets and enthusiasts alike want to learn how to create these wonderful sauces and foods. Included in this cook book, many of these great recipes; Salade de Fruits frais Fresh fruit Salad Soupe L'ail Soupe L'oignon Filet Truffe Truffled Filet Blancs de Poulet Dores Paste Jardinaire au Fromage. Croque-Monsieur Chez Jean Croque Madame | The earliest cookie-style cakes are thought to date back to 7th century Persia A.D., One of the first countries to cultivate sugar. According to historians, sugar originated either in the lowlands of Bengal or elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Sugar spread to Persia and then to the Eastern Mediterranean. With the Muslim invasion of Spain, then the Crusades and the developing spice trade, the cooking techniques and ingredients of Arabia spread into Northern Europe. | True Cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon) and Cassia (Chinese cinnamon), are both derived from the bark of an evergreen tree. The difference between them is that Cassia has a more robust flavor however to all intents and purposes, either can be substituted for the other. The characteristic rich, warm and sweet fragrance makes it one of the most evocative of spices and a much used ingredient in many cuisines worldwide.