Tag Archives: recipe

Rock shrimps and prawns salad

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The weather has been extremely warm recently in San Francisco. Last week-end, I was supposed to cook a three courses meal for some friends, and it was so hot that I was really wondering what type of food we could have with this temperature. All kinds of ideas went through my mind, but I decided to create a very fresh salad, with prawns and rock shrimps. 

Rock shrimps are actually quite interesting to cook with. It can be very mushy and not good if you’re not careful. But if fresh and well cooked, it’s delicious. 

The recipe for this salad is very simple. For your preparation, minced some garlic and shallots, roughly chop some mint, and finely chop some cilantro. Throw the prawns in some boiling water with lot of pepper and some salt, after 2 minutes, remove them, and then throw the rock shrimp. One minute later, they’re cooked! Throw the prawns and shrimp in ice cold water. 

Mix some mache salad with the mint, garlic, shallots and cilantro. Add some pepper and salt. Add the shrimp and the prawns. Then add the juice of 1 lime. Add a little bit of olive oil. Salt. Done

This is a very easy and refreshing dish. 

Have fun!
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Cooking rabbit with white wine sauce

From time to time, when the weather gets a little cold, I remember my grand mother in our house in the French countryside. When freezing outside, we would all stay home, in the kitchen (it was the warmest room of all) and watch her cook for us. Of course, at the time, no fancy dishes or stuff like this, only what we could get from our own land. She used to have tons of rabbits. Not pets. Rabbit that she was planning on eating at some point. 

The thought of eating rabbit may very well shock some of the readers of this blog. It’s a pretty common dish in France, but I do understand why folks may think this is horrible. Rabbits are cute and lovely animals. I won’t debate this here. Now, it’s the same thing with any food you eat. You have to respect it. If you don’t care about what you eat, throw away all of it, cook it poorly, then what the hell? Now, if you do care, show respect and passion, then, at least in my mind, things are a little different. 

When you see a rabbit being killed in the sole purpose of feeding a family, or when you actually have to do it yourself (my grand mother had me do it to make sure i understand why i should always respect my food and the real cost of feeding), then your attitude towards what’s in your plate is changing. You understand the painful journey from animal to food. Every time I cook any piece animal, I always think about that (yeah, i basically had to kill myself all sort of animals for food: chicken, ducks, fish etc…). 

So when it was cold outside, my grandmother would kill a rabbit, bring it to the kitchen, and prepare it. I will skip the part where you actually prepare the animal and just focus on the cooking part. It’s comfort food, so I won’t give you any type of proportions. It has to be done “roughly”. 

First of all, ask your butcher to cut the rabbit in 6 pieces. In a big pot (use those nice le creuset ones! they’re actually authentic!), mix some canola oil and butter under high heat. Sprinkle your rabbit pieces with salt and pepper, and brown them in the pot. They have to be brown! And be very careful not to steam them by trying to put too many pieces at once. If you can only do 3 at a time, then take the time to do two batches! 

Once it’s all brown, transfer the rabbit on a plate and let rest. Throw away the oil from the pot. Deglaze your pot with some balsamic vinegar. Add some butter and then add 1 diced onion and 2 carrots roughly chopped. Cook under medium heat for 10 minutes, until soft and brown. Add some garlic cloves (i usually put at least 6-7 cloves), skinned on, and crushed. A handful of thyme sprigs, some bay leaves, and a tiny bit of rosemary. Mix all this together then lay on top the rabbit pieces. Then add some wine (i do recommend some white burgundy wine like macon villages). The amount of wine really depends on several factors: 1. how much do you like wine? 2. do you want to keep a glass for yourself while cooking? This time, i actually put the whole bottle in my dish! Mix well and let simmer (covered) for a 50 minutes to 1 hour.

At this point, you have to make a decision: do I want to eat this dish now or tomorrow? It’s actually better if you’re willing to wait for tomorrow, as the meat will then have time to rest in the juices and the braise. But you can also eat it straight away. 

Put the rabbit pieces on a plate and reduce the wine sauce under high heat. You can add some flour to make it a bit thicker if needed. 

I would serve this with fresh pasta as the combination of the pasta and the wine sauce is just phenomenal! 

Enjoy!
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Skirt steak with shallots

This is a classic French dish. I hadn’t had it for a long time, and decided to give it a try over the week-end. It’s dead easy to cook, and so tasty. The secret is obviously the shallots. They have to cook super slowly (like most onions!).

If you cook for 2 people, you’ll need 4-5 big shallots, but just make sure you’re not short!

Slice finely (but not too thin as you want them to keep some consistency) the shallots. In a pan, melt some butter, and sweat the shallots at medium heat, avoiding the butter to burn. If needed, lower the heat. After a good 10 minutes (you may want to add butter if the pan gets too dry), add some red wine. I’d say a third of a glass, but you can probably do a bit more if you want to cook at higher heat. Then very slowly, bring to a simmer, and let simmer for 30 minutes. The wine should be almost all gone, leaving like a paste around the shallots.

During the last 10 minutes of cooking the shallots, cook your steak. I’m not going to tell you how to do that, I’m sure you know already! On the side, you can also prepare some potatoes (fried with persillade!).

Once the steak are cooked, let them rest for 5 minutes, to let the juice go all around. Put them on a plate. Lay down the shallots on top of the steaks. Place the potatoes next to the steak. And you’re done.

This is super tasty and will make a great quick dinner for you and your friends!

Oh, don’t forget the red wine. Very, very important!

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Poached Halibut with vegetables

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I love halibut – and even more so, poached halibut. Every time I’ve been in a restaurant with halibut on the menu, i would choose that dish. Just to get inspired.

On Saturday night, I’ve decided to try a recipe that combined some of the best things I’ve had. And some crazy little inventions. I have to say, it turned out great. I thought I would share it with all of you so you can take it, and improve it your way.

Ready? Let’s go!

The key thing for this dish is the preparation. You have to make sure you’re ready to cook. Here’s what you need (for 2 people):

– 6 carrots (thin, but no baby carrots!) – peeled.
– 1 avocado
– 8-10 cherry tomatoes (pick several colors)
– corn
– 1/2 red pepper, cut thinly lengthwise.
– 10 french green beans
– 2 spring onions
– dill
– 2 halibut filets, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and pat lightly with some flour.

The corn is actually very important. You have to remove kernels from the cobb. You can look at how it’s done here, but you basically have to cut vertically on the 4 sides of the cobb. Do not worry if you cut through some of the kernels.

Prepare a pan with enough olive oil to cover the halibut. Put the pan on high heat and make sure the oil becomes very hot. When very hot, remove from the heat. In the meantime, heat some butter in a pan, and brown the halibut (don’t cook it, just brown it!). Once brown, put the halibut in the oil (which has been removed from the heat) – it should have some bubbles coming, but not frying bubbles!). Let in the oil for 20 minutes. If the oil becomes too cold, put back on some very low heat.

Blanch the beens, the corn and the carrots (separately). The corn will need a bit more time, but the beens and the carrots should go in boiling water for 1 minute max. 5 minutes before the fish is ready, heat some butter in a pan, and throw the vegetables all together: corn, onions, beens, red pepper, carrots. Brown for 2-3 minutes.

Remove the fish from the oil, pat dry, and put in the center of the plate. Put the vegetables around it. Add the avocado and the tomatoes on the plate (you should sprinkle those with some salt, pepper and could add some olive oil on it). Sprinkle the fish with some dill. Add salt and pepper if needed.

Done! Enjoy!

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Omelette aux C├Ępes (Porcini mushrooms omelette)

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When my friend Pascal told me he had some real “Cèpes”, I begged him to give me some! This type of mushroom is actually common, and is better known as Porcini. But there is a big difference between species of the Porcini category. If you look at Wikipedia, you’ll see what I’m talking about. And the ones he had, were the good ones: dark in color, with an amazing smell! When you can lay your hand on some fresh and wild ones, don’t hesitate one second. Just get them!

I didn’t have a lot, but just enough to do an omelette. It took me less than 30 minutes to cook this amazing meal… Ready?

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First of all, an omelette requires great eggs. Make the effort and get some eggs from a farm as opposed to a supermarket. You will taste the difference. Big time! For two people, i’d say use at least 2 eggs per person. Break the eggs in a big bowl, and beat them. Add some salt, pepper and… a tiny bit of vinegar. Put aside.

To prepare the mushroom, brush them to get rid of all the dirt. Cut the very last bit of the base of the mushroom. Cut the head in pieces (i usually prefer lengthwise) and the base. Put some duck fat in a pan (like 1 table spoon) and sautee the mushroom. Make sure they turn golden – if not, increase the heat. When they start to get brown, lower the heat (keep under low heat for 5 minutes).

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Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Mince some parsley on the side and garlic. Mix with the mushroom and let cook for another 5-6 minutes. Then add the beaten eggs to the pan. Let cook slowly (don’t get impatient, or it’s going to burn). After a few minutes (once the omelette is getting to a solid base but still juicy on the top), bring the pan in the oven and let cook until done. At this stage, it really depends on your tastes. Some people like it very well cooked, some others very juicy. Keep an eye on it, and take the pan out of the oven when it feels good!

I like to serve this dish with some nice salad. It’s just so simple, and so good!

Enjoy!

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