Category Archives: French Cuisine

Chicken and Asparagus with a Tarragon White Wine Sauce

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Hello blog readers.  It’s been awhile since my last post (6 months to be exact) and it’s because my life has been really busy.  I had a very busy summer and the start of the fall has been busy as well.  I am currently enrolled at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition training to be a Holistic Health Counselor.  That has consumed a lot of my free time so this is why I have neglected the blog.  One of the things we are learning about is setting goals and following through with those goals.  So I have made it a goal to make a post for every recipe that I have photos for and to keep this blog up-to-date.

I wanted to start with something comforting and easy to make.  I made this a few weeks ago.  I had most of the ingredients on hand.  This recipe is French influenced but it’s very light and healthy but hearty at the same time.

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Instant Chocolate Mousse

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I stumbled upon this recipe when I was in Florida this past Christmas.  The day I was leaving there was issues with the plane flying back to New York and long story short I didn’t get home until 10pm instead of 12 noon.  While I was waiting for my delayed flight, I was watching TV and found myself watching The Cooking Channel because I can only watch so much court shows on daytime TV.

The show that was on is called Against the Clock with Nigella Lawson. The show is basically the British version of 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray but with a more pleasing accent from the host and better recipes.  The episode theme was making a 3 course meal for an unexpected dinner party. She started with the dessert; instant chocolate mousse using marshmallows instead of eggs. I have been eyeing this recipe on Nigella’s site for a few weeks now and this past weekend I decided to make this mousse since I was keeping a low-key weekend (also NYC got its first snowfall of the winter and I didn’t feel like going out).

Here is Nigella’s excerpt from the page with the recipe:

Normally you need to make chocolate mousse a good few hours, or better still a day, before you want to eat it so the egg yolk sets and the whisked whites permeate everything with air bubbles. Forget that: here we have no yolks, no whites, no whisking, no waiting. Lack of raw egg, incidentally, also means that you might be happier giving the mousse to small children, though I certainly feel they should not be the only beneficiaries.

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Ratatouille

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Ratatouille is a traditional French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice. The full name of the dish is ratatouille niçoise. This French dish is perfect to make when its cold outside.  It is a healthy, low-fat stew and completely vegetarian.  I have made this a few times before but I couldn’t find the recipe I wrote down.  I went off memory when I made it last week.  I am sure the method I used isn’t exactly the French way to cook, but the flavors were there.  This dish is also good as it ages; it tastes better the next day warmed up than it does when its first made because all the flavors marinade together.  If you are dieting, this is a great meal to have as the yield is enough to last a full week and its a stew of all vegetables.

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Chicken with Creamy White Wine Sauce

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When I was in Florida for Thanksgiving, I was watching the Food Network because there wasn’t anything else to watch.  Barefoot Contessa was on and she was making this recipe.  She said that it is a French inspired sauce to pour over chicken or fish and that it was very easy to make.  As I was watching, I wrote down the ingredients and the methods she used.  I tried to find the recipe on Food Network’s site but I couldn’t find it so this post is basically going off of memory and what I have written down on a scrap piece of paper.

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PARIS

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I feel like I have neglected the blog for a couple of months. I have so many articles to write and post I just have been really busy traveling and enjoying the warm summer weather. I’m going to start with the amazing trip I recently took to Europe.

I went to Paris and Amsterdam in the beginning of May this year; I have never been to either city before and it was my 30th birthday gift to myself.  Now I loved both cities but I have to say that I have fallen in love with Paris.  It’s such a beautiful city and the food and culture are so amazing that I can’t explain it in words. I know it sounds cliché but you have to visit there to understand the feeling I am talking about.  The sites are beautiful but I was really into the food and wine culture there.  I’m looking forward to my next visit but until then I will have to eat at some of my favorite French restaurants in the city.

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Coq Au Vin

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Last week I decided to use my Macy’s gift cards that I received as Christmas gifts on stuff that I have been wanting to get for the kitchen.  I got a deep frying pan with a glass lid that was on sale for $19.99 and a Crockpot that was also on sale for $29.99.  I have heard stories from different people how much a Crockpot is one of the best investments they made and now that I have one it’s true.  Put everything in the ceramic pot turn it on low and by the time you come home from a long day at work dinner is done.

The first meal I wanted to make was the classic French stew Coq au Vin, which translates to chicken with wine.  I had a basic idea on how to make this stew but I decided to read a few online recipes to get a consensus on the basic ingredients.  A lot of recipes call for bacon but since I had turkey bacon left over from another recipe I used that which actually makes it healthier.   I prepped everything the night before so I didn’t have to worry about putting it together before I went to work.  I just had to take the ceramic pot out of the fridge, set it in the warmer and turn it on.

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Poulet à la Moutarde (Chicken with creamy Dijon sauce)

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This recipe comes from my French friend Flora.  It is a classic French dish and is extremely popular in the region she is from; La Bresse, which is a region in France that is known for its chicken; poulet de bresse,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bresse_(chicken).

There are many variations of the recipe Flora gave me. This is the most basic one, but can be transformed into a fancy meal with more time and money. Mushrooms, garlic and onions can be added to the recipe and you can also use a full chicken instead of just the breasts.  The recipe is called Poulet à la Crème if you choose not to add the Dijon mustard.

Georges Blanc is a world-renowned chef who was born in the same town where Flora grew up and still has a fine dining restaurant in the area where he serves a Poulet à la Crème that is really popular. Flora tells me Blanc’s mother’s recipe is “legendary” to locals.

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