For all those who like to feel like a little chef in their kitchen!

domingo, 17 de outubro de 2010

Red Grape Flan

I don't know if this recipe is well known in other countries, but in my family it has always been a big hit. It is simple but smooth at the same time....i can't'll have to taste it....

1 can heavy cream (300g)
1 can condensed milk (300g)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin powder (12g) - Dilute following the envelope instructions
1 cup concentrated red grape juice

1 cup concentrated red grape juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 indian cloves

In a blender mix the heavy cream, the condensed milk, the juice and the diluted gelatin. Pour into a pudding pan and bring to the refrigerator to cool for about 4 hours.

Put into a saucepan all the ingredients for the syrup and bring into moderate heat for about 20 min. Unmold the flan and distribute the cold syrup over it.

Boeuf à la Bourguignonne - Boeuf Bourguignon

This is not a simple Boeuf Bourguignon...It's Julia's Child Boeuf Bourguignon....I must say that when i saw the movie i thought "They must be exaggerating", "It can't be all that", but again i must say...Uau! That's really THE BEST i ever had....I give the recipe exactly as Julia wrote in her book.

Ingredients (Serves 6)
6-ounce chunk of bacon
9 to 10 inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep
1 tb olive oil or cooking oil
3lbs. lean stewing beef cut into 2 inch cubes
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tb flour
3 cups of a full-bodied, young red wine such as Chianti
2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
1 tb tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 tsp thyme
a crumbled bay leaf
The blanched bacon rind
18 to 24 small white onions, brown braised in stock (how to make in the end of the page).
1 lb. quartered fresh mushrooms sautéed in butter. (how to make in the end of the page)

1. Remove the rind of the chunk of bacon, and cut the bacon into lardons (sticks,1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 min. in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
3. Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 3 min. to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before sauté the beef.
4. Dry the beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it's damp. Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon. In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.
5. Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set the casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 min. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 min. more. Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
6. Stir in the wine, and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheat oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
7. While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.
8. When meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.
9. Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

7.1. Sautéed Onions - Oignons Glacés à Brun
18-24 peeled white small onions
1 1/2 tb butter
1 1/2 tb oil
1/2 cup of brown stock
salt and pepper to taste
A medium herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, 1/4 tsp thyme tied in cheesecloth

When the butter and oil are bubbling, add the onions and sauté until they get lightly brown in moderate heat. Try not to break their skins. Then pour in the liquid, season to taste, and add the herb bouquet. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 min. until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape and liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet.

7.2. Sautéed mushrooms - Champignons Sautés au Beurre
2 tb butter
1 tb oil
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried.

When the butter and oil start to bubbling, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 5 min. As soon as they get lightly brown remove them from heat.

Faux Filet au Poivre

I made this recipe because my fiancee was bothering me to do....turned out to be a terrific meal! For side dish i made plain white rice.

4 sirloin steak
2 fl oz cognac
4 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 tablespoon green peppercorns
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons of butter
salt to taste

Drag the steaks into the pan and fry them at your convenience into the oil and butter (in a non stick pan). French way is to cook it rare to medium rare (about 5 minutes each side in high heat).
Get them out from the pan and keep in a covered hot plate during the time you prepare the sauce (don't turn the flame off). Deglaze the pan with the cognac and flambé it (you need to pour the cognac in the pan, let it get hot, the tip the pan up and put a flame near the alcohol, with care!...wait for the flame to stop by itself, it just takes a few seconds).
Add the cream and the peppercorns to the pan and mix everything together; top the steaks with the sauce, add salt, and serve right away.

segunda-feira, 11 de outubro de 2010

Moules à la Marinière - Fresh Mussels Stemead in Wine and Flavorings

I made this recipe for dinner...i know, i know i still haven't put the other ones but this one deserves to go first! It's simple, easy, but at the same time it's elegant, just perfect. Specially if in that sauce that will be in your plate when you finish you take a piece of bread and dip in this sauce and eat...gosh it's heaven!!!

2 cups of light, dry white wine or 1 cup of dry white vermouth (i prefer the white wine)
An 8- to 10 quart enameled kettle with cover
1/2 cup minced shallots
8 parsley sprigs
1/2 bay leaf
1/4 ts thyme
1/8 ts pepper
6 tbs butter
6 quarts screbbed, soaked mussels
1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley (to sprinkle in the plate)

Bring the wine to boil with the shallots, parsley sprigs, bay leaf, thyme, pepper and butter. Let it boil for 3 minutes. Add the mussels to the kettle. Cover tightly and boil quickly over high heat. Frequently grasp the kettle, making an up and down movement. When the shells open it means that it's ready, if you let it overcook it will get like rubber. With a skimmer, dip the mussels into wide soup plates. Allow the cooking liquid to settle, so if there's any trace of sand it will stay in the bottom of the kettle. Then ladle the liquid over the mussels, sprinkle the parsley and serve with bread.

domingo, 10 de outubro de 2010

Steamed Lobster Tail


1 tablespoon sea salt
4 (6 ounce) lobster tails
1/2 cup butter, melted

Pour about 1 inch of water in the bottom of a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the salt and place a steamer insert inside the pot so that it is just above the water level. Put the lobster tails on the rack and cover the pot. Cover and steam for 8 minutes. And don't peek! Serve with melted butter.

sábado, 9 de outubro de 2010

Shrimp Niguiri

Today we had this "sushi night" at my house. Of course i don't have much of an idea how to make a great sushi but it's worth trying. Since the friends from me and my fiance don't like raw fish as we do i had to improvise. But at the end it wasn't as bad as i thought!


10 large uncooked shrimp
1 cup cold water
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups cooked sushi rice
1 to2 tablespoons wasabi paste, to taste
Soy sauce, for dipping


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Skewer the shrimp from head to tail with toothpicks.

2. Add skewered shrimp to boiling water and cook 3 minutes; transfer to bowl of ice water to stop cooking.

3. When cooled, remove the shell and skewers from shrimp. Make a slit in the underside of the shrimp and cut through almost to the top but not completely. Remove the dark vein.

4. Moisten your hands with a mixture of cold water and vinegar. Take a 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sushi rice and form into a rectangular block about 2-inches long with rounded edges and sides.

5. Scoop up a tiny amount, about ¼ teaspoon, of wasabi paste with the tip of your finger and spread it on the inside of the shrimp.

6. Place the shaped rice on top of the wasabi and press gently. Press into the shrimp, but make sure it holds its shape.

7. Serve with soy sauce for dipping.

sexta-feira, 8 de outubro de 2010

Powder Milk Pudding

Today i woke up with a terrible headache. But since Blue (my persian cat) couldn't let me stay in bed i had to get out of bed...anyway...i had nothing to do and decided to cook something of my favorites desserts...hope you enjoy as much as i did!

2 cups powdered milk
2 cups regular milk
6 eggs (if the eggs are large you can use 4)
1 and 1/2 cups of sugar

12 tablespoon water
1 cup sugar

1. Put in the blender the powdered milk, the regular milk, the eggs and the sugar. Mix it for 5 minutes.
2. In a saucepan put the water and the sugar. Let it boil until it gets what we call wire point (the caramel should have a caramel color, if the sugar gets too brown it will have a bitter taste, so, when you see that if you put a spoon in the sauce and when you take out makes a little wire, turn the heat and distribute the caramel in the pudding pan immediately)
3. Put the liquid that you mixed in the blender inside the caramelized pudding pan. Place the pudding pan inside the roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with water to reach halfway up the sides of the pudding pan and bring into the oven (428ºF) for around 2:30hs (2 hours and 30 minutes). Wait until the pudding is low warm to invert it onto a serving plate. The caramel will have turned into a syrup. Then take it to the refrigerator to cool off ok?

If there's any question about any recipe just leave me a comment and i'll give you the answer as soon as i can ;)
Best regards