Apple crumble

After doing this recipe for a dinner with friends, they begged me to post it, so here it is. This is actually a super easy and good recipe, not to heavy after a dinner (there is fruit you know. Well with a little bit of butter…)
This recipe is one of my favourite and a classic: my mother has been making it since I am a child. And as a kid, I loved to prepare the crust (of course, when you mix it with your hands, it is much more fun than with a spoon!)

crumble1

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Level: Easy
Cost: Cheap

Equipment: oven dish (like pyrex dish), bowl

Ingredients:
– 8 apples
– 100g butter
– 100g flour
– 100g sugar
note: quantities are a bit random and I often add some flour or sugar while making the crust until I get the right texture, and according to how sweet or crispy I want the crust to be. You can also increase or decrease the quantities if you want a thicker or thinner crust.

Peel and cut the apples. Put them directly in the oven dish. You can spread some sugar or cinnamon on top.
Prepare the crust: Pour the flour and sugar in the bowl and add the butter in cubes. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour and sugar until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining. Add some sugar or flour if needed.
Then spread the crust on top of the fruits and bake for about 20 minutes in the oven until the crust is crispy and golden. During the cooking, apple cook and caramelize nicely.

crumble_glace

Notes:
– Best way to eat it is warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
– Apples are often a basis but you can mix fruits: apple and red berries, apple and plums, apple and peach, apple and pear (the one on the photos!), pear and chocolate, etc. Be imaginative! But usually it is better to still put some apple because they don’t get completely liquid when cooked.
– This cake requires a plate and a spoon to be eaten!

Enjoy!

Veal aubergines and mozzarella millefeuille

Continuing the Italian series, here is an other recipe I like to make, even though I haven’t made it for a while. So I didn’t make last week but I once tried something similar in an Italian restaurant and I created this recipe.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Level: Easy
Cost: Medium

Equipment: pan, oven, oven dish

Ingredients:
– 1 aubergine
– 2 cutlets of cushion of veal
– mozzarella
– olive oil
– mixed herbs

Slice the aubergine in the length. Cook them in an oiled pan. Reserve.
Cook slightly the veal in a pan (not too much otherwise it will become super dry in the oven!)

In an oven dish, put two large slices of aubergine (they must be more or less the size of the veal cutlets), put a veal cutlet on top of each (in fact I don’t remember if I put the aubergine or the veal first but it doesn’t really matter). Then add slices of mozzarella on top.
Put in the oven for 5 minutes for the mozzarella to melt (use the grill)

Serve immediately with mixed vegetables (courgettes, aubergines) or with pasta (with fresh tomato sauce)

When in Italy

Last week, I was in Italy, that is why I have not been very active. But I ate loads of good food and came back with ideas for good recipes! I give in this article two pasta recipes that we made.

Rome, eternal city

Rome, eternal city

But you do not only eat pasta and pizza in Italy (even though you still eat some!). I was first in Rome where I tried some nice meat dishes and antipasti: grilled vegetables, meatballs, carpaccio, prosciutto, etc. I also had a lot of ice cream!

The second part of the journey was in the south in Basilicata, where I tried a selection of nice antipasti: grilled vegetables, cheese, sausage, dried stuffed pepper, omelets, potatoes and fish stew, etc. They also have delicious meat.

And of course, a lot of wine to get along with all this yummy food, and then some liquors: Amaro or Limoncello.

 

Pasta and Zucchini

This one we made one evening and we all loved it! It is super simple.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Level: Super easy
Cost: Cheap

Equipment: pots

Ingredients:
– 2 courgettes
– 1 shallot
– 400 g pasta
– olive oil
– Ricotta
(we used ricotta dura and grated it, but it is certaily good with soft ricotta or parmesan)

Peel and chop the shallot. Fry in an oiled pot.
Peel and cut the courgette and add it in the pot. Cover and let cook at low heat for 15 min. (you can add a bit of water to avoid burning)

In an other pot, bring salted water to the boil and cook the pasta. Drain and put back in the pot. Add the courgettes, olive oil and the cheese. Stir and serve immediately!

Pasta and Tomato sauce

This one was made one evening by one of my friends who is Italian

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Level: Super easy
Cost: Cheap

Equipment: pots

Ingredients:
– 1 can of peeled tomatoes
– 3 shallots
– 400 g pasta
– olive oil
– white wine (about 10 cL)

Peel and chop the shallot. Fry 3 minutes in an oiled pot.
Then add white wine and tomatoes and a glass of water. Put at medium heat and let reduce (for about 15-20 minutes).

In an other pot, bring salted water to the boil and cook the pasta. Drain and put back in the pot. Add the sauce. Season with salt, pepper. Stir and serve immediately! You can add grated cheese on top!

Punch

Summer is coming and with it, cocktail parties and apéritives. Here is the classic recipe of punch. I give relative measures, then you choose how much you want to make! It is better to prepare it the day before or in the morning for evening and keep it in the fridge.

Ingredients:
– 1 measure of orange juice
– 1 measure of ananas juice
– 1 measure of grapefruit juice
– 1/2 to 1 measure of cane syrup (or agave syrup if you are making it lighter)
– 1.5 measures of rum
– ground cinnamon
– orange and lemon slices

Enjoy! (and remember to drink wisely!)

Summer “verrines”

Following my recipe of the tomato confit, here are some ways to use it! These cold verrines are perfect for light summer aperitives. It is simply some small salads or appetizers presented in glasses. I give a few examples of the basics I like to do but you can be very imaginative and create a lot of variations. What is important is that you mary things that go well together in taste and also in colour for pretty verrines!

verrines1

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: no cooking (except last one)
Servings: 4
Level: Super easy
Cost: Cheap

Equipment: 4 glasses

Salmon, avocado and tomato verrine

Tomato confit
– 2 slices of smoked salmon
– 2 avocados
– lemon juice
– fresh herbs for decoration (dill or chive etc)

In a bowl, mash the avocados with a fork, add a pinch of lemon juice, salt, pepper, herbs if you want.
Cut the salmon into small dices.
Then prepare the verrines: separate the tomato confit equally in the for glasses. Be careful not to put tomato everywhere on the glass. If needed, you can use a paper towel to clean. Then add the salmon. Finish with the avocados and decorate with fresh herbs.
Serve immediately.

Notes and ideas:
– Sometimes I mix the salmon with cream cheese. That tastes also nice.
– If you prefer you can put avocado first and then salmon, it doesn’t make much difference. I like to have the tomatoes at the bottom though.
– You can replace avocados by cucumber and cream cheese.
– Also try to replace avocados by green asparagus (cooked) mixed with a bit of fresh cream. Very creamy and delicious!

Schrimps, avocado and tomato verrine

Tomato confit
– 10-12 schrimps
– 2 avocados
– a tbsp of cream cheese
– lemon juice
– fresh herbs for decoration (dill or chive etc)

In a bowl, mash the avocados with a fork, add a pinch of lemon juice, salt, pepper, herbs if you want.
Cut the schrimps in small pieces and mix with cream cheese but keep 4 whole for decoration.
Then prepare the verrines: separate the tomato confit equally in the for glasses. Be careful not to put tomato everywhere on the glass. If needed, you can use a paper towel to clean. Then add the schrimps mix. Finish with the avocados and decorate with fresh herbs and a schrimp. Add some lemon juice.
Serve immediately.

verrines2

Mediterranean verrines

– Small pasta (eg mini farfalle)
– 1 courgette
– 1 Aubergine
– pine nuts
– cherry tomatoes
– garlic
– fresh basil
– olive oil

Peel and chop the courgette and aubergine. Cook in an oiled pan. The pièces must be small and it is nice if they are still a bit crispy.
Cook the pasta.
In a bowl, crush garlic, pine nuts and basil. Add to the pasta with olive oil and lemo, juice, salt, pepper. Mix well.
In the glasses, start with the vegetables, then a layer of pasta salad. To finish, cut the cherry tomatoes in four pièces and add on top.
Serve immediately or keep in the fridge.

Confit de tomates

Here is my recipe of “confit de tomates” (tomato confit), that you can use as a basis for “verrines” (appetizers in a glass) or bruschettas or with fish.
It is very simple to make. It can just take some time to peel all the tomatoes if you want to make large quantities (in that case, you might be tempted to use canned tomato pulp, even though it is certainly better with fresh tomatoes!)

confit_tomates1

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Level: Easy

Equipment: pan, bowl

Ingredients:
– 4 fresh tomatoes
– 1 shallot
– a tbsp balsamic vinegar
– 2 tbsp of olive oil
– 1/2 teaspoon of sugar or honey
– herbs: basilic, oregano, thyme, etc, dry or fresh
– salt, pepper

Plunge the tomatoes 30 sec in boiling water. Peel them, remove seeds, chop them.
Chop finely the shallot.
Fry the shallots in an oiled pan for 3 minutes.
Then add the tomatoes, sugar, herbs, salt pepper. Lower the heat, cover and let cook 20 minutes.
When cooked, add a tbsp of balsamic vinegar and one of olive oil and stir.

Can be eaten hot as a sauce, with fish for example or cold, in appetizers.
It can be kept a couple of days in the fridge.