Food: freestyle experiences

A Blog about Food you truly want to read!

Weird mixtures November 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroschm @ 8:29 pm

We are a particular family. It is not about what you may imagine.
No, believe me: we are very special because we ADORE to make new food experiences, to try mixtures anybody would even imagine to do:
Let see below the pictures.

strawberry jam and maroilles

Try to recognize what it is about: look at the red or dark pink jelly first. You are right: it is strawberry jam. Nothing is very weird for the moment. But be ready to have a real shock.

The one of us who is eating this jam, is also ready (and full aware) to crunch…guess what?…Maroilles cheese!

idem
My first thought was to try it by the same time. According to this weird mood at home that evening, I should have. But at the end I could not : the smell was to strong for me.

The other picture is the result of my daughters’ experiments:


Given popcorns from an afternoon snack (the first experiment was to see and hear them bump in the saucepan: very scary but exciting for 5 and 7 year’s old girls)
Given cheese fondue in the evening for diner. At the end bread was little by little missing.
We had to find THE alternative solution.
Plan B: we all stuck our fork in the popcorns and there it was.
I have to admit that it was crunchy but rather tasteless…

Now YOU : please confess to everybody the weird experiments you already have done : even if it was not for science, only in a fit of pike somehow (pasta/pâté, eggs/maize…at the mercy of what you could find in your fridge)…
I also was a hard up student once…

 

In the mood for snake November 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 6:33 pm

Hello guys,

This article is not for the faint-hearted 😀

A friend of mine just came back from a trip to Vietnam, where he spent a few weeks visiting, walking around the place, carrying no more than a rucksack! Oh yes he is very adventurous – and practices martial arts, so don’t mess with him 😀 Anyway, he told me that he experienced something new. Indeed, he went to a restaurant some of his friends had recommended and tried the specialty of this place: the still-beating heart of a snake… Some of you will smile and say ‘oh yes! I would like to try this!’ and some of you (I think I may be part of the second category…) will say ‘Yucky! How did they get this idea?’ and I think that it is the real beauty of those hundreds of cultures: we really don’t eat the same things… And I am sorry to see that most of the time we have preconceived ideas about those different food habits. And yes, I enjoyed the Anthropology classes about cultures, ethnocentrism and the otherness!

Thus, in this country, when you ask for a snake’s heart – my friend gave me all the details, it was a cobra – the cook comes back with an actual living snake and opens its entire ‘body’ with a long knife. Then quickly, he takes the still beating heart and at this point, you take it and you swallow it… Nobody fainted I hope?

It can seem weird when you imagine the situation, especially when you try to get into that person’s shoes. If it actually was you who were supposed to eat this heart, would you do it?

In their culture, eating a raw heart means a lot. Vietnamese tradition has it that it was for the warriors before a fight because it made them strong and invincible and nowadays it is given to old people to give them more energy. Interesting, isn’t it?

Of course I knew that in some countries people eat iguanas, alligators, or turtle eggs and I myself tried grasshoppers when I was living in New Caledonia, but I never could have thought of a raw snake’s heart! And I am sure that in some cultures, my Grandma putting pumpkin jam she makes herself on her toasts every morning would surprise some people. But believe me, it is not bad to try 😀

 

 

Some like it hot November 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 7:47 pm

Good evening guys,

Yesterday, I was perusing my Cosmopolitan (no link with the drink at all 😀 ) while watching the pupils in detention. I had three Cosmopolitans to read because being a student in Lille 3 and a supervisor in a secondary school takes all my time those last weeks… Anyway, I took some time to read my women’s magazines, in which you can find ideas for presents and you discover the latest trend in fashion. It is not a gossip magazine and I also found great recipes in there. However, I am not trying to advertise for this magazine, but the pupils saw me reading it and none of them – even the more feminine girls – knew about Cosmo…

Anyhow, I am alluding to my favourite magazine because when I went through it, I discovered that Fauchon created new eclairs. Those last years, different sorts were invented, and pretty original ones! In a nutshell, they pushed forward the concept of ‘a long and iced cake with cream filling and icing’ – which is eaten cold as we all know and love experiencing – and they revolutionized the view of this cream puff! The one which triggered my attention is an eclair composed of raspberry and caramel called ‘hot dog’ (if you consider the picture below, it really looks like a hot dog doesn’t it?), but the great originality is that this eclair is meant to be eaten hot. It is the first eclair that has been imagined to be hot.

Since this one was brought to existence, Fauchon conceived some new recipes: Foie Gras and Strawberry Eclair, Foie Gras and Fig Eclair, Smoked Salmon and Mandarin Eclair, Chicken Curry and Coriander Eclair, Chicken and Red Pepper Eclair, Salmon and Peas Eclair, Black Truffle and Potato Eclair… And they are all hot! But I would say their ‘names’ can be quite disconcerting and curious.

The idea of creating a hot eclair is funny and interesting. It is truly a new way of seeing the ingredients; Mixing things that are supposed to be sweety and even playing with temperature is original. What I want to say is that we all tasted either cold soup or hot soup, we also ate bread in which we find olives, cheese, or seeds (there are so many recipes and mixing!), or bread in which there is chocolate chips, raisins or banana for example, but we never thought about turning a cold and sweet pastry into a hot and savoury one!

Furthermore, I noticed that the Alinéa brand is as adventurous in the food association as Fauchon! They made innovative and unusual mustards. Now, even condiments are inventive and those condiments bring new tastes into our plates. Mustard is not just mustard anymore. Alinéa came up with three ‘flavours’, transforming our vision of simple dressings. The first flavour is coconut-curry, and the second is saffron. Curry mixed with mayonnaise, or Coconut & Curry Chicken are recipes we find easily in Indian cuisine, and are more and more cooked by people. In addition, saffron is used a lot in the islands . Then, those flavours are not so bizarre to us… But the latest creation is Blackcurrant Mustard. At first, it can leave us astonished because fruits or vegetables as condiments are common (chutneys and pickles for instance) but I never saw the combination of mustard and fruit!

Who said magazines were not into freestyle? 😀

Since we’re talking about weird associations of ingredients, I have a dear friend (she will know I am talking about her when she reads this article 😀 ) who loves eating hot dogs! Ok, you’re right, this is neither weird, nor flabbergasting I admit, but what my friend does is that she spreads peanut butter on the bread and then she adds the sausage.

She keeps on telling me that if people would only try this ‘recipe’ of hers, these things would sell themselves like hot cakes!

And you, do you have strange food habits?

 

November 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — franckgm @ 2:50 pm

KROY YAK KIN KHRAO TAM MAK HOUNG…

You want to give a bit of spice in your life?

You want to discover a Southeast asian country

I offer you to go in Laos and Thaïland by eating TAM MAK HOUNG or SOM TAM. (In english, papaya salad).

At first, as we are living in the north of the France, put your heating as warm as you can.

Secondly, wear thaï trousers and a docker (a « marcel » in french).

Then, buy all ingredients you need:

  • 1 green papaya
  • 1 lime
  • tomatoes ( cherry tomatoes are better)
  • thaï chili peppers
  • 2 carotts
  • pah dek (fish sauce)
  • nam pah (squid sauce)
  • garlic
  • glutamate
  • you can have dried shrimp, yard longbeans
  • and peanuts too.

recipe1

FOR TWO PEOPLE:

1 / Cut in two the papaya, you peel half of it and you grate it.

2 / Peel and grate two carotts.

3 / In a mortar, put chili peppers (as much as you want, but I think that 2 or 3 is enought), a clove of garlic and one little spoon of glutamate. Add some carotts and papaya and mix all together.

4 / Put all the papaya and carotts in the mortar, Press the lime into, add tomatoes, one spoon of squid sauce, 2 or 3 spoons of fish sauce and mix.

Do not hesitate to enjoy the dish and to add some more of the ingredients. (lime, pah dek,…)

recipe2

5 / If you want to cook like thaï people, you can add dried shrimp, peanuts and yard longbeans too.

6 / Eat this delicious meat with sticky or stime rice.

recipe3

 

Fruits, fruits, fruits November 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 11:51 am

Nature is full of surprises and I think she’s got humour!

If you did not already guess when you read the title of this article, I would like to address the great subject of fruits.

Nowadays, everybody knows mangoes, kiwis or lychees. They are now commonplace in stores. But not so long ago, they were viewed as unconventional…

Let’s focus on some weird fruits 😀 In the industry, they are known as exotic but consumers might think of these fruits and vegetables as unusual or simply strange.

Have you seen those types of fruits before? 

Ackee

The fruit turns red on reaching maturity and splits open with continued exposure to the sun. Traditionally, it is at this time that the ackees are harvested: it is poisonous before it is fully mature, and an ackee pod should never be forced open. It will open itself when it ceases to be deadly. It bursts open to reveal three large black seeds and bright yellow flesh. The flesh of the ackee is popular as a breakfast food in Jamaica; when cooked it looks and tastes much like scrambled eggs. Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ackee

Ackee

Bitter melon

Also known as Bitter Gourd, the plant is grown mainly for the immature fruits although the young leaves and tips are edible. It is a long and very bitter fruit used in cuisine, healing practice, and art. A member of the gourd family, it possesses qualities that can be used for food or medicine. Bitter melon is a fruit that can be found in many Asian grocery stores. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_gourd

Bitter Melon

Buddha’s hand or Fingered Citron

This fruit looks like a yellow squid or long gnarled human fingers, it is a mutated form of citrus, in which the wedges do not connect at the bottom, but grow each their own peel. The interior of the fruit is solid albedo (the white part of the skin) with no juicy pulp or seeds. In China, this fruit symbolizes happiness and long life. Chinese people like to carry the fruit in their hands or place it on tables in their homes. Though esteemed for its form and aroma, the Buddha’s Hand fruit is also eaten in desserts and savoury dishes, and the sliced, dried peel of immature fruits is prescribed as a tonic in traditional medicine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddha%27s_hand

Buddha's hand

Carambola

Also known as Starfruit, this fruit has a yellow-green skin and lots of interesting angles – five of them actually. When you cut the fruit crosswise, the slices are shaped like stars. This fruit is very crisp, juicy and refreshing. The yellow fruits tend to be more acid in flavour, and the green ones sweeter… Ripe carambolas are eaten out-of-hand, sliced and served in salads, or used as garnish on seafood. They can also be cooked in puddings, tarts, stews and curries. In Malaya for example, they are often stewed with sugar and cloves, alone or combined with apples whereas the Chinese cook this fruit with fish. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carambola

Carambola

Cempedak

Cempedak is a tropical fruit with thick and gelatinous and sweet flesh which is rich in energy, calcium, vitamin C and fiber. It’s popular in Southeast-Asia, particularly in Malaysia. The size of this fruit is much smaller than the more well known Jackfruit. They can be eaten fresh but they are usually fried. Deep-fried Cempedak Fritters are commonly sold in the streets of Malaysia. Cempedak Truffle Chocolates are also found… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cempedak

Cempedak

Cherimoya

Also referred to as Custard Apple, these heart-shaped fruits have a green textured skin, this skin is not meant for eating, neither are the seeds. The fruit is interesting in terms of its shape, size and colour because it has a multi-faceted, almost pre-historic appearance and when they are ripe to eat, they are slightly soft, like a ripe avocado. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherimoya

cherimoya 

Durian

A fruit covered with tough spiky skin. Its pulp is pale yellow and its smell has been compared to sewage. Yet the taste has been called so good that a European explorer of the 1700’s claimed it was worth the journey to experience it, ‘the King of fruits’. Many believe this fruit to be aphrodisiac… Asian markets often have cookies, crackers, candy, and so on, flavoured with durian. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durian

Durian

Kiwano or Horned Melon

Member of the cucumber family, this tropical fruit looks like an oval melon with horns and is very decorative. Once grown only in New Zealand, it is now grown in California as well. Consumers are drawn to this intriguing fruit whose look easily draws attention. The spiky shells of the kiwano encase a soft, bright green flesh. It is similar in taste to juicy, seed-filled cucumbers. Once peeled, the fruit can be used in a fruit salad or served as a garnish with roasted meats. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiwano

kiwano

Kumquat

Resembling a shrunken orange, kumquats come from China, where they were named for the Cantonese words meaning yellow-orange. These fruits have a bright-orange colour and are the size of large grapes. It is also known as ‘the little gem of the citrus family’. What makes the kumquat unique among the citrus family is that the whole thing can be eaten, from the sweet-tasting rind to the tart pulp interior. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumquat

Kumquat

Mangosteen

For centuries, those in Southeast-Asia have revered the mangosteen, both for its flavour and the suggestion that it promotes good health. Sweet and juicy, it is a dark purple fruit (white on the inside) now available even in markets across North America. Actually, the whole mangosteen fruit has been used traditionally to treat a variety of health conditions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangosteen

Mangosteen

Pitaya

Also known as the Dragon Fruit, the Pitaya is a beautiful fruit with an intense colour and shape. It is a fruit that grows on a cactus vine. The vine produces large flowers and then the fruits. It has been seen in finest restaurants and then quickly became common-place throughout Australia as a garnish and a delicious fresh fruit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonfruit

Pitaya

Rambutan

The rambutan is a fruit considered exotic to people outside of its native range. To people of Malaysia, Thailand, the Phillippines, Vietnam, the rambutan is a relatively common fruit the same way an apple is common to many people in cooler climates. It is a delicious and nutritious fruit. The word ‘rambut’ in the fruit name ‘rambutan’ is Malay for ‘hairy’ and this refers to the spiky rind. Indeed, without the soft spines on the rind, the rambutan would resemble the lychee which is in the same family. The internal structure is quite similar. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambutan

Ramboutan

Tamarillo

A relative of the potato, tomato and eggplant, the tamarillo is native to Central and South America. Tamarillos can be grown from seed by buying a good flavoured fruit in the supermarket and then sowing the seeds in spring. Those dark red fruits tend to be more acidic than orange types. They are also very attractive with their large heart-shaped leaves and their glossy fruit. Looking like a tomato, it can be eaten in a sandwich, in a salad, or even as a breakfast fruit, or jam! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamarillo

Tamarillo

Tomatillo

This fruit is used as a vegetable but is a small fruit. It is a tiny green fruit known as the ‘Mexican Green Tomato’ but is actually a relative of the gooseberry family. It looks like a green tomato once its thin paper-like husk is removed. Grown in Texas and California and slowly catching on in the United States because of a growing interest in Latin-inspired cuisines, this fruit has been a staple in Mexico and in Latin American countries for decades. Tomatillos are generally cooked, which softens up their skin and improves their flavour (a bit acidic, with hints of lemon and apple). They are best known for their saucing abilities and are the main ingredient in green sauces and salsa. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomatillo

Tomatillo

 

I have lived in Reunion Island for many years, so I spent my childhood eating lychees, longans, jackfruits and all sorts of so-called exotic fruits. However, writing this article for you guys, I realized that there are lots of fruits which I had never even heard about!

Anyway, TV cooking shows and great chefs help introduce consumers to items they may not have been exposed to so far. We face an attraction for the strange and the new…

 

Thalie’s Recipe November 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 5:04 pm

Dear friends, you were waiting for my feedback and here it is!

Last week, I was challenged by some friends to make an original cake. And I accomplished my duty. I will not forget to mention that my family helped me. Actually, we laughed a lot while going through the cupboards and drawers to find interesting ideas. However, we did not want the cake to be ‘ruined’, because even if the idea was to create a weird cake, we also wanted to eat something good!

Then, how to make a funny cake during a rainy October afternoon?

Here is my recipe to spend a nice moment:

250 g sugar

250 g flour

3 eggs

250ml Orangina

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 tablespoons oil

1 bag of Haribo World Mix (or other gummy and jelly sweets)

I am sorry to advertise but this brand really tempted me. I simply love the colours and shapes of those sweets.

ingredients

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour the pan of your choice. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl. Add Orangina, oil, flour and baking soda. Mix well after each addition. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the different jelly sweets you chose. Heat in the microwave until the sweets melt.

magical element

boulgi boulga

Add it to the mixture and mix until well combined.

hard to mix and sticky

Spread into the pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. A wooden pick inserted in center should come out clean.

hop in the oven

Let the cake cool to room temperature in the pan. Run a spatula or sharp knife around the inside of the pan. Invert the cake onto a wire rack and decorate with the sweets you like.

end and decoration

For a moment, I felt as if I was a witch making a secret and dangerous recipe in her cauldron. And if you look at the mixture of melted sweets, I am not far from reality… I have a lot of other ideas to experiment! I do hope you want to make this cake now or perhaps create new recipes even more delicious…

Long live Haribo! Aren’t we saying ‘Haribo makes children happy – and adults too’ 😀