Food: freestyle experiences

A Blog about Food you truly want to read!

Original Popcorn February 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 3:47 pm

 

Dear reader,

I have had a cold since Thursday and I realize this weekend was only about watching shows (always in Original Version, don’t worry!) and cooking. I made nice biscuits yesterday, and you can find out how to realize them and how they taste by reading my last article. Anyway, I am not really in great shape and cooking was the only way to relax… When I have something left in my fridge and want to make a dish with this ingredient, I realize a recipe I already know, or I search the Internet to find new recipes, to discover what I could make with the things I have in my cupboards! And that is how I will make ‘Praline and Maltesers Cupcakes’ this week 😀 So, I was surfing on the Internet just before lunch to find out what I could do with the potatoes that are beginning to germinate in the cupboard – I think I should have cooked them two weeks ago, but they still look fine to me 😀 And I found a great idea to make an original recipe actually; you can have it with a drink before eating for example.

Popcorn is usually served salted or sweetened. For instance, in the United States, it is traditionally served salted, although caramel corn can also be found. In Great Britain, popcorn is available either salted or simply sweetened with sugar. But did you know that you could use other ingredients to prepare Popcorn?

Paprika and Cantal Popcorn

80g Corn to pop

80g Cantal

1 Tablespoon Paprika

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt

Pour olive oil in a fryer with corn. Heat up and as soon as you hear the first pop, cover and let the others pop, until you hear no more sound… Add paprika, salt and cantal. Mix and this is ready to eat!

Moreover, you can adapt and change this recipe, by choosing the ingredients you like and what you have in your fridge! Do not hesitate to use different spices and cheeses, people! And as this recipe can be done in ten minutes, you have no excuse not to try and make popcorn yourself! I like the fact that you can use the spices you like (tandoori masala, curry, mustard grains, and so on…) and cheese you enjoy (Comté, Gruyere, Reblochon…). Cheese can be optional for those who do not like it by the way!

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Smiley Faces, Happy Belly! February 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 5:41 pm

Last Monday was the day I had to go to the supermarket near my place… Indeed, as it was the holidays and I left Lille to go to Haute-Savoie (skiing rocks by the way!), my fridge was totally empty. Except for what was supposed to be Comté before I left the apartment and some mayonnaise and mustard, there was nothing edible in it!

Water, milk, pastas, yoghurts, we had to fill in our beautiful fridge – we are trying to reconstitute France with magnets we find in the Père Dodu chicken nuggets boxes 😀 . When I was walking through the sections, I found something really new for me! There was a funny box on display, this one:

My boyfriend is slowly beginning to cook, and as I love when we are cooking together, I thought that it was a nice wink! Thus, I bought this box in a flash, even if at first, I thought it was only meant for cooking with kids… But what the hell, everybody always say I behave like a four-year old 😀

I brought back home my precious discovery and this afternoon we made those shortbread biscuits together.

This is what is inside that box and what you need to have in your fridge before making those smiling faces:

 

When the biscuits are cooked, you have the opportunity to let them plain (even if they have a vanilla taste), or add melted chocolate and/or little sugar balls. What I loved the most was to put the multicoloured sugar balls on the biscuits… I have always found funny to decorate biscuits, cakes, etc…, and I like using those things; they have no real flavour of course, but it is edible decoration! 

Those were tasted and devoured at tea time one hour ago 😀 The box says that you can make twenty biscuits, and we made nineteen! There is only ten biscuits left already 😀 I even made one biscuit with only one eye, but he was the first one to disappear

All those little smiling faces, covered in chocolate are little bits of pleasure!

 

The Lemon Festival

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 3:28 pm

Dear reader,

Thanks to Romain – a dear colleague who works with me at Arthur Rimbaud secondary school and who is a fan (the only one?) of this blog -, I would like to tell you about the Menton Carnival! Indeed, this Carnival is one of the most famous winter festivals in Europe. This celebration takes place every year in a town named Menton (it is the French word for ‘chin’), in France. I don’t know about you, but when Romain told me about this town called ‘Menton’, I first thought he was making up a town’s name and messing around 😀 And then, when I checked I discovered that this town really existed! Did you know that this place existed?

Moreover, to enlighten people like me who were totally unaware of its existence, Menton is located in the South-East of France on the French Riviera, and is known for its marvellous lemons; hence the fact that Menton is called the City of Lemons!

Anyway, my point is that people who live there are organizing a special Carnival… We all know what Carnival means… It is a festive season occuring immediately before Lent, and it typically involves a public celebration or parade combining masks and public street party: people are dressed up and everything! Nevertheless, this famous Carnival is nothing like the others we could have gone to… But, it is the Lemon Festival that interests me particularlly!

Indeed, this Lemon Festival lasts a few days, with different bands passing through Menton’s streets on foot or on truck trailers. It follows a given theme each year and during those past years, the themes included Disney, Neverland and India. But, what is interesting is that the floats and sculptures we can see there are all especially made from lemons and oranges! The Casino Gardens in the centre of town are also completely decorated in the theme of the festival. Thus, they use lemons to cover the exhibits, and huge statues are built and covered with citrus fruits.

I have never seen this Festival, and I did not know about its existence four days ago but Romain told me many things about it and I have seen great pictures! I think it is really original and impressing! Don’t forget that the Lemon Festival takes place every year in February! It ends with spectacular fireworks on Garavan bay… And even Queen Victoria assisted to this Carnival in 1882!

 

So cheesy! February 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 5:11 pm

Recently, I noticed that Deborah hated cheese, but David seems to love it! When I was a little girl, I could not see or smell cheese, all sorts of cheese… Nevertheless, when I grew up, I became more and more attracted by it, and I can say I definitely love it – except for Roquefort – and I believe I have eaten thousands of different cheeses.

However, does someone know about Casu Marzu? The cheese? The famous and traditional Sardinian sheep milk cheese, notable for being riddled with live insect larvae? 😀

You did not? Me neither! 😀 Let’s have a look…

Casu Marzu, also colloquially known as Maggot Cheese… Yes, you have read what I have written right: Maggot Cheese. This ‘delicacy’ is a runny white cheese made by injecting Pecorino Sardo cheese with cheese-eating larvae. It is mainly found in Sardinia, Italy, and it literally means ‘rotten cheese’ in Sardinian. Casu Marzu is not your average cheese lover’s cheese. Then, if that is not to scare you away, how about a few thousand wriggling maggots?

Casu Marzu begins as Pecorino Sardo, a cheese that is typically soaked in brine, smoked, and left to ripen in the cheese cellars of central Sardinia. But to produce Casu Marzu, cheese makers set the Pecorino Sardo outside in the open, uncovered, and allow cheese flies (scientifically named Piophila casei – the cheese fly) to lay eggs inside of it.

As the eggs hatch into white transparent maggots, they feed on the cheese. By doing so, they produce enzymes that promote fermentation and cause fats within the Casu Marzu to decompose. Sometimes, cuts are even made into the rind of Pecorino Sardo and already-hatched maggots are introduced into the cheese. This way, it speeds the whole cheese making process. Thus, Casu Marzu is created by the gastric juices of the thousands of maggots that infest it…

Some people say Casu Marzu tastes like an extremely ripe Gorgonzola, without the blue veins and with a whole lot of larvae of course! 😀 One piece of Casu Marzu may be populated by thousands of living, breathing maggots.

Italian people really love this cheese and champion its cause when this delicacy is criticized. Anyway, we should not forget that the cheese can pose various health hazards, such as an intestinal larval infection for instance.

It is best for you not to think about that while you are chomping through your Gouda or Cheddar, dear reader 😀

If you want to know more about this particular cheese or even just to know where you could find some because it has stimulated your appetite, I refer you to Wikipedia or this really interesting video, starring a great chef, Gordon Ramsay!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ_-JzM-YQg

 

February 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroschm @ 5:12 pm

Some more about heirloom vegetables …

I love nettle soup. It is really a spring detox soup, and it is delicious !

Try it without fear,…but you need to find clean young nettles, …not along a busy motorway for example…

Ingredients:

500g potatoes
young nettles
butter
Kub Or (maggi…you know what I mean)
salt & pepper
4 tablespoons sour cream…less or more

Method:

Cook the peeled, chopped potatoes for 10 mins in salted water. Drain.

Wash & chop coarsely the nettles (Only pick the new, young tops,using gloves!)

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the nettles and stew gently for a few minutes. Add the potatoes and heated stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender.

When all is soft, cool slightly & purée in a blender, adding seasoning and the sour cream.

See the original recipe HERE :

http://www.nettles.org.uk/nettles/activities/nettlesoup.asp

Other heirloom vegetables

RUTABAGA (cultivated in parks and eaten during the Second World War indoor Paris)

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES (TOPINAMBOURS)

Barbentane’s eggplants (or aubergines)

 

Heirloom… February 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroschm @ 11:47 pm

Heirloom :  “a valued possession passed down in a family through succeeding generations.”

I learnt about this word few days ago because I was looking for what I was calling “old vegetables”.

I do not mean old as the carrot or the cabbage who are sleeping in the fridge, bought two weeks ago! No.

I mean heirloom vegetables : Jerusalem artichokes, Chinese artichokes, scorzoneras (or black salsify), swede (rather called rutabaga), nettle, barbentane’s aubergine,…all those rare vegetables that become more and more popular.

It can be a wonder to enthral your friends : « tonight I will cook « sautéd jerusalem artichokes with garlic and bay leaves » specially for youuuuu  !»

Heirloom vegetables become increasingly trendy however they share a peculiar part of our patrimony.

Let us have a look to the following website where the heirloom vegetables gardener’s give advices to protect them, to cherish them, far from the industrial agriculture. Heirloom is not a business !

http://www.halcyon.com/tmend/heirloom.htm

Here is the one you did not dare to ask me : THE trendy recipe

sautéd jerusalem artichokes with garlic and bay leaves

Prick up your ears to this sweet greedy poetry :

« Jerusalem artichokes are sweet and almost garlicky and mushroomy and gorgeous. Although called artichokes they’re actually tubers – like rough and ready potatoes. You can scrub and roast them whole like mini jacket potatoes and split them open, drizzled with a little chilli oil. You can even use them in a salad with smoky bacon. A Jerusalem artichoke’s best friends are sage, thyme, butter, bacon, bay, cream, breadcrumbs, cheese and anything smoked. »

(Thank you Jamie Oliver !)

The ingredients for 4

600g of Jerusalem artichokes.

Olive oil

a few bay leaves

2 cloves of finely sliced garlic,

white wine vinegar

salt/pepper

Peel the artichokes, then cut them into chunks. Fry them in the apropriate pan with little oil until they become goldy on both sides. Add the bay leaves, the garlic, a splash of white wine vinegar, some salt and pepper.

Place a lid on top and continue cooking softly about 20 to 25 minutes.

After that put again the heat on to crisp the artichoke slices up one last time, then serve straight away with meat or fish or as a warm salad.

Bon appetit !

 

The World Through Green-Coloured Glasses February 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 5:04 pm

Dear reader,

I am aware that those last weeks you endured the sight and reading of weird and sometimes disgusting dishes… I am sorry but I felt you had to know… And I truly believe that it contributes to open your mind to other – and very different – cultures.

I realize that my blog is a great opportunity to write in English on the one hand, but to put the new things I am learning in Multimedia class into practice every week on the other hand.

Indeed, in nearly a month, it will be Saint Patrick’s Day! If you want to learn more about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick%27s_Day . Even the Chicago River is dyed green each year for the Saint Patrick’s Day celebration 😀 Then, in honour of this special day, I created funny cookies and I use the adjective ‘funny’ because those cookies will be green and because we had enough ‘peculiar’ food for the moment. Yes, yes, those recipes are always in the prospect of being eaten and that is why today is only about funny and new 😀

This article will be about another recipe then, but a special one actually… Green cookies! As you already know, I have got a sweet tooth. I decided to create funny cookies: green, white and gold for the Irish colours! I mean green with the food colouring, white chocolate chips, and orange… I was missing that one, but you will see what came up as orange 😀

The new part is not only inside the cookies recipe, but also because my recipe was shot. Can I really use this term? I am not a real filmmaker and screenwriter but I wanted to use the rudiments learnt in Multimedia class, and at the same time, I wanted to produce a little something for this dear blog… Please, follow conscientiously this recipe.

This is a recipe for 6 people, or two hungry stomachs…

The ingredients:

  • 1 Egg
  • 100g Sugar
  • 75g Melted Butter
  • 200g Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • Food Colouring
  • White Chocolate Chips
  • Orange Smarties

How to make these beautiful cookies?
Beat the egg and add sugar. Then, add melted butter. Mix everything and add the other ingredients – that is to say flour, baking powder, and food colouring afterwards…
With a tablespoon, put some dough on the plate. Don’t forget to put space between them, because they will rise.
Bake in preheated oven (220°C) for about ten minutes. As soon as they seem cooked, take them and let them cool on a wire rack. Enjoy these green cookies!

You can follow the instructions thanks to this video I made. Thank you Movie Maker!

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xc9wrg_green-cookies_creation