Speculoos

This cookie has seduced the non-cinnamon loving population of France. It will seduce you too.

Braised Spring Vegetables

Late spring is a perfect moment in the life of vegetables. Peas, carrots, potatoes and onions are brand new, filled with tender, sweet flavor, the juiciest and most flavorful they will be all year. This dish, which is topped with a fresh lettuce that melts gently into it, is a celebration of spring, ideal to serve with roasted meats or fish.

Galettes au Sarrasin – Buckwheat Galettes

ble noir

When the galette is fully cooked on one side, flipped and just about cooked on the other side, you can add the filling, spreading it out as you like, then fold the galette up to the center of the filling, as in the photo.

Couscous Soup

ASTUCE: The best meat for couscous soup is lamb neck, which is wonderfully gelatinous, rather like oxtail or beef eye of round. You can use a mix of meats too, however, without adding any pork. Baking soda added to beans as they cook tenderizes them. Finally, you will notice that the carrots and the zucchini cook until they are soft, which is how they are meant to be. If you want your vegetables a bit more “al dente,” simply add them later on in the cooking time.

Couscous

ASTUCE: Pay careful attention to these pearls of wisdom, as they will ensure perfect couscous:
*The directions urge you to proceed gently, so please do. As you use your fingers and palms, urge rather than rub the liquids and fats into the couscous, very lightly, very gently.
*It is very important that the couscous steams uncovered. If it steams covered, condensation falls from the cover onto the grain causing lumps and making it soggy.
*Wrap a towel around the seam of the steamer to make sure steam doesn’t escape into the atmosphere.
*If you do not have a couscous steamer, you may use a traditional, two-part steamer.

Fish Stock

I always have fish stock in my freezer, for making a quick soup or adding to a sauce. I freeze about 2 cups in ice cube trays, then pop the cubes in ice cube trays, then pop the cubes out of the trays and put them in freezer bags or containers. (Each cube is approximately 1 ½ tablespoons of stock).

ASTUCES: freeze whatever fish stock you don’t use in 1 cup (250ml) increments. Then it’s at your fingertips for other recipes.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: heavy saucepan
PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: simple

Marmite Dieppoise

fish stew

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: large, heavy saucepan
PREPARATION TIME: 30 minutes
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: simple but requires attention

YOGURT CAKE – GATEAU AU YAOURT

gateau marbre

This simple cake goes together in minutes. I melt the butter and the chocolate over the pilot lights on my stove. Do that before you measure out anything else, then by the time you’re ready for them, they’ll be cool enough (even if they’re lukewarm) to use. I love to serve home-made orange marmalade, just a small mound, alongside this cake.

Normally, you melt chocolate in a double boiler, but if this feels like a complication, and you have a burner on your stove to go very, very low, just melt the chocolate here, stirring it often so it doesn’t stick. I normally don’t recommend microwaves (ask me later), but if you’ve got one of course you know, they do make good chocolate melters.