Sunday, 25 December 2011

It's time to set flight again

Well with Christmas over for another year - i hope everyone had a great day - it's time to set flight and visit another country.

A friend of mine – Tegan – suggested I visit Thailand so not to be one to disappoint I added it to my list.

1. Morocco
2. Egypt
3. Canada

4. India

5. Cuba

6. Thailand
So with the list complete i rolled the dice and my tastebuds and I are off to………………………


With a population of 1,189,172,906 I am very excited to see what dishes I can find. I'm thinking there might be just a few to choose from. As always I always welcome suggestions. So if you have a dish that you think is spot on please post J

Friday, 23 December 2011

France - c'est magnifique!

Another meal down and another fabulous experience.

Experiencing French food is truly a pleasure – not that I even scratched the surface LOL. The smells in the kitchen when you cook are mouth-watering and the combination of the flavours is exquisite. I am very keen to explore more French dishes.

Once again I took my family along on the adventure and going by the number of empty plates I think my cooking was enjoyed.

So without further adieu  let’s get rating J

Preparation time: (how long does it really take?)

Coq au Vin - 25 minutes to prepare – then about an 70 to 90 minutes to cook – The recipe I used saw me cook the mushrooms separately so you will need to factor that in. The mushrooms take only a few minutes to prepare and 5 minutes to cook – you add them in after the chicken has cooked for around 1 hour.

Tartiflette - 20 minutes to prepare – then about an 25 minutes to cook – depending on how you wish to cook you potatoes before combining the ingredients your preparation time might vary. I used the microwave to help soften the potatoes so for me it was quick.

Mousse au chocolat - 25 minutes to prepare – then a couple of hours to chill in the fridge – Again using the microwave to melt the chocolate will speed up your prep time.

Ease to cook: (what does it involve?)
Coq au VinYou do need to spend a little time to soften the onions and brown the chicken, but once you have done that it is simply a case of adding the remaining ingredients, setting it to simmer and sitting back to enjoy the smells that will fill the kitchen. This is also a great recipe for a slow cooker so if you have 8 hours up your sleeve before serving than cooking this will be a breeze.

TartifletteApart from softening the potatoes and warming the onions and bacon the only hassle with this dish comes in combining the ingredients. Set aside 5-10 minutes to layer everything together.

Mousse au chocolatA few things to do here – melt chocolate, separate eggs, beat egg whites, mix chocolate and egg yolks, fold ingredients together - but well worth it and not too time consuming

Overall: (i'll use a scale of empty bowls - 5 empty bowls is the best - 1 empty bowl not the best J)

Coq au Vin5 empty bowls – this dish was a joy to eat. The meat falls of the bone and when combined with the spices and flavours produced from the onion, mushrooms and wine your taste buds will think they have died and gone to heaven.

Tartiflette5 empty bowls – I have had a few variations on potato bake in my life, but this was simple, filling and didn’t leave you feeling like you had swallowed a bottle of cream.  Potato can be bland, but the white wine combined with the onion ensures isn’t. The cheese layered across the top is also a winner for me and something I will use again. It provided a wonderful flavour and does a great job of holding the potato together when serving.  I definitely recommend you give this one a go – you won’t regret it.

Mousse au chocolat3.5 empty bowls –  you usually can’t go wrong with chocolate, but when you start mixing in raw egg things get interesting. The taste was spot on, but my trouble lay in the setting of the mouse. Unfortunately after 2 hours in the fridge my mousse had not set as hard as I would have liked – not sure if I had not left enough time or if I had missed something, but having said that I will continue to investigate more recipes and practice to find a recipe that will do that trick.

So with that said I wish you all a merry Christmas – may it be safe and happy – I hope Santa finds you all easily enough  – I am trying something a little different from the norm... I decided rather than posting individual pictures for you all I have collated them into a video. Hope you enjoy :-) (If you prefer photos let me know and I can add them)
And for those who are on the edge of their seats waiting to find out where I’m going next my next destination will be decided on Boxing day (26 Dec) J

Monday, 12 December 2011

I'm back and ready for a French festival of food!

It has been a long time between meals - unfortunately things, as they do, happened and the French trip was placed on the back burner. But having said that all is good again in the world and so it is time to pack the bags, dust off the cutlery and get back into the adventure :-)

With the help of friends i have managed to whittle down the huge selection of culinary delights down to the following:

Coq au Vin - chicken marinated and cooked in wine.
Tartiflette - A hearty dish of potatoes, bacon, white wine and reblochon cheese.
and for dessert
Mousse au chocolat - aka chocolate mousse.
So with the menu taken care of it is just a matter of sourcing the ingredients ready for Friday night.
Sounds delicious and i look forward to sharing the outcome with you all.
Until then 'feast' on the dishes that i had to choose from:

easy appetizer recipes Easy Appetizer Recipes There are many, many easy French recipes for appetizers. Here you will find some classics like tapenade, eggplant caviar, and that wonderful hot appetizer popular around the world: baked brie en croute.

sauce recipes Sauce Recipes Get started cooking with these classic sauces, such as beurre blanc, bearnaise, hollandaise, soubise, rémoulade, and aioli might stand on their own or be part of a recipe. Dessert sauces are included too.

french entrees French Entrees In France, the starter course is called an entrée. It is an essential step in most dinners, even the most casual. Learn how to make, present, and serve entrees in balance with the rest of your meal.

easy salad recipes Easy Salad Recipes Many of these easy French recipes can serve either as a starter or be made in a larger quantity and eaten as a main course. Serve these with a baguette like they do here in France.

easy soup recipes Easy Soup Recipes Here you will onion soup of course, but also crème du Barry, carrot, potage Saint Germain, potato leek and others. Some of these might be served as a starter course, but there are also soups that can be served as the main dish.

easy vegetable recipes Easy Vegetable Recipes The key to these easy vegetable dishes (and all French food for that matter) is to start with the absolute tastiest vegetables you can get your hands on. Cook what is in season and feature them in one of these easy dishes.

french seafood recipes French Seafood Recipes These seafood and fish dishes feature mussels, salmon, scallops and more. You will find them used to make gratins, papillotes, and chowders, as well as in simpler preparations: poached, baked and fried.

french chicken recipes French Chicken Recipes Like many places in the world, chicken is a very popular meat in France. Learn how to make such classics as chicken cordon bleu, chicken marengo, and chicken Dijon.

easy beef recipes Easy Beef Recipes Find easy recipes for French food classics like boeuf Bourguignon, boeuf aux carottes, daube, and hachis Parmentier. These all make great main dishes.

easy pork recipes Easy Pork Recipes Pork is a very popular meat in France. It gets made into an incredible array of sausages, and pork chops, loins, and tenderloins are used all the time. Find some easy ways to fix these meats.

quiche recipes Quiche Recipes Presenting the incredibly versatile quiche. You will find the classic quiche Lorraine, but also spinach, broccoli, cheese, crab, salmon and zucchini. Quiche makes the perfect food a starter course, main meal, or for taking on picnics and to potlucks.

fruit dessert recipes Fruit Dessert Recipes Fruit gets top billing in many desserts in France. By starting with peak seasonal produce, and making these simple tarts, mousses, and cakes, you will be sure to please yourself and others.

french cake recipes French Cake Recipes These include classic cakes, such as a baba au rhum, moelleux au chocolat, and a galette de rois. I am not a big fan of washing a half dozen mixing bowls and spending hours in the kitchen, so these are quick and easy cakes.

french dessert recipes French Dessert Recipes Here you will find those desserts that are not a cake, cookie or pastry. Petits pots de creme, creme caramel, and lots more. Think chocolate and cream.

crepe recipes Crepe Recipes Learn some tips that will make crepes an easy and fun project. In France, crepes are made into all sorts of yummy treats - both sweet and savory.

french pastry recipes French Pastry Recipes Learn the basic preparations that go into making a variety of pastries, including choux, pâte brisée, pastry cream and other essential ingredients. Some of these may be a little harder, but I have tried to give detailed instructions.

french cookie recipes French Cookie Recipes These might seem a bit elaborate, but I have stuck to the simple ones. Try chouquettes, madeleines, meringues and more.