If It Drizzles | Petite Peche and Co.

If It Drizzles’

Stuffed Mussels- Moules Farcis

Monday, January 17th, 2011

In the south of France, a “farcis” of this or that appears in menus as often as  “fried” might south of the Mason Dixon line.  Stuffed is the literal meaning, but the edible translation is simple- take anything you wish to stuff and add bread crumbs, a touch of buttery olive oil, some herbs and a quick turn under the broiler and watch as you end with something greater than the sum of its parts.  Mussels, served “a la Farcis” in the tiny villages that dot the Mediterranean such as Cassis, are a beloved local favorite and are often washed down with a crisp glass of rose or in winter, a mineral rich white.
What You Need
3 mussels (pp if used as a first course, tripled if a main)
Basil Pesto
Break Crumbs or Toasted Baguette Croutons, finely crushed
Olive Oil
Salt
2 cups of white wine
1 cup of Parmesan or Gruyere * Optional
Directions
Take Mussels and steam open by tossing them in heated pan with white wine.
Pry off the top shell of the mussel, disgarding them and the mussels un-opened in their steam bath.

Mix the Pesto, cheese and the bread crumbs with the salt and top each mussel with enough of the bread mixture to cover. Drizzle with Olive oil and broil.

Serve With

Linguine as a main course, or arugula salad with shaved Comte or Parmesan as a first.

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the days of our lives…

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Since the world, or at least day 1 of 2011, is my oyster again, here are the reso’s… Happy Happy New Year!

Do something new each day. write more letters to those you love and less to those you don’t. determine who fits into both categories. appreciate the sheep in your flock and don’t waste time on the ones who aren’t.  finish reading the books you started 10 years ago and have on your bedside- One hundred Years…, The art of war, Picasso-the creator and destroyer. write your own book. laugh more often. be more patient. give more to those less fortunate. see the end as finite and the in between as infinite. learn to paint well. live decadently however the budget fluctuates.make less lists and more time to do what you need to do. prioritize your needs. be as accepting of your own shortcomings as you are of others. be happy. know that someday, somehow, you will have an apt in Paris with herringbone floors, soaring ceilings, triple- left bank- exposure through loads of double vitrage windows, a 6 burner vintage viking range in the kitchen and still not have all the answers to life. Enjoy the view- these are the days of your life.

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Chile and Chocolate Pulled Pork Tostadas

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

A family favorite for sure, I love making this dish- Its versatile and simple so feel free to add in any spices you enjoy and watch the delighted look on the faces of those you serve!

What you need:

One large pork shoulder (called a butt)

1 small onion,

1 small carrot

2-4 tbsp of kosher salt

2- 4 tbsp of Chile powder

1 tbsp of cayenne pepper

1 oz of unsweetened baking chocolate

4 cups of chicken stock

2-3 tbsp of veg oil

Pre-Heat Oven to 250

In a large dutchoven or oven proof, coverable pot, add oil-

Combine salt, chile powder and cayenne in a small bowl and rub mixture over entire pork shoulder.

Add pork to heated oil and sear on all sides, 1 minute per side.

Remove once all sides browned and add vegetables to soften.

-then add chicken broth

Once combined add in shoulder and the chocolate

Cover and place in oven for 4-5 hours.

Remove and allow to cool~

On top of tostado add pulled pork, avocado and sour cream- Enjoy!

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Onion Soup, the French way

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

I always love to see how recipes are interpreted or written once they move around the world and my personal favorite is Onion Soup Gratinee. The classic. The fact that most people know it as ” French Onion Soup” is in part because that is how “Le French” do it over there, AND it continues to be written for the us this way. However, no where in France will you see it written as such, nor will you see them label their fries, ” french fries”. Pommes Frites or simply, fried potatoes will suffice and so will this lovely recipe that will hopefully warm your kitchen before it warms your belly.

“FRENCH” ONION SOUP

Ingredients

  • 4 sweet onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter, unsalted
  • 4-5 cups beef stock
  • 1 tsp of herbs de provence
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 loaf day or two old French bread or croutons
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere

Directions

Saute onions and garlic in oil, butter over low heat until caramelized and brown, just over 45 minutes. Add Herbs de Provence the last 15 minutes of caramelizing onions and then addstock and bring to a boil.. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 20 minutes or so. Add salt and to taste.

Meanwhile, slice French bread into 3/4-inch slices and butter both sides. Toast slices on griddle until golden brown. Ladle soup into an ovenproof bowl, add toasted bread and cover with cheese. Place ovenproof bowl on a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Bake at 350 degrees F or 5 minutes under a hot broiler.

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Crisp Chicken and Cauliflower Puree

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

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I am busily preparing for the upcoming tour and didn’t feel all that inspired to cook last night. Which is when I turn to chicken. ( oddly enough its also what I turn to for comfort and Sunday afternoons ) I also had a lovely head of organic cauliflower in the fridge drawer so I decided a good puree would be an elegant and easy accompaniment to the family chook. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 

1 pound of flattened chicken breasts, seasoned w salt, pepper 

juice of a lemon

5 tbsp of butter

1 tbsp of veg oil

2 sage leaves, rolled and chopped lengthwise

1 head of Cauliflower, trimmed and chopped

1 c of half and half or milk

Salt and pepper

 

Take a saute pan and heat with half the butter and all the oil, adding in the seasoned chicken breasts when ready.

Take your cauliflower and steam in a micro steamer or stovetop steamer- Remove when pierced easily with a knife.

Turn chicken once, and allow to cook on both sides for roughly 3-4 minutes per side, or until when pierced juice runs clear. 

Remove from pan and add 1 tbsp of butter to pan, and sage. When sage crispens, remove from heat and add back the chicken to pan. 

Take Cauliflower and add to a blender, along with remaining butter, half and half and salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. 

Add a large spoonful of Cauliflower puree and chicken and spoon sage pan jus over the chicken- Serve

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Gypsy Kitchen: An evening in Capri

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

013Last Saturday eve, I hosted my first Austin cooking demonstrations and we delved into the basics of Italian cuisine. With inspiration coming from summers in Capri, I set to the task of Grilling Octopus, throwing together a Fresh Tomato Bruschetta and cooking up a divine version of Spaghetti alle Vongole.  The evening was set off on an even sweeter note with my dearest friend and fellow cooking companion, Sandi Reinlie, when she threw together a pine nut, vanilla bean mascarpone and balsamic glazed strawberry tart. All within 20 minutes. Needless to say, people want to feel that whatever we are demonstrating they themselves can do at home and this was a hit. There are a few differences between fast and easy even though they are used so interchangeably by everyone these days. A dish, for example, can be easy to make but take time, or be fast to put together but require great skill. What I have noticed is that most of us these days want recipes that are a combination of the two. Realizing this put me on a crash course of reworking my favorite recipes so that I can determine ways to cut time and simplify techniques without sacrificing a particular dish or menu. Its going to be a challenge, albeit one I will enjoy, but the following recipes are instant examples of such. Thanks again to my premier group of ” gypsies” . 

Grilled Baby Octopus w Lemon and Basil Aioli

1 pound of fresh baby octopus, heads removed

6 tbsp of evoo 

2 tsp of salt and a pinch of pepper

1 tsp of chopped garlic

2 egg yolks

5 basil leaves, rolled together and chopped

 

Begin by preheating your grill on high for 5 minutes, top down. Take your thawed octopus, 3 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of salt, pepper and 1/2 the garlic and toss together in a large metal bowl or ziploc. Set aside.  Can be left in marinade overnight or for a few hours, although it is also unnecessary if time doesn’t allow. 

Once your grill is smoking hot, take tongs and gently lift the octopus out one by one and lay them flattened on the grill. ( If you dump them out all together, the oil will catch fire and they will not cook evenly ) 

Leave to grill for 4 minutes on high, top open,  then turn and repeat on the other side. After 8 mintues, remove from heat to a platter.

For the Aioli, take your egg yolks, remaining salt and garlic and whisk gently in a large metal bowl. Slowly stir in remaining olive oil, whisking well to incorporate. The mixture should have the consistency of mayonnaise. Throw in the basil, stir and serve immediately . If you don’t have eggs or want to make a different version, 1 c of store bought mayo with the juice of half a lemon and the basil makes an easy and elegant sub. 

* when consuming raw eggs, the remaining mixture should be kept cold. Throw out any aioli that was served, but not eaten. 

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Spaghetti alle Vongole

2 pounds of clams, mixed or all one type – I find the smaller ones easier to manage. 

1-2 pounds of spaghetti, linguine or angel hair

2 c of white wine ( that you would actually drink )

2 tsp of minced garlic

Juice of half a lemon

3 tbsp of EVOO

salt and pepper to taste

2-3 tbsp of cold butter, diced

 

Start by bringing a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. ( should taste like the sea ) Throw in your pasta with a touch of olive oil. 

In a large sided pan, add olive oil and garlic and cook until slightly opaque. 

Toss in your rinsed clams and saute for a minute or less. 

Throw in the white wine, carefully lifting the pot off the fire if you are worried it might be too hot. ( if the garlic begins to burn, add more olive oil or wine to drop the temperature in the pan )

Once the mussels begin to open, drain your cooked -al dente -pasta, which should be soft but snap a touch when pulling apart, reserving a few tbsp of pasta water. Remove your clams and begin to reduce your sauce by a third by adding in the reserved pasta water and lemon juice. Once the sauce thickens a bit, remove from heat and stir in cold butter. Toss in your pasta and clams and stir to coat. Remove to a large serving bowl and serve with herb croutons slightly crushed on the top~

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Mexican Rice Pilaf w Toasted Pepita Seeds

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

A great side to accompany any Mexican meal, this easy pilaf is a weekday staple of mine. Interchange the seeds and the spices for other fabulous pilafs to incorporate what you have on hand. 

For the Rice

2 c of medium or long grained rice, rinsed

one small sweet onion, diced 

1 tbsp of butter

salt and pepper

1 tsp of ground cumin

3 1/2 c chicken stock, preheated

1 c of pumpkin or pepita seeds, lightly toasted

2 tbsp of grapeseed or canola oil

 

Take a large sided skillet and heat to med high, adding the oil just before your onions. Once the onions begin to turn pale, add in your rice and cook until opaque. Add salt, pepper and cumin and stir. Adding in your chicken stock slowly stir to break up any rice that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the butter and then cover, allowing 10-12 minutes to cook. Once the rice has cooked, remove from heat and toss in the toasted pepitas and even some fresh chopped cilantro, or sweet peas for color.

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