Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Recipe: Crepes

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

This summer, we have been hosting a French foreign exchange student.  Although she is pretty shy and her English is about as good as my French, she knows her way around a kitchen.  This morning she taught us how to make crepes.  And, OH MY!!!!  They were heaven!!!  I think there are three reasons that they turned out so good.

1.  We have a very nice crepe pan that we bought at William Sonoma

2.  We made the batter the night before.  This allows all of the air bubbles to dissipate, leaving us with a smooth batter.

3.  A real French girl gave us the recipe.

This morning we served them with butter, sugar, bananas and Nutella.  You can also serve them with savory toppings.  In my opinion, they are best served and eaten pretty quick.  I can’t see storing them for any length of time.  We would love to see how you served yours.  Send us a picture! Community@CobbleStay.com Here is the recipe:

CREPES

1 cup cold water

1 cup cold milk (full fat)

4 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups of flour

4 Tbs. melted butter

Put liquids, eggs and salt into a blender.  Cover and blend for one minute.  Scrape down sides of blender.  Blend again for 2-3 seconds.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum but best overnight.  Take out the of the refrigerator about 2 hours before you are going to make crepes to bring to room temp.   To cook: follow instructions on your crepes pan of choice OR using a crepe pan, take some melted butter and brush all over pan.  Pour a small amount onto the pan and swirl around to cover.  Flip gently.  Repeat process.

EAT THEM!

Escargot. Yes or No?

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Saveur Magazine

We think that this picture will get most of your mouths watering.  We just posted it on Facebook and the comments immediately started coming in.  We posed the question, “escargot…yes or no?”  You all love escargot!  Here are a few ways to get your escargot fix.

Learn About It!

Not all species of snails are edible.  Make sure you choose the right ones.

Make It!

There were many recipes to choose from but the easiest we found was this one from AllRecipes.com

Buy It!

You can find escargot and the shells at gourmet food shops but we like the variety on sale from iGourmet.com

Watch Other People Eating It!

There really isn’t a graceful way to eat escargot.

 Share It!

 What are your favorite restaurants in Paris that serve escargot?  Send us an email at community@cobblestay.com.

Craving This Right Now!

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Nougat

Where to buy nougat in Paris:

Appellations d’origine, l’epicerie du terroir
26, rue Lepic
Paris 75018

La Boutique du Labo
4 Place du marché Sainte-Catherine
75004 Paris

Fauchon 
26 Place de la Madeleine
75008, Paris

La Pistacherie
67 rue Rambuteau, 4th

Maybe you want to make your own nougat?  Here is a recipe.  Make sure to send us a slab!

Recipe: Salad Nicoise

Monday, May 21st, 2012

 

It is my favorite time of the year!  The days are longer, the temperatures are warmer and the food gets lighter.  I am a salad girl.  I am a BIG salad girl.  Salad Nicoise is the perfect dish to kick off the warm days of summer.  Even though the recipe was developed in Nice, I always feel very Parisienne when I prepare it.  I think it has to do with using the freshest vegetables and that a true Nicoise is as visually appealing as it is tasty.  The salad Nicoise is considered a “composed” salad.  This means that the ingredients are arranged neatly on the plate instead of tossed together in a bowl.  If I know that I will be serving this, I always try to cook some of the vegetables the night before to make it a little easier.  Bon appétit!

INGREDIENTS

Vinaigrette

    • 1/2 cup lemon juice
    • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 medium shallot, minced
    • 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
    • 2 Tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad

      • 2 grilled or otherwise cooked tuna steaks* (8 oz each) or 2-3 cans of tuna
      • hard boiled eggs, peeled and either halved or quartered
      • 10 small new red potatoes (each about 2 inches in diameter, about 1 1/4 pounds total), each potato scrubbed and quartered
      • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
      • 2 medium heads Boston lettuce or butter lettuce, leaves washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
      • 3 small ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths
      • 1 small red onion, sliced very thin
      • 8 ounces green beans, stem ends trimmed and each bean halved crosswise
      • 1/4 cup niçoise olives
      • 2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and/or several anchovies (optional)

METHOD

*Marinate tuna steaks in a little olive oil for an hour. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat, or place on a hot grill. Cook the steaks 2 to 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.

1 Whisk lemon juice, oil, shallot, thyme, basil, oregano, and mustard in medium bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

2 Bring potatoes and 4 quarts cold water to boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and cook until potatoes are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon (do not discard boiling water). Toss warm potatoes with 1/4 cup vinaigrette; set aside.

3 While potatoes are cooking, toss lettuce with 1/4 cup vinaigrette in large bowl until coated. Arrange bed of lettuce on a serving platter. Cut tuna into 1/2-inch thick slices, coat with vinaigrette. Mound tuna in center of lettuce. Toss tomatoes, red onion, 3 tablespoons vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste in bowl; arrange tomato-onion mixture on the lettuce bed. Arrange reserved potatoes in a mound at edge of lettuce bed.

4 Return water to boil; add 1 tablespoon salt and green beans. Cook until tender but crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain beans, transfer to reserved ice water, and let stand until just cool, about 30 seconds; dry beans well. Toss beans, 3 tablespoons vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste; arrange in a mound at edge of lettuce bed.

5 Arrange hard boiled eggs, olives, and anchovies (if using) in mounds on the lettuce bed. Drizzle eggs with remaining 2 tablespoons dressing, sprinkle entire salad with capers (if using), and serve immediately.

We’d love to see your pictures of your pretty, composed salad; send them to us at Community@CobbleStay.com.  Have you signed up to become a “Paris Insider” yet?  Click the box below! 

It is Macaron Day!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

 Salted Caramel

Seven years ago, Pierre Herme Paris and the Association Relais Deserts  coined the first day of spring, “Macaron Day” and nothing makes us more happy!  You can read all about it here: Jour du Macaron 

To honor this very important day, we give you some of our favorite pictures of Macarons (translated to “the buttons” in English) and some sources on how to make these fabulous treats in your own kitchen.  Enjoy!

Recipes for Macaron:

David Lebovitz French Chocolate Macaron

Tartlette’s Red Berry Macaron

Serious Eats, “How to Make Macarons” 

Videos on How to Make Macarons:

Joanna Chang

Laura in The Kitchen

How to Make Macarons

And, one last yummy photo…..

Recipe: EASY Pain au Chocolat

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Photo credit: Baker Lady

As many of you have read, I have been more than a little obsessed with Pinterest.  Besides fabulous pictures of Paris, I have been pinning many pictures of food.  When I showed my husband my “French Food” board, he asked if I was ever going to make any of the things that I had pinned.  All right, I may have issues with collecting cookbooks that I have never even attempted a recipe from but this was going to be different.  I am going to actually MAKE something that I had pinned.  Coincidentally, I had read a recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Nili Stevens Inspired Living and pinned a picture of a homemade pain au chocolat at about the same time.  I took this as a clue that it should be the first attempt at making a Pinterest recipe.  Both websites offered their easy recipes and I combined them to make my version.  My little creations were SO good.  They were gobbled up in mere minutes.  If we closed our eyes, we were transported to our apartment in Paris.  They were so easy to make, I almost feel guilty.  Really!  You MUST try it.

So easy I feel guilty Pain au Chocolat with raspberry

One package of frozen puff pastry, thawed (I bought mine at Trader Joes)

One bar of really good dark chocolate

Raspberry preserves

1 egg, beaten

Powdered sugar

Let your puff pastry thaw out.  Once out of the package, lay it flat on a cutting board and cut it into 4 squares.  Break off a a chunk of dark chocolate and put on the edge of a square of pastry and put one tablespoon of raspberry preserves on top of the chocolate.  Fold the square of pastry over to make a triangle (kind of like a bandana).  Take a fork and “close” the edges by pressing down on them.  Brush each triangle with the egg wash.  Take a sharp knife and cut a little slit on the top of each triangle.  Place each triangle on a baking sheet (I line mine with a Silpat mat) and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.  Once out of the oven, sprinkle them with powdered sugar.  Enjoy!

Recipe: French Chouquettes

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

A French chouquette is the VERY FIRST thing I ate in Paris.   We had flown in to Paris non-stop from New York.  It was my very first time flying over seas.  My husband persuaded me that if I took a Tylenol PM I’d sleep and feel great when we landed.  Stop laughing.  We all know what a mistake THAT was.  Anyways,  Brigitte picked us up and whisked us into the city in her little Renault with sans air conditioning.  Between the lack of sleep, the hangover from the Tylenol PM, the zippy little car and the smell of the exhaust from the other zippy little cars, I was feeling awful.  And, hungry.  I whispered to my husband that I must have something to eat and go to sleep.  “DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES!!!!” he screamed and then he asked Brigitte to stop and get me something to eat.   A few more quick turns and a parallel parking job that I can still picture and I was in front of a boulangerie that “would have to do because the others have already closed”.   I stumbled in and pointed to these little balls with sugar on them.  I paid and climbed back into the little car.   Heaven.  They were light and airy and perfectly sweet.  I ate them everyday while we were there and I will never forget how they tasted.  I tried to find a suitable substitute in the States but what I found was that if I made them myself and ate them when they were just barely cool enough that was as close as I could get to the real thing.  They are pretty easy to make.  I surprise the family with them every now and then if I wake up early enough to get them out of the oven before they wake.  A great reminder of your time spent in your Paris vacation rental.  Give them a try and let me know what you think!

French Chouquettes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • A pinch of fine sea salt
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons pearl sugar, or more to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a medium sauce pot, bring the water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil in a covered pot over medium heat. Take the pot off the heat, and add in the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated. Return the pot to medium-low heat and stir for 60 seconds, until the dough comes away from the sides of the pot and forms a ball.

Turn the dough out into a bowl, and add 1 egg at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until the egg is completely incorporated. The dough will be thick and sticky. Use a tablespoon measure to place balls of dough on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet, spacing out the chouquettes. Dip your finger in a bowl of water, and pat down any spikes in the dough that might burn. Sprinkle with pearl sugar.  I sometimes sprinkle sugar onto the Silpat mat before I put down the dough balls.

Bake 10 minutes at 400°F, then reduce the heat to 350°F for 30 additional minutes. Take the chouquettes out of the oven, pierce the bottom of each pastry with a skewer, and cool on a wire rack. The hole in the bottom allows the steam to escape without making the chouquette soggy.   Serve when just cooled.  Pop them into your mouth alone or smear with jelly.

Quiche ala Julia Child

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

My friends and I talk a lot about cooking.  The majority feel that French cooking is time consuming and difficult.  I think it is the opposite.   Walk into many Paris kitchens and you will find basic ingredients that are combined easily to make simple yet fabulously tasting dishes.   The key is to use high quality ingredients and not to try to cut calories using low fat replacements.  Often, when something tastes magnificent, you tend to eat less.

I love this recipe from Julia Child’s book, “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom”.  I use thick cut, apple-smoked bacon that I buy at Bristol Farms and I use real butter, cream and farm fresh eggs.  No skimping allowed!  Okay, one confession…to save a bit of time on a weeknight, I will use a ready made pie crust from Trader Joe’s.   I serve the quiche with a simple salad of baby greens and an oil and vinegar dressing.  The whole family loves it!

Quiche Lorraine On A Weeknight

6 strips of crispy cooked bacon

3 large eggs

About 1 cup of cream

Salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg

One ready made pie crust in a tin or pie plate (9 inch)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Break bacon into smallish pieces and spread out over pie crust.  Blend the eggs and cream and whisk in spices.  Pour into pie crust.  Bake in oven 30 to 35 minutes until it is puffy and golden brown.  (I give the pie plate a little shake and the center should jiggle a bit but not look liquid-y)  Let the quiche cool and serve at room temperature with a simple green salad.

Learn from the professionals

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Paule Caillat

Not only can you find fantastic restaurants in Paris, you can always find a fantastic chef. If you are dying to channel your inner culinary skills then a fun excursion might be waiting for you in the kitchen. There are so many day classes, half-day classes and weekend adventures to choose from. We’ve found two unique experiences that are sure to delight your stomach and your taste buds.

The Promenades Gourmandes class with Paule Caillat. This is truly a start to finish class. Paule Calliat has been conducting cooking lessons, in English, for the last 13 years. All in her own kitchen. The day starts when you head with her to the market to shop for the ingredients. Talk about fresh! You will get to experience the local boulangerie, boucherie and poissonnerie. You will be skillfully educated on the differences in types of cheeses, cuts of meats and what to look for when selecting ingredients. Once you’ve filled your baskets, it’s back to her kitchen where the magic happens. You will prepare, completely hands on, a four course meal to pair with wine and great conversation. Nothing seems more authentic then sipping a glass of wine, while learning how to sautee and whisk a meal together from a true Parisian chef.

38 rue Notre Dame de Nazareth, 3rd, 01.48.04.56.84. www.promenadesgourmandes.com. From €270 per person (less for parties of 2 or more).

You could also try a teaching class at La Cuisine Corsaire Ecole with Chef Emmanuel Tessier. The classes are all themed: spices, vegetables, fish, lobster, desert. Whatever the theme, expect to be transported with the ingredients. French is the primary language but ,if you give advance notice, you can have an English translation provided. For three hours you can expect to use all your senses and learn from a great chef instructor. It is very hands on and the themes are always related back to your own personal preferences. Suggestions of substitutions and ways you can use the techniques at home are discussed. Once your masterpiece is finished, you will sit down to taste the fruits of your labor. Each class has a max occupancy of 8 so an intimate lunch is a relaxing way to end the class. You also get a smaller box of your dish to take with you. The icing on the cake? As another parting gift, you are provided with ingredients to whip up something similiar at home. Tres Magnifique!

Place Saint-Méen, Cancale, 02.99.89.63.86. www.cuisine-corsaire.fr. €104–€160

Whether you choose to venture from your apartment rentals in Paris or not, is up to you. If you’re in the market for a unique culinary experience, a cooking class is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the city of lights.

Quick Guide: French Wine Part 3 (food pairing)

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Now that you know a little about wine labels & regions, you’re ready to taste.  Feeling adventurous? Be a true Parisian and plan a French Meal around your wine (or plan wine with a French Meal) and where better to do so than in your Luxury Paris Vacation Rental?

The main thing to understand is wine’s many colorful descriptors while ignoring oddballs like asphalt or tree bark, or anything else non edible for that matter.  Do people really know what asphalt tastes like!? The following is a brief guide to some of these descriptors.  After reading them, you may even catch yourself talking about them to others.  Try describing wine with your amoré in your Paris apartment rental first and before you know it you’ll be a tasting expert!
The following is a short breakdown of wines and some common foods they are good with:
Whites:
Riesling: light, fruity & sweet, with a subtle fizz *salads & appetizers
Gewurztraminer: very sweet & fruity, subtle fizz; *fruits or desserts
Sauvignon Blanc:  light & crisp, typically either fruity or dry with a pepper taste.  *seafood & appetizers
Pinot Gris: full bodied & crisp with a rich & floral aroma *salads & seafood
Chardonnay: full-bodied, tends to be creamy or oaky *chicken & pasta
Viognier: floral, aromatic & fruity with hints of nectar & cream.  *salads, pasta, seafood, chicken
Roussanne: intense aromas, hints of herbal tea and flavors of pear, pepper & nut.
Rosés: delicate & dry, and newer rosés are fruity *salads, seafood & pork
Remember, don’t confuse a rosé with White Zinfandel, which is cause for beheading in Paris (just kidding!)
Reds:
Cabernet Sauvignon (aka “The King”): medium-full bodied, rich in fruit & tannins *red meat dishes
Merlot: medium-bodied & fruity *chicken, red meat, pork, pasta, salad
Syrah: big and bold, full-bodied, firm tannins, smooth & berry forward *rich meat dishes & chocolate
Grenache & Malbec: medium-full bodied, ripe and jammy fruit flavors *red meat & spicy dishes
Pinot Noir: the toughest grape to grow! Light-bodied & fruit forward *light meat & pasta
Cabernet Franc: medium-bodied and distinct berry flavors *chicken, pasta, greek & pizza
Overall, pairing wine with food is both an art and a science and can be quite complex, so here is sample meal and wine pairing to give you an idea during your stay in your very own Paris vacation apartment:
Appetizer:          Epoisses Cheese & Apple Tart. Wine: Domaines Ott Cotes de Provence Rosé
Main Entrée:     Beef Bourgignon; Wine: Domaine LaFond Chateauneuf du Pape
Dessert:             Chocolate soufflé; Dessert wine: Pineau de Charentes
Happy drinking!…and eating of course