Tag Archives: French

vegan cassoulet in white dish

This Cozy Weeknight Cassoulet is Given a Spicy Vegan Makeover

A cozy weeknight favourite with a vegan spin, this French-inspired dish is booming with flavour and wholesome ingredients, while topped with a light panko crumb crust to add a nice crunch. While cassoulet traditionally contains meat, this Can You Vegan It? recipe gives the classic a plant-based twist. This recipe calls for harissa paste for a bit of a spicy kick, but if heat isn’t your thing, substitute black pepper in place of the paste. Plus, an added bonus: this meal all comes together in one pot and it takes just an hour to whip up!

vegan cassoulet in white dish

Spicy Vegan Cassoulet

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

3 medium leeks
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
3 large carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 parsley sprigs
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp ground cloves
1-1 ½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp harissa paste
3 (19 oz) cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups of water
1 ¾ cups organic panko crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme

vegan cassoulet ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. Cut and discard the green part of the leeks, leaving only the white and pale green parts to work with. Halve leeks lengthwise, then chop crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Place chopped leeks in a bowl or large strainer and rinse thoroughly until the sandy particles are gone.

2. Place a large Dutch oven pot over medium heat and add ¼ cup olive oil. Once heated, add leeks, carrots, zucchini, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, cloves, salt and harissa. Stir occasionally until veggies are semi soft and golden, about 15 minutes; then add in beans and water. Cook covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s One Pot Recipes That Will Make Dinner a Breeze

3. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, toss panko bread crumbs, 2 Tbsp olive oil, garlic powder and thyme. Place it on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes until toasted and light brown, stirring occasionally. Set aside and let it cool.

panko breadcrumbs roasted on cookie sheet

4. When the cassoulet is ready, discard bay leaf and parsley sprigs and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Top with toasted garlic panko before serving.

vegan cassoulet in white dish

Like Valerie’s vegan cassoulet? Try her low-carb vegan ramen or her healthy Sriracha-honey oven-fried chicken.

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup is the Easiest Way to Make Dinner

Love French onion soup? Don’t have time to stand around caramelizing onions? Then this slow cooker version is the perfect way to satisfy those cravings. Slow cooker soups are a great way to get a meal on the table with very little prep time and this is no exception. This is a perfect easy soup recipe for a chilly fall evening. It’ll make your home smell amazing and it’ll taste like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen when, in fact, it’s the slow cooker doing all the work for you!

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 9 hours
Total Time: 9 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

2 lbs onions, halved and sliced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 tsp brown sugar
1.5 L beef stock
2 Tbsp brandy (optional)
8 sprigs fresh thyme, plus some for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
8-12 slices baguette
1 ½ cups grated Swiss cheese

Directions:

1. Place sliced onions, butter and sugar in a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir to combine.

Related: This Vegan Pumpkin Soup Has a Super-Secret Immune-Boosting Ingredient

2. Cover and cook on high for 6 to 7 hours, removing the lid and stirring from time to time. Many recipes suggest doing this overnight, but as all slow cookers are different, it’s best to be around when these are cooking so you can keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. The onions should be deep brown before you put the rest of the ingredients in.

3. Add the stock, brandy, thyme and pepper. Cover again and cook on high for approximately 2 hours.

4. Remove the lid, scoop out the thyme sprigs and stir.

5. Pre-heat your oven broiler to high. Prepare your oven-safe soup bowls by placing them on a parchment-lined tray. Top each bowl of soup with 2 slices of baguette and approximately ¼ cup grated cheese.

6. Broil for approximately 5 minutes or until the cheese is melty and golden brown. Top with a few fresh thyme leaves to serve.

Like Mardi’s slow cooker French onion soup? Try her oven-baked zucchini and corn fritters or her easy mixed berry galettes.

How to Make the Perfect Croissant Croque Madame

This is going to be the fanciest ham and cheese sandwich you will ever have. Leave it to the French to take something so simple and humble and top it with tons of cheese and toast it until golden brown. And to top it off, let’s put a fried egg on it. Typically made on basic white bread, I’ve taken this dish even further and made it on a croissant. There’s one thing that will happen after having this: you’ll never be able to go back to a regular ham and cheese sandwich.

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Croissant Croque Madame

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

Béchamel
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups milk
½ tsp salt
Fresh black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
½ cup grated Gruyére
¼ cup grated Parmesan

Sandwich
6 croissants
Grainy mustard or Dijon
400 g black forest ham
⅔ cup grated Gruyére
⅓ cup grated Parmesan
Salt
Fresh black pepper
6 fried eggs
Chopped chives, garnish
Maldon salt, garnish

Directions:

1. Heat the butter over medium-low heat in a medium sized saucepot. Once the butter is completely melted and begins to bubble, add the flour and whisk until combined. Switch to a heat-proof rubber spatula and continue stirring until the mixture is a light golden colour and smells slightly nutty. Be sure to scrape all around the sides and bottom to ensure nothing is sticking or burning.

2. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the milk into the pot. Switch back to the rubber spatula and cook, constantly stirring and scraping the sides and bottom, until thick and bubbly. About 6-8 minutes.

3. Turn the heat off and stir in the salt, black pepper, nutmeg, Gruyére and Parmesan until cheese has melted. Set aside to cool.

Related: Creative Ways to Use Croissants, From French Toast to Bread Pudding

4. Pre-heat the oven to broil and set the rack in the middle of the oven. Slice the croissants open and spread a generous amount of mustard on each half. Lay the ham on the top halves of the croissants and top with the bottom halves. This will give the béchamel a nice flat surface to sit on. Transfer the sandwiches onto a sheet pan.

5. Top each sandwich with lots of béchamel spreading it to the edges of the croissant. This will prevent the edges of the croissant from burning in the oven. Combine the Gruyére and Parmesan and top each sandwich with the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

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6. Place sandwiches under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until cheese and béchamel are melted and bubbly.

7. Remove from the oven, plate each sandwich with a fried egg, garnish with chopped chives, fresh black pepper and Maldon salt.

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Published November 5, 2015, Updated October 29, 2018

Turn Your Kitchen into a French Bakery with Palmier Cookies

Palmier cookies: fun to say, fun to make and delicious to eat! The name means “palm tree” in French and if you look carefully you can see they are kind of shaped like the fronds of a palm tree (though puff pastry can be unpredictable – but know that no matter what shape yours end up, they are scrumptious!)

These puff-pastry based cookies are found in many boulangeries across France and are a staple of the after-school “goûter” snack. The classic version that you’ll find in In the French Kitchen with Kids contains just two main ingredients – puff pastry and sugar – so they couldn’t be easier to make, especially now you can buy pre-rolled puff pastry in most supermarkets. They are very versatile though and lend themselves to other fillings, both sweet and savoury – here we’re filling them with jam for a sweet treat, but spreads like pesto and tapenade work well too for a delicious savoury snack.

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This is a really fun baking project for kids during the school holidays – experiment with different fillings and remember that practice makes perfect with the rolling technique!

Jam Palmier Cookie Recipe

Active Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 15 to 18 minutes
Makes: About 20 cookies

Ingredients
1 x sheet store-bought puff pastry (8 oz), thawed but chilled
1/3 cup of your favourite jam (jelly works well here as large lumps of fruit can make rolling the pastry a bit of a challenge)

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Directions:
1. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and set aside. Place a piece of parchment paper larger than 10 x 10 inches on a work surface.
2. Roll your pastry out on the parchment paper until it’s about 10 x 10 inches. Many store-bought puff pastry rolls are already this size, check yours with a tape measure if you’re not sure.
3. Spread all but 3 Tbsp of your jam evenly over the surface of the pastry.
4. Fold the left and right sides of the pastry inwards so they meet in the centre, like you’re closing a book.

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5. Spread about 2 Tbsp of jam on one half of the folded pastry.
6. Fold the left and right side of the pastry inwards again, so they meet in the centre again.
7. Spread the remaining jam on the pastry roll, then fold the pastry in half lengthwise.

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8. Wrap the pastry log tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
10. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
11. Remove the pastry log from the fridge and place it on a cutting board.
12. Using a very sharp knife, cut the log into about 20 slices, each one 1/2 inch wide. Lay the slices flat on the baking tray about 2 inches apart.

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13. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then flip them over and bake for a further 8 minutes, until they are golden and crispy and the jam is starting to caramelise. Keep an eye on them in the final minutes of baking as they can go from perfect to scorched in a matter of seconds.
14. Remove from the oven and place the tray on a wire cooling rack until they are cool enough to touch.
15. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

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About the author: Mardi Michels is a full-time elementary school French teacher, cookery teacher, food and travel writer, recipe developer and the author of eatlivetravelwrite.com. A full-time francophile, she and her husband operate a vacation rental home in Southwest France. Her first cookbook, In the French Kitchen with Kids (Appetite by Random House,) publishes on July 31, 2018.

Tartiflette

A Hearty French Dish to Comfort You This Winter

By Corinna Horton

The chef in my life, Benoit Gelinotte, is Burgundy born. Raised in Renève France, a small village just south of Dijon, he possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of French cuisine. As a child he shunned family vacations and long, hot days of sitting in the backseat of the family car en route to the French Riviera for the certainty of being well fed in his grandmother’s kitchen. A chef herself, she proved time and again that even the humblest of ingredients; handled with a measure of respect and solid technique, can be made into the mightiest of meals.

On occasion, when he pines for an authentic taste of home, he takes to the kitchen and makes this incredible dish out of a couple of potatoes, an onion, a chunk of bacon, a sizeable amount of cream and a piece of pungent, soft cheese. The result is classic simplicity, in its purest form.

Tartiflette, Courtesy of Corinna Horton, foodgypsy.ca, Aylmer, QC

Tartiflette

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
2 1/2 pounds (1 kg) new potatoes
1/2 pound (225 g) thick-cut, smoked bacon
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups (475 mL) heavy cream
1 lb (450g) Reblochon-style cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Wash and scrub potatoes well. Slice 1/4 inch slices and rinse in cold water. In a medium sized pot, cover with cold, salted water and boil until just tender (10-12 minutes). Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside. (If using late harvest potatoes peel first.)
2. While potatoes cook, slice bacon in two inch pieces, sauté over medium-high heat until tender.
3. Pour off excess fat, leaving about a tbsp. Add chopped onion to sweat with the bacon until transparent. 4. Taste. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat to cool.
5. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C).
6. When potatoes are cool enough to handle place a layer in the bottom of a large ovenproof pan and season with salt and pepper.
7. Take remaining potatoes and toss with bacon and onion. Season as needed and add to the top of the potato layer.
8. Add cream until potato mixture is almost covered.
9. Cut cheese into 1-inch chunks and place on top before sliding pan into the oven. Bake until tender, with a crispy, browned top (about 45 minutes).
10. Check with tip of a knife. Be sure potatoes are tender, but not mushy. Remove and rest 10 minutes.

Food Gypsy
Corinna Horton Pro Cook. Amateur Mom. Passionate Wino. Gypsy.
Recipe testing, blogging about food, wine and the art of living well from her home kitchen just outside Ottawa; Corinna (Cori) Horton trained at Le Cordon Bleu, spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia’s Dragonfly Inn, and is currently at work on her second book.

Guy and Hunter’s European Vacation: How to Eat Like a Parisian

This week, Guy Fieri and his son Hunter take their month-long culinary adventure to Paris, France. If you haven’t already watched the episode, you can watch it online here.

Paris is often referred to as the “City of Light,” but this dynamic duo refers to it as the “City of Croissants.” Guy took his son to one of the oldest bakeries in the city to learn how to make pastry “the old school, original way,” to properly make an authentic croissant — which can take up to 36 hours!

The elegant old town of Chantilly, 50 kilometers north of Paris, was Guy and Hunter’s next stop. It’s also the commune where Guy spent time in as a high school exchange student. After reuniting with an old classmate, the gang drove up to see the house where Guy used to live. The star chef has many memories of making tacos for his French friends, so together, they make a French-Mexican fusion dinner of tacos complete with raclette cheese melted on top. The French love their cheese, whether it’s Brie, Camembert, or Bleu d’Auvergne.

Take a trip to France like Guy and Hunter, and eat like a Parisian with this delicious inspired menu.

Appetizers:

Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Ham, Apricots and Camembert on Toast

Garden Vegetable Raclette

French Onion Soup

Main Dishes:

Ina Garten’s Coq Au Vin

Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu

Duck a l’Orange

Beef Bourguignon

Desserts:

Mini Croissants

Brie Cranberry Tarts

Apricot Clafouti

Chocolate Mousse

Super Easy French Onion Soup

This is a pretty standard, classic dish — not much to change, only to tweak. Seasonings are up to you, so make them personal. Use vegetable broth instead of beef if you’re vegetarian, or use chicken stock if you’re just looking for lighter fare. This version is very heavy on the onions, so reduce those if you find them overpowering.

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Ingredients:

2 Tbsp butter
6 medium to large yellow onions, sliced in half and then into half rounds
3/4 cup vermouth (like Noilly Prat)
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
8 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
3 large sprigs fresh thyme
Salt & pepper
Round slices of crusty bread (optionally buttered on both sides)
1 cups grated Swiss Gruyère
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

french-onion-soup

Directions:

  1. In a large, deep saucepan, heat the butter on medium high. Add in onions and sauté for 30 minutes. The onions should begin to caramelize and turn brown. Remember to stir often so nothing sticks to the bottom, but scraping some of the brown bits into the onions is a good thing.
  2. Add garlic and sauté 3 minutes. Deglaze saucepan with vermouth, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Add stock, herbs and salt & pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, tunr down and simmer for anywhere from 1 hour to 1 hour and 45 minutes. The longer the flavours have to meld, the better.
  5. In oven proof bowls, ladle the soup. Top with some crusty bread, sprinkle on the cheese and pop under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and brown. Bon Appetit!

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Tip: Try this as a showy appetizer (in small bowls) at your next get together, or savour it alongside a light spinach salad as a full meal. Whatever you choose, just be sure to use good quality cheese, it makes all the difference.