Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Hachis Parmentier

fullsizerender-17Welcome to 2017, a new year in which I hope to continue bringing you recipes that will inspire you to get in the kitchen and make memories at your table! We had a restful and peaceful Christmas filled with copious amounts of love and good food — and oh was the food really good! From the three-course lunch at our favorite French restaurant, Bel Ami, which kicked off our vacation, to my husband’s traditional shrimp cocktail with whiskey (the best EVER!), to the lunch I had in Amsterdam with my teenage daughter at Dragon City, a Chinese restaurant she picked out which turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise! Authentic, well prepared food and great service. The Hong Kong milk tea (my first!) was ridiculously good!
As we were taking down the tree on Sunday and packing up yet another year of memories, I told Hans that as of Monday, we would be back to sensible eating. Though truth be told: breakfasts and lunches are like something straight out of a health food book, yet I can t seem to stop thinking about making French winter classics such as cassoulet, choucroute and tartiflette. After all, we’re smack in the middle of winter!
On Monday we had salmon with cauliflower mash and peas, but yesterday all I wanted was a hearty hachis parmentier, a warming dish of a meat filling topped with mashed potato which is similar to a cottage pie (usually made with beef) or shepherd’s pie (made with lamb). All of these recipes were traditionally made with the previous day’s leftovers. My recipe is made with lean beef (hey!) and topped with a mash made of mostly celeriac which is lower in carbs than potatoes and has a lovely earthy taste. Maybe not that bad after all? Ah well, perhaps we should just focus on enjoying the foods that go with the seasons. I’ll bring out the lighter fare when nature tells me it’s time to do so — and for now, that’s still a few months away!
Happy new year and I hope you enjoy my first recipe of 2017!
PS: Here’s a little video of the finished, steaming, dish!

Hachis Parmentier
Serves 4

  • 500g peeled celeriac, chopped into medium chunks
  • 200g peeled potatoes, chopped into medium chunks
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, needles finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 500g lean ground beef
  • 3 tbsps tomato puree
  • 3 tbsps red wine
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • fleur de sel & freshly cracked pepper
  • 1tbsp flour
  • 100ml hot beef stock
  • 2 tsps Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsps crème fraîche
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • butter, to top the mash with

Preheat the oven to 180C, lightly grease a round 22cm oven dish with a little oil and place the dish on an oven tray covered with aluminum foil. Boil the celeriac and potatoes. Heat a little oil in a casserole and gently sauté the onion, carrot, garlic and rosemary for about 7 minutes. Increase the heat, add the beef and brown it well (about 5 minutes). Add the tomato puree, wine, sugar, bay leaf and salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. Stir in the flour followed by the stock. Allow the dish to cook for about 8 more minutes. Drain the celeriac and potatoes, add the mustard, crème fraîche, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Mash, leaving it rather chunky. Transfer the meat sauce to the oven dish and top with the mash. Run the prongs of a fork through the mash and top with slivers of butter and an extra grinding of fresh pepper. Bake for 25 minutes. Place the dish under a hot grill for a final 5-8 minutes and serve with a green salad and mustardy vinaigrette.

Tartiflette my way (or potato gratin, if you wish)

tartifletteExcept for yoga, the odd run, and my love for walking and the cross trainer, I’ve never been very athletic. In fact, I dreaded gym classes in high school as much as I dreaded math. Running and general fitness, I was OK with. As long as it didn’t involve a whole lot of coordination or competitive sports. I still have nightmares about playing American football with BOYS — thank heavens I went to an all-girls school as of my sophmore year! That’s probably the reason you won’t see me headed for a ski vacation any time soon. I prefer to spend my winter break drinking wine by the fireplace in the French countryside. This, unfortunately, means I’ve missed out on ever having tasted an authentic tartiflette, a dish from the Savoie popular with the skiing/snowboarding crowds and served at restaurants around the slopes.

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Creamy Parsnip Soup with Peppery Caramelized Shallots

parsnip soupSlowly but surely, my life is returning back to normal after the past month when I literally shut out everything in order to finish a major book translation. There was urgency to the assignment, and the subject was very delicate. I can’t wait to see the results in print. I will definitely let you know when the book is out.
Hopefully, I will have a bit more time to blog more frequently. This morning I sat down with my coffee and made a list of all the recipes I still want to share with you. Most, of course are French. I still need to make a perfect Îles flottantes, for example. And, I would love to get back on YouTube again. I miss cooking in front of the camera. I won’t promise anything, but I will try!
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Baked Camembert, and Embracing the Months Ahead

baked camembertThis weekend I slowly started to give the house little hints of Christmas; a string of lights on the mantelpiece and lots more candles. It’s so funny. When summer is almost at its end, I will be the first one to start lamenting its departure. I hate to think about the dark, dreary days ahead. The cold, or worse… the snow. I really am not a fan of snow — unless it’s on Christmas day and no one has to leave the house because we’re all in our pyjamas stuffing our face.
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