Lavender Madeleines

Lavender MadeleinesLavender Madeleines

Ingredients:

200 g Flour

6g Baking Powder

245g Eggs

230g Sugar

2 tbsp. Lavender flowers

200g Unsalted butter, melted and cooled

10 g Honey

 

Instructions:

  1. Sift together flour and baking powder.
  2. Whisk eggs and sugar (stand mixer is ok on medium speed) approximately 5 minutes until thick and “ribbon” consistency.
  3. Add Lavender flowers and mix delicately.
  4. Slowly incorporate sifted flour into egg/sugar mixture just until smooth. Do not over mix. Slowly incorporate melted butter and honey.
  5. Chill batter 30 minutes to 3 hours. Cold batter going into a hot oven creates a thermal shock that develops the signature “bump”.
  6. While batter is chilling, butter Madeleine molds using softened (not melted) butter. Preheat oven to 350°.
  7. Fill prepared molds ¾ full with batter using a pastry bag. Place in oven and bake 10-12 minutes until puffed and golden brown.
  8. As soon as they are removed from the oven, flip over and unmold onto wire racks to cool.
  9. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar if desired. Store Madeleines in an air-tight container.

A French touch to Southern Grits!

Now for those of you who know me, and know me well…you know I am not a southern girl. In fact, I have never felt more French since I moved to Atlanta. Grits…being so very southern, a staple for many at most dinner tables..needed my attention. So, here’s my take on grits.

Seafood Southern Grits…à la française.
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 small bunch of baby asparagus spears
8 oz baby bella mushrooms
12 large shrimp, uncooked
8 large sea scallops
6 oz fresh haddock, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely minced
1 tbls finely chopped green onions
2 tbls cognac
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup cream
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1tbls wild porcini sea salt (available at Williams Sonoma)
Few threads of saffron

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Prepared Grits

A note about grits…the best grits I have found are Heirloom Grits (Riverview Blend – Certified Organic) by Virgina Willis “My Southern Pantry”. I follow her directions on the package, using milk instead of water for creamier grits and I add twice the amount of butter, bien sûr, as well as a cup of shredded cheese…Comté!

1. Prepare grits.

2. Sauté Bella mushrooms in a large sauté pan and in butter until nicely browned, remove to plate and set aside. Keep sauté pan on stovetop to use for seafood.

3. Blanche asparagus tips in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, transfer to an ice water bath (this process helps maintain the chlorophyll and beautiful green color…no one likes army green!), remove from ice water bath and set aside on a plate.

4. Sauté and brown scallops in butter over medium-high heat. Add fish and shrimp, do not overcrowd. Cook until fish flakes, shrimp turns pink, and scallops are translucent. Remove seafood from pan, set aside on plate. Careful not to overlook seafood or it will all be tough. Remember, this is going to get reheated in the sauce.

5. In same saucepan, add a tbls of butter and sauté shallots, green onions and garlic. Add cognac (not over an open flame!) and return to heat. Add white wine, reduce by half. Add cream and seasonings, bring to boil.

6. To the sauce, add mushrooms, asparagus, scallops, shrimp and fish…toss.

7. Plate the grits in a shallow bowl or soup plate. I love these oval plates from Williams Sonoma.
Top with 3 shrimp, 2 scallops, fish and scatter the asparagus and mushrooms around top. Garnish with diced tomatoes (peeled and seeded) and sliced green onions. Spoon a little sauce over the top. Maybe even a ribbon of gorgeous olive oil around the grits. Ok, I’m feeling just a little bit southern tonight!

Bon appetit!!

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No Grain Granola…”Quatre Coins”

I’m not much of a “Granola” girl but I do love this recipe, which I call “Quatre Coins Granola” because I use ingredients from my four favorite regions in the World; New England, Provence, Pacific Islands and La Réunion in the Indian Ocean. More about vanilla from the Réunion Island later. Follow my blog!

Ingredients:
2 cups sliced, raw almonds
2 cups unsweetened coconut chips or flakes
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds ( optional )
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup organic, unrefined coconut oil
1/3 cup lavender honey
Vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

In a large bowl, combine all nuts, seeds, dried fruit and spices.

Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds, saving the bean.

In a small saucepan, combine coconut oil and lavender honey with the vanilla bean and seeds. Heat just to boil and remove from heat, infusing the vanilla, for a minute. Remove the vanilla bean and pour this over the dry ingredients, mixing well.

Spread the granola mixture on baking sheets ( probably two sheets ) lined with parchment paper or Reusable cookie sheet liners ( love these!).

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Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Granola should be nice and brown. Allow to cool before breaking it up, leaving some nice big chunks. Let dry before packing in storage jars or air-tight containers.

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Gluten-free, this granola makes a great snack, breakfast, or dessert…topped with your favorite yogurt and fruit. Bon appetit!

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French Macarons…en Rose!

La Vie en Rose…. Lovely French Macarons from my collection “Jules” Yields 36 macarons (1.5″) Ingredients: 7 ounces powdered sugar 4 ounces powdered almonds 4 ounces egg whites* pinch of cream of tartar** 3 1/2 ounces granulated, or castor sugar … Continue reading

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