Tatins & Co

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Oriental Quinoa Salad

Even for non-vegetarians, quinoa is a great change to rice or pasta. I've been trying to think of more dishes using quinoa and came up with this salad...

Oriental Quinoa Salad

Yields 4 servings

1 1/4 cup quinoa
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 medium onion, minced
1/3 cup raisins
10 radishes, quartered
4 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
1 Tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup lime juice
2 Tbsp sesame oil

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and raisins with a pinch of salt. Cover and let simmer for 12-15 min. Allow to cool to room temperature.
In large bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes, onion and radishes. Stir in quinoa and raisins. Add mint, parsley, almonds and cumin, then toss with lime juice and sesame oil.
Chill 1 or 2 hours before serving.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Infamous Mango Chutney

I had mangoes and I had ideas. I wanted to prepare grilled chicken and serve it with a home-made mango chutney. High hopes...

I chose
this recipe. Seemed simple enough, ingredients were already in my pantry and reviewers were raving about it. The question of how, when and, above all, why would someone cook 240 servings of mango chutney did indeed cross my mind but I thought it was probably cultural... People around here don't make cookies, cookie mix, chutney or jam as give-away gifts. Which is a pity, imho!

I decided to scale down the recipe to 30 servings but forgot to scale down the cooking times as well. I overcooked the sugar and no matter what I tried, the stuff kept tasting like spicy mango caramel. Not something we would have eaten with chicken... I didn't like the brownish color either, as I wanted something more like
this. I guess I should have followed Macha's recipe in the first place...

They say that's how we learn, right? :)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Party Pinwheels

I had never made pinwheels before but they'll become a staple appetizer from now on! They're super easy, extremely versatile and impressive visually. A lot better than a bowl of peanuts!

You can spread puff pastr with almost everything but for my first pinwheels, I wanted something a bit special. I went for "pestonade", an interesting mix between pesto and tapenade.

Pestonade Pinwheels

For 1 cup pestonade (20-25 pinwheels)

2 rolls frozen puff pastry
1 cup unpitted green olives
3 CS olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 CS lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 CS powdered almonds
2 CS mascarpone
2 CS parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper

Unthaw puff pastry.
Mix all ingredients in a blender until you get a homogeneous paste.
Spread evenly on puff pastry sheets, roll and cut into bite-size pinwheels.
Cook in the pre-heated oven (180°) for 20-30 minutes.

I also made some with tomato sauce and grated cheese:

Friday, April 14, 2006

Cookie sandwiches

I'm a bit tired of the eternal chocolate chips cookie at the moment and I'm trying to experiment with various cookies recipes... I ran across this one. I found the dough was difficult to work with (too sticky) so I ended up adding more flour. As a result, they didn't flatten out properly. Which was great because I ended up with cute little domes, perfect for cookie sandwiches! I used a very simple frosting recipe (16 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 2 cups icing sugar) and they were gobbled down in no time.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tuna tartar with avocadoes

Raw tuna is not only sushi material! This fresh and colorful salad is an easy way to get your share of essential fats...

Sesame tuna tartar with avocadoes

Serves 4

1 pound fresh tuna, diced
4 small avocadoes, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin seasoning (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Mini Mango Tatin

"Tatin" is the French name for upside-down pie. It's very easy to make, especially if you use premade crust, and it's a nice change to your regular apple/mango/pineapple pie. I'm eager to try the savoury sorts (bell peppers or eggplant and goat cheese)!

Mini Mango Tatin

Yields 4 mini pies

1 mango, peeled and diced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
4 tsp butter
4 small sheets of premade puff pastry

  • Brown mango in a non-adhesive skillet with cinnamon & sugar.
  • Butter 4 small pie pans and fill with mango pieces. The pan should be filled as tightly as possible.
  • Cover with puff pastry and carefully tuck between the mangoes and the sides of the pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven (475°F - 180°) until the pastry is lightly browned.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Perfect scrambled eggs

Who would have known the secret to perfect scrambled eggs was mayonaise? Not me... I ran across Bill's recipe and decided to give it a try. Never again I'll make regular scrambled eggs! 1 tsp mayo for each egg used, no spices before they're on the plate and taking them out a little early, that's the best way to make the creamiest eggs you've ever had!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

BLT Wraps

I've been craving BLT for days but I wanted something different than a plain BLT sandwich. These BLT wraps caught my eyes because they used melted cheese instead of mayo to glue the tortillas. They were great! I was scared they would be too dry so I added a bit of mayo but I shouldn't have. The recipe is just perfect as written.

You can make an healthier version by using reduced fat bacon (or turkey bacon) and low fat cheese.

Strawberry & mango in lemon topping

Another quick dessert for the busy cook. Slice a few strawberries, mangoes, apples, cantaloupes and serve them with a lemon dip sauce that tastes like liquid cheesecake.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Baked Apples

Quick desserts are hard to find. Here's a very simple one, made with very few ingredients you probably already have on hand. I followed this recipe and made a few changes. I used salted butter and I cut the apples in half to make the coring process easier. I added 1 tsp of ground ginger to the sugar mixture and sprinkled some of it between the two halves.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Italian Flag Salad

Because sometimes, you just need something quick and healthy. Blanched asparagus, parma ham, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella with a dazzle of balsamic vinegar combine in a colourful salad, perfect for lazy summer days.