Friday, January 9, 2009

Gaston Lenôtre est Mort - Gaston Lenôtre has Died

Sur Le Pâtissier Gaston Lenôtre est Mort =(

EN: I just saw this. He died today the 8th of January, 2009, at the age of 88. Obviously, this was going to happen at some point, but I thought I would mention it because for years growing up the best pastries and desserts you could get in Paris were at Lenôtre (his shops were eponymous) and if I remember correctly, when I was little there was only one Lenôtre pastry shop in all of Paris and now there are about twelve or fourteen I think.
Anyway, when I was little, because there was only one shop, it was a rare treat to get a pastry from Lenôtre, and as a teenager my favorite cake and the one I would always ask for for my birthday was his Charlotte Cécile which is a chocolate and vanilla Charlotte. I'm going to find a copy of his original book and make it as a tribute (I'd love to get my hands on the original book anyway as it went in print in 1975 - when I was born - and as you can imagine, has become quite difficult to find). He changed the face of French pastry by favoring lighter fillings and mousses and great chefs such as Pierre Hermé and Alain Ducasse were trained in his kitchen.

R.I.P. Gaston Lenôtre: 1920-2008. Thank you for making all of our lives infinitely sweeter.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Flan aux Courgettes - Zucchini Flan

Ce billet est dans mes brouillons depuis très très longtemps, achetez du saucisson sec pour la route longtemps. Ce serait plutôt pour quand les courgettes sont abondantes ce qui ne sera pas le cas immédiatement, mais je me sentais un peu mal à l'aise de ne pas l'avoir publié plus tôt étant donné que la recette était délicieuse et que je n'ai pas pu faire quoi que ce soit récemment pour cause de chaos ici. De plus j'avais promis que je serais plus présente cette année dans mon dernier billet, donc un peu de patience svp.
A l'origine, j'ai trouvé cette recette sur le blog Leafy Cooking en cherchant une recette de courgettes rappelant du gratin aux courgettes mais plus légère. En fait cette recette vient du Le Journal des Femmes et l'auteur se nomme Sonia Ballantini. A l'époque, il me restait de la sauce tomate rustique d'une recette de melanzane (hors d'oeuvres d'aubergines) que j'ai étalé au fond du plat à gratin pour un peu de variété (j'avoue beaucoup aimer incorporer des tomates dans les plats à base d'oeufs aussi).

EN: This is a post that has been languishing in my drafts for a long long time, like get some beef jerky for the road long. It's more appropriate when zucchini are abundant which won't be for a little while, but I felt bad about not posting it because it was a really delicious recipe and I haven't been able to make anything recently because of craziness around here, but I promised I would be around more this year in my last post, so bear with me.
I originally found this recipe on the blog Leafy Cooking while browsing and looking for a zucchini recipe that would be reminiscent of zucchini gratin but much lighter. It turns out that it comes from Le Journal des Femmes, which is part of L'internaute, which is a French internet lifestyle magazine website; the author of the recipe is Sonia Ballantini. At the time, I had some leftover rustic tomato sauce from making melanzane (eggplant hors d'oeuvres) which I layered at the bottom of the dish for a little variety (also, I confess I love to incorporate tomatoes in egg dishes, so there).

La Recette - Flan aux Courgettes
Adaptée de Sonia Ballantini

(Pour 6 Personnes)
3 courgettes
2 petits oignons
2 gousses d'ail
1 cuillère à soupe de farine
5 oeufs
3 cuillères a soupe d'huile d'olive
20 cl de crème liquide
sel, poivre

La recette originale inclut une botte de basilic que je n'avais pas, mais je suis sûre que ca doit être délicieux à inclure.
Préchauffez le four à thermostat 6-7 (200°C).
Epluchez les oignons et l'ail. Hacher l'ail tres finement.
Râpez courgettes et oignons. Faites-les sauter à feu vif dans une grande poêle avec deux cuillèrées d'huile. Salez et poivrez.
Hors du feu, ajoutez la farine, les oeufs battus, la crème, et l'ail haché.
Remuez, versez dans un plat huilé (si vous ajoutez une couche de sauce tomate rustique comme moi, versez celle-ci au fond du plat d'abord). Cuisez 25 à 30 minutes au four.

The Recipe - Zucchini Flan
Adapted from Sonia Ballantini

(For 6 People)
3 Zucchini
2 small onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp flour
5 eggs
3 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup + 1 1/2 Tbsp light cream

The original recipe includes a bunch of basil which I did not have then, but which I'm sure is delicious if included.
Heat the oven to 400°F.
Peel the onions and garlic. Finely chop the garlic.
Grate the zucchini and onions. Saute them on high heat in a large pan with two Tbsp of olive oil.
Add salt and pepper.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the flour, cream and the chopped garlic. Add the sauteed zucchini and onions and mix thoroughly.
Pour in an oiled baking dish (if, like me, you add a layer of rustic tomato sauce, put this layer down first at the bottom of the dish). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Goodbye 2008...Happy New Year 2009!

In 2008, I got married. That's pretty much how I'm going to sum it up because that's the best memory I'm keeping of the whole year. While I'm not going to expound, I can safely say there hasn't been one dull moment, though I don't really want to recall a lot of them right now. I don't normally like to put pictures of myself up but this is one of my two favorite pictures of the wedding. It was taken by my super talented friend Tanya who is a wonderful photographer and big foodie (I'm not giving up on getting you to start a food blog T.)

2009 has lots of things in store mainly with setting up the new house, getting used to playing Mom to my two acquired children (henceforth to be known as B. and Miss Saffron) and to Baby Saffron when she makes her grand entrance in three months. I'll also hopefully be much more active here as I will have new and unusual cooking and pastry opportunities (more on that later) and hope to have the blog redesigned to some extent. I want to thank all of you who have dropped by or checked in with me from time to time this year since I was not around very much. I hope you all have a wonderful 2009 filled with happiness and healthiness.

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