Category Archives: Appetizers
Hello everyone! Finally I am posting again and I am back in Canada doing so. I did say that I would post a recipe on Monday, it’s just not the same Monday I originally expected to post it on. Sorry folks, but this recipe was made in the South of France at the small family apartment and my step-by-step photos didn’t turn out in the dark kitchen…so just the recipe you will get. P.s. An apero is a party type thing where drinks and little snack foods are served, usually before the meal.
In other news, I am feeling quite a reverse culture shock now that I’m back. I cannot exactly describe what this means except that I want to go back to France because it feels funny to me that the people here aren’t dresses impeccably all the time and that everyone is speaking a language that I understand and that there are no 80 cent baguettes within 50 metres of me right now. Sigh. And that Max isn’t with me.
Anyways, it does feel so good to be back on the blog so without further ado, here is this pizza recipe with homemade tomato sauce and all.
You will need…
For the sauce:
- 10 very, very ripe tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
For the assembly:
- Prepared pizza dough, or even better, puff pastry
- Shredded gruyere cheese (swiss)
- 10 or so slices of goats cheese
- black olives
- Prepare the tomatoes: Peel them with a peeler, cut them in half and squeeze out all of their seeds and then chop them into small pieces. Set them in a colander to drain out the excess liquid as you prepare the onions and such.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Saute until they are translucent and slightly golden or for about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and a good pinch of salt, stir everything around and cover.
- Simmer the tomatoes on medium-low for 40 minutes to an hour. For a pasta sauce, a little liquid is good but for this pizza made the sauce really thick to spread on the dough.
- Roll out the dough EXTREMELY thin, spread the sauce on it, then sprinkle the gruyere, then add the olives and goats cheese.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Et voila! A French apero pizza! Serve it with Champagne to be ultra classy!
When I was in the South of France in the spring I ate a version of these delicious little appetizers made by Max’s aunt. She made a couple of different versions of them and I’ll give you some suggestions at the end of the post. Today I made my own yummy version and this is defintely a recipe you should try, especially if you are entertaining. They literally took me 5 minutes to prepare and then I stuck them in the oven and did some other things. They cool down in less than five minutes. The dirty dishes go in the dishwasher…so easy!
Since I moved to Reims a month ago I have been focussing on cooking more French dishes, espeically now that I am asking Max’s maman to show me some classic meals that I have always wanted to see. Just last night I finally learned how to make tarte tatin but it will still be a couple weeks before that one gets made again and photographed for the blog. A charlotte au chocolat is in the works and the classic French brioche is being made every couple of days. It’s really a dream!
In other news, I made a dress! I went to the fabric store on Saturday, bought my “ingredients” and thought it would take me an entire month to make. It only took me yesterday and it looks fabulous. As I have been sewing for a while and went to college for fashion for a year, I know how to finish the dress professionally and it’s my first real wearable and durable dress even though I’ve made lots of clothes before. Today Max’s maman and I are heading back to the fabric store!! Yay! Clearly a beast has been let loose…a SEWING BEAST!!
To make this super easy bites you will need:
- Around 12 sun dried tomatoes (the kind you buy in oil)
- 1/4 cup of artichokes hearts (the kind you buy in a jar in oil)
- 1 package puff pastry, rolled out thin into a rectangle shape
- 25 grams emmental cheese, grated (you can use mozzarella too)
- Around 2 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese
Other versions include, using an olive tapenade as the filling and skipping the cheeses, spreading cream cheese on the dough and then placing ham on it before rolling it, and any other simple combo you can think of!
Remember this recipe I made when I was experimenting with different cheese products in France? I had a brilliant idea to savourize (yes, savourize) the main ingredient because who says fromage frais and other yogurt-like foods have to be served sweet?…Therefore I turned it into a delicious appetizer that I’ve had maybe 6 times in the past week.
I don’t think there is any fromage frais in North America so you can make yogurt cheese by wrapping cheesecloth around plain yogurt and hanging it for a couple of hours..or blending 1 part yogurt and 1 part cream cheese. These will definitely make an identical product. (UPDATE: Kaley from Y Mucho Mas has informed me that this is also called Greek Yogurt)
To make this recipe, do this:
P.s. I’m not putting a recipe card in here on this one because that image with the steps above is a jpeg. If you want to print this out just right click the image and save it. Then print it out…it will print with small images and the descriptions right under which is brilliant! Easier!
Happy Friday everyone!
This is a super simple dish but it looks really sophisticated and elegant when it’s done. It would make a great appetizer at a dinner party, or a vegetarian entrée perhaps?
I made it because I saw something similar in a magazine but I didn’t have the right kitchen things to make it with (like ramekins and a good oven)…so I was inspired to make something that I can call my own and I did!
It doesn’t have to be made for an elegant meal but for a normal lunch as well…which it was for us over here!
To make them, do this:
Stir the mixture together and distribute it evenly into 8 muffin cups.
Bake at 350 degrees F (180 celsius) for 20 minutes.
I was on skype with my friend Bryan the other day when he leaves me for a minute and returns with a giant plate of bruschetta. My mouth started watering and I couldn’t stop thinking of all the quality time we spent together in Canada where we would share food like this. Since he always made the bruschetta and I always had the pleasure of enjoying it, I never exactly knew what was in it. And so as I watched him devour this mouth-watering plate of bruschetta, I decided to take action and get the freaking recipe so I could make it myself! And this, my friends, is what I will be sharing with you today, but I tweaked it a little…
You will also need olive oil and salt.
P.s. And interesting fact about oregano: This is the only herb where the dried version is more potent than the fresh version…
Back to the recipe.
Mince those shallots as small as you can possibly mince them…
Repeat with the garlic…
Now wash five tomatoes..
Cut them in half and remove the top portion of the core…
To remove that top portion of the core (because the rest of the tomato is very okay to eat) I took my knife and made two small criss-crossing incisions at the top so the core would remove in a perfect triangle.
Now dice those tomatoes as small as you can possible dice them…but don’t use a food processor!!! They will become too juicy if you do so…A very sharp knife will suffice. Thank you to Max for buying me my first, very own, real, sharp knife!
Then I add the tomatoes, garlic and shallots to a bowl along with a heaping teaspoon of the oregano…
Another teaspoon of the salt…
And around 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil…
And toss it about…You will definitely want to taste it at this point. Does it need more salt? More oregano? Perhaps it needs more oil? Mine was perfect…So perfect I almost cried when I tasted it because all of those joyous memories of my life in Canada came flooding back. But then I remembered I am living in France and this experience tops all…then I laughed.
Cut the baguette into large diagonal slices…
…And arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper…
Now spoon as much tomato mixture as you possibly can onto each slice of bread. I got really creative in this process and had to get my hands involved and physically squished the tomatoes in the bread so that I could put more on and they would stay.
What’s your technique?
Now top each sucker with a few chunks of creamy delicious goat’s cheese. Most bruschetta is made with feta cheese and by all means, if you hate goat’s cheese please use feta (but note that cheese is always an essential!!).
The original recipe called for feta but when I was grocery shopping I made my way to the cheese aisle and couldn’t immediately find feta. And so I searched up and down every name of cheese, and then people started staring at me weirdly and I got all self-conscious so I just grabbed the goat cheese and ran before I melted from their stares. True story.
Don’t they look so pretty?
Bake them for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F and then I took the extra step and arranged them on a plate but if need be, skip this step and dig in before you go mad with craving fever…
Sincerely, Yummy Laura