Learning To Cook French

Being from the Midwest (and not a big city) French cuisine is hard to find. There is so much to learn about preparing French cuisine that I created this blog to share what I learn.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

More Time to Cook

Well there is some good news, starting this coming Sunday August 6th, I will have more time to get back into my studies, I appologize for the "Slacking", but I was working a second job and found that took all my time up. This Saturday is my last day there, and will have more time to spend on my Blog. Please feel free to leave any comments, hope to have something for you soon... whoo hoo!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Falling off the planet??

Nope, I have not falling off the face of the planet, in case anyone was wondering, but I do appologize for not keeping up with this Blog. I wanted to let you know, that I will get back into the swing of things, I got busier with other things going on and just haven't got to create much lately. I will be back, and thanks to all that still are checking in regularly, please feel free to Comment as well, this is an interactive web page...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Pate a Choux (A Puff Pastry)

Pate a Choux is a type of puff pastry that is used to make classic pastries such as Profiteroles or Eclairs. This is really a simple process and only has a few ingrediants so why not make a batch up and share with your friends and neighbors.

Ingrediants Include:

1 cup of water
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 cup of sifted flour
4 eggs

place the water and stick of butter in a sauce pan and bring up a boiling point. Add in the flour and keep stirring, it will come together quite fast. Let it cook a little bit longer while stirring. Remove from the heat and let it cool, then add the eggs one at a time and stirring it into the dough completely before adding the next one.

Now that you have the dough made, you can make Profiteroles or ....... Chocolate Eclairs which is pictured below... I will be bring this receipe to you soon.

I want to thank all of those who have been checking in with this blog, and I apologize for my lack of post. Thank you all!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

New Post Coming...

Just wanted to put a quick word out to those of you that are checking in on my Blog now and again, that a new post is in works. I kinda been busy with things recently with the holidays going. I appologize and please be sure to check back.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pumpkin Creme Brulee

A little twist on a classic dessert

Since this is the time of year that squashes are in season, why not add a little to a classic dish. Creme Brulee is a baked custard dessert that is then topped with a hardened layer of burnt sugar, which is what the name of the dish means, "Burnt Sugar". This recipe will make about 2 1/2 5" ramekins, which are baked in a Bain-Marie, or water bath.

Ingrediants Include:

1 Cup Heavy Cream
Pinch of Salt (small pinch)
Pinch of Nutmeg
2 Egg Yolks
3 Tbls Sugar
1/2 Cup Pumpkin

Place the heavy cream, nutmeg and small pinch of salt in a sauce pan and heat on medium heat until it starts to just bubble a little, you don't want to boil it. While you are watching that mix the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl stir until the mixer is a pale yellow in color. Add a little bit of the cream to the yolk mixture, stir together, the poor the yolk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the cream, this technique in called "Tempering". You slowly bring the yolks up to the same temperature of the cream, then add it to the rest of the mixture, this technique prevents curdling. Now add in the pumpkin and stir together, pour through a strainer and then pour out into the ramekins.
Place the ramekins into a retangled baking dish, you can add a small towel on the bottom to prevent the ramekins for sliding around, and then place the dish on a rack in your 350 F oven, and add enough water to come at least half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about an hour and 20-25 minutes until custard is just firm, cool and place into the fridge for about 3 hours to set up.
To finish either use a small kitch blow torch or your broiler and burn a thin layer of sugar on the top of the creme brulee, to make a nice hard layer of caralized sugar.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Duxelles Farci escalope de Poulet (Chicken Breast stuffed w/Duxelles)

This is a dish I made last night with the Duxelles I made earlier, then kept frozen. Not totally sure if the name of the dish is correct, since I wasn't really going by a recipe, but kinda using some basics and creating a dish.

I should have mentioned in the Duxelles post, that it will reduce down alot when you are cooking it, the cup of mushrooms will not stay 1 cup of mushrooms, but more like a 1/3 of a cup.

Ingrediants Include:

2 chicken breast
1/3 Cup of Duxelles
1 Tbl Olive oil
1 1/2 Tbl Butter
2 Tbl diced shallots
1 small glove garlic
1/3 Cup of White Wine
1/3 Cup of Chicken Broth
3 Tbl Heavy Cream

I took a skinless, boneless chicken breast and flattened it out a little using the smooth side of a meat tenderizing mallot. I first placed the chicken breast in/between some plastic wrapping, then flatten with inside out striking motions, hitting more in the center of the breast and moving to the outside edge until about 1/2 inch thick.
I then heated the Duxelles up a little and put a nice layer onto the chicken breast. Carefully roll the breast up into a log, tie shut with twine, or use toothpicks to hold the opened edge together.
In a skillet heat up 1 Tbl each of olive oil and butter on medium to med. high heat, place rolled chicken into hot pan and cook, searing all sides till chicken is completely done. Remove chicken and place on a plate to rest. Reduce heat to medium and place the remaining 1/2 Tbl of butter, shallots, garlic and saute until shallots are soft. Add wine, reduce by half, the add broth and reduce by half, finish with heavy cream and any juices from chicken and reduce to thick consistancy. Strain the sauce and place on the bottom of a plate, cut chicken in half and arrange on plate.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Duxelles is a mixture of finely chopped mushrooms, shallots, onions and herbs that are sauted in butter. It can be used in Soups, Sauces, for Stuffing or a side Garnish. I will be making a dish with this later and posting it, but right now lets make some Duxelles.

Ingrediants Include:
1 1/2 T of butter
1 Cup of finely chopped mushrooms (I use Cremini, just wiped off with a paper towel)
1 1/2 T of finely chopped onions
3/4 T of finely chopped shallot
1/4 t of diced Rosemary
1/4 t of Thyme
1/4 t of Parsley
pinch of salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a pan on Medium heat, add the shallots and onions and saute a couple minutes. Add the mushrooms and herbs, salt and pepper and continue to saute until the moisture is cooked off. You can store this in the freezer if you are not going to use it that day.