Tag Archives: french cuisine

Cooking Demo at the Trident Bookseller Cafe in Boston

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On January 29, around 30 people attended the cooking demo I made at the Trident Bookseller Cafe on Newbury Street.

Three recipes where demonstrated from scratch. Every step was showed, described and explained in order to achieve the elaboration of: the Salmon Tartar, the Pasta Salad and the Applesauce.

Here are the not so secret ingredients to accomplish this at home.

SALMON TARTAR made during the demo (slightly different than the recipe of the book as well as the picture shown below)


INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 cup of freshly diced salmon
  • 1 avocado 
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fennel
  • A little piece of ginger
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tsp. of mustard 
  • 2 tsp. of olive oil 
  • A pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Take your piece of salmon, remove the skin and cut the flesh in dices.

2. Chop the peel and chop the ginger and the fennel.

3. Remove the skin of the grapefruit and cut the flesh in small pieces. (Don’t panic if you find difficulty in cutting the grapefruit- it is very juicy.) 

4. In a large bowl stir with a spoon the olive oil, mustard, 1/2 lemon juice, and the pinch of salt

5.  Add the chopped salmon, ginger, fennel and grapefruit to the bowl and use a two large spoons to stir all the ingredients together.

6. Serve very fresh!

PASTA SALAD (Italian Style) 
INGREDIENTS: 
  • 12 Oz of penne pasta (350gm)   
  • 1.5 cup of diced prosciutto 
  • 1 cup of diced mozzarella 
  • 6 tbs. of olive oil 
  • 1tbs of balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tbs. of vinegar 
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves 

1. Fill a large saucepan with water and let it boil with a pinch of salt.

2. When the water starts to quiver pour the pasta in.

3. Stir once in a while to make sure the pasta don’t stick to the bottom of pan.

Remove one minute to the cooking time from what is written on the box and your pasta will be perfectly al dente!

4. Shake the pasta around in a strainer to empty the water and let cold water run on the pasta to cool them down.

5. Put the pasta in a large bowl and add 3 tbs. of olive oil and stir.

6. Let the pasta stay at room temperature for half and hour and put te bowl in the fridge for 3 hours or even a day is fine.

7. Then, take the bowl out of the fridge, add 3 more tbs. of olive oil with a 1tbs. of balsamic vinegar and 1 tbs. of mustard and stir the pasta with a wooden spoon. It is easier to use your fingers – only if they have been cleaned and dried!

8. Add the mozzarella with the prosciutto and cut the basil leaves in the bowl.

9. Stir the pasta all together until it looks uniform.

FLASHLIGHT APPLESAUCE
INGREDIENTS:

  • Apples- count 2-3 per person
  • Optional: 1 tbs. of cinnamon powder
INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Peel the apples and cut them in quarters.

2. Put them in a large pan on low heat and cover with a lid.  Do not add any water or sugar: the apples are full of BOTH! 

3.  Cover the pan, and let the apples cook on very low heat.   Make sure to stir every 10-12 minutes.

4. If the apples are very smooth they are good. If they are still hard to pick, let them cook a little more.

5. To finish the recipe you can either mix the apples in a blender or you can use a fork to smash the cooked apples.

 
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Featured on the Boston Phoenix!

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Plates from an Expat
 By Cassandra Landry

I’ll bet any one of you ten bucks that when you were 19, you were nowhere near as productive as Eléonor Picciotto.

Picciotto, an expat hailing from France and a recent Boston University grad, is the author of a new cookbook right up my penniless alley: French Cuisine for the Young & Broke.  When I graduated high school and packed my life into suitcases bound for college, my relatives gave me awkward dorm cookbooks, straight out of the 80s. They were full of ramen, rice and clever ways to use hot plates, which of course, are now banned. I wish she’d written this thing sooner.

The recipes, ranging from crêpes to croque monsieurs, read easy and don’t send me loading up on overpriced ingredients at Shaws–which is exactly the point, Picciotto tells me over the phone from New York in a clipped, elegant French accent.

“I’ve always loved cooking and eating good things,” she says. “When I arrived in the U.S. I was shocked at how badly people eat. But, the reason is because of a lack of knowledge, not a lack of money, which is what everyone thinks. If you know how to make a grocery list, which is the hardest part, you’ll be fine.”

After a skiing accident took Picciotto, a former member of the BU Ski Team, off the slopes and landed her in a cast for eight weeks, her friends suggested puttingtogether a cookbook to keep her occupied. She began to host dinners with friends, affectionately named “Supper Clubs,” during which she would create easy desserts or sauces, much to the amazement of her guests.

“People couldn’t believe the stuff I was making, and it was all very simple,” she says.

About a year and a half later, after impersonating a teacher to gain entrance into the BookExpo America in New York, finding a publisher, and revising her recipes seven times, French Cuisine has become a reality.

Though it’s easy to imagine that all French college students whip up pristine petit-fours for breakfast, Picciotto says the biggest difference between us and our cousins across the pond is a sneaky reliance on take-out.

“The big difference is that here, you are used to ordering in,” she says. “We don’t do that in France, because there aren’t really places to order from. No matter how late you are, how long a day you’ve had, you always cook. Even if it’s just pasta, because then you know what’s in it!”

Eléonor Picciotto will appear at The French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough Street, Boston, samples in tow, on Thursday, January 12, 6:30pm-8:30pm. $5. To RSVP, call 617.912.0400.