Tuesday, 14 February 2012

La Tartine Gourmande - Recipes for an Inspired Life

La Tartine Gourmande
Recipes for an Inspired Life

Written by Béatrice Peltre
Hardcover, 320 pages

I have to admit - what drew me in first was the stunning photography. Look at those colours! So very alive and inviting. In fact each recipe in La Tartine Gourmande reflects that joy for good, fresh ingredients and the vibrancy of whole foods.

The author, Béatrice Peltre of the award winning blog LaTartineGourmande.com, offers up a beautiful collection of recipes inspired from her homeland, France, as well as her extensive travels around the world. Her recipes are healthy and naturally gluten-free and delightfully uncomplicated to make.

Chapters Include:

Part One: My Kitchen

My Ingredients
My Equipment
My Basic Recipes and Methods
Basic Recipes
Basic Cooking Techniques

Part Two: The Recipes

Breakfast and Brunch to Inspire

Lunches to Inspire
A Tartine and a Bowl of Soup
Le pique-nique (The Picnic)
Casual Lunches with Friends

Dinners to Inspire
The Party with Small Bites
Dinners for Getaway Weekends
Casual Dinners with Friends
Sophisticated and Elegant Dinners

Desserts to Inspire
French Childhood Memories
A Love for Fruit
Everyday Baking 
Beautiful and Irresistible Desserts

Try these inspiring recipes in your home this weekend!

Potato Nests Filled with Gingered Crab

These potato nests are among the cutest finger foods I enjoy preparing. Don’t be fooled by their appearance— they might look complicated, but in reality they are very simple to make. And the result is a delectable adventure with every bite.

Makes 18 to 20 nests

1 large (225 g; 8 oz) baking potato or sweet potato, peeled and finely grated
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt
Crushed red or black peppercorns
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 organic green apple, cored and diced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup (100 g; 3 ½ oz) cooked fresh crabmeat
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon chopped chives, plus a few sprigs to serve
Crème fraîche, to serve
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, to serve
Fleur de sel, to serve

Preheat the oven to 420F (215C). Oil a mini muffin pan or two with cooking spray; set aside.
In a bowl, beat the grated potato with the egg and nutmeg. Add the parsley and season with sea salt and crushed red peppercorns. Take a small amount of the grated potatoes in your hands and squeeze out the excess liquid. Press this into the bottom of each muffin hole in the shape of a nest; repeat with the remaining grated potatoes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of melted butter to each nest.
Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are crisp and golden in color. Unmold the nests and let cool on a rack.
In a bowl, gently toss the apple with the lime juice, crab, oil, cilantro, scallion, and chives. Season with sea salt and pepper. Using a teaspoon, spoon a small amount of filling inside each potato nest. Add a dollop of crème fraîche and a few pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and decorate with a few chive sprigs.

Excerpted from La Tartine Gourmande by Beatrice Peltre. Copyright © 2012 by Beatrice Peltre. Excerpted by permission of Roost Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Lemon and Honey- Flavored Chicken with Zebra Tomatoes and Haricots

The lemon juice, honey, and oregano in which this chicken dish is cooked give you a scrumptious zesty sauce to dip your bread in! Sometimes I like to add grated ginger to give the dish an exotic hint — also because anything cooked with ginger makes me happy. For more flavor, marinate the meat for an hour before cooking it, or even brine it first, but if you’re short on time, skipping these steps is just fine. Zebra tomatoes have a subtly sweet taste that I find irresistible. If you have difficulty finding them, use another variety instead. And as for the oregano, any Mediterranean herbs, such as thyme or marjoram, for example, work well too.

Serves 4

Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
4 chicken legs (about 2 pounds; 900g), each cut in half, or 8 drumsticks
4 green zebra tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup unpitted black kalamata olives
1/4 cup cold water
1 pound (450 g) haricots verts (thin French green beans)
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey, oregano, garlic, and oil. Season with sea salt and pepper and mix until smooth. Arrange the chicken legs in an oven dish and coat them with this sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Add the tomatoes, olives, and 1/4 cup water to the chicken, place in the oven, and bake for 50 minutes, or until golden brown.
While the chicken is cooking, blanch the haricots verts in a pot of salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse them under cold water to stop them from cooking; set aside. Five minutes before the chicken is done, add the haricots verts to the dish. When you’re ready to serve, add the parsley. Enjoy with steamed potatoes, mashed potatoes, or steamed rice on the side — and don’t forget the bread to sop up the sauce.
Note on brining meat: When you take the time to brine legs of chicken, for example, you end up with extremely tender meat. The way I do it is as follows: For the brine, count about 1 quart (4 cups) water for every pound (450 g) of chicken. For 2 quarts, use 1/2 cup kosher salt, 3 tablespoons of sea salt, and 4 tablespoons of fine sugar. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and immerse the chicken legs in this salty water. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. When ready to use, drain the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels.

Excerpted from La Tartine Gourmande by Beatrice Peltre. Copyright © 2012 by Beatrice Peltre. Excerpted by permission of Roost Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.