La Tartine Gourmande: The Highlights

I am not the only diehard fan of famed food blog, La Tartine Gourmande. Saveur.com rated it one of the best blogs of 2010 and the Washington Post called LTG’s recipes absolutely “inspired”.

Here are some of my favorite recipes from La Tartine Gourmande.


Quail eggs en cocotte with leek, julienned zucchini and smoked salmon

Baked eggs, eggs en cocotte, or any dish in which eggs are in a little dish fresh from the oven with equally amazing ingredients is one of my favorite things…ever. Really, it does not get much better than that.

You need:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 small zucchini, julienned finely
  • 1 small leek, white part only, chopped finely
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 3 small slices of smoked salmon, finely diced
  • 6 quail eggs

Steps:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F and have a shallow baking dish ready with 6 ramekins in it.
  • In a frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add the leek and zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Sweat for 4 minutes, without browning.
  • Coat the bottom of each ramekin with 1 teaspoon of crème fraiche.
  • Divide the mixture of leek and zucchini between them and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Top with the smoked salmon.
  • Break one quail egg carefully in each ramekin and add 1 teaspoon crème fraiche around the yolk. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Fill the large baking dish with water, half way to the top of the side of the ramekins, and bake the oeufs cocottes for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the egg white is set but the egg yolk stays runny. Serve them with mouillettes (small sticks of bread) on the side.


Vitamin-boosted salad with black quinoa, fennel, avocado and grapefruit

Because being good to your body should also taste amazing…

You need :

For the salad:

    • 1/3 cup black quinoa
    • 1 kaffir lime leaf
    • 1 pink grapefruit, peeled, white membranes remove and sliced
    • 1/2 avocado, peeled and sliced
    • 1/4 fennel bulb, cored and finely sliced with a mandoline
    • 3 pink radishes, finely sliced with a mandoline
    • Crumbles of feta cheese (quantity to taste; I added about 2 to 3 tablespoons)
    • Chopped parsley, to serve

For the dressing:

  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger peeled and finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons rich olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Steps:

  • Rinse the quinoa and cook it with a kaffir lime leaf, covered, in 2/3 cup salted water. When the water is absorbed, stop eht heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a bowl, discarding the kaffir lime leaf, to leave to cool.
  • In the meantime, in a large bowl, combine the slices of grapefruit, avocado, fennel, radish and toss gently.
  • Make the dressing by adding ingredients in this order: salt, pepper, lime juice, ginger, olive oil. Emulsify with a small whisk and finish with the heavy cream; keep aside.
  • Add the quinoa with the feta (to taste) and parsley to the vegetables and fruit. Toss gently with the dressing and serve


Lemongrass-flavored celeriac and sweet potato soup with bay scallops

You need:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek, white part only, chopped
  • 5 to 6 twigs of lemon thyme
  • 14 oz (400 g) peeled and diced celeriac
  • 10.5 oz (300 g) peeled white sweet potato
  • 1 Bosc pear, peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 Heirloom apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 lemongrass stick, diced
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 4 cups cold water
  • Sea salt and pepper

Steps:

  • In a pot, melt the butter. Add the olive oil and when warm, add the onion, leek and lemon thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and leek soften (about 4 minutes).
  • Add the rest of the vegetable, the apples and pear, and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Add the water, kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass and season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables and fruit are soft.
  • Discard the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf and lemon thyme and transfer the soup to the bowl of a food processor. Purée finely. Serve the soup warm with bay scallops lightly sauteed in olive oil. Decorate with fish roe and fresh herbs.


Cherry amandines

You need:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon almond meal, or finely ground blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon blond cane sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out, or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2.5 tablespoons crème fraiche or mascarpone
  • 12.5 oz cherries

Steps:

  • Preheat the oven at 400 F and butter four small (5 inches) oven-proof ramekins. Wash the cherries (remove the pits, if you prefer); set aside.
  • In a bowl, beat the butter with the almonds, vanilla seeds and sugar.
  • Add the eggs, one by one, until well incorporated. Beat in the cream.
  • Divide this batter between the ramekins and arrange the cherries on top. Bake the desserts for 20 minutes, or until the flan is set and golden in color. Let cool before eating (I personally prefer to eat the dessert lukewarm).
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