En Route to Idaho — Day 3 : Des Moines – North Platte

Day #3  Des Moines, Iowa – North Platte, Nebraska: 400 Miles 644Kms
We left Des Moines a little after 9AM since we opted for a lighter driving day . It was 19ºF /-7ºc when we left Iowa. The light fog wrapping the windmills was beautifully quixotic. The fog had cleared by the time we reached Nebraska and clear skies accompanied us to North Platte.

We filled up the car & had breakfast before leaving so we stopped only for lunch. No rest stop extravaganza today, au contraire we opted to lunch at the Mormon Island State Recreation Area conveniently located off I-80. Named for the winter stopover used by Mormon emigrants heading westward we enjoyed lunching by the frozen lake and watching some locals ice fishing.

We then headed to North Platte where we had a blast visiting the Buffalo Bill residence’s outdoors grounds since the location is closed for the winter. On this Sunday afternoon North Platte was a pretty empty town and very few of its 24 000 inhabitants were visible. But the world’s largest Rail Yard sure was! After spotting the longest train we had ever seen going through town, we decided to visit the train yard and got there right on time to climb to the top of the The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center & what an amazing view!

This location was chosen because of its close proximity to the Platte river and to Grand Island. Nebraska’s been a railroad center since the Union Pacific Railroad first reached here in July 1866 & that first train rolled through what was known at the time as “Hell on Wheels” town. Today Bailey Yard, named for former Union Pacific president Edd H. Bailey, is the world’s largest train yard. Covering a massive 2,850 acres, each day Bailey Yard manages 10,000 railroad cars. Of those, 3,000 are sorted to make sure the cargo reaches its final destination. We sure did see some action from the Golden Spike Tower. We watched a gorgeous sunset and went to find our motel for the night.

Again we were able to make our lunch, dinner, coffees & teas. Lunch was a tuna fish salad into which I mixed the last of the grains — faro, rye & oats mixture — diced daikon, carrot, celery, red pepper, dressed w/ PJ’s Meyer lemon vinaigrette. Pierre had cheddar I had goat cheese with bran crackers,nuts & a clementine. For tonight’s dinner we finished the lentils as a soup, made a salad & used the last of PJ’s dressing, Blue Iowa Maytag plus apples & walnuts for dessert. Tomorrow a longer ride: trying to get to Rock Spring Wyoming!

And now if you have travel so far with us you might want to watch a freight train passing by for almost 3 minutes — and that is not even the full train. Mesmerizing!

En Route to Idaho — Day 2 : Maumee – Des Moines

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Day #2  Maumee, Ohio – Des Moines, Iowa: 558 Miles or 898 Kms

After drinking Pierre’s prepared cup of warm water with lemon & cayenne pepper water & our travelling green magic juice we hopped in the car at 7:50am to resume our journey West on I-80.

When we stopped for gas in Greenfield, Indiana we were reminded that if we wanted a soda, we should ask for “pop”! The lady at the Hardee’s was eager to take our order but we had our solid breakfast of pumpernickel bread, butter & cheese & we made coffee in the car.


Second stop was in Morris, Illinois & the R-Place Restaurant with its collection of antique toy displays, including a wonderful puppet show kept me busy filming & photographing for a while. I did ask for 4 quarters to play the puppet show. The clerk was proud to tell me that the puppet show grossed $80 per month, that was 320 plays.

Again we didn’t get any food though I considered the Strawberry Pillows for a solid minute — but by looking at the thing intensely I could almost taste it & that was enough to feel the sugar rush!

We left Illinois, crossed the Mississippi, & drove into Iowa.

I had noticed on the Waze app that the World’s Largest Truckstop was coming up on I-80 at the Walcott Exit. We stopped there & lunched on Romaine lettuce with carrots, celery, left-over pork roast, sardines, cheddar dressed with Pierre’s delicious Meyer lemon & olive oil vinaigrette & concluded with our usual plain yogurt with cinnamon, stevia & grilled seeds.

Then we had molto fun visiting the amazing World’s Largest Truckstop. We didn’t make it to the adjacent truck museum but we had a lovely time talking to several truckers who were trying new truck seats. Pierre joined them for a tryout of new-fangled special rubber seating. We exchanged our destinations & they advised us that road conditions between Cheyenne & Idaho can be very bad & told us to make sure to have a full tank of gas when starting this portion of the trip. Another trucker & his wife from New Orleans gave us the price of some of the chromes on display. “A $1000 for that apron. I’m gonna put some on my truck soon”. The sword & knife window display was open & a family was deciding what kind of knife to buy; a lady bought a mini gun. Pierre checked out the library section & considered buying a Louis L’amour Western audio book but since we had just started listening to the Lewis & Clark journal diaries  available free here,  we decided to pass.

Settled into our comfy Sterling Hotel suite —with terrible internet, after a quick trip to the Wholefood to pick up a salad & some cheese (a chunk of excellent! Iowa Maytag Blue — same family making blue cheese since 1941!) we had dinner, i.e. yesterday’s lentil salad turned into a stew to which I added some grains (farro & oats), followed by apples, nuts & cheese — the Iowa maytag, of course. & now some zzzz before heading to Wyoming. From here on out the route is new, for Pierre too who had driven this part of I-80 only to turn south here in Des Moines to visit with Ken Irby in Lawrence, Kansas. But that was in 1987, & this is today. Onwards! Let the wagons roll…

 

 

Sweet Sweet Muffins (No Sugar, No Wheat)

muffinpansFor Marge Byrd who taught me how to bake the American way.
Above: the apron top she stitched for me in 1993! 

Following a low-glycemic, no sugar diet doesn’t mean you have to eat boring foods…au contraire! If both Pierre and I have been successfully keeping up with this way of eating it is because there are actually plenty of other choices. It is all about using different ingredients & learning how to use them. This muffins recipe—& the Mooch-O-colat too— are good examples how it can be done. It took me a while to figure it out — but Voilà! le result is yummy! Can be served for brunch or dessert or any thing else you can imagine! Below are pictures of the some possible combinations.

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for 12 Cast Iron Cookware Muffin Pan
(note to my friend Don Byrd: They are Lodge’s cast iron pans & I found them on Amazon)
Preheat oven 375 degres
Cooking : 30 minutes.

In the blender add :
1/2 a green apple with the skin,
1/2 lb silk tofu,
1/4 cup coconut oil,
1/4 tsp stevia, ( this is the brand I like to use)
1/2 vanilla bean (inside scraped),
1 cup cashew milk (any almond, soy, rice milk will do just make sure they have NO sugar added),
1 pinch of salt,
1 beaten egg at the end & mix it by hand.

In a large bowl combine :
1/4 cup buckwheat flour,
1/4 cup teff flour,
(can be substituted for buckwheat tho I really like the crunchy taste of it. I do buy the regular teff & then grind it myself in the coffee grinder),
1/2 cup coconut flour,
1/2 cup oat bran,
1 grated lemon,
1 grated orange
1 tsp baking powder.

Incorporate the blender’s  liquid content into the dry ingredient bowl. Mix gently but thoroughly. Grease your muffin pans generously with coconut oil. Fill the molds & bake for 30 minutes at 350°. You can also bake this batter in a cast iron pan and then slice it as you see below.

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Sweet sweet muffins w/ sunny side eggs, raw kale salad, red berry chia jam. Muffins, oeufs au plat, salade de choux frisée crue, confiture de baie aux graines de chia

Suive un régime pauvre en glucides et sans sucre ne doit pas être ennuyeux , au contraire! Et si avec Pierre nous arrivons à le suivre sans difficultés c’est par ce que: 1) c’est bon et 2) il y a beaucoup de choix, seulement voilà — il m’a fallu les trouver! La recette d’aujourd’hui — comme celle du blog précédent, la Mooch-O-colat  — en sont deux très bon exemples. J’ai toujours beaucoup aimé les muffins et ça m’a pris quelque temps à créer une recette pauvre en glucides et sans sucre ajouté qui plaisait à tous. Voilà le résultat et vous allez vous régaler!

Chauffer le four  à 200 degrés. Cuisson : 30 minutes

Dans le mixer ajouter:
1/2 pomme verte avec la peau,
250gr de tofu soyeux,
80ml d’huile de noix de coco,
1/4 de cuillère à café de stevia,
1/2 gousse de vanille,
1 tasse de lait de noix de cajou (ou bien utiliser du lait d’amande, de soja, de riz sans sucre ajouté),
1 pincée de sel,
1 oeuf battu et le mélanger à la main à la fin.

Dans un grand bowl ajouter:
25gr de farine de sarrasin,
25gr tasse de farine de teff,
(peut être remplacer par plus de sarrasin mais le teff apporte une texture agréable. J’achète les graines de teff entières et les passe au moulin à café),
55 gr de farine de noix de coco,
75 gr de son d’avoine,
1 citron (zestes seulement),
1 orange (zestes seulement),
1 c. à café de levure chimique.

Incorporer les ingrédients liquides du mixer dans le bol des ingrédients secs. Bien mélanger. Graisser les moules généreusement avec de l’huile de noix de coco. Les remplir et cuire à four chaud pour 30 minutes. Vous pouvez aussi utiliser une poêle en fonte ou un moule à gâteau.

muffinyogurtberries
Sweet sweet muffins with goat yogurt sauce (cinnamon, stevia), seeds & fresh or frozen wild berries.

Muffins avec yaourt de chèvre parfumé à la stevia et à la cannelle, myrtilles fraîches ou congelées, graines grillées.

 

Party Time Healthy Delicacies —part 1 (Fr-Eng)

IMG_7281Série: Recettes pour Jean & Renée Peyrafitte —English below—

Un délicieux menu pour votre prochaine cocktail party —sans sucre, pauvre en glucides, un bon équilibre de protéines, de verdure, de cru et de cuit — Essayez pour les Oscars peut être! Aujourd’hui les deux premières recettes:

Cocktail de Crevettes avec Salsa de Tomate & Avocat
Oeufs Mimosa avec Tofunaise maison
Endives avec Poires, Stilton, Célerie et Noix
Patates douces rôties
Blancs de Poulet Marinés Grillés
Cheese Cake Crémeux et Confiture de Chia aux Baies

A delicious menu for your next party — no added sugar, low glycemic, a good balance of proteins, greens, raw & cooked food— Try it for the Oscars! Today two recipes:

Shrimp Cocktail w/ Avocado Salsa
Deviled Eggs  w/ Home made Tofunaise
Belgian Endive  w/ Pears, Stilton, Celery, Walnuts Baked
Japanese Yam Fries

Grilles Marinated Chicken Tenders
Creamy Nut Crusted Cheese Cake w/Berries Chia seeds Jam

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Cocktail de Crevettes avec Salsa Tomate & Avocat -Cuire 500 gr (pour 3/4 personnes) de crevettes non pelées dans un court bouillon. Pour le court bouillon faire frémir l’eau avec de l’oignon, du citron, du sel de céleri, une feuille de laurier, du thym, du persil…etc, après 5 minutes de cuisson égoutter et les laisser refroidir. -Salsa: 1 grosse tomate, 1 avocat— bien mûrs, 1/2 oignon doux, coupés en petits dés. 1 bonne poignée de coriandre fraîche ou de persil haché, 1  jus de citron vert, 1 ou 2 cuillères à soupe d’huile d’olive vierge, quelques gouttes de sauce piquante, sel et poivre.

Shrimp Cocktail w/ Avocado Salsa (3/4 people) 1 lb of unpeeled medium size raw shrimp. Cook them 5 minutes in a court bouillon. For a quick court bouillon add onion, lemon, OldBay-seasoning , bay leaf, thyme, parsley … etc to water. Bring it all to a gentle boil & cook shrimp no more that 5 minutes. Then drain and let cool. Salsa: 1 large tomato, 1/2 sweet onion, 1 avocado, diced. 1 bunch of coriander or parsley; juice of 1 lime, 1 to 3 spoon full of virgin olive oil, hot sauce, salt & pepper.

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Oeufs Mimosa avec Tofunaise maison
Cuire les oeufs dur. Les laisser refroidir. Pendant ce temps préparer la “Tofunnaise”, qui n’est qu’autre qu’une mayonnaise au tofu mais plus digeste, moins grasse et — je vous le garantis! — meilleure que n’importe quelle mayonnaise achetée.
-1 livre de tofu soyeux, 2 gousses d’ail, un peu d’huile d’olive, sel, piment d’Espelette, mettre le tout dans le mixer. Peler les oeufs. Ecraser les jaunes et en garder une cuillère à soupe pour décorer. Mélanger les jaunes écrasés à la tofunnaise et remplir les oeufs avec une cuillère ou avec une poche à douille. Décorer avec jaune et paprika.

Deviled Eggs  w/ Home made Tofunaise
Cook hard boiled eggs. Cool. Meanwhile prepare the Tofunnaise. This tofu mayonnaise is more digestible, less oily and will taste better than any store bought mayonnaise.
-1 lb silk tofu, 2 cloves of garlic, a little olive oil, salt, Melinda hot sauce — into the blender & mix thoroughly. Peel the eggs. Mash the yolks and keep a tablespoon for garnish. Mix the mashed egg yolks with the tofunnaise and fill the eggs with a spoon or a pastry bag. Garnish with paprika and the saved yolk.

 

 

Menus & Video for Jean & Renée

This blog is in French because it is for my parents  who keep asking me about low glycemic menus.
Below a first set of menu & a video for my coleslaw recipe, all in French.  Though the coleslaw recipe in English is here.

Idées de menus avec index glycémique bas pour Jean & Renée Peyrafitte

Tout  les jours au réveil:
1 verre d’eau tiède avec quelques gouttes de citron bio

LUNDI

Déjeuner
-Côtelettes grillées ou poêlées avec lentilles
Faire sauter légèrement oignons, céleri, ail, persil, un anchois ou deux hachés,  et ajouter sel poivre et lentilles et eau bien sûr! Cuire. Au moment de servir, ajouter un filet d’huile d’olive et du persil frais.
-Yaourt Nature avec cannelle moulue
de préférence chèvre ou brebis avec graines de courges, tournesol, lin. Les faire sauter séparément dans une poêle chaude — attention les graines sautent!

Dîner
-Soupe de légumes
suggestions: pas de pommes de terre (index glycémique très élevé) ), en hiver oignons, chou, champignons, poireaux, 1 petite carotte, 1 panais, navet, citrouille, topinambours, blettes, ail , persil… en été seulement: tomates, courgettes.
Pour y donner de l’épaisseur y ajouter soit: des graines de Chia, de l’orge, de l’avoine entière, du seigle entier ou du sarrasin entier; ces graines donneront de l’épaisseur et bon goût! On peut aussi rajouter haricots adzuki qui n’ont pas besoin de tremper.

-Salade Composée
Exemples:
Varier la verdure: roquette, laitue, romaine, endives
Ajouter: oignons, céleri, radis, persil, avocat, oeuf dur, thon, haricots, lentilles, pois chiches
Varier les vinaigrettes
-huile d’olive et citron
-vinaigrette aux anchois
-vinaigrette asiatique avec gingembre, sauce soja, vinaigre de riz, ail, huile de sesame
-vinaigrette au roquefort pour salade d’endives
Varier les huiles: Huile de Sésame, d’Olive, de Colza. et toujours bio pressées à froid
-Fromage des Pyrénées avec une demi Pomme non pelée

MARDI

Déjeuner
-Sardines avec rondelles d’oignons
-Omelette au Fromage/ ou Oeufs cocotte/ ou Oeufs aux plat
-Epinards vapeur au beurre frais
-Poire

Dîner
-Soupe de Lundi
-Chou Cru en Salade ( voir video)
-Tranche de Jambon d’York naturel ( sans conservateur)
-Yaourt

 MERCREDI

Déjeuner
-Poisson poché ou à la poêle
-Purée de pois chiches ou de haricots
Après les avoir fait tremper, faire cuire des pois chiches ou haricots nature (préparez-en beaucoup à la fois — ça se congèle très bien).
Faites blondir des oignons, du poireau, du céleri, du thym, du persil, rajouter assez de liquide pour faire chauffer et passer à la moulinette pour une consistance de purée.
Servir avec herbes fraîches et oignons crus ciselés en garniture et un filet de très bonne huile d’olive et quelques olives kalamata si ce sont des haricots blancs
-Pomme Verte (avec peau) avec un morceau de Fromage

Dîner
-Potage de potiron maison ou soupe de lentilles avec les restes de lundi
-Salade composée (voir suggestion de lundi)
Pudding de graine de chia (recette à venir! en attendant mangez un yaourt!)

JEUDI

Déjeuner
-Poulet Rôti
-Chou Fleur Sauté ou chou de Bruxelles ou topinambours et champignons sautés
-Compote de pomme maison cuite sans sucre et avec la peau!

Dîner
-Viande froide
-Salade composée
-Yaourt

VENDREDI

Déjeuner
-Poisson poché, à la poêle ou au four
-Chou de Bruxelles ou haricots verts avec une noix de beurre frais bio
-Fromage avec pomme

Dîner
-Soupe avec restes de la carcasse de Poulet
-Salade Composée
-Yaourt 

SAMEDI

Déjeuner
-Avocat vinaigrette
-Rôti de veau avec haricots blancs ou rouges ou noirs (faire une variation de mercredi)
-Kiwi

Dîner
-Soupe de pois cassés
-Carottes râpées assaisonnées au citron, ail, huile d’olive
-Yaourt

DIMANCHE

Déjeuner
-Radis beurre
-Morue aux Poireaux et Topinambours
Acheter de la très bonne morue et la dessaler 12 heures et changer l’eau souvent.
Mettez la morue dans une grande casserole et recouvrez-la d’eau froide (non salée, bien sûr). Portez à ébullition très doucement; retirez la casserole du feu dès le premier frémissement, couvrez et laissez pocher 10 minutes.  Égouttez. Faire revenir les poireaux et des oignons dans de l’huile d’olive avec un peu de beurre.
Couper les topinambours en cubes. S’ils sont frais pas besoin de les peler; les gratter avec une brosse dure.
Dans un plat à gratin beurré, mélanger morue, topinambours, poireaux, oignons. Ajouter de la bonne crème fraîche, bien poivrer, bien mélanger et cuire au four environ 1 heure. S’il y a des restes: Rajouter de l’eau et/ou un peu de lait, mouliner et voilà  un potage délicieux! Servir avec du persil frais en garniture.
-Poire avec un morceau de très bon camembert ou brie

Dîner
-Soupe de légumes au miso et aux algues
Faire revenir légèrement de l’oignon, du chou haché fin, du céleri, de l’ail, du gingembre frais haché. Rajouter l’eau et 1/2 tasse d’algues Wakamé que vous aurez fait tremper quelques minutes dans le d’eau, 1 cuillère (ou 2) à soupe de sauce soja.
Ne pas cuire très longtemps, 20 minutes suffisent. Au dernier moment y rajouter la pâte miso et bien remuer. Ne jamais faire bouillir le miso, il perdrait toute valeur nutritive.
– Quinoa avec beurre frais (on peut aussi l’ajouter à la soupe)
– Pudding de graine de chia (recette à venir! en attendant mangez du Fromage blanc!)
Si vous avez des suggestions et/ou des questions merci de laisser un commentaire  ci-dessous et  en attendant:
Bon appétit!

Our Inauguration LG Extravaganzas

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Celebrating the second inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama, requires some festive foods. Our menu might not be as lavish as the Inaugural Luncheon but I am not about to loose focus from our low glycemic diet.

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No, we didn’t start the day with dessert, as the heading picture might suggest, but by a healthy juice inspired by Dr. Ali’s breakfast protocole. Juicing is now part of our daily routine & due to a low glycemic diet I rarely include fruits; but today being a festive day I included a red grapefruit —25 on GI scale when banana scores 45 & watermelon 76— accompanied by bok choy, celery, parsley, fresh turmeric & ginger roots, dandelions. And after our 5K walk the Tasty Pearl Barley Pabulum hit the spot:

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1 cup of cooked barley
1/4 green apple
cinnamon, roasted pumpkin seeds
moisten with home made almond milk.
Almond Milk:
Don’t get put off by homemade almond milk, it is actually quite simple & will serve two purpose here. To make the milk, soak 1/2 lb of organic almond in filtered water overnight. In the morning pour out the water, rinse almonds until the water runs clear. Add 1 quart of filtered water to the almond then process one ladle full of almonds & water at a time into the top of the juicer —I use a Vert VRT350 Juice & I am pretty happy with it. Reserve in bottle and save in the fridge. I do save  the meal that comes out on the other side. I dry it and use for many other recipe.

Inaugural Dunch

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Garlic Roasted Turkey Breast with Organic NYS Red Merlot Beans

Preheat the oven to 320°.  Grate 2 cloves of garlic, add olive oil, salt & pepper. Rub this paste thoroughly all over the turkey breast. Put a ramequin of water into the oven; it will keep the meat moist. Roast the turkey breast in the oven until thermometer reaches 160°.

To mirror the many New York State items on the Inaugural Luncheon I cooked NYS Red Merlot beans —available at the Park Slope foodcoop. These wonderful beans have a thin skin, are creamy though stay firm throughout. 

1/2 lb of  Org. NYS Merlot beans (or other red bean) soaked over night, then brought to a  boil in fresh water once and let sit for one hour before using in stew (for some reason I think it makes them more digestible).

1 onion finely chopped, goldened in the pan with olive oil
2 ribs celery
Lightly toast pumpkin & cumin seeds in a cast iron pan, then grind in a coffee grinder — I have one that I use only for spices —& add to the beans .

Add 1 seeded jalapeño pepper & 2 cloves of chopped garlic
Salt & Pepper
Bring to a gentle boil, turn it down & let simmer for 2/3 hours.

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse with Coconut Almond cookies

The cookies are essentiel to make this tart, festive, deconstructed Low Glycemic cheesecake work.
The custard:
Ben’s Cream cheese
Warm the juice of 2 lemon (Meyer if possible) in a pan
add 1/2 packet plain gelatine
Stevia to taste
Blend cream cheese,  juice w/ melted gelatin/ stevia

The cookies:
1 1/2 cup of almond meal —saved form several batches of making almond milk
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
Stevia to taste.
Mix, make the paste in a roll. Cut & bake  at 300° for about 25 minutes .


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 Supper Time:

And while watching —& dancing to— the Presidential Inauguration Ball, we had Pierre’s delicious Belgium endive salad with Humbolt Fog goat creamy cheese & walnuts, dressed with a light mustard & olive oil vinaigrette.  And to finish on a sweet note we had a small serving of goat cheese yogurt with fresh ginger, walnut, stevia & a few blueberries. Now, if we did our calculation right it looks like our glycemic load for the day is about 52 —under 55 considered low. But please correct me if I am wrong, I am still in training!

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Low Glycemic Dunch Deluxe

tofupudding

I am getting the hang of cooking low glycemic index meals —more on that coming up, since it will be the focus of my cooking for a few months. The menu featured today is my best so far. It happens to be vegetarian but I can assure you that it will satisfy even the staunchest meat eater. The delicate flavors & the filling qualities provide total satisfaction.

veggiestew

Fragrant Chickpeas, Veggie & Shitake Stew & Turmeric Slaw

Sauté 1/2 onion finely chopped in organic Olive Oil
add the following chopped vegetables:
2 leeks
2 celery ribs w/ tops
1 red bell pepper
2 Jerusalem artichokes
1 cup of shitake mushrooms
2 cloves of grated garlic
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 1/2 cup of soaked & pre-cooked chickpeas (soaked over night, boiled once and let sit for one hour before use in stew)

Turmeric Slaw

turmericslaw

If you have read the previous post you know that I have beautiful turmeric from Hawaï. This coleslaw recipe is a low glycemic slaw variation that work quite beautifully with the Fragrant Chickpea Veggie & Shitake Stew.  It is only slightly different than the one featured in Passion Cabbage.

Ingredients:
Finely chopped green cabbage/onion/celery/fennel bulb/ cilantro/
Dressing:
Fresh grated ginger / turmeric /1 clove of garlic
juice of 1 Mayer lemon
soy sauce
mostly sesame oil
a little olive oil
flax seeds

Tamarind Tofu Pudding with Minty Blueberry Purée

Finally a tofu pudding that is really good! I have been trying for months & at last here is one worth sharing. First I made tamarind paste with wet seedless (not totally!) tamarind. Tamarind doesn’t have a super low glycemic index but first, little is used & second, it is supposed to be very good for the liver. The process is a little tedious but worth the effort since it can be used in many other dishes —e.i: simply add to goat milk yogurt, morning cereals or to make the famous Pad Thai.

Tamarind paste process:
Soak one 14oz package in equal amount of warm water. Let it sit for a few hours. Once rehydrated work it with your hands to remove veins & seeds. Blend in food processor until smooth; keep in a glass jar in the fridge. For our purpose you will need only one or two tablespoons.

Pudding:
Put the desired amount of tamarind in a small pan, add a little water, heat to medium heat & add 1/2 package of plain gelatine; let it sit.
Meanwhile, in the food processor add:
1 package of organic silken tofu (1lb)
1 sunlime juice (this is a new kind of lemon that appeared at the ParkSlope foodcoop, if you don’t find it mix lemon & lime juice . The sunlime looks and tastes like an hybrid of the 2)
Freshly ground  cinnamon & nutmeg
Few drops of stevia (careful — too much gives it a terrible taste)
Add the tamarind mixture to the tofu mixture and blend thoroughly.
Pour in glass ramequin & let it set in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Serve with fresh blueberry mint puree (blend fresh blueberry & fresh mint in food processor, strain and pour over the set pudding)

tofupudding

Bon appetit & keep healthy!

Dunch du Jour

Cranapple sauce

We don’t brunch, we don’t lunch, but between 3 & 4 p.m. we do DUNCH!
After our daily walk we have a very copious breakfast —will be featured in a near future post—, that sticks to the ribs until early afternoon. We also found out that the eating pattern works very well to regulate our weight without feeling deprived at all. Our evening snack is usually very light: few slices of cheese w/ apples, a little bread, maybe a bowl of miso soup… but for now voilà le Dunch today:

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Dunch du Jour
Cheese Polenta (delicious NYS grown corn & US cheeses) with Shitake Mushrooms
Simple Salad w/ Fennel & Roasted & Soaked Almonds
Prune Sweetened CranApple Sauce topped with Sheeps Milk Yogurt
Vegan Bars (made with fibres saved from juicing & delightfully called turdies by our son!)

Bon App!

Cheese Polenta & Shitake

 

 

Family Heirloom: Les Pannequets Saint-Louis

Among all the family recipes Les Pannequets Saint-Louis is truly a unique one, et je pèse mes mots — that is: and I weigh my words — yes: unique, a word I almost never use.

Louis

My great grandfather Louis, Gabriel, Marcel, Marie, Peyrafitte (1858-1929) created this amazing recipe that we still make for very special occasions like this Christmas day when Pierre, Joseph, Miles and I gathered around our kitchen island for a true family food communion.
Pannequets
have been part of the French cuisine repertoire for a long time, though the word derives from the English “pancake”— from the middle English pan +cake that’s an easy one. The famous French chef, Auguste Escoffier, has several entries for pannequets in the Entremets section of his reference work Le Guide Culinaire. So does Joseph Favre in the Dictionnaire Universel de la Cuisine, mentioning an interesting version of pannequets au gingembre — with ginger. They both specify that it is a Patisserie Anglaise or English pastry. Not surprising at all, in fact, that my Pyrenean ancestors would be acquainted with English desserts. In the 1900’s the French Pyrenees were “invaded” by English tourists, the family hotel in Luchon even changed its name: the Hotel de la Poste became the Hotel Poste & Golf ! My family had sold some land so a golf course could be built for to the increasing (colonial) British clientele. Surfing the net to look for traces of my grandfather Joseph’s stay in England (he was there as a cook between 1902-08), I was quite astounded to find the following entry in  “The Gourmet’s Guide to Europe” by Algernon Bastard (probably published around 1903):

Throughout the mountain resorts of the Pyrenees, such as Luchon–Bagnères de Bigorre, Gavarnie, St-Sauveur; Cauterets–Eaux Bonnes, Eaux Chaudes, Oloron, etc., you can always, as was stated previously, rely upon getting an averagely well-served luncheon or dinner, and nothing more — trout and chicken, although excellent, being inevitable. But there is one splendid and notable exception, viz., the Hôtel de France at Argelès-Gazost, kept by Joseph Peyrafitte, known to his intimates as “Papa.” In his way he is as great an artist as the aforementioned Guichard; the main difference between the methods of the two professors being that the latter’s art is influenced by the traditions of the Parisian school, while the former is more of an impressionist, and does not hesitate to introduce local colour with broad effects, — merely a question of taste after all. For this reason you should not fail to pay a visit to Argelès to make the acquaintance of Monsieur Peyrafitte. Ask him to give you a luncheon such as he supplies to the golf club of which Lord Kilmaine is president, and for dinner (being always mindful of the value of local colour) consult him, over a glass of Quinquina and vermouth, as to some of the dishes mentioned earlier in this article. You won’t regret your visit.

The Joseph Peyrafitte (1849-1908) mentioned above is Louis’ brother and therefore my grand father Joseph Peyrafitte’s (1891-1973) uncle who was named after him. Louis & Joseph had married two sisters, Marie & Anna Secail. Anna moved to the Hôtel de France in Argelès-Gazost and Louis Peyrafitte came to Hotel de la Poste in Luchon. The marriages had been arranged by one of the Peyrafitte’s brothers who was a priest at the Vatican with one of the Secail brothers — also a priest. All this is documented — and left a magnificent family heirloom that I inherited: “the Chandelier” but that story is for another blog-post.  Both brothers had been classically trained cooks so one can easily understand how the inspiration for this recipe came about.



Hotel de la Poste in the late 1890’s

My father, Jean Peyrafitte, doesn’t remember his grandfather’s cooking very much  — he was 6 years old when his grandfather Louis died in 1929 — but he vividly remembers his father Joseph Peyrafitte (my grandfather and cooking mentor) making the Pannequet Saint-Louis.
At that time no “grande carte” was available at the restaurant, though there was a menu du jour which changed daily given that the clientele were “pensionnaires” —residents — who would stay for periods of 3 weeks or more.
My grandfather would occasionally put the pannequets on the menu but only during low season, as they are incredibly time consuming. The recipe was not written down until the mid 1960’s. At that point my dad decided to promote regional cooking and to upgrade the restaurant to a “grande carte,” hoping to get attention from the Guide Michelin and Parisian food critics. So he created a “grande carte” full of regional dishes like Pistache (mutton & bean stew), Peteram Luchonnais (lamb, veal, and mutton tripe), duck confit, etcetera.  My grandfather considered this food low class and believed that lobster and tournedos Rossini was more appropriated.

Carte

But my father pointed out that the clients could eat that food anywhere, but not our local specialties. That is when the pannequets Saint-Louis made their way to the dessert menu of the  grande carte and were listed as “Les Excellences to be ordered at the beginning of the meal (order for 2 minimum)”.

Now this is the part I remember. In the late 60’ my mother begged my grandfather to write the recipe down. He said he couldn’t as he knew it by instinct. She didn’t get discouraged. She stood by him as he was making them, weighed the ingredients one by one and made a note of it. I must say that without my mother (Renée Peyrafitte) most of the family memory would be gone.

When I called my parents to talk about the Pannequet Saint-Louis recipe I reassure them that I wasn’t going to give the recipe away. Mom said, “don’t worry no one else can make them anyway.” What she meant is that this recipe takes total dedication. When my grandfather grew old, it was she who was entrusted with the task of making them. She tried to teach a few cooks but the result was never satisfactory.  One of the reasons is that from making the batter to cooking them requires total and utterly focused attention. And if you don’t do that the best dessert in the world turns into the worst glob!

Nicole Peyrafitte

I must say that since a little girl I watched my grandfather & then my mother making them over and over. My favorite post of observation during “service” was in the corridor where I could survey all the action. As soon as I would hear an order for pannequets being “barked,” I would get into position to assist and taste!  I have memorized all the gestures. Unlike the regular crêpes the pannequet doesn’t get flipped (but come and see me do that Sunday at the 36th Annual New Year’s Marathon). Once one millimeter of the batter is poured into a hot and generously buttered cast iron pan, it is let to cook until almost, but not completely, dry. Then the edge of the dough next to the handle is gently detached with a spoon and if cooked perfectly the batter will roll down the pan like a cigarette helped only by little tap in the pan. A perfect pannequet Saint-Louis has a very lightly crisp skin on the outside and custard like consistency on the inside. While the texture melts in your mouth, the rum, almond, lemon & vanilla flavors lead you to gastronomic ecstasy!  I don’t know if my great grandfather named the pannequet “Saint”-Louis himself, but I doubt it — it sounds more like one of those mischievous puns my grandfather Joseph Peyrafitte was famous for!


Hotel de la Poste became Hotel Poste & Golf around 1905

Happy New Year, Bona Anada, Bonne Année!
And hope to see you Sunday for poetry and crêpes at the Poetry Project for the 36th Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Benefit Reading .

ps: You might enjoy reading these 2 posts about crêpes:
Crêpes History, Recipe + Video:
The Crêpe, the Theorist, the Chef and the Volunteer

Spirited Noël Dinner

We are not particularly attached to any specific Christmas tradition although this year we were eager to have an intimate family dinner at our new place and to take out the family heirloom china that had been in boxes for a while. So after consulting with husband, sons, and daughter in law, we agreed on a menu:

Foie

Home made Foie Gras au Torchon

Fisher Island Oysters

Roasted Suckling Pig
Mashed potatoes
Apple & Chestnut Bourbon dressing

Cinnamon Rice Pudding

I had never made Foie au torchon before but my friend, chef Pierre Landet, the executive chef at Cercle Rouge, suggested this excellent idea —by the way, Congrats to Pierre soon to be made Maître Cuisinier or Master Chef! This simple recipe keeps the foie velvety & easy to deal with — even though I have to confess I missed one step.
First break the lobes and delicately take out the nerves and veins. Some people get crazy about the cleaning process and turn their foie into a battlefield. My previous experiences on making terrines had taught me that there is no need for over cleaning. I then seasoned the foie with salt and pepper and rubbed some Armagnac on it. Next step is to put the lobes on top of each other and roll the foie very tightly in cheesecloth —like a sausage — and poach it in a broth at 140ºF for 5/7 minutes. Now cool your foie
in a bath of cold water with ice cube to stop the cooking. This is the step I missed!  So mine was a little over done but no one complained.

Our next course was a dozen Fisher Island oysters each. It gave me a good work out to open the 5 dozen. They were extremely fresh, all very tightly shut. The first taste of a Fisher Island oyster comes as a hit of seawater, followed by the very clean taste of the firm texture of the shiny silvery mollusk. Our favorite way to eat oysters is to add a few sprinkles of lemon, Pierre (Joris) likes to add some fresh ground pepper on his. The experiment this year was to add a ½ teaspoon of a fresh homemade salsa in the oyster shell. Pierre remains skeptic, the kids more enthusiastic; I do like the bite of the salsa on a few of them.  We paired them with a pleasant Sancerre. No other info on that, as the bottle got recycled before I could take a picture of it!

Pierre

Then came the “piece de resistance:” our roasted suckling pig, an ever so festive and ever so delicious dish. We ordered it from d’Artagnan, and upon it’s arrival we lovingly massaged the piglet with a marinade of lemon, olive oil, thyme and garlic; this can be done 24 to 12 hours before roasting it. We had decided against stuffing it in order to keep our meal “lighter” and most of all to keep the roasting time down! It took about 3 hours for our 10lbs piglet. Pierre (Joris) handled the roasting, he diligently basted it every twenty minutes and covered and uncovered it with aluminum foil as he felt the need to. It turned out perfect, done but moist! I made last minute jus —or light gravy— by deglazing the piglet’s pan with very thinly chopped onions —should have been shallots but I had none— flambé’d it with bourbon, added 1 teaspoon of arrowroot, then some chicken broth and 1 cup of re-hydrated cèpes (boletus), salt & pepper to taste. It was lovely to pour some on the fluffy buttery mashed potatoes (w/ a hint of nutmeg).

Apple

The apple, chestnut & Bourbon dressing (with sautéed minced onions)  enhanced the pork flavor. There is a beautiful complementarity between pork and chestnuts, and as for the apples that had slightly caramelized, they added a pleasing hint of tartness.
The Corbières L’Enclos 2005 —from Domaine des 2 Anes— brought the last touch of bliss to the dish.  This organic blend of mostly Grenache with Carignan, Mourvèdre and Syrah grapes has an earthy, rich and supple taste that literally “talks to me”!

The light, refreshing Ecuadorian cinnamon rice pudding was a Christmas present from our good friend Eleana and it came as a good conclusion to our excellent meal.

Well, the final punctuation was the digestif & the Laubade Armagnac did bring a few spirits down! Santé to you all!