Tag Archives: French cuisine

Creme Brulee


I love Creme Brulee. Who doesn’t? Here is a recipe from the already-known book: “Good Housekeeping Cookery Book” , 1985. I remember the first time I made this, several years ago. The compliments given made my heart happy and encouraged me to continue cooking so here I am today, sharing my little experience for good food and fine recipes.

Today my recipe is for a special occasion, it is for a birthday dear and special to me, so this is for you, my love. ❤

Creme Brulee

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 600 ml (20 fl oz) double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 g (4 oz) caster sugar

Method:

  • Pour the cream into the top of a double saucepan or into a mixing bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Add the vanilla pod and warm gently until almost boiling, the remove from the heat. Remove the vanilla pod.
  • Beat together the egg yolks and 50 g (2 oz) of the caster sugar until light in colour. Gradually pour on the cream, stirring until evenly mixed.
  • Stand 6 individual ramekin in dishes in a roasting tin, then pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Pour the custard mixture slowly into the ramekins, dividing it equally between them.
  • Bake in the oven at 150°C, 300°F, mark 2 for about 1 hour until set. Do not allow the skin to colour. Remove from the tin and leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight.
  • Sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly over the top of each Creme Brulee and put under a preheated hot grill for 2-3 minutes until the sugar turns to a caramel. Leave to cool, then chill before serving. This is delicious served with a selection of fruit, such as freshly sliced strawberries and peaches and stoned cherries.

Happy birthday, my heart!

Chicken Veronique


I remember that I have made this recipe for the first and only time in London, when we were waiting for a guest. This chicken Veronique seemed tasty, exquisite and elegant for a party. And it proved it was. I found it in “Good Housekeeping All Colour Party Cookbook” 1992. I really love this recipe. It is fit for a king and I would eat it often. If you really want to make an impression on somebody, try this out for a romantic dinner or not. And prepare your nose and your tongue for an indulgence. Because you’re worth it!

Chicken Veronique

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon (or 2 tsp dried tarragon)
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, skinned and crushed
  • 1,5 kg (3 lb) chicken
  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) chicken stock (or water, but it won’t taste the same)
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream
  • 175 g (6 oz) green grapes, halved and seeded
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Method:

  • Soften the butter in a bowl with the tarragon, lemon rind, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Put half the mixture in the cavity of the bird.
  • Truss the chicken with the thread or fine string. Spread the remainder of the mixture over the outside of the bird (especially the legs), then stand on a rack in a roasting tin. Pour the chicken stock under the rack.
  • Roast the chicken in the oven at 200°C/ 400°F, Gas Mark 6 for about 1 1/4 hours or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Turn the bird and baste every 15 minutes or so during roasting.
  • Carve the chicken into neat portions, then arrange on a warmed serving platter, cover and keep warm.
  • Make the sauce. Blot off any excess fat from the roasting tin with absorbent  kitchen paper, then place the tin on top of the cooker. Pour the wine, then boil to reduce to about half the original volume, stirring and scraping the tin to dislodge sediment.
  • Stir in the cream and continue simmering and stirring until thick, smooth and glossy. Add the grapes and heat through, then taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Pour a little of the sauce over the chicken, arranging the grapes as attractively as possible on each portion. Serve immediately, with the remaining sauce and grapes handed separately in a sauceboat, accompanied by crisply cooked mange-touts or French beans and a simple dish of plain boiled rice. Don’t forget about a chilled dry white wine. 🙂

Bon appetite!

Poires Belle Helene


In the Orthodox countries like mine, we celebrate Saints Constantin and his mother Elena on the 21st of May, so the persons named like that are phoned/or told “Happy name’s day!”. As I am Elena, I was told “Happy name’s day!” a lot yesterday, in fact, most of the day I spent it in the phone answering and talking. It is a traditional custom to do that, or to visit friends or relatives to wish them the same. I had visitors, of course, a couple of friends and I had a nice day. A big surprise expected me when all my colleagues from a previous job wished me in chorus on the phone “Happy name’s day!”. I could hear them crying. That was so nice of them and totally unexpected.

Because of this beautiful name I thought of a recipe that it bears it and I came with a very special one that I made in London for the first time, years ago.  I made it at home again, just once, for another special occasion and my mom had the chance to eat something fine, elegant, exquisite and delicious. And not just her.

I have found the recipe in “Good Housekeeping – All Colour Party Cookbook”, 1992 at the “Stunning Desserts” chapter. Stunning it is. But at home I was not entirely satisfied with what I had so I searched on the Internet and found another recipe and now I am presenting a  mix from both. In my humble opinion this is one of the best recipe I have eaten and the feeling can’t be described. When I talk about food, about the recipe I have tried I feel them again, with all that it comes along. A good food gives you something special, a happiness and a smile on your face. If I may say so, it is as satisfying as making love.

Poires Belle Helene

Ingredients:

  • 4 cooking pears (preferably Conference)
  • 50 g (2 oz) sugar
  • 900 ml (1 1/2 pints) water
  • lemon rind and lemon juice from a whole lemon
  • 150 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces (high quality and at least 70 % cocoa)
  • 3 tbsp orange-flavoured liqueur or Poire William liqueur
  • 1 or 2 scoops vanilla bean ice cream per person (optional)
  • a few almond cookies (thin and crisp, no matter what shape you choose, or more authentic “tuiles aux amandes”)
  • 200 ml double cream
  • vanilla sugar

Method:

  • Put the sugar, water, lemon rind and lemon juice in a deep pot and heat gently, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Peel the pears quickly (to prevent discoloration), leaving the stalks on. Cut out the cores from the bottom and level them so that the pears will stand upright.
  • Submerge the pears if possible in the pot and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes on medium heat or until tender. Drain the pear, cover and keep the juice. Let them both cool down.
  • Make the chocolate sauce. Bring the pear juice to a boil in a small pot and allow it to evaporate until half of the volume is left. Discard the lemon rind from the syrup. Place the small pot in a bigger one, half full of water (“Bain Marie”) and place over medium heat without allowing the water to boil. Cut the chocolate into small pieces and melt it in the warm pear syrup, stirring until smooth and shiny. Add Poire William or orange-flavoured liqueur for a special twist. And yes, you can dip a finger to taste. ONCE. 😉
  • In another bowl, whip double cream with vanilla sugar to make crème Chantilly.
  • To assemble, place one pear in each dish, upright. Add 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Pour the chocolate sauce on the pear and ice cream. Add crème Chantilly. Stick 1 or 2 almonds thins in the ice cream.
  • Serve immediately. I know you can’t wait to taste. But wait: there is somebody missing. Yes, your loved ones.

Bon appetite!