Easy weekday meals, A beautiful asparagus tart


Like everyone else out there, even though I love to cook and eat well, weekdays can be a challenge. By the time I’m getting supper ready, it’s 7 or later. So needless to say, I don’t really want to spend 3 hours cooking up a meal. It needs to be quick, nutritious and especially, delicious! Omelets, quiches, one pot dishes that you can leave to simmer on the stove top, all great alternatives! And seeing as my time is counted, I thought I’d concentrate the next few posts on quick and simple meal ideas. As you guessed, first up, the tart or quiche. Great recipe to add what you’ve got on hand, a bit of ham or a bit of bacon, potatoes, leeks, that last bit of cheese…. You get the idea! Roll out some dough, whip up those eggs with a bit of cream, add your bits and bobs, stick it the oven! And I know what you’re going to say, the dough itself is too much. Well, make a batch, stick it in the fridge or freezer, take it out when you need it, job done!



1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons butter

3-4 tablespoons cold water

Dash of salt


5 eggs

1 cup grated cheese, for this recipe I used Emmenthal

1 small bunch asparagus

1/4 cup cream

Salt & pepper to tasteIMG_0513


Preheat oven to 350°. Cut butter into salted flour. When butter is in small nuggets, form well in center and add water. Blend with wooden spoon, being careful not to overblend. Add water if necessary. When dough forms a rough shaggy dough, blend using hands, once again being careful not to overblend. You want the dough to have patches of butter, this is what makes the dough flaky. Form into a flattened ball, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk eggs with cream and seasonings. Add grated cheese and mix well.

Roll out dough into a rectangle (or oval or round depending on dish) and place in dish, add egg filling, then place asparagus. Cook in oven for 30-45 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Makes 4 servings, that keep refrigerate for up to 4 days, or frozen up to 2 months. Enjoy!



Keeping hope alive & Fiddlehead Velouté

IMG_0505IMG_0506IMG_0507IMG_0508I can’t quite believe it, but it snowed today… Now it didn’t stick around mind you, but still, snow… in May… So lets actively deny that it happened and move on! So on that note, fiddleheads appeared at the market this week and I jumped on them! As they are only around for a week or two, I wanted to make sure I had the chance to broaden my recipe range.  I had been thinking of making an asparagus velouté when it occurred to me, let’s try out a velouté with fiddleheads, so… One attempt and beautiful results! Oh, and p.s., my truffle oil obsession continues!!!


2 cups fiddleheads, rinsed

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

2 cups stock

3/4 cup cream, 1/4 cup whipped

1 large shallot, thinly sliced, reserve 1-2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon butter

Salt & pepper to taste

Truffle oil


Sauté shallot in butter until glassy, add fiddleheads and sauté a further 2-3 minutes. Add stock and potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, fry reserved shallots in olive oil until crisp and browned. Drain on absorbent paper. Add vegetables and stock in blender with the cream and blend on high until smooth. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve in bowls topped with whipped cream, fried shallots and a few drops of truffle oil. Serves 2. Bon appétit!


Celebrating spring cont’d & Truffle oil Mushroom pansooti with asparagus


My spring fling with asparagus continues! I will eat them until I’ve had my fill, which may take a while, seeing they are emperor of my veggie world! As I was perusing over all the beautiful products at a local italian market, I saw some truffle-mushroom stuffed pasta that had my mouth-watering. This is the kind of pasta I love, simple yet sophisticated, each element sings in harmony. Truffle is another ingredient I can easily get infatuated with, its aroma filling every breathing cavity of your mouth!!! Paired with champagne or a beautifully soft rosé and you’re set to celebrate spring!


1/2 pasta dough recipe, see recipe fresh pasta

5-6 diced mushrooms of your choice

1 shallot, 1/2 diced, 1/2 sliced thinly

1 tablespoon butter

Olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

5-6 asparagus, sliced diagonally in 1″ pieces

Parmesan to taste, grated or shaved

Truffle infused olive oil



Sauté diced shallot in butter, add mushrooms and continue until mushrooms have let out their water and are fragrant. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

Roll out dough as thinly as possible (6-7 on pasta dial). Cut sides and then into squares. Brush edges with egg wash and place 1 tablespoon of mushroom preparation in center of square. Carefully fold over to make a triangle and press down on edges. Bring salted water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add pansooti and cook until the pansooti float (3-5 minutes). Drain.IMG_0438IMG_0441

Meanwhile, sauté shallots with olive oil until glassy then add asparagus, continue to sauté until asparagus are bright green, then add drained pansooti. Sauté on medium heat to combine, add a few drops of truffle oil to taste and plate. Top with shaved parmesan. Serves 1.









Celebrating spring, birthdays & Asperges au Gratin

Easter weekend was my birthday and I treated myself to a long overdue trip to New Orleans. What a beautiful city and what beautiful & friendly locals! The food was fantastic, I almost got my fill of seafood, almost. Crab, oysters, drumfish, shrimp, crawfish and one that I can quite decide wether I’m happy about or not, turtle. I’m hoping that this is not one of the endangered turtles…  I ate fried chicken, well no that’s not fish, but it certainly is southern food (!), and gumbo and poboys and beignets with café au lait and eggs & grits and biscuits so fluffy and buttery… Did I say the food was fantastic?! At Pêche seafood and gril, I had a variety of entrées, one of which was an absolutely spectacular smoked drumfish salad. The glass of rosé I just so happened to be drinking turned out to be a drool worthy pairing. I will certainly be trying to recreate that salad, I’m still fantasising over it!

And back home, it’s that time of year, thank God! Asparagus season 🙂  I love, love, love asparagus, so needless to say I’ll be eating them everyday and in all sorts of different ways in the coming weeks. I had a hankering for Endives au gratin and the thought crossed my mind, why not replace the endives with asparagus? And you know what? It totally works! This is a perfect light supper.

Now my mind is going crazy with asparagus inspirations!


2 bunch asparagus

200 gr. ham, I used an organic cruelty free variety from my butchers

100 gr. emmental or swiss cheese, preferably local

1 cup 10% organic cream

1 tablespoon organic butter

1 tablespoon spelt flour

1/4 small onion with 1 clove

1 clove garlic, crushed

Freshly ground nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350°. To make the béchamel: Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat, add flour and mix well. Whisk in cream slowly and when well combine add half of grated cheese,  grate nutmeg and season with salt and pepper then add onion and garlic and simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile cut asparagus tips and reserve the tips for stock. Wrap asparagus with ham and place in a gratin dish. Cover with the béchamel and top with remaining grated cheese. Place in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. If needed, broil for a few minutes to caramelize. Let cool slightly before serving. Makes 2 portions. Enjoy!




Sunday Spaghetti & Meatballs with fresh pasta

Nothing says sunday night like fresh pasta with meatball sauce! I don’t exactly make mine like an italian nona, but I certainly love it! It’s simple, quick and super satisfying 🙂  And something about meatballs reminds me of childhood, what kid doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs? I have a vague memory of my cousin Dominic and I waiting for dinner and getting excited because we were having pasghetti…Lol, I can’t remember if it was he or I who couldn’t pronounce it 🙂  As far as the fresh pasta is concerned, I warn you, once you start, it will be hard to come back! Don’t be fooled, it looks complicated and time-consuming but it really isn’t, and you’ll love it every single time !


Fresh pasta

1 cup semolina flour and more for dusting

1 egg

1/4 cup water

Dash of salt

Place flour in a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle, add water, salt and egg and mix well. Knead briefly until smooth and soft. The dough should be pliable. Cover and rest in the fridge for an hour or up to overnight. In the meantime make the pasta sauce.

Tomato sauce

2 cups canned tomatoes

1 cup chopped fennel bulb

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon olive oil

Heat olive oil in saucepan, add onions and stir until soft and translucent. Add garlic, then fennel seeds and stir. Add fennel bulb, stirring to combine and add tomatoes. Simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make meatballs.


75 g. each ground beef, pork and veal

1 onion

1 cup mushrooms

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Place onion, garlic and mushrooms in a food processor and process until ground like the meat. Place in a mixing bowl with the meat and seasonings and blend well. Make meatballs the size of your preference, the larger they are, the longer they will have to cook. Transfer sauce into blender and blend on high until smooth. Return to saucepan and add meatballs. Cook for 30 minutes or more until you’ve reached the desired consistency.  Make the pasta: using a pasta machine, flatten the dough in increments until thin enough to pass through the spaghetti blade. Do this by passing it first through the first increment, folding the dough in two and passing it through again a few more times until the dough is smooth, dusting with flour as needed for the dough not to stick. Now pass it through into the second size and continue until you reach the fourth or fifth size. The dough should now have lengthened and thinned. Now pass the ribbon through the spaghetti blade. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan, drop pasta into boiling water and loosen with a fork if needed. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and plate with pasta sauce and meatballs. Shave parmesan ribbons on to the pasta and decorate with basil leaves.  Makes 2 portions. Enjoy!