Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Tips, tricks, and good advice from Mme. P
I recently had the opportunity to spend the weekend at M. and Mme. P's place and picked up some hand-dandy cooking tips and easy recipes while I was at it. As much for my benefit as for yours, I'm going to briefly note them here!
1.) Hand-held blenders = joy for beating egg whites to stiff peaks
2.) A Kitchen-Aid is essential to lifelong happiness. Waiting until one is established somewhere is also a good idea as they are expensive and heavy. They are less expensive in the United States than in France.
3.) Rillettes can be made from fish! as well as from meat. Essentially, she cooked the fish (mackeral), pulled the meat apart with a fork, took out the bones, then mixed in a little mayonnaise and some herbs. Chez Mme. P, yes, the herbs were from the garden and mayonnaise was homemade, but if you make it as far as boiling fish with their heads on, I won't count store-bought mayonnaise and herbs against you.
4.) I asked Mme. P about the macarons sticking in the pan. Nope, you can't coat the Flexipans with anything because in that case, "why bother having them?" But what you can do, is not use the middle- to low-quality and use only the high-quality ones. I'm going to attempt macarons again before leaving France. But I am going to use my LSB to beat the egg whites into submission.
5.) Salmon: French salmon in France, Alaskan salmon in the United States.
6.) Apples retain the pesticides in the skin. If you can't buy bio, buy a peeler.
7.) If you have trouble digesting bell peppers, peel them too. Don't get me wrong, it's not easy. But apparently it helps. (Talk about embarassing! I tried to 'help out' in the kitchen by peeling the bell peppers and Mme. P had to take them away from me because I was taking so long!)
8.) Mache helps to prevent certain cancers (that's from M. P actually).
9.) You MUST have a little electronic scale in the kitchen (at least to cook on the metric system). It makes little beeping noises, I'm fascinated and kind of want one.
10.) Apple tart made easy! (Yes, I'm in an apple phase)
--Roll out puff pastry onto flat cookie sheet/flexisheet
--Sprinkle some brown sugar on the pastry
--Mandolin apples as thin as possible
--Layer apples onto puff pastry
--Sprinkle brown sugar onto apples, add a few small dollops of butter
--Cook in an oven at 350 until it's done.
--If the puff pastry puffffffffs way up - don't worry. It'll calm down when you take it out of the oven. It's just angry that it's getted baked!
Thanks Mme. P!