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Blissful Eats With The Cook’s Atelier || Fava Bean Fennel Salad

May 21, 2015

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Hello Blissful readers!  We hope you all are enjoying the sunshine.  We wanted to share with you one of our favorite spring market salads.  It’s oh so simple too and perfect for an alfresco dinner on the terrace with a chilled glass of rosé!

We know for sure that spring has arrived when we see the first fava beans at the market. They are a favorite here at The Cook’s Atelier and we love them for their bright green color and marshy flavor. They make their way in salads or mashed on crusty bread with a drizzle of fruity olive oil and sprinkling of our favorite fleur de sel. Heaven.

note:  You can also substitute fava beans with French peas.  We also like to vary this salad by adding thin shavings of garden radishes as well as mizuna or roquette.  Any fresh herbs made be added, such as basil and chervil.

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Fava Bean Fennel Salad

 

8 to 10 pounds fresh young fava beans in the pod (10 pounds will yield about 6 cups of beans)

3 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced

1 bunch scallions or chives, thinly sliced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fruity extra-virgin olive oil

1 handful of mint leaves

1 handful of parsley leaves

2 lemons, one sliced the other cut in half

Mizuna leaves

Grading of parmesan (optional)

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Shuck the fava beans from their pods.  Blanche the beans in salted boiling water for about 2 minutes. Plunge them into a bowl of ice water to cool them and preserve their color.

Once cool enough to handle, pop the beans out of their grey-green skin to release the bright green bean.

Trim and wash the fennel.

When you are ready to make the salad, slice the fennel into very thin slices (a mandoline works well for this task) and put them in a bowl. Add the fava beans, scallions and a good sprinkling of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Drizzle generously with fruity olive oil to coat. Add the mint, parsley, lemon slices and mizuna leaves, then squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the salad. Toss well with your hands, then taste and correct the seasoning.  Top with parmesan shavings if desired.  Serve immediately.
We hope you enjoy!  Bon Appétit!

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The Cook’s Atelier || Roasted Quail with a White Wine Jus

April 30, 2015

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Hello, Blissful readers! We hope you all are enjoying spring.

We want to share with you this week one of our recipes for Pan Roasted Quail. Quail is the ultimate, versatile little bird.  It cooks quickly and looks very pretty on the plate.  Here at The Cook’s Atelier, we cook quail all year long.  In the autumn and winter months, it is great with pan-seared mushrooms and breadcrumbs.  In the summertime, we pair it with a vibrant salsa verde.  As a nod to spring, this version is light and elegant with springtime baby market vegetables.  We roasted the potatoes, little tomatoes and the baby leeks separately.  For the asparagus and fava beans, our preferred method is to barely blanch them and finish them with a little brown butter. The finishing touch is the pan sauce made with white wine.  We hope you enjoy.

Roasted Quail with a White Wine Jus

Serves 6

6 whole quail

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

A sprig or two of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme or marjoram

6 cloves of garlic, smashed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Extra-virgin olive oil

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For the jus

1 shallot, chopped

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

1 cup dry white wine

A knob of unsalted butter

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut off the feet at the knee joint and the head at the base of the neck. Rinse and thoroughly dry the bird. Season the inside of the quail with salt and pepper and stuff the cavity with herbs and a clove or two of garlic. Use your fingers to rub the softened butter all over the quail and season with salt and pepper.

In a large ovenproof skillet, drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to coat the pan. Preheat the pan over medium high heat. Place the quail in the pan and sear on all sides for a nice, crispy skin. Slide the skillet in the oven and roast the quail until done, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

To make the jus:

Remove the quail from the pan and set it on a warm cutting board to rest. Add the shallot, thyme and bay leaf to the pan and cook until the shallot is translucent, but not brown. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the little bits of browned quail. Strain the jus and continue to reduce until slightly thickened. Off the heat, add a knob of butter and swirl the pan to incorporate the butter in the jus.

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner. As many of you may already know, Mother’s Day is a big deal around here. In celebration of that very special day, we are announcing another Contest/Giveaway at The Cook’s Atelier on our Instagram feed. To enter the contest, be sure to go to Instagram, follow us @thecooksatelier, locate the mortar and pestle contest photo, then tag a friend in the comments section to share the contest and help spread the love! Our Mother’s Day Contest/Giveaway ends Monday, May 4, 2015 and we’ll be announcing the winner on Instagram. The winner will receive this beautiful marble mortar and pestle crafted in Italy. Bonne chance!

Looking forward to seeing you all next time!

Blissful Eats with The Cook’s Atelier || Gariguette Strawberry Confiture

April 16, 2015

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Hello, Bliss readers! We are so excited to be back on Bliss blog and to share with you a little bit of Spring from our side of the pond.

You know it’s spring with the arrival of the first strawberries at the market. We love to make strawberry jam using the Gariguette variety.  Gariguette strawberries are a French favorite. They are bright red and so fragrant that they perfume the market with the most heavenly scent. We’ve dubbed them “angel kisses” for that very reason.  The atelier kitchen smells like heaven! We make our jam in a vintage copper preserving pan that we picked up at a local brocante.  The strawberries are even sweeter when they are picked by little hands straight from our very own garden.

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If you are interested in having your very own vintage French copper confiture pot, please visit our online shop, The French Larder at The Cook’s Atelier. (www.thecooksatelier.com)

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Gariguette Strawberry Confiture 

Makes about 8 cups  

 

2 1/2 pounds Gariguette strawberries, or 2 1/4 pounds net

2 cups granulated sugar

juice of 1 small lemon

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Rinse the strawberries in cold water. Dry them in a towel and remove their stems. Place the strawberries in a ceramic bowl and cover with the sugar and the juice of one lemon. Let the strawberries macerate overnight in the refrigerator, covered with a sheet of parchment paper.

Next day, bring this preparation to a simmer in a preserving pan. Pour it into a ceramic bowl.

Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and refrigerate overnight.

On the third day, pour this preparation into a sieve. Bring the collected syrup to a boil in a preserving pan, skim, and continue cooking on high heat. The syrup will be sufficiently concentrated at 221 degrees F on a candy thermometer.  Add the partially cooked strawberries and return to a boil over high heat. Skim and return to a boil for 5 minutes, stirring gently. Check the set. The strawberries will be translucent, like preserves. Put the jam into jars immediately and seal.

We look forward to seeing you all again in two weeks. Happy jam making!

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