Happy news and a Leek & Sea Vegetable quiche – Des nouvelles et une quiche aux algues et poireaux

(en français, plus bas)

It’s been a few months that I have been blogging sporadically, and seldom visiting my favourite blogs… Believe me, I am sorry about it because I do miss blogging and my passion for cooking has surely not disappeared! In general, during winter, my energy is pretty low and I always wish I could hibernate, but this time my silence and apparent hibernation have another reason…  Actually, it is a very happy and exciting news that I now want to share with you, dear readers:

Mr Artichoke and I are expecting our first baby very soon! So, as you can imagine our life is  changing a lot and we are pretty busy preparing everything for the arrival of our little angel.

I just wanted you to know that I am not abandoning Sweet Artichoke, I am just taking it slowly because, after all, blogging is a fun activity and should not be taken with pressure and stress, that is why I will try to post new recipes but it will be at irregular intervals…

All is going well, but I have been super tired since the beginning of pregnancy: I have also tried to listen to my body and I turned to very simple foods and most of my pregnancy cravings were healthy ones… among them: oat porridge, chickpeas, and you surely don’t want to hear about my chicory and walnut salad addiction, do you? It’s been my staple lunch and dinner for a few weeks!! Most of them were really not very interesting to blog about… However, what amazed me most is that I discovered that most of my healthy cravings were actually providing the important nutriments needed by the baby at that time…

One of my recent addiction is sea vegetables  (I do not like to call them “seaweeds”, because given all the good nutriments they are packed with, “weeds” seems an unfair name) and I think this quiche is so good, that it is worth sharing it with you…

Leek and Sea Vegetable Quiche

Ingredients for a 22cm diameter baking tin
(2-3 servings as main course or 4-5 servings as starter)

 a medium size leek (about 250g), finely chopped

2 medium size potatoes (about 300g), peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon oil

2 teaspoons hot madras curry powder

200g tofu

½ cup dried mixed sea vegetables

1 dried red chili (optional)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

3-4 tablespoons water

Salt and pepper to season

1 ½ tablespoons chia seeds, soaked in 0.5 dl warm water or 1 egg

1 ready-rolled puff pastry (or short-crust pastry)

Method:

Pre-heat the oven at 190°C.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the curry powder and fry it for a few seconds. Add the chopped leek. Stir well and reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid and sauté for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The leek should not become brown, you only want to pre-cook it. When it is done, keep aside.

In the meantime, put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water, add ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain well and keep aside.

Rehydrate the dried sea vegetables in warm water, according to the instructions. The ones I use take 5 minutes to rehydrate. Drain them well and put them in a food processor, with the tofu, dried red chilli, soy sauce, pepper, chia seeds (or one egg)  and 3-4 tablespoon water. Pulse until it becomes a smooth paste. If it is too thick, you might add a little bit more water, but not too much as it should not be liquid.

Add the leek to the preparation and combine well.

Place the pastry crust in the baking tin. Prick a few times the bottom of the pastry crust with a fork, which will prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes. Bake the crust for 5 minutes and take out of the oven.

Fill the bottom of the crust with the potato slices. Garnish with the leek-sea vegetable-tofu mixture.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Quiche aux algues et poireaux

Cela fait quelques mois que je n’ai plus été très présente sur ce blog et que je n’ai pas rendu visite à mes blogs préférés … Croyez-moi, c’est quelque chose que je regrette beaucoup parce que ma passion pour la cuisine n’a pas bien évidemment pas disparu. En général, pendant l’hiver, mon énergie descend en flèche et c’est un peu comme si j’hibernais…  mais cette fois mon silence et mon apparente hibernation ont une autre raison… En fait, il s’agit plutôt d’une heureuse et belle nouvelle que j’aimerais maintenant partager avec vous :

M. Artichoke et moi attendons notre premier bébé pour très, très bientôt!

Je n’ai donc pas l’intention d’abandonner Sweet Artichoke, mais comme vous pouvez l’imaginer, notre vie est en train de beaucoup changer et même si j’adore mon blog et le « blogging » en général, je considère que cette passion ne doit pas s’accompagner de stress pour les délais à publier de nouveaux posts… Je vais toutefois essayer de continuer à publier de nouvelles recettes, mais à intervalles irréguliers …

En général, ma grossesse se passe bien, si ce n’est que je suis super fatiguée depuis le début ! Et comme j’ai essayé d’écouter mon corps et j’ai privilégié des aliments très simples et la plupart de mes fringales étaient plutôt saines … par exemple : bircher avec de l’avoine, pois chiches, plusieurs semaines de folle passion pour la salade d’endives aux noix… donc pas vraiment de quoi alimenter un blog… Cela dit, ce qui m’a le plus émerveillée, c’est que j’ai découvert que la plupart de mes envies « saines » contenaient les nutriments correspondant aux besoins les plus importants pour la croissance du bébé, à ce moment particulier.

En ce moment, je suis complètement accro aux algues ! Et franchement, cette quiche est si bonne, que je la partage sans hésitation avec vous … L’avantage d’y ajouter des poireaux (ah oui, un autre de mes chouchous du moment…) est que ceux-ci masquent un peu le goût des algues, pour celles et ceux qui y sont sensibles.

Ingrédients pour un moule de diamètre 22cm

(pour 2-3 personnes en plat principal ou 4-5 personnes en entrée)

 un poireau de taille moyenne (environ 250g), émincé finement

2 pommes de terre de taille moyenne (environ 300g), pelées et tranchées

1cuillère à soupe d’huile

2 cuillères à café de poudre de curry Madras

200g de tofu

½ tasse d’algues séchées mélangées

1 piment rouge séché (facultatif)

1 cuillère à soupe de sauce soja

3-4 cuillères à soupe d’eau

Sel et poivre pour assaisonner

1 ½ cuillères à soupe de graines de chia, trempée dans 0,5 dl d’eau chaude ou 1 œuf

1 paquet de pâte feuilletée

Préparation:

Préchauffer  le four à 190 ° C.

Chauffer l’huile dans une poêle. Ajouter la poudre de curry et la faire frire pendant quelques secondes. Ajouter le poireau émincé. Bien remuer et réduire à feu doux. Couvrir avec un couvercle et faire revenir pendant environ 15 minutes, en remuant de temps en temps. Les poireaux ne doivent pas brunir, ils doivent juste pré-cuire. Lorsque cela est fait, les mettre de côté.

Pendant ce temps, mettre les pommes de terre dans une casserole, couvrir d’eau, ajouter ½ cuillère à café de sel. Porter l’eau à ébullition. Laisser mijoter pendant 10 minutes. Bien égoutter et mettre de côté.

Réhydrater les algues séchées dans de l’eau chaude, selon les instructions du paquet. Celles que j’utilise ont besoin de 5 minutes. Egouttez-les bien et mettez-les dans un blender, avec le tofu, le piment rouge séché, la sauce soja, le poivre, les graines de chia (ou un oeuf) et 3-4 cuillères à soupe d’eau. Mixer jusqu’à ce que la préparation devienne lisse. Si elle est trop épaisse, vous pouvez ajouter un peu plus d’eau, mais pas trop car elle ne doit pas être liquide.

Ajouter les poireaux et bien mélanger.

Mettre la pâte dans un moule et piquer plusieurs fois le fond avec une fourchette, ce qui va empêcher la pâte de gonfler pendant la cuisson. Cuire la pâte pendant 5 minutes et la sortir du four.

Garnir  avec les tranches de pommes de terre, puis ajouter le mélange poireaux-algues- tofu.

Cuire au four pendant 30 minutes et servir chaud.

Maple mousse in nougatine “basket” for the Daring Bakers Challenge – Mousse au sirop d’érable dans sa coupelle en nougatine

(en français, plus bas)

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

This month, we had two option, the regular mousse (with gelatin and cream) and a vegan version with tofu and agar agar.

I love making chocolate mousse with silken tofu and it is one of the first recipes I posted on this blog (see here). Except for chocolate mousse, I must say that I am not a fan of mousses… this maple mousse turned out very sweet but as I added the dry roasted almonds, and along with the nougatine, the taste was very flavourful and pleasant.

Nougatine is a candy made of caramel and nuts. It is different from “nougat” which is made with honey, sugar and nuts. When warm, nougatine can be shaped quite easily into bowls or cups. Easter eggs are sometimes made of nougatine.

Nougatine “baskets”

ingredients for 6 baskets (muffin tins size)

recipe adapted from here

150 g sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
50 g slivered almonds, dry roasted

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts and pistachios)

some oil, to grease the moulds

Method:

Put the sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and melt the sugar , stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. When it starts to become golden, reduce heat to medium and stir in the almond. Combine well.

Preheat the oven at 120°C.

Spread some oil on a parchement paper or on your working surface and pour the mixture on it.  Even it with a pastry rolling pin . DO NOT TOUCH THE NOUGATINE WITH YOUR FINGERS OR DO NOT LICK THE SPOON! It is burning hot!

Grease muffin tins. Break the nougatine into pieces greater than the moulds. Spread them on parchment paper and place in oven 5 minutes.

With caution because it is still hot, cut each piece into a circle (with scissors) and immediately put them in the muffins moulds, pressing  so that they adhere well. Add the handle of the basket.

Vegan Maple Mousse:
Ingredients:
250 g soft silken tofu
1 dl pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons agar-agar

1 pinch salt

optional, for decoration:

2 tablespoons slivered almond, dry roasted

edible flowers  (I used  pansies)

Method:

Put the tofu in a food processor with a whisk (not a blade) and blend until smooth.

Dissolve the agar agar in the maple syrup and slowly bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.

Switch on the food processor and slowly pour in salt and the maple syrup. Whisk for 3 minutes.

Refrigerate overnight or at least for 4-5 hours.

Scoop into the nougatine baskets.

Decorate with the slivered almonds and flowers.

Caution: once filled with the mousse, do not refrigerate the nougatine baskets, their bottom part will melt…


Mousse au sirop d’érable dans sa coupelle en nougatine

Le Challenge  des Daring Bakers du mois d’avril était organisé par  Evelyne du blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne a proposé à tout le monde de faire une mousse au sirop d’érable dans un contenant comestible.  Un prix ​​sera décerné au contenant le plus créatif. Vous pourrez voter pour votre favori dès aujourd’hui et jusqu’au 27 mai sur http://thedaringkitchen.com

Ce mois-ci, nous avions deux options, la mousse normale (avec de la gélatine et de la crème) et une version végétalienne avec du tofu et de l’agar agar.

J’adore faire la mousse au chocolat avec du tofu soyeux et il est l’une des premières recettes que j’ai posté sur ce blog (ici). A part  la mousse au chocolat, je dois dire que je ne suis pas un fan de mousses, c’est pourquoi  je n’avais jamais essayé de préparer un autre type de mousse.

Petits paniers en Nougatine

pour 6 paniers ( taille de muffins)
recette adaptée à partir d’ici

150 g de sucre
1 cuillère à café de jus de citron
50 g d’amandes effilées, grillées à sec
1 cuillère à soupe de noix hachées grossièrement (j’ai utilisé des noisettes et des pistaches)

Préparation:

Mettre le sucre et le jus de citron dans une casserole et faire fondre le sucre en remuant constamment avec une cuillère en bois. Quand il commence à brunir, réduire à feu moyen et ajouter les amandes. Mélanger le tout.

Préchauffer le four à 120 ° C.

Etalez un peu d’huile sur un papier sulfurisé ou sur votre surface de travail et versez le mélange sur elle. Etaler avec un rouleau. NE TOUCHEZ PAS LA NOUGATINE avec les doigts ou NE PAS lécher la cuillère! Le mélange est brûlant!

Laisser refroidir.

Graisser les moules à muffins. Casser des morceaux de nougatine d’un diamètre supérieur aux moules. Les étaler sur du papier sulfurisé et mettre 5 minutes au four.

Avec précaution, car c’est chaud, couper chaque morceau en cercle (avec des ciseaux) et tout de suite les mettre dans les moules, en pressant bien pour qu’ils adhèrent. Ajouter la anse du panier.


Mousse végétalienne au sirop d’érable:

Ingrédients:
250 g de tofu soyeux
1 dl de sirop d’érable pur
2 cuillères à café d’agar-agar

1 pincée de sel

en option, pour la décoration:

2 cuillères à soupe d’amandes effilées, grillées à sec

fleurs comestibles (j’ai utilisé des pensées)

Préparation:

Mettre le tofu dans un robot avec un fouet (pas une lame) et mélanger jusqu’à consistance lisse.

Dissoudre l’agar-agar dans le sirop d’érable et lentement porter à ébullition. Laisser mijoter pendant 2 minutes, en remuant constamment.

Verser lentement le sel et le sirop d’érable sur le tofu, tout en fouettant. Fouetter pendant 2-3 minutes.

Réfrigérer pendant une nuit ou au moins pendant 4-5 heures.

Remplir les coupelles en nougatine avec ce mélange.

Décorer avec les amandes effilées et les fleurs.

Une fois remplis, attention de ne pas réfrigérer les coupelles nougatine: elles fondent un peu…



Healing Foods: Artichoke and banana flowers Round-Up & giveaway winners

Artichokes and banana flowers? I know that one of the two might still have a mysterious aura for some of you, but after seeing the 17 recipes for this month’s Healing Food series, I am sure that you won’t resist the temptation of discovering them…

You might however wonder what the connection between artichokes and banana flowers is.

The explanation is simple: initially I had chosen artichokes as theme for this month’s Healing Foods, but shortly after the announcement, I was informed that artichokes can’t be found in India…  So, I first came with cardoon, which is from the same species than artichokes, but it turned out that it was not available in India either… Mocha or banana flowers then came to my mind. Not only do they look and taste a bit similar but they required quite some time to trim and prepare, exactly like fresh artichokes…

I am very impressed by the quality and originality of  recipes sent by 11 talented ladies for this event and I would like to thank all of them for their creativity! You are awesome, ladies – vous êtes géniales, Mesdames! Merci beaucoup!

A big thank you to  Siri to have given me the opportunity to host this event during the month of March and to Pritya books who is generously giving away these two great books:

Cooking At Home With Pedatha: Awarded Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World 2006, this book documents the culinary legacy of an illustrious Indian grandmother for posterity.

and

Sukham Ayu: Winner of Best Health & Nutrition Book in the World 2009 – Second Place, this beautiful book has been researched at KARE, an idyllic Ayurvedic research & rejeuvenation establishment near Pune.


There are still many artichoke recipes that I want to share with you but I ran short of time during March, so I could only post two recipes and repost 2 old ones. My future personal challenge will be to come up with a recipe for actually sweet artichokes… so stay tuned!

Before discovering who are the lucky winners of the books, let’s discover the round-up for the month of March:

The recipes are shown in the order I received them click on the pic or hyperlink to go to the recipe:

Johanna from “Green Gourmet Giraffe”  prepared artichoke muffins that she took  for a picnic at the zoo:

The preparation of  these Banana flowers chops brought back lovely childhood memories to Sukanya from “Saffron streaks” ,:

Janet from “The Taste Space” has been experimenting with variations of her recipes. I really enjoyed reading the creative process behind these beautiful Artichoke and Spinach Rice Paper Rolls with Lemon Rosemary Baked Tofu

Priya from “Priya’s easy and tasty recipes” – first experimented with artichoke calzone :

 

… and she liked this veggie so much, that she got inspired for two more recipes:

a very innovative artichoke and curry leaves chutney and…

and an equally innovative artichoke, potato and mushroom curry:

Nivedita from “Panfusine – Iyer’n Chef” was happily singing ABBA’s songs  and nearly choked of delight when she first tasted her artichoke masala vadai,

Did you know that artichoke existed in the Greek Mythology? Discover what happened to the beautiful Cynara  and enjoy these  delicious artichoke lasagna sent by  Ivy from “Kopiaste … to Greek Hospitality”  :

What about an Indo-Iranian fusion dish?

Malli from “Malli’s Mint and Mimosa” loves Iranian chelow kebabs and got inspired to prepare a vegetarian version using banana blossoms : check out her Iranian black bean Kebab with mocha :

Simona from  “Briciole”  is fan of  Italian artichokes, she prepared a hummus with artichoke, check her post to see  how many strands has the beautiful home-made challah bread she served with it…

Don’t be scared of fresh baby artichokes! Amy from “Savory moments” was nicely surprised on how easy it is to clean and trim them and she prepared these  delicious lemon and thyme braised baby artichokes:

Are you tempted to cook banana flowers but you are no sure on what is the edible part and how to extract it? Fear no more, Vijitha from “A Foodie in her cooking hat” has not only sent us this Banana Flower stir fry, she is also providing a thorough explanation on how to prepare the flowers.

Nawel from “Jeux d’épices et Saveurs” is proud to share the recipe of  “Artichoke, fava beans and dry tomatoes stir fry” , which will be featured next month in a French magazine. As her recipe was in French, the translation has been provided below the picture :

Ingredients for  4 servings
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic
280 g peeled frozen fava beans
4-5 frozen artichoke hearts
130 g chickpeas
5 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp strong or mild paprika
½ bunch chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 ½  tbsp olive oil
100 ml water
Salt and pepper
Method:
Cut artichoke hearts into quarters. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes in three.
Peel the shallot and chop it finely. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them.
Heat the olive oil in a pan, on low heat and add the shallot.
Fry for 1 minute. Add the artichokes, beans, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper.
Stir and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the cold water, stir and add the spices.
Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 more minutes.

And finally, voilà your Sweet Artichoke’s artichoke recipes….

An artichoke and chickpeas curry, that can be eaten cold as salad, which is really great when you have left overs… (here)

… a rather unusual way of eating artichokes, as filling for these savoury hazelnut sandwich cookies (here)

and,  from Sweet Artichoke’s archives:

I had celebrated my 100th post with an artichoke tapenade, which was also my first posted recipe with artichokes!

I did not come back from our trip to Roma with designer shoes or clothes, but with fresh Roman artichokes, bought at one of the local market… delicious in these pasta ai carciofi (here)

By now, I do hope that you are feeling hungry…. and tempted by these goodies….

It is my pleasure to announce the lucky winners of the two books:

*drums rolling….*

I first prepared an alphabetical list of all participants:

Then I went on http://www.randomizer.org:

which drew number 11 and number 8.

Congratulations to Vijitha and Priya!

Please send me your contact details at:  sweetartichoke@gmail.com