MAPLE POTS DE CREME

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place four ramekins in a baking pan.

Bring the cream, maple syrup and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Slowly add the cream mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

Divide the mixture among the ramekins. Fill the baking pan with hot water until it comes halfway up the ramekins.

Bake for 50-60 minutes. Take the ramekins out of the baking pan and cool at room temperature. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Serves 4

Adapted from Eggs on Sunday

VANILLA MELON BUTTER

 

2 large ripe cantaloupes

¼ cup water

1.5 cups turbinado sugar

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Juice of 1 lemon


Cut the melons in half and remove the seeds and strings. Scoop out the flesh in small pieces.

Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the melon pieces and cook them over high heat for 10 minutes.Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

Place the pureed melon back in the pot. Add the vanilla bean (seeds and pod) and lemon juice. Bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat and simmer the puree until reduced to a third of its original volume and appears darker and thicker, about 2h30 min.

Remove from the heat. Let cool. Transfer into clean jars with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate.

Consume within 4 weeks.

Makes about 2 cups.

EGG-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE BROWN RICE PANCAKES

These brown rice pancakes are egg-free, gluten-free, enriched with flax seeds and most satisfying. The batter works great for waffles too. Simply top them with your favorite syrup and fruit, and enjoy!

¾ cup milk
½ cup plain yogurt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup golden flaxseed meal
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, divided into 6


Whisk together the milk, yogurt, vanilla extract and agave syrup.

Combine the flour with ground flax seed meal, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Add them to the milk-yogurt mixture and whisk well to combine. (If the batter looks too thick, add extra milk a little at a time.)

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt 1/6 of the butter on the skillet and ladle batter onto it, spreading it slightly by twirling the pan. Cook a few minutes per side. When the edges look stiff and slightly browned, it is time to turn over the pancake. Repeat until you’re used all the batter.

Makes about 6

MOROCCAN ROASTED BELL PEPPER & TOMATO SALAD

Known as tchoutchouka, this is one of the most popular Moroccan salads. It is best served warm with bread as a tartine or side to any dinner.

2 medium green bell peppers
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground paprika


Line the surroundings of a gas burner with aluminum foil (you’ll be thankful you did when the pepper starts dripping its sticky juices). Turn on the flame to medium-high and char the peppers on all sides until blackened and blistered all over, about 10 minutes. Use tongs to turn them as they can get very hot.

Place the peppers in a paper bag and close it, for about 15 minutes, to allow the peppers to sweat and their skin to become softer. Peel the skin off the peppers using your fingers. Discard the stem and seeds. Finely dice the peppers. Set aside.

Place the tomatoes in a medium skillet with olive oil. Add the garlic and season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. Cook the tomatoes until they become soft and turn into somewhat of a thick, chunky sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Mix in the diced peppers and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Taste the seasoning and adjust to your taste.

Serve warm or at room temp.

Serves 4

ROASTED RED PEPPER & GOAT CHEESE CHICKPEA SOUP

Roasted red peppers, goat cheese, smoked paprika come together beautifully in this chickpea soup. Taste your soup when it’s done and add more smoked paprika, if you wish to have a smokier flavor.

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 small sweet potato, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (12-oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained (or 2 roasted peppers)
4 ounces soft goat cheese


Place all of the ingredients except the roasted red peppers and goat cheese in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook over gentle heat, 20 to 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.

Add the roasted red peppers and goat cheese. Blend the soup using a stick blender or transfer to a container blender and blend until smoothly pureed.

Serve right away with toasted bread drizzled with olive oil.

Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

Serves 4 to 6

PEPPERY RED BEAN STEW

1 medium yellow onion
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and coarsely cut
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons harissa or other hot sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 bay leaves
1 cup tomato sauce
3.5 cups vegetable broth
6 ounces dried red beans, presoaked for 3 to 5 hours and drained


Chop the onion, red peppers and garlic very finely in a food processor.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables, harissa, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Cook until the vegetables are softened and fragrant, 5 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce, broth and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the beans are soft and the sauce reduced, 1h15 to 1h30 min. Discard the bay leaves. Serve warm.

Serves 4 to 6

MOROCCAN COUSCOUS SOUP

2 leeks, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 bay leaves
5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup whole grain couscous


Place the leeks and olive oil in a pot. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the carrots, celery and bay leaves. Stir in with ground coriander, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook over gentle heat, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat. Discard the bay leaves. Add the couscous, cover with a lid and let stand 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Serve steaming hot.

Serves 4

PECAN TORTE

2 cups shelled pecans
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8-inch springform or non-stick tart pan.

In a food processor, grind the pecans to a coarse meal.

In a large bowl, combine the ground pecans with salt. Whisk in the honey, eggs and vanilla extract until well combined.

Pour the batter in the prepared pan . Bake until set and lightly browned, 25-30 minutes.

Serves 8

CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD SOUFFLE

For coating the ramekins
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar

For the soufflés
3 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60 or 70% cocoa)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
A pinch of ground clove
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites
A pinch of cream of tartar


1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2 Brush 4 small (3- to 4-ounce) ramekins with melted butter. Coat the buttered ramekins with granulated sugar by rotating the sugar around the bottom and sides. Tap out excess sugar.

3 Place the chocolate, butter, molasses, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon and clove in a large glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 30 seconds until melted. Stir again to combine.

4 Stir the egg yolks, one at a time, into the chocolate mixture. The chocolate will turn a little thick and sticky.

5 Beat the egg whites with cream of tartar to soft peaks using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. (Soft peaks means when you lift the whisk, the egg whites are starting to hold themselves but slowly fall back down after a second or two. Stiff peaks is when the egg whites hold themselves straight up without falling.)

6 Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, a little at a time. Keep folding until the mixture is fluffy and has a light brown color but don’t over mix.

7 Divide the mixture among the 4 ramekins, filling them ¾ of the way up. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes until they’re nicely blown up. Do not open the oven during the baking process as that might prevent the soufflés from rising.

8 Serve immediately.

9 For a quick warm vanilla sauce to serve with the soufflés, simply melt vanilla ice cream until warm in the microwave or on the stovetop. Flavor it with a teaspoon of rum, if you wish. Poke a hole in the soufflé and pour in desired amount of sauce.

Serves 4

Gingerbread Soufflé

BAKED STUFFED APPLES

4 Gala, or other baking variety, apples
¼ cup chopped dates
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon coconut oil or unsalted butter, divided in four
1 cup apple juice or cider


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Core the apples, making a hole about an inch wide, removing all seeds and leaving the bottom intact.

Combine the dates, raisins and walnuts with the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

Stuff each apple with the fruit and nut mixture and mound some on top. Place a quarter of the butter on each apple.

Place the apples and the apple juice in a rimmed baking pan pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Discard the foil. Baste the apples with the pan juices and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve warm or cold with ice cream or whip cream.

Serves 4