Escargots à la Provençale

Escargots à la Provençale Daria Souvorova 3 hours 20 minutes serves: 2 We have been celebrating a lot here at Chez Nous Dinners of late! Over the past few weeks, we had our Catalan Dinner celebration, we celebrated Nico’s (my partner’s) 31st birthday with a Moroccan Feast, and the two of us threw ourselves a…

Salt Baked Sea Bass

Seafood is paramount in Catalan cooking! That is why I wanted to serve some whole fish for our Catalan dinner. This simple and beautiful recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner, but is also impressive enough for any feast! Simply stuff the cleaned, intact fish with a few sprigs of rosemary and encrust them in a mixture of egg whites, salt, bay leaves and thyme. So delicious!

Herring Under its Fur

To finish off our Russian feast, we served the famed Seledka pod shube (Herring Under its Fur). It is a quintessential salad that combines some of our favorite ingredients. Honestly, I have not eaten it that many times in my life, since my family almost always chose to make the Olivier, a more chop and mix kind of dish, but I relish it anytime it is on a menu. To make this dish properly, you need to accept that you will have red-stained hands that smell of salted fish…but boy is it worth it.

Baked Camembert with Porcini Mushrooms and Figs

To start off our meal, and to placate everyone while I was finishing cooking, I served a baked Camembert with sautéed porcini mushrooms and shallots sweetened with some fig jam. I love cheese, but have never been a fan of Camembert on my cheese plate, but I do love it baked with some jam! Imagine a baked brie enveloped by puff pastry and topped with some raspberries and walnuts, what could be better? I wanted to make our dish a bit more savory and a tad less buttery so I went with searing some porcini with shallots baked over the Camembert. Everything can be assembled ahead of time, and just stick it in the oven for 10 minutes to warm up before serving. The temperature is not really important, so you can add it to the oven with your turkey/goat/lamb/ham or whatever else is roasting in there!

Escargot

Escargot is quintessentially French, isn’t it! You say snail’s in reference to anything else, and the most common retort is “ew”. But escargot is a delicacy! The snail itself is mostly a vehicle for a delicious garlicky butter sauce.
I found many recipes for escargot and it felt like all of them were lacking in garlic, but I went with the flow, afraid to over-season. In the end, I wish I added more garlic, so I am doubling the amount of garlic in my recipe for your use.

Duck and Apricot Terrine

For me, this meal was an opportunity to indulge in some of my favorite things! I am turning 30 after-all…so Escargot was a must for this meal, and so was beef wellington! I couldn’t quite afford to serve foie gras to 16 guests, so I decided to create a terrine  paired with a delicious shallot jam. The terrine’s single most important ingredient is the chicken livers, which my friend Anwar (who runs International Grocery and Halal Meats Inc. on 33rd and Greenmount – go there it is amazing!) has been saving for me for a few weeks! The livers mixed with pork, chicken, and duck, create an amazingly complex flavor. The mustard and cornichon juice give it a bit of an extra kick!

Chanterelle Mushroom Soufflé

Today, I decided to merge my passion for Chanterelles with my parallel passion for “difficult recipes.” You know, sometimes, I become obsessed with foods because of their famed difficulty to make. First it was the Macaron, then it was Cannelés Bordelais… finally, I worked my way up to the Soufflé. I love desserts, so my first attempts were in the sweet category.  I have been revisiting savory soufflés of late with plans to serve a trio of soufflés for my 30th birthday, and I must say that they are much easier to conquer, so start your soufflé journey with something salty. These dishes are really light and delicious. Perfect for brunch or a light dinner. They are one of those perfect foods that fill you up without weighing you down. This recipe is for a mushroom soufflé, but feel free to change up the flavors. How about prosciutto and Gruyère, or spinach and Gruyère, or leek and bacon?

Fresh Pea Soup

Spring time brings a plethora of lovely vegetables! Asparagus has been rolling in at the farmers market over the past month, and so have the glorious morels that we made into a Soufflé last week, and finally, the farmer with a cooler full of fresh peas arrived last weekend! I couldn’t help buying a pound…