Recipes for deliciously easy sauces, condiments or preserves. Also includes edible decorations for plating.

Chorizo Risotto with Seared Scallops or Prawns

This Chorizo Risotto is my trump recipe card when I haven’t had time to go shopping yet need a quick recipe that delivers the goods! It’s perhaps in my Top 20 dishes that you can make in no time – as long as there is some chorizo in the fridge.

As chorizo keeps for a long time, it’s a handy ingredient to have in stock – that pun is totally intended!

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chorizo risotto prawns seared scallops

This recipe was first published as Chorizo Risotto with Prawns on 7 October 2016. This post has now been updated to include a printable recipe card, updated text & photos. However, as it was previously using a template, I have lost all lovely comments and recipe reviews – so please give this recipe some new love!

Chorizo Risotto with Scallops, Prawns, Fish or Chicken

Not only is it so simple and great on its own, but it’s even more delicious served with seared scallops, fried prawns (shrimp), with fish, with chicken, or just with a few greens.

Chorizo risotto is a handy and versatile recipe for a quick and rewarding family dinner – or for when friends pop in at the last minute, as the ingredients are usually always at hand in the fridge or in our cupboards – and I love to keep some scallops or prawns in the freezer.

chorizo risotto

Chorizo Risotto – French Restaurant Inspiration

I remember having a much more sophisticated version of this chorizo risotto a few years ago in a chic restaurant in the Champagne region – and it was unforgettable, served with a Premier Cru Champagne. Bliss together on a special occasion! The dish was so elegant, served with a filet of the most buttery, flaky fish on top, and the sauce was served apart, which was quite a revelation to me for serving a risotto!

This sauce was so mousse-like that I’m sure it was prepared using a Siphon. The chorizo sausage was blitzed so there were no bits in it. Personally, over time, I love also having bits of chorizo in it – it adds to the textures. But it’s your call – try both and see.

chorizo shrimp spicy risotto

While the flavour combinations played in my mind, I couldn’t resist playing with food back home and trying out a simpler take on it, serving the chorizo sauce around the risotto and topping with seared scallops or prawns/shrimps.

Gradually, I’ve tried it with wine – great! But try it instead with a splash of French Pastis (Ricard or Casanis – all makes of aniseed liqueur).  It adds that je ne sais quoi! Try it.

how to make chorizo risotto pastis

After experimenting happily on the family over the years, here it is – et voilà ! So chic yet so easy.

chorizo risotto scallops

Top with edible herb flowers for a special occasion or scatter with a few toasted sesame seeds.

More Seafood or Fish Recipes

Prawn, Lemon & Asparagus Spaghetti

Smoked Haddock Fish Cakes with Homemade Tartare Sauce

Herb & Parmesan Crusted John Dory (à la Viennoise)

Cullen Skink Scottish Smoked Haddock Chowder

Salmon with Smoked Tea Beurre Blanc

French Monkfish Stew: Lotte à L’Armoricaine

Salmon Fish Cakes from Christina’s Cucina

Cioppino Italian-American Seafood Stew from Christina’s Cucina

chorizo risotto scallops

 

5 from 1 vote
Chorizo Risotto with Leeks & Scallops
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French, Italian
Keyword: chorizo recipes, leek risotto
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 431 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
Chorizo Sauce
  • 110 g (4oz) chorizo sausage medium or strong, according to taste
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 litre (1.75pints) chicken stock (or vegetable or fish, depending on accompaniment)
  • 150 ml (5fl oz) single cream (15% reduced fat or 30% full cream)
Risotto
  • 1 leek or onion (medium), finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250 g (9oz) risotto rice (Arborio or Carnaroli)
  • 3 tbsp Pastis (Anis liqueur) or white wine a good splash
  • 25 g (1oz) butter salted (or unsalted and add salt)
  • 25 g (1oz) parmesan grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped (or other herbs or choice)
  • 12 fresh scallops (defrosted if frozen)
  • 2 pinches salt & pepper to your taste
Instructions
  1. First make the chorizo sauce: In a small saucepan, dry fry half of the chopped shallot with the chopped chorizo until the shallots are translucent, chorizo-coloured and there’s no fat left in the pan. Add about a quarter (250ml/9fl oz) of the stock, boil then leave to simmer until the sauce reduces by a half.

  2. Make the risotto: Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the chopped leek (or onion) until translucent. Add the risotto rice and toss in the oil and leek until also translucent then add a good splash of Pastis/Ricard (or wine).

  3. As soon as the Aniseed liqueur (or wine) is absorbed, add a large ladle at a time of the HOT stock and stir until the stock is well absorbed by the rice. Repeat this for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.  

  4. Add the butter, parmesan, seasoning and chopped parsley. Add the cream to the chorizo sauce 5 minutes before the risotto is ready and continue to simmer. Blitz the sauce with a hand-blender if you like it smooth, otherwise keep the chorizo pieces in. Keep the sauce warm until ready to serve.

  5. In a small frying pan, heat the butter just until it browns slightly and smells nutty.  Sear the scallops or prawns (3 per person) until they are just cooked.

Recipe Notes

Serve the chorizo risotto in bowls (I like to push the risotto into large inox rings or cookie cutters to mould it into shape quickly), top with the scallops or prawns and drizzle around the chorizo sauce. Top with herb flowers or scatter over some toasted sesame seeds.

Choose either mild or strong chorizo, depending how spicy you like it.

Matching wines: Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc or Champagne.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: 431 calories per portion; 19g protein; 36g lipids.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

 

 

Rhubarb Hibiscus Compote – How to Make Green Rhubarb Pink with Tea!

Fruit compote goes back to medieval Europe when a mix of puréed fruits was both healthy and cheap to make. Today, I feel that the humble compote is so underrated: it’s low in sugar, a fruity accompaniment to loads of desserts and it’s a healthy (and vegan) way to start the day, spooned on granola or yoghurt.

A ginger version of this rhubarb hibiscus compote recipe was first published on 27 April 2016 but I’ve now updated it to include a printable recipe card and video.

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rhubarb hibsicus compote

Pink or Green Rhubarb

I’m always excited during French rhubarb season and love making rhubarb compote. It reminds me of all the lovely pink rhubarb we had in Scotland (ever since I was little until I left when I was 22), especially when it found its way into comforting fruit crumbles with a cheeky hint of stem ginger. We had the forced, lovely pink rhubarb in winter, followed by the still pinkish rhubarb in Spring to Summer.

However, in France we have to wait until rhubarb season between April and June.  I’m always a bit disappointed; somehow the rhubarb we find in Parisian markets is always so GREEN!

How to make Green Rhubarb Pink with Hibiscus Tea!

My answer to make green rhubarb pink? Infuse hibiscus tea or Carcadet into your rhubarb – the best way is to make a rhubarb syrup by macerating in sugar first. Either use dried hibiscus flowers or hibiscus teabag infusions.

Teabags come in so many choices these days – many in the form of detox infusions, usually with the addition of rose or rosehip and berries.  It’s a perfect flavour match with rhubarb!

Rhubarb Hibiscus Compote Demonstration on Video

See my short video demonstration (3 minutes)

rhubarb hibiscus

Healthy Fruit Compote – it’s Vegan Too!

The beauty with compote is that it’s versatile and vegan, too.

Try the same recipe using summer berries. It’s a great, healthy alternative to jam using just a quarter ratio of sugar to fruit.  It can keep well in the fridge, sealed in jam jars, for up to a week.

Compote freezes well too – perfect for that luxury winter moment when you need a dose of rhubarb or berries with that extra touch of hibiscus and rose.

What’s Best to Serve with Rhubarb Hibiscus Compote?

We love rhubarb and hibiscus compote served chilled – from breakfast, to teatime, to desserts.

Try it with the following:

rhubarb rose crumbles

Rhubarb and Ginger Compote

Not fancy making the compote with the tea? Then it’s even easier!  Forget the tea part and just add some candied ginger to the compote – the combination is so fabulous. It reminds me of when I grew up in Scotland, when we always paired ginger with rhubarb.

 

green rhubarb hibiscus compote

Rhubarb Hibsicus Compote

5 from 13 votes
Rhubarb Hibiscus Compote
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Macerating time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 40 mins
 

Rhubarb Compote with Hibiscus tea, naturally colouring green rhubarb pink and infusing a delicious rose and cranberry-like flavour to it. So healthy, compote only uses a quarter of sugar, so far healthier than jam. Can keep in the fridge up to a week and freezes very well.

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Condiments, Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Keyword: fruit compote, hibiscus tea recipes, how to prepare rhubarb, Rhubarb compote,, rhubarb hibiscus
Servings: 6
Calories: 109 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 400 g (14oz) Rhubarb about 4 medium sticks
  • 100 g (3.5oz) Sugar (sugar ratio is 1/4 to rhubarb weight)
  • 1 tbsp dried hibiscus flowers (Carcardet) or 2 hibiscus teabags
  • strawberries (optional)
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut the rhubarb at both ends and discard the inedible leaves (these are toxic). Weigh your rhubarb in order to calculate how much sugar to use: the ratio is a quarter of sugar to fruit (unlike jam, compote is so much healthier!)

  2. Cut into chunks about 3cm and place in a bowl with the sugar.  Leave to stand for 2-3 hours (or overnight).

  3. Sieve off the rhubarb juices into a saucepan.  Add the tea and bring to the boil. Reduce the liquid slightly for about 10 minutes, remove the tea then add the rhubarb.

  4. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a gentle heat for about 15 minutes until the fruit is soft and collapses into a purée. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Refrigerate until needed.

Recipe Notes

Delicious served on top of homemade breakfast granola for a healthy vegan breakfast or spooned over vanilla ice cream for dessert.  

This recipe is also perfect made with soft summer berries. Again, the ratio is a quarter of sugar to fruit. For a complete demonstration of the recipe and variations, see my VIDEO HERE.

Refrigerate and keep in the fridge in sealed jam jars for up to a week.  This compote also freezes so well - perfect for a dose of rhubarb in the winter months.

Don't want the tea? Add candied ginger to this compote - the combination is fabulous!

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

Fresh Broccoli Hummus (Vegan)

You didn’t think I’d be posting a recipe for Broccoli Hummus? You probably expect just sweet treats here but I do adore savoury (big time!) too. In fact, I’m sure this would be fabulous as a filling in my mini herb macarons (recipe in my book, ‘Mad About Macarons’).

Moreover, when something is as easy to make and deliciously healthy too, I feel it’s my duty to shout it from the rooftops and say:

“Please eat broccoli this way!”

Broccoli-Hummus

This broccoli hummus is made in just 15 minutes.

Have I convinced you yet?

Freshly Homemade Hummus: Tinned vs Dried

I love making my own hummus with the traditional chickpeas. It’s so quick and easy – BUT I have to remember to soak the dried chickpeas the night before.  Tinned or jarred chickpeas just don’t produce the same delicious creamy result. Apologies – I don’t want to be a kill-joy but it’s true.

Try it for yourself and see. We’ve tested so many versions at home that soaked dried chickpeas won without any doubt over the tinned, quick version.  See the recipe picked up from my French friends with the twangy accents from the south with their creamy Poichichade Recipe (as in pois chiches converted like olive tapenade, anchoiade …).

When the sun shines, there’s nothing quite like spreading on some creamy hummus spread on crackers or crusty bread for an apéritif in France, served with a chilled glass of wine with friends and family.

Broccoli Humous

Quick & Easy Fresh Broccoli Hummus

Antoine came back with 3 huge heads of fresh broccoli the other day – “Enough to last us for 3 weeks”. I don’t know about you but fresh, vibrant broccoli doesn’t last that long and so it needs to be used up pretty quickly. We love broccoli but this was clearly needing some improvisation, as serving broccoli as a side every night for a week was not going to hack it with the girls – or Antoine, even if he bought them!

I first discovered that replacing cauliflower with broccoli in this velvety Crème Dubarry soup is exquisite;
Antoine thinks it’s even better with broccoli, convinced there’s cheese in it when there isn’t.
I love playing food games – do you?

Broccoli Hummus – the Recipe (Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free)

I discovered this wee recipe in a French magazine (last October’s Gourmand).  It caught my eye, as it had simple ingredients. The broccoli was only cooked al dente for 5 minutes, retaining its vibrant colour and flavour and then whizzed together with a lemon zest/juice, parsley, tahini, garlic and oil.

The recipe asked for some pistachio oil (so if you have some, add a tablespoon) but instead of a neutral oil to accompany it, I used olive oil and added some sesame seeds.

THAT’S IT ! So, thanks to Antoine for doing the grocery shopping. I love it when we’re presented with delicious challenges like this, don’t you?

As you can see from the ingredients, this recipe just happens to be not just vegetarian but it’s also VEGAN, DAIRY-FREE, GLUTEN FREE (as long as you serve it with GF munchies) and sugar-free.

How to Serve Broccoli Hummus

Serve this broccoli hummus as a dip with crusty French bread, crackers, toasted pita bread, tortilla chips, potato chips, potato wedges or oatcakes.
(I love this gluten-free all oatmeal oatcake recipe from Christina’s Cucina).

Leftovers? Toss Broccoli Hummus in Pasta

Ensure that any leftovers are sealed tight in a jam jar and covered with a little olive oil to retain its freshness.

It’s so incredibly tasty that I even tossed it in pasta with some of the leftovers. Just add a little extra olive oil and a little of the pasta water.

Green Vegetable Hummus

Don’t have fresh broccoli?

Then frozen would work so well with this recipe too. I’ll leave you to tell me in the comments below if you find a good alternative if you don’t have fresh broccoli. It’s all part of the most delicious, creative challenges in the kitchen!

 

broccoli hummus recipe

Broccoli Hummus Recipe (Vegan)

4.84 from 6 votes
Broccoli Hummus Recipe
Broccoli Hummus
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

A quick and easy healthy spread replacing the traditional chickpeas with broccoli. Just so happens to be vegan, dairy free and gluten free.

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: broccoli, hummous, hummus,
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 114 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 250 g (9oz) broccoli florets
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest & juice
  • 75 ml (3 fl oz) olive oil (or 5 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp tahini (or almond/pistachio butter)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp each of salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional), for decor
Instructions
  1. Cut the broccoli into florets and cook in salted boiling water for just 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or sieve and place in a mixer or food processor.

  2. Add to the mixer all the other ingredients: lemon zest and juice, the tahini (or other nut butter), parsley, salt and pepper. Gradually add the oil while blending the lot in the mixer.

  3. Transfer to a serving dish. Top with sesame seeds (if using), dribble on some extra olive oil and garnish with extra parsley.

Recipe Notes

Serve with crusty bread, oatcakes or crackers (for those following a gluten-free diet, serve with your favourite gluten-free bread, crackers or oatcakes.)

This broccoli hummus is also excellent as a pasta sauce - just add a little more olive oil and a little of the pasta cooking water.

Can keep for up to 5 days if stored in a sealed jar and topped with olive oil in the fridge. 

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

 

Béarnaise Sauce – Recipe & Origins Near Paris

How many times have you seen the French classic Béarnaise Sauce on a menu and thought it was perhaps too difficult to make? Well, let me show you how easy it is to whip up the real McCoy at home. It also tastes 100 times better than the jarred stuff in supermarkets!

Moreover, did you know that there’s at least another herb in it, apart from tarragon? Read on from the birthplace of the Sauce Béarnaise itself in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, just outside Paris and discover the “simple Béarn-ecessities of life” (groan!).

Sauce Béarnaise

Difference Between Hollandaise & Béarnaise Sauce

In the 1800s, Chef Antonin Carême noted that in French cuisine, there were four basic sauces – each called a “Mother Sauce”. Later, Auguste Escoffier took Câreme’s rules of Haute Cuisine a step further by adding a basic fifth sauce, the Hollandaise sauce, an emulsion of egg yolks, white vinegar and wine (or lemon juice) plus melted butter.

The Hollandaise’s most famous offspring, the Béarnaise sauce, has the fragrant addition of shallots, tarragon and chervil – yet had nothing much to do with the French Province of Béarn. The Béarnaise Sauce was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, just west of Paris.

Béarnaise Sauce

The Origins of Béarnaise Sauce, near Paris

It took place at Le Pavillon Henri IV, a hotel in Saint-Germain-en-Laye which was built over the original spot of the Château Neuf, where Louis XIV was born in 1638 – for more on this part, see my post here.

In the 1830’s, Head Chef Jean-Louis Françoise-Collinet experimented with a shallot reduction then, taking the basic recipe for Sauce Hollandaise, replaced the lemon juice with white wine vinegar, shallots, chervil and tarragon and the Sauce Béarnaise was born. It’s the tarragon and white wine vinegar that makes that fragrantly addictive acidity that we associate with the star of sauces with serious steaks.

Why did Collinet call it Béarnaise? Inspired by the name of the hotel, Henri IV, it was the King’s previous home at the Château Neuf before it was a restaurant and he came from the province of Béarn. Shortly after, the chef also accidentally invented the soufflée potato and served both of his creations at the opening of the hotel in 1836.

Béarnaise sauce

Le Pavillon Henri IV, SaintGermain-en-Laye, the birthplace of Béarnaise Sauce

Béarnaise Sauce – Tarragon, Chervil and Parsley

Today, the hotel’s chef, Patrick Käppler, has posted the Béarnaise Sauce recipe in French, published by the Hotel Pavillon Henri IV here, without the actual quantities. As you can see, to continue the sauce’s tradition, he doesn’t just use the classic tarragon (estragon) – but also chervil (cerfeuil), another essential ingredient, and parsley (persil) too.

Following my challenge from L’Office de Tourisme in les Yvelines, this Béarnaise Sauce recipe was also cited by the novelist, Alexandre Dumas.  More known for his Three Muskateers and The Count of Monte Cristo, as a serious gourmet and cook, he also published his Grand Culinary Dictionary (only in French).  He cites using a good vinegar from Orléans, uses oil instead of butter and parsley or tarragon:

Alexandre Dumas: Le Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine (1873), under “Sauce”,

Sauce échalote à la béarnaise.
Mettez dans une petite casserole deux cuillerées à bouche d’échalote hachée et quatre cuillerées de bon vinaigre d’Orléans ; la poser sur le feu et cuire les échalotes jusqu’à ce que le vinaigre soit réduit de moitié ; retirez alors la casserole, et quand l’appareil est à peu près refroidi, mêlez-lui quatorze jaunes d’oeufs, broyez-les à la cuiller et joignez-leur quatre cuillerées à bouche de bonne huile. Posez alors la casserole sur un feu doux ; liez la sauce en la tournant, retirez-la aussitôt qu’elle est à point, et lui incorporez encore un demi-verre d’huile, mais en l’alternant avec le jus d’un citron ; finir la sauce avec un peu d’estragon ou de persil haché et un peu de glace de viande.

Béarnaise Sauce

What Goes with Béarnaise Sauce?

Béarnaise Sauce can transform a simple grill and is the perfect accompaniment with salmon, chargrilled steaks, chicken and asparagus. If you love Eggs Benedict, you’ll know that poached eggs marry well with Hollandaise sauce – but try it with Béarnaise sauce, with its added herbs, and it is sheer luxury.

Béarnaise Sauce

Can Béarnaise Sauce Keep?

Béarnaise sauce is best when made as close as possible to serving.  Ideally I’m not a chef serving this in a restaurant so I don’t have these kind of worries at home but I hear the best way to keep Béarnaise sauce without it splitting is by keeping it in a thermos.

Ideally, serve within an hour (no more than 2 hours max.), keeping the sauce slightly warm (not hot!) over a pan of simmering water. If the sauce gets too hot and starts to split, add a little warm water.  Frankly, I’ve not had problems with the latter, as the recipe is so easy and as long as it’s served reasonably quickly, the results are light and fluffy.

The sauce also freezes well.

Sauce Béarnaise

Béarnaise Sauce Recipe

Many chefs make this straight in the pan using the same quantities in the recipe, just like Dumas describes above.  I prefer making it over a bain-marie (bowl over simmering water) and, although this method sounds more hassle, it’s actually much less easy to curdle the sauce and the result is light and sabayon or mousse-like. However, if you prefer to make the sauce in the same pan, then carefully ensure that the temperature doesn’t get too high.

Béarnaise Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

An easy recipe for the classic French Sauce Béarnaise, inspired by the creator in the 1830s near Paris, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

Course: Condiments
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Bearnaise, Bearnaise history, French cuisine, French sauces, Hollandaise, Parisian cuisine
Servings: 6
Calories: 280 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 50 g (2oz) white wine vinegar
  • 90 g (3.5oz) white wine
  • 2 small shallots chopped finely
  • 3 branches fresh tarragon branches separated from finely chopped up leaves
  • 3 grinds black pepper
  • 3 egg yolks organic
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 125 g (4.5oz) unsalted butter gently melted
  • 1 tbsp fresh chervil finely chopped
  • pinch salt fleur de sel
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley (flat-leaf) optional
Instructions
  1. Bring the white vinegar, wine, shallots, tarragon branches and pepper to a boil in a small saucepan. As soon as it boils, reduce the heat and leave to reduce for about 5 minutes until there's about a couple of tablespoons. Pour into another bowl and set aside to cool then filter out the shallots and herbs using a sieve.

  2. Fill the saucepan with 1/4 of water and bring to a simmer.  Place over it a large bowl with the cooled vinegar reduction, yolks and water then whisk constantly until the sabayon becomes mousse-like.

  3. After about 5 minutes, as soon as the sauce starts to thicken, take the bowl off the heat and, continuing to whisk, incorporate the warm, melted butter. Add the chopped tarragon, chervil and parsley, if using.  Season with a little salt and it's ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

If not serving straight away, keep at room temperature and return the bowl over the simmering water before ready to serve to re-heat, adding a little hot water if necessary.

 

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

The Béarn-ecessities of life
They’ll come to you …

Béarnaise Sauce

More Links

Caramelised Pineapple Rice Pudding (Riz Condé)

I love a gourmet challenge – as you can tell from my latest Vegan Raspberry Macarons. However, you may recall in my latest newsletter, our regional Seine Saint Germain tourist office set me a local French culinary challenge. So here’s my first recipe, Caramelised Pineapple Rice Pudding. 

The aim is to recreate recipes of author, Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo, 3 Muskateers…). During some initial research, I discovered a fruity French rice pudding dessert made with pineapple or apricots and, after a twist or two to Ananas à la Condé, have come up with individual desserts to make a Dumas-style version of French rice pudding.

Caramelised pineapple rice pudding

What is Condé Rice Pudding (Riz à la Condé)?

According to Larousse and other more recent French culinary dictionaries, Condé (or à la Condé) is a chilled entremet (old French for the modern dessert) made of rice pudding cooked in milk, presented in a savarin or crown-like mould and served with poached fruits in syrup. The classic is made either with apricots or pineapple slices soaked in Kirsch and decorated with candied fruits.

Why the name, Condé? It refers to the Prince of Condé (aka le Grand Condé), chief subordinate to King Louis XIV and occupied the family’s estate of the Château de Chantilly. The Prince of Condé allured such influental guests as MolièreRacineLa Fontaine and Bourdaloue (a French minister/preacher, who’s Parisian street, rue de la Bourdaloue, is named after him and is where the Bourdaloue Tart was invented – see my recipe here).

The Prince of Condé’s butler/chef was the legendary Vatel, renowned for committing suicide since the fish didn’t arrive on time for Louis XIV visit. Did Vatel invent this dish? Who knows, but it certainly wasn’t with pineapple. Pineapples didn’t arrive in France until 1733 under King Louis XV, when they could be grown in the Potager’s greenhouses in Versailles.

Caramelised pineapple rice pudding

Caramelised Pineapple Rice Pudding

My French Culinary Dumas Challenge

With 172 years apart, our famous novelist neighbour, Alexandre Dumas, built the Château de Monte Cristo in Port Marly and, as of 1847, held lavish parties centred around the most gastronomic of feasts with impressive wines. Towards the end of his life, Dumas wrote Le Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine, documenting many of the classic ingredients and recipes around – all of them, no doubt, served at his castle-like demeure in les Yvelines.

My challenge is to recreate some of his recipes, although it’s not as easy as I thought.According to a few menus documented in the Chateau de Monte Cristo, he doesn’t even specify many of the desserts (entremets) but cites mainly “Seasonal Fresh Fruit” or a “Basket of Fruits”.

The pineapple was the height of luxury as so difficult to come by, and was seen more as a symbol that adorned not just Versailles but the aristocratic homes in the 19th Century. They were so expensive that it was big business – you could even RENT a pineapple to show off. As Alexandre Dumas was most lavish and proud to show off his wealth to his guests, I figure the pineapple is the perfect recipe to kick off my Dumas recipe challenge!

caramelised pineapple love hearts

How To Make Pineapple Love Hearts

Quite by accident, I cut out pineapple love-hearts for Valentines using a small corer. As the corer was a bit too small, I cut out 2 rounds, realising it turned into a heart. No pinks, no ribbons – just a heart that’s hiding secretly, drowned in the most lush pool of vanilla and rum syrup.

Caramelised pineapple rice pudding

Caramelised Pineapple Rice Pudding

Caramelised Pineapple Rice Pudding

This recipe classic is normally one large rice pudding, augmented with vanilla and egg yolks to hold its shape, placed in a large crown-like savarin mould and decorated with pineapple slices macerated in Kirsch. In order to boil off the alcohol and make this recipe family friendly, I caramelise pineapple slices in a rum syrup (it’s a variation to this whole roasted rum pineapple recipe), place individual vanilla rice puddings (in mini savarin moulds) on top of a slice of caramelised pineapple and serve with nougatine for added crunchy texture.

5 from 1 vote
Caramelised pineapple rice pudding
Caramelised Pineapple Rice Pudding
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Chilling Time
2 hrs
Total Time
55 mins
 

A French Rice Pudding served "à la Condé" style on top of caramelised pineapple roasted in a rum syrup and topped with passion fruit. A perfect light yet special dessert for any occasion - and a chic way of serving vanilla rice pudding!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: caramelised pineapple, chic rice pudding desserts, pineapple rice condé, rice pudding, riz à la condé
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 394 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
Caramelised Rum Pineapple
  • 1 pineapple, medium
  • 1 vanilla pod/bean (or 1 tsp vanilla powder)
  • 150 g (5.5oz) sugar
  • 125 ml (4.5oz) boiling water
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 1 passion fruit (optional, to decorate)
Vanilla Rice Pudding
  • 150 g (5.5oz) round pudding rice
  • 75 g (3oz) brown cane sugar
  • 500 ml (18fl oz) full cream milk
  • 1 vanilla pod/bean (or 1tsp vanilla powder)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 40 g (1.5oz) butter, unsalted
Instructions
For the Caramelised Pineapple
  1. Caramelise the sugar with a couple of drops of water over a low heat without stirring. Meanwhile, cut the vanilla pod down the middle and scrape out the seeds using a sharp knife (even easier, just add a tsp vanilla powder). Reserve the emptied pods, if using.

  2. As soon as the caramel turns a dark golden colour, add the boiling water and vanilla seeds. Stir using a wooden spoon and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and add the rum.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6. Prepare the pineapple by cutting off the outer skin with a sharp knife. Remove the inside core using a corer or sharp knife. Place in a roasting tin, pour over the syrup and roast in the oven for 35 minutes (adding the scraped vanilla pod, if using) - coating the pineapple with the syrup a couple of times. Remove from the oven and cool.

For the Rice Puddings
  1. Meanwhile, while the pineapple is in the oven, weigh out the pudding rice, sugar, milk in a saucepan. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Cook over a medium heat, half covered, stirring a couple of times during cooking.  After about 35 minutes the rice will have thickened. 

  2. Take off the heat and beat in the 3 yolks and butter.  Press the mixture into 6 individual savarin moulds (I use silicone but buttered moulds such as muffin tins will do if you don't have savarin). Leave to cool first then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight or transfer for up to an hour in the freezer.

To Serve
  1. Place a pineapple ring in each bowl, turn out the rice puddings from the moulds and place on top. Dribble over the caramelised vanilla and rum syrup and top with some passion fruit seeds. Serve chilled and decorate with an edible flower.

Recipe Notes

Serve with Nougatine to give some added crunch for texture.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

Caramelised pineapple rice pudding

Smoked Tea Beurre Blanc Salmon

Any time Saint Andrew’s night on 30 November or Burn’s night on 25 January approaches, my Scottish blood rushes. I have a sudden urge to play the bagpipes and the hunt is on to find good Scottish fare at our local French market. This time I’m going savoury for with an easy yet sophisticated Smoked Tea Beurre Blanc Salmon.

Smoked tea beurre blanc salmon

Adding a Smoky Twist to a Classic Beurre Blanc Sauce

It’s an Auld Alliance marriage made in heaven; it’s where saucy France hugs Scottish salmon on a plate.  Good fresh organic salmon fillets are gently pan fried and served with a rich French sauce.

However, instead of the classic beurre blanc lemon sauce, I’ve replaced it with a glossy, subtle smoky sauce that doesn’t overpower the salmon but adds that je ne sais quoi with a simple Lapsang Souchong teabag.

smoked tea beurre blanc salmon

A version of this was originally posted in July 2011 for this herb-hugging John Dory recipe.

Since I published the recipe, I’ve altered the sauce so that there’s now less liquid with the wine and cream but more butter to make the sauce glossier, creamier and richer – rather like how I wish to be this year!

healthy roast potatoes thyme

Healthy Roast Potatoes Side-dish

Serve this with lightly sautéd leeks in olive oil and healthy roast potatoes in olive oil and thyme. Simply chop up  washed, unpeeled potatoes (e.g. Charlotte) into cubes and place in a non-stick roasting tin dribbled with a little olive oil, freshly chopped thyme and season with fleur de sel salt and freshly ground pepper.  Roast at 210°C/190°C fan/410°F/Gas 6 for 30 minutes, turning them twice during cooking.

Normally I’d throw in a few garlic cloves still in their skins (en chemise), but for this dish it’s best to leave it out so not to overpower the salmon.

smoked tea beurre blanc salmon step by step recipe

 

smoked tea beurre blanc salmon recipe

 

Have you made any of the recipes from le blog, my books, or fancy playing the bagpipes or making this smoked tea beurre blanc salmon?  Please leave a comment below, take a picture and hashtag it #MadAboutMacarons on Instagram or Facebook – or, even better, just tell your friends about le blog!

Thanks so much for sharing or commenting – it means the world to hear you’ve made/enjoyed the recipes or just super motivation to hear you pop in and say bonjour.

healthy salmon smoked tea beurre blanc sauce

 

Smoked Tea Beurre Blanc Salmon

5 from 1 vote
smoked tea beurre blanc salmon
Smoked Tea Beurre Blanc Salmon
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Infusing time
10 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Smoked tea beurre blanc sauce with Scottish Salmon. Simple ingredients yet a sophisticated alliance of France and Scotland on a plate using a simple Lapsang Souchong teabag.

Course: Main
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Lapsang Souchong, Salmon sauce, Scottish Salmon recipes, Smoked Tea Beurre Blanc
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 500 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 50 g (2oz) shallots finely chopped
  • 200 ml (7fl oz) dry white wine
  • 100 ml (4fl oz) cream (30% fat) crème fleurette
  • 1 sachet Lapsang Souchong tea
  • 150 g (5.5oz) unsalted butter chilled, diced
  • pinch salt (fleur de sel) & freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 6 fresh salmon fillets (@ 150 g each)
Instructions
  1. Gently fry the shallots in some of the butter for 5 minutes until translucent but not browned.

  2. Add the white wine and boil for 10 minutes until reduced by over half so that it looks a bit syrupy. Lower the heat and add the cream, stirring until well combined. Take off the heat and add the Lapsang Souchong teabag. Leave to infuse, covered, for 10-15 minutes.

  3. Remove the teabag (and shallots using a sieve if you like the sauce smooth, otherwise this step is not necessary). Return to a gentle heat and whisk in the cold diced butter gradually until the sauce is combined and glossy.

  4. Season the sauce to taste and keep on a very low heat until ready to serve. Alternatively, set aside to cool covered until ready to serve later and reheat very gently.

  5. Meanwhile, in a non-stick frying pan, sear the salmon fillets in a little olive oil for about 2-3 minutes on each side (depending on thickness), and keep warm in the preheated oven (190°C Fan/Gas 6) for a further 5 minutes.

Recipe Notes

The sauce freezes well: cool before transferring to a zip-lock bag or jam jar and defrost thoroughly before using.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com