Kids Sorted, Today’s Child Magazine, Fabienne becomes a cooking expert

Article in Kids Sorted

Fabienne Viner-Luzzato – from Homecooking with Fabienne

Born and educated in Paris, Fabienne has been cooking for as long as she can remember. As the youngest of seven children, she learned to cook from her Tunisian-born mother and Italian father in a house full of delicious smells and people cooking, chatting and eating. She now offers catering for corporate and family functions, runs workshops and cooking parties and privately teaches adults, teenagers and children to cook.

1. Is my child going to get to eat what it cooks?

Absolutely! After the cooking is finished, everybody will sit down comfortably to taste and enjoy everything they have cooked together.

2. Does my child need to bring anything to class?

Usually you just have to bring an appetite, but please check with your school in case they need more.

3. My child is a vegeterian. Can you accommodate it?

Some of our classes are better suited for vegeterians, so please coublecke with your teacher in advance.

 

Today’s child magazine

The importance of eating seasonal foods

Fabienne tomato sauce 3

Avoid eating tasteless, unseasonal fruit and veg, urges Fabienne Viner-Luzzato

I was extremely lucky as a child to holiday in the south of France for two whole months in July and August. As a family of cooks, this meant discovering and cooking with local and seasonal products.

French markets are a paradise for foodies and everyone else. The colours, smells and noises are so vibrant you could spend hours sampling the food and chatting to shouting merchants who always make you try their fruits, cheeses or bread before you buy them.

I specifically remember a small yellow and pink plum called “Mirabelle”; a sweet, juicy fruit from the Lorraine region. You only find it in the last two weeks of August in France but its short season makes it extra special. You make the most of it in those two weeks and eat it with appreciation because you know that it’ll be gone before you realise.

I remember that 30 years ago you could only buy strawberries, raspberries and peaches during the summer. You could only find and eat good summer fruits in the summer and winter fruits in the winter.

Unfortunately, a lot of fruit and vegetables are imported these days or grown in greenhouses. They are treated to look nice but are often picked before they develop their full flavours. This is a real shame because you do not experience the real taste when they are bought out of season. Many people spend so much money buying expensive summer fruits in winter that have absolutely no taste that they do not experience the excitement of eating a fruit they have been waiting a few months for any more.

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I refuse to buy tasteless imported strawberries for my children in the winter. I often tell them that they wouldn’t organise a BBQ or have a bouncy castle in the winter, which is the same as eating summer fruits in winter.

Eatseasonably.co.uk provides a colourful seasonal calendar and gives information of what to eat and grow in your garden depending on the season. Children who attend my cooking lessons love to look at the “eat seasonably” calendar behind my kitchen door.

We often go to Borough Market with my family. It’s a fantastic trip. There you find fruitmongers selling the most beautiful seasonal products, fantastic cheese shops, quality meat and fish, and wonderful homemade bread. In the summer, the tomato stall can be up to two metres long.

I recently took my children along, and we bought fresh basil and oregano, juicy tomatoes, high-quality olive oil, fresh pasta, onions and delicious parmesan. We prepared a homemade tomato sauce and enjoyed our dinner altogether. We fully appreciated the experience and my children were eager to know when we can go back.

Fabienne Viner-Luzzato recently co-wrote children’s cookbook Steamer the Cooking Wizard. Visit homecookingbyfabienne.co.uk for more information and follow her on Twitter @FabienneCooks

 

 

Last few recipes you have missed…

Mini spiced bun and goat’s cheese skewers

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Goat’s cheese, pea and spinach tarts

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Mushroom, spinach and cheese tart

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Fish Thai curried vegetables

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Almond tart for kings and queens

 

 

 

 

Yeah! It’s Chanukah!

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What is Chanukah?

Hanukkah, Chanukah or the Festival of Lights is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days around late November to late December. The name is derived from a Hebrew word meaning “to dedicate,” and during Hanukkah, the Jewish people commemorate the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem and the “Miracle of The Oil.”

The Talmud says that after the Temple had been liberated by the Maccabees from Antiochus IV, only a day’s worth of consecrated olive oil was left to fuel the eternal flame. Miraculously, it remained burning for eight days, which was just enough time to make more of the oil.

Hanukkah 2014 began in the evening of Tuesday, December 16 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, December 24. We light one candle each night of the festival using a menorah.

Chanukah food!

Hanukkah food is considered to be quite decadent as most are deep fried and use a lot of oil, representing the “Miracle of The Oil.” There are a whole lot of foods which are served on Hanukkah, from beef briskets to noodle puddings and cookies, but the most popular are potato pancakes called latkes or levivot and jelly doughnuts called sufganiot.

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http://www.thejc.com/node/113597

In my Tunisian traditions, we eat of course yoyos, deep fried caky beignets, farka on the 6th day of Chanukah as we celebrate the festival of the girls or “fete des filles”, and not really latkes… but I love this recipe below

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http://www.thejc.com/lifestyle/recipes/126086/a-rainbow-spiced-vegetable-latkes

 

Chanukah game!

A favourite game of children and adults alike on the Festival of Chanukah is playing with a Dreidel (in English – top, in Hebrew – sevivohn). This delightful game has an ancient history. The Dreidel has four letters from the Hebrew alphabet, imprinted on each of its sides. In Israel the letters are Nun, Gimel, Hay, and Pay, which stands for Nais Gadol Hayah Poh — a great miracle happened here. Outside of Israel the letters are Nun, Gimmel, Hay, and Shin, which stands for Nais Gadol Hayah Shahm — a great miracle happened there.

The game is played by distributing to all participants either nuts, chocolates, or Chanukah Gelt (coins). Everyone places a coin in the middle and someone spins the Dreidel. If the Dreidel stops showing Nun, he neither wins nor loses. If Gimmel, he wins the entire pot. If Hay, he gets half the pot. If Shin, he must put one in the pot.

The game then continues with the next person taking his turn, and so on around the circle until someone has won everything. It is of course nice to distribute plenty of consolation prizes so that everyone can go home a winner!

Where did this wonderful game originate? Truth be told, it was a game of life or death. The Greek Syrians had become a progressively more oppressive occupying force. At first they felt they would convert the Jewish population to their pagan ways through being kind and gentle with the Jews. Much to their chagrin the Jews remained steadfastly committed to their own religion (aside from a small percentage who became Hellenized).

Frustrated by their lack of success the powerful regime passed a series of laws outlawing the study of Torah as a religious work. They additionally outlawed many types of ritual commandments like circumcision and Shabbat observance. The Jews were compelled to take their Torah learning “underground,” for they knew, a Jew without Torah is like a fish out of water.

In order to disguise their activity the Children of Israel had to resort to learning Torah in outlying areas and forests. Even this plan was not foolproof, for the enemy had many patrols. The Jews therefore brought along small tops that they would quickly pull out and play with after secreting away their texts, so that they could pretend to be merely playing games.

This ruse did the trick, and the unbroken tradition of Torah scholarship thankfully remained intact!

 

Tunisian olive chicken with nutty and fruity rice

JC – Roasted Chicken with olives and preserved lemon
Best made 2 days in advance to enhance the flavours
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 1.5-2 hours

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One large chicken roaster of 1.8-2kg
Salt, pepper, turmeric
2 large onions sliced
300ml of Water
500g of green pitted olives
350g of preserved lemon in their juice (keep the juice to pour it over the chicken)

Place the chicken in a roasting tray.
Add the sliced onion, some salt, pepper, and generously some turmeric (about 2 TBS).
Cut the lemon in slices and add a bit inside the chicken and the rest all over the tray.
Poor 300ml of water on the chicken, and the juice of the lemon jar.
The chicken will create its own gravy with its own fat, you don’t need to add any oil.
Roast in the oven at high temperature (200C on a fan oven) for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven after 30 minutes and turn the chicken on the less roasted side, and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Repeat process until the chicken has a beautiful roasted colour. Repeat the process three times.
Add the olives in the last 30 minutes of cooking process.

Oriental rice
Preparation 20 minutes
Cooking 15 minutes
250g of basmati rice
1 large onion
6/8 garlic cloves
Half a tsp of saffron
4/5 table spoons of sunflower oil
150g of mixed roasted nuts
150g of mixed dried fruits
Sugar to caramelize the onion
Salt, pepper
Chicken or vegetable stock

Rinse the rice and drain.
Slice the onion, peel the garlic and cut it in four pieces
Fry the onion and the garlic with oil on a medium heat and let it become brown; add one TBS of sugar to caramelise. Add the rice and the fruits, and the saffron.
Prepare 750ml of water with some chicken or vegetable stock and add it to the rice.
Boil, and then simmer for 10-15 minutes uncovered until the rice is tender but not overcooked. The water will have evaporated.
Add the mixed nuts. Mix all ingredients together and serve.

Autumn recipes, using the best of what’s in season, with a touch of Mediterranean love

JC RECIPE

Warm salad with roasted kale, pumpkin balls, pistachio pesto and date syrup

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Ingredients

200g of curly kale

500g of pumpkin (you need to halve the pumpkin)

Olive oil

6 medjoul dates

Date syrup

 

Method for the kale and the pumpkin

Cut your dates in slices (you make 4/6 slices with one date) and keep aside

Lay the curly kale on a roasting tray and drizzle 6 TBS of olive oil on it

Cook at 180C on a fan oven for 20 minutes, mixing regularly to make sure it becomes crispy all around

Keep aside

Wash and halve the pumpkin; scoop out the seeds.

Keeping the skin on, lay it on a roasting tray and drizzle 6 TBS of olive oil

Cook the pumpkin in the oven for 45 minutes at 180C

Once cooked, cool it down.

Using a melon baller, prepare as many little pumpkin balls as you can get with the pumpkin

 

 

  • Put the ingredients (basil, olive oil, garlic cloves, pistachio nuts, 2/3 TBS of balsamic vinegar) in a food processor and pulse until they are extremely fine.
  • Add salt and pepper.

 

 

To assemble the salad

Lay the kale on a large plate, and the pumpkin balls on it

Using a teaspoon, add a bit of pistachio pesto on top of each ball.

Decorate with the dates, and drizzle the salad with 4/6 date syrup

Add salt and pepper

 

 

JC Pomegranate and fig yeast Cake and Roulade makes 4 cakes/roulades preparation time 30 minutes, rising time 1.30 hour-2 hours minimum, plus 30 minutes

Cooking time 15 minutes approximately

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For the dough

4 sachets of dried yeast (30g approximately)

1 cup lukewarm water 1.5 kg plain flour 150g of sugar 4 eggs, room temperature 150ml milk or soya milk at room temperature 1/2 teaspoon salt 200gr butter or margarine, cut into pieces, room temperature for the Egg Wash 3 egg yolk
12 table spoons of pomegranate sauce

250g of Fig jam

6 Fresh figs

Two pomegranates

Pomegranate syrup In a large cup, mix the yeast to the 1/2 cup of warm water and let rest for 10 minutes until the yeast bubbles.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar and salt into the mixer bowl and incorporate with a spoon. If you use a robot, with a dough hook attachment mix into the flour mixture, the milk and eggs, incorporate and shortly after add the yeast. While the dough is kneading with the machine, add the pieces of butter one by one. Knead for about 7-8 minutes until all the ingredients are incorporated. Place the dough in a large freezer bag closed, to activate the rising process, and leave for about 1.30 hour.

If you don’t have a machine, start mixing with a spoon and then use your hand to start kneading the dough. Using the palm of your hand, stretch the dough and bring it back in the centre and add the butter gradually while you are kneading, this for about 10-15 minutes.

 

Divide the dough to 4 equal parts. Roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. Spread some pomegranate sauce and add a thin layer of fig jam. Add pieces of fresh fig inside, and some pomegranate grains. Roll like a roulade, cut in two pieces, slash and forms cuts on the inside and form the shape you want either round or long.

Place the roulade on a baking parchment on a baking tray and let proof in a warm place for about 30 minutes. Brush with the egg yolk, sprinkle with pomegranate and pieces of figs and bake in a preheated at 180C fan oven for 25 minutes.

 

 

 

Two gorgeous summer recipes, to be good a colourful salad, and to be naughty, a trio of chocolate mousse

JC RECIPE – Summer 2014 – Courgette and artichoke salad with anchovies dressing

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The anchovies dressing in this colourful salad gives a wonderful gentle original flavour, the lemon adds the necessary tangy taste. If you don’t like anchovies, you can always replace them with sardines.

For 8, preparation time 40 minutes – Cooking time 30 minutes for the artichokes bottoms

Ingredients

500g of frozen artichokes bottoms, defrosted

3 large courgettes

250g of anchovies

15g of flat fresh parsley

One lemon

Two oranges

One red onion

Coarse sea salt

Pepper

Method

  • Cut all the artichokes bottoms in four pieces and place them on an oven tray
  • Add some olive oil all over and roast them at 180C for 30 minutes; let them cool down after that
  • Slice the courgettes thinly and place them on a serving dish
  • Cut the onion thinly, and chop the parsley
  • Prepare some segments with the oranges and keep them aside
  • In a food processor, prepare a paste with the anchovies
  • To make your dressing, add the anchovies paste, the juice of the lemon, the parsley, the onion, some olive oil, and some pepper
  • Lay the artichokes bottoms and the courgettes; add the dressing on top and decorate with the orange segments
  • Add a bit of coarse sea salt and some pepper

 

JC RECIPE – Trio of White, milk and dark chocolate mousse

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Nothing like a chocolate mousse to finish a meal, but this is THE chocolate mousse to serve to impress

Dark chocolate mousse

6 medium eggs or 5 large

200g of dark chocolate

Method

  • Separate eggs whites from the yolks
  • With an electric whisk, beat the egg whites until very firm
  • Melt the chocolate and add the yolks. Mix very well.
  • Add the chocolate mix to the whites and beat again well.
  • Keep aside

Milk chocolate mousse

6 medium eggs or 5 large

200g of milk chocolate

Method

  • Follow the same process with the milk chocolate to make the milk chocolate mousse

White chocolate mousse

200g of white chocolate

200 of double cream

3 eggs

  •  Whip the double cream until it is fluffy and not too firm
  • Separate the egg whites from the yolk
  • Beat the eggs whites until very firm
  • Melt the chocolate in a small over a bowl of boiling water, or in the microwave for one minute
  • Mix the chocolate with the cream and add the egg yolk
  • Mix this preparation with the egg whites

In a large bowl alternate dark chocolate, white, and then milk.

Keep in the fridge at least six hours or overnight if you can.

Borough market from buying to cooking, let your children choose and cook

Happy New Year 2014, my latest recipes to be healthy and to be naughty!

 Mushroom soup to be good?

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Photo: Sandrine Aim

Serves: 6 Preparation: 30 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes in a pressure cooker, 45 in a pan

INGREDIENTS

350g mushrooms (cup, chestnuts or forestiere) 4 medium-sized potatoes 1 onion 1.5 litre vegetable stock Olive oil To serve: 150g chestnut mushrooms diced into small pieces A dash of single cream, crème fraîche or pareve cream 15g flat parsley, finely chopped

METHOD

Peel the potatoes and quarter them.

Wash the 350g of mushrooms and cut them in half.

Slice the onion and put it in a pressure cooker or a large saucepan with 4-6 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté until it is golden brown.

Add the vegetable stock, turn heat up and bring to the boil.

Add the halved mushrooms and potatoes and cook in a pressure cooker for 10-15 minutes or at medium temperature for 30 minutes in a traditional saucepan on a hob.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables and some of the stock to a blender.

The soup should be a velvety texture — not too thick, not too liquid. Add the stock gradually so as not to thin it too much.

To serve: dice the remaining 150g of mushrooms and sprinkle them over the soup with the parsley and a bit of cream.

Or Mont Blanc, to be naughty?

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Photo: Sandrine Aim

Mont Blanc is an indulgent dessert that reminds me of childhood trips with my sisters to see the extravagant windows at Galeries Lafayette over the festive season. Afterwards we would always stop at a patisserie for a Mont Blanc each. Those cakes were five times the size of the mini versions here, which makes me slightly less guilty.

Serves 6
Preparation: 45 minutes
Cooking: 120 minutes

INGREDIENTS
For the meringues:
3 white medium sized eggs
175g caster sugar
For the topping:
250g sweetened chestnut purée
300ml double cream
One vanilla pod
Coloured sprinkles for decoration
3 large disposable piping bags

METHOD

Preheat your oven to 100°C.

For the meringues: beat the egg whites until very stiff and gradually add the sugar, beating again until stiff.

Lay baking parchment on an oven tray and use a piping bag to pipe 3cm round mini meringues.

Cook the meringues for two hours. They are done when dried out and easily peeled from the baking parchment.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, slit your vanilla pod in half lengthwise and scrape off the seeds.

Put the cream in a deep bowl with the vanilla seeds.

Beat the cream until it holds its shape but is not too firm. It should be like Greek yoghurt in texture — fluffy and light — not too stiff like butter.

Put the cream in a large piping bag — with a medium cut at the end — and refrigerate until needed. Put the chestnut purée in the last piping bag — with a small cut at the end — and also refrigerate until ready to assemble the meringues.

When the mini meringues are fully cooled and just before serving, pipe cream all over each meringue and then pipe chestnut cream in lines over the top of each one leaving space between so you can see the cream below.

Sprinkle with the decorations and serve immediately or soon after assembling so the meringue stays crunchy.

Happy Chanukah, Farka Cake, Tunisian Traditions and Festival of the Girls, JC recipe

 FARKA, this week JC recipe, Happy Chanukha!

 
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On the 6th day of Chanukah in the Tunisian traditions we celebrate a festival called Rosh Hodesh El Bneit, or Fete des Filles, festival of the girls. The girls received presents from their family,… the fiancées received gifts of all kind from their fiancés. The girls are the centre of attention for the day. We also serve the Farka is the Tunisan recipe is a sweet cake made of couscous and dates, walnuts and raisins,For a 22/25cm square or round dish, for 8/10 people

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Cooling time before eating: one night

500g of fine couscous
500g of medjoul dates
100g of ground walnuts
50g of walnuts
100g of caster sugar
100ml of sunflower or vegetable oil
The juice of two oranges
Orange peels of one orange
150 of mixed dried cranberries and raisins
A bit of almond extract

• Boil some water in a large sauce pan with a sieve that you can put on top.
• In a bowl, wash the couscous. Let it drain on a sieve.
• Reserve some of the whole walnuts, dried cranberries and raisins for the decoration.
• Put in back in the bowl and add the sugar and the sunflower oil, the ground walnuts and the rest of the mixed cranberries and raisins.
• Cut the dates in small pieces and add them to the couscous.
• Mix all the ingredients in the bowl if possible by hand or with a large fork in order to blend them all together and almost puree the dates in the couscous.
• Put the preparation on the sieve and cover it with the lid. Steam the couscous at high gas mark with the lid on the sieve for approximately 30-45 minutes, stirring regularly to make sure all the ingredients blend together and steamed.
• Let it cool down and add the orange juice, a few drops of almonds extract and the orange peels. Mix well and put in a nice square 25cm dish.
• Decorate with walnuts, dried cranberries and raisins.
• Keep in the fridge overnight and serve the cake on the 6th day of Chanukah.

A salad for winter – White and Red Chicoree, Warm Blue Cheese With Caramelised Walnuts, JC

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This colorful autumnal salad is very rich in flavors. The sweetness of the walnuts goes very well with the bitterness of the chicory leaves and the sharpness of the warm creamy sauce.

Preparation time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

 

Ingredients:

300ml of single cream

300g of blue cheese

300g of walnuts

600g of chicory leaves, a mix of white and red ones

4 table spoons of sugar

Ground black pepper

 

Cut the end of the chicory and wash the leaves

Dry them thoroughly

Arrange them on a serving plate

Cut the blue cheese in pieces and put it in a large saucepan

Add the single cream to the cheese

Warm at low temperature, stirring regularly, until everything has melted

In the meantime, put the walnut in another saucepan with the sugar and stir well

Cook the walnut at medium high temperature for 5 minutes until the sugar has caramelized

Add the warm sauce on the walnuts and sprinkle with the caramelized walnuts