Fruit Salsa

fruit salsa

Fruit salsa. I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Ever since I was a child, I always passed up sweet desserts for fresh fruit. Fruit was always the perfect way to end any meal. My family made fresh fruit salsa and I ate it by the spoonful. Sometimes the salsa would just include fruit, but as a special treat we added shredded coconut or a small amount of honey. It was much better than any other type of dessert. As an adult, I find any excuse to incorporate fresh fruit into my diet and love adding it to any meal.

Salsa is versatile and a great last minute addition to your favorite dish. I love serving this salsa over baked salmon or grilled chicken. Serve it with baked pita chips or plantain chips for a fun afternoon snack. Mix it into yogurt or a bowl of cereal. It even works great for dessert. Don’t be afraid to eat it by the spoonful too. What could be better than a delicious serving of fruit that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack?

How would you enjoy this Tropical Fruit Salsa?

Today I want to share one sensational salad recipe that might be well fit to your festive Christmas table. This is a Fruit Salsa, very colorful and beautiful combination of many fruits and few vegetables. Here are honeydew melon, papaya, mango and red bell pepper, red onion with lime juice.

Try to make it and all your guests will be surprised of the taste!

If you wish to make a very delightful pastry to your festive Christmas table please see the Almond Biscotti recipe.

Ingredients:

125 g Honeydew melon, seeded, rind removed
125 g Papaya, peeled and seeded
125 g Mango, peeled and pitted
60 g Red bell pepper, cored and seeded
10 g Jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded
40 g Red onion, cut into half rings
60 ml Lime juice
Salt to taste

Method:

Chop the melon, papaya, mango, bell pepper, Jalapeno pepper into fine dice. Save the juices that are released.

Combine the chopped fruits with their juices, peppers, onion, lime juice in a bowl.

Season to taste with salt.

Refrigerate if needed until served.

Mussels in crème fraîche

Original french name: Mouclade
Place of origin: PoitouCarentes and Limousin, Central France

In Charente the most popular way of eating mussels bred along the coast is in the form of Mouclade. It is a type of appetizer where mussels baked in a creamy sauce made from the mussel cooking liquid, egg yolk and crème fraîche.

I love making this mussels dish especially on Fridays because it is easy to cook and as a good appetizer it goes well with  a glass of light white wine or a beer.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

1 kg mussels
2 egg yolks
5-6 tablespoon of crème fraîche
1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200C (390 F). Scrub mussels carefully and wash under running water. Add some water in a casserole. Cover pot with a lid and cook for about 5-7 minutes until they open. Discard unopened mussels.

Remove the upper shell and arrange the lower shells containing the mussel flesh in a flameproof dish.

To make a sauce, mix well egg yolks, crème fraîche and 2-3 tablespoon of cooking liquid.

Sprinkle each shell with the crème fraîche sauce and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C (390 F) for 3-5 minutes. Serve hot.

Parisian breakfast

Typical Parisian breakfast is a piece of baguette or small roll, croissant, brioche or fruit bun, jam or butter. Sweet pastries are called viennoiseries, as it was wrongly assumed that they came from Vienna. They are Parisian inventions for which puff or choux (cream or custard puff) pastry and great quantity of butter are used. They are bought fresh every day and hardly anyone thinks of baking them themselves.

However, the most popular is the croissant. Although the croissant has a french name it originates from Hungary. The name means ”crescent moon” and has its own history.

At the end of the 17th century the Turks laid siege to the city of Budapest and in order to subjugate the city tunneled under the city walls. As the Hungarian bakers practice3s their trade in early hours of the morning, they were able to raise the alarm in time and the enemy failed in their attempt to capture the city. As a symbol of the victory the bakers baked the emblem of the Turkish Empire, the crescent moon, out of puff pastry. It caused a sensation in Vienna as well as in Budapest and it was the Austrian born Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France, who brought it with her to Paris in the 18th century.

If you would like to prepare your own Parisian breakfast, serve a table with a glass of fresh orange juice, fresh baked croissant with jam and butter and a cup of a strong Parisian cappuccino. Simple and delicious, isnt it? This is the variation of Parisian breakfast that I mostly love . Bon appetite!

Quiche Lorraine

Place of origin: Champaine, Lorraine and Alsace

Quiche Lorraine is highly recognised as a classic and very famous french pie that has a good balance of light creamy filling and smoked bacon.

Lorraine region in France is famous for its cream, butter and eggs, pork, cakes and preserves, fruit and fruit flavoured schnapps. The best known and most copied meal of the region is a delicious Lorraine bacon pie.

The legend says that Quiche Lorraine was discovered by a baker in Nancy in the 16th century. Initially, it was prepared with ordinary bread dough and only later a plain pastry was used for the base. Traditionally a Lorraine pie tin with has a 18 cm diameter. Cooking the pie the tin is lined with pastry and the filling is then poured into the lining. It is made of a mixture of a cream, eggs and smoked bacon.

When Quiche Lorraine became popular throughout France, grated cheese originally was not used. The original recipes ware based on three products – butter, eggs and smoked bacon. The bacon owes its quality to hundred of years of experience. Until now the Lorraine quiche has still the samecombination of ingredients that consists of smoked bacon, butter, eggs and grated cheese.

Preparing the quiche to be served later you have to bake 5 minutes less than prescribed till the moment when the filling is just set.  Quiche is reheated at 190C (350 F) for 5-7 minutes before serving.

Ingredients for the pastry

150 g plain (all purpose flour), sifted
5 tablespoon (75g) butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg
a pinch of salt

Ingredients for the filling (serves 2-4)

150 g lean smoked bacon
2 eggs
salt and black pepper, freshly milled
around 1/2 cup grated cheese to taste
150 g Сrème fraîche
a pinch of nutmeg

Method

To make the pastry, sieve the flour into a bowl and press out a hollow in the middle. Add a pinch of salt, 1 egg and cut butter into small pieces. Knead all the ingredients together until smooth shaping the pastry dough into a ball. Place in a plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Roll out the dough on a clean lightly floured work surface to a thickness of at least about 3mm. Lightly butter a 18cm diameter quiche pan. Press the pastry gently into the sides and base of the tin trimming off the excess of the pastry. Prick the pastry base all over with a fork.

Preheat the oven to about 200 C (350 F). . Bake the pastry base of the quiche for about 10 minutes until golden brown before filling.

Meanwhile, cut the rind from the bacon and dice the bacon. Brown lightly in a pan. Beat remaining 2 eggs, stir in a creme fraiche and season with nutmeg and pepper. Add salt if necessary.

Spread the diced bacon on the pastry, sprinkle with grated cheese to taste, pour on the mixture of eggs and cream. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. When the filling is puffed up and golden brown, remove the quiche from the oven and top with small cubes of butter. Leave to stand for a few minutes before serving. Serve hot.