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.


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


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.

Salmon with an Almond Crust

Salmon almon crust

Today I wish to share one more main course dish with salmon. In French cuisine every fish dish must be served with any fish sauce. The Red Wine Butter Sauce  perfectly matches to the Salmon with Almond Crust.

This recipe works well with other firm-fleshed fish.

Ingredients & Method of Salmon with an Almond Crust:
Salmon fillets
Red Wine Butter Sauce for Fish
Ground almonds
Fresh bread crumbs
Chopped parsley
White pepper

Mix together the almonds, bread cramps, chopped parsley. Add the egg and mix gently. Then add the soft butter and mix until incorporated.
Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Cut the salmon fillets into 150-200 g portions. Pan-fry the salmon in butter, starting with the flesh side down. Brown lightly. Turn over and continue cooking skin side down. DO NOT cook the fish completely as it will continue coking with the almond crust. It should still be somewhat rare inside.

Spread a layer of the almond crust mixture over the salmon. Cook the salmon on a low heat in a butter until brown the crust salmon and the salmon is cooked.

Place the salmon. Ladle the sauce around it, not over it.

Ingredients & Method of Red Wine Butter Sauce for Fish:

200ml Red Wine
20g Shallots, chopped fine
40ml Fish Stock
50g Cold butter
White pepper

Combine the red wine and shallots in a saucepan. Reduce until almost completely evaporated. Then add the fish stock and reduce by two-thirds.

Cut the butter into small pieces. Add the butter to the hot reduction. When the butter is nearly all incorporated, remove from the heat and continue to whip until smooth.

Season to taste. The shallots may be left in the sauce or strained out.

Pear and Almond Cream Tart

Pear Almond Cream Tart

Pear Almond Cream Tart. Well, Christmas is coming and I wish to share today my favourite french tart to these special days. This glorious tart makes a truly indulgent dessert. It might be varied according to the season -it equally successful made with pears, nectarines, peaches, apricots or apples.

Ingredients for the pastry:

200g/ 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
25g/1/4 cup icing sugar
100g/1/2 cup butter
2 egg yolks
15ml/1 tablespoon chilled water

Ingredients for the tart:

3 firm pears (or nectarines, peaches, apricots or apples)
a little lemon juice
15ml/1 tablespoon peach brandy or rum or water
60ml/4 tablespoon peach or orange preserve

Ingredients for the almond cream filling:

100g/3/4 cup blanched almonds
50g/1/4 cup caster sugar
65g/5 tablespoon butter
1egg, plus 1 egg white
a few drops of almond essence or rose water

Pear Almond Cream Tart Method:

To make the pastry, sift the flour with the salt and sugar. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix the egg yolks and water, sprinkle over the dry ingredients and mix to a dough. Knead for a few seconds until smooth. Wrap in clear film and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry and use to line a 23cm flan tin, then chill. Meanwhile, make the filling.
Pulse the almond and caster sugar in a food processor until finely ground but not pastry. Add the butter and process until creamy, then mix in the egg, egg white and almond essence.

Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 190c/Gas 5. Thinly peel and halve the pears, remove their cores and rub them lightly with lemon juice. Put them cut side down and slice thinly crossways, keeping the slices together.

Pour the almond cream filling into the pasty case. Slide a palette knife under one pear half and press the top with your fingers to fan out the slices. Quickly transfer to the tart, placing the fruit on the filling like spokes of a wheel. Remove a few slices from each half before arranging and use to fill in any gaps in the center.

Place the tart on the hot baking sheet and bake for 500-55 minutes or until the filling is set and well browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, heat the brandy or water and the preserve in a small pan, then brush over the top of the hot tart to glaze. Serve at room temperature.

Escalope of Salmon with Snapper Sauce

Welcome back to My French Cooking Blog! I ‘m saying that not only for you but for myself as well. I have not posted for a while here.  I have taken that time studying of cooking dishes from the French Culinary. I’m ready to share a few of the best dishes from my past experience at the further posts.

Today I ‘m sharing a new dish for me but very famous for the french cuisine – a dish with salmon. I took escalope of salmon for fillets and red snapper for sauce.  I think you may make your own fish combination based on this recipe as well.

So the ingredients and the method of cooking are very simple but the result is just amazing.


Salmon fillets, boneless and skinless
Oil or butter
Red Snapper
Heavy cream
Fish stock
Salt, pepper


Cut the snapper into cubes. Over a low heat cook the snapper with butter until very soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the cream and simmer for a minute. Set aside.

Reduce the fish stock by four. Add the snapper with cream mixture. Place in a blender and mix until smooth. Strain into a saucepan and reheat. Season to taste and keep warm.

Slice the salmon fillets into thin escalopes. Heat a little oil in a saute pan. Saute the salmon sloces about 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove and drain briefly on a paper towels to absorb excess oil.

To serve, cover the bottom of a plate with sauce and then place salmon escalopes on top.

Beef olives

Original french name: Paupiettes de boeuf
Place of origin: Poitou-Charentes and Limousin, Central France

French cuisine pays a great attention to the high quality beef production. One of the most popular french beef breeds for many years is Limousin breed. The Limousin breed has even spread over 60 countries making it the most frequently exported meat breed. It is available in different forms and can be creatively used in French culinary.

This Beef olive dish is the one of classic french beef recipes and can be cooked with any kind of good quality beef (not only Limousin!) with bacon and capers. For side dishes French cuisine offers a celery puree considered to be practically ideal to fit beef and other meats.

To my mind, a mashed potato accompanies well this beef dish too.

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 thin slices of beef fillet around 200g each
200g streaky bacon
1 tablespoon butter or meat fat
1 carrot, cut into small pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
300ml beef stock
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 bouquet garni
1 cup (150g) pickled capers
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Remove the rind from the bacon and cut it into 4 pieces to match the width of the beef.

Place the bacon and bacon rind in a pan of cold water and bring it to the boil. Simmer for 1 minutes then pour off the water and drain.

Season the beef slices with pepper and roll each one around a piece of bacon. Tie with fine string and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Heat the butter or fat in casserole, add the beef and brown all over. Add sliced carrot and chopped onion to the meat. Cook over a low heat until soft around 5 minutes. Pour over the beef stock. Add the garlic and bouquet garni. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cover the casserole and simmer for 1 hour. Make sure there is sufficient cooking liquid remaining about 2cm. Add more stock if necessary.

Finely chop the bacon rind and add to the meat with the capers. Simmer for a further 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Bercy whiting

Original France name: Merlans Bercy
Place of origin: Paris & Ile-De-France

Whiting fish is a fish with a white, delicate and tender flesh that can be prepared different ways. It is also known is merlan.

The fish should be cooked very fresh. Whiting fish mostly caught in the Atlantic. It prefers cold water and it is the best in the winter months. Unfortunately, recent times Whiting has become rare in the Mediterranean.

Mostly dishes with whiting fish are quite simple to cook. Bercy whiting recipe is a good example of everyday Parisian dinner.

Ingredients (serves 2)

Preparation time – 10 min
Cooking time – 15min

2 whiting fish, each weighting about 350 g (or 4 small fishes of 175 g each)
5 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped
75g shallots, chopped
125 g (1/2 cup) butter
salt and freshly ground pepper
150 ml (2/3 cup) dry white wine
125 g fresh mushrooms (small sized mushrooms)
1 bay leaf


Rinse and clean the whiting.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350 F).

Finely dice the parsley and the peeled shallots. Mix 2/3 volume of the parsley and shallots with half of butter, add salt and pepper and make a puree. Then stuff the fish with the mixture.

Butter the oven-safe dish, place the whiting on the top, add salt, pepper and a little bit butter.

Saute the mushrooms in the remaining butter for 2-3 minutes, then add them to the whiting with the wine and bay-leaf.

Bake the fish in preheated oven to 180C (350 F) for 15 minutes  basting all the time. Serve immediately.

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


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.

Candied fennel sponge cake

Original french name: Bras de Vénus, crème legere au fenouil confit
Place of origin: Roussillion, Southern France

A candied fennel sponge cake is a very light and delicious french dessert. It originates from Southern province of France, Roussillon. Generally,  in this fruit-growing area of France there is abundance of dessert recipes. Today’s one however is a bit unusual because the main ingredient in the cake is fennel which is a vegetable generally used for cooking salads or soups. People of Roussillon provence found an interesting way to make incredible desserts based on vegetables.

Locals of this area are familiar with the cultivation of apricots, peaches and cherries, apples and kiwi fruits, raspberries, wild strawberries and blueberries, persimmon and figs, citrus fruits and during late summer – grapes and almonds. Catalonia offers simple astonishing desserts with different incredible variations such as a goat milk cheese sprinkled with honey or eggplants as a dessert that is another surprise. In the classic version of this dish they are simply sliced, baked in the oven and served sprinkled with sugar. Roussillon is known of a whole variety of fine cakes, fritters and creams usually flavoured with orange flower water. The most famous is Catalan cream and candied fennel sponge cake.

I tried this cake for the first time being a bit sceptical about results but found it absolutely fabulous. The cake is very fresh and light and I was surprised how delicious it was. I definitely think this candied fennel sponge cake can be something special for the upcoming Mother’s Day.

Originally this fennel dessert looks like a sponge roll filled with a fennel cream. I suggest more simple version using a sponge base instead of baking a sponge roll. The taste and structure is pretty the same and the cooking time is much shorter. That is my little tip to make french cooking a bit simplier ;)

Ingredients for sponge

1 round or square sponge base weighting about 350g

Ingredients for candied fennel

2cups (500ml) water
1 1/2 cups (350g) sugar
1 fennel bulb, cut into small pieces

Ingredients for fennel cream

around 1 tablespoon gelatin (use amount following the recommendations)
4 tablespoon (50 ml) milk
3/4 cup (200ml) fennel juice (from 400g fennel)
1-2 tablespoons corn flour
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoon sugar
400ml cream, whipped


Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan and make a syrup. Rinse and clean the fennel, slice and cut into small pieces. Add to the boiling syrup and cook on a very low heat for about 45minutes.

Meanwhile, soak the gelatin in cold water. Take an equivalent amount of gelatin to approximately 800ml of water. Bring the milk and fennel juice to a boil in a saucepan. Mix the corn flour with a little of water and add to the pan. Stir continuously over a gentle heat for a few minutes. Set aside.

Then beat together the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly and constantly add the fennel milk blending to maintain a smooth consistency and prevent curdling. Warm together carefully in a saucepan and thoroughly dissolve the gelatin in the mixture. Transfer to a bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and leave to cool.

Gently mix the candied fennel into the whipped cream and carefully fold this into the fennel custard. Place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour until cold.

Cut the every sponge base into two or three if possible.  Select the best layer for the top and the bottom. Coat the base with the amount of chilled fennel cream that depends on the number of layers. The top layer should be sprinkle with only the custard sugar (before serving).

Place the sponge cake with the fennel cream in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight to allow the flavours to infuse. Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.

Chicken with prunes, honey and almonds

Original french name: Tajine de poulet aux pruneaux
Place of origin: Toulousain, Quercy, Aveyron & Auvergne

French culinary is famous for broad range of chicken dishes. Some of them can be served daily for a usual dinner. However, there are a number of chicken meals that are made for really special occasions. The way chicken dishes are cooked in France looks very sophisticated but actually it is not.

I would like to make this Tajine de poulet recipe tonight for a family dinner. French Tajine is a dish that includes braising chicken with prunes, honey and almonds. For this dish you need to prepare three separate dishes: braising chicken, prune sauce and almonds.

While chicken is being cooking for 60 minutes in a casserole, you can make sauce and salmons as well. As a result when chicken is ready, you can serve the final dish pouring the prune sauce over and sprinkling the chicken with almonds and sesame seeds.

Tajine is a beautifully presented dish with a very delicious honey and almonds taste. Enjoy it!

Ingredients for chicken (serves 4-6)

Preparing time – 5 min
Coking time – 1h 15min

1 free range chicken around 1,2 kg in weight
2 tablespoon olive oil
500 g tomatoes, skinned and seeded
2 onions, finely chopped
2 lemons
75 g honey
2 tablespoon coriander, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of saffron threads
salt and freshly milled black pepper

Ingredients for sauce with glazed prunes and almonds

200g prunes, stoned
3-4 tablespoon custard sugar
50-75g almonds
1 tablespoon groundnut oil
1 tablespoon sesame seed


Wash and dry chicken. Divide the chicken into eight pieces. In a braising saucepan heat lightly olive oil. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Quarter the skinned and seeded tomatoes, finely chopped them. Then add to the chicken chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, sugar, cinnamon, saffron, salt and pepper. Squeeze the lemons and pour the juice over the chicken pieces. Add the lemon rind and honey. Cover the casserole and leave to simmer gently over a low heat for about 1 hour. Afterwards mix in the chopped coriander, taste and leave to cook for a further 10minutes.

While the chicken pieces are cooking it is time making a prune sauce and almonds. Put the prunes and sugar in a pan of cold water and boil them until the sugar has almost caramelized for about 15 minutes.

Soak the almonds in boiling water for 15-30 sec. Then refresh them in the ice cold water and carefully remove the skin. Toast the skinned almonds in the groundnut oil in a skillet until golden brown stirring continuously.

Place the chicken pieces on the plate and arrange the prunes around them. Then sprinkle with almonds and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

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


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.