Clarinette's Cook

Cooking Management

Fast dinner chicken roast

photo-3 I had let down This blog due to many family and work commitments. The dinner tonight inspired This quick post to share with my friends.
This is definitely one of our fav dinners.
Terribly easy. Surely much better than any take away. Before taking kids to after school activities, I just washed the chicken, salt pepper, a bit of oil. Today with shalottes, 2 garli cloves, thyme, parsnip and sweet potatoes. You can create as many options as you like with your favourites veggies or spices. Tuck in the oven at 190 C, half an hour – 45′ later all is done, let in warn oven to be served when back at home. Served with green beans.
Easy, cheap and yummy. The dogy loves it and we’ll have sandwich left overs next day. Maybe considering a coronation chicken.


Russian potato salad

Potatoe salad, inspired by the Russian Salad.
Boil potatoes and eggs, I suggest one kilo of potato for 6 eggs, shop a big can of russian gurken (not sweet by pickled), shop black olives, cook three or four chicken breasts.
Shop everything in small pieces. Make a sauce with mayonnaise, one table spoon of sugar, a table spoon of vinegar, one lime juice, one table spoon of olive oil, a coffee spoon of french mustard, two table spoons of milk. Mix all together with salt and pepper.
cover with mayonnaise and decorate as you like, this is ideal for parties or for sandwich.

P1010054P1010055PotatoesP1010058P1010059The chickenP1010067

Wok fried noodle and vegetables

ImageFrom China, a wok sautee noodle and vegetables. An easy vegetarian meal in which you can add shrimps, prawns or chicken. quick and something kids love.

Start by chopping all vegetables. I personnally like onion, spring onion, mashrrom, courgette, aubergine, red and/or pepper or a bag of ready vegetable mix, and soja. Basiacally, it all depends on what you find in your fridge or market.

Once all vegetables have been chopped, chose your type of chinese noodle.Usually the instructions ask you to boil them few minutes in water, before draining. then add one spoon of vegetable oil, fry the onions first, then add half of the vegetables, add ginger and garlic, I use 2/3 cloves of garlic. If you add everything in once they won’t get fried as they should. once all is fried, take them off, fry your noodles for few minutes, add some fish sauce, if you don’t have, soja sauce would do. Finally add the vegetables to the noodles. fry few minutes and it’s ready to serve. sprinkele some coriander. 

I recommend green tea or Jasmin tea to accompany the meal.

Bon Appetit !

Lentils with Jasmine rice

lentilles consommées petis lardons carottes nouvelles et riz thai

lentilles consommées petis lardons carottes nouvelles et riz thai

Today’s recipe has been graciously past on by a French Lawyer known on Twitter as @Lawyer971.

You would be surprised by the number of lawyers who enjoy cooking. Part of life appreciation and the share of pleasure. Actually, one of my good Twitter bud’s Nicole Black (@NicoleBlack) has created a Twitter List of ‘Epucrian lawyers’). She is herself a good cook, here is her Pinterest.

A good recent read was this ‘9 Timeless leadership lessons from Cyrus the Great‘. I especially like this paragraph :

“When I became rich, I realized that no kindness between man and man comes more naturally than sharing food and drink, especially food and drink of the ambrosial excellence that I could now provide. Accordingly, I arranged that my table be spread everyday for many invitees, all of whom would dine on the same excellent food as myself. After my guests and I were finished, I would send out any extra food to my absent friends, in token of my esteem.”

What I love with this recipe is its simplicity and lovely presentation. There is a secret behind that, only @lawyer971 can reveal.

Here is the recipe, she kindly sent to me:

Lentilles consommées, recette de ma maman:

Pour 200 grammes de lentilles
1 oignon rouge
carottes nouvelles
lard fumé
sel, poivre

faire tremper les lentilles au moins dix heures la veille dans de l’eau.
Les égoutter, puis les mettre dans une cocotte minute, ajouter un oignon rouge émincé, du laurier et recouvrir d’eau.
Faire cuire 15 mns à la cocotte

Ensuite, une fois que les lentilles sont cuites, saler et poivrer.
Faire revenir les lardon dans de l’huile, saler légèrement les lardons
Mettre les lardons et les carottes coupées en rondelles dans les lentilles et laisser cuire quelques minutes à feu très doux.

C’est prêt!!!
(Ask Google for translation, if it doesn’t work, I’ll do it for you. Good deal ?)


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Buñuelos de viento and Never get enough sushi

Dinner tonight, miso soup, sushi and sashimi followed by Spanish Bunuelos. Enjoy!

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and the Spanish Bunuelos for desert !

Recipe for Bunuelos :

Hemos explicado algunas recetas de buñuelos pero creemos que esta vez le toca a todo un clásico, los Buñuelos de viento. Este es un dulce típico en algunas regiones en la celebración del Día de Todos los Santos. Son muy fáciles de preparar y muy ricos, aquí os presentamos una receta.

Los ingredientes
200 gramos de harina, 50 gramos de mantequilla, 5 huevos, ½ litro de leche, 1 vaso pequeño de agua, 1 corteza de limón, azúcar, un poco de canela, aceite y sal.

La preparación
Deposita en un cazo la leche y el agua, añade también la corteza de limón y una pizca de sal. Coloca el cazo en el fuego y cuando entre en hervor, agrega la harina de golpe y con el fuego bajo, remueve bien todo el compuesto.

Aumenta el fuego y prosigue la cocción hasta que veas que la mezcla se separa de las paredes del cazo. Retira el cazo esperando a que la masa se entibie. Añade ahora los huevos previamente batidos, poco a poco y sin parar de remover.

Una vez obtengas una masa homogénea, con la ayuda de una cuchara toma la medida para formar los buñuelos y fríelos en una sartén con abundante aceite bien caliente, hasta que veas que están dorados. Retira los buñuelos y deposítalos sobre un plato con papel de cocina para que se absorba el exceso de aceite.

Ahora tan sólo tienes que espolvorear los buñuelos con una mezcla de azúcar y canela en polvo.

La degustación
Lo tradicional siempre perdurará, esta receta siempre estará presente en la cocina española, aunque como en todas las elaboraciones gastronómicas, hay variantes de la receta de los buñuelos de viento, ¿cuál es la tuya?.

From : Buñuelos de viento. Receta

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and sour chicken

Sweet and sour chicken

Tonight, an easy and fast meal. short version of a recipe we tried on our cooking lesson in China when we visited the gorgeous Yangshou area. We fly to Hong Kong, from where we went to Shenzhen, a long walk to cross the border, we stayed a night at Shenzhen before flying for Guilin. From Guilin our guide had arranged a taxi pick up in the evening for transfer to our hotel in Yangshou. I have to say, although I am pritty brave, this driving was one of my most scary ones. It was completely dark, obviously the driver had trouble to see the road and, lets say his way of overtaking cars and lorries was quite risky in these mountain roads.

Eventually, all went well.

Mpuntain View Hotel

Mpuntain View Hotel

Our hotel, that I had wanted to be more isolated was a wonderful quite place a bit on the mountains outside Yangshou and his tourist noises. The room was clear and clean. the breakfast was correct. we had a 10-15′ walk to the town along the river. Down the hotel, a man and his family had bikes to rent. So many people bike in China. I would not advise anyone to rent a car in that area. Too many cars, mixed with bikes and motor bikes making their way by horning.

The scenaries are absolutely gorgeous and unique. so many coniforme mountains covered with green vegetation.

Our guide Michele, whom I had found via TripAdvisor, was very kind and knowledgeable. She came every morning at our hotel and took us everywhere. It was good that we had her as very few speak English. It was the first time we hired a tour guide. I am glad I did it. Chinese vendors can be very aggressive. It is said if you pay 10% of the asking price, you paid the price. Beware that each transacnegociation can take you half a day. I decided to avoid any shopping, all there is fake copy with a starting price as high as what we paid for Abercrombie and Hollister in LA on sale. 

The highlight of the trip was a day tour starting by a two hours bike tour in the middle of the rice fields along the river. Our tour guide left us at a small bus station to catch a bus to take us to a grotta. The bus trip was rather ‘moving’ your head keeps bumping the roof as they drive fast on these stony roads. We survived the journey to come to the grotta to be accessed by a small boat to go under the mountain. The kids loved it, passed so much time going from mud bath to hot tub after a long visit of the grotta and its stalagmites and stalagtites. A big contrast with the ones we had just seen in Genova caves in AUstralia and previously in Italy where they were so fussy. No one would touch anything or bring any food in to preserve the nature. Here, we stayed nearly four hours before I could take the family out to reach some food for our empty stomachs. They had small local snacks at the bus station.

Genova Caves Australia

Genova Caves Australia

We had a nice lunch/dinner with our guide before climbing these hundreds of stairs to take us at the top of the coniform Moon Hill View. A challenge as we had already done so much and it was so hot. We had a heard of ladies walking up with us with their fan to cool the air. The Moon Hill view at the top was absolutely astonishing.

That was not all, we had to rush, get our bikes to return to Yangshuo for the evening spectacle of sound and light on the river Li done by the Olympics show. There was a huge crowd allow the tickets were not cheap. we had booked through a friend of our guide. we had to wait in this crowd to get our tickets and find our seats, outside along the river. We had very good places. we were given plastic coasts in case of rain. It was getting a bit fresher and mosquitos were guests of honors.

The spectacle finished around midnight. You can imagine how tired we were by then. Still, we were not done, we had to take our bikes to go back to our hotel. another 20-25′ bike crossing the town to bike along the river, in a total dark. Our guide said she had a good solution, she called a guy on a motor bike she paid to be in front of us as we could not see anything in the dark.

Eventually we arrived safe. I had to bike close to the guy on motorbike to see the road. I was in the front with my younger daughter telling her what to do if anything happened to any of us. Run as fast as you can, go and find someone from the police or with official clothes I told her. Tourists with young children are easy targets as they know you are bound with children. Not knowing the language nor the area, makes you an easier target. Unnecessary risk in my opinion. but this man has tried to kill us at several occasions already. So is he, a hyper active.

The next day, we took it easier. Stayed in town for a cooking lesson. It was at the second floor of a restaurant. First, we went for food shopping in the local market. We were werned that the meat market sells also dog meat. Once the shopping done, we came back to the kitchen. We were 10ish with our individual cooking station. We tried the sweet and sour pork. the pork, cut in small pieces was egg fried then added into the sauce. I do find it too fatening that way. we also did steam vegetable dumpling and a fried beef with green pepper.

Local food market Yangshuo / China

Local food market Yangshuo / China

Moon Hill View

Moon Hill View

Li River Yangshuo / China

Li River Yangshuo / China

More photos of China / Yangshuo and Genova caves in Australia / Blue Mountains.

My sweet and sour recipe chicken is inspired by the cooking lesson, in a more simplified manner.

Inspired by Marks & Spencer chicken filet marinated in ginger and garlic sauce.

First cut the filet in smaller pieces, grossly cut onions, and red pepper. Carrots and spring onions would have been good. I replaced them by mushrooms. no added oil as the filet were already marinated with oil, ginger, garlic and chopped red pepper.

add flour on the chicken fry with few pieces of onions, then added the powder seasonning for the sweet and sour sauce. add all vegetables once the chicken pieces are cooked (nearly 10-15′). Add sugar. I had some left over pineapple can, I used the juice and the pineapples. added the salt and that’s it. leave it to cook more for 10 more minuts. and it’s done. Served with Jasmin rice. sprinkle with coriander leaves if you have. Bon Appetit !

Don’t forget to tell me your own version.



chopped vegetables and cut chicken

chopped vegetables and cut chicken

The official Sweet and Sour Pork recipe :

– 200 Gr pork filet thin sliced abd season with 1/3 teaspoon salt, 1/2 tea spoon rice wine
20 gr Pinapple sliced,
20 gr cucumber (no seeds) cut in diamond shape,
1 tomato (no seeds) cut in diamond shape,
For the Coat :
5 teaspoons corn starch,
one egg yolk,
2 teaspoons water.
1 teaspoon custard powder.

Cooking instructions:
1. put the pork in the coat and mix together,
2. heat 500 gr oil till boiling at 120 degree, then place piece by piece the pork in, low heat to deep fry till it becomes golden (around 3′), then take out to a plate,
3. Make the sweet and sour sauce :
3 table spoon sugar,
4 table spoon vinegar,
2 table spoon tomato sauce.
1 table spoon oil.
4. high heat to mix all the sauce, taste the sauce and adjust at your flavor.
5. once the sauce starts boiling, add all the vegetables, quickly use the corn starch, water to tick the sauce, turn off the heat to add the pork.

More about the cooking lesson and the recipe at
Our guide Michelle :
The River View Hotel in Yangshuo

Help the Twitter Campaign to raise awareness of sexual abuse

The #ididnotreport campaing against rape and sexual abusive is doing wll on Twiiter.

La campagne  #jenaipasporteplainte :

L’objectif est de faire prendre conscience de la massivité du crime de viol, d’en faire parler, pour que ce ne soit plus un tabou”, explique Sandrine Goldschmidt, la présidente de Femmes en résistance. mais il n’y a pas que des femmes qui sont concernees. Les garcons aussi on ete victimes.

Sur Twitter, le succès d’une campagne contre le viol

Continue reading

La Paella Du Chef !


Today’s recipe is by my friend Jon Pincus who describes him self as:

“I’m a strategist, writer, entrepreneur, and activist in the Seattle area who also enjoys travel, hiking, dancing and cooking. my Dad was a Spanish professor, and we visited Sevilla, Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, and elsewhere as I was growing up, so I’ve always enjoyed Spanish food — and sangria, which goes great with paella!”


1 tsp saffron threads, infused into 2 Tbsp of hot water
3 tbsp oil
2 small red onions (or 1 large one)
4 cloves garlic
250 g tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 small red peppers: 1 chopped, 1/2 cut into strips
1 small red chile, seeded and minced
2 chorizo sausages, sliced
1 vegetarian “soyrizo”

250 g cod
12 shrimp, cleaned and deveined
12 clams
optional: 500g calamari, cleaned and cut
optional: 8 mussels

400g medium-grain paella rice
1.25l vegetable stock, simmering
75 ml shelled green peas


1. add the cod to the vegetable stock; cook for 5 minutes. transfer to a colander, run under cold water and drain. add the shrimp and calamari to the stock; cook for 2 minutes; run under cold water and drain. reserve.

2. add 1 Tbsp of oil to the paella pan over medium heat. cook the chorizo for 5 minutes; reserve. add the onion and saute until softened. add the saffron and its soaking liquid, garlic, and chile; saute for 1 minute, stirring. add the tomato and chopped red pepper; sautéed 2 minutes. add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. add most of the stock and bring to a boil. let simmer, uncovered, for roughly 20 minutes until the rice is mostly cooked; if necessary add more stock. add the clams and cook for another 8 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed.

3. saute the soyrizo in a small non-stick frying pan. add the soyrizo, chorizo, seafood, green peas, and red pepper strips to the paella pan. cook for 2 more minutes. remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. serve with lemon wedges.

Bon appetit !!

Hachis parmentier a ‘comfort food’ dish!

We had a roast beef dinner with friends and lots of leftover. Not a big beef eater, what better than acomodate the left over to make an ‘Hachis parmentier’, this is how traditionally hachis parmentier was made. Of course you can make it with dedicated minced beef or any small piece of beef in tomatoe sauce.

As usual, my way is the easy way. Just cut the beef in small piece, trying to follow the beef cut. Add some sauce. It could be tomatoes sauce. I had made some mushroom sauce to go with. I just added more red wine, crushed the garlic and some herbs.

I bring my Puree Mousline from France. Again, you can make you own mash potatoes. A layer at bottom, the meat in the middle, a top layer of potatoes, covered with butter and grated cheese (my favorite one is the Gruyere President). in the oven for 20′ and here you are. Ready to eat.

Served with row mushroom and cauliflower salad with coriander and shallots. seasoning: lime and and olive oil, pinch of salt and paprika.

`~Enjoy with a glass of Gamay. A fruity wine from Pays du Tarn, I purchased a to make my Mulled wine for Christmas.

For desert: fruit salad made with pinapple, blueberries and Grapefruit. As I had some in the fridge, I added a it of vanilla custard and the best part, some Cointreau.

Rcette du Hachis Parmentier 750Grammes

Or from Easy French Food ‘Mashed Potato Casserole

While cooking, I prepared the took pack of minced beef. Half to become pasta bolognese and/or/ lasagna. The other half will be a chili corn carne. You can find the recipes on my earlier posts.

Winter warm recipies

After the holidays and lots of heavy meals, time for simple warm dishes.

Since I left France, there is one vegetable I miss, apart from the artichoke and fennel, is endive. Not that you can’t find any, just that they are not popular and can be expensive.

They call them chicory in the UK. I used to love them in salad. Try an endive salad with apple and raisin and/or grapefruit or Endive salad with blue cheese and/or walnuts or endive salad with fennel and/or grapefruit. ‘Un regal’ !

Endives or chicory are also delicious cooked. you can either boil them, or ‘braise’ them, slightly grilled in a pan with vegetable oil. They can be served to accommodate meat or fish.

One dish I really love is ‘endives au jambon’. I braise the endives, then role them with ham, make a Bechamel, or white sauce, top with grated cheese, 20-25′ in the oven/grill and it’s so delicious. The good thing is you can prepare it in advance and put it in the oven last minute before serving.

They are different ways of preparing the white sauce or bechamel. My simple recipe :
– butter (20gr) + vegetable oil (1/2 spoon oil), it’s important to mix the two to obtain a smooth sauce
– gradually add flour (30 gr)
– same for the milk (1/4 l), if you are brave, you can boil the milk then add it.
– salt and pepper
– bay leave if you like but not necessary
– you can add a pinch of nutmeg.

The whole thing is to use patience and energy to mix it well.

If you want to make it faster, if you can find some, use the ready made Maizena Bechamel sauce or powder.

Another option is the Dolmio White sauce. I find it more fat but if you don’t have time, it’s always good to keep some in your kitchen.

This bechamel is also delicious for lasagna with minced beef or salmon.

Yesterday, I had a last minute guests. Very quick, I made some salmon lasagna with smoked salmon.
Just make layers of white sauce, lasagna, grated cheese (emmental or cheddar plus grated parmigiani), add small pieces of salmon, two other layers of lasagna, white sauce, salmon and cheese, top with white sauce and cheese, grill in the oven for 15′ and it’s done. served with salad and enjoy it with a glace of white wine.

Here you have the option of summer vegetable lasagna.

Watch here a video for an easy lasagna recipe :

What you can also make with the white sauce is a variety of vegetable ‘gratins’.
My favorites: gratin of cauliflower and/or leek, you can add mushroom, potatoes, carrots, peas, turnip, asparagus, artichoke, Brussels sprout, broccoli, sweet potatoes, courgettes, aubergines, or what ever vegetable you like. Just cook first the vegetables, poor the white sauce, add cheese, in the oven grill 15′ and it’s done ! You have the option of adding eggs and cream on the white sauce but I personally think they are not necessary.

Enjoy !

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