Little French Girl

{February 19, 2010}   Petit marin aux lentilles

This recipe is a marine rendition of the more traditional “petit sale aux lentilles du puy.”

Ingredients (for 2):
1 cup puy lentils, rinsed and soaked overnight
200g (6-8 oz) smoked kippers
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tbs oil (grape seed, sunflower or walnut)
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

heat oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat and sautee onion, garlic and carrots. When onion starts to be translucent, add lentils and pepper and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add kippers and cover the whole with water and the vinegar. Bring to a boil and turn down the temperature to low. Over and simmer for 20-30 minutes, checking occasionally. When it is nearly ready, add a pinch of salt, turn heat off, stir and let sit covered 1 minute.

Serve hot in plates or stew bowls, with hot Dijon mustard on the table.

Note: this recipe is very cheap to make in France as smoked kippers can be found for 1-2 euros/bag, which may not be true to all countries…


“Guacarama” is a term I just invented for a spread which is a healthy hybrid of guacamole and tarama. More on the healthy properties of lemons, avocados, algae and fish roe soon, but for now: it’s great for a mid-winter breakfast (think fatty acids, vitamin C, and minerals).

ingredients (for 2)
1 ripe avocado
about 30g smoked cod eggs (or 2 big tablespoons)
fresh ground pepper
the juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup dried or fresh algae salad

Mash the avocado and the smoked cod eggs together, add the pepper and the lemon juice and mash or blend until you have a smooth purée with still a few chunks. If you are working with drie algae, rinse it if needed and soak it in a little water to it regains its natural form (discard excess water). Add the algae in your guacarama.

You can serve it as a dip, or spread it on a cracker/slice of bread, or add it to a salad, or to warm quinoa.

1/for the algae mix, I like using a mix of palmaria palmata, ulva, and porphyra (dulse, sea lettuce, nori/gim), or add wakame to the same dulse, sea lettuce and nori mix.
2/if you are vegan/vegetarian, replace the cod eggs with another alga: spirulina (1-2 teaspoons)

Ingredients for 6-8:
170 ml (6 fl oz) + 1 tablespoon walnut oil (or olive oil)
170g (6 oz) organic chocolate (70% cocoa or more depending on taste), roughly chopped
1 cup (200g) unrefined sugar
4 eggs (+ 2 egg yolks)
1/2 cup ( unsweetened cocoa powder

Oil a 10-inch (25cm) round or square cake pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
Over a double boiler (bain marie), melt the chocolate. Stir in the rest of the oil and mix until smooth. Turn off the heat and stir in the sugar. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the eggs vigorously. Finally, lightly add the cocoa powder and whisk batter until it’s smooth and even again.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until the blade of a knive you stick in the middle of the pan comes out completely clean.
Take out and let cool 10 minutes, then carefully invert the cake onto a platter, makeing sure it doesn’t break.

You can serve this cake warm with:
a scoop of ice cream such as walnut, caramel, chocolate or vanilla are great if you use the walnut oil…or almond, chocolate and fig are wonderful with the olive oil
a little home made whipped cream
a cold vanilla creme anglaise

You can also serve it cold with:
raspberry coulis
strawberries poached in wine

Or simply eat it on its own!

{February 13, 2010}   A little French humor

One of the streets adjacent to the famous Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris is called “rue du Repos”, meaning “Street of Rest.” It’s just a little too appropriate

et cetera