Nicole shares with you some of recipies…

Crème de courge aux épices douces

Pour 6 personnes :
1 kg de courge
5 dl d’eau salée
5 dl de crème 25% (légère)
Épices: safran, gingembre en poudre, muscade, cannelle, sel.

Peler la courge, la couper en gros cubes et la plonger dans l’eau bouillante salée jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit tendre.
Ajouter la crème et les épices. Mixer le tout jusqu’à obtention d’une texture fine.
Servir avec un nuage de crème et quelques brins de ciboulette.

Oubliez la corvée de pluche et cuisez la courge avec la peau (je l’ai fait une fois par paresse et c’était pas plus mal.)
Oubliez tous les oignons, bouillons et cubes Knorr de vos grands-mères (ou alors prenez les soupes en poudre, ça coûte moins cher.)
Oubliez votre guide WeightWatchers et votre calculette à calories, considérez ce délice comme l’écart de la journée, pour certains, même de la semaine!
Oubliez votre balance à épices (si je ne vous ai pas donné les milligrammes, c’est que j’ai jeté la mienne depuis longtemps pour me fier à mon coup de poignet.)
Oubliez le Kisag (le siphon) pour le nuage et achetez la bonbonne de crème fouettée, c’est simple et aussi très utile pour les cappuccinos.

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Dried figs stuffed with goat cheese, baked with thyme & Javanese long pepper

4 servings
12 dried figs (go for top quality)
150-200g of goat cheese buche (that’s the “log-shape” with soft velvety crust)
Powdered Java pepper
Melted butter (a small brush will help)
Fresh thyme
Sirupy balsamic vinegar (boil slowly until big bubbles form or desperately call a more talented friend)

Soak the figs in warm water for a few hours (that is until they sort of get back to their initial self). Cut the goat cheese into half-inch slices then into 1-inch square squares (I reckon odd to pronounce but easy to do!) Drain the figs and incise 3/4 of the way, along their X axis (for math dropouts, let the fig sit on its behind, stem pointing upward and slice horizontally at belly’s height.) That’s where you stuff it with the goat cheese, see? Brush thoroughly with melted butter, sprinkle with fresh thyme and bake for about 10 mn 180°C/350°F until the figs are nice and goldy-browny and the goat cheese (just) squishy-melty. (Pardon my French)
A dash of reduced balsamico for the tanginess and decorum on a white plate, the figs artfully disposed over it, a twig of thyme and a sprinkle of Java pepper will mark the end of your remarkable efforts. Get a fork ‘n’ a knife and close your eyes.

Citrons confits

4 lbs lemons (organic, with a thin rind)
Coarse salt
Olive oil
Fresh lemon juice

First off, just figure for a minute you happen to have an old Moroccan grandma, ok? Because this is one of her recipes..
Allright now, scrub the lemons under lukewarm running water, dry them off and slice them in quarters from the top on down three-quarters of the way, keeping them attached at the base. Hands on the coarse salt now, generously, I said, generously sprinkle the lemons inside and out. Please don’t be stingy or cautious, go for it, it’s essential. So there they are, all snug and happy in their sodium-chloride environment as you fetch a big ol’ jar with an air-tight lid and proceed to ruthlessly cram in the aforementioned lemons one by one, thereby releasing an awful lot of juice (we’re getting good.)
Put a weight on the lemons and store in a cool place for 3 days. This will produce more juice. Add now as much extra juice as it takes to submerge the tip of the iceberg and a final dash of olive oil to stave off any attack from inside the ozone layer on your much-prized yellow submarines.
Shut the jar tight and keep in a cool but sunlight-bathed place this time (something to do with biochemistry it seems) for AT LEAST a month.
3 days and one month is what your resolve should be if you wish to reach the Holy Grail. And if one day without is one day gone wrong, make sure your shopping list is ready 33-odd days beforehand to start the new batch.
Now here comes the best part: a chicken or lamb stew with green olives on the stove? Toss in a piece or two and you’ll have a great tajine. A good fish baking in the oven, a few slices over it will do. Or blend to a pulp and use as a tasty marinade. Enjoy it.