Friday, September 27, 2013

From the Radisson Martinique to Your Table: Hache Parmentier (Cottage Pie)

From the Radisson Martinique to your table. Our chef at Petit Poulet shares his recipe for Hache Parmentier (Cottage Pie). The dish is named after Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, a French pharmacist, nutritionist, and inventor who, in the late 18th century, was instrumental in the promotion of the potato as an edible crop. The word "hachis" means a dish in which the ingredients are chopped or minced. In general use, a simpler version is the French equivalent of cottage or shepherd's pie.


2 cups chopped leftover pot roast or beef stew
1/2 cup beef gravy
2 cups chopped cooked vegetables, like carrots, leeks, spinach, Swiss chard, etc.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups mashed potatoes, heated
2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup Gruyere Cheese
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces


Preheat the oven with 350 degrees F.

Combine the meat, gravy, and vegetables in a large saute pan and cook over medium heat just until everything is heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the heated mixture into a large glass pie plate or a round glass baking dish. Add the horseradish to the heated potatoes. Spread the mashed potatoes over the meat mixture, smoothing with a spatula and spreading to the edges of the pie dish.

Sprinkle the top with the bread crumbs and the Gruyere Cheese. Dot the top with butter. Bake for 45 minutes on the top shelf of the oven. Raise the oven temperature to broil and broil just until the crumbs are browned, about 1 minute. Serve.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

From the Radisson Martinique to Your Table: Classic Crème Brûlée

Crème brûlée, also known as burnt cream, crema catalana, or Trinity cream is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. It is normally served at room temperature.

The earliest known reference of creme brulee as we know it today appears in Francois Massialot's 1691 cookbook, and the French name was used in the English translation of this book, but the 1731 edition of Massialot's Cuisinier roial et bourgeois changed the name of the same recipe from "crème brûlée" to "crème anglaise". In the early eighteenth century, the dessert was called "burnt cream" in English.

In Britain, a version of crème brûlée (known locally as 'Trinity Cream' or 'Cambridge burnt cream') was introduced at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1879 with the college arms "impressed on top of the cream with a branding iron". The story goes that the recipe was from an Aberdeenshire country house and was offered by an undergraduate to the college cook, who turned it down. However, when the student became a Fellow, he managed to convince the cook to recreate it.

Now from the Radisson Martinique to your table, our chef at Petit Poulet shares his recipe for this classic dessert:

1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.