Simple cooking | The Montreal Gazette

Being efficient in the kitchen, simplifying your life, but also knowing how to improvise with the ingredients you have on hand, that’s what we learn in the new recipe book Cook with what we have.

Jessica Langlois, a nutritionist, is the author of the book Cook with what we have, published by Éditions Québec Amérique. She believes it is possible to eat well while staying simple.

“I’ve been wondering why we reinvent the wheel every time we come across a new muffin or quiche recipe. I have found that the proportions of different ingredients change all the time according to recipes. So I created basic frameworks from which we can make variations. So the same basic muffin recipe can be made with bananas, and another time with blueberries or dates, simply by changing one ingredient. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can improvise, that’s my motto,” says Jessica Langlois.

In addition to tips on how to simplify your life and equip yourself with the tools you need to be efficient, Jessica Langlois explains the basics of different meals, which you can then turn down in several variations, depending on what you have in the fridge.

“Once you know the basic quiche or muffin recipe, you can use what you have in the fridge or what’s on special. If we have goat cheese and tomatoes, that will be it. You can experiment, change the flavors. To improvise is to give yourself the right to make mistakes. What I want is for people to take ownership of the recipes, to mark in the boxes what they like or don’t like. I even chose a not-so-glossy paper for the book so we could write easily! she is laughing.

50 recipes

So we find over 50 recipes, the basics of quiche, soup, meatballs, muffins, cookies, puddings, as well as recipes for risotto and “one-pot pasta” that can be turned down in five variations. Roast chicken is also a focus, as are ways to prepare leftovers and make stock with the carcass.

“I want people to understand that by mastering a basic recipe, you actually know how to make a lot of recipes. If we know how to make roast chicken, we know how to make many variations of roast chicken. Just change the flavors and you will have the impression that you are eating a completely different dish. It can be useful for a young person moving into an apartment, or someone who has a family to support, or who is becoming a bachelor. This gives you confidence and allows you to improvise with what you have. »

5 tips to simplify your life according to Jessica Langlois


0910 Zeste Quessy Cooking with what you have

Photo courtesy of Jessica Langlois

  1. Take basic recipes that you then simply need to modify by substituting an ingredient that adds flavor. For example, in a muffin recipe, replace blueberries with raspberries or blueberries
  2. Prepare the base of the dish in large quantities in advance and freeze it. For example, make a few batches of neutral-flavored meatballs, which you can then use in any sauce, curry, swede or tomato sauce, depending on the inspiration.
  3. Cook a whole chicken and use the leftovers to make a variety of dishes, such as pasta or risotto. Then make broth with the carcass. This saves time while avoiding food waste.
  4. Make the cookies or muffins by doubling the recipe and making two versions, for example one with dates and one with chocolate chips. You can then freeze them and take them out that morning to put in your lunchbox.
  5. Adopt the one-pot pasta technique for both pasta and risotto. Cooking everything in the same pan saves time and avoids getting the dishes too dirty. Very valuable, dinners in a hurry!

Linguine puttanesca with shrimps


0910 Zeste Quessy Cooking with what you have

Photos courtesy of Jessica Langlois

Portions: 4 | Preparation: 15 minutes | cooking: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 300g (10oz) linguini
  • 625 ml (2 1⁄2 cups) water
  • 2 ml (1⁄2 tsp) salt
  • 250 ml (1 cup) whole canned tomatoes, drained
  • 225 g (1⁄2 lb) fresh or thawed raw shrimp in shells
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) pitted black olives in oil, coarsely chopped
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) drained capers
  • 2 ml (1⁄2 tsp) red pepper flakes
  • 250 ml (1 cup) arugula
  • Freshly ground black pepper

TECHNICAL

  1. In a large pan or pot, place the linguine, water, salt, tomatoes, shrimp, onion, garlic, olives, capers and chilies. Using a pestle, mash the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 9 minutes, stirring several times. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Black pepper to taste.
  2. Divide between four soup plates. Garnish with arugula.

Trick: For a quick shortcut, use black olive tapenade. Reduce the amount to 60 ml (1⁄4 cup).

Quiche with cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and basil


0910 Zeste Quessy Cooking with what you have

Photo courtesy of Jessica Langlois

Portions: 4 | Preparation: 15 minutes | cooking: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 eggs
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) flour
    universal unbleached
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 250 ml (1 cup) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) crumbled fresh goat cheese
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) fresh basil, whole leaves

TECHNICAL

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Gradually add the flour to avoid lumps, then add the milk. Salt and pepper.
  3. Add cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and basil. Mix carefully. Pour into a 9-inch (23 cm) quiche pan with a non-removable bottom (or pie pan).
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the center of the slushie is set.
  5. Serve with green beans

Inspiration: Got a piece of quiche left? Top two slices of toasted multigrain bread with a generous helping of cold quiche. Add a touch of mayonnaise and enjoy your new kind of egg sandwich!

Risotto with sausage, mushrooms and beer


0910 Zeste Quessy Cooking with what you have

Photo courtesy of Jessica Langlois

Portions: 4 | Preparation: 20 minutes | cooking: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) butter
  • 225 g (1⁄2 lb) Toulouse sausages, sliced ​​(3 to 4 sausages)
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) chopped onion
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chopped porcini mushrooms
  • 250 ml (1 cup) arborio rice
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) beer,
    choice
  • 750 ml (3 cups) chicken broth without added salt
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) grated Parmesan

TECHNICAL

  1. In a casserole or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sausages and fry for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pot and set aside. Add the onion and mushrooms to the casserole and sauté until golden. Add the rice and toss to coat well.
  2. Pour in the beer and reduce until almost completely evaporated. Return the sausages to the pot. Add broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender but still slightly firm in the center (al dente). Stir once during cooking.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit covered for about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with a vegetable or vegetable salad.

Trick: On the run? Use commercial sliced ​​mushrooms!

Double muffins with bran, dates and nuts


0910 Zeste Quessy Cooking with what you have

Photo courtesy of Jessica Langlois

Portions: 12 | Preparation: 15 minutes | cooking: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) brown sugar
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) canola oil
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 250 ml (1 cup) wholemeal flour
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) wheat bran
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) oat bran
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder
  • 2 ml (1⁄2 tsp) baking soda
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chopped dates
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) ground walnuts

TECHNICAL

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), rack in the middle.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, brown sugar and oil for 2 minutes. Add the milk and vanilla, then mix. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the flour, wheat bran, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, dates, and walnuts, then mix just enough to moisten the dough.
  3. Spread into muffin tins, pre-greased or lined with baking paper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Trick: Don’t have both types of sound at home? Use just one, but arrange the quantities.

Inspiration: You can easily replace the dates in the recipe with cherries, cranberries or dried figs. Use what you have on hand.

chocolate pudding


0910 Zeste Quessy Cooking with what you have

Photo courtesy of Jessica Langlois

Portions: 8 | Preparation: 20 minutes | cooking: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 250 ml (1 cup) flour
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) sugar
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder
  • 1 ml (1⁄4 tsp) salt (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) canola oil
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) milk
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) brown sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) cocoa powder, divided

TECHNICAL

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), rack in the middle.
  2. In a bowl, mix half the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center. Add the egg, canola oil, milk and vanilla and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until the batter is smooth. Transfer to a 20cm (8in) tin. I’m booking.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water and 60 ml (1/4 cup) cocoa. Heat over medium-high heat until the brown sugar dissolves.
  4. Carefully pour the syrup over the cake batter. Do not mix.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the batter only (no sauce) comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve hot or cold

Inspiration: For an even chocolatier version, add 60ml (1⁄4 cup) dark chocolate chips when making the sauce. The original recipe without “extra bites” is excellent and would make a great dessert for Little Tuesday. But for a festive day, get out your delicious Tanzanian chocolate bars (or whatever you like!) and spoil your guests! A little coffee in the sauce, not bad. Coffee and chocolate go so well! Add a shot of espresso or 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of instant coffee.

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