Posts Tagged ‘Mustard’

It’s been a very long time. I have been meaning to post some Gambian recipes, but it is not easy to get internet access. I am starting to get used to the african rhythm of life.

Steamed fish is something I have for breakfast here on the Smiling Coast. I think it would be appreciated for lunch or dinner in Canada though!

Here, access to electricity is never guaranteed, and most people don’t have refrigerators. That means instead that food is fresh fresh fresh because it is caught the day it is eaten, or picked the day it is sold. At the market, there are heaps of kani chilis, heaps of fish, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, squash, egg plant, bitter tomato, niambi, cassava, cabbage… and women greeting me everywhere in the hopes that the Toubab will be their customer. I greet them in wolof, and they laugh and say ‘this toubab understands wolof!’ And then the greetings begin.

Although this is a Gambian dish, it is definitely not one of the most common ones. I will post those recipes another time.

Ingredients – Serves 4
-4 lemons
-4 whole fish, fresh, gutted, scales removed, sides slit
-3 hot chili peppers (or more or less depending on your taste – here they use kani peppers)
-4 onions
-medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
-salt to taste
-2 Tbsp mustard
-2 tsp – black pepper
-1/2 cube vegetable stock
-1 head of lettuce, washed
-4 tomatoes, sliced
-1 1/2 cups water

Bring water to a boil. Add potatoes and boil until cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, clean the fish and wash.

Pound the hot chili peppers in a mortar and pestle. Add to the fish in a bowl. Add the juice 3 of the lemons, the mustard, and black pepper to the fish as well as the cube of broth.

Slice the onions and add to the fish. Stir well to coat everything in seasoning.

Remove the potatoes from the water, and remove a few tablespoonfuls of water so there is less than one inch of water at the bottom of the pan. Add fish and cover. Cook for 10 or so minutes or until fish is fully cooked. Add potatoes at the end and stir to season.

Wash the lettuce, and add the juice of the remaining lemon and some salt to the lettuce. Arrange lettuce on a large platter. Place fish and everything from the pot on top of the lettuce. Serve with slices of tomatoes and fresh crusty bread!

-Sitelle (Alias Yandé Saar)

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I often find myself reading cookbooks for fun, as I’m sure I’ve already mentioned.  This often leads me to have cravings for things I have never tried, just from the descriptions and photos I have seen.  That is exactly what happened this morning.  Puff pastry smothered in mustard with poppy seeds for breakfast?  Why not.  They completely blew me away they were so delicious.

Puff pastry is often associated with sweet flavours, but the mustard here brings it to a new dimension (il y a que Maille qui m’aille, just for those who are French).  While it was delicious for a non-conventional breakfast, I’d actually recommend this more conventionally as an apéritif accompaniment rather than something to start the day off with.

I admit I have always wanted to make puff pastry myself, but I have not yet had the opportunity to do so.  Perhaps a challenge for this summer?  I’ll keep you up-dated on that one.

The beauty of this snack is that it takes no time to make (if you use ready-made puff pastry, that is) and I guarantee it will win over all your guests at your next dinner party.  This recipe came out of the oft-quoted cookbook, Around my French Table, by Dorie Greenspan (page 15).


-1 package defrosted puff pastry (leave it out in the fridge the night before)
– 1/2 cup dijon mustard
-1 large egg
-poppy seeds
-All-purpose flour


Roll 1/2 the puff pastry out into a large rectangle on a floured surface.  Using a pastry brush, brush half of the mustard onto the sheet, leaving the edges bare.  Fold the rectangle in half, so the mustard is sandwiched in the middle.  Cut it into strips (you can leave the strips long or cut them into 3 inch lengths), and place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.

Brush the tops with the egg that has been beaten, and then sprinkle poppy seeds over top.

Bake in the oven at 400F for about 15 minutes.  Enjoy with a glass of wine, or whatever you like for your apéritif!


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After Catherine posted her Chicken Dijonaise recipe, I had to laugh because that very same night we had ‘Poulet Dable’, which is a similar recipe to hers, although still different enough that I could justify posting it a few weeks later.  Plus, when is there ever enough mustardy goodness in a main course?  Another benefit of having two similar recipes is that it allows one to see how a recipe can be altered.

I thought I’d wait a while to share my take on the recipe, or actually, Dorie Greenspan’s take (which we changed ever-so-slightly).  This is a typical meal in Normandy, where my family comes from, and when I’m missing the green moors and the salty taste of the ocean on my lips, I crave these flavours especially.

The spiciest condiment in the french kitchen gives this dish it's name - mustard

From Dorie Greenspan’s “Around my French Table”, one of my favorite cook books recently published (page 217).


-2 whole chicken breasts, sliced at least in two, or 4 thighs and drumsticks, skin removed (I always get bone-in because it’s cheaper and more delicious)
-1 Tbsp butter
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 large shallot, finely diced
-1 garlic clove (not too big or not too pungent), germ removed, and very finely chopped
-1/3 cup dry white wine
-1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping cream or crême fraiche, or table cream if you must)
-3 Tbsp extra strong dijon mustard (the stronger the better)
-1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (this is something that isn’t normally added in France, but I find that flavours in cream, butter, and poultry are generally less strong in Canada so this helps perk it up)
-1 pinch (1/8 tsp) nutmeg
-1 tsp thinly shredded gruyere per person (optional)


Preheat oven to 200F.  In a large skillet, heat  oil and butter until butter has melted.  Add chicken, and brown both sides, about 5 minutes on each side (try not to touch it while it is browning, so keeping the temperature low enough, in the middle range is key so it doesn’t burn but also browns nicely).  If there’s too much chicken to make it at once, try doing one batch and then another.  After the chicken is cooked through, place it in a covered dish in the oven to keep warm.  Ensure there’s still enough oil in the pan (if not, just add a tad), and sauté the shallot and the garlic for a few minutes, until they are soft.  Then add wine, and once the wine bubbles, add the cream, and stir to remove any bits attached on the pan.  Once this all comes to a simmer, add the mustard, stirring it in, as well as the Worchestershire sauce.  Season with a little salt if you like, and sprinkle the gruyere onto the chicken at the end and cover with sauce.  Serve this with boiled potatoes, rice, or even macaroni.  For me, this really qualifies as Normal comfort food, and always makes me think of my lovely grandmother.


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Chicken Dijonaise

Living in France this summer, I got absolutely hooked on Maille mustard.  And now some days, I just crave mustardy deliciousness.   And when that happens, the clear answer is to turn to my favorite mustard recipe, Chicken Dijonaise.

Inspired by the Silverpalate recipe, the below is my own (slightly less heavy) version of chicken dijonaise.  The chicken, marinaded in two types of mustard, mellows perfectly in the alcohol steam.  The sauce thickened with heavy cream just melts in your mouth.  My roommate used to eat the sauce straight out of the pot with a spoon she loved it so much (and I have often followed her brilliant lead)!

Serverd with quinoa, you absolutely can’t go wrong (but really – it’s delicious over rice, noodles, orzo, bread – you name it, really can’t go wrong with that sauce).

So, this one’s for you Roxanne!


Chicken Dijonaise

(4 servings)


8 chicken pieces (legs and thighs are my fave)

¼ cup dijon mustard

¼ cup moutarde a l’ancienne (grainy mustard)

1/3 cup chicken broth

large splash of vermouth or dry white wine or sherry

¼ cup of heavy cream (whipping cream works well here)

Salt and pepper to taste



Marinate the chicken in the mustard for at least an hour or even overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer chicken into a baking dish, preferably in a single layer.  Scrape all the extra mustard on top of the chicken . Pour the broth and dry alcohol over the chicken.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until chicken cooked through.

Transfer the chicken to a separate platter, leaving all the mustard in the baking dish.  Add the heavy cream and simmer until thickened.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over a bed of quinoa, and savour the mustardy deliciousness!

–       Catherine

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