Recettes de Nicole


Grenoble, Autumn 1998









Useful Information


These are recipes gathered during my stay in Grenoble, France.  They come from the personal collection of Nicole Sémavoine, one of the “host-mothers” with our program, who was kind enough to open her kitchen to us.  On alternate Tuesdays I’d get on the tram, ride it nearly to the southern end and walk to her house.  We’d spend a few hours creating a meal, and then a few more enjoying what we’d made.  I can’t think of a better way to learn to cook.  Thank you Nicole!


Due to their origin in a personal collection, some of these recipes are lacking in exact measures.  Do what you think is best--for the herbs and spices, just wait until it smells right.


The French measure everything metrically, and for many ingredients they use mass instead of volume.  Here are the conversions you’ll need for the following recipes:


          Flour:                    1 cup = 140 g.               1 Tbs. = 8.75 g.

          Sugar:                  ½ cup = 100 g.               1 tsp. = 5 g.


   Sugar:               4 cups = 450 g.             

Butter:                 8 Tbs. = 115 g.                1 Tbs. = 15 g.

Liquids:                4 cups = 1 liter



Gruyère  is basically Swiss cheese.  However, the French use it as an all-purpose grated cheese, so feel free to substitute whatever you wish.



 (Additional conversion information may be found here - BD)





Soupe à l’ “Woignon”

          French onion soup, as pronounced by young children.


50 g. matières grasses

3 onions

50 g. flour

1 l. water





--heat the matières grasses, brown the onions

--add the flour, and brown it well; add the water little by little

--cook 15 minutes

--add the cheese

--arrange the slices of bread over the top

--put in oven for 5-10 minutes


Soupe aux Corges

          Delicious, warm and easy for autumn evenings.


          1 pumpkin



          shredded cheese


--boil the pumpkin in water with salt

--purée the pumpkin

--add milk and cheese to taste


Oeufs aux Roquefort

          For those who enjoy Roquefort.  Not one of my personal favorites, but this has received rave reviews from admirers of strong, moldy cheese.


          6 eggs                                      50 g. Roquefort

          500 g. potatoes                        50 g. gruyère

          1 cup milk                               50 g. butter



--purée the potatoes with the milk & add the Roquefort

--put the puréed potatoes into buttered ramequins

--place some gruyère in the center, then an egg yolk, add salt

--beat the egg whites and use them to cover the ramequins

--cook 1-2 minutes at 400°




        This cream sauce is great with vegetables, and can be used in many, many ways.  Mme. Bernède, the woman I lived with in Grenoble, made spinach béchamel with hard-boiled eggs on my first night with her—simple and delicious.  The “fausse” sauce is the most often used, the “vraie” is richer, and has more calories.  I’ve also seen variations—mostly from Provence—that use olive oil instead of butter.


Fausse:                                                       Vraie:

50 g. flour                                                   same as fausse, + 50 g. butter

½ l. milk                                 



--heat the milk                                            --melt the butter in a

--add the water to the flour                         casserole, add the flour & stir

--add the milk slowly                                  --add the cold milk all at once

--put back over heat, stirring                      --return to heat, stirring w/o  

                                                                   stop until done


--add more or less flour for a thicker or thinner sauce


--possible additions:       grated cheese



                                      tomato concentrate


--use this sauce to make gratins of cooked vegetables

          --spinach* and hard-boiled eggs

          --leeks and cheese

          --endive, ham and cheese

          --zucchini, onion and cheese


--thick béchamel + cheese + eggs = soufflé


*spinach béchamel is great in lasagna


Tomates Farcis

          Tomatoes stuffed with ground meat—eggplant, zucchini and onions work nicely too.  Play with the stuffing, add basil or parmesan or whatever you think might taste good.


tomatoes                                  ground meat (typically pork or lamb)

spinach                                    pieces of bread soaked in milk

2 onions                                  parsley

1 egg                                                 garlic



--cut the tops off the tomatoes and hollow them

--sauté the onions

--add the meat, cook a little

--add the rest (egg last)

--put rice in the bottom of the tomatoes (salt!)

--fill with the meat mixture

--replace the tomato tops, drizzle with oil

--cook 35 minutes



Ragoût de Haricots

          This is very tasty—a big hit with my family.  The red and green colors lend themselves nicely to a holiday meal.  If serving as a main dish for four people, you’ll need to double the recipe—and I recommend doubling the beans anyway.


          250 g. red Adzuki beans

          4 Tbs. oil

          2 onions, minced

          6 garlic cloves, crushed

          1 red pepper

          1 green pepper

          6 tomatoes, peeled and quartered

          12 olives

          thyme, marjoram, parsley, basil, salt, pepper


--brown the onion, garlic, peppers and tomatoes

--add the thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper

--let simmer 30 minutes

--about 5 minutes before done, add parsley, basil and olives

--lay the beans on a platter and cover with the sauce

(you can also simply add the beans to the pan at the end, warming them for a few minutes)





          This is a classic veggie dish—best in summer when you can find everything fresh, but still delicious the rest of the year.  I usually serve this with rice (and—as with everything else—some fresh, crusty bread).  This also works as a nice side dish with chicken.


          1 cup olive oil

          1 onion


          1 green pepper

          1 eggplant, cubed

          2 zucchini, in thin half-rounds

          4-5 tomatoes

          salt, pepper


--heat the oil in a large pan

--brown the onions and garlic

--add the green pepper, the eggplant and the zucchini

--when all are slightly browned, add the tomatoes

--salt and pepper to taste (lots)

--cook for 30-60 minutes



Curry Végetarien

          200 g. rice

          400 g. potatoes

          400 g. tomatoes, quartered

          4 cloves garlic

          1 onion

          2 carrots

          1 green pepper

          1 zucchini

          oil, cumin, ginger, curcumu


--heat 3 tsp. Oil in a casserole

--brown the onion, then add the spices and the tomatoes

--add ½ cup water, cook for 5 minutes

--add potatoes, pepper, zucchini, carrots and garlic

--cook covered for 25 minutes

--cook rice

--arrange rice in a crown, fill the center with the vegetables



Poulet Basquaise

chicken, in pieces

1 onion

2 green peppers

2-3 tomatoes, peeled


garlic, salt, pepper


--brown the chicken in a large casserole pan

--add the onion, then the peppers

--cook for 5-10 minutes

--add the tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper

--stir, cover, cook for 15-30 minutes

--serve with rice



Poulet Sauce Suprème

        Basically, chicken with gravy.


          chicken, whole or in pieces

          1 ½ l water

          50 g. butter

          50 g. flour

          1 stalk celery

          1 leek

          2 carrots

          thyme, laurel (bay leaves), salt


--cook the chicken in the water (with the vegetables)

--when the chicken is cooked, melt the butter in a large pan

--add flour and stir

--add the water from the cooked chicken, stir well

--cook over low heat for 10 minutes




Pâte Brisée

The all-purpose tart shell.  Fill it with anything you like.  You can even use this for quiche.


250 g. flour

125 g. butter

1 pinch salt

cold water


--put the flour and salt in a bowl

--cut the butter into small pieces

--work together quickly with the tips of the fingers

--add water and make a ball

--roll out the dough and put it in a pan


--fill with:    apple slices & sprinkle with sugar


                   vegetables cut into small pieces and cooked with some butter

                             --add 2 tsp. flour, ½ l. milk and (if desired) cheese:


                             vegetables:  3-4 zucchini + 1 onion

                                                1 kg. peppers + 1 onion

                                                1 kg. spinach

                                                1 kg. cooked tomatoes + 2 eggs + cream


cheese: 300 g. gruyère (or other) + béchamel (use 100

g. flour)




Pâte à Tarte pour Fruits

          For a sweeter recipe.  Fill with any sort of fruit mixture you’d like.


250 g. flour

30 g. sugar

70 g. butter, soft

½ cup milk

1 egg



--put the flour in a bowl, with a “well” in the center

--put the sugar, butter, salt, egg and milk in the well

--beat, slowly bringing the flour into the mix

--roll out and put in pan



Chaussons de Pomme

          These are terrific!  I even prefer them this way to the Pâtisserie version that uses a flakier, croissant-like shell.


          pâte à tartes pour fruits




--make a potage by cooking the apples in a little water, mashing and straining them (add cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste)

--roll the dough into a large rectangle

--place a small amount of the apple mixture on dough

--brush the edges with egg and fold over, pressing firmly

--cut into half-moons, brush with more egg

--cook at 400°


Pâte à Crèpe

          Ah, crèpes.  There’s nothing like them in the world.  Sprinkle them with sugar and/or cinnamon; spread them with butter, jam, Nutella or even ice cream.  Cut down the sugar to make savory crèpes and fill with ratatouille, spinach and cream, ham and cheese, or whatever else you can think of.  Traditionally, crèpes are served with Breton cider.


250 g. flour

50 g. sugar

½ l milk or water (warm)

½ cup oil

3 eggs



--mix everything in a bowl, oil last

--let sit

--cook in a hot pan—the oil in the batter makes it unnecessary to oil the pan as well



Clafoutis aux Fruits

          This is a neat alternative to a fruit tart.  Any fruit can be used; I’ve seen cherries, peaches, berries and varied assortments.  Use your favorites!


125 g. flour

100 g. sugar

3 eggs

¼ l. milk (a little over)

4 tsp. oil

1 pinch salt

          3 apples or 4 kiwis (peeled)


--grease the pan and lay down the sliced fruit

--mix the ingredients for the dough (as for crèpes )

--pour over the fruit and cook for 45 minutes

--the pâte must rise and then fall again




Gâteau à Quatre Quarts

          Easy to make (and remember), there are possibilities for infinite variation.


1 egg ~ 50 g., 3 eggs ~ 150 g., etc.

as much butter, sugar and flour


--beat the sugar and butter for 15 minutes, using whisk

--add the eggs one at a time

--add flour

--cook in greased mold or in muffin pans with papers


--add: 100 g. chocolate melted in a bit of water

           chocolate chips

           thinly-sliced apples



Pommes en Pâte

          This is one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever tasted.  It’s nice and light, more fruity than rich.  All around fabulous.


6-7 small apples

jam/jelly/preserves (blackberry, currant)

2-3 eggs     

100 g. flour

100 g. sugar

1 cup milk

15 g. butter

½ Tbs. Salt

1 pinch cinnamon


--peel the whole apples and remove the cores (leave bottom intact)

--place in a greased oven pan

--fill the apples with jam (~1 Tbs.)

--beat the egg whites

--beat the yolks and sugar until the mixture is mousse-like

--add the flour, salt, milk and cinnamon

--gently fold in the egg whites

--pour the pastry between the apples—do not cover them

--cook at 350° for 40 minutes

--serve in the pan, hot, warm or cold

Délice aux Noix

          If it’s got walnuts in it, it must be Grenoblois!  Yes, walnuts, walnuts, everywhere in this region.  This is very yummy, but also very heavy.


300 g. flour

250 g. sugar

300 g. walnuts

6 eggs


--separate the egg whites and yolks

--beat together the yolks and the sugar

--mix the flour and the nuts

--beat the egg-whites

--mix the yolks/sugar with the flour/nuts & fold in the egg whites

--pour into a well-buttered mold (you can flour the mold as well)

--cook for one hour

--un-mold and chill, serve with whipped cream


Le Sévillan

          Delicious orange cake.  Requires some time to prepare.


115 g. butter                           Icing:

115 g. sugar                            2 oranges

2 eggs                                      230 g. confectioner’s sugar

115 g. flour

1 orange

1 Tbs. baking powder


--finely grate the orange skin and squeeze the juice

--work the butter with a wooden spoon in a warmed earthenware bowl, making it creamy

--incorporate the sugar, little by little, and the whole eggs one at a time, continuing to work the dough well

--add the flour, the orange juice and the zest, then add the yeast last

--pour into a buttered 24 cm. mold and cook at 350°

--dissolve the confectioner’s sugar in the juice of the other oranges to make a smooth, thick cream

--un-mold the cake as soon as it is finished cooking

--ice the cake while it is hot—serve once the cake softens some

Gâteau Roulé

          This is basically a jelly roll.  It’s pretty quick to make (though it can take awhile to get the flipping-out-of-the-pan technique down).  This is also the basis for the famed Bûche de Noël, which is featured below.


4 eggs                                      1 tsp. butter

200 g. sugar                            1 tsp. water

175 g. flour                                       pinch of salt



--separate the egg whites from the yolks

--beat the egg whites

--beat the yolks with the water until they appear white

--add the flour very slowly

--incorporate the beaten whites

--finish with the butter

--cook in a greased (oil or butter) aluminum pan (shallow rectangle) in a very hot oven (400°+), for 4-7 minutes

--remove and quickly unmold onto a moist cloth (sprinkled with sugar, if desired)

--quickly roll up and wait ~1 minute

--un-roll, spread with jam, re-roll and serve


Crème au Beurre

100 g. confectioner’s sugar

100 g. soft butter

50 g. melted chocolate


--mix in Cuisinart


Crème Pâtissière

¼ l. milk

1 egg

2 tsp. corn starch

40 g. sugar

flavor (coffee, chocolate, vanilla)


--heat the milk

--beat the eggs with the sugar, add the flour

--pour the hot milk little by little into the mix

--replace on burner, stirring continuously just until it begins to boil

--put into bowl, add flavor

          (chocolate can be melted with the milk)






Bûche de Noël

          This is the classic French holiday dessert.  Not only scrumptious, but also fun to decorate.


gâteau roulé

crème patissière  (any flavor—Nicole recommended coffee)

crème au beurre (chocolate)


--make the gâteau roulé without using sugar on the rolling cloth

--spread the crème pâtissière inside and re-roll

--cut off the ends to make “knots” on the log

--spread the crème au beurre over the outside

--use a hot fork to make designs in the “bark”

--sprinkle with sugar “snow”, etc.