Chef School – Lesson #6

If you’re as addicted to cooking shows as I am, you’ve heard and seen this sauce. It is used to add another flavor profile, to make a dish look pretty when plated. It is called coulis and it is insanely easy to make, while packing an incredible punch.

A coulis is a thick, condensed sauce of French origin. Most often, you’ll hear about fruit coulis, but it can also be made with vegetables or herbs for savory recipes.

This recipe is for a strawberry coulis–remember you can substitute the strawberries with your preferred fruit and follow the same process. You can make this ahead of time, as it will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week. A fruit coulis goes quite well over ice cream, cakes, fruit.

Strawberry Coulis

2 cps frozen strawberries
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp orange liqueur
1/2 cp water

Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan, stir and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the temperature to medium and cook for about 15 minutes or until it begins to thicken or becomes syrupy.

Remove from heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Pour the strawberry syrup into the blender and puree for a few minutes. You can strain the syrup if you wish, but with strawberries, unless you have a very fine sieve, you will still have the seeds–even if very fine.

Try it with this easy chocolate dessert.

Cookingly yours,


Chocolate’s in the house!

I came to chocolate love later in life, sometime around my mid-30’s. I just didn’t get it. Never really craved it. That’s all changed. I still don’t go running for the mountains when I have a craving, it’s not that serious. I do think a bite of rich dark chocolate is a religious experience.

I haven’t given you many dessert recipes, something my mom may excommunicate me for given that’s her bread and butter. So here I bring you 1 of 2 chocolatey things I tried. I assure you. You will enjoy it.

This can be made ahead and frozen until time for its debut. You want to bake the pastry while it is still cold, so freezer time will add to it’s beauty.

Go forth and chocolate!

Puffy Chocolate Purses

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
about 1 cp semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 egg, beaten

Unfold the pastry and cut it into 4 squares. Separate each square so the edges aren’t touching and brush the edges with beaten egg. Don’t use too much, just enough to moisten the edges.

Drop about 1/4 cp of chips in the center of each square.

Grab one corner at a time and pull up towards the center, pressing each corner to the next. Make sure you crimp along the sides to seal any openings.

Once you have crimped together all sides you’ll end up with a little excess dough at the top. I gave it a little twist and pushed back down onto the puff.

Place the finished puffs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased. Put them in the freezer until you’re ready to serve them.

Just before serving, preheat oven to 400. Brush the tops and sides of the pastry with egg and bake them for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. They’ll be puffy and beautiful and just dying with anticipation.

I served them with an awesome Strawberry Coulis. Yeah, baby.

Cookingly yours,