Pommes de Terre Gratin avec Chèvre et Emmental

Ingredients:
6 lg Russet Potatoes, clean, skin-on
4 oz Chèvre Goat Cheese, room temperature
6 oz Mozzarella or other mild semi-soft cheese
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 Tbsp Butter
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 oz Emmental or Swiss Cheese, sliced thin

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 350°F.
  • Slice the Potatoes in 1/4″ disks slices, discarding the ends.
  • In a sauce pot, bring the Heavy Cream and Milk to a simmer on medium heat–stirring with a wooden spoon. Do not bring it to a boil, and do not let it scald.
  • Break the Goat Cheese up and slowly add it to the Milk/Cream mixture, stirring constantly and allowing it to melt.
  • Do the same with the Sour Cream, Butter, and Mozzarella–not all at once, just in small portions, stirring as it mixes.
  • After all is melted and mixed well, remove from heat.
  • Line the Potato Slices in a 9×13 casserole dish. The slices should overlap like fallen dominoes. You can either put all the potatoes in one layer or divide into two layers–up too you. I prefer one Layer.
  • Sprinkle with the Herbes de Provence, Salt, and Pepper.
  • Cover with the Cheese/Cream/Milk Mixture.
  • Layer the Emmental cheese slices on top, covering the entire surface.
  • Bake covered for 45min to 1 hour, or until the top begins to brown and it is bubbly on the sides.

Makes 6-8 servings

NOTES: So this is really a Cheesy version of Scalloped Potatoes–scalloped referring to the shape of the potatoes and how they are placed in the dish. “Gratin” on it means there is a cheese covering–which is the only way to do potatoes like this, if you ask me. I incorporated two specific mountain cheeses–Emmental from Swizerland and Chèvre from France. In most parts of the US, one will just find them listed as “Swiss Cheese” and “Goat Cheese”. So don’t worry if you don’t find those specific names.

Braised Rabbit with Dijon Sauce

Dedicated to Tim Mathis, who loved the Dijon Sauce

Ingredients:
1 Rabbit, cut in 6 pieces
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
2 Tbsp Butter, divided
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Shallots, diced
3 cups Table Mushrooms (small is best)
4 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Dijon Sauce
1/2 cup Stock from Rabbit
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Honey
1/4 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

Directions:

  • Sprinkle the Rabbit pieces with Salt and Pepper on all sides.
  • Melt 1 Tbsp Butter and the Olive Oil in a Dutch Oven on medium heat.
  • Brown all the Rabbit pieces and set to the side. Do not over-crowd the Dutch Oven–you can do it in batches.
  • Carefully add the Wine, Garlic, and Shallots, and scrape the sides of the Dutch Oven with a balloon whisk.
  • Add the Chicken Stock, Herbes de Provence, and remaining Tbsp of Butter.
  • Add the Rabbit pieces and Mushrooms. The liquid should mostly cover the Rabbit, if not add more Chicken Stock, Wine, or Water.
  • Bring to a Boil on Medium-High heat.
  • When Boiling, lower heat and bring to a simmer. Cover for 45-60 minutes.
  • Remove Rabbit pieces, and then strain the liquid. Reserve the Mushrooms, Shallots, and Garlic for the side. Reserve 1/2 cup of the Broth for the Sauce.
  • In the empty Dutch Oven, combine the Reserved Broth, Heavy Cream, Honey, and Dijon Mustard, mixing well with a balloon whisk.
  • On medium heat bring to a boil and let roll for 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Take the Rabbit pieces and coat them in the sauce, and then plate.
  • Remaining Sauce can be put in a Gravy Boat or bowl. Serve the Mushrooms and Shallots as a side

Makes 3-4 servings.

NOTES: Rabbit cooked this way is very mild, almost like chicken. You should get the Rabbit cut up by your butcher, though it is not hard to do yourself, but if your butcher sells it, then they can cut it. If you have a squeamish friend who fears the Bunny…the same Dijon sauce can be used on grilled or rotisserie chicken. Most folks, honestly would not know they’re eating rabbit unless you told them…just sayin’.  The broth can be saved and used with Pasta or Rice for a nice Soup as well.  You can also add lemon and bring to a boil and add whisked eggs–amazing.

Herb-Crusted Tuna Steak with a Balsamic Dijon Sauce

Herb-Crusted Tuna Steak with Balsamic Dijon Sauce
And Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients:
2 8-10oz Tuna Steaks
1/4 cup Herbes de Provence
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
4 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Honey

Directions:

  • Pat the Tuna Steaks with a paper towel and remove excess moisture on the outside. Salt and Pepper both sides.
  • Sprinkle the Herbes de Provence on both sides of the Tuna, and press lightly.
  • Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a skillet until hot.
  • Carefully place the Tuna steaks in the skillet.
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes, depending on how done you want your Tuna. Do not move them while they are cooking.
  • Using tongs or a spatula, carefully flip the Tuna and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove and let rest.
  • Add the Dijon, Butter, and Vinegars to the skillet, and mix well.
  • Lastly add the Honey, and reduce for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Drizzle the sauce over the Tuna, or serve on the side.

Makes 2 Tuna Steaks

NOTES: This is a very quick and flavorful way of making Tuna–and not the overused Miso-Wasabi variations people seem to be leaning on as of late. The herbs crust onto the tuna infusing the flavors into the meat. The sauce has a rich sweet and savory silkiness that complements the herbs and tuna.

Roasted Winter Root Soup

Ingredients:
1 med Yellow Onion, diced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Carrot, skinned, chopped
1 Parsnip, skinned, chopped
1 Turnip, skinned, chopped
1 Sweet Potato, skinned, chopped
2 Potatoes, chopped
2 Kielbasa Sausages, sliced in 1 cm thick rounds
6 cups Vegetable Stock/Broth
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
2 Tbsp Dill
2 Bay Leaves
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 400°F.
  • Add all Root Vegetables and Kielbasa to a Dutch Oven, coat with the Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper.
  • Roast for 10 minutes, stir, and then another 10 minutes.
  • Remove and scrap into a large Soup Pot.
  • Add the Vegetable Stock and heat on high heat until it boils.
  • Add the remaining Herbs and Spices, reduce heat to low heat. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are fork tender.

Makes 4 Servings.

NOTES: This is a family recipe from my Slovakian side of the family, originating from Medzev, Slovakia (formerly Metzenseifen).

When chopping the vegetables, think of bite-size/spoon size pieces. You can substitute Mushroom Broth or Chicken Stock for the Vegetable Stock. You can also utilize any other cooked Sausage instead of Kielbasa if you like.

This simple, healthy dish will keep you warm on a blustery winter night.

Mushrooms in a Balsamic Cream Sauce

Mushrooms in a Balsamic Cream Sauce

Ingredients:
1 lb Table Mushrooms, cleaned
4 cloves Garlic, cut in slivers
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  • Add the Mushrooms, Garlic, Olive Oil, and liberal Salt to a medium sized skillet on medium heat.
  • Slowly heat the Mushrooms stirring constantly and flipping every few minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, drizzle in the Balsamic Vinegar. Keep stirring.
  • After 2 minutes, add the remaining ingredients.
  • Cook for an additional 5 minutes, being sure to scrape the sides.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTES:

This is a very simple side dish with tons of flavor. The Heavy Cream and Balsamic Vinegar add an almost caramel quality sauce. I am sure there is some sort French name for this type of sauce, but I have no clue what it is.  If you want, you can half or quarter the mushrooms.

Roasted Mushrooms and Cipollini Onions

Ingredients:
1 1/2 – 2 lbs Table Mushrooms, cleaned
12-15 Cipollini Onions, peeled, and quartered
2 Tbsp Corn Starch
4-6 cloves Garlic, cut in slivers
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Butter
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 1/2 cups Mushroom Broth or Beef Broth
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 350°F.
  • Place the Corn Starch in a quart-size plastic bag with the Mushrooms and shake to coat them.
  • Place all ingredients into a Dutch Oven with a lid.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, stirring mid way

Makes about 4-6 Servings.

NOTES: So I love these…I love mushrooms in general, but roasted is my favorite. And these are very simple and have a nice Autumnal flare to them. They make a great side item maybe with some crusty bread to sop up the broth–Great with roasts or steak too!

Cipollini onions are like mini sweet onions and have a buttery sweet taste to them. If you cannot find them, use a sweet yellow onion diced.

Creamy Red Coleslaw

Dedicated to The Rev. Tommy S., my Southern brother in Christ and friend in Dorothy, in honor of his recent move.

Creamy Red Coleslaw

Ingredients:
1 head Red Cabbage (about 4 cups shredded, shredded finely
1 large Carrot, shredded
1/4 Yellow Onion, grated
1 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
Juice of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1 Lime
1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Sugar (more or less to taste)
1 tsp fresh Ginger, grated
1/4 cup Raisins
2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 tsp fresh Chives
1 tsp Steak Spice Rub
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, combine the Cabbage, Carrots, Ginger, Onion, and Raisins. Toss together.
  • In a gallon-size zipping baggy, combine the Mayonnaise, Dijon Mustard, Chives, Herbes de Provence, Steak Spice Rub, Salt and Pepper, Sugar, Juices, and Vinegar. Seal and mix well.
  • Pour over the top of the Cabbage Mix, and sprinkle with the Sesame Seeds.
  • Fold the mixture together until everything is coated.

NOTES: This is a tangy flavorful Cole Slaw that is very creamy. If you do not have Herbes de Provence, then you can substitute with Parsley, Basil, and a little Oregano and Thyme… just make sure the total amount is similar. This can be saved, sealed, for a week, and will become more flavorful as you go.

Variations:
S›Ƨ – Substitute Splenda® for the Sugar.

Steak Matelote

Steak Matelote with Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients:
2 8-10oz Rib Eye (or favorite cut)
2 sticks Butter
2 Tbsp Steak Spice Rub
4 cloves Garlic
3-4 cups Table Mushrooms, sliced
juice of 1 Lemon
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon (or other dry red wine)
1 Tbsp Corn Starch
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1/4 tsp Mint, minced
2 tsp fresh Chives, minced

Directions:

  • Rub the Steak Spice Rub over both sides of the Steaks, using more if needed
  • Preheat oven to 250°F.
  • In a large skillet, melt 1 stick of butter on medium heat.
  • When the butter starts to bubble, add the Steaks. Do not move them once placed.
  • Cook without moving for 4-5 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove to cookiesheet and place in the oven for the duration of the dish preparation.
  • Add the Juice of the Lemon to the skillet, and rub off any pieces of meat or spice from the skillet with a whisk.
  • Add the remaining Butter, and let it melt.
  • Next add the Garlic and Mushrooms, browning the mushrooms on both sides.
  • In a cup whisk together the Corn Starch and the Wine.
  • Add the starched Wine to the skillet, followed by the Heavy Cream and Herbes de Provence and Mint.
  • Cook on medium heat until the sauce thickens and is bubbly (about 5 minutes).
  • Quickly stir in the Chives, and remove from the heat.
  • Plate the Steak, and pour the Mushroom Sauce over the Steaks.

NOTES: This sauce is super easy to make, full flavor, but um… not the healthiest. You can try substituting light butter and skim milk, but it just will not taste the same.

Chicken Dijon Baked with Artichokes

Chicken Dijon with Artichokes

Ingredients:
1 lb Chicken Breast, skinless, boneless, butterfly-cut
2 cups marinated Artichoke Hearts, quartered
2 cups Table Mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Butter, diced
1-2 cups Bread Crumbs
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc
1/4 cup Milk
4-6 Tbps Dijon Mustard

Directions:

  • Pat the chicken dry, and coat with the Bread Crumbs.
  • Saute in a skillet with the Olive Oil on medium heat until browned on the outside.
  • Remove and set to the side.
  • Preheat Oven to 350°F
  • In a Dutch Oven or other baking dish, combine the Artichoke Hearts, Mushrooms, Garlic, Herbs, and Spices.
  • Dollop with the pieces of Butter.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the Wine and the Milk and then pour over the Artichoke/Mushroom mixture.
  • Cover with the pieces of Chicken, like a blanket.
  • Using a knife, spread the Dijon Mustard over the Chicken.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, covered.

NOTES: The use of Dijon Mustard with Chicken comes in various forms–some with a creamy mustard sauce, and others with a mustard rub. This Baked version allows the chicken to be steamed with the wine and herbs as well as allow the juices of the chicken and mustard to soak into the artichokes and mushrooms.

Variations:
Chicken in Dijon Cream Sauce

Dijon Mustard

Dijon Mustard

Ingredients:
1/4 cup whole Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp Dry Mustard
1-2 cloves Garlic
1 Shallot
1 Tbsp Capers, minced
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 tsp Honey
2 Tbsp Sauvignon Blanc
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Bordeaux
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt

Directions:

  • Grate the Garlic and Shallot into a bowl, and press out the liquid and drain.
  • Using a Mortar and Pestle, crush the Mustard Seed. You do not have to pulverize the seeds, just crushing some will release the oils.
  • Combine the Mustard Seed, and Herbes, Spices and Seasonings with the Garlic and Shallots. Slowly add the Wines, Vinegars, Oil, and Honey.
  • Cover and refrigerate over night.
  • Pour into a food processor and blend until desired consistency.

NOTES: Dijon Mustard was created by Jean Naigeon of Dijon in 1856, and utilized a wine made from un-riped grapes often called Verjuice, which has a high acidity. Most modern recipes have substituted it with a combination of White Wine, Red Wine, White Wine Vinegar, and Red Wine Vinegar–you can find varying portions of each depending on a recipe. Regardless, the wines should be dry, and of a high quality worth drinking.

You have control over the coarseness of the mustard when you grind it in the food processor. I prefer a coarser grind. You can also utilize various colors of Mustard Seeds, as available to give it some extra color.

Split Pea Soup

Ingredients:
2 cup dried Split Peas
4 cups Water for Peas
4 slices Bacon
5 cloves Garlic, diced
1 yellow Onion, diced
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
1 tsp ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Butter
3 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup Milk
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1-2 cups Croutons

Directions:

  • Soak the Split Peas in the Water overnight in a bowl. Add more water as needed.
  • In a large Sauce Pot, brown the Bacon until crisp but not burnt.
  • Remove the Bacon, set aside on cookie rack to drain the grease.
  • In the same Sauce Pot, saute the Onion and Garlic until tender.
  • Add all Remaining Ingredients, and simmer for 1 hour on low heat, stirring often.
  • Remove the Bay Leaf.
  • Blend the Soup:
    1. Use a hand-held blender, and puree the Soup in the Sauce Pot.
    2. Pour the Soup into a Food Processor or Stand Blender and puree the Soup.
  • Serve in Bowls, pouring a ring of Heavy Cream along the top of the Soup, garnished with the Bacon and Croutons.

Pot Roast and Vegetables

Sliced Pot Roast with Onions and Garlic

Ingredients:
1 lb Chuck Roast
2-4 Tbsp House Seasoning
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
6 cloves Garlic, sliced
2 medium white Onions, quartered
4 Carrots, skinned, sliced
4 Red Pontiac Potatoes, quartered
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
1/2 cup Water

Directions:

  • Cut slits into the Roast big enough for slivers of Garlic to be slid into it.
  • Slide half the Garlic into the slits.
  • Cover the Roast in the House Seasoning.
  • Preheat oven to 250°F.
  • In a Dutch oven, brown the outside of the Roast in the Olive Oil on medium heat. To do this, let the meat rest on either side, and then left with tongs and rotate. If you move too often, the browning will not be as caramelized.
  • Remove Roast from the Dutch Oven.
  • Add the water and de-glaze, scrapping the fatty/meaty deposits that have stuck to the pan with a whisk.
  • Add the Onions, and Place the Roast on top of them.
  • Surround the Roast with the Potatoes and Carrots.
  • Sprinkle with the Herbs, Worcestershire Sauce and remaining Seasonings.
  • Place in the oven, with a lid on the Dutch Oven, and bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

NOTES: If you have a roasting pan, you can use it for the baking process. You should still brown the meat in a skillet and the place it into the roasting pan; keeping the lowering insert below the onions and roast.

Feel free to use whichever root vegetables you prefer like Turnips, Parsnips, Rutabagas, Yucca, etc; or you can omit them.

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Turkey Patties with Onions & Mushrooms

Goat Cheese Stuffed Turkey PattiesGoat Cheese-Stuffed Turkey Patties with Onions & Mushrooms

Ingredients:Undercooked Warning
1 lb ground Turkey
1 medium Yellow Onion
8-12 Table Mushrooms, sliced
2 medium Jalapeño Peppers, diced
3 cloves Garlic, diced
2 tsp House Seasoning
1 Tbsp Herbs de Provence
4 oz Goat Cheese
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine 1/2 the Herbs de Provence with the Goat Cheese, mixing well. Divide into quarters and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the Turkey meat with the Jalapeño, 1/2 the House Seasoning, 1/2 the Herbs de Provence, and Garlic; mix well.
  • Divide the meat in quarters.
  • Form each quarter of meat into a ball; and then using your thumbs make a pocket.
  • Place the Goat Cheese into the pocket, and then form the meat around the Goat Cheese, completely enclosing it.
  • Flatten the patties, and then place on a plate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Wash your hands.
  • Prepare the Onion: peel the Onion; slice in half from top to bottom; slice each half from top to bottom in 1/4″ slices.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil and place the Onions and Mushrooms, sprinkled with the remaining House Seasoning.
  • Cook the Onions and Mushrooms for about five minutes stirring constantly. Remove from the Skillet.
  • On Medium heat, heat the patties in the skillet. Heat each side 5 minutes. If thicker, then heat longer on each side to ensure that each is cooked thoroughly
  • Serve topped with the Mushrooms and Onions.

Makes 4 patties.

NOTES: These can also be grilled or broiled.

Braised Lamb Chops in Rosemary Port Sauce

Ingredients:
4-6 Lamb Chops, bone in
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp House Seasoning
2 tsp Mint, dried
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Yellow Onions, minced
2 Tbsp Rosemary, chopped fine
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
2 cups Port
1 cup Water
2 Tbsp Butter
1 tsp Corn Starch

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a large skillet.
  • In a small bowl combine House Seasoning and Mint.
  • Apply half of the Seasoning mix on both sides of the meat. If you need more, mix more, but try to retain 1 1/8 Tbsp of the mixture in the bowl for later use.
  • Carefully, place the seasoned Lamb in the skillet. Brown sides, on high heat.
  • Remove and set to the side.
  • In the pan, carefully add 1 1/2 cups of the Port and scrape any particles off the pan.
  • Add the Water, Onions, Garlic, remaining Seasoning Mixture, Herbs, and Butter to the Wine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the Corn Starch and remaining 1/2 cup Port.
  • Add the Corn Starch/Port mixture to the Sauce forming in the skillet.
  • Carefully place the Lamb back into the skillet, cover, and reduce the heat to low.
  • Simmer for about 40 minutes.