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.

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Pot de Crème

Ingredients:
2 cups Heavy Cream
6 Egg Yolks
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate nibs
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Water for cooking
Whipped Cream for topping

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 325°F
  • In a large bowl beat the Egg Yolks with 1 cup of Heavy Cream, Vanilla, and Sugar.
  • In a double boiler, melt the Chocolate and other 1/2 cup of Cream.
  • Slowly add the Chocolate Mixture to the Egg Yolks and mix well. Do not add all the Chocolate at once, or it may cook the Eggs!
  • Divide the Mixture into 6 Ramekins or similar oven-proof dishes. Traditionally, you could use Espresso Cups.
  • Place the filled Ramekins into a baking dish, and fill the dish with water so that the water comes up about 1 inch around the Ramekins. If you have a baking dish that has a lid, use that. Otherwise, you will need to cover the baking dish with Aluminum Foil.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the custard begins to set, but is still jiggly.
  • Remove and cool, then chill until you serve (at least 1/2 an hour).
  • Garnish with a dollop of Whipped Cream

Makes 6 Ramekin-sized servings, or 8-10 Espresso-sized servings.

NOTES: So I fell in love with this dish when I happened upon it at a French restaurant called Singe Vert in New York. I asked my chef mentor Philippe Fallait about the dish, and he said it was not as hard as people think but also very rich and that I did not want to know how many egg yolks went into it. Well after much trepidation, I finally built up the nerve to look into this dish–and this year I finally made my recipe and executed it. It was a hit with my closest friends (who are very particular and honest)–I was very excited.

So Pot de Creme is not a custard, not a pudding, and not a mousse, but is very similar to all of those. It is creamy and silky smooth, and very rich.

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.

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.

Prickly-Pear Fruit Salad

Ingredients:
4 Prickly-Pear Cactus Fruit
2 Kiwi
1 Mango
1 Orange
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1-2 tsp Granulated Sugar
Dash of Cinnamon
1 tsp Orange Zest
Fresh Mint for Garnish

Directions:

  • Prepare the Fruit.
    • Prickly-Pear Cactus Fruit: Cut off the top and bottom, and cut a line across the flesh lengthwise, about 1 cm deep (at most). Carefully pull the Skin from the magenta flesh. Be careful, as there may still be spines on the skin. Slice in disks or dice into bite-size pieces. Be careful not to make them too small.
    • Kiwi: Peel the skin and then slice into disks. Discard the ends.
    • Mango: Peel the skin, and slice the flesh off the core. Dice the flesh into bite size pieces.
    • Orange: Using a knife, cut away the skin, exposing the orange slices. Use a sharp knife and cut out the segments.
  • In a Bowl, whip the Cream, Sugar, and Cinnamon until peaks form.
  • Plate the Fruit in small bowls, and add a dollop of the Whipped Cream.
  • Add Orange Zest and Mint as a Garnish.

Makes 3 servings.

NOTES: Prickly-Pear Cactus Fruit are also known as “Indian Figs” or tuna in Spanish, and are the fruit of the Opuntia genus of cacti also known as Nopales. They come in a variety of colors, but I like the magenta ones.  The consistency is somewhat like watermelon, and the seeds are edible.  This fruit salad is great especially when chilled in the freezer for 20 minutes before serving (Obviously, you’d not put the Whipped Cream on till after you take it out and plate it).

Cál Ceannann – Colcannon – Mashed Potatoes with Kale

Ingredients:
8 Russet Potatoes, cleaned, chopped
10-12 oz Kale, stems removed
Water for Boiling
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
4 Tbsp Butter
4 Scallions, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste (be liberal)
1-2 Tbsp fresh Chives, minced

Directions:

  • Place the Potatoes in a large pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook till fork tender.
  • Strain and set to the side.
  • Using the same, fill half-way with water and bring to a boil. Add some salt.
  • Place the Kale in the boiling water, and let cook for 1 minute, until just tender.
  • Strain and run through cold water.
  • Roll out some paper towels and place the Kale on it, and let the water drain. You can cover the Kale with more paper towels–just make sure you get as much water out as possible.
  • Remove to a cutting board, and chop fine.
  • In a large bowl, mash the Potatoes with the Heavy Cream and Butter.
  • Mix in the Kale and Scallion to the Potatoes. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with the Chives

Makes 8 servings.

NOTES: Colcannon is a traditional Irish mashed potatoes that incorporates Kale or other types of Cabbage. It is very basic, and very easy to make, though you can add some additional flavor by adding some cubed Ham, or crumbled bacon. The use of Kale specifically rather than a head cabbage suggest it is best for the Winter months–though really you can make it all year.

Colcannon is also a traditional Halloween food in Ireland, wherein the host places a ring, coin, thimble, and/or button. This is similar to finding a “baby Jesus” in a three-kings cake, or a coin in Christmas pudding. The Ring means the person will get married in the year; the coin means the person will come into money; the thimble and button mean the person will be a spinster or bachelor.

Escalope de Veau Comtoise – Comte Veal Scaloppini

Escalope de Veau Comtoise

Ingredients:
6 Veal cutlets, pounded thin
6 pieces Ham, thinly sliced
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour (for coating)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cups Table Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 – 2 cups Comte cheese, shredded
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc
1 Tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Place the Flour in a container and dredge the Veal cutlets.
  • In a large skillet, brown each piece of chicken on both sides in the Olive Oil. When each piece is browned, remove from the skillet and place in a baking dish.
  • Place a piece of ham on each cutlet, and then cover with shredded cheese.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • While it is baking, deglaze the skillet with the wine.
  • Add the Mushrooms, and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add the Heavy Cream and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the Veal from the oven; and plate.
  • Cover with the Mushroom Sauce.
  • Garnish with the fresh Parsley.

Makes 6 servings.

NOTES: I love looking at the cuisine of my the regions of the world from which my family comes. This recipe is a typical dish from the Franche-Comte region of France where my paternal grandmother’s paternal grandmother Adele Francais was born. This dish uses Comte cheese, a regional cheese similar to Gruyère. In fact you can substitute Gruyère for Comte if you cannot find Comte.  For those who object to the use of Veal, you can use Chicken cutlets.

Chess Pie

Ingredients
1 Pâte Brisée for 9″ shell
1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp Cornmeal
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
5 eggs
2/3 cup Buttermilk

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Cream the Sugars, Butter, Corn Meal, Cinnamon, and Vanilla Extract.
  • Slowly beat in each egg.
  • Finally, beat in the Buttermilk gradually.
  • Roll out your Pâte Brisée to 1/8 inch thick, and big enough for a 9″ pie. Place in pie pan and crimp the edges as you desire.
  • Pour filling into the shell.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until it has set. The edges may brown slightly.

Makes 1 pie.

NOTES: I cannot find any definitive reason why Chess Pie is called so. Some theories say it is because it came to the Americas from Chester, England. Other theories say it comes from a pie chest (or piece of furniture for pies). All I know, is it is very common in the South, and always made with buttermilk! I highly discourage making this with cream or milk, unless you add a little of vinegar.

Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Ingredients:
2 cloves Garlic, minced fine
2 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
2 cups Heavy Cream
4 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled
2 Tbsp Asiago vecchio, grated
1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  • In a sauce pan on medium heat, add the Garlic and Butter. Cook until the Butter is melted.
  • Stir in the Flour and make a roux, and let cook for about 3 minutes
  • Stir in the Heavy Cream
  • Add the Nutmeg, Gorgonzola, and Asiago, and heat until melted.
  • Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

NOTES: This sauce goes well with Gnocchi, Penne, Farfalle, Orecchiette, or Conchiglie–pretty much any pasta that has a place for the creamy sauce to collect. You can also make it with Shells, and bake it with a bread-crumb and herb topping. The first time I had Gorgonzola sauce was, oddly, in Stirling, Scotland. I fell in love with it immediately. I still claim that the best I ever had was at that little Italian place in Stirling.

Cheese Straws

Cheese Straws

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Butter, room temperature
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded, room temperature
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp House Seasoning
1 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1-2 Tbsp Milk

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 350F.
  • Combine the Butter, Cheese, Cayenne Pepper, and House Seasoning in a Food Processor, and pulse to combine. Batter should be somewhere between clumpy and grainy. You should not be able to distinguish pieces of cheese.
  • Slowly add the Flour to the mixture, pulsing each time.
  • Lastly start adding the Milk, and the dough will clump together.
  • Fill a Pipping Bag or Cookie Press fitted with a Star Mouth with the Batter. It is essential that the batter be room temperature to do this, or you will kill your arms.
  • Slowly pipe the Dough in strings on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Take a knife or pizza cutter, and score the strings every 2 inches.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until begins to lightly brown.
  • Remove to cooling racks.

Makes about 5-6 dozen (depending on the size of the Star mouth piece)

NOTES: Cheese straws are a real Southern appetizer food. The first time I had them was when I worked at Kanuga Conferences–they were a staple item for their mixers. I love the crunchy cheesy warmness with the Cayenne bite after taste.

Horchata de Arroz – Mexican Rice Milk

Horchata de Arroz

Ingredients:
2 cups long-grain white Rice
3 cups warm Water, for soaking
1/2 cup blanched Almonds, ground
3 Cinnamon Sticks
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1 cup Evaporated Milk
3 cups Cold Water
1/2-3/4 cup granulated Sugar

Directions:

  • Place the Rice, Warm Water, ground Almonds, and Cinnamon in a bowl overnight. For the Almonds, you can use a Food Processor to grind them–doesn’t have to be a fine powder.
  • Remove the Cinnamon Sticks and discard.
  • Pour the mixture into a Blender, and blend for 30 seconds.
  • Strain through a Sieve, Cheesecloth, or Coffee Filters into a pitcher.
  • Add Evaporated Milk, Vanilla, Sugar, and 2-4 cups
  • Using a Whisk, stir well, and adjust the taste with more Sugar if needed.

Makes about 1/2 a gallon.

NOTES: This beverage is a true Meso-American fusion food. It came from Spain where it was made with tigernuts. In the Americas, due to lack of tigernuts, other ingredients were used. Depending on the Latin American country, you will see Rice or various types of seeds used. Most Mexican varieties are made with Rice with Cinnamon–some adding strawberries or Prickly Pear.

Now the Historian in me read that the name comes from Valencia Spain from orxata deriving from the word for Barley. In traditional Meso-American cooking, it looks like a metate (a stone motar tool) would have been used to grind the rice mixture. One day, I want to get a metate and make it that way LOL!

Banana Pudding

Ingredients:
4 cups Milk
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
4 Egg Yolks
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Butter
4-6 Ripe Bananas, sliced
2-4 cups Savoiardi Lady Fingers, cut into pieces

Meringue Topping or
Whipped Cream

Directions:

  • Line a baking dish with a layer of the Savoiardi followed by a layer of the Bananas.
  • If using the Meringue Topping, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • In a large sauce pan, combine the Cornstarch, Salt and Sugar.
  • In a bowl whisk together the Egg Yolks and the Milk.
  • Slowly add the Yolk/Milk mixture to the Dry Ingredients, whisking with a balloon whisk. Whisk well to prevent any lumps.
  • Heat on low-medium Heat, stirring constantly. Do not bring to a boil.
  • As the pudding heats up, the cornstarch will start to thicken the sauce. Be vigilant as it will go from broth to custard almost with no warning. When it starts to turn to custard, it is done cooking.
  • Remove from the heat and mix in the Vanilla and Butter.
  • Pour half of the mixture over the Bananas Cookie Layer, then add additional Savoiardi and Bananas.
  • Top:
    • If using a meringue, make the meringue mixture and top; bake for 12-15 minutes or until the meringue is golden.
    • If using whipped cream, spread over the top of the pudding; crumble the remaining cookies, and sprinkle on top; then refrigerate.

NOTES: Banana Pudding is a Southern comfort food. In the Summer time it is traditional to use a Meringue topping, however no one will fault you for using whipped cream. Though traditionalists would probably scream, I prefer Ladyfingers or Savoiardi to Vanilla Wafers, and I partially wonder if that is what was used before Vanilla Wafers were mass-marketed. Regarding the bananas, they need to be real ripe with brown speckles on the skin. You can rush the ripeness by putting them in a dark place ina bag or in the fridge.

Meringue Topping

Ingredients:
4 Egg Whites, room temperature
5 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  • Beat the Egg Whites until they form soft peaks.
  • Add the cream of tartar, and continue to beat, gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold the vanilla into the meringue

NOTES: You can use this topping on Banana Pudding, but also on any custard pie, or other pie that would require Meringue topping. Just cover the pie, and bake at 375°F until golden brown.

Peaches, Strawberries, and Cream

Peaches, Strawberries, and Cream

Ingredients:
2 Peaches, washed
8 Strawberries, cold
1 tsp Granulated Sugar
1 tsp ground Cloves
2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 tsp Confectioners Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Water for Boiling

Directions:

  • Place the Peaches in a Pot, and fill with water enough that they float. Remove the Peaches and set them aside.
  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Using tongs, drop the peaches into the water, and roll them around for about a minute.
  • Remove the Peaches with tongs, and run them under cold water.
  • The skin of the Peach should easily peal at this point, so peal them, and then chop them into bite-size chunks and place in a large bowl or in serving dishes.
  • Slice the Strawberries in quarters and mix with the Peaches.
  • Sprinkle the Strawberries and Peaches with the Granulated Sugar and Cloves, and refrigerate.
  • In a separate bowl, whip together the Heavy Cream, Confectioners Sugar, and Vanilla until stiff peeks form.
  • Remove the fruit, and cover with the whipped cream and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTES: This is a very simple summer desert, that is set off by the addition of cloves. If you are not going to serve right away, hold off on making the whipped cream until before serving.

Variations:
Ṽ›Ɣ – Use a Non-Dairy Whipped Topping instead of making your own Whipped Cream.
S›Ƨ – Substitute Splenda® for the Sugar on the Fruit, and omit it from the Whipped Cream–there will not be a noticeable difference with the Whipped Cream.

Schnitz un Knepp

Ingredients:
2-3 lb Ham, pre-cooked
2 cups dried Apple Rings
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
4 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 Egg, beaten
3 Tbsp Butter, melted
1/2-2/3 cup Milk
Water for Ham and Apples

Directions:

  • Put the Ham in a large pot, and cover with water.
  • Bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer for 2 1/2-3 hours until the ham is very tender.
  • Put the Apple slices in a bowl and cover with water, letting them soak the duration it takes to cook the Ham.
  • Add the Apples, the soaking Water, the Brown Sugar, and the Onions to the Ham, and bring to a boil.
  • In a large bowl combine all the dry Ingredients, Egg, and Butter. Slowly add the Milk to the batter–you may not need all 2/3 cup–you want it to be a sticky and gloppy batter, not runny.
  • Drop Tablespoon size-balls of dough into the Ham pot, and cover.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes, and then serve.

NOTES: Schnitz un Knepp is an Amish dish popular in Pennsylvania. Literally translated, it means “Slices and Buttons”. Schntiz comes from Schnitzen – slices and Knepp for button referring to the dumplings. I don’t know who the ham angered, that it didn’t make it into the name! The first time I had this was at YMCA camp in Ohio, when they took us to an Amish farm. The meal is very simple, and easy to serve to a large group of folks–and not what one gets every day in non-Amish circles. I recommend this with left-over ham after a holiday, or in the fall or winter. I’ve also seen this spelled Schnitz un Gnepp, as well as with the “un” spelled out “und”. The Amish German dialect pounces it “schnitz-un-nep”, alighting the ordinarily pronounced K/G sound right out.

Chicken in Dijon Cream Sauce

Inspired by and dedicated to Chef Philippe Fallait and his wife Mary
Chicken in Dijon Creme Sauce with Lemon-Steamed Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:
4 thinly sliced Chicken Breast fillets
4 Tbsp Dijon Mustard (removed from container)
1/2 tsp Olive Oil
2 cups Table Mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp fresh Chives, diced

Directions:

  • Liberally coat the Chicken Breasts with the Dijon Mustard on both sides.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes, as you heat up a skillet with just enough Olive Oil to coat lightly.
  • When the skillet is hot, brown the Chicken breasts on both sides, on medium heat.
  • Remove and set to the side.
  • Pour in the White Wine Vinegar, and scrap off the pieces of Mustard and Chicken.
  • Add the Mushrooms and let brown.
  • Add the Heavy Cream, Salt, Pepper, and any remaining Dijon Mustard.
  • Heat for about five minutes, stirring well, and mixing well until bubbly.
  • Add the chicken breasts back to the pan and let cook for another 5 minutes coating them with the Mustard Cream Sauce.
  • Plate the chicken, cover with Mushrooms and Sauce, and garnish with the diced Chives.

Makes 2 servings (2 pieces per person)

NOTES: When using the Dijon Mustard, remove it from the container and keep in a bowl or on a plate to prevent cross-contamination. Any Dijon Mustard not used from that plate can be scraped into the Heavy Cream when cooking.

This recipe was shared with me by my good friend Chef Philippe Fallait, who is the owner of Cafe Triskell. He didn’t give me the measurements, but I would not have this recipe without him. He’s an excellent chef, and a good friend.

Variations:
Chicken Dijon Baked with Artichokes

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.

New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

Ingredients:
3 medium Russet Potatoes, skinned and diced
1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 pieces of Bacon, diced
4 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups Clam meat, diced
1 cup Clam Juice
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 cups Milk
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Parsley

Directions:

  • In a saucepot, cook the Bacon until crisp on medium heat.
  • Add the Onions and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the Potatoes and Garlic, coating with the Oily Onion/Bacon mixture. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring.
  • In a bowl combine the Butter and the Flour to form a paste called a beurre manié.
  • Add the beurre manié, Clams, and Clam Juice to the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add the Milk, Heavy Cream, and Herbs.
  • Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring often.

NOTES: I prefer to use bigger chunks in my Clam Chowder, so my dices are a little bigger than others…especially the Clams. However you should avoid having whole clams as they can be chewy–quartering is the best. I have no problem using high-quality canned clams for this, so long as preserved in water and not oil. Oh, and you’ll notice that I omitted the use of Salt in this recipe. This is because of the salty bacon and salty clam juice, and the lower amount of potatoes, however you can always add salt to taste.

There are other types of Clam Chowder — Manhattan, Rhode Island, and Outer Banks (from the Carolinas), but none of them have the appeal of New England Clam Chowder to me. This is a true comfort food, and reminds me of the days when my family would go to buffet restaurants like Ryan’s Steakhouse and Golden Corral. I would always start with a big bowl of New England Clam Chowder, and pick out the potatoes which seemed to take away from the clams!

Variations:
Cassava Clam Chowder – Substitute Cassava for the Potatoes.

Rhode Island Clam Chowder –  When adding the Clams, also add 1 cup diced Tomatoes.

Crème Fraîche

Ingredients:
2 cups Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Buttermilk

Directions:

  • Warm the Heavy Cream in a non-stick Saucepan on Medium Heat until about 100°F.
  • Place the Buttermilk in a Medium Bowl, and slowly combine the Heavy Cream to it.
  • Store in a warm dry place for 24 hours, stirring every 6-8 hours. During the 24 hours, the mixture will thicken and take on a tangy and nutty flavor.
  • Once made, you can store it in a seal-able container in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Makes 2 1/4 cups.

NOTES: The bacteria in the buttermilk prevents bad bacteria from taking hold in the cream. This can be used for savory and sweet dishes and has many uses. My favorite is to put a dollop on some Tomato Soup.

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 8:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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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

Key Lime Pie

Persian “Key” Lime Pie

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 Egg Yolks, beaten
1 cup Lime Juice
1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust

Directions:

  • Combine the Sweetened Condensed Milk with the Egg Yolks in a large bowl, mixing well.
  • Slowly incorporate the Lime Juice, and mix well.
  • Pour into the Pie Crust.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour

NOTES: This is a super easy no-bake pie that is sure to please everyone!

Most limes one finds in the grocery store are Persian limes. To make REAL Key Lime Pie, use Key Lime Juice. Key Limes are specifically from the Florida Keys and are smaller and more tart. Authentic Key Lime Pie recipes are non-bake. The condensed milk was used because of poor refrigeration options. Some folks will add a meringue to the pie, but as I hate most meringue toppings, I refuse.

The use of the highly acidic lime juice with the Condensed Milk and Egg Yolks “cooks” the pie, so no additional baking is needed.  Some folks also add some Green Dye to the pie to make it Green–but something just does not sit right with me dying a pie.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Parsley, chopped fine
1 Tbsp Chives, minced
1 tsp Dill chopped fine
2 cloves Garlic, minced fine
1/4 tsp Rosemary, chopped fine
1/4 tsp Granulated Sugar
1/8 tsp Dry Mustard
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

NOTES: You can vary the herbs based on your preferences.

Blue Cheese Dressing

Ingredients:
8 oz Danish Blue Cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup Sour Cream
3 oz Cream Cheese, room temp
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 tsp Chives, minced
1/4 tsp Granulated Sugar
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp dry Mustard
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients into a Food Processor, and Pulse until well blended.

NOTES: I prefer Danish Blue for this dressing, however you could use Stilton, Roquefort, Gorgonzola or some other Blue Cheese of your choice.

Quiche Lorraine

Ingredients:
Pâte Brisée for 9″ shell
6-8 strips of thick-cut Bacon, diced, cooked
4 Eggs
1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 375° F
  • Place the Pâte Brisée in a Spring-Foam Pan or Tart Pan or Pie Pan, and crimp the sides and edge as desired.
  • Bake for 15 minutes and remove to the side.
  • Sprinkle the Bacon pieces throughout the Pie shell.
  • In a large bowl beat the Eggs and combine with the Heavy Cream, Salt, Pepper, and Nutmeg.
  • Pour over the Bacon in the Pie shell.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes.

NOTES: Quiche Lorraine does not traditionally have Cheese, however most recipes do add Gruyère or Swiss. The addition of cheese or other ingredients connotes a different type of Quiche such as Vosgienne or Alsacienne (Cheese and Onion). Because I am someone who enjoys the fine details, below in the Variations section you will find the similar Quiches that are often all called Quiche Lorraine.

Quiche originated in the medieval German region of Lothringen or what is the modern day Alsace/Lorraine region of France. It was called Küche in the original Lorraine Franconian dialect.  French pronunciation influence changed the name to “kishe” and later quiche.

Variations:
Quiche Vosgienne – Add 1-2 cups shredded Gruyère Cheese on top after adding the custard mixture.
Quiche Alsacienne – Add 1 small diced white Onion when adding the bacon. Add 1-2 cups shredded Gruyère Cheese on top after adding the custard mixture.

Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients:
4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 3/4 cup Buttermilk

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 425° F
  • In a large bowl combine the Dry Ingredients and make a well.
  • Slowly add the Buttermilk until a dough forms.
  • Place on the counter and gently knead, being sure not to overwork the dough.
  • Place in a greased heavy round cake pan or warm greased dutch oven.
  • Using a knife cut a cross along the top of the cake.
  • Bake covered for 30-35 minutes and then an additional 15 minutes uncovered.
  • Remove and allow to cool before serving.

NOTES: Traditional Irish Soda bread is plain and not sweetened like a cake or filled with raisins. Though I advocate adding both to give it flavor. Soda Bread also does not last that long, so eat it up in the first few days.

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.