Sunday October 24, 2010
Savory Mushroom stuffed Quail served with a nutty, sweet, and sour walnut sauce. Creamy, earthy, with a hint of game flavor, this is a very elegant dish that's really easy if you use partially deboned quail. Pair this Seduction Meal with a Pinot Noir from Burgundy or Poulsard/Ploussard from Jura. Enjoy!Mushroom Stuffed Quail
Makes 2-4 appetizer or 1-2 light entree servings
Recipe Courtesy of MarxFoods Ingredients
- 4 Semi-Boneless Quail
- 1 Shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 cup Walnuts
- 1/4 cup Chicken Stock
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- Aged Balsamic Vinegar to finish
- Wooden Skewers
- Plus: 4 tbsp Mushroom Duxelles, chilled (we recommend using porcini mushrooms)
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
2. Toast the walnuts on a baking sheet in the oven until slightly darker, crispy, and aromatic. Remove the walnuts, let them cool and turn your oven temperature up to 350 degrees.
4. Sweat the shallot in a pan with a little oil until translucent, deglaze with the balsamic and briefly simmer to reduce to a syrup consistency. Then, blend the balsamic/shallot mixture, walnuts, chicken stock, and olive oil together until smooth.
5. Fill the central cavity of each quail with 1 tbsp of the duxelles and stitch closed with a wooden skewer.
6. Get a thin layer of oil hot in a cast iron skillet on medium and lay the quail in on their backs, until they develop a well seared crust. Then turn them and continue to sear as much of their surface as you can.
7. When the quail have been completely seared, move them (in the skillet) to the oven to roast for about 20 minutes. Plating the Dish
Once the quail has finished cooking, spread a smear of the walnut sauce on a plate, and put the quail down on top of it. Finish the plate with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar. Serve with your favorite side dish and a great bottle of wine.
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Thursday June 11, 2009
Try a new and healthy take on this classic French preparation using lean and succulent buffalo ribeye steaks instead of beef. These steaks are best prepared using a lower temperature than you would use for beef. Cook rare to medium rare for best texture and flavor. Serve with home-made crispy fried and a bottle of your favorite full-bodied red wine. Just delicious!Buffalo Ribeye Steak au Poivre
Recipe courtesy of D'Artagnan - Serves Two
- 4 Tbs. cracked black peppercorn
- 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 3 oz Armagnac
- 6.5 oz Duck and Veal Demi-Glace
- 2 Tbs.green peppercorn
- 2 Tbs. fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped
- 6 oz heavy cream
- Regular salt to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 425°F
- Use cracked peppercorns. If you have whole peppercorns, you can crack them by placing them in wax paper with all sides sealed/folded over. Use the flat side of a large knife blade and smack the peppercorns to crack.
- Season steaks on both sides with salt. Press the cracked black peppercorns into both sides of the steak. I use the flat side of large knife blade and hit the steaks to embed the peppercorns.
- Heat vegetable oil in oven-proof skillet over high-flame until smoking.
- Sear steaks until brown and crusted on both sides.
- Put skillet into oven, cook for 4 minutes until medium-rare.
- Remove steaks from skillet and reserve.
- Over medium-high heat deglaze skillet with Armagnac, add demi-glace and reduce by half.
- Add green peppercorns, heavy cream, tarragon and cook until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Season to taste with salt.
- Remove skillet from heat, add steaks and any drippings. Coat the steaks with sauce.
- Serve with home-made french fries or your favorite potato recipes.
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Saturday March 01, 2008
A wonderful French classic, Coq Au Vin, is a special dish to serve up for your Seduction Meal. In this dish we feature another "fiery meal", igniting the cognac as it blends in with the slow cooked red wine sauce, pearl onions and mushrooms. The special ingredients here are the apple smoked bacon and the cocoa powder. Delicious! Definitely serve this with warm crusty bread to soak up this savory sauce. Coq Au Vin
Overnight marinade (24-48 hours)
3 chicken breasts halves
3 chicken legs, cut in half
2 yellow onions, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice
3 shallots, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
Bouquet Garni (handful of parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, and 5 bay leaves)
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 bottles of red wine
salt and pepper for seasoning the chicken
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Cognac
2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
6 oz. apple-smoked bacon, diced
1 lb button mushrooms
1 pt small white onionsGarnish
(option) toasted croutonsCoq Au Vin
Place chicken pieces, onions, shallots, carrots, bouquet garni and garlic in a large bowl. Add wine, mix all ingedients and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 24 - 48 hours.
Remove chicken from marinade and dry on paper towels, reserve marinade. Season Chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil n a large casserole over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in batches and brown well on all sides. Remove pieces as done and set aside.
Add flour to casserole and whisk for 1-2 minutes on low heat. Return chicken. Remove casserole from heat. Add cognac and carefully ignite. Return casserole to heat and add marinade. Bring to a boil over high heat, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the casserole. Add Chicken stock and return to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is tender; about 1 hour. Remove chicken from casserole and set aside. Strain the sauce through a sieve and discard solids. Return sauce to casserole.
Pour cocoa powder in a small bowl and whisk in about 1/2 cup of sauce and mix until smooth. Add cocoa mixture to casserole, then reduce sauce over medium heat to about 4 cups. Re-introduce the chicken.
Meanwhile, saute bacon, mushrooms, and white onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove this mixture from the saute pan with a slotted spoon and add to chicken casserole. Plating the dish
: Serve the finished dish in a bowl; top with chopped parsley and croutons (optional), and serve with a warm crusty bread and a Red Burgundy (Pinor Noir). For a more hearty meal, serve with a side of creamy mashed potatoes.
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Wednesday February 27, 2008
Who doesn't love creme brulee? Serve up this delicious creamy custard nestled under a brittle sheet of caramelized sugar, and you are sure to experience adoration from those around you. Creme Brulee
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 extra large or jumbo egg yolks
medium orange or large lemon, grated zest only
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean
1 Tbsp of sugar, or brown sugar per serving
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare some boiling water.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and the orange or lemon zest (you choose the flavoring you prefer); cook, stirring occasionally until small bubbles appear around edges of pan, 5 - 6 minutes. Set aside.
In a bowl, beat egg yolks and the 2 tbsp of sugar; until smooth and light. Slowly pour hot cream mixture into egg yolks, a little at a time, beating continuously until well blended. Strain mixture through a fine sive into a bowl to remove the zest and vanilla bean. Divide mixture among four 4 oz. ramekins.
Arrange ramekins in a baking pan and place on middle shelf of preheated oven. Fill pan with boiling water halfway up side the of ramekins. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake until custard is just set, about 25 minutes. The custard will be soft when you take them out of the oven. Be sure to give them plenty of time to chill and set before glazing. Chill 2 - 3 hours. Fire it up!
Now the fun part! Add 1 tablespoon evenly over the top of each ramekin. With the creme brulee torch, move the flame continuously over the surface of the custard in a circular motion until the sugar melts and becomes golden brown and bubbly. It might be a good idea to practice on the first two, so the last two are perfect for your Seduction Meal. Serve immediately.
Note: I tried this recipe using a small propane torch. As you can see it
wasn't strong enough to fully melt the sugar. If you experience this,
try using your broiler. Some recipes call for brown sugar, others use white sugar--I think
white sugar or raw sugar creates more of a "sheet" of caramelized sugar
than the brown sugar I used. I have some testing to do.
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 08:31AM on February 27 in International: French
, sweet temptations
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Sunday February 17, 2008
When I want to make Crepes Suzette I turn to master chef Jacques Pepin
. A real show-stopper, this delicious orange flavored sweet doused in Grand Marnier and Brandy makes a dramatic presentation when fired up. The crepes are ultra thin and cooked with orange butter--both so easy to make.
My favorite story behind the origin of crepes suzette is this version (from Wikipedia).
The dish was created out of a mistake made by a fourteen year-old assistant waiter Henri Charpentier in 1895 at the Maitre at Monte Carlo's Café de Paris. He was preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII of England, and his companion whose first name was Suzette.
This is told by Henri Charpentier himself in Life a la Henri, his autobiography.
"It was quite by accident as I worked in front of a chafing dish that the cordials caught fire. I thought I was ruined. The Prince and his friends were waiting. How could I begin all over? I tasted it. It was, I thought, the most delicious melody of sweet flavors I had ever tasted. I still think so. That accident of the flame was precisely what was needed to bring all those various instruments into one harmony of taste . . . He ate the pancakes with a fork; but he used a spoon to capture the remaining syrup. He asked me the name of that which he had eaten with so much relish. I told him it was to be called Crepes Princesse. He recognized that the pancake controlled the gender and that this was a compliment designed for him; but he protested with mock ferocity that there was a lady present. She was alert and rose to her feet and holding her little shirt wide with her hands she made him a curtsey. 'Will you,' said His Majesty, 'change Crepes Princesse to Crepes Suzette?' Thus was born and baptized this confection, one taste of which, I really believe, would reform a cannibal into a civilized gentleman. The next day I received a present from the Prince, a jeweled ring, a panama hat and a cane."
CREPES SUZETTEOrange Butter
The orange butter is excellent by itself spread on cake layers as an orange butter cream.
3/4 stick butter
1/4 cup sugar
Peel of 1 orange removed with a vegetable peeler
Juice of 1 orange (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons sugar
Place the butter, sugar, and orange peel in the bowl of a food
processor and process until the orange peels are no longer visible and
the whole mixture is a uniform orange color. Add the juice slowly with
the machine on so that the butter absorbs it. Set aside.Crepes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/3 stick butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup cold water
1 tablespoon oil
In a bowl combine the flour, eggs, 1/2 cup milk, melted butter, salt, and sugar. Mix well with a whisk. The batter should be very thick; it is easier to get rid of lumps in a thick batter than in a thin one. Work it until it is smooth, then add the other 1/2 cup of milk, the cold water, and the oil. Stir well.
Heat the skillet and butter it lightly for the first crepe (I melted some butter in a bowl and used a brush to lightly butter the skillet before cooking each crepe. Be sure to remove any bits with first to ensure a smooth crepe). Pour about 2-4 tablespoonfuls of batter on one side of the skillet. The amount will vary depending upon the size of your skillet. Immediately tip the skillet, shaking it at the same time to make the batter run all over the bottom. The speed at which the batter is spread determines the thickness of the crepe. If you do not move the skillet fast enough, the batter sets before it has a chance to spread and the crepe will be thick. Practice with the first two crepes you make.
Cook it on medium to high heat for about 30 seconds. (After the first few seconds when the batter settles, I start to shake the pan from time to time so the pancake does not stick to the skillet). To flip, bang the skillet on a pot holder on the corner of the stove to get the crepe loose, and flip it over. I found this is easiest to do if you tilt the skillet away from you, slide the pancake to the very end of the skillet and then flick the pan towards you. This too will take practice but you'll get the hang of it after your first or second crepe.Preparing the Crepes Suzette
Spread approximately 1 tablespoon of the orange butter on each crepe, and fold the crepes in fourths. Butter generously a large oven proof platter and sprinkle it with sugar. Arrange one dozen stuffed crepes on it, overlapping slightly, but leave a space at the end of the platter where the sauce can accumulate. Sprinkle the crepes with 2 tablespoons of sugar and place them under the broiler, approximately in the middle of the oven if your broiler is in the same unit, for about 2 to 3 minutes. The surface of the crepes will caramelize and the sauce will slightly bubble.Fire it Up!
1/2 cup Cognac or brandy
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or homemade orange liqueur
Pour 1/2 Cup of Cognac or brandy and 1/4 cup Grand Marnier on the very hot crepes and ignite. Bring the platter to the table and incline it slightly so that the flaming juices gather in the space you left. Spoon up the liquid and pour it back, still flaming, onto the crepes. When the flame subsides, serve two crepes per person with some of the sauce.
Garnish with blood orange slices and if you like sprinkle confectioner's sugar across top.
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Monday February 04, 2008
Chris Stack of Buenes Aires submitted this recipe to Seduction Meals just in time to make the Valentine's Day list and we are grateful! With a sassy peppery cream sauce and a good tease of brandy flavor we think Steak au Poivre is a perfect choice for your Valentine's romantic meal for two.
Chris served his meal with fresh spinach sauted in minced garlic and olive oil. This can also be served with homemade french fries or potatoes au gratin and sauteed mushrooms if you like. You can start your evening with our favorite Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade and then move on to the Steak and your favorite red wine. A great ending would be a glass of vintage port and truffles from Romanicos.
steak au poivre
2 strip steaks, 1 inch thick, trimmed of exterior gristle
salt. to taste
1 - 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, crushed (you can use mixed peppercorns too)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 medium shallot, minced
1 cup of low-sodium beef broth
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp brandy
1 teaspoon juice of lemon or champagne vinegar
salt to taste
mise en place
To save time, crush the peppercorns and trim the steaks while the broth mixture simmers. Place the peppercorns between two sheets of wax paper and crush the whole peppercorns with a saute pan or the back side of a wide carving knife. Mince shallots, measure out the beef and chicken broth, same for the heavy cream, brandy and the lemon juice or vinegar.
Take the steaks out 1 hour before serving the meal - steaks are best when cooked at room temperature. Sprinkle both sides of steak with salt. With the flat side of a carving knife, pound 1 tablespoon of crushed peppercorns into 1 side of each steak. Set aside.
the sauce - part 1
Heat 1 tbsp of the butter in a heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the shallot and cook, stirring occassionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and chicken broths, increase heat to high, and boil until reduced to about 1/2 cup--about 8 minutes. Set the reduced broth mixture aside in a bowl.
In the same skillet, heat up the skillet over medium heat until hot. Lay the steaks unpeppered-side down in the hot skillet, increase the heat to medium-high, firmly pressing down on the steaks with a firm spatula, until well browned on this side (about 6 minutes). Using tongs, flip the steak, again firmly pressing down to brown this side - 3 minutes for rare, 4 for medium rare, and 5 for medium. Transfer the steaks to a large plate and cover with aluminum foil.
the sauce - part 2
Pour the reduced broth, cream, and 1/4 cup of brandy into the now empty skillet. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping the pan bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen the brown bits. Simmer until a golden brown and thick enought to heavily coat the back of a metal tablespoon--about 5 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the remaining 3 tbsp of butter, one piece at a time, the remaining 1 tbsp of brandy, the lemon juice, and any accumulated meat juices. Salt to taste.
plating the dish
Set the steaks on individual plates, spoon an equal portion of the sauce over each steak. Serve remaining sauce in a sauce boat. Serve with your favorite side dish and a special bottle of red wine.
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Thursday December 27, 2007
For many gourmands foie gras is an exotic delicacy and special treat. The last decade has seen a gain in US popularity of serving foie gras seared hot with a sweet and tangy garnish. I found this recipe on Cointreau's web site and thought it was a good one to share for a potential New Years Eve starter served with the perfectly paired champagne drink, the Champs-Elysées.The dish should be prepared the day before as the recipe calls for the marmalade to marinate over night and the Cointreau cured foie gras to marinate for 12 hours.Seared Cointreau Cured Hudson Valley Foie Gras
For 8 Appetizer Servings
Served with Pickled Onions and Fennel TempuraMarmalade:
Combine 2 cups (450g) fresh kumquats, seeded and thinly sliced with 1 cup (230g) granulated sugar--marinate overnight
1 cup (25cl) plus 2 Tbsps Cointreau
2 Tbsps rice wine vinegar
2 Tsps fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp. fennel seeds, toasted in dry skillet
1 - Place kumquats, sugar, rice wine vinegar and ginger in saucepan
over medium heat; bring to boil; reduce heat; simmer about 1 hour; cool.
2 - Stir in Cointreau and seeds; reserve in refrigerator.Cointreau cured foie gras:
1 (1 1/2 lb.) (700g) grade A foie gras, separated into lobes
3 cups (75cl) Cointreau
Place foie gras in non-reactive bowl; season; cover with Cointreau; marinate 12 hoursCointreau glaze:
1 Tbsp. (30g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (115g) white onion, peeled and minced
1/2 cup (12cl) Cointreau
1 cup (25cl) veal or duck demi glace reduced over heat to 1/4 cup (60g)
black pepper, freshly ground
1 - Heat butter in skillet over medium heat; add onion; cook until lightly browned; deglaze with Cointreau; burn off alcohol.
2 - Add stock; lower heat; simmer 5 minutes; strain; season; reserve, keeping hot.Bringing it all together:
Heat skillet over medium heat; slice foie gras into 3/4" (2cm)medallions; criss-cross with knife; sear on all sides until golden;drain; drizzle with glaze; serve with marmalade and a glass of Champs-Elysees.Champs-Elysées
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz strawberry liqueur
Piper Heisieck champagne
Pour Cointreau and strawberry liqueur into the glass. Fill up with champagne.
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Friday November 30, 2007
This dish goes perfectly with the lamb and roasted tomatoes posted on Seduction Meals: November 27, 2007Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided into 1-tablespoon pieces
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (1/4")
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyere
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Butter a 13 x 9" casserole dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Arrange a layer of potato in the baking dish, add a pinch of salt and pepper, a bit of the garlic and ground nutmeg. Add a handful of the cheese evenly over the potatoes. Continue layering potatoes, spices and cheese until you've used up all potatoes and cheese, ending with a layer of potatoes.
In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the salt and pepper; pour this over the potatoes. Dot the remaining butter over the top and sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Bake for about 1 hour or until the potatoes or cook through. Do not over cook, it will become mushy. The potatoes should be tender and golden brown on top. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to cool down before serving. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary as a garnish and sprinkle with grated Gruyere cheese.
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 02:12AM on November 30 in International: French
, side dishes
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