Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Poached Pears

5 cardamom pods

1 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

500 ml white wine

175 g sugar

2 pinch sea salt

2 pears, peeled, stems intact; slip the corer in the pear to create the cut but do not remove from the pear before poaching

Method

  1. Gently crush cardamom with a rolling pin or the bottom of a skillet to slightly crack open pods without releasing seeds.
  2. Combine cardamom, wine, sugar, lemon juice, saffron, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Add pears; add water if needed to completely submerge pears.
  4. Cover with a parchment lid and simmer, turning occasionally, until pears are tender.
  5. Slice the pears in half.  Cut from the stem, without removing, to the end of the pear 5 or 6 times dependent on the size of the pear.  You want to leave the slices attached to the top of the pear as it will be fanned out on the plate

Savory roasted walnuts

6 walnuts

1 tsp rosemary, finely chopped

1 tsp fresh savory, finely chopped

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped

1 tbsp maple syrup

Pinch cayenne

Pinch sea salt

1 tsp olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 C
  2. Open walnuts and clean.
  3. Mix the nuts with the herbs, maple syrup, cayenne, salt and olive oil.
  4. Place on a parchment lined baking tray and roast until golden.
  5. Let cool.   Chop roughly.

Sauted Foie Gras

4 escalope Fois Gras

30 g butter

  1. Preheat oven to 190 C
  2. Ensure pears and walnuts are prepared on the plates before beginning to cook the foie gras.
  3. Score one side with a diamond pattern for presentation.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. When ready to serve, sear foie gras in a hot sauté pan on the presentation side until browned.
  5. Flip onto other side, move onto lower heat and add butter and place pan in the oven.  Leave for 2 min.
  6. Pull out pan and baste foie gras in fat.

To present

Pear slices, savory crushed walnuts, slice foie gras

Read Full Post »

oyster ceviche

Tomato Jelly

2 Tomato, chopped

1/4 tsp Tabasco

1/4 tsp sugar – if your tomatoes are sweet or in season sugar will not be necessary

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 Gelatin leaves

 Method

  1. Soften the gelatin leaves in cold water.
  2. Place the chopped tomatoes in the Robo and blend to a rough puree
  3. Decant the tomatos to a chinois and press to release the juice into a saucepan.
  4. Place the saucepan on medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add the gelatin leaves to the warm liquid and stir to dissolve.
  6. Pour into the verrines carefully ensuring the levels are even and set in the refrigerator for 2 hours until gelled.

Oyster Ceviche

4 Oysters

10 sprigs of chives, minced plus 4 sliced in halfhalved

4 sprigs of parsley

25 goOnion, minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tomato, seeded & chopped brunoise

1 lime, juice and peel

1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce

 Method

  1. Shuck the oysters;
    1. Clean the outside of the oyster under running water to remove in loose grit or barnacles.
    2. Open oyster shell with an oyster knife over a bowl to catch; cut the muscle and release the oyster from the shell.
    3. Dice the oyster meat.
    4. Place the bowl with oysters and juice in the refrigerator
  2. Combine the minced chives, onions, garlic, tomato brunoise and lime juice in a bowl.
  3. Add the lime juice, Tabasco and chopped parsely.
  4. Add the oyster meat and juice; cover with plastic and refrigerate up to 3 hours until plating.
  5. When ready to serve, spoon ceviche on top of tomato gelee and garnish with a half sprig of chive.

Read Full Post »

Chef Lesourd's Saddle of RabbitHaving watched a bazillion cooking shows where professionals and amateurs submerge lamb, beef and veggie wrapped in plastic into precise temperature  water baths and reading the praise doused on “sous vide” by culinary icons Heston Blumenthal and Thomas Keller, I was really was excited at the prospect of seeing the technique and tasting the results.

“The classic sous vide process involves two steps: Step One is sealing the food in air-tight bags, typically through the use of a vacuum pump/sealer. The term, “sous vide,” or “under vacuum,” though applied to the entire process, arose from just the vacuum-pump method of accomplishing just this first step. Step Two is the actual cooking of the food at low temperature for a prolonged time.”  From Wikipedia

Meat, vegetables and even fruit are cooked at regulated end result temperatures.  That means a rack of lamb would be sealed and cooked in a water bath regulated to 60 C if you wanted a medium rare result.  It will take much longer to cook as in conventional cooking you cook at a high temperature, say 180C, so the process goes a lot faster.  The benefit of sous vide is that you can never over cook the lamb if the water is never above 60C – that is the maximum temperature the lamb can reach.  This way the juices stay in the lamb and it is perfect every time – very important for a restaurant.

The sous vide water bath had been used in a prior demonstration and unfortunately not recovered from a mishap where the electric temperature regulator fell unceremoniously into the water bath.  Chef had to abandon the use of it during this demo and had sent it for repair.   It had not returned and this meant our rabbit was destined to be cooked the old fashioned way, seared and roasted.   Trés disappointing!  As the roast rabbit is hardly exciting let’s talk about polenta.

Polenta with Black and Green Olives catches your imagination with the promise of sweet creamy corn meal, tangy parmesan and salty green and black olives.  It reminds me of an awesome lunch I had in Italy with my family after a wine tasting at Pieropan in the region of Soave.  The restaurant is literally across the street from the winery if you go and as we had no plan for lunch we sauntered in and took a shady seat on the terrace.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

This makes an excellent side dish with grilled meats or roasted vegetables.  It can be served creamy like a mashed potato or chilled, cut in to shapes and pan fried until crisp on the outside.  I’ve posted a similar base polenta recipe in July of 2011.

500 ml chicken stock

1.5 tsp minced garlic

salt

150 g polenta (finest texture)

3/4 cup cream

4 tbsp butter

20 g parmesan cheese

10 black kalamalta olives, pitted and diced

10 green olives, pitted and diced

Freshly ground pepper

1 tsp olive oil

3 table spoons canola oil (for crispy polenta)

Method:

Combine the stock garlic and a sprinkling of sale in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Pour the polenta in a stream into the stock and cook over low heat stirring often for 17 to 20 minutes.  The polenta must be quite dry and should coat the bottom of the pan.  The moisture must evaporate because it will be replaced by the cream/butter.  Otherwise the texture will be gummy.

Meanwhile warm the cream in a small saucepan.

When the polenta is dried, stir in the butter.  Add the cream gradually and incorporate into the polenta before adding more.  Season with parmesan, olives, salt and pepper.

For creamy polenta:  Pour into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.

For crispy polenta:  Pour the polenta into a casserole in a 2 to 3 cm thick layer.  Cover with a plastic wrap pressed directly to the against the polenta and refrigerate for several hours until set.

Cut the polenta into square, triangles or use a form to to cut circles.    Heat the canola oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add the polenta and cook turning once until rick golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 12 minutes.  Arrange on plates for serving.

Read Full Post »

The chestnut, grown on the tree of the same name, is a popular nut for cooking throughout Europe.  At around 180 calories per 100 gram, chestnuts are more carbohydrate (read sugar) than protein or fat. That sugar content is why cooks have been using the chestnut for both sweet and savory preparations for centuries. Chestnuts must be pre cooked before use in any dish and it is easy to find them milled into flour, canned, vacuum packed, pureed, or preserved in sugar or syrup (marrons glacés).

Chef Lesourd's delicious plating of pike perch

Chef Lesourd’s delicious plating of pike perch

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Serve this sauce with white fish, cod, sea bass, sole or with a poached chicken breast.  Serve with Chestnut crusted white fish.  Cooking time is approximately 15 minutes.

4 to 6 servings

150 g tiny button mushrooms, sliced

1 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, minced

20 g of unsalted butter

125 g chestnuts (cooked peeled at purchase) finely chopped

300 ml of chicken stock, try to use a low sodium or home made stock.

75 ml of cream

salt and pepper

  1. Place the chicken stock in a sauce pan on medium high heat to reduce by half.  This will concentrate the flavor.
  2. Melt the butter in a sauté pan on medium heat.  Add the shallots and soften but do not color, around 3 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the sliced mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until they are soft.
  4. Add the chestnuts, chicken stock and cream.  Reduce a little further, and then season with salt and pepper.

Bon appetit!

Read Full Post »

Lesson 23 Cod BrandadeFrench is a difficult language to master.   The name for instance of a size of a sink or a type of fish may have numerous expressions which are seemingly unrelated.  Blogger David Lebowtiz uncovered during his kitchen renovation that the description of  sink in English translated to at least 5 different words in French. Cod fish for instance in French is cabillaud, whereas salt cod is morue.  Why not “cabillaud sel”?  “Ou sel cabillaud?  As such, you can never assume that adding an adjective to the noun will translate properly.

Salt cod or “brandade morue” is a dried product, which needs to be rehydrated in water and desalinated.  However rather than use traditional morue in this lesson we used fresh filet of cabillaud and applied a cure of salt for about 20 minutes.  Ergo the “new style” label.  Once cured it was skinned and the heart of the fish filet was removed, which is the nicest piece, and sliced into portions with the remaining trimmings poached in cream and few spices.  I say few because there is not really a ton of flavor imparted.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

100 g canned piquillo peppers  (Ferrer is a good brand)

100 ml chicken stock

Method

Place chicken stock and peppers in a sauce pan and heat through.  Puree in with a hand blender or food processor and then strain through a fine mesh sieve.  Return to heat and let thicken before serving.  Season to taste with salt and serve.  The flavours are bold so less is more!

Read Full Post »

Lesson 22 Duck breast pommes annaThere are so many reasons to love duck, especially duck breast or magret du canard.  I love the slightly tangy flavor of the meat, the juiciness of a rose pink breast and the crunch of crispy cooked skin.   I am more apt to cook a duck breast or confit duck legs than roast a whole duck, perhaps for me the parts are better than the sum.

The duck breast is trimmed of excess fat and sinew and then the skin is scored with a harlequin pattern.  The breast is seasoned on both sides and placed fat side down in a cold pan onto the med heat.  The skin should be golden and crisp, which will take around 10 min, then the breast is flipped onto the meat side.  Continue to cook on the stove top until the internal temperature reaches 52-53C, then remove from the heat and rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  So simple you will need to prepare all your other elements before you begin cooking the duck!

The duck is served with a puree of cumin spiced carrots, which was a surprise.  Usually carrots are only included as an aromatic in most of our recipes to heighten the flavor of sauces, so once their flavor is extracted they are tossed away.   For this preparation the carrots are simply cooked in salted water, pureed with a little cream and cumin.  Just delicious!  This is an easy accompaniment that could make any weeknight meal more special.

This recipe included a new potato preparation, Pommes Anna. Anna potatoes are a classic French dish of sliced, layered potatoes cooked in a very large amount of melted butter.   For our method we peeled the potatoes then used a metal form to cut them into even rounds.  The rounds were then sliced thinly using a mandolin.   To create small a galette, we used a bilini pan to make single serving size.  There are many sizes the galette can be made, the main decision is the size of the pan or form you decide to use.

The galette is cooked on the stove top until the bottom is crispy, then gently – very gently flipped over, to brown the presentation side.  If you try too soon or the top layer is not stuck together with enough butter it could fall apart, so don’t rush or skimp on the butter.  That’s so French – don’t you think?

Continue for Pommes Anna recipe

Read Full Post »

First attempt - A tiny bit overdone on the edges so I promise to reattempt and post a better photo soon!.

First attempt – A tiny bit overdone on the edges so I will make another one soon.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 medium waxy potatoes

30 g clarified butter (or more ;))

salt and pepper

  1. Choose a pan of a dimension to suit you; Bilini pan, small frying pan or muffin tin.   Brush the pan(s) bottom with clarified butter and then line with piece parchment cut to the diameter of the pan.  Brush the parchment paper with clarified butter
  2. Peel the potatoes then cut into equal size tubes with a form.  About 3 cm to 4 cm max in diameter.  Do not rinse the potatoes in water or they will lose their starchy sticky quality.
  3. Lay the potatoes in the pan in a ring working towards the center until the center is closed then brushed with clarified butter and season with salt and pepper.   If you are making Pommes Anna in a muffin tin you will have less of a rose shape but rather a vertical layered effect with your potato.  You will need to brush butter on most layers if using a muffin tin to ensure the potatoes stick together properly.
  4. Form a second layer on top of the first and brush with loads more clarified butter.  This layer should be the most beautiful as it will be the presentation side.
  5. If you so desire, perhaps a few herbs to brighten up the color.
  6. Cook the galette on med heat on the stove top until the bottom is golden brown and crisp.  I Flip the galette over to brown the presentation side.  Once flipped, the galette goes into the oven at 180C to continue cooking for 5 or more minutes.  If you are using a muffing tin, place directly in the oven, you will not need to flip the Pommes Anna just watch the top to ensures it is not over browned.  Muffin tin version can be cooked for 15 min covered with foil and 15 to 20 min uncovered.
  7. Use a paring knife tip to test the doneness – you are seeking tender potatoes.
  8. If cooked, flip the galette out, presentation side up, onto paper towel to drain of excess butter.  Voila!  These are easy to make however take a little time and practice.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »