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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

La Cuisine Bourgeoise

This is a beef bourgignon. It is a pretty simple dish and it belongs in the family repertoire as much as in the Grandes Maisons of time gone by. In theory it is a very simple dish of beef marinated and then braised in red wine with vegetables and garden herbs. In reality this dish is a monument of French Cuisine. It incorporates all the combined skills of the business plus the patience and knowledge a good cook needs. This dish and others like it provide a great training ground to learn most of the skills required to be a good cook.
This simple dish takes 2-3 days to prepare from start to finish including marinating time.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Beef Barley Soup And Stuffed Squash.

I redid the stuffed butternut squash because it was so good the other night. This time I substituted breadcrumbs and garlic on top to make a relatively low fat dish. It is a great vegetarian dish and you can use any type of squash. Spaghetti squash would be excellent as would large zucchini.
This is a butternut squash which has been scored and roasted. the filling is brussels sprouts, green beans, onions, the scooped out squash flesh and diced tomato. All sauteed with olive oil and garlic until just about cooked. The mix is put into the shell and covered with sliced tomatoes then baked in a medium to hot oven.
Then you sprinkle a mix of white breadcrumbs, chopped garlic and parley and finish it under the grill a drizzle of virgin olive oil is also good here. This can be a meal in itself for a vegetarian.

Spaghetti With Fresh Spinach, Mozarella And Breadcrumbs.

The spaghetti is added to the mix and breadcrumbs sprinkled over and into the pasta.
Spinach is cooked in the tomatoes.
Fresh spinach added to the tomato and the onion mix.

Preparation. Pasta, tomato and onions, fresh spinach, small mozarella balls and breadcrumbs mixed with garlic and parsley.
This doesn't look like much but it was delish.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Steak Salad, Roesti Potatoes And Rhubarb Chutney.

This is the end of the flank steak. It is marinated in olive oil, garlic and pepper and then simply roasted and then brushed with a thick coat of Colmans Mustard. It should be started on the top of the stove and finished in the oven. I would say about 15 mins to get that nice medium rare. It then has to sit for another 15 to 20 minutes in a warm ( not hot) place to rest and settle.

The roesti potatoes are a staple in Germany and also Switzerland. They are usually served with sauteed veal and mushrooms in a cream sauce. I will add a link so you can see how they are made.

The rhubarb chutney was absolutely delish. I got the idea from this months Martha Stewart Mag. I enhanced it of course and it was just a marvelous summer condiment. If anyone would like the recipe let me know and i will retrace my steps.
Rhubarb chutney
2 tablespoons olive oil
I medium onion finely chopped
1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup packed tight-brown sugar
1tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1cinnamon stick
1tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 In a saucepan heat oil over a medium heat. Add onion
And cook until soft
Add rhubarb, raisins, sugar, ginger and cinnamon stick
Allow to cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally until rhubarb breaks down 6 to 8 minutes
Then Stir in vinegar.If necessary reduce further or add more sugar until you get that sticky chutney like consistency

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stuffed And Glazed Butternut Squash and Middle Eastern Soup

This was a great soup. It is thickened with roasted eggplant and finished off with a spicy ' harissa'. Not for the weak of palate but a great soup full of exotic flavors. The finishing touch is a stick of cimammon which gives it a great aftertaste. I adde some chick peas and made some garlic croutons rubbed with garlic. A great soup and the squash was a delight.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Roasted Porkloin And Vegetables And Apple Sauce

I was supposed to have soup again tonight but I forgot about this piece of porkloin that I bought yesterday.

Note for Evelyn: This is what we discussed the other day.

Tuscan Fish Soup.

No tuscan fish soup this. This is the leftover salmon and shrimp bisque to which I added tomato, mahi mahi and scallops as well as some heavy garlic and cilantro.
This is soup week. Tomorrow a wonderful middle eastern lamb and chick pea soup with harissa.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Lamb With Braised Endives.

I love belgian endives. They are very bitter but go great with most dishes. I find they pair very well with lamb. Back in the day these would have been blanched first and then sauteed. Now we put them directly in a medium hot pan and cook them slowly until they are soft but resistant to the touch. I did very little to these but carrots and shallots can be added as can any herb and garlic. When they were half way cooked I added some white wine and finished braising them in the oven. They are not inexpensive but they are worth the money from time to time for a treat. You will certainly impress your friends.
When cooked you can also wrap them in a very thin slice of ham, cover them with cheese sauce (aka Mornay Sauce) and bake them in the oven with a final touch under the grill to glaze them. This makes a delicious dish and is a meal in itself with a nice chardonnay or Gewürztraminer and a big hunk of country bread.
From what I recall the germans do this with asparagus and I think they do it with endive too.

This plate is a little crowded but it was all delicious.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Carne Assada

This is a mexican dish that I have every time I go to a mexican restaurant. The piece of beef here is a flank steak that has been marinated overnight in some very hot peppers, garlic, crushed peppercorns, cilantro and olive oil. It is then seared in a very hot pan (top photo) and let to rest for about a half hour. The vegetables are the beans of course, some tomato rice pilaf, some sauteed collards, guacamole and sour cream. Normally they serve a fried japapeno with this but I didn't have one. It is also served with grilled scallions and very hot salsa.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Beef Stew With Root Vegetables, Parsnip Mozarella Mash

Very simple. I love this kind of food. If I lived on the coast of Brittany or Ireland this is the kind of food I would eat almost every day in one form or another. With a glass of porter or a not too expensive bordeaux I hasten to add.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Barbequed Lamb Shank, Potato Cake And Sauteed Zuchinni

For The Potatoes

2 large russet potatoes
2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp. canola oil
Handfull of Corn Flour or regular flower.

This potato dish is simple. It is best described as twice baked potato made into a lumpy mash and pan fried. By baking the potatoes in their skins, they develop a roasted flavor.
Wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil and bake them in a medium to hot oven. Let the potatoes cool after baking, then using a spoon, scoop out chunks of the potato flesh into a bowl. Allow to cool a little more then mix grosso modo with your hand leaving largish lumps. Season and add any herb you want. Parsley is good. Add a small amount of corn flour and mix again. Coat a surface with corn flour as if you were rolling pastry Roll potato mix out onto this surface and shape into cakes. If you are making for a few people than you can roll into a cylindrical shape and slice the cakes. Make sure the mix is well compressed so that it will stick together. Place in fridge for a couple of hours.
Make the cakes about one inch thick and I usually make them about four inches round. They are great with a little spinach and poached egg on top for breakfast as well as for a variety of uses depending on your imagination and creativity.
When ready to cook place them in a hot pan with a smattering of oil on the bottom brown them and then turn them over and finish them in the oven. Get them as brown as you want them on the first side so you don’t have to turn them again until they are finished.
To finish put a little butter in the pan just to brown and finish off the potatoes.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tajine Of Kefta With Couscous.

Here is a link to a video on how to make tajine. It is better with the dish but I have made it plenty of times in a flat saucepan with a lid. I recommend this dish to add variety to your cuisine. It is also healthy enough and there is such a thing as a vegetable tajine. If you need any help let me know.
There is a recipe for making tajine on this blog somewhere. That same recipe is used to make this dish.
The only difference here is the kefta. Kefta is like a middle eastern meat ball and you will find a good recipe for it anywhere on the internet. This one here is made of beef but lamb is better and is more traditionally used for kefta.
To 1/2 pound of beef I added chopped onions and chopped garlic. I also added chopped sweet pepper and jalapeno. The spices I used were turmeric, ground cumin and paprika. Salt and pepper too of course.
I mixed and kneaded the whole thing together and rolled one inch balls not unlike italian meatballs.
I have more photos on this so if anyone needs me to give more info or show more photos I will gladly do so.

This is a great dish any time of the year and I make it quite a lot.

Congrulations To Evelyn For First Place.

Congratulations also to Rita And Phyllis for a great job. All of the entries were outstanding and I was very impressed by the imagination and talent show in the dishes. It was a close race and lots of votees had difficulty picking the three winners. Thank you all for participating. You are all great sports. It is not easy to put your stuff out there to be judged.
Thanks too to all the voters. Twenty one people voted in all and they all took great care to inspect the dishes. I hope we can do something like this again.
These diplomas are jpgs so you should be able to print them after saving them to your desktop.

Winner And First Place: Evelyn

Second Place: Rita

Third Place: Phyllis

Crew In The Meridien Hotel, Nice France 1974

I was the Chef Tournant here in this hotel which meant that I replaced all of the different chefs on their days off. It was an important position because you had to know how to run each department.

Friday, April 3, 2009

If You really Want A Good Meal.

Heat up some soup that you have already made and is in the freezer, make a little tossed salad with your favorite ingredients and dressing. This one is balsamic vinegar and virgin olive oil.

Bake a potato and fill it with the potato flesh when it has cooled and all the goodies you can find in the fridge that you saute and perfume with garlic and herbs. Then bake it under the grill with a little shredded cheese until it is golden and crunchy.

Finally, some good french bread and a glass of wine.

This is a great meal, you can prepare everything in advance and it is good for one, two or four people. This was good.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Les Chefs

The Contestants.
Thank you all for being such sports.

A: Creamy chowder of smoked haddock, salmon, monkfish and shrimp with vegetables.

B: Mustard glazed corned beef brisket, creamy mashed potatoes and root vegetable selection.

C: Whole meal pancakes filled with king prawns and wild mushrooms, sweet corn and the vegetables of our fair land, white wine sauce .


D: Beef filet, pepper and onion stir fry, steamed rice and chili

E: Roast lamb stuffed with mushrooms , spinach and rice, buttered asparagus and carrots , lamb jus.

F:Pan fried Maryland Crab Cakes, Sauteed Spinach Leaves with pine nuts and Pan roasted Potatoes with sweet onions.

G: Tagliatelle with steamed mussels, tomatoes and Italian parsley

H: Loin of pork roasted with cumin and garlic rub, roma tomatoes and zucchini in olive oil and roasted potatoes.