Archive for the ‘Staples’ Category

Seasoned Tournedos of Foie Gras

Black Hawaiian Sea Salt

A rare treat when out to eat, foie gras is a far more reasonable luxury in the safe and comfortable confines of our very own kitchen. We’ll not go in to a definition or defense, simply revel in the pleasures associated with this very special dish.

Buy foie gras only from a seller that has earned your complete confidence. Keep it very cold. Bring a cooler to market, if necessary.



Hot Seared and Deep Even Scoring

Tournedo of Grilled Foie Gras with Concord Grapes and Yogurt Pancake

Slice the foie into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices. Season heavily, particularly for grilling. Cook foie gras at very high heat. Ventilate well if cooking indoors. Sear for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until deep mahogany brown. Allow to rest in a very warm oven for 5 minutes and serve very hot with pancake and tart sauce. We put some homemade jelly and aged balsamic vinegar into the hot pan after removing the foie gras. Good Stuff!

Tournedo of Grilled Foie Gras with Concord Grapes and Yogurt Pancake

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Seasoning the Season

Fresh herbs from the garden and beyond

Herbs chopped fine and covered with olive oil

We got a greenhouse up just before the cold spell and we are still harvesting peppers and tomatoes. The herbs, however, did not merit the attention and we harvested them all the other day before a freeze. The basil was long gone and we had to purchase some. Drats! Go heavy on the parsley and light on the rosemary and sage. Chop by hand, the food processor will usually bruise the herbs. Cover with extra virgin olive oil and refrigerate, indefinitely. Use the herbs to season everything, grilled meats and fish, sauteed or steamed vegetables, soups, and sauces. Good Stuff!

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Parmesan at left, and a truffled hard cow(cheese!) at right.

Aged Balsamic vinegar of Modena recalls a quote from a talent I once worked for, Chef Robert. “A parade in my mouth!” Aged Balsamic may actually be the marching band. While it cannot be purchased at the supermarket, it is readily available on the internet. It is also occasionally available, at a premium, at some of your local specialty stores, butchers, and fishmongers.

Shown here are a ten year from Leonardi and a forty year from La Vecchia Dispensa. Here served with Parmesan, a staple with balsamic, and a truffled hard cow cheese. Have all at room temperature for service. Good Stuff!

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Veal Stock

Bones roasted toasty brown for veal stock

Deglaze with water

Decided to braise some Osso Buco for my darling wife. Fortunately, the market had veal bones as well as the sliced hindshanks I was looking for. Throw the dry unseasoned bones on a roasting pan. The pan must have sides as the bones will create some amount of fat in the rendering. Roast at 400 or more degrees for an hour or more, until toasty brown. Lift the roasted bones into a large stockpot and add your aromatic vegetables to the hot fat in the roasting pan. Celery, onion, carrot, herb stems, parsnip, bay leaf… Roast until slightly browned and deglaze the pan with some water. Add all to the large stockpot and bring to a boil. According to Escoffier, only veal stock benefits from more than one hour of simmering, all other stocks should be removed from the heat after one hour. Simmer your veal stock for at least three hours. At the restaurant, we left it on overnight. Remove from heat, strain well, and rapid chill. We boil the used bones again creating a stock called the “remoulage.” This weak broth will be used to headstart the next veal stock. Check the recipe blog for the Osso Buco. Good Stuff!

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Chicken Stock

A bag of scraps and a pack of feet!

Who rules this barnyard?

We keep all the savory vegetable scraps, use them for stock. We use chicken feet for stock. Intense flavor and body. Stocks simmer for hour after boil. Gelatinous stocks need more (beef, veal, lamb, demi…)

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