Category Archives: Recipes

A medley of fall flavors: Roasted chicken in a creamy dijon and tarragon sauce. Ph: Sue Moran

A Recipe For Fall: Roast Chicken With Dijon Mustard and Fresh Tarragon

A medley of fall flavors: Roasted chicken in a creamy dijon and tarragon sauce. Ph: Sue Moran

A medley of fall flavors: Roasted chicken in a creamy dijon and tarragon sauce. Ph: Sue Moran

Are you mourning the end of summer already? Don’t! Fall is such a wonderful season for foodies and gourmets! So we might need to remember to close the windows at night and throw on a sweater. So what! Early fall is the best of both worlds – we still have lovely daytime temperatures that allow us those walks on the beach, and cooler night temperatures give us the chance to add heartier ingredients, autumn-y spices, and finally, FINALLY turn the oven on! It’s time to bring out the big guns (by which we mean, roasting pans, basters, oven mitts, intense ingredients like Dijon mustard, etc.).

Fear not, fellow foodies, we’ve found the perfect dish to transition us to fall: Roast Chicken Breast With Tarragon and Dijon Mustard Sauce, compliments of contributor Sue Moran, from The View From Great Island.

The Recipe: Intense Dijon Mustard and Bright Fresh Tarragon

Intense and bright: Dijon mustard and fresh tarragon. Ph: GourmetFoodStore / Sue Moran

Intense and bright: Dijon mustard and fresh tarragon. Ph: GourmetFoodStore / Sue Moran

This recipe is everything we could want for a transitional dish – it’s hearty without being heavy, flavorful without being cloying, and the combination of creamy Dijon mustard sauce with aromatic tarragon is both bright and fresh. The recipe calls for chicken breasts (dish bonus: lots of healthy protein there), but you could just as easily use the delicious tarragon and Dijon mustard sauce with any fresh white fish that’s available at your grocery store (Sue recommends haddock, cod or tilapia).

What to serve this with: a medley of seasonal fall produce, of course! You could try roasting parsnips and carrots, like Sue did, or any other colorful veggie you choose. If you want a bit more oomph, try adding a start for a side dish, like couscous, wild rice or even quinoa. Want more recipes from Sue? Visit her website at www.theviewfromgreatisland.com.

 

Roast Chicken Breasts with Tarragon & Dijon Mustard Sauce - Sue Moran

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (I asked my butcher to de-bone a couple of skin-on breasts)
  • olive oil
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 2 baby vidalia onions, sliced (or 1 leek, or 2 large shallots)
  • splash of marsala, white wine, vermouth or dry sherry
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • handful of fresh chopped tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 Tbsp. stone ground or Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and season well with salt and fresh pepper. Rub the oil and spices in to the meat.
  2. Drizzle a little olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, put the chicken breasts in, skin side down. Sear for a couple of minutes until the skin has good color.
  3. Remove the chicken to a baking pan that has also been drizzled with olive oil, skin side up.
  4. Cook at 400 for 20 to 30 minutes or until done. The time will depend on how large your chicken breasts are (your thermometer should read between 170 and 180.)
  5. Finish under the broiler if you want more color or crispness to the skin.
  6. Set aside to rest under foil.
  7. Reserve any juices from the cooking to add to the sauce later.
  8. In the same pan you seared the chicken in, add the onions and saute over medium low heat for several minutes until they soften. Do not brown them.
  9. Give the pan a splash of wine and squeeze in the lemon juice. Let reduce on medium high for a minute.
  10. Add the tarragon, the cream, the mustard, and any leftover juices from the cooked chicken. Bring to a simmer. Cook for a minute or two. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
  11. Pour onto a serving platter or shallow casserole dish.
  12. Slice the chicken and nestle into the sauce. Sprinkle with a little more fresh tarragon.
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Guest recipe: Duck Breast with Foie Gras and Balsamic Cherries

duck-breast-with-seared-foie-gras-and-balsamic-cherries_6744

After a summer of avoiding the oven, cooler weather is finally here and we’re ready to dust off those oven mitts!  To inaugurate the season, we’re sharing with you an exclusive recipe featuring an icon of culinary sophistication, the epitome of gourmet ingredients: foie gras! In this recipe, delicious duck magret is served alongside rich and unctuous foie gras, and then topped with sweet cherry in a syrupy balsamic reduction. This foie gras recipe is a truly fabulous way to start off your fall cooking!

This exquisite recipe was developed exclusively for us by Jen from Savorysimple.net. Thank you so much for sharing it with us, Jen!

 

Duck Breast with Foie Gras and Balsamic Cherries

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Duck Breast with Foie Gras and Balsamic Cherries

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup Balsamico Vinegar of Modena
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 11/2 tablespoons shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 magret duck breast
  • 2 slices foie gras
  • salt and pepper
  • arugula for serving

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the cherries, balsamico and sugar. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat up the olive oil in a non­stick pan on medium/­low heat with a pinch of salt and add the minced shallot. Cook for a few minutes until the shallots turn transparent and then add the cherries, including all balsamico and cherry juice in the bowl. Simmer on medium-­low heat, stirring periodically, until the liquids have reduced to a thick syrup and the cherries are very soft, approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Score the fat on top of the duck breast diagonally in two directions. Cut all the way through the fat without cutting into the meat. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat a saute pan over medium-­low heat and then place the duck in the pan, fat­-side down. Allow the fat to render until it's dark brown and crisp, approximately 10 minutes. Drain some of the duck fat from the pan periodically to avoid splatter.
  5. Flip the breast and allow it to cook on the opposite side for a few minutes, until an instant read thermometer reaches 125 degrees F in the center of the breast. Allow the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes.
  6. While the duck is resting, prepare the foie gras. Heat up a nonstick skillet on high until it's very hot. Lightly score one side of the foie gras and season with salt and pepper. Place the foie gras into the hot skillet, which should immediately start sizzling (if it doesn't remove the foie and allow the pan to continue to get hot). Sear for approximately 45 seconds per side.
  7. Lay a bed of arugula on two plates.
  8. Slice duck on the bias into thin strips and fan it over the arugula. Add one slice of foie
  9. gras to each plate, scored side up, and serve immediately.
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Our Five Favorite French Breads Plus The Best Pain Au Chocolate Recipe Ever!

Pain au chocolat – delicious flaky croissants filled with melted chocolate! Ph: Brighteyedbaker.com

Pain au chocolat – delicious flaky croissants filled with melted chocolate! Ph: Brighteyedbaker.com

A recent New York Times article brought to light very distressing news to us. Forget the economy, global warming, and politics, the world is facing a…French bread CRISIS!  The article stated that, “the average Frenchman these days eats only half a baguette a day compared with almost a whole baguette in 1970 and more than three in 1900.”

Mon dieu!

Take heart, baguette lovers, help is on the way! To counteract this unacceptable situation, the Observatoire du Pain, a lobby for bakers and millers, has started a campaign to promote the consumption of one of France’s most iconic food staples, French bread.

And because there’s nothing that we love more than a good food cause, we’re joining the cause, and giving French bread some love and attention. Here’s our list of Five Favorite French Breads plus, a delicious Pain Au Chocolat recipe to try your bread-baking hand at home.

Tackling the French bread crisis, one baguette at a time!

OUR FAVORITE TYPES OF FRENCH BREAD

  1. The Baguette: the ultimate classic, this flute of crusty bread should practically be stamped on your passport when you enter the country.  A traditional baguette or “baguette de tradition” must, by French law, have the following ingredients: wheat flour, water, salt and yeast. Perfect in it’s simplicity! Don’t feel like baking? Try our frozen, ready-for-the-oven artisan baguettes by Bridor! Click here
  2. The Brioche: a mixture between bread a pastry, brioche is made with a super buttery dough, braided into the classic shape. But it’s the addition of sugar and eggs which makes this a sweet treat as well, perfect to make French toast (see below), or to eat with a cup of tea or coffee. Oh la la!
  3. Le Pain Perdu: Also known as the world-famous, USA-favorite, French toast! The name, pain perdu, means “lost bread”, so named (some say) because it was made using leftover, stale bread.  Well,  if stale bread dipped in eggs and fried turned into French toast, then not all is lost!
  4. Beignets: Probably just as much a tradition in New Orleans as in Paris, this doughnut is actually a deep-fried bread dough.  There are several variations of this, but the most well-known, at least in America, is the one popularized by New Orlean’s famed restaurant, Café du Monde. Theirs is fried in cottonseed oil and then liberally covered in delicious powdered sugar.
  5. Pain au Chocolat: last, but absolutely not all least, our favorite (and featured) type of French bread! The French call it “pain” (bread), but Pain a Chocolat is really a buttery and flaky croissant, filled with gooey melted luscious chocolate. Oh, oui!  We found the greatest recipe for a homemade Pain au Chocolat, by our featured blogger, Alexandra from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker. It might take a few tries to get it right, but the results are completely worth it, we swear!

Pain Au Chocolate Recipe

Total Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 12 croissants

 Pain Au Chocolate Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 11 tablespoons butter, divided
  • generous 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • generous 1 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of stand mixer, dissolve the yeast into the lukewarm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter and combine with milk to cool quickly. Place another 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) out to soften.
  2. Add the melted butter, milk, bread flour, granulated sugar, and salt, to the yeast/water mixture. Mix on lowest speed for 2 minutes. If the dough seems tough, add another tablespoon melted butter. Change attachment to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for another two minutes. At this point the dough should be soft and supple.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle, 10" x 15". Cover again with plastic wrap and let rise for 40 minutes.
  5. Take the softened stick of butter and rub onto the rectangle of dough (Your hands will get very buttery). Rub on as much butter as possible, and then, with the shorter side facing you, fold into thirds, like you would a letter. Roll again into a 10" x 15" rectangle and fold into thirds once more. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
  6. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll again into a 10" x 15" rectangle. Rub the remaining butter onto the dough, fold into thirds, roll out once more (10" x 15"), and fold once more.
  7. Using a sharp knife, cut the folded dough into 12 rectangles, using 4 slices in the longer direction and 3 slices in the shorter direction.
  8. One rectangle at a time, with the shorter end facing you, place about 10 chocolate chips halfway along the rectangle. Fold the end closer to you over these chocolate chips, and repeat on the other side, adding chocolate chips to the other half and folding over the first half. Press end into dough to form a seam.
  9. Repeat the above process for each rectangle of dough. Place each pain au chocolat seam-side down on a lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour, until almost doubled in size.
  10. Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine egg and 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl to form egg wash. Brush over each pain au chocolat. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, until puffed up and lightly golden.
  11. Enjoy warm from the oven, or store in refrigerator and microwave each pain au chocolat for 25-30 seconds when ready to eat.

Notes

Time includes resting and rising time for the dough.

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A bite of autumn…Photo by: Faith Grosky

A Preview Of Fall: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing Spice Bread Recipe

A bite of autumn…Photo by: Faith Grosky

A bite of autumn…Photo by: Faith Grosky

Summer is still in full swing, but doesn’t it feel like we’re getting whiffs of fall here and there? Maybe it’s the back to school sales, or the “clearance” signs popping up on beach towels and umbrellas. Whatever the reason, there’s definitely signs that fall is just around the corner.  And to give you a preview of what’s to come, we’re giving you a taste of autumn with a new favorite recipe:  Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Icing Spice Bread, by Faith Gorsky of AnEdibleMosaic.com.

We stumbled across this amazing recipe the way we usually do, by salivating over delicious-looking pictures on Pinterest and the web. The first thing that immediately called out to us was the perfect-looking cream cheese icing at the top of the loaf of the beautifully shaped mini loaf. It just looked so, so, perfect, we had to absolutely try it out and share it with you.

A steaming mug of tea and a slice of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing Spice Bread…heavenly fall!

A steaming mug of tea and a slice of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing Spice Bread…heavenly fall!

The ingredients of this Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Icing Spice Bread are all evocative of fall, from the spicy aromas of the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, to the warm comfort of vanilla, to the muted orange reminiscent of fallen leaves. And, one might even fantasize that the layer of white cream cheese icing is a harbinger of the snows of winter? This is definitely a seasonal recipe, ideal to practice now and perfect for autumn afternoons with a warm cup of tea or coffee.

So while we’re fully enjoying the last stretch of summer, we’re also enjoying the taste of what’s to come, and preparing for a new, exciting culinary season! Thank you, Faith, for sharing your wonderful recipe with us! Let us know what you think of this recipe in the comments.

About Our Feature Recipe

Faith Gorsky is a food blogger who calls upstate New York home, although she has travelled extensively and declares Damascus, Syria, her favorite city. Her book, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair, is a smorgasbord of flavorful exotic middle eastern recipes, all imparted with a young, modern point of view. You can find all of her fabulous recipes on her blog – www.anediblemosaic.com

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing Spice Bread by An Edible Mosaic

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 3 mini loafs

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing Spice Bread by An Edible Mosaic

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • Butter, to grease the pans

Instructions

    For Cheese Batter
  1. Use a handheld electric mixer to beat together all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  2. For Pumpkin Spice Batter
  3. Preheat oven to 350F; lightly grease 3 mini loaf pans with butter.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs until light and fluffy, then stir in the pumpkin, canola oil, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to over-mix. Divide the pumpkin batter between the 3 loaf pans, then pour the cheese batter on top.
  5. Bake until golden around the edges, about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs. Cool 10 minutes in the pans, then remove from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
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