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Thanksgiving Dinner Menu – 11 Delicious Recipes!

It’s the final countdown to Thanksgiving, so how about some delicious inspiration? We gathered our culinary troops to help you out! We’ve selected our favorite Thanksgiving recipes from genius foodies from all around the web. Spend spend less time researching, and more time enjoying.  Take a look and get cookinspired!

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A THANKSGIVING DINNER MENU

  1. Homemade Cranberry Sauce – My Endless Picnic
  2. Dry Brined High-Heat Roast Turkey – The Galley Gourmet
  3. Turkey Gravy – Cooking Canuck
  4. Apple Cider Turkey Gravy – A Spicy Perspective
  5. Roasted Turkey – Tide & Thyme
  6. Pumpkin And Cheese Spice Bread –  An Edible Mosaic
  7. Cranberry Sauce – The Faux Martha
  8. Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese, Sage and Pepitas – Domesticate ME!
  9. Roasted Sweet Potato With Pecan and Maple – Drizzle & Dip
  10. Pecan Pie – Unexpected Elegance
  11. Buttermilk Biscuits – Simple Gourmet Cooking
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Wintertime Weeknights: Favorite Fresh Truffle Recipes

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Looking for an update to your Friday night menu? Fresh truffle season is in full swing, with aromatic white truffles from Italy and black truffles from France flown in every week (and flying off our shelves!). These amazing mushrooms are easy to incorporate to any dish – slice and add! Don’t believe us? We found three great truffle recipes to make this winter more delicious. Invite friends over, grab a great bottle of wine, and get ready to enjoy those long winter nights with good company and delicious food.

OUR FAVORITE FRESH TRUFFLE APPETIZER: RISOTTO

Truffle Risotto, Tapas-Style! Photo by: delicioustapas.blogspot.com

Truffle Risotto, Tapas-Style! Photo by: delicioustapas.blogspot.com

Comfort food at its best, risotto gets some serious upgrade to first class when you add truffle shavings.  We loved that in this fresh truffle recipe by Fred of Delicious Tapas (www.delicioustapas.blogspot.com) reinvented the usual hearty (and heavy) risotto dish as a tapas, meaning a small, appetizer-sized portion. It gives you the opportunity to get a taste of the dish, without the moaning and groaning (and guilt!) that  comes after eating a very heavy meal.  The truffles are sliced paper thin and then added at the end of the preparation, where the heat and steam of the risotto brings out the aroma and flavor. Although Fred uses black truffles, you can easily substitute for fresh white truffles for a more intense garlicky aroma. Serve this as a fresh truffle appetizer at your next dinner party or alongside some other small dishes as a tapas meal.

Get the recipe! > Truffle Risotto

FAVORITE FRESH TRUFFLE ENTREE: LAMB RAGU PAPPARDELLE 

Lamb Ragu Papperdelle With Shaved Truffles. Photo by: www.nomsandrambles.net

Lamb Ragu Papperdelle With Shaved Truffles. Photo by: www.nomsandrambles.net

When the weather turns chilly and we want a rich, filling dish that will carry put some warmth in our bones, we turn  to this fantastic Lamb Ragu Papperdelle with fresh truffle shavings by Noms & Rambles (http://www.NomsandRambles.net).  This is the perfect winter truffle recipe, combining tender, fall-of-the-bones roasted lamb with colorful (and healthy) vegetables, a flavorful Napoli tomato sauce and lots of aromatic herbs and spices.  The fresh truffle shavings give this otherwise rustic “country” dish an indulgent and luxurious final touch. Perfect for a large gathering, make enough for leftovers; this dish demands seconds!

Get the recipe! Lamb Ragu Pappardelle With Fresh Black Truffles

FAVORITE FRESH TRUFFLE SNACK: TRUFFLED PIZZA

Prosciutto, Mozarella & Truffle Thin Crust Pizza. Photo by: www.gourmetfoodworld.com

Prosciutto, Mozarella & Truffle Thin Crust Pizza. Photo by: www.gourmetfoodworld.com

The plainest and most commonplace dish goes from dull to deluxe when you use the right ingredients and some imagination.  Start with a simple thin crust pizza dough, then layer up delicious fresh mozzarella (from real buffalo milk), a bit of truffled cheese, sweet Prosciutto di Parma ham, a bit of truffle oil, and finish up with thin slice of fresh truffle (white or black, your choice). Unlike chewy doughy crusts, a thin crust allows you to actually taste the great ingredients you’re using. This sophisticated fresh truffle recipe for pizza is ready in minutes (make the dough ahead and freeze) and will become your go-to dish for a glamorous pizza party.

Get the recipe! Prosciutto & Mozzarella With Truffles Thin Crust Pizza

Giving Sbux a bit of competition! Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte with Whipped Cream. Photo by: Mary Younkin

Top Five Gourmet Halloween Recipes Featuring Pumpkin!

We post a lot about sophisticated, la-di-da recipes around here, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But today we’re looking for more fun than fondue. It’s almost Halloween! Our favorite Halloween recipes featuring pumpkin by our spookily talented contributing bloggers will make this Halloween frighteningly delicious.

Read on for our favorite Halloween recipes featuring everyone’s orange vegetable, pumpkin.

1. Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Giving Sbux a bit of competition! Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte with Whipped Cream. Photo by: Mary Younkin

Giving Sbux a bit of competition! Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte with Whipped Cream. Photo by: Mary Younkin

Long lines at the coffee shop spooking you out? This the perfect Halloween recipe for latte-lovers! Try Mary’s recipe for a homemade pumpkin latte made from pumpkin puree. So easy to make at home, no styrofoam cups required!

You can find our more great recipes from Many on her cooking blog:
www.barefeetinthekitchen.com

View Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe >

2. Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Smoothie

Our fave pumpkin-for-breakfast Halloween recipe: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Smoothie. Photo by: Rachel Farnsworth

Our fave pumpkin-for-breakfast Halloween recipe: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Smoothie. Photo by: Rachel Farnsworth

You know us, we’re suckers for gourmet recipes that are also healthy, and this Halloween recipe is perfect to kick off your day. Rachel’s smoothie recipe of Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, spices and rolled oats will get you up and going for a long afternoon of trick-or-treating!

View Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Smoothie Recipe >

Find more delicious from-scratch recipes from Rachel on her blog at:
www.thestayathomechef.com

3. Pumpkin Harvest Cookies

Our favorite cookies for Halloween – Pumpkin Harvest Cookies. Photo by: Katie Compton

Our favorite cookies for Halloween – Pumpkin Harvest Cookies. Photo by: Katie Compton

Pumpkin, chocolate chips, shredded coconuts and spices? Our taste buds went crazy just looking at the ingredient list for Katie’s Halloween recipe of Pumpkin Cookies. Make a large batch to give away to trick-or-treaters, and save some to have with your afternoon coffee.

View Pumpkin Harvest Cookie Recipe > 

For more recipes (and fashion style tips!), visit Katie’s blog:
 www.rufflesandtruffles.com

4. Pumpkin Birmuelos with Caramel Drizzle

A deliciously Kosher Halloween! Pumpkin Birmuelos With Caramel Drizzle. Photo by: Melinda Strauss

A deliciously Kosher Halloween! Pumpkin Birmuelos With Caramel Drizzle. Photo by: Melinda Strauss

It’s easy to keep kosher on Halloween when you have the help of Melinda Strauss, of Kitchen Tested. Her adaptation of the classic birmuelo – a sort of fried doughnut – includes mixing up some pumpkin puree, and drizzling the whole thing with caramel.  L’Chaim!

View Kosher Pumpkin Birmuelos Recipe >

For more incredible (and always kosher) recipes from Melinda, find at her at:
www.kitchentested.com 

5. Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes

Frighteningly yummy spiderwebs adorn these decadent chocolate and pumpkin-frosted cupcakes. Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes. Photo by: Alexandra @ Confessions of A Bright Eyed Baker.

Frighteningly yummy spiderwebs adorn these decadent chocolate and pumpkin-frosted cupcakes. Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes. Photo by: Alexandra @ Confessions of A Bright Eyed Baker.

We promised Halloween cupcakes, and cupcakes you shall have! But these are no scary store-bought cupcakes, no sir. Alexandra of Confessions of a Bright Eyed Baker brewed up some decadent, moist chocolate-and-pumpkin cupcakes with bright orange-spiced cream cheese frosting. Plus a sophisticated chocolate “spiderweb” to top it all of.  Wickedly good!

View Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcake Recipe >

For more indulgent baking (and more) from Alexandra, check out her blog at:
http://www.brighteyedbaker.com

 

Happy Halloween, fellow foodies!

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A Festive And Fabulous Holiday Menu

It’s beginning to feel – and taste – a lot like Christmas ! The tree is up, the snow has coated everything in wonderful white, and the season is in full, festive swing.

Our Christmas menu selection this year is full of fabulous flavor, using the foods and ingredients we love so much around here. We looked for great innovative ways to prepare some classics, but also wanted to have pretty presentation and a bit of a wow factor – this is a once-a-year event, and your table should be anything but ordinary!

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START…

…with this festive Pomegranate Cheese Ball by How Sweet It Is. Twinkling pomegranate gems glisten and glow festively in this incredible appetizer that reminds us of a Christmas ornament (an edible, delicious one!) and acts double duty as a centerpiece. This classic-yet-chic cheese-ball appetizer is made with sharp white cheddar, mixed with some smoky toasted almonds, then sumptuously finished with cream cheese, mascarpone, and sage butter.  Everything gets blended with an electric mixer and then formed not a ball. We are raving about this appetizer!

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A delicious centerpiece to start off your feast! Photo: Pomegranate Cheese Ball by How Sweet It is.

Get the Pomegranate Cheese Ball recipe here >

 

FOLLOW…

Instead of a Christmas ham or turkey, we’re making this a sophisticated, delicious and upscale alternative:  Maple Balsamic Roasted Duck by Spoon Fork Bacon. Traditional dishes are great and all, but sometimes it’s time to shake things up, but there’s something very “everyday” about ham, and by December 25th, we’ve just about had enough with Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. This duck is juicy and tender, but with loads more flavor than a turkey. You can use a whole duck, or two if you’re feeding a large crowd. This recipe also includes a Spiced Cranberry -Persimmon Chutney (which we think is just perfecto for this), but since a roasted duck is a super versatile main, you can pair it with your favorite sauce.

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A very crispy Christmas! Maple Balsamic Roasted Duck by Spoon Fork Bacon.

Find the Maple Balsamic Roasted Duck recipe here >

 

SERVE WITH…

Creamy, cheesy, luscious Scalloped Potatoes by Oh Sweet Basil! We almost have no words to describe the incredibleness that is this au gratin dish. It’s classic and comforting, and we think it will pair perfectly with our more complicated main dish. Russet potatoes, butter, heavy cream, a great sharp cheddar cheese, all spiced with thyme, bay and cloves, and baked until gorgeously golden and deliciously melty. We’re planning to make this with sharp and buttery Fiscalini Farmstead 18 Month cheddar for an extra boost of flavor…and we’re planning to make it our staple winter comfort dish throughout the season!

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A sumptuous side! Creamy Scalloped Potatoes. Photo by: Oh Sweet Basil.

Find the Scalloped Potatoes recipe here >

 

TOAST…

…with a warm glass of Glogg (recipe by Taste Food Blog). If you’re ready to go beyond the Eggnog this year, you should definitely try this yummy alternative.  Glogg is the classic Scandinavian Christmas drink. A kind of spiced mulled wine, it’s made with cloves, cinnamon, red wine and brandy, served cozily warm with almonds and raisins. It’s pretty much the grown-ups cup of hot chocolate, and it’s much more beautiful to serve, the merry red drink adding to the Christmas atmosphere.

Stay mellow and warm with a glass of Glogg. Photy by; Taste Food Blog.

Stay mellow and warm with a glass of Glogg. Photy by; Taste Food Blog.

Find the Gløgg recipe here >

 

AND FINISH WITH…

Mascarpone Nutella Mousse! The creamy hazelnut chocolate spread is pretty much an addiction of ours, and it’s the perfect treat to end a holiday meal. This dessert combines sweet mascarpone with Nutella and heavy whipping cream. Just blend equal parts of each in a blender and you’re done. Garnished with cheery red berries, festive green mint and (more) chocolate, this is the ideal clincher to our picture-perfect Christmas meal!

mascarpone nutella mousse

Nuts for Nutella! Nutella Mascarpone Mousse. Photo: Gourmet Food Store.

 

CONTRIBUTORS:

We’d like to thank the following bloggers for sharing their amazing recipes and beautiful photographs. Visit their blogs for more delicious recipes and tons of culinary inspiration.

www.SpoonForkBacon.com
www.howsweeteats.com
www.tastefoodblog.com
www.ohsweetbasil.com

Braised Chicken in a delicious Sherry and Sherry Vinegar Reduction – browning the chicken. Photo by: Alexandra – AlexandraCooks.com

Winter Weeknights: Braised Chicken With Sherry and Sherry Vinegar

Sophisticated Take On Chicken And Noodles! Braised Chicken in a delicious Sherry and Sherry Vinegar Reduction, Over Egg Noodles. Photo by: Alexandra of AlexandraCooks.com

Sophisticated Take On Chicken And Noodles! Braised Chicken in a delicious Sherry and Sherry Vinegar Reduction, Over Egg Noodles. Photo by: Alexandra of AlexandraCooks.com

There are a few things more comforting than a big bowl of pasta during a cold winter night. Easy to make (boiling water, anyone) and the ingredients don’t really spoil (who has ever looked at the expiration date on a box of spaghetti?). However, weeknight pasta can get boring and need beefing up, or, in this case, chicken-ing up! Introducing your new favorite pairing for your winter spaghetti dinners: Braised Chicken With Sherry Vinegar by Alexandra of AlexandraCooks.com.

The recipe calls for the more flavorful sections of the chicken – thighs and drumsticks. However, Alexandra buys the chicken whole and like to cut it up – she has a super useful video on how to do this, if you’re interested in giving it a try. If, however, you’re not feeling like putting in some many kitchen hours, just buy a tray of thighs and drumsticks (organic or free-range chicken is always more flavorful).

Why Sherry Vinegar?

The addition of a good aged Sherry vinegar makes a world of a difference in sauces. To even be considered Sherry vinegar, it must be produced from the sherry grape, aged in American oak barrels for at least six months, and all this needs to happen in what’s called the “sherry triangle” of Spain, an area in the Spanish province of Cadiz. This wine vinegar is sweet, well rounded, with a full bouquet of flavors, which translates into the finished preparation.

This dish will fill your kitchen with delicious aromas, as you braise, sauté and reduce your heart out. Serve Alexandra’s Braised Chicken in Sherry Vinegar with egg noodles, your favorite spaghetti, or just with a big hunk of bread to wipe that plate nice and clean. For more of Alexandra’s great recipes, follow her blog at www.AlexandraCooks.com. You can view her original recipe, along with some very useful tips, here.

Braised Chicken in a delicious Sherry and Sherry Vinegar Reduction – browning the chicken. Photo by: Alexandra – AlexandraCooks.com

Braised Chicken in a delicious Sherry and Sherry Vinegar Reduction – browning the chicken. Photo by: Alexandra – AlexandraCooks.com

 

Products From This Post:

 

Braised Chicken With Sherry and Sherry Vinegar - AlexandraCooks

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Braised Chicken With Sherry and Sherry Vinegar - AlexandraCooks

Serve this mouthwatering braised chicken in sherry vinegar over your favorite pasta, or simply with a side salad and a big hunk of bread.

Ingredients

  • Thighs and drumsticks from one 3lb chicken, skin on.
  • kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • freshly cracked pepper, plus more to taste
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive, grapeseed or peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup medium-sweet sherry
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar, prerably aged
  • 1 – 1-1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup drained and coarsley chopped peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
  2. Heat 2 tsp. oil in a skillet and sear chicken until golden on each side. Add more oil as needed working in batches.
  3. Reduce heat and sauté shallots, covered until softened; uncover and sauté until golden brown. Add sherry and deglaze; reduce by half. Add vinegar and sugar and reduce by half. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, mustard, salt and pepper. Add chicken thighs and legs, partially cover and cook 7 mins. Cover and simmer 20 mins or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Remove chicken to a plate.
  5. Simmer sauce 10 mins or until slightly thickened and flavors are rich and mellow.
  6. Return chicken to pan and heat through.
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Beautiful Pairings: A Delicious Duck Breast Recipe With Wine And Figs

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We’re in the midst of the most beautiful season, the peak of autumn, filled with the blazing red of fall foliage and vibrant orange of pumpkin patches. Culinary speaking, autumn is a lovely time for cooking, with gorgeous seasonal ingredients bringing flavor and color to our tables, and the weather allowing for heartier main dishes with meats. Today we’re featuring a duck breast recipe that highlights some of our favorite ingredients: earthy duck breast, sweet figs and voluptuous wine.

This duck breast recipe starts with boneless Muscovy duck breasts. Muscovy duck is fabulously flavorful fowl meat, with a bold and succulent flavor, much more complex than what you would expect. Paired with the sweet figs cooked in Beaujolais wine, it’s absolute perfection – a sophisticate melding of sweet and salty flavors, a buttery on the inside yet crispy on the outside texture, and just a sublimely rich dish.

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Cooking Tips For Our Muscovy Duck Breast Recipe

This duck breast recipe is simple, but there are some things to know.

  • Muscovy duck breast should always be cooked medium (or medium rare). Overcook it, and it’ll be dry and tough. So…
  • Use a kitchen thermometer if you have one, to make sure you don’t overcook it. Our duck breast is ready once the inside temperature reaches 120 degrees.
  • Look for the ripest figs you can find, they’re the sweetest! They should be soft (but not mushy), and have small wrinkles on the skin.
  • You don’t need oil or butter for this Muscovy duck breast recipe; the duck meat itself has enough fat to cook to perfection by itself.
  • Save the rendered fat from the pan where you cooked the duck breast, this concoction is full of delicious flavor and perfect for sautéing veggies or potatoes
  • Serve with your favorite red wine, especially great with Burgundy wine or Pinot Noir.

 

Duck Breast With Wine-Poached Figs

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless Muscovy duck breasts
  • 6 figs
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cup of Beaujolais wine
  • 2 cup of Chianti wine
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 large Yukon gold potatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add 2 cups of Beaujolais wine, 2 cups of Chianti wine, of sugar, bay leaf and cinnamon stick to a medium pot, over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from the stove, and add the whole figs. Bring back to a boil and simmer for about 10/15 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Remove the wine and fig mix from the stove, then carefully remove the figs one by one and place them in a double bowl with ice. Leave to cool. Once the figs are fully cooled down, mix them back up with the wine sauce. If you want, do this one day in advance and keep the sauce in the refrigerator until you use it.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 350.
  4. Peel and dice the potatoes into ½-inch thick cubes. Pour some flour on a shallow dish, and toss the potatoes, very lightly coating them in flour.
  5. Place a sauté pan over medium-high heat, drizzle some olive oil, and sauté the potatoes until lightly browned. Transfer the potatoes to a shallow oven pan, salt and bake until fully cooked (about 10/15 minutes).
  6. While the potatoes are baking, prep the duck breast.
  7. With a sharp knife, score diagonal and horizontal lines (diamond pattern) on the skin side of the duck. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  8. Place the duck breast skin-side down on a large sauté pan, over medium heat, and sauté until golden brown (no butter or oil needed here!). Flip, and cook the other side.
  9. Once the duck breast is ready, remove from the pan and plate, adding the potatoes (garnish them with parsley). Cut the figs in half and heat the wine sauce, pouring over the duck breast.
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Cooking with wine: Coq-Au-Vin recipe. Ph: I-Hua Lim. www.msihua.com

Cooking With Wine: A Delicious Coq Au Vin Recipe

Cooking with wine: Coq-Au-Vin recipe. Ph: I-Hua Lim. www.msihua.com

Cooking with wine: Coq-Au-Vin recipe. Ph: I-Hua Lim. www.msihua.com

There’s a wise saying that says, “you only need four things in life – family, friends, great food and great wine“….ok, so we just made that up…but doesn’t it just ring true?! Today we’re featuring a classic dish that is cooked with great wine, and is the perfect meal to share with friends and family: Coq Au Vin!

One of the most well known of French cuisine dishes, the classic Coq Au Vin recipe – which easily translates into “chicken in wine” (but sounds oh-so much fancier in French) is a sort of rustic country recipe given a sophisticated twist. The ingredients are farm basics – chicken and fresh vegetables.  But it’s that robust flavor of a fine red wine that gives this dish that sensual, luxurious touch.

COQ AU VIN RECIPE ESSENTIALS:  THYME, WINE & TIME

There are several steps to a Coq Au Vin recipe, and a most important ingredient: patience. Although the dish is called simply Chicken in Wine, it should really be called SLOW-Cooked chicken in wine…you’ll need wine and time! This recipe needs long cooking times, because the idea is to break down the meat until it’s superbly tender, with nary a hint of toughness, and for the flavors of the vegetables, wine and aromatics to fully blend in together so that every bite is bursting with flavor.

SLOW FOOD, SLOW COOKER!

Since this is one of those “classic French cuisine” dishes, you’ll find tons of results out there for Coq Au Vin recipe. However, the recipe we’re featuring this week was a standout. Slow Cooked Coq Au Vin by I-Hua, from The Chronicles of Ms. I-Hua & The Boy, an amazing cooking blog from beautiful Australia.  Find more fun and delicious recipes by I-Hua at www.msihua.com.

This Coq Au Vin recipe might be “slow cooked” but it’s definitely not time consuming. I-Hua’s trick is using a slow cooker for the job, maintaining all the beauty of this traditional recipe but using the modern time-saving device to avoid slaving over the stove. The result is an amazingly tender chicken, incredibly flavorful, perfect to feed a crowd of hungry and exacting foodies!

COQ AU VINE RECIPE & WINE TIP

A Coq Au Vin recipe usually calls for Burgundy wine (the region where this dish originates), but this rule is not set in stone – you can use Beaujolais (which is the wine of choice for our feature recipe), or any other full-bodied red. It doesn’t even have to be French…but to be truly authentic, it should be!

Coq Au Vin Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Yield: 6 servings

Coq Au Vin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Chicken (chopped into 8 pieces - thigh, drumstick, breast & wings)
  • 7 oz of Bacon (cut into batons)
  • 2 cups (500ml) of Beaujolais Red Wine
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) of Semi-Sweet Sherry Wine
  • 2 1/2 cups of Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tbsp. of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. of Tomato Paste
  • 2 stalks of Carrot (chop into 2-inch pieces)
  • 12-15 Pickled Pearl Onions (from a jar)
  • 7oz of Button Mushrooms (trimmed & halved)
  • 4 cloves of Garlic (chopped finely)
  • 1 large Onion (chopped finely)
  • 4 sprigs of Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Parsley Leaf (chopped finely) for garnishing
  • 1 Tbsp of Plain Flour
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pan, heat olive oil on medium heat and fry the bacon batons until most of the fat is rendered. Transfer speck to a bowl.
  2. In the same pan (on medium heat), brown the thighs, drumsticks and wings on both sides. This should take about 3-4 minutes each side. Remove chicken pieces.
  3. Place chicken breast (skin side down) in the same pan and fry for 2 minutes and remove.
  4. Transfer fat from the pan into a separate bowl (for the slurry) but keep at least 2 tablespoons of it in the pan.
  5. Return the pan to medium heat and add chopped onion. When the onion starts to soften, add in garlic and cook until fragrant (careful not to burn the garlic).
  6. Pour in the Sweet Sherry and start deglazing the pan by scrapping off the fond at the bottom of the pan.
  7. Once most of the liquid is evaporated, add in the Beaujolais wine, chicken stock, thyme, bay leaf, carrots and tomato paste. Simmer (low heat) for 5 minutes.
  8. Place chicken pieces and speck into the slow cooker. Pour contents from the pan into the slow cooker, making sure that the chicken pieces are covered with liquid (add more chicken stock if required).
  9. Cook on low for 4-5 hours (or until meat is very tender). Add in pickled pearl onions and mushrooms at the last hour.
  10. Transfer chicken pieces, speck, pickled onions and mushroom from the slow cooker to a dish and cover to keep warm.
  11. Strain your stock from the slow cooker through a fine sieve and discard any herbs, chopped onions & garlic.
  12. Heat the stock in a pan (on medium heat) to reduce it a bit. Using the fat kept earlier, mix 2 tablespoons of fat with 1 tablespoon of flour to make your thickener.
  13. Add 1 teaspoon of the flour and fat mixture at a time and stir into the sauce. Do this until you are happy with the thickness of the sauce.
  14. If you prefer a thicker sauce, keep adding more of the flour and fat mix, but keep in mind that you might not have enough sauce to cover the chicken.
  15. Once the sauce is done, return the chicken pieces and other ingredients into the pan to reheat and coat with the sauce.
  16. Season with salt and pepper.
  17. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with chopped parsley.
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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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Caviar + Quail Eggs: A classic combination! Ph: CharlotteJulienne

Gourmet Food Store Guide: How To Serve, Store, and Eat Caviar Properly

Caviar + Quail Eggs: A classic combination! Ph: CharlotteJulienne

Caviar + Quail Eggs: A classic combination! Ph: CharlotteJulienne

Caviar is one of our best-selling items here at GourmetFoodStore.com.  A lot of you love to eat caviar, so it might come as a surprise to know just how many people are intimidated by the glossy eggs.  How do you serve caviar is one of the most oft-asked questions, followed by the inevitable sequiturs, how do you store caviar, and, of course, how do you eat caviar?

First on our “Gourmet Guide” series, read on to find out everything you need – well, everything we could think of! – to know about serving, storing and eating caviar!

THE DO’s AND DON’Ts OF SERVING, EATING AND STORING CAVIAR

caviarservingcollage

 DO…

Serve Chilled: Caviar is always served not just cold, but ice-cold. Keep tins of caviar in the fridge right until you’re ready to serve. If you’re going to set the caviar out for people to serve themselves, buffet-style, keep it in the original tin over another bowl of ice, to keep it nice and chilly. Or invest in a gorgeous caviar server!

Use Mother Of Pearl: You want to use either mother of pearl, glass or (and we shudder to even suggest it) in an emergency, plastic…but really, why would you ever serve caviar with plastic?

Keep It Simple: The most classic way to eat caviar is over a blini or toast points, with a dollop of crème fraiche. A sort of buckwheat mini-pancake of Russian origins, blinis have a very mild bland flavor that acts as the perfect vessel for the salty taste and crunchy pop of caviar.

Feel Free To Be Creative: There are other ways to serve caviar besides as an hors d’oeuvre. Try it over soft or hard boiled quail eggs, with potatoes, or sprinkled over pasta.

Drink Vodka or Champagne: down a shot of chilled vodka with caviar to be super authentic, or with a flute of bubbly champagne to be totally glamorous. You can also try a light beer or a crisp and subtle white wine.

Be Gentle: caviar eggs are delicate and tend to be crushed, so gently place the eggs where you want them.

DON’T…

Use Metal: You never, ever, ever, EVER want to eat caviar with a metal utensil – don’t even touch it with metal. Metal changes the flavor of caviar and will taint it with an awful metal bite.

Add Too Many Other Ingredients: the idea is to keep side ingredients bland and to a minimum, to let the flavor of the caviar shine through…after all, you’re paying a pretty penny for each of those eggs!

Actually Cook Caviar: caviar is really not meant for cooking; it becomes tough and the flavor changes.

Drink Caviar With Red Wine or Dark Beer: Try to eat caviar and then down it with a big bold red wine and you’ll quickly realize why. The caviar’s saltiness calls for a drink that’s refreshing and cleanses the palate. Red wines and dark beers are too overwhelming.

TIPS FOR STORING CAVIAR

Read all labels carefully once you get your product.
Caviar is highly perishable and must be stored in the fridge.
Do not freeze.
Once opened, consume within 2-3 days, caviar won’t keep for long.

 

A simply delicious and creative way of serving caviar: freshwater caviar over crispy potato skins with creme fraiche. Ph: Thefood-online.com

A simply delicious and creative way of serving caviar: freshwater caviar over crispy potato skins with creme fraiche. Ph: Thefood-online.com

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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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