Sunday, December 2, 2012

Coq Au Vin

The day started out like any normal day off would.

Slept till 8 am!  (cue happy dance)..........ok done.

While Brainstorming on dinner plans(and talking with my BFF Beth from Ohio),

A challenge was raised.  "What is on the menu tonight?" she asked

I replied, "A steak dish"

The retort was swift "you always do that.  Try something different"

I replied "Like what?"

"Coq Au Vin" (She recommended Julia Child's recipe).. ( I love her)

Challenge Accepted.....

Of to Market I go........

I picked up a 4 lb chicken and decided I would also try out my quartering of a chicken technique.

Not too bad for a gringo. ( Ignore the fact that there are 8 pieces there). Season chicken with salt and pepper

cut 6 slices of thick cut bacon into 1x1/4 pieces  boil in water for 10 minutes Drain and put in ice bath
then pat dry with paper towel and set aside.

Brown chicken on both sides,

Flambe` with cognac then add 2 cups pinot noir, add thyme  3 cloves smashed garlic 1 bay leaf and 2 cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil then cover let simmer 30 minutes.

While that is happening,

set up a pot of water to boil and add package of pearl onions. (fresh onions) unpealed.

Take them out of boil and into an ice bath to stop cooking and make them easier to handle
Cut off both ends of onion, it will slide out of is skin. set aside. (thank you Julia Child).

Heat up a cast iron pan and fry bacon till brown (save drippings).

One package of crimini mushrooms quarterd place into an olive oil and buttered pan.
( house smells amazing !!!!  Just sayin....)

Now take the pearl onions and place them into the cast iorn pan with the drippings from the bacon
quiclky stir  to keep them from burning   you want a hint of brown.

Remove chicken from pan and set aside ( chicken will be red in color due to the wine)

Reduce liquid to half (About 2 Cups)

Add in 2 tbs of butter (that has been mashe up with 3 tbs of flour in to a paste). whisk in.

Put chicken back in to reheat (sauce will thicken... this is a good thing)

Serve over pasta (Traditionally egg noodles. But Im a rebel.) Place the mushrooms bacon and onions on the side. enjoy!!

Such great flavors in this dish! The sauce is vibrant and rich, The chicken.. moist, tender, and flavorful.

The bacon onion mushrooms were a perfect acompaniment to the dish.  Next time I need to make sure I have a french bagette to help sop up that sauce...

Dessert was a Vanilla Ice Cream with Pomagranate and Blueberries.

 And coffee........definately coffee.
Till Next Time.

Enjoy The Way Of the Fork!

In the first picture you will see celery and carrots  these arent for this dish. ( They photo bombed in)

Jalapeño pretzel crusted pork roast

So my local market had a great deal on a whole pork loin. (.99 lb ! Holiday promo)

I Couldn't pass it up.

What to do what to do.........

Bang! Crusted pork loin roast!

Not just any type of crust. I wanted something that would pop.

Bang again! Pretzel crust!

Not just any pretzel will do.

I decided to use my favorite flavored brand. Jalapeño.

I cut off a 4-6 lb piece of pork and seasoned it with salt and pepper.

Then I placed the jalapeño pretzels into a food processor and pulsed to a crumble.

Pre heat oven to 350.
I now needed something to help crust adhere to pork.

What goes great with pretzels?....... Besides beer?........ Mustard (in this case honey mustard).

  1). Rub pork with honey mustard.

  2). Place pretzel crumbs on a plate

  3). Roll pork into crumb mixture.

  4). Place about 1/2 cup of chicken broth into roasting pan Place roast into pan

  5). Bake covered with a foil tent for one hour.

       Remove tent and cook for another hour and 15 minutes.

   6). Remove from oven let rest. 15 minutes.

   7). Deglaze the pan with stock and scrape up all brown bits.

    Add in 1/8 cup bourbon ( if there are chunks of pretzel, transfer to food processor Pulse to a purée).

   8). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

   9).  For the sides I made seasoned corn and bourbon kissed quinoa.

   Great favors all around. Pork was juicy and tender.

   The quick gravy was a spicy but welcome accompaniment.

    It played off the pork real well. Man I love this!!!

    Tune in next time for coq au vin!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Steak Au Poive with Herbed Potato Wedges

Today I planned on doing a few things around the house
till my tummy started coming up with different plans.

I was out shopping for dinner when I came across the 2 nicest cuts of rib-eye Ive seen in a while.

What to do...What to do....

Pow!!! It came to me, Steak Au Poive.

So now I'm on a mission. weaving in and out of aisles , cutting off irate shoppers ,doing illegal
U-turns in the produce department. 

picked up
Beef stock
(liquor store for brandy)
and of course the Rib-Eye

Headed home and started my attack

Bring steaks to room temp.


Season with kosher salt then

Lather both sides with Dijon mustard.

Now pat in coarse crushed black pepper.  Again, do both sides

I used a cast iron pan for this dish

1/4 cup Vegetable oil in pan nice and hot then sear  3 Minutes per side.

Get a nice crust..

Cut your potatoes into wedges season with salt and pepper olive oil in pan and infuse with thyme Sage and Rosemary.

Remove Steaks and set aside. 

Add chopped shallots (1 TBS )
Add Chopped Garlic (2 TBS)

Add 1/4 cup Brandy and carefully Flambe`

After Flames die down add in 1 1/2 cups beef stock and reduce to about half volume.

Add in 1 cup heavy cream. simmer till it coats back of spoon.

Also add in 1 TBS of sherry vinegar. ( I feel this gives the sauce a nice acidic pop)
Once sauce is thick ,serve and enjoy.

Until Next Time.......

Be True to The Way Of The Fork.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekend Challenge #2 Risotto

The next challenge was to nail a risotto.

This isn't new to me but then again adding layers of flavor to it are so.......

I wanted to do something seasonal so I added a gourd to the mix.

I was very pleased with the results.

I served the risotto with a veal chop and then with a fillet mignon.

 the veal chop..
the fillet

I felt the later was the better.

Creative Time with a chocolate souffle'

This weekend was about challenging myself. Making  a Chocolate Souffle`.

I will tell you, I was happy I did it. 

Nothing is as rewarding as nailing the prefect souffle` first time out.

Will I be able to do it again? Damned if I know but I will sure try.

Ok I found this recipe again on and I want to thank the foodnetwork kitchens for this.

 I ran out of semi sweet chocolate so i hadt to make it my own and use the dutch processed cocoa.
3 tbs per ounce of semi sweet chocolate bars. I needed 12 tbs....Dont judge.....

Double boiler with 4 tbs unsalted butter. (I added heavy cream too about a quarter cup.)
 3 egg yolks and 8 egg whites for next step.

 Chocolate shiny and ready

 3 yolks whisked with 2 tbs sugar till ribbons show

 Fold in to chocolate.
 Oh Baby........

  Egg whites whisked with 1/2 cup sugar. Till it peaks but not stiffly.

 Fold in to chocolate not all at once  put in half and fold then add ther rest and fold. looks like a mousse

Add to buttered and sugared ramekins fill 2/3 to top you will need 6 6oz ramekins for this

I had 4 7oz Ramekins. I dont see a problem yet....

 I melted some vanilla ice cream to pour on top. (my Idea)

 Hello awesome!!

 Messy Pour...

 Wanna Taste?  Cooked through , Light airy. The bitter sweet chocolate is married with the sweet vanilla (anglaze) for a perfect balance.

I call it a success.
 For the record the recipe suggests powdered sugar to be dusted on top. I did this as well.

again it was tasty.
Well ok just one more fork full............