Monthly Archives: August 2015

Not Your Boar-ing Burger

While picking up a few items from the grocery store last Friday, my husband decided that a D’Artagnan free range wild boar mini roast would be perfect for dinner.  Just recently, our local grocery store started carrying a wide variety of D’Artagnan products.  While this is very exciting, I still intend to take advantage of special offers from the website at http://www.dartagnan.com!

Rather than roast the roast, we decided on more casual fare – boar burgers.  Below is our recipe…

Ingredients:

One D’Artagnan free range wild boar mini roast (1.5 pounds)

One egg

Worcestershire sauce

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

One tomato, sliced

One sweet onion, sliced

Dill pickles

Crusty Italian bread

To prepare the meat for grinding, cut it into small chunks (about one inch cubes).  Then spread the chunks on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.  Grind the chunks in a Cuisinart in two batches, pulsing until it is the consistency of ground beef or ground pork that you would purchase from a butcher.

The roast makes the perfect amount of ground “pork” for four burgers.  In a large bowl, mix one egg into the ground meat.  Then add several shakes of Worcestershire sauce, a few pinches of sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  Mix with your hands and form into four patties.  Grill on medium high heat to your desired temperature.  Top your burger with a slice of tomato and some onion and pickles on toasted Italian bread.  (While I am a purist, my husband likes to add Dijon mustard.)

So, for a truly sweet and juicy “ham”-burger, check out D’Artagnan’s boar online or at your local grocery.

Boar Burger

Creepy…Like a Snail – Escargots in Butter

Ingredients:

1 baguette

1 dozen escargots

3 tablespoons French butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

3 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Finishing salt

Fresh ground pepper

For this recipe, I use Roland escargots.  Each can is 8.75 ounces and contains 12 escargots – perfect for two servings.  The benefit of using these escargots is that they are already clean and cooked; you only have to heat them.

Preheat the broiler.  Slice the baguette on an angle, two slices per person.  Place the slices under the broiler until they are golden brown on one side.  Then turn the slices over to brown the other side.  Remove the slices from the broiler and arrange two slices on each small plate.

Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil.  Allow the pan to heat up and the butter to foam.  Add the garlic and scallions to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon.  Allow the garlic and scallions to cook for about 2 minutes.  Drain the liquid from the can of escargots and add them to the pan along with the parsley.  Turn the heat down to medium low and stir with a wooden spoon.  The escargots will only need to heat for about 3 to 4 minutes.  Spoon the escargots on each baguette serving, and drizzle with some of the butter mixture.

Snails

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy

Eggplant and Tomato Tian

This Provençal dish is a bright accompaniment to a grilled steak or lamb chop.  The term “tian” refers to both the earthenware dish in which the vegetables are cooked and the gratin of vegetables and cheese itself.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant (preferably Sicilian), thinly sliced

2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced

Fresh ground pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh basil

Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a round 9-inch ceramic tart pan.  Arrange the eggplant in a layer on the bottom of the dish, permitting the slices to overlap slightly.  Then add a layer of tomato and season with pepper.  Continue to layer in this fashion until you use all of the tomato and eggplant.  Top with another drizzle of olive oil, and bake covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes.  Uncover, add the cheese, and bake for another 30 minutes until the vegetables are browned and the eggplant is tender.  Top with fresh basil and sea salt before serving.

Tian

Corn Salsa and Crab Cakes

Corn salsa is a refreshing, and somewhat spicy, way to enjoy summer’s bounty of fresh corn.  I recommend pairing this salsa with crab cakes…

Ingredients for Corn Salsa:

2 ears of corn, preferably white, sweet corn

2 scallions, thinly sliced

4 slices jalapeno, chopped

1 large tomato, cut into small chunks

Chiffonade of 5 basil leaves

Juice of 1/2 lime

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

Cut the corn from the cobs and place in a large bowl.  Add the scallions, jalapeno, tomato, basil and lime juice.  Mix together and taste before adding the desired amount of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Corn and Scallions

Ingredients for Crab Cakes:

16 ounce container lump or jumbo lump crab meat

1 egg

Zest of 1 lemon

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

2/3 to 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

3 tablespoons butter

My recipe for crab cakes is very simple – no filler! In a large bowl, mix the crab and egg with a fork.  Then, mix in the lemon zest as well as sea salt and pepper to taste.  Add the bread crumbs last, using your hands to mix the ingredients and feel for the amount of bread crumbs necessary to bind the crab.  Shape the mixture into 4 cakes, and chill on a plate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to set.  Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a nonstick pan.  When the butter begins to foam, add the crab cakes and sauté until golden brown on each side (about 8 minutes total).

Plate the crab cakes topped with the salsa; or, serve the salsa in a flat serving dish alongside other summer favorites, such as slices of nectarine and mozzarella.

Corn Salsa

Beneath Your Feet – A Summer Tavel

Summer is the season for rosés, and my favorites are French.  Tavel wine, known as the “King of Rosé”, is from the Languedoc region in Southern France.  This wine royalty is richer in color and more full bodied than the typical rosé.  Tavels are also quite versatile – I have paired them with meals ranging from a Salade Niçoise to a crispy duck leg.  Do not permit summer to pass by without savoring a Tavel from the wine cave.

Tavel Final

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet

Jersey Tomato Sauce with Shrimp and Fettuccine

Now is the time to savor Jersey tomatoes, from a tomato salad to a marinara sauce.  Last night I prepared fettuccine tossed with shrimp in a Jersey tomato sauce.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, sliced

3 medium tomatoes (I used 2 red and 1 yellow), cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Chiffonade of fresh basil and parsley

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

6 to 8 ounces fettuccine

12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a pan over medium heat until the garlic is pale gold.  Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the basil and parsley and stir with a wooden spoon.  Bring the sauce to a boil and then turn down the heat to simmer.

Allow the sauce to simmer while bringing a large pot of water to a boil.  When the water comes to a boil, add a pinch of salt and 6 to 8 ounces of pasta.  I used a combination of Antica Pasta’s peperoncino fettuccine and spinach fettuccine – one of my favorite new finds (flavored pasta that actually has a flavor!)  Add the shrimp to the sauce, cooking about two minutes per side or until they become opaque.  Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve.

Shrimp in Sauce

I was so eager to take the first bite, that I neglected to photograph a freshly plated dish!

Shrimp in Pasta

Inspiration – Fish Market

Fresh ingredients inspire me.  For example, a trip to the fish market…

Bouillabaisse? Cioppino? Paella?

Mullet

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration