Tag Archives: Butter

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

French Women Love Les Pâtes

Everyone knows that French women love wine and cheese, but did you know that they also love pasta?

French Women Pasta, a mother and daughter team based in Newark, Delaware, is a  local distributor for Pappardelle’s Pasta produced in Colorado.   You may have spotted French Women Pasta at local farmers’ markets during the summer months along with their over fifty flavors of pasta.  Although most farmers’ markets have ended for the year, French Women Pasta will participate in several fall and winter events as listed on their website at www.frenchwomenpasta.com (and will accept orders!)

My husband and I have tried several flavors, including the Lemon Chive Angel Hair, Orange Szechuan and Spicy Thai Linguine.  The pasta is packaged in eight ounce containers, ideal for serving three or four.

Pasta

The Lemon Chive Angel Hair had a subtle, fresh flavor – a perfect pairing for shrimp and scallops.  To prepare, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the pasta and stir.  While the pasta is cooking (which will only take a few minutes), heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and add several tablespoons of butter.  Allow the butter to foam, and tilt the pan around so that the butter coats the bottom.  Place the shrimp and scallops in the pan, cooking for about two minutes per side until opaque.

When the pasta is ready, drain the water and add the pasta to the sauté pan of seafood. Using a wooden spoon, blend the pasta and seafood and coat the pasta with the butter and oil.  You will likely need to add additional butter.  Plate the shrimp and scallops atop the pasta and season with freshly squeezed lemon juice, ground pepper and sea salt.  If you would like additional heat, try a dried red pepper!

Pasta and Seafood

Look for French Women Pasta and their unique flavors this fall…from Lavender to Porcini Mushroom to Lime Cilantro.

Crêpes — Savory, Then Sweet

When one of my students gave me a gift of a crêpe pan several years ago, I decided to put it to good use.  It would not become one of those kitchen items that sits in a cabinet just to be seen once a year.  So, I decided to make crêpes for Sunday morning breakfasts…savory crêpes filled with scrambled eggs followed by sweet crêpes topped with maple syrup and berries.

Below is a simple crêpe recipe intended to make two savory crêpes and two to four sweet ones.

Ingredients for Crêpes:

1/3 cup milk

3/4 cup cold water

1 egg

Pinch of salt

Pinch of sugar

1/2 cup flour

Butter for the crêpe pan or non-stick pan

Place all of the ingredients except for the flour in a mixing bowl and whisk together.  Then, add the flour and continue to whisk, eliminating any lumps.  Set aside while preparing the eggs.

DSCN4100

Ingredients for Scrambled Eggs:

4 eggs

Splash of milk

Splash of water

Fresh herbs

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

This is how I typically make scrabbled eggs.  (No precise measurements are involved…sometimes I add cheese or peppers, whatever strikes my fancy.  You probably have your own technique and should use what you would enjoy tasting.)  Place the eggs, milk and water in a mixing bowl and whisk together.  Set aside until you are ready to scramble.

This breakfast requires two pans to be working simultaneously, side by side, on the stove.  The first is the crêpe pan.  Place a slice of butter in the crêpe pan over medium heat.  When the butter melts and sizzles, tilt the pan so that the butter moves around its bottom.  Pour a large ladle of crêpe batter (just under 1/4 cup) into the center of the pan and tilt the pan around so that the batter covers the bottom of the pan.

As the batter begins to bubble, move the pan forward and backward to loosen the crêpe.  Lift the edges of the crêpe with a spatula to see when the bottom of the crêpe is lightly browned.  Then, carefully turn the crêpe using a spatula and your fingers (or, you can toss the crêpe with a quick movement of the pan away from you then toward you).  Brown the crêpe on the other side for another minute at most.  Transfer the crêpe to a dish and grease the pan for the second crêpe.

DSCN4109

While working with the crêpes, prepare the scrambled eggs.  Add some olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper to a non-stick pan.  Turn the heat to medium low and tilt the pan so that the olive oil covers the bottom.  Pour the eggs into the center of the pan and add your fresh herbs.  The olive oil should prevent the eggs from sticking, and as the eggs begin to solidify around the edges, use a non-stick spatula to scramble.

DSCN4105

When the eggs are finishing cooking, spoon them down the center of each crêpe.  Fold the sides of the crêpe over the eggs and turn the entire crêpe over so that the “seam” is not visible.  Garnish with more herbs and a drizzle of chili oil (or a flavored oil of your choice).

DSCN4115After this savory course, repeat the crêpe making process for the sweet course – crêpes topped with maple syrup (or honey) and fresh berries.

DSCN4119 Note: This also makes a fun breakfast for dinner!

 

Slow Down…Take the Time to Celebrate Bastille Day — Escargots au Beurre

Add a French flair to your dining experience today — Le quatorze juillet.  One of the simplest ways to do so is to prepare this appetizer of snails with butter.  It will take quatorze minutes, at most…

Ingredients:

1 baguette

1 dozen escargots

3 tablespoons French butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Additional extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on the baguette slices

5 cloves garlic, chopped

3 scallions, sliced or 1 shallot, chopped

1 handful parsley, chopped

Finishing salt

Fresh ground pepper

I use Roland escargots, which can be found in the grocery store.  Each can is 8.75 ounces and contains one dozen escargots.  This is ideal for serving three to four guests, but you can modify the above quantities for a larger celebration of La fête nationale.  The advantage to using these escargots is that they are already cleaned and cooked – you only have to heat them!

Preheat the broiler.  Slice the baguette into pieces lengthwise and then each piece in half as if making a sandwich.  Drizzle olive oil on each slice.  Place the slices under the broiler until they are golden brown on one side.  Then turn the slices over to lightly toast the other side.  Remove the slices from the broiler and place one slice on each small plate.

Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of French butter.  Allow the pan to heat up and the butter to foam.  Tilt the pan around so that the olive oil and butter coat the bottom of the pan.  Add the garlic and scallions/shallot to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon.  Allow these ingredients 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 low and stir.  The escargots should be heated through in just a few minutes.  Place three or four escargots on each slice of baguette and drizzle some of the butter mixture so that no richness goes to waste.  Season with finishing salt and pepper to taste.

DSCN2933

 Bonne fête!

Make the Most of Your Favorite Summer Herb with a Basil Pesto

During my Italian Lunch cooking class today, we made ricotta gnocchi with three sauces – marinara, pesto and butter sage.  While the marinara and butter sage sauces were quite delicious, the pesto made me appreciate the abundance of basil this time of year.  So, I share my recipe for basil pesto.

DSCN4030

Ingredients:

½ cup pignoli (pine nuts)

10 stalks of fresh basil

3 cloves of garlic

½ cup parmesan cheese

6 tablespoons of softened butter (yes, this recipe is a rich one!)

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

Remove the basil leaves from the stalks and place them in a food processor.  Add the pine nuts, garlic, cheese and butter and blend until it forms a paste.  Add the olive oil little by little as well as the salt and pepper to taste while blending the other ingredients.  Be sure to use a spatula to push down any ingredients stuck to the sides of the food processor in between your processing.  Toss the pesto with gnocchi or your favorite pasta – a little goes a long way!

DSCN4044

Easter Egg Radishes in the Summer?

I spotted my favorite root vegetable at a local farmers’ market this morning – Easter Egg Radishes.  The mix of red, pink, white and purple radishes, while smaller in size, stand up to the pepperiness of the larger red variety.

In fact, I prefer Easter Egg Radishes when serving them the French way.  Slice off the roots and the top greens, and arrange the brightly colored radishes on a flat serving dish.   Accompany with French sea salt and a ramekin of room temperature French butter.  Enjoy by placing a touch of butter and then a pinch of salt atop each radish.  This is a light yet tasty hors d’oeuvre, perfect for the hot summer months.

Do not discard the tops! Rather, consider sautéing the leafy greens as a side dish.

Radishes

 

 

Not Your Spring Spiral

Please enjoy my April edition of The Judicial Palate!

Not Your Spring Spiral

This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

 

Pasta with Asparagus and Prosciutto

The perfect way to celebrate the mild weather today was serving pasta with two springtime ingredients – asparagus and prosciutto – for dinner.  The pink and green in this dish signaled the upcoming change in seasons.

Proscuitto

To prepare this dinner for two, thinly slice five asparagus spears on an angle and cut five prosciutto slices into strips.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt when the water comes to a rolling boil.  I used egg spaghetti that cooks in six minutes, so as soon as I put the pasta in the water, I melted several tablespoons of butter and extra virgin olive oil in a large non-stick pan.  I added the asparagus and prosciutto to the bubbling butter and oil and stirred while sautéing.   Depending on the pasta you choose, you may want to start sautéing the asparagus and prosciutto later to prevent overcooking it.

Pasta

When the pasta is ready, transfer it to the pan, adding several tablespoons of the pasta water and more butter if necessary.  Stir the asparagus and prosciutto into the spaghetti, and add freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice.  Serve with some fresh cracked pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.

Pasta and Asparagus

Happy Daylight Saving Time!

 

Tarte à l’Oignon

While several Thanksgiving dishes call for onion – stuffing, for example – the onion is certainly not the star.  So, four sweet onions remaining in the refrigerator after the holiday called out to be featured in one of this weekend’s dinners.  As I was not yet ready for a decadent onion soup, I decided on an onion tart.  Below is my recipe for this savory tart.

For the crust:

  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ stick chilled unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons iced water

For the filling:

  •  4 sweet onions, sliced
  • Dijon mustard (I recommend Edmond Fallot mustards from Burgundy)
  • Gruyère and/or Emmentaler cheese
  • Fresh thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

To prepare the crust, mix the flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  With a sharp knife, cut the butter into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients.  Rub the pieces of butter and the dry ingredients together with your fingers until the butter is broken into tiny pieces.  Add the egg and mix it into the dry ingredients with a fork.  Then drizzle in the iced water.  Begin to knead the dough quickly into a ball.  Add more iced water until the dough is just wet enough to form a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for several hours.

When you are ready to start putting the tart together, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat.  When the butter is melted, add the onion and sauté until the onion softens, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and add flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the work surface.  Roll the dough until it is about ¼ inch in thickness and large enough to cover the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch tart pan.  Prick the crust with a fork in several places to prevent the bottom from bubbling.  Pre-bake the crust in the middle level of the oven for 10 minutes.

Crust

Rolling out the crust with a French rolling pin

Remove the crust from the oven and turn down to 400 degrees.  Spread a thin layer of mustard on the bottom of the tart shell.  Then place slices of the cheese on top of the mustard.  Top with the onion mixture and some fresh thyme.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and slice into wedges.

Onion Tart

Just out of the oven

Enjoy the tart alongside a salad of fresh greens and pomegranate seeds for a colorful dish.

Slice of Tart

Slice of onion tart served with fresh greens