Tag Archives: Garlic

Rabbit with Mustard and Spiced Apple Wine

For a succulent fall dinner, try this simple preparation of rabbit – the perfect balance of sweet and spice.

Ingredients:

One rabbit, cut into pieces

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

1 1/2 cup apple wine

3 tablespoons whole grain mustard (Edmond Fallot is my favorite.)

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence

3 tablespoons salted butter

5 cloves garlic, sliced

Salt and pepper the rabbit pieces.  Combine the wine, mustard, honey and Herbes de Provence in a bowl.  For this recipe, we used Chadds Ford Winery’s Spiced Apple wine – a gift from a friend!

Heat the butter over medium heat in a large stainless steel pan.  Our large steel round Mauviel frying pan was ideal for this recipe.  Brown the rabbit pieces on both sides.  Then, add the garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes until soft.  Pour the liquid mixture over the rabbit pieces.

Cook at 390 degrees for 40 minutes.  As an alternative to baking in an oven, we set our gas grill to the desired temperature and cooked with the grill closed.  Midway through the cooking, turn the rabbit pieces and spoon the thickening sauce over the rabbit.

Serve this tender and tasty rabbit with sautéed gnocchi and exotic mushrooms…and a Rhône.

Rabbit Mustard

Baby Bella Soup and Sesame Fennel Salad

For an Asian inspired soup and salad course or for a light lunch…

Baby Bella Soup

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons salted butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic

1 1/2 pounds Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

Juice of one lime

1 1/2 cups beef stock

Black garlic salt

Fresh ground black pepper

Sesame oil

Soy sauce

In a nonstick sauté pan, heat the butter along with the olive oil until the butter is melted.  Add the garlic and sauté for just a few minutes, until the garlic is slightly browned.  Add the mushrooms, and sauté until they are “al dente” – about 8 minutes.

Mushrooms cooking

Then, add the lime juice and enough beef stock to make a soup.  Bring to a boil, then add a few pinches of garlic salt and pepper to taste.  Also add a dash of sesame oil and soy sauce.  Simmer for about 10 minutes, and serve with thick slices of crusty bread.

Mushroom Broth

Sesame Fennel Salad

Ingredients:

1 heart Romaine lettuce, sliced

1 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced

White balsamic vinegar glaze

Extra virgin olive oil

Black sesame seeds

White sesame seeds

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

In a salad bowl, placed the fennel slices atop the Romaine lettuce.  Drizzle with white balsamic vinegar glaze and olive oil to taste.  Then, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Asian fennel salad

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.

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 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.

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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!

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Heat Up the Kitchen with a Shrimp Fra Diavolo

If you’re in the mood for a seafood dish with a kick, I recommend a Shrimp Fra Diavolo.  It is a simple preparation yet an interesting alternative to a regular marinara sauce.

Begin by heading to your local seafood market for jumbo shrimp (I suggest four per person).  Then select your pasta.  This weekend I found an excellent egg pasta made in Italy by Bartolini called “Cirioline All’Uovo”.  The package contains eight nests of long squared pasta, adding more surface area for the sauce to adhere, and two nests per person seems to be the perfect amount to allow for seconds.

After you clean the shrimp, prepare what I refer to as a “fast sauce”.  This involves slicing three cloves of garlic and sautéing the garlic in olive oil.  Do this in a sauté pan that has a lid, and then add a box of Pomi chopped tomatoes.  Add salt to taste and stir.

The “Fra Diavolo” begins by adding several dashes of red paper flakes as well as a dried chili pepper.  Also include fresh herbs, such as basil and/or oregano.  (I am growing a hot and spicy oregano plant, which was an ideal pairing!)  When the sauce comes to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cover.

Sauce

While preparing the sauce, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  As the water comes to a boil, add a pinch of salt and then the pasta.  Stir the pasta periodically.  When about six minutes remain to cook the pasta, add the cleaned shrimp to the sauce.  Adjust the heat to medium and cover.  Turn the shrimp once while cooking so that each side becomes opaque.  This will take about three minutes per side.

Drain the pasta and add it to the sauté pan, tossing it with the shrimp and sauce.  Serve the Shrimp Fra Diavolo in pasta bowls…with extra red pepper on the side.

Final Sauce

 

Fiddleheads for Dinner

April marks the beginning of fiddlehead fern season.   This is the time of year to enjoy those lovely fern fronds before they unfurl – on your plate.   To celebrate the first sighting of fiddleheads this year (at Whole Foods), we decided to feature them with a risotto for last night’s dinner.

To prep the risotto, bring about 32 ounces of chicken stock to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Slice several cloves of garlic and cipollini onions and sauté them in extra virgin olive oil in a risotto pan. When the onions start to become translucent, stir in one cup of Arborio rice, coating the rice with the oil.

Onions cooking

Add a large ladle of stock to the rice to begin the absorption process. Keep the heat on medium low so as not to scorch the rice, and keep stirring with a large wooden spoon. Continue to add more stock ladle by ladle, and continue stirring for about 25 minutes or until the rice is not hard in the center.   In addition to the stock, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and some splashes of white wine or Prosecco for extra flavor.  When the rice is cooked, stir in half a cup of grated Parmesan cheese, turn off the heat and cover.

Risotto Cooking

To prepare the fiddleheads, thoroughly rinse and cut off the ends of the stems. Blanch the fiddleheads by placing them in boiling water for a minute and then running them under cold water. Do not sauté the fiddleheads until the risotto is almost finished as they only take a few minutes – you want them to retain their crunchiness. Sauté the fiddleheads in extra virgin olive oil for about three minutes and add some sea salt and freshly ground pepper. I also added some Piment d’Espelette for some red color and mild heat.

Fiddleheads

To serve, spoon the risotto into a pasta bowl and top with the beautiful fiddleheads and crushed red pepper. This is a light, tasty dish that is fun to prepare – consider opening a bottle of red to aid in the stirring.

Risotto