Saturday, February 28, 2015

Veal Ragoût, Blanquette de Veau

I read the Professional Chef recipe for the Blanquette de Veau, a classic veal stew.  Then I read this. Then I went my own way.

1 1/2 lbs.veal tenderloin, salted and set aside (I used chops, which I boned and trimmed)
1 pint pearl onions, peeled
2 tablespoons butter
6 cup stock (veal or chicken)
Bouquet garni: 1 thyme sprig, 1 bay leaf, parsley stems, 6 peppercorns, 2 cloves garlic, sliced and 3 cloves wrapped in a leek green.
1 celery stalk cut down to 1" 
1 large carrot, chopped.
1 leek, sliced in half in 1” pieces
1 teaspoon coarse salt
4 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons vermouth
2 tablespoons Cognac
1 cup veal demi-glace 
 3 egg yolks
½ c heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley
Take the veal bones and the fat you trimmed off the meat, bouquet garni and stock and put in a large pot.  Simmer on for 1½ hours. 

While you are doing this, take ½ c of the stock from the pan and 2 T butter and simmer the mirepoix and leeks, covered for 10 minutes.  Remove and reserve the vegetables and the glaze.

After 1 ½ hours, strain the stock, and feed the meat bits to the dog. Add the demi-glace to the stock.  You should have around 4 cups.  
Add the veal cubes to the stock*.  Cook for about 15 minutes over very low heat… barely a simmer.   
Remove the meat and strain the broth over a fine mesh.  Reserve the stock for the velouté and reheat on the stove.  Clean out the pan and place the meat and onions with the glaze in it.  Cover. 

Make the veloute. In a new pan, melt 4 T butter slowly, then add the flour and stir it in –– let it cook for a few minutes but do not let it brown.  Slowly add the stock, whisking. Add vermouth and cognac. Cook it over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring regularly. 
Whisk the egg yolks and cream together and slowly add about 1 cup of the sauce to temper the eggs. Slowly whisk this back into the reserved stock and combine this with the meat and vegetables and cook over a low heat. Do not let it boil or the egg will curdle.  When everything is hot, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve over rice or pasta.  

Garnish with parsley.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tourin, French Garlic and Egg Soup

A head of garlic, chopped fine
1 T. olive oil
1 tablespoon water
water — 1 liter, boiling and salted to taste
1 egg, separated
pepper to taste
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Toast the chopped garlic in the olive oil. Add the flour. Mix well, then cook until the garlic soften and brows a bit. Add the salted water, and cook for 10 minutes. In a separate dish, mix the egg yolk, pepper and vinegar. Add the egg white to the soup, first tempering in a separate bowl with a whisk, so that no large pieces of egg white form. Cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the egg yolk mixture, again tempering to avoid coagulation.  Serves 2.
Top with croutons and a parsley sprig, Serve hot. Bon appétit.

There's a nice article here describing this French classic. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup


Remnants of a roasted chicken
Cold water to make 1 gallon
1/4 cup olive oil 
1 onion
1 medium celery stalk (I like to pick one with leaves on it)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 whole allspice
2 whole cloves
5 or 6 whole peppercorns
A dash of nutmeg (less is more, we just want to fill the background with some bass tones) 
A beer (for the chef) to deglaze the pan

I roasted a chicken a couple of days ago and we ate the legs for dinner.  We stripped the back and the dog had that so I started with all the bones and 2 breasts and 2 wings.  Roughly chop the onions, celery and chicken wings.  Brown the chicken in the olive oil in a stock pot.    Add the onions and celery and cook for about 8 minutes.  Do not allow the glaze on the bottom of the pan to actually burn. 

Add a little beer to the pan and scrape the glaze off the bottom of the pan.  Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring the temperature up to a simmer.   Simmer for 40 minutes. It is important to skim impurities off the surface along the way, so they don't break down and cloud you stock.  Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Strain through a chinois. Ice down in a sink.  You can refrigerate this for a few days.


1 Onion
Several small carrots cut into coins
1 or 2 celery stalks diced
1 teaspoon thyme
2 breasts of chicken (diced or shredded) 
2 ounces egg noodle or pappardelle
4 leaves of black kale  (shredded}
1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)

Cook the mirepoix in the oil and reduce heat to medium for about 8 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the carrots and pasta are cooked.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Gumbo, Gumbo.

Here's my recipe for Gumbo. Unless otherwise noted dice everything. Serves 8.

1/4 cup Butter
1/4 cup Olive Oil
3 or 4 Andouille Sausage ( 9 to 12 ounces, sliced)
8 ounces Chicken Breast
1 1/4 pounds of Peeled and Deveined Shrimp.
1 Bell Pepper
2 Small Onions
2 Celery Stalks
1 Shallot 
3-4 Clove Garlic
1/4 c. Flour
2 quarts Chicken Stock
8-12 ounces of Okra (Sliced)
1 t. Onion Powder
1 t. Red Pepper Flakes
2 Roma Tomatoes
2 Bay Leaves
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 t. dried thyme
2 t. Fresh Thyme
3 t. Fresh Parsley
2 Pinch Salt
1/2 t. Black Pepper
4-5 Green Onions 
1 c. White Rice
1 T. File Powder

Put the oil and the butter in a large pot (4 quart).  Saute the sausage for a minute or two then add the chicken. Once these are well browned remove and reserve.  Add the trinity (Bell Pepper, onion and celery), plus the shallot and the garlic.  Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, until soft and gently browning. Add the flour and slowly roast while whisking until it changes to a mahogany color.   

Add the stock to stop the cooking of the roux. Bring to a boil and add the rice, okra, onion powder, red pepper, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire,  thyme, parsley. sat and pepper.  Return the sausage and chicken to the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes to cook the rice.

Add the onions, shrimp and cook for 4 minutes, turn off heat then whisk in the file powder,  Serve with Tabasco sauce.


Chicken Fricasee a la Martha

Last night's project essentially was too learn to make and use a liaison to finish a sauce.  So I made this recipe1, which uses somethng that sounds a bit like a Normandy sauce.  Everything went buttery-creamy smoothly.

 The ingredients.

The liason. 


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Seven Virtues Minestrone Soup

There a whole lot of history around the Seven Virtues and this soup, but I am not going to offer any pretense of knowing things Italian, including culture and history.  I am not Italian and this isn't my grandmother's recipe.  It's my first effort on a traditional classic favorite.1  I did soe research on the subject and then went shopping. 


Pair of pigs feet
Small Onion
Several Cloves of Garlic
Black Peppercorns

Simmer together till the meat is falling off the bones. For me, this was about 2 and 1/2 hours. Chill overnight. Skin and debone.  Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, heat stock and strain.  Reserve the meat and skin, if you want to add that back to the soup.   Cut the skin into small pieces .

500G of beans. 

I was unable to find Cannellini beans.  So I substituted Small white beans. 

Soak overnight:

Small White Beans
Black Beans
Black Eyed Peas

Rinse only (so do that tomorrow).

Fava Beans
Fresh Peas (Add with the fresh veggies and pasta)

Drain, rinse and cover the beans with water and cook 45 minutes, I added the lentils and the fava beans after the cooking started at 30 minutes.    

In the pan with some olive oil add the root vegetables, garlic, oregano, and parsley.

3 Carrots
1 Onion
1 Small Turnip
1 Potato
1 t. Parsley
1 t. Oregano

Once these are soft add the pork stock back in. When the beans have cooked for forty five minutes add them in to the stock.  


3 ounces of Pancetta
3 ounces of Prosciutto

Start to add the fresh veggies,

2 Stalks of Celery   
½ Small Cabbage
Black Kale
½ Cup Peas
3 Tomatoes Chopped

Add in some pasta if you’re into that.

The soup is done when the beans are cooked about 45 minutes after the beans are added back to the stock. 

Serve with grated parmeson or pecorino.  

1. provided a lot of the inspiration for this effort.