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Posts from the ‘Holidays’ Category

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Ideas for Edible Holiday Gifts

Edible holiday gifts, made lovingly by hand, are often times the most appreciated. Not only a delightful gesture, rolling up your sleeves and getting messy in the kitchen can be a lot of fun. Plus, it’s a great way to check multiple people off of your gift list in one fell swoop. Here are our picks for delicious holiday gifts using our products.

biscochitos

1. Duckfat Biscochitos   

A traditional sugar cookie made with lard, biscochitos are a Christmas staple in the American Southwest. But the orange and fennel flavor reminds us more of Southwest France. So we had to create a version that uses our duckfat, bien sur! A duck-shaped cookie cutter gives a little extra D’Artagnan flair.

foiebutter

2. Foie Gras Butter   

This decadent treat will impress even the most die-hard foodies on your gift list. They don’t have to know how easy it is to make!

brittle

3. Pig Brittle 

Sweet, salty and smoky, this crunchy candy is generously studded with our applewood-smoked bacon and toasted pecans.  Just be warned – not only is Pig Brittle delicious, it’s addicting! Once your recipients taste it, it’ll be requested year after year.

garlic confit

4. Garlic Confit

A cooking staple in Gascon cooking, garlic confit is the gift that will keep on giving long after the holidays are over. Plump garlic cloves are gently cooked in duckfat until meltingly tender. Kept in the fridge, the confit will keep for up to a year (although it never lasts that long…). Cloves can be added to all kinds of recipes from sauces to braises to roasts.

rillettes

5. Rillettes

We are firm believers simple pleasures, our duck rillettes are made with duck, aromatic vegetables, herbs and little else. A small pot of this unctuous, meaty spread makes a wonderful gift, especially when paired with a crusty baguette!

Packaging

Of course an edible D’Artagnan gift should be presented with panache!

Rillettes, Foie Gras Butter and Garlic Confit should be packaged in non-reactive glass or ceramic jars that can be refrigerated, such as Weck Canning Jars or Le Creuset Mini Cocottes. We like tying gift tags on jars with festive red & white bakers string.

Pig Brittle and Duckfat Biscochitos can be left at room temp so the packaging possibilities are endless! Two of our favorite sites for packaging ideas and supplies are Cakegirls and Garnish. Check them out – both shops have a great selection and wonderful blogs full of creative ideas for packaging edibles.

Our Gift Picks for Food Lovers

GIFT GUIDE 1

1. Grande Charcuterie Basket  For that cured meat fanatic who makes their own cornichons.

2. Cassoulet Recipe Kit with Authentic Cassole  For the Francophile who loves to throw dinner parties.

3. Medallion of Foie Gras with Black Truffles  For your foodie sister – who likes to spread it on thick.

4. French Ossetra Caviar with Mother of Pearl Spoons  For that elegant couple that seems to have everything, including good taste! 

5. Mangalica Ham with Carving Stand  For your Spain-obsessed cousin who likes to show off their knife skills.

6. Petite Charcuterie Basket  For your brother, the budding gourmand.

7. Torchon of Foie Gras  For the friend who knows that good things do come in small packages.

8. For the Love of Bacon Kit  For that co-worker who’s always posting pictures of bacon on facebook.

9 . The Supreme Gift Basket  For the friend who likes to share……. (hand-deliver this one!)

Check out dartagnan.com for more gift ideas! If you can’t decide, a D’Artagnan gift certificate is suitable for every taste.

Chile Rubbed Ribeyes with Cilantro Butter

We wanted to share this simple recipe with you, {and just in time for Labor Day grilling!} BBQ Master, Ray Lampe’s mouthwatering Chile Rubbed Ribeye Steaks with Cilantro Butter. Learn his grill-savvy techniques and become a master of your own backyard BBQ. And check out Ray’s other recipes in his awesome book, Ribs, Chops, Steaks, and Wings, and on his website Dr. BBQ. We dare you not to drool.

Ray Lampe’s Chile-Rubbed Rib-Eye Steaks with Cilantro Butter

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 large shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pinch coarsely-ground black pepper
1 stick butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons good-quality chile powder
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
D’Artagnan Domestic Bone-In Rib-Eye Steaks, 1 1/2 inches thick

1. At least a few hours before you plan to cook, make the Cilantro Butter. In a small skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the cilantro, shallot, and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until the shallot is soft. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, cream the butter with a fork. Add the cilantro mixture and blend well. Transfer to a 12-x-12-inch sheet of waxed paper and form into a log about 8 inches long in the center of the sheet. If the mixture is too warm to handle just refrigerate for a couple of minutes until it is ready. Now roll the butter up in the wax paper to make a firm log and twist the ends to hold it tight. Place in the freezer until firm. This can be made ahead and kept in the freezer for up to 1 month.

2. One hour before you plan to cook, make the Chili Rub. In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, salt, granulated garlic, onion powder, and smoked paprika. Add the oil and mix well. Place the steaks on a big platter and brush the wet chili rub evenly on both sides of the steaks. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

3. Prepare the grill for cooking over direct medium-high heat. Place the steaks directly over the cooking grate. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare, or to your desired degree of doneness. Remove to individual serving plates and top each steak with a couple of thin slices of the Cilantro Butter. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Our Tips:

If cooking for a crowd it’s more cost effective to cut your own steaks from whole ribeyes. Try our Domestic Pasture-Raised Boneless Beef Ribeye or Kobe-Style Wagyu Beef Ribeye. Just slice to your desired thicknesses!

D’Artagnan’s Web Admin and Resident-Beer-Guru, Rob, suggests pairing these steaks with your favorite IPA. His choices? Avery Brewing’s IPA or Sixpoint Brewery’s Bengali Tiger or Resin.

Ray Lampe’s compound butter technique of softening the shallots, garlic and cilantro in warm olive oil will work with other herbs as well. Try it with soft, fresh herbs like tarragon, oregano, or dill.

Vive la France!! Celebrate Bastille Day with us!

Ariane, along with Andy – our President, and Pierre – our VP of Sales NYC, are shining up their boules for Cercle Rouge’s annual Bastille Day petanque tournament. If you’re in the NYC area, come on down and join in the fun this Thursday, July 12th. There will be live music, petanque,  plenty of pastis and grilled merguez. Hope to see you there!

Wines for your Easter Feast

As the sommelier for per se, in New York City, Anani Lawson is responsible for selecting wines for some of the world’s most discriminating palates. He also runs the wine education program for the restaurant’s world class staff. And before per se, Anani worked at The French Laundry for nine years!

Anani Lawson, Sommelier at Per Se

For someone with such a prestigious position (and service record), Anani is one of the nicest, most genuine people we know. His passion for wine and food is apparent in everything he does and his joie de vivre is infectious! His warm, service-driven, straight-forward approach gives guests a feeling of accesibility, which is why we asked him to create some convivial pairings for our Easter menu. These are his suggestions…

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Appetizers

Truffle Butter Gougères

Pierre Gimonnet, Cuis, Premier Cru MV

Anani says: “Ethereal, floral in style, notes of acacia and a little nut, this certainly has plenty of character. The palate is very feminine, starting off quite soft and pillowy, but then revealing a sharp mousse in the background and a good acid backbone. This wine is rounded and very harmonious.”

Schramsberg, “Blanc de Blancs,” Napa Valley 2007

Anani says: “It displays tart green apples, pineapple and lemongrass, with a honeyed nutty edge. Tropical and tangy on the palate, with layers of lemon cream, pineapple and buttery toast, it finishes with a hint of sweetness but plenty of acidity.”

Deviled Quail Eggs Three Ways:

Bacon & Thyme, Porcini & Parmesan, Caviar & Crème Fraiche

Schloss Gobelsburg, Grüner Veltliner, “Steinsetz,” Kamptal 2010

Anani says: “Is the classical full-bodied Grüner Veltliner with mineral flavours and the typical spicy element as well as natural acidity.”

Domaine Weinbach, Riesling, “Cuvée Ste. Catherine-Linedit,” Schlossberg, Grand Cru 2008

Anani says: “This Riesling offers powdered sugar on the nose, even some cinnamon toast. Very spicy vanilla bean and white chocolate. Powerful fruit, very candied; sweet yet racy acids. Fantastic balance. Sweet and sour lemon confit on the finish.”

Jermann, Pinot Grigio, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia 2009

Anani says: “An intense straw yellow colour with a faint tinge of old rose. Beautifully pure, elegant, floral Pinot Grigio. The bouquet is full and fruity. A touch of almonds and vanilla, a hint of fruit and spice on the palate, a smooth and dry full-bodied white which is particularly harmonious and accessible.”

Asparagus Tartlets with Jambon de Bayonne

 Merry Edwards, Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley 2010

Anani says: “The aroma is floral and mouth¬watering, layered with ripe melon, peach and subtle mineral highlights. In the mouth, it is rich and seamlessly well balanced, kicking in a hint of grapefruit, citrus and pear on the lingering finish.”

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The Main Event

Menu #1: Lamb Loin with Leeks and Truffle Honey Vinaigrette, Duck Fat Roasted New Potatoes, Roasted Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms, Bibb Salad with Peas & Radish, Lemon Vinaigrette

Kaizen, Grenache, Sonoma County 2009

Anani says: “The aromatics are layered with blackberry, roasted meat, bittersweet chocolate, gunflint, and lavender. The sweet blackberry entry opens to more dark chocolate, blueberry, black pepper, soft earthy  minerality mouth-filling tannins.”

Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino 2006

Anani says: “The bouquet is intense, fruit-forward, spicy and floral with hints of red berry fruits enriched by delicate spicy notes. Warm, soft and very well balanced on the palate; structured with soft tannins and long aftertaste.”

Ramey, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2007

Anani says: “This cabernet boasts a dense purple color as well as a big, sweet bouquet of blueberry and black currant fruit intertwined with licorice, bay leaf, cedar and fruitcake notes. It’s full-bodied and opulent.”

Menu #2: Glazed Applewood Smoked Heritage Ham, Yukon Gold Potato Gratin with Morels, French Green Beans with Citrus Butter and Tarragon, Duck Fat Biscuits

Albert Boxler, Pinot Gris “Brand,” Grand Cru 2008

Anani says: “Color: bright; Nose: complex; Acidity: crisp; Overall: elegant; great wine….honeysuckle, mango, floral….. superb wine…”

Patz & Hall, Pinot Noir “Hyde Vineyard,” Carneros 2009

Anani says: “Seductive aromas of cherry, kirsch and bittersweet chocolate, segue to red fruit flavors of raspberry, cranberry and framboise, with hints of char and cocoa in this Pinot. The 07 vintage is big and rich with a palate of soft, coating tannins, while still displaying elegant acid balance and a vibrant charm.”

On the menu: Easter mains & sides!

So yesterday, we gave you some ideas and recipes for Easter appetizers. (Mmmmm… black truffle gougeres!) Today, we’re all about classic main dishes and comforting, family-friendly sides. We broke our suggestions down into two menus that can also be mixed and matched, if you desire.

Our first menu features Lamb as the centerpiece. Our boneless lamb loin is super easy to prepare and no matter how you cook it, turns out tender and juicy. Tangy spring leeks make the perfect foil to a sweet, truffle honey vinaigrette. We paired the lamb with potatoes roasted in duck fat (our secret weapon!) and rounded out the meal with smoky maitake mushrooms and a crisp bibb lettuce salad.

lamb loin with leeks, duck fat potatoes, bibb salad with radish, maitake mushrooms

Menu #1

Lamb Loin with Leeks and Truffle Honey Vinaigrette

Potatoes Crisped in Duck Fat

Pan Roasted Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms

Spring Salad with Peas, Radishes and Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette

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Our second menu shines the light on a perennial Easter favorite, our Applewood Smoked Heritage Hams. We did the work for you – our hand-crafted hams are fully-cooked and need little adornment. We just brushed on a simple glaze made with apricot preserves, mustard and bourbon and heated through. Dried morels give decadent pommes dauphinois an earthy edge, while citrusy green beans and duck fat biscuits finish the table.

glazed ham, duck fat biscuits, citrus tarragon green beans, yukon gold morel mushroom gratin

 Menu #2

Apricot-Bourbon Glazed Applewood Smoked Heritage Ham

Yukon Gold Potato Gratin with Morels

Green Beans with Tarragon and Citrus Butter

Duck Fat Biscuits

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Come back for tomorrow’s post! It’s all about the perfect wines to pair with your Easter feast, with suggestions and tasting notes from one of America’s Top Sommeliers, Anani Lawson of per se in New York City. This is one you do not want to miss.

Easter Appetizers D’Artagnan Style

Still planning your Easter feast? We’re here to help!

This year, we’ve put together a sample menu of fabulous spring recipes for your Easter table. Today’s post puts the spotlight on appetizers.

First up, our Black Truffle Butter Gougeres.

Light-as-air puffs with a moist interior, these truffle-flecked gougeres will disappear fast – so make a bunch!  We adapted this tried-and-true recipe from Daniel Boulud’s cookbook, Cocktails & Amuses-Bouches for Him & Her.

Image

Teeny deviled quail eggs are not only delicious but a great conversation starter. Here are three crowd-pleasing variations that start with the same basic ingredients and technique then veer off in completely different directions – trust us, there’s one for every taste!

Deviled Quail Eggs with Bacon & Thyme

These little beauties have a satisfying smoky bite from the addition of our Uncured Hickory Smoked Bacon. Fresh thyme balances the richness.

Deviled Quail Eggs with Porcini & Parmesan

Don’t let their size fool you – these mini eggs are umami-bombs. Our Porcini Powder lends an earthy richness while the soft bed of microplaned parmesan gives them a stable resting spot and another layer of flavor.

Deviled Quail Eggs with D’Artagnan Caviar

A swirl of creme fraiche makes these deviled eggs silky smooth, but the real star of this dish is our exclusive Caviar D’Aquitaine.

An Easter meal just isn’t complete without some early spring vegetables. Adapted from one of our favorite Martha Stewart recipes,  this easy-to-make Asparagus Tart with Jambon de Bayonne is piled high with ribbons of tender-crisp asparagus and topped with a sprinkling of salty Gruyere. Our version has a hidden layer of Bayonne Ham that puts it over the edge. Delicious!

Are you hungry yet?!

We’re not finished! Tomorrow we’ll cover classic Easter main courses and comforting side dishes. On Friday, we’ll tie it all together with some convivial wine pairings from one of America’s top sommeliers!

Stay tuned!

All About Louisiana Cuisine (Just in time for Mardi Gras!)

If ever there were a state in this union that was known and renowned for the quality, diversity, and sheer quantity of food it both produces and consumes, it must be Louisiana. A territory that, over the centuries, has been inhabited by everyone from the French, Spanish and Native Americans to exiled Canadian trappers (Cajuns) and that beautiful mix of ethnicities that are Creoles, its food is as varied as its people. Whether you’re in the deep of the swamp or the revelry of the city, in the warmth of someone’s home or in a two-hundred year-old restaurant, finding a wonderful meal is never very difficult. The staggering variety of dishes is something that fills many books to this day, and will likely continue to do so, however we’d be remiss if we didn’t comment on a few of our favorites from a state so historically known for its adoration of good food.

Gumbo
Naturally, any discussion of Louisiana cuisine has to include gumbo, which was invented by French settlers as an attempt to make bouillabaisse with “new world” ingredients. Instead of using a traditional French mirepoix of onions, celery and carrots, they employed what’s now known as the Louisiana holy trinity: onions, celery and green bell peppers. Gumbos vary by their thickening agent, specifically okra, file powder (ground sassafras leaves), or a roux. While most people think of seafood when they think of gumbo, one of our favorites, from Lafayette, employs smoked duckpheasant and andouille sausage in a dark brown, almost black roux.

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Game
Speaking of ducks and pheasants, we can’t help but marvel at the wild bounty available in Louisiana. While Louisianians revel in the fruits of the Gulf of Mexico, many don’t realize that one of the state’s mottos is “Sportsman’s Paradise.” The sporting this slogan refers to isn’t football or baseball, but hunting and fishing. Spend a reasonable amount of time in the state, and you’ll undoubtedly come across dishes featuringvenison (especially deer sausage), duck, wild boar, even squirrel and nutria. We’re particularly fond of the traditional preparation of rabbit, pan fried with Creole mustard and served with braised greens and mashed potatoes.

Rabbit Etouffee

Rice
Louisiana is also well known for its most abundant staple crop: rice. You can find it at almost every meal across the state. Most notable are jambalaya, a Cajun version of the Spanish dish paella, made with anything and everything, including shrimp, fish, chicken, sausage, or whatever happens to turn up in your rifle’s scope that afternoon. Most other Louisiana soups and stews, such as gumbo, shrimp or crawfish étouffée, or alligator sauce piquant, are spooned over rice. Also in Cajun country, you can find boudin, a spicy sausage made from rice, pork meat and livers, vegetables and seasoning in a natural casing. Another version of this dish, boudin balls, is breaded and deep fried as a snack.

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Ham
A definite influence of Louisiana’s Spanish history can be found in the ways that its people employ ham. We’re particularly fond of tasso, a very spicy ham that’s cubed and used to flavor soups, stews and pastas. Ham is also found in many other iconic Louisiana dishes, such as the famous red beans and rice. Served every Monday, red camellia beans are soaked overnight, then slow simmered with the “holy trinity,” bay leaf, garlic and spices, and a whole ham hock, preferably smoked, as well as cubed ham and sausage.

Our authentic Tasso is spicy and rich.

Po-Boys
We’ve tried to find a decent po-boy sandwich outside of the state of Louisiana, but we’re consistently disappointed. There must be something magical in the state’s air and water, especially when it comes to the “French bread,” for po-boys, which is not a traditional baguette (although it’s the same shape), but soft and chewy on the inside, with a delicate, flaky crust. Many love po-boys filled with fried shrimp, oysters, catfish or alligator, but we’re in love with roast beef long simmered in a rich, dark brown gravy, as well as hot sausage, and, new to the scene from Mahoney’s restaurant in New Orleans, a fried chicken liver po-boy with creole slaw. Whatever your favorite, make sure to order it “dressed” with mayonnaise, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and hot sauce.

恭喜发财! Happy Chinese New Year!

Today marks the first day of the year of the water dragon, one of the most revered years of the Chinese calendar. It’s sure to bring good fortune and excitement! Food (and food symbolism) will play a big part in the next few weeks of celebrations. Here are some dishes for good luck in the coming year.

Anita Lo's Pekin Duck with Hoisin and Figs

In Chinese culture, duck symbolizes luck and fidelity. Here’s a fantastic recipe from one of our favorite chefs, Anita Lo. Her Breast of Duck with Hoisin and Figs mixes classic, Chinese flavors with a whimsical presentation. Or try this recipe for Roasted Pekin Duck with Shallot Confit, Asparagus, Shitake and Lily Bulb Stir Fry by Mercer Kitchen’s Chris Beischer. Cambridge, Massachusetts chef, Jason Bond puts a smoky twist on a classic roast duck with his Holiday Hu-Kwa Duck which is cured with salt and smoked Hu-Kwa tea before being roasted and basted in it’s own juices.

Blue Ribbon Restaurant's Duck with Orange-Cassis Sauce

Fresh oranges symbolize wealth and unity. This easy recipe for Pekin Duck with Orange Cassis Sauce is warming and rich, perfect for winter. And if you ask us, you can’t go wrong with a classic Duck a l’Orange.

Eat stir-fried greens for wealth since the Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like “growing fortune.” Marcus Samuelsson’s Greens combine winter kale with sweet, baby bok choy and Asian flavors like soy sauce, mirin, ginger and lemongrass. Delicious!

Fried Dumplings also symbolize wealth with their golden color and ingot shape. For a decadent French spin, try these Deep Fried Dumplings with Foie Gras and Chicken Livers.

The golden color of fried spring rolls equals good fortune. Try our recipe for Duck Confit Spring Rolls with Cashews and Sweet Potatoes. (a double whammy of golden deliciousness!)

Red is a lucky color during Chinese New Year and red-cooked chicken is a classic “lucky” dish, symbolizing happiness and good fortune. Mark Bittman’s version of  Soy Poached Chicken is delicious and easy to make at home. Or try this sophisticated Twice Cooked Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms, Ginger Garlic Relish and Star Anise Broth from Highlands chef, Chris Rendell.

Whichever dishes you indulge in, we wish you prosperity, good health and lots of luck in the new year! And as our Chinese friends say, 吉慶有餘! (May your happiness be without limit!)