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Pardon My Foie Gras: Between the Covers

Pardon My Foie Gras was written by the prolific cookbook author Ruth Chier Rosen, and published in 1956. You can see her astounding collection of vintage cookbooks that span decades and cuisines at her blog Food of the Fifties. She even has an app!

Though a far cry from the comprehensive volumes Julia Child penned on French cooking, this little book offers a view into 1950s America and its attitude toward French food. Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking would not appear until 1961, and we all know what happened after that!

Ruth Chier Rosen wrote an entire series of these little cookbooks. Ours measures only 4 x 5 inches, and is spiral bound with plenty of lovely vintage flourishes. Clever titles with puns are common in her oeuvre. The recipes are short, direct and easy to follow.

As you might expect, we have the foie gras themed volume.  It’s all about the “choice cuisine of France,” and we want to share a few of the pages with you here.

PMFG Front Cover & Box

The spiral bound book and a clever box to protect it.

PMFG Frontispiece

Inside the front cover, a very intense Frenchman.

As you can see, Ruth was introducing the concept that eating in the French manner involved caring. There is no place for indifference in cooking or dining.

We like Ruth’s message, and it still resonates: French food need not be intimidating. Do things simply, do them well.

In the French Manner

And here is a selection of several pages and recipes worth noting.

Soups & Sauces

We begin in the beginning. Soups & sauces.

French onion soup is a classic that borders on kitsch at this point. But made at home, with your own stock, it is something wonderful. This recipe may be a bit reductionist. It does not make clear that you must really, truly brown those onions.

The other is for chestnut soup – we love French chestnuts (and we offer them). They are perfect to pair with game and poultry; this sauté with fennel is a favorite of Ariane’s at the holidays.

PMFG onion soup chestnut soup

Two soups you might like to try.

A chapter we cannot skip: the meat and vegetables. It’s nice to see such variety – tripe, veal, lamb, sweetbreads, liver – perhaps easier to find in 1956 America than we might have expected.

Meat & Veg

Let’s get to the meat, shall we?

 

Bouef Bourg

Before Julia made it a household name: Boeuf Bourguignon

paupiettes

Paupiettes de veau

You can see Ariane’s recipe for Paupiettes de Veau, and a video in which she demonstrates the preparation. The translation is “Veal Birds,” because they are also known as oiseaux sans tête, or birds without heads. 

poultry and game

Here’s where it gets interesting.

There are plenty of recipes for chicken, and what French cookbook would be complete without a good roasted chicken recipe? It is the cornerstone of a balanced diet.

Chicken Roti

The photos are all black and white, but the charming illustrations make up for it.

We cannot resist the guinea hen – or pintade, in French. In this recipe, we wonder what happens to the rest of the hen. Naturally, every scrap should be eaten and the bones cooked down for stock. Guinea hen legs are not to be missed.

Pintade

Guinea hen is commonly eaten in France.

We were intrigued by the cassoulet recipe. But this Toulouse cassoulet seems to be missing something – could it be duck? Our version is Gascon all the way, so we are biased, bien sur. And while the simplified translation of “baked beans” is accurate, it leaves out some of the caché of cassoulet. The recipe does not involve any baking in the oven, which is the stage that makes cassoulet all crunchy on the outside.

Toulouse Cassoulet

But where’s the duck?

We were excited to see the offering from the region of Gascony. And this one involved torching a duck, so that’s fun.

cassoulet de canard

There are desserts and dishes with eggs… and some handy information about wine. We just couldn’t resist this chart of vintages from 1927-1955.

vintage chart

And if you are going to drink, please be responsible and use the correct glass.

wine glasses

Make mine crystal, please.

Wine Dinner Menu

Ruth lays out a few menus using her recipes and pairing with wine.

However, there is no foie gras in Pardon My Foie Gras. The closest thing is the pâté in the Tournedos Rossini- we know that’s supposed to be foie gras. In 1956 the only foie gras in the United States was canned pâté de foie gras. And some people still think the word “pâté” is synonymous with foie gras.

As you may now, it wasn’t until Ariane started D’Artagnan in 1985 that any fresh foie gras was available in the U.S. at all. Today we sell a variety of preparations, as well as whole livers and foie gras slices.  So here’s our version of Tournedos Rossini, with a slice of fresh, seared foie gras on top.

Tournedos Rossini

truffle man

On the inside back cover, a happy truffle hunter.

Please meet Mrs. Rosen.

ruth bio

Our little volume came with a card promoting the other titles penned by Ruth and published by her husband Richard Rosen.

Also by Ruth

Look at the last title – there was urban farming in the 1950s! Sure, it’s being reinvented today on rooftops and in vacant lots in cities across America, but here it is in 1956. Ahead of her time?

More by Ruth 2

Intrigued by the first one…

If you come across any of these little books, be sure to scoop them up. They offer a charming view of cooking in the 1950s, and would make unique gifts for those friends who are cookbook collectors.

 

Cinco de Mayo Sale!

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in meaty style with 15% off our picks for the party. You can’t go wrong with Berkshire Pork Ribs or even our Duck Leg Confit – perfect for shredding and stuffing in tacos or tamales. Ground buffalo and Wagyu beef are both adaptable to your favorite Mexican-inspired recipes.

Check out the sale here. Special pricing ends on May 2, 2014.

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Ariane Debunks the Foie Gras Myths

Ariane has been preaching the gospel of foie gras since the earliest days of D’Artagnan. She started the company to sell the first fresh foie gras raised in the United States. Today she is the leading expert on the subject.

Erin Mosbaugh at the blog First We Feast interviewed her on the controversial topic, visited Hudson Valley Foie Gras, our partner farm, and came away with a better understanding of foie gras.

We share their post and hope that you will share it in turn. Foie gras is a topic that excites a lot of passion on both sides. We only ask that people consider all the facts before drawing conclusions about foie gras. Lucky for those who want to do that, First We Feast does a fine job of explaining and debunking the common myths.

Ariane First We Feast Foie Gras Screen Shot

For those who want to learn more about foie gras, try the Artisan Farmers Alliance. And if you want to order some foie gras, we have plenty available on our website, along with recipes to inspire. (Yes, we can ship foie gras to citizens of California. The prohibition on foie gras applies only to sales and production in the state.)

foie gras recipes panel

A Customer Appreciation Sale!

We’re having a sale in your honor! It’s our way of showing appreciation for your loyalty. Take 15% off everything and anything at dartagnan.com from April 22 through April 24, 2014.

Just remember to use the promo code THANKS at checkout. Enjoy!

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Be sure to come visit us on Facebook. And maybe even share photos of what you do with D’Artagnan products. We love to see what’s cooking!

The Duckathlon 2014

For nine years, The Duckathlon has tested the mettle of our chef clients, challenging them with a culinary obstacle course unlike any other.

Good news! The Duckathlon is – FOR THE FIRST TIME – open to the public. Now you can run the challenge course and drink deeply from the cup of victory. New York City’s ultimate food competition wants you!

The team from Felix Restaurant featured a guest member: Elyse Pasqual, who blogs at foodieinternational.com

The team from Felix had a guest member: Elyse Pasquale, who blogs at foodieinternational.com

How well do you know a pig’s anatomy? How many crêpes can you flip in one minutes? Can you handle the heat?  Better start training now!

The Duckathlon will take place in NYC on June 14, 2014.

Yes, lipstick was part of the Egg Spin Out challenge.

Lipstick was part of the Egg Spin Out challenge. David Burke was game!

Call your friends with good palates, wine knowledge, and sense of competition.

Get them to join you and build a formidable team. Win prizes, eat, drink, laugh and learn.

 

500 competitors
125 teams
25 challenges
15 sustainable farmers
15 local restaurants
Beer, wine, whiskey, Armagnac
PRIZES, PRIZES, PRIZES

Learn more about the particulars right here. And get your tickets here.

See you in the winner’s circle!

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Happy Easter

Happy Easter 2014

Happy Passover

Why is this night different from all other nights? On this night, we eat a proper feast, with multiple courses. And lots of wine. We sing and we lean on comfortable cushions. On this night our bread is flat, but our spirits are high.

Chag Sameach Pesach. May your seder be long and your herbs bitter. And may someone else clean up the matzoh crumbs.


Matzah Passover Greeting

Meat the Team: Bryan

Meat the Team will introduce you to the people who work at D’Artagnan. Go behind the scenes with us and find out who actually makes the meat go round. 

Bryan Glynn’s is one of the friendly voices you may hear when you call D’Artagnan with a question. He’s one of the cheeriest members of our staff, always ready with a smile and a joke, even first thing in the morning. Obsessed with food, as many of us are, he shares his knowledge and enthusiasm with our customers and staff alike. Sometimes he even shares his food.

Get to know a little about him right here.

Bryan Glynn

Bryan Glynn in our lobby, kicking it old school with the Three Musketeers pinball machine.

What do you do at D’Artagnan? And how long have you been here?

I handle sales support for Westchester/CT and for the D’Artagnan website. I won’t be a greenhorn anymore! May marks 1 year.

What is your favorite D’Artagnan product? How do you prepare it?

It’s between our duck magret (which I do Magret A La D’Artagnan like on the website) and our venison. I use either the medallions or the NY strip (and cut them accordingly into medallions if I use the strip). I season them with just kosher salt and pepper, and get a good sear on them. I caramelize onions down in our black truffle butter and put them in a roasting pan with some fresh root vegetables like parsnips, carrots, and potatoes.

I deglaze the pan I seared the venison and caramelized the onions in with a little bit of bourbon and water and let that reduce. The venison in the roasting pans only takes about ten to fifteen minutes to get to medium rare (at most), and I plate them up with the vegetables and spoon over some of the reduction. Super simple and one of my favorite dishes.

Venison NY Strip

Bryan’s venison with root vegetables.

Pork Shanks Before Cooking

Bryan’s Berkshire pork shanks going into the oven.

What are you doing when you’re not at D’Artagnan?

I sketch and doodle almost constantly. I went to school for art, and I try to keep doing that every day, to keep myself sharp. I read books (A Song of Ice and Fire currently!) or comics, and I unwind with some video games or playing guitar. I love travel, live music (particularly at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ), and going on road trips with my girlfriend to find perfect matzoh ball soup.

Bryan G Drawings

Some of Bryan’s drawings. Clockwise from left: Gambit, The Hound, Bill the Butcher & Hell Boy.

What would you choose for your “last meal?”

Oh man. That’s tough.

My mom makes this killer quiche. It’s not small or dainty at all. It’s more like a pizza rustica. Spinach, sausage, mozzarella. It’s incredible and could also be used to stop a mugging. I think that, a Pappy van Winkle bourbon, a good Ommegang beer, and macarons or pecan pie. Actually, both. Both of those.

What is your fondest food memory?

When I first got hired here, as is pretty customary, I see a little bit of every department’s responsibilities. I was out on delivery runs with a driver, seeing what the typical day is like, and we got to stop in the 11 Madison Park kitchen. It was unreal. There was prep going on at literally every flat surface available, but the kitchen itself was spotless. A station was stuffing lavender sprigs into chicken. No one was speaking. They were all so intent on what they were doing. It was pretty amazing to get to see that process live.

Three random facts about you:

I’m left handed.

I don’t know how to ride a bicycle.

I’m insanely allergic to silver.

Bonus fact- I have the Heisenberg sketch from Breaking Bad tattooed on me.

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Bryan played with our logo a bit. We are all getting leather jackets with this on the back.

Easter Favorites are 10% OFF!

Easter is April 20 and so it’s time to start planning your holiday meal. Enjoy 10% off our lamb, ham and other Easter selections at dartagnan.com.

For inspiration, check our blog post on Easter appetizers and main dishes (along with sides). Not sure about wine pairing for the feast? We’ve got you covered there as well.

Sale ends Thursday, April 17th at midnight EST.

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No Fooling! Foie Gras is 20% OFF All Day!

We know you love it. So do we. That’s why all foie gras is 20% off today only.

Click on over and stock up. That means you too, California. Because we’re in NJ, it’s perfectly legal for us to sell it to you for personal consumption. If we find you selling it on the street … well, that’s going to be a problem.

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