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Mad About Mushrooms

We’re more than just meat … did you know that D’Artagnan is also a purveyor of mushrooms?  We follow the seasons around the globe to bring wild mushrooms to our chef clients.  The fragrant and delicate truffles and porcinis, morels, chanterelles, mousserons, hedgehogs, matsutakes, chicken of the woods and many more, come by truck and airplane from just about every corner of the globe. Foraged from woods and mountains by experts, then swiftly transported to us, these are the very essence of wild eating. Their seasonal availability, fragile and perishable nature, and their susceptibility to the vagaries of weather make them all the more precious.

We also offer beautiful cultivated and wild mushrooms that work in many recipes, such as the ones below. We hope they will inspire you to cook a meal that includes mushrooms. And should you be inclined to explore, or rather, to forage for more, you will find others on our website.

Creamed Mushrooms on Toast

This simple recipe is rich and comforting. And while we think it’s totally fabulous as-is, when you add a generous knob of black truffle butter and serve it on petit toasts, it becomes luxurious party food.

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Creamed Mushrooms on Toast, recipe by Colman Andrews

Ingredients

Serves 6

4 tablespoons butter, plus more for buttering rolls
2 lbs wild & exotic mushrooms, brushed clean, cut into pieces of equal size or left whole if small
6 small French rolls
1 cup heavy cream
Coarse sea salt
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes, or until they have released their liquor and reabsorbed some of it.

3. Meanwhile, split the French rolls, butter them lightly, and toast them lightly under the broiler. Divide the toasted rolls equally between 6 plates (2 small halves or 1 large half on each plate).

4. Add the cream to the mushrooms, stirring it in well, and continue to cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt, then spoon the mushrooms and sauce over the rolls. Garnish with some chopped parsley, if you like.

Pasta with Foie Gras & Wild Mushrooms

Add a little luxury to weeknight dinner with this simple recipe that uses top-tier ingredients but comes together in minutes. It’s a favorite dish at D’Artagnan, and we’ve served it at many tasting events to great acclaim.

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Ingredients

Serves 4

8 ounces foie gras cubes
1 pound Gemelli pasta, or similar
2 Tablespoons black truffle butter
1 container duck and veal demi-glace
2 cups wild mushrooms, chopped
1 Tablespoon porcini powder
Salt & freshly cracked pepper

Preparation

1. Cook pasta in lightly salted water, to al dente. Reserve about 3/4 cup of pasta water, set aside. Drain pasta, rinse with cool water and set aside.

2. Heat a large, dry skillet over high flame. When hot, sauté foie gras until golden brown (about 1 minute), then remove from pan and set aside. Add the mushrooms to the same pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

3. Leaving the mushrooms in the pan, add the demi-glace, reserved pasta water and porcini flour, then reduce by a third.

4. Add the cooked pasta to the pan, toss to coat with the liquid, add 2 tablespoons of black truffle butter, allowing it to melt. Now add the sautéed foie gras, and toss it all together gently.

5. Add salt, pepper, and more truffle butter, to taste.

 Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding

This versatile, savory bread pudding pairs well with meat or poultry and can be baked in a large dish or individual ramekins.

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Ingredients

Serves 8

4 cups fresh brioche cubes (about ½”)
2 lbs assorted wild mushrooms, chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 tablespoons black truffle butter
6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
10 chives, finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup grated hard, aged cheese (such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Mimolette)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a medium sized casserole, about 9×12.

2. Spread brioche cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, turning once, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon black truffle butter. Add shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushroom liquid has evaporated and mushrooms turn golden (about 15 minutes). Stir in thyme, parsley and chives. Cook about 1 minute more, remove from heat.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together cream, milk, eggs, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir in mushroom mixture and bread cubes, turning to coat. Let rest for about 10 minutes, then pour into prepared dish.

5. Bake until slightly firm to the touch, about 30 – 35 minutes. Cool slightly on wire rack, then unmold and serve.

Broiled Wild Mushrooms with Tamari Butter

This simple recipe from Bruce and Eric Bromberg of Blue Ribbon fame, has few ingredients but is packed with umami. It’s a favorite dish at their New York City restaurant, Blue Ribbon Sushi, and once you see how easy and delicious it is from your own kitchen, we have no doubt it will be one your favorites too! And it takes only ten minutes to make.

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Broiled Wild Mushrooms with Tamari Butter by the Bromberg Brothers. Photo: Quentin Bacon.

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 pound wild & exotic mushroom mix, gently cleaned and trimmed if needed
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons sake
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preparation

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. In a medium bowl, toss together the mushrooms, tamari and sake. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet and dot with butter. Broil, turning once, until tender and golden, about 5 minutes total.

Save on Fall Faves

We are always sad to see summer go, but there is a certain pleasure in the arrival of autumn. It means going back to the kitchen and the comfort food techniques we love: roasting, simmering and braising. It’s time to get cozy and get cooking.

So we’re kicking it off today with 15% off our favorite meats for fall. Stock up and and plan ahead for kitchen victory.  Dust off the slow cooker, and bring on the braise.

Shop and save until Sunday 9/28 – the sale ends at midnight EST.

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Cooking with Duck

As you might expect, there are quite a few duck recipes on our website. From the meaty breast of the mighty moulard duck to a tender leg of duck confit, we love it all. If you are stuck on duck like us, have a gander at this selection of recipes. And enjoy this video of Sara Moulton and Ariane demonstrating how super easy it is to sear a duck breast for dinner. Duck breast is the new steak, after all.

Crispy Duck Salad

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This simple and refreshing duck salad makes a cooling first course or light lunch. The tangy lime vinaigrette is tempered by rich duck and a drizzle of sweet, Thai-style sauce.

YIELD: 2 AS A MAIN COURSE, 4 AS A STARTER

Ingredients

2 duck leg confit
1 heart of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 head bibb lettuce, chopped
½ English cucumber, sliced into thin batons
1 handful mung bean sprouts
2 sprigs fresh mint, finely chopped
6 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Sesame seeds, to garnish

FOR THE SAUCE

½ cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 thai chiles, finely minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce

FOR THE DRESSING

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 small Thai chiles, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Preparation

1. Make the sauce: Combine ingredients in small sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce reaches a syrupy consistency, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

2. Broil the duck legs until skin is browned and crispy, and meat is heated through. Carefully remove from the bones and shred.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Add lettuces, mung beans, cucumber and herbs. Toss to coat. Divide salad between two plates. Top with shredded duck. Drizzle a little of the reserved sauce over the duck. Garnish with sesame seeds.

 Duck with Green Picholine Olives

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The green Picholine olives in Chef Daniel Boulud’s braised duck provide juicy bites of tart, salty flavor.

YIELD: 4-6

Ingredients

4-6 moulard duck legs, about 3 lbs
Kosher salt
Coarsely-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/4 pound applewood smoked bacon, sliced, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 small onions, peeled, trimmed and chopped
2 small turnips, peeled and diced
1/2 cup green Picholine olives, pitted
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken stock

Preparation

1.The night before you plan to serve the dish, place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Season the duck with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a medium cast-iron pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the duck legs and sear until golden brown on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes.

3. Transfer the duck to a platter. Pour off the excess fat from the pot. Return the duck to the pot along with the bacon and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Spoon out any fat out of the pot. Add the carrots, onions, turnips, olives, thyme, and bay leaf, and pour in the stock. Transfer the pot to the oven and braise, covered, for 2 hours, until the duck is tender. Chill overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the layer of fat from the top of the sauce and heat the duck in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs and the bay leaf and serve.

 Five Spice Duck Breast

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YIELD: 4

Heady Chinese five spice and a sticky-sweet sauce spiked with star anise make a wonderful complement to rich duck breast.

Ingredients

4 duck magret half-breasts
2 1/2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 star anise, broken in half
8 baby bok choi
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, sliced on the bias
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
¾ cup duck and veal demi-glace
2 tsp honey
Steamed Rice, for serving

Preparation

1. With a sharp paring knife, score the fat of each duck breast in a cross-hatch pattern, making sure not to cut into the meat. In a small bowl, mix together five spice, salt and pepper. Rub the duck breasts with the spice mixture. Heat a heavy frying pan over high flame. When hot, add the duck breasts skin-side down. Turn the heat down to medium and and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the skin is very crisp and brown and the fat has rendered from under the skin. Tip out any excess fat. Turn the breasts over and add the star anise to the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the duck breasts feel firm to the touch but not too solid – you want them pink in the middle. Take the duck out and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

2. To the same pan, over medium high heat, add the demi-glace, soy sauce, and honey, stirring to combine and, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the bok choy and scallions. Cook, turning to coat, until the bok choy is cooked through but not soggy.

3. Serve duck breasts over rice with steamed bok choy. Spoon sauce over the top.

Blue Ribbon’s Duck Club Sandwich

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YIELD: 4 SANDWICHES

This recipe, from the excellent Blue Ribbon Cookbook, is the Bromberg Brother’s twist on a classic club sandwich using flavorful duck instead of turkey. We consider it lunch heaven in the palms of your hands.

Ingredients

4 Muscovy duck breasts, about 8 ounces each
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
12 slices raisin bread, toasted
4 slices applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Using a sharp knife, score the fat of the duck breasts in a cross-hatch pattern, being careful not to cut the meat. Season generously. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Sear the duck breasts, skin side down, until the skin browns and the fat renders, about 8 minutes. Place the duck, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 140 degrees F, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest and cool. Once cooled, slice very thin against the grain.

3.To assemble the sandwich, spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise on each of 4 slices of toast and sprinkle with half of the bacon. Divide the lettuce evenly among the breast slices then top each with half of the sliced duck. Top with second layer of toast and spread the remaining mayonnaise over the slices. Sprinkle with the remaining bacon. Top with tomato, onion, and the remaining duck. Cover the sandwiches with the remaining slices of toast, cut into quarters and serve with your favorite potato chips.

 

Visit our website for more recipes like these, and please share your home-cooked duck dishes on our Facebook or Twitter pages with the #duckspotting. We love to see what’s happening in the kitchen.

Duck in for Deals!

You lucky duck. No sooner did Charc Week end … and now there’s a special deal on all things duck at dartagnan.com.

Enjoy 20% off duck all week. But do it before Sunday, September 14 at midnight EST.

And please let us know what you’re cooking! Share your duck dishes with us on Facebook or Twitter. Tag your posts #duckspotting.

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Charc Week Continues: Jambon de Bayonne

Our jambon de Bayonne is made right here in the United States, and some would argue that the use of “Bayonne,” as in the AOC, is all kinds of wrong. Ariane was well aware of this when she began making the product in the early days of D’Artagnan. Of course, she could see Bayonne from her office window… Bayonne, NJ, that is. Using the same simple, centuries-old dry-curing technique that made this ham famous in France, our domestic version may break rules, but it satisfies jambon cravings.

Try it wrapped around figs, melon or pear slices. Sandwiched in a baguette with mustard. On a charcuterie board with cheese.

Buy it now and save 15% off at dartagnan.com during our Charc Week celebration – when all charcuterie is 15% off.  The sale ends Sept. 7 at midnight EST.

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Charcuterie 101

Whole books have been devoted to the subject. Techniques have been handed down through the generations, and different cultures have distinct charcuterie traditions. So what is this mysterious “charcuterie”? Pronounced shahr-kyut-uh-ree it is a French word that comes from chair “flesh” and cuit “cooked.” It refers to cooked, cured or smoked meats such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, rillettes, galantines, pâtés and dry-cured sausage. Charcuterie has been considered a French culinary art since at least the 15th century. The specialized store in France is also called a charcuterie and will have confits, foie gras and a selection of ready-to-eat dishes.

Charcuterie France

Germans sell their cured meats at a delicatessen, and Italians purvey salumi in a salumeria. In America many of the Italian salumi products are familiar, such as prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, sopressata and mortadella. If you’ve ever eaten antipasto you already know about charcuterie. Been to the deli and ordered a liverwurst sandwich? How about a cold cut sandwich? Both are charcuterie. Even baloney is charcuterie.

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Spain is legendary for dry-aged aging hams from heritage breed pigs. Germany is noted for the frankfurter and Braunschweiger, among a myriad of sausages produced there. Poland offers the smoked kielbasa. And in the United States there are many that swear by the flavor of smoked and cured Virginia ham. Call it what you will, charcuterie is universal.

A Little History

Food traditions are often best understood in the context of history. With charcuterie it’s necessary to go back to the origins of Homo sapiens. Since every culture preserves meat in some form, it appears to be a foundational element of human survival. Imagine hunting, gathering and having to eat everything before it spoiled. This process would ensure a nomadic lifestyle and subsistence diet. However, if you could store food for later, you might settle down, build a shelter and put in roots. Since the origins of cooking meat are lost in our prehistoric past, it’s only conjecture that early man might have hung fresh meat near the fire to protect it, and discovered that it cured over the smoke and tasted quite good the next day.

Whenever it was that humans started to cook and cure meat, it has not stopped since. Sausage recipes date to before the golden age of ancient Greece, and traditional sausages have been made for over 2000 years in both Rome and France. The Romans set standards for raising, killing and cooking pigs, and they regulated the process. Centuries ago, Germanic tribesmen made fortunes selling salted hams made from acorn-fattened boars that were hunted in dense forests. But charcuterie really comes into its own in France during the Middle Ages.

In France, pigs were raised by virtually every household and slaughtered when the chill of autumn took hold, to fill the larders for the winter with lovely bacon, ham, potted pork and lard. To this day in the French countryside the pig slaughter and resulting day of cooking that follows is taken on as a communal ritual. And no part of the pig is wasted, from the intestines to the hooves.

Today, in the United States there is plenty of old-world style charcuterie available, both in restaurants and stores, and DIYers are rediscovering the joy of making charcuterie at home.

Edouard-Jean Dambourgez (French, 1844-1890) A Pork Butcher's Shop

Making a Charcuterie Plate

Just like a cheese board, a charcuterie platter is an ideal way to serve a party and please all palates. Arranging a charcuterie board is easy. It should have a range of items representing the various styles of preparation from cooked to dry-cured. The meats should be complemented by something acidic, like cornichons (tiny French pickles). Whole-grain mustard makes a nice accompaniment, as do olives or even black truffle butter. Allow two ounces per person, and serve with a rustic country bread, or good quality, plain crackers. A hearty red wine (but not too heavy) will make a good accompaniment, such as Côtes-du-Rhône, Gigondas or Madiran.

A charcuterie board might display:

Pâté de Campagne is a rustic, coarse pork pâté and is a staple in France
Pheasant Terrine Herbette, another coarse pâté made of pheasant, pork and fennel
In the dry-cured family Jambon de Bayonne, a thinly-sliced pork product is perfect
Saucisson sec is a dry-cured sausage, similar to salami, made of pork or sometimes wild boar
Mousse Truffée is a spreadable turkey/chicken liver mousse with black truffles
Smoked duck breast is air cured and smoked over natural wood

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It’s Charc Week!

All week we will revel in the glory of charcuterie – and we’re calling it Charc Week.

And you get to enjoy 15% off all things smoked, cooked and cured at dartagnan.com. Please share your charcuterie stories, pictures or anything charcuterie related with us on Twitter and Facebook – be sure to use the hashtag #CharcWeek.

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#CharcWeek ends Sunday, September 7 at midnight EST.

 

A Salad Post (Scandalous!)

You don’t have to double check – this is the D’Artagnan blog, and you did just read the word “salad.” We are known as hardcore carnivores, but we are hungry omnivores with an appreciation for a well-composed salad. As long as there is some meat on it.

And it’s summer  – the perfect time to try one of our favorite salads, like this smoked duck and cherry salad that serves beautifully as a cold supper on a hot night.

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While this salad is perfect for brunch, it could easily satisfy as a dinner. The winning combination of bacon and eggs works well on a bed of asparagus.

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A somewhat less traditional salad, with the frisée and romaine lettuces lightly browned in butter, makes a delicious surprise.  Then the salad dressing is stirred in the hot pan. Now that is a salad! Watch Marcus Samuelsson demonstrate the technique in this video with Ariane. The rich red meat of squab deserves a bed of salad like this. Did we mention the plums wrapped in bacon? Oh, yeah.

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A yearlong favorite, the simplest salad of all: duck confit shredded and served atop your favorite greens.  Our recipe has an Asian flair, but you can dress the salad with a basic vinaigrette as well, with equally satisfying results. Get the confit crispy under the broiler for maximum effect. Recipe_Crispy_Duck_Salad_HomeMedium

While it seems minimal, this salad of thinly-sliced cucumbers offers a refreshing crunch when paired with lamb.  Is is salad? We will allow it.

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The classic Cobb salad gets a D’Artagnan spin with smoked chicken breast, tiny quail eggs and hickory smoked bacon. We must admit, it’s a a great salad.

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Ribeye Steaks with Bleu Cheese Sauce & Crispy Shallots

Creamy, cool bleu cheese sauce and crunchy shallot rings are the perfect foil for smoky and rich ribeye steaks – hot off the grill. Serve these beauties with your favorite potato dish and a crisp green salad.

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Ingredients

2 shallots, thinly sliced into rings
¾ cup whole milk
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
Oil, for frying
Coarse salt
2 cups crumbled blue cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
Freshly cracked black pepper
4 Bone-In Ribeye Steaks, about 20 oz. each

Preparation

1. Add shallots to a small bowl, cover with milk and allow to soak for about 30 minutes. In another small dish, mix together flour and cornstarch. Working in batches, using a fork, dredge the shallot rings in the flour mixture, coating evenly. Put battered rings aside on a plate. In a shallow skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees.

2. Again working in batches, fry battered shallots until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Season with coarse salt and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, fold together blue cheese crumbles and cream. Season with pepper. Refrigerate until needed.

4. Heat grill to medium-high or heat coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over. Lightly oil hot grates.

5. Let steaks stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Season both sides of each steak with coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

6. Grill steaks for about 6 minutes on the first side, rotating 90 degrees at the halfway mark to create cross-hatch grill marks, if desired. Using tongs, flip each steak to the other side and grill for another 6 minutes, or until desired doneness. We suggest medium-rare, which would register 125 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

7. Let steaks rest for 8 -10 minutes before serving, each with a generous spoon of blue cheese sauce. Top with crispy shallots.

Labor Day Sale

Save 15% off  grilling favorites for Labor Day all week at dartagnan.com.

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