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Posts tagged ‘d’artagnan’

6 Brunch Ideas We Love

Brunch, a brilliant combination of breakfast and lunch, is often the most anticipated meal of the week. This best-of-both-worlds feast is perfect for those lazy weekend days when sleeping in is a must. Brunch is usually served between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and in terms of food, anything goes. While we like a leisurely lunch at a restaurant, there is something about making your own brunch at home, and maybe in pajamas. If you are of the same mind, here are six of our favorite recipes for a satisfying brunch at home.

1. Rich and creamy shirred eggs with bacon and chives are not only delicious but ridiculously easy to prepare. Perfect for brunch!

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2. This recipe for creamed mushrooms on toast will brighten up your mid-morning repast.

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3. Earthy mushrooms and fragrant black truffle butter make this classic eggs en cocotte a standout!

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4. Bacon and cheddar scones make the perfect companion to just about any brunch. Spread some bacon jam on top (double bacon!?!) or serve with runny eggs.

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5. Nothing says comfortable Sunday morning like grits and ham. Stir in some truffle butter to make truffled grits (which is very nice as a side dish for dinner too).

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6. We have to mention rillettes…spreadable duck that takes the edge off a long night. A simple brunch might consist of a charcuterie board with this intensely satisfying recipe at center.

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Stewing Essentials

Stewing is a versatile and economical method of one-pot cooking which creates delicious, stick-to-your-ribs dishes of tender meat and rich sauce. Similar to braising, a stew often consists of meats and vegetables slow-cooked in flavorful liquid over a low flame. The perfect antidote to winter’s chill, stew is deeply comforting and easy to make at home.

 

History
People have been stewing for centuries. There is archaeological evidence that tribal Amazonians used spent turtle shells to stew meats 8,000 years ago. Stew was mentioned in the biblical story of Cain and Abel and in fourth century Roman cookbook, Apicius. Guillaume Tirel’s, Le Viandier de Taillevent, the famous French tome, first published in 1395, also contains stewing recipes. Stews are found today, in nearly every cuisine, from daubes and blanquettes in France to Indian curries, Mexican pozoles to khoresht in Persia, niku jaga in Japan to good, old American beef stew.

Basics
Stewing and braising are both slow, moist-cooking methods with a few minor, yet key, differences. When making stews, the meat is cut into smallish, uniform chunks whereas when braising, muscles are usually left whole. When stewing, your meats and vegetables are completely submersed in the cooking liquid but when braising, the liquid should only partially cover your ingredients.

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Here are some loose guidelines and tips for a basic stew…

  1. Dredge – Dredging the hunks of meat in seasoned flour before browning will give quick color, add flavor and help thicken your final product.
  2. Sear – Searing your meat on all sides in a very hot pan in a little oil will adds a desirable, flavorful crust and creates fond (the super tasty, meaty bits that stick to the bottom of the pan). Both add an extra layer of flavor, taking your stew from bland and one dimensional to complex, rich and delicious.
  3. Add Aromatics – Chopped vegetables such as mirepoix (carrots, celery onion), garlic, herbs and spices + aromatic liquids, such as wine, beer, bouillon or stock, round out the flavor of your stew.
  4. Cover – A tight seal is essential to slow, moist-cooking. Condensation will form on the inside of the lid, dripping back into the stew, called self-basting, concentrating flavors and keeping ingredients moist and juicy.
  5. Skim – During cooking, extra fat will dissolve from the meat and rise to the surface of the stew. Using a skimming spoon or other wide shallow utensil, skim the excess oil away. Another method to removing unwanted fat is to completely chill down the stew after cooking then just spoon away the solidified grease from the top of the dish.

What to Stew
The best cuts of meat for stewing are modest, tough cuts – the muscles of the animal that tend to work harder, are more exercised and held together by strong connective tissue. Shanks and hocks, brisket, chuck, round, shoulder and trim/end pieces from various roasts/steaks (often sold as “stew meat”) all work well for stewing. To stew poultry, use dark meat pieces or whole tough birds as in France’s favorite dish of stewed rooster, Coq au Vin. The slow cooking method helps soften and tenderize the muscle fibers and breaks down connective tissue into gelatin resulting in a homey dish of meltingly tender meat with concentrated flavor. Don’t limit yourself to just stewing meats. You can also stew vegetables with fantastic results. French ratatouille is quite simply stewed eggplant, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, garlic and bell peppers. Other good vegetable candidates include celery, celery root, leeks, cabbage, fennel and almost any tough green, such as collards, kale, chards, dandelion or mustard greens.

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Quick Tips
Refrigerating a stew overnight marries and deepens the flavors of ingredients. The chilling process also brings excess fat to the surface where it solidifies. This makes for easy skimming.

Vegetables in a slow cooked stew end up very soft at the end of cooking. If you like, you can remove excessively mushy vegetables in the last 15 minutes of cook time and puree them in a blender or food processor before adding back to the stew. The smooth puree will thicken your sauce beautifully.

Take care not to “re-cook” stews when reheating. If you need to reheat, first remove the meat and set aside, then bring the liquid to a boil, toss the meat back in briefly then remove from the heat. Allow the stew to hover around 140 degrees F until the meat is heated through. Enjoy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Just for fun, here are some terms the French use – both for food and for love. Each term of endearment can be cooed in a receptive ear, or ordered at a restaurant.

Wishing you a sweet – and savory – Valentine’s Day!

French Terms of Endearment

5 Braise-Worthy Recipes

With 15% off all the cuts fit to braise right now, let’s look at some classic recipes for braising, shall we?

1. Rabbit. This Irish recipe by the inimitable Colman Andrews has hard cider in the braising liquid. Which is also really nice for drinking while your rabbit simmers.

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2. Osso buco. We’ve got lamb, veal and venison osso buco on sale. This classic Italian recipe is for veal osso buco, but we encourage you to play with the other types.

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3. Duck. You may not think of duck as a braising meat, but Daniel Boulud knows best. When it comes to duck legs, he browns then braises. That would go for rabbit or guinea hen legs, too.

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4. Beef short ribs. We love to sink our teeth into some tender short ribs. It doesn’t get better than this recipe from Aliya Leekong.

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5. Lamb shanks. The Lobel Brothers know their way around a shank. These Persian-style lamb shanks are fragrant with turmeric, cinnamon and cardamom.

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Praise the Braise with 15% Off!

With the winter chill there’s only one thing to do: get in the kitchen and braise! Now is the time for comfort foods like slow-cooked short ribs that fall of the bone. Simmering foreshanks of wild boar. Succulent osso buco … you get the idea.

Now through February 24 save 15% off all the cuts we like to braise, and few other items that might help in your braising efforts. Like bacon. A true braise begins with rendering some bacon fat into a pan – but you knew that. Because you’ve got to brown the meat in something, and it might as well be bacon fat.

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Freezer Sale Going on NOW!

We’ve just done an inventory in our massive refrigerated warehouse. And guess what? We found some deals for you in the freezer! Shop early for best selection, because we have limited quantities.

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Save 15% off All Duck!

For many of us the New Year offers a reset, a return to basics. At D’Artagnan that means duck. Thirty years ago Ariane began the company with duck products, and while she quickly expanded our offerings, duck is where it all started. So in the first weeks of our 30th year, we celebrate the simple pleasures of duck with 15% off at dartagnan.com.

Enjoy duck breast, duck legs (raw and confit), whole duck, duck fat and our signature prepared duck products. So go ahead, cook some duck! It’s easy to do at home, as our video with Sara Moulton proves.

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FLASH SALE TODAY! 12 Hours Only

Cozy winter routines – like braising and slow roasting – go hand-in-hand with our flash sale today. Save up to 40% off select items now. There’s something for everyone, from wild boar and pasture-raised beef stripsteak to our 3-ounce tub of truffle butter. Save big and get a case of six to stash in the freezer.  You’ll be glad you did. Truffle butter popcorn, anyone?

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This limited-time offer is valid Monday 1/12/15 from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm EST. Offer may not be combined with any other offer or membership discount and is not valid on pending or prior purchases. Offer applies to product purchase only, before shipping and handling; standard shipping charges will be applied. Valid on select products, while supplies last.

Garlic & Black Truffle Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is inspired by the classic Joël Robuchon mashed potato recipe which calls for equal parts potato and butter. Garlic cloves slow-cooked in duck fat are added, along with a generous amount of black truffle butter for intensely earthy and rich potatoes.

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Ingredients

2lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
8-12 tablespoons Black Truffle Butter, more as needed
4 cloves Garlic Confit
Coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh Black Truffle, for shaving (optional)

Preparation

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add potatoes. Cook until just fork-tender. You don’t want soggy potatoes.

2. Drain potatoes in a colander and shake well to remove excess water.

3. Place potatoes in a large bowl, add truffle butter and season with salt and pepper. Mash the butter into the potatoes with a masher to desired consistency. They can be as chunky or smooth as you like. Alternatively, you can pass the potatoes through a ricer and then mix in butter and garlic confit, making sure to mash garlic into potatoes with back of spoon. Adjust seasoning and top with thinly-shaved black truffle. Serve.

Duck Fat 50: Oven-Roasted Veggie Fries

If you like potatoes with duck fat, you’ll love these. Gorgeous roasted vegetable “fries” get extra flavor and color from a swath of luscious duck fat right before baking. Delicious as a side dish or chilly day snack.Recipe_Oven_Veggie_Fries_HomeMedium (1)

Ingredients

Assorted root veggies, such as parsnips, turnips, carrots, and beets; scrubbed, peeled and cut into ¼ inch sticks
Duck fat, softened
Coarse salt
Finely chopped parsley (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, toss veggie sticks with a few generous drizzles of with a drizzle of duck fat. Make sure each stick is evenly shiny with fat. Season with salt.

3. Spread evenly, in a single layer, on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, flipping halfway through baking time. Fries should take about 15-25 minutes.

4. Remove from oven, taste for seasoning and season with salt if needed. Sprinkle with parsley (if using), and serve immediately.