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Posts tagged ‘foie gras’

Favorite Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

This week we are offering 15% off holiday essentials – we think of them as the “little helpers” to ease you through this year’s holiday meal and make it extra-special. Things like black truffle butter, duck fat, demi-glace and bacon. Imported French chestnuts and porcini powder bring earthy flavor and umami to recipes like classic stuffing. Speaking of which, maybe your stuffing needs a little foie gras this year. These cubes of flash-frozen foie gras are quite handy at the holidays.

For further inspiration, here are a few of our favorite things to make for the Thanksgiving meal. Just click on the photo for the recipe.

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D'Artagnan Food products

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Foie Gras Duckspotting @ Elizabeth Restaurant

A most unusual Duckspotting comes to us from Chicago…and just in time for Halloween!

Duckspotting is snapping & sending in pics of dishes from your favorite restaurants, made with D’Artagnan ingredients! We supply restaurants all over the country & love to see what creative chefs are doing with our products. Keep sending them in!

Foieowl, Elizabeth Restaurant, Chicago CAPT

Where: Elizabeth Restaurant

What: Chef Iliana Regan’s Foieowl

How: Elizabeth Restaurant is at  4835 N. Western, Unit D, Chicago, IL 60625  |  for reservations, call 773-681-0651

Dining out & spot some fabulous dishes made with D’Artagnan ingredients? Snap a pic & email with the details to lilyh@dartagnan.com.

Perfect Pork Plating with Anita Lo

Chef Anita Lo of Annisa, a long-time friend of D’Artagnan, was featured on Serious Eats explaining her philosophy behind plating pork loin. Yes, it’s our Berkshire pork, but aside from that, we have a lot of respect for Chef Anita and find this a fascinating peek into the mind of a brilliant chef.

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We are not going to spoil this by trying to explain it, so  just head over to Serious Eats for the full post.

And for more Anita Lo – in action – check our video in which she and Ariane demonstrate how easy it is to sear foie gras.

October is ….

… National Chili Month,  National Apple Month and National Pork Month.  Yes, all in October. Who decides these things? Whoever you are, we thank you.

Apples by Evelyn Simak

Apple tree, photo by Evelyn Simak

To celebrate, we offer you recipes that involve one or more of these, because we don’t have one for pork and apple chili. But that could be interesting…Happy October!

Anasazi Cowboy Chili with Buffalo & Nopales

Anasazi beans are a cross between kidney and pinto beans. They hold their shape beautifully in this spicy buffalo chili recipe by Steve Sando.

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Ingredients

Serves 6-8

1 pound Anasazi beans
1 1/2 medium white onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground buffalo meat
1 jalapeño chile pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
3/4 teaspoon good-quality chile powder, such as chipotle
1 can (14 1/2 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 cup lager beer
2 tablespoons masa harina (optional)
2 nopales paddles, prepared and cooked
Crème fraîche
Grated cheddar cheese
Scallions, sliced, white and pale green parts
Fresh cilantro, chopped

Preparation

1. Soak beans overnight in water at room temperature.

2. After soaking, put the beans in a large pot with their soaking water and enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Add one-third of the onions and half of the chopped garlic. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are nearly done, about 1 hour. Season with salt.

3. Meanwhile, in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the meat, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until the meat loses all of its pink color and begins to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour off most of the fat.

4. Add the remaining onions and garlic and the chile, and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes, scraping up any browned bits clinging to the bottom of the pot. Add the cumin, oregano, chile powder, tomatoes, and beer and return the meat to the pot. Add the beans and their broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until the flavors are blended and the beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper and more chile powder if needed.4

5. If you’d like a thicker chili, dissolve the masa harina in 1/2 cup water, stirring well to eliminate lumps. Stir the paste into the chili, add the nopales, adjust the seasonings, and cook for 10 minutes. Ladle the chili into warmed bowls. Pass the sour cream, grated cheese, green onions, and cilantro at the table.

CHEF’S NOTE: Any of the pinto beans will work nicely in this chili, as will Vallarta, yellow Indian woman, or black beans.

Pork Chops with Apples

Lucinda Scala Quinn’s homey pork chops with apples and cider are sure to become a family favorite. The perfect recipe to celebrate the apple harvest!

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Ingredients

Serves 6

6 Berkshire Pork Milanese chops
Salt and coarsely-ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large white onion, sliced
2-3 apples, cored and sliced (about 3 cups)
1 cup apple cider, white wine, or chicken stock

Preparation

1. Trim the chops of excess fat and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a 14-inch cast-iron skillet (if you have a smaller one, you’ll need to work in batches) over high heat, and then swirl in the olive oil. Lay the pork chops in the pan and don’t move for a few minutes. This assures a good golden sear. Turn the chops over and brown well on the second side for a total of about 10 minutes. Remove the chops to a warm plate.

2. Swirl the butter into the pan. Add the onion and apples. Sauté until the onion slices are lightly caramelized and the apples have begun to soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in the beer or other liquid. Return the chops to the pan.

3. Cook until the pork is tender, about 15 more minutes (depending on the size of the chops), turning halfway through and covering the chops with the apple mixture. If the apple mixture needs a little thickening, remove the chops to the warm plate again and simmer the mixture on high for a few minutes to reduce. Serve the chops over rice or mashed potatoes with a large spoonful of the apple-onion mixture over the top.

Potato Latkes with Foie Gras & Apples

There is no reason to wait for Hanukkah to make these golden potato pancakes. After all, it’s National Apple Month. First the pancakes are crisped in duck fat and then crowned with silky foie gras and tart apple.

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 Ingredients

Serves 6

2 medium Granny Smith or other tart green apples, peeled, cored, and cut crosswise in 1/8-inch slices (reserve trimmings)
2/3 cup simple syrup
1¼ cups duck and veal demi-glace
2 medium-large baking potatoes (about 1¼ pounds), peeled
1 small onion
1 small golden delicious or other sweet apple, peeled
1 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
1 egg, beaten
6 or more tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
1 duck fat
6 foie gras slices

Preparation

1. Combine sliced apples with simple syrup in a bowl and soak for 8 hours or overnight.

2. Add apple trimmings to demi-glace, bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and keep warm.

3. Grate potatoes, red apple, and onion. Gently stir in parsley, egg, and flour, and season with salt and pepper. Heat enough duck fat to measure about ½ inches deep in a large heavy skillet. Form mixture into 12 pancakes. If too moist, add a little more flour. When fat is hot, about 375 degrees F, add only as many pancakes as will comfortably fit in pan without crowding, flattening them slightly. Cook until browned and crispy on both sides, turning once. Remove with a slotted spatula, blot on paper towels, and keep warm in a warm oven.Discard fat and wipe out pan.

4. Heat pan until very hot. Season foie gras with salt and pepper, and sauté until lightly browned and medium-rare inside, about 45 seconds per side.

5. On warm plates, place a potato pancake, then add an apple slice and a foie gras medallion on top. Spoon on sauce, and serve.

 

 

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.

The Duck Press: A French Classic

In the history of world cuisine, French chefs have been accused of being many things, but rarely ever “shy.” The French tradition holds dear the notion of not only using every part of an animal, leaving nothing edible to waste, but also of celebrating certain dishes that that often make more squeamish diners fold their napkins away and politely excuse themselves from the table.

There’s foie gras, of course, the production of which is abhorred by many and cherished by many more (us included, obviously). And then we have the ortolan, a small songbird that, due to the traditional preparation — it is gorged on grains, drowned in Armagnac and then roasted, served, and consumed in a single mouthful– has become illegal in France, although many intrepid diners continue to find gastronomic speakeasies that continue to serve it.

But one of our absolute favorite dishes — and kitchen implements — is the much lauded and feared duck press. Considered by many to be the most spectacular entree in classical French cuisine, the duck press is a device and method of preparation that was invented by a man named Machenet in Paris at the dawn of the 19th century, quickly becoming popular among the culinarily elite. The contraption, and its corresponding dish, canard à la rouennaise (or, “duck in blood sauce”) was later adopted by Chef Frèdèric of the restaurant La Tour d’ Argent (or “Silver Tower”), making it his restaurant’s signature dish, which they continue to serve today.

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La Tour d’Argent issues a card with the number of your pressed duck, in sequence from the very first duck they every pressed.

So, what is this infamous dish often labeled as barbaric and macabre? It begins simply, with one of our favorite things in the world: a roasted duck. The whole duck — and this includes all of the internal organs, particularly the heart and lungs of the beast, though the liver is removed and reserved — is seasoned, the skin lightly scored, and then roasted. Some chefs, including Daniel Boulud, opt to marinate the duck for up to two days before roasting quickly over very high heat, until the duck is appropriately rare. The beautifully roasted bird is carried by the chef to the diners’ table, where the rest of the elaborate process continues in full view of the restaurant’s guests. The duck’s magret (breasts) and legs are removed and reserved, and the chef uses poultry shears to cut the remaining carcass in half lengthwise.Duck Press 2

Now comes the fun part.

The chef packs the roasted carcass and internal organs into the duck press, a large, squat, menacing piece of kitchen machinery, usually made from a heavy metal such as brass, with a large crank, a wheel, and four legs that are sometimes, in a delightfully morbid fashion, made to look like duck feet. Many people like to compare the object to a medieval torture device, and, if you get a chance to see one, you’d be hard “pressed” do disagree. The increasing pressure of the crank plate compacts the bird until its bones are pulverized, the organs liquified, and the carcass blood juices out of the animal, all of which sluice through a small spout in the duck press and are collected in a pan, then strained through a fine chinois.

Duck press spigot

The chef then thickens the mixture with the pureed duck liver, adds Cognac and red wine, and reduces it carefully until it achieves a deep burgundy, almost black color. Diners are then treated to thin slices of the duck breast in the exquisite blood sauce, followed by a second course of roasted duck legs and thighs.

You'll never guess what's being pressed!

Ariane and Chef David Burke press a Bloody Mary.

Duck presses aren’t easy or inexpensive to come by these days, though our friends Chef David Burke and Chef Daniel Boulud both use them. While pressed duck isn’t nearly as popular as it was in nineteenth-century Paris, the tradition of the duck press — whether or not you consider it macabre or sublime — continues. And for that, we are most certainly thankful.

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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.)

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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!

Surprise Sale on FOIE GRAS!

Just for you – to banish winter’s remaining gloom – a 50% off sale on small foie gras torchon!

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