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Posts tagged ‘party recipes’

Recipe: Black Truffle Butter Gougeres

Classic gougeres are already a cocktail hour favorite, but add our Black Truffle Butter, and they become completely irresistible.  These delectable little puffs pair equally well with champagne or cocktails, making them perfect for aperitif.  We won’t tell how easy they are to make!

Black Truffle Butter Gougeres

Ingredients
1 cup milk
1 cup water
7 tablespoons D’Artagnan Black Truffle Butter
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon D’Artagnan Black Truffle Oil
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups Gruyère cheese, finely grated
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

gougeres blog

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, add milk, water, truffle butter and salt. Bring to a boil. Add flour, all at once. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until dough comes together and creates a film on bottom and sides of the pot, 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Remove from heat. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add truffle oil. Finished dough should form peaks that droop over and be smooth and glossy.

5. Drop 1 tablespoon sized balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. (1 tbs. sized cookie scoop works well for this, or a spoon + wet fingers. Dough may also be piped with a pastry bag.) Top each gougere with a large pinch of gruyere. Season the gougeres with pepper.

6. Transfer to preheated oven and bake until puffed and golden brown, rotating pan once mid-baking, about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Featured Recipe: Blini with Caviar

Perfect for your New Year’s Eve fete, this easy recipe for blini uses all-purpose flour instead of buckwheat for a light texture and delicate flavor that lets our French caviar shine! Give it a try!

Buttery blini make a tasty cushion for our French ossetra caviar.

Buttery blini make a tasty cushion for our French ossetra caviar.

Ingredients

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, (one 1/4 ounce envelope)
1/2 cup warm water, (about 110 degrees)
1 cup all-purpose flour
Coarse sea salt or fleur de sel, to taste
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 large eggs, seperated
Crème Fraîche, for serving
D’Artagnan Farm-Raised Ossetra Caviar, for serving

Preparation

1. In a small bowl, add water and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Sift together flour and 1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt. Stir together buttermilk, butter, sugar, and egg yolks in a large bowl; whisk in yeast mixture, then flour mixture. Let stand, covered, in a warm place for 30 minutes.

2. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Let stand for 10 minutes

3. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, and coat with a thin layer of butter. Add a scant tablespoon batter for each blini and cook, flipping after bubbles appear at edges and color turns golden, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side

4. Transfer to a lined sheet tray and allow to cool.

5. Garnish with a small dollop of crème fraîche, then top with a spoon of D’Artagnan ossetra caviar. Serve immediately.

Now is the time for a backyard Garden Party

To some, the term “garden party” conjures images of a haughty affair – one where well-heeled, seersucker-clad guests meander through a topiary labyrinth or a gaggle of biddies nibble crustless sandwiches under a canopy of tea roses. Too stiff? Too stuffy? Not for you? Don’t give up on a garden party! It doesn’t have to be a stodgy soiree. A modern garden party is any convivial gathering, formal or casual, where guests enjoy food and drink in a garden setting. So throw out your assumptions, bend the rules and kick up your heels on your own patch of lawn for a modern day garden party that’s fun for all.

The Setting
While often thought of as a prestigious event, today’s garden party doesn’t have to be stuffy, starched affair. Garden parties certainly didn’t start out that way. Rooted in 16th century Europe, garden parties were a way for fashionable families to receive guests at their weekend country estates without strict formality. Softly lit with lanterns at dusk, a country garden provided a lush, magical setting for an intimate dinner. Marie Antoinette famously fêted her closest companions at the Petit Trianon in this very way.

Even if your garden is less than palatial, you can riff off the Renaissance in your garden party setting. Whether your garden is a modest suburban backyard, cottage potager, rolling country hills, or a big-city rooftop, make the most of the outdoor setting by adding a few special touches. For example, bring the indoors out – a long communal table flanked by pillowed benches makes comfortable, casual seating while white linens and twinkling lanterns turn on the charm. Mixed china, unfussy flatware and footed glasses create inviting settings with sparkling tea lights and loosely arranged bouquets of your favorite flowers as festive accents.

Food & Drink
There are three ways to approach food for a garden party. You can serve an assortment of finger foods and hors d’oeuvre, have a sit-down coursed meal, or a combination of the two. Whichever you decide, the following loose guidelines will take some stress out of preparation.

The majority of food served should be able to be made (at least partially) ahead of time. A garden party is all about mingling, playing games and enjoying the outdoor scenery not slaving away at a hot range or standing over a smoky grill.

All dishes you choose should be able to be served just warm, at ambient temperature or chilled. This helps to ensure the laid-back feeling of a garden party. Guests can graze at will and this is especially helpful if you’re hosting a lot of people – the first guest’s food will be at correct eating temperature even after the last guest is served.

The current season should be taken into consideration when deciding what to serve. Since you’ll be outside, keep the climate in mind. You’d never serve a heavy meat braise in peak summer heat or a cold fruit soup in fall when the air is crisp. Highlight your garden’s seasonality with ingredients appropriate to the setting. For example, in spring feature early vegetables, mushrooms and spring meats like lamb or rabbit, in summer serve dishes starring sun-loving fruits like peaches, melon or berries and in the fall try slightly richer dishes made with cream or cheese, root vegetables and game meats. (Speaking of seasonality, if you grow your own vegetables, a garden party is a wonderful way to share your harvest with family and friends. You may even get some help weeding and watering out of it.)

If hosting a party and only serving small plates and finger foods, start with a few larger shared plates as your foundation such as a cheese plate, charcuterie tray or crudités. Lay out small bowls of shared snacks, like olives, black truffle popcorn or spiced nuts. Then build your menu out from there, adding as many dishes as you like based on number of guests. A good rule of thumb for small hors d’oeuvre is 6-8 pieces per person, per hour.

Your hors d’oeuvre should also vary by texture and taste so you’re sure to have something for everyone. Mix and match compatible dishes with different qualities like salty, crunchy, creamy, spiced, sweet, earthy, delicate and/or chilled. For example…

salty = Cheese Gougeres, Bacon Wrapped Figs, Caviar Blinis with Crème Fraiche

crunchy = Fava Bean Bruschetta, Crostini with Tapenade, Lotus Chips with Spicy Mayonnaise

creamy = Duck Rillettes with Prunes, Foie Gras Mousse, Brandade stuffed Piquillo Peppers

spiced = Roasted Five-Spice Chickpeas, Garlic Sausage en Croute, Pan-Fried Chorizo

sweet = Summer Melon with Jambon de Bayonne, Baked Brie with Honey & Candied Walnuts

earthy = Mushroom Vol au Vents, White Truffle Robiola Flatbread, Wagyu Beef Negimaki

delicate = Vegetable Summer Rolls, Oysters with Mignonette, Potato Pancake with Gravlax & Dill

chilled = Summer Melon with Jambon de Bayonne, Chilled Mussels with Saffron Aioli, Venison Carpaccio with Baby Herb-Salad

Fun & Games
Garden parties can be fun! In the warmer months, offer old-fashioned lawn games like croquet or horseshoes. Or clear a spot for our favorite French game – Pétanque. Don’t forget your garden party playlist. Choose music that adds to the festive ambiance but doesn’t overwhelm your guests (or your neighbors!). Finally, take lots of photos. The relaxed, convivial garden party atmosphere allows guests to be themselves and loosen up for the camera.