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Posts tagged ‘Cooking’

Meat and Fruit: Made for Each Other

You may not automatically consider meat and fruit to be perfect flavor companions. But think of classic dishes like lemon-pepper chicken, duck à l’orange, turkey with cranberry sauce, and pork with apples. These familiar meat-and-fruit pairings are just the tip of the culinary iceberg.

Read on to see how fruit can make a magical accompaniment for meat – from game to poultry and everyday favorites like pork. Summer is the right time to pick up seasonal fruit at the farmer’s market and pair it with meat.

french ham & pear recipes preview

French Ham & Pear Crostini with Truffle Honey – recipe at dartagnan.com

Here are some guidelines for creating tasty meat and fruit combinations:

  • VENISON:  a good match for apples, cherries, raspberries, cranberries, citrus fruits, peaches, pears, raisins, pomegranates, and dates.
  • RABBIT: the subtle flavor is enhanced by apples, currants, citrus fruits, plums, and prunes.
  • LAMB: stands up to both fresh and dried fruits with bold flavors, like apricots, cranberries, dates, figs, pomegranates, prunes, and raisins.
  • CHICKEN: plays well with others, including fruits like apples, apricots, cranberries, currants, grapes, citrus fruits, mangoes, peaches, pears, and raisins.
  • SQUAB: often paired with cherries, figs, lemons, pears, and prunes, or fig balsamic vinegar.
  • DUCK: made to pair with fruits. Go wild: try blueberries, cherries, cranberries, apricots, currants, dates, figs, citrus fruits, mangoes, peaches, pears, pomegranates, prunes, or grapes.
  • PORK: friendly to fruits like apples, cranberries, currants, dried cherries, dried figs, mangoes, quince, plums, pineapple, pears, peaches, and apricots. In summer, try grilling stone fruits like peaches, and serving with grilled pork chops.
  • FOIE GRAS: an all-time fruit lover. Its buttery flavor is balanced by all kinds of fruits, like apples, apricots, cherries, cranberries, dried figs, grapes, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, papayas, peaches, pears, plums, raisins, and strawberries.
  • CHARCUTERIE: cured meats go well with fruit – try pears, apples, grapes, fresh or dried figs, apricots or cherries on your charcuterie board. Wrap jambon de Bayonne around melon in summer for a refreshing snack.
duck-breasts-with-honey-citrus-sauce

Duck Breasts with Citrus-Honey Sauce – recipe at dartagnan.com

Share your meat and fruit creations with us on social media! Tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We love to see what’s cooking.

Why Let Meat Rest?

Let it Rest!

This could be the D’Artagnan motto. Whether it’s a ribeye, skirt steak, duck breast or pork chop, all meat needs to rest after it is cooked.

Kalbi Style Grilled Buffalo Steak

Buffalo steak recipe at dartagnan.com

Cook the meat on a grill or cast iron skillet until it has reached your preferred level of doneness.

Then be patient and let the meat rest. Ten minutes on a plate, tented with foil in a warm spot does the job. But why is that rest period so darn important? Read more

How to Make Savory Crêpes

What is a crêpe? A crêpe is a very thin pancake, which is usually stuffed and folded. Commonly found throughout France, the crêpe is a classic at brunch or breakfast, but can easily serve at lunch or dinner.

Many think of crêpes as being filled with fruit and topped with chocolate sauce or whipped cream. But the best thing about crêpes is that they can be served sweet or savory. You can probably guess that we like ours savory! The combination of fillings for a savory crêpe is endless. Think of anything you would put on a sandwich or a pizza…and read on to see some of our ideas.

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Easy Recipe for Crêpes

Before you can fill them, you need to make some crêpes. Here’s the simple recipe.

Basic crêpe batter: Whisk together 2 eggs, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 1 cup sifted flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Once the mixture is smooth, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This allows the batter to thicken, which is an important step in crêpe making.

Once the batter has rested, it’s time to cook the crêpes. Heat a small non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Brush a little melted butter over the surface of the pan. Pour a small amount of batter (about 1 ounce) in the center of the pan. Quickly lift the pan and swirl to allow the batter to spread out into a circle. Cook until the edges of the crêpe look dry, about 45 seconds to a minute. Gently flip the crêpe over and cook for another 30 seconds, or until done.

The crêpe will be dry, yet pliable, but will not take on any golden brown color. Transfer to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter. Stack up the crêpes as you make them. The batter will make a number of crêpes, so it’s okay to consider the first few crêpes as practice (and samples for tasting).

Savory Fillings for Crêpes

Anything goes as a filling for a savory crêpe, so make your own delicious combinations. Here are a few crêpe ideas to get you going:

  • Try a breakfast crêpe filled with crispy bacon, shredded white cheddar cheese, and either scrambled eggs or a fried egg.
  • Fill a crêpe with long strands of thin prosciutto, blanched or steamed asparagus, and crumbled goat cheese.
  • Make a simple béchamel (white sauce) and stir in sautéed organic mushrooms. Place inside a crêpe along with leftover shredded poultry (e.g., chicken, turkey, or quail).
  • For the flavors of a classic ham and cheese sandwich, layer slices of ham, Gruyere, and a thin spread of Dijon mustard.
  • Add crisped pancetta, braised rabbit, and some fresh rosemary inside of a crêpe for a remarkable combination.
  • Fold a crêpe around duck confit (or duck rillettes) and sweet caramelized onions for an elegant lunch.
  • Create a hearty crêpe with leftover braised lamb and herb-marinated tomatoes.

The Whole Foie Gras Duck

Ariane was honored to be a guest lecturer at the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC last week. Ariane is committed to educating and supporting the next generation of chefs, and she enjoys going to culinary schools to share her experience and wisdom. This time she demonstrated breaking down a whole duck – with the foie gras inside – and talked about the uses for each part.

The beak-to-tail philosophy means that we eat the whole duck, and waste nothing. From duck breast to duck leg confit, duck pâtémousse and duck fat … we enjoy every tasty bit.  The liver may be the big prize, but every part is valued. Even the bones are used to make demi-glace.

Ariane starts with the whole duck, foie gras and all.

Ariane starts with the whole duck, foie gras and all.

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Let’s Eat … Brunch at Home

Love it or hate it, brunch is a Sunday ritual that is not going away. Late breakfast, early lunch … what better way to celebrate the leisure of a Sunday?

Check out this illustrated history of brunch … which traces brunch from a gentlemanly breakfast after the early morning hunt, to Prohibition (you knew there would be alcohol), the mainstream IHOPs with stacks of pancakes and ultimately to the gentrified neighborhoods of our cities. And the resulting brunch backlash.

No need to wait on a long line. Mix yourself a Bloody Mary, and make something for brunch at home…read on for our ideas and recipes below.

Portlandia Brunch Line

The long line for brunch.  Portlandia: Brunch Village episode.  Still via paulgerald.com.

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Top 7 Chicken Recipes You Need to Try

Tired of the same old, same old when it comes to chicken? You are not alone! Americans consume 90 pounds of chicken per capita each year, and we suspect that much of that is chicken breasts.

How to jazz up your chicken dinner? Start with quality chicken, choose whole chicken or different cuts (sorry, boneless skinless chicken breast!), and try one of these recipes.

1. Black Truffle Butter Buffalo Wings

Oh, yes we did. Take a classic dish with lots of hot sauce and add the miracle of black truffle butter, and you get our “truffalo” chicken wings recipe.  Don’t relegate chicken wings to game day – they make a perfectly good meal anytime of the year.

Truffalo Wings 5

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8 Ways to Mix Up Your Grilling Routine

Bored with the same old stuff on the grill? Mix up your grilling routine and try some of our protein alternatives to shake things up! Summer is the perfect time to upgrade your grill game and try new things.

1. Burgers

If you normally grill burgers, try… buffalo burgers. An easy switch! Try our recipe and top your buffalo burger with mushrooms.

Recipe_Mushroom_Lovers_Burger_HomeMedium

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How To Build a Better Cheeseburger

Burgers. We all love ’em, right? And with the summer season underway, we can expect to eat a lot of hamburgers.

While there’s something to be said for sticking with the classics, sometimes you feel like shaking up the burger routine. Go ahead – get adventurous! The burger makes an excellent blank canvas (try a buffalo burger for the patty). Here are some ideas for using cheese to take the great American burger from humble to haute.

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Cheese, Please!

Getting tired of that same old slice? Try using cheeses with a little panache.

  • English Stilton or Roquefort add a tangy kick.
  • Fontina, havarti and gouda are buttery, smooth and melt beautifully on burgers.
  • Craving creamy? A thick slice of pungent Taleggio, Coulommiers or triple-cream Brillat-Savarin should do the trick.
  • Creamy burrata is mild, milky and decadent on a burger.
  • Herbed chèvre adds a tart pop of flavor and pairs will with bitter greens like arugula.
  • Add crunch with a cheese crisp, or frico – Parmigiano-Reggiano, Mimolette, and manchego are all good cheeses for making frico.
Coulommiers au lait cru

Coulommiers cheese. Photo: Myrabella / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 & GFDL 

Super Frico

How to make a frico crisp: sprinkle ¼ cup of finely shredded cheese in a circle shape (the same diameter of your hamburger bun) on a non-stick baking sheet, and bake in a 375 degree F oven until the cheese melts and begins to turn golden. Let it cool and firm up for a few minutes before using. Crunch, crunch!

Make This Burger Now!

Try our recipe for wagyu and veal sliders with burrata cheese … lots of basil and a creamy aioli add flavor. This could be summer’s biggest burger hit.

Caprese burger sliders with wagyu beef, veal and burrata

Caprese burger sliders with wagyu beef, veal and burrata cheese

Shop dartagnan.com for wagyu beef, pasture-raised beef, and buffalo for your burgers this season. And check our burger recipes for more inspiration.

If you make the perfect burger be sure to share it with us on social media. Tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Top 5 Reasons to Grill with D’Artagnan

With Memorial Day kicking off the start of grill season, it’s time to start thinking about the meat you choose … because quality matters. Everything we do at D’Artagnan is based on the idea that when you raise animals well – responsibly, with room to roam, natural feed, and no antibiotics or hormones – you get tastier meat in the end.

Here are the top 5 reasons you can count on D’Artagnan for your grilling needs this season.

1. Marbling: ultra-marbled, succulent meats give you great results every time. They are less likely to dry out, which give you more wiggle room with cooking time. This is a boon for the host with perpetually late friends, or even the grilling novice. With better meat, you get better results.

Pork Chops

Look at the marbling on these Berkshire pork chops.

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The France Issue

Saveur, one of our favorite food magazines, has an entire French issue out now. Plan your trip to France, or simply armchair travel … either way, there are recipes to try!

The issue has many articles and recipes that we love. Check out the profile of the revolutionary Chef Michel Bras, written by Chef Wylie Dufresne, to find out how much this quiet bespectacled chef has contributed to the culinary world.

Michel Bras and Jean-George Vongeritchen 25th anniversary dinner_MHT4536

Chef Michel Bras talking with Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Together they cooked a course for our 25th anniversary progressive dinner. Photo Michael Harlan Turkell

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