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Posts tagged ‘holiday’

It’s Bastille Day!

Happy Bastille Day! Bonne fête! Joyeux Quatorze Juillet! 

What is the holiday all about? It commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14 during the bloody revolution of 1789 – the one where all the aristocrats lost their heads.

Get the history here – and see how the French celebrate their day of independence.

At D’Artagnan, Bastille Day means pétanque, Pastis and lamb merguez sausage. Read on to see how Ariane celebrates Bastille Day.

A French classic: lamb merguez sausage dressed with mustard

A French classic: lamb merguez sausage dressed with mustard

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Happy Mother’s Day!

There’s an old saying – when you want something done, ask a busy mother.

Ariane Daguin founded D’Artagnan in 1985, and treated it like her own child. Along the way, she became a mother. Her daughter Alix grew up at D’Artagnan – offering extra hands in the office and at our events; learning, playing, staying up too late, and eating a lot of good food. Their mother-daughter relationship is part of D’Artagnan history.

D’Artagnan is often called a woman-owned company, but it’s also a mother-owned company.

While building her business, Ariane nurtured her staff, her chef friends, and a whole community of food lovers – along with her daughter. Somehow, she managed to do it all. Because that’s what mothers do.

Today we thank and honor all mothers for working hard, with love in their hearts. For holding our hands and encouraging us. For always being there. We are inspired by each of you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Ariane & Alix

Ariane and Alix in the early days of D’Artagnan

6 Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

Are you doing brunch for Mother’s Day? Mix up a Mimosa, Bloody Mary, or maybe pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly… this brunch is about to get interesting.

If you are cooking at home for the mom in your life (or moms – hey, multi-generational brunch sounds great!), try one of our exclusive recipes. Developed and tested by our expert staff, these recipes include the sweet and the savory, so there’s something for every taste. You could call it the recipe for a memorable Mother’s Day brunch.

1. Dutch Baby Pancake with Candied Bacon

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The Dutch baby is having a moment right now. Part pancake, part custard, part soufflé, and totally delicious, the Dutch baby is simple and fun to make. Which is why it’s the perfect choice for Mother’s Day brunch. Our recipe has candied bacon, because, well … we love bacon. This bacon-rich Dutch baby is what brunch dreams are made of. Best part? It’s ridiculously easy to make and comes together quickly. Mom will be impressed. Read more

Top 5 Recipes for Baking with Black Truffle Butter

Everyone likes baking with butter, but when you have truffle butter in the fridge, you can take it to a whole new level. Why? Well, truffles are one of the supreme luxuries in nature and the kitchen. Earthy and intoxicating, their distinctive fragrance has inspired culinary brilliance for centuries. D’Artagnan truffle butter captures the essence of the truffle, and makes it an affordable luxury that you can enjoy year-round. Our beautifully-balanced black truffle butter is made with real truffle bits and will change the way you cook…and bake.

Read on for inspiration …  and click the titles to get the recipes.

Black Truffle Parker House Rolls

Soft, squishy, golden yeast rolls are a holiday favorite but when our black truffle butter is baked right into the dough, they’re downright irresistible. But why wait for a holiday to make these tasty rolls? Dinner just got a whole lot more interesting.

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Passover Meal Ideas

Every spring, Jewish families around the world come together to tell each other a hallowed story of slavery and redemption, to remind themselves why “this night is different than all other nights,” and to partake in a holiday that’s existed, relatively unchanged, for thousands of years.

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There’s much to love about Pesach, as it is called in Hebrew: the gathering of family and friends, the beauty of the prayers and songs, the crazed fervor with which children scour the house looking for the afikomen, the pillow you get to recline upon, as well as the four whole cups of wine one is commanded by the almighty to consume throughout the evening. But the best part – at least for the food obsessed, like us – is that the core of Passover is a huge meal, one of personal and religious significance. Every seder guest knows to expect the basics: a fruity, nutty charoset, parsley, horseradish, and the like. But that’s not to say that your seder has to be ordinary. If you’re looking to make your big Passover dinner a little different, while still maintaining the spiritual and traditional significance of the seder, here are a few ideas.

Matzohs Passover

Chopped Liver

To us, no real Jewish meal would be complete without “Grandma’s chopped liver.” Especially a Passover dinner. That said, we know one way to take your chopped liver to the next level: instead of the traditional chicken livers, go for duck livers instead. Like all things duck, they have a distinctive, dark richness to them that is incomparable, and you don’t need to change your recipe at all. For added flavor, forego the standard vegetable oil when sautéing the onions and livers for – you guessed it – duck fat, and add a tablespoon of kosher wine (port, if you can find it) right at the end. Cool, and serve atop matzoh for a decadent Passover treat.

Quail

If you’re not up on your five books of Moses, you might have missed the fact that quails play an integral part in the Exodus saga. Many remember that, when the Israelites were wandering the desert, God fed them with food from the sky, particularly “manna.” He also literally showered them with quail. So, in effect, quail is something of a divine bird, and what better time to enjoy it than at Passover? Try stuffing some whole quail with charoset before you roast them, or topping the cooked birds with a reduction of wine and honeyed dates. Your guests will be happy you did! Also, to keep things interesting, feel free to place a quail egg on your seder plate instead of a traditional chicken’s egg for a bit more Exodus verisimilitude.

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Capon

Should you be on the hunt for Passover poultry and quail is not your style, a capon makes a wonderful, festive roast. Not sure what a capon is? Back in the day when chicken was considered more of a dish for plebs and peasants, smart cooks realized that castrating a rooster would cause it to almost double in size, a dish fit for lords and ladies. Bigger than a hen but smaller than a turkey, and possessed of a deeper, more robust flavor than your standard chicken, capon is perfect for the seder table. And speaking of chickens, it would of course behoove you to roast a couple of those in the week or two before the big night, making sure to reserve the bones for stock. Would any seder be complete without a hot bowl of matzoh ball soup?

“Chad Gadya” (A little goat)

A favorite Passover song for many families is “Chad Gadya,” a story about “a little goat that my father bought with two zuzim.” The tale spirals almost out of control, ending with the Angel of Death smiting a poor butcher (obviously a song of Eastern European origin), but it also reminds us that goat was for centuries a traditional Jewish dish. For the seder, a goat roast makes an outstanding main course. Does someone in your family have an excellent brisket recipe? Well, that same recipe will undoubtedly work perfectly with a large roast of young goat, whether or not you purchased it for two zuzim.

Brisket

An obvious choice for a celebratory meal, brisket is easy to braise and keep warm for serving. This is especially important for the cook to consider, as the seder can go on for hours before the dinner course begins. The tradition is to stretch the telling of the Passover story long into the night, but with brisket there is no need to worry about drying out or overcooking the meat.

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Lamb

How can we forget the paschal lamb, the symbol of springtime, renewal and freedom? If it’s on our plates, we certainly won’t. If you’re looking for a great main course for your seder (and you decided not to go with goat), lamb is the perfect choice. Whether rubbed with olive oil and herbs and baked, slow-roasted or smoked, and whether you choose roasts, racks, or a whole leg seasoned with plenty of rosemary, the smell of lamb cooking in your kitchen is undoubtedly the smell of Passover. We have some excellent ideas for lamb dishes here. And, naturally, don’t forget your roasted shank; some lucky seder guest (or perhaps the cook?) might get some excellent marrow out of that lamb bone!

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Top 5 Easter Side Dishes

At Easter you may serve tender spring vegetables like peas and asparagus. But there is a long-standing tradition of breaking the Lenten fast with rich, creamy dishes and generous amounts of meat, assuming that you have deprived yourself for 40 days. Since we love a hearty side dish, we collected some of our favorites that pair well with ham or lamb. And there are plenty of potatoes. Always potatoes… truffle-butter-pommes-anna-recipe

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Top 6 Easter Appetizer Recipes

How about a nibble to start the Easter meal? From the simple to the sublime, there’s a little something for everyone here. Small bites, big flavors. Click through to see the recipes.

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1. Tiny quail eggs may take extra time to peel, but they are so cute – and delicious – that it’s worth the effort. Make a big batch of these Scotch eggs, because they are all too easy to eat! With wild boar sausage inside the golden crust they may also serve as a conversation starter.

french ham & pear recipes preview

2.  The combination of dry-cured ham and fruit is a perennial favorite. In this case, we used pears, and a bit of fresh ricotta; truffle butter on the crostini brings in a tasty new element. The truffle honey is optional, but we highly recommend it.  Just keep this recipe in your back pocket for parties.

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3. Speaking of truffle butter, this recipe for gougeres is going to change your game. Brunch, cocktail parties, holiday gatherings … they all benefit from the perfection of these mouthfuls of airy dough and cheese. They seem so right for the Easter meal, whether it’s a brunch or a feast.

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4. It’s Easter, so everyone expects eggs. Do the grown-up thing and devil some quail eggs and top them with bacon.  Everyone will thank you.

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5. Mushrooms and crème fraîche fill these phyllo triangles with flavor. Yes, we brushed them with truffle butter. Because we can … and so can you!

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6. One last honorable mention, also involving puff pastry, mushrooms and a hint of cream: the vol-au-vent.  This classic hors d’oeuvre makes a lovely presentation, and can be passed or served at dinner, or brunch.

Time to Pre-Order Your Turkey!

Every year we get a limited number of turkeys. It’s just part of doing business with small farms. That’s why we encourage you to pre-order soon, to ensure best selection. We say pre-order because we won’t start shipping until just before Thanksgiving – on Friday Nov. 20th to be precise.

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We offer organic turkeys in a wide range of sizes. This organic bird has been described as the “best turkey ever” by many of our customers. Once you go organic, you can never go back to commodity turkey again. You can learn more about these turkeys and pre-order here.

A very fine bird is the heritage turkey. This one is not available in large sizes, because the old breeds just can’t grow that big.  Heritage breed turkeys have deeper flavor and darker meat; they taste like turkey used to. And if you are feeding a crowd that likes white breast meat,  you may want  to supplement with a turkey breast. The heritage breeds just don’t boast as large a breast as the modern broad-breasted white turkeys. Please note that we have even fewer of these rare birds. Learn more about how they are raised and reserve yours today.

And for the adventurous eater, we offer wild turkey.  These are turkeys in their natural state – the largest size is only ten pounds. They do not feature a prominent breast. It will be a very authentic Thanksgiving with one of these birds on the table.

For those who don’t want turkey at all, we also offer capons and geese. These birds are more traditional in Europe and are ideal for smaller groups.

Questions?

Read our guide on roasting your big bird for the holiday.

Check our recipes for the holiday table.

 

 

New Year’s Eve Party

We think every party needs a charcuterie board on the table. With that strong beginning, you can serve all manner of tasty nibbles and host a New Year’s Eve party that everyone will talk about well into next year.

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If you take our suggestion and serve charcuterie – duck rillettes, pâté, saucisson sec – these quick pickled mushrooms will complement the rich flavors and textures nicely.

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Our chorizo croquettes are served with smoky paprika sauce and make a fabulous finger food for a New Year’s Eve party.

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Get the best puff pastry you can find for these mushroom vol-au-vents. And let the vegetarians know that you will have tasty options for them.

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New Year’s Eve calls for the fancy stuff. Our caviar pairs well with baby red potatoes and crème fraiche in this simple –  yet elegant – recipe.

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These dainty deviled quail eggs with porcini and parmesan  will be a hit. Set them in a drift of parmesan cheese and watch them vanish fast.

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And after the revelry is done, and you are looking for a fortifying New Year’s Day brunch, look to our recipes for inspiration. Because bacon helps make everything better. Your resolutions actually begin January 2.

 

Ham for the Holidays

Our heritage ham is featured in the December issue of Bon Appetit magazine … and they did a beautiful job with it. Check out their video with editor Adam Rappaport extolling the virtues of the ham for a holiday party. We get a little choked up watching the video. Our ham looks so good. And it’s bringing people together, with forks and knives at the ready.

Bon Appetit Ham 2 Pages

Let’s have a close-up, shall we? Just look at that gorgeous glaze and crispy skin. There’s nothing to it, as the video proves. And we have two simple recipes for the glaze. But don’t be afraid to improvise.

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You can get one of these glorious 12- to 14-lb pieces of porcine heaven at dartagnan.com.  Already have a plan for your Christmas meal? Well, maybe a ham would liven up your New Year’s Eve party!