It was wonderful to hear from you and know that not only are you reading my posts but are actually interested in making some of my entries. Amazing! I love it! Thank You! This will keep me working on finding even more amazing food to make and share. Here we go!
Frisee Salad with Raisins, Pistachios and Roasted Apples served with a Sweet Cider Vinaigrette and Chevre Rounds.- A lovely, crisp and sweet beginning to any meal....
1 Frisee lettuce (or your choice), washed and separated
1/2 red onion, cut in very fine slivers
1/4 cup raisins (any color or nut you like)
1/4 cup pistachios, peeled and chopped rough
2 apples, Granny Smith, peeled, cored and cut in thin slices
3-4 slices of bacon, cooked and crispy, cut in small pieces
1/4-1/2 Blue cheese or other cheese crumbles you like
1 1/2-2 cups Sweet Cider, any kind but make it filtered
1 tbl Dijon or dark brown mustard
1/4-1/2 cups oil, preferably light oil like vegetable or canola
1 tbl water
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbl honey
Once you've got your apples sliced and ready, in a hot pan with a very little oil (just to keep it from sticking) or maybe some PAM, put the apple slices and cook them until they are browned, turn and do both sides. You could also split the apples in half and roast in the oven.
In a small sauce pan, place the cider and bring it to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and allow to reduce until you have about 1 cup left. Once this is done, allow it cool either at room temperature or by placing it in the fridge for a little while. Once it's cool and you're ready to put your salad together, put the cider in a bowl, add the honey, mustard, water, salt and pepper and whisk it to combine well. Begin adding the oil in a small stream while whisking all the while and keeping an eye for it to emulsify, you just want it to come together, then stop. You might use less or more oil, keep an eye on it. Taste the dressing and adjust seasonings.
In a larger bowl put your greens, onions, raisins, nuts and combine well. Place on your salad plates and arrange the apples and bacon on top and pour some dressing on it. Top with the cheese crumbles. Serve.
Lamb Navarin with a Cabernet Sauvignon Tomato Sauce
and Roasted Tourned Vegetables.- A flavorful stew type dish that can be both healthy and satisfying....
2 tbl oil
1 1/2 lbs lamb shoulder, cut into med. cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 med carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 med carrot, chopped in rounds
1 med yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbl flour
1 tbl tomato paste
1 cup good red wine, your choice (optional)
4 med turnips, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
4 med potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
3 tbl butter
2 tsp sugar
12 pearl onions, peeled (optional)
1/3 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1-2 tbl flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine , for garnish
Heat oven to 350F. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over med-high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add lamb and cook, turning once, until browned, 8–10 min. Transfer lamb to a plate; set aside. Add the 1 carrot in rounds and yellow onions and cook, stirring until vegetables are soft and brown, about 10 min. Add garlic, flour, and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until tomato paste begins to brown, about 2 min. Add in 5 cups water, the wine and the lamb. If you're not adding wine then add 6 cups of water. Cover, bring to a boil, and put in the oven. Cook until lamb is tender, about 50-60 min.
Transfer lamb to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm, without liquid. Strain the liquid into a saucepan and discard solids. Bring liquid to a boil over med-high heat, skimming surface really well and cook until this is reduced down to 2 1/2 cups, about 25 min. Reserve.
Meanwhile, using a paring knife, trim each piece of the remaining carrots (the 4 in 2 inch pieces), as well as the turnips and potatoes, into tourne's (or cut them into a large dice). Set potatoes aside in a bowl of water. Heat a large skillet over med-high heat and add carrots, butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water. Partially cover and cook for 10 min. Add turnips and pearl onions, partially cover, and continue cooking until liquid has evaporated and vegetables are tender, about 10 more min. Uncover and continue to cook, swirling skillet, until vegetables are golden brown, about 3 min. Add 2 tbl water, swirl skillet to glaze vegetables, and remove from heat; set aside and keep warm.
To serve, put the lamb, carrots, turnips, pearl onions, potatoes, and peas into the sauce and cook until hot, about 2 min. Serve in bowls. Garnish with parsley.
NOTE: This preparation can be applied to other meats as well as you can imagine. This is a basic French procedure that can serve you well for a lifetime.
Floating Islands (Ile Flottante) or Eggs in the Snow.- (Oeufs à la Neige) "Eggs in the snow" is one of the most ingenious of classical French desserts, and one that is well known in the traditional American culinary lexicon. Doesn't matter what you call them, they are delicate, lightly sweet and cloud like.
4 cups milk
1 vanilla bean (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1 1/3 cups sugar
Bring 2 cups of the milk to a boil, then remove from heat. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise (or vanilla extract), add to milk, cover and allow steep for about 15 min with the heat off, and let rest. Separate whites and egg yolks. Set aside 4 of the egg whites and freeze the other 2 for another use. Beat yolks and slowly sprinkle in 1/3 cup of the sugar. Continue beating until thick and pale yellow in color.
Remove vanilla bean from milk (if using). Scrape seeds from bean and add to milk, discarding pod. Pour milk, in a fine stream, into egg yolks while beating them continuously. Pour mixture into another pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it forms a custard thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 20 min or so, don't rush this or the eggs will scramble. Pour custard through a strainer into a shallow serving dish in which you will serve your "islands". Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.
Beat egg whites until foamy, then add 1/3 cup of the sugar very slowly, continuing to beat until egg whites are shiny and stiff but not dry.
Put remaining 2 cups milk in a large shallow pan and bring to a low simmer. Using a large slotted spoon, form big egg shapes out of whites and poach them in the milk for 30 sec on each side. Do not overcook. Put the "eggs" on a clean towel to drain. These are the "islands".
Combine the remaining 2/3 cup sugar with 1/3 cup water in a small heavy saucepan. Cook over med-high heat until sugar caramelizes, turning amber in color. Keep and eye on it so it doesn't boil over. Remove pan from heat to prevent caramel from burning. This can happen very quickly, so it is best to take the pan from the heat just before the sugar darkens, as it will continue cooking. Cool for 5 min or until caramel forms into threads when drizzled from the tines of a fork. This is called "a continued stream".
Using a slotted spoon, carefully arrange the "eggs" on top of the custard which is in your serving dish. Dip a fork into the slightly cooled caramel—you will have to work quickly—and wave the fork over the dessert to form threads of caramel that crisscross and tangle. They will solidify over the "islands" and remain. Serve immediately.
The Bellini is a rich blend of peach purée and Prosecco, a sparkling, dry Italian wine. Named for the Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini, the Bellini was created at Harry’s Bar in Venice in 1948 by owner Giuseppe Cipriani. This classic, refreshing drink was served only in the summer months, when white peaches were available. The juice and pulp of the peaches were extracted through a sieve and blended with Prosecco. The rosy-colored elixir became a year-round drink once frozen peach purée became available.
What to buy: Frozen peach purée is difficult to find, so you may be limited to savoring a Bellini during the summer months, when fresh peaches are at their finest. Despite what others tell you, only use white peaches for a Bellini, or the color and taste will be off.
1 part fresh or frozen and thawed white or see note.
Note: You may want to make your own peach purée by passing pitted peaches through a food mill, then passing the purée through a sieve. I've used canned peaches and we've still enjoyed it, and Jumex (Mexican fruit drinks in a brick) have an unfiltered peach juice that is good too since I haven't seen white peaches in the desert NEVER!
There you go! Happy cooking everyone..... I'm right in the middle of preparing the lamb so I can put it in the pot and let it cook until it's done. Ricardo is looking forward to having one of his favorite meals and is in a jolly mood receiving phone calls from all of the kids wishing him a "Happy Birthday"..... and even though the temperature is going down and we're expecting another storm to come in (watch out Midwest and East it will be on it's way to you shortly...) its expected to be below freezing for the BIG New Year's Eve celebration on the Las Vegas Strip this year..... but maybe with all the people (they're expecting over 300,000, can you imagine?) and the drinks and the lights, they won't feel it as much..... We will be staying away from the Strip..... Talk soon!