Anyone that knows me, knows that I favor the classics in food , fashion, and life. Pates and Terrines have always fascinated me as they are classic, complex, yet easy dishes that conjure up grandeur, elegance and rusticity at the same time. A terrine is a time honored way to utilize offal and ground meats, usually pork based and bake into a rich flavored loaf. You can get fancy and layered with them or just really basic. I love them for Holidays, entertaining, and picnics. I had the heart and liver of the lamb we purchased and in true nose to tail fashion, wanted to use them, as opposed to discarding them. I knew they would go into a lovely simplistic terrine. Continue reading “Lamb Terrine”
I love the concept of serving a soup in a demitasse. It whets the appetite just enough for the next course. I worked in a place known for luxury that served every patron a small demitasse of chicken consommé. Perfect for the ladies that lunched, or just a soothing balm on a cold rainy day. When you start think of your Easter brunch ideas, dust off the collection of demitasse and fine tea cups you hardly use, and greet your guests with an elegant cup of soup to offer a warm welcome.
I had some artichokes that were screaming to be used in my vegetable bin after serving as models for an illustration. If you don’t have raw artichokes you can use canned bottoms or hearts. It will easier, but I love the process involved in this soup with roasting and coaxing the flavors. Don’t be afraid of the process in the kitchen. It can be very Zen . Use the recipe as inspiration and enjoy. I hope you enjoyed the featured illustration. Its one of many food illustrations I’m working on for Coco Collection and a book project.
- 2 whole raw leeks
- 2 whole raw artichokes
- 1 large leek
- 1 head of garlic
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 large russet potato
- ½ cup heavy cream
- pink peppercorns crushed for garnish
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- > and black pepper
- Break down the artichokes but slicing off tops and stems.
- Trim to get to the center. Halve and remove any fuzzy center( the choke)
- above the stem and purple leaves if any. You want the
- tender heart of the artichoke.
- Soak in cold water with half a
- lemon to prevent discoloration and browning.
- Slice entire leek ( white and green part) and soak I cold water to remove
- dirt and grit.
- In a roasting pan toss the artichokes and
- leeks with olive oil and the remaining half of lemon juice.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Slice tip of garlic fist and drizzle with olive oil.
- Wrap in foil and roast with the other veggies.
- Roast on high at 450FPeel and boil the russet
- When deeply browned, remove vegetable and start
- pureeing with the chicken stock.
- Squeeze the garlic out of its papery skin and pulse with the other vegetables.
- Peel the skins off boiled potato.
- Add the potato to the blender for puree.
- Now take a strainer and strain the fibrous soup
- through a fine mesh strainer , forcing the liquid out with a
- stirring motion, with a pot or bowl underneath.
- You can use a food mill too.
- Once all strained, transfer the soup into a clean pot.
- Simmer on low.
- Add heavy cream.
- Reheat gently.
- Garnish with pink peppercorns and a bit of minced chives if you have some.
Looking for a tasty crowd pleasing treat for Game Day? These Old El Paso Deep Fried Quesadilla’s and Salsa treats will be be welcome treat. I confess, I’m not a huge sports fan, but I always make sure Certain Someone and any guests we may have lack for nothing in the food and drink categories. Using some Old El Paso ingredients, I created this appetizer of a quesadilla’s that’s amplified by frying .
This recipe has just a few uncomplicated steps with a little going a long way.
- 1 package of 10 Old El Paso Soft Tortillas
- 8-9 oz of grated Queso Chihuhua or any Mexican Style Melting Cheese
- 1 12 oz jar Old El Paso Sliced Jalapeño Peppers
- 2-3 eggs beaten
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 6 oz Panko style bread crumbs
- Canola Oil for deep frying
- Kosher Salt
- 1 16 oz jar of Old El Paso Thick and Chunky Salsa
- Assemble 5 tortillas with the grated cheese and a minimum of 4 jalapenos on each one. Do not over stuff with cheese, but have enough.
- Top each with other tortilla and prepare to grill on a dry skillet, indoor grill or Panini maker.
- Grill each quesadilla lightly until cheese has melted and fused the tortillas, but not very crispy. The grilling time should be a little less than how you would normally grill a quesadilla.
- Remove and continue until all 5 are grilled.
- Let cool.
- Using a sharp knife cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges and set aside. You should have 40 wedges.
- Preheat deep fryer or frying pan with oil to 350-370 °
- In a small bowl beat the eggs and milk together.
- Dip a few wedges at a time into the beaten egg mixture. Coat both sides.
- Take the egg covered wedge and then dredge through Panko Crumbs making sure it’s evenly coated. If you want it extra crunchy, repeat the process and double dip.
- Deep fry a few at a time in small batches until deep golden and slightly puffed.
- Drain on paper towel lined tray and sprinkle with salt.
- Keep warm in warming oven at 200 ° until ready to serve.
- Serve with Old El Paso Thick and Chunky Salsa as a dip.
If you want to really dress these up, serve also with guacamole and Sour Cream.
These can be made ahead in stages ( grilling and cutting), then deep fried right before serving.
Or these can make together entirely hours before, and reheated in a 375 ° oven until hot.
Please be sure to check out the Old El Paso site for more great ideas.
Disclosure: I have been compensated by General Mills to develop recipes for the Old El Paso product line. My opinions are my own.
Certain Someone and I love Oysters Rockefeller. It’s one our favorite steakhouse appetizers. I love the elegance and refinement of bubbly oysters baked in their shells on a salt bed with spinach, a splash of Pernod, butter, cheese and garlic. The origins of the original dish are clouded in a veil of secrecy. It was created at the famous Antoine’s in New Orleans and named in honor of the richest man in land, John D Rockefeller because the secret ingredients were so rich. Many have tried to replicate it, but no one has, as the original recipe is a secret. Some say there is no spinach, while others say watercress and spinach. All we do know is the sauce is a blend of green produce and the chefs at Antoine’s insist there is no spinach. Most versions I have sampled have spinach and it works all right for me and is easily attainable for the average home cook. One day I hope to have the real deal.`An anise flavored spirit like Pernod is optional, but I would highly urge you to use , as it pairs wonderfully with shellfish.
Oysters Rockefeller has always been a special treat when dining out, or for a special occasion, like the holidays. Here I take a classic variation of Oysters Rockefeller and take out the fuss of shucking and shells, by using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls as a bed for luscious oysters and tasty stuffing. This will make a wonderful addition to holiday table.
- 1 package Pillsbury® Crescent Butterflake 8ct
- 4 tablespoons butter salted
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3/ 4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
- ¾ cup fresh spinach
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
- ⅛ teaspoon celery seeds
- Kosher Salt to taste
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan plus an additional ¼ for topping
- ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon Pernod
- 1 small approximately 8 oz jar of fresh shucked pasteurized oysters
- Non stick spray
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the minced shallots, garlic and soften for 1 minute.
- Add the chopped parsley, spinach, kosher salt, pepper, fennel seed, and celery seed. Cook and stir until spinach and parsley have just wilted. This will take only about 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook.
- Remove from heat.
- In a glass bowl, add the spinach mixture, ¼ of the parmesan cheese, Pernod, and the Panko bread crumbs.
- Pulse until smooth with an immersion blender. You may also use a food processor with this process.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Set aside.
- On a clean surface, unroll crescent rolls.
- Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non stick spray.
- Using two serving spoons take a triangle of dough and fold to fit into spoon curve. Add some parmesan on both sides and press spoons together to form.
- With each dough shell pressed and molded, lay at an angel in the muffin tin. You can continue to press edges together with fingers. This is your crescent dough shell.
- Add a oyster to each “crescent dough shell”.
- Add a generous spoonful of spinach mixture to each oyster on crescent dough shell.
- Top with more shredded parmesan cheese.
- Place in oven and reduce heat to 375 F after 2 minutes.
- Bake for 8 minutes until the dough is very golden and the oysters start to bubble.
- Remove from oven.
- Carefully remove each Crescent Rockefeller from muffin tin and place on a baking sheet with lined with parchment or a silpat.
- Place back in oven for an additional few minutes to crisp up the edges and underside of the dough base.
- Serve with lemon wedges immediately.
Pernod is traditional is Oysters Rockefeller and works well with oysters. It can be omitted, but will alter the traditional taste. Other anise flavored spirits can used as an substitution.
*I have a received compensation from General Mills and my opinions are my own.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and holiday planning is in overdrive. I was commissioned by Pillsbury to come up with some food ideas for the classic Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. I remember loving these as child. They are a great medium as short cut if you are really not baking inclined.