Duck Confit Crepes
1.5 pounds cooked duck or chicken (boneless)
6 ounces chanterelle mushrooms, julienned
1 tablespoon duck or chicken fat, or butter
2 cups port wine
2 cups fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons simple syrup
2 ounces fresh basil, julienned
3/4 cup Apple-Cardamom Crème Fraiche
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the chanterelles in the duck fat until nicely browned. Add the duck to the pan and toss. Lightly season with salt and pepper. After duck has just begun to steam, toss again and let sit for 30 seconds to allow it to caramelize. Remove from the pan and set aside. While the pan is away from the flame, add the port wine and return to the stove. Bring to a simmer to deglaze and allow the alcohol to burn off. Add the simple syrup. When the edge of the pan starts to bubble, add the blackberries. Swizzle 30 seconds and turn off the heat. While it's cooling, roll the crepes with the duck and mushroom mix. To serve, drizzle crème fraiche. across the plate as wide as a pencil. Place the crepes on top and spoon the blackberry sauce across them.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 tablespoons clarified butter
Whisk together flour, salt, and eggs. Gradually whisk in milk and orange zest. Strain through a sieve and then whisk in the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let the mixture rest 30 minutes. Place a 5.5-inch nonstick pan over medium heat with a teaspoon of butter. Add one ounce of the batter and spread evenly across the pan. Cook until set and flip. The crepe will have a light brown color. Do not overcook. When finished, place on parchment paper.
Apple-Cardamom Crème Fraiche
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
4 cardamom pods
2 cups apple juice
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Combine whipping cream and buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature 8-24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well before covering. When you are ready to create the entire dish, place the apple juice, cardamom, and brown sugar in a pan and reduce over low heat until it has a syrup consistency. Allow to cool to room temperature and stir into the crème fraiche."
- from "Four Seasons of Entertaining," by Shayla Copas
Below we present a recipe for lamb stew. The recipe is from the book "Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat," written by Deborah Krasner. The book covers all kinds of meat-centric recipes (beef, rabbit, poultry, and much more). Here is the recipe for lamb stew:
"Lamb Stew with Apricots, Ginger, and Cinnamon
This stew doesn't call for browning the meat before braising it, but does require time to spice-marinate the meat, and to rehydrate the dried apricots. (On a workday, you could do this early in the morning and then cook the stew when you get home, because the spices will not break the meat down.) It's a great dish to serve with rice.
1.5 pounds pastured lamb stew meat, cut into cubes
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups boiling water
1.5 cups dried apricots
1 (10inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1.5 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
For the garnish:
Chopped fresh cilantro
Pan-toasted almonds, roughly chopped
Rinse the lamb, drain it, and pat it dry. In the bottom of a large bowl, mix the cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and chili powder together, along with a scant 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss the lamb cubes in the spice blend to coat, and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes (or overnight in the refrigerator). At the same time, pour the boiling water over the apricots in a small bowl to rehydrate them. Let sit.
When ready to cook, drain the apricots, reserving the flavorful water. Purée the apricots in a blender, adding the water gradually through the feed tube on top to make a chunky, watery slurry.
Pound the ginger and garlic into a rough paste using a mortar and pestle, or purée them in a mini processor or blender. Dissolve the saffron in a spoonful of hot water and let sit.
Using a heavy pot with a lid, such as a Dutch oven or flameproof clay casserole, heat the oil over medium-low heat, and when it has thinned and become fragrant, cook down the onions, stirring as needed, until they are soft and limp, about 5 minutes. NOTE: The level of heat is important here because you can easily cook off too much of the great spice flavors - if you smell them powerfully in the air, it's likely that there is less of their flavor in the dish!
Add the dissolved saffron, stirring well, and then immediately add the spice-covered meat. Stir to blend, taking care not to burn the spices, and add the ginger-and-garlic paste. Sprinkle with the flour and cover with the apricot slurry.
Stir, bring to a boil, and immediately turn the heat as low as possible to maintain a simmer. Cover the pot and cook gently for about 1.5 hours, or until both the meat and the fruit are very tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the stew on top of rice, garnishing each portion with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of cilantro and almonds."
- "Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat," by Deborah Krasner
1.8kg/4lb chicken, jointed (or the same weight of chicken pieces), skinned and breasts halved
3 tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
10cm/4in cinnamon stick, broken into 2 pieces
4 small onions, quartered and thinly sliced
3 fat cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped coriander (cilantro) stems
1/4 teaspoon Madras curry powder
2 teaspoons dhana jiru (page 16)
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
400g/14oz can plum tomatoes and juice, crushed
2 teaspoons tomato purée (paste)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon garam masala (page 16)
1 tablespoon chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
Served 4 with rice
Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry with kitchen paper. Set aside. Put the oil in a large pan and warm over a medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the cinnamon sticks and onions. Reduce the heat to low and slowly fry the onions until they are golden-brown, stirring frequently to prevent the onions around the edges of the pan burning.
Meanwhile, crush the garlic, ginger and salt to a paste. When the onions are golden, add the garlic-ginger paste, the coriander stems, curry powder, dhana jiru, chilli powder and turmeric and cook for 30 seconds. Then add the tomatoes and tomato purée, increase the heat and cook until the oil pools around the sides of the pan.
Add the chicken and stir around to coat the pieces. Cook like this for 5 minutes, then add approximately 570ml/1 pint/2 cups of water (enough to come halfway up the chicken). Bring to the boil and add the potatoes. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the potatoes are tender, but not breaking up. Add the garam masala and the chopped coriander, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Cook for a few minutes to meld the flavours, then serve.
An organic chicken will yield the best results; the inferior quality of the bones of a factory-farmed bird will not give the same depth and body to the finished masala."
-"Cooking with my Indian mother-in-law: Mastering the art of authentic home cooking" by Simon Daley (with Roshan Hirani)
Chicken in Lemon Sauce
chicken, including the giblets - 1, about 3 lb
leek, white part only - 1
celery leaves - a few
small piece celeriac - 1
shallots - 1-2
carrot - 1
thyme sprig - 1
bay leaf - 1
finely chopped rosemary, marjoram, basil, sage and savory - 1 pinch each
sweet white wine (sweet Graves or Barsac) - 1 bottle
salt and pepper
double (heavy) cream - 1.25 cups
egg yolks - 5-6
lemon, juice of - 1
lemons, peel and pith of - 2
sugar cubes - 4-5
asparagus tips - 14oz
pastry boats - 4
fluted lemon slices - a few
puff pastry fleurons - 4
Put the trussed chicken in a large copper saucepan with the giblets, the roughly chopped leek, celery or celeriac, shallots, carrot, thyme, bay leaf, herbs, wine, salt and a moderate amount of pepper. Bring slowly to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 1 hour or until the chicken is tender.
Pour off half of the stock and strain it through a fine sieve. Keep the chicken warm in the remaining stock in the pan.
Remove the fat from the strained stock by quickly passing a piece of paper towel over the surface. Bring the stock to the boil and cook until reduced to 120-150ml/4-5 fl oz.
Put the cream, egg yolks, reduced stock, lemon juice and a fine julienne of lemon peel in another copper saucepan and beat together.
Place the sugar in a heavy-based pan with a drop of water and heat until the sugar has caramelized, then add 15 ml/1 tbsp water to obtain a syrupy liquid. Add 30 ml/2 tbsp of this caramel to the cream, egg and lemon mixture and whisk vigorously over a high heat until it boils. Continue to whisk over a very low heat (or in a bain-marie) for about 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens. If the sauce curdles, add a little cold double (heavy) cream and whisk vigorously.
Blanch the asparagus tips in boiling water, then drain and place on an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with small pieces of butter and heat in the oven until all the moisture has evaporated.
Remove the chicken from the stock and detach its wings and legs. Wipe all the pieces with paper towels and arrange on a heated serving dish. Coat with sauce. Put some sauce in the pastry boats, then top with asparagus tips. Complete the garnish with fluted lemon slices and puff pastry fleurons."
- from "Larousse Traditional French Cooking" by Curnonsky
"Nearly everybody starts his culinary adventures with this dish. And whatever he does wrong may linger on for life. For instance, hard, dry eggs are usually preferred by the very young, and this unfortunate preference is as hard to wean people from as well-done steak. (In his eighties, my Australian father-in-law was still imploring waiters to "incinerate" his.)
First of all, be sure that the white and yolk are completely amalgamated. (I have watched lazy short-order cooks try to do this after the eggs have hit the sizzling grillplate - a hideous striped slab results.) Beat in half a teaspoon of water, milk, or cream for each egg used. Two table forks held slightly spread in one hand do the best job of preparing eggs for scrambling or omelets, because this system avoids overaerating the eggs as a wire whisk tends to. Sprinkle in salt and pepper and blend in any extra ingredient, such as cooked onions, herb, cottage cheese, chipped beef, etc. Cottage cheese may sound a bit weird but it not only lightens and extends the eggs, it really is delicious.
Put a generous amount of butter into a cold skillet (or lightly butter a nonstick pan) and set over medium heat. When the butter is hot and frothing (not browning or smoking), pour the eggs all at once into the center of the pan. Stir lazily in a circular motion with the flat of a fork until the eggs are semi-set but still moist. Serve on warm plates.
Never serve scrambled eggs - or eggs of any kind - on cold plates. In fact, never serve anything on cold plates unless the food is intended to be cold. I am a fanatic on this point and simply cannot understand people who tolerate the best prepared food slowly congealing on the plate before it reaches the table.
Until the fabled Michel Guerard came along (he introduced the French to the idea of haute cuisine diet food with Cuisine Minceur) scrambled eggs had no role in French cookery. But his invention, scrambled eggs in their shells topped with caviar, has been widely copied from Paris to L.A. The French - and English - method of scrambling eggs goes like this: Beat the eggs with their seasonings and a bit of cream. Melt a large lump of butter in the top part of a double boiler set over boiling water. Pour in the eggs and stir them constantly until they are a thick, creamy mass, not curdy as are American scrambled eggs. I don't favor this method because of the resulting texture, but even if this weren't the case, I would object to a technique that always leaves half the eggs stuck to the pot."
-"Good Cheap Food" by Miriam Ungerer
ATOMIZERS: Fill small atomizers or spray bottles with aromatic spirits to enhance your concoctions. For example, spritz the inside of a glass with absinthe before adding whiskey to create a makeshift Sazerac (see page 35), or mist a cloud of crème de violette over gin to evoke an Aviation.
BITTERS IN MINI BOTTLES: Collect and hoard these like gold; they're the fastest way to elevate on-the-go cocktails. Angostura, Hella Bitters, Scrappy's Bitters, and the Bitter Truth all make travel-friendly minis. It's worth it to spring for a travel set, since it will probably last for a long time. The three you're likely to use most often are Angostura (or another aromatic bitters), Peychaud's (which has a cherry-spice profile), and orange bitters (particularly good for martinis).
CHAMPAGNE OR OTHER SPARKLING WINE: For impromptu cocktail making, adding a splash of sparkling wine to juice or liqueur is a fast-track to festive drinks. If you're driving to your destination and it's hot outside, pack the bottle in the backseat so the wine won't overheat in the trunk.
CHOPSTICKS: "Great as stirring sticks, disposable chopsticks also make the best muddlers when they're split in half," says Keli Rivers of San Francisco's Whitechapel bar. Just snap them in two, then secure them to each other with a rubber band (or your hand) to create a blunt tool ideal for muddling herbs or crushing fruit.
CITRUS: This magical ingredient will make any drink smell enticing, taste better, and look polished. Pack whole fruits for longevity, or halves or quarters for easier squeezing. Jacob Briars, a well-traveled brand ambassador, explains that citrus peels "can have a transformative effect on your olfactory sense and mood, while a spritz of fresh lemon juice makes any drink taste fantastic." You can also cut off (or in a pinch, pull off) a bit of peel to garnish drinks.
COCKTAIL SHAKERS: Shakers don't weigh much, but they do take up space, so I've suggested alternatives so you can do without wherever possible. If you can take one along, make it two stackable mixing tins or a three-piece cobbler shaker, which has a built-in strainer. Drop a jigger inside the tins and wrap it all in a clean towel to minimize rattling.
COLD-BREW COFFEE: Bartenders are fans of using high-octane cold-brew concentrate in drinks in place of espresso or even iced coffee. It's widely available in bottles or cans for on-the-go drinks, or can be made by steeping 1/3 cup ground coffee in 1.5 cups of cold water overnight, then straining through a coffee filter into a Mason jar."
- from the book "Road Soda: Recipes and techniques for making great drinks anywhere," written by Kara Newman.