This classic French stew was traditionally cooked in a daubiere, or earthenware pot. But any heavy casserole will do.
3 lbs chuck or stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1-1/2 cups red wine
1/4 cup cognac
2 tbsp peanut oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
1/2 lb sliced lean bacon, each slice cut into halves
2-1/2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes, or fresh ripe tomatoes, cored, peeled and chopped
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
2 cups beef stock
Place beef in large mixing bowl and add wine, cognac, oil, salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaf, onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or longer.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place bacon in saucepan and add water barely to cover. Simmer for 5 minutes and drain.
Line a heatproof casserole with 3 or 4 pieces of bacon. Drain the beef and reserve the marinade.
Dredge each cube of beef in flour; shake to remove excess flour. Arrange a layer of beef in the casserole, add a layer of marinated vegetables, one third of the tomatoes and one third of the mushrooms. Continue making layers until all ingredients are used; end with vegetables and bacon. Sprinkle all with salt and pepper. Add the stock and enough of the marinade to cover.
Cover casserole and bring the liquid to a boil on top of the stove. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 300F and continue to cook for 3 to 4 hours. Reduce heat as necessary so that casserole barely simmers. Cook until meat is fork tender. Skim fat from surface and serve with rice or noodles.
6 club steaks
2 tbsp coarsely ground pepper
6 tsp butter
Tabasco sauce to taste
Worcestershire sauce to taste
Lemon juice to taste
2 tbsp cognac (optional)
Sprinkle sides of each steak with pepper and, with the heel of the hand, press pepper into meat. Let stand 30 minutes.
Heat a heavy skillet and sprinkle a light layer of salt over the bottom. When salt begins to brown, add the steaks. Cook until well browned on one side. To produce a very rare steak, cook 30 seconds at high heat. Turn steaks, lower heat to moderate and cook 1 more minute. Adjust heat and time to cook the steaks to a greater degree of doneness.
Place a teaspoon of butter on each steak and add Tabasco, Worcestershire and lemon juice.
Turn heat to low, blaze with cognac and transfer steaks to a platter. Swirl the sauce in the skillet and pour over the meat. Sprinkle steaks with parsley and chives.
4 skinless, boneless breats halves, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
1/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons water
1 cup (or more) bread crumbs
1/4 cup peanut or canola oil
1 Tablespoon butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For garnish: thinly sliced lemon slices
Season the flour with salt and pepper. Beat the egg with the water and place in a flat dish.
Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, dip in the egg, then coat with the breadcrumbs, pressing them in the your fingers.
Heat the oil and butter in one or two skillets and add the chicken. Cook about 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden. Turn and cook on the other side 3-5 minutes.
Remove and serve hot, garnished with the lemon slices.
Creamy Pumpkin and Mushroom Soup ~ Veloute de Potiron et de Cepes
Use the flesh from a small pumpkin or butternut squash. A Japonese Kabocha would work well with this recipe, too.
1 lb. cubed pumpkin or butternut squash
1 small potato
1-1/2 oz. dried cepes (porcini mushrooms)
1 celery branch (w/leaves)
1 chicken bouillon cube
1-1/2 Tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons heavy cream
To Garnish the Soup:
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 slices of bacon
celery leaves or parsley stems
Cut the pumpkin/squash, celery and potato into cubes. Reserve the celery leaves for garnish.
Cover the porcini with hot water.
In a large casserole, melt the butter.
Add the pumpkin, celery.
Drain the mushrooms and add them to the casserole.
Sweat the vegetables for 5 minutes. 7. Pour in 8 cups of hot water, the bouillon cube and season with salt and pepper. Add the potato and simmer for about 20 minutes. The pumpkin and potato should be tender.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. If using a blender, puree in batches. Return the soup to the pot and keep warm while preparing the garnish. 9. Microwave or fry the bacon.
Whip the cream, adding a bit of salt, to soft peaks.
Pour the soup into 4 bowls. Cut the bacon in half. Add a dollop of the whipped cream, a bacon slice and sprinkle with the poppy seeds.
A light soup made with chicken stock, mushrooms, leftover chicken and star shaped pasta
Pronounced: soup / oh zeh twahl
3-1/2 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
4 scallions (green onions), sliced
3 cups sliced white mushrooms
4 oz. cooked chicken (I prefer the breast meat for this recipe), thinly sliced
1/2 cup star shaped pasta (stellette) or other soup pasta
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pour the chicken stock into a large saucepan. Add the bay leaf and bring to a boil.
When the stock is boiling, add the scallion and mushrooms. Lower heat slightly and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.
Add the sliced chicken meat and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the meat is heated through.
Add the pasta and cook for 7 to 8 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
Just before serving, stir in the wine and parsley and allow to cook for about 3 minutes.
Ladle into 4 (or 6) soup bowls and serve immediately.
Pumpkin Tart: this dish comes from central France and is traditionally served on November 1st. It can be eaten warm or cold with or without whipped cream.
homemade or refrigerate pie crust
3-1/4 lb. small pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into small dice
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons semolina
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
Cook the pumpkin in a heavy saucepan with a little water for 20 minutes. The water should evaporate.
Pronounced: tahrt / oh / pwahr / ay / shoh koh lah
Sweet pastry dough - See Recipe Link Above
8 oz sweet, dark chocolate
1 cup CrÃ¨me fraiche
3 large ripe pears, peeled, cored and halved
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons poire William or pear brandy
Preheat oven to 425Â°
Line the tart pan with pastry.
In a double boiler, meet chocolate over very low heat. Stir in 3 tablespoons crÃ¨me fraiche.
Spread chocolate mixture evenly over pastry.
Slice pears into fans by cutting lengthwise from bottom almost to top of the pear.
Fan pears over the chocolate and place in a circle around the pan.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, but keep the oven on.
Mix remaining crÃ¨me fraiche, egg, vanilla and pear brandy together. Pour around pears covering the chocolate, sprinkle w/ sugar.
Return to oven and bake until golden, 5-10 minutes. Let cool and cut into thin slices to serve.
2-1/4 lb.s assorted wild mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and cut into quarters or slices depending on their size (white mushrooms, or a combination of white and cremini would work, use what is available)
1 Tablespoon peanut oil
4 Tablespoons butter
2 shallots, very finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
mixture of parsley, chives and chervil
salt and freshly ground pepper
Spread a light coating of oil on the bottom of a frying pan and heat.
Fry one type of mushroom about 5 minutes, or until it just begins to give off liquid.
Increase the heat to evaporate the juice and with a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.
Add a little more oil and continue with the remaining types of mushrooms, cooking each separately, until they are all cooked.
Heat the butter in a saucepan, add the shallots and cook until just soft, do not allow them to color.
Add the mushrooms to the shallots and cook for 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low, add the cream and cook until the cream has reduced to a syrup.
Spoon the mushrooms into 4 hot bowls, sprinkle with herbs and serve immediately. Serves 4 people as a first course.
2 pounds yellow onions, sliced thinly
1/4 cup butter, plus some extra to butter the parchment paper
1-1/2 quarts beef stock
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 cup of red wine
For the topping:
6 ounce baguette
2 Tablespoons butter
3 ounces GruyÃ¨re
salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut a piece of parchment paper into a round to fit your saucepan.
Melt the butter and add the onions. Season with salt and pepper.
Butter the paper round and press it down on the onions. Cover the saucepan and cook the onions over low heat, stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes.
While the onions are cooking, in another saucepan, pour in the stock and bring it to a boil. Continue to boil it until it is reduced by one-third. (20-30 minutes).
When the onions are done, remove the lid and the paper and sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons of sugar.
Cook the onions a further 10-15 minutes, until they are carmelized. Do not let them burn.
Add the reduced stock and the wine to the onions and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. While waiting prepare the topping.
For the topping:
Preheat oven to 350Â°. Cut the baguette into 1/2 inch slices. You should have 12 slices.
Melt the butter and brush it on both sides of the baguette slices. Place them on a baking sheet.
Bake them in the oven until they are lightly browned. Turn them once.
Grate the GruyÃ¨re on the coarsest grid of a box grater.
To finish the soup:
Heat the broiler and ladle the soup into ovenproof bowls.
Top each bowl with 2 slices of bread and sprinkle on the grated GruyÃ¨re.
Place the bowls on a baking sheet and broil about 2-3 minutes. (If you don’t have ovenproof bowls, you can sprinkle the cheese on the baguette slices, broil them, then float them on top of the soup.)
Transfer the bowl to individual plates and serve. Take care!! The bowls will be very hot.
7 oz. onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
8-1/2 cups homemade chicken stock
1 day old baguette
1-2/3 cups grated GruyÃ¨re, plus extra for serving
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup port
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350Â°F.
Melt the butter in a heavy skillet. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes. They should be golden, but not brown.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a gentle boil; simmer for 10 minutes.
Slice the baguette into thick rounds and place on a cookie sheet.
Place in preheated oven until the rounds are crisp and lightly colored.
Place a layer of the toasted baguette slices on the bottom of an ovenproof tureen. Sprinkle with some of the cheese. Alternate the layers until all the bread and cheese have been used, finishing with the cheese.
Carefully ladle the soup over the bread/cheese layers.
Place the tureen on the lowest shelf of the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg, pepper and port.
When the topping in the tureen is golden brown, remove it from the oven.
Gently push aside the crust and take out a ladleful of soup.
Carefully pour the hot soup into the egg mixture, whisking contantly.
Pour the egg mixture back into the tureen, under the crust along with the port and carefully stir to combine.
Serve the soup immediately and pass around an additional bowl of grated GruyÃ¨re.