How to organize an Happy Choucroute Party?!
3 hours cooking
30 min preparation
Recommended wines pairing for this dish:
A white wine from Alsace like a Gewürztraminer , Pinot Gris , Riesling or Sylvanerhttp://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/Matchmaker-Choucroute-Garni-and-Alsace-Riesling_2342
For 6 persons:
6 pounds sauerkraut (in plastic bags), drained and easy to find in Trader-Joe’s stores),
1 pound back bacon sliced,
2 pounds boneless Ham Hock,
12 sausages ( the one in whole-food are fantastic but if you want the real deal there is a list of german store’s you can get it from. The perfect mix would be 2 Strasbourg sausages/ person, 2 Frankfurt sausages and 2 Montbéliard sausageshttp://www.germancorner.com/yellowpages/foodstores/alameda_to_oakland.html
12 medium patatoes
6 garlic cloves
6 cups veal stock
4 cups white wine
7 table spoon of goose fat
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
15 juniper berries
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 large bay leaves
Don’t forget to add assorted Mustards in your plate during the degustation.
Yes it is possible to make a delicious choucroute even if you live in the United State. There are great German store’s that have the traditional sausages that you are looking for but you can also keep it simple and use the ones that are sold at your local store (I do recommend Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s).
The preparation of the choucroute is very commonly eat at the German and French border known as Alsace. The cabbage is chopped in small pieces and stored in wood barrel spreading on each layer, juniper and salt and two pounds of gin for twenty-five whole cabbage.
Fortunately for us, today we can buy the cabbage in pre-conditioned plastic bags so we don’t have to go through all of those steps. I get my sauerkraut from Traders Joe’s and it is perfectly fine.
The choucroute is an extremely nourishing dish that’s why it is usually consumed during winter time. The vegetable itself is excellent for your health. Believe it or not but according to a recent study, fermented cabbage is part of the family of the “super food” and it is an immune system booster that will help you protect against most infectious diseases like the flu, most cancers and has been used my European people as a powerful and tasty digestif helper.
I was not a big fan of veggies when I was a little girl but today I find them miraculous for your health and well being. The choucroute has been around a long time already during the 17-century this dish was heavily supplied to marine vessels, to preserve the sailors from scurvy during long trips.
Ideally I will use a pressure cooker but I made the choucroute in a large Stock-Pot in the past.
Get the goose fat and the diced onions, wait for coloration then ad half of the white cabbage and braise for 30 seconds, ad the second half, the veal stock, the garlic, the juniper berries, the cloves, the caraway seeds and the bay leaves cover and cooked at small flame (Gas Mark 4) for 2 hours. Make sure to check from time to time to make sure that the Sauerkraut is always moist, if not pour a few cups of water to prevent the preparation from burning.
In a separate large sauce pan boiled the potatoes in salted water until tender then ad them to the stock-Pot. Pre-cook the meat in the owen moderately hot (400F or 200C) for 45 min. After that time ad the meat to to the Sauerkraut and potatoes, all cooked in the same Pot.
When the sauerkraut is almost cooked, sprinkle with 2 glass of white wine, dry to reduce the liquid to be good fire, discard the bay leaves upon serving and VOILA, a delicious Choucroute party for your family and Friends.
Autumn Black Plums Tart
45 min cooking
+ 30-45 min preparation
1 1/2 Flour
1 1/2 sticks butter
4 piece of brown sugar
1 cup of water
3-4 dozen Black Plums
1 cup liquor/brandy for macerating the fruits
Take 1 1/2 cup of flour and make a hole in the middle add 1 1/2 sticks of soft butter, a pinch of salt and a cup of water in which you have melted a few pieces of brown sugar. Mix and melt ingredients together by hand until you have used all of the butter and all of the sugar water. Roll the dough six times by adding a little butter. Get the crust at rest for 20 minutes. Butter a 10″ Quiche/Tart Pan.
Wash and Peel 3-4 dozen whole plums, cut in half, get them in a bowl with lemon juice, sugar and Flower liquor for 15-30 minutes.
Personally I like the cream Yvette that is made with violet and vanilla from Connecticut but if you want to keep it simple any brandy is good too. Roll the dough. Preheat the owen for 10 min, add the fruits and sprinkle with fine sugar. Let it cook for 45 min in moderate owen.
Smooth Chocolate Mousse with Jamaican Rum
30 min preparation
2-4 hours to the fridge
17 ounces of dark chocolate
6 eggs ( only use the white part of the eggs)
1 3/4 whipping cream
2 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
4 large Jalapenos
1/2 cup rum or banana liquor
Melt chocolate in a pan then grab a large and deep bowl (no plastic) and whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the whipped cream, melted cooled chocolate, the sugar, the liquor, the vanilla extract and the juice of the Jalapenos (if you have a juicer I will recommend to you to juice the Jalapenos and pour the juice to the mix, if not, get them macerated overnight 1 day before preparing the recipe in a small bowl with the liquor.
keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
When ready, form quenelles with a large spoon that has been plunged a few seconds in hot water.
French Pizza Sun Dried Tomatoes & Comte cheese
Pizza has been around for a long time. Next time,try this delicious home made pizza with a French twist!
Comté (also called Gruyère de Comté) is a French cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France.The texture is relatively hard and flexible, and the taste is strong and slightly sweet.
Most Comté cheeses are aged from 12 to 18 months, though some are aged as little as four months and as long as 24 months. Some places, especially high-class restaurants, can carry Comtés aged for a longer time.
6 Sexy Gourmands:
1.1 Pound Flour
1 Cup Warm Water
1 Bag Dry Yeast
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Pinch Salt
1 1/2 Cup of Tomato Sauce
20-25 Pieces of Sun Dried Tomatoes (soaked in water for 2-4 hours before preparation).
1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
1 tablespoon Dry Parsley
1 teaspoon Sugar
14 Ounces Comte Cheese
Dissolve the dry yeast in the water. On a clean table display the flour and get a hole in the middle, pour the water, add the olive oil and a pinch of salt, blend until getting a dough then let it sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Open your tomato sauce, pour in the sugar, add the herbs. Pre-heat the
oven (425F- 220C).
Roll out the dough and place on a pre-heated pizza stone or baking sheet, add the sauce then distribute the sun dried tomatoes on the top, add the cheese. Cook for around 15 min (watch carefully not to burn).
If there is any left over, re-heat in the oven the next day for a super delicious snack!
Cooking Ingredients Conversion Help:
Cream Brulee with Apricots and
Orange Blossom Water
8 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
12 apricots (washed, dried, pitted, and cut in half)
The juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of orange blossom water
Cook the fresh apricots in a sauce pan with some lemon juice (350F-180C) Cover it and let it cook until it looks like a marmalade. Let it cool off.
In a sauce pan, heat the cream gently with the vanilla beans( 325F-170C). Caution!!! The heavy cream must be hot but not boiling because it will causes the eggs to curdle and you don’t want that to happen).
In a large bowl mix the yolks and the sugar until well blended.
When the heavy cream is warm pour gradually the heavy cream into the eggs mixture and ad the orange blossom water.
Get your 4 ramequins ready. Get a layer of the apricot marmalade to the bottom then add the cream mix on the top.
Place the ramequins in a bakeware and filled them half way with boiling water. Cook in the owen for 40 mins.
After cooking let them cool off and leave them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. A few minutes before serving, sprinkle fine sugar on the top and burn with a gas lighter.
Venison Tenderloin with Bacon,
& assorted baby Veg
2 venison tenderloin steaks
1/2 pound diced Bacon
1/2 pound mushrooms
2 gloves garlic
1 glass madera
1/2 cup veal stock
1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
1 1/2 pound baby vegetables mix
salt and black pepper
Steamed the vegetables in a large pot. In a frying pan grill the onions then add the bacon with the mushrooms, add the madera when cooked ad the veal stock, the garlic and the spoon of cocoa for the sauce let let it reduce until perfect coloration will appear.
In a steak pan cook the venison to your favorite temperature.When ready add the sauce with the mushrooms and bacon on the top and the vegetables on the side. correct seasoning if needed. serve hot!