Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Kentucky Bourbon Steak







     Kentucky Derby Day!  Club Steak With A Bourbon Sweet Onion Glace Viande!
     This is a fitting steak recipe for Kentucky Derby Day.  Chefs in Louisville and chefs that just plain old like horse racing always run a few good specials when the biggest event in horse racing rolls around each year.
     The Bourbon Sweet Onion Sauce in this recipe is made fresh to order and it is perfect for a good steak.  Shallot and Vidalia Onion are about as sweet as onions can be.  Glace Viande is a sauce that is made by reducing a very rich meat stock.  The meat stock pot for a glace viande can have a variety of bones, such as beef, veal, pork or even lamb.  The original Glace Viande was actually made with wild game bones and scraps.  The clarified stock is reduced till it can glaze the back of a spoon.  Glace Viande is very rich tasting and it pairs well with the flavor of Kentucky Sour Mash Bourbon.
     Bourbon is the key flavor for the sauce, so a rich tasting Straight Kentucky Bourbon that is aged in dark charred oak barrels is best for this recipe.  This does not mean that the choice of bourbon has to be top shelf, because there are plenty of underrated bourbons on the market that sell for a bargain price.
     The sweet onions are sautéed till they are lightly caramelized.  That adds a great flavor to the sauce.  A small amount of brown sugar sweetens the sauce and it adds a complimentary flavor for the bourbon.
     
     Glace Viande:
     Follow this link to the recipe in this website:
     • Glacé Viande

     Kentucky Bourbon Steak:  
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Place a 14 ounce New York Strip Steak in a shallow container.
     Season the steak with coarsely ground black pepper and sea salt.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of cayenne pepper over the steak.
     Add 2 ounces of bourbon.
     Flip the steak in the bourbon marinade a few times.
     Marinate the steak for 15 to 25 minutes in a refrigerator.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Remove the steak from the marinade and place it in the pan.
     Pan sear the steak on both sides.
     Flip the steak often, so it cooks evenly.
     Sear the steak till it is a little bit less done than the desired finish temperature.
     Set the steak aside on a dish and keep it warm on the stove top.
     Step 3:  Drain the excess grease from the pan.
     Place the pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 chopped shallot.
     Add 3/4 cup medium chopped sweet vidalia onion.
     Sauté the onions, till they are lightly caramelized.
     Step 4:  Add 1/2 cup of Kentucky Straight Sour Mash Bourbon.  (Try not to flambé, unless the hood fans are on and a pot lid is handy to extinguish the flame.)
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar.
     Simmer and reduce the bourbon sauce by half.
     Step 5:  Add 1/3 cup of thin Glace Viande.
     Simmer and reduce till the sauce is a very thin consistency.
     Step 6:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Return the steak to the sauce to reheat it.
     Simmer and reduce till the sauce is a thin consistency that can glaze a spoon.

     Presentation:
     Place the steak on a plate.
     Spoon a generous amount of the Bourbon Sweet Onion Glace Viande over the steak.
     Serve with a potato and vegetable of your choice.
     Garnish the plate with Italian Parsley sprigs.
     *The steak in the pictures was served with boiled buttered purple potato and russet potatoes that were seasoned with sea salt and black pepper.  The yellow squash and zucchini was sautéed with unsalted butter, bermuda onion and seasoned with sea salt and black pepper. 
  
     Kentucky Bourbon Steak is a great tasting entrée that dates back to the golden age of American style Beef & Bourbon fine dining!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Funghi Imbotitti






     Funghi Imbotitti
     Italian Funghi Imbotitti translates to stuffed mushrooms.  This veal stuffed portobello mushroom appetizer is delicious!  Lemon, virgin olive oil, garlic, shallots, onion and parmesan cheese are a classic Italian flavor combination for veal stuffed mushrooms.
  
     Funghi Imbotitti:
     This recipe yields 1 appetizer portion!  
     Portobello are a species of common Italian Brown Field Mushrooms that grow worldwide in temperate climates.  Small portobello were once marketed as crimini mushrooms for a higher price in America, but that was a deceptive marketing practice to charge more money for the same mushroom.  Now the word crimini is no longer used to describe small portobello mushrooms. 
     Step 1:  Pop the stems off of 4 small portobello field mushrooms.  (Each portabella should be about 2" wide.)
     Reserve the stems for later in this recipe.
     Carefully scrape the black gills off of the inside of the mushroom caps with a spoon.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Sauté the mushroom caps, till they just start to become tender.  (al dente)
     Remove the mushroom caps from the pan and set them aside.
     Step 3:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped pancetta.
     After the pancetta is cooked to a golden color, add 2 cloves of chopped garlic.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced shallot.
     Add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped onion.
     Finely chop the reserved mushroom stems and add them to the pan.
     Sauté till the onions turn clear in color.
     Step 4:  Place the sauté ingredients in a mixing bowl
     Add 4 1/2 ounces of ground veal.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of virgin olive oil.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 2 pinches of oregano.
     Add 2 pinches of chopped sage.
     Add 2 pinches of chopped Italian Parsley.
     Add 3 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Step 5:  Set the mushroom caps gill side up on a baking pan that is brushed with vegetable oil.
     Divide the veal stuffing into 4 equal portions.
     Roll the ground veal portions into small meatball shapes.
     Set one veal stuffing meatball on each mushroom cap.
     *If there is too much veal stuffing for the size of the mushroom cap, adjust the portion size.  Any extra stuffing can be roasted and snacked on.  
     Gently press the stuffing onto each mushroom cap.
     Sprinkle a small amount of plain fine Italian bread crumbs over the stuffed mushrooms.
     Step 6:  Bake the stuffed mushrooms in a 350ºF oven, till the stuffing turns a golden brown color and the veal is fully cooked.
     Keep the Funghi Imbotitti warm on a stove top.
  
     Presentation:
     Step 1:  Place the stuffed mushrooms on the center of a plate.
     Place thin slices of lemon halves around the stuffed mushrooms.
     Step 2:  Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice.
     Add 3 pinches of chopped Italian Parsley.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Spoon the lemon, parsley and olive oil over the stuffed mushrooms and on the plate.
  
     A simply delicious classic Italian antipasti!   

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Berlin Klein Fleisch Eintopfgericht








     A Nice Refined Traditional Berlin Style Little Meat Stew!
     Berlin Klein Fleisch Stew literally translates to Little Meat Stew.  This Berlin Stew is also called Berlin Four Meat Stew (Berlin Vier Fleisch-Eintopf).
     If you purchase whole chickens or large sections of lamb, pork, veal or beef, you can fabricate the meat products to suit specific recipes.  Cutting your own steaks or fabricating any kind of meat always results in accumulating a few scraps and trimmings.  Accumulated meat trimmings can be frozen for later use.
     Lean small meat trimmings are perfect for making Berlin Klein Fleisch Stew.  In fact, that is what the original Berlin Little Meat Stew was designed to do.  The result is a rich savory white stew that is very satisfying when the weather is chilly.
   
     Berlin Klein Fleisch Stew: 
     This recipe yields 1 entrée size portion.  
     Step 1:  Select 2 to 2 1/2 ounces of lean trimmings and scraps of each of these meats:
     • beef
     • pork
     • lamb
     • veal
     Cut the meat scraps into small bite size pieces.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 2 bite size pieces of salt pork.  (a little more than 1 ounce total)
     Sauté the salt pork, till it is lightly browned and the fat is rendered.
     Step 3:  Add the beef, pork, lamb and veal trimmings.
     Sauté the meats till they are very lightly browned on all sides.
     Step 4:  Add just enough flour while stirring to absorb the excess grease and to make a thin pan roux.  (about 1 teaspoon)
     Cook and the roux for about 30 seconds.
     Step 5:  Add 1/4 cup of white wine.  (Riesling Wine is a good choice.)
     Add just enough white veal stock to cover the meats.  (White Veal Stock is made with veal bones and scraps that are not roasted.)
     Stir as sauce heats and thickens to a very thin consistency.
     Step 6:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1 pinch of nutmeg
     Add 1 pinch of white pepper.
     *Add no salt!  The salt pork carries plenty of salt flavor.
     Add 6 to 8 peeled pearl onions.
     Gently simmer till the meats are tender and the sauce reduces to almost half in volume.
     Step 7:  Add 3/4 cup of crème fraîche.  (crème fraîche = 50% sour cream + 50% fresh cream.)
     Stir the sauce.
     Add 5 pitted prunes.
     Simmer and reduce the sauce till it becomes a medium thin cream sauce consistency that easily coats a spoon.
     Keep the stew warm over very low heat or in a 135ºF bain marie.
   
     Cinnamon Apple Wedges:
     This recipe yields 1 accompanying portion.
     Step 1:  Slice a cored green apple into wedge shaped slices.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add the apple slices.
     Sauté the apple slices till they just start to become tender.
     Step 3:  Add 1/4 cup of water.
     Add 1 pinch of cinnamon.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of granulated sugar.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer the apple slices, till they are tender and the sauce reduces to a light syrup consistency.

     Presentation:  
     Place the stew in a single portion casserole dish and set it on a serving platter.
     Garnish the plate with the cinnamon apple wedges..
   
     The flavor of the klein fleisch stew is very rich and satisfying.  The prunes and pearl onions add a wonderful flavor.  A light accompaniment like the cinnamon apples is perfect with this entrée!  

Herbs de Provence Roast Chicken with Wild Cherry Sauce


















     Herbs de Provence    
     Herbs de Provence is a classic choice of mixed herbs for roast chicken.  I cooked in many French cafés and the French chefs nearly always flavored roast chicken with either thyme or Herbs de Provence and sometimes both.  
     Herbs de Provence basically means herbs that are gathered along trails and paths in the countryside of the region of Provence, France.  In general, there is no strict definition of specific herbs in the mixture, because the mixture depends on the herbs that are gathered on one particular day.  Savory, marjoram, rosemary, oregano and lovage are the bulk of the herbs in the mixture.  Thyme is usually not included in the mix and this is in keeping with the unconventional nature of Herbs de Provence.  
     There are two variations of this classic herb mixture in modern times.  Some say that lavender is not part of an authentic Herbs de Provence mix.  This may not be true because Herbs de Provence always has been an unconventional French herb mixture.  The modern French version has lavender leaves in the mix and the American version has lavender flowers.  The French version is what I use because the dried lavender flowers can scorch while roasting.

     Presenting Roast Chicken
     Roast chicken with a fruit sauce is a classic entrée that is still offered on menus at country clubs, cafés and classic fine dining restaurants.  The last time that I made roast chicken with a wild cherry sauce was while working for a Swiss chef at a country club back in the early 1980's.  Wild Sour Cherries from Eastern Europe are the best for making this sauce.  Jars of Preserved Wild Cherries or packages of Dried Wild Cherries can be found in Eastern European food markets.

     A half of a roasted chicken is considered to be a classic portion in traditional fine dining restaurants and French cafés.  Offering a whole roasted chicken for two is another option.  How the chicken is served depends on the dining room table service style.  Presenting the roast chicken on a platter and carving it at the table for guests is classic Russian and French table service style.  
     In many modern fine dining restaurants, the portion size has shrunk to less than a 4 ounce roasted chicken breast.  Those who remember the old days of fine dining are alienated because the dining value is questionable.  By the definition of classic fine dining standards in the past in the past, a customer pays to eat and a customer does not pay to see a chefs name in neon lights, then just end up with a tiny morsel of food on a plate!  Due to recent petite portion health cuisine trends, it is highly unlikely that a roasted whole or half bird will be seen on a fine dining menu, unless one reserves a table at a classic restaurant, a country club or yacht club.   
   
     It is necessary fo a chef to know each dining room service style when presenting a roasted whole or half chicken.  Home cooks that entertain guests on a formal occasion can make use of these same elegant dining room service styles, so this knowledge is good to know.  Dining room service knowledge does come in handy during the holiday season.  
     Here are some of the popular classic holiday service styles that achieve a nice level of elegance.  Roast chicken is used as an example:
     
     • Modern French Table Service - Modern French table service is a modified classic Russian Table Service.  Chef Marie-Antoine Carême created this service style with the intention of setting a higher standard of table service elegance.  
     The chicken is carved, plated and presented on a cart by the tableside.  A maitre d', captain or a lead waiter carves the roasted chicken on a service cart and carefully plates the entrée, so an organized focal point is achieved.   
     The chicken is deboned and sliced.  The legs and wings can be left whole with the bone intact.  Usually the thigh is the only portion of the leg that is deboned.
     The sauce is applied after the entree is placed in front of the customer.  The sauce is usually prepared in the kitchen, but it can also be prepared or finished by the tableside. 
     
     • Classic French Banquet Table Service - This is the formal banquet table design that Marie-Antoine Carême created.  A set banquet table with all the food in place is what many Americans call the classic Thanksgiving Spread.  
     Carême's design usually employs an elevated central focal point that is an elaborate dessert, a fully prepared carved garnished roast or an entrée that is ready to serve.  Every sauce, vegetable, side dish, condiment and secondary entree is arranged on the table around the central focal point.  Every item is placed within reach of each guest, so no standing or food passing is necessary.  
     A large table may require a food offerings to be placed on several plates that are strategically located on table sectors, so they are within reach of each group of guests.  Multiple centerpieces are an option for a large long table setting.  The service staff or the host of the dinner party can plate the centerpiece entrée or dessert for guests.  The service staff is expected to assist and offer beverages.  

     • Russian Table Service - This table service involves presenting the carved roasted chicken on a tray in the kitchen, then it is carried directly from the kitchen to the table.  Nothing is prepared tableside and no carts are used.  The entrée, vegetables and sauces are carried by servers and each item is ready to be served.  The servers transfer the entrée portions to each of the guest's plates and they offer the accompaniments.    
     Dinner plates are stacked at each guest's place at the table, so a plate that was used can be removed and a new plate underneath is ready for the next course.  This service is very formal and it is organized by a lead waitstaff member.  

     • American Table Service - The chicken is carved, plated, sauce and garnished in the kitchen and then each plate is carried to the guests.  The chef has complete control over the food presentation.  Tableside service is not usually an option. 
     
     • English Table Service - The host carves, plates and presents the roasted chicken at the head of the table.  The finished plates are passed to guests on one side of the table first, then to guests on the other side.  The guest of honor is usually served first.  At estates, either the chef, butler or host can do the carving honors.  This service can be casual or formal. 

     • Family Style Table Service - The Chicken is carved and placed on a tray in the kitchen then it is placed on the center of the table.  The guests serve themselves.  All accompaniments are placed on communal plates that are passed by request.  Family style is basically setting the food on the table and allowing the guests to dig in! 
   
     There are many more traditional table service styles around the globe.  Each table service style that is listed above has many more formalities that are necessary to know.  Serving from the right and clearing dirty plates from the left is a common formality.  It pays to do some research to learn the complete table service definition of whichever style that is chosen.  The corresponding place setting styles must be learned too.  
     As one can see, there is more than one way to carve and serve a roasted chicken!   

    Herbs de Provence Roasted Chicken:
    For 1 serving, a half chicken is plenty.  For 2 servings, roast one whole chicken! 
    This simple recipe is done the classic French way.  This means that the chicken is lightly browned before it is roasted.
     Step 1:  Trim any excess fat or skin off of one chicken half.  
     Lightly season the chicken with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
     Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Place the chicken in the pan with the skin side facing down.
     Sauté the the chicken, till the skin turns a light golden brown color.  
     Step 3:  Remove the chicken half from the pan and place it on a wire screen roasting rack on a roasting pan.  The skin side should be facing up.
     Sprinkle a few generous pinches of French Herbs de Provence over the chicken.  Press the herbs onto the chicken.
     Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
     Step 4:  Roast the chicken in a 350ºF oven.  Spoon the pan drippings or melted unsalted butter from the sauté step over the chicken occasionally.  
     Roast the chicken till golden brown highlights appear and it is fully cooked.  (A probe thermometer should read 165º for 15 seconds.)
     Allow the chicken to rest for 2 minutes before carving.
     The Wild Cherry Sauce can be prepared while the chicken roasts! 

     Wild Cherry Sauce:  
     This recipe yields about 1 1/3 cups of sauce.  
     Wild Cherries can be found in the countryside, but they are easier to find in an Eastern European food market!  Eastern European markets stock jars of Wild Sour Cherries packed in their own juices.  Wild Cherries are usually called Sour Cherries.   
     Cornstarch or arrow root can be used to add body to a sauce like this, but care must be taken not to add too much.  The sauce should be a thin glacé consistency.
     Step 1:  Heat a stainless steel sauce pot over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 1/2 cup of water.
     Add 1/4 cup of granulated sugar.
     Boil till the water evaporates and the molten sugar starts to bubble as it enters the candy stages.
     Cook the sugar till is becomes a light yellow amber color.  (About 320ºF)
     Step 2:  Add 1/2 cup of the cherry juice from a jar of preserved wild sour cherries.
     Add 1/2 cup of French Beaujolais Wine.  (100% Gamay Grape Wine)
     Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of cider vinegar.
     Add 1 pinch of allspice.
     Add 1 small pinch of powdered ginger.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt.
     Step 3:  Bring the liquid to a boil.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer and reduce till about 1 cup of liquid remains.
     Step 4:  Raise the temperature to medium heat.
     Add 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of preserved pitted whole wild sour cherries that were packed in their own juices.  (Drain the juice off.  The juice was used earlier in this recipe!  The amount of cherries is a personal choice.)
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Step 5:  Mix a small amount of cornstarch and cold water slurry in a bowl.  (About 1 tablespoon is plenty.  Any extra can be saved for later use.) 
     Add just enough of the slurry, while stirring, to give the glacé sauce a thin syrup consistency.  (The fruit should barely be able to be kept in suspension.  The sauce should just barely glaze a spoon.) 
     Step 6:  Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.
     Place the sauce in a ramekin before serving.  Serve the sauce on the side. 

     Herbs de Provence Roast Chicken with Wild Cherry Sauce ~ Table-Side Style:
     Step 1:  Place the Roasted Herbs de Provence Chicken Half on a serving platter.  
     Garnish the platter in a simple fashion with curly leaf parsley sprigs.
     Present the chicken to the guest along with the ramekin of Wild Cherry Glacé on a side platter.
     Step 2:  Slice through the drumette joint and set the wing aside. 
     Use a knife to separate the leg sections from the breast section.  
     Separate the leg and thigh.
     Set the thigh on the center of a plate.
     Step 3:  Carve bias slices of boneless chicken breast off of the rib cage.  
     Overlap the chicken breast slices, so they lean against the thigh and fan out from the center of the plate.
     Lean the leg against the thigh, so it stands upright.
     Lean the wing against the thigh.
     Step 4:  Set the plate in front of the guest.
     Offer the Wild Cherry Glacé sauce to the guest.
     Spoon a portion of the sauce on the place around the roast chicken.  (Sauce should never be poured directly over a roasted item!) 
     Offer vegetables of your choice on the side.

     Voila!  A nice tasting roasted chicken entrée with a classic fruit sauce!  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Ditali and Shrimp with Portobello, Chinese Garlic Chive Crème and Tomato Concassé








     A Nice Simple Ditali Pasta! 
     France and America seem to use cream for pasta sauces more than any other countries.  Since cream sauces for pasta do not have to adhere to traditional pasta sauce rules, there is plenty of room for creativity.  Cream has a way of carrying a featured flavor.  Cream can also become muddied up with too many flavors.  Simplicity is a good thing to keep in mind when creating a cream sauce for pasta.
     Garlic Crème is an standard sauce that is well liked.  For today's sauce, Chinese Garlic Chives were used in place of garlic.  Chinese Garlic Chives are not a hybrid of regular chives!  Chinese Garlic Chives are the green tops of a garlic plant or Chinese Leek Plant.  Chinese Leeks do not the common leek that can be found in French kitchens.  Chinese Leek Bulbs are just a little bigger than a large garlic clove.
     The Chinese Garlic Chive variety that I used for today's sauce came from the garlic plant.  Chinese garlic chives have a gentle mellow garlic flavor that is nice for flavoring a cream pasta sauce.  
     Portobello Mushrooms taste nice with Chinese garlic chives and they add rich flavor to the cream sauce.  The shrimp add a little bit of flavor to the sauce too.  Instead of simply adding tomato to the cream sauce, the tomato was prepared as a concasse, so a fresh bright flavor would lighten up this pasta entrée.               

     Ditali and Shrimp with Portobello, Chinese Garlic Chive Crème and Tomato Concassé:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     The simple cream reduction sauce can be made while the pasta cooks if the ingredients are prepared ahead of time!
     Step 1:  Cook 1 portion of ditali pasta in boiling water, tills the pasta is al dente.  Start the sauce!
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 3 or 4 small portabella mushrooms that are cut into small wedges.
     Sauté till the mushrooms start to cook.
     Step 3:  Dredge 12 medium size peeled and deveined shrimp in flour.  (Remove the shrimp tails.)
     Add the floured shrimp to the pan.
     Sauté till the mushrooms start to become tender and till the shrimp are a little bit more than halfway fully cooked.
     Step 4:  Add 2 ounces of dry white wine.
     Add 1 cup of cream.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 2 to 3 pinches of cracked black pepper.
     Add sea salt.
     Simmer and reduce the cream sauce, till it is a thin sauce consistency.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of garlic chives that are cut into 3/8" lengths.
     Simmer and reduce, till the sauce becomes a medium thin consistency.  (Add a splash of milk if the sauce becomes too thick.)
     Step 6:  *By now the ditali pasta should be al dente.
     Drain the water off of the pasta.
     Add the pasta to the sauce.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 7:  Place the pasta in a shallow pasta bowl.
     Sprinkle 1 plum tomato that is prepared as concassé over the pasta.  (Concassé Precision Cut = peeled, seeded, tomato filets that are diced.  Dice = 1/4" cube shape.)
     Garnish with a sprig of Italian Parsley.
     Garnish with Chinese Garlic Chive Flowers.  (optional)

     The flavor of this pasta entrée is simple, gentle and nice!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Roulades of Sole and Spring Vegetables Mornay






     A Nice Healthy Café Style Entrée For Spring! 
     Fish and vegetable roulade entrées were trendy items in the 1980's.  The café dining trend during that era was health oriented classic cuisine.  If the entrée was made with seafood, vegetables and a fancy sauce, it was a top selling item at cafés back in those days.
     When making a fish roulade it is best to use a light tasting whitefish like sole, fluke or flounder.  A small thin flatfish filet is also easier to roll into a petite roulade shape than any other species of fish.  Any kind of colorful spring garden vegetables can be used for today's recipe.  Thin asparagus do look nice in a roulade.

     Simple Mornay Sauce (White Wine & Lorraine Swiss Cheese Béchamel Version): 
     This recipe yields about 1 1/2 cups or enough for 3 to 4 roulade entrées. 
     An authentic Mornay is made with Sauce Supreme, which is a secondary sauce made with Velouté.  The mother sauce for this Simple Mornay version is a basic Béchamel.  Many café chefs use this Simple Mornay Sauce version. 
     Any white cheese can be used, but an Emmentaler or Gruyere style cheese is the best choice.  Lorraine Cheese is also a good choice if a mild flavor is preferred.  Lorraine is also called Baby Swiss or Lorraine Swiss. 
     Step 1:  Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add an equal amount of flour, while constantly stirring with a whisk to make a roux.  (The roux should look shiny and not caky.)
     Stir till the roux is a white color with very little hazelnut aroma.
     Step 2:  Add 3/4 cup of dry white wine.
     Stir till the wine thickens with the roux.
     Step 3:  Add 1 1/2 cups of milk while whisking.
     Add 1/4 cup of cream.
     Stir as the sauce heats and thickens to a very thin consistency.  (The sauce should look soupy.)
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add a bouquet garni sachet.  (Laurel leaf, 1 small spice clove, thyme, parsley sprig, short celery stalk and onion tied in a piece of cheese cloth.)
     Gently simmer and reduce, till it is a thin sauce consistency that can barely coat a spoon.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Remove the bouquet garni sachet.
     Step 6:  Add 3 1/2 ounces of grated Lorraine Swiss Cheese.
     Stir till the cheese melts into the sauce.
     Gently simmer the sauce, till it reduces to a medium thin consistency that easily coats a spoon.
     Step 7:  Pour the sauce into a ceramic container.
     Keep the sauce warm in a 135ºF bain marie.

     Julienne Spring Garden Vegetables:
     About 2/3 cup of julienne vegetables is enough for 2 roulades.  Be sure to cut the vegetables so that they are about as long as the width of the sole filet!
     Step 1:  Slice these vegetables into very thin julienne strips that are about 3" to 4" in length:
     - green and red bell pepper
     - snow peas
     - carrot
     - yellow carrot
     - green onion
     - pencil asparagus  (If the asparagus are very thin, then they do not need to be peeled or julienned.)
     Step 2:  Boil a sauce pot of water over high heat.
     Add sea salt.
     Add the vegetables.
     Blanch the vegetables for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  The vegetables should be cooked al dente.
     Step 3:  Drain off the hot water off of the vegetables.
     Cool the vegetables under cold running water.
     Drain off the water.
     Step 4:  Place the vegetables in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of melted unsalted butter.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Toss the ingredients together and set the vegetables aside.

     Roulades of Sole and Spring Vegetables Mornay:
     Step 1:  Select two thin 3 to 4 ounce filets of sole.  (Tail pieces of larger filets work good. Butterfly cut a thick filet if necessary.)
     Place the filets on a cutting board so the skinned side faces upward.
     Step 2:  Place a portion of the vegetables across the small tail end of each sole filet.
     Tightly roll the vegetables and sole together to make 2 roulade shapes.  (If necessary, truss the roulades.)
     Step 3:  Brush a baking pan with melted unsalted butter.
     Place the roulades on the baking pan.
     Season the roulades with a pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Add about 1/4 cup of water to the baking pan.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1 ounce of dry white wine.
     Drizzle a little bit of melted unsalted butter over the sole roulades.
     Sprinkle a pinch of fine plain bread crumbs over the top of each roulade.
     Step 4:  Roast the roulades in a 350ºF oven, till the fish is fully cooked.

     Roulades of Sole and Spring Vegetables Mornay:
     Use a splatula to place the roulades on a plate.
     Spoon a small amount of the mornay sauce over the roulades to finish the entree.
     Serve with vegetables of your choice.
     *Mushroom Caps sweated in butter and buttered large diced Rutabaga were the choice for the entrée in the photos. 
     Serve with rice or potatoes on the side.
     No garnish is necessary!

     This is a classic light springtime entrée!  Be sure to only apply a small portion of Mornay Sauce, so this entrée retains a healthy appeal. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

New York Strip Steak with Kentucky Bourbon Garden Pepper Glace Viande











     A Great Tasting Steakhouse Entrée!
     Kentucky Sour Mash Bourbon Whiskey cocktails are a classic choice with dinner at a an old fashioned American steakhouse restaurant.  Good bourbon simply tastes good with beef!

     Many folks prefer good Kentucky Bourbon or Tennessee Whiskey over Irish Whiskey or Scotch Whisky.  There is a major difference in flavor.  Irish Moss or Peat Moss is used to roast foreign whiskey barrels.  Peat roasted barrel whisky has a flavor that one either likes or avoids.  As far as cooking goes, a whisky with a strong peat flavor does not do well in most recipes.
     Bourbon has a hardwood charcoal roasted oak barrel aged corn whiskey flavor.  Corn Whiskey has much more body than wheat or rye grain whiskey.  Most bourbon is made with about 81% corn sour mash.  About 15% of every batch of bourbon is flavored with a combination of wheat and rye.  As one can imagine, the flavor of a bourbon is deeper and richer than a wheat grain whiskey from the start.  The hardwood charcoal roasted oak barrel flavor is perfect for many savory and sweet recipes.  This is why bourbon is almost always preferred for cooking by chefs.

     When selecting a bourbon for cooking, never used a pricy top shelf bottle, because that is a waste of hard earned money and top notch bourbon.  It is best to look for a good dark rich tasting Kentucky Sour Mash Bourbon that is in the $10 per bottle range.
     One of the best bourbons for recipe cooking that I have found also happens to be fairly underrated.  Evan Williams Black Label Straight Kentucky Sour Mash Bourbon is aged in dark roasted oak barrels, it is full bodied and it has a classic rich bourbon flavor.  In Las Vegas, this bourbon runs for about $10 per bottle so it is economical enough to use in recipes.

     Peppers and bourbon go well together.  A mixture of red bell pepper and green jalapeño was used to make the Kentucky Bourbon Garden Pepper Glace Viande.  Bourbon reacts with peppers in a unique way.  Bourbon balances the flavor of mildly spicy chile peppers and sweet red ripe peppers.  This sauce is genuinely perfect for a good steak!

     Glace Viande:
     Follow this link to the recipe in this website:
     • Glacé Viande

     Kentucky Bourbon Garden Pepper Glace Viande:
     This recipe yields a little less than 1/2 cup or 1 generous portion.
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic.
     Sauté till the garlic starts to turn a golden color.
     Step 2:  Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced onion.
     Add 1 brunoise diced seeded jalapeño pepper.  (brunoise = 1/8" dice)
     Add 3 tablespoons of brunoise diced red bell pepper.
     Sauté till the peppers are tender, but not browned.
     Step 3:  Add 1/2 cup of Kentucky Sour Mash Bourbon Whiskey.
     Add 1/2 cup of thin glace viande.
     Add 1 small pinch of ground sage.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1 small pinch of Spanish Paprika.
     Step 4:  Simmer and reduce, till the sauce is able to glaze the back of a spoon.
     Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.  Add beef stock if the sauce gets too thick.

     New York Strip Steak:
     Step 1:  Heat a chargrill or cast iron ribbed griddle to a medium/medium high temperature.
     Step 2:  Brush a 14 ounce New York Strip Steak with a small amount of melted unsalted butter.
     Season the steak with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 3:  Chargrill the steak evenly and try to create cross check pattern, so the steak looks nice.
     Cook the steak to the preferred finish temperature.  (The steak in the photos was cooked very rare.)
     Set the steak on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan and let it rest for about 1 minute.

     New York Strip Steak with Kentucky Bourbon Garden Pepper Glace Viande:
     Place the char grilled NY strip steak on a plate.
     Place vegetables and a potato of your choice on the plate.
     *The vegetables in the photos are boiled buttered purple potato and carrots seasoned with white pepper and sea salt.  A baked tomato that was seasoned with olive oil, bread crumbs oregano, black pepper and sea salt was also placed on the plate.
     Spoon and cascade the Kentucky Bourbon Garden Pepper Glace Viande over the front edge of the steak and onto the plate.
     Garnish the plate with an Italian Parsley sprig.

     This sauce is great with a good steak!