Cocktails for Spring!

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springflowers

Now that Spring has officially arrived, I’m looking forward to warmer weather and sunny skies. If only the blizzards would stop in NYC! I’ve rounded up a few great cocktail recipes for Spring that I think you’ll enjoy – perfect for lounging around on the patio with some small bites and a group of friends. The cocktails are made with Bulleit Rye, Crown Royal Regal Apple, and the new Captain Morgan Grapefruit Rum. Not a spirits drinker? I also included a wine spritzer recipe with the recently launched Chateau La Paws Chardonnay, an offering for wine lovers that gives back to rescue dogs. How cool is that?

Now, snow snow, go away – come again another day! Enjoy. ūüôā

 

Bulleit-Smash

Bulleit Rye Smash

1.25 oz. Bulleit Rye
1 oz. simple syrup
3 wedge(s) lemon(s)
3 piece(s) mint sprig
3 dash(es) bitters

In an ice filled shaker combine all the ingredients. Shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

 

Golden-Delicious

Golden Delicious

1.5 oz. Crown Royal Regal Apple
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 Dash angostura bitters

Add ingredients to high ball. Top with ginger ale and lemon garnish.

 

Palomahola
Palomaloha

1.5 oz. Captain Morgan Grapefruit Rum
Juice of ¬Ĺ lime
Grapefruit soda to top

Fill tall glass with ice. Pour in Captain Morgan¬ģ Grapefruit Rum, lime juice and grapefruit soda. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.

 

Spritz Tsu

Spritz Tzu

3 oz. Chateau La Paws Chardonnay
1 oz. Elderflower Liqueur
2 oz. Club Soda
Lemon Twist
Fill rocks glass with ice. Pour in Chateau La Paws Chardonnay, elderflower liqueur and club soda. Garnish with lemon twist.

 

Get more great Spring Cocktail recipes online!

www.bulleit.com
#bulleit

www.crownroyal.com
#regalapple

us.captainmorgan.com
#captainmorgan

www.chateaulapaws.com
#clpwines

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Rochester-Style Chicken French & Lemon Broccolini

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Rochester-Style Chicken French & Lemon Broccolini
Rochester-Style Chicken French & Lemon Broccolini

This is an amazing dish that is popular in my hometown in Upstate Rochester, NY. The Italian-American immigrants first introduced this dish in NYC and then migrated Upstate. The recipe stems from the French Veal Francaise or Chicken Francaise dish, which uses lightly-floured thin veal or chicken cutlets, which are then coated with a parsley-parmesan cheese-egg mixture and sauteed until golden brown. The luscious sauce is made with garlic, butter, lemon, white wine or sherry, and parsley which is served over the top of the golden brown chicken. I decided to serve this with steamed broccolini, a Chinese broccoli that is similar to Broccoli Rabe, and topped it with the lemon butter sauce and an extra splash of fresh lemon juice for a light and healthy dinner.

This dish has a lovely tangy and buttery flavor with the lemon, wine and garlic, and the flour coating is super light as I made it with an ultra-fine flour (Wegman’s Pan-Searing Flour) or you could use Wondra, then seasoned it with salt and pepper and a hint of cayenne. If you want to use sherry instead of a white wine, this will give you a sweeter flavor to the sauce. I made my sauce with a Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which is light and fruity and gives it a nice semi-sweet tangy flavor.

Serve the chicken and broccolini with some crusty french bread or some pasta (with more lemon-butter sauce, parmesan cheese and parsley over the top!) and a glass of white wine. Enjoy!

Chop the parsley

Mince the parsley for the egg, cheese and parsley mix.

Prep the wet and dry ingredients

Prep the wet and dry ingredients to dip the chicken in (flour first, egg-cheese-parsley mixture second).

Saute the chicken in olive oil for approx. 6 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Saute the chicken in olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat for approx. 6 minutes on one side.

Flip chicken over and saute another 6 minutes until golden brown.

Flip chicken over and saute another 6 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside, covered in a foil tent.

Remove chicken and set aside. Saute minced garlic for 1-2 minutes.

Saute minced garlic for 1-2 minutes.

Add wine, and bring to a boil.

Add wine, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil.

Add broth and lemon juice and turn heat to high, bringing to a boil.

Add broth and lemon juice and let cook for approx. 5-7 minutes to reduce liquid by half. Stir in cold butter and red pepper flakes.

Return chicken to the pan and bring to a boil, cooking for another 5 minutes to let liquid reduce and infuse flavors in the chicken.

Return chicken to the pan and bring to a boil, simmering for another 5-10 minutes to let liquid reduce further and infuse flavors in the chicken. Throw in some extra chopped parsley. Remove from heat.

IMG_3403

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Insert steamer basket with broccolini and steam covered for about 5 minutes.

Lemon Broccolini

Remove cover and let cook over boiling water for another 5 minutes or so, until broccolini is fork tender but still bright green.

Plate the chicken and broccolini and spoon the lemon-wine-garlic butter sauce over the top of both. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Plate the chicken and broccolini and spoon the lemon-wine-garlic butter sauce over the top of both. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with fresh lemon juice and chopped parsley.

Garnish with fresh lemon juice and chopped parsley.

Enjoy with a glass of white wine and some crusty Italian bread.

Enjoy with a glass of white wine and some crusty Italian bread or pasta (with some of that luscious buttery-lemon-wine sauce over the top).

Bon appetit!

Bon appetit!

Rochester-Style Chicken French & Lemon Broccolini

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

This is an amazing dish that is popular in my hometown in Upstate Rochester, NY. The Italian-American immigrants first introduced this dish in NYC and then migrated Upstate. The recipe stems from the French Veal Francaise or Chicken Francaise dish, which uses lightly-floured thin veal or chicken cutlets, which are then coated with a parsley-parmesan cheese-egg mixture and sauteed until golden brown.

The luscious sauce is made with garlic, butter, lemon, white wine or sherry, and parsley which is served over the top of the golden brown chicken. I decided to serve this with steamed broccolini, a Chinese broccoli that is similar to Broccoli Rabe, and then topped it with the lemon butter sauce for a fresh and healthy Sunday dinner. It has a lovely tangy and buttery flavor with the lemon, wine and garlic, and the coating is super light as I made it with an ultra-fine flour (Wegman's Pan-Searing Flour) or you could use Wondra, or a regular flour then season it with salt and pepper and a hint of cayenne.

If you want to use sherry instead of a white wine, this will also give you a sweeter flavor to the sauce. I made this with a Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which is light and fruity and gives it a nice semi-sweet tangy flavor.

Ingredients

  • CHICKEN FRENCH:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil/canola oil blend for sauteing (I used Colavita Garlic Oil Blend)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup of superfine flour (Pan Searing flour or Wondra)
  • LEMON BUTTER SAUCE:
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine or sherry
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Juice from 1 1/2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
  • BROCCOLINI:
  • 1 bunch broccolini, trimmed
  • Lemon Butter sauce (see above)
  • lemon, S&P for garnish

Instructions

  1. CHICKEN FRENCH:
  2. Heat oil in a large non-stick saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, cheese, salt and pepper, cayenne and fresh parsley in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Place flour in another flat bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts, then dredge each one in flour first (left hand), then egg mixture (right hand).
  6. Place chicken into the heated saute pan and cook for 6 minutes on one side. Flip chicken over and saute for another 6 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove from pan and set aside, covered with a foil tent.
  8. LEMON BUTTER SAUCE:
  9. In the same skillet, saute the minced garlic for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn.
  10. Add the wine and bring liquid to a boil over high heat, scraping up the brown bits in the pan.
  11. Pour in the chicken broth and lemon juice and red pepper flakes (if using) and let reduce by half, another 5-7 minutes.
  12. Stir in the butter and whisk until it melts.
  13. Add chicken back into the pan with the sauce and let simmer another 5-10 minutes.
  14. Place chicken on serving plate with the steamed broccolini and spoon lemon butter sauce over the top of both.
  15. Garnish with lemon wedges and additional chopped parsley if desired.
  16. BROCCOLINI:
  17. Steam broccolini for about 5 minutes, covered. Remove lid and steam for another 5 minutes until fork tender but still bright green.
  18. Top broccolini with Lemon Butter sauce, additional lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/03/17/rochester-style-chicken-french-lemon-broccolini/

Other recipes you may enjoy:

Veal Francese

Closet Cooking’s Chicken Piccata

Martha Stewart’s Chicken Paillards in Lemon Butter Sauce

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Crunchy Chicken Fajita Wraps w/ Habanero-Green Chile & Pepper Jack Cream

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Crunchy Chicken Fajita Wraps w/ Habanero, Green Chile-Pepper Jack Cream
Crunchy Chicken Fajita Wraps w/ Habanero, Green Chile-Pepper Jack Cream

This is an easy, tasty dish I whipped up the other night that is a spin on Chicken Fajitas. The main difference being that these have a crunchy, toasted tortilla that you eat the Fajitas on – either flat like a pizza, rolled up like a burrito or wrap, or folded in half like a big taco. I kicked up the heat a little bit by adding some green chiles, hot Indian red pepper (which is like Cayenne but hotter!), sliced jalapenos, and made a spicy Habanero, Green Chile and Pepper Jack sour cream to give it some more flavor and heat. The dip mixes I bought from a company called Gourmet Creations at the Corn Hill Arts Festival Upstate NY. You can also purchase their seasonings online, or flavor the sour cream with anything you like – a regular onion dip or veggie dip mix would work too. What I love about the mixes from Gourmet Creations is that they are all gluten-free, and are handmade with all natural dried ingredients and they can be used not only for dips and sauces, but to use as spice rubs on fish, veggies, poultry and meat, and they make excellent herb butters, too. I bought about 10 different flavors from them – sooo good!

Now, I’m a total spice-head and LOVE spicy food so if you aren’t interested in making the Fajita Wraps hot, just omit the Indian or Cayenne Red pepper, hot sauce, jalapenos and serve with regular sour cream and cilantro. Another idea if you want a more grilled flavor, is you can grill the chicken and corn first and then add it to the sauteed peppers, onions, chiles and Fajita mix. You can even char the green chiles over a grill or gas flame if you want to get super fancy! This requires a little more time and effort but anything grilled adds a nice charred smoky flavor to the dish.

I recommend a Spanish or Mexican rice to go with the Fajitas, and a smashing Margarita to make it official and douse the flames. Enjoy.

Crunchy Chicken Fajita Wraps w/ Habanero Green Chile-Pepper Jack Cream

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 large or 1 small-med sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 packet of Fajita seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh or 1 can green chiles (mild)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen, cooked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper (cayenne or hot Indian red pepper)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 large tortillas (corn, whole wheat, flour - whatever you prefer)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 package Habanero-Chile dip mix
  • 1/2 package Monterey Jack dip mix
  • Dash of hot sauce, (optional, for garnish)
  • Cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute peppers and onions for about 5-6 minutes until soft and onions are translucent. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Add additional tablespoon of oil to skillet and saute chicken until browned about 6-8 minutes. Add water and Fajita mix and stir together with chicken. Return sauteed peppers and onions to the same pan.
  3. Add green chiles, cooked corn, fresh ground black pepper, red pepper or cayenne and lower heat to a simmer. Cook ingredients for another 5-10 minutes on low to heat through, allowing sauce to thicken and flavors to blend together.
  4. Heat another large skillet over medium-high and add 1 teaspoon of oil or spray with cooking spray.
  5. Cook tortillas, one at a time in skillet for about 1-2 minutes, flipping each side, until crunchy and browned. You may also heat the tortillas up in a 400 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes or so if you prefer.
  6. Mix 1/2 package Habanero-Green Chile seasoning mix and 1/2 package Monterey Jack seasoning mix into a medium bowl with 1 cup of sour cream. You can also make the seasoned sour cream mix ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to serve (recommended as the flavors blend better the more they sit!). Another cool idea is to chop up some Chipotle peppers and add these with some Adobo sauce to the sour cream, or even just some extra taco seasoning, or pureed cilantro if you like a cooler creamy topping.
  7. Serve tortillas with Chicken Fajita mixture; top with Habanero-Green Chile & Pepper Jack cream, sliced jalapenos, a dash of hot sauce and chopped cilantro, if desired.
  8. You can roll these up like a burrito or wrap, put the Fajita mixture on top of a flat crunchy tortilla like a pizza or tostada, or fold it in half and eat like a big Chicken Taco! Any way you serve it, it's delicious! Enjoy.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/07/26/crunchy-chicken-fajita-wraps-w-habanero-green-chile-pepper-jack-cream/

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Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce

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Shrimp Scampi Pasta

The temperatures are rising and the sun is shining which means one thing – Spring is finally here. For me, that means lighter flavors, fresh herbs, fruits and veggies from the farmers market, and seafood, seafood, seafood.

Ingredients

I decided to make a lovely Shrimp Scampi Pasta in Lemon Butter Sauce that is fresh, light and fairly simple to make (not to mention absolutely scrumptious!)

Sauteed Shrimp in Lemon Butter Sauce

I found some fresh,¬†succulent jumbo shrimp¬†and saut√©ed them in butter and olive oil with garlic, making¬†a bright,¬†velvety lemon butter¬†sauce by adding¬†lemon juice, lemon zest, and some white wine. I added¬†a little extra butter into the sauce, threw in a few scallions and fresh garlic, and topped it off with some fresh parsley and a pinch of cayenne¬†and red pepper flakes to give it some extra flavor and kick. If you want to make the sauteed shrimp and skip the pasta for a lighter dish, go for it – it’s totally amazing on it’s own or with a salad and some crusty bread (and a glass of white wine to accompany, of course!) Enjoy.

Shrimp Scampi Pasta in Lemon Butter Sauce

Yield: 4

This is a perfect dish for Summer, featuring sauteed shrimp in a lemon butter sauce, served over fettucine with fresh parsley and garlic.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons for sauce
  • 3/4 pound fettucine (or linguine, angel hair, spaghetti)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp (about 12 jumbo or 16 large shrimp), peeled and deveined, tails intact
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 large scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, zest grated for sauce plus extra for garnish
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • pinch of cayenne
  • Garnish: parsley, lemon zest, red pepper, salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Drizzle the vegetable oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.
  2. Prep all ingredients (chop garlic, parsley, green onions, zest and halve the lemons and squeeze juice, measure out oil, lemon juice, wine, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes).
  3. Melt butter and olive oil in another large pan over medium-low heat and add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  4. Add the shrimp, salt, and pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add parsley, lemon zest, wine, lemon juice, lemon slices, scallions and red pepper flakes; cook for 1-2 additional minutes. Stir and remove from heat.
  5. When the pasta is done, drain the cooked pasta and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve with additional chopped fresh parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste, cayenne and red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve with a glass of white wine (Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc) and a green salad or crusty bread.
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http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/05/13/shrimp-scampi-pasta/

Shrimp Scampi Pasta

 

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An Interview w/ Italian Chef Pia Vallone :: Spring Vegetable Soup Recipe

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Pia Vallone / Mascarpone Mousse
Chef Pia Vallone / Mascarpone Mousse with Almond & Cookie Crumb

I love Italian food. I mean really loooove Italian food.. And who doesn’t? But especially authentic, homemade Italian Рcooked with fresh ingredients and simple, healthy recipes that are downright divine. I recently took a cooking class at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City with Chef and Culinary Instructor Pia Vallone, who teaches the Techniques of Italian Cooking course. It was a 5-week intensive class 6 hours long. Lots to learn in a short amount of time. Chef Pia, a native of Italy and graduate of ICE, taught us a a variety of recipes from different regions of Italy spanning the basic recipes and techniques.

Wild Boar Ragu w/ Matriaciani
Wild Boar Ragu w/ Matriciani

We made fresh pasta and risottos, hearty ragus and fresh and creamy sauces, roasted and braised meats, seafood dishes, soups and stews,

Baked Tomatoes with Oregano / Baked Shrimp with Garlic, Parsley & Crumbs
Baked Tomatoes with Oregano / Baked Shrimp with Garlic, Parsley & Crumbs

roasted and braised vegetables (my favorites were the Roasted Tomatoes and Stuffed Wine-braised Artichokes), desserts such as Classic Tiramisu, Mascarpone Mousse and Rustic Italian Apple Crostata,

Radish, Spinach, Romaine and String Bean Salad
Radish, Spinach, Romaine and String Bean Salad

and healthy, fresh Italian salads and small plates.

Making Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi
Making Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi

We always had red and white Italian wine and fresh Italian bread to accompany, and learned the customs of eating the way the Italians do – start with an “antipasti” (appetizer), next order a “primo” (first course usually consisting of pasta, risotto, minestrone or other soups), then pick your main “secondi” (second course usually a meat or fish dish), have a small bit of “formaggi” (cheese) after your main, then on to “dolci” (sweets/desserts such as cheese, fruit, sweet wine, and coffee/cappucino).

Sage Brown Butter
Sage Brown Butter

We made some of the most amazing Italian food during this class and learned classic authentic cooking techniques that I was able to bring home with me to prepare my own delicious Italian food. In fact, I was so impressed with Pia’s class that I had to interview her to share her culinary background and story along with a recipe with all of you! Enjoy.

  1. Can you tell me a little bit about your culinary training and professional background? What was your first job as a Chef and what was that like?

My first and only hands-on restaurant experience was in an Italian restaurant in London (cannot remember the name of the restaurant), near Victoria Station, in the summer of 1978. A friend of mine who worked as an executive chef there, offered me a job as a sous chef. After a month of hard work, I had to leave the restaurant, because my visa was about to expire and soon after, I returned to Italy. The second experience related to food, was working for several years as a bookkeeper for a restaurant and corporate catering. There I learned so much about food and was exposed to new ingredients and flavor profiles, although I worked in the establishment’s office. As for training, I graduated from The Institute of Culinary Education in NYC and hold a Culinary Arts diploma and a Pastry and Baking Arts diploma. I currently work at ICE as a Manager of Kitchen Assistants and as a Recreational Chef Instructor, though I have worked in different areas in the company, within the past 10 years.

  1. When did you realize you wanted to be a Chef? Who inspired you most as a young cook and what did you learn from them?

I always loved cooking and eating, but I began to spend time experimenting with recipes from various kinds of cuisines in my home kitchen, cooking for friends when I arrived to New York in 1980. Wanting to get involved with food and becoming a chef was a second career change for me, which began in 2001.

 My greatest inspiration was my father, who was a gourmand and a terrific cook. I spent many hours in the kitchen with him during my childhood, helping out, observing him and absorbing all the knowledge I could. From my father, I learned passion, love and appreciation of good food and the importance of using fresh ingredients.

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about your culinary style and what makes your menus and recipes unique?

My style is mainly rustic. I like rustic food for its simplicity and because it is nourishes the body and soul. My menus and recipes are unique, because the ingredients I use are accessible and inexpensive.

  1. Is there a difference in the recipes you create/the food you eat in Italy versus the Italian food here in the United States and what are the main differences?

The difference between food in Italy and food here‚Ķ? Food in Italy is extremely fresh, mostly organic and seasonal. Its flavor(s) cannot be replicated in dishes cooked outside of the Country. Food in Italy is also quite simple. In fact, most of the best food I have ever eaten there was prepared with just a few ingredients. On the contrary, Italian American food is the result of ‚Äėimported‚Äô traditions and transformations, mostly due the immigrant‚Äôs longing for the ‚ÄėOld Country‚Äô. Immigrants, who arrived here tried to capture flavors and freeze memories, by utilizing similar ingredients grown in a different terroir. Nowadays though, great Italian chefs live here in the States, so the differences between Italian food in Italy and the US is narrowing down.

  1. In your opinion, what are the most important elements when creating a recipe from scratch?

The most important elements are: fresh ingredients, simplicity and focus, Make sure to tastes the food while cooking it.

  1. What is your signature dish or your favorite recipe?

My favorite dish is ‚ÄėRoman Style Tripe‚Äô, a dish that brings back childhood memories.

  1. What is your favorite spice or ingredient to cook with and why?

I love black pepper, which I use in all savory recipes. Besides liking its pungent flavor, I add it to dishes because it helps improve digestion.

  1. What is your favorite cooking gadget or kitchen item you can’t live without and why?

I own many gadgets and often buy the new ones that are the latest invention in the market, but always tend to use the familiar ones over and over. A gadget I cannot live without is a hand held grater, because it is efficient and does not use too much space in the kitchen.

  1. Do you have any advice for aspiring chefs and home cooks?

Start by cooking a simple recipe, one with 4 or 5 ingredients. Learn basic skills and techniques at first and then move on to a larger repertoire. Patience, practice and repetition are important to achieve success with cooking, as with other things in life.

  1. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself?

Yes. I am always looking to inspire others to cook. It is a pleasure to see that people are interested in cooking and familiarizing themselves with ingredients. Sharing passion for food and cooking with people is an all-around relaxing experience for me.

Spring Vegetable Soup
Spring Vegetable Soup

Spring Vegetable Soup

Yield: serves 6

2 small carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 small zucchini, diced
1 small butternut squash, diced
1 bunch escarole, chopped
¬Ĺ cup peas, frozen
1 tablespoon basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
¬ľ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for bread and for drizzling on soup
4 quarts chicken stock
1 small ciabatta bread
Sea salt to taste
Pepper to taste

  1. Sauté carrots, celery and onions in a large stock pot over medium heat, for approximately 5 minutes, making sure that you stir the vegetables while they cook.
  2. Add chicken stock to the pan. Increase the heat to high, cover the pan, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Slice bread into 1‚ÄĚ thick slices. Brush slices with the additional olive oil on both sides and place in a saut√© pan over low heat. Turn bread slices once and cook until they are golden brown. Place bread in a tray and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside.
  4. Add butternut squash to the stockpot and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add zucchini and peas to the stockpot and cook for 3 more minutes.
  6. Add escarole, basil, parsley, salt and pepper and cook for 4 additional minutes.
  7. Remove two ladles of soup from the stockpot and puree in a blender, then return the pureed soup to the pot (the puree will thicken the soup). Stir and cook for 1 minute, then turn off the heat.
  8. Add some grated cheese into the soup and stir. Ladle soup in individual bowls, drizzle oil and sprinkle additional cheese.

Recipe Copyright © Pia Vallone 2010.

Photo credits: Kristen Hess and Pia Vallone. 

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Chicken Enchiladas de Mole Negro

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chicken enchiladas mole

Last year I took some friends from out of town to a great Mexican restaurant in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, and sampled their classic Oaxacan-style Enchiladas de Mole Negro (Chicken Mole Enchiladas). Served bubbling hot with a melted layer of Chihuahua cheese, velvety mole sauce and shredded chicken with onions inside corn tortillas, this delicious dish was baked to perfection. I decided they were so good I need to make them myself at home.

Mole (pronounced Moh-lay) is a common dish in Mexican cuisine, prepared with a rich, reddish brown chili-chocolate sauce using dark chocolate and guajillo peppers (you can find these at your local fresh market or online at Marx foods or Penzeys Spices). Slightly spicy with a touch of smokiness, Mole Enchiladas are usually prepared with chicken but can also be made with pork or shredded beef, (or vegetarian with corn, beans and rice filling). To save time, you can prepare the sauce ahead of time, and use pre-made shredded chicken, beef or whatever filling you decide on. Bake them in a clay or ceramic casserole and serve directly from the oven in the dish, garnished with cilantro or green onions, along with a side of chips and a variety of salsas and a tangy lime margarita.

Chicken Enchiladas de Mole Negro

Enchilada Ingredients:

8-10 corn tortillas, small size
1 ¬Ĺ cups shredded chicken (can substitute shredded beef or pork if desired)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
2 cups grated white cheese, halved in 2 equal parts (queso fresco or chihuahua)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Mole Sauce Ingredients:

2 slices thick-cut bacon
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
4 dried guajillo peppers, seeds & stems removed
4 cloves garlic
1/4 c warm water
1 – 14 oz can stewed Mexican tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 c premium dark chocolate, chopped fine
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Cilantro and diced white onions, for garnish

Directions for Mole Sauce:

Preheat a saucepan over medium high heat and cook bacon until fully cooked and crispy. Remove bacon from pan and save for another purpose. Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté until soft and translucent, about 6-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree chilies, garlic and water in a food processor. Strain the puree through a fine mesh strainer, reserving juices. Add tomatoes, broth and strained chili puree to vegetable mixture in the saucepan and cook on high heat for 20-30 minutes. Let the sauce reduce and thicken, then strain the sauce again, pressing on solids.

Stir in the dark chocolate to the sauce until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste; keep warm.

Directions for Enchiladas:

Mix chicken, sour cream, green onions and half of the cheese in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Lay out the tortillas on a baking sheet and fill each one with chicken mixture down the middle. Roll the tortillas tightly and lay in a ceramic or clay baking dish that has a thin layer of mole sauce already spread on the bottom (to prevent sticking and burning).

Cover with remaining sauce and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Serve with chopped cilantro and green onions for garnish and extra sour cream, if desired.

Serves 4.

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Celebrate National Pi Day w/ some PIEHOLE Whisky Cocktails

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Pi Day

Pi Day,¬†the¬†mathematical holiday, is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter ‚ÄúŌÄ‚ÄĚ) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant ‚ÄĒ the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter ‚ÄĒ which is approximately 3.14159.

And¬†even though it’s a less common holiday to be celebrated,¬†it‚Äôs simply another great reason to whip up a cocktail.¬†And what better to include in your Pi(e) Day drink than PIEHOLE Whiskey?

Piehole Sweetheart Brooke

In honor of the occasion, I’d like to share three delicious spring cocktails, created by the¬†National PIEHOLE Sweetheart (and New Orleans Bartender) Brooke Flaherty.

Piehole_Lucky_Apple

Lucky Apple

1.5 oz. PIEHOLE‚ĄĘ Whiskey with Apple Flavored Liqueur

3 oz. Ginger Beer

A splash sour mix

A splash of lemon-lime soda

Garnish with lime wedge

Piehole_Cherry_Punch

Cherry Punch

1.5 oz. PIEHOLE‚ĄĘ Whiskey with Cherry Flavored Liqueur

4 oz. Ginger Ale

.5 oz. Pineapple Juice

.5 oz. Orange Juice

Juice from half of a lemon

Garnish with a cherry and orange

Piehole_Pecan_Sweet_Tea

Pecan Sweet Tea

1.5 oz. PIEHOLE‚ĄĘ Whiskey with Pecan Flavored Liqueur

1 oz. Orange Juice

Top with Iced Tea

A dash of bitters

Lemon juice

Garnish with lemon wedge

————————-

Find more fun PIEHOLE cocktail recipes online at https://www.pieholewhiskey.com

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Designing Dining Workshop at Bard Graduate Center NYC

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DesigningDining-JPEGFlyer-1

I’m excited to announce that I will be participating in the Designing Dining Workshop at Bard Graduate Center in NYC on Saturday April 16th! This¬†three-session workshop (over 3 weekends, see schedule above) investigates the visual design, materials, and traditions of presenting creative tablesettings. Participants experiment with table stylings, craft their own metal spoon, and learn how best to photograph food and drink.

I will be teaching the Session 3: Framing Food workshop where I will be discussing the principles and history of food styling and photography, with a hands-on workshop experience for participants to style and photograph their own culinary masterpieces at the event.

We are currently raffling off one (1) free ticket (worth $250) to the workshop to all three sessions! All you have to do is leave a comment below on why you would like to attend the workshop and I will be choosing a winner randomly who will be contacted by email before the event by March 25th. Make sure to include your email when you comment below!

The Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture is a graduate research institute located in New York City, offering exhibitions, degrees and research initiatives exploring new ways of thinking about decorative arts,
design history, and material culture.

Click here for the full schedule and details for the Designing Dining event

Follow Bard Graduate Center on Facebook

Follow Bard Graduate Center on Twitter

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Chicken, Spinach & Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo

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Chicken Spinach Mushroom Fettuccine

I made myself a pledge to focus on¬†being healthier and happier since the New Year has¬†started… getting more sleep, balancing work and life better, focusing on my business and my brand with a revived passion, reaching out to friends and family more often, traveling more, eating healthier and getting more walking around the city in, and just choosing to be happy every day, no matter what. NO EXCUSES.

Chicken Spinach Mushroom Fettuccine

BUT, see the thing is…I hate diets. They never work and I¬†slowly grow tired of counting calories and feeling deprived and end up eating like a maniac and ruining all the good i just did by torturing myself on the diet in the first place. So I’ve decided to go in a different direction by simply cutting sugar out of my diet, eating more healthy lean proteins and fresh veggies and cutting DOWN on carbs, not fully out. It seems to lessen the pain of a diet and I truly feel better and am more conscious of what I eat by tracking the amount of carbs I’m taking in. ¬†So far, so good.¬†

Chicken Spinach Mushroom Fettuccine

So I decided I wouldn’t fully deprive myself of the carb-laden pasta dishes I crave in the Winter and that I’ve been missing out on, and made a Chicken, Spinach, Mushroom & Bacon Fettuccine Alfredo that’s absolutely to die for.¬†I used some lower-carb fettuccine pasta (Carba-Nada, which I got on Amazon for $10 and it only has 17 grams of carbs in 1.5 cups of pasta...LOVE IT). I saut√©ed some chicken breasts, shallots, garlic, bacon and added some spinach and mushrooms to make the base for the pasta. Then I made a delicious Alfredo sauce with half and half, unsalted butter, whipped cream cheese and shredded Parmesan cheese, thinned down with some water to make a semi-healthier version of this luscious, velvety (and usually super¬†rich and fattening) pasta sauce.

I hope you’re getting through the Winter OK yourselves, and if not, whip up a batch of this deliciousness. Guilt-Free. You’ll be just fine, I promise. ūüėČ

Chicken Mushroom Spinach Fettuccine

Chicken, Spinach & Mushroom Alfredo Fettucine

Ingredients

  • CHICKEN, SPINACH & MUSHROOM PASTA
  • 1 package fresh or dried fettuccine pasta
  • 4 slices center cut bacon
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breasts (3-4 pieces)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 package frozen spinach (or a few handfuls fresh baby spinach)
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (baby bella, porcini, chanterelle)
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • ALFREDO SAUCE
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 3/4 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 5 ounces shredded parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup water, as needed for desired sauce consistency

Instructions

  1. CHICKEN, SPINACH & MUSHROOM PASTA
  2. Cook pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions, drain and set aside. Reserve some of the pasta water to add back in to the pasta sauce later on, for consistency.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy and cooked through. Drain on paper towels, crumble and set aside.
  4. Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts, brush olive oil on and season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Drain bacon grease from saute pan and raise heat to medium high. Saute chicken breasts, about 6 minutes per side, until a nice browning occurs and chicken is cooked through. Set aside, and keep warm with tented foil. (NOTE: You may also grill the chicken if desired at the same cooking time).
  6. In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter and saute shallots for a few minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add sliced mushrooms and saute for another few minutes until they are soft.
  7. Defrost frozen spinach in microwave for 5 minutes, drain and then add spinach (you can also add fresh spinach now) to the pan with the shallots, garlic and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes until all cooked through, add crumbled bacon and season with freshly ground black pepper. Turn heat to low and keep warm while making the Alfredo sauce.
  8. ALFREDO SAUCE
  9. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, cream and whipped cream cheese over medium-low heat.
  10. Add shredded Parmesan cheese and season with freshly ground black pepper. If sauce seems too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water to the sauce to thin it down to desired consistency.
  11. Pour the Alfredo sauce into the pan with the spinach and mushroom mixture, slice the chicken into slices or chunks and add to the sauce and stir together well.
  12. Serve hot over the pasta (or you can mix the pasta into the sauce ahead of serving, whatever you prefer).
  13. Serves 4-6.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2016/02/23/chicken-spinach-mushroom-fettuccine-alfredo/

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Almond Shortbread Cookies w/ Blood Orange Glaze

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Almond Shortbread Cookies

So February is here and so is National Almond Day! I absolutely love almonds – not only are they packed with tons of vitamins, minerals and fiber, but they also taste amazing! I love toasting almonds¬†for salad toppings, making¬†almond¬†crust¬†for¬†chicken or fish, and best of all baking them into lovely, nutty, scrumptious desserts…especially cookies..mmmmm.

KitchenAid Countertop Oven

I recently got a new KitchenAid¬ģ¬†12‚Ä≥ Convection Digital Countertop Oven, and¬†I am absolutely in love with it! Not only is it a toaster oven, but it‚Äôs also a fully functioning convection oven with nine¬†different pre-programmed functions, including Pizza, Bagel, Cookie, Asado Roast¬†and Keep Warm. It has a large capacity with enough room to roast a chicken or make a 12‚Ä≥ pizza, and of course enough space to bake a¬†large batch of cookies. I LOVE THIS THING!

Blood Orange Glazed Almond Shortbread Cookies

Since we are in the dead of winter and in the spirit of¬†National Almond Day, I thought a big batch of cookies was in order. I made some delicious Almond Shortbread Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze. They‚Äôre super buttery and crisp with a sweet, tart and refreshing hint of blood orange ‚Äď perfect for a chilly day with a cup of tea. And they‚Äôre really easy¬†to make too..check out the link below for my recipe on the Kitchenthusiast food blog and enjoy!!!

CLICK HERE TO GET THE RECIPE AND STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOS ON THE KITCHENAID BLOG

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Favorite Game Day Recipes for the Super Bowl!

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superbowl 2016

So the big day is right around the corner..Super Bowl, yay! I’m not really partial to either team and am not even a huge football fan, but i LOVE LOVE LOVE the Super Bowl simply because of the fun parties, the commercials, and the food and drinks, of course.

So in spirit of the football party season, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite game day recipes that are perfect for a crowd. Finger foods, appetizers, dips and spreads and small bites to party in style!¬†Stay tuned later this week for some fun cocktail ideas for the big game too..may¬†the best team win! #gopanthers #gobroncos

#FOOTBALL #FOOD!

Sloppy Joes

Devishly Good Sriracha Jalape√Īo Honey Sloppy Joes

Amazing Macaroni and Cheese

Amazing Macaroni and Cheese

Parmesan-Garlic-Artichoke-Dip

Parmesan Garlic Artichoke Dip

Taco Pizza

Seriously Delish Taco Pizza

Spicy Cajun Chili

Spicy Cajun Chili

Beef Enchilada Tortilla Casserole

Beef Enchilada Tortilla Casserole

Meatball Madness!

Meatball Madness!

Homemade Rustic Pizzas

Homemade Rustic Pizza

Chili Rub Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Chili Rub Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Mini Tarts

Sweet and Savory Mini Tarts

Chic Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Orange Tart

Glazed Chocolate Orange Tart

Click here to find some more great celebrity chef #recipes to celebrate the Super Bowl on NFL.com

And some more game day recipe ideas on Food Network!

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Red Beef Curry with Zucchini Noodles

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Red Beef Curry

The New Year has arrived, and it’s time to start anew. I like to kick bad habits and start new resolutions, such as exercising more, dropping a few pounds, cleaning house, and of course eating healthier and lighter.

Zucchini Noodles Action

I recently got the new KitchenAid¬ģ¬†Spiralizer Attachment¬†to go along with my KitchenAid¬ģ¬†Stand Mixer¬†and am so excited to experiment with it to make some healthier low-carb meals! It comes with five different blades for peeling, coring and slicing and is perfect for fresh fruits and vegetables.¬†I love pasta and rice, but spiralized veggies are such a great substitute when I want to lighten up my recipes.

Prepped Ingredients

Because we are in the middle of winter, I thought a delicious comfort food dish with a healthy twist would be perfect. I made an amazing Red Beef Curry with Zucchini Noodles, with stewed beef, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and green beans in a lovely curry sauce made with coconut milk, red curry paste, fresh lime juice, fish sauce, a little beef broth and a dash of Sriracha.

Red Beef Curry

Super delicious and easy to make!

Cutlery and Veggies

I also got an amazing new¬†Professional Series 3.5‚Ä≥ Paring Knife¬†that came with my larger set, perfect¬†for chopping my onions and garlic. and Thai chilies and basil, which I used for garnish. The larger Chef’s knife was great for cutting up the large chunks of beef, and sweet potatoes with it’s sturdier grip and large super sharp blade.

Red Beef Curry

This is such a great Winter comfort food dish to make and it’s so easy with all the right tools! You’ll definitely want to make this Red Beef Curry for dinner – tonight!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RECIPE AND STEP BY STEP VISUALS ON THE KITCHENTHUSIAST BLOG!

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The Most Popular Posts of 2015 :: Happy New Year 2016!

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2015 Happy New Year

So here it is, the last day of the year 2015..oh how time flies, and so much has happened! I’m so thankful for all the wonderful opportunities that have come into my life¬†and the lessons learned along the way. ¬†Here are some of my¬†Top /¬†Most Popular posts from The Artful Gourmet blog this year — and wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year 2016!

Neapolitan Pizza

The Secrets to Making Neapolitan Pizza like a Master Pizzaiolo –http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/08/11/neapolitan-pizza-making-with-the-pros/

Crab Salad

Refreshingly Light Get in My Bikini Salad –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/05/21/refreshingly-light-get-in-my-bikini-crab-salad/

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/11/02/classic-comfort-food-beef-stroganoff/

Homemade Rustic Pizzas

Homemade Rustic Pizzas: Chicken, Spinach, Garlic & Sundried Tomato Pizza & Pepperoni, Ham & Saut√©ed Veggies Pizza –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/10/02/homemade-rustic-pizzas-chicken-spinach-garlic-sundried-tomato-pizza-pepperoni-ham-sauteed-veggie-pizza/

holiday dinner menu

An Intimate Gathering Holiday Dinner Party Menu: http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2010/11/28/an-intimate-gathering-holiday-dinner-party-menu/

Chicken French & Lemon Broccolini

Rochester-Style Chicken French & Lemon Broccolini –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/03/17/rochester-style-chicken-french-lemon-broccolini/

Mario Lopez & Avocados from Mexico

Food Styling for Mario Lopez and Avocados from Mexico –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/12/17/food-styling-mario-lopez-avocados-mexico-nbc-live-bethenny-shows/

pasta fagioli soup

Big Pot O’Goodness: Pasta Fagioli –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/12/11/big-pot-o-goodness-pasta-fagioli/

Truffle-Pancetta-3Cheese-Pasta

Truffled 3-Cheese Pasta with Pancetta and Garlic –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/10/25/crazy-good-truffle-oil-pancetta-three-cheese-pasta/

BDTChowder

Black Dog Tavern’s Quahog Chowderhttp://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/09/24/a-taste-of-marthas-vineyard-the-black-dog-taverns-quahog-chowder/

Asparagus-Garlic-3-Cheese Tart

Baby Asparagus,¬†Garlic¬†&¬†Three Cheese Tart –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/11/24/asparagus-three-cheese-tart/

Spicy Cajun Chili
Spicy Cajun Chilihttp://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/11/09/spicy-cajun-chili/

Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/05/13/shrimp-scampi-pasta/

Spinach Artichoke Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Spinach Artichoke Pizza with Cauliflower Crusthttp://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/06/03/spinach-artichoke-ricotta-pizza-with-parmesan-garlic-cauliflower-crust/

Recipes Worth Sharing Cookbook

Recipes Worth Sharing: A Collection of Favorite Regional Recipes –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/03/21/recipes-worth-sharing-a-collection-of-favorite-regional-recipes/

Sun Noodle Ramen Lab

Top Ten {Things I Love} :: Spring 2013 –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/04/07/top-ten-things-i-love-spring-2013/

Southern Feast

A Dose of Southern Comfort & Down-Home Recipes – Part 1 –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/05/08/a-dose-of-southern-comfort-down-home-recipes-part-1/

spicy fish tacos and wine

Cool off with some Spicy Fish Tacos & Summer Wine Pairings –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/06/01/cool-off-with-some-spicy-fish-tacos-summer-wine-pairings/

Hope you enjoyed these posts and looking forward to sharing more fun stories with you in the New Year!

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Top 10 {Things I Love} :: Winter 2015

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My¬†Top 10¬†{Things I Love}¬†list is back for Winter¬†2015 with some fun and interesting objets de desir, places, people, books, food and drinks¬†that I’m currently¬†crushing on¬†– not¬†necessarily ordered in terms of my favorite – but¬†are all worthy of a huge shoutout for their awesomeness in my opinion…¬†Happy Holidays¬†and New Year 2016!¬†

magpie cookbook

Magpie Cookbook –¬†Magpie Artisan Pie Boutique is a popular pie shop in Philadelphia, owned by Chef Holly Ricciardi. This book is full of her famous¬†pie recipes, both savory and sweet – from luscious quiches, pot pies and hand pies, to fruity, creamy and nutty pies like her bourbon-infused Butterscotch Pie recipe passed down from her Grandmother. Great for any pie-obsessed person¬†and includes tons of great techniques on how to make different types of crusts and decorative touches for a gorgeous handmade pie. Ah, PIE.
Get it on Amazon

aria wine bar

Aria Wine Bar, NYC – This trendy cozy place has 2 locations: one in the West Village, and another in Hell’s Kitchen in NYC. Offering Venetian-style Italian Tapas, the menu has a plethora of delicious small plates, appetizers, pasta dishes, and salads all created for sharing. They have a great wine list, and the atmosphere is romantic and buzzing and the best part is the wine list offers¬†the fruits of the world‚Äôs foremost lady vintners. Try the Mini Meatballs drenched in homemade sauce and melted cheese, the Saut√©ed Mussels in wine, or the Truffle Mac & Cheese. You won’t be disappointed! Another NYC fave not to miss.
http://ariawinebar.com

bacon jam

The Bacon Jams Bacon Spread – Who doesn’t love bacon? Well now you can have it anytime on the fly. This delicious Bacon Jam is made with real bacon, brown sugar, and onions with¬†three varieties that can all be simply spread on crackers or bread, elegantly spread¬†to elevate appetizers, grilled sandwiches, pasta or to add bacon to any of your favorite dishes.¬†Try the Original, Black Pepper or Red Chile and Garlic. Delicious!
http://thebaconjams.com

Trimino Protein Water

Trimino Protein Water¬†–¬†With the popularity of vitamin waters and fruit waters abound, there’s a new and improved kid on the block. Trimino Still and Sparkling waters are infused with 7 grams of protein, are caffeine and sugar free, and only 28 calories. And lots of fun flavors too! Strawberry Lemonade, Mixed Berry, Coconut Pineapple, Peach and Watermelon. Perfectly light and refreshing for and after workout drink or as a base for a fruity beverage or cocktail.
http://drinktrimino.com

Gala Pork Pie

Parker’s British Foods¬†– Brits Victoria and Damian Parker have a serious love for¬†British food, and learned the crafts of butchery, meat curing and pie making from some incredible British butchers, combining those skills with the best meats and recipes the British Isles had to offer. Then they¬†got married, packed their¬†bags and set off for a¬†new life in America. Now based out of Buffalo, NY, they offer genuine British food like Pork Pie, Sausages, Proper Fish and Chips and a variety of British sweets, condiments, drinks, snacks and gifts for sale in¬†their online store. Check ’em out, Mate!
https://www.parkersbritishinstitution.com/shop-online

extra virgin nyc

Extra Virgin NYC¬†– Extra Virgin is a great little neighborhood spot located in New York City‚Äôs West Village.¬†They offer¬†delicious Mediterranean food in a buzzing dimly lit atmosphere with a fantastic wine selection and¬†different varieties of extra virgin oils from around the world. Try the Fritto¬†Misto – lightly fried calamari, zucchini and shrimp as an appetizer..it’s light and crispy and perfectly fried to perfection. The Prosciutto-wrapped Sea Scallops are equally delicious, served over Cauliflower Puree and Porcini Sauce with a Apple and Celery Salad on the side. The Short Ribs¬†are to die for, and literally¬†melt in your mouth, served over Truffled Mashed Potatoes (try these with a side of Grilled Broccolini..super delicious!) They also have a great Sunday brunch and lovely desserts..Another¬†NYC fave, don’t miss it.
http://extravirginrestaurant.com

Jan Burtz Gold Luster Plates

Jan Burtz Luster Ceramics¬†– Offered exclusively at ABC Home in New York City, these ceramics¬†have¬†a handprinted metallic¬†border that lovingly outlines their natural and irregular forms. Made by hand from creamy porcelain and homemade glazes, these pieces bring us back to the basics, accentuating the fluidity and grace of hand-formed wares. Made in Jan Burtz’s Connecticut studio, no two pieces are alike. Also offered in silver and a variety of bowls, trays, platters, vases, plates and sizes. Adds an elegant rustic touch to any table!

Get them on ABC Home

Maple Syrup Cookbook

Maple Syrup Cookbook¬†–¬†I recently got this cookbook and absolutely love it! Why? Because I’m in love with maple syrup and everything in here has a recipe made with it. I made the French Canadian Maple Sugar Pie with Walnuts and the Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts for Thanksgiving and they were both delicious hit at the table! If you love maple syrup as much as I do you can’t miss this cookbook..get it! Immediately.
Get it on Amazon

Raised Bloom Baking Set, Anthropologie

Raised Bloom Baking Set¬†–¬†Who doesn’t love a little bling for the holidays, and better yet who doesn’t love Anthropologie??? This adorable baking set is made of carved stoneware coated¬†in a lovely iridescent glaze including a rolling pin, pie server, measuring spoons, pie plate, whisk and a muffin tin. Almost too pretty to bake with!
Get it on Anthropologie

cranberry sauce

Colors of Nature Cranberry Sauce with Rum and Orange –¬†Colors of Nature is a small, family owned company based out of Brooklyn NY that makes beautiful small batch sauces, jellies and cakes full of fresh¬†ingredients¬†and flavors. Try the Cranberry Sauce made with Rum and Orange – perfect for the holidays!
http://www.colorsofnature.nyc

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Classic Comfort Food :: Beef Bourguignon

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Beef Bourguignon

So Old Man Winter is finally back in town, despite the crazy warm weather¬†we’ve been having lately in New York City. Temperatures drop and there’s nothing better than a big pot of comfort food and a bottle of red to make a girl happy, right? Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make everything OK…(*sigh).¬†So I did just that this weekend, and made a huge batch of some classic¬†Beef Bourguignon..you know, the classic French¬†braised beef stew with veggies and red wine that¬†Julia Child¬†made famous.

Beef Bourguignon

I¬†made it¬†in a large 6-quart ceramic Dutch oven (KitchenAid¬†brand is my fav!), and it’s chock full of savory deliciousness – saut√©ed pancetta, braised beef, shallots, garlic and carrots saut√©ed into a roux with some flour, flambeed brandy (my secret ingredient!), a whole bottle of red¬†(yes, really!) and some beef stock, along with a bouquet garni of fresh herbs (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, 3 sprigs of rosemary wrapped in cheesecloth) slow cooked in the oven for 2 hours.

Beef Bourguignon

The finishing touch of mushrooms and caramelized Cippolini onions sautéed in butter are added in at the end to add tons of buttery, savory flavor to the stew. YUM.

Beef Bourguignon

I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything so delicious in my life –¬†and I’m quite sure if Julia was still alive, I would make her damn proud, if I do say so myself.

Beef Bourguignon

It’s a flavor bomb in a bowl, my friends, and perfect for a lovely ¬†holiday dinner party for a crowd. Serve in big bowls garnished with fresh Italian parsley over mashed potatoes, polenta or egg noodles, of course accompanied with a bottle of red (Pinot Noir or Burgundy) and some crusty French bread to mop up the sauce. All around¬†a big table of friends and family to partake in all the goodness.

Happy Holidays! 

Beef Bourguignon

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

This is a delicious heartwarming French Beef Stew made with beef chuck, red wine, brandy, fresh herbs, shallots, garlic, cippolini onions, carrots and pancetta. Perfect one-pot dish for Winter or the holidays!

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds beef chuck, cut into medium-large cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, diced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 large shallots, finely diced
  • 3 large carrots, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 bottle dry red wine (Pinot Noir or Burgundy)
  • 4 cups beef or veal stock
  • 1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs thyme, 3 sprigs Italian parsley)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
  • 5-7 small to medium Cippolini onions, quartered
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced (White button or Cremini)
  • Flat leaf Italian Parsley, minced, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place beef in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and season with a couple teaspoons of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Heat a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat for several minutes to get it hot.
  4. Add pancetta and cook until crispy and browned, drain on paper towels and set aside.
  5. Increase the heat to high and add the beef in to the pot in a single layer and brown on all sides, turning with tongs (be careful not to crowd or overfill the pot as you will need to cook beef in batches to get a nice browning).
  6. Place the browned beef back on to the baking sheet and set aside.
  7. Add the oil and diced shallots and carrots to the Dutch oven and cook for a few minutes. Lower the heat to medium-high and continue to saute until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the brandy and flambe (light it in the pan with a long lighter or match) and let the flames keep going for as long as possible, until they go out to burn off alcohol.
  9. Reduce heat to medium, add flour and stir together with the vegetables for a few minutes to make a roux base for the stew.
  10. Next deglaze the pan by pouring in the red wine, a little bit at a time, stirring well to incorporate and remove any lumps, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan (these babies are full of flavor!)
  11. Add 3 3/4 cups of the stock, browned meat and bouquet garni and bring to a boil over high heat.
  12. Remove pot from the heat, cover and cook the stew in the oven for 2 hours, until meat is fork tender. (The meat should shred/fall apart easily when you pierce it with a fork - if not, place it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes).
  13. While stew is cooking, caramelize the onions in a medium saute pan with 1 tablespoon of butter and salt and pepper, until the onions are lightly browned.
  14. Add the remaining 1/4 cup stock and cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and glazed and liquid is evaporated.
  15. Transfer onions to a bowl and set aside.
  16. In the same pan, turn the heat up to high. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, the mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, sear over high heat until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and mix into the caramelized onions, set aside.
  17. Remove the stew from the oven and gently stir in cooked pancetta, mushrooms and onions. Adjust seasonings (salt and pepper to taste).
  18. Serve the stew in bowls with a sprinkling of fresh parsley over mashed potatoes, polenta or egg noodles, with a glass of red and crusty bread to mop up the sauce of course!

Notes

Recipe adapted from Mother's Best Comfort Food Cookbook.

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Beef Bourguignon

Other Beef Bourguignon recipes you may enjoy:

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

Slow-Cooked Beef Bourguignon The Kitchn

Martha Stewart Beef Bourguignon

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