Holiday Entertaining: Foie Gras with Sweet & Salty Palmier Cookies

Foie Gras with Sweet & Salty Palmier Cookies, Passionfruit, Pistachios

Whole Duck Foie Gras
Warm Sweet & Salty Palmier Cookies
Passionfruit & Pistachios

The second in a series of four impressive Holiday Entertaining dishes, here luxurious Whole Duck Foie Gras is the shining star. Whole duck liver that has been poached in a bouillon flavored with authentic Périgordian seasonings has a velvety texture and is an extravagant delight for the palate.

Warm-from-the-oven palmier cookies are simultaneously sweet and salty. Each bite of foie gras and palmier cookie, composed with a small spoonful of tart tropical passionfruit and a sprinkle of pistachio nuts, is a melt-in-the-mouth experience of immeasurable pleasure.

Foie Gras with Sweet & Salty Palmier Cookies, Passionfruit, Pistachios

Holiday Entertaining: Oysters with Caviar

Holiday Entertaining Series

Hors d’oeuvre: Oysters, Ossetra Caviar, Crème Fraîche (here)

First Course: Foie Gras with Sweet & Salty Palmier Cookies

Holiday Side: Asparagus, Hollandaise, Caviar (here)

Holiday Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Chives, Caviar, Crème Fraîche (here)

How to Make Sweet & Salty Palmier Cookies

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Puff au Chocolat avec Fraises, Basilic, Fleur de Sel

puff au chocolat avec fraises, basilic, fleur de sel

Puff au Chocolat avec Fraises, Basilic, Fleur de Sel

Celebrate Cupid’s holiday with Puff au Chocolat!  Heart-shaped, check. Chocolate, check. Strawberries, check. Plus somethings a bit unexpected on Valentine’s Day – basil and salt. But the combination really is stellar. And you’ll have plenty of time to spend with your sweetheart, as this recipe uses store-bought puff pastry and takes only about 20 minutes (active time) to compose.

You might serve some creme fraiche on the side or pair with a glass of sherry. We like Bodega Dios Baco NV Oloroso Sherry from Jerez, Spain which has wonderful aromas of nuts, vanilla and caramel with rich semi-sweet creamy flavors. Oloroso sherries offer a terrific balance between sweet and dry.

xoxo

Puff au Chocolat Recipe

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Mango & Cream Vol-au-Vent

mango and cream vol-au-vent
Mango & Lime Cream Vol-au-Vent

A Flaky Puff Pastry Shell
Filled with a Lucious Sweet Blend of  Sour Cream & Whipped Cream Cheese with Lime
Golden Ripe Champagne Mango, Lime Zest Garnish

I dedicate this recipe to all the non-bakers of the world. Those (like me) who were born sans the baking gene, and without a sweet-tooth. But who still love to entertain, and just so happen to have friends and family who actually like dessert. A lot.

Preparing this delightful mango & lime cream vol-au-vent takes no particular skill what-so-ever. Follow instructions on a package. Peel a mango. Zest a lime. Whisk sour cream with cream cheese. That’s pretty much the extent of it.

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A Trip to Little Saigon & The NYE Repas du Soir

southeast asian table setting
A Trip to Little Saigon
The New Year’s Eve Repas du Soir
New Year’s Day Fabulous Leftovers Brunch

Best friends, great memories, stellar food – that’s how we celebrate the New Year! The old gang is together again, this time we take A Trip To Little Saigon & cook a NYE Repas du Soir together! My old dear friends, dating back to our restaurant days in the 80’s, are visiting for the holidays.

It was Tori’s idea to spend the day in Little Saigon. Eating lunch, laughing, taking photos, getting massages, and shopping. It was her idea that led to the inspiration to cook French/Vietnamese for dinner. We picked up authentic ingredients for our repas du soir and returned to my home in LA in the late afternoon to drink Champagne and create a six-course meal together.

southeast asian table setting

The dinner table was pre-set in a casually elegant Southeast Asian style with orchids, bamboo, and the color red to symbolize wealth and prosperity. We cranked up the holiday music and started cooking; everyone participated in the creation, photography, prep, and execution of the menu. We had a blast!

I had no intention of submitting this outing for the Foodbuzz 24X24 event until I read that the folks over at Foodbuzz were interested to see how Featured Publishers would be spending the last day of 2011. We had terrific culinary/cultural plans that turned out to be a fantastic way to ring in the New Year.

Extending a very special thank you to my friends FA, Al, Kirk, Tori, and Tom for your love & friendship and sense of humor & adventure! Thank you to Foodbuzz for choosing A Trip to Little Saigon & The NYE Repas du Soir as a participant in December’s 24×24 event. Foodbuzz 24×24 showcases posts from 24 Foodbuzz Featured Publisher bloggers, highlighting unique meals occurring around the globe during a 24-hour period.

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Persimmon Tarte Tatin, Crème Fraîche

persimmon tarte tatin

Fuyu Persimmon Tarte Tatin

Persimmon is a most understood fruit. Those who “hate” persimmon probably do so as a result of a confusion between fuyu and hachiya varieties.

If you attempted to eat an unripe hachiya, that is certainly the cause of your disgust. An unripe hiachya is super-tannic and can taste like chalk or bark. Or worse. Its astringency makes it totally unpalatable. A fully ripe hachiya, however, has the consistency of jelly and is sweet and rich. And a ripe fuyu has a firm texture and tastes like a honey-flavored apple. Now, who “hates” that?

Persimmon has the pizzazzy color and flavor of autumn and makes a great fruit for a tarte tatin. Be sure to use fuyu persimmons and save the RIPE hachiya for something else.

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