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.
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
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.
Puff au Chocolat Recipe
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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 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.
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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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.
Continue reading “Persimmon Tarte Tatin, Crème Fraîche”
Puff Pastry Pizzette
Red Wine Braised Short Rib
Gorgonzola, Roasted Tomato
Arugula Chiffonade, Malt Vinegar Vinaigrette
May I offer you an appetizer?
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Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon
Red Wine Mushroom Sauce
Spinach in Puff Pastry
Served on an authentic reproduction of the Lincoln Presidential dinner service plates.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential China
The Lincoln China was the Kennedys preferred pattern for dining in the White House.
Mary Todd Lincoln was renowned for her enjoyment of shopping, thus she selected the Lincoln White House china shortly after her husband’s inauguration. An elegant French design, the Lincoln china combines the American eagle with various decorations in a brilliant color called “solferino”. This purple-red hue was invented by the French in 1859 and was very popular among the fashionable hosts of the Lincolns’ day. Authentic reproductions can be purchased at the JFK Museum Store here.
Continue reading “Lincoln Dinner at Delmonico’s, February 12, 1900”
Fresh Local Peaches
Puff Pastry Filled with Peach Jam and Brie
A Drizzle of Honey
Whipped Crème Fraîche
We made this dessert when I was in Chicago visiting my family. We were shopping at Whole Foods Market and asked the produce manager what his favorite fruit was that day. He said, “Local Illinois Peaches.” So that is what we bought and how this dessert came to be.
Initially we were going to grill or sauté the peaches in butter with sugar, but they tasted so delightful as is, we decided to leave them as nature intended. What shall we serve to complement these beauties? Last month I made a Baked Brie in Fillo with Preserves,
that became the inspiration here. Tangy whipped crème fraîche would provide the perfect balance to the sweet fruit.
The photo above is of my neighbor’s peach tree here in Los Angeles. They told me to help myself. YAY! More peachy desserts are on the way! And a big thank you to my generous neighbors!
Cut puff pastry sheets into squares. Fill each square with a generous spoonful of peach jam and a piece of brie. Fold the corners together. Brush the pastry with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until puffed and golden brown.
Slice the peaches and arrange on the plates. Place warm puff pastry in the center, drizzle with honey then top with whipped crème fraîche.
A Splendid and Easy Peachy Dessert!
Caramelized Apples Flambéd with Cognac,
In a Puff Pastry Shell with Crème Fraîche
This is a great dessert especially for those of us who are not advanced bakers.
Pepperidge Farm even tells us which side of the pastry is up. haha
Bake the Puff Pastry shells at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Use a fork to remove the T O P.
Melt butter and brown sugar, cook the apples until soft.
Add a pinch of salt.
This is also a great dessert for those of us who like to light our food on fire.
Add Cognac (or Calvados) to the pan to flambé.
For tips on flambéing, go here
Ladle the warm apples and sauce into the shell and finish with a dollop of crème fraîche.
Six Ingredients, Fancy Dessert:
- brown sugar
- puff pastry shells
- cognac or calvados
- crème fraîche