Monégasque means of Monaco, and it appears that this is a variation of one of Monaco’s national dishes. A ravioli filled with chard, spinach, cheeses, and a bit of lamb’s brain (because why wouldn’t you?) is served on top of a stew of beef braised in red wine with carrots and herbs, very much like a Boeuf Bourguignon.
I was leafing through Alain Ducasse’s book and came across this combination of lobster and fresh truffle, perfect for our fish eaters. I had recently bought a little jar of fresh Summer Truffles since this cookbook required truffle for almost every recipe, and decided Thanksgiving was a great moment to serve it out. I loved a lot of Ducasse’s recipe and was inspired by his flavor profile, but have simplified this recipe to make it easier for the home cook.
When I was inviting friends to dinner, I had to explain what Cassoulet was to our non-French friends. The best description I could come up with was “pork and pork and pork and pork, duck and duck fat bean stew.” Cassoulet involves 8 different type of pig and duck meats/products. It is an incredibly rich and warming meal, perfect for the change of the weather. The complex flavor is developed by slowly stewing and roasting ham hocks, pork shoulder, pork skin, prosciutto and pancetta and made further complex by the use of duck fat and duck confit. The Tabais or cannellini beans disperse the meatiness to create what tastes like chili for the gods.
I love Boeuf Bourguignonne. It is an incredible rich and savory recipe. A while back, I decided that I could use rabbit instead, and it worked marvelously! It is now one of my mainstay fall/winter recipes. Instead of button mushrooms, I use Porcini mushrooms to pair an earthy flavor with the rabbit. It is a really wonderful combination. I use dried mushrooms and add the water I use to re-hydrate them into the stock, the flavor is amazing!
As Gordon says, the star of the dish is a perfectly medium-rare piece of filet mignon, and I wanted to celebrate that! My friend Anwar, who runs International Grocery and Halal Meat, Inc. offered to find me a filet mignon for my dish. What an adventure that was! I came to the shop and he cut open a cow to find the tenderloin for me. I got to watch him butcher the meat and point at the cut I wanted. I ended up with about 3 pounds in two pieces. Thank you Anwar!
Escargot is quintessentially French, isn’t it! You say snail’s in reference to anything else, and the most common retort is “ew”. But escargot is a delicacy! The snail itself is mostly a vehicle for a delicious garlicky butter sauce.
I found many recipes for escargot and it felt like all of them were lacking in garlic, but I went with the flow, afraid to over-season. In the end, I wish I added more garlic, so I am doubling the amount of garlic in my recipe for your use.
For me, this meal was an opportunity to indulge in some of my favorite things! I am turning 30 after-all…so Escargot was a must for this meal, and so was beef wellington! I couldn’t quite afford to serve foie gras to 16 guests, so I decided to create a terrine paired with a delicious shallot jam. The terrine’s single most important ingredient is the chicken livers, which my friend Anwar (who runs International Grocery and Halal Meats Inc. on 33rd and Greenmount – go there it is amazing!) has been saving for me for a few weeks! The livers mixed with pork, chicken, and duck, create an amazingly complex flavor. The mustard and cornichon juice give it a bit of an extra kick!
Chanterelle Mushroom Soufflé Daria Souvorova 2 hours serves: 2-3 people Chanterelle mushrooms are my favorite! My mom used to go hiking in the late summers and bring me jars full of freshly boiled Chanterelles, but she has not been able to find them of late…however, the addiction has been formed! I must have them every…