Archive for March, 2013

March 25, 2013

Revisited: Eggs St. Patrick

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Two years ago I started my own St. Patrick’s Day tradition – Egg’s St. Patrick. Here’s a flashback:

The hollandaise sauce is creamy and rich. The poached eggs are tender with silky, rich yolks. The corned beef is hearty, pleasantly spiced and rich. If you haven’t caught the pattern yet, pretty much everything about this dish is rich except the English muffins, and when you get down to it their sole purpose is sop up all the hollandaise, egg yolk and corned beef juice that you can’t get with a fork.

Although it’s a play on Eggs Benedict – typically a breakfast dish – this is perfectly suited for any time of day. And in true St. Paddy’s day spirit, no matter what time of day it is, it should be accompanied by Guinness.

At the time I couldn’t think of any way it could be better. But with age comes wisdom, and this year’s version was different enough that it merited a new, revised recipe.

Adding Guinness to the sauteed corned beef builds on the stout framework (see what I did there?) of the dish. It imbues it with dark and roasty undertones that add a subtle bite to counteract the natural richness of the hollandaise. Similarly, the caramelized cabbage cuts through the heaviness with notes of sweetness and earthiness.

Seriously, make this next St. Patrick’s Day. Or, you know, this weekend.

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March 20, 2013

Chicken Stuffed with Apricot, Chèvre & Herbes de Provence

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This recipe is a mix of classically French flavors in a very non-traditional style. Herbes de Provence is a mix of dried spices – savory, fennel, basil, thyme, and lavender – that get its name from the French region of Provence. Blended into the chèvre, it creates a tangy, creamy, floral stuffing for the chicken.

Add in some dried apricots (Turkish), stuff the mixture into chicken (everywhere), wrap it in prosciutto (Italian) and braise it in champagne (more French) and chicken stock, and – voila! – stylish fusion entree.

The apricot pairing makes this chicken a great entree to serve with the White Chocolate Mousse with Champagne Apricots I posted recently. In fact, the two dishes are part of a four course meal I recently made – stay tuned for the other two!

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March 3, 2013

Pulled Pork & Pickled Apple Sandwich with Horseradish-Chèvre Aioli

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I started this blog – at least in part – to push myself to come up with new and interesting recipe to share. One of my favorite ways of doing this has been through a culinary challenge: combining unusual ingredients, putting a new spin on an old dish, or some other difficult task.

My last culinary challenge, however, was more than a year ago, and had less to do with creative ingredients and more to do with creative uses of a gas grill.

So when a group of friends offered a new challenge by picking three disparate ingredients for me to make a dish out of, I could barely contain my excitement.

Their selection? Apples, horseradish, and chèvre cheese.

And thus this new pulled pork sandwich was born! The homemade barbecue sauce is a bit more mild than most store-bought versions, which allows the flavors of the meat and other ingredients to shine through. The pickled apples are sour and tart, but still slightly sweet. The aioli is creamy and sharp with just the right amount of horseradish bite. All three components come together to form a creative and tasty new pulled pork recipe!

When I made this my pork wound up closer to stewed than pulled. I was using my awesome new pressure cooker and only cooked it for about 30 minutes, which didn’t quite do the trick. Regardless, I would recommend using a pressure cooker for this recipe (and buying one if you don’t have one) because it cuts the cook time for the pork by several hours.

Have a culinary challenge? Go to the Dear Chef tab and let me know!

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