Category Archives: holidays

Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu – 11 Delicious Recipes!

It’s the final countdown to Thanksgiving, so how about some delicious inspiration? We gathered our culinary troops to help you out! We’ve selected our favorite Thanksgiving recipes from genius foodies from all around the web. Spend spend less time researching, and more time enjoying.  Take a look and get cookinspired!

Thanksgiving feast!

Photos by: 1) My Endless Picnic. 2) The Galley Gourmet 3) Cooking Canuck 4) A Spicy Perspective 5) Tide & Thyme 6) An Edible Mosaic 7) The Faux Martha 8) Domesticate ME! 9) Drizzle & Dip 10) Unexpected Elegance 11) Simple Gourmet Cooking

A THANKSGIVING DINNER MENU

  1. Homemade Cranberry Sauce – My Endless Picnic
  2. Dry Brined High-Heat Roast Turkey – The Galley Gourmet
  3. Turkey Gravy – Cooking Canuck
  4. Apple Cider Turkey Gravy – A Spicy Perspective
  5. Roasted Turkey – Tide & Thyme
  6. Pumpkin And Cheese Spice Bread –  An Edible Mosaic
  7. Cranberry Sauce – The Faux Martha
  8. Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese, Sage and Pepitas – Domesticate ME!
  9. Roasted Sweet Potato With Pecan and Maple – Drizzle & Dip
  10. Pecan Pie – Unexpected Elegance
  11. Buttermilk Biscuits – Simple Gourmet Cooking

 

Caviar and egg, a classic combination!

Gourmet Guide: Serve, Store, and Eat Caviar Properly

Caviar is one of our best-selling items here at GourmetFoodStore.com.  A lot of you love to eat caviar, so it might come as a surprise to know just how many people are intimidated by the glossy eggs.  How do you serve caviar is one of the most oft-asked questions, followed by the inevitable sequiturs, how do you store caviar, and, of course, how do you eat caviar?

First on our “Gourmet Guide” series, read on to find out everything you need – well, everything we could think of! – to know about serving, storing and eating caviar!

How To Eat Caviar: Caviar on quail eggs and celery salt.

Caviar + Quail Eggs: A classic combination! Ph: CharlotteJulienne

THE DO’s AND DON’Ts OF SERVING, EATING AND STORING CAVIAR

DO…

Serve ChilledCaviar is always served not just cold, but ice-cold. Keep tins of caviar in the fridge right until you’re ready to serve. If you’re going to set the caviar out for people to serve themselves, buffet-style, keep it in the original tin over another bowl of ice, to keep it nice and chilly. Or invest in a gorgeous caviar server!

Use Mother Of Pearl: You want to use either mother of pearl, glass or (and we shudder to even suggest it) in an emergency, plastic…but really, why would you ever serve caviar with plastic?

How To Eat Caviar: Mother Pearl Serving Set And A Glass Serving

Left: Mother of pearl utensils won’t alter the flavor of caviar. Right: A glass server with a bowl for ice will keep your caviar nice and chilly.

Keep It Simple: The most classic way to eat caviar is over a blini or toast points, with a dollop of crème fraiche. A sort of buckwheat mini-pancake of Russian origins, blinis have a very mild bland flavor that acts as the perfect vessel for the salty taste and crunchy pop of caviar.

Feel Free To Be Creative: There are other ways to serve caviar besides as an hors d’oeuvre. Try it over soft or hard boiled quail eggs, with potatoes, or sprinkled over pasta.

How To Eat Caviar: caviar over crispy potato skins with creme fraiche.

A simply delicious and creative way of serving caviar: freshwater caviar over crispy potato skins with creme fraiche. Ph: Thefood-online.com

Drink Vodka or Champagne: down a shot of chilled vodka with caviar to be super authentic, or with a flute of bubbly champagne to be totally glamorous. You can also try a light beer or a crisp and subtle white wine.

Be Gentle: caviar eggs are delicate and tend to be crushed, so gently place the eggs where you want them.

DON’T…

Use Metal: You never, ever, ever, EVER want to eat caviar with a metal utensil – don’t even touch it with metal. Metal changes the flavor of caviar and will taint it with an awful metal bite.

Add Too Many Other Ingredients: the idea is to keep side ingredients bland and to a minimum, to let the flavor of the caviar shine through…after all, you’re paying a pretty penny for each of those eggs!

Actually Cook It: caviar is really not meant for cooking; it becomes tough and the flavor changes.

Drink Caviar With Red Wine or Dark Beer: Try to eat caviar and then down it with a big bold red wine and you’ll quickly realize why. The caviar’s saltiness calls for a drink that’s refreshing and cleanses the palate. Red wines and dark beers are too overwhelming.

How To Eat Caviar: hen egg, homemade potato chips, onion sousbise, and herb salad.

Go beyond the blini and try your caviar with a soft hen egg, homemade potato chips, onion sousbise, and herb salad. Ph: Eats.Meets.Wes

TIPS FOR STORING CAVIAR

  • Read all labels carefully once you get your product.
  • Caviar is highly perishable and must be stored in the fridge.
  • Do not freeze.
  • Once opened, consume within 2-3 days, caviar won’t keep for long.

 

Products from this post:

Caviar Selection >
Creme Fraiche >
Blini & Toast Points >
Caviar Serving Utensils >

Labor Day Cookout Gourmet Feast!

Bye Bye Summertime! A Sophisticated Gourmet Labor Day Cookout Menu

Labor Day Cookout Gourmet Feast!

A Labor Day Cookout Feast! Left to Right: Bacon Scallops by Kate, Gourmet Chili Dogs by Bev, Succotash by Profiteroles & Ponytails, & Key Lime Pie by Galaxy Desserts.

It’s… inevitable. Summer, with all it’s fun under the sun, is almost over. Labor Day weekend  is almost upon us, and with it, the unofficial close to the summer season. But before we unpack the sweaters and bring out the comforters, there’s still time for a last summer hurrah! Get ready for a Labor Day Cookout! Celebrate a fun-filled, warm and beautiful long weekend with family and friends… and great food, of course!

Labor Day weekend celebrations are all about barbeques and grilling, picnics and cookouts, so we’ve prepared a summery Labor Day Cookout Menu for you, with recipes as fresh as they’re unfussy, as down-to-earth as they’re sophisticated, with the freshest ingredients of the summer season.

  Labor Day Cookout Menu

Appetizer
Grilled Bacon Scallops by Kate
Salad
Summer Succotash by Profiteroles & Ponytails
Main
Gourmet Chili Dogs by Bev Cooks
Dessert
Key Lime Pie by Galaxy Desserts

 

Grilled Bacon Scallops by FramedCooks.com

Bacon Scallops for a Labor Day Cookout

Summer on a stick! Photo: Bacon Scallops by Kate of FramedCooks.com

Start off your meal with an easy, summer-ready appetizer.  Plump sea scallops wrapped with bacon, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and grilled to perfection.  Add a squeeze of lemon and you have the most delicious start to a Labor Day cookout. Grilled Bacon Scallops Recipe

Summer Succotash Salad by Profiteroles & Ponytails

Colorful Labor Day Cookout Salad

The most colorful Labor Day yet! Ph: Saccutash by Profiteroles & Ponytails

An outdoor meal is never complete without a fresh, seasonal salad. This Succotash Summer Salad by Profiteroles & Ponytails could just as easily be a meal by itself. Sweet corn, juicy grape tomatoes, plump edamame, avocado, onions and sweet pepper. Drizzle with some lime juice, olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and you’re done! Summer Saccutash Recipe

 

Gourmet Chili Hot Dogs by BevCooks.com

Gourmet Chili Hot Dogs For Labor Day Cookout

(Hot) Dog days of summer! Gourmet Chili Hot Dogs, Ph: Bevcooks.com

A stylish, sophisticated version of an American classic we all know and love? That’s what we’re talking about! There’s no need to get complicated, to get gourmet. Bev of Bevcooks.com made these barkin’ hot dogs with grilled Polish Kielbasa, slid those puppies into fresh baguettes, then ladled a generous portion of her amazing sweet and spicy chili and finished off with shredded cheddar, diced onion and cilantro. This recipe inspired our Labor Day Cookout Menu, so run for the recipe, now!  Gourmet Chili Dog Recipe

Key Lime Pie by Galaxy Desserts

Key Lime Pie For Labor Day Cookout Desesrt

A flourishing finish! Key Lime Pie by Galaxy Desserts

Our Labor Day Cookout dessert is the most labor-less of them all! These gourmet key lime tarts are made by Galaxy Desserts in California, featuring an all-butter shortbread crust and a filling made out of real Key limes. Just take out of the freezer and serve. Order here >

 

 

Pain au chocolat - delicious flaky french bread filled with melted chocolate

Beyond the Baguette: Our Five Favorite French Breads Plus The Best Pain Au Chocolate Recipe Ever!

A recent New York Times article brought to light very distressing news to us. Forget the economy, global warming, and politics, the world is facing a…French bread CRISIS!  The article stated that, “the average Frenchman these days eats only half a baguette a day compared with almost a whole baguette in 1970 and more than three in 1900.”

Mon dieu!

The icon of French breads, a crusty baguette.

Simply perfect: the icon of French breads, a crusty baguette.

Take heart, baguette lovers, help is on the way! To counteract this unacceptable situation, the Observatoire du Pain, a lobby for bakers and millers, has started a campaign to promote the consumption of one of France’s most iconic food staples, French bread.

And because there’s nothing that we love more than a good food cause, we’re joining the cause, and giving French bread some love and attention. Here’s our list of Five Favorite French Breads plus, a delicious Pain Au Chocolat recipe to try your bread-baking hand at home.

Tackling the French bread crisis, one baguette at a time!

OUR FAVORITE TYPES OF FRENCH BREAD

  1. The Baguette: the ultimate classic, this flute of crusty bread should practically be stamped on your passport when you enter the country.  A traditional baguette or “baguette de tradition” must, by French law, have the following ingredients: wheat flour, water, salt and yeast. Perfect in it’s simplicity! Don’t feel like baking? Try our frozen, ready-for-the-oven artisan baguettes by Bridor! Click here
  2. The Brioche: a mixture between bread a pastry, brioche is made with a super buttery dough, braided into the classic shape. But it’s the addition of sugar and eggs which makes this a sweet treat as well, perfect to make French toast (see below), or to eat with a cup of tea or coffee. Oh la la!
  3. Le Pain Perdu: Also known as the world-famous, USA-favorite, French toast! The name, pain perdu, means “lost bread”, so named (some say) because it was made using leftover, stale bread.  Well,  if stale bread dipped in eggs and fried turned into French toast, then not all is lost!
  4. Beignets: Probably just as much a tradition in New Orleans as in Paris, this doughnut is actually a deep-fried bread dough.  There are several variations of this, but the most well-known, at least in America, is the one popularized by New Orlean’s famed restaurant, Café du Monde. Theirs is fried in cottonseed oil and then liberally covered in delicious powdered sugar.
  5. Pain au Chocolat: last, but absolutely not all least, our favorite (and featured) type of French bread! The French call it “pain” (bread), but Pain a Chocolat is really a buttery and flaky croissant, filled with gooey melted luscious chocolate. Oh, oui!  We found the greatest recipe for a homemade Pain au Chocolat, by our featured blogger, Alexandra from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker. It might take a few tries to get it right, but the results are completely worth it, we swear!
Pain au chocolat - delicious flaky french bread filled with melted chocolate

Pain au chocolat – delicious flaky croissants filled with melted chocolate! Ph: Brighteyedbaker.com

 

Pain Au Chocolat by BrightEyedBaker.com

3 hours, 30 minutes

15 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 12

Serving Size: 1 Croissant

Chillier afternoons calls for a hot cup of tea and a sweet treat. Try this sophisticated chocolate-filled French croissant, the traditional and delicious Pain Au Chocolat, and be immediately transported to belle Paris!

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 11 tablespoons butter, divided
  • generous 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • generous 1 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of stand mixer, dissolve the yeast into the lukewarm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter and combine with milk to cool quickly. Place another 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) out to soften.
  2. Add the melted butter, milk, bread flour, granulated sugar, and salt, to the yeast/water mixture. Mix on lowest speed for 2 minutes. If the dough seems tough, add another tablespoon melted butter. Change attachment to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for another two minutes. At this point the dough should be soft and supple.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle, 10" x 15". Cover again with plastic wrap and let rise for 40 minutes.
  5. Take the softened stick of butter and rub onto the rectangle of dough (Your hands will get very buttery). Rub on as much butter as possible, and then, with the shorter side facing you, fold into thirds, like you would a letter. Roll again into a 10" x 15" rectangle and fold into thirds once more. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
  6. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll again into a 10" x 15" rectangle. Rub the remaining butter onto the dough, fold into thirds, roll out once more (10" x 15"), and fold once more.
  7. Using a sharp knife, cut the folded dough into 12 rectangles, using 4 slices in the longer direction and 3 slices in the shorter direction.
  8. One rectangle at a time, with the shorter end facing you, place about 10 chocolate chips halfway along the rectangle. Fold the end closer to you over these chocolate chips, and repeat on the other side, adding chocolate chips to the other half and folding over the first half. Press end into dough to form a seam.
  9. Repeat the above process for each rectangle of dough. Place each pain au chocolat seam-side down on a lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour, until almost doubled in size.
  10. Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine egg and 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl to form egg wash. Brush over each pain au chocolat. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, until puffed up and lightly golden.
  11. Enjoy warm from the oven, or store in refrigerator and microwave each pain au chocolat for 25-30 seconds when ready to eat.

Notes

Prep time includes resting and rising time for the dough.

http://www.gourmetfoodstore.com/gourmet-food-blog/our-five-favorite-french-breads/

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A Saint Patrick’s Day Brunch (With Recipes From Ballymaloe Cookery School of Ireland)

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On March 17th, Ireland celebrates the “Feast of Saint Patrick”, the patron saint of Ireland. And on that day, most Americans proceed to drink innumerable gallons of green beer. For most of us in America, “St. Patty’s Day” is synonymous with all things green and Irish. It’s a day of Shamrock pins, tall pints of Guinness beer, parades, Irish music, kilts, and the traditional dying of green of the Chicago.

It occurred to us that we’d like to do something different this year than just drink tons of Guinness (we’ll do that, too, of course). Since March 17th falls on Sunday this year, we though a great twist would be a St. Patrick’s Day Brunch, with plentiful good, hearty, authentic Irish breakfast food.

Back to the roots

We came across Ireland’s Ballymaloe Cookery School by chance, thanks to a wonderful post on the incomparable David Lebovitz.  Back in 2010 he visited the school and did a feature on the visit, describing the gorgeous location and the fantastic food prepared by owner and chef Darina Allen.

green groceries

Ballymaloe is located in County Cork, Ireland, smack in the middle of the most gorgeous Irish countryside you could ever imagine. The school owns 100 acres, 10 of which are dedicated to an organic market, orchards and greenhouses, where they grow all the fresh ingredients they use. Ballymaloe’s owner is Darina Allen, one of Ireland’s most famous and renowned chefs. Her no-nonsense approach to cooking, and her outmost respect and knowledge of the land and it’s ingredients are what spoke to us the most, so featuring her recipes for a Saint Patrick’s Day meal was a no-brainer.

Culinary spotlights

We thought Ballymaloe’s recipe for a Warm Irish Breakfast Salad, which includes bacon, eggs, sausage and black pudding (this last one we know is not everyone’s cup of tea, but you can easily remove it from the recipe) was just perfect. It’s hearty and will definitely fill you up, which makes it ideal for brunch-time. The “salad” is pretty filling, so we just added some classic Irish Soda Bread. This is perhaps one of the most traditional of Irish recipes, a loaf of soda bread goes with almost every meal; in this case we serve it toasted with some good quality butter and an assortment of jams.

Finally, it wouldn’t be breakfast and it wouldn’t be Irish without some coffee and booze; brunch usually includes a Mimosa, but we thought a mug of delicious Irish Coffee, a blend of coffee, whisky and cream, would be far more appropriate for the occasion. If there’s something that there’s a surplus of in the gourmet world, it’s definitely opinions. Everyone seems to have the best recipe, or the most authentic method.  There seemed to be infinite variations to the Irish Coffee recipe, and then we found this. The New York Time’s Patrick Farrell’s feature on the drink reads definitely like ultimate guide to preparing Irish Coffee.

So this March 17th, wake up, eat heartily, then dress up with your greenest outfit and go pain the town green!

Useful Ingredients From Gourmet Food Store:

Maldon Sea Salt

Maldon Sea Salt

Dark Muscovado Sugar

Dark Muscovado Sugar

 

Boudin Noir

Boudin Noir (Black Pudding)

Specialty sausages

Specialty Sausages

 Parmigiano (parmesan) Cheese

Parmigiano (parmesan) Cheese
 Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
  Gourmet Butter

Gourmet Butter
 Gourmet Jams & Preserves

Gourmet Jams & Preserves

 

Saint Patrick’s Day Recipes:

Irish Coffee or Caifé Gaelach

Instead of the traditional brunch Mimosa, try a dark and delicious glass of creamy Irish coffee. Serve it the classic way, on a glass mug and sip your coffee through the cream.

 

  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar (or more if you like your coffee sweeter)
  • 1 ½ oz. of whisky (preferably Irish, of course!)
  • Heavy cream, slightly whipped

 

Fill glass mug hot water to preheat it, then empty. Pour hot coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved.  This step is essential so that the cream will float, instead of sinking. Blend in Irish whiskey. Top with a collar of the whipped heavy cream by pouring gently over back of spoon. Serve hot.


Ballymaloe’s Warm Irish Breakfast Salad

Rating: 51

5 minutes

5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 2

Ballymaloe’s Warm Irish Breakfast Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 kg mixed rashers - grilled then cut in to smaller pieces
  • 1/2 black pudding ring, diced and pan fried
  • 1 lb. new potatoes steamed and sliced into ½ cm slices and sautéed
  • 6 free range eggs
  • 1 lb. of your favorite sausages grilled and sliced into rings
  • Mixed salad leaves
  • 2 good ripe tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • Finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Good balsamic dressing to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Handful oven roasted croutons

Instructions

  1. *Rasher is a type of Irish bacon, it can be hard to find, so substitute for regular bacon instead
  2. Reheat rashers, sausage, pudding, and potatoes under grill.
  3. Fry the eggs in butter until soft.
  4. Toss together salad leaves, tomatoes, and onion rings in balsamic dressing, and then add warm breakfast items.
  5. Dress on the plate, top with fried egg, sprinkle croutons and Parmesan over the top

Notes

initially published at CookingisFun.ie

http://www.gourmetfoodstore.com/gourmet-food-blog/a-saint-patricks-day-brunch-with-recipes-from-ballymaloe-cookery-school-of-ireland/

Ballymaloe Soda Bread

You can make it in the round traditional way or like this in a loaf tin, which is more convenient for slicing or sandwiches.

 

  • 1 lb. (450g) white flour, preferably unbleached
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 level teaspoon bread soda
  • Sour milk or buttermilk to mix – 15 fl. oz. (425 ml) approx.
  • Oatmeal, sesame seeds or kibbled wheat (optional)

 

Preheat your oven to 450ºF.

 

Sieve the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center. Pour most of the milk in at once. Using one hand, mix in the flour from the sides of the bowl, adding more milk if necessary. The dough should be softish, but not too wet. When it all comes together, turn it out onto a well floured worked surface. Scoop it into the oiled tin, sprinkle with oatmeal and sesame or kibbled wheat seeds if you enjoy them. Place in the hot oven immediately turning down the oven to 400ºF for 45 minutes. Remove from the tin and return the bread to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes or until fully cooked. If you are in doubt, tap the bottom of the bread: if it is cooked it will sound hollow.