Foie Gras, Maybe for Brunch or Dinner

foie gras

Foie Gras is one of those things that, if you like it, there is almost nothing on the planet that will come even close to that flavor. And if you’re one of those that for many reasons don’t like it, well it does mean more for those of us who do. And when you have a lovely daughter who sends you two very large foie gras, that’s something to celebrate. 

This foie gras is set up to be either a brunch or dinner, combined with hash browns, a few sugar snap peas, plenty of bacon and a little parsley. It works very well in either capacity. The snap peas and bacon can be done a little ahead of time (I like to make my bacon with a little water. It works really well that way.) The hash browns get finished as close as you can to the foie gras, and it all comes together rather quickly on a plate.

The foie gras is a delicate thing to cook. First, get it warmed as close to room temperature as you can. Add a little salt and pepper. Then, using the highest heat you can get on your stove, sear it for two minutes on one side and just a minute or so on the other. That way, the foie gras stays nice and firm and doesn’t turn into liquid, which obviously is a real no-no. This is one of those lunches or dinners you will crave forever more.

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Turkey Vegetable Soup

Turkey Vegetable Soup

It’s getting to be soup time again. This is one of those things I like the most about cooking, getting a good hot soup made for those cool days when nothing else will do. The turkey vegetable soup in this recipe also gave me the time to try out my new One Pot, which makes a very creditable full-flavored soup,  in much less time than I thought it might take — about an hour, in fact.

The soup is straight forward, with some Asian-inspired vegetables and good old turkey thighs. The veggies were what I had on hand, so you can play around with them a bit, but generally, you want to pay attention to when you add them if you’re doing the soup in the normal way, adding them so that the cooking time works out right. And of course, the times for finishing up the soup should probably take at least two hours, with veggies going in  little later than in the One Pot. You can use whatever veggies you happen to have handy.

If you have a one pot, I generally put all the veggies in at once, near the beginning. The pressure cooker in the soup category on the One Pot uses a pressure setting and the veggies get done much faster and more evenly that way.

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Nice Little Sous Vide Chicken Breast Salad

Chicken Breast Salad

Chicken breasts can make, among lots of other things, a nice salad. And while many like the light, easy salad that you see almost everywhere, there also is a “more robust” kind of salad that I tend to like. If you really want a meal with a nice one or two chicken breast plopped on top, this is what I had in mind when I decided to fix a nice salad dinner.

This whole dish is really rather easy to make. All it really requires is a sauce made up of butter, vinegar, honey and maybe a little soy sauce to give it a color and add a little to the flavor. You’ve all heard me talk about sous vide on many occasions. But I will never make a chicken breast any other way (unless I’m cooking a whole chicken). If you’ve never had a sous vide breast, you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t, I can’t begin to tell you how much of a difference it makes. Can you do this without? Yep. But if you can, get a sous vide. You’ll be glad you did. 

Once the sauce is made, and the chicken is done, all you really need to do is toss the breasts on a quick grill (or some other kind of grilling machine) with a little bit of the sauce and pull together as much salad as you’d like. When the grilling is done, all you need to do is pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken and onto the salad underneath, and you’re done.

Note: By the way, this is the 501st post to this recipe site and while I had no idea we would ever get this far, it is gratifying to know that we’ve done fairly well as recipe blogs go. Much has happened since the first post a little over three years ago and there is much more to do. Stick around. I hope it gets even better. 

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The Gruyere-Onion Burgers

Burgers with Gruyere Cheese and Onions

Burgers are something I eat fairly often. Truth be told, it’s rare I let a week go by with out some kind of burger making it’s way onto my plate. From Burger King, McDonald’s, Five Guys, or Wendy’s to fancy half-pound monsters at a steak joint, I’ve had plenty. And that doesn’t even cover the many, many burgers I create myself. That said, I haven’t put a great burger up here on the blog. 

There is a reason for that. The truth is that most burgers are just, well, burgers. There are a million things you can do to dress them up. But in the end, they’re just toppings and there isn’t much else to do with them. Well, for once I’ve found a burger that’s worthy to put up here.

This burger starts with french onions and Gruyere cheese built right into the burger mix, which includes the best Angus beef I could find. And then, we have fresh, local, juicy — to die for — tomatoes. There really isn’t much more I could ask for. So give it a try. You’ll be glad you did.

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Chicken with Onion Gravy

Chicken with Onion Gravy

While the last  days of summer are soon to be leaving us, we’ve still got a few days yet, and that’s where this recipe for chicken with onion gravy can be a real winner. 

We’ve said it many times, but summer is, above all, about making meal prep easy as possible for much of the time, and whether you’ve got some left over chicken (or want to make some just for this recipe) the onion gravy is quick and easy. Add a little pasta and you’ve got a quick and easy meal. And folks, the best news is that this gravy is one of the best I’ve ever made.

No kidding. It takes maybe 10 minutes to prep and only 20 minutes to cook. The flavor is absolutely amazing.

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Chicken Legs Sous Vide

sous vide chicken legs

By now, you know that I’ve become a big fan of sous vide chicken finished up in a deep fryer. And that’s of course where these chicken legs come from. They’re done sous vide, at 150 degrees for about an hour or so, then — after they’ve cooled — they’re breaded and deep fried, with a little finishing salt on the side.

The main issue with these chicken legs is a breading mix, which uses flour, garam masala, a little parsley, and plenty of paprika. In this case, I use the breading mix first to coat the chicken, then add some mixed egg and then roll it back through the flour as a finish. The result is rather  light and really perfect for a light dinner entry.

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Pan-Seared Halibut

halibut with pear gastrique

Although there apparently isn’t a distinct halibut season, the first half of summer is when these wonderful fish seem to be most abundant. So around this time, I can grab some fresh halibut, and you can bet it’s headed for my plate, pronto.

Halibut is a firm white fish with a mild flavor, which makes it perfect for pan searing and it works well with a light fruity gastrique and the earthy flavor of chopped fresh Brussels sprouts sauteed with bacon and shallots. For this recipe, I made the gastrique using pear nectar and topped it with slices of pear that were sauteed in a little butter. 

The dish is simple and easy to prepare. The fresh ingredients are what makes it sing.

The recipe serves four, but it’s easily adjusted up or down.

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