wild mushroom and chestnut brioche stuffing with fresh sage

November 15th, 2012

wild mushroom and chestnut brioche stuffing with fresh sage

This is a rich and flavorful stuffing. Instead of using animal fat
as a tenderizer (additional melted butter, bacon, or sausage) this stuffing gets
its moisture from lowfat milk. The autumn flavors comes from well-browned,
earthy mushrooms and fresh sage and thyme. To make things easy for yourself on
Thanksgiving Day, you can prepare the stuffing in advance and bake it on Thanksgiving Day.


serves 8-10

what you need:
1 loaf or 4-5 large buns (5 heaping cups) quality brioche, cut into ½ – 1” cubes 1 ¼cup lowfat milk
1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf and 1 cluster of sage leaves)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves 8-10 fresh thyme stems, stripped Read the rest of this entry »

duck, duck, tart: duck and kale savory tartlet with black chanterelles, fresh sage and thyme

November 11th, 2011

Duck Tart

duck, duck, tart: 
duck and kale savory tartlet with black chanterelles, fresh sage and thyme 

“Duck, duck, goose…” On a recent return from France I sat next to a man from Toulouse and our conversation began by discussing ducks and geese, although in the culinary-sense, not related to the childhood game. It was an natural topic of conversation because Toulouse is well-known for its ducks and geese and boasts regional specialities such as foie gras, cassoulet, and garbure. The temperature has finally caught up with the calendar and everyone is craving comfort food. My transatlantic conversation (and the fact that it is duck season) inspired this week’s simple pleasure: duck and kale savory tartlets with black chanterelles, fresh sage, and thyme. Comfort food, redefined. Read the rest of this entry »

a bouquet garni – detail with a difference

November 24th, 2010



a bouquet garni


Ce sont les petits choses qui font toute la différence (it is the little things that make all the difference).   In life and cooking the details matter.   A bouquet garni (a little gathering of herbs) is a detail that makes all the difference.

A bouquet garni imparts flavor to its surrounding and typically used in anything that simmers (i.e., braises, stocks, and soups).  A kitchen string keeps the herbs in a bundle and is usually tied to the handle of a stockpot (so when the garni has done its job, you grab the string and toss the bouquet).

Traditionally a bouquet garni is Italian parsley, thyme, and bay leaves wrapped inside a leek.  However, the combinations are endless (some chefs will wrap the herbs in a slice of bacon or add a piece of citrus peel).  A sachet is used like a bouquet garni but the herbs and spices (i.e., peppercorns, juniper berries) are placed inside a piece of muslin or cheesecloth.   Sachets are preferable if you are using dried herbs and small spices.  A bouquet garni (or sachet) should be small so not as to overwhelm the food, but create a subtle aroma.

This week’s simple pleasure is making a bouquet garni for use not only as a flavor enhancer but as a place-setting/party favor and a host gift.  The bouquets can be used fresh or when they dry out.  This project is easy to do.  Moreover, it adds a personal, fresh touch to your dinner (or a thoughtful host gift) and is something you can do with your children to incorporate them in preparing for the festivities.   Focusing on the detail of a few fresh herbs this Thanksgiving will impart more than flavor, it will impart smiles.

Je vous souhaite un bon appétit !



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