French Classic Bistro Dish of Mussels

Ingredients

2-1/4 lb fresh mussels
3 tablespoons light olive oil or canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup Muscadet or other crisp dry white wine
3 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
French fries and mayonnaise or crusty bread to serve

Method

  1. Tip the mussels into a sink full of cold water and give them a good swirl. Drain off the water, fill up the sink again, and swirl the mussels once more. Discard any mussels that are open.
  2. Using a small, sharp knife, remove the hairy “beards.” Transfer the cleaned mussels to a large bowl of fresh, cold water.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or deep casserole, add the chopped onion, and cook over low heat for 5 to 6 minutes until beginning to soften.
  4. Stir in the garlic, pour in the wine, then increase the heat and bring to a boil.
  5. Drain the mussels and tip them into the pan. Turn them over in the sauce, cover the pan, and cook over high heat for 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
  6. Remove the lid and check the mussels are open. If not, cover and cook for 1 minute more. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened, then sprinkle over the parsley.
  7. Serve immediately in deep bowls accompanied by fries and mayonnaise (wickedly delicious), or crusty bread.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Cooking with Wine

Braised Pork Belly Served with Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups soy sauce
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup of port
6 thin slices washed and unpeeled ginger, cut lengthwise from a 2- to 4-inch piece
10 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bunches green onions, white and green parts, 3 pieces thinly sliced, the rest cut into 2-inch lengths
2 cinnamon sticks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds pork belly, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 cups pineapple cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 jalapeno, stemmed and minced, seeds included

Method

  1. In a stockpot or other tall wide pot, combine the soy sauce, sugar, port, ginger, garlic, green onion lengths and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Transfer the pork to the pot and add enough water to cover. Simmer, covered, until the pork is cooked through, about 2 hours. (Quick Tip: cook in a pressure cooker, over medium-high heat, for 40 minutes.)
  3. Meanwhile, make the salsa. In a small bowl, combine the pineapple, sliced scallions and jalapeno and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the salsa among four individual serving plates, reserving some for garnishing. Top with the pork, garnish with the remaining salsa, spoon the braising liquid around the pork, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Simply Ming One-pot Meal

Almond Croissant Toast with Prune Soaked in Brandy

Ingredients

1 cup pitted prunes, about 20
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons Armagnac
2 almond croissants
heavy cream, to serve

Method

  1. Put the prunes in a bowl and add the boiling water. Cover and let soak for at least 1-1/2 hours.
  2. Tip the prunes and soaking juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes until the juices are syrupy, then add the brandy and bubble for a few seconds longer.
  3. Meanwhile, carefully split each almond croissant in half to make 2 flat crescents. Broil the cut sides until golden and crisp around the edges, then pile the prunes on top and spoon over the juices and the cream. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: On Toast

Sautéed Sirloin Steak with Black Pepper and Bourbon Sauce

Ingredients

3 tablespoons coarsely ground black peppercorns
4 (10-ounce) New York–cut sirloin steaks
fine sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/3 cup Kentucky bourbon
1 cup low-sodium store-bought beef broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Method

  1. Put the black peppercorns in a wide, flat dish. Press the steaks into the peppers to coat them on all sides, then season with salt. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan over high heat for 1 minute.
  3. Add the steaks, two at a time if necessary to avoid overcrowding, and cook for 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer each steak to a dinner plate and set aside.
  4. Add the shallots to the pan and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the bourbon, then carefully return the pan to the stove over low heat and cook until the bourbon is almost entirely evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  5. Pour in the broth, raise the heat to high, bring it to a boil, and continue to boil until reduced and thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Swirl in the cream and the butter and warm gently.
  7. Pour some sauce over each steak and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Nightly Specials

French-style Stewed Duck Legs

Ingredients

6 duck legs
sea salt and black pepper
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 thyme sprig
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1-3/4 cups dry red wine
1-3/4 cups port
splash of Madeira
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups veal stock, or extra chicken stock

Method

  1. Trim the fat and skins from the sides of the duck legs, then season with salt and pepper. Heat a wide skillet until hot. In two batches, pan-fry the duck legs for 4 to 5 minutes, turning until golden brown all over. (You don’t need to add oil to the skillet.) Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside. Reserve the fat.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of the rendered duck fat in a large heavy pan or a cast-iron casserole. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and pan-fry over high heat for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Throw in the herbs and deglaze the pan with the wine, port, and Madeira. Bring to a boil and let bubble vigorously until the liquid has reduced and is thick and syrupy. Drain off any fat from the duck legs, then add them to the pan and pour in the stocks. If necessary, add a little boiling water to cover them. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 2 hours until the duck meat is very tender. Let the duck legs cool in the braising stock.
  3. Once cooled, remove the duck legs from the pan and set aside. Strain the braising stock through a fine strainer into a clean pan and boil until reduced to a syrupy glaze. Skim off any fat or scum from the surface and check the seasoning.
  4. When ready to serve, gently reheat the duck legs in the reduced sauce, spooning the sauce over them to glaze, and finish the potatoes and carrots. Serve each duck leg with a portion of garlic potatoes and cilantro carrots.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Gordon Ramsay’s Maze