Tuesday, August 23, 2011

West Village Beouf Bourguignon

French cuisine has definitely raised my standards in terms of technique, and the labor of love that goes into French food.

One of my favorite dishes that takes me right back to the South of France is Beef Bourguignon (Beouf). I used to make this in my little apartment in the West Village of Manhattan and share with the neighbors in my complex. Needless to say, I made fast friends! You must marinate the beef overnight in red wine (Burgundy), but trust me, this extra step pays off in flavor! This is not a beef stew; the gravy is rich and velvety, and the flavor is much more complex and caressed! Bon Appetit!!

Brings the South of France in your own home!


* 1 large onion, quartered
* 2 carrots, peeled and halved
* 2 ribs celery, halved
* 5 cloves garlic, smashed
* 1 (750 ml) bottle Burgundy Wine
* 3 fresh bay leaves

 * 4 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch chunks
* Extra-virgin olive oil, to coat pan
* Kosher salt
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 8 ounces slab bacon, cut into lardons
* 2 cups of pearl onions
 * 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
* 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 1/4 cup tomato paste
* 2 cups Burgundy Wine (reserved marinade)
* 3 to 4 cups beef stock, plus more as needed
* 3 bay leaves
* 1 bundle fresh thyme
* 1 pound cremini mushrooms, halved
* 1 pound red bliss potatoes, halved
* 1/2 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped, for garnish


*For the marinade: Combine the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, and wine in a large bowl or container. Add the beef, cover, and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Cook's Note: This is a really important step, it makes a huge flavor difference.
For the stew: Remove the beef from the marinade. Strain the veggies and bay leaves from the wine and discard, but reserving the wine.


1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.) Coat a large, wide pan or Dutch oven with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Season the beef generously with salt and toss with flour. Add the flour-coated beef to the hot pan, but be sure not to crowd the pan, so you will need to work in batches. Cook's Note: Do not flour the beef until you're ready to brown it.

3.) Brown the meat well on all sides and remove from the pan to a sheet tray.

4.)Add the bacon and cook until it gets brown and crispy. Toss in the pearl onions, carrots, celery, and season with salt. 

5.) Cook the mixture for 8 to10 minutes or until the mixture starts to soften and become very aromatic. Add in the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.

6.) Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

7.) Add 2 cups reserved wine and the beef. Stir to combine and cook until the wine has reduced by 1/2. 

8.) Add the beef stock to just cover the surface of the beef. 

9.) Toss in the bay leaves and thyme bundle. Season with salt, if needed. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover the pot and put in the preheated oven.

10.) Cook the beef 2 hours, checking occasionally to add more stock, if needed. During the last 30 minutes of cooking time, add the mushrooms, potatoes, and more stock, if needed.

11.) Remove the pan from the oven, and skim off any excess grease from the surface of the stew. Serve with crusty bread to sop up all the sauce and garnish with chopped fresh chives

Bon Appetit!!


Roasted Buttternut Squash & Italian Sausage Fettuccini

This ragu is rich and subtle at the same time, and the beauty of this dish is that it manages to be soul warming without being overly heavy. The coaxed sweetness from the roasted butternut squash, roasted garlic, and caramelized onions is nicely contrasted by the savory richness of the Italian Sausage, which offers a hefty body to an otherwise smooth and creamy sauce. 

 It is rustic, yet full of nuances with an unexpected crunch from the toasted walnuts, and the aromatic,crispy fried sage that tops the dish.  A final drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese are perfect finishing touches.  

This rustic, pasta dish pairs sweet and savory, and is purely flavored. Surely, a great pasta dish to have in your everyday arsenal! 

 Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tomatillos in a basket (from our garden)

From just 4 tomatillo plants, he harvested HUNDREDS of tomatillos this year from the garden!  Amazing yield! Better buy some chips; looks like salsa verde is on the menu!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tomato & Gorgonzola Bruschetta

                                                                         Bruschetta Topping
                                                                    (pronounced- broos-ketta)

Ingredients from our garden: Cherry tomatoes, basil
Additional: EV olive Oil, garlic, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, ciabatta bread.

 Preheat oven to 350 degree. Slice baguette into 1/2 in slices. Toast lightly for a few minutes. Sliice the tip of a clove of garlic and rub each piece of toasted baguette with the garlic so it melts a bit into the bread. Halve the cherry tomatoes and toss with the pesto and a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. this will loosen it up a bit. Top the baguette slices. Top with about a teaspoon of crumbled gorgonzola cheese. Return to oven and toast until the cheese starts to melt just a bit. That's it! This is my favorite bruschetta!! The gorgonzola has just enough strength to stand up to the pesto, with just a whisper of garlic on the chewy baguette bed. Perfection!

Buon Appetito! And, whatever you do, DO NOT pronounce it (brooshetta!) There is no such thing in Italian! Thank you.