Thursday, January 28, 2010

Artichoke, Ham and Goat Cheese Strata

The word "strata" is derived from the word "stratum" which means a series of layers. A strata is a great way to use day old bread and works well for any meal. This recipe of the week is a good foundation - you can substitute different meats and cheeses with tasty results.

Artichoke, Ham and Goat Cheese Strata

8 cups 1-inch cubes sourdough bread
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 1/2 cups ham, small dice
12 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, drained, quartered
4-5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Grease a 9x13-inch glass baking dish.

Place bread cubes evenly in prepared dish and pour milk over the top. Let stand until milk is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with the herbs, ham, artichokes, goat cheese, fontina and Parmesan.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended; add cream, garlic, salt and pepper and whisk until well mixed. Pour egg mixture evenly over ingredients in baking dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake, uncovered, for 1 ¼ hours, until browned and firm in the center. Allow strata to rest at least 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.


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Monday, January 25, 2010

French Food and Wine with Chef Randall Price

Randall Price, Chef, Ecole de Cuisine du Prince Jardinier, Chateau de la Bourdaisiere, joined us Saturday for a fabulous Food and Wine class. An old friend of The Cooking School, Randall delighted students and staff with his delicious French dishes - accompanied with wines selected by Dave Schmerr, Jungle Jim's wine expert. Randall, considered a master of French pastry, returned Monday for a hand's-on Pâte à Choux class, where students learned to make three different French pastries.

Randall with Jungle Jim's sous chefs Ellen and Janet

We talked in class about Randall sharing another recipe with us for the blog - we ended up trading Ellen's slider recipe for the soup recipe below! He was intrigued when he tried a slider from the Game Grub Class, and plans to make them in France for the grandchildren of the Countess de Rohan-Chabot. Randall is currently completing work on his first book Cooking for Joy that will be published in French this fall and in English at a later date. The Cooking School is working with Randall to plan a special At The Chef's Table dinner and wine tasting evening for our next brochure. Visit Randall's website at: Randall Price

Soupe au Potiron au Curry

(Pumpkin Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk)

from Chef Randall Price, Ecole de Cuisine du Prince Jardinier, Chateau de la Bourdaisiere, France

Pumpkin soup is a cold-weather favorite throughout France. My additions of curry and coconut milk give it a contemporary, exotic twist. It makes a great as a do-ahead first course for a dinner party, because it tastes even better the day after it is made. At the Chateau de la Bourdaisiere I make this with Italian ‘zucca’ squash, which has very thick, firm flesh. Regular pumpkin works well, and this soup is also delicious if you replace the pumpkin with butternut squash or sweet potatoes.

2 medium leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced and washed
2 tablespoons butter
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 pounds of pumpkin, butternut squash or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 pound baking potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and sliced
1 can (13.5 ounce) unsweetened coconut milk
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Small toasted croutons

In a large pot, place the leeks and the butter with a couple tablespoons of water. Cover and sweat over low heat until the leeks have softened, 3-5 minutes. Mix together the ginger, curry powder, cumin and paprika. Uncover the pot and stir in the spice mix. Cook, stirring, until the spices are fragrant. Add the pumpkin (or squash or sweet potatoes) and the sliced potatoes and pour in enough water to cover them by about an inch. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the squash and potatoes are so tender they fall apart easily, 30 - 40 minutes.

Puree the soup. Mix in the coconut milk. If necessary, thin the soup with a little water. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Serve hot, with the cilantro stirred in just at the time you serve. Pass croutons separately, if desired.

This soup is even better when made up to three days in advance. Cool it completely before covering, then store it in the refrigerator.

Makes about 8 servings

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Steak and Red Wine Soup

This is the recipe featured in the Cooking School's January - April 2010 brochure. Perfect for a cold day, this batch of soup was made with bottom round steak and Yukon gold potatoes substituted for the red potatoes. It paired well with focaccia from the Jungle Jim's bakery.

Steak and Red Wine Soup

Warm and satisfying, this hearty soup is a meal in a bowl. Add a chunk of crusty bread for a quick and delicious dinner.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds top sirloin (or bottom round steak), ½ inch dice
1 large onion, diced
4-5 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium red potatoes, unpeeled, small dice
2 stalks celery, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper sauce
½ teaspoon black pepper
salt, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a 5-7 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the sirloin. Add onions, carrots, red potato, celery and garlic; cook until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serves 6-8.

Leigh’s tips: Like most soups, this can be served immediately – but will taste even better if refrigerated overnight. Steak and Red Wine Soup freezes well for 2-3 months.




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