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Food and Wine: French Steakhouse
Recipes from the cooking class.

Tomato and Fennel Tarts

2 cups grated gruyere cheese

1 9-inch pie shell

2 cups diced heirloom tomatoes

1 small head fennel, trimmed, cored and shaved thin on a mandoline

1 shallot, finely diced

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1½ cups heavy cream

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 to 3 tablespoons grated parmesan

¼ pound bacon, cooked and diced

1 shallot, thinly sliced

3 cups parsley, leaves only

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spread cheese on bottom of the pie shell. Top with tomatoes, fennel and shallot.  Beat together the eggs, cream and salt. Pour filling into shell. Bake until golden and puffed.
  • Toss together the parsley, shallot, bacon, olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with tart.

White Bean Salad

¼ pound thinly sliced dry chorizo

2 duck breasts, skin scored with a knife

1 small onion, diced

2 stalks celery, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 large can white beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup hard cider

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

½ cup thinly sliced scallions (green part only)

Aged balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay chorizo on a sheet pan and baked until crisp.  Let cool; chop.
  • Add duck, skin side down, to nonstick skillet and bring to low heat. Cook, occasionally draining pan of excess fat, until skin is crisp.  Turn over; transfer to oven, and cook until medium rare. Remove from pan and let cool.
  • Add back some of the fat to the pan and bring to medium heat. Add the onions, celery and garlic; cook until nicely softened.  Add the cider and bring to a simmer; cook until reduced by half.  Add the beans and cook until warmed through.  Add the oil, vinegar and reserved chorizo. 
  • Toss in scallions; season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve white bean salad topped with duck; drizzle with balsamic vinegar.


Seared Steaks with Peppercorn Sauce

8 ounces beef steaks

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ cup brandy

6 beef stock or demi-glace

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper

2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

Salt and pepper

  • Bring a saute pan to medium-high heat; add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Season steaks with salt and pepper. 
  • Cook beef until nicely caramelized on the one side; turn and continue cooking to desired doneness. Remove from pan; keep warm.
  • Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add brandy cook, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until reduced by half.
  • Add the stock and heavy cream and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and add peppercorns; season with thyme and salt. Serve over steaks.


Pommes Puree

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes

4 ounces butter

1 to 1-1/2 cups light cream

Salt and pepper

  • Add potatoes to a large pot. Cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender.
  • Meanwhile, add the butter and cream to a small saucepan and simmer until butter is melted; keep warm.
  • Drain, peel and rice the potatoes; stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Apple Tart Tatin with Whipped Cream

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

½ batch tart dough

Dash of lemon juice

2 to 3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges

  • Add flour, salt and butter to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it forms a coarse meal.  Add water, pulsing, until dough forms a ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill 30 minutes. Roll dough out into a 10-inch round.  Keep chilled.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring sugar, two tablespoons water and lemon juice to a boil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet.  Cook, swirling pan, until the caramel turns medium amber in color. Remove the pan from the heat; swirl in the butter.
  • Arrange the apples in the pan and cover with the chilled dough round.
  • Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes; carefully invert tart onto a serving dish. Serve with whipped cream.

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