What to Eat in France: Boeuf Bourguignon

By Saturday, November 14, 2015 Permalink 0

What to Eat in France: Boeuf Bourguignon, or Burgundy-style beef stew in red wine, inspired by French chef Bernard Loiseau

by Jonell Galloway

Boeuf à la bourguignonne, also referred to as beef or boeuf bourguignon, is a French classic from the Burgundy wine region of France. It is made with red Burgundy wine, and simmered for hours. It makes up part of what the French refer to as “plats cuisinés“, or slow-cooked dishes.

This recipe is quite easy to make, and should serve about 8 people. Plan to make it well in advance, since it is best when it is left to marinate for 24 hours and cook slowly several hours on the day of serving. It is the perfect dish for dinner parties or potlucks, and is one of the best leftovers around.

Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

Click here for metric-Imperial-U.S. recipe converter

Serves 8

Preparation time: 45 min

Cooking time: 2 1/2 to 3 hrs
Marinating: 24 hrs
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Swiss Food: Tarte à la Raisinée – Apple & Pear Syrup Pie

By Sunday, March 30, 2014 Permalink 0

Swiss Food: Fribourg-style Tarte à la Raisinée – Apple and Pear Syrup Pie

 Inspired by Frédy Girardet’s recipe in La Cuisine Spontanée, published by Robert Laffont

What is Swiss Raisinée?

The Vaudois word raisinée refers to a syrup made of the must of apples and pears. It was originally cooked in grape juice, thus the name — raisin means grape in French. Often called vin cuit, or “cooked wine”, it is in the form of a dark brown, viscous liquid. In still other parts of Switzerland, another concoction similar in consistency to jam and using the same ingredients is called cougnarde and probably dates back to at least the Middle Ages. Raisinée was used as a sweetener in many regions in Europe, and the tradition has lingered in Switzerland, especially in the cantons of Vaud, Fribourg and Neuchâtel. Today, it is mainly used for cakes and pies, and is not fermented, so it not technically a wine.

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Introducing our new “TRE Quality Label”

By Thursday, July 25, 2013 Permalink 0


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Introducing our new “TRE Quality Label”: Healthy, Homemade Meals Delivered to Your Door, Geneva

The TRE Quality Label

The TRE Quality Label

Introducing our new “TRE Quality Label”

In this complex world of industrial food, where even organic food is sold by agro food conglomerates, it is important to know the quality and origin of what we eat. Thus the importance of a quality label that has been tested by people like us who are experienced in the real-food business. When we give the TRE Quality Label, we know where the ingredients came from, we know how the food was processed and treated — and most of it is entirely local,  allowing you too to eat locally. We also know how it tastes, because we’ve tasted it all.

All the important criteria make up part of the TRE Quality Label: quality, origin, and taste. You can be sure of what you’re buying if it has a TRE Quality Label.

Today, we’d like to introduce the first product to which we’re giving our label: panbeh, a Geneva grassroots operation that makes every attempt to meet all these criteria, and to put something healthy, natural and tasty on your plate.

panbeh‘s meals are delivered straight to your door in Geneva. Most of the ingredients are from Geneva or nearby in the countryside.

It is the perfect solution for those who are home bound and for the elderly, as well as for those who simply don’t have the time to do the shopping required to cook a healthy, well-balanced meal. It’s great for those weeks when your work schedule is heavy, and ensures that you’ll get a home-cooked, healthy meal every day, delivered straight to your door.

Geneva: Healthy, Homemade Meals Delivered to Your Door by panbeh

panbeh describes itself:

panbeh means “pure cotton” in Farsi: the purity of a healthy, home-cooked meal

Panbeh's very own cotton plant in Geneva, Switzerland

Panbeh’s very own cotton plant in Geneva, Switzerland

As we all know, what we eat is important for our daily activity and well-being, so we are introducing our new concept: the pleasure of eating healthy, natural, homemade food while fully enjoying the taste of what you eat, delivered right to your door.

No additives and no pesticides, no hormones and no chemicals — only the real, natural flavor of top quality, artisanal ingredients, the origin of which we systematically list. And you benefit from the real taste of the whole, untreated, unprocessed food, prepared fresh every day in a high-fiber, low-fat manner.

Whenever possible, we use only organic ingredients.

We propose a daily lunch menu and will deliver it to you at your home or your office, free of charge. Please find below are our daily menus for the month of July.

Delivery to your home or office
Order the night before (before 6 pm) for next day’s lunch, or order for the whole week
Orders are delivered between 12 and 1 pm

Order by email:
panbeh@servge.ch
or by phone:
076 630 79 56

 
Free delivery for Petit-Saconnex, Grand-Saconnex, Grand-Pré and Nations.
 

It is our right to know where our food comes from:

Bread: Eric Emery bakery, Geneva.
Vegetables, fruits and mountain herbs (organic): Marché à la Ferme de Budé, Geneva.
Cheese (organic) : Casa Mozzarella, Geneva.
Salmon: Wild from Alaska or Scotland, sold by Francesco Drago, Halle de Rive covered market, Geneva.
Tomato sauce (organic): Marché a la Ferme de Budé, Geneva.
Spaghetti (organic): Marché à la Ferme de Budé, Geneva.
Rice & Quinoa (organic): Marché de Vie, Geneva
Olive oil: Greece, sold by Marché à la Ferme de Budé, Geneva
Eggs (organic): Marché à la Ferme de Budé, Geneva.
Chicken (organic) : Swiss origin
Wheat (organic) : Swiss origin

 

Bon appétit!

 

MENU for July 2013 (24.00 CHF)

Monday
Mixed salad
Quinoa balls, oven-baked Homemade
panbeh cake

Tuesday
Shirazi salad (tomato, cucumbers, onion, fresh mint)
Indian Tilda rice with safran, berberis (barberries) and chicken, or wild rice with chicken and vegetables
Fresh fruit salad

Wednesday
Potato salad, onion, eggs
Eggplant and tomato sandwich
panbeh homemade crème caramel

Thursday
Tomato & mozzarella & fresh basil
Spaghetti, tomato sauce & mushrooms
Watermelon or melon

Friday
Salad (ricotta & tomato covered with aromatic herbs)
Wild smoked salmon sandwich
Homemade panbeh cake

Large portion of mixed salad: 12.00 CHF

Drinks: kefir, mineral water, or fruit juice.

 

Order by email:
panbeh@servge.ch
or by phone:
076 630 79 56

 

 

 

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What is Spontaneous Cuisine?

By Thursday, June 27, 2013 Permalink 0

Jonell Galloway, Slow Food, Spontaneous Cuisine, Slow Food, Editor of The Rambling Epicure, Mindful EatingMy Spontaneous Cuisine, by Jonell Galloway

Spontaneous Cuisine is an approach to cooking that I “invented” 25 years ago, around the same time as Paul Bocuse started talking about la cuisine du marché, or “market cuisine.”

Happy Thanksgiving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Spontaneous Cuisine method consists of writing out a tentative menu based on seasonal, local products; going shopping for the products, and adapting the menu according to what is available and fresh; going to the wine seller to select a wine to go with the menu, then going home and cooking all afternoon with my students. A day in the classroom-kitchen usually ends with a candlelight dinner at the château (in my past life in France), and now, at my 1,000-year-old chapel converted into a house in Chartres.

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Interview with Najat Kaanache, The Pilgrim Chef from El Bulli

By Wednesday, April 3, 2013 Permalink 0

Interview with Najat Kaanache, The Pilgrim Chef from El Bulli

One Woman’s Tireless Pursuit of the Whimsical Spirit of Food: An Interview with Najat Kaanache

 

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1. Do you remember the moment when you became interested in food?

I was just five years old and my grandma finally trusted me to help make the bread. Each grain was so precious and I was as focused in the kitchen then as I am now!

I remember making bread with my mother and the respect she taught me for the whole process of growing and cooking nutritious food for the family. Simple, natural food was the standard at home. We were so poor that a small piece of hard, crusty bread with a bowl of lentil soup was a luxury. We grew almost all of our food on our property and only went into town to buy flour.

2. Who influenced you most and did they teach you about cooking and food?

Ferran Adria taught me to give my brain and my hands the freedom to create magical dishes. At el Bulli, we practiced the “art of doing” and everything Ferran has achieved came from hard work; none of his innovations was accomplished by accident.

3. Do you think with your taste buds?

I feel with them…my hands, eyes, heart and soul all have taste buds!

4. Where did you start your culinary studies (a little history)?

My first technical training was at Culinary School in Rotterdam, but I’d been butchering, foraging, harvesting, processing and cooking daily since early childhood. Food has always been my way of life.

5. At what point did you become interested in molecular cuisine?

I was working in Rotterdam when I started reading about Grant Achatz and Ferran Adria. I set my intention to do my next training with them, and although I knew it would be next to impossible, I worked every day to make it happen. I dreamed of making crazy sexy food and these two chefs introduced me to a new paradigm of creativity, using science and technology in the kitchen.

6. There are those who say molecular cuisine is unhealthy. What are your thoughts on this?

Food can be prepared in so many ways.  For me, it’s unhealthy to eat packaged and processed foods without regard for where they originate or what additives they contain. Molecular gastronomy is an experimental way of cooking, but master chefs use only the highest quality organic ingredients and utilize technology just to present the best of each product to the guest. This modern style of cooking really boils down to a measure of creativity, not health. The so-called “chemicals” used are very common, benign food-safe chemicals and only trace amounts are used.  What worries me are all the “natural” blueberry products that contain absolutely no blueberries, just Modified Corn Starch, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Red #40, Blue #1 and Blue #2!

7. You often talk about your dreams and how you are in the process of making them into reality. You seem to have already realized many of your dreams. Which ones do you still have left to fulfill?

I haven’t even started, but I have just a few humble dreams. I would love to be able to offer a perfectly ripe heirloom tomato to every child in the world who’s never had the chance to taste something so vital and naturally delicious.  I would also love to stop big multinational companies from mass-producing horrible GMO foods.

I dream of making “clean” food available for everyone, but for that to happen people have to take an active interest and demand to know how their food is made.  People will pay so much for a pair of shoes, a car or a handbag, and then they give so little thought and attention to the most important thing in their life, which actually becomes a part of their body, FOOD !!

8. You once told me you’d always been a nomad, even with your parents. Can you talk to us a little about that?

My soul was born free and I remain a free spirit, home for me is everywhere. I live simply and make my home anywhere I am. I learn from people and I always need new people around me. I need to see, feel and experience in order to understand the world in which I live. I’m from the Atlas in Morocco and I grew up between there and San Sebastian. I feel so fortunate for the unique mix of cultures I was exposed to throughout my life; it was just amazing.

9. You’ve done internships with many famous chefs I believe? Can you tell us about your adventures?

Each of them gave me all I needed to become the best chef I could be. Grant Achatz made me believe that I was not crazy with my focus and intensity in the kitchen.  Rene Redzepi made me believe that yes, I can create elegant, interesting dishes with just the products I had around in nature. I already knew that deep inside, but it was great to see it in the context of a three-star Michelin setting. Thomas Keller taught me that I was correct in having an insane sense of urgency, and being determined to execute perfection for each guest. And Ferran Adria gave me the chance to free my mind. I don’t have rules and regulations in my brain, only freedom. Everything I can visualize in my brain I can bring to life with my food. Once I’ve seen it in my brain, I just need to find the way to make it happen! That is the magic of creativity, freedom and hard work.

Another thing I achieved with Ferran Adria was to completely kill my ego. That’s perhaps the most special lesson he imparts on his chefs (we call them Los Chicos del Bulli – The Boys of el Bulli, most of whom started very young and spent over 20 years working side-by-side with him). These boys, now men, create magic with food and carry the “World’s Best” title, but they have absolutely no ego and nothing to prove; they simply are who they are…chefs.

Najat Kaanache
http://www.najatkaanache.com
The Pilgrim Chef  at http://elbulli-arco.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NajatKaanache%20″
Twitter: @ThePilgrimChef http://twitter.com/#%21/ThePilgrimChef

 


 

 

 

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The Big Apple on a Budget: Mas (la grillade), a Restaurant Review

By Monday, March 18, 2013 Permalink 0

by Leonor White

I recently discovered a farm-to-table restaurant in the West Village. I was looking for an upscale lunch at an affordable price to dine with my family. Mas (la grillade) is the sister restaurant to Mas (farmhouse), but, as the name indicates, focuses on grilled meats.

During lunch hours, a seasonal menu of locally grown foods cooked solely over wood fires of oak, apple and other hardwoods is served. This menu is comprised of three courses: appetizer, main course and desert, and it all comes at a very reasonable price, $27.  Lunch à la carte is also available, but I would recommend opting for the menu, as you get a chance to experience Chef Galen Zamarra’s seasonal favorites. The restaurant is also open for dinner, and just as for lunch, there is a prix fixe menu (but for a higher price, $68), as well as an à la carte dining.

We went for lunch on a Saturday, and it did not disappoint. The restaurant is simply but tastefully decorated, making a bold statement with regards to its farm-to-table concept. As the menus arrived, we all had our eyes fixed on the first item in the menu: “Grilled Pear and Sunchoke Soup with Mint, Black Truffle and Hen of the Woods Mushrooms.” Despite the fact that there were other appetizers to choose from, such as the “Grilled Trumpet Royale Mushrooms with a Salad of Mizuna, Grilled Onion Vinaigrette, and Croutons,” we all thought that the soup sounded divine, and it was indeed. The grilled pear and sunchoke flavors made for a distinctive taste; the soup was sprinkled with mint and black truffles and topped with mushroom croutons.

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35-year-old Arnaud Dockele to Enter Among the 27 Michelin Stars, to be Announced Tomorrow

By Monday, February 18, 2013 Permalink 0

Le Monde announced a few hours ago that Arnaud Donckele chef of La Vague d’Or in Saint-Tropez, will be awarded in Michelin’s famous red restaurant guide to France 2013. The new guide comes out tomorrow, February 18, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There will now be twenty-eight 3-star restaurants in France, including five new restaurants, and 487 new 1-star restaurants.

Docklele’s style of cuisine is referred to as regional and terroir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coconut Pound Cake and Ratio Cooking

By Monday, October 15, 2012 Permalink 0

by Diana Zahuranec

It was soft and yellow-white with a thin, dark crust. The crust was not hard or chewy, but broke away perfectly from the rest of this pillow-y treat. It wasn’t a piece of bread, though it looked like one. Was it cake? It was on the end of a long table under a blue tent shading us from the summer sun. A gold cardboard plate presented perfect slices of this marvelous discovery.

I held the slice in my little sweaty hands, taking small bites that burst with butter, vanilla, and sugar. Its texture was half of the pleasure: smooth, moist, fine-grained, and soluble, I already wanted more. But the table was on the other side of the lawn now, and there were so many long tables laden with food with big people figures milling about, from one end to another. I never found it again.

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Meet New Zealand Celebrity Chef Annabel Langbein

By Tuesday, September 25, 2012 Permalink 0

by Amanda McInerney

The celebrity cooks and chefs of the United States, the UK and Europe are frequently familiar to Australians too, but I sometimes wonder if the reverse is true. We’ve bred some truly remarkable kitchen talents down here in the antipodes — both in Australia and New Zealand — and we well and truly have our share of local celebrity chefs on TV shows and cookbook shelves. While the international Masterchef franchise has blazed across our screens and spawned an entire new crop of  culinary household names, there are plenty that have been steadily and consistently doing their kitchen/foodie thing without all of that fanfare and I’m taking this opportunity to introduce you to one of them.

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Is Focaccia Pizza’s Rival?

By Thursday, February 16, 2012 Permalink 0

by Diana Zahuranic

“It’s the most dangerous competitor of pizza,” said the president of Recco’s Consorzio near Genova. What could possibly pose a risk to the hallowed Italian dish? The risk lies in a similar bread known as focaccia, an olive-oily, salt-crunchy, inch-thick fluffy white dough often cut into squares in the piazza’s panetteria, or bakery. Tomato sauce and ciliegini cherry tomatoes, may be dropped on top, as well as anchovies, thin potato slices with rosemary sprigs, zucchini, eggplant, olives and tomato – basically any ingredient that goes on a pizza sits comfortably on its fluffy focaccia pillow, too. And like pizza, mozzarella cheese is basically a given.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If focaccia is pizza’s most serious contender, then Focaccia di Recco is the Achilles of this battle – but Recco’s focaccia has no weak spot.

I went with my class from the University of Gastronomic Sciences, a Slow Food-founded school based in Piemonte, Italy, to the 150-year old Ristorante Vitturin. The owner applied for the IGP label for his focaccia, and is now waiting for it to pass. If the bread earns this Indicazione di Geografica Protetta, or Protected Geographic Indication, that will make it the first restaurant product with that label. Naples’ pizza likely regrets not applying for one every time a new “Napoletano style” pizzeria erects its greasy walls in small suburbs and big cities. If it gains the IGP label, then that’s Point One for Focaccia di Recco.

We walked down a flight of steps into a moodier section of the restaurant and the kitchen, open with a line of windows framing the working chefs who flip paper-thin focaccia dough in the air and mix potions of ingredients to create pestos and sauces. The bustle of a restaurant kitchen was unapparent, non-existent, at 2:30 in the afternoon. The chef had time to show us how to make Focaccia di Recco.

Three long tables were set up in a U at the end of the room, set with dough, flour and long, thin rolling pins that were more like sticks. The chef was cheerful and energetic and even a bit cheeky to the very sincere Consorzio leader/ restaurant owner, who explained to us why the Focaccia di Recco deserved the IGP label.

“We use a farina di forza,” he explained. This “flour of strength” is 100% Manitoba flour, its forza derived from the high gluten content. The chef let us feel the fine, fine flour. He began to roll out soft, warm piles of dough very quickly into a thin layer on the table.

“The cheese must be this kind,” he said, showing us the Formaggio fresco latte ligurie tracciato. It was a big, white, squishy brick. The chef laid out the first layer over the tray, and then pinched off chunks with his hands of this fresh goat’s cheese from Liguria and plopped them evenly onto the pie.

“We’ve used the same recipe since 1800,” said the owner. The recipe is also written on the brochure of the restaurant (although the cheese is described as crescenza, an Italian-style Philadelphia cream cheese, because few people will ever get their hands on the crucial ligurie tracciato cheese). We were pinching off moist bits of this rich, creamy cheese and popping them into our mouths as we watched the chef toss his next piece of dough high into the air until it was so thin it was transparent.

Formaggio fresco di latte ligurie tracciato

The chef gently laid the fragile dough over the cheesy bottom layer. Some cheese chunks broke through, which would burst through in an exquisite, oily sizzle when in the oven. He drizzled it with extra virgin olive oil, cut off the excess dough in one deft motion using the rolling pin, and smashed the leftovers into another dough ball. “We don’t waste anything,” he said. In fact, we ate hand-rolled corkscrew-shaped pasta later, called trofie or trofiette, made out of that very dough ball.

The focaccia was carefully cooked on hot coals, the traditional method, especially for us. When it was ready, it was sent up to the ground level by a veritable focaccia carousel – a large wheel with level platforms where focaccia was placed, sent up, up, up and lifted off by the waiter to be served, pizza-style, at the table. The place is known as the “restaurant of the wheel.”

The cheesy Focaccia di Recco was crunchy in all the right places, soft and gooey where you wanted it, and underlined by the wholesome nuttiness and vegetal taste of the extra virgin olive oil. My preference was the Focaccia di Recco covered in zesty, herby, house-made pesto. Interestingly, they proudly deemed this una ricetta nuova, a new recipe. Tradition runs strong in Italy, where changes are tested slowly and considered seriously.

The pesto version of focaccia

Perhaps this answers the questionable “difference” between a focaccia and pizza. Focaccia is often thicker, and it is sometimes sold as “pizza a taglio,” “pizza by the slice,” even though everyone knows it is focaccia. In Italy, pizza is never one slice – it is a pie per person. And in Recco, the focaccia is thin and served on a round dish, one per person. These qualifications bring it dangerously close to pizza. When I asked the question, I was told that the ingredients in the dough are different than that of pizza dough.

And so it seems that pizza will remain pizza, focaccia will remain focaccia, and they will continue to be sold alongside one another for a long, long time as they always have. Don’t worry, pizza. Focaccia isn’t out to get you. Just don’t set up shop in Recco.

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