•June 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment
Red Caviar (Salmon Roe) Appetizers
The following wonderfully simple and yet impressive recipe comes from Mango and Tomato its a great way to impress your guests at your next dinner party:
1. Take out the mini phyllo cups from the freezer and bake them for about 10 minutes at 350.
2. Mix cream cheese (it helps if it’s at room temperature) with chopped fresh dill.
3. Once the phyllo cups have cooled down a bit, fill them with cream cheese & dill mixture and top with red caviar.
•June 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment
The Caviar Vending Machine
Talk about gourmet on the go! Civil servants in Russia now have a special vending machine that dispenses caviar! The machine dispenses glass jars of salmon roe in various sizes. The first of its kind, this vending machine is housed in Moscow’s mayor’s office with 33 others installed across the city’s government buildings. Russia as a country has had a long love affair with caviar with the cheaper red varieties often eaten as a snack or light lunch spread. The black variety such as Beluga or Osetra are saved for special occasions due to expense.
It is certainly a novel idea and would be a hit in upscale hotels here in America!
What do you think?
•June 16, 2010 • Leave a Comment
- MYTH: Chocolate raises cholesterol – No, studies support that dark chocolate can actually lower bad cholesterol when consumed in moderation.
- MYTH: Chocolate is high in caffeine – No, the average bar of chocolate has about the same amount of caffeine as a decaffeinated cup of coffee
- MYTH: Chocolate causes Acne – There is no scientific evidence to substantiate validity for this myth.
- MYTH: Chocolate is bad for you – No, chocolate is actually a great part of a healthy diet, as it is rich in antioxidants, which are shown to decrease the risk of heart disease and even slow aging. Dark chocolate is especially known to contain many health beneficial compounds.
- MYTH: Chocolate is chemically addictive – Based on scientific research, there is no pharmacological effect on the body which can result in a chemical addiction.
- FACT : Chocolate makes you feel good – Chocolate contains a chemical called phenyl thylamine that gives you a sense of euphoria, as it causes the release of specific pleasure inducing neurotransmitters.
- MYTH: Chocolate causes migraine headaches – There is no evidence of it, however if chocolate is a trigger food for headaches, you should omit it from your diet as with any other suspects.
How is chocolate made?
Here is a short clip explaining the production of chocolate :
Chocolate has a wonderful history and has captured our hearts since we became aware of its existence. With little negative health effects associated with it and a supreme taste, why not treat yourself with some of our fine Belgian Chocolates!
•June 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment
Chocolate filled madelines
The following classic French cake recipe comes from Chow and Chatter:
- 2 eggs
- 75g sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 90g flour (about a cup)
- 3g of baking soda
- Grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 90g melted French butter, still liquid but cold
- One spoon of runny honey
- A few drops of vanilla essence
- Your favorite chocolate, broken up
- Melt the butter and keep it to one side
- Whip the eggs with sugar and salt then slowly add the sifted flour, baking powder, lemon and vanilla essence.
- Mix until smooth then add the melted butter and honey and leave to chill for 30 minutes
- Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
•June 8, 2010 • 1 Comment
Seared Torchon of Foie Gras with Pears
The following recipe comes from Whats Cookin with Doc’s Blog:
It makes an impressive appetizer, light course or even an after meal treat before dessert. The sweet tanginess of the pears goes wonderfully with this Grade A foie gras torchon.
- Anjou pears, cored with skin on or peeled
- Asian pears, cored with skin on or peeled
- Red Wine poaching liquid (recipe follows below)
- Torchon of Foie Gras, cut ~ ½ to ¾ inch thick
- Seasoned flour
Red Wine Poaching Liquid:
- 1 cup of red wine (something you would drink by itself)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 split vanilla bean
- 1 cinnamon stick
- If you need more poaching liquid, just increase the other ingredient amounts, maintaining the same ratios.
- Bring the liquid to a boil to dissolve the sugar and then reduce to a simmer. Poach for about 10 minutes per side.
- Remove the pears and allow them to cool. While the pears cool, turn up the heat and reduce the remaining liquid by 1/2 to 2/3.
- At the same time heat a heavy bottomed pan over high heat. Score one side of the torchon.
- Lightly dust the torchon in the seasoned flour and shake off any excess. Place the torchon in the smoking pan and cook 1-2 minutes each side forming a nice sear and crust.
- Remove and plate with the cooled fruit. Drizzle a little of the reduced liquid over the pears and torchon.
•May 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment
In French, “Torchon” means lace or cheese cloth, which is the tool of choice used in the final stages of Foie Gras Au Torchon. It involves marinating the foie gras and then steam cooking it in the torchon to lock in the flavor and allow it to be frozen and portioned out. This method is a wonderful way to use your foie gras in a variety of dishes.
Chef Michael Fenster provides a wonderful step by step guide to make your own Foie Gras Au Torchon:
Foie Gras Au Torchon
When you get good quality foie gras, it can be served as is, hot or cold. I, however, often prefer to make a torchon. The word torchon is French and refers to the linen dish towel which is used to wrap the foie gras in the final steps of preparation. I like the torchon because it takes an incredible product and elevates it even higher standard and elegance. It also gives me a very consistent product and a way to evenly portion the foie gras. Once made, the torchon can be frozen and keeps well. It takes several days to make a torchon, but only really 2 days of work. Do not worry- we have an instructional video which will put out (hopefully at weeks’ end) to walk you through this one step at a time. Let’s get started:
•May 26, 2010 • 1 Comment
Coffee has a wonderful and colorful history. It all started in Ethiopia when it is rumored that a goat herder was amazed by the lively behavior of his goats after eating coffee berries. The Flesh of the cherry was eaten by slaves entering the seaport of Mocha and this introduced coffee to Yemen and the Arabic World. It is in this region that Dutch traders got hold of coffee beans and took them home to Holland and grew trees in greenhouses in 1616.
The Arabs started the world’s first coffee houses. They were places for local business people to meet, drink coffee, play chess and gossip. However, local authorities believed that coffee houses also brewed political movements quickly suppressed them. The Dutch started to ship coffee to Europe from Indonesia where it was at first sold by lemonade vendors for its medicinal purposes. In 1683 the first European coffee house opened in Venice.
As coffee started to become popular, the Dutch and the French decided to set up plantations in Martinique and Central and Southern America as one of the New World’s most valuable cash crops. Even today coffee is one of the worlds most valuable commodities and the second largest after oil. Today coffee is mostly grown in warm countries along the equator as this climate is the best for coffee plants. In America the only state to grow coffee is Hawaii.
America has a long history of coffee drinking and indeed a longtime love affair with it. The first reference to coffee being drank was in 1668 and shortly after coffee houses started to spring up in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia. America is the world largest consumer of coffee and home to some wonderful roasters and Baristas. Over the years as the gourmet coffee movement has taken hold, Americans are seeking out exceptional coffee with beans from the best growing regions.
So why not take your place in history and seek out a truly gourmet cup of coffee we carry a great selection of gourmet coffee here at Black Star Gourmet.