M.F.K. Inspired Cassoulet

M.F.K. Inspired Cassoulet
Created by Sheana Davis, The Epicurean Connection
Yields 8 dinner servings
 
1# ham hocks
1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon each Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
2 pounds dried Rancho Gordo White beans, washed
8 ounces duck prosciutto, cut into strips
8 ounces pork prosciutto, chopped, cut into strips
1/2 cup duck fat
12 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and chopped
2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 cups white onion, cut in to 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup tomato paste
4 quarts chicken stock
 
Bouquet garni:
6 parsley sprigs, 4 small celery ribs, 4 thyme sprigs and 2 bay leaf, tied in cheese cloth.
 
8 duck confit legs
tablespoon olive oil
1 pound fresh small pork sausages links or chunks of sausage
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
 
DAY ONE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the ham hocks and pork shoulder cubes in a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper and chili flakes and bake in the oven for 90 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest overnight.
 
Place beans in a bowl, rinse and soak overnight in a bowl in the refrigerator
DAY TWO
In a large saucepan, place the pork shoulder cubes and ham hocks and garlic with the duck fat. Add in the two prosciuttos and saute until crispy. Add in garlic, carrots and onion and saute until golden, approximately 5-7 minutes. Add in tomato paste, mixing together and evenly coating the meat and vegetables. Add in stock and bouquet garni and bring to a simmer. Add in beans, mix together and bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Gently pour into large cassoulet pan. Roast in oven for 2 hours.
Place duck confit legs and pork sausages on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until crispy, approximately 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest.

 

DAY THREE, instead of baking, place cassoulet fridge and then re-heat in your fridge.
Remove cassoulet from oven and arrange duck legs and sausages on top, replace in oven and allow to roast for 30 minutes until duck is crispy. If you do not have access to a butane burner, simply sprinkle with crumbs and bake for 10 minutes or until golden on top.
 
This Cassoulet can be made In steps over 2-3 day’s.
 
Sprinkle with bread crumbs and brûlée with a butane burner and sprinkle and parsley and enjoy! Serve with a Syrah or Cab Franc.

Spring Leek, Green Garlic & Meyer Lemon White Bean Soup

Spring Leek, Green Garlic & Meyer Lemon White Bean Soup
Created by Sheana Davis, The Epicurean Connection
Yields 4-8 servings
 
1/4 cup Epicurean Connection Olive Oil
1/2 cup green garlic, sliced 1/4 inch thick in rounds
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, crushed
2 cups medium leeks, sliced in half lengthwise,
             then sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2 inch rounds
1/2 cup celery, cut at an angle 1/2 inch thick
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon Fresh ground Black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh thyme sprigs, stems removed coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Meyer Lemon juice
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup Rancho Gordo Alubia Blanca White Beans
6+ cups veggie broth or chicken stock
Fresh Baked Breads for dipping
Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc for sipping
 
2 cups fresh Frissee Greens, washed and coarsely chopped
 
INSTRUCTIONS
Prepare vegetables.
In a heavy bottom soup pot, over medium heat, olive oil, green garlic, garlic, leeks and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add in carrots and celery, salt, pepper, lemon zest and thyme.. Splash with white wine and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Add in white beans and continue to saute for 5 minutes.
Add in vegetable or chicken stock, bring to a simmer and reduce flame to low and simmer for 60 minutes, or until beans are tender. Taste, adjust seasoning, *Depending on your preference, you may add more or less stock.
Garnish with winter Frissee and fresh ground black pepper.
Enjoy with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and fresh baked breads.
Soup may store for up to one week or you may freeze.

Pimento Cheese

Created by Sheana Davis, The Epicurean Connection
Yields 6 cups

2 cups sharp cheddar, grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Delice de la Vallee or Fromage Blanc
½ cup pimiento peppers, drained and chopped coarsely
½ cup Red Peppadews, chopped fine
¼ cup Sweet Drop Peruvian Peppers (or a sweet spicy pickled pepper)
¼ cup green onion, chopped, using the whole green onion
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp chili flakes
Dash of Tabasco or Crystal Hot Sauce
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin for garnish

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, and stir with a rubber spatula. Serve immediately with crackers, or cover, refrigerate, and let flavors marinate.

Serve with toasted Crostini, fresh breads and seasonal crudite. Enjoy! We made this recipe to feature our cheese, although you can use any local Fromage Blanc.

This is a great winter recipe to enjoy in the New Year.  Easy to make, quite accommodating on substituting ingredients and is delicious with fresh winter vegetables, toasted crostini or stirred into a pasta.

~Fold Pimento Cheese into scrambled eggs and enjoy with a glass of Champagne.

~Stir Pimento Cheese into fresh warm pasta and enjoy as an entree, served with Beaujoulais Nouveau.

~Fresh Toasted Baguettes, Pimento Cheese and a glass of Pinot Noir.

Happy New Year!

Whey Wheat Crackers

Yields 48 small crackers

1 ¼ c. whole wheat flour
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. paprika
4 Tbs. butter, room temperature, cute in small pieces
1 ½ Tbs honey
¼ c. fresh whey
Sprinkle of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper for topping
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, sugar, salt and paprika. Cut the butter thoroughly into the dry mixture until it it thoroughly mixed and looks like crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and whey and add to the flour mixture. Gently mix together and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Line baking sheets with Use parchment paper, or brush with olive oil. Dust surface with flour and roll 1/3 of the dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with a knife into shapes or use cookie cutters for preferred shapes. Poke with a fork few times. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Options:
Omit the paprika and add in fresh ground black pepper or a dried herb of choice.
Add in 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground chili flakes for a spicy version.

Cilantro Mint Pesto

Yields 2 cups

1 cup Mint leaves
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup parsley leaves
6 cloves garlic
¼ cup White Balsamic Vinegar or fresh Meyer Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup Olive Oil

Place mint, cilantro, parsley and garlic in food processor and blend together. Add in vinegar, salt and pepper and drizzle in olive oil until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Optional: Add ½ teaspoon chili flakes for a spicy pesto.

Serve fresh with seasonal vegetable crudités.
Serve with fresh tortilla chips as a dip.
Spread on a fresh pizza dough, fresh Chevre and tomatoes.
Fold into an omelets with grated cheddar and tomatoes.
Grill chicken and drizzle with Cilantro Mint Pesto