Eric Ripert’s Beef Bourguignon








Eric Ripert is the chef of one of the best restaurants in NYC, Le Berardin. I had a     tasting menu there years ago and it remains one of the best meals of my life! I saw him making this on the Today Show this week and decided to make it for Christmas Day dinner. You must marinate the meat  and vegetables over night in 2 bottles of wine! Ina Garten also has a delicious recipe that is much simpler to make.

2# beef chuck, cut into 1″ pieces

1 cup celery, medium dice

1 cup carrot, medium dice

1 cup onion, medium dice

6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

6 oz. mushrooms, washed and diced

2 bottles of red wine ( I used Pinot Noir)

3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs parsley

1 bay leaf

1 T. black peppercorns

6 T. canola oil

1 slice smoked bacon, chopped (optional)

1 cup brandy or rum

2 cups chicken stock

fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the beef, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, mushrooms and red wine in a large pot or bowl (I used a huge Le Creuset that I will be cooking it in tomorrow). Make a sachet with a large square of cheesecloth and put the bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and parsley in it and tie it closed with kitchen twine. Add the sachet to the beef and vegetables and marinate in the refrigerate overnight.

Strain the marinated beef and vegetables making sure to reserve the wine. Spread the beef and vegetables on a baking tray, separating the beef from the veg. Generously season the beef with salt and pepper.

Pour the reserved wine into a saucepan and bring to a boil, skimming the foam off the top as it comes up to a boil. Remove from heat.

Heat canola oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot, sear the beef-working in batches, not to crowd the pot, over medium high heat until nicely browned on all sides

Remove beef from pan and discard all but 1 T of the oil. Render the bacon until crisp and add celery, carrot, onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until lightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with rum or brandy and the browned beef, red wine, chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until the beef becomes tender. At this point you can thicken the broth with a little beurre manie or flour, continue cooking another 1/2 hour until thick and very tender.

Serve with Herbed Carrots

6 medium carrots

4 T. butter

1/4 cup chopped parsley

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel and slice carrots thinly. Place carrots in a saute pan,add water to barely cover, add the butter and lightly season with salt and pepper. Simmer until tender about 6-8 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with beef bourguignon.

Serves 8

Solstice Party Champagne and hors d’oeuvres

Tomorrow I am celebrating Winter Solstice party with my girlfriends. We will toast with champagne and here is my menu:

Ina’s Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Gougeres from Tartine

Holiday gougeres
Ranch Dip with Crudites

Stilton and Isle of Mull
Scottish Cheddar with Rainforest Crisps

Endive stuffed with Lobster Salad

Assorted Sushi Rolls-vegetable and California

Chicken Liver Pate with Fig Jam

Assorted Cookies and Caramel Truffles

do you know about KISS COOKIES

Our family has been making these cookies forever and they are a favorite.  I recently found milk chocolate/caramel kisses and tried them and also they are selling dark chocolate kisses in addition to the milk chocolate (which were the original). I experimented today with the caramel and the dark chocolate. I think the caramel kisses are too light to bake into a cookie -they leaked after chilling the kisses balls for almost an hour.

8 oz. butter

1/2 cup sugar (I see notes you can use 1/4 cup honey, I tried 1/2 powdered sugar

1 t. vanilla

2 cups flour

1 cup nuts, we use pecans but I think any kind would be fine, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a mixer, beat butter and sugar together, add vanilla. Lower the speed and add flour and then the nuts. You can chill the dough, in fact, I think it is better to chill the dough. Unwrap kisses-the recipe says it makes 40-it can vary as to how much dough you wrap around the kisses.

Take a small amount of dough and flatten in your palm, put the kiss in the dough and roll the dough into a ball around the kiss. You can chill the pan of cookies or bake. If you are using the caramel kisses, you must chill them. The dark chocolate kisses are fine to go straight into the oven.

Bake 10-12 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar when cool.

Tuna mousse/pate

From Chocolate and Zucchini-This is so easy and delicious-I could barely get it into the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes!

1 6 oz. can or jar of good quality tuna, in oil, drained

1 small shallot, quartered

1/2 crisp green apple, cored, seeded and quartered

2 T. freshly squeeze lime juice

1/4 cup fresh cheese, ricotta, cream cheese or goat cheese

1/4-1/2 t. chile powder

1 /4 t. EACH good salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste. Transfer to an airtight container and chill 30 minutes or up to one day. Serve with crackers, baguette slices or vegetable sticks.

The freezer is your friend

My niece Rachael wanted me to write about the foods I freeze. I freeze many things-soups, portions of casseroles, sauces like bolognese, meats-like leftover pulled pork or brisket, cookies, croutons, and many more items! I try to freeze everything as I make large amounts of soups and I need to freeze to keep it. Actually many times, my freezer is too full and I pull quarts of soups out for my medical student nephew and his wife.

Tiny Shortbread Cookies with chocolate chunks and toffee bits

This recipe was adapted from the blog, the kitchn, by the blogger FarmgirlFare! It is so easy and fast to make. They are crumbly as there are no eggs or leavening in the recipe. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee or hot chocolate!

1 cup butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 t. pure vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1/4 t. salt

3/4 cup mini semi sweet or bittersweet chips or chunks (I used bitterswt chunks)

3/4 cup English toffee bits, such as Heath

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixer or with a hand held mixer, beat the butter and powdered sugar until smooth, about one minute. Beat in the vanilla, and then add the flour and salt. Reduce speed to low and add the chocolate and toffee bits.

Use a small scoop (I use the mini scoop that is 1 1/4″ across) Drop on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until the edges are starting to brown, about 12-15 minutes. Cool. Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Makes about 39

Arctic weather cooking-4 great chicken recipes

Denver has gotten 10″ of snow in three days with 5″ more expected tonight plus our temperatures are super cold. We have plenty of ingredients and are staying in at least until tomorrow (the high will be 10!) so I am sharing what I made this morning!

I had forgotten how delicious and velvety a poached  chicken is until I made the WSJournal’s poached  chicken last month. Here is the simple recipe:

Rinse and dry a 4# chicken, discarding giblets. Put the chicken in a 8 quart soup pot with five quarts of cold water to cover. Add 2 T. kosher salt. Cover pot, cook over high heat for 25 minutes until you hear the water boiling rapidly -do not lift cover! Remove pot from heat and let sit 3 hours. Remove chicken from the broth, cut into pieces, discard skin. Serve warm with sauce below.

Ginger Soy Vinaigrette

In a small saucepan, stir together 2 T. soy sauce, 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar, 2 T. mirin, 2 T. dark brown sugar, 1 T. dark Asian sesame oil. Heat until warm and add 2 T. minced scallions and 2 t. slivered fresh ginger.

With the leftover meat I made King Ranch Casserole from the Homesick Texans blog:

And a super easy Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup from the new Joy of Cooking-(I only had enough chicken for a half recipe of this soup)

Bring to a boil in a soup pot

3 cups Poultry Stock or any kind of light broth

2 2/3 Unsweetened Coconut Milk

Reduce heat and add

2 small Thai peppers or 3 jalapenos, seeded and sliced (I diced mine)

3 T. fish sauce (or soy sauce)

1 t. minced peeled, fresh ginger

Simmer 10 minutes and add

1# boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced

2 T. lime juice

Simmer 5 minutes and garnish with

Chopped Cilantro

Black eyed Pea Falafel and Greek Salad

I discovered black eyed pea falafels at a restaurant called Fuel in Denver. They are delicious and very easy to make. All you have to remember is to soak the peas the night before or at least six hours. This recipe comes from Joan Nathan via Epicurious.

Falafel-about 20 balls

1 cup dried black eyed peas or chick peas

1/2 large onion

2 T. EACH finely chopped parsley and cilantro

1 t. salt

1/2-1 t. dried hot pepper

4 cloves garlic

1 t. cumin

1 t. baking powder

4-6 T. flour

Oil for frying

Pita and garnishes like chopped tomato, onion

1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.

2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.

3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets.

5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahini thinned with water.

I served this with a greek salad I made with bibb lettuce, chopped cucumber, chopped tomato, sliced red onion, olives and a vinaigrette with toasted pita on the side.

Mediterranean Fish Soup with Rouille croutons

 This is a wonderful recipe from Jacques Pepin for a      party as you can make the base the day of the party and finish it by cooking the fish at the last minute. I steam the mussels separately in white wine to make sure they all open and would do the same with clams if I used them. I used halibut that I skinned and cut into 3/4′ pieces and bay scallops. Yield about 3 quarts-serves 6

1 1/2# fish fillets, a mixture of 2 or 3 kinds of fish or all one kind-halibut, cod, haddock,monkfish,seabass or snapper, any firm white fish, skinned, cut into pieces

1 1/2# clams or mussels, scrubbed and  cleaned

1/2# scallops

3 T olive oil

1 1/2 cups onions,chopped

5 scallions, thinly sliced, about 1 cup

1 T. garlic, chopped

2 cups fresh or canned tomatoes, with skin, juice and sees

1 cup white wine like Chardonnay

4 cups fish stock (you can make, buy or substitute clam juice,diluted with water)

1 t. fresh thyme, chopped

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. black pepper

1 t. saffron threads, or less if you wish

1 1/2 T fresh tarragon, if available


1 slice firm white bread, crusts removed

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1/3 cup potato (helps for a great consistency but not absolutely necessary)

1/4 cup canned pimiento pieces (essential to recipe)

1/4 cup broth from the soup pot

1 egg yolk

fresh salt and pepper to taste

1/8 t. cayenne

3/4 cup olive oil


24 slices of baguette, about 1/4″ cut on the diagonal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and toast croutons on a baking sheet until crisp and beginning to color on both sides, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

In a large soup pan, heat up the olive oil and saute the onions, scallions and garlic. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, and fish stock and stir in thyme and s&p. Bring to a boil and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, partially covered. You can hold this base for a day or two and finish at the last minute!

For the rouille, tear the bread into pieces and put into processor with the garlic cloves. Process until finely chopped. Add the cooked potato, pimiento, and 1/4 cup broth from the soup pot and process until smooth. Add egg yolk, s&p, and cayenne and process. Add olive oil slowly with machine running. Taste and adjust. Put into a bowl.

To finish-

I cook mussels or clams separately in white wine until opened to make sure there is no grit and all shellfish opens.

With soup base at a boil, add saffron and cook 2 minutes. Add fish and scallops and return to a gentle boil for 2-3 minutes. Add mussels or clams and stir in chopped tarragon.

Spoon rouille over half of the croutons and ladle portions of the seafood and broth into large soup bowls. Garnish with rouille croutons. Serve hot with extra croutons and rouille on the side.