Early Spring Country Casserole
New Potatoes, Bacon, Gruyere, Leeks & Chicken
This casserole was inspired by the peasant dish that was served to the grape pickers in the Burgundy region of France.
My rendition is to celebrate the early spring offerings; New Potato, Leeks and Spring Chicken.Served this dish with a green salad and a bright vinaigrette and a piece of warm crusty bread. This dish can also be served slightly chilled or room temperature…great for a picnics, and road trip.
Prep and cooking time: 1 ½ hours, serves 8
Lining the pan:
10 ozbacon, thick sliced
1 Trosemary, minced
1 Tthyme, minced
Layering the pan:
2 lbsnew potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cupGruyere cheese, shaved, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cups shredded, cookedchicken
1 cupleeks, thinly sliced washed and dryed
1 Tgarlic, minced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Line an 8-inch cast iron skillet with bacon, covering the bottom and the sides and leaving a third of each strip hanging over the sides.Sprinkle with some rosemary and thyme.
Layer half the potatoes onto bacon and herbs, covering the entire surface.Sprinkle ¼ cup Gruyere over the potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Continue layering with leeks, garlic, remaining potato slices, salt, pepper and remaining Gruyere.
Fold hanging pieces of bacon strips to the center of skillet, covering entire top.Transfer skillet to stove top and cook over medium heat, about 10 minutes.
Cover skillet with foil, transfer to oven, and roast 30 minutes.Remove foil and roast until bacon is crisp and potatoes are fork-tender, 30 minutes more.
Let dish rest 10 minutes, then drain dripping and loosen edges to serve.
Local Grass Fed BeefStewed in Chile Sauce with Traditional Garnishes & Corn Tortillas
Birria,which originates from Jalisco, is really just a rustic stew of lamb or mutton – similar to barbacoa and served in deep bowls with a rich red broth, or wrapped in tortillas for tacos.
The name means “grotesque” or “a mess”, and while it may look that way, it is one of Mexico’s most delicious regional dishes. This dish is fantastic with a cold Mexican beer.
Prep and cook time – 2 hours, serves 6
4 guajillo chiles
4 ancho chilies
1 pound beef bones (ensure good marrow bones are used)
2 1/2 quarts water
6 garlic cloves
2 fresh bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground chile piquin
1/2 cup diced onion
2 limes, cut into wedges
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
12 Corn tortillas, as an accompaniment
In iron skillet toast the ancho and gaujillo chile and submerge in hot water. Let chiles sit for 20 minutes. Remove from water and puree in a blender with a cup of warm water. Set aside.
In a deep Dutch oven
, add the beef and ribs, water, onion, and garlic cloves. Bring to boil and cook for 1 hour. At this point add the bay leaves, thyme, chile puree, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper simmer
for 30 minutes. To make sauce, puree the garlic, vinegar, and chile
powder in a blender.
Serve the stew in a big bowl with a sprinkle of onion and cilantro
and a squeeze of lime on top. Serve with corn tortillas
and some of the sauce on the side.
Spiced Canela Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey-Lime Glaze
Prep and cooking time – 45 minutes, serves 8
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. ground canela (Mexican cinnamon)
1/2 tsp. chile powder
Chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Toss sweet potatoes with oil, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl until coated. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until fork tender, about 25 minutes.
Whisk honey, lime juice, and canela together in a small bowl while potatoes roast. Once potatoes are tender, coat with glaze and roast 5 minutes more.
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
Beer Marinated Charcoal Smoked Whole Chicken
Prep and cook time – 2 ½ hours, Serves 6
For the Chicken:
1 (4 to 5 – pound) Chicken, rinsed and patted dry
1 T garlic, powder
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 t red chili flakes
1 T oregano, dried
2 T Extra-Virgin olive oil + some to drizzle at the end
1 t fresh black pepper
1 T salt, preferably kosher or sea salt
1 can of your favorite beer
Mix spices together. Place half the spice mixture inside the chicken. Squeeze the juice of one lemon inside the chicken and place the halves of the lemon inside the bird. Squeeze the juice of the second lemon over the outside of the chicken. Then rub the outside with the olive oil and a little of beer. Use the remaining salt, pepper, rosemary and oregano to season the outside of the chicken and insert a beer can in the cavity of the chicken.
Preheat a charcoal grill to medium heat building the fire on one side of the grill with the temperature reaching 325 degrees. Place the chicken upright on the grill with the drumsticks closest to the direct heat, as they will take a little longer to cook.
Cook the chicken for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. Remove the chicken to a warm platter and cover with aluminum foil. Allow the chicken to rest 10 to 15 minutes before carving to allow all of the juices to be reabsorbed. Carve the chicken into serving pieces and drizzle with a little more lemon juice and olive oil.
Puree of French Green Lentils, Garlic Goat Cheese, Croutons and Chives
Recipe by Ricky Moore
Yield: 1 gallon
- 1 pound French green lentils, washed
- 4 quarts vegetable stock
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 ounces carrots, medium diced
- 3 ounces onions, medium diced
- 3 ounces fennel, medium diced
- 4 ounces white wine
- 1 each sachet d’ epices (spices and herbs tied up in a small piece of cheese cloth) that contains: 2 cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp fennel seeds and 5 thyme sprigs
- 4 oz olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Garlic Goat Cheese:
- 8 ounces goat cheese (at room temperature)
- 5 cloves garlic, blanched in salted water and finely minced
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 8 ounces rustic bread, cut into small dice
- 2 ounces butter, unsalted
- 3 ounces chives, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a stock pot, sweat vegetables, garlic, sachet in olive oil until soft and the sachet give off it aromas. (at this point season)
- Add lentils and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Deglaze with wine and reduce by half. Add stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning at this point. Remove and discard sachet.
- Puree cooked lentils in a food processor until smooth. (if the soup is too thick add more vegetable stock as needed but always taste and re-season once you have added unseasoned liquid.)
- Pour soup in a warm soup tureen and reserve until ready to serve.
- For the garlic goat cheese: combine cheese, garlic and lemon zest. In a bowl mixed together until all ingredient are incorporated. Set aside.
- For the croutons: melt butter in sauté pan over medium heat. Add croutons cook until golden brown and season. Take pan off the fire and toss in chives and set aside.
- For service: serve soup in a hot soup bowl sprinkle goat cheese and chive croutons evenly over the soup and serve immediately.
Local Sauteed Shrimp with Golden Raisins, Capers, Pinenuts, Lemon and Tomatoes
Recipe by Ricky Moore
- 1 lb. N.C. shrimp, peeled and devined
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 2 Tbs. pine nuts
- 2 Tbs. raisins
- 1 Tbs. capers, rinsed
- 2 Tbs. Cherry Reds and Sungolds tomatoes, cut in half
- ¼ cup shrimp shell stock or vegetable stock
- 2 Tbs. butter
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tsp. Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly brown.
- Add shrimp and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the pine nuts, raisins, capers, tomatoes and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the pine nuts are golden and the raisins puff, about 1 minute.
- Add the stock, increase the heat to medium high, and reduce the stock by half, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add butter to thicken sauce and glaze shrimp.
- Sprinkle with parsley, lemon juice and season to taste.
Note: This dish can be served over your favorite rice or pasta preparation.
Chocolate Dulce de Leche Tart
Yields: one tart
- 1 stick butter, room temperature (8 tbsps)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup flour
- ¾ cup fuellitines (french crunchies)
For dulce de leche filling:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup dulce de leche
- 5 oz. chocolate, chopped
To make the shortbread crust:
- Cream softened butter, sugar, salt and vanilla.
- Stir in flour, then fold in fuellitines. Be as gentle as possible so you don’t pulverize the crunchy flakes.
- Pat gently into a greased and papered springform pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Cool completely before adding the dulce de leche filling.
To make the filling:
- Heat cream and dulce de leche gently in a medium saucepan until it comes barely to a simmer.
- Temper your yolks with a little of the hot dulce mixture, then slowly add the rest of the liquid until fully incorporated.
- Pour the mix back into the saucepan and cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the mix begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
- When thick, take the dulce mix off of the heat and whisk in the chocolate. The mix should be smooth and without lumps. Strain if needed. Whisk until all of the chocolate is melted and then pour the mix into your springform pan.
- Chill the tart for at least two hours so it will set.