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
1 onion
6 garlic cloves
2 fresh bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon epazote (Mexican oregano)
Salt and pepper

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

Garnish with:
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 lemons
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
Garlic Goat Cheese:

Local Sauteed Shrimp with Golden Raisins, Capers, Pinenuts, Lemon and Tomatoes
Recipe by Ricky Moore
Serves 4
Note: This dish can be served over your favorite rice or pasta preparation.

Chocolate Dulce de Leche Tart
Yields: one tart
Shortbread crust:
For dulce de leche filling:
To make the shortbread crust:
To make the filling: