From Gourmet Food Recipes

Almond Cookies

Almond Cookies

Almond cookies are a tradition in various cultures and cuisines. In the US, it is a simple cookie similar to shortbread that incorporates ground almond meal that is sometimes decorated with a whole or slivered almond. This delightful cookie is a staple in Italian and Chinese cultures, and the French version, the macaron, is quickly gaining popularity in the US. Various other forms of almond cookies are prepared in other countries like Spain, Turkey and Norway. Make these delectable cookies with almonds from our Almond of the Month Club.

©Depositphotos.com/Nevada31
©Depositphotos.com/Nevada31

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup ground almonds
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar. Grind the almonds in a food processor until blended. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and ground almonds.

2. Add the flour gradually in batches until incorporated. Drop by the teaspoonful onto a no-stick cookie sheet. Space the almond cookies 2 inches apart. Gently press a whole almond on the top of the cookie.

3. Bake 5 to 7 minutes in the pre-heated oven, or until they are a very light brown/beige. Serve with a cup of coffee or tea. Enjoy!

Beef Bourguignon Recipe

Beef Bourguignon Recipe

Julia Child was the first chef to simplify this complex French dish so that American cooks could easily re-create it. The key to this dish is using a quality red wine. A good rule of thumb when cooking with wine is to cook with something that you would drink. Choose a red wine that is lower in alcohol, fruitiness, tannins and oak, with higher acidity. You want it to hold up well to the dish, but not overpower it. A dry, California Pinot Noir like those you would receive in the Red Wine of the Month Club is an ideal choice. You also want to use the thickest cut of bacon you can find.

beef boeuf bourguignon French stew
©Depositphotos.com/Dream79

3 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. mushrooms, stemmed and quartered if large
2.5-3 lbs. boneless beef stew meat, cut into 1.5” pieces and patted dry
Salt and pepper
8 oz. thick-cut bacon or lardons
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 cups dry red wine like Pinot Noir, Burgundy or Cote du Rhone
2 cups low-sodium beef broth, preferable homemade
Herb bouquet garni (4 parsley sprigs, bay leaf, ½ tsp. thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
2 garlic cloves, mashed
10 oz. pearl onions, peeled

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon or lardons and cook until almost crispy. Transfer bacon to a plate. Make sure your beef is dry, then season it with salt and pepper and lightly coat it with flour. Working in batches, add the meat to the bacon fat and saute until lightly browned on all sides. Add more olive oil to the pot if necessary. Transfer browned meat to a dish. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. of fat from the pot.

Add the bacon and beef back to the pot, then add tomato paste. Cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add the wine, beef broth, garlic and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer the pot to the oven. After cooking for 1.5 hours, add the onions. Continue cooking until the meat is very tender, 1-1.5 hours more, adding mushrooms during the last 15-20 min. of cooking. You may also roast the onions separately by tossing them with the extra bacon fat olive/oil mixture.

Pistachio Cake Recipe

Pistachio Cake Recipe

Pistachio cake is a classic recipe from the 70’s. This popular cake invokes a sense of nostalgia for many of us. The recipe is traditionally made with a box of cake mix and a packet of Jello pistachio pudding mix and rarely uses actual pistachios! But we decided to scrap the box mix and give this recipe a truly homemade, gourmet upgrade. We still leave in the Jello pudding mix, as that’s what truly makes this Pistachio Cake a sentimental favorite. Frost this cake with a traditional buttercream frosting and add chopped pistachios as a lovely (and tasty) decoration. This recipe is perfect for utilizing pistachios from our Pistachio of the Month Club.

homemade pistachio cake
©Depositphotos.com/bhofack2

Ingredients for cake:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of white granulated sugar
1 package of Jello pistachio pudding
4 eggs
1/4 cup chopped, shelled pistachios
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Ingredients for buttercream:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9” cake pans.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. Cream the butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the pudding mix and combine.

4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.

5. Combine the milk and oil in a large measuring cup or bowl.

6. Begin with the dry ingredients. Pour 1/3 of the dry ingredients and then 1/3 of the liquid ingredients into the bowl, combining thoroughly after each addition. You will end on the wet ingredients. Mix on medium for 2 min.

7. Divide the cake batter between the 2 cake pans. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

8. Allow to cook then invert the cakes onto a wire rack to cool.

9. Mix buttercream ingredients together. May add a drop of green food coloring. Place in fridge until ready to frost (about 20 minutes).

10. Frost the top of one cake with buttercream frosting, then top with the other cake. Frost entire cake and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

Cake recipe adapted from Kitchenmagpie.com.

Wild Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Wild Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Thanks to the convenience of dried mushrooms from our Mushroom of the Month Club, you can easily create this recipe for Wild Mushroom Risotto with items you already have stocked in your pantry. All you’ll need from your fridge is Parmesan, shallots and cremini mushrooms. Add your favorite dried mushrooms and you’ll be able to create this decadent dish that’s as good as any you’ll taste in a 5-star restaurant.

It takes some patience to constantly stir the risotto, but the results are worth it. This can be served as a main course, or dine like the Italians and make this your “primo” or first course before serving a meat or fish entrée or “secondo.” Buon appetito!

Wild Mushroom Risotto With Herbs And Parmesan
©Depositphotos.com/mturzak

1 ounce dried mushrooms
1/2 pound fresh cremini mushrooms
4-5 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken stock
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground white pepper
¾-1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Combine dried mushrooms and 2 cups boiling water in a bowl. Let stand 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse in a colander, drain again and then chop coarsely. May add some of the soaking liquid to the chicken stock in step 3 for more mushroom flavor.

2. Bring broth to a simmer. Keep warm over low heat. Rub the cremini mushrooms with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove any dirt. Do not rinse.

3. Heat the unsalted butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add shallots to the pan cook 5 min. or until tender, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for another 5 min. Add the rice and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the salt, pepper and broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of the broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Stir in cheese and add more salt and pepper if desired, to taste. Garnish with shaved parmesan and fresh parsley.

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