Chocolate Cherry Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream

Today we are sharing the dessert for this month’s four-course paired dinner.  This cherry tart is filled with rich chocolate ganache and pastry cream, making a treat so delectable that you’ll be wanting more and more even as you savor each bite. Continue reading

Crab Stuffed Shrimp with Classic Mornay Sauce

This post is about the main dish that was prepared last week for our 4 course wine paired dinner for April. Crab Stuffed Shrimp with Classic Mornay Sauce is a dish that I started making when I was a young chef in Iowa of all places.  Every Friday night we flew in fresh seafood like shrimp and lobsters right off the docs on the east and west coasts.  I have stuffed thousands of shrimp.  I wanted to share this dish from my past with the evaluation team for this dinner.  It looks elegant and has lots of components that I thought would pair well with a variety of wines. This dish is really easy to prepare but does take a little time. The Classic Mornay Sauce can be made a few days ahead of time and reheated.  You can purchase Peeled and Deveined Shrimp so that you don’t have to do this step and the crab stuffing is really easy to make.  The directions might seem overwhelming but trust me this isn’t hard! Continue reading

Duck Confit Salad

Preserving food by smoking, curing and drying is an ancient process of cooking.  Before refrigeration and eating seasonally became a trend, this was the only way to safely store food. To “confit” means to cook and preserve meat in its own fat.

The confit was generally stored in a cool root cellar for several months. This makes the meat very tender and moist, and you are left with tender, juicy meat that is almost falling off the bone. Continue reading

April’s 4-Course Paired Wine Dinner

How Does One Pair Wine With A Meal?

Wine and food pairing is more than just picking a wine to go with each dish. To really make it work for a multi-course dinner you have to think through a wine theme, how you are going to approach each dish and how to make sure it works while moving from course to course throughout the dinner. Continue reading