Tarragon Potato Salad

On August 17, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Summer is ending and with that comes the time of year when people try to get in the last summer picnics.  We were in Northern Michigan last week attending a BBQ at my brother in-law’s place and asked to bring a dish.  It had been awhile since I’ve made a potato salad, but there was something so good sounding when thinking about a fresh made potato salad.

I found some Tarragon at the local Farmer’s Market in Northport, Michigan.  There were some fresh shallots for sale too.

One of the great things about potato salad is how easy and versatile of a dish it is.  I’m not a fan of potato salads with egg whites, but if you are you can add some chopped egg whites to this.  Also feel free to add other vegetables like celery or carrots.

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Tarragon Potato Salad
Serves 6-8

3 lbs white or red potatoes, cubed into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large shallot, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Tarragon
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 10-12 minutes until cooked, but still firm not mushy. Drain and set aside.

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Add potatoes, mayonnaise, shallot, and Tarragon to a large bowl.  Mix and add some salt and pepper to taste.

Serve.

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Smoked Tri-Tip Roast with Chanterelle Brandy Cream Sauce

This is my now my official submission to theSousVide Supreme BBQ Recipe Challenge! Please visit the link and vote for me before July 7th! Each person who casts a vote for their fan favorite will be entered to win a $200 gift certificate to www.sousvidesupreme.com!

My time with the SousVide Supreme is coming to an end soon.  It’s been an creative addition to the kitchen and there is a lot I’d still like to experiment with as I continue to see how it bests fits into our home cooking routine.  Two of its best qualities are exemplified in this recipe.

  1. It makes cooking a roast easy while maintaining it’s tenderness.
  2. The time span for when it is ready to eat makes it simple and flexible for cooking a great meal after work.

The second reason is one of my favorite things about sous-vide cooking.  In this case, the tri-tip roast can be left in the water bath for 8-24 hours. Think about that.  If the day at work runs a couple hours long like mine did last Thursday, no worries. Come home and remove it from the SousVide Supreme and make a quick cream sauce that takes 5 minutes.  Dinner served (though my mashed potatoes took a good 12 minutes. So not quite that fast.)

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Looks pretty nice too on the counter.

This recipe was also the first time I used my smoker in conjunction with the SousVide Supreme.  I was a bit concerned that only 2 hours in the smoker wouldn’t add that much smoke flavor to the roast.  Fortunately, my concern was unwarranted as the roast had a great smoky flavor that added to the rich mushroom brandy sauce.

Note: I’d recommend any hearty mushrooms for this sauce. Morels would’ve been great too or even portobello. A strong flavor mushroom combined with the smoked meat is a bit odd at first, because its something unusual. Good thing it is a good unusual. 

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Chanterelle mushrooms were a great find at the Farmers’ Market

I believe the secret to keeping the smoke flavor in the meat is to quickly remove it from the smoker and into a vacuum sealed bag.  If you want more of a smoked flavor, you could put the meat in the freezer for a hour or two before placing it in the smoker. This way you can add another 30 or 45 minutes to the cooking time in the smoker. Just be careful not to totally freeze the meat.

Smoked Tri-Tip Roast with Chanterelle Brandy Cream Sauce

Serves 4

2 lb tri-tip roast

Rub

1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Sauce

3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Brandy
1/2 cup Chanterelle mushrooms, course chop
1 garlic clove, diced
1 shallot, diced
1 tablespoon fresh italian parsley, finely chopped

The night before mix the ingredients to make the rub and coat the tri-tip roast.  Then cover in dish with cellophane and place in the refrigerator overnight.

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Into the smoker the rubbed tri-tip goes.

Early the next morning prepare your smoker by getting it to a steady 220 degree temperature. Place the tri-tip roast into the smoker and cook it for 2 hours at 220 degrees.  When done, remove it from the smoker and quickly place the roast into a plastic bag. Vacuum seal the roast and submerge into a SousVide Supreme cooker.

Set the SousVide Supreme to 140 degrees and let it cook for anytime between 8-12 hours.

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Time is of essence. Quickly seal after removing from smoker.

Start making the sauce by placing 2 tablespoons of butter into a sauté pan. Add the garlic and shallot and sauté for about 3 minutes to soften on medium-high heat.  Add the Brandy and let it reduce by half.  Then add the Chanterelle mushrooms and sauté for another 2-3 minutes letting the mushrooms soften. Add the heavy cream and salt and pepper.  Let the cream come to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and watch to not burn the sauce. It’s best to keep moving the pan to let the flavors blend and to reduce too much boiling of the cream.

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Brandy, mushrooms, cream and butter. One of my favorite combinations.

Once the sauce is ready add the last tablespoon of butter just before serving, remove the tri-tip roast from the SousVide Supreme and remove from the vacuum sealed pack.  Slice the roast against the grain into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange the meat on the plate.

Finally with the sauce add the chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon of butter.  Let the butter melt into the sauce and stir. Serve the sauce with the roast and any sides.


DISCLAIMER: I was sent the SousVide Supreme to try as part of a blogger outreach program from the company.  The opinions are my own.

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Pork Tenderloin with Calvados Cream Sauce

On September 23, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This week’s #SundaySupper is all about apples as we celebrate the beginning of Fall with an Autumn Apple Party. Immersing ourselves into the apple theme we decided to spend Saturday at a couple apple orchards near San Bernadino about a hour and 20 minutes east of Pasadena.  Our first stop was Snow-Line Orchard where the boys watched donuts being made and tried about 15 different types of apples at the sampling table.

We stopped there to do u-pick raspberries since they didn’t do u-pick apples.  Sadly, by 1pm they had ran out of raspberries to pick so we enjoyed some donuts and drove down the road to Riley’s Los Rios Ranch. Riley’s was a lot of fun. The boys loved roaming around the rows of apple trees finding all kinds of varieties to pick.  We mostly ended up with some beautiful red delicious and granny smiths.

We brought home 5 pounds of apples, a pint of apple cider, and homemade caramel dip. Yes it’s a good weekend.

After a fun afternoon of apple picking, it was time to start cooking. I stopped by a store for some Calvados (Apple Brandy) and picked up an organic pork tenderloin at the market. I had some collard greens, sweet potato, and bunch of freshly picked apples to begin the night’s feast.

I paired this dish with a couple sides.  The first was some sauted collard greens.  Just chop some greens and slice half of an onion into thin half-moon.  Add some olive oil to a saute pan cooking the onions for a couple minutes then adding the greens and cooking them down for about 5-8 minutes. Toss a few times during cooking to mix the onions and greens together. You’re done.

For the second side, I chopped up two sweet potatoes and one apple into small cubes.  Tossed them with a handful of raisins, olive oil and salt and pepper .  Bake this in an oven proof casserole dish at 450 degrees for 30 minutes while you make the main the course.

 

Pork Tenderloin with Calvados Cream Sauce
Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin, cut into 1″ “steaks”
1 apple, thinly sliced
1 shallot, finely diced
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup Calvados (apple brandy)
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in medium heat pan. Add the shallots and cook for two minutes.  While cooking pound the pork tenderloin “steaks” using a meat tenderizer, salt and pepper the pork and add to the pan.

Cook about 3 minutes on each side where the sides of the pork brown just a bit.  Don’t crowd the pan and set aside some of the tenderloin in a bowl.

With some pork tenderloins in the pan, add the apple brandy to the pan and if you feel daring ignite the brandy with a match after it heats in the pan for a second.  The flames will surge so be careful. Let it cook for a moment with the flames then carefully cover the pan to put out the flames. Cook the brandy on medium-high heat letting it reduce by half.

Once the brandy is reduced by half add the heavy cream and cut up apples.  Let this cook stirring together bring it to a boil then reduce the heat and let it cook for about 3 minutes to let the sauce thicken.

Serve the pork with the sauce and sides.


For more Sunday Supper Autumn Apple recipes checkout the following:

Soups, Salads, Starters and Breads

Main Meals

Sides

Desserts

Beverages

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Bistro Chicken Tarragon

On February 28, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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There is nothing as simple and obviously delicious as a recipe that calls for the following key ingredients: chicken, wine, and a fresh herb. Add some broth, butter and a few shallots and you are on your way to a very flavorful meal that’s great any time of the year.

I took a French Bistro cooking class in Portland, Oregon back in 1993 and the teacher/chef, worked at the Heathman Hotel, made a few recipes from a classic book on French Bistro Cooking that is an excellent source for such classic recipes. The following is not from the cookbook, but rather a modification from the course I took almost 20 years ago.

Bistro Chicken Tarragon
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs., cut into pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
4 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter
2 bunches tarragon, leaves removed from stems, coarse chop
4 shallots, minced

In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Brush the pieces of chicken with the dijon mustard before placing in pan. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown and cook on both sides, about 10 minutes on each side. Adjust the heat, if necessary, to avoid burning the skin. Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Pour off some of the excess oil.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the wine. Deglaze the pan by scraping any browned bits down from the sides and reduce the wine by about half. Add the shallots and cook for several minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and reduce by about half. Whisk in the butter. Return the chicken to the skillet and coat with the sauce. Cover and cook until chicken is warmed through, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the tarragon leaves and turn the chicken pieces to coat. Serve immediately.

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