Archive for sage
Here are some absolutely amazing dishes with Dr. Mike’s Grassroots Gourmet Brand Blueberry Sage Duck Sausage prepared by my good friend, and chef extraordinaire, Luca Paris.
If you have not checked out his great television show, A Culinary Journey, here’s you chance. While there, subscribe and enjoy-he’s an fantastic talent!!
For those that missed our appearance several weeks ago on Southern Living’s Daytime TV, here’s the clip. Enjoy!
What better way to open the month of April, which welcomes us as fools (and I with a total malapropism of Beatles classics) than with the Foole of Strawberries. Strawberries are a treat; delicious sun sweetened harbingers of the bounty to come, they are among the first of fruits to give yield. They are also among the top five fruits in terms of delivering antioxidants (and a great source of vitamin C) per weight of fruit. In addition to antioxidants, they provide a host of phytonutrients like anthocyanins, ellagitannins, flavonols, terpenoids, and phenolic acids. This results in strawberries helping the body reduce dangerous levels of inflammation. A diet rich in strawberries has been shown to decrease inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP).
Sage is powerful herb that has been revered throughout history. Its Latin designation, salvia officinalis comes from the Latin root salvere meaning “to be saved.” It is well known for its cleansing abilities and contains many of the same types of compounds (volatile oils, flavonoids (including apigenin, diosmetin, and luteolin), and phenolic acids, including the phenolic acid found in rosemary, which is closely related to sage—rosmarinic acid) found in strawberries. Rosmarinic acid acts via a different pathway to synergize with the anti-oxidant benefits found in strawberries. Sage also contains an enzyme known as superoxide dismutase (SOD) which gives it an unique capacity to mediate oxygen mediated cell damage such as that seen in inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis. There is also evidence (Pharmacological Biochemical Behavior, June 2003) supporting what ancient herbalists knew to true: consuming sage can make you sage, or at least improve memory and brain function.
A fool (or foole) is a dessert of English origin, first mentioned in 1598, but with origins likely much older. It combines seasonal fruit (gooseberries were among the original) with a flavored whipped cream. This version reduces the lactose by adding the tangy flavors of chèvre, goat cheese, which also acts to boost the health benefits. Flavored with natural honey, this sweet treat embodies the balance of sweetened, slightly tangy whipped cream and chèvre, bright sun ripened strawberry goodness and a savory, herbaceous note of sage that heralds the arrival of spring. Like the fool, it appears on the surface simple and a mindless pleasure to enjoy and dismiss. Like The Fool, who is in truth a Mage, this dessert packs a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins, antioxidants, phytophenols and a host of other compounds to render under to it a title of healthy eats. And as in Nature, it seeks and achieves Balance being delicious AND nutritious; A Sage Foole, indeed!
Sage Strawberry Fool
- 1/4 cup honey + 1 Tbs
- 1 cup mead
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 6-10 fresh sage leaves
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 2 ounces chèvre
- ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
Gently heat the mead and 1/4 cup honey in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. While the wine is heating, thinly slice the strawberries and remove the stems. Place in a bowl. When the wine has reached a simmer, remove from the heat and add the star anise, cinnamon and sage. Pour over the strawberries and allow to rest for at least an hour, covered. To serve, whip the chèvre, vanilla and honey together in a stand mixer until it is well beaten. Add the cream and whip until peaks form. Remove the strawberries from the mixture, discarding the herbs and liquid. To serve layer the cream base and fruit alternately. Serve with a sprig of mint (mint is a taxonomic relation of sage).
By popular request, here is the recipe for both recent champagne sauces we posted (one with duck breast and one with butternur squash gnocchi) and the one we discussed on the recent NPR radio interview .
Chanterelle Mushroom Champagne Sauce
- 2 Tbs. shallot, finely minced
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 8 ounces of champagne
- 1 ounce dried chanterelle mushrooms
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 ounce fresh champagne grapes
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. white pepper
Reconstitute the dried mushrooms with hot water then finely chop. Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Soften the shallots in the butter, about 3 minutes. Add the champagne and mushrooms and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the cream and the grapes and reduce by about a third, until the sauce has thickened; season with the salt and pepper.
For a basic champagne sauce omit the mushrooms and grapes. For the sage version we used on the butternut squash gnocchi, omit the mushrooms and grapes and add ¼ cup apple jack brandy along with the champagne, and 2 tsp. of finely minced sage leaf along with the shallot.
One of the great fall flavors I remember is lobster. Visiting Maine in the fall after the other tourists have left gives you the feel of a wilderness getting ready to rest. The leaves have changed and a jacket is definitely required after sundown. The air is damp and heavy with a mix of salt and earthy pine. You walk the streets after dark feeling the isolation, a feeling that everyone is out somewhere else having fun and you are here-alone. Then a noise grabs you and a light beckons. Soon you are out on a wharf surrounded by music, lights heat and steamed lobster; sweet and succulent. When my good friends at the fish market had a lobster sale-really ridiculously cheap this fall flavor was on the menu. This pan seared lobster was served with some incredible butternut squash gnocchi and a sage champagne sauce.
This a dish that brings home a host of fall flavors in a most delicious way.
- 2-3 pound pork tenderloin
- Butcher’s twine
Pork Tenderloin Stuffing
- 5 oz chevre
- 1/8 tsp mace
- 1/8 tsp ground clove
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cumin
Combine all the ingredients together in abowl and set aside.
Pumpkin Sage Crust
- 2 Tbs ground sage
- ½ cup of pumpkin seeds, roasted (often sold in stores as pepitas)
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend. Remove and set aside.
Trim the silver skin from the pork tenderloin. Butterfly the halves and stuff the middle of each half with the spiced chevre. Reassemble the tenderloin and tie together with butcher’s twine. Coat the outside of the tenderloin with the sage and pumpkin seed mixture. Sear each side for 4-6 minutes in a pan over medium high heat. Remove and finish in the oven at 425 degrees F until the internal temperature is about 140 degrees F. Remove and allow to rest for ten minutes.
- 4 persimmons, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup pomegranate juice
- ¼ cup red wine
- ¼ cup apple cider
- 1 Tbs honey
- 2 pods star anise
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer until the persimmon is tender. Using a potato masher, mash up the persimmon and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about fifteen minutes. Remove and strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve. Return the liquid to high heat and reduce until the liquid is a syrup consistency, about 5-10 minutes.
[tweetmeme source=”WCWD” only_single=false] I love duck. I especially love grilled duck. With the scent of Fall on the breeze blowing in, I wanted a scent of sage on that grilled duck. To achieve that, we used a technique I saw local islanders use when I visited the Greek and Turkish Isles several years ago. When allowing the duck to season, I let it sit on some sage as well as covered the tops in sage. This allowed the flavors to gently penetrate the flesh. Sage is strong, so a little flavoring goes a long way. When we grilled the duck, I placed it on a grill cool spot with no direct flame. Then I took the previously used sprigs of sage and placed them over the hot coals and sealed the grill vents. The green sage produced a huge amount of smoke. Once that had dissipated, I flipped the breast onto the heat skin side down grilled. Delicious, subtly sage flavored grilled duck breast. We topped that off with a herbed reduction of fresh cherries and red wine. A well rewarded labor on this Labor Day weekend.
[tweetmeme source=”WCWD” only_single=false]
As promised we will post the menu, as well of some food pics from the show’s taping last week.
Starter- Shiitake Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter
- Basic Pasta Dough Recipe
- 6-7 oz Shitake Mushroom
- 2 oz White wine
- 1 tsp Lemon zest
- 2 Tbs Mascarpone cheese
- 3 Tbs finely chopped parsley
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Pepper
- 2 Tbs Butter
- 1 tsp finely chopped Sage
- Grated parmesan cheese for garnish
Prepare the pasta dough. Allow it to rest at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. For the filling, thinly slice or chop the shiitake mushrooms and cook over medium heat in a sauté pan until browned. Add the wine and cook until it is almost all evaporated. Combine in a bowl with the lemon zest, mascarpone cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside. Allow the pasta dough to come up to room temperature then roll out to desired thickness, or use a pasta machine or pasta attachment to achieve the desired thickness. Make raviolis of desired shape. To serve, heat a little butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. The butter will foam and begin to brown, add the sage and raviolis and cook through. Remove and top with the parmesan cheese.