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Sampler Menu from Basic to Brilliant, Y'All by Virginia Willis

Sampler Menu from Basic to Brilliant, Y'All by Virginia Willis

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Published by The Recipe Club
Recipes included in this excerpt: Black Pepper Cheese Shortbread, Arugula with Country Ham and Pecans, Mama's BBQ Chicken, Parmesan Potatoes, and Mama's Pecan Tassies. Virginia Willis’s legion of fans love her knack for giving classic French dishes a down-home Southern feel and reimagining homey Southern favorites en Française. In Basic to Brilliant, Y’all Virginia builds on her signature style, offering 150 soul-satisfying recipes and accompanying each with a new preparation technique, fresh presentation style, or creative recipe variation that transforms an already wonderful dish into an all-out show stopper.

In Virginia’s hands, a cozy Kale Omelet becomes sophisticated brunch fare when it’s baked in a sourdough boule; rich Gruyere Flans elevate a rustic red wine-infused Roasted Tomato Soup; and Spiced Skirt Steak with Shallot Marmalade is enhanced with just a few simple changes into a gorgeous roulade. Peach Dijon-Crusted Pork Tenderloin goes from elegant continental entrée to the pride of Dixie when it’s cradled between Chive Cornmeal Griddle Cakes, and a country dessert like Sweet Biscuits with Stewed Blackberries is kicked up a notch when served topped with Blackberry Fool.

Throughout Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, Virginia paints a vivid portrait of growing up in Louisiana and Georgia, spinning tales of close family and friends—and unforgettable food—interwoven with vignettes from her years living in and visiting France, drawing you in with vibrant accounts of cooking and eating at La Varenne in Burgundy.

Whether you choose the Basic or the Brilliant approach, this bounty of Southern flavors dressed up with time-honored French techniques delivers meals that will keep you and your kin coming back for more. For more information, visit www.therecipeclub.net
Recipes included in this excerpt: Black Pepper Cheese Shortbread, Arugula with Country Ham and Pecans, Mama's BBQ Chicken, Parmesan Potatoes, and Mama's Pecan Tassies. Virginia Willis’s legion of fans love her knack for giving classic French dishes a down-home Southern feel and reimagining homey Southern favorites en Française. In Basic to Brilliant, Y’all Virginia builds on her signature style, offering 150 soul-satisfying recipes and accompanying each with a new preparation technique, fresh presentation style, or creative recipe variation that transforms an already wonderful dish into an all-out show stopper.

In Virginia’s hands, a cozy Kale Omelet becomes sophisticated brunch fare when it’s baked in a sourdough boule; rich Gruyere Flans elevate a rustic red wine-infused Roasted Tomato Soup; and Spiced Skirt Steak with Shallot Marmalade is enhanced with just a few simple changes into a gorgeous roulade. Peach Dijon-Crusted Pork Tenderloin goes from elegant continental entrée to the pride of Dixie when it’s cradled between Chive Cornmeal Griddle Cakes, and a country dessert like Sweet Biscuits with Stewed Blackberries is kicked up a notch when served topped with Blackberry Fool.

Throughout Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, Virginia paints a vivid portrait of growing up in Louisiana and Georgia, spinning tales of close family and friends—and unforgettable food—interwoven with vignettes from her years living in and visiting France, drawing you in with vibrant accounts of cooking and eating at La Varenne in Burgundy.

Whether you choose the Basic or the Brilliant approach, this bounty of Southern flavors dressed up with time-honored French techniques delivers meals that will keep you and your kin coming back for more. For more information, visit www.therecipeclub.net

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Publish date: Sep 27, 2011
Added to Scribd: Sep 28, 2011
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11/04/2014

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Viginia’s ame Menu-
Starter 
Black Pepper Cheese Shortbread
g
Salad 
 
 Arugula with Country Ham and Pecans
 
g
 Main Course
 
Mama’s BBQ Chicken
 
g
Side Dish
 
Parmesan Potatoes
 
g
 Dessert 
 
Mama’s Pecan Tassies
 
1
1
 /
2
cups all-purpose our1 tablespoon reshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1
 /
2
teaspoon fne sea saltPinch o cayenne pepper, or to taste
1
 /
2
cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature8 ounces sharp white Cheddar cheese, at roomtemperature, grated
Position the oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter two bak-ing sheets or line them with silicone baking liners orparchment paper.Combine the our, black pepper, salt, and cayennein a food processor tted with a metal blade and pulseto combine. Add the butter and cheese and processuntil smooth. Cover the work bowl with plastic wrapand set aside to rest for about 15 minutes.Transfer the dough to a clean work surface. Toshape the dough, work it in your hands; it shouldbe soft and pliable (like Play-Doh). Shape the doughinto two equal cylinders and wrap tightly in plasticwrap. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill until rm,about 30 minutes. Then, working with 1 cylinder at a time, using a utility knife, cut into
1
 /
4
-inch-thick slicesand place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.Repeat with remaining dough.Bake the shortbreads, rotating the baking sheetsonce, until lightly browned on the edges, about 20 min-utes. Remove the baking sheets to a rack to cool slightly.Using an oset or slotted spatula, remove the individ-ual shortbreads to a rack and cool completely.
Making Ahead 
Store the savory shortbread at roomtemperature in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper. They will keep for 2 to 3 weeks.
 Biliant: Shor Recip
Pecan Garnish
It’s all about accessorizing. To lift our simple cheesenibble to Brilliant, garnish with pecans. Prepare thedough as directed in the Basic recipe. Roll the edges of each cylinder in 1 cup chopped pecans to coat. Then,when you are ready to bake, slice the shortbread andplace on the prepared baking sheets. Top each slicewith a perfect pecan half. Bake as directed.
BlackPepperCheeseShortbread
Makes about 4 dozen
This aromatic shortbread is a twist on Dede’s cheese straws, a Southern classic I have enjoyed myentire lie. It is very appropriately spiced, too, as he loved black pepper. The French have a traditiono nibbles such as this with an
 apéritif 
beore dinner. The word is derived rom the Latin verb
 aperire
,which means “to open.” An
 apéritif 
is served beore a meal to stimulate the appetite, contrasting with
digestifs
, which are served at the end o a meal to aid digestion. Dede never had an
 apéritif 
in his lie.
TEN SPEED PRESS
www.tenspeed.com
Starters and Nibbles
)
 
3
 
4
 
(
 
 Basic to Brilliant, Y’all 
8 cups arugula, dandelion, or risée (about 6 ounces)3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
 
1
 /
2
teaspoon frmly packed light brown sugar
 
Coarse salt and reshly ground black pepper2 tablespoons canola oil3 thin slices country ham
 ,
cut into lardons (see sidebar)
1
 /
2
onion, preerably Vidalia, thinly sliced
 
1 small clove garlic, fnely chopped
1
 /
2
cup crumbled aged white Cheddar cheese(about 2 ounces)
1
 /
4
cup chopped pecans
Place the greens in a large bowl. Set aside. Stir togetherthe vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a smallbowl until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ham and cook, stirring occasionally, untilcrisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transferthe ham to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the onion to the skillet and cook over mediumheat, stirring frequently, until translucent, 3 to 5 min-utes; add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 to60 seconds. Add the vinegar mixture, then remove fromthe heat. Working quickly, scrape the bottom of the skil-let with a wooden spoon to loosen any yummy brownedbits. Set aside to cool just slightly.Pour the warm dressing over the reserved greens,add the ham, and toss gently with tongs until thearugula is slightly wilted. Taste and adjust for sea-soning with salt and pepper. Divide among chilledserving plates. Sprinkle over the cheese and pecans.Season with freshly ground black pepper and serveimmediately.
 Biliant: Shor Recip
Crispy Deep-Fried Eggs
Green eggs and ham? How about Greens with Egg andHam to take this Basic salad to Brilliant?Bring 4 large eggs to room temperature. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside. In a small, heavy saucepan, pour in about 1
1
 /
2
cups peanut oil to llhalf full. Heat over medium heat until the temperatureregisters 350°F on a deep-fry thermometer. Workingwith 1 egg at a time, break the egg into a small ramekin,and then slowly and carefully slide it into the hot oil.It will spit and sizzle. Cook until the egg is crunchy onthe outside and the yolk is still runny, about 1
1
 /
2
min-utes. Using a slotted spoon, lift the egg out of the oiland transfer to the prepared plate. Season with nish-ing salt and freshly ground black pepper. Repeat withthe remaining eggs. Serve immediately atop the wiltedsalad.
ArugulawithCountryHamandPecans
serves 4 to 6
This salad is a great example o sour, salty, bitter, sweet, and savory. Right out o the gate, we’re hit-ting all our marks. The essential element that makes this basic recipe shine is country ham. Sinceancient times, humans have cured pork, and people have loved the pig. Dry-curing the hind legso pigs is one o the oldest ways o preserving meat. Ham pairs beautiully with sweet, spicy, andcreamy oods; those avors and textures counteract the meat’s saltiness, which can range rom mildto assertive. In my opinion, anything with country ham has a leg up on the competition.
Lardon
A matchstick-size piece o bacon is called a lardon.Strictly speaking, however, lardons are long stripso at sewn into lean meat with a larding needle(
 lardoire
) to keep the meat moist and favorul dur-ing cooking. I nd it easier to cut the meat intolardons beore cooking, instead o cooking strips obacon whole, then crumbling.
TEN SPEED PRESS
www.tenspeed.com

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