Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Scrumptious Mother's Day Recipes from Two for Tonight

This Mother’s Day create a delicious wake up call for mom with breakfast in bed. Chef Jacques Haeringer, author of TWO FOR TONIGHT, a collection of romantic meals for two, believes love begins in the kitchen. “Life’s memorable moments are not complete without a festive meal. At home, preparing a meal for someone special is an act of love, much more significant than buying flowers or candy. We are most susceptible to love after we have enjoyed a good meal,” Chef Jacques explains.

Romance is a tradition for Chef Jacques and his restaurant, the legendary L’Auberge Chez Francois, in Great Falls, Virginia. Long known for not only great food, but their unique setting, Jacques and his family have been serving up romance to their customers for almost 60 years. “Our customers love to come to the restaurant for the special occasions in their lives, whether it’s an engagement party, wedding, birthday or for Mother’s Day. We supply the food, ambience, and service; they bring their own romantic magic.”

Bring some romance to your house this year and surprise mom with a romantic breakfast in bed. These unique, yet easy recipes bring a bit of the Alsatian countryside to your kitchen. The recipes can be prepared in advance to minimize time in the kitchen.


Pipérade - Serves 2

This dish is a Basque specialty consisting of a rich stew of tomatoes and peppers, seasoned with onion and garlic, cooked in olive oil or goose fat, then mixed with beaten eggs and lightly scrambled.

2 tablespoons olive oil or rendered duck fat
1/3 cup finely chopped onions
1 large ripe tomato e/2 cup)
1 bell pepper, cored, seeded, and small diced, e/2 cup)
1/2teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Pinch of fresh chopped thyme or Herbs de Provence
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper or Piment D'Espelette
3 large eggs
2 slices of Jambon de Bayonne (thinly sliced)or country ham

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil and add the tomato for 10 to 20 seconds. Lift the tomato out of the water with a slotted spoon and drop into a bowl of cold water. Cool the tomato a few moments and remove from the water.

Peel off the skin and cut out the stem. Slice the tomato in half and place in a large-holed colander set over a bowl. Press the tomato halves to force out the juice and seeds. Coarsely chop the tomato pulp and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large casserole over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, tomato, diced pepper, garlic, tomato paste, and thyme; simmer for approximately 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

While the sauce cooks, sauté the ham slices in oil or rendered fat.

Beat the eggs with a wire whisk. Slowly pour the beaten eggs into the hot sauce, stirring constantly with a large kitchen spoon. Cook until the eggs are just set and creamy.

Place a slice of ham on a warm plate and top with the mixture. Serve at once with slices of toasted country bread.

Variation: Piperade may also be served with ham on the side.
Piment D'Espelette are peppers from the Basque country. They are sometimes found dried and ground in specialty food stores.


Fruit Crumble
Serves 2

The only blue fruit, blueberries, contains a host of minerals such as iron and magnesium and is rich in Vitamins A and C. A crumble is a British dessert in which raw fruits are topped with a crumbly pastry mixture and baked.


8 ounces mixed berries: raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries
1-2 tablespoons honey


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons almond or hazelnut flour
2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice

To Prepare the Fruit:

Remove any stems, clean the fruit, and place in the bottom of a shallow oven proof dish 6-8 inches in diameter. Depending on the ripeness of the fruit, drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of honey over the fruit.

To Prepare the Topping:

Cut the butter into small dice and allow to soften slightly. Place the flour, almond flour, and evaporated cane juice in a mixing bowl. Add the butter using the tips of your fingers. Mix to obtain a coarse meal.

To Assemble:

Cover the fruit with the coarse meal and place in a preheated 375 degree oven; bake until the crumble browns, approximately 12 minutes.

Serve warm with crème fraîche.

Recipes can be reprinted with the following credit:
Copyright Chef Jacques Haeringer from Two for Tonight,
Bartleby Press; $26.95; ISBN: 0-910155-43-7

Chef Jacques is one of America’s most respected and innovative culinary personalities. Continuing in his father’s footsteps, Jacques loves to create and serve contemporary French fare at his restaurant, L’Auberge Chez François, in Great Falls, Virginia. His menus feature reinterpreted Alsatian and French cuisine for American palates. When he isn’t in the kitchen, he can be found teaching his popular gourmet cooking classes. Jacques is often asked to author magazine articles, cook up recipes at culinary events, and to be a guest on television and radio shows across the country.

Jacques is the author of Two for Tonight,a collection of recipes that inspire romance through food and togetherness, and the Chez François Cookbook, the bible of classic Alsatian cuisine featuring some of the restaurant’s most popular recipes. He lives in Northern Virginia and is currently working on a new cookbook and television show.

For more information on L’Auberge Chez François, Chef Jacques, and his books and cooking classes, visit him online at www.ChefJacques.com, on Facebook @JacquesHaeringer, and Twitter @ChefJacquesH.

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