Warm Chocolate Tart from Chef Jacques

December 23, 2011

WARM CHOCOLATE TART

one 6-7 inch Sweet Pie Crust
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup milk
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 whole eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the heavy cream and milk in a heavy saucepan. Place over high heat and bring contents to a boil. Remove from heat, add the chocolate, and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Beat the 2 eggs in a bowl. Slowly pour the warm chocolate and cream mixture into the bowl, whisking constantly. Pour the contents into the Sweet Pie Crust and bake in preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes until the custard is set. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the custard. The custard is ready if toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from oven and serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

Courtesy of Chef Jacques of Chez Francois in Virginia at http://www.laubergechezfrancois.com.

More recipes from Chef Jacques who recently appeared on the Today Show!
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/37089078/ns/today-today_food_and_wine/#.TvTl38mF_78


Cream of Asparagus Soup by Chef Jacques

May 17, 2011

Cream of Asparagus Soup:

Serves 4

1 pound fresh jumbo asparagus
1 quart boiling water
1 tablespoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
¼ cup chopped onions
¼ cup minced leeks, washed well (use all parts)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
Freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup heavy cream
Croutons to garnish
¼ teaspoon chopped parsley

Wash, peel, and snap off the lower stalks of the asparagus. Reserve the peelings and lower stalks.

Lay the asparagus in a deep pan, so that the tips are facing in the same direction. Cover with the boiling water seasoned with salt. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the asparagus are tender but still crisp.

Lift the asparagus from the water and plunge into ice water. Reserve the cooking liquid. One-quarter of the asparagus is used in the soup. (Serve the remaining pieces with vinaigrette, as a salad, or with melted butter as a side dish.)

Cut the tips from one-quarter of the cooked asparagus, reserving both stalks and tips for the soup. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a 3-quart saucepan. Stir in the onions and leeks, and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, but do not brown. Dust the onions and leeks with the flour and mix thoroughly. Pour in the reserved cooking liquid, blending vigorously with a whisk. Add the raw asparagus peelings, lower stalks, and the reserved cooked stalks. Season with the pepper. Cover and boil gently for 30 minutes.

Purée the soup in a blender or food processor (the soup may have to be puréed in several batches) and force through a fine strainer.

Before serving, reheat the soup and, with a whisk, stir in the remaining two tablespoons of butter and the cream. Adjust seasonings. Add the reserved asparagus tips and garnish with croutons and freshly chopped parsley.

We thank Chef Jacques of L’Auberge Chez Francios for allowing us to reprint this recipe.

Chef Jacques is one of America’s most respected and innovative culinary personalities. Continuing in his father, François’ footsteps, Jacques loves to create and serve contemporary French fare, whether at his family’s Washington DC restaurant, L’Auberge Chez François, or at one of his popular cooking demos and luncheons. His menus feature classic Alsatian and French cuisine reinterpreted for American palates. When he isn’t in the kitchen Chef Jacques can be found sharing his gourmet cooking secrets and tips to sold-out audiences, in the pages of national magazines, and on radio and television programs across the country.
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Veal Scaloppini with Asparagus from Chef Jacques

April 2, 2011

Veal Scaloppini with Asparagus – Serves 4
From Chef Jacques of Chez Francois

2 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
2 pounds fresh jumbo asparagus
4 veal scaloppini, cut from the top round
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 slices Virginia ham
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons capers
8 tablespoons grated Gruyère cheese
2 hard boiled eggs
4 sprigs fresh parsley

In a saucepan, combine the water with the salt, bay leaf, and cloves and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the asparagus and cut off the tough lower stems. Lay the asparagus in a deep pan so that all the tips are facing in the same direction. Cover the asparagus with the seasoned water, bring to a boil, and simmer 5 to 6 minutes. Drain at once on towels. Preheat the broiler. Pound the veal to an even thickness of ¼ inch with the flat side of a meat cleaver. Season with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess. In a large sauté pan, combine 2 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of oil over high flame until the butter begins to brown. Add the veal and sauté quickly on both sides until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the veal and keep warm. Add the slices of ham and lightly sauté, about 20 seconds on each side. Place a slice of veal and a slice of ham side by side on warm dinner plates. Arrange the asparagus on top of the meats and sprinkle with the vinegar and capers. Top with the grated cheese. Place the prepared plates under the broiler to brown the cheese. Brown the remaining butter. Remove the plates from the broiler and pour the browned butter over the asparagus. Garnish each plate with two quarters of hard-boiled egg and a sprig of fresh parsley. Serve at once.

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Reprinted with permission from Chef Jacques of Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia. Simply the best restaurant in Northern Virginia and the entire DC area. Chef Jacques is one of America’s most respected and innovative culinary personalities. Continuing in his father, François’ footsteps, Jacques loves to create and serve contemporary French fare, whether at his family’s Washington DC restaurant, L’Auberge Chez François, or at one of his popular cooking demos and luncheons. His menus feature classic Alsatian and French cuisine reinterpreted for American palates. When he isn’t in the kitchen Chef Jacques can be found sharing his gourmet cooking secrets and tips to sold-out audiences, in the pages of national magazines, and on radio and television programs across the country.
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Meringue Glace from Chef Jacques of Chez Francois

February 22, 2011

MERINGUE GLACÉ
FOR THE MERINGUES:

4 egg whites

pinch of sea salt

½ teaspoon grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup evaporated cane juice or sugar

½ cup Raspberry Sauce

Place the egg whites and pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip on high speed until just foamy white. Add the evaporated cane juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue beating until the meringue mixture forms stiff glossy peaks. Add the zest and vanilla extract. Do not overbeat.

Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tube. Pipe the mixture onto a sheet pan covered with parchment paper, forming shells.

Place the pan in a very low preheated oven (150 degrees). Allow the meringue to remain in the oven until dry, at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and allow to cool. Store the meringue shells in an airtight container until ready to use.

TO SERVE:

Place a scoop of ice cream in the center of a serving plate.

Sandwich the ice cream between two shells, flat side in. Pour the raspberry sauce and serve.

Hint: It is impractical to prepare a smaller amount of meringue. This recipe will make about 10 meringue shells.

We’d like to thank Chef Jacques for allowing us to reprint this recipe. His restaurant, Chez Francois, in Great Falls, Virginia, is one of the best there is anywhere. See more at http://www.chefjacques.com.


Valentine’s Day Chocolate Mousse

February 1, 2011

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Actually, this is great for any day of the year.

For 6 – 8 servings, double the recipe

The combination of chocolate and love is a double whammy. Chocolate contains caffeine-like substances which excite the system as well as the taste buds. There is nothing like whipped chocolate for dessert!

5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rum

Whip the heavy cream in a chilled medium mixing bowl and then refrigerate.

Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl and set over a pot of boiling water. Heat for 1-2 minutes until the chocolate melts. Whisk thoroughly. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract and rum, blending well.

Fold the chocolate mixture into the heavy whipping cream with the aid of a rubber spatula.

Pipe or spoon the mousse into ½ cup size or larger stemware or dishes. Top the mousse with a pinch of cocoa powder, if desired.

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Serve with Cousin Roberta’s Brisket under Beef for a romantic meal.

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Reprinted with permission from Chef Jacques at http://www.chefjacques.com.

ABOUT CHEF JACQUES HAERINGER::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.


ESPRESSO CRÈME BRÛLÉE

January 27, 2011

From Chef Jacques of Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia.

Serves 6

FOR THE CUSTARD:

2 cups brewed espresso coffee
10 egg yolks
2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice or sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

TO PREPARE THE CUSTARD:
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Place the freshly-brewed espresso in a small saucepan, place over high heat, and reduce by ½ to concentrate the flavor. Chill.

Beat the eggs in a medium glass or stainless steel bowl and thoroughly whisk in the evaporated cane juice. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing completely.

Divide the custard among six 6-ounce oven-proof ramekins.

Set the prepared ramekins into a shallow baking dish or pan, at least 1 inch deep. Pour hot tap water into the baking dish to a level halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Carefully place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake until the custards are set, about 35 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into one of the custards. Custards are set if toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and lift the ramekins out of the water bath and cool.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice or sugar over each and place under a preheated broiler to melt and lightly brown the sugar.

HINT: The evaporated cane juice does not caramelize quite as well as white sugar.

Reprinted with permission from Chef Jacques of http://www.chefjacques.com. If you are in Northern Virginia make sure to visit Chez Francios, best French restaurant in the area, and maybe even, the entire U.S.


Filets of Sole with Oysters and Champagne Sauce

January 26, 2011

From Chef Jacques of Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia –

Filets of Sole with Oysters and Champagne Sauce
“This is the dish to prepare when you want to pull out all the stops!”, says Chef Jacques.

SERVES 2:

¼ cup EACH, julienne leeks, carrots, and celery root
4 fillets of sole (lemon or gray sole), deboned and skinned
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon butter
½ teaspoon finely minced shallots
3/4 cup Champagne
6 – 8 shucked medium-sized oysters
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 ounce Osetra Caviar or Salmon Caviar
Sprig of fresh dill
2 chive straws

TO PREPARE THE FISH:

Clean, peel, and cut the vegetables into a matchstick-size julienne and steam or parboil in salted water for 1 – 2 minutes.

Julienne should be al dente. Immediately plunge into cold water, drain, and reserve.
TO PREPARE THE FILLETS:

Lay the prepared sole fillets, white side down, on your work surface. Season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Divide the vegetables into 4 portions and place each bundle on the large end of a fillet. Fold the end of the sole fillet over the vegetable bundle in jelly-roll fashion. Place each folded side down in a small saucepan smeared with the butter and the minced shallots. Pour the champagne around the fish, place the pan over high heat, bring to a boil, cover, and boil for about 3 minutes until the fillets are just cooked through. Remove pan from heat, lift the fillets out of the pan onto a dish and keep warm.

Place the pan in which the fillets were cooked back on high heat and add the oysters. Lift the oysters out of the wine with a slotted spoon as soon as the liquid begins to boil again. Keep warm with the fillets.

TO PREPARE THE SAUCE:

Boil the remaining wine over high heat until reduced by 2/3, about 2 minutes. Add the cream, boil for another 2 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and gently stir in ½ of the caviar and taste and adjust seasonings.

TO ASSEMBLE:

Divide the sole fillets and oysters onto two serving plates. Coat with the sauce and garnish the oysters with the caviar.

Reprinted with permission from Chef Jacques at http://www.chefjacques.com. Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia is one of the best French restaurants around. Simply the best!