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Classic Coq Au Vin March 24, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic French Dishes, Classic Stews, Recipes.
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Coq Au Vin

The French – love ‘em or hate ‘em – are very cool.  They use wine in everything – and why not – they are still the best producer of quality wines in the world.  They have also somehow convinced us use the names of their dishes without any translation – like Coq Au Vin.  This is a classic chicken dish cooked in red wine with a sexy name that we all know.  Maybe the sexy name helps, but – make no mistake about it – this dish really is a classic and the audience will go wild when you serve it to them. (more…)

Classic French Onion Soup March 19, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic French Dishes, Classic Soups, Recipes.
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Classic French Onion Soup

Bravado cooking is about a number of things, one of which is a respect for the great classic dishes.  There is a reason why we have classics – because they are dependably good.  I was reminded of this a few nights ago when I took a dessert to a dinner party.  I could have made a classic Tarte Tatin and wowed the crowd, but then, I thought, they have had that before so I’ll try something new.  I experimented with a recipe from Jamie Oliver (The Naked Chef).  It was coconut banana bread with a mango and yogurt topping.  It was really not very good and afterwards I said to myself “stick with the classics”.

In recent weeks we have been exploring the great French classics and there are few better than French onion soup.  This is the gold standard of soups and any worthy Bravado chef needs to be able to make this great dish. (more…)

Gratin Dauphinois March 8, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic French Dishes, Recipes.
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Gratin Dauphinois

We continue our series on French classics with this famous potato dish.  As with most of the French classics, you can find a good recipe for Gratin Dauphinois (pronounced gra-tan’ doe-fee-nwa’) in Julia Child’s “The Art of French Cooking” (p. 523).

The Bravado chef must have a “go to” potato recipe.  When the chips are down, you have to have something that is guaranteed.  This recipe fills the bill.  Make it once and you will be quickly enchanted by this magical preparation.  It leaves the wannabes – the “scalloped potatoes” commonly found in the U.S. and UK – behind in the dust.  Just as every Italian cook can make pasta e fagioli, every French cook has his or her own special version of Gratin Dauphinois.  Feel free to make your own additions – slices of red peppers is one good choice.  Some even add anchovies. (more…)

Beef Bourguignon – Another French Classic March 1, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic French Dishes, Classic Stews, Recipes.
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Beef Bourguignon

What started as peasant fare made with inexpensive cuts of beef that were braised all day long in local red wine has become one of the most famous dishes in the world.

Beef Bourguignon was first made in the Dark Ages –  about 400 AD when wine culture in the burgundy region of France was established.  In the 1700’s, it was discovered by the French elite and it has remained high on the list of “haute-cuisine” ever since.  Let’s thank Julia Child for introducing this wonderful dish to the U.S. in her 1961 classic “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.  Check out Julia on YouTube showing us how to prepare the dish.  The Bravado recipe is simpler to prepare than Julia’s and is closer to the technique of Ina Garten, the great Barefoot Contessa.  Our recipe is, in our humble opinion, better because we have more carrots and onions and we cook our dish ALL DAY LONG. (more…)

Coquilles St. Jacques February 23, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Appetizers, Classic French Dishes, Recipes.
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Coquilles St. Jacques

Bravado Cooking is about cooking with flair and élan – converting the preparation of a dish into a “food event” that your guests will remember.  Sass and swagger are words we like.  Bravado Cooking is also about making things from scratch – like piecrust, pizza crust, wine vinegars, mayonnaise, yogurt and breads.  We’re also into making classic dishes.  Bravado chefs don’t clip cute recipes out of magazines before they have perfected some of the great recipes of the past.

There is nothing more classic than the French and we’ve been doing a mini-series on French cooking.  We recently announced our choice of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, as one of the top three cookbooks of all time (Best Cookbooks).  We told you about the “Julia Child Night” that we did for a charity event.  We’ve had a couple of posts about the Tarte Tatin, which we served for dessert that night.

We served another great favorite as the appetizer that night – Coquilles St. Jacques (pronounced “ko-kee san zhak”). This literally translates into St. James Scallops. (more…)

Julia Child Night January 19, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie.
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Julia Child Night – Guests and Chefs

As part of a charity event, a group of us offered a “Julia Child Night” for 10 people.  It was purchased at arguably one-half its true value by another group of friends.  The kitchen staff somehow managed to serve the meal and nibble and imbibe at the same time.  I am not sure who had a better time.  In any case, 16 bottles of wine were consumed in a flash. (more…)

The Classic Tarte Tatin November 4, 2011

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Desserts, Classic French Dishes, Recipes.
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Tarte Tatin

Bravado cooking is about many things – making things from scratch, taking whatever time is required because your guests really are important, finding ways to drink good wine while you cook and – the subject of this post – showing respect for the classics.  If we can’t remember, understand the history and prepare the classic dishes, we are nowhere.  One of the classic desserts of all time is the Tarte de Demoiselles Tatin and it starts with a paté brisée, which is the same thing as our One-Handed Pie Crust, which you might want to review now – without repeating some of Howard’s antics (see Use Extreme Caution). (more…)

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