Sauce Velouté

“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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When I was a kid and later as an apprentice and a young cook, this dish was available in most good restaurants as a standard a la carte Item, either as a light snack consisting of one vol au vent, or two vol au vents accompanied by a small salad as a main course, most popular with ladies and children. It often also was part of a menu of several dishes, as well as part of after-dinner small dish menus, which were served between the end of regular food serving time and closing time. Aahhh, the good old times. 🙂

Classic ragout fin consists of veal, sweetbread, calf brain, tongue and bone marrow, chicken breast, mushrooms and/or fish, bound with Sauce Allemande (Sauce Suprême).
Nowadays, unless we are in a VERY hi-class french cuisine restaurant, ragout fine usually means a fine ragout of diced veal or chicken and diced mushrooms, bound with Sauce Velouté, sometimes topped with a dollop of Sauce Hollandaise.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Following, find an excerpt from 196 Recipes :

There is often some confusion between a bouchée à la reine and a vol-au-vent. The first one is attributed to a French queen, while the last one is the work of one of the greatest French chefs of the time. Indeed, it is to Marie Leczinska (1703-1768), Queen of France and wife of Louis XV, that we owe the delicious recipe for bouchée à la reine. Marie Leczinska was the daughter of King Stanislaus of Poland, who was dethroned and exiled to Lorraine, in the east of France.

BRIEF HISTORY OF MARIE LECZINSKA
When Louis XV, who was only fifteen years of age, fell ill again in 1725, the Duke of Bourbon feared for his future that the Duke of Orleans, his rival, would ascend the throne. To avoid this, it was necessary that Louis XV assured a descent as soon as possible. After drawing up a list of one hundred European princesses to marry, Marie Leszczynska, seven years older than him, was chosen, as she was old enough to have children.
This very discreet and very pious woman was a devoted mother and wife. Her marriage to Louis XV in 1725 was nevertheless welcomed as a disappointment by the people as the union was not deemed prestigious enough for a king of France. Nevertheless, helped by her sweetness and her beneficent character, she finally won the hearts of the people. The marriage will be happy, at least during the first years. The young king of France was sincerely in love with his wife, and Marie gave him no less than ten children in ten years. However, her successive maternities tired her and made her age early. Louis XV began to leave her for his mistresses, the best known of which were Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry.

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF BOUCHÉE À LA REINE?
Inspired by pastries made from sweet puff pastry like the puits d’amour (wells of love) created by chef Vincent La Chapelle, at the request of her rival Madame de Pompadour, Marie then ordered the kitchens of the Court, and in particular Nicolas Stohrer, creator of the baba au rhum (rum baba), a dish that would attempt to awaken the ardor of her unfaithful husband. Thus she had the idea of ​​bouchée à la reine. The goal was to use ingredients with supposedly aphrodisiac properties. The original recipe mentioned puff pastries garnished with a salpicon (a mixture of vegetables, fish or meat). The original garnish of these bouchées à la reine mentions sweetbreads, lamb’s brains, cock’s crests and kidneys, marrow, quenelles of poultry, lamb testicles, truffles and mushrooms, green olives, all bound by a sauce financière. This recipe did not really have the effect expected by the queen, since King Louis XV accumulated infidelities until the end of his life. On the other hand, the bouchée à la reine became a huge success. Indeed, Stanislas, father of the queen and Duke of Lorraine, contributed to its popularity in the buffets of the nobility of Lorraine. The bouchée à la reine is today a must in the French gastronomy, just like the quiche lorraine. Nowadays, the bouchée à la reine comes in many forms, the most classic recipes being based on chicken, quenelle, sweetbreads or seafood. The sauce, often garnished with chopped button mushrooms (champignons de Paris), must be thick enough so that the puff pastry remains crisp. The queen and wife of Louis XV is also at the origin of other famous dishes like the consommé à la reine, the fillet of sirloin braised à la royale and was at the origin of the appearance of the lenses in the French cuisine.

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF VOL-AU-VENT?
Vol-au-vent (French for “windblown” to describe its lightness), meanwhile, is attributed to Antonin Carême, cook and author of culinary books. He replaced the crust of the bouchée à la reine which was a dough similar to a shortcrust pastry, by a lighter puff pastry. Carême popularized the use of a lighter and crisp puff pastry to make pies, whether savory or sweet. Vol-au-vent therefore refers to the puff pastry container. The vol-au-vent fillings are varied, usually based on meat, sweetbreads, fish, shellfish, snails, or mushrooms. The mixture is bound with a thick sauce like a bisque, bechamel sauce, with cream, with Nantuasauce suprême or sauce financière. Originally, the size of the vol-au-vent is about 6 to 8 inches. It is only from the middle of the 20th century that the size of the vol-au-vent merges with that of bouchée à la reine, which is closer to 4 inches in diameter. The hors d’oeuvre called mini bouchée or bouchée mignonne, meanwhile, is usually 2 inches in diameter.

THE BOUCHÉE À LA REINE, POPULARIZED BY ESCOFFIER
In 1902, chef Auguste Escoffier listed sixteen recipes of appetizers of different appellations, shapes and garnishes, including the bouchée à la reine. Among its different recipes, you can find :

– Bouchée Bouquetière, made from a vegetable brunoise
– Bouchée Diane, game-based
– Bouchée Grand Duc, made with asparagus tips and truffles
– Bouchée Montglas, made with foie gras and mushrooms
– Bouchée Nantua, made from crayfish tails and Nantua sauce
– Bouchée Victoria, made with lobster meat and lobster sauce

The lid of the bouchées can be puff pastry, truffle or borrowed from the main element of the filling.

HOW TO SERVE A BOUCHÉE À LA REINE
The bouchée à la reine is usually served as a starter, presented by itself on a plate or accompanied by a green salad. When served as a main dish, it can be served with rice, mashed potatoes or pasta, as in Lorraine, where it is often accompanied by noodles or spätzle. Some add a good ladle of the filling on the side. Most people buy pre-made vol-au-vent, and I would do the same if I lived in France. Only, outside of France, these small puff pastry containers are difficult to find. Never mind, if you manage to find puff pastry or even better, if you have the courage to make homemade puff pastry, you can very easily make them yourself and fill them to make bouchée à la reine, whether classic or not. Just use your imagination! “

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Click here for Sauce Velouté Recipe
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Corned Beef – Getting Ready For St Patrick’s Day

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Here  is the deal – you can of course buy corned beef ready-made :-(,  – or you can make your own, which in most cases will leave you not only with a far  superior product, but also with unbeatable bragging rights 🙂
Usually, you want to brine your brisket for about 10  days (depending on the size), but if you add the beef to a boiling brine, bring it back to a simmer for a few minutes, then cool it down in the brine, your beef should be ready after 4 – 6 day’s, again depending on the size of the brisket. (Cut it into smaller pieces if you are pressed on time, the brine will penetrate faster)
So, two weeks ago I bought 8 lbs of the finest brisket I could find –  grass-fed, organic – no added hormones nor added antibiotics. At about $ 10.00 a lb, this was a sizable investment, but judging after the first test, well worth the Mula. Bella agreed, as you can see in the pic below 🙂 Then there was the waiting time for ten days until yesterday, when I cooked the meat  for about 2,5 hours, (one more time – cooking time depends on the size of the brisket) and then, finally, corned beef wonderland !
Bella and I had some of it yesterday, the rest will be had for a variety of dishes for the next few days leading up to St Paddy’s day.
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Bon Appetit !   Life Is Good !

Click here for  Corned Beef Brine

Please note that I omitted the  Saltpeter  (potassium nitrate) in the brine of the corned beef. Saltpeter will turn the meat into the bright- red colored corned beef we are normally used to. However, I am trying to stay away from the stuff since my doctor has given me the news that all the medicine I am forced to take has messed up my kidney’s, most notably Metformin. Saltpeter is therefore not an ingredient I should use in my food. On top of that, if you want to use the stock from cooking the corned beef for a soup, you sure don’t want that soup to be laced with saltpeter ! After the corned beef is cooked, you want to strain the stock and reserve for further use for soup and/ or sauce. I will make a  Velouté  with some of the stock to make a horseradish sauce for my  “Corned Beef With Horseradish Sauce And  Colcannon. (Upcoming post).

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to serve, slice into 1'3 inch thick slices

to serve, slice into 1’3 inch thick slices

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Bella loves it :-)

Bella approves 🙂

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Pasta With Smoked Salmon In Horseradish/Mustard Cream

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Rigatoni rigate,  smoked salmon and a creamy velouté – nearly impossible not to like this combination ! 🙂
After we have learned how to make a velouté in my last post, (click here for recipe), and hopefully have a few small containers in the freezer to use at short notice (just defrost in the microwave), wonderful dishes like this one take only a few minutes from start to finish.
The reward for this relatively small effort is a dish which oozes flavor, presentation, elegance and class 🙂 All in a mere few minutes of preparation and cooking time.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

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Pasta With Smoked Salmon In Horseradish/Mustard Cream

Pasta With Smoked Salmon In Horseradish/Mustard Cream

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Pasta With Smoked Salmon In HorseradishMustard Cream

Pasta With Smoked Salmon In Horseradish/Mustard Cream

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Preparation :
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Heat velouté (preferably fish velouté, but seafood velouté, chicken velouté or veal veloutéwill be just fine), add cooking liquid from pasta if too thick

Heat velouté (preferably fish velouté, but seafood velouté, chicken velouté or veal velouté will be just fine), add cooking liquid from pasta if too thick

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add diced smoked salmon and grated horseraddish

add diced smoked salmon and grated horseradish

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add dijon mustard

add dijon mustard

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simmer for one minute

simmer for one minute

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add freshly cooked, al dente pasta and sliced scallions

add freshly cooked, al dente pasta and sliced scallions

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mix well, careful not to mash-up the salmon, check seasoning

mix well, careful not to mash-up the salmon, check seasoning

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to serve, sprinkle with more diced salmon and sliced scallions

to serve, sprinkle with more diced salmon and sliced scallions

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Pasta With Smoked Salmon In HorseradishMustard Cream

Pasta With Smoked Salmon In Horseradish/Mustard Cream

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Pasta With Smoked Salmon In HorseradishMustard Cream

Pasta With Smoked Salmon In Horseradish/Mustard Cream

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Pasta With Smoked Salmon In Horseradish/Mustard Cream

Pasta With Smoked Salmon In Horseradish/Mustard Cream

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EASY DOES IT # 16 –Velouté (White Cream Sauce)

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How to pronounce Velouté – click here
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Here  is a “Daughter” (added cream) version of one of the two  white  mother sauces (the other being Sauce Béchamel)
If you love to cook or just starting to learn, being able to prepare the mother sauces is a must.
The five  french mother sauces  are:
Sauce Béchamel, Sauce Espagnole, Sauce Hollandaise, Tomato Sauce, and Sauce Velouté.
Adding cream and lemon juice (and originally egg yolk) to a sauce made of stock, flour and butter will produce a “Sauce Allemande”
We have learned how to make  tomato sauce  in a previous  “easy does it”   blog, so let’s go straight to “Sauce Allemande”

Please note :  This is beef (or veal) velouté  (before adding the cream)
To make fish velouté, chicken velouté, seafood velouté, or fish velouté, replace beef (veal) with the appropriate protein.

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sauce velouté

Sauce Velouté

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Preparation :
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beef and/or beef bones, root vegetables, water, bring to a simmer, cook until meat is tender (if you use bones, simmer for one hour), remove meat (bones), set meat aside (discard bones)

beef and/or beef bones, root vegetables, water, bring to a simmer, cook until meat is tender (if you use bones, simmer for one hour), remove meat (bones), set meat aside (discard bones)

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strain stock through a fine sieve

strain stock through a fine sieve, discard solids

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skim fat from surface

skim fat from surface

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make a white roux of half butter and half a/p flour, add stock, whisk to avoid lumps, simmer for 15 minutes, strain through a fine mesh strainer

make a white roux of half butter and half a/p flour, add stock, whisk to avoid lumps, simmer for 15 minutes, strain through a fine mesh strainer

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add heavy cream, kosher salt and white pepper, check / adjust seasoning

add heavy cream, lemon juice,  kosher salt and white pepper, check / adjust seasoning

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voilà - sauce velouté

voilà – sauce velouté (with added cream)

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please be so kind and click on the video below.  Thank you 🙂
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