Friday, April 12, 2013

Paper Wrapped Chicken...Poulet en Papillote

Stack - Bake - Open....Simply Delicious!

Poulet en Papillote  or Paper wrapped Chicken!
I just love wrapped food…the intrigue of a plain chicken breast elevates when it is wrapped in phyllo dough, puff pastry, a tortilla shell or what about a lasagna noodle?!  You get my train of thought here!
Wrapping enhances and elevates a simple ingredient.  Now let’s switch it up and talk about paper wrapping that same humble Chicken Breast.  Ok – the wrap is not edible, but it is the vehicle to creating a mini “oven”, that produces the most incredibly tender, moist and flavorful infused *Chicken (now this ingredient could be fish, shrimps, scallops, lamb or a gloriously vegetarian eggplant).  The process of paper wrapping and baking allows the cook (that’s you) to infuse a combination of ingredients for a perfect package on a dinner plate.   This gift is carefully opened …oh, let’s not forget a key experience –at the table.  This allows the star of this dish to release an intense wonderful “aroma” that translates to mouthwatering!

Note: Aroma reaches the nose before the food reaches the mouth and we can taste it. The sense of smell explores our food before we eat it and accounts for 75% of the taste sensation we experience when first eating a food!  Imagine this applied here!

At The Kitchens Bounty this month of April, the Paper Wrapped Chicken is the star entrée of the menu. It is easy, healthful, fun and delicious … a gift to each diner at your table.  This Paper wrapping technique is a gift for all ages…this was one of my family’s favorites growing up.  I could never figure out, who love this the most, the kids for fun presentation and taste, the parents for ease of preparation (begs to be made ahead refrigerated and later popped in the oven), or the gourmet, for the very delicate tenderness and incredible flavor infusions.
The Basics “go to”; Take a piece of parchment paper in which a small boneless, skinless, chicken breast is put in the center, in my kitchen the chicken breast is joined by julienne potato, carrots, onion – fresh tarragon, chives, a dash of soy sauce, a drizzle of oil (I like sesame here but you can use olive oil) and fresh cracked pepper.  This combination is the center and the paper is folded to create a packet or tent for each individual serving.   In a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes and there you have it.  A detailed recipe along with photos will be up on the website in the next days!  (Note; we will share our own photos after classes this week, as we are surprised in our vast photo files we do not show our own creation of this!  We won’t use a photo that is not our own!)
For a  switch up in prep replace the parchment paper for foil….or a personal favorite “go old  school”, I like to use an all natural brown paper lunch sack!

  Don’t stop at the entrée, take a delicious sliced apple or pear and wrap that…just add sugar and spice and everything nice, and that apple never tasted so good!
See you at our April Tables, or send us a note or photo from yours!
Anyway you wrap it you deliver delicious!  Wishing you joy!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Family – Friends – Food – a perfect Trifecta!

Let's pretend to work at the Kitchens Bounty…..please!
(yes a true statement!)

Okay this week I ran the entire spectrum of fun.  It is Easter/Spring Break and I got to play more than I normally do!  I emerged myself in the world of being a kid, an excited kid!  My grandkids with their parents, met me down at Marco Island Florida and they came a packing…their KB Aprons that is.  Honestly, what fun, we did some real cooking, real fishing (not a lot of luck!), real birthday celebration…and then the last evening the magic just exploded with the little ones all donning their cook’s apron and the roles flew.
 They were waiters, fishermen, cooks, servers and food critics.  There were smiles, laughs, tears (Ava with “Owen took my Dad Towel!”)…but mostly, the delicious ingredient of love was ladled freely. 
I am sure that great food and conversation around a table is love, but the magic that happens in the kitchen, the team ship…is that any less exciting?  My friends tell me with certainty that, “the table is where it happens”, oh but those certain guest…with all the kids, “celebrate the kitchen”.  So as always when the Kitchens Bounty is involved, you get to choose – the kitchen, the table, the food, or all three!

For me, I am thinking there is a reason I use the word “Trifecta” so often, to name products, to build recipes, to describe taste.  I do like multiples.  Examples of Trifecta deliciousness included:

Herbed Breadsticks
…I admit it!...these breadsticks popped out of a tube (you know the ones) but the delicious dusting of our Amazing Herbes just developed the taste, made the smell heavenly, and the fact that it was one of the kids who exclaimed I know what to do, let’s use the Amazing Herbes” – YES, REALLY!
Herbed Popcorn was the snack of choice as we packed our picnic for the magnificent Sunset at Marco, popcorn prepared simply, sprinkled lightly with the Amazing Herbes and tossed (imagine how delicious that 35% Romano/Parmesan Blend tasted…no salt needed!).  For over the top I like to finish with a little Truffle Oil, but that was not the case in this picnic…the kids were in control!
Heated Brats???... I didn’t think so – but this experiment rocked!  In an overzealous bid to use all of “Memeres stuff” the Amazing Heat was sprinkled on a few Brats…even I debated this, but that taste, well we just might have to add that to the recipe book.
Family – Friends – Food – a perfect Trifecta!
Joy friends,

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Egg... truly a culinary Star!

The Egg... truly a culinary staple, but only the Star once a year!
The egg is a key part of so many dishes.  In some ways I see the egg like the mini skirt…it is in, it is out, it is in!  Today it is most definitely “IN’’.  Okay, let’s put the egg in perspective:
1)      THE STAR; Easter is coming and the egg is always the fashionable “Star” of this holiday.
2)      THE CONTROVERSY; It is a protein star one day and the wrath of Doctor’s the next, its friend coffee shares the same fate! 
3)      THE DILEMMA; Should it be boiled, scrambled, fried (so vogue today on everything from salad to pizza!) poached or …wait for it..”Deviled”.  Now I admit, just the word deviled conjures up the forbidden apple..But pluck that tree and let’s share a little of the forbidden fruit!
4)      BEDEVILED; we are currently “hooked” on deviled eggs, all sorts!  With Avocado (so Easter Green), with Lobster and Caviar (always vogue) and admittedly – Straight up!  Yes, a little Mayo, a little mustard… get wicked and throw in a dash of horseradish!
5)      SHARING THE EGG… Below find our quick guide to “How to make a Hard (Boiled) Egg and Tips”. We also share a few recipes below that include Lobster and Caviar Deviled Eggs and our current decadence as shared in The Heart of Ohio Magazine, The Scottish Egg  - Page 12 tells it all!

Here’s wishing you great egging however you dish it up! 

With Joy!  

Hard Cooked (boiled) eggs – Quick Notes/Tips
A hard cooked egg has a firm white and yolk.  Hard cooked eggs should never be boiled (really)
simmer them in water!  If boiled too long, proteins toughen and you can get a green or purplish ring around the yolk – let’s leave the color for the shell. 
TIPS; Don’t use fresh eggs – but eggs nearing their expiration date are best (Fresh are very hard to peel)
          Place the carton of eggs on its side for a day; the yolk will center itself so you have yolk directly in                  middle of the white…(we want our eggs looking good!)
1) Start with eggs that do not have any visible cracks
2) Do not salt the water (raises boiling point make eggs rubbery)
3) Place eggs in right size pan in one layer only, w/cold water covering by 1”
4)Bring to a rapid boil and immediately reduce to simmer, cover pan with lid
5) Timing for Medium eggs approx 15 minutes
6) Stop the cooking process by draining water and submerge in cold water w/ice for 10 mins
                The cold water bath helps a layer of steam develop between the shell and the egg white
                This Steam helps the peeling process later!

1 dozen eggs
1 – 1 ½ pound *lobster
(steamed lobster, shelled, minced reserved/fresh is best!)
1 tsp of spicy Dijon mustard
Small onion grated
1-2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp capers, minced (but a few reserved for garnish)
1 bunch of chives finely minced (reserved whole pieces for garnish)
Salt to taste (go light)
Black Pepper to taste
Prepare standard boiled eggs, peel and split eggs lengthwise- remove yolks.
Prepared mashed yolks with mustard, grated onion, mayonnaise, minced capers, minced chives.
Add steamed lobster pieces, moderate chop, with egg yolk mixture.  Check consistency to see if perfect for your taste…more mayonnaise or mustard a possibility!  Stuff egg whites with this mixture – then have fun, Garnish with caviar, chives ½ inch length, and a few capers if desired.
You may accent the plated Lobster stuffed eggs with a touch of smoked paprika.
Plate stuffed eggs on fresh greens of your choice; I suggest wild greens with arugula.
Fabulous as starters….wonderful plated with balsamic vinegar on spicy greens.

Friday, February 22, 2013

French Chocolate Pot de (Crème) Dream

It may seem silly to get as excited about food as I do, but really the excitement of sharing and remembering our food experience is almost as delicious as the taste itself.  And so, without further ado, I am going to introduce our new friend;
She is petite, incredibly smooth, timeless and classy actually (kind of like that Coco Chanel Suit – get it Coco/Chocolate!).  Don’t let looks fool you; underneath that first bite there is a dark deep decadence that is …well a little naughty!  She (aren’t all small sweets female?) is my recipe for time honored Pots de Chocolate, but prepared in a timely modern way.  When I think of Pots de Chocolate I sometimes imagine that they are cousin to a delicious truffle…but here you get to indulge in this deliciousness one petite bite at a time. 
Here is our recipe for the Kitchens Bounty Pots de Chocolate (Crème) Dream…
It is February Folks; create your own sunshine with a table for of smiles.  This recipe makes many servings…so prepare for your favorite friends and family, and maybe a few to share with those next door! (This recipe is easily reduced by half…same results)

French Chocolate Pot de (Crème) Dream
 A sweet chocolate ending to that perfect meal!
12 – 16 petite demitasse size servings
4 oz dark chocolate
8 oz chocolate chips
½ cup dark cocoa
1 cup heavy cream
2 cup whole milk
½ cup coffee
4 large egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
pinch of salt

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or an easy melt in the microwave for 2 minutes, stirring after the first minute).
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the cream, milk, coffee and cocoa together until it is scalding. Remove from heat. Whisk a small amount of the cream mixture very slowly into the eggs and sugar. Slowly warm the eggs so they don’t cook. Add all of the cream/milk/coffee mixture to bowl to incorporate with egg mixture.
Pour mixture back into the large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir constantly with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. At this point slowly whisk the custard mixture into the melted chocolate.  Here is where you add the vanilla and almond extract – lastly a pinch of salt.
Pour into 12 petite demitasse cups and cover with plastic wrap so no film will form on the top.  (You can also use shot glasses and it will easily make 16)
Refrigerate for at least an hour preferably a few hours. A great sweet to make ahead, and stays good in the refrigerator for several days.
Serve with unsweetened whipped cream, and garnish with shaved chocolate or sugared rose petals / candied citrus peel.  Always in season – delicious!  We sometimes use this little dessert as a twin dessert on a plate with small cookies.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Can dining be romantic?  You know it! 
Visit our complimentary Recipe Book on line at and you will find all the recipes to orchestrate the beautiful Menu below!  We believe in the romance of food so much, that we have an original Kitchens Bounty theme song (Titled “That’s Romance”) playing in the background as you scroll our recipe book.  The creation and production of this song was a gift from talented and dear friends who have graced our table on many happy occasions!  
Okay you Romantics…here is a suggested Dinner for Two, Four, Six or Eight…whatever the number, believe me, for this dinner – That’s Romance!
Aperitif -  thinly sliced Baguette and warm Brie Cheese
Start with an Aperitif…something fruity and light with a little bite (sour) to sip on while the pots are simmering and the fragrances begin to fill the air  (we love F2… our own “Forbidden Fruit” aperitif)
Appetizer  (a nibble or teaser!) –Almond Encrusted Shrimp Cakes
We suggest your appetizer be decadent Almond Encrusted Shrimp Cakes with a Lemon Soy Aioli.
This is a great make ahead starter and takes minutes to finish in a skillet…or leave warming in the oven.
Salad – Big Red Salad with a Maple Kiss Dressing
We go to our Tried and TrueBig Red Salad”, a delight of a Salad featuring Red Oak Lettuce, thinly sliced Peaches (or whatever seasonal fruit you love!), toasted Pecans and a kiss of Maple in the dressing.
It is sweet, savory and decadent – just like true love should be!
Entrée – Butternut Squash Risotto – Roasted Asparagus Spears – Seared Salmon Plank
This meal features a tender yet sophisticated Butternut Squash Risotto served with Roasted Asparagus Spears.  The Risotto can star alone or serve  double billing with an exquisite yet simple Amazing Seared Salmon Plank (find this in the Gourmands Guide to the Amazing Rub) …we like to finish ours in a blaze… flambeed with Cognac (it’s a French thing!).
But flame – or no flame, we guarantee a warm fire at the table and in the heart!

Dessert – Rum Raisin Caramel Sauce with Rich Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 
At this point…pinch yourself… the wine, the culinary adventure, the music (play music!!)
Now…bring it home!  Purchase the best vanilla ice cream that money can buy and pour an exquisite warm Rum Raisin Caramel Sauce over this…our recipe is smooth, it is sophisticated, it is the Perfect ending.
Friends, over tables we have celebrated life’s many occasions.
May you find joy in the Kitchen and at the Table with this feast for the senses!