Braised Dijon Duck

Braised Duck is so simple to prepare that in less than two hours you can have an entree that your most discriminating guests will be glowing with amazement. The flavors you get from braising fowl are incredibly savory and rich. The meat is tender and simply falls off the bone and is so succulent. Prepare in the Dijon style and you will be hitting this out of the ball park.

As a rule, you can count on one duck (approximately 5 lbs.) to serve 4 people. Accompanied by baby French Haricots Verts and small sauteed Yukon Golds and you will have an entree that is fit for any holiday or special occasion. The following ingredients should be on your shopping list:

1 Young Duck, approx. 5 lbs., cut up (see below)
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup of dry white wine
2 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Several pinches of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of cornstarch

With the whole duck before you, it's time to cut it up so that you have 4 main parts, 2 breasts and 2 thigh and leg combinations. the remainder of the parts will be used to create your stock. Most packages of whole duck will come with the neck, heart, and liver. All these parts will also be used for your stock.

Begin by laying the duck breast side up on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, begin by separating each thigh from the body. Cut along the side until you reach the bone/joint connection to the chest and with your hands, push back until you see the joint. With your knife, cut between the two joints and separate the thigh. Cut away any excess skin that hangs from the thigh and leg and set aside. Repeat the process for the other thigh/leg combination. Important, do not separate the leg and thigh as you want those to remain as one piece.

Next, with your knife, cut along the breast bone that separates each breast. Cut straight through. Spread the chest open and cut through the ribs as close as you can to the back bone. You now have two breasts separated. Do NOT debone the breast, but make sure again that excess skin that hangs out is cut and set aside.

Set the 4 pieces on a cutting board and pat dry. Sprinkle a bit of garlic powder on both sides of each piece.

Gather together all the unused parts - neck, excess fat, backbone, liver, and heart. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Be sure to spray it with a bit of cooking spray, but don't add any oil or butter to the pan. The duck parts will produce plenty of that. When pan is heated, add all the unused parts and saute for about 15 minutes until nicely browned on all sides. Be sure to flip the pieces every 5 minutes and to watch so that bottom of pan doesn't burn.

Once browned, remove pieces from the pan and pour the duck fat into a heat resistant bowl. Set aside. De glaze the pan with a cup of chicken stock. Add another half cup and reduce heat to low and return the pieces to the pan. Cover and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Now prepare for sauteing the breasts, thighs, and legs. You probably are wondering about the wings, still attached to the breast. Well, go ahead and cut the tips off to the first joint and discard. The other two parts of the wing can stay attached to the breast. Or you can completely separate the wing from the breast and prepare along with the other parts. Gather another large frying pan and spray it with cooking spray and add a few tablespoons of the duck fat you had set aside. Heat the pan over medium high heat and add the breasts, thighs, legs, and wings skin side down to the pan. Saute until skin is golden brown, usually about 7 minutes or so, just keep an eye on it. Turn pieces over and continue to saute for another 5 to 7 minutes.

When all sides are golden brown, remove all from the pan and pour excess duck fat into a heat resistant bowl. De glaze the pan with the white wine and the remainder of the chicken stock. Add the onions and garlic, along with the white pepper. Now, remove the pieces from the OTHER pan and pour the stock into the second pan. Stir well and then add the breasts, thighs, legs, and wings back in. Turn them several times to coat all sides. Reduce heat to just above low, cover, and braise for about 90 minutes or until the meat is tender. About every 15 minutes, turn the pieces over.

When meat is ready and tender, remove them from the pan onto a waiting plate. Bring the heat back up to medium. In a glass, add the cornstarch and water together and stir until cornstarch is well diluted. Set aside. Lower temperature as soon as a slow boil returns. Now add the Dijon mustard to the pan and stir until mustard is well blended. Slowly add the cornstarch and water to the stock and stir. Watch as the stock begins to thicken. When it thickens to the point that it can coat a soup spoon, the sauce is perfect.

Remove the pan from the heat and add your butter. Stir until butter is well melted into the sauce. Now taste for proper flavor. Add some of the salt as needed. To serve, place a serving portion of the duck on a plate and spoon some of the sauce over. You may sprinkle a bit of fresh chopped parsley over the portion as a final step if you want. Be sure to serve hot with your choice of side dishes. Enjoy!!

Blueberry and White Chocolate Cheescake and a piano

Pure and simple to make, Blueberry Cheesecake is one of the tastiest cheesecakes to come out of my kitchen. This was a last minute recipe, I had no intention of making dessert on this evening; however, I had some blueberries left in the fridge, a cup of Ricotta that I didn't want to go bad, and two packages of cream cheese that was just lying around for spreading on toast or bagels. Checking the pantry, I noticed what was left over from a package of white chocolate chips. Eureka! Why not do a cheesecake? And that's how it all started.

It was cold outside and a fog was settling in over the river, slowly fading the city lights and obscuring all but the pillars of the bridges as they disappeared into the dark and still water. As I watched the city becoming obscured before me, I tickled the ivory keys of the piano, hoping the scene would provide the inspiration to compose a new song. Nope! It was cheesecake night and the song would have to wait, remembering what I found waiting for me in the kitchen.

I pulled myself away from the piano and gathered all the ingredients I needed from the fridge and pantry and proceeded to compose with food. It was late and a fleeting thought crossed my mind, "do I really want to undertake this endeavor at 11:00 at night?" I was at the point of no return, all the parts of the puzzle lay before me on the kitchen counter top ...

The 2 packages of cream cheese
The cup of Ricotta cheese
The two eggs
The 1/2 cup of heavy cream
The cup of fresh blueberries
The 2/3 cup of white chocolate chips
The 3 tablespoons of flour
The 1/3 cup of sugar
The tablespoon of vanilla extract
The package of ready made pie crust

...It would have taken me as much time to change my mind and put all the ingredients away as it would to prepare the cheesecake. And so I continued.

I preheated the oven to 450 and grabbed an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan. At this point, one inch doesn't make a hell of a lot of difference, I thought. I sprayed the sides and bottom of the pan with baker's spray; however, you probably would use some butter. Either way would work fine. Then I got into arts and crafts and cut a circle the size of the pan bottom out of a sheet of parchment paper and sprayed that as well. I laid it on the bottom of the pan. I then rolled out one sheet of the ready made pie crust and carefully set it in the pan, certain to make sure the bottom was well covered as were the sides. I then placed the pan in the oven for about 12 minutes.

While the pie crust was baking, I placed all the ingredients, except the blueberries, into a large bowl and using a hand mixer, began to blend everything together until smooth. Using a spatula, I carefully folded the blueberries into the mixture making sure they were evening mixed throughout. I set the the bowl aside and checked the oven to see the progress of my crust. It was time to remove it and allow it to cool.

I reduced the oven temperature to 350. Once the crust was cooled, which took about 15 minutes, I slowly poured the cheesecake mixture into the pie crust, making sure the bottom was evenly covered. I grabbed a sheet of foil and covered the outside bottom and sides of the pan and returned it back to the oven. It was going to bake for about 60 minutes until ready. I knew that I would need to check back at about 45 minutes to see the progress to make sure it was not burning. But everything was going to be OK.

I now had an hour to myself to do as I pleased. I returned to the piano and looking out the window, noticed the city had disappeared altogether in that thick blanket of fog. I turned my focus back to the piano and began writing my song, as the aroma of Blueberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake slowly began pervading the room.

Marinated Butter Beans at 1/3 the cost!

A perfect appetizer, Butter Beans are not only good for you, but also rather inexpensive to prepare with few ingredients to gather. These marinated beauties are prepared the night before and served chilled. You may have seen these marinated beans in the salad and olive bar section of your grocery store, selling for shy of $10 a pound; however, this recipe will show how you can achieve a superior duplication for much less than that right from the comfort of your own kitchen. The quantities mentioned will serve as a first course for a dinner party of 8.

2 16 oz. cans of Butter Beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup +2 tablespoons of white balsamic or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Butter lettuce for presentation

Drain and rinse the Butter Beans and set aside in a large bowl. Add the garlic and chopped red pepper.

In another bowl, add all other ingredients and with a wire whisk, beat well until all is blended and a smooth texture is achieved. Add this dressing to the Butter Beans and stir well for about a minute. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

That's all there is to it. For about $6.25, you have prepared 2 pounds of marinated Butter Beans every bit as good (or better) than that found in specialty markets at 1/3 the price! Serve these chilled over a bed of Butter (Boston) lettuce and you'll have your dinner guests satisfied and impressed.

French Haricots meet Oyster Sauce for a savory sensation

Side dishes require more thought than many of us really care to take. One must consider what protein we are going to serve as well as how many sides we want to present. Do we do 2 vegetables, a starch and a vegetable, or simply a vegetable or starch. How will the side compliment the protein? Do we want savory or simple steamed so as not to overpower the other items in the dish. You could go on and on with this; however, just as you want to give considerate thought to what you are putting together, you don't want to make it rocket science either.

One side dish that works very well with most proteins and adds nice color to your plate is the baby green beans often called French Haricots. These small, thin green beans have grown in popularity that offer vibrant color to your dish as well as wonderful flavor. With their growth in popularity, they can now be found in most supermarkets at a very affordable price. Trader Joe's, for those fortunate enough to have one in your area, actually offers the authentic French Haricots imported from France in the frozen section, costing only $1.99 for a one pound bag. It is worth your while to try a bag, as they are absolutely delicious!

Matching very well with baked pork roast or whole chicken, French Haricots with sauteed bacon in an oyster sauce are a must try for your next side dish. Very easy to prepare, your guests will go nuts over this preparation. The ingredients, easy to procure, include:

1/2 pound of French Haricots, ends snipped
1/2 pound of bacon, cut in 1 inch pieces
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
1/2 cup of chicken stock
3 tablespoons of oyster sauce (found in most supermarkets in the Asian section)
1/2 teaspoon of coarse ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and parboil the beans for about 4 minutes. While beans are parboiling, saute the bacon in the olive oil over medium high heat for several minutes. Remove beans from boiling water and drain. Set aside.

Once bacon is browned, remove from pan onto a paper towel. Remove excess oil from pan and return pan to burner. Turn burner to medium and saute the garlic for about 30 seconds and add the chicken stock to deglaze pan.

Add the beans to the pan and saute over medium heat, stirring and flipping frequently. Add back the bacon, pepper, and oyster sauce, and toss. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot. If you want, you may pour a tablespoon of melted butter over beans before serving, as well as a bit of chopped parsley. Enjoy!

...and we're dancing Quiche to Quiche

Oh the joy of Quiche, having had its ups and downs over the years from the "in" dish of the "nouveau jet set" of 30 years ago to the "real men don't really eat it" crowd soon after. Once all the dust settles however, Quiche is the one left standing tall and oh so "Francais". It just goes to show that classics never die. They just take their places in the halls of tradition, Quiche being no exception. And in the end, real men can't resist nibbling at it from time to time.

One thing to be said, Quiche is clothed in many styles, from the traditional Lorraine adorned with bacon or jambon and onions, to the more elaborate outfits of tomatoes, capers, peppers, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and shrimp; however, one thing that they all have in common is their cloak of cheese, lots of cheese! The favorite among these is Gruyere with its rich aroma and depth of flavors, a cheese that knows how to melt perfectly.

It's amazing how easy it is now days to make Quiche at home. There's really nothing to it. The pastry dough, usually the most time consuming part of the preparation can be purchased ready made in any supermarket. These packages come with a bottom and top crust. Both are the same size and since you'll only use one crust, each box contains enough dough to make 2 Quiches. The rest of the ingredients are easy to assemble with minor prep and cooking time.

Lorraine is what made Quiche famous in the West and so today you will learn how to make this classic. It should take no more than 90 minutes from start to slicing, so without further ado, let's begin with gathering the ingredients. This will make a 9 inch pie.

1/2 package of ready made pie dough, thawed
5 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 lb. of bacon, cut into 1 inch strips
5 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 cups of grated Gruyere
1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of parsley, finely chopped
2 pinches of nutmeg
1/4 cup of chicken stock (for deglazing)
1 9" spring form pan
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter

You will notice the picture of the Quiche shown above was baked using a spring form pan as opposed to a pie dish. If you have a spring form pan that is about 9" in diameter, use that one. It will give your Quiche a whole new elegant "cheesecake" look.

Preheat your oven to 400F (200C). Grease the bottom and sides of your spring form pan. Roll out the sheet of pre-made pie dough and set it in the pan carefully, allowing the dough to come up the sides of the pan. Pat it down gently and poke holes at the bottom with a fork. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Turn oven down to 350F (170C).

While crust is cooling, prepare your other ingredients. In a large fry pan, saute the bacon over medium high heat. Add a bit of the olive oil if needed. Saute for about 5 minutes and remove bacon to a holding dish. Do not discard the pan drippings.

In the same pan, add the onions, garlic, and olive oil and saute over medium high heat. Continue to saute until onions begin to caramelize and turn a nice light brown. Now add the chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Add the butter and continue to saute until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn heat off and set pan aside.

In a large bowl, add the eggs and lightly beat them. Add the cream and other ingredients except the onions, bacon, and cheese. Stir ingredients until well mixed.

Now add the onions to the mixture and stir well. Next, add 3/4 of the cheese and stir well. Now add the remaining cheese to the bottom of the pie crust, making sure bottom is well covered and then sprinkle the bacon over the layer of cheese so that bacon is well distributed throughout the bottom. The cheese and bacon layer will help withhold moisture from reaching the dough, thus making for a crispier crust. Finally, pour mixture over the bacon and cheese. Wrap the outside of the spring form pan with foil so no leakage will occur during baking. Bake at 350 for about an hour or until you can stick a tooth pick in and remains dry when removed. Should your Quiche surface begin to brown to quickly, you can place a sheet of foil over it about halfway, removing it during the final 15 minutes.

When done, remove from the oven and allow to set for about 30 minutes before removing the spring form ring. Touch and feel the surface to make sure it is solidifying during cooling. The crust sides will help keep the Quiche well shaped.

This Quiche can be served will a side salad of frizzy lettuce and butter lettuce leaves. A nice chilled white wine will work well as will a nice Riesling. Enjoy!

Sauce Bolognese has a love affair with Pasta - rice and potatoes be jealous!

Oh, please don't be jealous, rice and potatoes! Sauce Bolognese is very forgiving and has no problem mixing it up with each of you. She loves pouring herself over your fluffy grains and Yukon wedges; however, make no mistake about it, her great true love is still with pasta! So get over it!

Bolognese is an absolutely delicious and savory tomato base sauce that has its origins in the city of Bologna, Italy. The sauce can be prepared with or without meat; however, traditionally, it always contains meat. Which ever way you like it, one thing's for sure, you never want to rush its cooking. Allow the sauce to slowly take its time, slowly cooking.

Another important to consider when preparing Bolognese, there's nothing like making it from scratch. From grinding your own meat to seeding and chopping your tomatoes, you'll be amazed at the richness in flavors you can create yourself; furthermore, you'll also be amazed as to how easy it is to do. There's nothing like fresh homemade Sauce Bolognese. Let's get started. This recipe will easily serve a party of 6 and still provide leftovers.

You will need:

1 lb. of beef, cut in 1 inch cubes (not too lean of a cut)
3/4 lb. of pork, cut in 1 inch cubes (I use boneless rib)
10 medium very ripened tomatoes, seeds removed
3 medium bell peppers ( 1 each green, yellow, and red), finely chopped
3 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
4 green onions (scallions), finely chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
1/2 cup of chopped green Spanish olives
1/2 lb. of baby Portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 small can of tomato paste
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup of fresh basil, finely chopped (or 1 tablespoon of basil paste)
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
6 small anchovy fillets (no salt added)
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 1/2 cup of red wine
2 tablespoons of anise liquor (my little secret)
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard (another of my little secrets)
2 tablespoons of Marscapone
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of butter
salt and black pepper (to taste)
2 one pound packages of linguine pasta (my preference)

Keep it simple Shrimp & Chicken

With Summer nearing its end in the Northern Hemisphere (you lucky Aussies down south!), it seems fitting to enjoy one of the last outdoor lunch activities with a simple and colorful saute, finished off with a refreshing salad of fresh Spinach in a lemon and orange dressing. Certainly this will seem out of place in the dead of Winter, so while we still can, set that patio table up for you and your favorite friends and enjoy the last days of those warm rays dining the afternoon away!

This lunch menu keeps your time in the kitchen to a minimum, allowing you more time in the sun. For the main course let's get the following ingredients together:

L'OREO - So embarrassingly easy, no wonder the taste is so incredible!

I pondered for some time regarding posting this dessert as I am not accustomed to "assembling" as opposed to "creating" dishes; however, once a bite reached my mouth, it was all over. I had arrived at the gallows of creativity, pride thrown out the window, and my prêt-à-porter dessert L'OREO was off to the blogosphere without a thought of turning back, it was delicious!

Now, if you love Smores and Oreo cookies, you will agree with me this is the dessert for you, save the marshmallows, of course. Hiding my face, I stand shameless, as I list the ingredients you will need:

So tiny, so pretty, so yummy, so WOW!

As the saying goes, some of the simplest things in life are often the best, the potato being a perfect example. It has no complex flavors nor does it need any special handling or preparation; however, when you add a little of this or a little of that, it's amazing how incredible the dishes that this simple vegetable can produce. A case in point is this recipe for the babiest of the Yukon yellow potato.

Baby Yukon potatoes can be found in most supermarkets nowadays. These are usually found in one pound packages and are no more than an inch in diameter. A one pound package will serve as 4 side dishes comfortably. These were found at the Albertson's supermarket and can usually be found on sale for about three dollars, pretty reasonable for such an elegant side dish.

Farro gets dressed up in the wonderful colors of Italy

Farro is a food product consisting of the grains of certain wheat species in whole form. The exact definition is debated.  It is sold dried and is prepared by cooking in water until soft, but still crunchy (many recommend first soaking over night). It may be eaten plain, though it is often used as an ingredient in dishes such as salads and soups. It is sometimes ground into flour and used to make pasta or bread. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

A wonderful way of preparing Farro is to cook as directed in water or chicken stock and then adding it to a medley of sauteed peppers, garlic, and onion. Prepared this way, Farro can be served as an entree for vegetarians or as a side dish to chicken, fish, or pork. The preparation is very easy and takes no time.

To prepare the Farro, bring 3 cups of water or chicken stock to a boil for 1 cup of Farro. Boil for approximately 20 to 25 minutes until al dente. Drain the grain and set aside.

Prepare a medley of vegetables for saute. For this recipe, the following items were selected:

1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cracked pepper
2 pinches of roasted Spanish Paprika
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 pinches of dried basil
1/2 cup of white wine (dry)
1 squeeze of 1/2 lime

Heat the oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add the peppers and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Next add the onions and continue to saute 5 more minutes. Finally, add the garlic and tomato. Stir well and add the wine and all other ingredients. Stir until well mixed. Reduce heat and allow to cook uncovered for about 5 minutes.

As a final step, add the Farro into the sauteed medley and mix well. Check for seasoning and add a bit more salt if needed. Serve hot or allow to cool to room temperature and serve with a drizzle of olive oil. This method of preparing Farro incorporates wonderful rich flavors with the Farro soaking up the juices. It's just simply wonderful.

Banana Coconut Custard Tart --- not just another tart.

Of all the tarts that I have introduced on this blog, none produces such a unique perfume representation of the tropics. Not too sweet, not too heavy, it's almost like eating a slice of a tropical cocktail, if cocktails came in solid form. This dessert is like a pina colada drink. You be the judge, make it at home and discover what I'm talking about.


1 1/4 cup of sifted flour
1 cube (1/4 lb) of cold butter
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of Pernod (anise liquor)

This is what you want to make first. This crust is very light and is crumbly and flaky like a shortbread cookie. Preheat your oven to 400. Have an 8 or 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom lightly greased with butter of spray.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, add the sugar, liquor, and vanilla extract. Cut the cube of butter into 8 to 10 pieces and add to the flour. With your fingers, begin to break the butter down and mix with the flour. Continue until flour transforms into a crumbly mixture like wet sand. Don't over mix. Add the mixture to the tart pan and lightly spread the dough over the bottom and sides of the pan, making sure every surface is well covered. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until the dough begins to turn a light golden color. Remove from oven and allow to completely cook, setting the pan on top of a cooling rack.

While the tart crust is cooling, gather the following:

2 medium bananas, sliced diagonally in 1/2 inch thickness
2 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of liquor Galiano
1/4 cup of pineapple juice

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the bananas and saute for about 1 minute or two. Now add the Galiano, stir and turn over your bananas. Finally, add the pineapple juice and lower your heat. Allow liquid to reduce a bit. The pineapple is acidic and will help keep the bananas from turning brown on you. Add the bananas to the bottom of your tart crust and spread them evenly to cover entire bottom.

Now you are ready to make the coconut custard. You can choose to make it from scratch or you can choose to make it with Birds Custard Mix, which is highly recommended and can be found in most supermarkets and specialty stores. Here's what you need:

1 large tablespoon of Birds Custard powder
1 1/4 cup of coconut cream (or coconut milk)
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of dark rum
1/2 cup of fine coconut flakes
2 pinches of ginger powder
2 pinches of nutmeg

Add the custard powder and sugar into a pan along with a few tablespoons of the coconut milk. Stir under it is well blended, then add the rum and vanilla extract. While heat is at medium, slowly begin to add the milk while constantly stirring.  When you have 1/2 cup of coconut milk left, add the egg yolk to the milk and mix well before starting to add mixture to the pan. Once all mixture is in the pan, continue to stir and bring to a slow boil. As custard gets closer to the boil point, you will notice it start to thicken. Continue to stir, making sure that custard is not sticking to the bottom. Continue on a slow boil, reducing heat to low. Finally, add the coconut flakes, ginger powder, and nutmeg, and mix well. Once custard has been slow boiling for a few minutes, remove from heat and allow to set for 5 minutes or so, until it cools slightly. You may continue to stir to speed up cooling and so that a "skin" doesn't develop on the surface of the custard.

Once it has cooled a bit, pour custard over the bananas spreading the custard evenly to cover entire surface. Allow to cool in the fridge for about an hour. Then remove to add the topping.


1/2 cup of sliced toasted almonds
1/2 cup of dry coconut flakes (larger flakes, unsugared)
1/4 cup of coarsely chopping crystallized ginger.

Spread each of the topping ingredients evenly over entire surface of the tart. Return to the fridge and continue to cool for at least 4 hours (overnight is best!).

My long forgotten Strawberry Tart rears its beautiful head!

There have been several requests recently for the recipe to the strawberry tart pictured on the blog title; to be honest, I have no idea why I never posted it until now. Perhaps I must have thought that I already had. So without further delay, here is the recipe. Thanks to Robin for reminding me...


1.25 cups of sifted flour
1 cube of unsalted butter, slightly room temperature
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of brandy
1 egg yolk

Preheat the oven to 400 (200 c). Grease an 8 or 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom and set aside. Add the flour and butter in a bowl. Be sure to cut the butter in cubes so that it will be easier to mix with the flour. With your hands, begin to mix the two ingredients. Do this for a minute or two.

Next, add the rest of the ingredients and continue to fix with your fingers until the dough becomes crumbly. Do not over mix because you want the crust to remain light and crumbly. Once ready, begin to pour the crust into your tart pan. With your fingers, gently push and spread the crust throughout the bottom of the pan and up the sides until entire surface is covered. Do not pat down too hard or you'll get a hard crust.

Place the tart pan on a baking sheet or foil and bake at 400 for about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. Your tart crust is now ready to be filled.


1 package of cream cheese (8 oz.), room temperature
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of brandy
2 tablespoons of flour
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup of cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a bowl and with a hand mixer, blend until velvety smooth. Now pour the mixture over the crust until it reaches halfway up the sides. Smooth out so mixture is evenly spread across the tart. Place in a 325 oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until surface begins to turn a light amber color. Be careful not to allow the crust to burn. You may, if you wish, place a sheet of foil over the top during the final 15 minutes or so.

When ready, remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature over a cooling rack. You are now ready for the final step, the topping.


1.5 quarts of fresh medium sized strawberries
3 tablespoons of strawberry jam or jelly
1 tablespoon of sugar
3 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons of Grenadine

Clean and wash the strawberries. Cut off the top 1/3 of the berries and save those tips for placing around the perimeter of the tart (as pictured). At this point, it's important that you purchased enough strawberries so that they will cover and go around the entire edge of the tart. You only need to do one row. Set the tips aside and place the remainder of the strawberries in a pan, along with the rest of the ingredients.

Heat the ingredients over medium heat, all the while stirring and mashing the strawberries so that its juices and sugars are extracted. You will only be using the syrup that will be created by this process. It was at this point that I added a couple of tablespoons of Framboise liquor to the pan. If you have some, add some, otherwise it's OK if you omit it.

Continue to cook strawberries over medium heat until liquid starts bubbling. Now turn the heat to low and continue to cook for 5 or 6 minutes until the strawberries are well broken down and they produce more of a puree texture. Once you have reached that level, using a strainer, strain the mixture into a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to help the liquid get fully strained. The solids you have left may be discarded.

Once the syrup has been completely extracted, gently pour it over the tart filling, swirling the tart so that the surface gets completely covered in a nice deep red sheet. Allow to sit for a few minutes and finally arrange the strawberry tips around the edge of the tart until you have made a complete circle. Place tart in the fridge and allow to completely cool before serving. Serve with a spoon or two of half whipped whipping cream, either on the dish before you set a piece or simply pour it over the top. Enjoy! This tart is truly decadent!

If you're not a fish lover, this will change your mind!

This is a third recipe creation on this blog using Swai fish and from what I can tell you, I think it's my best. I call it Pan Fried Swai Mediterrane. The marriage of the ingredients used produced an incredible bouquet of flavors so refreshing and yet low in saturated fat and cholesterol not to mention very reasonable in calories. I was so excited about this creation that I had to share it with all of you without delay. Without further ado, here are the ingredients you'll need:

These quantities will serve a party of 2

2 Swai fish fillets, rinsed and patted dry
1 medium avocado, diced
1/2 cup of chopped Spanish olives
1/4 cup of chopped roasted garlic
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Cracked black pepper
2 pinches of salt
Olive oil

Begin by combining the avocado, olives, and garlic in a bowl and stir gently. Add some cracked black pepper, the lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil. Continue to stir gently, cover, and set in the fridge.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a non stick pan over medium high heat. Salt your fish on each side and saute until golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Once turned, add a bit of cracked black pepper, remove from pan and set fish on paper towels.

Slice each fillet across and place one half on your plate, add a couple of tablespoons of the avocado preparation on top of the fish and add the second half above that. You may add another spoon of avocado around the sides. Finish the dish off with a squeeze of lemon and enjoy. As a side dish, you may want to serve boiled baby Yukon Gold potatoes. Finish off with a chilled glass of dry white wine of your choice.

Your fruits and vegetables are dirtier than your hands! What to do.

In light of the current E-Coli scare currently taking place in Germany, it seems poignant to discuss the cleanliness or lack thereof of the produce we purchase. This could have happened anywhere in the world and it does. To date, there are about 18 deaths in this latest outbreak and approximately 1800 very sick individuals. The outbreak of illness is concentrated mainly in the northern half of Germany; however, there is fear that the outbreak may spread, because there is no clear evidence as to the origin of the contaminated vegetables.

If you really think about it, the vegetables and fruits we see at the stores, produce stands, and out door farmer's markets are dirtier than our very own hands. They can contain pesticides, bacteria, germs, and contaminated water and soil. Think of this, imagine how many people have touched that head of lettuce or tomato you purchased at the store today. Some may have been fighting a cold or the flu. Others may not have properly washed their hands. Something to ponder.

With the global economy becoming more and more intertwined, it's difficult to know the origins of the fruits and vegetables we eat, unless of course we ask. The safest assumption we can make is that no matter if it's locally grown or imported, it's probably got some contaminants. We need to know how to wash them and thereby minimizing the exposure.

Although we can't completely protect ourselves from every last microbe that hitches a ride home with us, there are simple things that we can do to make sure they know they're not welcomed. Vegetables and fruits with a skin that you will peel should be thoroughly washed before peeling - even oranges. Let's face it, if you touched it with your hands and then peel, you've just transferred any contaminants to the edible part. Wash the fruit or vegetable before peeling. That melon you love and are going to slice a wedge out, WASH IT before you cut into it. How about the avocado? Wash it before you slice it in half. Whatever you are going to prepare to eat, peeled or unpeeled, just wash it first. Doing so will minimize your exposure.

There are a number of different products on the market today that helps sterilize your fruits and vegetables. The only thing you're going to get generally is a product that will not work any better than a simple teaspoon of bleach to a quart of water. So keeping it simple, just soak what you're going to eat in the bleach/water solution in a large bowl for about 15 minutes. Once done, be sure to rinse thoroughly. While you're at the sink, don't forget to wash your hands very well. I've also heard that adding a fine grain salt to water will help kill some bacteria.

With all that said, washing or rinsing will only get rid of surface contaminants. Any internal contaminants will not be affected unless of course you are going to cook it. In that case, there's really no need to go through the steps above. Above all, there is no need to become a fanatic about all this. Some of you may simply rinse (as I do), while others will purchase food cleaning solutions or bleach. Just use your common sense, rinse items once you get them home, don't let vegetables and fruits sit around for an extended period, keep your fridge temperature at the recommended level, separate and throw away any that are spoiling or rotting, and always use clean hands. Spending more of your time enjoying your purchase than worrying about it is the ultimate goal.

Coconut Dijon Breast of Chicken, the perfect WOW factor!

I've written, deleted, and rewritten this first paragraph several times to describe Coconut Dijon breast of chicken; however, I concluded that I would get right to the recipe without further delay so that you could experience the wonderful flavors that the marriage of French, Indian, and S.E. Asian cuisine can exude. This is one dish that you've got to make the next time you decide on chicken.

3 large chicken breasts, bone in and cut in halves
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
4 tablespoons of capers
1 can of sliced water chestnuts
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped ginger
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of mild curry powder
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
3/4 cup of dry white wine (or white rice wine)
3/4 cup of coconut cream
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
salt to taste

In a medium sized Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the chicken breast pieces until lightly browned, usually taking about 10 minutes.

Remove chicken breast pieces and set aside. In the same pot, add the chopped yellow onion, garlic, and ginger and saute for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Check to make sure they don't burn.

Add the white wine and stir with a spatula to de-glaze pan. Add the capers, then the curry powder, and oyster sauce. Stir until well blended.

Next add the coconut cream and Dijon mustard. Stir to blend then add the water chestnuts, pepper, and parsley. Stir well, lower heat, and add the chicken breast pieces back into the pot. Add the scallions, cover, and cook on low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes.

This entree can be served by itself with a side of green vegetable of your choice as well as steamed white rice or baby Yukon boiled potatoes. Friends, family, and fellow co workers were given a chance to try this dish and the consensus was unanimous.... the flavor was incredible!

When "cookers block" strikes, think dessert for your next entree inspiration

There are times when chefs (and nonchefs) will beat their brains up trying to come up with innovative new ways to create recipes and presentations with basic food items. Let's call it "cookers block" for all intent and purpose, and everyone who works with recipe creation has experienced it. Haven't you heard your Mom or Wife say, "what am I going to fix tonight? I just don't know what to make." So you go into the fridge or pantry and try putting something together that will suffice enough for the eyes and growl the stomach to hunger. It usually ends up that your lack of inspiration is reflected in your dish. You might have created something tasty; however, you lost the "wow" factor in the process.

This scenario, repeated in every kitchen, is no fault of your own. Let's face it, the thought process of coming up with 1,000 meal ideas every year can be very exhausting and you're not always going the get the praise you deserve as family members tend to take your culinary art for granted and grow to expect good things from you every time. That's the price you pay for becoming innovative, creative, and great at what you do in the kitchen. Thinking of what to create is often the most difficult part of the job of being "the cook".

So the next time you encounter "cookers block", don't crack your egghead, just remember a few simple things. First, think of three primary foods, just like the primary colors in the  art world, protein, starch, and  vegetables. In creating a new meal, you'll want to include one of each. Second, pick simple items in each category, things that won't take a ton of prep work, perhaps something that might be pre-prepared, such as ready made puff pastry as opposed to the time consuming project of making it from scratch. A cut of pork might work better in the protein category as opposed to beef or lamb, where the perfect temperature is a bit more precise and calculated with the latter. A vegetable that might work well is asparagus since you only need to steam for about 4 minutes and it comes out perfect. Finally, pick a well known dessert that you can make with these items. No seriously, pick a dessert, let's say, a Napoleon. This will become more clear in a short time. Read on...

Now you've selected your 3 main ingredients, pork, puff pastry, and asparagus, three simple items that you've work with before. Each is very easy to prepare individually, you've done it time after time. You've also decided how you're going to present it, as a Napoleon. The tough thinking part is now behind you. It's time to dress your idea up and accessorize it, much like you would dressing up before a night out on the town. The dress or suit and shoes are chosen and the jewelry, hair style, and ties are left to be chosen. But we're talking about your entree for now, so let's not digress.

There are a number of ways you can now accessorize your recipe. Perhaps an onion or better yet, a couple of shallots, chopped finely. You like? Why not add some artichoke hearts and pearls of the cuisine, green peppercorns. Are we getting excited about it all? You're not finished accessorizing yet. Let's add some parsley chopped finely, and the same with a few cloves of garlic. The perfume shall be called Marsalla wine, a perfect aroma for your creation. And finally, to make everything shine, how about a bit of olive oil and butter? See how all this is coming together? And to think that it all started with just 3 simple items, look what you've come up with!

To begin with, prepare your puff pastry for use. To do this, thaw 1 sheet of puff pastry, sprinkle it and a cutting board. Roll it out until it's about 1/8 inch thick. With a 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut round disks enough for 2 per person. Place on a non greased baking sheet and brush each lightly with an egg wash. With a fork, poke a few holes in each. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the disks and then another baking sheet over that. This will prevent the disks from puffing big. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes. Next, remove the top baking sheet and parchment paper and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let completely cool.

Now that you've collected all your ingredients it's time for you to put it all together in time for the big dinner. You will start with main ingredient number one, a nice pork tenderloin roast. Dress it up with a rub of olive oil, then coarse ground pepper and coarse sea salt. Give it a nice blush with a bit of smoked paprika. Now saute it on all sides in a large frying pan with a bit of olive oil. Take your time and make sure it's browned nicely on all sides. For the final process of the final look of this great cut of meat, transfer the pork in its pan directly in a 400 degree oven (200 in metric) and allow colors to continue to enhance for 25 to 30 minutes ( providing your roast is about 1.5 lbs).

While your roast is "tanning" and getting beautiful color, saute the shallots and garlic over medium heat in olive oil. Get these jewels to shine before adding the green peppercorns. Next add your artichoke hearts (cut in halves) and continue to saute for about 2 minutes. Add about 2 tablespoons of butter and when melted, douse it all with a cup of that wonderful Marsalla wine. Bring to a boil, stir, and then turn heat down to medium low and allow to reduce by a third. You can add the parsley as well (about 1/4 cup chopped). When sauce has reduced, add a bit more butter, salt and pepper and reduce to low, cover.

Your third ingredient, asparagus are now ready for their steam bath. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and either steam them for about 4 minutes or boil them for about 3. Remove from heat and partly cover. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.

When roast is complete, remove from oven and allow roast to rest on a cutting board for about 10 minutes. Pour a bit of the pan drippings into the pan with the artichokes and stir. Once roast has rested, cut thin slices about 1/4 inches thick. Everything is now ready to be put together!

Make sure your dinner plates are nice and warm before plating. Begin by setting one pastry disk in the center of the plate. Now add one or two thin slices of pork, then 2 artichoke heart halves along with a bit of the sauce and shallots. Place another pastry disk over that and repeat the process. Place 3 large asparagus in triangular form around the dish and finish by spooning just the sauce around the plate.

What you have done is come up with a creation that used 3 simple main ingredients and with small accessories, created an incredible version of napoleon that will wow your guests. But wait until they get their first taste! The flavors are most delicious; you have to taste it to understand. And this idea came simply from the thought of a dessert. Who would have known? The next time you experience "cooking block", just let your imagination run wild and step out of the box for your ideas. You'll be amazed as to what you can come up with.

What is Easter without chocolate!

Who doesn't like chocolate!? It is the nectar of lovers, the sparkles in the eyes of children, and what bunnies turn into on Easter. For some of us, it's also what sisters are addicted to. It is one of the dessert ingredients that are held in the highest regard. Can you blame us for loving this natural ingredient?

Just in time for Easter, feast your eyes on this dark chocolate brownie cheesecake! The ingredients are easy to gather and preparation is simple enough for the young ones to assist. OK, well they can at least lick the spoon. Let's get started and make this for Sunday festivities!

2 packages of cream cheese
1/2 package of chocolate brownie mix
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup of half n half
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 teaspoons of vanilla extract
8 oz. of semi sweet dark chocolate
1/3 cup of cream
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 cup of finely chopped nuts of your choice

Start by taking out the cream cheese ahead of time so that it is at room temperature. Place the cream cheese, eggs, half n half, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and with a hand mixer, beat the ingredients until you get a smooth and creamy texture.

Slowly add the chocolate brownie mix while mixer is on low speed. Blend until well mixed. Now add the vegetable oil and continue to mix. Set aside. PREHEAT YOUR OVEN at 350.

Melt 1/3 of the semi sweet dark chocolate along with 2 tablespoons of the cream and once melted, pour into the cheesecake mixture. Mix well for about a minute.

Line the bottom of a spring form cake pan with parchment paper and spray bottom and sides with a little cooking spray. Using a paper towel, lightly rub sides and bottom so that all is well coated.

Pour cheesecake mixture into cake pan and bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, carefully remove the spring form pan ring and place the cheesecake on a wire rack over a cookie sheet.

Melt the remainder of the semi sweet chocolate, stirring the remainder of the cream as well as the butter. Stir until a nice creamy consistency has been achieved.

Now slowly pour the chocolate over the top of the cheesecake, making sure the entire surface is coated (including the sides. Allow chocolate to cool for about 5 to 7 minutes.

Finally, sprinkle the chopped nuts over the top, transfer the cake to a serving platter, and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours so that chocolate coating has hardened.

Your Easter bunnies will be hoppin' like crazy for this dessert. It's richness is not at all "sugary" or overly sweet. The texture is very creamy and smooth. Serve with a nice hot cup of espresso and enjoy while the little bunnies are hunting for eggs. Happy Easter.

So simple it's sure to please the working Mom or Dad

It's 5:30 pm and you've just gotten home from a long day at work. The last thing you want to do is get in that kitchen and put together a big whoop di doo, leaving a sink full of dishes. It's Monday, for Pete's sake and this is the evening to make it simple!

Well, believe it or not, this recipe will only cause you to dirty one pan, yes ONE pan! This wonderful Chicken Stir Fry Medley is as perfect for dinner for one as it is for four. Just change the quantities and you're there. Isn't wonderful that we can create such flavorful and easy on the eyes entrees that are so simple to put together and doesn't leave you slaving in the kitchen from start to clean. Fancy entrees are totally fine and appropriate; however, you deserve a break this evening because you've earned it.

This dish combines Asian flair with American ease. Here's what you need:

2 to 3 large chicken breasts, bone in or off, cut in 3rds
2 cups of mung bean sprouts
2 small bok choys, sliced
1/2 lb of your choice of small mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
1/4 cup of peanut oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
Pepper to taste

You will first notice there aren't that many ingredients in this dish. That's good! Less prep time, less complication. If you wish to additional items, feel free to do so, it's your choice. Add chopped green onions, peanuts, peas, fresh green beans.

Begin by prepping all your ingredients, that means, slicing, chopping, etc... Having everything ready will save you time. This dish by the way, should only take about 30 minutes to make!

Heat the peanut oil in a skillet or wok over medium heat.  Rub pepper over the chicken pieces. If you want, you can rub some of the soy sauce over it and just an additional tablespoon full. Once the oil is heated, saute the chicken until golden brown, turning the pieces over on all sides. This should take no more than 12 to 15 minutes.

Now remove the chicken and set aside. Remove the excess oil and scrape any "burnt" spots on the pan bottom, but take care to not remove the good spots.... you know what I mean. If you need to, add a tablespoon of peanut oil (or sesame). Over medium heat, once the pan gets hot again, add all the vegetables and saute for a few minutes. Now add the remainder of the soy sauce and the oyster sauce stirring to coat all the vegetables. Saute for another minute and remove to a serving platter. Place the chicken breast on top and serve hot.

See how easy that was? You can make absolutely wonderful dishes for your family or yourself without trouble. Need starch? Just steam a cup of rice. How simple was that? Enjoy :)

When less is more, sensational flavors abound!

Your kitchen is well equipped, spice racks are bursting at the seams, and the variety of pantry items scream out, "pick me pick me", at first sight of light coming from a half opened cupboard door. Not wanting to disappoint, you begin to grab at a moment's notice, a spice here, a can there, and soon you're playing a balancing act with numerous items and gadgets resembling a cheap imitation of Rachel Ray on Thirty Minute Meals. Now, before the emails start pouring in, you're neither cheap and Rachel is a total godsend to so many of us that yearn to come up with dinner ideas that will wow the family in only 30 minutes prep time. She is a total 10!

But you've done all this before and this time you want to have an easy and simple moment in the kitchen, yet still please those that have come to expect great things from you. After all, by now you're following a dozen or more blogs, have a disk full of recipes, and have come to be fond of the room you once feared like a visit to the dentist, the kitchen. Today is the day you will come to realize when less is more, flavor does not have to be sacrificed.

Two ingredients, three condiments, and a shake of the salt and pepper, and you'll have a dish that is bursting with flavor at the delight of your guests. Freshly peeled tomatoes stuffed with peas in a creamy sauce will be a total win in your column, guaranteed. Here is the short list of needs:

5 medium fresh tomatoes
1 package of frozen peas
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
2 teaspoons of Dijon style mustard
1 tablespoon of horse radish
salt and pepper to taste

Start by peeling your tomatoes. You want to have a pot of boiling water and a large bowl of ice water. Remove the stems from the tomatoes and one at a time place each in the boiling water counting out 15 seconds. Immediately remove the tomato from the pot and into the ice water. With the tip of a sharp knife, simply pull skin apart where the stem was. The skin will easily be removed.

When you are finished peeling, slice the top of the tomato about 1/2 inch down, and with a melon baller, remove the seeds and excess meat of each tomato. When finished, set aside. Be sure to save the top of the tomatoes you sliced off.

In the same pot of boiling water, add the frozen peas and boil for approximately 3 minutes. Then remove the peas and run cold water over them to cool.

In a medium bowl, add the mayonnaise, mustard, and horse radish, mixing all ingredients well until all is well blended. Taste for flavor. Add some pepper and salt (only if you need it).

Now add the peas to the mixture and carefully stir so that peas are well coated. Once completed, simply get your tomatoes and stuff them, finishing off with fitting the top of the tomatoes. Take any remaining peas and spread them over the bottom of a serving dish and place each tomato over them. Serve chilled. As a garnish, you may sprinkle chopped parsley or basil if you wish. This dish is guaranteed to please!! Bon appetit!

Sturgeon in Puff Pastry brings out delicate side of this fish

After a longer than should have been hiatus, I am back. There was no reason for my absence other than simple neglect. There is no excuse; however, once you have had the chance to review and try my latest creation, I hope you will find it easier to forgive.

It has been such a long time since I worked with Sturgeon, years in fact. I remember simply frying it with salt, pepper, and lemon and serving it with a side of fried potatoes or stir fried rice. It's a pretty solid fish with the flesh similar to shark. Undercooked it tends to be tough and overcooked, too dry. It's probably why most people try to stay away from fish as a rule. But it doesn't have to be rocket science. Just saute a few minutes per side and press down on the flesh with your finger. If it gives and bounces back, it's probably ready.

So anyway, that's the way I used to do Sturgeon (and Shark); however, this time around, I decided to fancy it up and bring out the delicate features of this fish. It can be flaky and very moist, with a flavor that doesn't overpower, thus favoring additives such as dill and tarragon as well as capers. For this recipe, I have decided to robe this fish in a sheet of flaky puff pastry, along with spinach and thinly sliced oyster mushrooms. To finish it off, a simple bechamel sauce over the top or on the side will add a wonderful touch. This dish is relatively simple to prepare, so elegant to present, and oh so pleasing to the taste buds.

1 pound of fresh Sturgeon
1 cup of frozen spinach, drained and tightly strained of all liquid
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh Tarragon, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh Dill, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of capers
1/2 cup of chopped oyster mushrooms
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
1 cup of Parmesan cheese (grated)
2 cups of Bechamel sauce (click on link)
1 egg + 2 tablespoons of water (for egg wash)
1 thawed puff pastry sheet
2 tablespoons of flour
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of wine wine

Preheat the oven to 425 (210c)

1. To begin, start by heating the olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
2. Saute the Sturgeon for approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove and set aside to cool (10 minutes).
3. In the same frying pan, heat a bit of olive oil over medium heat.
4. Saute the shallots, garlic, and mushrooms for a few minutes.
5. Add the capers, salt and pepper, and wine. Continue to cook for a couple more minutes.
6. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
7. With your hands, flake the Sturgeon once cooled. Please flake to small 1/2 inch flakes. Add to the bowl.
8. Add the Tarragon, Dill, and fresh parsley to the bowl. Stir fish and ingredients together.
9. Prepare the Bechamel sauce according to recipe in the link. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the cheese to the sauce
10. Stir well until cheese has blended into sauce.
11. Add 1/2 of the sauce to the bowl with the fish and other ingredients. Stir until all is well coated. Set aside.
12. Now prepare the puff pastry sheet. After it has thawed, spread the flour on a cutting board and rolling pin so that pastry won't stick to board or pin.
13. Roll out the pastry sheet until it is approximately 12 by 14 inches.
14. Making sure the spinach has been completely drained and strained of liquid, lay it out evenly on the sheet. Be sure to leave a 1 inch edge all the way around the sheet.
15. Now sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan cheese over the spinach and spread pieces of butter across length.
16. Using a slotted spoon ( to allow excess sauce out), spoon the fish mixture down the center of the pastry sheet.
17. Wish a brush, brush the egg wash (the egg and water) along the 1 inch edge.
18. Carefully roll up the pastry and with a fork seal each edge and the seam along the length of the roll. Turn the roll seam down. Cut slits on the top (to allow steam to escape. Brush egg wash over the pastry.  See picture below.

19. Carefully transfer it to a non stick baking dish. Bake at 425 for approximately 25 minutes or until pastry is a golden color.
20. Once finished, remove from oven and allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
21. Reheat the remaining Bechamel Sauce and spoon it over each slice of your entree. Sprinkle a bit more Dill for garnish. Serve a side dish of boiled baby Yukon Gold potatoes tossed in butter and parsley, salt and pepper. Enjoy :)