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Three's a Charm

  Baked Brie Trio

What could be more decadent than a trio of baked brie? We can’t imagine much as it’s almost impossible not to adore the delicate balance of creamy, rich saltiness with these three perfectly paired toppings. Although already delectable on its own, a triple cream brie can be made even more delightful when topped with savory nuts or seasonal berries.

The actual baking is the epitome of simplicity; place an unwrapped round into a Camembert Baker, like this one from Le Creuset. We love the stylish little stoneware crock for its flawless ability to heat evenly. Warmed to gooey perfection it ensures the cheese isn’t overcooked or scorched. Ten to twelve minutes is all it takes, and though it’s possible to use a baking sheet, a Camembert Baker reduces mess by keeping melted cheese and toppings well contained.

Sweet
Can’t wait for dessert? Incorporate the seasonal brightness of summer berries – local huckleberries being our current favorite – by simmering one cup with a splash of water and squeeze of lemon for about ten minutes. Gently crush berries with a fork or masher and pour over the baked brie.

Sweet & Savory
Combine two favorite tastes by adding a crunchy contrast to the smooth texture of your baked brie. Sauté a cup of chopped nuts with brown sugar and a teaspoon of butter over medium heat until sugar melts, quickly removing from heat and transferring to parchment paper to cool. Break candied nuts, sprinkle over brie and then top off with your favorite maple syrup or local honey. 


Earthy

If our recent cooler weather has you already craving fall flavors give apple pie baked brie a try. Slightly more complex, sweet wine poached pear and apple make this recipe well worth the effort. The addition of spiced honey drizzled on top will have you and your guests coming back for more. Get the full recipe here.

       

Summer Berry Brunch

Summer Berry Brunch

  Summer Berry Brunch

               berry_medley_banner

As with summer, the farmer’s market in Jackson Hole is a short but sweet invitation to partake in the local growing season. Ripe red tomatoes, dark, earthbound greens and our absolute favorite - berries. Eaten individually, each cell bursts with freshness and sunlight. When featured in recipes, the results can be divine. Our suggestion? Head to your local market, grab every pint of berries you can find and host a brunch that celebrates the season.

For the first course, grab a handful of huckleberries or blackberries and smear them into a fresh bowl of cream cheese. The sweet & tart combination pairs beautifully atop smoked salmon, hearty bagels or best of all, sandwiched between a hot-off-the-griddle crepe.

                                   berry_crepes

For those with a sweet tooth, look for plump and hearty strawberries. When baked into quick breads or pastries, berries take on a different texture. They swirl and meld into the batter, mixing with butter and flour for a crisp edge and delicate interior. Our favorite feature is the strawberry skillet cake highlighting the strawberries' sweetness with the addition of balsamic.

                     strawberry_balsamic_skillet_cake

For a savory spin, try a pint of blueberries in a blue cheese salad. Grab a head of fresh spinach or other hearty green. Rinse, spin and dry. Place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and squeeze one-quarter of a lemon on top. Work the leaves with your hands to soften them but not too much - just until tender. Top with ground pepper, crumbled blue cheese, walnuts or pepitas (or both) and a smattering of blueberries, ratios dependent on taste. The crunch of the nuts, pop of the berries and creaminess of the blue cheese makes for a beautiful combination of texture and flavor. Delicious and simple enough you may surprise yourself by serving this for dinner.

                                blueberries_spinach

Thank you to our friends at Le Creuset for inspiring us with their bright and reliable cookware.

Be sure to visit us here every Monday to find out What's Cooking. Find us on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration and tips on living life beautifully.

Lion's Club Breakfast

Lion's Club Breakfast

  Annual Lions Club Pancake Breakfast | Start Your Fair Day Off Right


Image Courtesy of the Lions Club: Belle Cose’s own Claudia Shrotz pouring, flipping and serving up pancakes.


NO BETTER WAY TO START YOUR DAY

It is an early morning rise, just before the sun peeks over Snow King, to the smell of ham on the grill, coffee brewing, birds chirping, and cows bellowing.  It’s Teton County Fair time, and the Jackson Hole Lions Club is cooking up their famous breakfast again.

4-H kids are washing, blow drying and brushing their show cows as they prepare for judging... tensions run high… family and friends watch in anticipation.

 

Image Courtesy of Teton County Fair: A young 4H member chats with a judge.


BREAKFAST YOUR WAY

Nearby you can smell the welcome aroma of ham; hear it pop, sizzle and sear on the grill… potatoes, green peppers, onions too… and eggs any way you want them; sunny-side up, over easy, or “stepped on” smashed scrambles… it’s a morning of breakfast dreams coming true.


Image Courtesy of the Lions Club: Hashbrowns ready to serve.

EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM | JULY 28-29, 7 - 11AM & JULY 30, 7:30AM - 11:30AM

Whether you’re serving your family of two, three or more, or joining friends and family for a day at the Fair, there is nothing better than an early morning breakfast to welcome a beautiful Jackson Hole day. Don’t forget to pick up your free Lions Club eclipse eyeglasses while enjoying breakfast.

We hope to see you at the Fair!

 

Garlic Varietals: How to Find, Prep and Create the Best Flavor with Every Clove

  Garlic Varietals: How to Find, Prep and Create the Best Flavor with Every Clove

                              garlic in various forms

Summer recipes do well with a kick of flavor to balance the hearty fruits and vibrant greens that grace your bowl. Garlic is one addition that is both versatile and inexpensive; from scape (stem) to root (bulb), garlic makes every bite more lively.

While the average grocery store carries only one varietal - softneck garlic, there are many more varietals that are worth exploring. Learning the differences in flavor can provide a pinch of something different in an otherwise traditional dish.

Different Types of Garlic

Traditional softneck garlic possesses the mellow white flesh we know and love. Although interchangeable in a range of dishes, this varietal is best suited for stir fries, creamy pasta and vegetable-based dips. Softneck works well with recipes that require a quick fry or recipes that match the heat with cream and other savory ingredients. They are noted by the lack of a hard, central stem and contain between eight to sixteen cloves per bulb.

Others boast a large profile, such as elephant garlic. Its individual cloves are akin to the size of an entire head of the softneck variety. Elephant garlic shines particularly well when slow roasted - the skin to flesh ratio being more in favor of the spreadable nature of caramelized cloves. Although technically a member of the hardneck family, it’s size distinguishes elephant garlic from other varietals. Each bulb contains no more than five cloves and is roughly two inches high.

                                    roasted garlic bulbs

Hardneck garlic is aptly named for the presence of the central stem, or neck. Although this varietal has only four to twelve cloves per bulb, each packs more punch than that of a softneck. The flesh and outer skin is often streaked with pink and purple when fresh and works incredibly well as an accompaniment for roasts, slow cooked sauces and freshly made meats and pates.

A Few More Roots (and Scapes)

Two uncommon varietals are black garlic and creole garlic. The first has gained momentum in western cooking although often found in Korean dishes. It is actually the same as any other garlic bulb but has been caramelized and fermented, resulting in a sweet undertone with a hint of vinegar. It can be shaved and served over poached eggs or served with mild fish. Although there are techniques for achieving this at home, we recommend purchasing the end product. See The Steamy Kitchen's recipe for black garlic and scallops.

Creole garlic is aptly named, for both its color and spiciness. Its vibrant reddish-pink flesh does well with fish and shellfish, married with rice or pasta, and can be a great addition if you’re looking for more heat in a given dish.

The last part of garlic we have yet to explore are scapes, or stems. These are beautiful placed atop grilled meats and fish or featured in pasta. Known for their curlicue tops and mild flavor, you can add them to virtually any recipe without worrying about overtaking the other ingredients.

      Ramps

How to Prep Garlic; Create the Flavor You’re Trying to Achieve

Knowing how to best flavor your recipe will determine your best strategy. Before you turn on the burner, garlic must be prepped accordingly - how you slice it matters.

Garlic is much like an onion - the more cells you rupture directly correlated to the intensity of flavor. Consider your current garlic technique - how much liquid emerges from your prep. If there’s a significant amount of weeping on the cutting board, chances are it’s going to be intense in flavor and heat.

Zest

Zesting or grating the clove ruptures the most cells. Achieved with a Microplane, it’s one of the quickest ways to reduce garlic to a pulp. This technique may be quick but it’s also likely to burn your tastebuds unless properly implemented. It is suited to dips and creamy sauces like mayonnaise - cooking is no match for the heat this brings. See Cuisinart's recipe for bruschetta.

              bruschetta

Press

There are several forms of garlic presses, some with a lever, some with a rocking motion. This technique is also high up there in terms of convenience, the concept being to push the clove through a sieve or grate. Although this still brings a bit of heat, it’s nowhere near to zesting. This technique works well with slow roasted sauces, soups or baked dishes. When selecting a garlic press, be sure to find one that is dishwasher safe and easily comes apart for cleaning. See New York Times's Cooking for garlic soup.

Grind

Mortar and pestles aren’t on every kitchen countertop (though they should be for their versatility). You would think that grinding garlic would rupture more cells than pressing but this technique surprisingly yields a mellower flavor than pressing or zesting. This works well in dips, quick fries, pastes or roasts although the texture will play a definite role depending on how the pulp is incorporated.

Chop & Mince

The classic chef’s knife does wonders; it by far produces the best flavor with minimal heat. Slice off the root end of each clove, smash the flesh with the flat of your knife and chop away. Although we love the convenience of the aforementioned techniques, this particular prep method is by far our preference.

As you likely assumed, all techniques above require peeling the clove prior to prepping (with the exception of the press if you’re in a hurry). If you plan to use all the cloves at once, the container method works well. Place the whole head in a shakeable, sealable container. Shake - a lot. The cloves will come apart from the bulb and the skins will peel off. Discard skins and proceed with selected prep technique. If you’re looking to use one or two cloves at a time, set the bulb on a firm surface and smash the heel of your hand on the bulb. The individual cloves will separate and you can prep what you'd like and save the rest for later.

                                   pesto with bowl and garlic

 

Turning up the Heat

It is important to pinpoint the flavor you’re trying to achieve. As you begin to roast, fry, sauté, barbecue or even chill your garlic-infused recipe, consider whether you want a strong dose of heat or a melt-in-your-mouth softness. Garlic is dramatically affected by how long and how high the heat is. In a soup or roasted dish, the longer cooking time results in a mellower melded flavor. Cooking with high heat has the same result, although beware as garlic can overcook and burn, lending a chewy, off-flavor that’s difficult to pass off as intentional.

For dishes that require a kick, prepare and cook other ingredients until just shy of finished (about three-five minutes) and toss minced or chopped garlic in the pan, letting it sear and warm through. If using high heat, reduce the time to two-three minutes. The garlic should have spice and flavor-filled heat without tasting too green or burning the tastebuds.

You can also opt not to cook the garlic at all. Garlic can be an amazing component for dips and spreads. Pesto, non-traditional tapenade, or an herbed cheese dip; when married with creamy or herbaceous ingredients, the intensity melts into the other ingredients, forming a savory, delectable topping. As with any cold dish, flavors marry better over time. Allow to sit in the fridge for three hours, or overnight, for maximum flavor.

 

Thank you to our friends at Microplane for inspiring us with their sharp edges, Serious Eats for their endless knowledge, Cuisinart, Bon Appetit and  The New York Times Cooking for their supply of delicious recipes, the Garlic Farm for information on the many available varietals, and The Steamy Kitchen for exploring unique ingredients including black garlic.

Be sure to visit us here every Monday to find out What's Cooking. Find us on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration and tips on living life beautifully.

Well Equipped Kitchen: The Three Knives Every Kitchen Needs

  Well-Equipped Kitchen: Knife Knowledge - Part Two

The Three Knives Every Kitchen Needs

                     peppers_knive . 

Whether upgrading or just beginning your knife collection, it's important to be prepared for any task. From slicing peppers to cutting into a crusty loaf of bread, versatility is of the utmost importance. Instead of creating a knife block with 9+ tools, start with the three essential knives every kitchen needs and build your remaining collection based on your needs.

The Chef's Knife

Known as the workhorse and by far the most versatile blade, the chef's knife can often be found on the countertop during, before or after every meal. This blade comes in a variety of sizes and shapes but the rocking motion it allows makes a quick task of chopping, mincing, and dicing. The height of the blade allows a rocking motion and the surface area accommodates a higher volume to be manipulated with each chop. Experienced chefs prefer a longer blade, 8-10" as they're comfortable with the weight, length and need to work with larger amounts of food. For the home cook, it is imperative to assess blades in person for comfort, feel and length. We recommend selecting the longest blade you feel comfortable with as the longer the blade the more versatile it will be. 

One last thing to consider is the selection of a solid blade or a Granton blade which has small divots or holes along the bottom of the blade. Consider the foods you often work with. If you enjoy fileting fish or are often baking and need to dice butter, the hollow option would be a good choice. The break in the surface area allows for foods to break more easily from the blade, essentially a non-stick option.

                                   three_knives

The Paring Knife

Where the Chef's knife masters large tasks and makes quick work of chopping, the paring knife is adept at fine details and dexterity. From peeling a potato to de-seeding peppers and deveining shrimp, this blade is just as essential despite its small size. The one huge advantage to the paring knife is the ability to manipulate food in your hands vs using a cutting board. As with all sharp objects, we encourage caution and a mastery of technique when peeling hard-skinned fruits and vegetables but the advantage is paramount. 

             cutting_bread_serrated_knife          

The Serrated Knife

Often referred to as bread knives, serrated knives are adept at cutting into any overly soft or firm food. This blade's strength is derived from its design. The bottom of the curve acts as spikes, cutting into the food, while the guiles, or scoops up into the blade, help to reduce friction as it cuts. Unlike the other blades, the serrated knife works best when used with less pressure and a sawing motion. Think sweet bread, soft fruit, and delicate cake - this blade will do what the chef and paring knives simply cannot accomplish.

Selection

As with anything, knives vary widely in quality and cost. Be prepared to spend between $125-$350 for your perfect slicing companion and under $50 for a replaceable serrated blade. The staff at Belle Cose is available to answer any questions and help you select the ideal blade to add to your block. It's important to see and feel the knife before you decide what's best for you. A good purchase is well worth the investment.

 

Thank you to our friends at Wusthof Knives for their expertise. 

Check out our previous installment - "Knife Knowledge Part One" to help you select the best quality blade. Visit us here every Monday to find out What's Cooking. Find us on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration and tips on living life beautifully.

Well Equipped Kitchen: Knife Knowledge Part One

  Well-Equipped Kitchen: Knife Knowledge - Part One

   Charcuterie board with meats and cheeses

Knives used for chopping meats & cheeses or slicing into a ripe tomato are vastly different. A well-equipped kitchen possesses the knives you need to tackle everyday tasks as well as special occasions. Although the type of dishes you commonly prepare determines the best knives for your block, the following guidelines will help you choose the best way to select a blade.

Feeling the Heft of the Knife

First, you must hold the knife. Find the bolster - the place where the blade connects to the handle and offers a convenient place to rest the index finger. Look for a knife that balances in your hand as you grip the bolster. The heavier the handle, the longer the tang (the length of the blade that extends into the handle). If not fully balanced, this can indicate that the tang is tapered or partial. This weight and heft will determine your precision with the knife; how fast you can chop, dice and slice. If it's unbalanced or lacking a firm weighted feel appropriate to the size, you'll end up doing more work. 

         Knife and tomatoes on cutting board

Serrated or Non-Serrated?

Soft-fleshed items such as tomatoes need a well-sharpened and/or serrated knife. Cucumbers, on the other hand, can suffice with a straight everyday blade. Either knife would work for a smorgasbord of cheese and cured meats. The main consideration is how often the knife will be used - serrated knives don’t take to sharpening as well over time so you would be best suited to purchase a knife that you could replace within a few years. A straight blade, on the other hand, can last several years if properly cared for. In the next part of this series, we'll discuss a mix of knives to meet all needs and budgets.

How to Care for your Knives

As mentioned above, a dull blade makes for extra work. Knives should be sharpened every three months at minimum, more so if regularly used. If you’re uncomfortable with sharpening blades on your own, a local kitchen shop or knife craftsman is a great resource. Be sure to ask when to expect them returned - some services can take up to two weeks. To reduce the chance of dulling your knives, store them properly with the use of a knife block, drawer insert or magnetic wall mount, all of which come in a range of finishes and appearance.

                                    Kuhn Rikon Colori Line Brightly Colored Knives on Cutting Board

Budget

As with anything, knives vary widely in quality and cost. Be prepared to spend between $125-$350 for your perfect carving companion and under $50 for a replaceable serrated blade. The staff at Belle Cose is available to answer any questions and help you select the ideal blade to add to your block. It's important to see and feel the knife before you decide what's best for you. A good purchase is well worth the investment.

 

Thank you to our friends at livingthegourmet.com for the perfect charcuterie board, Wusthof Knives for their expertise, and Kuhn Rikon for their endless supply of colorful kitchen cutlery.

Look for the next installment in the series - "the three knives every kitchen needs" and visit us here every Monday to find out What's Cooking. Find us on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration and tips on living life beautifully.

The Basics: Perfect Hardboiled Eggs Five Ways

The Basics: Perfect Hardboiled Eggs Five Ways

  

The Basics: Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs Five Ways

three_eggs

Simple recipes can be the most difficult to master, the essential hardboiled egg the epitome. From green rings to an undercooked white, even the peeling process can be a pain. In this case, the trick lies in the method itself. 

For the exact science and more foolproof techniques, head over to Serious Eats, a food blog by Kenji-Lopez. He suggests steaming the eggs instead of placing them directly in boiling water. The result is a perfect hard-steamed egg, every time.

           Hard boiled eggs

Bring one inch of water to boil in a large pot. Place a steamer basket or metal colander atop the pot. Once boiling, gently lower the eggs into the colander/basket in a single layer and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 12 minutes (or 6 minutes if you prefer soft-steamed). 

If you plan to eat them immediately, peel them under cold running water. If you're using them in a recipe for later, place them in a bowl of ice water for a minimum of 15 minutes. This prevents the eggs from continuing to cook and helps solidify them.

                    Egg Sandwich

As for ideas of how to feature these steamed beauties, read on:

Roughly chop them and mix with your favorite grilled vegetables, olive oil, and seasoning. Serve atop a bed of fresh arugula or frisee for a warm, hearty salad.

Mash them with mustard and mayonnaise for an egg spread (baguette and jalapenos optional)

Sauté freshly slice prosciutto with minced garlic, basil, and chopped kale. Top with sliced egg. For the perfect way to slice with no mess, see our OXO Good Grips egg slicer.

Slice and top with salt, pepper and green onion. Serve atop avocado and whole-grain bread.

Deviled eggs are a breeze if you have six hard-steamed eggs ready to go. The variations are endless, our favorite being to mash the yolks with onion powder, stone ground mustard and homemade mayonnaise. Serve with sliced cherry tomatoes and a sprig of parsley.

 

Thank you to our friends at Serious Eats for unlimited kitchen knowledge and OXO Good Grips for versatile kitchen tools.

Visit us here every Monday to find out What's Cooking. Find us on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration and tips on living life beautifully.

What's Cooking?

What's Cooking?

  

Welcome to the Belle Cose Kitchen

strawberry-pink-donuts-KitchenAid

At Belle Cose, we encourage each and every individual to live life beautifully. Through carefully curated accessories and jewelry, we accent special moments and memories with beautiful things. As a supplement to our sophisticated lines, we specialize in modern and tasteful kitchenware. From KitchenAid and Le Creuset to unique additions such Old Dutch International's solid copper mule mugs, each item we carry inspires us to discover new ingredients, recipes and moments in the kitchen.

                                               Le-Creuset-Zuchinni-Rosettes-with-Parsnips-Squash

We do so with beautiful cookware, beautiful kitchens and beautiful meals along with a mess or two. Hearty salads with seasonal produce, decadent brunches that dance with flour and butter, and light, clean dishes that surprise your tastebuds. Every meal we make is created with the lines we trust to deliver the best result, each and every time. 

                                               Old-Dutch-Inc-Copper-Mugs-Moscow-Mule

Navigate to fabulous featured recipes by clicking on the photos above. We encourage you to participate in the forums below. Let us know which meals you’d like us to make or any kitchen questions you may have. From selecting and caring for your kitchen tools to choosing the best ingredients and techniques to make every meal memorable.

 

Thank you to our friends at Kitchen Aid for their delicious strawberry donuts, Le Creuset for their take on vegetable rosettes, domesticate-me for a perfect twist on a moscow mule and Old Dutch International for their beautiful copper mugs.

Visit us here every Monday to find out What's Cooking and find us on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration and tips on living life beautifully.

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