Ladybugs – Coccinelles

IMG_1534Ingredients;

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

a bag of spinach, or arugula salad

1 small can or jar of black, small olives

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 tsp corn starch

8 oz feta cheese

Cut one end of each tomato, to leave place for the head. Cut them in half lengthwise, cut half of the back as on the picture.

Cut one end of each olive, then cut in half to make the head.

Cut 1/2″ slices in the cheese. Depending on the size, cut in 4, 6 or 8 wedges.

Put a leaf of salad on each wedge, a ladybug on top.

Dilute the cornstarch in the cold vinegar. Bring to a boil, stir for about one minute until the liquid is more like a cream. Let this cool down, then place in a ziplock, cut a corner and make the dots on the tomatoes.

Voila, bon appétit !

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Poulet a la Concannon – Chicken a la Concannon

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I created this recipe for my friends Helen and Jim Concannon and to honor the Livermore Valley’s wine heritage. It’s like a coq au vin, but with a few new twists.

You will need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chicken cut in 6 or 8 pieces
4 ounces bacon, diced
Sea salt and 12 black peppercorns
A few garlic cloves
1/2 bottle (375 ml) to 1 bottle red Concannon wine
1 cup broth (optional)
1 fresh rosemary sprig
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 pound small whole onions, peeled
1/2 pound small mushrooms, cleaned
3 ounces black olives with their juice
zest from one organic lemon

Directions:

Day 1

Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof pot. Add the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly.

Add the wine, if you put only half a bottle, add a cup of broth or water. The meat should be covered by the liquid, adjust if necessary.

Add the peppercorns, 2 teaspoons salt, garlic cloves, lemon zest and rosemary. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then let cook on low heat for one hour.

Day 2

Filter the juice and discard the peppercorn, garlic, zest and rosemary.

In a saute pan, brown the bacon (remove), then the onions (remove), then the mushrooms. Cook each ingredient until brown. Transfer them to the pot with the chicken.

In the pot, add the olives with their juice, and the honey. Mix the cornstarch with some cold water in a small bowl, until totally smooth. Then transfer to the pot.

Bring the stew to a  simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. If the sauce is too liquid, adjust with more cornstarch.

You can do this dish in one day but it’s better reheated. You can add the juice of one lemon at the last minute. I just used the stove but you can do most of the cooking – except the browning – in the oven at 350 degres F.

Bon appétit !

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