The Elegant Cook

M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Cook Notes

Gallo Dry Salame

Posted on February 9, 2014 at 12:50 PM

America's best dry salame has been made in San Lorenzo, California, near San Francisco, by the Gallo company, since 1910. This Italian-style sausage is perfect with red wine, French bread and cheese.

Saint Albray cheese, a perfect complement to dry salame, French bread and red wine. It slices beautifully and is mild and moist, but still retains its body despite its creamy nature. Saint Albray's enduring success comes from its distinctive taste. As a young soft ripened cheese, St. Albray resembles a rich and mellow Camembert, but with a less intense flavor. Within its mysterious aging process, St. Albray develops the hearty, robust flavor of a traditional washed-rind cheese. Its ivory center contrasts well with its colorful rind. Serve Saint Albray with a Pinot Noir or other red wine such as Chianti.

Pan-Roasted Pecans

Posted on November 24, 2013 at 4:30 PM

It seems that everyone adores pecans, either prepared in pastries or raw. The following recipe transforms this popular American nut into a simple, savoury canapé. I have been making these elegant, crispy pecans to accompany drinks at festive gatherings for two decades.

M-J's Pan-Roasted Party Pecans

In a large pan, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add a half-teaspoon of seasoning salt. Pour into this mixture three tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. If desired, sprinkle in some cayenne pepper to your taste. Mix. Into the pan, add your three or more cups of whole, raw pecans. Using a wooden spoon, stir these seasoned nuts frequently over a medium flame. Remove one, let it cool a minute, taste and adjust your seasonings accordingly. Continue to stir pecans, roasting them on both sides. When the pecans become a bit darker but are not burnt, they are ready to spread out on a large platter to cool. Once these savoury pecans are room-temperature, they will have assumed a crispy and non-greasy consistency. Serve immediately or store them in an attractive tin, where they will last approximately two weeks.

 COPYRIGHT M-J de Mesterton 2013

Elegant Bowl on Platter

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 11:25 AM
A Noritake antique bowl atop a California platter is an elegant serving presentation for crudites and dip. ©M-J de Mesterton, Elegant Decorating

M-J's Tahini-Cucumber Canapés

Posted on June 12, 2011 at 2:46 PM
Making the canapé cups from thin tortillas is easy. Coat them with olive oil on both sides, cut into small round shapes (I use an empty tomato-paste can) and place in a mini-muffin pan, then bake them in a moderately hot oven until puffy and light brown. Mix tahini with lemon juice and seasoning salt. Using a pastry bag, fill the puffy areas of the cups with this sauce, or simply spread it onto their surfaces. Top these with pieces of cucumber.
©M-J de Mesterton

M-J's Brioche Recipe in Pictures

Posted on April 30, 2011 at 12:25 PM
 M-J de Mesterton's Original Brioche Recipe in Pictures
©Copyright April 30th, 2011
Click on photos to enlarge images.


Some other posts by M-J, about brioche, can be seen here.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Apple-Ginger Slush

Posted on January 2, 2011 at 2:16 PM

M-J's Elegant Cocktail Burgers

Posted on May 23, 2010 at 9:46 AM


M-J's Elegant Low-Carb Burger Canapés

Posted on May 21, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Toast rounds made with whole-grain bread, topped with malt vinegar mayonnaise and Worcestershire-flavoured hamburger patties make a low-carbohydrate, low glycemic-index canapé or luncheon dish. Flatten slices of whole-grain bread with a rolling pin. Cut out round pieces from their middles--I use a water chestnut can. Brush the rounds of bread with melted butter and bake until lightly toasted. Following my recipe for mayonnaise, use malt vinegar for the acid component. Mix ground beef with Worcestershire sauce and freshly ground black pepper. Flatten the meat mixture and cut out round pieces the same size as the toast rounds. Fry or grill the burgers until they do not emit pink juice (this is a neat cocktail burger that everyone can eat, not a recipe for steak tartare). Set the hamburger patties to drain on a plate. Spread  mayonnaise on the circular pieces of toast. Assemble the burgers just before serving them. Do not top the burgers with more toast. Classic canapés have toast as a base. These elegant, simple low-carb burgers are easy to eat by hand or with a knife and fork. Men love them!

Photo and Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2010