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M-J de Mesterton

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M-J's Elegant Steak-Frites

Pound coarsely ground pepper and the salt of your choice into steaks with a mallet. Fry them in butter until the desired level of cooking has been attained. I cooked the tri-tip steaks pictured here for fifteen minutes on each side. 
See Elegant Vegetables page for my pommes frites recipe.



Elegant Pineapple Pork Chops
M-J's Method
Soy sauce, pineapple juice, dried red chile peppers and a bit of brown sugar are used to marinate these elegant pork-chops. They are then placed on a broiling-pan which has on its bottom level the pineapple and marinating liquid. The pork is browned and turned over. When the pork chops are done on both sides, the pineapple will be well-cooked and seasoned in the bottom of the broiling-pan.
©M-J de Mesterton

Asian Pork Dish, Broiled Pineapple, Broiled Pork Chops, Chile, Chile Peppers,Dried Chile, Elegant Cook, Elegant Cuisine Asian Food, Pineapple Pork, Red Chile, Soy Sauce, Spicy Pork 

M-J's Elegant Sauce Velouté for Chicken

Sauce Velouté for an Elegant Dinner Dish Made with Poached Chicken Breasts

M-J's Sauce Velouté Recipe
Save the broth from poaching chicken breasts, and make elegant sauce velouté, a classic feature of French cuisine. For this recipe, I would prefer the chicken poaching liquid to contain just salt, white wine, water, and a spoonful of lemon juice.
Make a roux with about two tablespoons each of butter and flour. Stir it until light tan and bubbly.
Add about two cups of chicken broth or poaching liquid, stirring it in quickly.
Cook the ingredients until smooth.
When the sauce is very thick, slowly add a half-cup of cream and incorporate it well, cooking on low heat for another minute. I like to use bamboo tools, because they do not scratch my cookware.

Elegant Sauce Velouté, a French Classic with Many Applications
If you don't plan to use it right away, it is perfectly acceptable to store your sauce velouté in a jar, and refrigerate or freeze until needed. Thaw the sauce slowly in a covered pan or pot, and add some white wine or champagne to taste. Cream may also be stirred-in until the sauce is at the consistency that you prefer. Dress your chicken in this elegant French sauce velouté. It is very good to have at hand for impromptu gatherings, together with some poached and sliced chicken breasts. These two ingredients guarantee you a quickly-prepared, elegant dinner party offering.

©M-J de Mesterton 2010 


M-J's Elegant Meatloaf

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 9:20 AM  

Lining an Oven-Proof Baking Dish with Bacon

Perfectly-Cooked Eggs are Enveloped in Ground Beef Mixed with Sage, Savoury, Parsley, Sautéed Onions and Yellow Peppers ~~©M-J de Mesterton~~ Elegant Meat-Loaf, Baking in a Moderate Oven for an Hour
Elegant Bacon and Egg Meatloaf is Served
 Meatloaf can be elegant!
M-J's Elegant Bacon and Egg Meatloaf, Ready to Slice ~~©M-J de Mesterton~~

Categories: Traditional Foods, Elegant Cook, Elegant Recipes Elegant Cookery, Elegant Cooking, Elegant Dining, Elegant Parties, Elegant Dinner Party, Elegant Cocktail Party, Elegant Entertaining, Elegant Cakes, Elegant Dessert, Elegant Main Dishes, Elegant Meat, Elegant Cheese, French Cheese, Serving Elegant Food, Elegant Food, M-J de Mesterton, Elegant Cook, How to Be Elegant.Elegant Cooking, Elegant Soup, Elegant Salad, Elegant Luncheon, Elegant Dish, Elegant Hosting, Elegant Entertaining, Elegant Dining, Elegant Spa Food,Elegant Meat Dishes, Elegant Steak, Elegant Roast, Elegant Pot au Feu, Pot au Feu, Steak-Frites, Elegant Health Food, Elegant Cookery, Elegant Cook

Below: Broiled Green Chile Cheeseburgers

Elegant Pot Roast of Beef

Elegant Roast Beef with New Potatoes

Elegant Beefsteak Fajitas

Beefsteak strips are seasoned (combine your choice of chile powders, comino, seasoning salt and/or onion and garlic powders; shake in a bag to coat meat bits) and fried in olive oil, then served on a sautéed flour tortilla, accompanied by yellow pear tomatoes and sliced avocado.
©M-J de Mesterton 2012


Sugo di Carne alla Romagna

Emilia-Romagna, Italia

Sugo di Carne alla Romagna

Three slices of bacon, prosciutto di Parma, or pancetta, diced
One onion, chopped or diced
Six stalks of celery, sliced and diced
Two carrots, diced
Two tablespoons of butter
Two pounds of ground beef
One tablespoon of flour
One-half cup of cream
One cup of white wine
One half-teaspoon of nutmeg
Pepper, preferably white

In a large, heavy pot, sauté the diced bacon in until brown. Add the butter, then your chopped and diced vegetables. When they are slightly browned and soft, add the ground beef, stirring until all beef is finely incorporated into the other ingredients. Stir in the tablespoon of flour and spices, mixing well. When the beef has turned grey and is of a fine consistency, add one half-cup of cream, mix well, and then pour in the cup of white wine. Simmer on low heat for at least one hour. This is a suitable sauce for any sort of pasta, and when cooked down to an adequately think consistency, a classic filling for lasagne.

~~Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009



Elegant Meat Dishes

M-J's Original Sauce Ragú

Sautéed Vegetables for M-J's Sauce Ragú
Bread rises at left of stove, using the warmth from sautéed vegetables.

Click to Enlarge

The Second Stage of Cooking M-J's Sauce Ragôut Involves Incorporating Liquid Ingredients

Third Stage of Cooking: Simmering for Nine Hours Yields a Rich, Dark Meat Sauce

This mixture of ground beef, celery, capsicums, bacon, onion, tomatoes, garlic, spices, herbs and wine will cook for nine or ten hours on very low heat, and become a zesty, rich meat sauce ragôut or ragú. Ideally, after the initial sautéeing and mixing process, the elegant meat sauce ragôut would be put into a slow-cooker or Crock-Pot (by Rival).
Recipe and Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton
 cooking with wine, Elegant Meat Dish, Elegant Meat Sauce, M-J de Mesterton Original Recipes, meat sauce, Ragôut, Ragú, sauce ragú

Tamales of the American Southwest and México

Tamales are any combination of meat, cheese and chiles encompassed in ground maize and cooked in a natural corn or vegetable wrapper. They are very popular in México, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and California. 


 Elegant Meat Dishes

 Elegant Pot Roast of Beef


Roasted beef can be cooked and served with potatoes and other vegetables, sliced in sandwiches, and shredded for tamale filling. Roast beef contains very little fat and lots of protein.

Austerity Meat Dishes 


Elegant Hamburgers
With home-made buns and a simple, fresh dressing. hamburgers can be an elegant part of your austerity regimen.
M-J's recipe for home-made hamburger buns may be found on the Bread page at the Elegant Cook.
The Elegant, Nutritious Taco 
Tacos contain not only ground or shredded meat, but lettuce, tomatoes and cheese as well. Scroll down this page  for a pictorial on Taco Day at the ranch.


Depictions of Various Meat Dishes from Mrs Beeton


A Delicious Swedish Hamburger
Biff à La Lindström

This is said to have been originated by Adolf Henrik Lindström, the expedition cook for South Pole explorer Roald Amundsen. It is also said to have been created by Henrik Lindström, a Swede living in St. Petersburg, Russia (that was not unusual in the previous two centuries; my cousin, Baron Michel de Taube, noted for writing a history of the Knights of Malta, was a jurisdoctor at the university there). Whoever invented this tasty dish had a well-stocked pantry, complete with pickled beets and capers. These are kitchen essentials for which there are many uses. Pickled beets come in both cans and jars. Capers are like little peas that grow on vines; the ones packed in small glasses or jars are usually tiny and briny. They're good on hors d'oeuvres and with salmon. I received a jar of large capers from an Italian girlfriend, which I  chopped into smaller pieces for this hamburger dish. There are many versions of Biff à La Lindström available today, and some omit the cream. That's a calorie-saving, modern idea, of which I wouldn't dream!
1 pound ground beef
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cold mashed potatoes*
3/4 cup of whipping cream (in the absence of this, you may substitute 3 tablespoons of sour cream or crême fraiche, thinned with 1/4 cup of milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup minced pickled beets
i minced onion
2 tablespoons capers

Mix beef, egg, potatoes, salt and pepper. Stir in remaining ingredients. Shape mixture into 8 patties, each about 1/2 inch thick.
Fry the beef patties (my grandmother would call them "meatballs", whether they were flat or round) in butter until crispy on each side.
Top each patty with fried egg if desired.
Yields 4 servings.
*Variation: omit the mashed potatoes from the meatball mixture, and serve them on the side.
©M-J de Mesterton 
Elegant Meat Recipes

M-J's Elegant Tri-Tip Roast

Tri-Tip Pot Roast with Chunky Mirepois
Marinate a tri-tip roast in red or port wine, Worcestershire sauce, coarsely ground black pepper, seasoning salt, and a little bit of  olive, peanut or corn oil. After a few hours, dry the roast and reserve the remaining marinade for sauce. Dust the meat with salt and pepper. This absorbs the external moisture to help in searing the roast. In a Dutch Oven, or a big, heavy pot, melt a half-stick of butter on high heat, when the butter begins to brown, lower the meat into the pot. Brown it on all sides, Add coarsely chopped onion, celery, carrots (miniature peeled carrots are perfect for this dish), and some quartered potatoes. Stir these vegetables in the pot around the roast, cooking them  until their edges are brown, and then add one or two cups of beef broth (depending upon the size of your roast)  mixed with the marinade. Stir the vegetables again, let the liquid come to a boil, then lower the heat to simmering and and cover the pot. Cook to your desired degree. I cook mine about one hour, because we like it well-done. For company, you may want to cook it medium-well, leaving the middle pink. Remove the meat and vegetables. I make gravy from what is remaining in the pot. After the meat has cooled a bit, I slice it very thinly with a very sharp Japanese ceramic knife. You can put the sliced beef on a platter, on top of a shallow pool of the gravy. Trim the beef by placing vegetables around it. If you have a warming tray, set your platter on it to keep the dish warm. Alternatively, you may arrange the meat and vegetables in a buffet-handled pan and reheat on the stove just before serving.

Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008

M-J's Cornish-Style Pasties

I’ve been making Cornish pasties since the age of 20. My mother wrote a book about the pasty and its history which was published in 1990, but my method and ingredients differ from hers. The following is  my pasty (pronounced “pass-tee”) recipe: I will not formally transcribe my recipe and method for making pasties, because  I never use measurements. I can tell you, however, that they are made with a short crust containing both butter and lard, water, a teaspoon of malt vinegar, and unbleached, plain white flour. Since salted butter is used in the dough, add just a dash of salt to it.  I add sea-salt and hand-milled pepper to the filling, which consists of  four raw ingredients, diced very finely: tri-tip steak, which is always well-marbled and never tough (do not pre-cook the meat); ordinary, high-starch brown-skinned potatoes, turnips, butter bits, and white or Spanish onions. The finely-diced beef and vegetables are tossed together in a mixing bowl with the salt and pepper before being laid upon the dough, dotted with butter and enclosed. The edges are crimped, either on top or on the side of the pasty, and a couple of well-placed slits are made in the top to allow steam to escape. The final product is brushed with a beaten egg mixed with a teaspoon of cream. The pasties are then baked in a very hot oven for close to one hour. Once the pasties have cooled for about twenty minutes, serve with an oil-and-vinegar-dressed lettuce salad. Offer Cornish cream, Spanish or Mexican Crema, or sour cream as an optional condiment. The pasties depicted here, which I made,  are the optimum size for a meal; the dough for them was shaped into a ball about half the size of a woman’s closed hand, then was rolled out and cut around a 7″ luncheon plate.  Making giant pasties just isn’t elegant, nor is it traditionally Cornish. I also make miniature pasties for parties, by using a tin can or the bottom, inner ridge of the same luncheon plate as a cutting guide. These mini-pasties are easily eaten by hand with a cocktail napkin to catch any pastry-flakes. For a basic short-crust guide, please see my Elegant Apple Pie recipe.~~Recipe and Pasty Photos Copyright M-J de Mesterton

Pictured: Cornish Pasties Made by M-J de Mesterton


A Classic Pork Dish

Elegant Pork Chops Esterhazy





A family member made this for me long ago. It was delicious! Here is my adaptation of the classic dish:

Pork Chops Esterhazy, or Côtes de Porc Esterhazy



6 Center-Cut Loin Pork Chops



Vegetable Oil (corn or peanut oils are fine)



Carrots, chopped



Celery, chopped



Onions, chopped



Garlic, minced






Bay leaf



of Dried or Fresh Parsley



Dry White Wine



Chicken Broth



Tomato Paste



Dijon Mustard



Sour Cream



Capers, drained

Method :

  • 1. Heat the oil in a large skillet large enough to hold the chops in one layer. Add the chops and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 5 min.
  • 2. Scatter the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, bayleaf and parsley around the chops. Cover and cook 10 min.
  • 3. Blend the wine, chicken broth and tomato paste and add to the skillet. Cover closely and cook about 25 min. longer, turning the chops once.
  • 4. Remove the chops and keep hot.
  • Add the mustard and sour cream to the skillet and stir. Bring just to a boil, but do not boil or the sour cream will curdle. Put the sauce through a fine sieve, pressing down with a wooden spoon to extract the liquid flavorings from the vegetables.
  • 5. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and add the capers. Reheat gently without boiling.
  • 6. Spoon the sauce over the chops.
  • This is a wonderful dinner party dish. Serve with rice or noodles on the side.


The Crock-Pot is an energy-efficient way to slow-cook meat dishes.


Elegant Pasta and M-J's Meat Sauce

Shirataki Noodles wth Meat Sauce and Cheese

Rinse and dry enough Japanese shirataki noodles to feed your dieting diners (they are considered calorie-free and fibre-rich). Put them in a non-stick baking pan and cover the noodles with the meat sauce of your choice (mine is cooked with wine for ten hours in a slow-cooker). Add mozzarella and/or Parmesan cheese and bake for about twenty minutes in a hot oven. This is a splendid dish to eat when you are on a low-carbohydrate, high-protein regimen.

~~M-J de Mesterton


M-J's Slow-Cooked Meat Sauce, an Italian-French Hybrid

Ground beef, 3 lbs. or 1.130 kg

One large onion

Four cloves of garlic, chopped finely

One bell pepper (capsicum, any colour), diced 

Two carrots, diced

Four celery ribs, chopped into small pieces

A few slices of hard, pork-based sausage (French, Italian, Spanish or Mexican style), chopped finely (pepperoni is all right)

One small can of tomato paste (170 g or 6 ounces)

One bottle of inexpensive red wine

Herbes de Provence 




Put all these ingredients into a Crock Pot (trademark Rival) or other electric slow-cooker, and cook at two hours on high setting, just to get it going, followed by eight hours on low or warm setting. If you must leave the house and go to work for eight hours, start the sauce on high setting while you are getting ready, then stir and put it on the low or warm setting when you leave. I have cooked this meat sauce overnight on "warm" after two hours on "high" setting, with great success. Different machines vary; just make sure that the heat is low enough that the sauce doesn't burn while you are gone. And remember to stir it once in a while if you are staying home, during which time you may add more water or wine to the pot and season as needed. This meat sauce is good on any type of pasta or noodle, as well as rice. You will likely have a lot of sauce left-over, and this one freezes very well.

Recipe Copyright 2006 ©M-J de Mesterton, the Elegant Cook

M-J's Red & Green Burritos

Posted by Picasa

Southwest Steak Salad

Southwestern Steak Salad

Total preparation and cooking time: 30 to 40 minutes

1 pound boneless beef round tip steaks, cut 1/4-inch thick

1 large egg

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced

1 tablespoon of water

1 cup saltine cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

4 to 6 tablespoons of vegetable or corn oil

6 cups mixed salad greens

1 cucumber, seeded and sliced

1-1/2 cups diced tomatoes

Chopped cilantro

Dressing: 1/2 cup of prepared Italian dressing or vinaigrette,

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced, and 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce

1. Whisk dressing ingredients in small bowl until blended. Set aside.

2. Beat egg, chipotle peppers and water in shallow dish until blended. Combine cracker crumbs and 3 tablespoons cilantro in second shallow dish. Dip each beef steak into egg mixture, then into crumb mixture to coat both sides.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat until hot. Place 1 to 2 steaks in skillet. (Do not overcrowd.). Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until coating is golden brown and beef is medium rare to medium doneness, turning once. (Steaks can be cooked to well-done if desired.) Remove; keep warm. Repeat with remaining steaks, adding additional oil as needed and adjusting heat as necessary to prevent over-browning.

4. Divide the salad greens evenly among 4 plates. Top evenly with cucumber and tomatoes. Top each with steaks. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with cilantro, as desired. Makes 4 servings.

Cook’s Tip: To make cracker crumbs, place crackers in food-safe plastic bag; close bag securely, squeezing out air. Crush crackers with rolling pin to form fine crumbs. Twenty eight to thirty 2 x 2-inch crackers make about 1 cup crumbs.

Nutrition information per serving: 494 calories; 32 g fat (6 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat); 128 mg cholesterol; 693 mg sodium; 23 g carbohydrate; 4.3 g fiber; 29 g protein; 9.4 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 1.5 mcg vitamin B12; 4.9 mg iron; 32.2 mcg selenium; 4.8 mg zinc.

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc; and a good source of fiber.

Elegant Taco Luncheon




 Harvest Taco Luncheon

Posted at 04:35 PM on October 20, 2009  

Instead of going out and catching a virus, how about staying home and creating a southwest taco  luncheon? I used harvest vegetables: tomatillos, poblano peppers, green chiles, and onions, all chopped and sautéed together. Then I added  two pounds of  ground beef, two tablespoons of Tone's taco seasoning, and some New Mexico chile powder. Grated sharp Tillamook Cheddar cheese and shredded Romaine lettuce were set in bowls to accompany the taco meat. Taco shells were a pre-made Texan brand, baked for ten minutes in a 350-degree oven. ©M-J de Mesterton


M-J's Elegant Chicken Dishes


Painting by Pieter Claesz, Dutch Master
Elegant Penne al Alfredo with Poached Chicken

Tortillas Fresqui-ricas con Pollo, Queso y Aguacate

Guerrero of Irvine, Texas: Thin and Elegant Raw Flour Tortillas, "Ready for the Comal (grill-pan)" 

Roll and serve with a pitcher of salsa picante (mine is made with Chiles Serranos en Escabeche by  La Costeña (México), blended with a can of chopped tomatoes, lime and cilantro).

M-J's Poulet Velouté en Croute

Original Recipe Using Pepperidge Farm Puff-Pastry Shells
Poulet Velouté en Croute

A deep pan with a lid is ideal for this recipe. You will also need a baking sheet.
Three boxes of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells, twelve shells total (variation: use M-J’s biscuit dough and line a baking dish with it, top and bottom, filled with the prepared chicken velouté)
Six boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Two cups of white wine (leftover champagne is also suitable)
One cup of water
Four tablespoons of butter
One third cup of white flour
One teaspoon of herbes de Provence
Salt and white pepper to taste
One half cup of whipping cream
Two eggs beaten with two tablespoons of water, for brushing the pastry shells

Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan. Add one cup of white wine or champagne and one cup of water, together with salt and white pepper. Poach chicken breasts in white wine and water mixture until they are fully cooked; about forty-five minutes. Remove chicken breasts from pan and let them cool to room temperature.

Sauce Velouté
In the same pan, melt three tablespoons of butter. With a wire whisk, stir in 1/3 cup of white flour. Let this brown and then add one cup of white wine, whisking continually to prevent lumps. Incorporate the cream, and stop cooking after the sauce has thickened. Add salt and white pepper to taste.

Prepare the Puff Pastry Shells

Place 12 Pepperidge Farm puff pastry shells on baking sheets, and let thaw for twenty minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 400* Fahrenheit.
Brush puff pastry shells with egg and water mixture.
Bake for twenty minutes or until golden brown.

Slice the cooled chicken breasts into thin scallops, and return the chicken to the pan where it will be mixed with the sauce velouté, and reheated briefly on the stove.

Remove Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells from oven. Lift top of each puff pastry shell and fill with poulet velouté. Replace top. Bake the filled puff pastry shells in a 400* oven for ten minutes.

Serve with petit pois and vinaigrette salad. Poulet Velouté en Croute made with Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells is an ideal dish for brunch, luncheon or dinner. This recipe provides two servings each for six people.

Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton December, 2008

Tags: Chicken, Cooking with Wine, Elegant Appetizers, Elegant Chicken, Elegant Cocktail Party, Elegant Cuisine, Elegant Entertaining, Elegant Main Dishes, Elegant Parties, Elegant Pie, M-J's Recipes, Main Dishes, elegant recipes, Champagne Chicken, Chicken Dish, Chicken in Crust, Chicken Velouté, Dinner Party Chicken, Elegant Chicken, M-J Recipe, M-J's Buttermilk Biscuits, Original Recipe M-J de Mesterton, Poulet en Croute

M-J’s Pink Lemonade Chicken

I invented this dish for a dinner party guest who was pregnant. She loved it. Other guests did as well, so I have made my Pink Lemonade Chicken for many buffet dinners. Now, I am inspired by my dear nieces and nephews who are expecting babies soon, so I am publishing this recipe for the first time. The ingredients are simple and few, and you may adjust the amounts according to taste.

Four-to-six pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
One 16-ounce can of frozen pink lemonade
One tablespoon of cornstarch
Salt or celery salt to-taste
Water, two or three cups

Poach chicken breasts in a mixture composed of  2/3 of a 16-ounce frozen pink lemonade juice and two or three cups of water.
When it is thawed, the pink lemonade turns to thick syrup. One large can will be sufficient for four-to-six pounds of chicken. Reserve a third of the can for a final sauce.

Cover the boneless, skinless chicken breasts and simmer slowly in the pink lemonade for an hour or more. You may add salt or celery salt, but remember, this dish is created for those with delicate stomachs, so please don’t add garlic or onion flavorings. The liquid will reduce and the whole pieces of chicken should become lightly browned. Remove from heat and place on top of two sheets of waxed paper to protect your cutting board.  When the chicken breasts are cool, slice them into medallions with a very sharp knife. The liquid left-over in the poaching pan will be used to make a sauce.

Sauce for Pink Lemonade Chicken

Into the pan, pour 3/4 cup of water and a teaspoon of cornstarch, which has been mixed with a tablespoon of water. Add the 1/3 can of remaining pink lemonade syrup. Cook till it becomes a sauce. Pour some of it on the base of your serving dish. Arrange the slices of chicken in a circular fashion. When you have finished arranging the chicken slices, drizzle the rest of the pink lemonade sauce over them.

Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2000