Beecher’s Cheddar Mac and Cheese

When we all get together for lunch at Art Culinaire, we often choose comfort foods to cook and share. For me, that means elevated and locally sourced versions of some of our family favorites, like whole roasted organic free-range chicken done simply, yet delicious; or scratch mac and cheese made with local Pacific Northwest cheddar in a decidedly French way. Below is my recipe and method for a fairly easy version of homemade macaroni and cheese.

Beecher’s Cheddar Mac and Cheese

4 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of flour
3 cups of milk
1 pound of Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar (or other white cheddar cheese you like)
1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
fresh ground pepper

Directions:
Basically, you are going to create a roux, add milk to create a cream sauce and then add cheese.

More specifically:
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Doing this part on the traditional (French) plate works exceptionally well. Whisk in flour quickly, it will form a paste. Slowly add your milk, while whisking to prevent clumps. The sauce will thicken in about 8 minutes, continue to stir. Add grated cheese gradually, allowing the cheese to melt. This will take about 3-4 minutes.

Cook your pasta (macaroni) al dente so that it will absorb the sauce, strain it and incorporate well into the cheese sauce mixture. You can finish the mac and cheese in the oven for 20 minutes, or simply serve as is!

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

We love warm breakfast goodies on a cold, snowy day. These are quick and simple to make, if you have a few key ingredients on hand. I like to keep some citrus extracts in the pantry, and frozen blueberries and cherries in the freezer. Feel free to substitute the blueberries for another fruit and the lemon extract with vanilla or orange. (Cherry Orange Muffins are delicious, too!)

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 tbl baking powder
1 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:

¾ cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tsp lemon extract (or lemon zest)
½ cup avocado oil
2/3 cup sugar

1 cup blueberries (frozen is fine. Wild Blueberries are extra tasty!)

Preheat oven to 375°F combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients, plus sugar. Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing until smooth, and then add one cup of blueberries.

Scoop into muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Homemade Granola in the Warming Cupboard

One of the truly wonderful things about choosing a Lacanche range that suits your individual cooking style and entertaining needs is all of the versatile options available. Since my husband is a winemaker, we like to host small dinners in our home and open up lots of great wines from different regions. We recently remodeled our kitchen and the warming cupboard seemed like an obvious choice for our new Lacanche range. I use the warming cupboard for all sorts of things – more than I expected even – including proofing bread and pizza dough, making low temperature dishes or warming things slowly, and of course, keeping food and plates warm for service.

My favorite use for the warming cupboard is making homemade granola. Having the ability to set the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit and leave the granola for an hour and a half makes this the perfect granola making oven! Making homemade granola is super simple and you can adjust the ingredients to include anything you like, really. My personal go-to recipe is below. Happy Cooking!

Walnut and Dried Cherry Granola

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

3 cups rolled oats (I like the Organic Rolled Oats from Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 cup vegetable oil ( I use avocado oil)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup local honey

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp all spice

1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.)

1 cup dried cherries (or raisins, dried mango, dried coconut.. endless options!)

In a large bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients, except for dried fruit. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and oil. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly. I leave the dried cherries (or other fruit) out until the end because they are already dry enough and don’t really need to spend time in the oven. Spread the granola mixture out on two parchment covered cookie sheets evenly, without clumps. Place your granola covered cookie sheets in preheated warming cupboard for approximately 90 minutes. For crunchier granola, raise the temperature to 250 and check after 90 minutes.

Allow granola to cool before packing to store in airtight containers. Keeps for two weeks or more at room temperature.

Pancakes on the Plancha

This week I decided to try making pancakes on the plancha on my Chagny 1400 Lacanche range. I started out by grabbing a recipe out of “Big Bad Breakfast” by James Beard Award winning Chef John Currence – “Silver Dollar and Short Stack Buttermilk Pancakes.” The recipe is perfect for super light and fluffy pancakes and can be found online on the James Beard website (though I highly recommend getting the cookbook).

After whipping up the batter, putting a small amount of coconut oil across the surface of the plancha and allowing it to come to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (about 20 minutes), I used a ladle to pour six 3″ pancakes.

The wonderful thing about cooking pancakes (and other foods) on the electric plancha is the heat consistency. Without the plancha, many times the first pancakes are super light in color and take forever to cook through and by the time you get to the last batch, they are too brown on the outside. With the plancha, because you are able to set the temperature, all of the pancakes turn out a gorgeous golden brown and are cooked perfectly.

We enjoyed our super fluffy silver dollar pancakes with some butter and pure Bourbon barrel maple syrup. Delicious!

The true bonus was the clean up. Afterward, I allowed the plancha to cool down and then wiped it with a damp cloth – easy as can be and all shiny and new!

If you have questions about the care and use of your range, or any of the accessories available, please call or email our Customer Care Department at 425-481-8850 or care@frenchranges.com.

Happy Cooking!

Cooking Classes on a Lacanche!

Our motto here at Art Culinaire is “Bringing Your Family Back to the Table,”  and what better way to do that than to visit a cooking school that allows you to learn new skills, while cooking on a Lacanche Range!

We know of several different opportunities for doing just that. For example:

AA Cooks – Houston, Texas – Amy Anton
Ackerman House – Napa, California – Various Chefs
Weekend Kitchen – Essex, Connecticut – Various Chefs
Paris on the Eastside – Seattle, Washington – Muriel Foucher
Cook’s Atelier – Beaune, France – Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini

AA Cooks

Amy cooks constantly from her home in Houston where she hosts cooking classes twice a week on her Stainless Steel Lacanche Sully range. Amy’s classes share intimate, hands-on cooking and culinary experiences with writers, local artisans and chefs. These classes expand to include home cooks in unique locations around Texas.

Amy says, “My cooking lessons are very low key, and you don’t have to be a great cook to come. I always talk about basic ideas as we always need a refresh. I like to cook fresh, seasonal food that is easy to throw together without a lot of fuss. My over arching goal is just to get people in their kitchens, cooking more and enjoying it. Cooking should not be a chore, it should be a joyful experience that brings satisfaction to you, your friends, and family.”

Learn more about Amy in our original blog post here. 

Ackerman Heritage House

The Ackerman Heritage House in Napa, California is a meticulously and lovingly restored Victorian home that dates back to 1888. Lauren Ackerman is the owner proprietor and also owns Ackerman Family Vineyards, so you can add wine tasting to your visit.

This fall, the Ackerman Heritage House is hosting a variety of cooking events featuring several different chefs, including Pie Baking, English Tea Service and Holiday Cookie Baking. You can view the full schedule here.

And for more information on Lauren, view our blog post here.

Weekend Kitchen

Nancy Kirkiles started her cooking school in Essex, Connecticut about 5 years ago. She has a PhD in nutritional biochemistry, so, as she says, “Food is so important.” Growing up, Nancy’s father owned a restaurant, so she is no stranger to the business. Nancy prefers to use healthy, fresh and locally sourced ingredients in her cooking.

Weekend Kitchen features approximately 3 classes per month, usually on Tuesday or Saturday evenings. Classes include topics like Sourdough Bread Baking, Canning and Preserving Food, Vegetarian Asian Food and more! You can find more information on classes and availability here.

Paris on the Eastside

Muriel Foucher is a staff favorite – particularly because she came to visit our headquarters in Washington and we all cooked lunch with her! She says, “At Paris Eastside, we believe that everybody can cook. For the past 15 years, we have been teaching simple, but elegant French fare – first in Paris, then in Seattle.” Muriel is well known for her French macaron classes, but she also will do dinner cooking classes in your home for a group of your friends. For a truly personal experience, Muriel is top-notch.

You can find more information about Paris on the Eastside classes here.

The Cook’s Atelier

The Cook’s Atelier is housed in a 17th Century building in the heart of Beaune, France and is an amazing place for lovers of all things culinary and especially the aesthetically beautiful. People travel from all over to learn to cook from these two amazing chefs, who happen to be mother and daughter. Marjorie and Kendall are Americans who followed their dreams and moved their families to the idyllic Burgundy wine country, where they teach, cook, dine and share quaffable wines with locals and foreigners alike. Oh, and did we mention the cooking classes take place on a Lacanche Sully range?

If you are heading to France, you might consider taking a slight detour to the home of pinot noir in France. For more information about The Cook’s Atelier, click here.

You can also find their wonderful cookbook here.

Follow them on Instagram:

AA Cooks – Houston, Texas – Amy Anton
Ackerman House – Napa, California – Various Chefs
Weekend Kitchen – Essex, Connecticut – Various Chefs
Cook’s Atelier – Beaune, France – Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini

If you know of a cooking school in your area that features Lacanche, please let us know! You may reach Carrie at carrie@frenchranges.com

Happy Cooking!

 

 

 

A Lacanche Owner’s Visit to Burgundy

Lacanche owner Kerry Valentine recently traveled to France with a couple of friends for a tour of art, wine and food. The trip began in Provence, where they spent two days in the Avignon area, visiting Arles for the Van Gogh walk and then wine tasting in the Cote du Rhone region with transplanted American winemaker Douglas Graves of “Tours du Rhone.” Doug shares the scenic views and the history of the area, all while taking his guests wine tasting.

The majority of their trip was spent in the region of Burgundy. Kerry, Jana and Gina ventured to Beaune to attend “The Cook’s Atelier”, cooking class with Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini. During their classes, they teach and cook on a beautiful Lacanche Sully range. Before they begin cooking, Marjorie and Kendall take the group to the market, fromagerie and butcher shop to select ingredients to use during the class.

Kerry adds “I really enjoyed the cooking class. Marjorie and Kendall are so knowledgeable and energetic in helping us understand the procedures to cooking delicious French food. I am already trying recipes from their book. If you are thinking of buying a Lacanche, go take the class and see the stove in action.”

Thierry Purdon, a Lacanche owner and enthusiast from Saint Aubin, was kind enough to set up the group with a local private tasting from Richard Bos of JANOTSBOS. Richard has been producing wine in Meursault since 2005. Kerry describes the tasting, “Richard shared eight different wines with us from the Burgundy region. He has such an in-depth knowledge of his product. Richard really took his time to describe each wine and let us discover the differences. It was as wonderful afternoon.”

Kerry and her friends were able to get a tour of the Lacanche factory in Lacanche by owner Jean-Jacques Augagneur. Kerry exclaims, “I really appreciated Jean-Jacques giving us the tour of the factory. I was amazed by each part of the process of putting together the stove, even down to the 21 coats of enamel that goes on each piece. We enjoyed going through the showroom, as well. It was fun to see the collection of the old stoves that go back hundreds of years. I now understand why the Lacanche stoves are built to last and the quality and care of those who build them.”

Thierry Purdon was kind enough to invite the group to attend the local Bastille day celebration in Meursault with their friends. There was food, music and fireworks. Thierry is great at showing people the heart of Burgundy. He has been hosting Lacanche owners who come to visit for years. The group also got to tour Chateau du Cormatin and Chateau de la Rochepot while in Burgundy.

Kerry, Jana and Gina got to take part in the French winning the world cup before coming home and ended their trip with a few lovely days in Paris.

If you are interested in visiting either the Lacanche factory or the Cook’s Atelier in the Burgundy region of France, please contact us at care@frenchranges.com.