Burgundian Escargot w Mushrooms and Pastry

While escargot may sound a bit exotic, at least for serving family and friends, it’s actually quite easy to do. I recently prepared this dish and there were only empty plates.

12 oz unsalted butter
8 garlic cloves
2 oz shallots, minced
sea salt
black pepper
60 medium mushroom caps
60 snails (two 8-oz cans will suffice)

Fresh snails are an alternative but likely not worth the work required.

Preheat over to 400.

Melt butter over a low heat. Press garlic cloves and add to butter, along with the shallots, and salt and pepper to taste.

Place snails in mushroom caps and spoon garlic butter into each.

Cut puff pastry into four-inch round pieces. Place on buttered baking sheet, put six snails/mushrooms on each in a circle. Spoon remaining garlic butter on pastry. Bake until pastry is golden brown. Plate with a spatula.

Serves 10 as a starter.

 

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Tarragon Scallops with Beurre Blanc Sauce

I recently prepared the following dish for a dinner party, and it seemed to be well-received. I use bay scallops, which I like, but the larger ones are fine as well.

2 lb. unsalted butter, cold

15 oz Sauvignon Blanc
8 oz white wine vinegar
1 oz finely chopped shallot
6 oz heavy cream

3 oz unsalted butter
2 pounds sea scallops, trimmed as needed
kosher salt

1 oz tarragon, finely chopped

Cut 2 lbs butter into half-inch cubes and return to refrigerator.

Mix wine, vinegar and shallots in a small pot and heat at medium-high, reducing the mixture to 2 oz. Add heavy cream to wine reduction and boil for one minute. Turn down to low.

In a large pan melt 3 oz butter over a low medium heat. Add scallops and saute until they start to show a golden brown, perhaps 3-5 minutes. Season with salt.

Add cubes of butter to wine reduction a couple at a time, whisking steadily. If emulsion is lost, remove from heat, add a couple ice cubes, and whisk more vigorously.

Plate scallops, top with sauce, sprinkle with tarragon and serve.

Serves 8 as an entree.

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Good year for new music

2017 has been a good year for new music, both from new bands and some older ones! Some of the songs I’ve particularly liked this year include:

Empire of the Sun – High and Low
All Time Low – Good Times
Mike & The Mechanics – Don’t Know What Came Over Me
Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still
The 1975 – Somebody Else
The Head and the Heart – Take a Walk
The Chainsmokers – Something Just Like This
Mondo Cozmo – Shine
The Revivalists – Wish I Knew You
Needtobreathe – Testify

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Zac Brown Band in concert

If you enjoy this genre of music, I strongly encourage you to see Zac Brown live. His voice and lyrics are very soulful, and his band is consistently excellent. I recently got to see them while up in Paso Robles wine country…fun time!

Zac Brown Band

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Jurassic 5 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

I recently got to go to Red Rocks for the first time. It totally lives up to it’s reputation as far and away the best concert venue in the country. This is a photo and video from that evening…

Red Rocks

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Good country music coming out!

I know country music isn’t for everyone. But if you like it, some of this year’s songs and artists I recommend include:

Brad Paisley – Today

High Valley – Make You Mine

Danielle Bradbery – The Heart of Dixie

Darius Rucker – If I Told You

Heidi Newfield – Johnny and June

Zac Brown – My Old Man

Jason Aldean – A Little More Summertime

Little Big Town – Happy People

RaeLynn – Love Triangle

Zac Brown – Lance’s Song

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Lumineers live…good fun!

The Lumineers get good coverage on alt rock radio stations and such. They live up to one’s hope live. I got to hear them opening for U2 at the Rose Bowl and really enjoyed them!

The Lumineers

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The Head And The Heart

The Head And The Heart is a mellow rock band from Seattle. They came together in 2010. Their most recent album, Signs of Light, has some excellent music on it. Favorite tracks of mine include All We Ever Knew and Rhythm & Blues.

The Head and the Heart

They’ll be playing the second night of KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas, and I suspect more shows in the years ahead.

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Free is good…thank you, Frontier!

The new owner of FIOS internet service, Frontier Communications, screwed up in a way never explained to many customers including me. But to make amends for some failing, they hosted a free concert at StubHub Center in Carson featuring Brad Paisley.

Only a couple thousand people came out…too bad for those who missed out. Paisley provides easy-listening country music rooted in traditional sounds of the genre. While his lyrics don’t aspire to inspire, his songs make for pleasant listening and his guitar work excels.

Brad Paisley live

The concert was on the main tennis court at StubHub, a wonderfully intimate setting for a concert. Not a bad seat and ample facilities. Both the venue and performer come recommended if of interest.

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New music…well, at least to me…!

These are some songs I’ve been particularly enjoying listening to lately, including a couple new releases and a few I just got into:

Mumford & Sons – Wona (2016)
Goo Goo Dolls – Long Way Home (2016)
Foy Vance – You and I (2013)
Of Monsters and Men – Lakehouse (2011)
Cage The Elephant – Trouble (2015)

 

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