Sunday, August 17, 2008


As a child the only seasoning I knew came from a bottle or package. As I got older I learned that garlic was actually not a type of salt and that there were fresh herbs from the ground and not made by McCormick. As I grew in my culinary experiences I found fresh basil, thyme, parsley, cilantro, lavender and sage. To me nothing is more exotic that tarragon. The smell reminds me of a beautiful country road. The flavor so unique and wonderful. Tarragon pairs wonderfully with citrus, mustard, horseradish and cream. Look for tarragon next time you are at an open-air market or in the produce section. If you have never cooked with it before you are in for an amazing spring treat!

Baby Greens with Tarragon Vinaigrette
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 shallot, minced
4 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
4 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
1/2-cup extra-virgin olive oil
I bag mixed baby greens

In a large bowl whisk together the mustard, the shallot, the vinegar, the tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified. Add the greens and toss the salad well.

Lobster and Tarragon Salad
2 lb cooked fresh lobster meat
1 lb small red potatoes
3 ears corn
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2-teaspoon salt
1/4-cup olive oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cups mixed greens
3 scallions. Thinly sliced
Pre- heat oven to 350. Pierce potatoes with a fork and roast until tender about 40 minutes. After 10 minutes add the corn and roast for 30 minutes.
Cut meat into 1-inch pieces. Cut potatoes in half, and cut corn from cobs.
Whisk together lemon juice, tarragon, mustard, and salt until combined, then add oil in a thin stream, whisking.
Just before serving, toss together lobster meat, potatoes, corn, vinaigrette, tomatoes, mixed greens, and scallion in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Lemon Tarragon Snap Peas
2 pounds Snap Peas
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves

In a large kettle of boiling salted water blanch snap peas in 2 batches 2 to 3 minutes, or until just tender. With a slotted spoon transfer snap peas as blanched to a large bowl filled with ice and cold water. Drain well. In a large bowl whisk together lemon oil and tarragon. Add snap peas and toss well.
Serve snap peas garnished with tarragon sprigs
Shrimp Linguini in a Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
4-tablespoon tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste
1-pound linguini

In a saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Add the cream all at once. Cook and whisk until thick and bubbly. Reduce heat and cook for one minute longer. Add vinegar, mustard and tarragon. Cook for one minute longer and then simmer to keep warm while cooking pasta and shrimp. In a large soup pot bring salted water to a boil and add linguini and cook 7 minutes.
Drain. Cook shrimp in boiling water about 2 minutes until opaque. Drain. Toss shrimp, pasta and sauce. Serve at once.

Lime Tarragon Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4-cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh limejuice
4 teaspoons tarragon, finely chopped

Arrange chicken in single layer in glass casserole or pie plate. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk oil, limejuice and tarragon in small bowl to blend. Pour marinade over chicken and turn to coat. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes.
Preheat broiler or prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Transfer chicken to broiler pan or barbecue. Season with salt and pepper. Broil until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

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