When you would like to create a special meal, gourmet meal recipes can provide you with inspiration. Whether you use the recipes exactly, or as a jumping off point to spark your creativity, the meals you make are bound to be memorable.
What Makes a Gourmet Meal?
Gourmet means different things to different people. To some, gourmet cooking means spending hours in the kitchen. To others, it means using special ingredients or making chef-worthy foods served to good friends and family with a glass of wine and great conversation. Regardless of your idea of what makes a gourmet meal, using gourmet meal recipes occasionally can increase your kitchen know-how, as well as your dining pleasure.
Gourmet Meal Recipes
Recipes for gourmet meals can be simple or complex. The following menu features simple techniques with tasty ingredients to build a special meal.
Appetizer - Seared Foie Gras with Caramelized Pears and Balsamic Reduction
Known for buttery richness, you've never had another liver that tastes like foie gras. Because it is so rich, a little goes a long way. Serve with a Sauternes or Barsac wine from France.
- 2 fresh pears, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 4 slices of foie gras
- Salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 4 slices of bread, toasted
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a sauté pan.
- Place the pears in butter and allow them to brown along the bottom before turning, about five to seven minutes.
- Once the pears have caramelized, turn them and allow to caramelize on the other side.
- Remove the pears from heat and set aside.
- Heat balsamic vinegar over medium heat. Allow to it simmer until reduced and syrupy.
- Season foie gras slices with salt and pepper.
- Heat a dry sauté pan over high heat until very hot.
- Sear the slices of foie gras in the dry pan, two minutes per side.
- Arrange the pear slices on a plate. Place one toast slice in the center of the pears with a slice of foie gras on top. Drizzle with reduced balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.
Soup - Creamy Mushroom Bisque
Serve this classic mushroom bisque recipe with an Oregon Pinot Noir.
Main Course - Seared Duck Breast with Cherry Glaze and Braised Belgian Endive
If you'd like more to your main course than duck and a vegetable, make a side of risotto. Serve with the same Pinot Noir from your soup course, or try a Bordeaux-style wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend.
- 8 heads of Belgian endive, split lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Salt and fresh pepper to taste
- Juice of one lemon
- 1/4 cup of white wine
- 4 duck breasts, pounded flat with skin scored
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 15 Bing cherries, split and halved
- 1/2 cup of tawny port wine
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 6 tablespoons of butter, cut in 1/2-inch squares and chilled
- Heat three tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until brown and bubbly.
- Sprinkle sugar over the top of the butter, spreading evenly.
- Place the endive cut-side down on the sugar, and allow to it cook for four to five minutes until you see a brown caramelized crust.
- Squeeze lemon juice into the pan and add wine.
- Cover loosely and allow the endive to braise until it is soft.
- Remove the lid from the endive and allow the liquid to reduce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
- Season the duck breasts to taste with salt and pepper.
- Heat olive oil in a sauté pan until smoking hot. Add the duck breasts skin side down and reduce heat to low. Sauté for eight to ten minutes, until skin is brown and fat is rendered. Flip the breasts and sauté on the other side for three to five minutes.
- Set the duck breasts aside, tented with foil. Pour off all but one tablespoon of fat.
- Sauté the shallots for one minute, until fragrant. Add port and cherries.
- Simmer to reduce by about half.
- When sauce is reduced, whisk in very cold butter, one cube at a time.
- Slice the duck breasts and arrange fanned out on four plates. Top with cherry sauce.
- Place two halves of endive on each piece and spoon braising liquid over the top.
Serve this chocolate truffle cake with the remaining tawny port from your cherry sauce.
Give Gourmet Cooking a Try
With an adventurous spirit, some creativity and some really good recipes, you'll be cooking gourmet meals in no time. Give this menu a try as a jumping off point; once you've gotten a taste for gourmet cooking you may not want to return to ordinary fare. For more gourmet recipes, try a website like Epicurious.com.