Sunday, April 15, 2012

Steak and Potatoes: A New Take on an Old Classic

If you are a meat and potatoes kinda gal or guy, or someone you love is...boy, do I have the meal for you! Easy and affordable, these recipes brings classic, Indian and Caribbean flavors all into one fusion lov'n, finger lick'n entree. Combining the skills of quintessential chef Jacques Pepin, a simplistic and family friendly recipe from Real Simple magazine and the curiosity of a lesser known gourmandiser, yours truly! Of course, these recipes can all be enjoyed separately, but from last night's dinner I can tell  you that they go very well together. Savour!

Pan-Seared Steak- from Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin

I simplified this recipe and didn't use a marinade, he recommends a honey, soy sauce, garlic, coriander and cayenne pepper blend, I just used the cooking method, as I often do because it guarantees a perfect med-rare steak every time! I also used a locally raised, grass-fed top sirloin cut.
  • Season with salt and pepper (heavily I might add)
  • Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees
  • Heat grill or cast iron skillet until VERY HOT (like for 5 mins...and make sure to turn on your overhead fans...I didn't do that the first time and I won't forget again)
  • Cook steak for 1 1/2 mins on each side
  • Transfer to oven (steak can be held in oven up to 40 mins)
  • Let set for about 5 mins
  • Serve on a bed of baby arugula or any other bitter green
Spiced Peas with Cilantro and Lime - Real Simple magazine (May 2012)
  • Boil 2 C frozen peas in salted water - about 3 mins or just until tender - drain and set aside
  • Saute 2 cloves garlic (chopped) in 2 T EVOO until fragrant
  • Add peas, 1.5 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp salt - cook until warm but still retaining firmness
  • Toss with 1 tsp lime juice, 1/4 C fresh cilantro
Seasoned Sweet Potato Fries - Sara Gomach (moi!)
  • Cut one large or 2 small sweet potatoes into 1/2" rounds
  • Toss with: 2 T EVOO, 1.5 tsp all spice, dry chipotle pepper, dry basil, ground garlic, honey and 1 tsp salt
  • Roast at 350 for 25 mins or until crispy on the outside and tender in the middle

Friday, February 3, 2012

40 Cloves a Roastin'

Every Friday afternoons at 3:00pm I have the delight of escaping my workplace hum drum while I sit at my desk, ear buds in place, waiting in anticipation for Jean Feraca's "Food Friday" addition of her Here on Earth Wisconsin public radio show to start. This weekly adventure takes me through the pages of cookbooks galour as the authors inspire, entice and delight Wisconsin foodies!

Last week's guest was Michele Scicolone, author of The French Slow Cooker. I was immediately intrigued by this topic because for one, I love the French...everything about the French...the food, the wine, the culture...always have, always will. In fact, I hope to one day travel to the land from whence my paternal ancestors hailed. This author also interested me because I absolutely LOVE using my slow cooker. I try to use it once every week because I can usually knock out two dinners and a lunch for both my boyfriend and I with minimal effort.

The following recipe is a take on the traditional French dish, chicken with forty (yes, 40!!!) cloves of garlic. Don't let the garlic "over power" your desire to try this dish; when garlic is slow cooked like this, it takes on a buttery texture and a nutty earthiness unlike it's raw counterpart. Another great thing about this dish is the left overs! Or, the "tails" as I once heard them called by another "Food Friday" guest. After we originally ate this the first night, I switched it up a bit the following evening by shredding the chicken and serving it over fresh bakery rolls with a horse radish and Greek yogurt topping...yum, YUM!

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic (serves 6)
Recipe taken from
    2-3 garlic heads 12 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed 1T. chopped fresh rosemary salt and freshly ground pepper ½ C. dry white wine 2T. fresh lemon juice Separate garlic into cloves. There should be about 40. Discard any loose skin from the cloves, but do not peel them. Scatter the garlic in a large slow cooker. Sprinkle the chicken with the rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken pieces in the slow cooker. Pour in wine and lemon juice. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. To serve, transfer chicken and most of garlic to a large platter. Cover and keep warm. Remove and smash the remaining garlic cloves and stir them back into the liquid. Discard the garlic skins. Pour the liquid into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Cook until reduced and slightly thickened. Taste for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve hot.
*Since my original post, Jean Feraca, host of Here on Earth, has recently retired. I raise my glass of Riesling and give a huge salut to a woman who's voice, intellect and taste inspired. Thank goodness we still have the audio archives! Jean Feraca, you will truly be missed! Cheers!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Yummy, Versitile Asian Dipping Sauce

Hey! What do ya know! I'm on a roll! Two blogs, two days in a row! :) Now, if I could only remember that camera...
Anyways, last week I made a really elegant Asian beef and noodle dish that I found in the February 2008 issue of Gourmet Magazine titled "Thai-Style Beef with Noodles".  What really stood out to me in this dish was the sauce! So, tonight for dinner I decided to spice up some frozen egg rolls (locally made in Wisconsin!) with a dipping sauce recreated from that recipe. The sauce has a slightly spicy, sweet and sour flavor, rich color and could be used in a variety of delicious applications. "Duzo meshiagare!" ("Bon appetit!" in Japanese!).

1 T soy sauce
1 T honey
2 T fish sauce
2 T chopped leek
1 tsp white wine vinegar (or another acid like lime juice)
1 tsp curry paste (I used red but you could also use green)
1/4 C reduced-sodium beef broth

Simmer over medium heat until slightly reduced, about 7 minutes.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Berry Good, Light Breakfast/Dessert

I have yet to post since first creating this blog, so I thought I would start again with a tasty concoction I devised this morning while trolling through my nearly bare cupboards in attempts to make something for a post night out breakfast. Here's what I came up with from remnants of meals past.

Serves 2:

  • 2 C greek yogurt
  • 1 C frozen berries (thawed)
  • 1 T minced ginger
  • 1 t honey
  • 8 slices of French baguette sliced 1/4" thick
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 t All Spice
Divide 2 C of Greek yogurt between two bowls.
In a small sauce pan add 1 T butter over med. heat until melted. Add minced ginger and saute until frangrant (1 min). . Add berries and honey, simmer on low until warm. Meanwhile, sprinkle bagette slices with allspice, melt remaining tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over med/high heat, add bagette slices and cook until fully toasted.
Arrange toasted bagette around yogurt and divide berries between the two bowls. Bon apetite!