Tuesday, 22 November 2011

November 15 Blog

Roasted Beef with Garlic-Peppercorn Crust, Yukon Gold Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Spiced, Brown Butter Carrots with Sage and Dried Cranberries and a Slice of Apple Toffee Cake
Apple Toffee Cake
2 ½ c      all-purpose flour
1 ¼ c      granulated sugar
¾ c          chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1              egg
Combine flour and sugar in food processor and whirl until blended. Add butter and continue to whirl, pulsing until mixture becomes the texture of fine crumbs. 
Add egg and whirl until mixture begins to hold together. Turn dough onto a flat surface and gather together to form a ball. Remove 1/3 of the dough and set aside for the lattice topping. Form remaining dough into a flat disk. Gently roll on a lightly floured surface until it is large enough to line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch springform pan. Transfer dough to pan and press into the bottom and 2/3 the way up the sides of the pan. If dough tears, patch with small pieces of dough.

4 c           apples, peeled and sliced
¼ c          crystallized ginger, chopped
¼ c          toffee bits, chopped
½ c          light brown sugar
3 tbsp    flour
1 tbsp    milk
Icing sugar
Combine ingredients except the milk in a large bowl. Gently toss together until evenly mixed. 
Place filling in crust. To make lattice topping, roll bits of remaining dough into about 8 inch thin cylinders. Criss-cross cylinders of dough on surface of filling to form a lattice. Trim edges to fit and seal. Brush lattice with milk.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until apples are tender and crust is golden. Remove to rack to cool.

Yukon Gold Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
6              Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
¼ c          butter, plus additional to serve
¼ c          buttermilk
1 tsp      salt
1 tsp      freshly ground pepper
Add potatoes to pot of salted water and bring to a boil for 20 min until potatoes are cooked through when tested with knife or skewer. 

Strain and place potatoes back in hot pot (heat turned off) so moisture evaporated. In small saucepan, gently heat buttermilk and butter on low heat until butter melts. Mash and fold in buttermilk mixture. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a dollop of butter.

Spiced, Brown Butter Carrots with Sage and Dried Cranberries
¼ c          unsalted butter, softened
½ c          shallots, finely chopped
1              garlic clove, finely minced
6-8          sage leaves, coarsely torn
1 tsp      salt
1 tsp      freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp     cinnamon
½ tsp     nutmeg
¼ tsp     ground cloves
¼ c          dried cranberries, finely chopped
8              medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-in x 3-in batons, steamed or blanched until tender-crisp
In a medium skillet, melt butter over moderate heat. When butter begins to foam, add shallots and garlic and continue cooking until the butter turns a nut-brown colour. Stir in sage and spices and sauté until sage starts to wilt. Toss in steamed carrots and cranberries and coat well. Serve immediately.

Roasted Beef with Garlic-Peppercorn Crust
 3             large garlic cloves
¾ tbsp   coarse sea salt
½ tbsp   mixed peppercorns, med-coarse ground
¼ tsp     freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp    fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 tsp      paprika
2 tsp      olive oil
2 lb         beef roast
¾ c          dry red wine
½ c          beef stock
Using a mortar and pestle, mix together garlic and sea salt. Add the peppercorns, pepper, thyme, paprika and olive oil to form a paste. Rub the paste all over top and sides of roast. Place roast in roasting pan, cover loosely with foil and let stand at room temperature for 30 min.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Roast 40 in the preheated oven, or to a minimum internal temperature of 150 degrees F (63 degrees C) for med-rare.
Remove from oven and transfer to cutting board, tent loosely with foil and allow to rest for 20-30 min before carving.
Heat drippings over med-high heat. Add red wine and beef stock and bring to a boil, scrapping caramelized bits off the pan bottom. Cook and reduce liquid until thickened to half, about 8 min. Keep warm until ready to serve. 

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Caramelized Beet Borscht, Sliced Steaked with Kale Caesar Side Salad and Bourbon ''On the Rocks'' Caramel Nut Tart

I think I'll have to dedicate this one to my girlfriend Chantelle, in Kitchener, Ontario.
This one's for you Chanty!
I now know why you'd always ask the server when we went out if the Ceasar dressing was from a bottle or home-made...what a WORLD of difference.
This dressing was delicious! The combo of kale and romaine lettuce was a really nice touch too. I think it's a MUST try.

Bourbon ‘’On the Rocks’’ Caramel Nut Tart
Shortbread Crust
1 ¼         all purpose flour
3 tbsp    granulated sugar
¼ tsp     salt
¼ cup    unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1              egg
2 tbsp    cold water
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9 inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
In a food processor, fitted with steel blade attachment, pulse together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Pour this over mixture and pulse again until dough begins to hold together when a small amount is pressed between your fingers.

Empty dough from processor into prepared tart pan and press evenly into pan. 

Bake until crust just starts to turn golden around the edges, about 30 min. Cool crust in pan on wire rack.
Caramel Nut Filling
¼ cup    butter
¾ cup    brown sugar
1 tbsp    liquid honey
¼ cup    bourbon
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 cups   mixed nuts
Place butter in saucepan and melt over med heat. Add sugar, honey and bourbon, bringing to a boil while stirring constantly. Boil mixture for 2 min, then stir in whipping cream and nuts. Bring back to a boil for one min and remove from heat. Place cooled crust, still in tart pan, on baking sheet and pour filling into crust. 

Bake tart ob baking sheet in the middle rack of oven until filling is bubbly, about 20 min. 
Mine bubbled over...what a sticky, delicious mess!!!

Cool in pan on wire rack until room temperature. Then chill for at least 1 hour to allow caramel to completely set.
Caramelized Beet Borscht
1 lb         medium beets
6              sprigs thyme, leaves only
6 tbsp    olive oil
1              large onion, finely chopped
2              carrots, chopped
2              garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ c      cabbage, chopped
7 c           beef stock
2 tbsp    balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp    honey
5 tbsp    fresh dill, chopped
Sour cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 400. Scrub beets and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30 min. When beets have cooled, slip off their skins and chop coarsely. Heat remaining oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, cabbage, garlic and thyme and sauté until mixture softens. Add stock and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add beets and bring to a boil. Add vinegar, honey and fresh dill. Serve country-style as is or puree until smooth. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with more fresh dill.

Sliced Steak and Kale Caesar Side Salad
2             striploin steaks
1/3 c      olive oil
1             lemon, juiced
2             cloves garlic
1 tsp      anchovy paste
1 tsp      Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp      Dijon
1             egg yolk
1/2 c      Romano cheese, grated - plus more for shaving
1              bunch flat leaf kale, stems discarded, leaves chopped
1              romaine heart

Heat skillet over med-high heat.
Season steaks, coat with olive oil. Cook the steaks, turning once - 5 min per side. Transfer to cutting board and let rest for 10 min, then thinly slice on an angle.

In a salad bowl, combine the lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, Worcestershire and mustard; season heavily with pepper. Using a fork, mix the egg yolk, then pour in 1/3 cup of olive oil in a slow, steady stream to emulsify the dressing. Stir in cheese. Add the kale and romaine and toss to coat. Serve the salad topped with shaved cheese alongside the steak.

Apple and Parsnip Soup, Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Quinoa and Whole Carrots, finished with Pear and Almond Cake with Almond Mascarpone Cream

As you'll notice, my blog is seriously lacking phots this week (Nov 1st)...I can explain!
As it turns out, I had a guest for dinner last week, which completely mixed me up. I was so busy preparing and hosting, I totally forgot to take my snaps!!!!
We were finished dinner before I even realised I hadn't taken the pictures for my blog...so here's what I do have.
Gotta say though, the meal WAS fabulous.

Pear and Almond Cake with Almond Mascarpone Cream
4             large eggs
¾ cup    sugar
½ cup    soft butter, plus extra for greasing cake pan
1 1/3      blanched almonds, finely ground
4 tbsp    flour
1 tsp      baking powder
3              firm pears, peeled, halved, cored and sliced, keeping their shape together
1 cup     mascarpone cheese
3 tbsp    icing sugar
½ cup    whipping cream
1 tsp      almond extract
Preheat oven to 350. Grease the bottom and sides of a 10 inch cake pan with removable bottom and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Slowly beat eggs and gently add in sugar until well-mixed. Beat on high until pale and very thick, about 5 min. Beat in soft butter, fold in almonds, flour and baking powder.

Transfer mixture to cake pan and arrange sliced pear halves, round side up. Push pears into batter until they are half submerged. Sprinkle pears with 2 tbsp sugar.
Place in oven and bake for 35-40 min or until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cool to room temperature.

Beat mascarpone and icing sugar until fluffy. Add almond extract. Beat whipping cream until stiff and fold in mascarpone. Serve with cake.
Apple and Parsnip Soup
1 tbsp    olive oil or grape seed oil
2              leeks, white part only chopped
2              garlic cloves, minced
3              parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 ½ c      chicken stock
2              large thyme sprigs
1 tsp      ground turmeric
½ tsp     ground ginger
¼ tsp     ground cardamom
3              large apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Salt and pepper
Cilantro sprigs
Heat oil in large saucepan. Add leeks and garlic and sauté until soft. Do not brown. Add parsnip and continue to sauté over med-low heat until almost soft, then add chicken stock, thyme seasonings and apples. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 min or until apples are soft.
Remove thyme stems. Remove from heat. Cool mixture before pureeing. Then puree and add salt and pepper to taste. Reheat. Serve topped with cilantro and parsnip crisps (recipe follows).

Parsnip Crisps
1              large parsnip
                Grape seed oil
Peel a large parsnip and thinly slice on a mandolin. Heat ¼ inch grape seed oil in pan until very hot, almost smoking. Fry slices, several aat a time, until golden brown, about 2-3 min. Crisps will curl and twist slightly. Remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Sprinkle with salt. They will stay crisp for several hours.
Apple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Quinoa and Whole Carrots
1 cup     apple cider
2 tbsp    grape seed oil
2 tbsp    tamari soy sauce
1              clove garlic, minced
1 tsp      fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
¼ each  salt and crushed chillies
1 lb         pork tenderloin
1 tbsp    butter
Press tenderloin into marinade and rotate to evenly coat. Tightly seal and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours or overnight. Turn tenderloin several times.
Remove pork from marinade, reserving juices for sauce.
Melt butter in a heavy sauté pan over med-high heat. Add tenderloin and cook for 5 min, turning several times in pan until lightly browned on all sides. Add a splash of water if necessary.
Cover and simmer for 12 min – until tender and a hint of pink still remains.
Remove from pan and place on platter to rest for 5 min before serving. Cover to keep warm. Cut into thick rounds to serve.
2 tbsp    unsalted butter
2 tbsp    flour
½ cup    water
3 tbsp    brown sugar
1 tsp      Dijon mustard
To make sauce, melt butter in pan. Whisk in flour until crumbly. Whisk in water, sugar, Dijon and remaining marinade juices stirring until smooth.
Continue to cook until reduced and thickened.
Quinoa - follow package directions