Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Best Steaks Ever!

Lately, Dev and I have been making and effort to cut down on the amount of beef we're eating. So once in a while, for a special occasion, we will go for a steak - I will spend a little more and buy the steaks at Whole Foods - go for the DRY AGED!  For Dev: New York, For me: tenderloin.  :-)

I have cooked our steaks this way a few times now and they've come out great... consistently.   Note: this works best with thick-cut steaks, at least 1.5" thick for the NY and 2+ for the tenderloin. **UPDATE. Highly recommend this technique w/ Dry aged steaks only. We tried regular steaks, and for some reason, the end result wasn't as good - tougher/drier texture. MEH.

Preheat oven to 500F
(I usually cook the steaks after baking a potato gratin, so the oven has been on for a good 1.5+ hours!)

Yamadan Steaks
2 steaks, thick cut
(New York 1.5+" thick, Tenderloin, 2+" thick)
Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 pats of unsalted butter

Preheat a heavy cast iron skillet on medium-high - high heat for 20 minutes.
Take steaks out of the fridge and let rest 10 min.  Pat steaks with paper towels - you want them to be dry. Salt the steaks a few minutes just before searing.
Sear steaks in the heated pan for 2 min. (no more) then, put the cast iron pan directly in the oven for 3 min. Flip steaks, top with a pat of butter and cook an additional 4 min. (Cooking time depends upon how thick your steaks are and how well you want your steaks. Dev likes medium rare-plus and I like medium rare.)
Take steaks out of the oven and let the rest on a rack and cover with foil for 5 min.
If you like, spoon the pan drippings of butter onto the steaks!

Pair with a good wine and ENJOY!!!

Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots

Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots

1 large shallot, sliced
2 T unsalted butter
Kosher salt
1 lb green beans
Melt 1T butter in skillet over low heat. Add shallots and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Cook over low heat for about 20 min., stirring occasionally until shallots caramelize.
Set aside skillet.

Wash and trim ends of green beans and blanch in boiling, salted water for 3 min.
Shock the beans in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and drain on paper towels.
Reheat skillet with shallots, add 1T butter and precooked beans. Add salt and pepper to taste - saute until heated through, about 2-3 min.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Brussel Sprout Gratin with Caramelized Shallots

Preheat oven to 375F
Grease a 9x13 glass dish with 1 T butter

Brussel Sprout Gratin with Caramelized Shallots
Adapted from williams Sonoma

Caramelized Shallots:
5 shallots, sliced to make 1 C
1 T oil
1 T butter
1/2 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper
Thinly slice shallots. Melt butter in skillet, add shallots, sugar, salt and pepper. Coat and cook over low hear to 20 min, stirring occasionally until caramelized.

Breadcrumb topping:
3 C fresh bread crumbs: I used 1 slice of white bread (end piece preferred) and1 small sandwich baguette
3 T unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 T flat-leaf parsley, minced

Stir together all ingredients and set aside.

2 lb brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 T flour
1 1/2 C Gruyere cheese, grated
1/4 C Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 tsp lemon zest
salt and pepper
1 1/4 C heavy cream

Blanch sprouts for 5 minutes in boiling, salted water. Plunge into an ice water bath, drain and dry on paper towels.
Mix together flour, cheeses, zest, salt and pepper. Stir in the cream and add brussel sprouts and shallots. Transfer to buttered pan. Cover with breadcrumb mixture and bake until brown - 35 min.
Yum! I brought this dish for our family Christmas dinner. It was very hearty and rich - what I liked most was the brussel sprouts did not taste bitter at all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pizza Sauce

I used to buy pre-made pizza sauce - Trader Joe's brand, Contadina, Pizza Quick etc. They aren't too bad, but it isn't too difficult to make it yourself.  I've made a sauce using fresh diced tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic... I thought it was pretty good, but Dev didn't care for it - he thought it was too bland. So, I came up with this one, attempting to replicate the store bought, which Dev prefers.  ;-)

Yamadan Pizza Sauce
1/4 C onion, diced
1 can tomato paste
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried parsley
1/2 t garlic powder
2 squirts of corn syrup (or spoonfuls of brown sugar)
olive oil

Saute Onion in a little olive oil until soft and starting to caramelize.
Add tomato paste and saute until paste starts to darken and caramelize as well - stir frequently or it can burn.  Add herbs and corn syrup (or sugar) and continue to cook until fragrant. Add water (1 C or so?) and simmer for about 5 min. Add more water if needed.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chocolate Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies

Preheat oven to 350
Chocolate Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies
(Martha Stewart)
2 sticks of butter
1 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour
6 T butter, melted
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 tsp corn syrup

Cream together butter, sugar, salt and vanilla (about 2 min.) Beat in flour, beginning with low speed and gradually increase to medium until dough is well combined.
Scoop out dough and roll into balls, spacing at least 1 in. apart. Bake for 10 min., take the pan out of the oven and press and indintation in the center of the cookie with your thumb (I use the back of a whisk handle). Return to oven, and bake for another 10 min. Press the center of the cookies one last time and cool completely on a rack.
The recipe calls for melting the choclate over a double boiler, but I melt the butter in a pan, take it off the heat and mix in the chocolate and corn syrup (or dump the metled butter over the chocolate in a bowl.) The residual heat from the butter is enough to melt the chocolate, if it is chopped fine enough. Be careful  to stir constantly, as the heat from the pan can scorch the chocolate. Place the melted chocolate into a ziplock back and fill cookies.
I really love these cookies and find myself making them often, as they are so simple to make. I tried placing a Rollo candy on the cookie as soon as they come out of the oven - the heat melts them down nicely! (you can smooth out the tops of the candies with a spoon abit so they're not so ridgid looking.  :-)  Enjoy!