• Categories
    Foodie Blogroll

    Gifts for the Gourmand.

    Posts Tagged ‘food’

    Individual Beef Wellington

    Photobucket

    Making the classic Beef Wellington could be intimidating but it is a relatively easy dish to prepare and is well worth the effort. I have taken liberties with my version, actually two versions, by adding onion to one and spinach to the other. The version here uses onion but by simply replacing the onion in the recipe/technique below with spinach you get a completely different experience.

    You will need:
    Filet of beef approximately 1 1/2″ – 2″ thick 6 – 8 oz./serving.
    Puff pastry – 12″ square piece 1/serving.
    Sweet Onion such as Walla Walla or Vidalia – 1/4″ slice 1/person (be careful here as you want to keep the slabs of onion intact – you can pierce each with a toothpick to insure the rings stay together).
    Shallot – diced fine approximately 1 TBS/serving.
    White button or crimini mushrooms – approximately 3 oz./serving.
    White wine, Sherry or Vermouth – approximately 1TBS/serving.
    Shallot – approximately 1 TBS/serving.
    Garlic approximately one small clove/serving.
    Egg wash (combine egg with a little water and whip until combined).
    Olive Oil/Butter – approximately 1TBS each/serving
    Butcher’s twine.

    Prepare the filets – Tie each filet, with a piece of twine placed at half the thickness of the beef, tight enough to give the filet some height and uniformity in circumference. In a sauté pan large enough to hold filets without crowding place approximately 1 TBS each of oil and butter. When oil/butter began to bubble sauté filets on both sides until a rich crust is formed. Remove from pan, set aside to cool completely. All you are doing with this step is searing the meat, it will cook through when baking the Wellingtons.

    Prepare the mushrooms – (Mushroom Duxelles) – Place mushrooms, shallot and garlic in a food processor and chop until the mixture has a paste consistency. Using the same pan for the beef add more oil/butter if the pan is too dry bring up to temperature and add the mushroom mixture. Sauté mixture until it starts to dry out then add the White wine/sherry/vermouth. Continue to cook until the mixture is completely dry. Remove from pan, set aside to cool completely.

    Prepare the Onion – in the same pan used for the beef and mushroom add a little oil/butter if the pan is too dry. Season both sides of onion with salt and pepper then place in heated pan. Sauté onions on both sides until golden brown. Carefully remove onion slabs from pan, set aside to cool completely.

    Prepare the dough – It is not a difficult task to do this step. It is easier to give you a visual so I have included this visual aid.

    Assembly and cooking – Separate all of the above items into portions equal to the amount of tenderloins used. Place a portion of the mushroom mixture in the center of the dough square spread until it matches the circumference of the steak, remove twine from tenderloin and place on top of the mushrooms, place one onion plank on top of beef, follow the instructions provided to fold dough over beef to form a package. Roast individual Beef Wellington(s) until the internal temperature reaches 130° for rare, 140° for medium. Serve with a vegetable and mashed potatoes.

    If you decide to add cooked spinach instead of the onion simply replace it at the step indicated above.

    NB You must make sure that all items are completely dry otherwise the dough will become gooey and you will not get a good crisp crust.

    Baked Ham

    Easter Dinner

    Not only for the holidays, a good baked ham works in so many ways. In some cases, ham tends to dry out on the inside due to the density and cooking time used, one way to insure that you get a nice, moist interior is rather simple. Approximately 90 minutes before you put the ham in the oven place it, with its packaging intact into a vessel large enough to hold the ham with an inch or two to spare. Run your tap, hot water, until it reaches maximum temperature, fill the vessel (with the ham in it) with hot tap water to at least one inch above the product. This technique raises the internal temperature enough so that the cooking time is reduced providing a moist finished product.

    You will need:
    Roasting Pan
    One butt or shank ham* approximately six oz./person
    Orange/Cognac Glaze

    Set oven temperature to 250° F. Remove ham from water bath and open packaging. With a sharp knife cut grooves into fat/skin side of product just deep enough so that glaze seeps into product. The grooves should be about one inch apart to form a diamond pattern in the fat/skin. Spread one-half of the glaze over ham and place into roasting pan. Roast at 250° F for 20 minutes/pound. Three-quarters way through the roasting cycle spread the other one-half of the glaze over ham. At the end of the roasting period, remove from oven, tent with foil and let the ham rest for 10 minutes. Slice ham to desired thickness and serve.

    I served this with Caramelized Sweet Potato/Carrot Medley

    *Butt ham is meatier with less fat but is harder to carve due to complex bone structure. Shank ham is not as meaty and has more fat but is easier to carve due to a single bone as compared to the butt.

    Sweet Potato/Carrot/Onion Medley

    This side dish works well with chicken,turkey, pork or ham the slight touch of ginger enhances the flavor of each product.

    You will need:
    Sweet Potato approximately 3 oz./person
    Carrot approximately 3 oz./person
    Pearl Onion approximately 3 oz./person
    Butter approximately 1 TBS/serving
    Brown sugar (either light or dark) approximately 1 TBS/serving
    Ginger Powder approximately 1 tsp./serving
    Salt/pepper

    Cut sweet potato and carrot into large dice (about the same size as onions used) steam vegetables until just under fork tender. I used frozen pearl onions for this recipe if you use fresh you will need to blanch them until tender remove husks before proceeding. In a skillet large enough to hold all the vegetables place one TBS butter/serving and heat until butter foams, add pearl onions and sauté until just golden, add brown sugar and ginger along with steamed potato and carrot. If you need to add more butter do so at this stage to allow sugar to coat vegetables. Cook until potato and carrot are fork tender, serve.

    Chicken Marsala


    This simple yet delicious recipe will make your dinner guest crave more. As a side I serve this with angel hair pasta aglio e l’olio (garlic/olive oil).

    You will need:
    Boneless/skinless chicken breast – approximately 6 ounces/person
    Flour
    Salt/pepper
    Olive Oil – approx. 1 TBS/serving
    Butter – approx. 1 TBS/serving
    Mushrooms – white button or crimini (sliced)- approx. 2 oz/serving
    Chicken broth – approx. 1/4 cup/serving
    Marsala wine – good quality approx. 2 TBS/serving

    Heat oven to 350° F. Place butter and olive oil in a sauté pan large enough to hold breasts without crowding, heat until butter melts. Dust chicken breasts with flour, pat off excess. Place breasts in sauté pan, presentation side down, sauté until a rich brown crust develops, turn breasts over and sauté until other side develops the same crust. Move breasts to a cookie sheet or oven proof pan to finish (internal temperature should read 160° F (time will be decided by the thickness of the breast pieces).
    If there is not enough oil/butter left in the pan add another tablespoon of each. Add cut mushrooms with approximately one tablespoon of flour to skillet and cook until browned and somewhat dry. Add Marsala wine and cook until wine is reduced by at least half, add chicken broth and continue to cook until reduced by half. At this stage season with salt and pepper to taste.
    Remove chicken from oven and add to the sauce, cover and simmer for approximately five minutes. Place breast on a serving platter and cover with sauce. Garnish with some parsley.

    Chicken Provençal* with Rice Mélange


    My version of a classic French sauce that can be used on either chicken or a firm white fish such as cod. The preparation time is relatively short and can be frozen for future use.

    You will need:
    Boneless skinless chicken breast* – approx. 6 oz./person
    Red bell pepper
    Onion (sweet such as Walla Walla)
    Canned diced tomato
    Capers
    Black olives, pitted
    Fresh Rosemary, thyme and parsley
    Unbleached flour
    Salt/Pepper
    Olive Oil

    Cut pepper and onion in half. Remove seed and core from pepper and skin and both ends from onion. Slice onion, pepper and olives very thin (Julienne in cooking terms), set aside. Drain tomatoes in a sieve reserve liquid. Tie fresh herbs into a bundle and place into a sauce pot with reserved tomato juice. Bring juice/herb mixture to a slow boil – remove herbs. Add onion and pepper to pot and cook until both are soft. If there is not enough liquid you can add water or dry white wine so that the liquid covers the vegetables. Add diced tomato, capers and olives to pot, cover and simmer for approximately ten minutes, keep warm.

    Heat oven to 350°. Place flour in a receptacle, pat chicken* dry, dredge in flour and pat off excess. In a sauté pan, large enough to hold chicken* without crowding, heat one teaspoon/breast of olive oil, sear chicken until just browned on both sides, put in oven to finish cooking until internal temperature is 160°.

    Remove chicken from oven spoon approximately 1/4 cup of sauce on each breast cover pan and let it rest for approximately ten minutes. The heat from the pan along with the sauce will finish the chicken. Serve with Rice Mélange.

    Rice Mélange

    For this recipe I used Rice Select Royal Blend. It is equal parts Texmati white, brown, red and wild rices.
    Finally chop herbs used in the chicken recipe. Cook rice according to package directions. When rice is cooked stir in herbs with a little butter. As an alternative you can purchase individual packages of these or other rices to make your own unique side dish.

    *Fresh Cod or other firm white fish can be substituted in place of the chicken.

    Cognac Orange Glaze

    This is a very simply prepared glaze that can be used on Ham, Chicken or Pork. The total cooking time is less than 10 minutes.

    You will need:

    Cognac (I used Hennessey VS) 2 TBS
    Orange Marmalade (I used Smuckers Simply Fruit) 1 cup
    Honey/Dijon Mustard (I used Plochman’s) 2 TBS + 1 tsp
    Habanero Pepper 1/2 with seeds (cut pepper in half lengthwise

    In a small sauce pot add cognac and habanero pepper bring to a boil to cook off alcohol. Add marmalade and honey/mustard. Turn heat down so that glaze just simmers, put on lid and cook for 5 minutes. Remove habanero pepper. As an alternative you can omit the pepper or use milder Jalapeno pepper. The glaze can be made ahead and reheated when needed. Brush glaze on ham, pork or chicken and roast as you would normally. You can re-glaze the meat half way through cooking time to enhance the flavor.

    Filet de boeuf Bourgogne


    I’ve taken the traditional Burgundy Beef and went a little upscale while reducing the amount of time to prepare this wonderful meal.

    You will need:

    Beef Filet (approximately 4 oz. /person)
    Small button mushrooms or medium/large cut into quarters
    Pearl onion (I used frozen par-cooked) 4 or 5/per person
    Carrot (I used bagged baby carrots) 4 or 5/per person
    Red wine (I used a good Merlot instead of Burgundy) approximately 1/2 cup/person
    Salt/Pepper
    Beef broth (no salt) approximately 1/4 cup/person
    Egg Noodles approximately 4 oz. /person
    Fresh Thyme
    Butter and Olive Oil

    Cut filet(s) into one-inch pieces, set aside. Defrost pearl onions. Clean mushrooms, if using larger mushrooms quarter them at this point, set aside. Fill a small saucepot with water and carrots; cook until the carrots are fork tender. Put approximately 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter in a sauté pan heat until butter starts to bubble. Sauté beef cubes until just seared, do not crowd pan, sauté in batches if necessary remove as the beef browns and place in a bowl. Deglaze sauté pan with the wine scraping brown bits (fond in culinary terms) on bottom of pan. Add one or two twigs of thyme, there is no need to strip the leaves, as it will be remove later. Continue to cook wine and thyme until wine is reduced by half, remove thyme set aside in bowl.

    Place approximately one tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in sauté pan Sauté mushrooms, carrots and onions until caramelized (salt and pepper the vegetables to taste). Put wine reduction, beef broth and vegetables in a sauce pot bring to a rolling simmer (at this time you should prepare noodles according to package directions). Add beef filet cubes with any accumulated juices to sauce pot turn off heat (the beef will warm through with the residual heat in the pot, caution do not overcook beef).
    Place cooked noodles on a serving plate, ladle beef, the vegetables and stock over noodles. Garnish with chopped parsley.
    Filet De Boeuf Bourgogne on Foodista

    Chicken Saltimbocca*

    Chicken Saltimbocca

    I took the classic Veal Saltimbocca recipe and adapted it for chicken. Unlike other Saltimbocca preparations I finely diced the sage and put it between the chicken breast and the prosciutto. Make sure that the chicken breast is butterflied and pounded to approximately 1/4″ or it will be undercooked.

    You will need:
    Boneless, skinless chicken breast (1 per person)
    Prosciutto (one or two thin slices per chicken breast)
    Fresh Sage
    Unsalted butter
    Olive Oil
    Dry white wine ( I used an unoaked chardonnay)
    Tomato Paste
    Salt & Pepper
    Flour

    Preparation:
    Place chicken breast flat side down on a clean cutting board. With a sharp boning knife carefully butterfly the breast at it’s thickest part. Place chicken breast between two lightly oiled sheets of plastic wrap and pound until it is approximately 1/4″ thick, repeat with all breasts being used. Finally chop fresh sage, chop enough to dust all breasts. The amount of sage used depends on your particular taste but beware that you can overpower the chicken if you use too much. Lightly dust the breast with flour shaking off excess flour. Sprinkle chopped sage over one side of the breast and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place prosciutto slices over chopped sage (use enough to completely cover chicken breast.

    In a sauté pan large enough to hold all the breasts heat butter and olive oil. When the oil/butter starts to foam gently place chicken, prosciutto side down, into sauté pan. Sear for approximately five minutes or until you notice a change in color of the chicken around the edges. Turn chicken over and sear on second side for another five minutes. Remove chicken from pan and hold, covered on a warm plate.

    Pour off any excess fat from pan and add white wine to deglaze (use about one quarter cup of white per chicken breast). Put one table spoon of tomato paste/chicken breast and swirl/stir until tomato paste dissolves and colors the wine. Drop two or three tablespoons of cold butter into wine/tomato paste combination. This procedure is called mounting the sauce. When butter is completely dissolved return chicken and any juices to the pan. Heat thoroughly (about 5 minutes). If your chicken breast is thicker than 1/4″ it will take a little longer for the chicken to cook through. You can use a meat thermometer (it should read no less than 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

    I serve this with thin spaghetti with olive oil and garlic.

    *Alternately you can use veal instead of chicken. Ask your butcher for veal for scallopini and follow recipe.

    Scallop Appetizer

    Pan seared diver scallop with pancetta crisp and sweet corn coulis.

    You will need:
    Fresh sweet corn or if not available frozen sweet corn.
    Heavy cream.
    Walla Walla or other sweet onion finely diced.
    Oil oil.
    Unsalted butter.
    Kosher salt/fresh ground pepper.
    One diver scallop per person.
    Thinly sliced pancetta (one per scallop) NB: Pancetta is sold in roll form do not unroll simply have your purveyor slice thinly.

    Put a little olive oil and butter in a sauté pan, heat until butter melts. Sauté onion until translucent add sweet corn and cook until corn just starts to caramelize. Add small amounts of heavy cream until corn starts to thicken. Process mixture in a food processor until smooth and creamy, set aside and keep warm.
    Cook pancetta slices until crisp. Be careful it tends to burn easily. Set aside.
    Put a little olive oil and butter in a sauté pan large enough to hold all the scallops. Heat until butter melts. Dry off the scallops, season with salt and pepper, put scallops in hot pan. Sauté scallops until done. This step depends on the size of your scallops. You should get a good sear on one side (make sure you get some color here) flip scallop to finish. Press down in the center of the scallop when you get a little resistance the scallop is done.
    To plate pour some of the sweet corn coulis on an appetizer plate, if you have scallop shells use those. Place one scallop in the middle of the coulis and top with a pancetta disk. Garnish with a sprig of parsley.

    Great Chef Resource Books
    Take this quick quiz, it’s fun.
    Hard to find tomatoes.
    More great recipes.
    Close

    Loading ...

    Sorry :(

    Can't connect ... Please try again later.