Sunday, August 17, 2008
Korean Style Beef Ribs
adapted from Daily Unadventures in Cooking
4 pounds beef ribs
3/4 C soy sauce
1 1/2 C orange juice
2T rice vinegar
2T ginger, grated
2t hot chili flakes
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2T toasted sesame oil (next time I would substitute olive oil for 1 T of the sesame oil as it was a little strong for me)
3T toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
2 scallions, thinly sliced for garnish
2T corn starch, as needed
salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Brown ribs in batches until all ribs are nicely browned on all sides
In a large bowl combine the soy sauce, juice, vinegar, ginger, garlic, chili, oil and honey and mix well (this can be made in advance as I did, the night before).
Transfer ribs to slow cooker and pour sauce over top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is very tender. Remove the ribs to a platter and pour the sauce from the crock pot into a gravy separator. Pour the sauce (without the excess fat) into a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Make a slurry with equal parts cornstarch and water and add to the sauce to thicken. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is at desired consistency. Serve ribs over rice and top with sauce. Garnish with scallions and toasted sesame seeds if desired.
For the rice I followed this recipe I found over at Jaden's Steamy Kitchen. I really liked the mellow sweet flavor of the rice which really paired well with the ribs.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Asparagus and Shiitake Risotto:
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T butter, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces and blanched
6 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and julienned
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup parmigianno reggiano, grated
Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan and hold at a simmer.
Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat and add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the garlic and shallot and saute until fragrant. Add the rice and cook until opaque. Deglaze with the wine and stir with a wooden spoon constantly until most of the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Ladel the chicken stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until all liquid is absorbed. This takes a bit of time but is quite worth it. Once the rice is creamy and plump add the asparagus, mushrooms, lemon juice, and cheese. Stir well to combine and keep warm until ready to serve.
Seared Grass Fed Ribeye
(serves 1 plus some scraps for the dogs)
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb ribeye - brought to room temperature
Season the ribeye with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Place the ribeye in the olive oil and allow the beef to sear for about 3 minutes. Flip and sear the other side. Normally I would finish a steak in the oven once it is seared but I didn't want to heat up my oven for one 1/2 lb steak. Once the steak rested for a few minutes I sliced it up (it was still VERY rare, even for my taste) and then I placed the slices back in the pan and seared each side an additional minute or so. Place the slices of the ribeye on a bed of risotto and serve. Pair this with a nice Pinot Noir and you have the makings of a wonderful dinner...
Sunday, July 06, 2008
As usual I made a few tweaks to the recipe to make it my own. It turned out beautifully and everyone truly enjoyed the sandwiches.
BBQ Braised Beef:
3-4 lbs boneless chuck roast (I used 2 separate cuts one about 2.2 lbs and the other about 1.7 lbs)
2 medium yellow onions, diced
1 can whole peeled tomatoes, hand crushed
1 18 oz jar bbq sauce (I used Stubbs Smokey Mequite as it didn't have any HFCS)
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
12 of your favorite sandwich buns
Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat with a good coating of olive oil. Season one side of the beef (if you have a large cut, you may one to cut it into smaller pieces to allow it to brown best) and place it seasoned side down in the pot. Leave it alone for at least 4 minutes allowing it to brown really well. Season the top of the beef with more salt and pepper while the bottom is browning. When well browned flip the beef to brown the top side about another 4-5 minutes. Remove beef and set aside on a plate. Continue to brown all beef seasoning each side as you go.
Once all beef is browned, reduce the heat to medium and add a bit more olive oil and add the chopped onions. Season the onions with more salt and pepper and saute the onions until they brown really well. The juice of the onions will help deglaze all those good brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Use a wooden spoon if needed to help loosen them up and mix them in with the onions. This is flavor!! Once the onions are well browned add the tomates and the bbq sauce. Mix well and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. Add the beef, ensuring it is covered by the sauce. Cover, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 3-4 hours. I went the full four hours, stirring occaisionally (~every 30 -60 minutes) and flipping the beef in the sauce.
Once the beef is falling apart, remove it from the pot. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce until the sauce is nice and thick, then turn the heat off. Shred the beef using two forks. Once the sauce is reduced add the beef back in.
At this point I transferred the mixture to a crock pot for transport and kept it on warm during the party. Serve on your favorite buns - I prefer them a bit toasted alongside refreshing glass of vodka spiked homemade lemonade!
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
First, I started a pot of water on high heat to get it boiling. While waiting for that I chopped up one large zucchini, 2 portabellini, garlic, shallot, prosciutto and a handful of sun dried tomatoes (Reserve that oil!) . I put a saute pan over medium heat and added a generous helping of olive oil. I sauteed the garlic, shallot and prosciutto until fragrant and the prosciutto started to crisp up. By this time the water was boiling good and I threw in a handful of salt and a pound of linguine. I added the shrooms and the zucchini to the saute pan, seasoned it with salt, pepper and tossed it all together, sauteeing until the zucchini was cooked through. I decided I wanted a little heat so I threw in some crushed red pepper flakes. I drained the cooked pasta and poured it into a serving bowl. I topped the pasta with the reserved olive oil from the sun dried tomatoes, the juice of one lemon, lots of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, chopped basil and the sun dried tomatoes. Add the contents of the saute pan and toss well. Enjoy!
Monday, June 30, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Baja Fish Tacos
2 limes, 1, juiced and 1 sliced for serving
1 tablespoon tequila
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 teaspoons black pepper, divided
1 ½ lbs tilapia, halibut or cod, cut into 2 inch long pieces
1 package (8-inch) corn tortillas
1 package tempura flour, divided
1 beer (plus more for drinking with the tacos!)
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup thinly sliced white cabbage
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 avocado cut into thin slices
In medium bowl, combine lime juice, tequila, cumin, salt, and pepper; mix thoroughly. Add the fish and toss to coat. Marinate for about 10 minutes.
Divide tempura flour in half in each of 2 shallow dishes for dredging. Season the dry tempura flour with 1 tsp each of salt, pepper and garlic salt. Stir to incorporate spices into the dry tempura flour. With the second dish of tempura flour add about 1 cup of beer and stir to mix. The mixture should be soupy. Add more beer as needed.
Warm tortillas in oven, covered in tinfoil at 150 degrees F.
In a medium Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees F. Use enough oil to have about 2 inches deep in the pot.
Remove fish from marinade, shake off excess, dredge in tempura flour then dunk in cold tempura beer batter. Gently, add fish to oil (only about 5-6 pieces at a time), making sure to keep the fish pieces separated. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove and drain on a rack over a paper towel covered cookie sheet.
Place 1-2 pieces of fried fish on top of a corn tortilla, add a slice of avocado, some diced tomatoes and cabbage. Top with white sauce and a squeeze of lime.
Tequila Lime Whitesauce:
2 tablespoons premium tequila
1 lime, juiced
8 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup milk
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper
In small bowl, combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
Friday, June 20, 2008
I was fortunate enough to score a reservation for the second locavore dinner held at Tapino Kitchen & Wine Bar, owned by Chef James Porter. I had heard about the first locavore dinner back in February of this year and I was so disappointed that I was unable to attend. When I saw mention of a second one I was on the phone getting reservations as fast as my fingers could dial!
The dinner was underwritten by several sponsors so the cost of the event was almost too good to be true - $40 per person with paired wines plus tax and gratuity. Seriously?! I still don’t know how Chef Porter pulled this off so it’s worth mentioning the generous sponsors of this event:
Arizona Farm Bureau
Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Local First Arizona
Tapino Kitchen and Wine Bar
City of Scottsdale
This dinner was all about celebrating the bounty that Arizona has to offer from fruit, vegetables, cheese, shrimp, beef, pork and yes, even wine! The resounding chorus throughout the night, championed by Chef Porter was, “Eat Local!” He urges everyone to support locally owned restaurants and shop for local food. We are giving back to our own economy when we as consumers do this: “For every $100 spent locally, studies show that $42 stays here at home. For the same $100 spent with a national corporation, only $13 remains here to circulate” (tapino.com). It really is something I am striving to do and it was exciting to be in a room full of 160 like minded individuals.
So, on to the dinner….
Chef Porter along with his Sous Chef, Christopher Phipps created a vibrant six course meal to showcase all that Arizona has to offer:
First Course – Arizona Desert Sweet Shrimp Lumpia with Arizona Citrus Ponzu: Wow! This was one of my favorites. I loved the thinly sliced cucumbers which served as a bed to nestle the shrimp lumpias. The flavor of the lumpias exploded with each bite. I really don’t know what was inside the lumpia’s other than shrimp and I spotted some mushrooms but the flavors melded together perfectly. Wine Pairing: Pillsbury, Rose 2006
Second Course – Desert Roots & Duncan Farms Vegetable Terrine with Sunizona Yellow Tomato Coulis: This was a wonderful, light vegetable course, bursting with farm fresh flavor. I’ve never had a terrine before, though I’ve read a lot about them so I was really excited to try this. Wine Pairing: Arizona Stronghold, Tazi 2007
Third Course – Konrath Farm Roasted “Whole Pork” Duo: Both servings of pork were incredibly tender and delicious garnished with some micro greens and what must have been housemade pork rinds (I'm not sure as I forgot to ask our server). Wine Pairing: Pillsbury, Roan Red, 2006
Fourth Course – OX Ranch Grass-fed Angus Beef with Desert Roots Vegetable Sauté: I was really looking forward to this course because I spent the hour before the dinner talking with the rancher from OX Ranch, Jay Murphy. Jay is very personable and his excitement in talking about his ranch was apparent. The beef, like the pork, was incredibly tender. Paired with the vegetables and potatoes it was a well rounded dish. The sauce – amazing! I would have licked my plate had I not been surrounded by 159 other diners!! I’m all about grass-fed beef and what that means for the health of us humans, the animal, and our environment so it was nice to see how good grass-fed beef tastes when cooked correctly, something I’m slowly learning to do at home. Wine Pairing: Pillsbury, Diva 2006
Dessert Course: Fossil Creek Goat Cheese and Green Valley Pecan Fudge Tartlette: What a way to top off a wonderful meal – creamy fudge paired with a knob of tangy goat cheese. Yum! Wine Pairing: Page Springs Cellars, Zinfandel 2007
I’m not educated enough about wine to discuss the nuances of each but I will say that there wasn’t one I didn’t like. My favorites though were the Rose and the Zinfandel. Oh, and the Roan Red!
If my experience has peaked your interest, don’t worry, Chef James is planning Locavore 3! Its scheduled for August 21st and will feature other Chef’s from around the valley. I already have reservations so I hope to see you there!
*I did my best at providing links to all the sponsors and the wonderful farmers who provided their food. If I missed you and you'd like to be included please leave me a comment or send me an email and I'll update the post.