Saturday, February 28, 2009

Beef Pops with Pineapple and Parsley Sauce

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

3 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed chili flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
11/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

For the Beef Pops:
1 1/2 pounds beef fillet, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 40 cubes)
1 (2-pound) pineapple, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 40 pieces)
20 (8-inch) wooden or bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Parsley Sauce: In the bowl of a food processor, blend together the parsley, garlic, vinegar, chili flakes, sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until smooth. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil until incorporated. Place half of the mixture in a medium bowl. Place the remaining mixture in a small serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Beef Pops: Place the beef in the medium bowl with the parsley sauce. Toss well until the beef is coated with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Thread the skewers starting with a piece of pineapple, then a cube of beef. Repeat with another piece of pineapple and another cube of beef. Continue with the remaining skewers. Grill the skewers for 2 to 3 minutes each side (for medium rare) or until desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, arrange the Beef Pops on a serving platter. Drizzle with the remaining reserved Parsley Sauce or serve the sauce on the side as a condiment.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Roasted Wood Ducks or Teal

Pluck and gut them. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash the bird, then cut out the backbone with a stout knife, like a chef's knife. Salt liberally, and sear skin side in an ovenproof frying pan until it gets reasonably brown and lovely. Put the ducks skin side up in the oven-proof frying pan (cast iron is perfect) into the hot oven and cook for no longer than 15 minutes. It might take as little as 8 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, you're looking for 135-140 degrees.

Take it out and let it rest 5 minutes. Grind pepper on them and enjoy!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

San Diego Salmon Tacos

from Bobby Flay

3 salmon fillets, 8 ounces each
Canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 head green cabbage, finely shredded
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup best-quality mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper puree
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
12 fried blue corn taco shells
Orange-Habanero Sauce, recipe follows
Preheat grill or grill pan over high heat.

Brush salmon with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on each side for 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool slightly and shred the meat with a fork. Place in a bowl with the cabbage and green onions.

Combine the mayonnaise, chipotle and lime juice in a small bowl and season with salt. Add the mayonnaise and the cilantro to the salmon mixture and gently fold to combine. Season with salt to taste, if needed. Divide the salmon mixture among the taco shells and drizzle each with the Orange-Habanero Sauce.

Orange-Habanero Hot Sauce:
6 cups fresh orange juice
1 habanero chile
1 tablespoon honey

Place juice and habanero in a medium nonreactive saucepan and cook over high heat until reduced to 1 cup, stirring occasionally. Remove the habanero, whisk in the honey and season with salt. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Kelley's Easy Mock-BBQ Chicken Thighs

This makes a simple weeknight dish, or double the recipe to feed a crowd with ease!

Serves 4

8 bone-on, skin-on chicken thighs
1 cup barbeque sauce (Roroc's favorite is KC Masterpiece)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray rectangular baking dish (13x9 inch) with non-stick spray. Trim chicken thighs of excess fat and skin (this is an important step, as I do not enjoy too much fat or skin on my chicken). Arrange chicken, skin side up, in a single layer in the baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use a sharp knife to make two slashes in the skin of each chicken thigh. Squirt thighs generously with barbeque sauce (2-3 tablespoons per thigh), and use the back of a spoon to spread the barbeque sauce over the top of the thigh. Bake in oven, on the middle rack (uncovered), for 1 hour. Remove the dish from the oven and turn on the broiler. Raise the oven rack to the top. When the broiler is ready, return chicken to the oven for 1 minute 30 seconds (or so) to brown the skin (be sure to keep an eye on it as this part goes fast, and you don't want to burn the chicken). Remove from oven, let rest for 3-4 minutes, and serve hot!

For a really quick meal, prepare with frozen corn and a frozen biscuit or roll!

Bourbon Blinker

This is a version of a "serious cocktail" that I enjoy drinking at the Grand Lux Cafe here in Dallas!

1 Double Old-Fashioned Glass (Morgantown Crinkle is preferred)
Small amount of Fresh Ice
4 ounces Maker's Mark Bourbon
2 ounces Pomegranate Juice
6 ounces Grapefruit Juice (fresh)

Place enough ice in the glass to loosely fill 3/4 of the way. Fill glass 1/3 of the way with Bourbon. Add a splash of pomegranate juice, until glass is 1/2 full. Then, fill the rest with grapefruit juice. Stir and enjoy!

This is officially Kelley's favorite drink! Not too sweet, and very refreshing!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Almond Paste

Makes approximately 1 pound

Simple to make and delicious--PKS

2 cups whole almonds
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
a few drops of almond extract

Cover the almonds with boiling water and let them stand for at least a minute. Slip off the skins with your fingers. If they are very stubborn, cover them again with boiling water or let them soak and remove them just a few at a time to work on.

Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a pan and cook, without stirring, until the temperature is 235 degrees F. Then stir in the almond extract.

While the syrup is heating, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Put the peeled almonds on a cookie sheet and leave them just long enough to dry out and warm up, about 8 to 10 minutes. Then, while they're still warm, grind them in a food processor until the texture is fine and smooth. If necessary, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to loosen the mixture and make it easier to process.

With the food processor going, gradually pour in the syrup in a slow, steady stream. Process until the paste is uniform. Remove it from the work bowl, wrap it well in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it until needed. To make it soft and easy to work with, put it in a warm place, such as on top of the stove while the oven is on, or heat it in a double boiler or a steamer set over simmering water.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ruth Schmidt's Cinnamon Rolls

Make a batch of enriched bread dough (white, whole wheat, or whatever you want). Let it rise until double. Degas and proceed as follows:

1. Dough is rolled out, buttered, and sprinkled heavily (hum, is that an oxymoron?) with brown sugar and cinnamon.

2. Dough is then rolled up, cut, and panned.

3. More butter is then placed on top of each roll, and then more brown sugar and cinnamon.
Proof until nearly double.

4. Bake for about 25 mins. at 375 F.

5. Turn pan upside down and drizzle stuff in bottom of pan on top.

That's the way Jim's mom has been doing it since the around 1940.

They are pretty sticky, fairly sweet, and very cinnamony. They freeze well too.

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