Memorial Day Weekend

Delicious Grilled Steak

May 26, 2013

Marinated SteakDelicious Grilled Steak

Memorial Day is almost here.  Time to get your grill on!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup of Your Favorite Steak Sauce

1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

4 Cloves Minced Garlic

1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

2 Medium Size Rib Eye Steaks

In a medium size bowl mix together the steak sauce, balsamic dressing, garlic and oregano.  Place the steaks into a ziplock bag. Pour 3/4 cup of the mixture into the ziplock bag and all over the steaks.  Set aside 1/4 cup of the mixture.  Seal up the ziplock bag and place into the fridge for about an hour.  Preheat your grill to medium high.  Remove the steaks from the fridge and drain the marinade.  Throw away the marinade.  Place the steaks onto the hot grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium doneness. Less cooking time for rarer; more cooking time for well done.  Remove from the grill and place onto a serving platter.  Drizzle the steaks with the reserved 1/4 cup marinade mixture.  Serves 4

 

Lamb Chops & Beans With Chile Butter

May 24, 2013

Lamb ChopsLamb Chops & Beans With Chile Butter

All I can say is YUM!

INGEDIENTS

8 Lamb Loin Chops (1 Inch Thick)

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

15 Ounces Cannellini Beans (Cooked, Rinsed & Drained)

1 Stalk Chopped Celery

2 Chopped Green Onions

Chile Butter

1 Tablespoon Lime Juice

Trim the fat off of the lamb chops.  Sprinkle the chops with the kosher salt and pepper.  For a charcoal grill, grill the chops on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals until desired doneness.  Turn once halfway through grilling.  Allow 12 to 14 minutes for medium rare and 15 to 17 minutes for medium.  For a gas grill, preheat the grill.  Reduce the heat to medium.  Place the chops on a grill rack over the heat.  Cover and grill as directed.  Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine the beans, celery, green onion and 2 tablespoons of the Chile Butter.  Cook over a medium heat until heated through.  Stir occasionally.  Stir in the lime juice.  To serve, top each lamb chop with a slice of Chile Butter and serve with the bean mixture.  Serves 4

 

Chile Butter

1/2 Cup Softened Butter

1/4 Cup Snipped Fresh Cilantro

2 Fresh Jalapeno Chile Peppers (Seeded & Finely Chopped)

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

1 Clove Minced Garlic

In a small size bowl stir together all of the ingredients.  Place on waxed paper and form into a log.  Wrap well and chill for 1 hour or overnight.  Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 1 month.

Asparagus With Toasted Almonds

May 23, 2013

Asparagus 3Asparagus With Toasted Almonds

Barbeque season is officially here although I fire up the barbeque all year round.  While you’re thinking about all of those delicious main dishes that you’re going to make this weekend don’t forget the sides.  Here is a great side dish that even makes a nice light lunch.

INGREDIENTS

1 Large Bunch Asparagus

1/2 Cup Toasted & Sliced Almonds

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Zest of 1 Lemon

1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Dill

1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley

1/4 Cup Grated Pecorino Cheese

In a medium size sauté pan heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over a low heat.  Stir in the almonds and cook for a couple of minutes.  You will want them to turn color, but not too dark or burnt.  Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to dry.  Snap off the woody bottoms of the asparagus.  Wash and dry the asparagus.  Cut the asparagus spears into thirds or leave whole.  Place the asparagus in a medium size bowl and coat with the rest of the olive oil.  Place the asparagus in a large size sauté pan over a medium high heat.  Cook for 4 to 6 minutes until the asparagus in a bit charred, but still firm.  Place the cooked asparagus back into the bowl and add the salt, toasted almonds, dill, parsley and lemon zest.  Combine well.  Finish off with grated pecorino cheese.  Transfer to a serving bowl.  Serves 4

Spinach & Strawberry Salad

May 22, 2013

Spinach & Strawberry SaladSpinach & Strawberry Salad

Don’t be afraid to mix fruit and greens.  This salad is absolutely refreshing and will go nicely with all of those wonderful things you’ll be cooking over the weekend.  This salad is also good to take along on a picnic because the spinach holds up rather well.

INGREDIENTS

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/4 Raspberry Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Honey

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

8 Cups Loosely Packed Flat-Leafed Spinach (About 2 Large Bunches)

2 Pints Rinsed, Hulled & Sliced Strawberries

1/3 Cup Thinly Slices Scallions (White & Green Parts)

1/2 Cup Walnuts (Optional)

Wash and dry the spinach.  You want to make sure that there is no grit left in the spinach.  In a medium size bowl whisk the vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper.  In a large size serving bowl gently toss the spinach, strawberries, scallions and dressing.  Serve immediately.  Serves 6

Make-It-Yours Burgers

May 21, 2013

HamburgerMake-It-Yours Burgers

Create all kinds of burgers, from the straightforward to the exotic and grill until your heart’s content.  If you don’t have a grill I’ve included oven instructions below.

Basic Ingredients (Serves 4)

Meat

Liquid (Optional)

Seasoning

1/3 to 1/2 Cup Stuffing (Optional)

Bread

Spread And/Or Toppers (Optional)

 

Meat (Choose One or Combine)

1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef

1 1/2 Pounds Ground Pork

1 1/2 Pounds Ground Lamb

1 1/2 Pounds Ground Veal

1 Pound Ground Beef Plus 8 Ounces Ground Italian Sausage

1 1/2 Pounds Ground Salmon

1 1/2 Pounds Ground Turkey (Use a Liquid; Brush Turkey Burgers

Lightly With Vegetable Oil Before Grilling; Cook Turkey Burgers to 165º F)

1 1/2 Pounds Ground Chicken (Cook Same As Turkey)

 

Liquid (Choose One or Combine)

2 Tablespoons Apricot Preserves (Chop Large Pieces)

2 Tablespoons Barbecue Sauce

2 Tablespoons Chutney (Chop Large Pieces)

1 Lightly Beaten Egg

1 Lightly Beaten Egg White

2 Tablespoons Milk

2 Tablespoons Steak Sauce

 

Seasoning (Choose One or Combine)

1/2 Teaspoon Dried Basil

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

2 Cloves Minced Garlic

2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Onion

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Teaspoon Steak Seasoning

2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce

 

Stuffing (Choose One or Combine)

Cooked Crisp Crumbled Bacon

Crumbled Feta Cheese

Crumbled Blue Cheese

Shredded Provolone

Shredded Mozzarella

Shredded Smoked Cheddar

Shredded Cheddar

Shredded Monterey Jack

Cooked Sliced Fresh Mushrooms

Chopped Roasted Red Sweet Peppers

 

Bread (Choose One)

4 Split Kaiser Rolls

4 Split Onion Rolls

4 White Hamburger Buns

4 Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

2 White or Whole Wheat Pita Bread Rounds – Halved

4 Split Brioche Buns

4 Split Port Muffins

4 Split English Muffins

 

Spread (Choose One or Combine)

Mayonnaise

Ketchup

Yellow Mustard

Dijon Mustard

Basil Pesto

Barbecue Sauce

The Possibilities Are Endless!

 

Toppers

Cheese Slices

Tomato Slices

Onion Slices

Caramelized Onions

Pickle Slices

Cooked Bacon

Roasted Peppers

Fresh Basil Leaves

Spinach Leaves

Lettuce Leaves

Avocado

The Possibilities Are Endless!

 

Combine meat, liquid and seasoning in a large size bowl.  Mix well.  Shape the meat mixture into four 3/4 inch patties.  To stuff them, divide the mixture into eight portions and shape them into 1/4 inch thick patties.  Place the stuffing on the centers of the four patties.  Top with the remaining patties.  Pinch the edges to seal.

For a charcoal grill, grill the stuffed or unstuffed patties on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 14 to 18 minutes or until done (160º F to 165º F).  Turn only once halfway through grilling.  If you’re using a gas grill then preheat your grill.  Reduce the heat to medium and place the patties on the grill rack over the heat.  Cover and grill as directed.

Serve the burgers on bread with spread and toppers.  Makes 4 burgers.

If you don’t have a grill or would rather use your oven then broil your burgers.  Preheat your broiler and place the patties on the unheated rack of a broiler pan.  Broil for 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 12 to 14 minutes or until done (160º F to 165ºF).  Turn only once.

Skillet Roasted Salmon

May 17, 2013

Skillet Roasted SalmonSkillet Roasted Salmon

This salmon dish is so simple and so delicious.  Try and purchase your salmon from the thickest part of the belly as it works best with well-marbled salmon.

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Asparagus

2 Pounds Salmon Fillets

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Salad Greens For Garnish

Lemon Wedges For Garnish

Preheat your oven to 500º F.  Rinse the salmon and pat dry with paper towels.  Salt the salmon with the kosher salt.  Place a large oven-proof skillet over a high heat.  Add the olive oil and place the salmon into the skillet.  Cook for 30 seconds on each side.  Remove the skillet from the heat and put into the oven.  Cook 5 to 6 minutes for medium-rare.  7 to 9 minutes for medium.  Make sure not to flip the salmon while in the oven.  In the meantime snap the asparagus, wash and then steam (make sure not to overcook the asparagus).  Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the salmon onto a serving platter on top of the steamed asparagus spears. Garnish with salad greens and lemon wedges.  Serves 4

Deep Dish Rhubarb Pie

May 13, 2013

RhubarbDeep Dish Rhubarb Pie

Many people are hesitant to cook with rhubarb.  Rhubarb is, botanically speaking, a vegetable, and eaten like fruit.  The stalks are best picked when they are young and ready for eating in the spring and early summer.  The leaves should be thrown away as they are poisonous.

INGREDIENTS

2 Pounds Pink Rhubarb

2 Ounces Gingerroot

8 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

Powdered Sugar

Pastry:

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

8 Tablespoons Butter

7 Tablespoons Water To Mix

Milk To Glaze

Preheat your oven to 425º F.  Trim and thickly slice the rhubarb. Place in a large size bowl.  Chop the ginger and add to the sliced rhubarb. In a small size bowl combine the sugar and cornstarch.  Add the sugar & cornstarch mixture to the rhubarb mixture.  Set aside.  In a large size bowl combine the flour, kosher salt and ground ginger.  Cut in the butter.  Add 7 tablespoons water to make the dough manageable.  Roll the dough out to fit the top of the pie plate.  Transfer the rhubarb mixture to a 3 cup pie pan.  Cover the pie pan with the pastry dough.  Crimp and decorate the edges.  Brush the pastry with milk.  Place onto a baking sheet and bake at 425º F for 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350º F and bake for 20 to 30 minutes more until the crust is pale golden and the rhubarb tender.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve.  Make 1 deep dish pie.

To The Manor Born Pound Cake

February 18, 2013

To The Manor Born Pound Cake

My pièce de résistance is a beautiful pound cake swimming in silky-smooth whipped cream topped with fresh and fragrant berries. 

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar

1 Cup Softened Butter

5 Eggs

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 3/4 Cup Unbleached Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Sweetened Whipped Cream

Assorted Berries

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Grease and flour a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.  In a large size bowl, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and kosher salt.  Gradually add the flour mixture into the sugar mixture.  Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.  Garnish with berries and whipped cream. Serves 8

 

Sweetened Whipped Cream

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

3 Tablespoons Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

 

Chill a medium size bowl in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowl from the freezer and add the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla.  Beat on medium high until soft peaks form.  Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 3 hours. 

 

 

Basic Pound Cake

August 30, 2012

Basic Pound Cake

The simplest of cakes is the most delicious and it goes well with everything.  You can flavor your pound cake any way you like or just serve it with berries or ice cream.  This truly is an easy cake to make.  Make sure that your eggs are room temperature and that you beat the butter and sugar long enough so that the batter is fluffy.  Once you’ve added the flour be sure not to overmix the cake.  You don’t want your pound cake to be tough. 

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 1/4 Cups Sugar

1/2 Pound Softened Butter

5 Large Eggs

2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/2 Cup Half & Half

Preheat your oven to 325° F.  Grease and flour a loaf pan.  If you don’t have a loaf pan then use a bundt pan.  In a medium size bowl combine the flour and salt.  Set aside.  In a large size bowl beat the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes.  I use an electric mixer on low for this. Add the eggs one at a time.  After the third egg add 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture.  Beat for 10 seconds.  Add the vanilla and lemon juice.  Put down your electric mixer and mix in the flour by hand.  Add the flour in thirds.  Alternate with the half & half.  Make sure not to overmix.  Pour the batter evenly in the pan and tap it on the counter to get out air bubbles.  Bake for 1 hour on the middle rack.  After 50 minutes check to see if the cake is done.  The top will spring back when you touch it.  Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 20 minutes.  Turn the cake out onto a rack and when thoroughly cool wrap in foil and store in a tightly sealed container.  Wait 24 hours before slicing it.  The good news is that pound cakes will keep in the freezer for months so this is a great “make ahead” recipe.  Serves 16

Boston Baked Beans

August 29, 2012

Boston Baked Beans

Labor Day Weekend is coming up and you might want to round out your BBQ with my delicious Boston Baked Beans!

INGREDIENTS

2 Pounds Dry Navy Beans

1/2 Pound Salt Pork

2 Quartered Onions

1/2 Cup Dark Molasses

1/2 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup

1/4 Cup Tomato Paste

2 Tablespoons Dry Mustard

2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Quart Boiling Water

Rinse the dry beans and cover with cold water in a pot.  They will need to soak overnight.  Drain and rinse the beans the next day.  Preheat your oven to 225° F.    Cut the salt pork into 1 inch thick slices.  Put 1/4 cup of the salt pork and 4 onion quarters in the bottom of a bean pot.  Fill the pot half full of the beans and repeat the pork and onion.  Pour in the rest of the beans.  Mix the molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, tomato paste, mustard and pepper into the boiling water.  Stir until all of the ingredients dissolves and then pour over the beans.  Fill the pot with enough additional water to cover.  Put any leftover salt pork on top.  Put the lid on and bake for 4 to 5 hours.  Check the beans for water level after 2 hours.  Add a bit more water if needed.  After 3 1/2 hours start checking for tenderness.  Cooking times for beans vary.  You’ll know when they are done.  The last hour of cooking remove the lid and bake uncovered.  Don’t worry if the beans are tender, but still soupy because they will absorb the liquid as they stand.  Remove from the oven and let cook for 15 minutes before serving. When you do reheat them as leftovers you will probably need to add more water.  Serves 12

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