Author: jalexmorrison

tasty tuesday: pan roasted pork tenderloin, barley and mushroom braise, roasted brussels, spinach, onions

Pork barley

Man, it feels like it has been a minute since I’ve been here. Since my last post, we’ve had lots of great food, from authentic Latin American fair to farm-to-table classics and the best of Charleston. Through all of that, I found some inspiration to make tonight’s dish, combining flavors and techniques I’ve experienced from both Sean Brock’s Husk and Hugh Acheson’s Five and Ten. But really, its not much more that good ingredients, nicely seasoned, and simply prepared. That combination goes a lot further than you make think.

I love pasta dishes. I can’t escape it. And for some reason pairing barley or farro with pork and Brussels just stuck out in my mind. It is very similar to a dish at Five and Ten I had about a year ago and it just popped in my head as a very memorable dish. It goes well with the mushrooms I had at Husk, braised with broth and greens. Fantastic all.

As this blog turns two, we thank you for staying with us and helping us grow. Let us know what else you want to see!

On to the food.

Pan roasted pork with braised barley and mushrooms, spinach and onions, roasted brussels

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of any fat and connective tissue
1 cup pearled barley
1 quart chicken stock
5 portabella mushrooms
1 sweet onion, chopped into thin slices, 1/4 finely chopped
2 tbsb butter
1/4 cup spinach
10 sage leaves
8 brussels sprouts, stems removed and halved.
1/8 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
salt, pepper, white pepper
Olive oil to coat pan twice

Start with the barley. In a deep pan, melt butter over medium and add the grains of barley and two pinches of salt. Toast for 2 minutes. Add the fine onions and vinegar. Heat 4 minutes, or until vinegar is absorbed. Add 2 cups chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and cover 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chop mushrooms into thin slices. Add to barley and add 1/2 the remaining stock and sage. Simmer additional 20 minutes, until barley is tender.

Season the pork with a heavy coating of salt, pepper and white pepper.

Heat a large pan to medium high and coat with olive oil. Heat oven to 300. Place the sprouts in the hot oil insides down and sear for 3 minutes. Turn and heat for 2 minutes. Place sprouts on a cookie sheet lined with foil and place in oven for 20 minutes.

In same large pan, add more oil to coat. Place the pork in the oil and sear 5 minutes per side (three sides). Reduce heat to low and cover pan for 2 minutes. Remove pork from pan.

In same pan, add more oil and remaining onions. Press garlic and add to onion. Add spinach and stir 1 minute. Add remaining stock and cook until spinach is wilted. Remove mixture from pan.

Cut the pork into very thin pieces. Return to pan with remaining pork and chicken stock mixtures. Baste with jus for 2 minutes, until pieces reach desired doneness.

Plate with spinach and onions in center of plate. Top with barley and mushroom mixture then pork. Place sprouts around the side and top with rogue brussels crispies and sage.

Enjoy!

tasty tuesday: braised quick-corned beef hash and cabbage tacos

 

IMG_3004Tacos

Irish tacos, y’all.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It was just a scant 3 years ago that on this day I was down in Savannah with some of my best buds for my Bachelor party. It was fun, but I don’t think it is something I need to do again. I survived St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah and no epic tales were spun.

I admit from the outset that I do not make a habit of celebrating this holiday in any big way, as Scotland is the motherland, but I do not begrudge it its culinary traditions. Corned beef (simply salt cured beef) is a wonderful concoction that has filled many a sandwich for me over the years. Its pairing with cabbage is classic. And corned beef hash may truly be the perfect breakfast fuel (if you haven’t had the H&H version you are missing out on a legend in the making).

My love of this food is honored hear with a twist on the classic by turning the dish into tacos, an easy delivery system for the foods. I decided the shells needed to be crunchy for some reason, but in a pinch I think soft shell would be fine. Also, to keep the flavors balanced, I used chuck roast instead of brisket and used a salt and spice crust instead of a cure. You get the flavor without the overwhelming salt throughout. The chuck braises wonderfully and makes for an almost barbacoa like mouthfeel. Incorporating blanched potatoes on the griddle makes a nice hash and steaming with the braising liquid give the potatoes a wonderful flavor without losing texture. The lightly cooked cabbage with vinegar and ginger provides a good contrast and a lemon garlic aioli brings it all together.

This is a fun twist on the tradition St Paddy’s meal that anyone can get behind, even a Scot.

Quick-Corned Beef Braised Tacos

2 lb chuck roast cut into 6 pieces
1 cup salt
1/4 cup garlic
1/8 cup paprika
1 tbsp ground mustard
1/8 cup black pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 bottle Guinness
1 bottle lager
6 whole cloves
4 garlic cloves, quartered
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tbsp whole grain mustard

1 russet potato, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
4 tbsp butter, melted

6 corn tortillas
oil

1/2 head cabbage, cut angel hair
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ginger
salt and pepper

1 egg
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp Dijon
1 tbsp lemon juice
Olive oil to thicken
Combine the spices. Roll the meat in the spices coating all sides evenly. Set aside.

Heat oven to 350. Heat a large dutch oven to medium. Melt the butter and saute the onions until the sweet. Remove from pan. Sear the meat cuts on all sides and remove from pan. Deglaze the pan with the Guinness and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the bits add the clove, garlic, and peppercorns. Boil 5 minutes. Add the meat and onions back to the pan and pour the lager over, leaving the tops of the meat exposed. Cover and place pan in oven for an hour and 45 minutes, flipping halfway.

In the meantime, cube the potato and soak in salt water for 30 minutes. Drain. Heat 4 cups of water in a suacepan to boiling. Add potatoes and boil 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat 1 inch of oil in a saute pan. Heat over medium high heat. Fry the tortillas for 1 minute then flip. When flipped, fold the tortilla into a v shape and continue to fry about 30 seconds, flip to fry the side that was out of the oil. Place on a cookie sheet and repeat. When the meat is ready, reduce temp in oven to warm and place tortillas in the oven.

Heat a large pan and heat the olive oil for the cabbage over medium heat. Add the cabbage, vinegar, ginger, salt a pepper and stir to coat. Cover and reduce heat to low.

In food processor, add garlic, egg, dijon and lemon juice. Blend, slowly adding the olive oil until the mixture thickens. Cool in refrigerator until ready to serve.

When the meat is ready, heat a griddle or saute pan over medium high heat. Spoon 1 tbsp melted butter on griddle and some potatoes. Add a pinch of the spice mix of for the meat.  Heat 4 minutes. Chop the meat and add the meat to the griddle and toss with the potatoes. Ladle a spoonful of the cooking liquid over the hash and cook 2 minutes. Place the mixture into the taco shells. Top with the cabbage and aioli.

Crunch into the tacos!

 

 

 

meatless monday: spaghetti with garlic and oil with asparagus and tomatoes

spag

Comfort food. A big warm bowl of pasta, delicious garlicky oil,a few veggies. It’s a wonderful complement to the mild weather we’ve had the last few days and it is very easy to make. Perfect for a Monday of work, especially the first workday after Springing forward…

This dish is a classic dish with a little fresh twist. Spaghetti olio e aglio is a fairly basic dish that is so easy to make and uses such standard ingredients that it has been dubbed midnight pasta. Typically, you won’t have to make a run to the store to make this supper. I had been wanting to make it ever since we re-watched the movie Chef (something that also led me to make Cubano sandwiches a couple of weeks ago) where Jon Favreau makes this pasta (it seems) for Scarlett Johansson.If you haven’t seen that movie, you should. It is very sweet and the food shots are amazing. It is fascinating to see what directors like Favreau and Joss Weedon do when “taking a break” from their blockbuster films. I guess in this case it has been literally inspiring.

It is amazing what just a few basic ingredients can do to brighten your day.

Spaghetti with garlic and oil with asparagus and tomatoes

1 pound spaghetti
Water and 2 tablespoons salt
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 bundle asparagus, chopped
6 Cherry tomatoes, quartered
Pinch red pepper
1/4 cup parmesan
Salt and pepper to finish

Bring water and salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook 9 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of pasta water before straining.

Heat oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir frequently for 4 minutes, until browned around the edges, but not burned. Add the asparagus and toss in the oil. Pour in the pasta water and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer for about 5 minutes as the sauce reduces. Add red pepper flake and a pinch of salt. Add pasta and remove from heat. Toss in the oil until covered. Toss in cheese and tomatoes and let it sit for 5 minutes. Serve in bowls and finish with salt and pepper.

It will be gone soon after.

tasty tuesday: shrimp etoufee

Etoufee Fin

Mardis gras… fat tuesday… tasty tuesday. Same thing.

Welcome to another installment of Alex making food New Orleans style, this time with local whole shrimp and a spicy bowl of goodness. Last time around we had some BBQ shrimp, and now its time for gumbo’s sophisticated brother etoufee. Etoufee is a creole dish (no tomatoes) made with a roux and the trinity of vegetables. Crawfish is a slightly more traditional ingredient, but shrimp is no pour substitute, especially when fresh from the GA coast courtesy of The Dirt Farmers. I might have cheated on the trinity of vegetables here, replacing bell peppers with jalapenos, but hey, I like jalapenos and spiciness and I do not like bell peppers. So there you have it.

Since it is Fat Tuesday, and on Fat Tuesday you tell the truth (usually due to insobriety, but hey), I should say that I really wanted to make etoufee because I’ve never had it before and it is embarrassing given that I was born in Jefferson Parish. Seems like I should have the taste of New Orleans seeped into my skin, but I suppose my moving to Georgia left me with more of a longing than a true appreciation. I like the place, haven’t spent a lot of time there, but like it. I like the food, though the over-reliance on bell peppers can be a turn off. Its a complicated tale filled with half-met expectations and continually growing curiosity.

But, as a dish to warm you up on a cold evening, Fat Tuesday or not, this etoufee is an expectation fully met that will leave you craving for so much more that you won’t mind missing whatever you are giving up for lent.

Shrimp Etoufee

1/2 stick butter
4 tbsp flour
Dash salt
1 large onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded, ribbed, and chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp alt, pepper, paprika, white pepper,
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 qt shrimp stock (vegetable stock simmered with shrimp heads)
1 lb whole shrimp, peeled (leave 4 behind with heads and shells on)
1 tbsp butter
1 cup brown rice, prepared in rice cooker

Head on Shrimp
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp red pepper flake
1/2 tsp garlic powder
dash canola oil
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp heavy cream.

Begin by making the shrimp stock. Cut the heads off all but 4 shrimp and add to 1 quart of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes. If you are not using whole shrimp, follow the same procedure using the peels. Strain the stock into a bowl, making sure no peels/heads remain in the stock.

Shrimp Heads

Begin the rice in the rice cooker.

Begin making the roux by melting the butter in a dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk into a thick paste. Lower the heat and cook at least 15 minutes until the roux has browned slightly and has an aroma like browned butter.

Stir in the veggies and cook about five minutes, until the onions begin to wilt. Add the garlic, parsley and spices. Cook an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the stock and raise the heat to medium high until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until veggies are soft and the etoufee has a gravy like texture. Stir in the headless shrimp. Keep on heat for 2 minutes while stirring and kill the heat.

Etoufee Veggies

In a separate pan, add the butter, red pepper, garlic, and vinegar. Heat until butter is melted and add the shrimp. Heat 1 minute then flip and add the cream. Heat 1 more minute and remove from heat.

Plate by placing a small amount of rice in a prep bowl and flip into a pasta bowl. Ladle the etoufee around the rice and top with two of head-one shrimp and spoon some of the spicy sauce. Enjoy and worry not about lent!

 

 

meatless monday: parsnip souffle

souffle

Well, everyone. Tonight was one of those nights. It was one of those nights where the dish just didn’t measure up. Was it good? Yes. Was it attractive? Not really. Most importantly, despite the effort and ingredients, it just did not stand up as a complete dish.

Folks, I made a side that was masquerading as a main. Nonetheless, it is still a savory, tasty souffle that most of you will enjoy. It has the fresh, spicy taste of parsnip, and creaminess of cheese, the texture and protein of souffle, and even an unusual green from the CSA (Sorrel). It was a dish I would be proud to take to a dinner party or serve at a family dinner, even if it was not a full dinner for tonight. Which is to say, I still wanted you to know about it.

Being a souffle, it is mainly a dish of stuff mixed with eggs. The stuff in this case are pureed parsnips, onions, sorrel, and cheese with respective herbs. You can mix this up in numerous ways, including adding spinach, more cheese, other aromatics, or even ham.

Parsnip Souffle (adapted from epicurious.com)

1 pound parsnips, peeled, diced
glug olive oil
Salt, pepper
2 cups water

1/2 onion, frenched
1/2 cup sorrel, chopped
olive oil

1/4 stick butter
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup flour
80z sharp cheddar, grated
Salt, pepper, paprika
1 tsp chopped sage

6 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

shortening to coat dish

Heat oven to 400. Saute the parsnips in a pan with olive oil and salt and pepper. Heat until it begins to caramelize then pour in water. Stir well then put in oven for 10 minutes. Remove, drain and keep 1 cup of liquid. Puree in food processor. Place mix in fridge.

Heat more oil in a sauce pan and saute the onions. Add the sorrel and saute until wilted. Remove mix from pan and set aside.

Melt butter together with oil and add flour. Whisk together for a few minutes. Add the cooking liquid and continue to whisk for about 3 minutes, until thick as gravy, but smooth. Add the onions, sorrel, parsnip mix (from fridge), cheese and sage and spices. Stir together. Remove from heat.

Mix the egg whites and cream of tarter together at medium high speed of a mixer until stiff peaks form.

Meanwhile, stir the yolks into the parsnip mix. Once the whites and finished, slowly fold them into the parsnip mix. Pour into the shortening coated square dish and bake 35-40 minutes until set and golden brown.

Finish with grated Parmesan or extra cheddar if you choose.

… serve as side.

DSCN0636
Eggs

Eggs

Peaks

Peaks

Folded together

Folded together

Ready to go.

Ready to go.

 

meatless monday: saag paneer

saag

How many people love Indian food? I know I go through fits where I can’t get enough. The delicate flavors matched with spice and fresh vegetables and superbly seasoned meat. Fantastic.

There’s one type of dish that always attracts my attention (whether on the buffet or the menu… yeah, I love an Indian buffet, whatever) and that is Paneer. Paneer is a sort of cottage cheese that’s simple, quick, salty, and gooey. It is usually found in cubes and can (allegedly) be found pre-made at the grocery. I made it fresh this time because I’ve always wanted to make cheese and the grocery didn’t have it. I think I will return to this treat again, maybe get a little more adventurous and make more complicated cheeses.

Saag paneer is a mainstay made with spinach and spices that make for a smooth dish that would almost fit in well on a country buffet. In fact, instead of traditional fenugreek leaves or celery leaves, I threw in some collards. They served mainly to fill out the spinach, but it is fun to know they are there.

All told this was a nice spicy something different for a meatless Monday that I know you will enjoy!

Saag Paneer

2 bunches spinach, chopped
1 bunch baby collards
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp coridander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 gallon whole milk (non-uht)
Juice of one lemon
1 tbsp vinegar
salt to taste

Begin by heating the milk in a large pan. Use a thermometer to make sure you do not overheat. The milk should come to a simmer around 200 degrees and get a little frothy. Remove from heat and add the juice and vinegar. It will begin to curdle right away. Let it sit 10 minutes. Stir to make sure the curds fully separate. Using a colander and cheesecloth, strain the mixture. The curds will stay in the cloth. Lift the curds with the cloth and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Open the cloth pouch and add salt to taste. Wrap again and place on a plate and shape into a loose square. Top with another plate and an addition weight (can, mixing bowl) and sit for 15 minutes minimum. The longer it sits, the denser the cheese will become. If you make ahead you can refrigerate for an even denser cheese.

cheese blob

While the cheese is setting, chop the spinach and collards. Heat a pan with olive oil and add the greens. Pour in about 1/2 cup of water and cover. Cook about 4 minutes and strain. Pulse about 5 good times in a blender or food processor.

In the original pan, heat some oilve oil and add the onion. Cook a few minutes and then add the garlic, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for about five minutes. Add the cayenne.

spice stir

Cut the paneer into cubes. In a separate pan, heat some canola oil and add the cubes. Roll then over a few times to brown slightly.

fry em

Then insert into the spice mix.

stir em

Finally, add the greens to the pan and stir. Add the cream and cover for 10 minutes or so. Serve with naan or rice.

Easy, flavorful, fresh Indian food at home. Happy Monday!

tasty tuesday: oxtail fettuccine

Oxtail Fettucine

Happy Tasty Tuesday, food fans. Tonight’s post is a tale in comfort food, if a little out of the box. This is a dish that is sure to warm and fill you up on a cold winter night and its a way to have a nice stew without hours of work. By using a rice cooker and some varied liquids, you can have a bold, savory stew in a fraction of the time.

If you have not had oxtails before, you are missing a treat. They are not scraps, but rather meaty pieces of beef vertebrae that have a similar cooking process and flavor to short ribs. They often have a little bit of marrow that blends with cooking liquid to add flavor to the stew that cannot come from any artificial flavor. It may be a lot of work, but it is worth it.

But it is not without some time to spare, which is why I paired my oxtail stew with homemade whole wheat fettuccine. Oxtail stew is usually served over rice or maybe mashed potatoes, not pasta. But why not? I don’t know. Probably availability of ingredients, but the pairing works well, giving the dish a stroganoff like comfort appeal. You’ll surely enjoy it.

Oxtail stew

2 lb oxtails
Salt and pepper to cover
2 medium carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
Salt and pepper
6 cloves garlic, 4 diced, 2 whole
1 small can tomato paste
1 12 oz beer
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
4 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp red pepper flake
Olive oil

In large pan, heat enough olive oil to cover pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot seasoned with salt and pepper and cook until it softens. Add garlic and cook 2-3 more minutes. Remove from pan.

Coat the oxtails in salt and pepper and sear on all sides in pan you cooked the vegetables in. Remove from pan and place in rice cooker.

Pour beer into hot pan with the meat drippings. Add the vegetables back to the pan and stir into the beer. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and seasonings and heat to a simmer. Pour the mixture over the oxtails in the rice cooker, cover and set to cook. This will need to cook for at least 45 minutes, until the tails a able to be pulled from the bone. Remove the meat from the pot and pull the meat and add it back to the pot with the bones and cook five more minutes.

Stew

When the pasta is ready, ladle spoon fulls of the stew into the bowls and toss. Top with Parmesan cheese and a whole oxtail if you choose. Oxtails are great for gnawing.

While the stew is cooking, you can make the pasta. Basic flour and egg mixture with salt, olive oil and basil for flavor. If you have a pasta roller, roll until it is almost as thin as it can go and then cut into fettuccine. I think making pasta is a lot of fun and has a great cathartic effect after a days work.

This is a great southern comfort dish with lots of great Italian flavors.Enjoy!

meatless monday: curried carrot and sweet potato soup, grilled sweet potato bread, Fu ManBrew from Monday Night Brewing

DSCN0175

 

Happy New year, everyone! I know more most folks this was the first work day of the year (not for me!), so I wanted to treat you to a nice warm bowl of soup and a crisp, cold beer– the perfect combination for the weather today that looked like a spring day with the cold bite of winter.

The carrot and sweet potato soup here is inspired by the big box we received from The Dirt Farmers. Golden, Purple, and Orange carrots went with half of a giant sweet potato into this soup that was hit with curry flavors to give it a warm, spicy bite. The root veggies were perfect vehicles for the big spices. The other half of the potato made its way into a savory bread similar to banana or zucchini bread, but with a buttery taste (even if no butter was used). By grilling the bread, it became the perfect bread compliment for the spicy soup, with just a little sweetness and nice texture. Avocado provided a nice creamy note to counter the spice as well. The dish was very well balanced.

The Fu ManBrew was perfect compliment. A witbier from Monday Night Brewing, a star of the Peach State Ale Trail, this pairing added some crispness and ginger notes that meshed with curry and ginger flavors of the soup. The complimentary flavors let the beer pick up notes from the soup while being cooling, not jarring. Being a bright, crisp witbier, Fu ManBrew added needed lightness to the meal that would have been very heavy otherwise. I highly recommend it.

Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots
3 cloves garlic
1/2 large sweet potato, grated
Several sliced peeled carrots (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp curry powder (or mix of garam masala, turmeric, fennel, coriander, Cayenne, and pepper)
1 tsp red pepper flake
3 cups vegetable broth
1 dash rice vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the shallot and onions about 3 minutes. Add the potato and carrot and saute for about five minutes. Stir in the spices and heat another minute. Pour in the broth and vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and heat another 20 minutes. Blend the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Finish by stirring in the cream.

Savory Sweet Potato Bread

1/2 large sweet potato (1 1/4 cups)
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 medium shallot
1 clove garlic
Olive oil to saute
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup suger
1 egg
2/3 cup canola oil
1 avocado
1/4 cup toasted walnuts

Grease a loaf pan and heat oven to 350.

Mix flours, baking soda and powder and salt.

Saute the shallot and garlic in oil for 2-3 minutes, allow to cool. Add to flour mixture

Grate the potato and stir in the egg, sugar and oil. Slowly mix in the flour until well mixed. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle can be cleanly removed.

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat.

Slice the loaf into 1/2 slices and place diagonally on the hot grill pan. Grill 4 minutes and rotate 1/4 turn and heat an addition 4 minutes.

Place the grilled bread in a shallow bowl and ladle soup around it. Garnish with sliced avocado and toasted walnuts.

 

Enjoy the warm flavors and happy new year!

 

meatless monday: butternut squash risotto with spinach and root veggies, sage oil

risotto

Meatless Monday, we meet again. Sorry for such the long hiatus, folks, but things have been busy. The holidays are when things tend to quiet down at work, and subsequently they allow time for Monday night eats. This one goes out to the dirt farmer again and the farms they pull from. A remaining turnip from the box serves as the heart of this dish and with the right seasoning and temperature can almost make you believe you’re eating fish. It is also an ode to a dinner we had at Natalia’s over the weekend where a friend of ours could not stop talking about risotto. It made me realize that I haven’t made risotto since the first time I wrote for The Telegraph,but that I still had a fair amount of Arborio in the pantry. So, here is to the last week of fall, to local farmers and colorful plates (raises bourbon) and to you guys who love to read about eating. Happy Holidays!

Butternut squash risotto
1 butternut squash, halfed
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
32 oz vegetable broth
1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Begin by roasting the squash at 425. Top the halves with a little salt before putting in the oven.

Risotto has been written about here several times and follows a pretty normal process, Heat the oil to medium, add the onions and garlic and sweat for 8-10 min. Add the rice and toast about 4 mins. Heat the broth in a separate pan. Add the wine and stir until it evaporates. Slowly add the broth a couple of ladles at a time and stir until absorbed. Continue until all broth is in and the rice is tender. Once the broth is in, it is time to add the “flavor”. Remove the squash from the oven and spoon one half into a food processor and puree. Add the cheese to the rice and then the puree and stir.

While working on the the risotto, make the veggies.

10 sage leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 turnip, diced
4 carrots, sliced with a peeler
1/2 bulb garlic, roasted
remaining half of squash, diced.
1 bunch spinach

Heat the oil over medium high and fry the sage leaves about 4 minutes. Simmer 10 minutes and pour out and puree in the food processor. Pour 1/4 of the mix back into the pan and heat to medium. Add the roasted garlic, then the turnips and carrots. Cover and heat 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach to wilt and add the squash.

Plate the dish by placing risotto into bowls and layering the veggies. Finish with the reserved oil and sea salt. Enjoy!

tasty tuesday: steak and scallops, collards, bourbon dijon cream sauce

2014-11-18 19.42.18

Man, it has been a long time since I have graced these pages. Way too long, which is why I had to bring something special this time. Part of my being so sparse has been due to being alarmingly busy, and this night was no different. Attending meetings after work, however short, can put a hamper on a meal’s preparation, so I had to pick foods that didn’t require a lot of effort to bring together in a big way. So, a simple surf and turf is what you get… a sear here, an sear there, and a tasty dish anywhere!

The real star of this dish may well have been the sauce, which is the only thing here that involved more steps than seasoning and searing. The steak received nothing more than salt and pepper on all sides before being seared over high heat with some butter, about 4 minutes per side for medium rare on the tenderloin cuts. The scallops only got salt, pepper and paprika before being seared over medium high heat in olive oil, about 2 minutes per side. The collards were gut into strips and sautéed over medium low in nothing but salt and olive oil. All very quick, very easy, and very pretty.

The sauce was only slightly more complex.

Bourbon Dijon Creme Sauce

1/2 cup bourbon
1 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by heating a deep saucepan over medium high heat. Heat at least 10 minutes (gas) before melting the butter in the pan. Slowly pour in the bourbon, which will catch on fire! Let the flame die and cook the bourbon for about 2 minutes before stirring in the dijon and garlic. Pour in the cream until it simmers and reduce heat. Whisk occasionally for about 15-20 minutes. Sauce should be relatively thick.

As you build your plate, put a little bit of sauce beneath the collards then atop the steak and scallops. This will being the dish together well and provide a little more sauce which is sure to be a hit!

This dish was super delicious and easy. Don’t be afraid to try at home!