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Oct 22, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

Just Five: Steak with Porcini Slather

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

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I recently took a trip to northern California to visit one of the few friends who nerds out over food as much as I do. Her current obsession: porcini mushrooms. She demanded to know if I was equally infatuated. But here’s the thing – I really don’t get excited about mushrooms.

I’ll now eat my words (and my mushrooms) after that weekend and the amazing porcini dishes we tried. Upon my return, I was inspired to buy a pack of dried porcini mushrooms and play. This recipe was the winner.

If you do not have a spice grinder, you can blitz the porcini mushrooms in a food processor. It won’t be as fine, so add an extra tablespoon of oil when whisking the slather ingredients together and let rest one hour to soften the larger pieces. You can also find porcini powder in specialty shops. Ozark Forest Mushrooms makes a lovely one available at Larder & Cupboard.

With apologies to linguists, I am used the word “slather” as a verb and a noun here. The woodsy, savory porcini mixed with shallot, sugar and pepper make this decadent sauce worthy of such wordplay. I served this steak with the remaining slather slathered on my sides of potatoes and Swiss chard, cursing myself for not doubling the recipe.

 
Steak with Porcini Slather
2 servings

¼ oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1/3 cup olive oil
1 shallot, finely minced
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
½ Tbsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 8-ounce, strip steaks, about 1-inch thick

• In a spice grinder, grind the dried mushrooms into a fine powder.
• In a small bowl, whisk together the mushroom powder, olive oil, shallot, sugar, salt, red pepper flakes and pepper. Set aside.
• In a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, sear the steak 4 minutes, then flip and cook another 3 minutes. Slather some of the mushroom sauce over the top of the steaks and cook 1 minute more for medium-rare.
• Remove from the skillet, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side and slather at will.

 

Just Five: Roast Chicken Bread

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

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There are countless roast chicken recipes flying around online. I recently read two that offered up even more methods to achieve the perfect bird. One suggested that the “traditional” method of roasting breast-side up was passe; the other shared a brilliant method of cooking the bird atop slices of sourdough bread. Both sounded like great ideas, so I combined them, and voilà – a stellar Sunday dinner.

Starting the chicken breast-side down, then flipping it about halfway proved the perfect combination of roasting methods. It kept the white meat from drying out, but finishing it breast-side up gave me the crispy skin I love. Its bed of sourdough resulted in a chewy, crisp delicious treat that overrode the need to serve another starch with the meal. Vegetarians, be warned: My veg daughter was sorely tempted to “cheat” when this succulent bird hit the table (Don’t worry – she didn’t!).

 

Roast Chicken Bread
Inspired by an Epicurious recipe 
4 servings

1 loaf sourdough
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 4-to-5-lb. chicken
2 large shallots, sliced
½ lemon
8 fresh sage leaves

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• Cut the bread into 1½ inch-thick slices and place them in the bottom of a roasting pan in a single layer. Drizzle the bread with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Reserve any remaining bread for another use.
• Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry inside and out. Season the cavity with 1 tablespoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, then place the shallots, lemon and 6 sage leaves inside. Carefully slide a finger under the skin of each breast and tuck the remaining 2 sage leaves under the skin. Season the chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon salt, then tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Let rest 30 minutes.
• Place the chicken breast-side down on top of the bread. Roast 30 minutes.
• Use tongs to carefully remove the chicken from the roasting pan and set aside. Flip the bread slices. Return the chicken to the roasting pan breast-side up and continue to roast 45 minutes, until a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the thigh reads 160 degrees.
• Let rest 10 minutes before removing the kitchen twine and carving. Serve with the roasted bread slices.

 

 

Meatless Monday: Goat Cheese Tart

Monday, June 8th, 2015

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Rich, velvety goat cheese takes center stage in this delicious vegetarian dish. Pulse together flour, salt and butter to form the tart dough (or pick up your favorite packaged pie crust for a faster version) and bake. Meanwhile, steep garlic in scalded cream to infuse its pungent aroma throughout the filling. Then blend the cream, three eggs and 10 glorious ounces of goat cheese together and pour into your tart shell. Garnish with chopped chives and serve with this fennel salad or a peppery mix of fresh spring greens. Get the recipe for this simple, decadent dinner here.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

 

Just Five: Pork Tenderloin with Date Relish

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

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This dish is the perfect date night dinner. (See what I did there?) Sweet, toothsome dates pair wonderfully with fresh orange juice and seared pork. Toasted walnuts add a finishing crunch, though hazelnuts would also work here. Don’t skip the fresh herbs, either. If you are a card-carrying member of ICCCC (I Cannot Consume Cilantro Club), parsley makes a fine substitute. One final note: Do not use pre-cut dates, which are often coated in extra sugar that makes the dish far too sweet.

 
Pork Tenderloin with Date Relish
3 to 4 servings

¼ cup walnuts
1 1½-lb. pork tenderloin
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
¾ cup diced pitted dates*
¼ cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
¼ cup cilantro or parsley

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
• In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts 2 to 3 minutes, tossing frequently, until aromatic. Remove from heat and let cool, then coarsely chop. Set aside.
• Season the pork tenderloin all over with salt and pepper.
• In a large ovenproof skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the pork 1 to 2 minutes per side, until evenly browned all over. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast 12 to 15 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. Let the meat rest on a cutting board and loosely tent with foil.
• Pour the pan drippings into a small bowl. Add the dates, orange juice, cilantro and toasted walnuts and whisk together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
• Slice the pork tenderloin and place on a serving dish. Spoon the date relish over the top and serve.

* Do not use pre-cut dates, which are often coated in extra sugar.

Just Five: Asian-Lime Salmon

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

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Salmon is the one fish that everyone in my family gladly eats. I have no problem with this, as it’s frequently on sale and the health benefits are well documented (omega-3 bomb, anyone?). Until recently, the dish to beat in our home was Salmon with Pinot Noir Syrup, but lately, this Asian-lime salmon has slid into the No. 1 spot. I usually serve it flaked in a bowl filled with white or brown rice, edamame, shredded carrots and steamed broccoli or spinach. Only two salmon filets are needed for four of these bowls. For a more velvety sauce, you can stir in a slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water. Bookmark this recipe – you’ll use it all the time.

 

Asian-Lime Salmon
2 Servings

2 5-oz. skinless salmon fillets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. minced garlic
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. maple syrup (or agave)
Half the zest and juice of 1 lime

● Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the salmon on a parchment-lined baking sheet, sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper and roast 10 minutes for medium-rare.
● Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a small saucepan over medium heat and saute the garlic 30 seconds. Whisk in the soy sauce, syrup, lime zest and lime juice and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook 3 to 4 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken, stirring occasionally.
● Plate the salmon and drizzle it with the sauce.

Baked: Chicken Potpie with Apples and Brie

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

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I came up with this when my fiancee and I found some brie in our fridge. It didn’t appear to be spoiled, but we couldn’t remember how old it was and didn’t relish the idea of eating it raw, so we decided to bake it instead. While his favorite party dish is brie wrapped in pastry dough with cranberries and pecans, I wanted to try something new. I also really wanted to try out my new Staub baking dish, and so a new chicken potpie was born.

This recipe comes together in 10 minutes thanks to precooked chicken and only requires another 30 minutes in the oven. The apples add a mild sweetness, the crust has a great crunch, and the brie provides a gooey, decadent surprise. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Chicken Potpie with Apples and Brie
8 to 10 servings

2 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 large crisp apple, peeled, cored and diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. flour
¾ cup chicken stock
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
8 oz. brie, sliced
1 box frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 egg yolk, beaten

• Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick cooking spray.
• In large skillet over medium heat, saute the shallots in the butter until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the apple, thyme, salt and pepper to taste and saute 3 to 4 minutes.
• Sprinkle the apples with the flour and stir to coat the mixture. Add the stock and reduce the heat to low. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let the mixture simmer 1 to 2 minutes until just thickened. Remove from the heat.
• Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie dish. Cover the top with the slices of brie, then cover with the puff pastry sheets and trim the edges. Brush the top with egg yolk, then poke a hole in the center of the crust to vent.
• Bake 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 400 degrees and bake another 15 minutes until the puff pastry is browned and bubbling at the edges. Let cool 5 minutes, then serve.

 

 

Meatless Monday: Veggie Gyros, Two Ways

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

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A gyro to-go is one of our favorite carryout options on a busy night, but we’ll lighten things up and save a little money this Meatless Monday with Veggie Gyros two ways. For a hearty meat substitute, marinade mushroom caps in a host of spices and garlic, then saute in a hot cast-iron skillet. For a gooey, creamy option, fry up slices of salty Kasseri cheese, then wrap either filling in a warm pita garnished with lettuce, cucumber, tomato and homemade tzatziki sauce. Get the recipe for the fillings here and here, and the gyro recipe here.

 

-photo by Carmen Troesser

Meatless Monday: Meatless Loaf

Monday, December 8th, 2014

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We’ve all crossed paths with meatloaf at some point in our lives, whether it was mom’s standout classic or the questionable grade school-cafeteria variety. Tonight, mix up that home-style favorite with a beef-free option. This little fellow is a standout amongst his meaty rivals, using filling ingredients like mushrooms, brown rice, oat bran, wheat germ and brown sugar as the base spiked with Worcestershire, ketchup, Heinz 57 and mustard. Bake 45 minutes, slice and serve up for the perfect “meat”-and-potatoes dinner.  Get the recipe here.

 

-photo by Greg Rannells

The Scoop: Half & Half to add dinner service

Monday, December 8th, 2014

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Fans of Mike Randolph’s daytime eatery Half & Half can soon sate their bacon-and-egg cravings in the evening, too. The popular Clayton breakfast spot will add dinner service beginning Dec. 16.

Shortly after it opened in July 2011, the space at 8135 Maryland Ave., operated as Half & Half during the day, then transformed into avant garde Mexican restaurant Medianoche. That dinner concept later became Little Country Gentleman, which ended its service in December 2013. Since then, Randolph did not sit idle, relaunching popular Neapolitan pizzeria The Good Pie in The Loop and working on his next concept, Mexican gastropub Público. While Half & Half continued to flourish, it remained empty in the evening hours, and many pondered what Randolph would do next.

“That was a missed opportunity, business-wise, for me,” Randolph said. “It won’t be an outlet to experiment like Little Country Gentleman or Medianoche were. Customers have been asking for it.”

Half & Half will continue its regular morning-to-midday operating schedule, then reopen its doors from 5 to 9 p.m. Customers can expect their usual Half & Half favorites, as well as the addition of a few new dinner items like pot roast, fish and chips, mashed potatoes and fried chicken. Wines by the glass and classic cocktails like Old-Fashioneds and gin martinis will be added to the beverage list. Randolph will helm the kitchen with new chef de cuisine Nathan Donsky, former Prasino chef de cuisine, at his side.

The addition of Half & Half’s dinner service comes on the heels of Death in the Afternoon’s announcement that it, too, would serve nighttime fare beginning February 2015 and as Kevin Nashan’s Peacemaker Lobster and Crab Co. adds lunch service today, Dec. 8.

 

-photo by Carmen Troesser

Meatless Monday: Veggie Hash

Monday, October 20th, 2014

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This Meatless Monday, eat your veggies in a quick-cooking medley of Brussels sprouts, spinach and new potatoes sauteed in a touch of olive oil. As with all hashes, an egg is always a wise choice, whether over-easy, fried or poached. Get the recipe for this quick vegetarian meal here.

 

-photo by Greg Rannells

 

 

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