Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Best pot roast ever

I've been making pot roast for years, but this recipe was really exceptional. It's relatively fast and totally delicious.

Preheat oven to 325

1 chuck roast
3 tbl olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
4 - 5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 carrot, cut in 4 pieces
2 tbl flour
1-2 tbl tomato paste
1/4 cup or so brandy (Do not use "cooking" brandy)
1 cup red wine (white wine can be substituted, but the gravy won't be quite as dark)
1 can chicken stock (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tbl worstershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dry thyme or 1 tbl fresh
1 pck Goya chicken bouillon 
Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Cut the roast into approximately 3x5" pieces (1-2 pieces will be a serving) and trim of any large chucks of fat. Dry the meat and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat the oil on high in a heavy dutch oven and brown the meat on all sides in batches. Remove the meat, reduce the heat to medium, and add the onions and carrot. Stir the veg, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Saute another minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring, til brown. Turn off the flame and add the brandy, stirring constantly. Slowly add the wine and the stock, stirring constantly. Add the tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme, worstershire, Goya. Add the meat back to the pot. The meat should be not quite covered with liquid. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Underseason because the sauce will concentrate during cooking. Bring to a boil, cover, and bake in oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Halfway through cooking, turn the meat over and add water, if the sauce is getting too thick. 

Serve with mashed potatoes.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Chicken thighs with kimchi

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

  • 2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces, breasts halved crosswise

  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 10 scallions, trimmed and chopped, plus sliced scallions for garnish

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 16-ounce jar cabbage kimchi with juice 
(2 1/2 cups)

  • Roasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

  1. In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add half of it to the casserole skin side down. Cook until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook until browned on the other side, 6 to 8 minutes more; reduce the heat to moderate if the chicken is getting too dark. Transfer 
to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.


  2. Add the chopped scallions, garlic and kimchi with its juice to the casserole and bring to 
a boil over moderately high heat. Nestle the chicken in the sauce, cover and simmer over moderately low heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a piece of dark meat registers 165° (160° for white meat), 
20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds, if desired, and serve.

Gnudi with butter tomato sauce

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 small onion, halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • One 28-ounce can diced Italian plum tomatoes, juices reserved
  • Salt

  • 2 cups spinach, stems discarded
  • 2 pounds fresh ricotta
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  1. In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter. Add the garlic, onion, bay leaf and red pepper and cook over moderate heat until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil. Simmer the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 1 1/2 hours. Discard the garlic, onion and bay leaf. Season the sauce with salt and keep warm.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet. Add the spinach, a handful at a time, and stir over moderately high heat until wilted; transfer to a colander; let cool slightly. Squeeze the spinach dry and finely chop it.

  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a food processor, combine the spinach with the ricotta, eggs, nutmeg, and the 1/4 cup of Parmesan and process until blended. Add the flour in 3 batches, pulsing between additions, until almost incorporated. Scrape the gnudi dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead 5 to 10 times, until smooth.

  4. Add one-fourth of the gnudi dough to a large, resealable plastic bag; with scissors, cut a 1/2-inch corner from the bag. Working over the boiling water, squeeze the dough through the corner opening and use a knife to cut it into 1-inch pieces. Cook the gnudi over moderately high heat until firm, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon or wire skimmer, transfer the gnudi to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.

  5. Carefully transfer the gnudi to the tomato sauce and stir lightly to heat through. Spoon into shallow bowls and serve at once, passing more Parmesan at the table.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Recado para Bistec

    • Recado para bistec is used in escabeches, to season poultry, and beef.

  • 8 cloves of garlic, roasted
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 tbl oregano
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1  tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbl black pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Directions

    1. In a mortar or electric spice grinder, grind peppercorns, allspice, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin, oregano,and salt. Add garlic, spices, and vinegar to blender and blend well.
    2. NOTE: Although the Spanish meaning of the name of this seasoning is "a seasoning for steak", its uses are much broader. It is added to pickling solutions and marinades for poultry, seafood, and fish and is also used to flavor broths.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Faux demiglace

If you can't get veal demiglace, here's a homemade substitute. Be sure to use undalted stock, or you'll end up with a salt bomb.

2 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 cups unsalted beef stock
2 fat slices of onion, or a small shallot, or 2-3 green onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped

1 pkg unflavored gelatin, softened in 2-3 tbl white wine or dry vermouth

Place all except softened gelatin in saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Add gelatin and stir. Let simmer uncovered until reduced to 1 - 1 1/2 cups. The more you reduce it, the more concentrated the flavor will become. Strain. If not using immediately, cool and refrigerate. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Quick Bordelaise Sauce

Jim absolutely loves Northshore Brasserie's butcher's steak with bordelaise sauce. Here is my pretty delicious faux bordelaise.

1 32oz carton NO SALT beef stock (I used Kitchen Basics)
2 thick slices onion
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1big clove garlic, smashed
1 small chopped tomato or 1 tbl tomato paste

Place all in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until reduced to about 1 cup. 

1-2 tbl brandy
1 packet unflavored gelatin softened in 2-3 tbl white wine
2 cups good red wine
1/4 tsp thyme
1 small bay leaf
1 tbl raspberry jelly

Add all to reduced stock and bring back to the boil. Reduce heat and cook til reduced to about 1 cup.

1-2 tbl butter

Strain sauce. Return to pan. Bring back to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Swirl in butter and serve with your steak.