Sunday, October 29, 2006

Beef Filet with Cranberry Bourbon Demi-glaze

Our son Greg and his wife Mina were in town and the sauce is one that he makes. You start by soaking dried cranberries in bourbon for 3-4 hours. We made the demi-glaze from scratch but it is available for purchase if you wish. We made stock by baking some beef bones which had been painted with tomato paste. Along with the bones, celery, carrots and onion were baked as well.....350 degrees for about 45 min. Move the bones and veggies to a pot, add water and simmer for 1 hr. Discard the bones and vegetables. Put the stock in the refrigerator until the fat hardens....remove it and discard. Make a roux by mixing 3T butter and 1/4C flour and warming until bubbley. Add the stock to the roux until the desired consistancy is reached. Set this aside. Bring the cranberries and bourbon to the boil and ignite to flame off the alcohol. Add the demi-glaze you have prepared to the berry mixture and serve over the filet. The rest of the meal was all things seen here before, sauted brussel sprouts, green salad and twice baked potatoes. Serve a "big" red wine with this meal.


New Appetizer-Cheeses with Basalmic Jam

I think you could start with any jam you wished. In this case, apricot, but berries would work as well.....or cherries. Mix 3/4C of the jam with 3T basalmic vinegar and warm gently, mixing well. Allow the mixture to cool and serve over cheese on crackers. We tried both brie and blue cheese and preferred the blue. The blue cheese flavor went well with the sweetness of the jam and the balsamic. If you use blue, make sure to get a soft creamy one that will spread well, not a crumbly one.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Turkey Breast Mole with Orange Salad and Re-fried Beans

Mole sauce is one of our favorites and also very com-plicated to make. So, we didn't....we got it from a bottle that my brother sent me. For those of you not familiar with mole, it is cocoa based and while not sweet, it has a definate chocolate taste. We prepared the mole according the the package directions and coated a boneless turkey breast with it. The meat was precooked so we cooked it at 350 F for about an hour. The salad was sliced oranges and thinly sliced sweet onion (or red onion) and kalamata olives. The dressing, found at , a very nice site, by the way, was made by mixing 3/4C oil with 1/4C terrigon vinegar, 1t sugar, 1/4t chili powder, 1/4t ground cumin, 1/4t dry mustard, 1/4t dry thyme, 1/4t paprika, 1/4t Worchestershire sauce and a dash of Tabasco to suit. One clove of garlic, halved, was soaked in the mixture for about an hour before dressing the orange mixture. The proportions were altered a bit from the original because of personal taste. The re-fried beans were canned. We served a Pinot Grigio from Cavit


Monday, October 23, 2006

Chicken Pot-pie

This is another good use for leftover chicken. Start by blanching 1/3C each of diced celery, diced carrot 1/3C green peas, and one medium potato also diced. Cook them for about 5 min and then drain completely. In a sauce pan, mix 1/4C flour with 3T butter and heat until bubbley. In another pan, saute 1/3C diced onion and 4oz. sliced mushrooms. When the flour and butter has cooked for a minute, slowly stir in 14 oz. of stock and return to the boil. Add 2C diced cooked chicken to the sauce. Mix all of the parts together in a greased baking dish and cover with a pie crust. Bake for 45 min. at 350 degrees. We served it with a green salad.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Cracked Pepper-Rosemary Roast Beef, Broccoli with Garlic, Twice Baked Potatoes and Onion Custard in Pumpkin

This is one of the more elaborate meals we have fixed recently. The potatoes and broccoli have been here before....the potatoes are baked and then removed from the skins, mixed with sour cream, salt, pepper and paprika. They are returned to the skins, topped with shredded cheese and baked at 350 F for 30 min. The broccoli is blanched in boiling water for 3 min, drained and then sauted with whole garlic cloves until crisp/tender. For the roast, in this case a rump roast, crush 1/2 C whole pepper corns. We do this in a small food processor but you can do it by placing the pepper between sheets of waxed paper and using a rolling pin. The roast is then rolled in the pepper along with some fresh rosemary and cooked on the Weber for about 90 min. (for a 5 pound roast done medium rare....use a meat thermometer for your piece of meat). The 3/4 pound pie pumpkin was cleaned and the seeds removed. Saute 2C diced onions in 4T olive oil with 2t dry thyme until golden brown and put them in the pumpkin. Prepare the custard by mixing 1/2 C milk with 1/4 cup cream and heating until small bubbles form, do not boil. In a bowl, whisk 1 egg and 1 egg yolk. Then pour the milk mixture in slowly, so that the eggs don't scramble. Pour the custard mix into the pumpkin on top of the onions. Bake the pumpkin for about 1 hour at 350F or until the custard sets. It makes a nice savory rather than sweet custard which is scooped out along with some of the onions and pumpkin flesh. It also makes an attractive presentation, perhaps for the Thanksgiving table. This small pumpkin would serve 4 adequately. We served a dry red wine with dinner.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Pasta Fagioli

This is another recipe that was adapted from many for this famous soup. We wanted to use the last of the summer squash and basil from the garden. Start by sauteing 1/3C diced carrots, 1/3C diced onion, and 1/3C diced celery. When they are tender, add 2T thyme, and two cloves minced garlic. Then add about 4 oz. of sliced fresh mushrooms and 1C chopped fresh basil. Add a 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes, a 14 oz. can of stock and simmer while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Partially cook about 4 oz. of pasta, elbows or other shape. About 15 min. before serving add the pasta and a 14 oz. can of your favorite beans. Then, just before serving add 1C of diced fresh squash. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and more chopped basil. This soup is made to adapt, so think up your own additions.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Marinated Flank Steak with Brussel Sprouts and Au Graatin Potatoes

There is a company where you can prepare main courses to bring to your kitchen. Rather than give a lot of detail here, this is the location where you can read about it: This is where the flank steak originated. We don't have an ingredient list but the marinade tastes as if it is soy based with some sweetness, perhaps brown sugar, garlic, and green onions. Quite tastey. It was grilled on the Weber for about 2 1/2 min on a side and rested for 5 min. before slicing. The brussel sprouts were sliced lengthwise, and sauted in butter with some bacon. For the potatoes (Bon Appetit), whisk together 1C milk, 1C cream, 1C goat cheese, 2 cloves of garlic, minced a dash of ground nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Into the mixture place 2 lbs. of sliced yukon gold potatoes. Place in a greased baking dish and bake at 400 F for about an hour until the potatoes are tender. We had a Redwood Creek Pinot Noir with it.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Creamed Soup - Another version

As stated here pre-viously, our "creamed" soups are generally made with leftover mashed potatoes, as was the case here. We started with about 2C of mashed potatoes, 14 oz can of chicken stock (vegetable stock would work too), and 14 oz of water. To this we added about 3C broccoli flowerettes, 1C cauliflower, and a leftover twice baked potato. The skin of the potato was chopped and added as well to make a more "rustic" soup. The mixture was simmered until the vegetables were tender and then processed until smooth in a food processor. Just before serving, we added some of the raw broccoli stem, chopped, to give the soup a chew. A crusty bread and white wine finished the meal.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Broiled Fish with Vegetables Au Gratin and Salad

This is another recipe which is really an idea rather than detailed instruc-tions. We Drizzled the fish with fresh lemon juice and broiled it until flakey. In this case we were using catfish which can be greasy so we didn't use any butter. The sauce was made by mixing 1/2C sour cream with 3T fresh lemon juice and 1T dryed dill weed (use fresh if you have it). The gratin of broccoli and cauliflower was the same recipe as a few days ago but this time we used collardc greens instead of swiss chard. The salad was dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.