December 19, 2011
Here’s a healthy, warming soup – perfect for those cold winter nights (or at least as cold as it’s been here in Florida this year…).
The recipe comes from the December 2011 issue of Runner’s World magazine. The article by Jessica Girdwain features several healthy soups, all of which sound really good… I tried the one in question, not intending for it to be a blog recipe, but when I posted the picture of the finished product on Facebook there were several requests for the recipe, so here you go!
It was one of the rare times I didn’t take photos while cooking, so this time you’ll have to settle for a less-than-fantastic pic of the dish at the end, but I’m sure you’re all bright enough to figure out the steps without the usual visual aids… so now, Let’s Cook!
Spicy Sausage Mushroom Soup
4 oz (should be 1 link) of a Spicy, Cooked Chicken Sausage, sliced thin
1 Lb Sliced Mushrooms (your choice)
1/4 Cup Water (hope you have this on hand…)
1/4 Tsp Dried Thyme
1/8 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
4 Cups Chopped Kale Leaves
1/4 Cup White Wine (plus more for the cook as needed)
2 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth (plus more as may be needed)
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Cups Cooked Wild Rice
Over medium to medium-high heat, saute the sausage in 1 tablespoon of oil until brown.
Remove the sausage and add the mushrooms and cook until softened.
Add the water and deglaze the pan.
Add the thyme, red pepper, kale and wine. Cook until the greens are wilted – about 4-5 minites.
Add the broth and salt, bring to a boil and reduce the heat and simmer about 15 minutes.
Stir in the sausage and wild rice and simmer at least 5 more minutes. If not “soupy” enough, add more broth as desired.
Serve with a nice whole grain bread for dunking…
Yummm (forgive me for quoting Rachael…)!!!!
Tasty, and good for you, give it a try!
We’re back to the kitchen, see you soon!
December 17, 2011
It’s time to share another recipe we tried from the FEED Our Small World cookbook, this time it’s a not overly-sweet, but nicely spiced cake from Jamaica. So let’s not chat, Let’s Cook!
Island Breeze Ginger Cake
2 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Ground Ginger
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tsp Ground Allspice
1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 Tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1/2 Cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Molasses
2 Tbl Fresh Ginger, peeled and finely grated (pull out your trusty microplane!)
1 Large Egg
1/3 Cup Hot Water
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Spray an 8-inch square baking pan lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (the flour down through the cloves).
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add the molasses and grated ginger and incorporate, then beat in the egg until well mixed.
Add half of the dry mixture and beat it into the butter mixture. Add the water and beat again.
Beat in the rest of the flour mixture until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the greased pan and stick into your preheated oven. Bake 30 – 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the pan set on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling.
You can serve the cake slightly warm, at room temp, or even chilled. A bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream makes a nice accompaniment. A sprinkle of chopped candied ginger would be fun if you have some of that around.
With many of the “warm” spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves) that we associate with the fall/winter months, this would actually be perfect as an ending to a holiday meal. Give this a try, make it with your kids, and let us know how it turns out!
Now, as always, back to the kitchen!
December 8, 2011
Recently I gave you a quick overview of the “FEED our Small World” cookbook and promised to share a few of the recipes contained therein, and here (I’m sure much sooner than most Dedicated Readers expected) is a recipe for an unusual, healthy and flavor-filled soup.
This combo of good things that grow underground is from Senegal, and is essentially a version of what is known as Groundnut Soup (or stew). So without any further ado, Let’s Cook!
Zesty Peanut Soup
1 Tbl Vegetable Oil
1 Onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 Carrot, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 Large Sweet Potato, peeled and grated (about 3 cups, see note at end of recipe)
3 Cups Water
1 (10.75 oz) Can Condensed Tomato Soup (like the one in the Warhol painting)
1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Tsp Curry Powder (or a bit more if you like…)
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper (or once again, more if you like…)
Sour Cream or Plain Yoghurt, for serving
Garnishes as desired (chopped peanuts, minced green onions, cilantro, etc.)
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion and carrot and saute until tender, 4 or 5 minutes. I added part of the curry powder during the saute (and yes, I used double the recommended amount of curry powder).
Add the sweet potato and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until the potato is tender.
Stir in the tomato soup…
the peanut butter, curry powder and cayenne…
bring to a boil then remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes or so.
Blend the soup until smooth, using an immersion blender or in batches as needed in a standard blender.
Reheat if needed and ladle into a serving bowl. Add a spoonful of sour cream or plain yoghurt and sprinkle with any of the desired accompaniments. You can always add a few drops of your hot sauce of choice if you need an extra kick.
The only laborious part of the recipe is the grating of the sweet potato – you could just chop instead (by hand or in your food processor), you’d just have to simmer a bit longer to get it tender.
This is also good at room temperature and even cold. I think any leftover soup would be great added to pasta for a warm or room temp dish – add some veggies (thin sliced broccoli, raw or sauteed; green peppers; whatever floats your boat) and sliced protein of choice if you so desire (cooked chicken breast; shrimp; firm tofu; etc.)… I haven’t tried this with pasta yet, but it should be a no-brainer…
This one is worth giving a try – if you do, please post your comments!
As usual, we’ve got to get back to the kitchen – see you soon!
December 4, 2011
Over the years Disney has published many cookbooks aimed at their younger fans – and most have followed the logical pattern of simple techniques, mild (read bland) seasonings, and less than adventurous recipes… however this year Disney Press came out with an interesting option to the typical cookbook for the younger set: Feed Our Small World, A Cookbook for Kids.
Broken down into the typical Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Dessert sections, this book contains a few traditional kid-favorites like Spaghetti and Meatballs, but the majority of recipes are for some more adventurous International fare (like Chinese Noodles, Senegalese Peanut Soup, Indonesian Beef Satay, Spanish Paella) than is usually expected on the plates of most of the “I’ll-only-eat-chicken-nuggets-or-die” youth. Some take a familiar style of food and add a different flair (Waffles with a ginger spicing, a Wrap with Greek flavoring, and Chocolate Chip Cookies turned into a pie).
Each recipe features the ingredients and directions on one page…
and on the facing page a big picture of the completed dish, along with a Fun Fact about some food item from the featured country.
For a slim volume, the variety of dishes is great, and every adult I’ve shown the book to has been quite taken with it and wanted to try at least one of the recipes contained therein – several of the recipes have already been tested in the Eating (and Drinking) Around the World Kitchens, and all have been met with positive results (and yes, we will try and share them with you sooner rather than later…). The seasonings are a bit muted for my personal tastes, but seem to be a bit more generously spiced than most other “for kids” cookbooks (of course you can “kick it up” to whatever notch you prefer).
The instructions often note to “ask an adult to help” at many points, but there are some steps in the book that most definitively would require an adults hand, but that caveat is missing there – a small quibble assuming that the idea of the book is that the kids and adults would be cooking together anyway. Another note is that there is a big typo in the ingredient list of the “Chicken, Pineapple, and Mango Tango” recipe (one column of the items are repeated from another recipe). Hopefully there will be future printings that will correct this.
The design and graphics of the book are very Small World/Mary Blair inspired, and portions of the sales go to provide vitamin supplements to children around the world that are in need of them. Other items, such as shirts and bags, also go to support the FEED project (take a look at the post over at the Disney Food Blog for some more info).
Get your little ones involved in the kitchen – with this book you can also introduce them to some different flavors from around the world (maybe they’ll be more likely to try them if they help to make them?), and you both may learn a bit about the other peoples of the world at the same time..
Available in the parks and online from Amazon, this inexpensive cookbook ($10.99 list) is worthy of being in your library, whether you’re trying to get your kids into cooking or if you’re a neophyte adult chef looking to expand their repertoire of dishes. Even the experienced home cook will find something here of interest, and your dollars also go to a good cause at the same time!
Back to the kitchen… look for recipes soon!
November 16, 2011
One of the more popular (and perhaps my favorite) new items featured the past couple of years at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival is the Shrimp Cakes from the Singapore booth.
Tender, flavorful fried seafood with an Asian flair… it’s right up my alley…
The recipe was in the 2010 Food & Wine festival cookbook, and I’ve been intending to give it a try for quite a while, but since Miss Bonnie sampled the dish this year and fell in distinct like with it, I figured I’d better give it a go…. and it turned out really well… so now it’s time to share…
I’m going to give you the recipe pretty much as presented in the cookbook, with notes on my adjustments at the end. So now, Let’s Cook!
Singapore Shrimp Cakes
1 Lb Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 Lb Raw Scallops (the smaller, less expensive, Bay Scallops are fine)
1 Tbl Fish Sauce
1 1/2 Tsp Minced Chives
1 1/2 Tsp Finely Grated Lemongrass (see note below)
1 1/2 Tsp Finely Grated Peeled Fresh Ginger (see note below)
1 1/2 Tsp Finely Grated Fresh Garlic (see note below)
1 1/2 Tsp Chili-Garlic Sauce (such as Sambal Olek, available at Asian markets)
2 Egg Whites
2 Tsp Cornstarch
1. Put the shrimp and scallops in your handy food processor. Carefully pulse until fairly finely chopped, but not totally pureed.
The scallops seem to break down a bit quicker and actually become part of the “binder” for the cakes, but I like to keep some chunky bits of the shrimp intact.
2. Put the seafood into a large bowl and add the fish sauce, chives, lemongrass, ginger, garlic and the chili-garlic sauce.
Stir all to combine well.
Add the egg whites and cornstarch and stir well again.
3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4. Take a sheet pan (or a piece of foil, etc.) and very lightly spray with cooking spray. Wet your hands with water and form the seafood mixture into patties about 1″ thick and 2″ – 3″ inches in diameter and place on the prepared pan. You should have about 8 or 10 patties.
5. Heat 1/4″ of Canola or Peanut oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. You can test the heat with a piece of bread or small amount of the seafood mixture – it should brown lightly but not be too dark. Add a few of the patties (do not crowd) to the oil. You can use a lightly oiled spatula to move the patties from the pan to the skillet.
Cook for 3 – 4 minutes per side until golden brown (and delicious, as AB would say…) and the patties feel firm in the middle when you gently (and non-threateningly) give them a bit of a poke with your finger.
When done, remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil.
At the festival, the cakes are served on a sugarcane skewer, so it looks like a seafood lollypop. If you wish, get yourself some sugarcane and cut small sticks out of it and form the cakes around them – it’s a cute presentation, but i don’t really think it’s necessary. It was served there with a side of curry-flavored noodles, we’re still working a bit on that recipe, so we’ll save that one for a later post.
You can serve these many ways – with a side of noodles as noted, or atop some greens (arugula would be nice, maybe some other baby greens). If you want a bit of sauce you could squirt a little Sriracha on if you want some heat, or maybe a seasoned mayo concoction of some sort (maybe some roasted garlic and Sriracha added? Or cilantro? Or…?) served alongside. A little bit of fresh lime squeezed atop is nice… One or two patties would suffice as an appetizer – two or three for a main course.
And now for the long-awaited and anticipated note… instead of trying to individually grate the ginger, garlic and lemongrass, I peeled all (the tougher outer layers of the lemongrass removed, and used the lower, lighter-colored pieces) and cut into small chunks. Using about the same volume of each item (if you’re a bit anal, you can weigh the pieces on a kitchen scale to get about the same amount of each), put into a mini-processor (you can get a reasonably good one for something like ten bucks…) and chop until very fine – much easier than the other way…
Oh yeah, from this mixture I used two tablespoons total added to the seafood… more than the recipe calls for, but Dedicated Readers know I like things well seasoned, and it turned out well…
I really, really liked this recipe – it turned out much better than I had hoped it would… so I’m urging you to try it as well!
As usual, we’re back to the kitchen… much to do there!
November 5, 2011
As a true born-and-bred Southern Boy, Fried Chicken is (pretty much literally) in my blood… if I had to pick my death bed menu, it would certainly include fried chicken. But surprise, my favorite fried chicken (at least currently) comes from a recipe by an Indian chef (who of all things is also a vegetarian)!
I introduced you to Chef Suvir Saran when I shared his fantastic cornbread recipe a while back (again, the shock being that this Southern Boy loves the cornbread from an Indian chef!), so I urge you to go back and read (or re-read) the post on Grandma Hayes’s Corn Bread, but in case you don’t, I’ll reiterate a bit about Chef Saran directly from that post:
Suvir Saran is the Michelin star rated chef-owner of Devi restaurant in Manhattan, and the author of two cookbooks: “Indian Home Cooking” and “American Masala” in which he adds Indian influences and flavors to traditional American favorites. He has also made many television appearances, including being a featured guest chef on last seasons “Next Food Network Star” on the Food Network.
I first became aware of Chef Saran several years ago from an article written by the Tampa Tribune food writer Jeff Houck in which he recounted attending a food demo put on by the chef at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival (and there is your Disney reference if you’re going to insist on one…). A couple of years later I was fortunate enough to get to meet Chef Saran at Epcot and in addition to being a great chef, he also seems to be a very gracious and intelligent man.
Since that original post, he has told me to please not call him Chef (even though he has appeared on Top Chef Masters), and to call him by his first name, so from now on, we’ll refer to this humble gentleman simply as Suvir…
And the thing I’ve been looking forward to most at this year’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival is being able to see Suvir, and that’s saying a lot coming from me…
So without further ado, let’s make some kick-butt fowl, a recipe that caused Miss Bonnie to swoon… Let’s Cook Fried Chicken Masala!
Fried Chicken Masala
For the brine/marinade:
3 Cups Buttermilk
1/4 Cup Kosher Salt
2 Tbl Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Garam Masala (an Indian spice mix, you can make your own, or find at an Indian market of course, but even McCormick has a version, so most any good-sized grocery should have available)
1 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 Tsp Ground Black Peppercorns
1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp Paprika
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper (I usually add a bit more… big surprise, huh?)
1 Chicken (3 1/2 – 4 pounds, cut up into 8 serving pieces, or your choice of pieces – I’m a thigh man myself, so I usually use all thighs, plus maybe a few wings just for fun)
Canola Oil, for Frying
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour (I have used Whole Wheat with nice results)
2 Tsp Ground Coriander
2 Tsp Garam Masala
2 Tsp Ground Black Peppercorns
1 Tsp Tumeric
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper (once again, add a bit more if you like)
For the gravy (this is my own addition to the recipe, see the below for quantity notes):
2-3 Tbl Seasoned Flour (left over from above)
Milk (regular, 2%, or even Half-and-Half or Cream, as desired)
Plain Yoghurt (regular or reduced fat, but not no-fat)
Chopped Cilantro if desired
Make the brine by mixing the buttermilk with the spices (all the ingredients listed before the chicken)…
and add to the chicken pieces that you have placed into a big-ol’ zip-top bag…
stick it in the ‘fridge overnight… two days won’t hurt… just for fun turn and massage your meat every now and then… yes kids, you do have to plan ahead… do not omit the marinating time or I will hunt you down and hurt you…
When ready to cook, heat about an inch of the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet with high sides (I used my mother’s cast-iron Dutch oven) on medium-high until the oil is about 375 degrees.
For the coating add the remaining spices to the flour and mix well.
In a large shallow container, add the chicken pieces to the seasoned flour and turn to coat well. Let the chicken rest in the flour while the oil heats.
One at a time remove the pieces from the flour and shake off any excess and add to the hot oil skin side down – add as many pieces as you can without crowding – you’ll probably have to cook in two batches.
Fry until browned, about 6 to 8 minutes, then turn over and continue cooking another 6 to 8 minutes until done. If you have a favorite frying technique (some people cover the pan part-way through cooking to add a bit of steaming action to the process), feel free to use it…
Remove and drain on paper towels.
If you’re doing several batches, you may want to keep the cooked pieces in a very low (maybe 200 degrees) oven to keep warm while cooking the rest of the chicken. Like most fried chicken, this is also great cold, so don’t hesitate to make extra to have the next day, or the day after… or to send to your girlfriends mother…
Now the original recipe doesn’t include a gravy, but I hate to waste those tasty drippings, and well, I loves me some gravy, so…
Drain most of the oil from the skillet, leaving a couple of tablespoons. Add the flour and mix, cooking over medium heat for a bit (yes kids, we’re making a roux…) until you have a sandy semi-dry mixture – add more flour if very wet… next you’ll add a bit of liquid until you have a bit of a wet paste… the mixture will come away from the bottom of the pan and you will essentially deglaze the pan at this time, getting up all the good browned bits from the bottom. For this step I like to use chicken broth, but you can use milk if you like (or even a dry white wine, or beer, or water if you must….).
Next add enough liquid (here I used milk, but you can use cream or more chicken broth if you prefer) to loosen up the mixture until you have a thick gravy.
Reduce the heat to very low (or even move off the heat) and stir in some plain yoghurt.
The tartness of the yoghurt fits well with the Indian-inspired seasoning… stir and add more yoghurt or milk or broth as needed to you get to the proper consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Stir in some chopped cilantro if desired. You may even want to squeeze a bit of lime juice over…
Now whatever you do, don’t drown the lovely crispy chicken with the gravy… serve it with a starch (rice or potatoes) on the side or dip pieces of the bird into it.
And, if there was any doubt, this would be amazing with “The” cornbread…
Many times over the years I’ve said I could die a Happy Man if I could ever make fried chicken as good as my Grandmother Jackson’s… this certainly isn’t the same as her’s, and the flavor palate is certainly different from her Alabama tastes, but I think my dear departed Mangraw would approve…
Please make this… make it for the people you love… they might just swoon…
Thank you Suvir for the recipe!
Now back to the kitchen… we’ll see you again soon!
October 23, 2011
Back in July Miss Bonnie and I attended the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sneak Preview dinner where we sampled, among other offerings, Swedish Meatballs with Lingon Berries as it would be presented at the Scandinavia kiosk this year.
Shortly thereafter I happened to run across a couple of recipes for that dish: one in Food Network Magazine and another in bon appetit… so I considered that as a sign of needing to make ball-shaped meat goodness…
After perusing the aforementioned recipes, and checking some others online, I came up with the following (relying most heavily on the Food Network recipe, which is a knock-off/mimic of the IKEA version), and it turned out pretty darn good… so now, Let’s Cook!
For the meatballs:
1 Cup Dry Breadcrumbs
2 Tbl Butter
1/3 Cup Finely Minced White Onion
2 Cloves Finely Minced Garlic
1/4 Tsp Ground Allspice
2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp White Pepper
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 Lb Lean Ground Beef
1/2 Lb Ground Pork (or you can use 1 1/4 Lb “meatloaf blend” you’ll find in most grocery stores in place of the beef and pork)
1 Large Egg plus 1 Egg White, beaten
Oil or Cooking Spray
For the gravy:
2 Tbl Butter
2 Tbl All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Cup Beef Broth
1 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup Sour Cream (reduced fat okay if you prefer)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Chopped Parsley for garnish, if desired
Lingonberry Preserves or Jam for serving, if desired (if you can’t find at your local market, gee, maybe try someplace like IKEA… duh…)
For the meatballs start by melting the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, allspice salt and pepper and saute until soft, about 5 – 10 minutes.
Add the milk and Worcestershire and bring to a simmer.
Put the breadcrumbs into a large bowl and pour the milk mixture over the breadcrumbs.
Stir to make a thick paste and set aside to cool a bit. If it seems to dry (all the crumbs should be moistened but not soggy), you can add more liquid as needed (milk or beef broth or just water).
Add the meats and the beaten egg to the crumbs…
and mix until well combined… go ahead, use your hands if you so desire…
Take a large baking sheet and spray with cooking spray or brush lightly with vegetable oil (line with foil first if you’d like).
Roll the meat into about 1” diameter balls and arrange on the baking sheet – a rounded tablespoon measure works out to about the right size.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or save for the next day to cook).
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes until cooked through – cut one open to be sure… go ahead and eat the darn thing while you’re at it…
If you prefer, you can cook the meatballs in a skillet on top of the stove until browned and cooked through, or brown and then throw into the oven to finish it off.
To make the gravy, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and whisk in the flour until smooth.
Whisk in the milk and Worcestershire and heat to a simmer.
In a bowl whisk the sour cream a bit with a fork, then add a few spoonfuls of the gravy to temper the sour cream.
Next whisk the sour cream into the gravy and simmer over low until thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Add the meatballs and simmer again for a few minutes.
Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the parsley.
Serve with/over noodles or mashed potatoes and offer the Lingonberry Preserves on the side.
If something like the Lingonberry Preserves sounds a bit odd with a savory dish, just think of the traditional holiday meal of turkey and dressing with gravy and, what else but, cranberry sauce… in fact, if you can’t find the lingonberry, canned cranberry sauce could make a reasonable substitute.
The 2011 Epcot Food & Wine Festival cookbook has it’s own version of the recipe if you want to check that out as well.
So there you have it, meatballs, creamy sauce… would be perfect comfort food for the upcoming cool fall evenings…
Back to the kitchen…
September 15, 2011
As this year’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival approaches, I was glad to see that Korea would once again be one of the included booths. I love Korean food, and when it was announced that South Korea was to be included in the festival last year I was a bit concerned about how well the food would be presented, and would be accepted. Fortunately, the food was very good, and the guests took well to the offerings.
So while thinking of tasty Korean eats, I happened to run across a recipe in the July issue of bon appetit for Kalbi, and so inspired, the following recipe came forth…
Kalbi, and it’s cousin Bulgogi, is Korean barbecued beef. Both use basically the same style of marinade with Bulgogi being very thinly sliced tender beef (usually rib-eye) while Kalbi uses fatty, cross-cut beef short ribs.
The marinade features the usual Korean flavors of soy, sesame, green onion, garlic, ginger and sugar. I’ve been told by a Korean friend that each good Korean mother has her own variation on the basic flavor profile, and the tastes in each home are slightly different. If you peruse several recipes from books or online you will see several different additions and proportions of ingredients.
The recipe below is a good starting point – feel free to improvise if you like!
So now, with some great Korean food in mind, Let’s Cook!
Kalbi (Korean Barbecued Short Ribs)
2 Lb (give or take) Cross-Cut Beef Short Ribs (length-wise cut short ribs with oblong rounds of bone – usually cut about 1/4″ thick or a bit more… you can find these in Asian markets for sure, but also at many grocery stores – even our Sam’s Club carries this cut)
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
2 Tbl Water
1 1/2 Tbl Sugar (or Brown Sugar)
1 Tbl Finely Minced Garlic
2 Tsp Sesame Oil
2 Tsp Grated Fresh Ginger
1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/8 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 Cup Chopped Green Onions (scallions)
For the marinade, whisk together all ingredients except the beef and onions. Stir in the green onions.
Put the beef into a large zip-lock bag and add the marinade. Refrigerate (overnight preferably), turning and massaging your meat now and then to get the marinade in touch with all the beef.
Bring the meat out of the ‘fridge an hour or so before cooking to bring to room temp.
Ideally you’ll be cooking this on an outdoor grill, so prep your grill as needed for a med-high to high heat (I used my trusty Big Green Egg at about 600 degrees). If you must, you could use your oven broiler – it will still be good…
Cook 2 (maybe 3) minutes per side – remember this is a thin cut, so it won’t take long…
Remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes – serve with rice and some kimchi… sprinkle with some minced green onions and sesame seeds if the mood so strikes… don’t feel bad about wanting to pick up the little pieces of bone with your hands and gnawing the last bits of meat off… cause you’ll want to!
This marinade would also be great on a full-thickness piece of beast – try it on a skirt steak or rib-eye… yum… meat…
Time to get back to the kitchen, there’s more Food & Wine inspired preview eats to be had… maybe more Korean, and certainly some Indian-inspired eats…
See you soon!
September 11, 2011
Not long ago, Miss Bonnie went digging through the Harem Archives and pulled out an old (circa 1986) Disney cookbook:
“Cooking with Mickey around our world: The MOST requested recipes from Walt Disney World and Disneyland”.
We read through the book with much interest… for the Disney fan it’s fun to note where the dishes originate from, as many are from restaurants (or events) that no longer exist (or at least in the form they were at the time). Examples include venues such as the Lake Buena Vista Club, the Papeete Bay Verandah, the Walt Disney World Shopping Village Seafood Festival, King Stefan’s Banquet Hall and The Land Grille Room (where today’s recipe hails from).
For the food fan, the recipes present and interesting look at what would be considered “gourmet” food of the day to most Americans. Yes, there are some recipes for familiar dishes like Fish ‘n Chips, Chili and Beans, Clam Chowder and Beef Stew, but most look to be dishes that many visitors to Disney may have never heard of, much less tried. Several classic “gourmet” recipes are there: Beef Wellington, Coq au Vin, Vichyssoise and the like. There are also many “ethnic” dishes (most seem to be semi-Asian-inspired from the Polynesian, but most are very far from being a treat for the discriminating diner… some “true foodies” often bemoan that many food items purported to be authentic or ethnic or the like at Disney are “dumbed down” for those guests with less adventurous or refined palates… well if you take a look at the offerings from a quarter-century ago and see how far the food at the parks has come…
There is essentially nothing in the way of an introduction to the volume, so there is no info as to if the recipes have been modified (other than the serving quantities of course) for the home cook, or if the ingredients are all really what was used at the restaurants at the time – with the reliance on items such as bouillon cubes, margarine and canned mushrooms throughout the book, let’s hope it’s the former…
That being said, there are many interesting recipes that still look good, or that with a little tweaking or modernizing should make something tasty come out of your kitchen. In the Eating (and Drinking) Around the World Kitchen South, Miss Bonnie and I tried a couple of the recipes, and we’ll share one of them here, so now, let’s cook!
Cheese Spread (from The Land Grille Room in the Land at EPCOT Center)
12 oz Cheddar Cheese (we used Sharp)
4 oz Crumbled Blue Cheese
8 oz Cream Cheese (we used Neufchatel)
1/3 cup Butter
1/4 cup Heavy Cream (we had Half & Half on hand, so we used that instead)
Dash of Tabasco (or other hot sauce)
1/8 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/8 tsp Paprika
Salt to taste
Bring all ingredients to room temperature before starting.
Cut the cheddar into roughly 1″ cubes. Put half the cheddar and half the blue into your trusty food processor and blend until fairly smooth.
Remove to a bowl and process the remaining cheddar and blue and remove to the same bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the processor and blend until smooth.
Add the cheddar and blue back to the bowl of the processor with the other ingredients and process until all is smooth and incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. If needed add a little more of the cream to make a smooth, but still firm, mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning as you like (we used a bit more Worcestershire and hot sauce, as well as a little cayenne).
Put into a lovely serving bowl and serve as is, or cover and refrigerate until needed, but it’s best served at room temperature.
I think it was better the second day, so try and make a day or two ahead if possible. Taste and adjust seasonings again if needed.
There certainly is room to improvise on the basic recipe – if you like blue cheese, go a bit heavier on the quantity there – you could add a small amount of finely grated sweet onion – and if you want to go for the gusto, add some habaneros or serranos to the processor…
You could always turn this mixture into a cheese ball or log and roll in chopped pecans and/or parsley for serving.
This would also be great slightly melted atop a burger – you could even put a wad of this in between two thin burger patties, seal the edges and grill to make a cheese stuffed burger!
With football time now upon us, this spread would make a tasty addition to a viewing party or even taken along while tail-gating.
As usual, if you try this recipe please post your comments – see you soon!
Now with the appetizer cheese course behind us, it’s time to get back to the kitchen!
September 5, 2011
In “You can tune a piano…” I told you of my adoration for various versions of chopped-up-raw-fresh-tuna-mixed-with-tasty-seasonings, and in the post “Let’s Cook! Tuna Poke” I shared a good basic recipe for a Hawaiian-style version of fishy goodness.
With the recent opening of Aulani, Disney’s newest DVC resort (and one not without some issues… but that’s a whole ‘nother non-food post…), and the inclusion of Hawaii as one of the kiosks in this year’s Food & Wine Festival, we have another version of Tuna Poke to share.
The official Disney Parks Blog provided us with a recipe for the island favorite that will be served at the resort and will also be offered at the festival booth this year.
So now, let’s cook!
Tuna Poke, Aulani Version
1 Cup Soy Sauce
2 Tbl Grated Fresh Ginger
2 Tbl Sesame Oil
2 Tbl Yuzu Juice (a sour Japanese citrus fruit – can substitute 1 Tbl Lime Juice and 1 Tbl Orange Juice)
2 Tbl Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tbl Finely Minced Garlic
1 Tbl Toasted Sesame Seeds (plus more for garnish)
1 Tbl Rice Vinegar
1 Tsp Wasabi Powder
1/8 Tsp Sugar
2 Lbs Fresh Sushi-Grade Tuna (usually what you’ll find is Yellowfin or also called Ahi Tuna – look for a piece with little of the white connective tissue – tell your favorite fish-person you’re serving it raw and they’ll find the right piece for you)
Fresh-Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Prepared Seaweed Salad, for serving (see more on serving below)
Dice the tuna into cubes about 1/4″ square.
Wish together the rest of the ingredients (except for the pepper and seaweed salad).
Add the marinade to the tuna and refrigerate 15 – 30 minutes.
To serve, the recipe calls for a bit of seaweed salad to be put in the bottom of a small dish and then topping it with the tuna. Season with freshly ground pepper and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Seaweed salad can be found prepared in most Asian markets and even many grocery stores – if your store sells sushi, they likely have it. If you’ve never had it, seaweed salad may sound a bit odd to you, but it’s usually a bit sweet with a nice texture (oh yeah, there’s usually jellyfish in it as well… maybe I shouldn’t have told you that little tidbit…).
In addition, I like to serve with something crispy like baked Wontons (see “Let’s Cook! Tuna Poke” for how to make those). Also been working on crispy Lotus Root chips, but still trying to get those right…
This is a really good version of Tuna Poke – give it a try!
If you’d like to check out the original recipe, with a video to boot, go to the Disney Parks Blog.
Back to the kitchen – see you soon!