It’s Prime Time with Omaha Steaks Chateaubriand-Cut Prime Rib!

Ready-for-Prime-Time Champagne-Pomegranate Glazed Boneless Prime Rib — Recipe follows below. A Great Menu for Father’s Day, June 17, 2012

5 teenage boys, 1 man and me for a summer Saturday night dinner after a day at the pool, playing hoops, riding bikes, jumping on the trampoline.  What to serve? Of course, the Chateaubriand Boneless Prime Rib Roast from my fav — Omaha Steaks — never fails to satisfy the hunger of growing boys.  The sides were greens I gathered from my backyard veggie patch including kale, collards and savoy spinach.  I cut them into ribbons and sautéed with garlic and chicken broth with a  squeeze of fresh lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Classic potato salad was the perfect complement.  I put a twist on mine by using unpeeled and diced yukon potatoes, finely chopped celery, hardboiled eggs, salt, pepper, cider vinegar, pinch of unprocessed sugar and the clincher — The Ojai Cook Lemonaise (which I could and have eaten straight out of the jar)!  Here’s the recipe for Champagne-Pomegranate Glazed Boneless Prime Rib.

Champagne-Pomegranate Sauce

2 Cups Champagne (Sparkling Wine)

1/2 C Pomegranate Vinegar

1/4 C Pomegranate Molasses (available at ethnic stores and Whole Foods Markets)

1/4 C Pure Clover Honey

Bring to boil in sauce pan, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Sauce will thicken as it cools.  This makes 2 cups.  Brush 1 cup one the prime rib.  Then salt and pepper to taste (approximately 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper per side).  Reserve other cup of sauce for tomorrow’s chicken  or pork tenderloin dinner.

Prime Rib:  Follow the instruction on Omaha Steak website.  Or my slight modification. Heat oven to 450 F.  Place PR on a rack in a shallow roasting plan.  Roast uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes uncovered for a four pound roast. When the roast reaches 10 degrees below your desired doneness (145 rare, 160 medium, 170 well), take the roast out and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes as it continues to cook.

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Thank you Bobby Flay — Bobby + Amy = Smokin’ Hot Tropical…..

Fruit and Citrus Marinade

I did something today that I NEVER, EVER do.  It was a guilty pleasure.  One that I didn’t think I’d have to admit, share or confess.  It was around lunch time.  I had finished all my planned tasks.  And a thought popped into my head.  No one was around.  Who would ever know.  I’m an adult.  It’s not going to hurt anyone.  I made my way downstairs, pressed the button, and voile……Bobby Flay appeared on my television screen.  And what was he doing?  Grilling.  Big deal, right?  Bobby is always grilling.  But this time, he was grilling something different.  Lemons and oranges were roasting in anticipation of a smokey, citrus marinade.  I fell in love.  So, tonight for our family dinner — I tried to replicate Bobby’s marinade AND add my own little twists (pineapple, habenero, mango).

Here goes:

3 lemons, 6 mandarin oranges, 2 cups of cubed pineapple, 2 mangoes and 1 habanero

Slice the lemons, oranges and mangoes in half.  Brush with canola oil and place on ready-to-go grill (I did this on my indoor grill which is part of my GE Monogram dual-fuel range with grill and griddle).  Add the habanero chili, cubes of pineapple (no need to brush with oil) and roast until all the fruit has nice grill marks and the flesh is softened.

Place all the ingredients in a blender including the de-seed (or not) the habanero, the pulp from mangoes, pineapple cubes and juice from the lemons and oranges.  Be sure to strain the citrus fruits through a sieve to avoid seeds falling into the blender.  Throw in a pinch of  salt and a 1/2 cup of canola oil.  Blend the mixture until smooth.  Serve over steak or chicken or fish.  Store the extra in a mason jar and refrigerate.

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Holy, Whole Fish – Snapper – Heads and Tails

Cooking a whole fish can seem a bit intimidating.  It’s so much to manage — the head, the tail, the scales, the cleaning.  In reality, there are resources available at grocery stores that have invested in their fish departments.  Ask the fishmonger to scale and clean the fish for you.  Filets are easy to get, if you prefer to  have it from the whole fish rather than just whats on display.  I went to Whole Foods today and the whole fish all looked so fresh and inviting,  One in particular caught my eye.  A  red snapper with a yellow stripe.  The fish from head to tail was about 16 inches — perfect for me and my best friend and official taste tester Ramon.  I decided to bake the fish.  Much more healthy and a great way to really taste the fresh fish.  I seasoned it inside the cavity and on the skin.  Slitting the skin on both sides, I placed sliced fresh garlic inside.  I seasoned the inside and outside with lavender pepper and salt.  Stuffing the fish with thin  lime slices, a bit of leeks and spinach.  Then I scattered the remaining leek and spinach under and around the fish, drizzled some olive oil over the top and placed in the oven at 400 degrees.

Tip:  Set your timer for 10 minutes. Then every four minutes after.  Check the fish and you’ll know it’s done when all the “red” from the red snapper is gone.  Every oven is different.  I had mine on convection bake.  It took a total of 22 minutes — with the last four with the fish flipped on it’s underside.  This is the BEFORE cooking pic.Image

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30-Minute Chicken and Creamy Leeks — For Gayle

This One’s for Gayle! Chicken Breasts with Creamy Leeks and Red Peppers

The beauty of the internet and facebook and all of this social media stuff — is that it allows for long-separated friends to re-connect.  It sounds a little silly to those in their 20s, but it’s true.  As a result of FB, one of my dearest friends from college and I have been able to share our post-college, post-clove cigarette smoking, post-Smith’s (no, that can never happen, right Gayle?!  The Smith’s will always be part of us) lives.  Recently, Gayle posted she’s looking for easy, healthy recipes.  So here goes Snakey K!

Adapted from The Splendid Table’s “How to Eat Supper” by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift

2 cups sliced leeks – white and light green parts

1 Tbs. chopped garlic (either fresh or the pre-chopped store-bought)

2 cups chicken broth (tetrapak, organic)

2 Tbs. unsalted butter (I’ve reduced the butter, it’s plenty creamy with this amount)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 red bell pepper, chopped fine (I add this for color and crunch)

Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper

(The original recipe calls for tarragon — I love it, but it’s not necessarily kid-friendly)

1. Put 2 Tbs. of butter in a large skillet, let it melt over medium heat and add leeks and garlic.  Once the garlic is golden, add the chicken broth.  Finish sautein leeks until somewhat soft and whites are translucent. 

2. While the leeks are cooking, salt and pepper the chicken breasts.  Place the chicken on top of the leeks — spooning some leeks on top of the chicken. Cover tightly with lid and reduce heat to to low. 

3. Allow about 15 minutes for breasts to cook. 

4. To check for doneness, press the chicken — it should feel firm. 

5. Place the chicken on plates, pour leeks and sauce over them and serve. 

6. This is especially nice with a fresh baby spinach salad and Brianna’s French vinaigrette.

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30-Minute Gourmet Chicken and Creamy Leeks

30-Minute Gourmet Chicken and Creamy Leeks

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Fear not the brussels sprout! Bacon serves as an incentive in this dish.

I was afraid.  Very afraid.  The stench of childhood torture-by-brussels sprouts pervading our home.  My mother, who was a wonderful cook, just couldn’t manage the brussels sprouts.  How many of you have that same smelly memory emblazoned in your brains?  The over-cooked miniature cabbages have developed a bad rap and for good reason.  But this recipe ain’t your mamma’s brussels sprouts.

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Ingredients:  Brussels sprouts; bacon, feta cheese, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, olive oil (for roasting)

Pre-heat oven to 400 F

12 brussels sprouts; 1/2 Cup crumbled bacon; 1 Cup crumbled feta cheese,; 4 eggs; 1/4 Cup 2% milk; olive-oil for roasting the sprouts.

1.  Bring a pot of salted water to boil; and place brussels sprouts in the water for approximately 8 minutes

2.  Drain sprouts and cut in half; brush with olive oil, as well as pouring a small amount (2Tbs.) of oil in the pan, and roast in the oven for 10 minutes or until they develop a nice toasty brown color on the cut side.  

3.  Mix eggs, milk and feta cheese together; season to taste with pepper, lots of pepper.

4.  Place sprouts in a glass dish (square/round/pie tin) and pour the milk/egg/cheese mixture over them.

5.  Place in pre-heated 400 F degree oven for 25 minutes or until the egg mixture is firm and well cooked.  

This dish makes for a great brunch or lunch main course.  Serve with chopped salad of tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers with a vinaigrette such as Brianna’s French-style vinaigrette.

 

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Guatemalan Plantains Stuffed with Chocolate and Black Beans

Guatemalan Plantains Stuffed with Chocolate and Black Beans

El Frijol Feliz Cooking School Antigua, Guatemala — Antigua:  Ciudad Guapa, Guatemala!

My first visit to Guatemala did not disappoint.  My BFF Wendy and I met at the airport in Panama and took the 2 hour flight to Guatemala City, and then a short 1 hour private van ride to the former capital of the Spanish empire in Central America.  It was late evening when we arrived at our beautiful, small, stylish accommodations.  Hotel Cirilo is lovingly and respectfully built around the ruins of a church.  The seven rooms flow around the ruins, joined by a hacienda-style corridor and salon filled very cleanly with beautiful statues, sculptures and minimalist, but warm furnishings.  The owner and designer is on-hand to greet guests and make sure the small, but elegant property runs perfectly.  If you’d like to see more on Hotel Cirilo (Cirilo is an old Guatemalan name and  one from the owner’s family) you can read my review and others on Trip Advisor.  Located only 10 minutes walk from the Parque Central and all of the most historic parts of the city, it’s a calm retreat with easy access to all the Antigua has to offer.  In fact, on our walk into town the next morning, Wendy and I stumbled upon a sweet open-air, open-courtyard spa and treated ourselves to hot stone massages and pedicures.  Guatemala is famous for handicrafts and it’s a well deserved.  We were blown away by the quality, the colors, the variety of options.  And the beautiful thing is, for the most part, the vendors are the craftswomen themselves or the shops in which the shawls, bags, belts, table clothes, placemats, napkins, coasters — let me get ahold of myself — are sold represent the co-ops of craftspeople.  Allow two to three days to soak up this colonial gem. While I was there I took advantage of taking a cooking class at El Frijol Feliz.  I learned how to make the delicious dessert pictured here – plantains stuffed with black beans and CHOCOLATE.  As well as a traditional chicken and pepino soup; chilaquilas (queso fresco sandwiched between achiote and fried in an egg-white and yolk batter); and rice with sautéed red pepper and carrots.  Thank you Chef Libia.  And as a bonus I was able to practice my Spanish.  An interpreter is on-site for students who do not speak Spanish.  All in all, it was a relaxing getaway.  The perfect mix of culture, hedonism and learning.  Wendy and I returned back to Panama refreshed and up-to-date on each other’s lives. What more could two BFF’s and world-travellers ask for in a three-day adventure?

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