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Monday, October 3, 2016

Cherry Dijon Sauce for Steak

This sauce really takes a steak to a new level!

Like many great ideas, this was the result of necessity and serendipity. I had a small filet, leftover from a restaurant dinner. How to reheat it in a way that didn't dry it out, and would add some flavor to the somewhat bland meat? I've tried various methods before, but this is my favorite. Inspired by the contents of my pantry and refrigerator! I didn't actually measure anything at the time, so these are just estimates. Adjust to your taste.

2 cups Beef broth (I used Better Than Bouillon)
2 sliced scallions, both white and green parts
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cherry preserves (I used Bonne Maman)
1/3 cup heavy cream
Coarsely ground black pepper

Bring the broth to a simmer and add the scallions. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes or so until the broth has reduced and thickened, then add mustard and preserves. When the preserves have been absorbed into the sauce, add the cream and black pepper.

Place the cooked filet in the pan with the sauce, turning it to sauce both sides. Cover the pan and continue to cook on a low simmer until meat is heated (about 15 minutes).

To serve, remove the steak to a plate and spoon the sauce generously over it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Favorite Crock Pot Roast Beef

3-4 pound rump roast or other pot roast
1 tablespoon shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound peeled pearl onions
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup beef broth
1 cup red wine (optional)
Dash of tomato paste

Brown meat in hot shortening in a skillet. Put half onions and mushrooms in the bottom of a slow cooker. Salt and pepper meat and place in slow cooker. Add remaining vegetables and liquids.  Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high 5-6 hours.
Serve with boiled or roasted new potatoes, or mashed potatoes, and haricots verts. A simple green salad (thinly sliced radishes are a nice addition) with vinaigrette and old fashioned dinner rolls make a delicious and satisfying dinner.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas (green and red) Chicken Enchiladas

3 cups shredded chicken
1 onion, chopped
Salsa de Tomatillos (see blog entry)
Tomato Salsa
2 cups chicken broth, warmed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 pound Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
16 corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 325.

Place half of shredded chicken, half of onion, half of chicken broth to cover, and a little liquid from the tomatillo salsa in a bowl. Add half of cumin and half of white pepper. Toss well with a fork to combine. Repeat in a separate bowl with tomato salsa. Allow to sit for one hour uncovered, adding chicken broth as chicken absorbs the liquid.

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet (you can use chicken broth if you prefer) on medium high heat. Using tongs, dip each tortilla in the oil until softened...just a few seconds. Drain on paper towels.

Prepare two greased rectangular baking dishes, one for green enchiladas and one for red. Divide the tortillas into two groups of eight.

For the green enchiladas, fill each tortilla with tomatillo chicken mixture, add a sprinkling of cheese, roll and place into casserole. When the enchiladas are arranged in a single layer, spoon more tomatillo sauce over them and topwith half the remaining cheese.

Repeat for red enchiladas, with tomato salsa.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Aunt Dora's Cole Slaw

I don't like sugar in cole slaw, although apparently many people do. Also, I like the cabbage parboiled so it's still crunchy but doesn't have that raw taste. And a lot of garlic salt, black pepper, and lemon juice...the amount of those ingredients is to individual taste.

Aunt Dora's Cole Slaw

1 medium head of cabbage, finely shredded (or packaged coleslaw mix -- "angel hair" is best)
1/2 pint mayonnaise (or more if you like it "juicy")
garlic salt
black pepper
lemon juice

Shred the cabbage. Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add cabbage for just a minute or two. Drain, pat dry, and put in a colander. Wrap several cubes of ice in a dish towel and place over the cabbage. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until cabbage is thoroughly chilled. Remove the ice, transfer cabbage to a large bowl, and add mayonnaise, garlic salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Refrigerate for at least 2 or 3 hours (or preferably overnight) before serving.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Salsa de Tomatillos, Tomato Salsa

It is SO easy to make fresh salsa. The result is amazingly better than salsa from a bottle -- and healthier, too! These salsas are so fresh, delicious, and satisfying that they make a special meal out of practically anything from traditional Tex-Mex dishes like tacos or enchiladas to chicken breast or fish...even scrambled eggs (or an omelet). I especially like the tomatillo sauce on a chicken taco salad or soft tacos with portabello mushrooms, chicken, and creme fraiche. I confess to sometimes having the tomato salsa by itself as a snack. If you add some chopped mango and pineapple to the tomato salsa you have an approximation of the salsa at the Hula Hut in Austin, which is especially good with fish. Of course, both salsas are great with chips or tortillas, too. I like the fresh jalapenos with seeds and membranes removed, but you can use the brined jalapenos if you prefer that more pungent flavor...and if you really like the burn by all means leave the seeds and membranes! Serrano chiles are also good in either recipe...

As is the case with most of the recipes on this blog, this one comes with many memories of good friends and good times. These recipes were given to me by my friend Michael Obranovich, master potter and gourmet chef, when I bought a beautiful hand crafted tortilla warmer from him.

Salsa de  Tomatillos

3/4 pound fresh tomatillos, husks removed, cut into quarters (or canned, quartered)
2 medium fresh serrano chiles (or fresh jalapenos), stems, seeds, and membranes removed,chopped
3 tablespoons fresh white onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 heaping teaspoon salt

Place ingredients in blender and blend just a few seconds -- until thick and chunky but not pureed.

Tomato Salsa

3 or 4 small fresh jalapenos, stems, seeds, and membranes removed, chopped
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 heaping teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coarsely chopped white onion
1 can diced tomatoes
(2 tablespoons chopped cilantro)

Place ingredients in blender and blend just a few seconds -- until thick and chunky but not pureed.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

East Texas Bruschetta

Another great idea born of desperation...what to do with left-over shredded pork barbecue? Take a good French roll and split in half. Brush each side with melted butter. Toast lightly in the broiler. Spread each half with the barbecue and top with a small dab of mayonnaise mixed with Louisiana hot sauce. Return to broiler until warmed thoroughly. Sprinkle with chopped dill pickle before serving.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Antoine's Oyster Stew

A lot of recipes for oyster stew are rather bland, but this is not your New England oyster stew...welcome to New Orleans! This one spices it up just a bit with garlic and cayenne and then adds a little texture and flavor interest with celery and lots of chopped parsley. The roux base also adds another layer of flavor and really pulls it all together. Would you expect anything less from one of the best restaurants in  the best food city in the US?
This makes a beautiful dish just ladled as is into soup bowls, or you can serve over puff pastry shells for a special presentation. Some people add artichoke hearts. A dash of anisette or Pernod is also traditional. According to Saveur Magazine, this is the traditional first course for Thanksgiving dinner in New Orleans.
This recipe says it serves 6, but depending on serving size I think it could serve twice that.

Antoine's Oyster Stew

50 medium  oysters (such as bluepoints), shucked (about 1 1/2 pounds), with 1 cup liquor preserved
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons flour
4 ribs celery, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped curly parsley
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream

Combine oyster liquor with 1 cup water in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Add oysters and simmer until their edges just begin to curl -- about 2 minutes. Strain oysters through a fine sieve over a medium bowl. Reserve oysters and liquid separately.
Heat butter in a 4-quart saucepan over  medium-high heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until golden brown -- 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add celery, garlic, onions, parsley, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden  spoon, until onions and celery are very soft -- about 25 minutes.
Stir in milk, cream, and reserved oysters with cooking liquid. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just hot -- about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, with a dash of anisette or Pernod if desired.