Friday, January 28, 2011

Ricotta Gnocchi with Gorgonzola-Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Gnocchi are usually made with either potato or ricotta cheese. I chose to go with ricotta cheese because its faster and much less work then doing potato gnocchi. I had a few friends over for dinner and they all helped in making the dinner a success. The gnocchi with sauce cost about $20, feeds 5 (with leftovers) and takes about 1.5 hours total.

Ricotta Gnocchi
1 lb of whole milk ricotta, strained and drained for 1 hour
2 cups semolina flour (you can use AP flour)
4 eggs
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons garlic oil with fine chopped garlic pieces

Start a large pot of heavily salted boiling water. For the garlic oil start a small saute pan on low and add 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh garlic and three teaspoons of oil. Let it cook until garlic is softened, about 15 minutes and let cool. Mix all of the ingredients very well in a large bowl. You should have a very soft dough. Scoop out little balls with a spoon and place on a well floured baking sheet. It is easier to work with the dough if your hands are a little wet. Once portioned, roll each piece into a round ball. You can mark them with a fork or just put a little indent into them to give them some design. Place then in the boiling water for about 5 minutes or until tender. Serve immediately and top with the Gorgonzola red pepper sauce.

Gorgonzola - Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
3 oz Gongonzola cheese, chunked
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 roasted red pepper, diced
salt and pepper

In a small Sauce pan add chicken stock on medium and let reduce to half. Add the cream and turn the heat down to medium low. Let that cook for 10 minutes. Add the two cheeses and whisk that into the cream mixture until smooth. Now add the red peppers with some salt and pepper. Let that cook ten more minutes and serve on top of the gnocchi. Top it with some fresh thyme.

Thanks to Dana, Shawn, Brett and Gerri for the wine, help and company. Dana made a great scallop, arugula, lemon and caper salad to compliment the rich gnocchi. We served broccoli rabe as a side dish and we also made some garlic bread with the leftover garlic oil which was perfect for soaking up the Gorgonzola cheese sauce. All in all it was a great meal with great friends. Buon Appetito!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Prime Filet Mignon with Roasted Root Vegetables

This is a fairly simple meal to make and takes less then an hour in total. Plus it has some great impact on whoever you are making for so it is a great "date night" meal. I found some nice prime filet mignon at the grocery store this time and paired it with various root vegetables like carrots, garlic, sweet potato, fennel and shallots. I made an easy sauce of reduced chicken stock, fennel and garlic. All together it makes a great meal. It cost about $20 feeds one and takes about 1 hour.

Roasted Root Vegetables
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced into 3/4 inch rounds
1 medium sweet potato, sliced into 3/4 inch rounds
6 medium baby carrots
6 cloves of garlic
3 shallots, peeled
1 teaspoon brown sugar dissolved in 3 teaspoons of water

Preheat the oven to 400 degree. Place all the vegetables on a foil lined baking sheet sprayed with a little vegetable oil. Roast the veggies, minus the garlic for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste with the sugar water mixture. Add garlic to the baking sheet and let it cook for 20 more minutes. Remove and salt and pepper the veggies, serve immediately.

Filet Mignon
1 6oz filet mignon
salt and pepper
1 oz vegetable oil

Start a medium sautee pan on medium high heat and add the oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Once the pan is screaming hot sear the filet for 2 minutes on each side then roll it in the pan to sear the sides. Place it in the oven for 10 minutes. remove at let rest at least 7 minutes. Slice in half and top with some sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Fennel Garlic Sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fennel
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon of butter

In a small sauce pan start chicken stock and vinegar on medium and reduce to half. Add fennel and garlic and continue reducing until about 1 tablespoon of liquid is left. Take off the heat and remove the fennel and garlic. Once cooled a bit whisk in the butter and add salt & pepper. Serve over steak and vegetables. This will take about 350 to 40 minutes.

I made a little arugula salad with cucumber, tomatoes and onions in a balsamic vinaigrette as an appetizer. I used the fennel frawns as a garnish for the dish because I had them from the fennel bulb. This quick and easy steak dinner is a great way to impress without much work or clean up. Buon Appetito!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Antipasta Sandwich

I was given some great Italian meats and cheeses so, surprisingly, I made a sandwich. I layered Mortadella, Sopresasta, and Prosciutto with heirloom tomatoes, Robiola cheese, Buffalo Mozzarella, micro basil, thyme, marjoram and some balsamic aioli. Chunks of Parmesano Reggiano were the side dish.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rosemary Ham and Maple Roast Turkey with Asiago Cheese

Another in the long line of panini sandwiches. This one has some delicious rosemary ham and maple roast turkey with heirloom tomatoes, honey mustard, and some asiago cheese on potato bread. I threw in some nice red cherries to make it a meal. Enjoy!

Published with Blogger-droid v1.4.9

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mahi-Mahi with Raw Kale Salad

Florida mahi-mahi, aka dolphin fish, is a clean tasting, firm white fish that is usually fresh and reliable buy from the grocery. I made a blackened style seasoning and coated the fish with it. I served it with some kale salad which has the highest vitamin and mineral content of any vegetable. Check out the link for more info. This meal cost $15 takes about 30 minutes to make and feeds 1.

Pan Seared Blackened Mahi-Mahi
2 oz vegetable oil
10oz Mahi-Mahi filet
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 chipotle pepper
1/4 sliced red onion
1 bunch of parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Turn a medium sautee pan to medium high heat and add the oil. Mix the seasoning together and coat the fish on each side. I like the taste of the fish so I didn't completely coat fish but you certainly can if you wish. Once the pan is very hot place the fish in and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden. Now flip the fish and let cook for 3 more minutes. Then add the red onions and parsley and place the fish on top of the onions and parsley. I do this to impart some flavor and to keep the fish from over cooking on one side in the oven. Now place the whole pan in the oven and let it cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and put it on the plate with the kale salad.

Raw Kale Salad
3 large organic Kale leaves, destemmd and leaves chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 red onion, thin sliced
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix lemon juice and oil with salt and pepper. Add red onion and lemon juice and toss well. Do this first and let it sit for at least 20 minutes while you prepare the fish. this will soften up the kale and make it much more palatable. Strain out the lemon juice and serve on the plate.

This was a really healthy lunch after a long workout and right before work. It is loaded with omega 3's, vitamins, minerals and protein. All part of a healthy diet and a step on the road to being in the best shape of my life. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Prime Roast Beef and St. Andre Cheese on Rye

This awesome sandwich was made with a few of my favorite ingredients. First, prime rare cooked roast beef from my local supermarket, Epicure, is the best roast beef I have ever tasted. Second is St Andre cheese. St Andre is a triple cream cheese, which means it has 75% fat content, which means it tastes amazing. You can usually find it in the grocery store cheese section. I also threw in some parsley for color and for a sharp contrast between the creamy cheese and rich meat. The bread was a whole wheat rye. For a dressing I made some creamy horseradish sauce which added spiciness and moisture. Overall this is in the top of the lifetime favorite sandwiches. Enjoy!

Creamy Horseradish Sauce
2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons of sour cream
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 dash white vinegar

Mix it all together and put on anything!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cedar Plank Salmon

This is a really quick and easy recipe. It's kind of cheating but who said there were rules to this cooking at home blog anyway. I found this vacuum packed and frozen salmon on a cedar plank in my grocers frozen seafood section. I just saw a special on TV about how quality frozen and smoked salmon is because it is packaged immediately after being caught, directly at the source. I decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised. This cost $10, takes 20 minutes and feeds 1.

Cedar Plank Salmon

1 10oz cedar plank salmon, defrosted overnight in the fridge
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 430. Open defrosted salmon and place on the middle oven rack. Let it cook for 14 minutes. While it is cooking; mix the sour cream (you could use yogurt or creme fraiche) lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the salmon and garnish with the cream sauce and some sliced lemon.

This is super easy and was one of the best tasting salmon pieces I have had in a long time. The salmon is wild (not farm raised) and meat had a great texture. I already stocked up on a few more so I have a great meal in a few minutes when I don't feel like going all out cooking. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Huge Prime Rib-Eye with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Sunchokes and Shallots

It took a while to make this first post of the New Year so without further ado lets get it started. We got these two 38oz prime grade rib-eyes from Epicure. I also found some sunchokes, or Jerusalem Artichokes, which are a rare find. They are tubers that taste exactly like artichoke heats when roasted. Fingerling potatoes are a small finger sized potato with a creamy texture and a touch of sweetness. I also made a red wine - balsamic reduction to compliment the slow cooked steak. This takes about 2 hours, cost $150 (steaks are about $100 of that) and feeds 4 hungry people.

Red Wine - Balsamic Reduction
1/2 bottle of red wine, I used Valpolicella a light Italian red wine
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup shallots, sliced
5 parsley sprigs
1 tablespoon of butter

Bring the red wine, balsamic, beef stock and shallots to almost boiling on medium high heat and then lower to low heat and let cook for 2 hours or until reduced to 1/2 a cup of liquid. Add parsley and let cook for 5 minutes. Strain shallots and parsley from the sauce and put back over low heat. Add some fresh cracked black pepper then whisk in the butter slowly and serve immediately.

Slow Roasted Rib-Eye
2 38oz Prime Grade Rib-eye steaks
2 teaspoons of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of butter

This slow and low steak cooking method is somethin I learned by watching an Alain Ducasse(one of the top US chefs) video on youtube. I have worked in steakhouses and have never seen this method used so I was skeptical at first. However after doing this technique a few times I don't think there is a better way to prepare a steak. The steaks must be at least 1 3/4 inches thick for this to work properly. The results are a through and through medium or medium rare depending on roasting time.

Start a large frying pan on medium low heat (2.5 of 10). Let it heat up for at least 5 minutes. Place the steaks in the pan without any oil or butter. Let them cook without moving them for 17 to 20 minutes or until a golden crust occurs. Now flip the steak and let it cook for another 17 to 20 minutes or until carmelized on that side. Now add the butter to the pan and turn the steak and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the steaks from the pan and place on a foil lined baking sheet on a baking rack. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Let the steaks rest for 20 minutes on the rack. Now place in the oven and let cook 15 for medium rare and 22 minutes for medium. I like rib-eye cooked to about medium to melt out the fat. Take them out and let it rest again for at least 7 minutes. Cut the meat off the bone and slice to serve. Top with the red wine - balsamic sauce.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Sunchokes and Shallots
1 lb, fingerling potatoes
1/2 pound sunchokes
1/2 pound baby shallots
olive oil, salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly wash the potatoes and sunchokes. Slice the potatoes on the bias (diagonal) and peel to sunchokes of the outter knobs and thicker skins. Cut the sunchokes into pieces about the same size as the shallots and potatoes. Peel the shallots. Place all of the veggies on a baking sheet and coat with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about an hour or until the potatoes, sunchokes and shallots are tender. Serve them up aside the steak for an earthy and delicious side dish.

My friends Ty, Alp and Ricky all joined me for this awesome early dinner and I appreciate their company and also appreciate them buying the food. This is a meat and potato lovers' dream and the sweet-rich sauce really brings it all together. Thanks guys!