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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

Life's Greatest Secrets are often right under your nose....And thus here is just one more of life's greatest secrets..How to make Fluffy Scrambled Eggs at home like the ones in the restaurant.

Ever notice that whenever you order scrambled eggs at a restaurant they’re fluffy and delicious, but when you try to may them at home they always taste sort of meh....???
 
That’s because you haven’t been using one key ingredient--which is quite possibly already on your breakfast plate.

It’s time to embrace bacon grease.

Yes that's right...Good Old bacon Grease!

You need- Eggs, salt and pepper, milk, and a few strips of bacon.

How do you make it...Glad you asked..Here's How- Beat three eggs with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a drop of milk. Fry three or four strips of bacon until crispy and set aside. Rather than discard the leftover bacon grease, use it to coat the bottom of the frying pan. Add your egg mixture to the pan, and scramble as usual.

That’s it? Yupper. Just don’t forget about that bacon on the side.

Enjoy!  Eat and drink Well My friends!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

For all of you red meat lovers like me...Here is an impossibly easy summer recipe!

This serves four guests..

INGREDIENTS-

Skirt Steak
  • One 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak (about 1/2-inch thick), cut in half crosswise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 1/2 cup Chimichurri Sauce
    Chimichurri Sauce
    • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
    • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced
    • 1 shallot, finely chopped
    • 1 Fresno chile or red jalapeño, finely chopped
    • 2 cups minced fresh cilantro
    • 1 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh oregano 
    • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
DIRECTIONS:


  1. Season skirt steak lightly with salt and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels and season again with salt and pepper.
  2. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Brush grill grate with oil.
  3. Cook until meat is nicely charred and medium-rare, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer steak to a work surface; let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain and serve with Chimichurri Sauce.
Chimichurri Sauce-
Combine vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic, shallot, and chile in a medium bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. 

  1. Stir in cilantro, parsley, and oregano. Using a fork, whisk in oil. Transfer ½ cup chimichurri to a small bowl, season with salt to taste, and reserve as sauce.
  2. To use as a marinade with beef or lamb: Put beef or lamb in a glass, stainless steel, or ceramic dish. Toss with remaining chimichurri. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Remove meat from marinade, pat dry, and grill. Serve with reserved sauce.
Ummm Enjoy! Eat Well My friends!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beef Wellington -Fifties meet the New Millenium


I remember vaguely watching so many 60's sitcoms and romantic comedies..(Don't Judge me, I was an avid Television watcher as a child.. It kept me out of trouble) in which someone would go out for a fine meal and order Beef Wellington...


I had no idea what Beef Wellington was until recently...


It's really very hard to know exactly which decade to place the Beef Wellington in: it was a hallmark of the 50's, the 60's and the 70's!


Made by wrapping a high grade fillet steak in pâté (fois gras if you could get it) and puff pastry, which was then baked together, it was an expensive, tricky and oh-so-classy, which made it the perfect show-off dish. Imagine presenting this at the table with a flourish, then carving into the golden crust to reveal a perfectly cooked medium steak. It's quite hard to master the two-stage timing required for the classic recipe.


 You pan-sear your steak, then wrap it up before baking to get that gorgeous pastry crust. This recipe also substitutes pâté for a rich mushroom filling, so it's even easier on the wallet...


Anyway here is a recipe for it that you can use...


INGREDIENTS:


Beef-
  • 2 beef tenderloin steaks (1-1/4 to 2 inches thick, 8 ounce portions each)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 ounces prosciutto (8 slices)
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (1/2 pound dough), thawed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Kosher salt, for sprinkling on top of beef wellingtons
Mushroom Filling-
  • 8 ounces brown mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Mushroom Sauce-
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup diced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 ½ cup beef stock
  • 3 ounces brown mushrooms, ¼-inch thick slices
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


DIRECTIONS:
Puff Pastry-
  1. Defrost 1 sheet of puff pastry at room temperature on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper for 40 minutes, or until pliable yet cool. Refrigerate covered with plastic wrap if defrosted and not using immediately.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Begin making mushroom filling.
Mushroom Filling-
  1. Add mushrooms to a food processor, blender, or chop as finely as possible. The texture should be similar to coarse breadcrumbs, you do not want them to become a slurry.
  2. Heat a medium sized pan over medium heat and add a teaspoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. Add mushrooms and 1 sprig of fresh thyme, sauté for about 10 minutes until mixture is softened and moist of the moisture has evaporated. Season mushroom mixture with ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon of pepper. Remove and discard thyme sprig and transfer mushrooms to a bowl to cool, refrigerate.
Preparing the Beef-
  1. Trim any excess fat or silver skin from the meat. You can reform the steaks into rounds by tying the steaks with butchers twine so that it holds shape as it cooks in the pan. Pat dry the steaks with a paper towel and season each side generously with salt and black pepper.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add two tablespoons of olive oil, you want the pan really hot before adding the steaks. When the oil begins to smoke, add the filets to the pan, and brown for 2 minutes on each side. Quickly sear the raw edges of the meat so that the red turns to brown on the surface. Remove the steaks from the pan and place on a plate to cool. Turn off the heat and save the pan with the drippings for the red wine mushrooms sauce.
  3. Cut off the butcher's twine if using. Brush about 1 ½ teaspoons of Dijon mustard over the surface of each filet while still warm. Set aside.
Rolling the Beef Wellingtons-
  1. On a large cutting board, place a large piece of plastic wrap. Lay 4 slices of prosciutto on the film, slightly overlapping each piece about ¼ inches to create a row. Spread half of the mushroom filling over the prosciutto, leaving about a ½ inch border along the sides of the prosciutto. The layered prosciutto slices will resemble the shape of a rectangle; place the seared filet in the center of the prosciutto and mushroom layer (if the beef in more rectangular in shape, than lay the beef so that the length lines up with the longer sides of the prosciutto layer). Use the plastic wrap to draw the prosciutto around the filet, covering all sides of the filet. Roll up and twist the ends of the film to tighten. Chill the filet and repeat the process with the remaining filet.
  2. Place a large piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board or smooth surface, roll the defrosted pastry sheet into an 11-inch by 11-inch square. You can lightly dust the surface of the pastry with flour if it sticks to your rolling pin. Cut pastry in half into two 5.5-inch by 11-inch rectangles. Place the beef fillets covered in prosciutto in the center of each pastry. If the filets are rectangular, line up the long sides with the longer sides of the pastry. Lightly brush the pastry edges with water. Starting at the longer sides, bring opposite corners of the pastry over steak, gently stretching the dough if needed; press seems to seal tightly. Fold the shorter sides up to enclose the other side of the filets, they will not reach the center, just make sure to press sides to seal the pastry. Repeat wrapping with other filet.
  3. Use a piece of plastic wrap to tightly seal each pastry-wrapped beef filet, and refrigerate about 5 minutes to allow the pastry to firm up again.
  4. In a small bowl, mix egg yolk and milk.
  5. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Remove wellingtons from the refrigerator, remove plastic wrap, and lay the filets seam-side down on the baking sheet. Brush the top and sides of each puff pastry with the egg wash. If desired, use the back of the knife of pizza cutter to create long diagonal lines on the pastry surface, taking care to not cut into the pastry. Sprinkle kosher salt on top of each pastry.
  6. Bake in the upper middle portion of the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the steak reaches 125°F for medium rare, or until the desired doneness is reached. The pastry should also be golden brown on the surface. Remove the wellingtons from the oven and allow to rest on the sheet pan for at least 10 minutes before slicing into medallions, or serve whole to each guest. Make the red wine mushroom sauce while the wellingtons are baking.
Mushroom Sauce-
  1. Using the pan with the steak drippings, heat over medium heat. If you did not save the pan, use a new pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil added to the pan.
  2. Add the red wine to the pan, and whisk to deglaze and remove the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chopped shallots, stirring until the wine has reduced until you cannot smell the alcohol, reduced to about half.
  3. A 1 tablespoon flour and whisk for one minute. Slowly add the beef stock by whisking in about a ¼ cup at a time, until 1 cup has been added and the sauce has thinned to a spoonable consistency.
  4. Add the sliced mushrooms to the sauce, and simmer until the mushrooms are cooked and tender. Whisk in additional beef stock if needed to thin the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm on low heat until ready to serve.
To Serve-
  1. Once beef wellingtons have rested for 10 minutes, slice into medallions or serve whole with the mushroom sauce on the side. Enjoy!
EAT AND DRINK WELL MY FRIENDS!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Black Berry Crumb Coffee Cake


Hey Guys and Gals...I'm back for the month of July with a new recipe...Black Berry Crumb Coffee Cake.. You know I'm all about the desserts.


INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cups unsalted butter ( melted )
cups all-purpose flour
2 cups all-purpose flour ( all purpose )
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cups unsalted butter ( softened )
3/4 cups white sugar
1/3 cups plain greek yogurt
1/3 cups 2% milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 cups blackberries 




Crumb Topping
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • Filling
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  •                               
                                  

    DIRECTIONS:
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Light spray an 8 inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.**
  • To prepare the crumb topping, add brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, and flour to a medium bowl. Stir to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add yogurt and milk. Beat until combined.
  • Add in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
  • Slowly add in flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Spread 1/2 of batter on the bottom of prepared pan. 
  • Top batter with 1/2 of crumb mixture, followed by blackberries.
  • Spread remaining batter on top of blackberries.
  • Sprinkle rest of crumb mixture on top of batter.
  • Bake for 54-58 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely.



  • Eat and Drink well my friends!


    Food Safety Tips
    Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.


    1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

    Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as Cooking.com.

    2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

    Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

    3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

    Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

    4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

    One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

    * Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

    * Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

    * Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

    Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

    5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

    Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

    6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

    Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

    7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

    You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

    8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

    The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

    9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

    If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

    10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

    You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website Recalls.gov






    Cavier & Vodka
    Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household