Monday, April 26, 2010

Vegetable Risotto w/ White Fish

Risotto is an amazingly delicious rice dish. It is very labor-intensive, but since learning how to make it a few years back, I've never made traditional rice again. It is so versatile. Simply add your favorite vegetables to a batch of arborio rice for a fantastic risotto primavera. Add chorizo and create a wonderful Italian-Mexican fusion. The possibilities are endless. I have one secret when making risotto... turmeric! I add a dash of turmeric (1/4 tsp. or so for 1 C. of rice) to the rice to give it a bright yellow color. This yellow coloration on the rice really lets the colors of the vegetables and other ingredients pop off the plate. Each individual ingredient has a chance to stand out visually. Give it a try next time you make risotto.


1/4 C. Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 lb. Asparagus
1/2 lb. Shiitake Mushrooms
1 Pt. Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 C. Arborio Rice
1 Qt. Vegetable Stock
2 lb. Cod Fish Fillet
2 oz wt. Fresh Dill
Blanche the asparagus for 90 seconds, shock in ice water, and hold in the fridge. Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in a separate sauce pan. Heat the oil in a saute pan and saute the onion, garlic, and rice over medium high heat. When the rice has browned, add a ladle of stock to the pan and stir. Cook until all the liquid has been absorbed, then add another ladle of stock. [Risotto should be stirred constantly, adding small batches of stock will release starch and cause the rice to thicken.] Continue adding stock, in small batches, until the rice takes on a creamy consistency and binds together.
Add the asparagus to the risotto and heat, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms

In a separate pan, season and sear the Cod fish on each side until cooked.

Once the fish is ready, cut it into small pieces and toss it into the risotto while plating the dish.Sprinkle with a fresh dill

Monday, April 19, 2010

Boeuf Bourguignon

Burgundy is one of France's most famous gastronomic regions. A La Bourguignonne is a French term meaning "as prepared in Burgundy". Boeuf Bourguignon is a beef stew braised in red wine with root vegetables and onions. This recipe was fashioned after the Boeuf Bourguignon served at Anthony Bourdain's NYC restaurant, Les Halles.

2lb. Beef Shoulder, cut into 2" pieces
1/4 C. Olive Oil
4 Onions, sliced
2 Tbsp. Flour
1 C. Red Wine
6 Carrots, cut into 1" pieces
1 Garlic Clove
Salt & Pepper
1 Bouquet Garni*

*A bunch of herbs, classically being 1 sprig of flat leaf parsley, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf, that are either tied together with string or placed in a cheesecloth and used to flavor soups, stews and broths. Tying or bagging the herbs allows for their easy removal before the dish is served.

Season the meat with salt and pepper. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil over high heat. Sear the meat in batches. You want to get some nice color on the meat. If you add all the meat at once, you'll "crowd the pot" and cool it down which won't retain enough heat to properly sear the beef. Remove the meat and set aside to sear the next batch. When all the meat is dark brown and set aside, add the onions to the pot. Lower the heat to medium high until the onions are soft and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring. The flour will bond with the fat from the oil to create a roux which thickens and produces delicious "fond" on the bottom of the pan. Scrape up all the fond with a wooden spoon and deglaze with the red wine. Bring the red wine to a boil.

Return the meat to the pot and add the carrots, garlic, and bouquet garni. Add just enough water to cover the meat by one third - meaning you want a ratio of 3 parts liquid to 2 parts meat. Stews should have plenty of liquid, even after reducing. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, and let cook for about 2 hours. You can add some beef stock or demi-glace if you'd like, but remember that they're generally pretty salty, so bare that in mind when seasoning your meat in the beginning.

Check the stew every 20 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to avoid scorching. When finished, remove and discard the bouquet garni, add the chopped parsley and serve. This stew is amazingly flavorful the following day. It's delicious when served right out of the pot, but the flavors marry incredibly well in the cooler overnight.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bratwurst & Balsamic Tomatoes

Summertime is fast approaching and as the weather warms up, so will the grills - bratwurst, burgers, and beers! This recipe is a quick pan roasted dish with balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs, tomatoes, and two kinds of delicious Bratwurst sausages. It's a sweet and spicy meal that goes perfectly with a light beer on a warm Summer's evening surrounded by friends.
2-1/2 lb. Bratwurst [I use 1/2 Hot & 1/2 Sweet]
6 Cloves Garlic, sliced or minced
4 Red Onions, sliced
1/4 C. Olive Oil
2 lb. Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 C. Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 lb. Fresh Basil, torn
TT Salt & Pepper

Add the Bratwurst, onions, and garlic to a roasting pan. Season with olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix everything around so that all the ingredients are coated with oil and seasonings. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until slightly browned and caramelized.

When the sausages have color, remove the pan from the oven. Add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and return to the oven until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 12 minutes. Add the fresh basil and allow the herbs to steep in the oil, broken down tomatoes, and sausage juice.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cream of Onion Soup

Theoretically, a soup can be any combination of vegetables, meat, or fish cooked in a liquid. It may be thick (like gumbo), thin (such as consomme), smooth (like bisque), or chunky (chowder or bouillabaisse). Though most soups are hot some like vichyssoise and many fruit soups are served cold. Soups are often garnished with flavor enhancers such as croutons, grated or cubed cheese or sour cream. They can be served as a first course or as a meal, in which case they're often accompanied by a sandwich or salad.

6 Onions, sliced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. Butter
6 Tbsp. Flour
6 C. Chicken Stock
4 Tbsp. Ground Mustard
4 Tbsp Heavy Cream
TT Salt & Pepper

Color the onions in the butter over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the flour and mustard and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. The flour will bond with the fat in the butter to create a roux and produce wonderful fond in the bottom of the pan. Deglaze the pot with the chicken stock and bring everything to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the heavy cream and simmer until the flavors have married. For thinner soups, pulse in a food processor or hand mixer until your desired consistency is acquired.