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Sunday, May 5, 2013

At the Break of Day

          Grilled Steak, Heirloom Tomatoes & Shaved Parmesan Atop a Bed of Greens

I have a natural curiosity about things, especially when it comes to food. One of my favorite questions to ask friends is, 'If I could cook you only one dish, what would that be?'. Last week I asked this question  to one of my dearest friends, and the response is what inspired this post. I could not resist the idea of creating a dish that invokes such ease and comfort as that of an unforgettable friendship. The recipe contains only the ingredients listed in the title, feel free to add a salad dressing of olive oil and vinegar if desired, but otherwise it tastes fantastic without.

Grilled Steak, Heirloom Tomatoes & Shaved Parmesan Recipe

Makes: 3 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Quality steak of choice: I used a ribeye, but can use flank or sirloin
Mixed greens, Arugula and Romaine
2 Medium - Large Heirloom Tomatoes, Sliced Thin
1 Parmesan Block, Shaved to Desired Amount
Salt & Pepper

Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the grill to a high heat and sear the steak for 2-3 minutes on each side for medium rare. Remove steak from the grill and let sit for 10 minutes.

Mix together all greens and place on large serving platter. Placed sliced tomatoes on top.

Once steak has been sitting, slice thin and place on top of the tomatoes. Top with shaved parmesan.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Summer Standout

Peach and Almond Galette

In Greensboro, I know it is summer when I travel to the post office and there he is, my savior, selling the most gorgeous peaches and tomatoes of the season. As frequent in the South, even with the new craze of farmer's markets, my local farmer parks his ancient pick up truck in front of the post office and sells the produce out of the back. I knew I wanted to use the peaches and create a simple, flavorful summer dessert.  I decided to really highlight the local peaches and only use almonds, brown sugar, lemon and honey as the other ingredients. Works amazingly with a side of homemade ice-cream. Welcome summer with a bang, find produce that inspires you. 

Peach and Almond Galette Recipe
Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 - 40 minutes

1 thawed puff pastry sheet
4 peaches, pitted and sliced
1 cup sliced almonds
2 egg yolks, save whites for the egg wash
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a food processor, combine almond, egg yolks, dark brown sugar and lemon zest. Pulse until finely ground. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the puff pastry sheet onto the baking sheet. Spoon the almond mixture into the center of the pastry. Leave a 3"gap on each side of the pastry. Arrange sliced peaches in a layered way on top of the almond mixture. 

Fold the sides of the puff pastry over the peaches.  Sprinkle edges of puff pastry with sugar.

Cook galette for 30 - 40 minutes until golden brown. Remove and drizzle honey over the peaches. Serve.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lemon Sunshine

Tartine Bakery Lemon Cream

As a lover of all things food,  I have always been in love with Tartine Bakery and what renowned chef Chad Robertson has done, not only with Tartine, but with bread in general. He is a master baker. Tartine is located in the Mission District of San Francisco and has a line down the street every weekend of customers dying to taste their French pastries and perfectly baked artisan breads. I was inspired this week by the weather and when there is sunny weather, I immediately think of lemons. Tartine makes this incredible lemon cream that I swear is one of the most beautiful things I have ever tasted. You can serve it with warm scones or use it as a tart filling with a simple gingersnap crust or if you are brave enough, eat it as pudding (there is no shame).

                Tartine Bakery: San Francisco, CA

Tartine Bakery Lemon Cream Recipe
Makes: 2 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (Meyer or other)
3 large organic eggs
1 large organic egg yolk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup unsalted butter (16 tablespoons), sliced into 1 tablespoon pieces

In a small saucepan, pour water about 2 inches deep into the pan. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

Combine the lemon juice, whole eggs, yolk, sugar, and salt in a stainless steel bowl that will rest securely in the rim of a saucepan over, not touching, the water. Place the bowl over the saucepan and continue to whisk until the mixture becomes very thick. Do not stop whisking or the eggs will be ruined by the sugar. This will take 10 to 12 minutes. Should thicken enough to where you leave a trail in it with your whisk.

Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Set aside to let it cool. Stir occasionally to release the heat.

When the cream has cooled, pour into a blender. Add 1 tablespoon of butter at a time, blending completely until each piece incorporated. The cream will start to turn a gorgeous pale yellow.

Use immediately, or store in an air tight container until ready to serve. Holds for up to 5 days.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Late Spring Lunch

Leek Confit, Feta and Fresh Thyme Tart

Today I planted my first herbs in my late spring garden. The thyme was so beautiful and fragrant that I was inspired to make a dish with thyme in it. And what goes better with thyme than goat cheese. Rachel Ray and Bon Appetit had featured a goat cheese and leek tart this month and I thought this was a perfect dish for my newly acquired thyme. In addition, the technique for cooking the leeks is extremely simple but offers up a gourmet flavor. Serve this tart with a crisp arugula or romaine salad.

Leek Confit, Feta and Fresh Thyme Tart Recipe (Inspired by Rachel Ray and Bon Appetit)
Makes: 3 - 4 lunch servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus chilling of crust)
Cook Time: 1 hr. 5 min.

1 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ice water

In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter and salt together until crumbly. Add ice water by the tablespoon, and run food processor until dough comes together in a ball. Remove dough ball from food processor and knead twice. Form dough ball into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove dough from refrigerator, roll out until 1/8" thick. Transfer to a 9" tart pan. Trim the overhang to 1/2"; crimp the edges. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 375. 

Remove the tart shell and prick lightly with a fork all over the tart. Line inside of the tart with tin foil and pour pie weights or beans into the center. Blind bake for 20 minutes on the center rack. Remove weights and foil, bake 10 more minutes. Remove and let cool. 

Leek Confit
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lb. leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/8" thick
1/2 tablespoon water
pinch of salt

Melt butter over medium-low heat, add leeks. Stir to combine. Add water and salt. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Cook covered for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook for 3 minutes for water to evaporate. Set aside.

Tart Filling
4 ounce feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch of nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves only 

Preheat oven to 375 (unless you left the oven on after baking tart shell).

Mix all tart filling ingredients to combine. Add leek confit. Pour mixture into the tart shell. Bake for 20 minutes on the center rack. Remove and transfer the rack to a top rack. Bake for 15 minutes longer until set. Remove and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

No Fuss Appetizer (or Snack)

Goat Cheese, Fig Jam, Prosciutto and Rosemary Crostini

Looking for a quick appetizer to serve your dinner guests that does not require a lot of time to prepare? This is the perfect crostini that not only requires less than 10 minutes to prepare from start to finish, but the combination of ingredients that will wow your guests. The layers of depth of this crostini is incredible; you have the creaminess of the goat cheese, sweetness of the goat cheese, light saltiness of the Prosciutto and earthiness of the rosemary. And to top off the flavor, the presentation of the crostini is so beautiful.

Goat Cheese, Fig Jam, Prosciutto and Rosemary Crostini Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

1 teaspoon of goat cheese
1 teaspoon fig jam
1 sliver of Prosciutto
2 rosemary leaves, minced
1 slice of a baguette
olive oil

* add more of everything if desired

Preheat oven to broil.

Drizzle sliced baguette with olive oil. Toast under broiler until slightly golden. Remove.

Spread goat cheese on warm baguette slice. Top with fig jam, then prosciutto. Sprinkle minced rosemary on top.