Showing posts with label Expert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Expert. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day + Cupcake Vineyards

Yes gents - what a great day indeed.  No need to fret about buying diamonds (hmmm, she still might like those) or snagging a fancy restaurant rez - follow my game plan for a killer Valentine's day dinner at home!  Trust me, your lucky lady will appreciate your efforts in the kitchen more than that expensive restaurant tab.  Use all that extra cash to splurge on some fresh cut flowers, a heartfelt note (said like a true Southern gentleman), and an incredible night at home.  Better yet?  You won't have a hard time trying to convince her to come back to your place after the meal . . .

I'm going all out this Valentine's Day to make sure you are 100% covered!

Check out The Better Show today - I'm pulling off a vegetarian friendly recipe that your lady will love.  Carnivores included.

And - for those who need step-by-step details on everything from prepping for the date, choosing a great wine, easy-to-follow recipes, and fun videos that put it all together - well, look no further than to my friends over at Cupcake Vineyards.  I've partnered up with this great wine to ensure you Love Deliciously this Valentine's Day!  Go to their site, like, right now.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pan Seared Filet of Beef with Red Wine Pan Sauce + Roasted Asparagus + Garlic Mash

Sometimes, I simply out do myself.

Yes, I realize it's been a few weeks, and my posts have been lacking.  So to make up for it, I'm delivering a 'Top Chef' esque recipe and photo to make your mouth water.

Steak.  Steak.  Steak.


This recipe exudes luxury - from the tender filet of beef, to the silky mashed potatoes, to the crunch asparagus, and finally to the rich and creamy red wine sauce.

Forget about having her over - this meal will probably make her stay a while.

Just sayin . . .


Filet Mignon with Red Wine Pan Sauce + Roasted Asparagus + Garlic Mashed Potatoes 

2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
½ lb Fresh Asparagus, washed and trimmed
4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
2 8 oz Filet Mignons, at room temperature
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
1 Tablespoon Shallot, minced
½ Cup Red Wine
½ Cup Beef Stock
8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
¼ Cup Heavy Cream, warm

FIRST:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Heat a large pot of water over medium high heat.  When water comes to a boil, add potatoes and garlic cloves and cook 11-13 minutes, or until fork tender; remove from heat and set aside.  Next, lay out asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet; drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat each spear.  

SECOND:  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and season filets with salt and pepper.  Add remaining oil and sear filets, undisturbed, for 2-3 minutes.  Flip filets, and insert into the bottom rack of the oven until internal temperature is 135 degrees F for medium rare/medium, about 5-7 more minutes depending on the cut.  Remove filets from oven and tent with foil to keep warm and rest.  Meanwhile, place asparagus on the top rack of a 425 degree oven, roast for 8-10 minutes, shaking pan on occasion to ensure asparagus cooks evenly. 

THIRD:  Place the cast iron skillet used to cook steaks back on stovetop over medium high heat and saut矇 shallots for 1-2 minutes.  Deglaze pan with wine, and reduce mixture by half.  Add stock, and once again reduce mixture by half.  Remove from heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter, and season the pan sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

LAST:  Drain potatoes; using either a potato ricer or masher, mash potatoes and garlic into a mixing bowl. Fold in the remaining butter and cream and season potatoes to taste with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Plate a portion of potatoes on the center of plate, top with asparagus, and finish with the filet.  Spoon the red wine pan sauce around the perimeter of the plate.  Serve.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Surf and Turf

Enjoyed a slow weekend playing catchup in Nashville.  I finally got back to the basics in the kitchen.  Morning omelets with a strong cup of coffee, a mixed salad with lean protein after a mid-morning workout, and a bit more of an indulgence with a glass or two of wine for dinner in the evening.

I've got 2 more weekends at home prior to the crazy July travel schedule.  By then, I'm sure I'll be ready to hit the road, but I can tell you that I'm gonna savor every bit of 'home' over these next few weeks.

Where am I going?  I'm glad you asked.

I'll be headed back up to my beloved Prince Edward Island, Canada to once again join forces with the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.  It promises to be four days filled with great music and food.  Once again, I'll be cooking up my low-country boil with plenty of local PEI ingredients.  I mean damn- life is good when you are cooking up over 100 lbs of fresh lobster each day while listening to country music and throwing down a few cold Molson Canadians.

From there, I'll hop a flight to Detroit by way of Lansing, Michigan to cook for a few days at the Common Ground Music Festival.  It promises to be another great weekend.

After that - it's off to the big apple.  I'll be doing a national spot on throwing the perfect picnic live on your television on the BetterTV network.  Excited to head back to NYC and do more live television - always a challenging, fun, and thrilling experience!

So, with all that travel ahead, I'd say I deserved such an indulgent meal as the one below.  Seafood + Steak + Fresh Veg + Wine?  Yes, yes!

Grilled Top Sirloin Filet + Pan Seared Sea Scallops + Roasted Broccolini

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Arrange broccolini spears in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with EVOO and season with kosher salt and fresh crack pepper.  Top with thinly sliced red onions and a few smashed garlic cloves.  Roast - uncovered - for 12 - 15 minutes.

Cook sirloin over direct heat (either on grill or grill-pan) for two minutes, turn 45 degrees (creating nice grill marks) and cook for another two minutes.  Flip steak, and cook for 2 - 3 more minutes for medium rare.  Remove from heat, season with salt, and rest for 5 minutes.

Finally, quickly sear sea scallops in melted butter for 2 minutes per side in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper - or creole seasoning.  Remove from heat and plate.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pan Seared Sea Scallops over Smoked Tomato and Corn Risotto and Baby Arugula Salad

I get it.  The title of this recipe seems to be a bit "outside the realm" for the everyday cook.  Though the majority of my recipes tend to be geared towards the guy's guy, every now and then it's time to pull out all the stops .  I was lucky enough to be joined by some good friends last night, including a couple who are getting married this weekend!  Perhaps a celebration of sorts was in order.  Perhaps there was also too much frontier whiskey consumed and songwriting into the late night hours, as my plans to get off to an early start this morning were, well . . . a bit delayed.

To be brutally honest, this recipe has too many ingredients.  With that said, sometimes you just have to go with it.  I had several odds and ends lying around that I needed to get rid of, and that's how this recipe came about.  Note:  Don't use your guests as guinea pigs unless you know what you are doing.

This dish presents great texture and flavor contrasts.  The corn in the risotto pairs well with the firm short grained arborio rice.  Crispy pancetta adds a nice bite to the tender scallops, and the cool baby arugula salad is a refreshing note to the comforting warmth of the risotto.  Basically, if you have some time, give this a try.

Note: The following recipe serves four (4)

1/4 Cup Pancetta, finely diced
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, diced
1 Cup Fresh Corn Kernals
1 Cup Tomato Sauce, in heavy puree
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Cups Arborio Rice
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
6 - 8 Cups Chicken Stock, warmed

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
16 Large (U-10) Sea Scallops
Kosher Salt

Arugula Salad
2 Cups Baby Arugula
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (best quality)
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, shaved

Begin by heating a large stainless steel skillet and a small cast iron skillet over medium heat.  In the cast iron skillet, add the pancetta and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crisp.  Remove pancetta, reserving the fat, from skillet and allow to cool and drain on a paper towel.  Add the pancetta fat to the stainless steel skillet along with the olive oil.  Next add onions and allow to carmelize, about 12 - 15 minutes.  Return the cast-iron skillet to medium heat and add the corn.  Cook corn until kernals are tender and slightly chared on the outside.  Add tomato sauce to the corn, reduce heat to low, and allow the mixture to reduce and simmer while you finish up the risotto.  After the onions have carmelized, add the garlic and rice to the stainless skillet.  Toss the rice grains in the oil and onions, and cook grains for approximately 2 minutes.  Deglaze the pan with the white wine, and allow to simmer for 1 minute.  Ladle in 1 cup of stock, and stir the risotto.  Continue in this manner until rice grains are al dente and mixture is firm and creamy, about 25 - 30 minutes.  Finish the risotto by adding in the smoked tomato and corn sauce and mix thoroughly.

When risotto is near completion, heat a separate large cast iron skillet over medium high.  Add butter, and cook until foam begins to appear.  Pat scallops dry and add to skillet, careful not to crowd the pan.  Sear scallops, 2 -3 minutes on each side, season lightly with kosher salt.

As scallops are finishing, add the greens, oil, and vinegar to a mixing bowl and toss thoroughly.

To serve, plate a generous portion of risotto in the center of a large plate or shallow bowl.  Add four scallops around the perimeter of the risotto.  Next, top the risotto with the dressed greens.  Finally, add the cheese and crispy pancetta to the top of the salad.