4.13.2014

Dijon Deviled Eggs



With Easter just around the corner, I love to find new takes on classic sides like deviled eggs. Honestly, until my 24th birthday at the fabulous Cookshop, I had never eaten a deviled egg! I had always been turned off by the scent of boiled eggs, so I refused to eat them. However, I've come to realize that my palate has changed quite a bit so I decided to give it a try, and I'm so glad that I did! 


I loved the onion relish that Cookshop paired with their eggs. So I decided to do something similar by caramelizing finely diced shallots, and adding spicy dijon to the whipped yolks. The combination is out of this world.


Dijon Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:
6 large eggs
1 tbsp butter
1 shallot, finely diced
1/2 tsp dijon
2 1/2 tbsp mayo
1/2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:
Place the six eggs into the bottom of a small pot, cover them with water. Bring it to a boil, then bring the heat down to a simmer for a minute or two. Remove the pan from the heat and cover it for 15 minutes. At this point the eggs should be hard boiled. Fill the pan with cold water, to allow the eggs to cool before you remove their shells. Gently roll them on a flat surface with your palm, then peel off the shell. Carefully slice the eggs in half, remove the yolk and place it into a large bowl, set this aside.

Next, place a small saute pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Once it's melted, add the diced shallot. Allow it to cook for 4 minutes, or until it's nicely caramelized.

Add the shallot to the bowl with the yolks, along with the dijon, mayo, parsley, salt, and pepper. With a whisk or a hand mixer on low speed, whip the mixture together. Next, place the mixture into a ziplock bag, snipping the tip off so that you can pipe them into the egg whites (like you would with frosting). 

Refrigerate the eggs until you decide to serve them. Enjoy!

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3.30.2014

Herbed Meatloaf & Sauvignon Gravy


A couple of weeks ago, Alex and I had the pleasure heading back to our beloved city of Philadelphia. The thing that I miss the most about this wonderful city is reliable restauranteurs like Stephen Starr and Jose Garces. Starr's thematic restaurants are some of my absolute favorites, Jones in particular. This restaurant's menu is filled with classic American comfort food, like deviled eggs and meatloaf. For me it's reminiscent of Sunday dinners at home with my family. 


I decided to take this idea and put my own spin on it. We invited Alex's family over and had a meal of Dijon Deviled Eggs, Herbed Meatloaf & Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, and Sauteed String Beans. The meatloaf is great because it isn't dense at all, it's full of fresh herbs like thyme and parsley, and caramelized onions. It's absolutely delicious.


Herbed Meatloaf
Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:
1 tbsp butter
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp parsley, minced
6 sprigs thyme
1/2 cup panko 
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
kosher salt
ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small pan over medium heat, add the tablespoon of butter. Once it's melted, add the diced onion, as well as a dash of salt and pepper. Allow the onion to cook for 8 minutes, or until it's soft and caramelized.

In a large mixing bowl, add the caramelized onion, ground beef, minced parsley, leaves from the thyme sprigs, panko, milk, egg, and a sprinkle each of salt and pepper. Mix everything together with your hands until it's well combined. 

Form the loaf on a sheet pan, similar to the way that I did in the photo below. Place the pan into the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before serving.



Sauvignon Gravy

Ingredients:
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp pan drippings
1 clove garlic, minced
1tbsp flour
1/2 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup milk
3 sprigs thyme
1/2 tsp dijon
1/2 tsp parsley, minced
kosher salt
ground black pepper

Directions:
Once the meatloaf is done cooking, get two tablespoons of the pan drippings and place them into a medium saute pan over medium heat. Also add a tablespoon of butter to this, along with the minced garlic. Allow it to cook for a minute, then add in the tablespoon of flour and whisk it vigorously for 1 minute. Then while whisking, add in the white wine. Allow it to cook for 4 minutes. Then whisk in the milk, allow it to cook down for an additional 5 minutes. Finally, add in the thyme, dijon, parsley, as well as a bit of salt and pepper.

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3.23.2014

Truffled Crostini


Last week, I had the revelation that I didn’t have a go-to for homemade ricotta. If you’ve never had it, it’s one of those things that once you have it, you can’t go back to the processed kind. It has a really smooth, creamy consistency and it’s perfect when you’re looking for a cheese that isn’t going to overwhelm you with flavor. Alas, I found it at my usual cheese monger at Aspen Marketplace. I also have the good fortune of having Balthazar baguettes available at my local market, they're amazing. I topped the baguette and ricotta with sauteed shiitake mushrooms, white truffle oil, garlic, and herbs. It was the perfect combination. If you can't find truffle oil, feel free to use regular olive oil in its place.




Truffled Crostini
Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients:
1 baguette, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed & sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbsp truffle oil
1 cup ricotta
1 tbsp parsley, minced
kosher salt
ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the sliced baguette out on a sheet pan, drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle it with a bit of salt and pepper. Toss them all together and lay them out into one even layer. Place the sheet pan into the oven for 7-10 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden.

In a saute pan over medium heat, place the truffle oil. Allow it to heat for a minute, then throw in the sliced shiitake mushrooms, the sliced garlic cloves, and a bit of salt and pepper. Allow them to cook for a total of 10 minutes, turning them once every minute or two.

Remove the crostini from the oven and allow them to cool. Once cooled, place a layer of the fresh ricotta on each one, then top it with the truffled mushrooms, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley. Enjoy!
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3.09.2014

Lemon Butter Bundt Cake


Bundt cakes automatically look special, because of their beautiful form. However what makes this particular cake really special is its inherent lemony-ness. It was the perfect light dessert to accompany our dinner of Brown Sugar Short Ribs and Brie Mashed Potatoes.


Lemon Butter Bundt Cake
Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 oz vanilla greek yogurt
1 lemon, zest and juice (divided)
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter the inside of your bundt pan with the wrapper from the stick of butter. Place the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt into a small bowl and whisk them together. 

In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), place the sugar and room temperature butter. Cream them together on high speed for 5 minutes or until they're light and fluffy. Next, place the eggs into the mixture along with the vanilla, the yogurt, the zest of the lemon, as well as the juice of half of the lemon (the other half is going to be used for the glaze). Mix those ingredients together on medium speed for a minute or two.

Next, you're going to add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, 1/3 at a time with the speed on low. Turn off your mixer as soon as they're mixed. Place the batter into your bundt pan, ensuring that the batter looks even on the top. Place it into the oven for 45 minutes, or until you pierce it with a fork and it comes out clean.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the juice of half of the lemon and the powdered sugar. Mix them with a fork until they reach a nice consistency. 

Remove the bundt cake from the oven, allow it to cool for a few minutes before inverting it onto a plate/cake stand. Once it's completely cool, pour the lemon glaze over the top. Enjoy!
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2.25.2014

Brie Mashed Potatoes


For Valentine's Day this year, I had planned to pair my fabulous Brown Sugar Short Ribs with Gorgonzola mashed potatoes. However, I forgot to buy blue cheese while shopping... whoops. Thankfully I had a piece of Delice de Bourgogne (brie) from Trader Joe's in my refrigerator. This cheese is the best thing that TJ produces, in my humble opinion. It made the creamiest, most delicious mashed potatoes ever.



Brie Mashed Potatoes
Yield: 4 Servings

1 1/2 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus 1 tbsp
1 tbsp butter, unsalted
3 oz brie (remove the skin)
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:
Bring a medium pot, 3/4 full of water, to a boil. Meanwhile, peel your potatoes and dice them into one inch cubes. Place them into the boiling water for 20 minutes, or until they're fork tender. Drain the potatoes and place them into a large mixing bowl, along with the heavy cream and butter. 

Using a hand mixer on medium speed, mix the potatoes until they're smooth. Next, add the brie (without its skin!), the thyme leaves, as well as the salt and pepper. Give it one last mix with the hand mixer, making sure that the ingredients are combined. Enjoy!

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2.23.2014

Brown Sugar Short Ribs


Valentine's Day had pretty inconvenient timing for Alex and me this year. We chose to spread it out over a couple of days, he took me to dinner and showered me with flowers, chocolate, and Ketel One (laughable, I know) on Thursday. Then on Saturday when he got back from work (oh the life of an Athletics Director) I made him a fabulous dinner. I started the meal with figs wrapped with prosciutto, then for the main course I served these to die for short ribs over incredibly creamy brie mashed potatoes, and finished the meal with a lemon butter bundt cake.


Since short ribs are able to stand up to stronger flavors, I thought I'd create a beautiful brown sugar and thyme marinade and then braise them in red wine. Let me tell you... they were absolutely incredible. The meal as a whole was unbelievable, I'll post my recipes for the Brie Mashed Potatoes and Lemon Butter Bundt Cake later on this week!


Brown Sugar Short Ribs
Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients:
1 lb short ribs
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
6 sprigs thyme
2/3 cup red wine (Petite Sirah)
1 tbsp butter

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, 2 tbsp olive oil, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and the leaves from the thyme sprigs. Toss the short ribs into the marinade and make sure each piece is evenly coated, then place them into the refrigerator for an hour.

Place a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Place the marinated short ribs onto the pan, bone side up. Allow them to caramelize for 2-3 minutes per side. Then turn the heat down to medium and pour the red wine onto the pan. Once the wine is simmering, add the butter. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the pan. Allow the short ribs to braise for 30 minutes. 

To plate them, place the ribs onto a platter and spoon the red wine sauce over the top. Garnish them with additional sprigs of thyme. Enjoy!

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