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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