Monday, October 29, 2007

Roasted Autumn Vegetables

I've been sending out platters of roasted fall vegetables. Here I have used butternut and acorn squash, sweet potatoes, red peppers, purple onion, and parsnips. You have to roast everything separately because they all have different cooking times, and by roasting everything separately and then combining them at the end for a final communal roasting they each retain their individual characteristics. Glazed with butter and brown sugar, they are irresistible.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Strip Steaks with Devils on Horseback

Angels on Horseback is an appetizer often associated with New Orleans. It is a plump oyster wrapped in bacon and broiled or grilled-either on a skewer, a toothpik, on on the half shell. They are, by legend, called Angels on Horseback because the oysters curl at the edges as they cook and look like angel wings-whatever, I doubt most people have seen actual angel wings, but it is a rather poetic title. To make their evil twin, the Devil on Horseback, you must douse the oysters with hot sauce before cooking them. I skewered my devils, doused them with "Cajun Sunshine" and grilled them along side the strip steaks.

It turns out oysters with bacon and beef actually date back to Victorian England-yawn-New Orleans seems more exciting-and in England and Ireland they make their Devils on Horseback with prunes wrapped in bacon-at least that's what I read on the internet. I'll stick with my version-rich, seductive, and a little bit noughty.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Moules Marinier

Means mussels mariner style, or mussels with white wine and herbs. These were wild harvested mussels and they were plump and delicious. Because they were wild, there is always the possibility of grit, so I cleaned them well and pulled the little mass that attaches the mussels to their underwater home. I then let them sit in a strong vinegar-water solution which helps them expell any grit inside the shells. For this batch I took 1/4 cup butter and briefly sauteed garlic, shallot, and a mixture of herbs (all things still growing in my garden-oregano, basil, mint, sage, thyme, chive), I added 1/2 cup white wine and brought it to the boil. Next add the mussels and cover and simmer over medium heat for a couple minutes until the mussels open. Discard any that do not open. Add some lemon squeezes, if you like, and eat with lots of crusty bread to sop up the the incredible broth.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Grilled Radicchio, Rooasted Pears and Shrimp

This is a recipe I'm working on for some classes in January. I roasted the pears with a little honey, I quartered the heads of Radicchio, brushed them with olive oil and grilled them. I sauteed the shrimp in garlic butter, but I think I will change the shrimp to seared sea scallops for the final recipe. I next made a vinaigrette with Balsamic vinegar mixed with the juices left from the roasting pears. The honey was a nice counter balance to the bitter Radicchio. The flavors worked beautifully, but I think the sea scallops might make a more appealing plate.

Monday, October 08, 2007

It's still Summer

Usually the trees are gold and red, and the temperatures are lowering and approaching frost levels in the mornings around here, but not this year. It is still sunny and in the 90's. I did add an apple salad to the summer menu-so I guess that makes it sort of a fall menu. I used Fuji apples with some grapes, celery, and peanuts. The only other unusual thing I did was to brine the ribs witin an apple juice brine. I did the ribs very slowly over almost dead coals for over 2 hours.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Delmonicos with Tapenade Butter and Roasted Squash

Fall is here and the sweet fall vegetables are so appealing. I roasted this squash, I can't recall the name-Sugar Baby-or something like that, that I got at Soulard Farmer's market. I roasted the squash cut in half with the flesh side up. Many recipes will direct you to place them on a baking sheet with the flesh side down with a bit of water on the bottom of the pan. This steams them. I prefer my way as the flesh will carmelize and brown and be sweeter. I rubbed the steaks with garlic and olive oil before grilling them ove charcoal. I made a steak butter with a tapenade which I incorporated with butter. All was delicious. The tapenade butter is a wonderful little addition to many things. It is marvelous over steamed cauliflour and tops a tuna steak just as tastily as a beef steak.