Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My 60th Birthday Party

Dan changed the chandelier into a balloon sculpture.

He also made some beautiful flower arrangements

We started with Crab Cobb Salad with Roasted Sweet Pepper Mayfair dressing

Pretty standard cobb salad, except I changed the usual chicken to crab, and added some diced mango to the mix.  The dressing is based on the one served at the historic Mayfair Hotel in downtown St Louis, where I worked for a couple of years about a decade ago.  I took the original recipe and added a couple of roasted red peppers to it.

2 roasted red peppers
1 small onion
1 stalk of celery
2 to 3 anchovie fillets
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Puree the vegetables with the anchovies, sugar, and mustard.

Fold the puree and the oil into the mayonaise.

Chill a couple of hours to let the flavors get to know one another.  Taste for salt and pepper.

This beautiful braided bread wreath came from Marconi Bakery on "The Hill"-St Louis' Italian neighborhood.

Next we had a GermanPotato salad-I used a recipe from "Cooks Illustrated"-and I didn't care for it.  It wasn't horrible, just not as good as my own recipe.

Everyone loved the golden beets.  I just roasted them and dressed them with rice wine vinegar, a bit of oil, candied violets, fresh mint and chile flakes.

I also grilled tenderloin fillets and topped them with a matre de hotel butter.

Judy brought her fabulous chocolate cake with 7 minute frosting and red sprinkles-which is always everyone's favorite, and I bought salted caramel ice cream from Serendipity.  I can't even begin to explain how crazy delicious Serendipity's ice creams are.

My new birthday grill

I am now looking forward to my next sixty years.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Golden Beet Salad with Orange, Sage and Buttermilk Dressing

Wash and roast your beets at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours-depending on the size of the beets.  Smaller or baby beets will take much less time.  You can roast the beets in  a coverd dish or just wrap them tightly with foil.  When the beets have cooled, peel and slice them.

Orange, Sage and Buttermilk Dressing

Zest and juice of one orange
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 cup of mayonaise
1 cup of buttermilk
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend, let sit, refrigerated, a couple of hours before using.

To serve, arrange some greens on your plate, I used some fresh spinach, place the sliced beets on the greens, add a couple of orange segments and dress with the buttermilk dressing.  Fresh chives are a nice garnish

Friday, May 03, 2013

Candied Violets

Violets are blooming out in the garden, so I candied a few to use later for salad or dessert garnishes.  It is a very easy process and works for rose petals too. 
Pick, wash and thoroughly dry your blossoms.

Whisk some egg whites until they're frothy, grab the blossom by the stem and dip into the egg white, then the sugar, covering the blossom totally.  Dry in a low oven (150 degrees) for a couple of hours.  Snip off the stems.

Store in a tin or container with a tight fitting lid.


Thursday, May 02, 2013

Thai Steaks and Chile Sesame Potatoes

4 fourteen ounce stripe steaks

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Shaoxing or sherry
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Sliced green onions and cilantro for garnishing

Combine the marinade ingredients, and marinate the steaks for at least 1 hour, but not more thatn 2.

Drain the steaks and pat dry, grill or pan sear the steaks over medium high heat for aabout 3 minutes per side for medium rare.

Let the steaks rest for 5 to 8 minutes, and carve into 1" slices.

Serve with Chile Sesame Potates and Thai Chile Sesame Vinaigrette.

Roasted Potatoes with Thai Chile Sesame Vinaigrette

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered. (I used Russet, because I had them on hand, but prefer the red)
Canola oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh Thai chilies
2 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
Salt and papper to taste
Black sesame seeds, green onions and fresh cilantro for garnighing.

Lightly coat the potatoes with canola oil and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 265 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are browned and tender.

While the potatoes are roasting, prepare the vinaigrette.

Toss the potatoes, while still hot, with the vinaigrette.

Garnish with the sesame seeds and cilantro before serving.