Monday, June 28, 2010

Jaeger Schnitzel

Jaeger Schnitzel 
serves 4
This is a nod to Jo's German heritage, Jaeger Schnitzel is traditionally made from pork, accompanied by a creamy mushroom Jaeger sauce. A none traditional version can also be made using skinless, boneless chicken breasts.
4 boneless pork fillets (about 1/2 pounds each)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of cooked ham slices, cut into about 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1/2 bunch Italian flat-leaved parsley, chopped
1/2 cup sherry wine
6 ounces of beef broth
4 ounces of cream
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
Coarsely ground Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1.  Preheat the oven to 200°F.
2.  One at a time, place the fillets in a 1 gallon re-sealabel plastic bag and pound the fillet to 1/4-inch thick.  Season both sides of each fillet with salt and pepper.
3.  In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat the oil until fairly hot and fry the Schnitzel on both sides until brown and cooked through, do not crowd the fillet or they will not brown. Remove the fried schnitzel to an oven proof dish lined with paper towels and place the dish in the pre-heated oven to keep them warm.
4.  In the same pan, fry the finely chopped onion and mushrooms for a few of minutes until the onions are softened and translucent and mushrooms begin to brown slightly.  Remove the onions and mushrooms to a plate and pour out any remaining oil.
5.  Return the sauté pan to the heat and deglaze the pan with the sherry.  Reduce the heat to medium low and add the beef  broth, cut-up ham, and cream. Stir to combine and heat the sauce through but do not allow the sauce to boil, boiling will cause the sauce to "break".
6.  Remove the sauce from the heat and add the chopped parsley, correct seasoning with salt and black pepper to taste.
7.  Remove the warm schnitzel from the oven to a serving platter and serve with the sauce in a separate bowl.

Next week's post: Spaghetti e Salsa di Granchio (Spaghetti with Crab Sauce)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Beef Tips with Mushrooms and Sherry

Beef Tips with Mushrooms and Sherry
serves 4
Beef tips with Mushrooms and Sherry is a classy looking meal that Jo and I developed because we discovered that our Prime Rib of Beef (see recipe) made so much more beef than we could eat in one meal and we needed to find a way to use the leftovers, we liked it so much we developed it into a recipe that would work on its own.
1 pounds beef tenderloin or sirloin tips (leftover beef), sliced into bite size pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pounds assorted white mushroom,  stem and caps quartered
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
Coarse Kosher or Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry Spanish sherry
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
corn starch slurry, 1 teaspoon corn starch plus 1 tablespoon cold water mixed together
1/2 Risotto recipe (see recipe)
1.   Prepare 1/2 recipe of Risotto.
2.  Pat the meat dry and,  in a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.  When the oil ripples and begins to smoke, add the beef and brown for 3 minutes insuring it is brown on all sides. With a slotted spoon, remove the evenly browned meat and reserve on plate.
3.  Add the 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and heat the butter/oil mixture until the butter begins to foam.  Add the mushrooms and thyme. Stir for a few minutes then add the sherry, stirring to scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom.  Continue cooking, stirring to evaporate the alcohol, 2 or 3 minutes.  Add the beef stock. Continue cooking to reduce the liquid to about half, 3 or 4 minutes. 
4.  Stir in the cream and chives, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the corn starch slurry and continue cooking, stirring constantly until the liquid thickens.
5.   Add the browned beef and stir to incorporate. 
6.   Plate by placing a bed of Risotto onto each plate and top each with the beef and mushrooms.
Next week's post: Jaeger  Schnitzel

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pasta con Pomodori Arrosto

Pasta con Pomodori Arrosto
Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes
Serves 4
We've all tasted spaghetti sauce but sauce made with roasted tomatoes is a "horse of a different colour", roasting adds an extra sweet, caramelized dimension  to the sauce
2 pounds medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon coarse Kosher salt

1 pound of your favourite pasta
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
1.  Preheat oven to 400° F.
2.  Spray a cookie sheet with no stick cooking spray. 
3.  In a small mixing bowl combine the 1/2 cup of olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and the seasonings and pour the mixture into a large, re-sealable plastic bag (1 gallon size); put in the halved tomatoes, seal the bag and shake to thoroughly coat the tomatoes.  Refrigerate the mixture for ½  to 1 hour to allow the tomatoes to marinate.
4.  Remove the tomatoes from the bag and place the tomato halves, cut side up, on the prepared cookie sheet.
5.  Place the cookie sheet on a rack in the middle of the oven and roast for 45 to 60 minutes until the tomatoes soften and are browned on the top.
6.  After the tomatoes have been cooking about ½ hour, place a large pot of salted water over a high flame and heat to a rapid boil.
7.  Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente; reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.  Drain the pasta.
8.  In the bowl of a food processor place ½ the roasted tomatoes and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lightly process.  Pour the processed tomatoes into a large bowl, add the cooked pasta, the remaining (unprocessed) roasted tomatoes, and 1/4 cup of the chopped fresh basil and toss to mix well.  If the pasta seems too tight (dry) for your tastes, loosen it by adding a little of the reserved pasta water and re-tossing (don’t add too much water as this pasta should be rather tight).  Discard any unused pasta cooking water.
9.  Either transfer the pasta to a large, flat pasta platter and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan  cheese  and additional red pepper flakes (to serve family style) or evenly divide the pasta among  6 plates and top each with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes (to serve individuals).
10.  Serve accompanied by crusty Italian bread and additional Parmesan cheese, the remaining chopped basil, and red pepper flakes on the side.

Next Week's Posting:  Beef Tips with Mushrooms and Sherry

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto alla Milanese
serves 8
To call  risotto "cooked rice" is as insulting to Italian cuisine as is calling Classique Beuf Bourguignonne a "stew" is to French cuisine!  In Italy risottos are traditionally made using arborio rice, with liquids being added gradually while the rice is stirred constantly during cooking giving the finished dish a creamy texture.  In this version from Northern Italy the marrow gives the risotto a depth of richness while the saffron provides light, flower tones.  Once you've eaten it, Risotto is the only way you'll want to eat rice.
7 cups chicken stock
8 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped, uncooked beef marrow (optional)
2 cups uncooked white rice (preferably arborio)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/8 teaspoon powdered saffron or saffron threads ground to a powder
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1.  In a 3-quart, heavy bottomed saucepan bring the chicken stock to a simmer over medium heat and once simmering, keep simmering over low heat.
2.  Meanwhile in a separate sauté pan melt 4 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat, once the butter has melted add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 7 or 8 minutes until they are soft and translucent but ARE NOT browned.
3.  Stir  in the optional marrow.
4.  Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 or 2-minutes until the rice grains begin to glisten with the butter and are opaque.
5.  Pour in the wine, bring to a boil and cook until almost all the wine is absorbed.
6.  Stir in 2 cups of the simmering stock and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed. 
7.  Stir in 2 more cups of the simmering stock and continue cooking, stirring occasionally.
8.  Meanwhile, stir the saffron into 2 cups of stock and let it seep for a few minutes.  Pour this saffron infused stock into the rice and continue cooking until the stock is completely absorbed.  At this point the rice should be tender, if not, add the remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the rice is soft. 
9.  Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and the grated parmesan cheese using a fork and taking care not to mash the rice.  Serve at once while the rice is creamy.  
 Next Week's Posting: Pasta con Pomodori Arrosto (Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes)

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