Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Naan Bread

The instructions are pretty lengthy, so I won't re-post them here (and there are many recipes for this stuff so you can find your own as well) but keep in mind you can do 1/2 of this work a day ahead, so it's no big scary deal. And the resulting flat bread was extremely yummy...soft, buttery, wicked finger-burning hot right from the cast iron pan, I might add.

We brushed the bread as it cooked with a butter / olive oil mixure with a clove of garlic cooked into it (see bottom of picture). Cooking this outside on a fire pit just made it better somehow. We had this with beef kabobs and tzatziki, but of course, some good strong curry would be ideal with this.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Crab Alfredo

Ever consider murdering yourself with dairy fat? Well, here's how you do it, you make this then you eat a lot of it. Now kiss your wretched life goodbye as you moan on the couch while your soul marches towards the glowing light.

This was a) stupidly delicious, and b) so...excessive it took me three days before I could bring myself to look at the picture I took so I could make this post. I think I had some toast and salad the next day, but it's kind of a blur.

Let's roll.

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream (or half & half if you wuss out)
1/2 cup (or more to taste) grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and white pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper
6 to 8 ounces cooked snow crab meat, cut into chunks*

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour, and cook briefly until the mixture looks sandy. Do NOT let it color.

Wisk in the heavy cream, and stir until the mixture forms a thick sauce.

Stir in the cheese, and season to taste. Don't miss out on the dash of cayenne, it's good. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors, and stir in the crab meat. Too thick? Add a splash of your pasta water.

Cook only until the crab is heated through, toss with your freshly drained pasta and get down to the business of entering a food coma.

*Mine was flakier, and sort of dissolved into the sauce. Still really good though.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

After we cranked out a really nice roasted whole chicken and vegetables (and gravy, hello) Karen got in the mood to bake. Yes, Karen, my wife. That Karen. Yes, I know.

Yes, KAREN. Ok? You can let it go now.

Anyway, she hit it out of the park. Ryan and myself were all over it, and declared that Karen should make it "every day!". Props for recipe to Alton Brown (Good Eats), but Karen made some alterations (rhubarb replaced with blueberries, lime replaced with lemon, etc.).

Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons, plus 1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
4 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces, plus extra for dish
1 1/2 ounces shortening, chilled and cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons ice water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ cup blueberries
2 pounds sliced peaches, peeled and sliced into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside.

Place the flour, 1-ounce sugar, lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3 to 4 times. Add the butter and lard and pulse until the mixture just becomes crumbly. Sprinkle the mixture with the ice water a little at a time and process just until the dough holds together when squeezed in a fist. Place the dough into a 1 gallon zip top bag and place into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the 1 cup of sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir in the blueberries, peaches, and lemon juice.

Remove 1/3 of the dough from the bag, pinch into pieces and distribute evenly in the bottom of the prepared dish. Pour the fruit mixture into the dish and crumble the dough over top of the fruit mixture evenly. Bake, uncovered, for 60 minutes or until the dough is cooked through and starting to turn golden.

*If using frozen fruit, increase cooking time to 90 minutes.

Change the oven setting to broil and continue to cook until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Grilled Corn

Pull down the husks but leave them attached. Remove the silks. Pull the husks back over the corn. Tie the ends of the hunks with string or a metal twist tie. Soak the corn in water 15 minutes. Grill over medium heat until done, turning on each side, about 10 to 15 minutes.

If you're not eating them right away, wait a few minutes, remove from husks and grill the corn directly for a touch of charring. Mmmm.

Fra Diavolo BBQ Sauce

Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay

Fantastic bbq sauce, strong with both spicy hotness and brown sugar sweetness.

Fra Diavolo BBQ Sauce:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
3 cups canned plum tomatoes, pureed
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat oil in a medium saucepan on side burners or grates of the grill. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper and cook until sauce has thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Red Wine Pot Roast with Honey and Thyme

Recipe by Dave Lieberman

1 bottom round roast, about 4 pounds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 small onions, medium diced
1 head garlic (about 10 to 12 cloves), lightly smashed
1 pound carrots (about 4 medium), roughly chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken, beef, or vegetable broth
2 cups medium-bodied red wine
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch cubes *

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Season roast with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven over high heat for a couple minutes. Add the meat and brown well on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Remove and set aside on a plate. Lower heat to medium and saute onions, garlic, and carrots for 5 minutes. Add the broth, wine, honey, and thyme, stir to combine, and then add the roast back to the pot.

Cover pot and transfer to oven. Bake for 2 hours, turning the meat over twice. Add the potatoes to the pot and bake, uncovered, for another 30 to 45 minutes longer until both the potatoes and the meat are fork-tender.

* I did garlic mashed potatoes separately, because I was dying for them, and also...this would be a great recipe for a slow-cooker (don't forget to brown the meat in a "real" pan first.