Monday, August 24, 2009

Star-Anise Beef with Snow Peas

Ingredients:

3/4 pound beef fillet
2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 whole star-anise, ground
2 or 3 slices gingerroot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 fresh red chili pepper, seeded and minced
1 Tbsp sherry
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup snow peas

Instructions:

Cut beef into slices 1/4 inch thick. Place wok over high heat for about 1 minute. Pour in peanut oil, let heat, and add half the beef strips, stir-frying for about 5 seconds. Remove and repeat with remaining strips. Set strips aside.
Mix remaining ingredients, except for snow peas, add to wok, and stir-fry a few seconds. Add snow peas and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add beef, and turn mixture onto serving platter.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Grilled Salmon & Zucchini with Red Pepper Sauce

Jazz up simply grilled salmon and summer vegetables with a zesty sauce based on the classic Spanish romesco. Made with roasted red peppers, tomatoes and almonds, this sauce is a great match for any seafood, poultry or vegetables. Using smoked paprika brings out the flavors from the grill. Serve with: Grilled baguette.

RECIPE INGREDIENTS
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted (see Tip)
1/4 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers
1/4 cup halved grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
1 small clove garlic
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 1/4 pounds wild-caught salmon fillet (see Note), skinned and cut crosswise into 4 portions
2 medium zucchini or summer squash (or 1 of each), halved lengthwise
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish

DIRECTIONS
Preheat grill to medium.

Process almonds, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, oil, vinegar, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth; set aside.

Coat salmon and zucchini (and/or summer squash) on both sides with cooking spray, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Grill, turning once, until the salmon is just cooked through and the squash is soft and browned, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer the squash to a clean cutting board. When cool enough to handle, slice into 1/2-inch pieces. Toss in a bowl with half of the reserved sauce. Divide the squash among 4 plates along with a piece of salmon topped with some of the remaining sauce. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Potato Gratin with Juniper Berries

Juniper berries add intrigue to potatoes baked with broth and topped with crisp golden bread crumbs. Serve this gratin with virtually any simply cooked meat or poultry.

RECIPE INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
8 juniper berries
2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Butter an 8-by-12-inch baking dish with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. In a blender, puree 1/4 cup of the stock with the juniper berries. Put the mixture in a small saucepan with the remaining 3/4 cup stock; bring to a simmer.

Layer half of the potatoes in the dish and top with the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Dot with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. Add the remaining potatoes to the dish and and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Pour the simmering broth over the potatoes. Dot with 1 tablespoon of the butter and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake the potatoes for 20 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake 10 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and stir in the bread crumbs. Sprinkle them on the potatoes and continue baking until the potatoes are tender and the bread crumbs are golden, about 15 minutes longer.

Creme Fraiche Ice Cream with Pink Peppercorns and Lemon Thyme

Ingredients
1 quart milk
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 bunch fresh lemon thyme
12 egg yolks
1/4 cup whole pink peppercorns
1 cup creme fraiche

Directions
Combine milk, sugar, and lemon thyme in a saucepan. Bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat, cover it and allow the milk to steep for at least 30 minutes.

Return the milk to the stove and once again bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat the eggs. Once the milk reaches a simmer, temper the eggs by gradually whisking 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the yolks. Repeat, until half the milk has been added to the yolks. Whisk in the remaining milk then quickly pour the ice cream base through a fine strainer into a bowl set over ice.

Chill the ice cream base thoroughly; then add the pink peppercorns. Process the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. When the ice cream is thick, but not yet fully frozen, fold in the creme fraiche, then continue to process the ice cream. Spoon the ice cream into containers and freeze until ready to serve.