Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Prime Rib

Every once in awhile, my husband and I like to make a "special" Saturday night dinner! Something that if the four of us were going to have it at a restaurant, it would cost us an arm and a leg. Last weekend, it was prime rib!  I have to say, my husband has this one down. It is tender and juicy, with just the right amount of seasoning. Served with a side of au jus or some horseradish sauce, some roasted potatoes and grilled scallions, and you have yourself a five star dinner!

Let me show you how easy it is to make at home:

Here's all you need: 3-4 lb bone-in prime rib; garlic, rosemary, extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper.  I removed my roast from the refrigerator about 1 hour before prepping it, just so it warms up a bit.


Chop the garlic and rosemary.


Place it in a small glass bowl or ramekin, and cover with extra virgin olive oil.


You don't need a lot of olive oil, maybe 2-3 Tbls. Then just give it a quick stir.


Place prime rib on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper (for easy clean up). As you can see, I also like to place a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet, so that some of the grease can fall through. Then you need to salt all sides of the prime rib (I use Kosher salt).


Next rub the garlic, rosemary and olive oil mixture all over the prime rib, and give each side a couple of grinds of fresh ground pepper.


It's ready for the oven! Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cook for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 285 degrees, and continue to cook until the internal temperature when measured with a probe thermometer reaches 125 degrees (ours took about 1 hour - but this will depend on the size of your roast).


Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes before slicing. Temperature after resting will be about 130 degrees (medium rare).


Cut yourself a nice, juicy slab of that baby, and enjoy!


I like mine with au jus, but hubby prefers his with pure horseradish.
How do you like yours?


Prime Rib
3-4 lb. bone-in prime rib roast
2 Tbls chopped fresh garlic
2 Tbls chopped fresh rosemary
2-3 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper

Directions:
  1. Remove roast from refrigerator 1 hour before prepping.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Place garlic and rosemary in a glass bowl or ramekin. Add olive oil and stir.
  4. Sprinkle all sides of roast with kosher salt.
  5. Rub garlic, rosemary, olive oil mixture over all sides of roast.
  6. Give each side of roast a couple of grinds of fresh ground pepper.
  7. Place roast bone-side down on prepared sheet pan, and bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 285 degrees and continue cooking until meat thermometer reads 125 degrees.
  8. Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest for 20 minutes. Temperature after resting should be about 130 degrees (for medium rare). 

Buon Appetito! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Ponzu Dipping Sauce and Fennel Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette


Last week, my husband and I did something that we don't do very often. We went out for dinner WITHOUT the kids! Yup, we had ourselves a little "date" night. We went to our favorite sushi restaurant, Kuroshio Sushi Bar and Grille.

We eat at Kuroshio quite a bit, and we always order the exact same thing. This time, we decided to splurge a little, and order an appetizer in addition to our standard fare. We ordered their "Grilled Tuna Salad - seared over high heat, sliced thin, served rare over organic mixed greens". It was delicious! So good, that we decided to recreate this dish last night at home, and are sharing it with you today.


Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Ponzu Dipping Sauce and Fennel Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
(2) 8 oz Ahi Tuna Steaks (1" thick)
Tuna Seasoning (see below)
Dipping Sauce (see below)
2 tsp olive oil
4 cups of mixed salad greens
1 head of fennel (sliced thin with a mandolin)
2 scallions (sliced on a diagonal)
Citrus Vinaigrette (see below)

Directions:
  1. Prepare seasoning as stated below. Generously sprinkle both sides of tuna steaks with the seasoning and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Prepare the dipping sauce and vinaigrette as stated below.
  3. Place salad greens and fennel in a bowl. Add enough vinaigrette to just lightly coat. Toss gently and divide onto four serving plates. Top with sliced scallions.
  4. Heat frying pan or grill pan over high heat. Brush with olive oil to lightly coat.
  5. Add tuna steaks to pan and cook over high heat 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from heat and cut into slices.
  6. Place sliced tuna on top of salad, and serve with the dipping sauce.

Tuna Seasoning:
1 Tbls sea salt
1 tsp whole peppercorns
2 tsp minced onion
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp sesame seeds

Place the above ingredients in a spice grinder and grind slightly.

Dipping Sauce:
1/3 cup Ponzu sauce
1-1/2 tsp wasabi powder
2 tsp sugar

Heat the above ingredients in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved, whisking to incorporate the wasabi powder.  Remove from heat and divide into 4 ramekins.

Citrus Vinaigrette:
juice and zest of 1 orange
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Place juices, zest, garlic & mustard in a small bowl. Drizzle in olive oil while whisking constantly. Season with salt & pepper.


We hope that you enjoy this one as much as we did!

Buon Appetito!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Limoncello Mousse Parfaits


Did you ever taste something so good, that it leaves you dreaming about it? Well, there is one specific dessert that I've had twice now, that I can't stop dreaming about! An old neighbor of ours, Sal, owns this little Italian restaurant called Amalfi Ristorante. Whenever our good friends, Billy & Heidi (also former neighbors), come to visit from D.C., we usually go to Sal's restaurant for dinner. On one occasion, Sal brought this luscious, gorgeous, frosty, lemony dessert to our table to share. Heidi and I each took one spoonful, looked at each other, and drifted off into heaven! We begged Sal for the recipe . . . pleaded, negotiated, threatened even, and he still wouldn't give it up!

In an effort to put the dreaming to rest, I came up with these little gems. While not exactly the same as the dessert from Amalfi Ristorante, I'm really happy with how they turned out. They make for a pretty presentation, and are tasty too.

 
 Here is everything that you will need.


 Whisk together sugar and eggs.  Add grated lemon zest.


Add limoncello and lemon juice and mix well. Next add in the melted butter.


 Microwave mixture on high in 1 minute intervals, whisking in between, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.  About 3 minutes.


I added just a tiny bit of yellow coloring, as I wanted a nice bright yellow. Strain the mixture with a fine mesh strainer to remove the zest and any lumps.


 Removing the zest will make for a nice, smooth texture. Divide lemon curd into 2 bowls (2/3 in one bowl; 1/3 in the other).


 To the bowl that contains 2/3 of the curd, fold in whipped topping to make the mousse.


 I chose to put the mousse and lemon curd in separate pastry bags, for easier piping into my dessert glasses, but you could probably just spoon it in.


 I like to use the Wilton disposable decorating bags, for easy cleanup. Pipe the limoncello mousse into the bottom of your dessert glasses.


Lay a few raspberries on top, and then pipe some lemon curd on top of the raspberries, followed by another layer of the mousse.


Top with a dollop of whipped topping, a raspberry, and just for fun, I stuck half of a lady's finger into each glass. Aren't they cute?


<<Printable Recipe>>
Limoncello Mousse Parfaits
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup limoncello
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
6 Tbls butter, melted
2 cups whipped topping + additional for topping
small container of fresh raspberries
yellow food coloring (optional)
3 lady's fingers (optional for garnish)

Directions:
  1. In a glass bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add lemon zest and mix well.
  2. Add limoncello, lemon juice and melted butter and mix well.
  3. Cook in the microwave on high in 1 minute intervals, stirring in between, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (about 3 minutes). Add a bit of yellow food coloring, if desired.
  4. Strain mixture with a fine mesh strainer, to remove zest and any lumps.
  5. Divide mixture into 2 bowls (2/3 in one bowl; 1/3 in the other).
  6. To make the mousse, fold the whipped topping into the mixture that contains 2/3 of the lemon curd.
  7. Spoon some of the limoncello mousse into each of 6 dessert glasses (using about 1/2 of the mixture). Lay a few raspberries on top of the mousse.
  8. Spoon some of the lemon curd on top of the raspberries, followed by another layer of the mousse.
  9. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a raspberry. Break lady's fingers in half, and insert half of a lady's finger in each (if desired).
 Buon Appetito!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thai Green Curry Chicken


Did you ever have one of those days when you're craving a certain cuisine? Yesterday I was craving something Thai. I had taken some boneless, skinless chicken thighs out of the freezer that morning, and needed to put those to use.  I started searching for the perfect recipe. Well, that was my first mistake!

When I start looking at recipes, I get side-tracked all of the time. I see all of these wonderful recipe pins on Pinterest, all of these great looking recipe photos in my Facebook page feed, and tons of great recipe reviews on Allrecipes.com.  Then there I am, 2 hours later, and still have no idea what I'm going to make. Does that ever happen to you?

I finally kicked myself back to reality, realizing that the time was soon approaching that I needed to have dinner on the table, so my husband and I could get our kids off to their activities. Here's what I came up with, which sure hit the spot (and satisfied my craving for Thai food). 

Printable Recipe
Thai Green Curry Chicken
5 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  ** I buy mine at Costco, they come in 4 packages of 5 thighs per package **
1 Tbls soy sauce
2 Tbls flour
2 Tbls canola oil
1 Tbls green curry paste (or more to your desired taste)
1/2 Tbls chopped garlic
2 tsps fresh ginger, grated
2 green onions, cut on a diagonal
1/2 cup of sweet peppers, cut into 1/2" dice (I used a mixture of red, yellow & orange peppers)
1 can of coconut milk
1 Tbls fish sauce
1 Tbls soy sauce
1 Tbls sugar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (for garnish)
Cashews (optional)


Directions:
  1. Place 1 Tbls of soy sauce in a glass bowl, add chicken and toss to coat.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with the flour and toss to coat.
  3. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until chicken is browned on all sides. Remove chicken and set aside.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, add curry paste, green onion, garlic, ginger and peppers.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant.
  5. Return chicken to the pan and mix well, so chicken gets coated with the curry mixture.
  6. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and 1 Tbls soy sauce.  Bring to a boil, then reduce medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped cilantro and (optional) cashews.  
Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Buon Appetito!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Liebster Award

liebster2

Did you know that there's an award that other bloggers give out to new and upcoming bloggers? Well there is, and it's called the Liebster Award. I would like to thank Top Ate on Your Plate for nominating me for this award!

Here are the official rules for the Liebster Award:
  1. Only food bloggers with less than 200 followers can be nominated (yup, that's me!)
  2. I must thank the blogger that nominated me by linking back to their blog in this post.
  3. To share the love, I will nominate 5-10 food bloggers that I love, with a link back to their blogs, and post a comment on their blog letting them know that they've been nominated. 
  4. No tag backs, but a blog can receive the award more than once.
  5. I need to answer the 10 questions asked by Top Ate on Your Plate, and then ask 10 questions to the bloggers that I nominate.

The Blogs that I nominate for the Liebster Award are as follows:
  1. Sugarplum's Kitchen
  2. House of Frolic & Mirth
  3. Inside My Bipolar Kitchen
  4. Livin' Life - One Spoonful At A Time
  5. Mississippi Madness with Mrs. Redeye
Here are my answers to the questions asked by Top Ate on Your Plate:
  1. What is your favorite post from your blog? Tiramisu
  2. Whats your favorite: Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest? Pinterest
  3. What is your strength as a blogger? Still learning
  4. What is your most memorable meal? 5 Course Tasting Menu at The Ritz Carlton Buckhead
  5. Wine, beer or spirits? Wine
  6. What ingredient could not not live without? Garlic
  7. What is your top desired travel destination? Paris
  8. What is your favorite food blog? (Mine is How Sweet Eats.  She is amazing!) My Baking Addiction
  9. What state/country do you live in? GA / USA
  10. What are your blogging goals? To just have fun with it, and share good food with others.
Here are my questions for the nominees: 
  1. What's your favorite food?
  2. What's the strangest thing that you've ever eaten?
  3. What was the most challenging thing that you've ever prepared?
  4. What is your favorite cuisine?
  5. Where do you live?
  6. Do you prefer cooking, baking or both?
  7. Best thing you ever ate?
  8. Name a food that you do not like.
  9. Sweet or salty?
  10. Favorite beverage?
Looking forward to getting to know all of you a little better!

Buon Appetito!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tiramisu

Photo Updated November 2014

The very first time I ever had tiramisu was back in 1995.  My husband (fiance at the time) took me on a trip to Italy to meet his family. Here's the kicker . . . I didn't speak a word of Italian (except "Ciao"), and their English wasn't much better either! YIKES!

Those of you that know me, know that I'm a social person. I love to chat, and can sit down and have a conversation with just about anyone. It was killing me inside that I wasn't able to communicate with my soon to be in-laws! I was in my own little world as we sat around long tables surrounded not only by his immediate family, but aunts, uncles and cousins as well. These dinners usually started around 7:30 p.m. and continued until midnight - EVERY night! By the third day of our trip, I had had it. I was in tears and wanted to go home!

The next day, my husband could tell that I needed a break from his family for a bit, so we went to Rome for the day, just the two of us. When we returned that night, we found his Mom and sister, Maria, preparing dinner. Maria was making tiramisu. She quickly put me to work, beating the egg yolks and whites, and assembling the dessert. Although we couldn't speak to each other, she was able to teach me how to make this incredible dessert that I am sharing with you today.
   
You'll need some espresso or strong coffee, eggs, mascarpone cheese, sugar, brandy, lady fingers, cocoa and a 13 x 9 pan. Separate the egg yolks from the whites.


To the yolks, you add the sugar, 1 Tbls of espresso and the brandy, and beat well with an electric mixer.

Next you want to add the mascarpone cheese to the yolk mixture and mix well.

Wash your beaters, and then beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.

Place your cooled espresso into a bowl or shallow dish, and dip the bottom half of the lady fingers into the espresso, letting any excess espresso drip back into the bowl.

Continue layering the espresso dipped lady fingers, forming two rows of 6, and then breaking them in half to form the last row (to fit the pan).

Spread 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture on top of the lady finger layer, sprinkle with cocoa powder, and repeat with a second layer of lady fingers.


Top with remaining mascarpone mixture, sprinkle with cocoa powder, cover and refrigerate.

Photo Updated November 2014

I like to refrigerate it for a minimum of 2-3 hours (or overnight) before serving. This gives it a chance to soak up all of the espresso, and the mascarpone layer will moisten the top half of the lady fingers.

ADVISORY:
The consumption of raw or undercooked eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness.  According to the USDA, infants, young children, older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to these infections.  Please check out this LINK for more information.

For information on how to pasteurize eggs at home for use in recipes that call for raw eggs, check out this blog post at melindalee.com

<<Printable Recipe>>
Tiramisu
 from www.kimscookingnow.blogspot.com

Ingredients:
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbls brandy
2 cups espresso or strong brewed coffee (cooled)
16 oz mascarpone cheese
30 ladyfingers (such as Savoiardi®)
3 Tbls cocoa


Directions:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combined 3 egg yolks, sugar, 1 Tbls espresso, and the brandy. Beat with a mixer for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Add mascarpone cheese and beat another 3-5 minutes until well blended.
  2. In a smaller bowl, beat egg whites and a pinch of sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into mascarpone mixture until well blended.
  3. Pour espresso into a flat dish. Dip one side of ladyfingers into espresso and layer on serving platter (2 horizontal rows of 6 with 2-1/2 ladyfingers vertically on the end to form a rectangle. This would be for a 13 x 9 pan, as in the directions, but you can come up with your own form, as I did in the trifle bowl pictures).
  4. Top with 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture. Dust with half of the cocoa. Repeat with another layer; ladyfingers, mascarpone and finish with a dusting of the remaining cocoa.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before serving. This will give time for the ladyfingers to soak up the espresso and soften from the moisture in the mascarpone layer.

<<Published on Allrecipes in October 2014>>


Buon Appetito!



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cannoli Crumb Pie


A few years ago, my husband's cousin Nino and his daughter Stefania came to visit us from Chioggia, Italy. They know that my husband and I like to cook and try new recipes. While they were with us, they made this delicious dessert called "Torta Sbriciolata Ricotta e Cioccolato".

Now, that's a mouth full! The best translation I can come up with is crumbly cake with ricotta and chocolate - but that doesn't sound very good, so I'm calling my version of it Cannoli Crumb Pie!

Here's how to make it:

Here is everything that you'll need to make it! It's quick and easy!


Place the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times to combined.


Melt the butter and beat the egg.


Add the egg and butter, and mix until crumbly.


See how nice and crumbly it is?


Spread half of the crumb mixture in a pie plate that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Don't press it down!


Chop the chocolate (or use chocolate chips).


Mix ricotta cheese and sugar.


Add the chocolate and mix well. Looks like cannoli filling, doesn't it?


Spread ricotta mixture over bottom crumb layer.


Top with remaining crumb mixture.


Spread lightly and evenly to the edges, covering all of the ricotta mixture.


Just like that! Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, then broil for 3 additional minutes.


Remove from oven and cool completely.



 Cannoli Crumb Pie
(Torta Sbriciolata Ricotta e Cioccolato)
Base:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 - 16gr packet Paneangeli® Lievito Pane Degli Angeli
1 - packet Paneangeli® Vanillina
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (melted)
1 egg (slightly beaten)

Filling:
15 oz. container of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate (chopped)
** Note: You can use any kind of chocolate that you like - even chocolate chips **

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a deep dish pie plate with non-stick cooking spray (I use Bake Easy by Wilton®)
  3. Place flour, sugar, lievito, vanillina and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combined.
  4. With processor on, drizzle in egg and butter until mixture is crumbly.
  5. Sprinkle half of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and spread around until it evenly covers the bottom of the pie plate. DO NOT press down.
  6. In a medium size bowl, mix ricotta cheese, sugar and chocolate with a rubber spatula until combined.
  7. Spread ricotta cheese mixture evenly over the base crust.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture on top of the ricotta layer, spreading evenly to the edges of the pie plate, making sure that all of the ricotta layer is covered.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Turn oven to broil, and continue to bake for an additional 3 minutes, to brown the top.
  10. Remove from oven, cool completely, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
 Note:  You can find Paneangeli® products on Amazon.com

 I cannot tell you how many times we've made this! It is so good, and has become a family favorite. The Italians sure know what they are doing when it comes to food!

Buon Appetito!