Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Linzer Torte

Linzer Torte
1/2 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 egg
3/4 cup raspberry preserves
Sifted powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 375°F.

1. Process hazelnuts in food processor until ground, but not pasty. Combine flour, hazelnuts, cinnamon, cardamom and salt in medium bowl; set aside. Beat granulated sugar, butter and lemon peel in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy, scraping down side of bowl once. Beat in egg until well blended. Beat in flour mixture at low speed until well blended.

2. Spoon 2/3 of dough onto bottom of 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Pat dough evenly over bottom and up side of pan. Spread jam over bottom of dough. Roll remaining 1/3 of dough on lightly floured surface into 10X5-inch rectangle. Cut dough into ten 1/2-inch-wide strips using pizza wheel or sharp knife.

3. Arrange 4 or 5 strips of dough lengthwise across jam. Arrange another 4 or 5 strips of dough crosswise across top. Trim and press ends of dough strips into edge of crust. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Remove torte from pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just prior to service.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Duck Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls on FoodistaSpring Rolls1 tablespoon sesame oil

4 ounces duck meat, cooked and shredded
1/2 ounce carrots, julienned
1/2 ounce water chestnuts, julienned
1/2 ounce bell peppers, julienned
1/2 ounce snow peas, julienned
1/2 ounce bean sprouts, julienned
1/2 ounce green onions, sliced
2 Cups Nappa cabbage, chiffonade
1 Cup bok choy, chiffonade
½ teaspoon ginger, minced
½ teaspoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoon oyster sauce
Sesame seeds for garnish
fresh cilantro for garnish
Salt & pepper to taste


In a hot sauté pan, add sesame oil and quickly cook all the vegetables, garlic, and ginger. Then add duck meat and sauce. Place the filling in soaked spring roll wrapper, add sprouts, cilantro,then roll. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beef Enchiladas Rojas

Beef Enchiladas
6 Ancho Chiles

1 pound Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 Onions, finely chopped
1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped
1 sprig of Epazote
¼ Cup Chili Powder
¼ Cup Ground Cumin

¼ Cup Ground Paprika
2 Cups Lard
½ Teaspoon Kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
pinch of Sugar
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Pound Shredded Beef
2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
2 dozen Corn Tortillas


1. Wash the chiles in cold water, remove the veins, stems and seeds; place in a bowl and soak them in hot water, for approximately one hour.

2. Combine the prepared chiles, tomatoes, cumin, paprika, chili powder,half the chopped onion, garlic, and epazote in the electric blender and blend until well pureed.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of lard in a skillet and add the puree. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar. Stir in the cream to incorporate, then remove from the heat. Set the sauce aside.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon of lard or oil in a skillet, add the beef and cook until lightly browned. Drain fat. Mix the shredded beef with a little of the sauce mixture and 1/3 of the grated cheese.

5. Heat 3 tablespoons of lard in a skillet. Dip the cold tortillas, one by one, in the chile sauce and then fry on both sides in the hot lard for a few seconds, until limp. Add a little bit of beef mixture on each tortilla then roll them up and place them in an ovenproof baking dish. When all the tortillas are filled and rolled, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and chopped onion. Pour the remaining sauce over all of the enchiladas and place into a preheated oven at 350 F until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Old Fashioned Bread Pudding

Old Fashion Bread Pudding on FoodistaOld Fashion Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is flexible in its demand for specific ingredients, and more importantly it can be tailored to fit any dining situation. I have served bread pudding as a dessert in fine dining restaurants, and even sliced cold leftover bread pudding to make the most wonderful French Toast breakfast. I always keep a basic recipe on hand wherever I travel, and still use this as a basic introduction to dessert with any young apprentice that enters the kitchen. Today's recipe is going to be with just a couple bits leftover from a typical weekend brunch. You can change up the breads, or fruits as much as you want to fit your individual flavor preferences.

Bread Pudding:

1 French Baguette, Cubed
2 Cinnamon Raisin Bagels, Cubed
1 Croissant, Cubed
1 Quart Heavy Cream
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 Fluid Ounce Clarified Butter
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla extract
12 Ounces Granulated Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Sun Dried Cherries
1/2 Cup Figs, Chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon ground Cardamom

1/4 Cup Spiced Rum
1/4 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1/4 Cup Pecan Pieces


1. Preheat oven to 350° F

2. Mix sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter, cream, milk, cinnamon, and cardamom together. Whisk mixture to incorporate.

3. Add chopped breads and fruits. Toss, and allow to rest 5 minutes.

4. Lightly butter a baking dish large enough that the mixture will only come half way up the sides.

5. Add mixture to pan, and cover with Aluminum foil.

6. Bake, covered at 350° F. for 30 minutes.

7.Make Sauce by combing water, rum, and 2 ounces of sugar in a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium-high heat reducing liquid until golden brown. Remove from heat, and  immediately add 1/2 Cup heavy cream, while whisking to incorporate. Add chopped pecans, and reserve.

8. Remove cover from baking dish, and bake approximately 20 minutes more uncovered, or until all liquid has been absorbed, and pudding has a golden brown crust.

9. Serve warm, drizzled with sauce.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Alhambra(Rich Chocolate Cake) - Metric

Chocolate Cake on FoodistaChocolate CakeIn my opinion the king of all chocolate cakes is the Alhambra. The techniques to make this cake are very involved, and the glacage coating step at the end is one of the most difficult skills to perfect*. During my time at Le Cordon Bleu this cake was our introduction to decorative piping, and marzipan work. I still to this day teach those wishing to perfect these skills to pick up a jar of clay just like the one you used as a child, and a tube of toothpaste to use in your practice. Both can be reused, and will save you a great deal of money over throwing away costly ingredients. For a variation of the Alhambra try the Sacher Torte which is identical in every way with the exception of the filling. The Sacher Torte is filled with Apricot jam in place of the Ganache.

Sachertorte aux Noisettes( Very Dense Sponge)
Cocoa Pods
55 g ground hazelnuts
40 g soft flour
40 g cocoa powder
110 g caster sugar
135 g unsalted butter
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
60 g caster sugar

120 mL water
150 g sugar
1x5 mL spoon coffee extract
75 mL rum

250 mL cream
250 g dark chocolate couverture

150 mL cream
150 g dark chocolate couverture
50 g butter

Finition/Décoration- Optional
Ganache or chocolate couverture for writing and other piping
Marzipan or modeling chocolate for roses and leaves
Cocoa powder


1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Double butter an 10 inch cake pan and line with parchment. Lightly dust pan with flour.
2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, hazelnuts together
3. Cream the butter and 110 g of caster sugar together
4. Lightly beat the egg yolks, cream the yolks into the butter
5. Whisk egg whites to soft peak
6. Add 60 g caster sugar to the egg whites, whisk whites to stiff peak
7. In a separate bowl fold in 1/3 of the egg whites with 1/2 of the dry ingredients until just incorporated, add an additional 1/3 of the egg whites and fold in.
8. Add the remaining 1/2 of the dry ingredients, and fold gently into your mixture. Fold in the remaining 1/3 of the egg whites.
9. Pour batter into your cake pan and level. Bake the sponge at 160°C for approximately 45 minutes, or a toothpick inserted in the center is removed clean.

Make the Ganache-

1. Place cream into a medium saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat.
2. Once cream is boiled add all chocolate at once.
3. Whisk until smooth, transfer to a stainless bowl, cover, and allow to sit overnight.

Make the Imbibage-
1. Mix 120 mL of water and 150 g of sugar together in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce by 1/2, remove from heat and add 5 mL of coffee extract and 75 mL rum. Whisk to incorporate. Reserve.


1. When you're sponge is cold, slice horizontally to divide the sponge into two separate discs of equal thickness. The top portion will now become the base of your cake, and must now be inverted onto your cake card with the cut facing up.
2. Using a pastry brush gently dab the Imbibage onto the sponge making sure to coat evenly. Do not allow yourself to go overboard, the purpose is to provide moisture to the cake without making your cake soggy.
3. Using a pastry bag pipe the ganache starting from the center of your sponge in a circular pattern until the sponge is completely covered.
4. Add the remaining layer of sponge creating a sandwich appearance with sponge, ganache, sponge as your cake.
5. Brush top layer of the sponge with the Imbibage, and immediately place the whole cake into the freezer.
6. Make the glacage-by boiling 150 mL of cream and immediately removing from heat. Add 150 g of dark chocolate couverture, and 50 g of unsalted butter and whisk smooth using a spoon to prevent incorporating air into your mixture.
7. Place a wire cake cooling rack over the top of the sheet pan. Place cake on the rack and gently pour 1/3 of the glacage on the top of the sponge slowly just until the cake is covered. Smooth with a cake spatula and return the cake to the freezer for several minutes.
8. Remove the cake from the freezer, and gently smooth the glacage with a cake spatula. Add 1/3 of the glacage to the sponge however this time to not smooth with a spatula. Wait several minutes, and pour the remaining glacage on making sure the cake is completely covered. This process should leave you with a perfectly smooth exterior coating on the cake. If not, make a second batch of glacage and repeat the process over the previous glacage layer.

*Most commercial glacage applications are performed using an enrobing machine as it speeds up the process a great deal.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Margarita Chicken with Smoked Tomato Salsa

4 chicken breasts, boneless skinless
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons tequila
1jalapeño, sliced
1clove garlic, minced
1lime, wedged
Kosher salt
1 cup smoked salsa-see recipe


1. combine chicken, olive oil, lime juice,orange juice, tequila, jalapeño, and garlic in a nonreactive glass bowl. Marinate in refrigerator for at least two hours.
2. While the chicken marinades make the salsa.
3. Remove chicken from marinade and grill until completely cooked. Discard the marinade.

Smoked heirloom tomato salsa

1/2 pound heirloom tomatoes
1 onion
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 jalapeño, minced
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
salt and black pepper to taste


1. Peel onion, and smoke with the tomatoes for approximately 20 minutes over desired wood.
2. When cooled chop the tomatoes, and onion, then combine in a nonreactive glass bowl.
3. Combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion, cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice.
4. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and reserve until ready to serve.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The not so complex world of Food, Wine, and Beer...

With summer grilling season upon us I felt now would be the perfect time to talk beverages. While the current trend tends to stray away traditional pairings and incorporates more of an anything goes philosophy I still find many are confused when it comes to beverages. It's great after all to feel as though the pressures been removed but the reality is nobody wants to show up with the wrong thing.

I find that people tend to be more willing to try new foods if it's an appetizer versus an entrée. I would assume they take my approach to it and tell themselves it's okay to experiment when you know something you're comfortable with is there to fall back on. The same is true of beverages, and as long as you keep this in mind there's no way you can go wrong.

I've thrown together some basic examples of how you can successfully not only pair wine with food, but also a beer. From appetizer to dessert these parameters are guaranteed to fit any price point, and any crowd. Whether you're the host of the party, or an invited guest it's important to remember that unless everyone is comfortable your party will never reach its full potential.


Belgian Witbier complements salads with light citrus dressings and feta or goat cheese as well as ceviches and other light, citrus-flavored dishes.

American Wheat Ale complements the lighter foods like grilled lobster tails, seared scallops, or shrimp scampi.

Hefeweizen pairs nicely with grilled sausages, or bold flavors such as mustards, pickles, horseradish and cured meats.

Blonde Ale/Cream Ale pairs perfectly with sweet, hot, or spicy foods including many Asian dishes, chili, mango or jalapeño salsa.

Pale Ale contrasts with spicy, heat-charred, smoky, or aromatic flavors such as those in Stilton and Gorgonzola cheeses.

India Pale Ale complements intensely flavorful, highly spiced dishes, such as curry, and bold, sweet desserts like flourless chocolate cake and crème brulée.

Amber Ale complements rich, aromatic, spicy and smoked foods such as chili, barbecue, grilled chicken, and beef.

Brown Ale pairs well with roasted pork, smoked sausage, chicken satay, cashew chicken, pecan pie and peanut sauces.

Porter works well with smoked meats, especially bacon; complements chocolate, espresso or coffee-flavored desserts and soft, creamy cheeses.

Stout complements salty foods like oysters on the half shell.

Lambic complements light, fruity dishes; best served as a companion with after-meal foods like desserts featuring fruit or dark chocolate.


Light Lager complements lemongrass, ginger, garlic, cilantro and similar flavors.

American Style Lager is the perfect contrast to Thai, Pan-Asian, Latino, Mexican, Peruvian and other spicy cuisines.

Pilsner works well with salmon, tuna & other high-fat, oily fish and with marbled meats; bitterness offers pleasing contrast with sweet reductions and sauces.

Amber Lager pairs well with tomato reduction sauces, pizza, or foods flavored with basil or oregano.

Märzen Oktoberfest complements the flavors of char-grilled and seared meats or spicy Mexican dishes

Bock the rich sweetness balances strong spice components & intense flavors of Cajun, jerk, slow-roasted and seared foods.

Red Wines

Zinfandel will be able to handle a wide variety of red meats. This bold red wine holds up to meaty, smoky flavors. A Zin will also work well with barbeque sauce, steak sauce and mild salsas as long as there isn't a great deal of spicy characteristic to them.

Merlot is the answer to spicy foods, and salsas! Grilled pork chops, chicken and garden salads with lighter dressings also mingle well with Merlot.

Shiraz or Syrah are both delicious with just about any red meat, and lend themselves extremely well to barbecue.

Cabernet Sauvignon is made for steaks with a higher fat content such as Ribeye, or Strips. This wine pairs great with burgers regardless if made with beef or turkey. Top your burgers with bold cheeses, like blue or sharp cheddar and this wine gets even better!

Pinot Noir is great with everything from grilled fish to a juicy Burger! Pinot Noir is an ideal candidate for grilled salmon, burgers or chicken breast. If you aren’t sure if what wine will work with your grilled dinner serve a Pinot.

White Wines

Chardonnay will work with grilled fish, shellfish, chicken, creamy sauces, and cheese fondue

Riesling is the perfect with grilled brats, shrimp, barbecue chicken, grilled pineapple and grilled veggies.

Sauvignon blanc goes great with roasted peppers, veggies with pesto or fresh herbs, grilled fish or marinated meats such as grilled chicken that has been doused in Italian dressing or a citrus marinade.

Gewürztraminer would be a great choice to go with Sweet & Spicy foods such as Blackened Mahi Mahi, or Cajun Chicken with fresh mango salsa.

Please remember that if you drink don't drive! Designate a driver, and everyone can have a great summer!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Citrus Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken on FoodistaRoasted Chicken

I'm a big fan of roasted chicken due to its versatility in the kitchen . As a side note some of the best chicken salad I have ever consumed was made with roasted chicken. Its leftovers make great Tacos, Sandwiches, Pastas and it's a relatively simple dish to make and serve family style in both a home or picnic type setting. I use the exact same brine on my Roasted Chicken, Fried Chicken, and even my Turkey at Thanksgiving. I figure this is a perfect recipe for the blog because once again being able to learn one recipe that can be used for multiple applications is exactly what the blog was created to share. Serve this dish with a little rice pilaf, and steamed vegetable and you've got a relatively low fat, and delicious family meal.

1 Whole Roasting Chicken, Reserve Neck and Giblets*
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Orange, Quartered
1 Lemon, Quartered
2 Limes, Quartered
8 Cloves Garlic, Whole
3 Bay Leaves, fresh if possible
2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves, Chopped
Butchers Twine
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
2 Tablespoons Cold Water
1 Cup Onion, Large Dice
1 Batch Chicken Brine- See recipe below

***Chicken Brine Recipe

2 quarts vegetable stock
2 Quarts Cold Water
3/4 cup Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1 tablespoon Rosemary, Chopped
1 tablespoon Sage ,Chopped
1 tablespoon Thyme, Chopped


1. In a large pot combine vegetable stock, salt, sugar, and herbs over a medium heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the salt is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add cold water.

Place Chicken in a large non-reactive container( Glass or Plastic). Pour brine over top, cover and refrigerate. Brine for 1 hour per pound( Approximately 6 hours for a whole chicken).

2. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Thoroughly rinse all the brine from Chicken. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle the cavity with Salt and Pepper. Stuff the cavity with the Orange, Lemon, Limes, Bay Leaves, and Garlic. Tie the chicken legs together with butcher twine to help hold stuffing inside. Rub the Chicken with olive oil, thyme, kosher salt and pepper.

3. Place a wire roasting rack( or substitute a little mirepoix( 2 parts Onion, 1 part Celery, 1 part Carrot) in a large roasting pan. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the rack in the pan. Roast the chicken for 1 hour, basting occasionally and adding some chicken broth to the pan, if necessary, to prevent the pan drippings from burning. Brush some of the broth over the chicken, after it has baked 1 hour, and check the internal temperature. Continue roasting the chicken another 30 minutes or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the innermost part of the thigh registers 175° F. Remove from oven, and allow to rest cover for 10 minutes.

*Sauté neck & giblets with 1 cup of diced onion until onion is golden brown in sauce pan.- (Optional step)

4. Strain the pan drippings into medium sauce pan with or without giblets added. Add remaining broth and simmer until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Strain into a clean pot and discard the solids. Spoon the fat from the top of the sauce. Season sauce with salt & pepper, and tighten with slurry of cornstarch mixed with water to form a thin paste. Serve the chicken with the pan sauce.

* Optional Step

Monday, April 12, 2010

Crème Caramel- Metric

Creme CaramelIf you ever find yourself in need of a last-minute dessert item by far one of the easiest, and most popular desert out there is crème caramel. The simple caramel flavored egg custard can be prepared with less than an hour of time necessary to complete the task. The simple garnish of whipped cream, fresh fruit, or even something as simple as just some chopped butter toffee candy can transform your custard to fit any situation.


500 mL whole milk

4 each large eggs

60 g granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, Split

150 g sugar-for caramel

50 mL water-for caramel


1. Make caramel, combine the sugar and water indicated in the recipe to be used for the caramel in a small sauté pan. Heat on the stove, over medium-high heat, until reduced, and golden brown in color. Immediately transfer the caramel into ovenproof soufflé cups, making sure to just coat the bottom of each cup. Reserve.

2. Make the custard, mix the eggs and sugar together.

3. Steep the milk with the vanilla bean until just starts to boil. Remove from heat, and immediately add in three equal parts, to the egg and sugar mixture stirring continuously. Stirring between each addition. Remove vanilla bean.

4. When your caramel has set up in the soufflé cups, fill each cup 1/4 inch from the top with custard mixture.

5. Place your soufflé cups into an ovenproof baking dish, add water to baking dish creating a water bath halfway up the side of your soufflé cups. Make sure not to allow any water to mix with your custard.

6. Bake your custard in a 350°F oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of your custard allows you to see that your custard has set, and no liquid is present.

7. Remove from oven, and chill,covered with plastic wrap to prevent discoloring.

8. When your custard has chilled, gently cut around the edge of your soufflé cup allowing the custard to be released from the sides. Immediately invert the soufflé cup on to a small plate allowing your custard to transfer to your plate, and golden caramel sauce to pool around the base. Garnish and serve.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Snapper Vera Cruz

Snapper season is just a few weeks away ( June 1st) and it's time to brush up on the recipes everyone. I decided to add a favorite to the blog today......30 minutes from start to finish!!!
2 Pounds Red Snapper Filets, Cut 6 oz.

1/4 cup lime juice (2 large limes)

4 Beefsteak Tomatoes, peeled and seeded, diced

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Large Onions, Julienned

2 Jalapeño Chilies, Seeded and finely minced

3 Cloves Garlic , Minced

2 Tablespoons Capers

1/4 Cup Spanish Olives, Chopped

1/4 Cup Tomato Juice

1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon Ground Cloves

1/2 Teaspoon Paprika

1/4 Teaspoon Cumin

1/4 Teaspoon Chili Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Tablespoon Cilantro, Chopped


1. Marinate snapper fillets in lime juice for one hour, refrigerated, turning once halfway through the marinating process..

2. Heat oil in large sauté pan. Cook onions over medium heat until they become translucent. Add chilies and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and tomato juice. Add capers, olives, cinnamon and cloves. Simmer 10 minutes.

3. Remove snapper from marinade, but do not dry. Add Snapper to the tomato mixture.

4. Add cumin, paprika, chili powder and stir. Make sure fish is covered with sauce. Cook, partially covered, about 8 minutes, or until fish is done. Remove from heat, add cilantro.

Serve over Rice

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grilled Tandoori Chicken & Vegetable Skewers

Kabobs on FoodistaKabobs

The Grill and Wok are going to be fired up today for my Tandoori Chicken & Vegetable Skewers.....Some Stir Fry, and Coconut Jasmine Rice! I see no need to cook inside when you can stand over the grill with a cold beverage in hand.................

2 Pounds Boneless Chicken Breast

4 Dried New Mexico Red Chilies , seeded and soaked
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 1/2 Cup Onion, Chopped
2 Teaspoons Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Coconut Cream ( PlainYogurt can be substituted)
2 Teaspoons Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon Tamarind Water
1 Tablespoon Basil, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Cilantro, Chopped
 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Each Bermuda Onions, Cubed
1 Fresh Pineapple, Peeled and Cubed
1 Pound Crimini Mushrooms, washed
2 Each Zucchini, Cubed
2 Red Bell Peppers, Cubed
1/2 Pound Cherry tomatoes
Black Pepper, To Taste
Kosher Salt, To Taste


1. Grind soaked chilies, garlic and onion to make a paste.
2. Combine sugar, coconut cream, fish sauce, tamarind water and salt. Stir to incorporate with paste.
3. Cube chicken breast and place chicken in a shallow dish.
4. Pour over spice mixture over chicken. Turn to coat.
5. Cover, and reserve in refrigerator for 2 hour allowing the chicken to marinade.
6. Assemble skewers alternating chicken breast, and Fresh vegetables until skewer is filled. Reserve Marinade to baste during cooking.
7. Grill skewers over medium- high heat while, basting occasionally ,until cooked thoroughly. Discard Marinade
8. Garnish with Basil and Chopped Cilantro.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Machaca Beef Tacos(Sonoran Shredded Beef Tacos)

Hatch Chili PepperI decided that after the amount of email I received about Mexican food recipes I would add my recipe for tacos. I've never been a big fan of ground beef and seasoning packets being used to make Mexican food, but I understand that most people just don't know how to make them the right way. I like chili peppers, and I figure I should tell you now that if you don't like spicy foods you had better seriously think twice about the amount of peppers used in this recipe. Scale them back unless you're sure that the level of heat produced will keep everyone around the table happy. The Beef filling for these Tacos is used in Burritos, and Chimichangas( A Fried Burrito) too. People have debated for years over the better flavor between red, or green Hatch Chilies. The fact of the matter is I love them both, but the way this recipe is written you can decide for yourself which one to put in your tacos. The Tortilla you serve is going to be your choice as well. I would try the Tacos on both, and decide which one you like better.
Machaca Beef Tacos

5 Pounds Beef Top Round, Cubed
1 Cup New Mexican Hatch Chiles, cleaned and chopped
1/2 Cup Jalapenos, Minced
1 Cup Tomatoes, Seeded & Diced
1 Cup Onion, Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Ounce Santa Rosa Fajita Seasoning 
1/4 Cup Cilantro, Chopped


1. Place the Top Round in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Simmer covered until tender. Add additional water as necessary to keep meat covered during the cooking process.

2. Remove meat from pot, reserving liquid. let cool just to be workable, then remove fat. Shred the meat(It should be tender enough that you can do this with your fingers).

3.Return Shredded meat to stock pot. Add remaining recipe ingredients (excluding Cilantro) and broth. Simmer over medium heat until meat absorbs the broth.

4. Remove from heat, and fold Cilantro into shredded beef. Serve with traditional toppings( Please serve with Lime Wedges).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tarte Aux Fruit( Fruit Tarts)-Metric

Mixed Fruit Tart
I'm a big fan of Fruit Tarts, and have prepared them in many different forms from individual to full sized portions. Fresh Fruit, Pastry Cream, and Sweet Crust is all it takes to make this perfect Summertime dessert. We've covered the various components in other recipes so please feel free to look back on previous posts at any time.

Pâte Sucrée- Sweet Crust

200 g soft flour

50 g sugar

Pinch of salt

125 g unsalted butter

1 egg

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Vanilla extract

Mini fruit tarts
Crème Pâtissière-pastry cream

600 mL whole milk

5 egg yolks

100 g sugar

40 g flour

40 g corn starch

20 mL liqueur

vanilla pod

Tropical Fruit Tart







Mint leaves

Apricot Nappage ( 3/1 Jam to Water Ratio)

Crème Anglaise

250 mL whole milk

3 Egg Yolks

75 g caster sugar

1 Vanilla Pod


1. Assemble pastry: sift the flour with salt. Cream the butter and sugar. Add lemon zest. Add vanilla to egg and incorporate into mixture in three equal parts. At all the flour at once and mixed together by hand. Do not over mix. Wrap with plastic to roll flat.

2. Pastry cream: transfer milk to a large pot and bring to boil with split vanilla bean added. Was eggs and sugar together in a separate bowl, add flour to eggs and mix well. Add cornstarch and mix. Add one half milk, mix, and another one half milk keeping vanilla pod and the mixture. Transfer to a clean pan. Cook on stove until just starts to bubble. Remove from heat and whisk to ensure no lumps. Transferred to clean trade to cool covered with buttered paper, or plastic film.

3. Crème Anglaise: split the vanilla pod, add to milk and scald on the stove. Add sugar and eggs in separate bowl, mix. Add one half of milk to egg and sugar mixture. Stir to incorporate, add second half of milk. Transfer to a clean can and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until mixture just coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow to boil. Transfer to clean pan, and cover with butter parchment or plastic film making sure to remove all air pockets.

4. Roll pastry flat, and line tart pan with dough. Dock with fork, and bake blind using parchment paper, and pie weights in a 350°F Oven until just golden. Remove, and allow to cool.

5. Knock back pastry cream, and fill tart shell. Slice fruit, and decorate making sure that all pastry cream is covered. Brush fruit with Nappage to protect color, and prevent oxidation.

6. Garnish with mint leaves and serve with Crème Anglaise on the side.

Chicken Crêpes- crepas de pollo en Salsa Verde

Crepas de pollo en Salsa Verde
Chicken Crêpe's

with many years of my childhood spent in the American Southwest I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know about Mexican food. Phoenix, Arizona isn't exactly suffering from a lack of Mexican restaurants, but the menus all tend to reflect more the Sonoran type of cuisine. In retrospect it's still some the best Mexican cuisine you can get your hands on but did you ever think you could walk into a Mexican restaurant and order a Crêpe? There is much more to Mexican food it turns out... Aztec, Mayan and Spanish influences, with a bit of French as well.

Crêpe Batter:

2 Eggs, well beaten

2/3 Cup Whole Milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 pinch Kosher Salt

1/2 cup sifted, all-purpose flour

Crêpe Filling:

One Medium Onion, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Medium Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 large Chicken breasts, cooked and diced

1/4 Cup Pine nuts, toasted

1 Tablespoon Dates, chopped

1 Tablespoon Spanish Olives, chopped

2 Jalapeno Peppers, finely chopped

Salsa Verde:

Anaheim Chiles
4 Anaheim Chiles

2 Tablespoons Onion, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk

3/4 Cup Grated Queso Enchilada Cheese*

2 Tablespoons Cilantro, chopped


1. Prepare the Crêpes: combine the eggs, milk, butter, and salt. Add to the sifted flour and beat until smooth. Allow to rest 10 minutes. Pour approximately 3 tablespoons of the batter into a lightly greased 7 inch omelette pan. Tilt the pan until the batter has spread evenly over the bottom. When lightly browned, turn the Crêpe and brown the other side. Reserve, and continue the process until all the Crêpes are made.

2. Prepare the filling: sauté the onions in the butter until soft. Add the tomatoes and simmer for five minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for five more minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and reserve. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in each Crêpe, roll into a tube, and lay in a buttered baking dish.

3. Make the sauce: lightly brushed the chilies with oil in place under the broiler until singed on all sides. Wrap them in a damp towel, and allow to rest for approximately 30 minutes. When the time is past, remove this stems and the seeds from the peppers. Sauté the peppers in the onions in butter until the onions become translucent. Place onions and peppers into a blender, and purée until smooth. Return mixture to pan. Mix cornstarch with milk; add to the pepper and onion mixture; simmer gently for approximately 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the grated cheese and stir until incorporated evenly. Pour the sauce over the graves and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Bake in 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with chopped cilantro.

*queso enchilada(anejo enchilado): This is a hard Mexican cheese that's coated with red chile paste. Substitutes: 1 Cup of Cotija, Romano, or Parmesan that has been shredded and tossed with 1/4 Teaspoon of smoked paprika.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Roasted Prime Rib

Prime Rib on FoodistaPrime RibI prepare my Prime Rib in two different styles depending on when it is being served. The more traditional English preparation as written below, and a Southern style consisting of a dry barbecue type rub. While I do have those that ask me to throw together a batch of rub every year I decided I would save that version for a little later in the summer. A whole standing rib roast (prime rib roast) consists of ribs 6 through 12, and not actually the whole ribeye as served in most restaurants these days. Most GOOD butchers recommend that you request a rib roast from the small end toward the back of the rib section, which is leaner and gives you more meat for your dollar. This cut is referred to as the loin end, or sometimes the tail end, because the meat and ribs get larger as they move up toward the shoulder.


Rib Roast , Bone In (Yields: 2 servings per rib)

5 Stalks Celery

2 Cloves Garlic, Minced

2 cups Onion, Chopped

1/2 Cup Carrot, Chopped

1 Fresh Bay Leaf

2 Sprigs Rosemary

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt

1 Tablespoon Cracked Black Pepper

1 Tablespoons Olive Oil


1).Preheat oven to 450°F

2). Lay Stalks of Celery across the bottom of your heavy stainless-steel roasting pan* to serve as a trivet (Rack) for your roast. Top with Chopped Onion, Carrot, Rosemary, and Bay Leaf this creates a Mirepoix for your sauce later as well as serves to add moisture, and prevent sticking.

3). Combine Garlic, Mustard, Salt, Pepper, and Oil in a small bowl, and mix to make a paste.

4). Place the roast ribs down and fat side up on top of your mirepoix.

5). Rub the Rib Roast with the paste making sure to coat completely.

6).Place roasting pan in preheated oven, sear the rib roast for 15 minutes at 450° F, then lower the oven temperature to 225° F. for the rest of the cooking time. Every 1/2 hour, baste the cut ends of the roast with the drippings accumulated in the bottom of the roasting pan. Do Not Cover the roast.

7). Set timer accordingly. The rule of cooking is 30 minutes per pound at 225°F. Assuming your roast is four ribs, 4.5 hours cook time should be the maximum. If you cook a full 7-8 Rib Roast, 6.5 hours cook time. After 1 hour of cooking, begin checking the internal temperature at the thickest part of the meat (use a good instant-red meat thermometer). If the temperature is rising quickly reduce the oven temperature to allow your meat to continue slow roasting based upon the 30 minutes per pound rule.

120°F = Rare, and go up 10 degrees per temperature after that. Keep in mind your roast will have carry over cooking of at least 5 degrees during the resting stage.

8). When Rib has reached the desired internal temperature , remove from the oven, and allow to rest about 30 minutes prior to service. This would be a great time to make those Yorkshire Puddings, and strain the drippings to make the Au Jus.

NOTE:* Select a roasting pan that has sides at least 3-inches deep. I do not recommend using nonstick pans, as these pans do not produce the charred bits that produce wonderful sauces, and gravies.

I do NOT recommend purchasing a boneless rib roast, as roasting with the bones adds great flavor, and that's what we are always after in our cooking.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Grilled Lobster with Mango Salsa

Grilled Lobster Tails on FoodistaGrilled Lobster Tails4 each fresh lobster tails

1/3 cup clarified butter

2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives

1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel

Lime wedges

1/4 tsp jerk seasoning

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 (1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger root, minced

2 mangos - peeled, seeded, and diced

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon white wine

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Rinse lobster; pat dry with paper towels. Butterfly tails by using kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut lengthwise through centers of hard top shells and meat, cutting to, but not through, bottoms of shells. Press shell halves of tails apart with your fingers.

2. For sauce, in a small saucepan melt butter. Remove from heat. Remove 2 tablespoons of the butter and reserve. Stir in chives and lime peel.; set the remaining sauce aside.

3. Lightly grease the grate of your grill. Preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Brush lobster meat with some of the clarified butter. Place lobster, meat sides down, on the grill grate directly over heat. Grill for 6 minutes. Turn lobster. Brush with 1 Tablespoon of clarified butter mixed with jerk seasoning. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes more or until lobster meat is firm.

4. Heat the reserved sauce, stirring occasionally. Transfer the sauce to small bowls for dipping and serve with lobster. If desired, serve with lemon wedges.

5. for the salsa; Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, and sauté garlic for about 1 minute. Mix in ginger and mangos, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until mangos are tender. Pour in the cider vinegar and white wine. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cilantro, and remove from heat. Spoon over the grilled lobster to serve.