Sunday, November 22, 2015

Old Bay Shrimp Cakes--PRE-HOLIDAY HIATUS RECIPE


Old Bay Shrimp Cakes
Serves: 4
Difficulty: Easy
Old Bay Shrimp Cakes

Simple, simple, simple. We love Old Bay seasoning.  It adds a bit of zip as well as a orangey hue to seafood evoking memories of steamed crabs strewn over newspapers in Baltimore…founding city to the Old Bay Company in 1939 (and where my husband grew to love this amazing spice). How can you avoid a seasoning that has been around that long? Give it a taste. Lick a pinch on your hand, close your eyes and you will find yourself seaside. Add it to your next Bloody Mary, boil frankfurters in an Old Bay-infused bath, sprinkle on potato salads, and popcorn! Sprinkle it everywhere. In this recipe, I use it to form shrimp cakes.  Again – simple, simple, simple.

Heading into the holidays, I would like to wish all of you a healthy happy New Year, chock full of great food, of course!
 
Old Bay....one of the world's great spices!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lamb Loin Chops with Pan-roasted Grapes & Zinfandel

Lamb Loin Chops with Pan-roasted Grapes & Zinfandel
Sous Vide and Grill Methods
Serves: 4
Difficulty: Easy
Sous Vide Temp: 131- 134 degree F; Time: 2-4 hours
 
Lamb Loin Chops with Pan-roasted Grapes & Zinfandel
This is a simple recipe and a spectacular one. In the heart of the Paso Robles wine district, you will find wine and food paired in cooking as well as serving. This recipe includes actual grapes into the sauce adding an additional sweet note. One thing we know about California’s zinfandel: it is a far, far more food versatile wine than usually assumed.

But it wasn’t always like that. A couple of decades ago the country was still awash with pink colored “white zinfandel”; and focusing on the other two “fighting varietals,” chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, many of the mainstream California wineries went so far as to drop red zinfandel from their lineups. This may have been good thing, because all it did was dramatize the inevitable resurgence all the more; towards the end of the nineties, when artisanal producers began pushing their big red Zins, recalling some of mammoth Zins that came and went with the seventies. Like micro-minis, fondue, VW bugs and martinis, there are many things never really go away – they just come back with a vengeance.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Amazing braised Indian-spiced Chicken with Peas, Tomatoes & Potatoes

Amazing Braised Indian-spiced Chicken with Peas, Tomatoes & Potatoes 
Serves: 6
Difficulty: Moderate
Amazing braised Indian-spiced Chicken with Peas, Tomatoes & Potatoes 
This is a surprising (shocking actually) great tasting entrée….and so easy too! The fragrant sauce includes a mix of dried spices – all are important to create the perfect storm of flavor! If you are a fan of Tikka Masala or Butter chicken, you will love this one. It is flavorful, hearty, spicy and a great “throw everything in a pot and let it cook all afternoon” kind of dish. The resulting sauce is delicious and plentiful, great for sopping up with the naan bread.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

OMG Dry-Aged Rib-eye Steak – Sous Vide

Dry-Aged Rib-eye Steak – Sous Vide
Serves: 3-4
Difficulty: Easy
Sous Vide Temp: 131 degree F; Time: 3 – 4 hours

OMG Dry-Aged Rib-eye Steak – Sous Vide

Dry aging is the process by which large cuts of beef (like half of a cow) are aged anywhere from several weeks to several months before being trimmed and cut into steaks. The method not only helps the steak develop flavor, but also makes it tenderer than it would be completely fresh. It involves considerable expense, as the beef must be stored near freezing temperatures. Subprimal cuts can be dry aged on racks either in specifically climate-controlled coolers or within a moisture-permeable dry bag.  Moreover, only the higher grades of meat can be dry aged, as the process requires meat with a large, evenly distributed fat content. The key effect of dry aging is the concentration and saturation of the natural flavor, as well as the tenderization of the meat texture. 
Dry aged ribeye....gotta have the marbling!

The process changes the beef by two means. Firstly, moisture is evaporated from the muscle. This creates a greater concentration of beef flavor and taste. Secondly, the beef’s natural enzymes break down the connective tissue in the muscle, leading to increased tenderness. Older isn’t necessarily better. Two or three weeks of aging is usually the minimum for any sort of tenderness to occur, while the funkier blue cheese characteristics start to pop up around 28 – 45 days.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Thai inspired Chicken & Rice Noodle Salad

Thai inspired Chicken & Rice Noodle Salad
Serves 4
Difficulty: Easy
Thai inspired Chicken & Rice Noodle Salad
Hang on to summer a bit longer and make this easy salad before resorting to heavy winter fare.  This can be great for a picnic, comes together in minutes and is surprisingly healthy! Resist the tyranny of a heavy peanut sauce and give this summery Northern Thai inspired rice noodle salad a try. It is loaded with vegetables, herbs and chicken with an addictive dressing of lime, savory umami-laden fish sauce and chilies. Made with those wonderful springy rice noodles, mixed with handfuls of torn mint, cilantro, basil, sliced cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and shredded chicken all doused with the most amazing sweet-sour dressing.  Feel free to add more vegetables such as shredded Napa cabbage and grated carrots. Adjust the number of chilies pending personal “heat” preferences. Finish with a garnish of peanuts on top if you crave a more “peanutty” dish – adds great additional crunch. It is best served cool or at room temperature – and even great the next day.  How perfect is that!!

Thai chicken with amazing hot-sour-slaty-sweet sauce
http://cookingwithlarue.blogspot.com/2013/03/thai-chicken-with-amazing-hot-sour.html

Thai inspired tomato soup
http://cookingwithlarue.blogspot.com/2012/02/thai-inspired-tomato-soup.html