Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Red Wine Horseradish Roast
- 2lbs beef roast
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp cumin
- salt and cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 gala apple, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp horseradish
- 1/4 cup red cooking wine, plus more for the gravy
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp barbecue sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- Your favorite roasting vegetables
1. Toss together the sage, oregano, cumin, salt and cracked pepper. Rub oil over the roast and coat the roast with the herb-spice blend.
2. In a small sized bowl, combine the garlic, apple, onion, horseradish, wine, vinegar, tomato paste and barbecue sauce.
3. Place the coated roast in an oven-proof dish and pour the horseradish marinade over-top, being sure to coat the entire roast liberally. Marinate in the fridge for 3hours or a maximum of 24hours.
4. When ready to cook, heat some cooking oil in a pan over high heat. Once the oil is hot, take the roast out of the bowl and place in pan. Sear the roast for ~1-2minutes on each side and then remove the roast from the pan, placing back in the oven-proof dish.
5. De-glaze the pan with a splash of red wine, remove from heat and set aside for making the gravy once the roast is completed
6. Place the dish in a 375degree oven, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
7. When there are 30-40minutes left of cooking time, place your roasting vegetables (i.e. carrots, onions, Brussels sprouts etc.) in the dish to cook.
8. Once roast is cooked to your preference, remove from the oven and place on cutting board to rest.
9. Place the pan which was set aside for the gravy back on the stove-top and add 2-3tbsp of flour to make a roux.
10. To the pan, slowly add in the roast drippings. Continue to whisk over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken. If desired, add in some beef stock to enhance the flavor (adding more flour to thicken, as necessary).
11. Slice roast and serve with the vegetables, gravy and whatever sides you like (I served mine with wild rice).
I really enjoyed cooking this roast, it was a great "first" for me. The flavors were amazing, and the meat was wonderfully tender. I normally enjoy my meat rare, and when I first sliced the roast it was perfectly done. However, I forgot that while you let the meat rest it continues to cook, so when I finally plated the meat it ended up being more towards medium. The beef gravy was delicious, and way better than any store-bought gravy I've ever tried. I think I will definitely be making this meal again.
I was completely weirded-out when I went to chop my garlic clove. I grabbed what looked like a regular old clove, smacked it with the side of my clever and then proceeded to peel off the normal looking skin. And what greeted me was this strangely opaque, squidgy, sticky, yellow clove of garlic. It smelled okay, but I was too creeped out to use it so I threw it out. Strangely enough, the rest of the cloves in the bunch were perfectly normal, but this one clove was just an odd-ball. Has anyone seen one of these before?
Monday, September 27, 2010
I love sugar cookies! So I was ecstatic to see that this month's DB challenge would be featuring the simply delicious and tasty treat. I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to decorate the cookies, but I realized that in this challenge it was mandatory that we had to use decorate the cookies in a "September theme" (whatever September means to you). So, I chose to do this challenge in two parts. The first day, I made a bunch of little square cookies (each 1 square inch in size), which gave me until day two to decide what my "September theme" would be.
The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.
- ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose
- 1 cup Caster Sugar
- 1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
• Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavorings you’re using. Beat until just becoming
creamy in texture.
• Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms.
• Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.
• Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5mm (0.2 inch)
• Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins.
• Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface.
• Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife.
• Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for 30mins - 1 hour.
• Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
• Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
• Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.
• Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.
So... again, with the theme... hmm... that was a tricky one to figure out. After making the cookies, my mind started running trying to figure out how to theme my cookies for September. Then, after a long hard think, I remembered that September 13th, 2010 was the 25th Anniversary of the release of Super Mario Bros. So, I used the cute little squares as "bits" and created an 8-bit Mario by using various colors of icing sugar to decorate the cookies with the outline-fill/flood
- 2½ - 3 cups Confectioner’s Sugar, unsifted
- 2 Large Egg Whites
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Almond Extract, optional
• Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined.
• Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites.
• Beat on low until combined and smooth.
• Use immediately or keep in an airtight container.
Note: 3 cups of confectioner's sugar is good for piping the outline, and by adding a little bit of water to the mixture the icing is perfect for flooding the outline)
Look at all the cute little colored squares! They were a bit time consuming to decorate, but in the end I think they were worth every bit of effort. If I were to do this again, I'd probably pipe the icing a bit closer to the borders of the cookies so that there would be less cookie visible when the 8-bit character is put together. Other than that, the cookies and icing were delicious and my sisters really enjoyed picking apart Mario, piece by piece ^_^
Thursday, September 09, 2010
With such an elaborate dinner last night, I thought that tonight I'd play it a little low key and make an easy creamy pasta dish. It was full of vegetables, and didn't take a lot of time to prepare; this made it even more tasty because I was able to relax and savor the slowness of the day. So, without boring you with a long winded intro (and because I just wanna chill out and watch a movie tonight :P) here's the recipe.
Easy Creamy Pasta
(Yields two servings of pasta)
- 3 cups cooked spaghetti (freshly cooked, and still warm)
- 3 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 cup broccoli rabe
- 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried fennel seeds
- 1 tsp crushed red peppers
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 chicken breast fillet
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar
- A splash of red wine (or you can use grape juice)
- 1 heaping tbsp cream cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Season the chicken breast with rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper. Let sit to marinade for at least 10 minutes. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until chicken is fully cooked. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
2. To the skillet, add the remaining 1 tbsp oil until hot and then add the garlic, fennel seeds, cayenne, crushed peppers. Fry over medium heat until fragrant ~1 minute.
3. Add in the onions, broccoli rabe, vinegar and red wine. Cover the pan for 2-3 minutes and allow vegetables to steam
4. Cut the chicken breast into slices, and add to skillet. Next, add the cooked spaghetti, followed by the tomatoes and the cream cheese. Toss the pasta mixture with tongs, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
See... nice and simple, it literally took no more than 8minutes to cook. Once the veggies are prepped and you have the pasta already cooked, this dish is a breeze to whip up. I loved the richness that the cream cheese adds to this dish; it adds a great subtle cheese flavor without overpowering the sweetness of the wine and the tangy-ness of the vinegar. All in all, a great comfort food dish... and the colors make it look so elegant! Mama would be proud ^_^
But anyways, I must post the recipes for my amazing dishes. I kind of improvised with a lot of the amounts and the cooking times, so if you're trying to cook this dish it's really all about using your own cooking knowledge and never forgetting to taste! taste! taste!!
- 6 dried red chilies, crushed
- 10 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 lb onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp ghee
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin, ground
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 6 green chilies, seeded, de-veined and chopped