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Entreé Recipes


Oven Roasted Beef Tenderloin: (Boneless)

Preparation:
  • Lightly Rub Roast with olive oil, rosemary, fresh garlic, Course ground Black pepper and AJ’s famous Snider's Prime Rib Seasoning. Do not pierce meat
  • Store meats at room temp 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a medium size, flameproof roasting pan set over 2 stovetop burners over medium-high heat. Brown beef well on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes total. Remove beef to a cutting board and let cool; discard oil from roasting pan.
  • Re-season as needed
  • Roast 25 to 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 125 degrees in the thickest part. Avoid extra piercing as you will loose fluids
  • Transfer beef to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered with foil, 15 to 20 minutes (it will continue to cook, reaching 130 degrees in the thick end for medium rare, and the narrow end at 135 degrees for medium).
  • • Serve with Horseradish sauce: In a bowl combine pure horseradish, sour cream, heavy cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper until blended to taste. Refrigerate (can be made up to 2 days ahead). Just before serving, stir in chives.



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Leg of Lamb w/ Garlic & Rosemary

Ingredients:
  • 1 leg of lamb, 4½ to 6 lbs.
  • Half a lemon
  • 2 - 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1½ Tbsp. The Spice Hunter Fresh at Hand Rosemary
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper


Preparation:
With a sharp knife, make a number of incisions into the skin of the lamb and push 1 to 2 slivers of garlic into each incision. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the lamb and then sprinkle with rosemary. Add the olive oil and rub in well, pushing some of the rosemary into the incisions with the garlic. Season with the salt and pepper before placing in a large zip-top bag or loosely covered in a non-metal container. Marinate for at least an hour or overnight, if possible. Roast the leg in a sturdy roasting pan in a preheated oven set at 325°F. Allow 20 minutes per pound plus an additional 20 minutes for well done.


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Jambalaya

Ingredients:
  • 2 links Andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 lb. chicken, cubed
  • ½ lb. shrimp, cooked (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 (14oz.) cans vegetable broth
  • 1 (14.5oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp. The Spice Hunter Cajun Creole Seasoning, plus more to taste


Preparation:
Cook sliced sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, remove from pan and set aside. Pour oil into pan, add chicken and cook thoroughly, then remove from pan and set aside with the sausage. Add butter and vegetables to pan and cook over medium heat until softened, but not browned. Next add broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, rice, water and seasoning, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. If liquid is absorbed, but rice is not yet cooked, add an additional ½ cup water as needed. Stir sausage and chicken into pan, top with shrimp, if desired, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.


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Baked Chicken Strips with Honey-Mayo Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp. The Spice Hunter California Granulated Onion
  • 2 tsp. The Spice Hunter Ground Yellow Mustard
  • ¼ tsp The Spice Hunter Sweet Paprika
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 cups crushed buttery crackers
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chkcen breasts, cut into strips


For Dipping Sauce
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine mayonnaise and spices in a medium bowl. Place crushed crackers in another bowl. Dip each chicken strip into mayonnaise mixture and then into crushed crackers. Place coated chicken onto lightly greased baking sheet or dish. Bake for about 15 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Combine dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.


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Portabellini® Sliders

Serves 6:
  • 6 Portabellinis®, stem removed
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Olive oil
  • Sweet and Spicy Mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:
Brush the mushrooms with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms cap side up on the grill for 10-12 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the grill and then toast the buns on the grill for about 2 minutes. Spread mustard on the bottom bun and then place the Portabellini®, onion, tomato, lettuce on top. Finish with the top bun.


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Champagne Poached Alaskan Salmon



Serves 4


  • 4 Alaska salmon steaks or fillets (6-8 oz. each), skin and bones removed
  • 2 cups champagne
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 slices red onion
  • 1 tbsp. capers, optional
  • 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • ½ cup honey Dijon mustard
  • 1-½tsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Mix together mustard and chopped tarragon, set aside. Season salmon slightly with salt and pepper. Place in a pan just large enough to hold the salmon in 1 layer. Add the champagne, lime juice and just enough water to cover the fish. Remove the fish and bring the liquid to a boil. Return the salmon to the pan. Top each with an onion slice, capers and tarragon sprig. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover pan with foil and poach at no more than a simmer 6-10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the salmon). Remove salmon from the liquid and place on 4 warm serving plates. Top each piece of fish with 1 oz. of the mustard mixture and serve.




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Honey-Lime Salmon Kabobs



Serves 4-6


  • 1 to 1-½ lb. Alska salmon fillets or steaks, skinned and bones removed
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • juice of one large lime
  • 2 tsp. grated lime zest
  • 2 tbsp. each honey and fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
  • ½ tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 1 each red and green bell pepper, cut in 1-½ inch squares
  • 12 large mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, cut in 1-½ inch chunks
  • 1 zucchini, cut in ½ inch slices


Cut salmon into 1-1/2 inch squares. Blend together oil, lime juice, lime zest, honey, cilantro, ginger, salt and pepper. Divide marinade, reserving 1/4 cup for basting. Marinate salmon cubes in remaining mixture for 1 hour, turning occasionally. Place salmon and vegetables alternately on heat-proof skewers. Grill on oiled, heated grill, about 5 minutes per side, basting with reserved marinade. Do not overcook.




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Teriyaki Grilled Salmon



Serves 4


  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1-½ tbsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1-½ tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 4 (4 to 6 oz. each) Alaska Salmon Fillets or steaks
  • 1 sheet (12 x 18 inch) heavy duty aluminum foil


In a shallow baking dish, combine brown sugar, oil, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Place salmon steaks/fillets in a baking dish. Turn fish over several times to coat; refrigerate 30 - 45 minutes. Remove salmon from marinade. Cook on foil sheet on medium hot grill, turning once during cooking, about 6 to 12 minutes per inch of thickness. Do not overcook.




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Alaskan Salmon Bake with Pecan Crunch Coating



Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp; Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 4 tsp. honey
  • ¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup finally chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 2 tsp. chopped parsley
  • 4 (4 to 6 oz. each) Alaska Salmon Fillets or steaks
  • salt & black pepper
  • lemon wedges


Mix together mustard, butter and honey in a small bowl; set aside.

Mix together breadcrumbs, pecans and parsley in a small bowl; set aside. Season each fillet with salt and pepper.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet or broiling pan.

Brush each fillet with mustard-honey mixture.

Pat top of each fillet or steak with breadcrumb mixture.

Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measure at thickest part, or until salmon just flakes when tested with a fork.

Serve with lemon wedges.




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Alaskan Halibut with Curried Apple Butter



Serves 4-6


  • ¼ cup apple butter
  • ¼ cup fat free mayonnaise
  • 1 slice crisp, cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspooon curry powder
  • 4 (4-6 oz. each) Alaska Halibut Fillet


In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except halibut until well blended. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Paint the apple butter mixture on both sides of the fillets and place on prepared baking sheet. Broil 4-6 inches from heat source for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at the thickest part, or until fish just flakes when tested with a fork.


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Alaskan Halibut with Orange Béarnaise



Serves 4


  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 package (about 1 oz.) Béarnaise sauce mix
  • ¼ butter
  • ¼ orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh OR ½ teaspoon dried grated orange peel
  • 4 Alaskan Halibut steaks or fillets (4 to 6 oz. each)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive, canola, peanute or grapeseed oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed


Whisk together milk and Béarnaise mix in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in butter until melted. Blend in orange juice, lemon juice and orange peel; stir and cook until thickened. Cover and keep warm.


Heat a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of halibut with oil. Place halibut in heated skillet and cook, uncovered, about 3 to 4 minutes, until browned. Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking.


Turn fillets over and season with salt and pepper. Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium. Cook an 3 to 4 minutes, just until fish is opaque throughout.


While fillets are cooking, cook asparagus spears in small amount of water over medium-high heat until crisp-tender. Drain and keep warm.


To serve, place 1/4 of the asparagus on plate. Top with a halibut portion and drizzle with sauce.




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Cherry Coke Ham

Serves 6-8

  • 1 fresh ham (4-5 lbs, can substitute cured ham)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups Cherry Coca-Cola
  • ¼ cup whole cloves, to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ham in a baking pan. Use a knife to score the ham in a diamond pattern. Insert cloves evenly into scored areas. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dark-brown sugar and rub the remainder into the ham. Slowly pour the soda over the brown sugar. Expect some of the sugar to wash off. Use the 2 tablespoons of reserved sugar to fill in the gaps. Place ham in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. remove and allow hame to cool enough to remove the cloves. Slice and serve.
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Roasted Garlic Leg of Lamb with Rosemary, Potatoes, Carrots and Onions

Servers 4-6

  • 1 bonesless leg of lamb, 4-6 lbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided in half
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped, divded
  • 4-6 small red potatoesm cut in half
  • 12-16 baby carrots, tops removed
  • 1 lb pearl onions, frozen or fresh, skins removed
  • 2 heads of garlic, halved.


Place leg of lamb in a large roasting pan and rub with 1 ½ Tbls of olive oil. Season with salt & pepper and 1 Tbls of rosemary. Allow lamb to stand at room temperature for 40 minutes to 1 hour.


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic in an oven-proof dish. Toss with remaining olive oil and rosemary. Set aside. When oven is hot, place lamb in the oven for 1 hour, 40 minutes. After roasting for 55 minutes, add vegetables to roasting pan. Check lamb at the 1 hour, 40 minute mark for doneness. The lamb should register 130-135 degrees on a meat thermometer for rare. When done, transfers lamb to serving platter, cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Turn off oven and allow vegetables to remain warm until serving. Add vegetables to platter and serve.


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Butternut Squash Parmesan


  • 2½ pounds of butternut squash
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • 3 cups of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 T salt-pepper-granulated garlic mixture


Place in casserole dish and bake covered at 350 degrees for 1½ hours.



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AJ's Southwest Turkey Recipe


  • 1 pinch salt
  • 16-lb. turkey
  • ½ lb. softened butter
  • 3 T finaly chopped garlic
  • 3 T finely chopped cilantro
  • 6 T Renee's Desert Rub
  • Renee's Glaze to finish


Fold turkey skin back, and with your fingers, massage the butter mixture all over the body of the turkey. Replace the skin and brush the remaining butter mixture with olive oil on the skin of the turkey.

Place in a roaster pan and bake at 350 degrees until done. The last 10 minutes, brush with Renee's Glaze. Suggest using a meat thermometer to ensure turkey reaches 165 degrees. Rest turkey for 15-20 minutes. Carve and enjoy!



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Osso Buco

For the Osso Buco:

  • 4 lbs. veal shank, cut to approx. 1 inch thick
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into small dice
  • 3 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
  • ½ tsp. thyme leaf, dry
  • 1 tbsp. parsley leaves, dry
  • 3 Turkish bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1½ cups canned diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 1 qt. veal stock, fresh or canned, low sodium beef stock


Pre-heat oven to 350F. Choose a heavy shallow-bottom casserole with a lid for braising the veal shanks. Heat a saut pan on the stove over medium heat. Place flour onto a large plate and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste; taste the flour to ensure that enough seasoning has been added. Dip the veal shanks in the flour so that they are evenly coated. Add olive oil to the saut pan and heat to just below the smoking point. Add the seasoned veal shanks to the hot oil. Turn as needed to until golden brown on top and bottom. Once the veal is browned, remove the shanks to a clean plate and immediately add diced carrot, celery and onion to the pan. Continue to saut until the vegetables also are golden brown.

Add the minced garlic and saut briefly with vegetables until translucent. Add the white wine to de-glaze the pan. Scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to remove all of the flavorful bits still clinging to the pan. Return the veal shanks to the pan and reduce the wine by 75%. Transfer the veal shanks to the casserole, then add the diced tomatoes. When this comes to a simmer, pour the vegetables and all of the juices over the veal shanks. Add enough veal or beef stock to the pan to come of the way up the sides of the veal shanks. Add the dry thyme, parsley leaves and the bay leaves to the casserole.

Place the covered casserole into the pre-heated 350F oven. Set the time for 45 minutes. When the timer goes off, check the casserole to ensure that enough stock remains to cover - of the veal shank. Baste the meat with the juices; they should be simmering gently. Return pan to the oven and again re-set time for 45 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and check meat for doneness. The meat should fall readily from the bone. Remove the meat from the pan to a warm plate. Taste the sauce for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. If the sauce is too thin for your taste, return the sauce to a small sauce pan and reduce to the desired consistency. Transfer the veal shanks to the serving plates and top with the sauce. The shanks may also be topped with a garnish of Gremolata, a mixture of lemon zest, garlic and parsley.


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Seafood Lasagna

For the Sherried Bchamel Sauce:(Makes 2½ cups)

  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 3 Tbsp. All-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Whole milk
  • ¼ cup Diced onion, lightly smothered in butter until translucent
  • ½ cup Medium-dry sherry
  • Freshly ground black pepper as desired
  • Salt, freshly ground white pepper & ground nutmeg to taste

Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until a smooth paste forms to make a roux. Continue to cook the roux over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the flour is cooked and a faint aroma of baked bread is achieved. Add the onions, then the milk in thirds, blending well with a wire whisk each time and heat the mixture to just below a simmer, again stirring frequently. As the mixture cooks, the bchamel sauce will start to thicken. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, but do not allow boiling as it might separate. Bring the sherry to a boil in a saut pan and reduce by one-third; add it to the bchamel sauce. Season to taste with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Strain through a fine sieve or a strainer lined with a double thickness of cheese cloth.

For the Seafood Lasagna:

  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 lb. Raw 16-20 P&D shrimp, tail sections removed and cut into chunks
  • 1 lb. Can of pasteurized crabmeat, carefully culled of any shells
  • ½ cup Balsamic-marinated Cipolline onions, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup Sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Chopped chives
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. Freshly ground pepper (more to top off the lasagna)
  • 1 lb. Baby spinach leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Large garlic clove, peeled, mashed and minced
  • ¼ cup Finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup Whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • ½ tsp. Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup Shredded Fontina, Provolone and Mozzarella cheese mixture
  • ½ cup Freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 12 Lasagna sheets, cooked al dente, shocked in ice water, drained and blotted dry


Combine the first five ingredients in a mixing bowl and season with half the salt and pepper; set aside

Place the spinach leaves in a large stock pot or Dutch oven with 2 tablespoons of water and cook, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until leaves are wilted but still bright green. Drain spinach; spread it over a large tray to cool about 5 minutes. Squeeze excess moisture from spinach with hands and chop coarsely.

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat; add the garlic and shallots and saut until wilted; about 3 minutes. Add spinach; toss until spinach is completely dry; about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Cream ricotta in a bowl until smooth; beat in egg yolk. Add the cooled spinach mixture, nutmeg and remaining salt and pepper; stir until combined and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spread about a third of the Sherried Bchamel sauce over the bottom of an 8 x 10 casserole dish. Cover with four of the lasagna sheets. Spread the spinach/ricotta mixture evenly over the lasagna sheets. Sprinkle half of the Fontina/Provolone/Mozzarella cheese mixture over the spinach. Cover with four more of the lasagna sheets and spread another third of the sauce over them. Evenly distribute the shrimp/crabmeat mixture over the sauce and top with the remaining lasagna sheets. Cover with the remaining sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Fontina/Provolone/Mozzarella cheese mixture and then with the freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Grind some black pepper over the top of the lasagna

Bake the lasagna at 375F. for 30-40 minutes or until the topping is golden brown (keep and eye on it, you don't want the top to burn). Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.


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Bracciole with Mostacciola and Red gravy

For the Bracciole:

  • 3 large pieces of flank steak, butterflied evenly so you have 6 thin pieces
  • ¼ cup minced fresh garlic
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley (leaves only), chopped
  • 2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (More for serving)
  • 1 cup coarse bread crumbs (made with dried French bread or the like)
  • Freshly ground black pepper as desired
  • Piece of suet (2"x4"), chopped finely (substitute pancetta or bacon if necessary)
  • Butcher’s twine to tie rolled flank steak

Layer each ingredient in turn on the 6 pieces of meat, spreading them evenly and equally around. Roll the meat in jellyroll fashion and tie firmly; make sure that the lines of the meat are parallel to the length of the roll.

For the Red Gravy:

  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 6 Bracciole rolls (as prepared above)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to season the exterior of the Bracciole rolls
  • 2 lbs. Italian sausages, halved
  • 1 qt. diced yellow onion
  • 1 lb. sliced Crimini (Baby Bellas) mushrooms
  • 1 bottle (750 ml.) dry, red wine (Chianti, Rioja, St. Émilion, or comparable)
  • 3 cups (1-28 oz. net wt. can) crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups (1-28 oz. net wt. can) can tomato puree
  • 3¾ cups (1-35 oz. net wt. can) can plum tomatoes, chopped well
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ lb. wedge Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese, quartered
  • ¼ cup dried oregano leaves
  • ¼ cup dried basil leaves
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2½ cups (2-12 oz. net wt. cans) tomato paste
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 large bunch each of fresh basil and Italian parsley (leaves only), chopped
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese, to serve at the table
  • 2 lbs. Mostaccioli (substitute with Ziti, Penne, Rigatoni, Fusilli, Cavatappi, etc.)


Brown the sliced garlic cloves with the olive oil until lightly golden in a large, deep skillet and reserve. Sprinkle the Bracciole rolls with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Brown all sides of the Bracciole rolls and sausage (in stages) in the hot oil and transfer equally to two large (9 quart), heavy, non-reactive stockpots. After finishing the last batch, quickly add the onions and mushrooms and sauté for 3-5 minutes, rubbing the bottom with a wooden spoon, taking care not to burn the bottom of the pan (add some of the wine to deglaze). Add all the remaining ingredi-ents (including the reserved browned garlic cloves) except for the tomato paste, chicken stock, fresh basil and parsley, and continue to cook another 3-5 minutes, freeing any bits of browned meat from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon.

Divide the mixture in half and transfer equally to the two stockpots set over medium-high heat. Mix the tomato paste with the chicken stock in stages (to avoid lumps) in a large mixing bowl; transfer equally to the stockpots and mix well. Bring the mixtures to a rolling boil, then lower the heat on both stockpots to just a slow simmer. Cook the mixture, stirring the bottom of the pots occasionally, for 2½-3 hours, or until all meats are tender. Remove the Bracciole rolls and sausage from the sauce to a serving platter, cover, and hold in a warm oven. Combine the re-maining sauce to one stockpot, add the reserved fresh basil and parsley, adjust seasoning to taste, and hold warm while cooking the pasta.

Cook the Mostaccioli as per the instructions on the box until al dente (fully cooked, but still firm). Strain the Mostaccioli, return it to the pot in which it was cooked, and toss in a little of the Red Gravy. Transfer the Mostaccioli to another large serving platter and hold in a warm oven.

Untie the Bracciole rolls and discard the twine. Slice the Bracciole rolls crosswise (like a jelly-roll) into one-inch-thick rounds. Arrange the Bracciole slices around the perimeter of the serv-ing platter, place the sausage in the center, and serve with the Red Gravy, Mostaccioli and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.


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Cauliflower Iberico Pies

For the Cheese Short Crust: (Makes enough for 8 4" double-crust pies or 1 10" pie)

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup grated aged Iberico cheese
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼-½ cup ice water

Pulse flour, cheese, sugar, salt, and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles a coarse meal; pulse in egg yolk. With processor running, drizzle in ¼ cup water until dough just comes together. (If dough is still crumbly, add up to ¼ cup more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Do not process for more than 20 seconds. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the Roasted Cauliflower and Iberico Hand Pies:

  • 1 Small head cauliflower, florets separated and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 7 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ⅔ Cup hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • All-purpose flour, for work surface
  • Cheese Short Crust made with Iberico cheese
  • 5 oz. aged Iberico cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 Large egg yolk


Preheat oven to 375. Toss cauliflower with 3 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Flip cauliflower; roast 5 minutes more. Let cool.

Put nuts and garlic in a food processor. With processor running, slowly add remaining 4 table-spoons oil until mixture is finely chopped. Add lemon zest and 1 teaspoon rosemary; season with salt and pepper. Process until combined.

Roll out half of the dough on a lightly floured surface to a -inch thickness. Cut out eight 4-inch rounds. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Spread 2 teaspoons hazelnut mixture onto each round, leaving a -inch border. Divide cauliflower among rounds. Top with cheese and remaining teaspoon rosemary, dividing evenly; sprinkle with pepper. Whisk cream and egg yolk in a small bowl. Brush edges of dough with egg wash. Set aside.

Roll out remaining dough on a lightly floured surface to a -inch thickness. Cut out eight 4-inch rounds. Cut out 8 flowers with a small flower-shaped cookie cutter from scraps. Place a dough round on top of each pie; gently press edges with a fork to seal. Brush crusts with egg wash; place a flower on each pie. Brush flowers with egg wash. Refrigerate until cold, about 20 min-utes. Bake until crust is golden brown, 30 to 32 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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Lobster, Heart of Palm & Avocado in Gorgonzola, Leek, & Basil Cream on Angel Hair Pasta (Serves 4)

Suggested pairing – 2006 Viridian Pinot Noir



  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 4 lobster tails (6-8 oz.), removed from the shell & sliced into medallions
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 batch Chardonnay/Leek Cream Sauce (recipe to follow)
  • 2 ripe (but firm) avocados, peeled, seeded & cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 1 can ( 14 oz.) heart of palm, drained and sliced on the bias; ½ inch-thick
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, large stems removed & coarsely chopped
  • 1½ cups crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 lb. Capelli d'Angelo (Angel Hair) pasta

Set a large pot three-quarters full of salted water over high heat. Heat the butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat until fully melted. Season the sliced raw lobster medallions with salt & pepper, add them to the skillet, and sauté them until very lightly opaque on both sides; remove immediately to a shallow dish and set aside. Add the heavy cream , and allow to come to a boil while stirring occasionally. Add the Chardonnay/Leek Sauce, blend well and reduce heat to a simmer.

When the large pot of salted water comes to a boil, add the Angel Hair pasta and cook until al dente. Strain the pasta, transfer to a large mixing bowl and toss with half the simmering sauce; distribute evenly into 4 deep serving dishes. Return the lobster medallions to the remaining sauce and toss with the sliced heart of palm, diced avocado, half the basil and 1 cup of the Gorgonzola crumbles; cook for a minute or until lobster is thoroughly heated. Evenly distribute lobster and sauce over the four portions of pasta, garnish with the remaining chopped basil and Gorgonzola crumbles.

Chardonnay & Leek Cream Sauce (Makes 4 cups)

  • 1 750 ml. bottle Chardonnay wine
  • 1 large leek, roots trimmed, cut in half length-wise, cleaned of dirt and thinly sliced cross-wise
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • The zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup chicken, vegetable, fish, or shrimp stock (depending on use)
  • 4 tbsp. (½ stick) butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup cream, crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 4 tbsp. butter, room temperature & cut into 4 pats
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste


In a large sauce pan, bring the Chardonnay to a boil with the sliced leek, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, and lemon zest. Reduce to approximately 2 cups. Strain and squeeze out as much of the reduced wine as possible from the leek slices. Return to the saucepan, combine with the stock and heat over medium heat.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat and gradually add flour until a paste is made that becomes cohesive and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Continue to cook, stir-ring, until the flour cooks, creating a blond roux. Add half the roux to the simmering stock and wine reduction mixture and stir with a wire whisk until thickened. Incorporate additional roux in increments until desired viscosity is achieved. Strain, return to low heat, incorporate cream of choice, whisk in the butter pats (one at a time), and adjust seasoning to taste.


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Tropical Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Curried Papaya Couscous (Serves 6)

Suggested pairing 2007 Valckenberg Gewrztraminer

  • 6 mahi-mahi (dolphin fish) fillets (6-8 oz. each), skinless & boneless
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup Mojo Criollo bottled marinade
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. wet "Boston Jerk Seasoning"
    Charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid for grilling

Combine all marinade ingredients and marinate mahi-mahi fillets at least four hours or over-night. Light the charcoal briquettes in an outdoor grill and allow to burn until gray ashes appear (about 20-30 minutes). Char-grill dolphin fillets until browned on each side, taking care to free fillets from grill with a metal spatula before turning. Baste with any remaining marinade and cover grill for enhanced flavor.

For the couscous:

  • 1 10-oz. box instant couscous (Moroccan semolina pasta grains)
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, mashed & minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, cored & diced
  • 1 small ripe papaya, peeled, seeded & diced
  • 1 tbsp. Thai curry paste
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    Chopped fresh parsley and cilantro mixture for garnish


Bring the orange juice, chicken broth and butter to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Pour in a large mixing bowl, mix in the contents of the box of couscous, cover and let stand for five minutes. Meanwhile, heat the peanut oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and onions and sauté 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the diced papaya, curry paste and cinnamon and continue to cook, stirring for another 3-5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, fluff the steamed couscous and fold in saut mixture; garnish with the chopped fresh parsley/cilantro mixture.




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Grilled Saffron/Chardonnay Shrimp with Parsley/Avocado Mojito (Serves 4)

Suggested Pairing 2007 Fog Alley Chardonnay

  • 20 raw jumbo shrimp, cut horizontally half-way through the shell & meat & de-veined
  • 1 cup dry white wine (an "oaky" Chardonnay works well for this recipe)
  • 1 tsp. saffron threads
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled1 mashed & minced
    Wooden skewers, 10-inch long charcoal briquettes lit & allowed to burn until they are covered with gray ash

Bring the Chardonnay to a boil with the saffron; set aside and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Place shrimp in a mixing bowl. Combine all the remaining ingredients including the Chardon-nay/saffron infusion and pour over the shrimp. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning shrimp occasionally. Meanwhile, soak wooden skewers in water so they won't burn while grilling over the barbecue.

Skewer shrimp, working skewer through the thicker portion of the shell and the meat, so that they are spread apart, placing 5 shrimp on each skewer. This enables the easy turning of all shrimp at once. Grill over a hot charcoal fire until lightly browned on each side, basting with the marinade until it is used up. The shrimp can now be served as-is or pulled off the skewers, splashed with the Avocado/Parsley Mojito and served.

For the Parsley/Avocado Mojito: (Makes 3 cups)

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 green onions, trimmed of roots and sliced
  • 1 medium bunch fresh parsley, washed, dried & coarse stems snapped off
  • ¼ cup cleaned ripe avocado pulp
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup Cuban-style Mojo Criollo marinade
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil


Grind garlic cloves in a food processor. Add the sliced green onions and parsley until finely chopped. Add the avocado pulp and process until smooth. Add salt, pepper and lime juice and process. With food processor running, slowly pour in the Mojo Criollo and then slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. The sauce can be placed in a squeeze-bottle and used to drizzle it over the shrimp evenly.


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Prosciutto-Wrapped Salmon With Smoked Tomato Cream

Suggested pairing 2006 Viridian Pinot Noir

For the Smoked Tomato Cream:
One can enjoy the unique flavor of smoked foods without spending the money on a smoker by simply buying two disposable rectangular aluminum casserole pans (size dependent on volume to be smoked) and a wire rack that will fit in them. The wood chips are spread in the bottom of one of the pans, the sides of the other pan are perforated with a few small holes, and that pan is then placed in the first pan (on top of the wood chips) with the wire rack in it. Items to be smoked are placed on the wire rack, the top is covered with aluminum foil (over the edges of both pans), and the whole rig is placed on a stovetop or BBQ grill. Obviously, no food smoking should be done indoors.

  • 1 cup smoking wood chips
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 large vine-ripe tomatoes
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. minced chives
    Salt & Louisiana hot sauce, to taste

Spread smoking chips, rosemary and thyme into smoker and allow to heat until just starting to smoke. While smoker is heating up, remove the core from the tomatoes cut them in half across their middle, and make a small "x" on the bottom of each of the bottom halves. Place the tomato halves cut-side down on the rack in the smoker. Reduce heat to low and allow to smoke for 10-15 minutes; remove from heat. Remove tomatoes from smoker and remove the skin and seeds.

Reduce the 3 cups of heavy cream to 2 cups in a large, heavy saucepan set over high heat, avoiding boil-over. Place peeled & seeded smoked tomatoes and reduced heavy cream in a food processor and blend thoroughly. Transfer to a saucepan; add the minced chives, season to taste with salt and Louisiana hot sauce, and hold warm until needed.

For the Salmon:

  • 6 (6 oz.) center-cut pieces of salmon fillet, skinned and halved crosswise
  • 6 very thin (but intact) slices prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 425F.

Season salmon lightly with salt and wrap each piece in a slice of prosciutto, leaving ends of salmon exposed. Transfer, seam sides down, to an oiled large shallow baking pan; repeat the process with the remaining salmon fillets. Season with pepper and drizzle each piece with ½ tea-spoon of the olive oil. Bake the salmon fillets in middle of the 425F. oven for 8-9 minutes or until just cooked through. Serve with the Smoked Tomato Cream.


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Sea Bass with Spanish Salsa Verde

Suggested pairing 2007 Sacred Hill Sauvignon Blanc

  • 8 portions (6-8 oz.) of skinless sea bass fillet, bone line removed
    Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil for frying
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 8 thin lemon slices coated in chopped parsley for garnish


For the Spanish Salsa Verde:

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
    The juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. powdered mustard
  • 2 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 2 tbsp. minced watercress or spinach
  • 2 tbsp. minced non-pareil capers
  • 2 tbsp. minced chives
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, mashed & minced
  • 2 shallots, peeled, cored and minced
  • 1 cup virgin olive oil


Mix the first five ingredients together in a bowl with a fork to avoid lumps of mustard. Mix in all remaining ingredients except for the oil. Slowly add the olive oil, in a steady stream while whisking vigorously with a wire whisk until blended and slightly thickened. Chill slightly and whisk again before serving.

Season the sea bass fillet portions with salt and pepper and pre-heat oven to 350F. Heat oil in a large frying pan with an ovenproof handle over high heat until hot, but not smoking. Carefully place the sea bass fillets (top side down) in the pan, one at a time, waiting a little before adding more fillets, to allow heat to recover. Sear for 2-3 minutes, reducing heat if necessary to avoid burning (remove from heat until burner cools if too hot). Using a metal spatula, carefully scrape underneath the first fillet put on, so as to release any sticking without losing any of the seared crust, and turn over. Repeat the process with the remaining fillets.

Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking another 1-2 minutes; carefully add the wine. Thinner fillets will now be cooked, but thicker fillets may need to be placed in the oven and pan-roast for 4-6 minutes or until just barley cooked. Transfer the sea bass fillets to serving dishes and top with the Spanish Salsa Verde. Garnish each portion with a thin lemon slice coated in chopped parsley.

Note: If a frying pan large enough to fit all eight fillets is not available, the fillets can be seared-off in batches and transferred to an ovenproof pan for baking.


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Grilled Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 Pork Tenderloin
  • 1 Tbls Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 cup Goldwater's Bisbee BBQ Sauce
  • 1 cup Goldwater's Paradise Pineapple Black Bean Dip

Season pork tenderloin with Kosher salt, black pepper, cumin and red chili powder. Grill tenderloin and baste with BBQ sauce until it reaches 130 degrees. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Heat Paradise Pineapple Black Bean Dip. Put on bottom of plate. Slice tenderloin. Place over the black bean dip.

Serves 4-6


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Jalapeño Steaks

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons seeded and finely sliced fresh jalapeño chiles
  • 1 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seed
  • ⅔ cup grated Pepper Jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 center-cut beef filet mignons (8 oz. each)
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
  • Poblano Chile Sauce (recipe follows)

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan set over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the jalapeños, shallots, garlic and cumin seed and sauté until soft but not brown. Cool and stir in cheese and cilantro.

Slice pockets into the steaks and stuff with the jalapeño mixture. Fasten pocket if necessary with a skewer or tie. Season the outside with the salt and pepper. Grill over hot charcoal or broil to desired doneness, preferably rare to medium-rare. Spoon warm sauce onto plates, place steak on top and serve.

For the Poblano Chile Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1½ cups coarsely chopped, husked tomatillos
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. seeded and minced fresh serrano chile
  • 3 cups seeded and chopped fresh poblano chile
  • ½ tsp. each whole coriander and cumin seeds
  • 1½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup medium-dry sherry
  • ½ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup toasted almonds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or a combination
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh lime juice

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan set over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onions, tomatillos and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until lightly colored. Add chiles, coriander, cumin, stock and sherry and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes uncovered or until somewhat thickened. Place mixture in a blender or food processor and add cilantro and nuts and season to your taste with salt, pepper and lime juice. Sauce can be thinned with additional stock if desired.


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Dijon/Pignola-Crusted Rack of Lamb with English Mint Sauce

Items Needed:
  • 1 eight-rib rack of lamb, chine bone removed with a band saw, cap and silver skin removed, the bones "Frenched-out" and covered with aluminum foil to protect them from burning
  • 1 cup Pignola nuts, toasted in a 450° oven or under a broiler, stirring to avoid burning
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (for this crust, I like to process garlic bagel chips)
  • Dijon mustard (I like to use Pommery Green Peppercorn Dijon Mustard for this dish)

Directions:
Spread the mustard over the "eye" of the rack including both ends. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, grind the toasted pignola nuts in pulses, until just barely chopped (take care not to over-process as you will make a paste.) Mix the chopped pignolas with the breadcrumbs and place on a plate or shallow baking pan. Pat the rack on teh crumb mixture so that it sticks well over the whole eye and both ends.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Making sure the bones of the rack are protected, place the rack on a baking pan and roast it at 450° for 10 minutes to sear the exterior. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and continue to roast another 10-12 minutes. Let the rack rest in a warm place for 10 minutes, then slice between the ribs and serve.

Note: Eight-rib racks usually weigh about 2 pounds. To get a nice pink and juicy center, roast for about 10 minutes a pound, especially when the "cap" of fat has been removed as in this case. Use a meat thermometer: Lamb is rare at 140°F, medium at 150° and well-done at 160°F.

For the English Mint Sauce:

  • ½ cup Sherry vinegar (substitute malt or cider vinegar if necessary)
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • ½ cup chopped mint leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Directions:
Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and mint leaves in a non-reactive sauce pan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.


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Tumbet Al Manchego
(Mediterranean Vegetable & Manchego Cheese Casserole)

Items Needed:
  • 1 pound eggplants, cut into ½-inch thick rounds
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup pure olive oil (preferably Spanish)
  • 1 pound chef's potatoes, peeled and boiled until tender (but still firm), cooled to room temperature and sliced into ½-inch thick rounds
  • Sofrito (recipe to follow), with canned tomato sauce added for a thinner consistency
  • ¼ pound aged Manchego cheese, trimmed of rind and shredded
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Layer the eggplant rounds, sprinkling them generously with the kosher salt, in a colander placed on a plate and set aside for one hour. Rinse off the rendered bitter juices in the sink and dry the eggplant rounds with paper towels.

Heat half the olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium-high until hot but not smoking. Fry the potato rounds until lightly golden on both sides. Transfer the browned potato slices to an oven-safe casserole dish as they are done. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet; allow it to heat up and fry the prepared eggplant rounds as before, arranging them on top of the potatoes. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Top the browned vegetables in the casserole dish with the sofrito (recipe to follow), lifting the eggplant slices here-and-there to allow it to seep through the layers. Top with the shredded Man-chego cheese and bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.

Serves 4

Sofrito (Spanish seasoning reduction) (Makes 1½ quarts)

Sofrito is the "soul" of Spanish cooking; it gives traditional soups, stews and rice dishes a "common thread" of flavor as if stamped "Made in Spain"! Although sofrito can be found jarred in the international aisle of most supermarkets, Spaniards and Latin-Americans make their own, keep it in the refrigerator, and draw from it when needed.

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp. Saffron threads
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup minced fresh garlic (10-12 cloves)
  • 2½ cups diced yellow onions
  • 2½ cups diced red & green bell peppers (1 large pepper of each color)
  • 4 casera-style Spanish chorizo sausages (Goya, Quijote brands or comparable), peeled and thinly sliced, (optional)
  • 2 cups diced peeled ripe tomatoes (canned (28 oz.) is acceptable; drained - reserve liquid)
  • ½ cup salad olives (broken green olives with pimento strips)
  • 4 bay leaves (preferably Turkish)
  • 1 tbsp. Oregano, dried leaf
  • 1 tbsp. Thyme, dried leaf
  • 1 tbsp. Spanish paprika
  • 1 tbsp. Salt
  • 1½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a small saucepan, bring the white wine to a boil over high heat. Add the saffron threads, turn off the heat, set aside and allow it to steep like a tea while continuing the preparation.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until hot but not smoking. Sauté the next three ingredients for 5-7 minutes over medium-high heat. Add all the remaining ingredients including the reserved wine and saffron mixture and cook over medium-low heat for another 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Canned tomato sauce may be added when using the sofrito as a sauce.


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Baked Oysters with Smoky Chile & Manchego Pesto

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled & trimmed
  • ¼ cup shelled pecans (Brazil or Macadamia nuts do well also)
  • ¼ cup clean fresh cilantro leaves, packed
  • ¼ cup clean fresh parsley leaves, packed
  • 6 Anaheim chile peppers (1 cup roasted & seeded)
  • ½ cup Manchego* cheese, trimmed, cubed and grated (have more for sprinkling)
  • 1 tbsp. canned chipotles (smoked jalapeños), puréed (found in Mexican markets)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • 3 dozen large oysters on the half shell
  • 1 lb. rock salt
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley/cilantro mixture
  • lemon or lime wedges for garnish

Roast Anaheim chile peppers over gas flame, charcoal grill or under electric broiler, turning them with metal tongs until just blackened all-over (avoid gray ashes). Place roasted peppers in a bowl, cover and allow them to steam while cooling. Carefully peel the peppers; don't worry if a little of the charred skin remains. Remove the stems, seeds and ribs reserving any rendered roasted pepper juice. NOTE: Always wash hands thoroughly after working with chile peppers and avoid contact with eyes even after washing.

Using a food processor fitted with a metal blade, chop the garlic cloves and then pulse the pecans until coarsely chopped. Add the cilantro and parsley leaves and pulse to chop. Add the cleaned roasted chile peppers and purée. Add the grated Manchego cheese, chil-potle pepper purée, salt, pepper and lime juice and pulse to mix, using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides if necessary. With the food processor running, slowly incorporate the olive oil and the peanut oil (add any reserved roasted pepper juice to taste at this time). Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 475°. Top each oyster generously with the prepared pesto sauce and sprinkle with extra grated Manchego cheese. Arrange oysters on a baking sheet pan lined with the rock salt so that they are all level. Bake at 475° for 6-8 minutes or until lightly golden. Transfer to serving dishes, sprinkle with the chopped parsley/cilantro mixture and garnish with lemon or lime wedges.

* Manchego is a sheep's milk cheese imported from Spain mostly available aged in 3, 6 and 12 month varieties; all of which can be used in this application depending on how sharp you like your cheese.


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Sea Bass With Spanish Salsa Verde

  • 8 portions (6-8 oz.) of skinless sea bass fillet, bone line removed
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil for frying
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 8 thin lemon slices coated in chopped parsley for garnish

For the Spanish Salsa Verde:

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • The juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. powdered mustard
  • 2 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 2 tbsp. minced watercress or spinach
  • 2 tbsp. minced non-pareil capers
  • 2 tbsp. minced chives
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, mashed & minced
  • 2 shallots, peeled, cored and minced
  • 1 cup virgin olive oil

Mix the first five ingredients together in a bowl with a fork to avoid lumps of mustard. Mix in all remaining ingredients except for the oil. Slowly add the olive oil, in a steady stream while whisking vigorously with a wire whisk until blended and slightly thickened. Chill slightly and whisk again before serving.

Season the sea bass fillet portions with salt and pepper and pre-heat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in a large frying pan with an ovenproof handle over high heat until hot, but not smoking. Carefully place the sea bass fillets (top side down) in the pan, one at a time, waiting a little before adding more fillets, to allow heat to recover. Sear for 2-3 minutes, reducing heat if necessary to avoid burning (remove from heat until burner cools if too hot). Using a metal spatula, carefully scrape underneath the first fillet put on, so as to release any sticking without losing any of the seared crust, and turn over. Repeat the process with the remaining fillets.

Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking another 1-2 minutes; carefully add the wine. Thinner fillets will now be cooked, but thicker fillets may need to be placed in the oven and pan-roast for 4-6 minutes or until just barley cooked. Transfer the sea bass fillets to serving dishes and top with the Spanish Salsa Verde. Garnish each portion with a thin lemon slice coated in chopped parsley.

Note: If a frying pan large enough to fit all eight fillets is not available, the fillets can be seared-off in batches and transferred to an ovenproof pan for baking.


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Seafood Lasagna

For the Sherried Béchamel Sauce: (Makes 2½ cups)

  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 3 Tbsp. All-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Whole milk
  • ¼ cup Diced onion, lightly smothered in butter until translucent
  • ½ cup Medium-dry sherry
  • Salt, freshly ground white pepper & ground nutmeg to taste

Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until a smooth paste forms to make a roux. Continue to cook the roux over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the flour is cooked and a faint aroma of baked bread is achieved. Add the onions, then the milk in thirds, blending well with a wire whisk each time and heat the mixture to just below a simmer, again stirring frequently. As the mixture cooks, the béchamel sauce will start to thicken. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, but do not allow boiling as it might separate. Bring the sherry to a boil in a sauté pan and reduce by one-third; add it to the béchamel sauce. Season to taste with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Strain through a fine sieve or a strainer lined with a double thickness of cheese cloth.

For the Seafood Lasagna:
  • 1 lb. Raw 16-20 P&D shrimp, tail sections removed and cut into chunks
  • 1 lb. Can of pasteurized crabmeat, carefully culled of any shells
  • ½ cup Balsamic-marinated Cipolline onions, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup Sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Chopped chives
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. Freshly ground pepper (more to top off the lasagna)
  • 1 lb. Baby spinach leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Large garlic clove, peeled, mashed and minced
  • ¼ cup Finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup Whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • ½ tsp. Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup Shredded Fontina, Provolone and Mozzarella cheese mixture
  • ½ cup Freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 12 Lasagna sheets, cooked al dente, shocked in ice water, drained and blotted dry

Combine the first five ingredients in a mixing bowl and season with half the salt and pepper; set aside.

Place the spinach leaves in a large stock pot or Dutch oven with 2 tablespoons of water and cook, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until leaves are wilted but still bright green. Drain spinach; spread it over a large tray to cool about 5 minutes. Squeeze excess moisture from spinach with hands and chop coarsely. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat; add the garlic and shallots and sauté until wilted; about 3 minutes. Add spinach; toss until spinach is completely dry; about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Cream ricotta in a bowl until smooth; beat in egg yolk. Add the cooled spinach mixture, nutmeg and remaining salt and pepper; stir until combined and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Spread about a third of the Sherried Béchamel sauce over the bottom of an 8 x 10 casserole dish. Cover with four of the lasagna sheets. Spread the spinach/ricotta mixture evenly over the lasagna sheets. Sprinkle half of the Fontina/Provolone/Mozzarella cheese mixture over the spinach. Cover with four more of the lasagna sheets and spread another third of the sauce over them. Evenly distribute the shrimp/crabmeat mixture over the sauce and top with the remaining lasagna sheets. Cover with the remaining sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Fontina/Provolone/Mozzarella cheese mixture and then with the freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Grind some black pepper over the top of the lasagna.

Bake the lasagna at 375°F. for 30-40 minutes or until the topping is golden brown (keep and eye on it, you don't want the top to burn). Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.


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Smoky Salmon Fillets with Smoked Tomato Cream

Most wood sold for smoking will benefit from at least 30 minutes soaking before use. Water is just fine, but beer, wine and fruit juices can add an interesting depth of flavor and aroma. If using a charcoal grill, simply sprinkle the soaked wood chips over the briquettes once they are covered with gray ash. Maintain your grill/smoker at a steady 225°F. for hot smoking; it may be necessary to start more briquettes elsewhere and transfer them to the smoker once they are gray throughout the cooking process to maintain the correct temperature.

Gas grills are difficult to regulate to a sufficiently low temperature for proper smoking - they start at 300°F. However, with a little experimentation, using a cast-iron smoker box (sold at some hardware and specialty barbeque stores or improvise one) placed directly over one of the burners turned to the lowest temperature, usually provides good results.


For the Smoked Tomato Cream: (Makes 1 qt.)

One can enjoy the unique flavor of smoked foods without spending the money on a smoker by simply buying two disposable rectangular aluminum casserole pans (size dependent on volume to be smoked) and a wire rack that will fit in them. The wood chips are spread in the bottom of one of the pans, the sides of the other pan are perforated with a few small holes, and that pan is then placed in the first pan (on top of the wood chips) with the wire rack in it. Items to be smoked are placed on the wire rack, the top is covered with aluminum foil (over the edges of both pans), and the whole rig is placed on a stovetop or BBQ grill. Obviously, no food smoking should be done indoors.

  • 1 cup smoking wood chips, soaked in water at least 30 minutes
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 large vine-ripe tomatoes
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. minced chives
  • Salt & Louisiana hot sauce (Crystal brand or comparable) to taste

Spread smoking chips, rosemary and thyme into smoker and allow to heat until just starting to smoke. While smoker is heating up, remove the core from the tomatoes, cut them in half across their middle, and make a small "x" on the bottom of each of the bottom halves. Place the tomato halves cut-side down on the rack in the smoker. Reduce heat to low and allow to smoke for 10-15 minutes; remove from heat. Remove tomatoes from smoker and remove the skin and seeds.

Reduce the 3 cups of heavy cream to 2 cups in a large, heavy saucepan set over high heat, avoiding boil-over. Place peeled & seeded smoked tomatoes and reduced heavy cream in a food processor and blend thoroughly. Transfer to a saucepan; add the minced chives, season to taste with salt and Louisiana hot sauce, and hold warm until needed.

For the Smoky Salmon:

  • 6-8 salmon fillets (6-8 oz. each), skinless & boneless
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. fresh limejuice
  • 1 cup Mojo Criollo bottled marinade (La Lechonera brand or comparable)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. lemon pepper seasoning
  • Charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid for grilling
  • 1 cup soaked wood chips (hickory, alder, oak, mesquite, citrus, guava, pecan, etc.), drained

Combine all marinade ingredients and marinate salmon fillets at least four hours or overnight. Just before smoke-cooking, season the salmon fillets with the lemon pepper seasoning.

Light the charcoal briquettes in an outdoor grill and allow to burn until gray ashes appear (about 20-30 minutes). Set up the grill (as described on the previous page) for indirect grilling with the wood chips. Char-grill salmon fillets (covered) for 5-7 minutes on each side (depending on thickness and amount of heat) or until browned and fully cooked, taking care to free fillets from grill with a metal spatula before turning. Serve with the Smoked Tomato Cream.


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Wasabi Pea-crusted Tuna Steaks with Sesame Sushi Rice & Ginger Beurre Blanc

For the Ginger Beurre Blanc: (Makes 3 cups)

Items Needed:
  • ½ Small onion, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ lb. Fresh ginger root, sliced and pulsed in a food processor
  • 1 pt. Dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • 1½ cups (1 bottle) ginger beer
  • 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch, dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water
  • ½ lb. Butter, cubed and softened at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha brand Vietnamese chili sauce

Place the chopped onion and ginger root in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Rinse any of the remaining ginger in the processor with the white wine and pour it into the saucepan; add half the salt. Bring the wine to a boil and continue cooking until reduced by half (about 10-15 minutes after boiling).

While the wine is cooking, bring the ginger beer along with the remaining salt to a boil in a large saucepan set over high heat. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and cook, stirring, until thickened and translucent.

Reduce heat to low and strain the infused wine reduction into the thickened ginger beer, pushing any remaining liquid in the onion/ginger pulp out with a small ladle. Blend the mixture well with a wire whisk while simmering the sauce another minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the butter cubes, a few at a time, whisking constantly through the process. Whisk in the Sriracha, adjust salt to taste as needed and keep warm until needed.

For the Asian "Bonding Paint": (Makes 1 cup)

  • 1 Tbsp. Soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Wasabi powder
  • 1 cup Pasteurized egg whites

Blend the soy sauce and wasabi powder in a small bowl, making sure to avoid any lumps. Work in the egg whites, a little at a time at first, until all ingredients are well blended. Keep refriger-ated until ready to use.

For the Sesame Sushi Rice: (Makes 10 cups)

  • 4 cups Short-grain pearl rice, Kokuho rice is best
  • 4½ cups Water
  • 1½ tsp. Kosher salt
For the Sesame Sushi Su:

  • ½ cup Rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Black fermented sesame seeds

Gently wash the rice in a bowl of cold water repeatedly (3-4 times) until the water is clear; drain each time. Combine the measured water, salt and the washed rice in a pot (with good heat distri-bution) with a fitted, weighted lid and let stand for 30 minutes. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and allow it to boil vigorously for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, then reduce to lowest heat and cook another 10 minutes; remove from heat and let stand another 10 minutes. Do not remove the lid from the pot at any time during the entire process.

Transfer the cooked rice to a large, non-reactive bowl and spread it evenly. Make the Sesame Sushi Su by mixing the vinegar, sugar and salt together; sprinkle the rice with the mixture and toss gently, aerating the rice to allow gentle cooling. Cover the Sesame Sushi rice with a damp cloth and hold in a warm oven until ready to use.

For the Wasabi Pea-Crusted Ahi Tuna Steaks:

  • 1 large pack Wasabi peas (available in gourmet or Asian markets)
  • 6-8 8 oz. Ahi tuna steaks
  • Wasabi Crust "Bonding Paint" (as per recipe)
  • Vegetable oil for pan-frying
  • 2 Tbsp. Pickled ginger chiffonade (very thinly sliced)

Carefully pulse the Wasabi Peas in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until a coarse meal texture is achieved. Paint both sides of the tuna steaks with the Asian "Bonding Paint" using a brush. Encrust both sides of the painted tuna steaks with the crushed wasabi peas.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown both sides of the encrusted tuna steaks, in batches if necessary, taking care not to burn the crust, but keeping the heat strong enough to brown without over-cooking the steaks (I like them rare, but cooking time depends on personal preference).

While the tuna is browning, place the Sesame Sushi Rice in the center of serving plates. Care-fully pour the Ginger Beurre Blanc around the rice and sprinkle the surface of the sauce with the pickled ginger chiffonade. Top the rice with the browned tuna steaks and serve. Lightly blanched baby bok choy is a nice accompaniment to this dish.


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Shrimp, Artichoke & Feta Cavatappi Pasta

This is a light, Greek-inspired pasta dish that is perfect for the dog days of summer while still being very satisfying.

Items Needed:
  • ¼ cup Virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup Virgin olive oil
  • 1 Yellow onion, peeled, cored, halved and diced
  • 2 Tbsp. Minced garlic
  • 2 lbs. Jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • ¼ cup Dry Vermouth or other dry white wine
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 can (14 oz.) quartered artichoke hearts, drained (reserve the artichoke brine)
  • 5 Ripe Roma tomatoes*, peeled (by shocking in boiling water) and diced
  • ¼ cup (packed) Fresh basil chiffonade
  • 2 Tbsp. Chopped fresh parsley
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup Crumbled Feta cheese (Bulgarian is the best)
  • 1 lb. Cavatappi pasta, cooked al dente and kept warm

Directions:
Heat half the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Briskly sauté the onion until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and shrimp and cook just until shrimp turn color, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, lemon juice, artichoke hearts and diced tomatoes, mixing thoroughly. When tomatoes have softened, add half the basil, parsley and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, and then fold in half of the Feta cheese. Heat for a minute until the cheese has softened slightly.

Add the remaining olive oil and prepared cavatappi pasta and toss with the sauce mixture until well blended. If a wetter consistency is desired, add some of the reserved artichoke brine as desired. Transfer to a serving dish or portion into individual pasta bowls and garnish with the remaining feta and basil.

*Note: For more intense tomato flavor, substitute with 2 cups of sun-dried tomato strips or roasted tomatoes.

Serves 4


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Grilled Tequila Shrimp

Items Needed:
  • ½ lb. butter, softened at room temperature (do not microwave)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. puréed canned chipotle peppers in adobo (available in Mexican markets)
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 20 raw jumbo shrimp (U-10's), peeled & de-veined, leaving tail tips on
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Tequila or Mezcal
  • ¼ cup tomato juice
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper, seeded & minced
  • 1 tsp. ground annatto (achiote) seeds (found in Latin American markets)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika (found in Latin American markets)

Directions:
Whip the softened butter with 2 tablespoons each of the lime juice and chopped cilantro, and 1 tablespoon of the chipotle puréed and minced garlic until well-blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside with a brush.

Place shrimp in a shallow dish. Combine all the remaining ingredients (including the remaining lime juice, cilantro, chipotle puréed and garlic) and pour over the shrimp. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning shrimp occasionally. Meanwhile, soak wooden skewers in water so they won't burn while grilling over the barbecue.

Skewer shrimp placing 5 shrimp on each skewer; this enables the easy turning of multiple shrimp at once. Grill over a hot fire until lightly browned on each side. Brush the shrimp skewers with the reserved garlic/lime butter, on both sides, move the skewers to the perimeter of the grill (away from direct heat), and allow them to finish cooking. The shrimp can now be pulled off the skewers and served, or, for a spectacular presentation, placed on a pre-heated metal serving platter on the grill and flambéed by sprinkling some more Tequila over the shrimp. Take care to pour the Tequila into a spoon or ladle to flambé in order to keep the combustible bottle away form the open flame.


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Cocoa Spiced Tuna Mignonettes

As the ancient Aztecs used cocoa to spice their foods, I've developed this seasoning to reflect the rich culinary heritage of New World cultures. Try rubbing the cocoa spice blend on meats and seafood before cooking (especially when char-grilling); they not only pick up a nice zesty taste, but the cocoa imparts an interesting dimension and depth of flavor.

For the Cocoa Spice: (Makes ½ cup):
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp. granulated onion
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2½ lbs. skinless & boneless fresh tuna loin, cut into 3-ounce, 1-inch-thick "mignonettes"
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, sliced cross-wise into thin rounds with a sharp paring knife
  • ½ cup Peanut Oil (substitute vegetable oil if desired)
  • ¼ cup Añejo rum
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice (more for the radish/cilantro garnish)
  • Caribbean-style Habañero hot pepper sauce to taste
  • 3 large radishes, trimmed and sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves

Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) until hot but not smoking. Add garlic slices and fry until lightly browned; remove to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.

Mix the Cocoa Spice ingredients together until thoroughly blended. Season the tuna mignonettes in enough of the seasoning to fully coat them. Heat half of the peanut oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.

Lightly brown the tuna mignonettes quickly, in batches, taking care not to have too many pieces in the pan at a time. As each piece of tuna is browned, remove it and place it on a dish. It will be necessary to add more of the reserved peanut oil as you go along.

Deglaze the pan with the rum, flambé it to burn-off some of the alcohol, scraping with a wooden spoon to remove all the browned-up bits and toasted spices. Add the fresh lime juice and hot pepper sauce to taste, drizzle over the tuna mignonettes and transfer them to a serving platter or individual plates lined with baby field greens and hearts of palm tossed in the Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette (recipe to follow). Mix the radish matchsticks and cilantro together with some lime juice and garnish the tuna sauté with the mixture as well as the reserved fried garlic slices.

For the Field Greens with Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette:
  • 1 jar Roasted red peppers (12 oz.), drained (reserve the liquid)
  • 1 Tbsp. Dry mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey
  • ¼ cup Rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. Louisiana hot sauce (Crystal brand or comparable)
  • ½ cup Vegetable oil
  • 10 oz. Baby greens salad mixture
  • 1 can Hearts of palm (14½ oz.), sliced on the bias into ½-inch thick slices

Combine the peppers, mustard, honey, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and hot sauce in a blender or food processor and puree until well blended. With the machine running, slowly add the oil to the mixture in a steady stream; thin out with reserved liquid if desired.

Toss the baby greens and hearts of palm in some of the red pepper vinaigrette as desired.


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Cocoa Spice-Dusted Duck Breast with Dried Berry Gastrique Sauce

As the ancient Aztecs used cocoa to spice their foods, I've developed this seasoning to reflect the rich culinary heritage of New World cultures. The cocoa spice blend works especially well with duck, when served with the Dried Berry Gastrique sauce.

  • 4-8 boneless duck breasts, skin trimmed to the shape of the meat

For the Cocoa Spice: (Makes ½ cup):
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp. granulated onion
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander

Mix all Cocoa Spice ingredients together until well blended. Score duck breast skin in parallel lines ¼-inch apart (do not cut into breast meat) Rotate breasts and score again, making a criss-cross pattern; season both sides with the Cocoa Spice.

Preheat a large, non-stick pan set over medium-low heat. Place scored and seasoned duck breasts skin-side down in the hot pan and cook 8-12 minutes or until fat is rendered and skin is crisp and brown. Turn breasts over and cook another 4-6 minutes depending on desired doneness. Serve with the Dried Berry Gastrique sauce.

For the Dried Berry Gastrique Sauce: (Makes 2½ cups):
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup dry red wine (preferably a fruit-driven New World-style Pinot Noir or Zinfandel)
  • 1 package (3 oz.) dried cranberries
  • 1 package (3 oz.) dried blueberries
  • 1 cup duck/veal/chicken demi-glace (home-made or More Than Gourmet brand or comparable)
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large, heavy sauce pan, caramelize the sugar to a light brown color. Add the red wine vinegar and the red wine (the caramel will harden and crack) and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, cooking over medium-high heat until the caramel is dissolved; allow the mixture to come to a boil. Add both packages of dried berries, reduce heat, and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Add the demi-glace and continue simmering another 3-5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper before serving.


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Chicken Molé

  • 2 3½-4 lb. stewing chickens, cut into eights
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves
  • 4 Dried pasilla chilies
  • 4 Dried mulato chilies
  • 6 Dried ancho chilies
  • ¼ cup Bacon grease
  • 1 qt. Chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp. Minced garlic
  • ½ cup Raisins
  • ½ cup Sesame seeds, lightly toasted in a dry sauté pan set over medium-high heat
  • 1 cup Blanched almonds, lightly toasted in a dry sauté pan set over medium-high heat
  • ½ tsp. Aniseed
  • ½ tsp. Ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. Ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp. Ground cloves
  • 4 Vine-ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded & coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup Cornmeal
  • 1¾ cups Chicken stock (reserved chicken cooking broth flavored to taste with chicken base)
  • 3 oz. Bitter-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions:
Place the chicken pieces in a Dutch oven set over high heat with the salt, bay leaves and enough water to cover; bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, cut all the dried chilies in half, remove all the veins and seeds and discard them. Tear the chilies into small pieces and place in a small bowl. When the 20 minutes are up, strain the chicken pieces through a colander set over a large bowl to reserve the cooking liquid and place them on a sheet pan to cool to room temperature. Add enough of the hot chicken cooking broth to cover the chilies and set aside to soak for 45 minutes.

Turn on oven to warm setting. Heat the bacon grease in the Dutch oven set over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken pieces, a few at a time, and brown them on all sides in batches as necessary to avoid burning the bottom of the pot. Transfer browned chicken pieces to a covered roasting pan or casserole dish and keep warm in the oven until needed.

Add the onions to the Dutch oven immediately after removing the last chicken pieces and cook, stirring, for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned. Add a little of the reserved chicken cooking broth to deglaze the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon if and when necessary. Add the garlic, raisins, sesame seeds, almonds, aniseed, cumin, coriander and cloves; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, another 5-7 minutes. Mix in the chopped tomatoes, chilies and their soaking liquid and continue cooking another 5-7 minutes.

Puree the entire mixture in a food processor (in batches if necessary) fitted with a metal blade and return to the Dutch oven set over high heat. Mix in the cornmeal and chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the choco-late; stir until melted, return the reserved browned chicken pieces to the Mole sauce and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and/or hot sauce as desired before serving.


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Vanilla Rubbed, Cocoa Spice-Dusted, Grilled Mahi-Mahi

  • 8 mahi-mahi (dolphin fish) fillets (6-8 oz. each), skinless and boneless; about 1 inch thick
  • 3 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • Charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid for char-grilling

For the Cocoa Spice Blend:
  • 2 Tbsp. Unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Chili powder
  • 2 tsp. Granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp. Granulated onion
  • 1 tsp. Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. Ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Whole thyme
  • 1 tsp. Ground coriander

Directions:
Rub each mahi-mahi fillet with approximately 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract. Mix all the Cocoa Spice Blend ingredients together and season each fillet generously with the mixture.

Light the charcoal briquettes in an outdoor grill and allow to burn until gray ashes appear (about 20-30 minutes). Char-grill the mahi-mahi fillets until browned on each side, taking care to free them from the grill with a metal spatula before turning.

Serves 8


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Quick-Roasted Brined Turkey

Brining a turkey is the best way to guarantee moist, tender meat, as the electrically charged ions in the saltwater plump up the muscle tissue allowing it to absorb the mixture (which can be flavored as desired) through capillary action. This changes the structure of the proteins, preventing the extra moisture from escaping during roasting. Turkeys can be bought already brined, but I prefer doing it myself. Reduce the salt by half to 1 cup if brining for 24 hours.

Items Needed:
  • 2 cups Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Granulated garlic powder (optional)
  • 2 gals. Cold water
  • 6 2-lb. frozen ice packs (make sure they are not compromised; avoid any leaking) — optional
  • 1 12-14 lb. turkey, fully thawed if frozen (fresh, organic turkeys are best)
  • 1 cup each Coarsely chunked onions, celery, lemons and apples
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh thyme leaves (packed)
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh sage chiffonade (packed)
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh coarsely chopped parsley (packed)
  • 1 tsp. Cracked black pepper
  • ¼ lb. Butter, melted
  • Dry, white wine, as needed

Directions:
Using gloved hands, remove the giblets (reserve for stock/giblet gravy), rinse and pat-dry (with paper towels) the cavity of the turkey. Mix the kosher salt, granulated garlic, and two gallons of cold water in a 5-gallon bucket or container with a cover. Carefully immerse the turkey in the brine, cover, and chill for 8-10 hours.

Cooler method: If refrigeration space is at a premium, mix the brine in a 5-gallon cooler, immerse the turkey, place a frozen ice pack into the brine at each corner of the cooler, top the turkey with the two remaining ice packs, cover, and soak for 8-10 hours.

Preheat oven to 450F. Using gloved hands, remove the turkey from the brine and transfer to a clean work surface (I line it with aluminum foil for safe/easy clean-up). Mix the onions, celery, lemons and apples with the thyme, sage and cracked pepper to make an aromatic mirepoix, and place loosely in the cavity of the turkey. Rub the outside with melted butter (save a little for the foil) and season lightly with kosher salt and black pepper only.

Place a poultry rack in a heavy roasting pan, line it with aluminum foil and brush the foil with melted butter. Carefully place the turkey, breast-down, on to the prepared rack. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the roasting pan by a ½-inch (do not allow to go dry throughout roasting), place in the bottom rung of a pre-heated 450 oven, and roast for 30 minutes.

Open the oven, carefully pull out the oven rack half-way, and using two cook's tongs, turn the turkey a quarter-turn so that it is on its side. Sprinkle the turkey liberally with the wine, slide back the rack, and roast another 15-20 minutes. Repeat the process on the other side for another 15-20 minutes. Repeat the process one last time, with the breast-side up, for 30 minutes longer.

Check for an internal temperature of 155F. at the joint where the thigh meets the body (carry-over cooking will take it the rest of the way as it is resting). By using this roasting method a 12-14 pound turkey can be roasted perfectly brown and crisp while moist and tender in 1½-2 hours.


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The Perfect Prime Rib

First start with the finest USDA Boneless Prime Rib from AJ's Butcher's Corner

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Heat a large roasting pan over two burners at medium-high heat.

Place roast in hot pan and cook 6-8 minutes until browned on all sides. This can also be done on an outdoor grill. The purpose of this is to sear the outside of the roast and seal in the moisture.

Remove roast from pan and season generously with olive oil and Snyder's Prime Rib seasoning (or other seasoning).

Place roast in a large roasting pan. Place roast on lower rack and cook about 12 minutes per pound, or until meat thermometer registers 130°F.

Let stand 20 minutes before slicing.


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The Perfect Steak

Steaks from prime- or choice-grade meat are more tender. To retain moisture and flavor, tender meat needs the dry, intense heat of grilling, broiling, searing or roasting.

The steak's thickness determines how close the meat needs to be to the heat. You want to coordinate a nicely seared surface with the right degree of doneness inside. Cook thin steaks very close to the heat; thick steaks farther away. For example, you wouldn't broil a 6oz filet; by the time the surface was seared, the inside would be overcooked. Pan-searing or roasting in a heavy skillet would be a better choice; this gives the meat more contact with hot metal. Some cuts get the best results from a combination of cooking methods.


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Coffee & Chocolate Crusted Tenderloin with Juniper Berry Merlot Sauce

Items Needed:
  • 1 beef tenderloin trimmed and denuded
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ½ cup finely ground coffee beans
  • ¼ cup Hershey's Cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cloves
  • ½ Tbsp. brown sugar
  • ½ Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cracked black pepper

Items Needed for the Sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp. shallots, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup Merlot wine
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • Drippings from the roast
  • 1 Tbsp. of the rub (from other side)
  • 4 Juniper berries (available in the dry spice aisle)
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients to make a rub. Save 1 Tbsp. of this rub to flavor the sauce.

Coat the tenderloin with oil, then evenly and generously cover it with the rub.

Marinade it for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Place the tenderloin on a rack, in a roasting pan and roast for 10 minutes.

Reduce temperature to 225°F and continue roasting until desired doneness. With thermometer inserted in the thickest part, should read: 120°F for rare, 130°F for medium, 140° for well done).

Let rest for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with sauce.

Directions for the Sauce:
In skillet, sauté the shallots in olive oil.

Over high heat, deglaze the pan with wine.

Reduce the heat; add the beef broth and the drippings from the roast.

Add 1 Tbsp. of rub, the Juniper berries, reduce the sauce to desired consistency and check the seasoning.

Strain the sauce, if desired, and finish it off with the cream.

Serves 6 - 8


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Grilled Spicy New York Strip Steak With Chocolate Merlot Sauce

Items Needed for the Sauce:
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 jalape&ntild;o pepper, minced
  • 1 ½ cups Merlot
  • 1 Tbsp. dry onion soup mix (gluten-free)
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Items Needed for the Steak:
  • 4 New York strip steaks (1 inch thick)
  • ¼ cup taco seasoning mix

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.

Add onion, garlic and jalapeno, sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add Merlot to pan, (away from flame). Reduce wine by half over high heat.

Reduce heat to low and stir in soup mix and chocolate. Stir until smooth.

Strain chocolate sauce if you desire a smooth consistency.

Keep warm on very low heat until ready to serve.

Preheat grill or broiler to high heat. Season steaks with taco seasoning, grill or broil to desired doneness.

Serve steaks with chocolate Merlot sauce.

Serves 4


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Stuffed Roast Turkey

For uniform cooking results, the USDA recommends cooking the stuffing outside of the bird. If you prefer stuffing the turkey, stuff loosely and follow the steps below.


Preheat oven to 325°F. Check the wrapper to see how much the turkey weighs and determine approximate cooking time (see chart below). Remove the giblet bag from the breast and remove the neck from the turkey cavity. Wash the turkey inside and out and pat skin dry with paper towels.

Mix stuffing and lightly fill cavity. Allow ½ to ¾ cup stuffing per pound of turkey. It is safer to understuff than to overstuff the turkey. Stuffing expands during cooking. Refrigerate any leftover stuffing and bake in greased casserole during the last hour of turkey roasting time.

Place turkey breast side up on a rack in a shallow (about 2 inches deep) roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer in thigh. Add up to ½ cup water to the bottom of the pan, if desired.

Cover turkey loosely with a tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Cooking time takes longer for a stuffed turkey. For example, a 20-pound stuffed turkey will take 4 ¼ to 5 ¼ hours to cook. (See timetable below).

Remove the foil cover after about 1 to 1 ½ hours of cooking to brown the skin. Brush with vegetable oil to enhance browning, if desired.

A whole turkey is done when the temperature in the innermost part of the thigh reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165°F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the temperature in the thickest part of the breast, the wing and the stuffing. The stuffing must reach 165°F or higher; if it is not, return it to the oven and continue cooking.

Check the internal temperature of the stuffing. Insert the thermometer through the cavity into the thickest part of the stuffing and leave it for 5 minutes. Or use an instant read thermometer which will register the temperature after 15 seconds. The stuffing temperature will rise a few degrees after the turkey is removed from the oven. If the center of the stuffing has not reached 165°F after stand time, return the turkey to the oven and continue cooking.

Allow turkey to set 20 minutes before removing stuffing and carving to allow juices to saturate the meat evenly.

USDA Roasting Timetable for Fresh or Thawed Turkey at 325°F.
These times are approximate and should always be used in conjunction with a properly placed thermometer. The USDA does not recommend cooking turkey in an oven set lower than 325°F.




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Chicken Molé

Items Needed:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup flour seasoned with salt, pepper, and a pinch of ground cloves and cinnamon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 oz dry sherry
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • Spices: (ground cloves, chili powder, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, cumin, and cinnamon)
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. prepared molé (optional)

Directions:
Coat the chicken with the seasoned flour, and sauté it in oil until golden brown on both sides. Place them in an oven-safe dish and bake them until fully cooked to 170°F.

In the same pan, add onion and garlic, then sauté over high heat until caramelized.

Deglaze it with the sherry; add the cocoa powder, tomato paste, chicken broth, a dash of each spice, and the prepared molé if you choose to use it.

Reduce and stir the sauce until slightly thickened; adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Transfer the chicken to a warm serving plate, and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Serves 4


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Smoked Pork Ribs with Papaya-Rum BBQ Sauce

Most wood sold for smoking will benefit from at least 30 minutes soaking before use. Water is just fine, but beer, wine and fruit juices can add an interesting depth of flavor and aroma. If using a charcoal grill, simply sprinkle the soaked wood chips over the briquettes once they are covered with gray ash. Maintain your grill/smoker at a steady 225°F for hot smoking; it may be necessary to start more briquettes elsewhere and transfer them to the smoker once they are gray throughout the cooking process to maintain the correct temperature.

Gas grills are difficult to regulate to a sufficiently low temperature for proper smoking — they start at 300°F. However, with a little experimentation, using a cast-iron smoker box (sold at some hardware and specialty barbeque stores or improvise one) placed directly over one of the burners turned to the lowest temperature, usually provides good results.

Items Needed for the Ribs:
  • 6 racks pork ribs (4-6 lbs. baby back ribs or 6-8 lbs. spareribs), skinned
  • 2 cups soaked wood chips (hickory, alder, oak, mesquite, citrus, guava, pecan, etc.), drained

Items Needed for the Rub:
  • ¼ cup Spanish paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. granulated onion
  • 2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 tsp. dried whole thyme

Items Needed for the Papaya-Rum BBQ Sauce (makes 6 cups)
  • 1 lb. smoked bacon, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 large onion, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 oranges, zest & juice (zest can be removed with a potato peeler and minced)
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup Mojo Criollo marinade sauce (La Lechonera,Goya,Badia brands or comparable)
  • 1 cup amber rum
  • 2 cups ripe papaya purée
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 cup Ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. Louisiana hot sauce (Crystal brand or comparable)
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. malt vinegar (substitute cider vinegar if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp. dry mustard (dissolved separately in the vinegar)

Directions:
Blend all rub ingredients well in a mixing bowl. On a sheet pan, rub two-thirds of the mixture over the skinned ribs on both sides, stacking them as necessary. Cover, refrigerate, and let marinade 4-8 hours.

Set up the grill (as described above) for indirect grilling using half the wood chips. Arrange the marinated ribs on the grill grates, cover, and smoke-cook the ribs for 1 hour (prepare the Papaya-Rum BBQ Sauce during this time).

After the first hour, brush the ribs lightly with the Papaya-Rum BBQ Sauce, add the remaining wood chips (to either the coals or the smoker box), and continue smoke-cooking for 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours longer depending on the ribs used. The ribs are done when the meat is tender and has shrunk back from the ends of the bones. Fifteen minutes from the end, sprinkle the remaining spice rub mixture on both sides of the ribs.

Place the rib racks, one at a time, on a cutting board, cut them in half, and cut three-quarters of the way through between the bones before transferring them to a serving platter for ease of eating. Serve the Papaya-Rum BBQ Sauce on the side so everyone can use the amount they prefer.

Directions for the Papaya-Rum BBQ Sauce:
In a large heavy sauce pan, sauté the bacon until browned over medium-high heat. Carefully remove all but ¼ cup of rendered fat. Add the garlic and onion and continue to cook for 4-6 minutes or until onion is caramelized. Add the orange zest and sauté another minute. Add the brown sugar and cook 2-3 minutes.

Add the salt, deglaze with the orange juice and cook another 3-5 minutes to reduce the volume of the juice. Add all remaining ingredients; reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes. The sauce can be served as is for a rustic approach, or puréed in a food processor and strained in a basket strainer for a more elegant sauce.

Serves 6


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Grilled Vegetable Kabobs

Items Needed:
  • 1 package of AJ's ready-to-grill vegetable kabobs - or -
  • 1 pound of vegetables such as asparagus, portobello mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, red onions
  • 4 to 6 metal skewers

Directions:
Cut fresh vegetables into chunks and place onto skewer.

Preheat the grill, and lightly brush it with oil to prevent sticking.

Brush kabobs with oil, season with salt and pepper and grill over moderate heat, turning, until golden brown and tender, about 4 minutes. (You may use a grilling basket for easier grilling to keep them out of the fire.)

Transfer to a platter; and finish them with your favorite topping.

Suggested Toppings:
Traditional - 2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil, one minced garlic clove, salt and pepper to taste; mix all ingredients well, and drizzle over the kabobs. Top with parmesan shavings.

Oriental - 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil, 1 Tbsp. of tamari, 1 Tbsp. of rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Mix all ingredients well, and drizzle over the kabobs; top with sesame seeds.

AJ's Special - ½ cup of fresh cilantro sprigs, ½ cup of fresh basil leaves, a few chopped fresh chives, ¼ cup of toasted pine nuts, ¼ cup fresh, finely grated parmesan cheese, ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil. puree herbs, nuts, parmesan, oil, and garlic in a food processor until smooth; salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle over the kabobs.

Serves 2 - 4


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Choucroute Garni

Items Needed:
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 10 juniper berries (or ¼ cup gin)
  • 15 black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced thin
  • ½ lb. smoked bacon, cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick strips
  • 7 cups sauerkraut (use a good jarred/bagged variety), rinsed well and drained
  • 1 large smoked ham shank (substitute, two ham hocks or knuckles)
  • 3 cups Alsatian Riesling (or other aromatic dry white wine)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 lbs. waxy potatoes (Yukon Gold or red), peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs. precooked sausages (such as weisswurst, bratwurst, kielbasa, knackwurst or bauernwurst), cut into 1-inch sections
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Coarse-grained mustard and crusty French bread for garnish

Directions:
Combine the first eight ingredients in a strip on cheese cloth and tie into a sachet.

Heat the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and bacon and cook until soft. Add the sauerkraut and toss well. Bury the ham shank and herb sachet in the mixture. Add the wine and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and braise gently over low heat for 2 hours. Even with the lid on, the scent of simmering sauerkraut will permeate your kitchen and most of your home; this is a good thing.

Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan over medium heat and brown the sausages, working in batches if necessary. Submerge the potatoes and sausages in the sauerkraut and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately with bread, plenty of mustard and plenty of beer or Alsatian white wine!


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Italian Red Gravy (Braised Meat Tomato Sauce)

Items Needed:
  • 12 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 3 lbs. bone-in country-style pork ribs, sawed in half by the butcher
  • 3 lbs. lamb shanks, sawed into thirds by the butcher
  • 3 lbs. bone-in chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes by the butcher
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to season the meat
  • 2 lbs. Italian sausages, halved
  • 1 qt. diced yellow onion
  • 1 lb. sliced crimini (baby bellas) mushrooms
  • 1 bottle (750 ml.) dry, red wine (chianti, rioja, St. Émilion, or comparable)
  • 3 cups (1-28 oz. net wt. can) crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups (1-28 oz. net wt. can) canned tomato puree
  • 3 3/4 cups (1-35 oz. net wt. can) canned plum tomatoes, chopped well
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ lb. wedge parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino romano cheese, quartered
  • ¼ cup dried oregano leaves
  • ¼ cup dried basil leaves
  • 6 large Turkish bay leaves
  • 2 ½ cups (2-12 oz. net wt. cans) tomato paste
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 large bunch each of fresh basil and Italian parsley (leaves only), chopped
  • Grated parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino romano cheese, to serve at the table


Directions:
Brown the sliced garlic cloves with the olive oil until lightly golden in a large, deep skillet and reserve. Sprinkle meats with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Brown all sides of all meats and sausage (in stages) in the hot oil and transfer equally to two large (9-quart), heavy, non-reactive stockpots. After finishing the last batch, quickly add the onions and mushrooms and sauté for 3-5 minutes, rubbing the bottom with a wooden spoon, taking care not to burn the bottom of the pan (add some of the wine to deglaze). Add all the remaining ingredients (including the reserved browned garlic cloves) except for the tomato paste, chicken stock, fresh basil and parsley, and continue to cook another 3-5 minutes, freeing any bits of browned meat from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon.


Divide the mixture in half and transfer equally to the two stockpots set over medium-high heat. Mix the tomato paste with the chicken stock in stages (to avoid lumps) in a large mixing bowl; transfer equally to the stockpots and mix well. Bring the mixtures to a rolling boil, then lower the heat on both stockpots to just a slow simmer. Cook the mixture, stirring the bottom of the pots occasionally, for 2 ½-3 hours, or until all meats are tender. Remove the meats from the sauce to a serving platter, cover, and hold in a warm oven. Combine the remaining sauce to one stockpot, add the reserved fresh basil and parsley, adjust seasoning to taste, and remove from heat. Place the meat platter in the center of your table and serve with the red gravy, cooked Mostaccioli pasta, and grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese.


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Garlic & Herb-Crusted Prime Rib with Sherried Jus Lyé

Items Needed:
  • 1 Bone-In Rib Roast from AJ's Fine Foods (wet-aged or dry-aged; where available) with chime bone removed (for easy carving), the roast separated from the bone rack, kernel and excess fat removed (from the inside of the rib eye itself), seasoned inside and out, and the rib roast tied back to the bone rack. Set at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • 8 Large cloves of garlic, peeled and trimmed of tough root end
  • ¼ cup Fresh rosemary leaves
  • ¼ cup Fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup Fresh parsley, coarse stems removed
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups Dry sherry
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 qt. Beef broth (canned or made with Better Than Bouillon brand base or comparable)
  • 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
Position oven rack on the lowest level in the oven and preheat to 450°F.

Place the garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, mustard, salt and pepper, along with two tablespoons of the sherry into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process into a coarse paste. Smear the paste over the top and sides of the rib roast. Place the roast bone-side-down in a heavy roasting pan large enough to capture all rendered fat, add a cup of water and place in the pre-heated oven.

Roast at 450°F for 15-20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue roasting for 1½-2 hours or until a thermometer with the tip inserted to the center of the roast reaches 125 °F (this allows for "carry-over" cooking). Transfer the roasted prime rib to a serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 20 minutes while preparing the Sherried Jus Lyé.

Carefully pour cooking juices into a heat-proof container with a relatively small diameter and set aside. Place the roasting pan on the stove set over medium-high heat. Add the remaining sherry and bay leaves and cook, rubbing all browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan loose with a wooden spatula or spoon. Dissolve the cornstarch completely in a half-cup of the cold beef broth (making a slurry) and set aside. Decant as much fat (reserve to make Yorkshire Pudding) as possible off the reserved cooking juices, return them to the roasting pan along with the remaining beef broth, any juice collected in the platter and the Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Slowly blend the cornstarch slurry into the boiling broth with a wire whisk and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened and translucent. Strain the thickened juices into a warm gravy bowl. Cut the twine off the roast, transfer it to a cutting board, carve and serve with the Sherried Jus Lyé.

Serves 10-12


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