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Friday, December 24, 2021

Bone in Holiday Ribeye/ Sweet and Sour Green Beans for the Win, Whose Cider You On!

 


If you've tired of the traditional fare that comes with the holidays, grab a Ribeye and get the party started right!  I have a Blackstone griddle and grill/griddle combination pans, so bringing this recipe to life is a cinch.  A nice cast iron skillet with the ribbed bottom can get this lovely protein to center stage also, which is what I used for the featured photo.
All you have to do is whip up a quick marinade using soy sauce, apple cider or unsweetened apple juice, smashed garlic, onion powder and some black garlic paste with tomato puree and dash of liquid smoke, Hickory or Mesquite.  After marinating for 30 minutes at room temperature or longer, pat the Ribeye dry, SPST ( Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)  and introduce it to a screaming hot grill pan or griddle.  Let the protein go unbothered for about 4 minutes.  After the 4 minutes, using two pairs of tongs, pick up the steak and turn it 1/4 turn of the pan.  This will give you the signature grill type marks some associate with a restaurant quality steak, also referred to as crosshatches. 
A Crosshatch pattern presents as tiny squares, particularly in a grill pan with a grid looking arrangement, like the longer, combination griddle.  At this point 4 more minutes will have passed and you are ready to flip.  I like to put a lid or tinted foil on the pan to encourage all around cooking and reduce splatter, but of course, do what's best for your cooking style.  Once the steak has gone for several more minutes, depending on doneness desired, you are free to use your tongs to sear off the sides of your steak. 
Generally, I prefer my steaks medium rare, but for Ribeyes, I like to take them to medium.  Finish your  Ribeye off with a pat of cultured butter.  Allow your steak to rest for a full 5 minutes under tented foil to allow for redistribution of the delicious juices.  
While the pan is still hot, toss in your green beans and saute them for about 3 minutes.  Add a splash of seasoned rice vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil.  SPST.
Your mega meal in a flash is ready to go.  Smashed or mashed potatoes and a beautiful green salad will complete your masterpiece!  This featured steak will serve two, but that is a  decision you make, Enjoy

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Three Mushroom Sachets#Perfect Day

 

During the month of December, I was fortunate enough to participate in an exclusive trial of a revolutionary new product to the food world, Animal Free Cream Cheese.  I know it sounds bizarre, but the creators at Perfect Day did just that, creating a smooth, creamy, flavorful and versatile product, suitable for replacing a traditional animal based cream cheese in virtually any recipe.  Using a process of fermentation, scientists were able to isolate the milk protein and extract it, serving as the building blocks for the creation of this imaginative and quite genius spread.  

Through the resourcefulness of Chef's Roll, an industry leading hub for Chefs, both at home and professional, restaurant employees, restaurateurs, foodies, small businesses, Culinarians and the like, plus a bevy of sponsors with amazing products.  I was selected as one of only 100 chefs to participate in the opportunity to develop recipes in two categories for this soon to be trending food item.  Many thanks to both for a key ingredient and inspiration for this featured recipe, Vegan Three Mushroom Sachets.  


I wanted to showcase this wonderful animal free cream cheese with a recipe that would not hide its delicious taste and texture.  After a bit of research, I found inspiration in the Middle Eastern Borek, which is a pastry filled with either meats, cheeses or a sweet filling.  Phyllo dough is used, which is naturally Vegan and that was certainly an attribute to the dish as a whole.  I chose to create these almost hand pie- like pouches, filled with Perfect Day Animal Free Cream Cheese and meaty, earthy mushrooms, three types actually; Baby Bella, Button (8 oz. each) and the piece de resistance of the three, Black Morels, (5 small or about 2 oz.) which I personally foraged, dehydrated and stored from an anomaly of a season past.  I foraged almost 200 in one area!! This was especially satisfying, since I'd only collected 3 from the wild, before this moist and cool, late March mid morning.  Procurement of the Morels is a story for another day, so I must dial back my ADHD to the experience at hand haha, you can read about it here anytime though, just search Morels and Foraging on my page for stories and the recipes they inspired! 

I started this featured recipe by gently cooking about 2 tbsp. minced yellow onion and pressed, minced garlic, 2 cloves, until soft and translucent., about 6 minutes.    I used a plant butter for this part.  After sauteing the thinly sliced mushrooms in a bit of roasted Walnut oil with a tad of extra virgin olive oil, I de-glazed with a small portion of the mushroom water from re-hydrating the Morels, about 1/4 c. and cooked out the excess moisture.  I combined them with the chiffonade of fresh sage and mint, about 1 tsp. sage and 1/2 tsp. mint.  I added 1/4 c. nutritional yeast for body and flavor reminiscent to that of Aged Parmesan.  I then folded the veggie blends into the AF cream cheese. SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste).  I used Himalayan Pink Salt, fine grain, for lots of beneficial trace minerals and harmonious balance with the mushrooms.

Additionally, you can elevate the filling even more by using a counter top smoker and smoking the cheese blend before placing the filling in the pastry.  I used double sheets of the Phyllo dough to make the sachets, placing 2 tbsp. portions in the center and folding over to the ends, and then folding the outer sleeves under the filled portions.  I brushed them with plant butter, during and after.  Bake the sachets on parchment paper lined baking sheet for about 25 minutes in a 375* convection oven until golden.

  

Vegan Three 'Shroom Sachets with Perfect Day

Delicious warm or at room temperature.  Makes 10 sachets or you can reduce the portions to about 1 tsp. each and make appetizer servings.  

This dish is just perfect as is or as a vegan main course alongside a nice gourmet greens salad with cranberries and roasted pecans.  Additionally, the appetizer portions will go well at ANY social, dinner or occasion where food and wine is involved, even the strict carnivores can appreciate this dish.   My tasters approved unanimously, myself included.




Flaky, Delicious, Hearty and Vegan with Perfect Day AF Cream Cheese



Sunday, December 19, 2021

Holiday Pull Apart Brunch Casserole




 Casseroles are a delicious and affordable way to get meals on the table in a timely fashion.  They are awesome because they can be made ahead and modified easily to fit any palate.  Generally speaking, breakfast casseroles are popular and filling, especially for brunch or even dinners, by adding a simple green or fruit salad for accompaniment.  It's always nice when we can present our meals with a little flair to peak the interest of our sometimes unimpressed brood, often familiar with dishes that can be correlated to the day of the week.  I once dated a guy whose mom was on one such schedule.  If ever I was unsure of the day of the week, I simply noted what she was serving for dinner, i.e. Fast Food Friday or Hotdogs, baked beans and mac/cheese Wednesday, you get the drift.  She was a mother of two, wife and full time at a busy office, so understandably devised a routine, passe to her household, but admirable to me.  

They were well versed in the almost robotic menu, so they never seemed excited for dinner.  The following recipe is to help divert one such outcome, using tater tots as the border, sides and crust.  They have been partially thawed and some are crumbled into the bottom, while others are stacked to create crust.  The finished border may be plucked off and dipped in your favorite sauce or ketchup, while the rest serves as the vessel to hold the delicious and savory ingredients, married through staples like sharp cheddar, green onion and local, fresh eggs.  I used a 2 lb. bag of tater tots, partially thawed,  for this recipe.  
Serves Plenty.

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Smokinhotchef
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