Monday, April 30, 2012

Grilled Steak and Gorgonzola Salad

I absolutely love to make salad dressings, but Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette is so good that I decided to omit the recipes vinaigrette. I knew that the blush wine vinaigrette would go perfectly with this salad.

Grilled Steak and Gorgonzola Salad
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light 

1-2 rib steaks
2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon cascabel pepper flakes

lettuce, chopped
cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
red bell pepper, sliced
red onion, thinly sliced
brianna's blush wine vinaigrette
gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

  • Combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cascabel pepper flakes and rub evenly over both sides of the steak.
  • Heat a grill to 400 degrees and cook the steak on each side for about 5 minutes. Place the steak on a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut across the grain into thin slices.
  • Combine lettuce, cucumber, bell pepper, and red onion in a large bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to coat. Top the salad with steak and gorgonzola cheese.

The steak was cooked perfectly... I love our grill!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tuna Subs

It's really odd being done with my 2nd semester of culinary classes, but also refreshing! I'm so happy to have a break even though I'm starting summer school in a little less than 2 weeks. If I didn't have extra work to keep me busy, I might go out of my mind!

Anyway, onto something more delicious! Tuna subs... I love them. Really the only place I've ever had one though is from Subway. I always load it up with vegetables so it tastes super fresh, it's delightful.

Tuna Subs

sub rolls
tomatoes, sliced
lettuce, shredded
green peppers, thinly sliced
onion, thinly sliced
olives, sliced

  • Spread mayonnaise lightly on both sides of the sub roll.
  • Put a few scoops of the tuna salad on the bottom, add some lettuce, tomato, green pepper and onion slices, olives and pepperoncinis.

It's too simple not to make at home!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Potato and Cascabel-Crusted Halibut with Mango-Carrot Broth and Mango Salsa

While I was at work last week, I was discussing food with my manager. We got on the subject of peppers and he introduced me to the cascabel. I had no idea what they were and he was nice enough to bring me a bag of dried ones so that I could use them. Cascabel peppers have a smoky flavor and are mildly spicy. This just means they aren't going to overpower a dish with spiciness but will add a nice smokiness. Plus, I love finding new ways to use halibut and when I saw this recipe, I got super excited.

Potato and Cascabel-Crusted Halibut with Mango-Carrot Broth and Mango Salsa
Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay

3-6 halibut fillets, deboned and skinned
salt and pepper, for seasoning the fish
1 potato, peeled and shredded
cascabel pepper powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
carrot-mango broth {recipe below}
mango salsa {recipe below}

  • Season the fillet on both sides, to taste, with salt and pepper. Cover the flesh side with a thin layer of the shredded potatoes, pressing down so it adheres, and sprinkle with the cascabel pepper powder. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Cook the fillets, potato-side down, until the potatoes are lightly browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, turn the fillets, and cook until done to taste, about 3-4 minutes. 
  • Pour some of the mango-carrot broth onto a plate or into a bowl, place a fillet on top and then top with the salsa.

Carrot-Mango Broth:

2 cups mango juice
2 cups carrot juice
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds, toasted 
1 serrano chile
salt and white pepper, to taste

  • In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the juices, coriander and chile and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes, or until reduced by half. 
  • Strain through a fine strainer and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mango Salsa:

2 mangos, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped 
2 scallions, finely sliced
2 tablespoons red pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon jalapeno, finely diced
2 tablespoons lime juice 
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
salt, to taste

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and season with salt.



SLC Food Field Trip

What a great day full of new and interesting things introduced to me. Our instructor took us on a field trip to explore some of the companies we use to get our products from. First, we went to Copper Canyon Farms which has been providing regular and specialty produce around Utah for over 100 years. One awesome thing about them is that they also take the time to cut the produce down, so julienne or dice for a customers convenience. And, at the request of the customer, they will divide cases into smaller parcels so that the customer doesn't have to waste a whole case of an item. Within the last few years, they have started carrying baking items, cheeses and meats as well as fruit purees.

We then went to Creminelli Fine Meats. Walking into the front door, a sweet smell lingered. I was already excited to just get into the room where the salamis were hanging and even sample some! We had a nice tour around their facility, which is huge. Their production area seems like a fun place to be, a group of people with different tasks... butchering the meat off the bone, cutting and mixing and then stuffing it into natural beef casings and tying. Their salamis are made with the pig's sirloin and belly, no by products, which makes the price of each salami more worth it. I'm a supporter of people that want to make their products stand out from the rest, and they really do that at this company. The meats are hung in climate controlled rooms and age dried for 30-90 days depending on the salami. The smells in the hallways between each room was great, it almost smelled like a ripe piece of brie. Luckily, we did get samples of coppa, sopressata and {the one I can't remember}. I loved the coppa because it's just capicola that hasn't been cooked. Mmmm.

We didn't have enough time to go to Wasatch Meats, so instead, we headed to Ocean Beauty Seafood. This awesome company provides ton of fresh seafood to Utah, including our program. We watched one of the employees fillet a halibut, salmon and sea bass... I was so amazed by how accurate and beautify he did it. One nice thing is that Ocean Beauty is open to the public to make orders, the same goes for Copper Canyon!

And for the grand finale, we went to eat lunch at Tony Caputo's Market and Deli. I'm so glad we went there because I've heard great things about their products and have been wanting to explore it. It's a very popular spot for lunch and has a great selection of salads, sandwiches and pastas. I had 'The Soprano'. My first reasoning was because it had capicola {my favorite!} and then a red pepper spread. It was a great sandwich and I hope to eat it again. After lunch, we did a little shopping. I picked up some great items that I've been missing. One of them being duck pate, and of course you can't have pate without a fresh baguette. The bread supplied to Caputo's is from Crumb Brothers Artisan Bread and reminds me of when we baked great bread in class. I also picked up a smoked habanero white cheddar and creminelli sopressata salami for Timmy. The cheese has a nice kick to it and I love the salami because it's complimented by garlic. I also picked up some lady fingers for tiramisu!

After visiting all of these great places, I've come to realize that Utah isn't as uneducated in terms of food, you just have to know where to look for it.

I am such a happy girl right now!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese

It's National Grilled Cheese Month, so I decided to participate and make a delicious sandwich! This is something I've been interested in making for at least 2 months now and what a great time to do so. The peppers in this sandwich are roasted, and when mixed with the tangy goat cheese, salty bacon and sweet apricot preserves, it makes for a delightful array of flavors.

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
Recipe from Cooking and Eating From Away

2 slices sourdough bread
2 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 slices cooked bacon
1 jalapeno peppers
1 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 tablespoons butter

  • Set the oven to broil and cook the jalapenos until skins blacken and blister. Remove jalapenos from the oven and transfer immediately into a plastic bag or other sealed container. Seal and let steam until cool enough to handle, about 10-20 minutes. Remove blackened skins.
  • Spread one of the slices of bread with the goat cheese. Top with roasted jalapeno peppers, then bacon.
  • Spread the other piece of bread with the apricot preserves, and put on top of the other piece. Butter each side of the sandwich, and toast in saucepan over medium heat until bread is toasted, about 4-5 minutes per side.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Golden Raisin-Oatmeal Cookies

This weekend has been much more relaxing now that classes are almost finished. We had our ACF K-Comp on Friday and I'm surprised how well I did, I was way too nervous. On Saturday we went to the Tulip Festival, it was such a beautiful day and the flowers were gorgeous. And today I've just been relaxing and planning what I'm making for dinner this week.

I made these cookies for Tim because he loves oatmeal-raisin cookies. Since we already had some golden raisins in the pantry I decided to use them. I know that their color doesn't pop like a regular raisin, but they are my favorite! This is a very simple recipe and the cookies turn out very cake-like, which makes them more filling {I think of this as a good thing}.

Golden Raisin-Oatmeal Cookies

8 ounces butter, room temperature
5 ounces brown sugar
5 ounces sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
12 ounces all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
8 ounces oats
5 ounces golden raisins

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the butter and sugars and mix with the whip attachment until light, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add in the eggs, vanilla and vinegar and mix until combined. Once smooth, replace with the paddle attachment.
  • Add in the flour, baking soda and salt and mix just until combined.
  • Add in the oatmeal and gold raisins and mix just until combined.
  • Weigh each cookie so that they are the same size {I did 2.2 oz} and place on a baking sheet that has a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, rotating every 4 minutes. Make sure to lightly pat down the cookies 6 minutes into baking. Once finished, remove and let cook on a wire cooling rack.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I absolutely love pineapple and when cake is involved... it's even better. I opted to use canned pineapple this time because the fresh pineapple we cut up is going to be used in our morning smoothies.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Recipe from Joy of Baking

55 grams butter, cut in small pieces
160 g light brown sugar
1 pineapple {peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced} or 1 20 oz can of pineapple chunks or rings {drained and dried}
195 g all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
113 g butter, room temperature
200 g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, separated
120 ml milk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the center of the oven. 
  • Spray a 9 inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
  • For the topping, place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring, for a few more minutes or until bubbles just start to appear around the outside edges of the mixture. Remove from heat, and pour into the cake pan. Arrange the pineapple slices or chucks on top of the sugar mixture.
  • In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
  • Add the flour mixture, alternately with the milk, ending with the dry ingredients.
  • In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar just until the whites hold a soft peak. With a spatula, gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter. 
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top. 
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the top of the cake has browned and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and then invert the cake onto a serving plate.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Bubble and Squeak {no recipe}

Well yesterday was Easter, so of course so we've acquired leftovers. Tim's parents came out to bring us almost 300 lbs in beef, we luckily fit most of it in our freezers, but had to sacrifice 5-10 lbs. Let's just say, we won't be buying much protein from the store in a while.

For Easter, Tim's mom made a very traditional English dinner, it included a roasted garlic stuffed lamb shank, roasted potatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, yorkshire pudding and it was all topped with a delicious gravy. for dessert we had sticky pudding, which is a very yummy dessert. I need to make it so I can blog the recipe.

In a blender I added the leftover potatoes, broccoli and brussel sprouts and blended away. This mixture is used for bubble and squeak! I cooked a couple of small patties in a pan and used some of the leftover lamb and gravy to make a bubble and squeak slider. I know it looks odd, but it was great, although hard to eat as an actual slider.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Southwestern Chicken Salad with Chili-Lime Ranch

In class last Friday we made this salad dressing, I loved it so much I just had to make it again. There is so much flavor and spice it's overwhelmingly delicious. What's also awesome is that there will be leftover corn and black bean salad which can be used to dip chips in!

Southwestern Chicken Salad with Chili-Lime Ranch

2 chicken breasts
cumin, chili powder and cajun seasoning

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Season the chicken breasts and grill {I used the George Foreman} for about 10 minutes. Take off the grill and put onto a sheet pan lined with foil and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Once the chicken breasts are ready, take them out and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into bite-sized slices.

lettuce, chopped
1 15 oz can corn, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
cilantro, chopped
tomatoes, diced
green onions, sliced
cheese, shredded
tortilla chips
avocado, sliced
chili-lime ranch {recipe below}

  • Chop the lettuce and put it into ice water.
  • In a small bowl add the corn, black beans, cilantro, tomatoes and green onion and mix well.
  • Put a portion of lettuce into a bowl and top with the corn and black bean mixture. Top with the sliced chicken breast, avocado, cheese, tortilla chips and drizzle with the dressing.

Chili-Lime Ranch

2 serrano peppers
1 poblano pepper
1 packet buttermilk ranch
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 of an onion, chopped

  • Set your oven to broiler and put the peppers in. Turn them so that their skin blackens evenly. Once done, take them out and put into a bowl and cover.
  • In a bowl, mix the packet of ranch, buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream and spices together.
  • Remove the peppers from the bowl and peel and seed them. Add them to a blender, along with the lime juice, garlic and onions. Blend until smooth.
  • Add the pepper mixture to the ranch and mix until combined.
  • Adjust the flavor to your liking.