Posts filed under dinner menus

Grilled Salmon with White Balsamic and Vanilla Marinade served with Grilled Fennel and Peach Salad Paired with Commanderie de Peyrassol Rose'

While trying to come up with this dish for The Urban Grape’s August newsletter I had to read about this beautifully colored wine. If a wine can be that pretty in the bottle then I just had to know what people thought. Rose’s are among my favorite summer wines and I wanted to do this one justice. I had a bottle in front of me, but still wanted to compare notes. I read what the professional’s thought and the everyday palate of course. I was amazed to find both tasted 95% the same things. Strawberry, peach, hint of licorice, mineral, etc. My mind was made up for a recipe and then I called TJ and told him what I was pairing with the wine. I heard him laugh on the other end and I said “does that sound good?” and he said “you had me at balsamic.”

 Fresh Salmon - NOT farm raised!

Fresh Salmon - NOT farm raised!

The wine is made of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah ( hence the kiss of licorice) The producers do everything organic for this wine and that is right up my alley. They only fertilize with sheep manure and use no synthetic fertilizers. It is hard enough to make wine let alone doing it this way as well. My hat is off to a fabulous Rose’. Please enjoy this pairing.

Serves 4
First things first, put that Commanderie in the fridge for a hour or so and get a nice chill on it, not freezing just chilled!
4 4-6 oz pieces of Wild American Salmon, skin on, King Salmon if you can get it! (other wise what ever is FRESH not farmed)

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced fine
  • 1.5 tsp fresh organic parsley, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp fresh organic basil, leaves torn
  • 1.5 tsp fresh fennel fronds, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Vanilla bean, split and seeds removed

In a plastic bag or bowl mix all the ingredients and add the fish for at least a hour up to 2. Heat the grill to medium high and use either a grill pan or some aluminum foil on the grill. This will help the fish not to stick. Brush the pan lightly or foil with a little olive oil and get hot.

Remove fish from marinade reserving it to brush on along the way to help keep fish moist. This step is really important, pat the fish dry from marinade and brush lightly with olive oil, cook skin side down on the foil. fish should sizzle and you should leave it alone now. If it is windy and you feel the fish isn’t cooking the close the top, adjust the time down about 3 minutes total if you close the grill. Otherwise 5-7 minutes on one side, depending on thickness of your fish, flip and 5 more minutes. During this 5 minutes lightly brush the salmon with marinade mixture several times. leaving the fish alone the last minute of cooking. Salmon should be just barely cooked through, but still rare/ pink in the middle for the most tender and moist fish.

Grilled Fennel & Peach Salad

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, tops removed and cut in half and cored, slice 1/4 slice
  • 2 medium, firm peaches, halved and pitted
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp of a good sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp any local honey
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • s and p to taste

This should be done before the fish if possible and served at room temp or just warm. Toss the sliced fennel in a bowl with a little olive oil s and p and place on the grill in a grill pan or on foil. Grill until just soft and has some nice golden color. remove to a plate and let cool. Brush peaches with olive oil and grill directly on grill over flames for a couple of minutes watching closely so they do not burn. Peaches will cook in about 2-3 minutes each side. turn once to get some nice grill marks. remove to a plate with fennel and let cool. In a bowl add the 2 tbsp olive oil, vinegar, dijon, honey and s and p. Whisk until combine and add the fennel to this bowl and toss well, set aside for a minute until needed.

To Plate this dish
Put the piece of nice salmon on a pretty plate. on the side of the fish put 1 piece of the grilled peach top with about 1/4 cup of the grilled fennel tossed with the dressing. garnish with some fennel fronds and open that chilled Commanderie de Peyrassol Rose’.

Posted on July 11, 2013 and filed under dinner menus, Fish.

Grilled Sirloin with Salsa Verde

My friend Rich turned 40 on Saturday night and his lovely wife, Melanie, asked me if I would do the food for the party. Of course I said yes; it would be my gift to my #1 fan. Rich is all this chef ever needs. He loves my food and from what I hear, he goes on and on about it to everyone he knows. Thanks Rich for such wonderful kudos and Happy 40 buddy. It just gets better from here, as long as you have lots of wine or in your case, Bourbon!

 Make sure you let the meat rest a bit after it comes off the grill.

Make sure you let the meat rest a bit after it comes off the grill.

Grilled Sirloin with Salsa Verde on the side

I thought about several menus over the past 6 weeks since I knew I would be doing this party. As we got closer to the date the weather got hotter and hotter. Well with this chef dealing with being hot all the time because of menopause, I had to prepare things that could be room temp at the hottest. I knew I would melt if I didn't. All the cooking had to be done the day of the party by 7 a.m.. So I got up, fired up the grill and roasted, toasted and grilled what needed to be done early.  My brother-in law Andy came down for dinner one night and I made this salsa verde steak thing and he loved it. It was manly and seemed like a good choice for Rich.

I wanted Rich's food to be original for him since 40 is a milestone that deserves a good food memory. I tweaked it a tad and made it his own. Good work outta you boy! And Cheers to my # 1 fan!!!!!!

Serves 4 - Italian Salsa Verde

  • 1 fresh garlic clove
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh grated lemon peel
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (Do not use that bottled stuff here. That would be bad.)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or if you like it hot,
  • 1 fresh Serrano Chile de-stemmed, seeds and all
  • 1 cup Italian parsley
  • 12 basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained or rinsed of salt, whichever you like
  • 3 anchovy filets, don't leave these out, you need them for richness and depth of flavor
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Put the first 6 ingredients into your food processor and whirl until it is pulverized well. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse about 6-10 times until it looks more like a salsa than a pesto. You should still be able to make out parsley and capers a bit. Set aside in fridge until needed. Make this at least 2 hours before. Bring up to room temp before serving along side the steak, or right on top - the way I like it.

  • 4 6oz. steaks cut at least 1 inch thick (I used filet for Rich's birthday, but you can use whatever steak you like, it's all good!)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic s and p

Brush the steaks lightly with olive oil and rub with fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Heat the grill to screeching hot and grill the steaks to your desired doneness internal temp 125 degrees for medium rare. Let meat rest at least 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with Salsa Verde and a nice glass of??? Hhhmmm let me see, Pinot Noir!

Other things I served that evening: Bruschetta Bar with 6 kinds of Bruschetta to start and Pineapple and Basil Margaritas Grilled Pepper, Gorgonzola and Pesto Bruschetta Ricotta and Tomato Bruschetta Roasted Eggplant Bruschetta Nectarine, Point Reyes Blue Cheese and Savannah Bee Company Tupelo Honey Bruschetta White Bean and Sun Dried Tomato Bruschetta Along with some Hummus, Roasted Red Peppers and God knows what else? A ton of food Cilantro and Lime Slaw with Serrano Chile My Heirloom and Peach Salad already on this site Pasta Salad with Green Olivada Dressing and Fresh Tomatoes (from my garden) Local Melon Salad with Blackberries and Pistachios and Grated Ricotta Salata Grilled Chicken Legs with a Chopped Kalamata Olive and Arugula Salsa Along with dessert, some great people, a lot of laughs, fun stories and a few gifts of great Bourbon. A good time was had by all!

 

Posted on July 11, 2013 and filed under dinner menus.

Red Flannel Hash

Being from South of Boston (not South Boston - but close enough), gives me a little authority on how this meal should be done. It is a very traditional St. Paddy’s Day Feast. But of course you know me - I have just a little twist on it. I roast the beets instead of putting them in the broth. They retain so much more flavor and they do not turn everything red. The big bonus here is your  the next morning is so much tastier too.Red Flannel Hash Of course you must have leftovers to make tomorrow's breakfast. I am a purist that way. The red flannel hash MUST be made from the left over of this meal to have the flavor you need in the hash. That is just how it is done. You can ask any true New Englander. (Recipe for Red Flannel Hash follows) Of course there is a REAL recipe for Irish Soda Bread following as well. This recipe feeds 4, easily doubled and even tripled so you have enough for left overs for another meal and the hash. this is the meal that keeps on giving!

Ingredients
3-4 pound piece corned beef, whichever one you like best
1  4 oz piece of salt pork
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
5 black peppercorns
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 3 " pieces
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 3" pieces
3 turnips, peeled and quartered
1 small rutabaga
6 small onions, peeled
4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
1  head cabbage cut into wedges
4 beets, roasted in a 400 degree oven until tender,  then peel and slice

How to Prepare
In large heavy pot, combine corned beef, bay leaves, caraway seeds and peppercorns and salt pork. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Remove the meat from the pot and reserve on a plate, keep warm. Discard the pork. Add then to the broth the parsnips, carrots, and turnips and rutabaga, simmer for 20 minutes. If necessary add more water to cover. Add onions and potatoes and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add cabbage and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve the warm, sliced meat with  a little  broth, beets and vegetables all around the meat on a big platter family style.

 

Posted on July 11, 2013 and filed under dinner menus.

How to make fresh corned beef

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Corned Beef and Cabbage | New England Style

Being from South of Boston (not South Boston – but close enough), gives me a little authority on how this meal should be done. It is a very traditional St. Paddy’s Day Feast. But of course you know me – I have just a little twist on it. I roast the beets instead of putting them in the broth. They retain so much more flavor and they do not turn everything red. The big bonus here is your  the next morning is so much tastier too.Red Flannel Hash Of course you must have leftovers to make tomorrow’s breakfast. I am a purist that way. The red flannel hash MUST be made from the left over of this meal to have the flavor you need in the hash. That is just how it is done. You can ask any true New Englander. (Recipe for Red Flannel Hash follows) Of course there is a REAL recipe for Irish Soda Bread following as well. This recipe feeds 4, easily doubled and even tripled so you have enough for left overs for another meal and the hash. this is the meal that keeps on giving!

Ingredients
3-4 pound piece corned beef, whichever one you like best
1  4 oz piece of salt pork
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
5 black peppercorns
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 3 ” pieces
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 3″ pieces
3 turnips, peeled and quartered
1 small rutabaga
6 small onions, peeled
4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
1  head cabbage cut into wedges
4 beets, roasted in a 400 degree oven until tender,  then peel and slice

How to Prepare

In large heavy pot, combine corned beef, bay leaves, caraway seeds and peppercorns and salt pork. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Remove the meat from the pot and reserve on a plate, keep warm. Discard the pork. Add then to the broth the parsnips, carrots, and turnips and rutabaga, simmer for 20 minutes. If necessary add more water to cover. Add onions and potatoes and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add cabbage and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve the warm, sliced meat with  a little  broth, beets and vegetables all around the meat on a big platter family style.

 

Posted on July 9, 2013 and filed under dinner menus.

Espresso ... 5 Ways


 Chef Robin White weaves the rich, complex flavor of espresso through 5 original recipes: Espresso, 5 Ways

Chef Robin White weaves the rich, complex flavor of espresso through 5 original recipes: Espresso, 5 Ways

On October 13th, 2012, a group of coffee-loving women will gather at my home outside of Chicago - and we will have an "espresso dinner". I'm pretty excited about this because it was so much fun to orchestrate recipes around the bold flavors of espresso. The folks at Saeco are letting me try out their espresso machine for this event and I've worked to learn the nuances of grinds to get the flavors where I wanted them to be. Check out the menu here - try them with us on the night of Oct. 13th - and enjoy the depth of this exotic flavor in some very new ways.

Recipe 1 / The Espresso Martini

Ingredients

•                2 cups freshly brewed espresso, chilled

•                2 cups orange-flavored vodka, your favorite

•                1 cup coffee liqueur, your favorite

8 slices orange peel, thin slices Instructions -Fill a shaker halfway with ice. Add the espresso, vodka, and coffee liquor of your choice. Shake for 30 seconds or so. Strain into a chilled glass and decorate with the orange peel. Serve at once because everyone will be waiting to indulge. 

Recipe 2 / Heirloom Tomato Salad with an Espresso Balsamic Reduction 

 

 

Ingredients

•                 1/2 cup freshly-brewed espresso

•                 1/4 cup of local honey

•                 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar plus 1 tablespoon honey if your balsamic is not that sweet

•                 1/8 teaspoon salt

Zest of one lemon Start by setting up the reduction. Pour the coffee, vinegar, salt, and honey into a small saucepan. Zest the lemon directly into the saucepan using a microplane. Stir to combine and dissolve the honey, then simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. cook until reduced by 1/3. This can be down a day ahead. bring dressing to room temp before using on the salad

You can build your salad however you wish

I am using a goat cheese log rolled in fresh cracked pepper and fresh basil.

4 slices of medium tomato per person 1 1/2 inch slice of the goat cheese and a couple of torn fresh basil leaves drizzle a small amount of the dressing over the salad and finish with some nice sea salt or pink salt .

Recipe #3 / Espresso BBQ sauce & Assorted Grilled Meats I am going to be grilling some locally raised chickens and using this BBQ sauce for the main part of this amazing espresso dinner using my Saeco Espresso Machine.

Espresso BBQ Sauce on Grilled Prawns / Serves 12 as an appetizer

Ingredients:

3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt 1/4 cup extra-large capers, drained well and finely chopped 5 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped fine tbsp fresh shallot, finely minced 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice S and P to taste 24 large prawns, about 1 1/2 pound, peeled, deveined, tail left on Olive oil, for grilling

Prepare as follows:

Preheat a your grill out side or a stove top grill pan to high heat. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, capers, olives, shallots, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let stand to allow flavors to blend. Toss the prawns with oil and season well with salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp, turning once, until bright pink and just cooked through, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side.

To serve, put dollop of sauce on a plate; stand the shrimp upright with their tails touching around the yogurt. Great little app served with a tasting of Assyrtiko, a great little greek wine to go with these greek flavors. If you cannot find it a nice Sauvignon Blanc, not to flowery, will due just fine. 


Posted on October 10, 2012 and filed under Desserts, dinner menus, appetizers.