Monday, December 21, 2009

Horseradish-and-Herb-Crusted Beef Rib Roast

This rib roast is the perfect wow-factor for the holidays and big enough to feed a small army. Food and Wine Magazine suggests serving it with popovers and I second that idea!

Horseradish-and-Herb-Crusted Beef Rib Roast
  1. 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1 head of garlic, cloves coarsely chopped
  3. 1 cup prepared horseradish
  4. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
  5. 3 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  6. 3 tablespoons chopped sage
  7. One 16-pound rib roast of beef
  8. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a food processor, combine the butter with the garlic, horseradish, thyme, rosemary and sage and process to a paste.
  2. Stand the roast in a very large roasting pan. Season generously all over with salt and pepper and set it fatty side up. Spread the horseradish-herb butter all over the top. Bake for about 3 1/2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 125° for medium rare. Transfer the roast to a carving board to rest for at least 20 minutes or for up to 1 hour before serving.
    The horseradish-herb butter can be refrigerated overnight. Let the butter soften before using.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Brown Sugar-Pecan Sticky Buns

Our family has some wonderful holiday food traditions that I look forward to each year. However, I am always looking to add new things that I find 'worthy'. This sticky bun recipe from Bon Appetit looks like it has just the right amount of sugar I'll need this Christmas to try to keep up with my young nieces and nephews.

Brown Sugar-Pecan Sticky Buns
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3 cups pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Spiced Sweet Dough (click for recipe)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, warm room temperature
  • Butter two 13x9x2-inch glass baking dishes. Whisk sugar, butter, and honey in small saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth and bubbling around sides. Divide hot syrup between prepared baking dishes, allowing topping to cover bottom of each dish. Place pecan halves, rounded side down, in syrup, dividing equally. Cool.
  • Whisk both sugars and cinnamon in small bowl.
  • Turn cold Spiced Sweet Dough out onto floured surface; sprinkle with flour. Divide dough in half. Roll out dough to two 15x12-inch rectangles. Using fingers, spread 2 tablespoons butter evenly over each rectangle. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over each. Starting at 1 long side of each dough rectangle, tightly roll up dough jelly-roll style, enclosing filling. Using large knife, cut each roll crosswise into fifteen 1-inch-thick slices. Arrange 15 dough slices, cut side down, atop cooled syrup and pecan halves in each baking dish, spacing evenly apart. Cover with waxed paper; let rise in warm draft-free area until buns are puffy and doubled, about 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 375°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment; place dishes with sticky buns on baking sheets. Bake buns until deep golden brown and filling is barely bubbling around edges, about 25 minutes. Let buns stand 2 minutes. Cut around sides of buns to loosen. Place large rimmed platter atop each baking dish. Using oven mitts, firmly hold baking dish and platter together and invert buns onto platter. Cool at least 45 minutes. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.


Eggnog Tart

Nothing screams the holidays like eggnog so try jazzing up your menu this season with an eggnog tart. This recipe from Saveur is pretty straight forward and will knock your stockings off!

Eggnog Tart

Makes 10" tart

1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
Pinch salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp. vegetable shortening
2–4 tbsp. dark chocolate, melted

3 cups heavy cream
5 tbsp. sugar
1⁄2–3⁄4 cup bourbon
Half a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 egg yolks
1 envelope gelatin, softened

1. For the crust: Preheat oven to 450°. Sift flour, sugar, and salt together into a mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter or 2 table knives to work butter and shortening into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add up to 5 tbsp. ice water, stirring dough with a fork until it holds together. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 14" round. Fit dough, without stretching it, into a 10" tart pan, then prick bottom lightly with a fork. Line dough with foil, then add dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove foil and beans and bake for another 2–5 minutes. Brush bottom and sides with chocolate. Set aside to let cool.

2. For the filling: Put 2 cups of the cream, 4 tbsp. of the sugar, bourbon, and vanilla bean together in the top of a double boiler above simmering water over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until bubbles appear around edge of cream, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in a mixing bowl until pale yellow. Continue whisking while adding 1⁄2 cup of the hot cream mixture, then pour yolk mixture into cream mixture in the double boiler, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add gelatin and stir to dissolve. Remove vanilla bean. Set aside to let cool, then strain filling into tart shell and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.

3. Whisk remaining cream with remaining sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Garnish tart with whipped cream and confectioners' sugar, if you like.


Mini Brioche Lobster Rolls

We all know that I am obsessed with lobster in all of its shapes and forms so it should come as no surprise that this recipe lept off the page as I was flipping through this month's Food & Wine Magazine. These are perfect for holiday entertaining or for early afternoon snacks.

Mini Brioche Lobster Rolls
  1. 3/4 pound cooked lobster meat, crabmeat or shrimp, coarsely chopped
  2. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  3. 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
  4. 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  5. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 12 mini brioche or Parker House rolls (about 2 1/2 inches)
  7. Snipped chives, for garnish
  1. In a food processor, combine the lobster with the mayonnaise, tarragon and lemon zest and pulse to a chunky paste. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Using a paring knife, cut a 1 1/2-inch-round plug out of the top of each roll, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Using a small spoon, carefully hollow out the rolls. Spoon the lobster filling into the rolls, garnish with the chives and serve.
    The lobster salad can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. The mini lobster rolls can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 hours.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Asparagus & Meyer Lemon Risotto with Butter-Poached Shrimp

I was pretty excited to see our Meyer lemon tree in full force up in Napa this weekend. I harvested a full grocery bag worth and brought them back to San Francisco. The first thing that came to mind last night as the chill rolled in over the bridge... risotto and butter-poached shrimp.

I am a lobster junkie but I never cook it at home or make it for guests because it's so down-right expensive at times. So, in the case, I subbed for some medium sized shrimp that I butter- poached and served right on top. You could also sub scallops, prawns or halibut.

Lobster is a treat so I usually order it out on special occasions. In fact, I plan on ordering it on my 30th birthday this Thursday at Fleur de Lys but more on that later in the week.

Asparagus & Meyer Lemon Risotto with Butter-Poached Shrimp

1 cup asparagus
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 ½ cups chicken stock
1 tbsp butter
2 shallots, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
zest of 2 Meyer lemons
juice of 2 Meyer lemons
salt & pepper
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
16 medium shrimp, raw, tails removed and devained

Blanch asparagus in boiling water for two minutes. Shock with cold water to stop the cooking and drain well. Cut into one inch pieces and set aside.

Bring chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan. Cover and turn heat to low.

In a Dutch oven, sauté shallots in butter over medium heat until light brown, about 4 minutes. Add rice and lemon zest. Stir to coat in butter/shallot mixture for 1-2 minutes. Add wine and let reduce on medium high heat for about 3 minutes to burn off alcohol. Add 1-1 ½ cups stock and reduce heat to low.

Stirring regularly to make sure rice doesn’t stick to the pan, add stock in ½ cup additions as the rice absorbs liquid. Check the rice before the last addition to see if it is done (rice should be al dente, not mushy). Add lemon juice into the rice with the last addition of stock.

As the lemon juice is absorbed, add asparagus, salt and pepper to taste. Stir two
minutes then remove from heat. Stir in parmesan cheese and serve.

Butter-Poached Shrimp

- 1 tbsp water
- 1 lb unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- shrimp (see above for prep)

Bring shrimp to room temperature.

In a saucepan, heat water until boiling and whisk in one or two chunks of butter to form an emulsion. Reduce heat to low and continue to whisk in butter, one chunk at a time, until the sauce is about 1-inch high.

Use an instant-read thermometer to maintain the temperature of the sauce between 160F and 190F during cooking.

Add shrimp and cook for 5 or 6 minutes. If shrimp are not fully covered, use a spoon to gently turn over after 3 minutes.

Serve immediately over risotto.