Category Archives: Main Courses

Steak Diane

 

Steak Diane

The classic steak dish as prepared by world-class Master Chefs just in time for a romantic for two menu.   The question remains: who is Diane? 🙂 Believe it or not, steak Diane is a tribute to the goddess of the hunt herself: Diana! How the pepper and the wine came in to play is still a mystery . But we all enjoy the end result.  Enjoy with a robust Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Ingredients:( for 2)

2 rib-eye steaks (3/4 inch thick)
6 Tbls butter
1/2 tsp Rosemary
Cracked pepper and salt to taste
1/2 cup red wine

Rinse and pat dry the meat with a paper towel to eliminate odor from packaging an any loose particles. Trim the excess fat of the steaks, rub the steaks with the Rosemary and the pepper. Set aside till they reach room temperature. Heat a heavy sauté pan very hot. Place a pat of butter in the pan then place the steaks to sear; DO NOT TOUCH OR MOVE THE STEAK!, let it cook according to your liking flipping only once! :3 min on each side for rare, 4-5 on each side for medium, 6 minutes on each side for well done. If your steak is thicker you will need to increase the cooking time.
Remove the steak from the pan and place on serving dish “to rest” remember the steak will continue to cook while on the dish due to the absorbed heat.
Put the pan back on the burner and lower the heat to medium; add the butter and stir with a wood spatula or spoon, add the wine and stir, try to get as much brown as you can from the bottom of the pan. Let the alcohol boil off and pour on top of the steak. Serve immediately.

Tuscan Style Standing Crown Roast

When we think Tuscan food, the first thought is usually pasta wine and cheese.  Contrary to what many of us believe, Italians have a great repertoire of meat dishes, that are actually the main course which is served after the pasta course at holidays. This Standing Crown Roast seasoned with rosemary, thyme and garlic is a hit every-time! It’s simple to prepare , yet sophisticated, and with the help of a remote thermometer, enjoy the party worry-free !

Ingredients: for 10 servings

1 -14 crown roast (or 2 seven rib roasts tied together)
1 full head of garlic (10 cloves) chopped
2 Tbls chopped fresh thyme
1/2 bunch ( 1/4 cup) fresh rosemary, chopped
fresh ground pepper
salt to taste
4 Tbls olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix the garlic, thyme and the rosemary with the salt and the pepper in a bowl. Place the roast on baking sheet, rub the oil on all the meat with your hands, next rub on the herb-garlic mixture. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.  Arrange in the shape of a crown with bones up and  cover the bones with foil to avoid burning. Place roast in the oven and let cook until the doneness of your liking. For best results, use a meat thermometer inserted to the thickest part of the meat. It should read 130 degrees for rare (25 minutes), 135 for medium rare (35 minutes) or 140 for medium ( 40 minutes).
Take out of oven and let stand for 10 minutes, shape into the standing crown, cut between chops and serve. Enjoy with trimmings such as Cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and cornbread stuffing.

Turkey Lasagna

 

What to do with all that leftover turkey? Because we cannot live on Sandwiches alone, we searched to develop great recipes to incorporate leftover turkey. A simple all-time family favorite is lasagna. All it takes is some lasagna noodles, 4 cups of simple tomato sauce and some cheese. It takes 50 minutes from start to finish and is definitely a crowd pleaser . Enjoy!

 

Ingredients: for 8 portions

2 boxes of lasagna noodles
2 Tbsp of olive oil
2 cups leftover turkey, chicken or mix, chopped
4 cups simple tomato sauce
2 cups ricotta
salt pepper to taste
1 tsp oregano 
1 tsp basil
grated cheese to taste

 

Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Mix ricotta with the chopped turkey in a large bowl, add the basil and oregano, and salt pepper to taste. Cook noodles in abundant salted water for 10 minutes or till al dente. Do not overcook or they will fall apart. In a roasting pan, coat bottom with the olive oil and place a bottom layer of noodles, make sure they are arranged so that the whole bottom is covered with no gaps, overlap noodles if needed.

Place a layer of ricotta turkey mix ( about 1/2 of the mix), then place another layer of noodles. Add another layer of ricotta mix, and finally top with remaining noodles.  Pour sauce on top, and place in the oven to bake for 35 minutes.  Take out of the oven and sprinkle with grated cheese. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. . This lasagna can be assembled ahead of time and remain in the “ready to bake” stage in the refrigerator for 2 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks. ENJOY!

Turkey Involtini

The holidays can be a lovely time of year to get together with large groups of family and friends; but it can also be a good time for an intimate , quiet gathering. If you planning a Thanksgiving for two, a small holiday gathering, or are just plain tired of old fashioned turkey,  spice up your table with these delicious, quick and easy turkey involtinis.  Involtino is the Italian word for roll-ups. In our version, turkey cutlets are “stuffed” with onions, celery and  fresh sage mixture and braised in white wine . Serve with rustic potatoes, cranberry-cabernet sauce  and voila ! A sophisticated and wonderful feast, that is ready in less than an hour.

Ingredients: ( for 4 involtini)

4 turkey cutlets
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery ( about 4 large stalks)
1 apple pealed and chopped
1 egg beaten
1 bunch fresh sage or the herbs of your choice
nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste
flour for dusting the involtini
3 Tbls olive oil
2 cups dry white wine
12-20 toothpicks to hold the involtini while cooking

 

Salt and pepper each cutlet and pound ( if necessary) till they have a thickness of 3/4 inch. Take the celery, apple, onions and part of the sage and mix in a bowl. Add the beaten egg and condiment to taste.
Take each cutlet, place on plastic wrap and spread 1/4 of mixture on each. Then using the plastic wrap to aid yourself, carefully roll the cutlet. Place 3- 4 toothpicks on each cutlet so it remains closely together. Repeat with each cutlet, then dust lightly with flour, salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over med-high heat, add the involtini and brown , turn every 2 minutes to brown each side. This is best done with the use of cooking tongs. Once all sides are brown, add the wine, ( it will make a lovely noise). Reduce to medium heat, partially cover and let cook for 30 minutes or till half of the liquid evaporates. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

To serve: Remove toothpicks and slice each involtini crosswise ( see picture). Place on individual plate, and add a small amount of wine reduction on the side. Serve with Rustic potatoes and Cranberry- Cabernet sauce. ENJOY!

To Brine or Not to Brine

 

Does your turkey or other poultry come out a tad dry, gamey or tasteless? Must you and your family load piles of cranberry sauce,  gravy and other goodies to mask the “turkey taste”. If you answered yes to any of these questions you need to BRINE your TURKEY. Brining not only introduces flavor, but also gives moisture to the meat The result is a tender, succulent  roast, both in white and dark meat. 

Brining is simple, it consists of submerging the meat in a liquid called brine;for best results it’s better to brine your bird 24 hours or at least overnight. Mainly, brine can be as simple as a mixture of salt, sugar and water, or get really fancy with garlic, herbs and spices. Brining works both on whole birds and parts, so if your family is of the white meat only kind, brine the breast.

The key is to have a thawed bird, use plenty of ice to prevent bacterial growth, and  completely submerge it in the brine. This can present a problem if you have a big bird. We placed our mammoth turkey in a clean bucket with enough icy liquid to cover it, then left it in a cold place. A small turkey, a chicken, duck or turkey parts could easily fit in big zip-top bags or large bowls. The is to male sure the meat is completely submerged in the brine. Buy using this method you will not have to have the bird take valuable space in your refrigerator.

Please DISCARD the liquid after brining is complete and wash your container thoroughly  with warm soapy water.

 

There is no need to run to a gourmet store to buy turkey brine , all the ingredients you need are probably in your pantry already. Keep in mind that brines are really concentrated and that the ice with help distribute the flavors to all surfaces of the meat. OUR FAVORITE BRINES are:

SIMPLE BROWN SUGAR BRINE:( enough for a 12-15lb turkey)

1 cup kosher salt
1 cup Brown sugar 
3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

Combine ingredients over low heat in saucepan, stir till sugar and salt dissolves. Let cool then prepare your bird for brining: remove excess fat, neck and giblets. Place in container, add the brine, then add enough ice to cover all the meat . You will need about quart or two of CLEAN ice. Once you have the right quantity, cover the top with plastic, then foil. Let brine overnight or up to 24 hours, then remove the bird, rinse and prepare as usual.

 

SWEET AND SMOKEY TURKEY BRINE:

1 cup salt
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup liquid smoke
2 and 1/2 cup of chicken or beef broth

Combine ingredients over low heat in saucepan, stir till molasses and salt dissolves. Let cool then prepare your bird for brining: remove excess fat, neck and giblets. Place in container, add the brine, then add enough ice to cover all the meat . You will need about quart and one half or about 10 to 12 cups of CLEAN ice. Once you have the right quantity, cover the top with plastic, then foil. Let brine overnight or up to 24 hours, then remove the bird, rinse and prepare as usual.

 

GARLIC AND SPICE TURKEY BRINE:

1 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
10 garlic cloves pealed
2 Tbls of red pepper ( anaheim) flakes, chipotle flakes
1 bay left 
3 cups vegetable broth 

Combine ingredients over low heat in saucepan, stir till sugar and salt dissolves. Let cool then prepare your bird for brining: remove excess fat, neck and giblets. Place in container, add the brine, then add enough ice to cover all the meat . You will need about quart or two  of CLEAN ice. Once you have the right quantity, cover the top with plastic, then foil. Let brine overnight or up to 24 hours, then remove the bird, rinse and prepare as usual.

 

APPLE  and SPICE BRINE

 

1 quart apple juice
1 cup brown sugar 
1 Kosher Salt
3 oranges, washed then quartered
2 Tbls ounces fresh ginger thinly sliced
15 whole cloves
2 bay leaves

Combine apple juice, brown sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve and let cool. In a large non-reactive container, combine the apple juice mixture with the remaining ingredients. When adding the oranges, squeeze each piece to release the juice into the container, then drop in the peel.

Prepare your bird for brining: remove excess fat, neck and giblets. Place in container, add the brine, then add enough ice to cover all the meat . You will need about quart or two  of CLEAN ice. Once you have the right quantity, cover the top with plastic, then foil. Let brine overnight or up to 24 hours, then remove the bird, rinse and prepare as usual.