Category Archives: Uncategorized

Caviar and Steak Tartare by Petrossian

caviar-steaktartare

Yes , I know. The economy is a mess, we are all on tenterhooks and the mood is save, save, save. But There are those important occasions in which we deserve a gourmet treat. An this my dears is it! The chefs  from Petrossian shared this exquisite caviar and steak tartare recipe . 
Tartare is a is a meat dish made from finely chopped high grade beef; combine with a good caviar and you are in heaven.
Although you might have some health concerns on account of the danger of contamination by  bacteria, the important point is to get your meat and caviar from trusted sources: a good butcher shop and Petrossian.

Petrossian is an upscale french restaurant right next to Central Park in NYC. It’s in a beautiful, old-world style building and has great atmosphere and food. If that is out of your way, don’t worry, they ship to any destination.  

So kick back, have a little luxury to ease these troubled times and ENJOY!
 

Ingredients ( 4 servings)

24 ounces of beef tenderloin, cleaned and minced by hand
Tabasco Sauce to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 Tablespoons of drained capers, chopped
4 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
6 ounces of minced shallots
6 ounces of minced chives
4 ounces of minced piquillo peppers
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce of Armagnac
Caviar, 80 grams

 

1 baguette cut ¼” thick and lightly toasted, approximately 24 pieces

8 ounces of salad greens

 

In a large chilled bowl, add the  beef, tabasco sauce, salt and pepper, the capers, mustard, shallots, chives, peppers , olive oil  and Armagnac. Mix with a spoon to combine and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Pack 6 ounces of the tartare into a ring mold set on a chilled plate. Push down with a spoon to keep the mixture compact. Top with 20 grams of the caviar, smoothing out the top gently with a spoon and remove the mold. Serve with 6 croutons and 2 ounces of greens on the side. ENJOY!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

oatmeal-raisin

Craving for cookies that are delicious and good for you? Try these ultra- rich oatmeal raisin cookies. They are semi-soft and simply scrumptious.  The recipe is so simple !
There is a funny story behind the  recipe; The first time I tried oatmeal raisin cookies worth eating was at the Naples Ritz Carlton.  At that moment I realized these were extraordinary cookies with an amazing flavor. They had a secret ingredient for sure !

Ever hear of the Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip cookie urban legend?  A lady wanted the recipe and she was charged $250 dollars for it, well it is an urban legend. Believe it or not, the secret to their recipe is  a touch of espresso powder. In the case of the Ritz cookies.. it’s apple sauce!  Try them once and you’ll never think of oatmeal the same way ever again. 

Ingredients ( for 3 dozen good size cookies)

1 stick butter softened
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of kosher salt
3 cups of rolled oats ( quick or old fashioned)
1 cup of raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile in a food processor, cream softened butter with both sugars, add applesauce and eggs and mix till combined.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon , mix well and add the raisins. Gently mix the creamed butter with the flour mix, then add the 3 cups of oats and mix well.

Drop on non- greased baking sheets by   fully loaded, heaping tablespoon leaving  2 inches on every side for expansion . Place in oven and cook for 13 minutes or till you see the borders getting slightly golden.  Please note that time will change according to your particular oven’s conditions. Remove from oven immediately and let cool on wire rack.  For best results, bake  one cookie tray at a  time. ENJOY!


 

 




How To Cook Rice

It is said that any cook should know how to execute 10 basic recipes and most other recipes will follow. Think about it, if you know your basic cooking techniques, change the ingredients and you’ll be able to make thousands of combinations!  Rice is a tricky thing, it can be made risotto style, sticky style or “steamed/ fluffy” style.

 

The method we used is easy, simple and will produce a lovely fluffy style rice, excellent for side dishes or as a basis for sauce, or stir fry. 

For 4 (1 cup) portions:

2 cups rice
about 8 cups water 
1 tsp salt 

 

Rinse rice in water two or three times to get rid of any debris. Place the rice in a pot on high heat with just enough water to cover the rice plus 1/2 inch more, add salt and stir. Let it come to a rolling boil then lower the heat and cover. Let cook for 10-15 minutes DO NOT STIR or else your rice will stick to the bottom of your pot. Check to see if water dried out, if necessary add more.
Start testing for doneness after 15 minutes. The grains will be plump, white and cooked in the center. .

Which Rice to use?

None in particular, keep in mind that some rice types are more flavorful than others. Normal long grain rice is OK for this recipe. It tastes very good with Basmati

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.

Get Ready for the Holidays

 
Yes, the most wonderful time of the year is getting closer! Be ready and happy with the best tools.

The best part is that we don’t have to fight traffic, the cold, the crazy crowds just to learn that what we wanted is gone, and risk getting the flu or in an accident anymore !!! All Thanks to  online catalog shopping !!!!
 

Today’s technology and incredible offers all you need is a warm cup of tea, your favorite robe and slippers and voila! Holiday prep shopping is a breeze! 

And no, It will not cost you a penny more that going to the store, Walmart ships to your door for less than a dollar! (we spend more on gas just getting there than that!!)

So here is out thrifty list of Holiday Kitchen musts:

If you have loved ones with special dietary restrictions,this is an indispensable tool .We were surprised to find this great Kitchenaid stand mixer for less than $200. Although  It seems quite an investment , you’ll get your money’s worth (and more) very quickly.It’s multitasking, professional grade, and lasts forever! 

Uses: make sauces, knead bread doughs, batters, pie crusts, whisk meringue, soy-less and or cholesterol free mayo! It ‘s relatively small but has a LOT OF POWER. Here at Gastronomous , we bought canola oil based mayo for $6 a 10 oz jar ( a small, small jar). We made twice that same amount  mayo in 5 minutes at a cost of 56 cents….. you get the point :). Later , if you want to get fancy, you can get attachments to make pasta, shred vegetables, make ice cream or your own sausages.

 

 

 

KitchenAid Classic White 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer, K45SSWH

 

$198.96

 

A Dutch Oven:

We have our favorite 5.5 Qt from Le Creuset and a runner up with 6-QT capacity from a generic brand. They both faired well through the years with care .  You are welcome to spend as much as you like, but the food will cook and taste the same. Uses all liquid based cooking which require low heat for a long time. A dutch oven has the incredible ability to brown meats on the cooktop, then fair the rest of the cooking in an oven, then go straight to the dinner table! Think : pot roasts, coq au vin, chicken a la cacciatore , goulash stews, soups and of course chili! 

Lodge Color Enamel and Cast Iron 6 qt. Dutch Oven, Red

$52.35

Le Creuset 5.5-qt. Enameled Round Dutch Oven, Cherry Red Le Creuset 5.5-qt. Enameled Round Dutch Oven, Cherry Red Perfect for cooking meats and vegetables in a simmering broth, the 5.5-qt. red Round Dutch Oven by Le Creuset includes a tight-fitting lid that helps seal in moisture and flavor. Constructed of cast iron to absorb heat quickly, distribute it evenly and retain it for maximum efficiency, even at low temperatures. Porcelain enamel surface won’t react with food, and doesn’t absorb odors or flavors. Elegant enough to take right to the table. Oven-safe to 450 degrees F and dishwasher-safe.
$219.95 USD
       

 

 

 


A GOOD quality Roasting pan with a rack!

Forget disposable aluminum ones, they bend, break, they can’t even hold their contents!!

Get a nonstick set for 99.99 ( baster and lifters included) or just the pan with rack for 59.99

Cooking.com will ship it free till NOV 20 just click below and use code C89225at checkout

Calphalon 16x13x3-in. Nonstick Contemporary Nonstick Roasting Set Calphalon 16x13x3-in. Nonstick Contemporary Nonstick Roasting Set  

Purchase this roasting pan and receive these bonus tools: a baster, injection needle and set of poultry lifters, everything you need to prepare your holiday bird. New looks from Calphalon’s Contemporary Nonstick line. The stainless handles are slim and flared and are multi-riveted for added strength. Made of hard-anodized aluminum with a nonstick interior, this new roaster heats evenly and quickly and comes with a removable, nonstick rack that holds up to a 25-lb. turkey – also ideal for chicken, pork or beef tenderloins. As your main course browns and glistens, vegetables roast and caramelize at the bottom of the pan.  $99.99