Cooking

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

The start of a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce www.morewinelesswhines.com

The Start of a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I am not too proud to admit that sometimes I just do not like bell peppers.  Maybe it stems back to frozen paninis in college that, once reheated in the microwave, left a bad, stale pepper aftertaste all day during class.  Regardless, I have been timidly trying main courses and side dishes that utilize bell peppers.

One recipe that is on my “To do” list is a classic Romesco sauce.  As a stepping stone to making a Romesco, I tried this Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce by Laura Calder of the Cooking Channel.  This recipe is absolutely wonderful!  I have served it with my Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Whole Roasted Chicken, and Quesadillas, to name a few.  I think it would be great as a little soup “shooter” with a cheesy puff pastry twist for dipping.  Just ideas.  Try it.  You will like it – regardless of whether or not you are a big pepper fan or not!

The peeled, seeded red bell peppers       www.morewinelesswhines.com

The peeled, seeded red bell peppers

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Original recipe by Laura Calder of the Cooking Channel.

2 red bell peppers
2 T. olive oil
1 shallot, minced
3 T. white wine (I used some Chardonnay)
6 T. chicken stock (I used Turkey stock that I had frozen/leftover from Thanksgiving)
juice from 1/2 a lemon
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F (My oven has been set at either 400 or 450, depending on what else I am roasting). Set the papers on a cooking spray lined baking dish and roast for 20 minutes. Turn peppers with tongs & roast an additional 15-25 minutes, until flesh is soft and skin is browning in spots. Place immediately in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside 10 minutes to “sweat.” Remove plastic wrap, and gently peel and seed the pepper with your hands (Be careful! Peppers will be warm!) Tear or cut into strips/pieces and set aside.

Heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Add oil. Once hot, add shallot, stirring occasionally, until translucent and soft, about 3 minutes. Add white wine and cook 1 minute. Add stock and cooked red pepper. Cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour into a small food processor or blender. Season to taste with lemon juice (1 tsp at a time), sea salt & pepper. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!

The start of a roasted red pepper sauce        www.morewinelesswhines.com

The start of a roasted red pepper sauce

Easy Ingredient Prep for Roasted Red Pepper Sauce        www.morewinelesswhines.com

Easy Ingredient Prep for Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce www.morewinelesswhines.com

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

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Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter, Sautéed Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Simple and delicious.  If you like scallops, try this recipe.  If you’ve never eaten scallops before, start with this recipe.  The trick is to use high quality scallops that are free from additives.  One of the local grocery stores had a special on Peruvian Bay Scallops, so I used them instead of the traditional kind.  (These are smaller than regular scallops -think the size of a nickel-quarter instead of a half dollar) and cook very quickly.  I found several recipe variations using a simple combination of butter, olive oil, lemon juice & thyme, but the best one was from Bon Appetit.

Try to space the scallops out in the pan so they are not overly crowded or touching when you first sauté them.  I should have cooked up the scallops below in two batches to obtain a better crust, but I was impatient.  (Note:  they still turned out fine and tasted incredible).

Dinner - not too fancy, but really good     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Dinner – not too fancy, but really good

If you like pairing your food with wine, there are two New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc labels that I really like right now.  One is “90+”, which is like the Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s private label brand for the wine world.  The other wine is called “Wild South.”  I tried both of them at wine tastings first and then with these scallops.  Delicious!

Sautéing the Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Sautéing the Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter

I made these scallops for dinner on a Sunday night and they took me less than 10 minutes to prepare.  I served these with sautéed spinach, lemon orzo & a roasted red pepper sauce.  Everything was excellent (except the orzo)!   The recipe for the roasted red pepper sauce is coming soon!

Sautéing the Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter www.morewinelesswhines.com

Sautéing the Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter

 

Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter

Many variations on this recipe exist, but I will give credit for this one to Bon Appetit

1 lb. sea scallops, side muscle removed
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 T olive oil
2 T. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 sprigs fresh thyme
juice from 1/2 a lemon

Place sea scallops on a paper towel lined dish. Top with a second paper towel to draw out any excess moisture. Let sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle tops of scallops with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add oil. Once hot, add scallops, salt & pepper side down. Cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes. Sprinkle tops of scallops with sea salt & pepper. Turn scallops using tongs. Add butter and thyme to pan. Continue cooking, spooning pan sauce over scallops, until scallops are cooked through, about 3 minutes longer. Stir in lemon juice. Serve scallops with the pan sauce.

Easy Prep for Brown Butter Scallops      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Easy Prep for Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter

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The Classics Revisited: Baked Spinach Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style

Baked Green Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style www.morewinelesswhines.com

Baked Green Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style

What started out as a curiosity turned into an intense interest and then became an obsession.  What was the object of my obsession this past weekend?  Crafting the best possible lasagna, of course!

For the past few weeks, I have been completely absorbed in my work during the day and intense study during the evenings and weekends as this past quarter of my MBA capstone course wound down.  Highly analytical, critical thinking and problem solving consumed my every waking moment.

But you know what?  I function at my peak when I balance the left and right sides of my brain!  To find balance, I cooked like a madwoman the past few weekends.  I decided to make a few meals for the busy week ahead… including one of my favorite soup recipes and this new lasagna!  I originally was going to just make a bolognese from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, but I ended up making the whole lasagna, including a béchamel sauce.

It’s a process to make this lasagna, but the actual assembly goes very quickly once the pasta, bolognese & béchamel are ready!  Please make sure, if you ever take the time to make a homemade lasagna, to enjoy it with a good glass of wine.  I chose a 2013 Cabernet Franc, which I found at a recent wine tasting.  (I also used it in the Bolognese sauce).  Enjoy!

Great Lasagna Wine Pairing: The Franc: 2013 Cabernet Franc www.morewinelesswhines.com

Great Lasagna Wine Pairing: The Franc: 2013 Cabernet Franc

Prepping the Ingredients for Spinach Lasagna with Bolognese Meat Sauce     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Prepping the Ingredients for Spinach Lasagna with Bolognese Meat Sauce

Layering the Béchamel, Bolognese and Parmesan over the Spinach Lasagna Sheets     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Layering the Béchamel, Bolognese and Parmesan over the Spinach Lasagna Sheets

Spinach Lasagna right before Baking in Oven    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Spinach Lasagna right before Baking in Oven

Baked Spinach Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

Bolognese Meat Sauce
Béchamel  Sauce
Homemade green pasta dough or purchased fresh lasagna sheets
2/3 c. freshly grated parmiggiano-reggiano cheese (or Romano cheese)

1.  Set a bowl of cold water next to the stovetop.  Bring 4 quarts of water to a rapid boil, add 1 T salt, and as soon as the water begins to boil, add the lasagna noodles, 3-4 at a time into the water.  Use a “spider” or small colander to scoop the noodles out of the pasta after about 2-3 minutes maximum.  Plunge the strips into the bowl of cold water, then run under cold running water,  Place on a towel to dry.

2.  Preheat the oven to 400 F.

3.  Spray bottom of lasagna pan with cooking spray and about 1 T. béchamel.  Line the bottom of the pan with a single layer of pasta strips, cutting them to fit the pan.

4.  Spread meat sauce & béchamel in a thin layer over the pasta.  Sprinkle on the grated Parmesan.  Then add another layer of pasta, cutting to fit the pan.  Repeat until there are at least 6 layers of pasta.  Leave a little sauce to spread over the top layer.  Sprinkle the top with parmesan.

5.  Bake on top rack of oven for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven, allow to set for 10 minutes, then serve.

 

Baked Green Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style       www.morewinelesswhines.com

Baked Green Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style

Ingredients for the Bolognese Meat Sauce    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Ingredients for the Bolognese Meat Sauce

Bolognese Meat Sauce, browning the beef with the vegetables   www.morewinelesswhines.com

Bolognese Meat Sauce, browning the beef with the vegetables

Bolognese Meat Sauce, Simmering     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Bolognese Meat Sauce, Simmering

Bolognese Meat Sauce
(I would double this recipe if you prefer a very saucy/meaty lasagna)

1 T canola oil
3 T butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
2/3 c. chopped celery
2/3 c. chopped carrot
3/4 lb. ground beef chuck
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 c. whole milk
whole nutmeg
1 c. dry white wine
28 oz can imported Italian plum tomatoes, juice reserved

1 Melt oil & butter in a large dutch oven. Add chopped onion and sauce until translucent. Then add carrot & onion. Cook 5 minutes, stirring well.
2. Add ground beef, a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir & ‘chop up’ the beef with a wooden spoon, until cooked through.
3. Add milk and let it simmer until soaked into the meat almost completely. Add a tiny grating of nutmeg and stir.
4. Add the wine. Let it simmer until evaporated, then add the tomatoes. Once tomatoes begin to bubble, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the reserved tomato juice to the pot throughout the long simmering period.
4. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Set aside for making the lasagna.

Bechamel Sauce

3 c. milk
6 T. butter
4.5 T. flour
1.4 tsp. salt

1. Put milk in saucepan, turn heat to medium low and bring milk to an “almost boil.” (a ring of bubbles will form around the edge of the pan)
2. While milk warms, place a large saucepan over low heat. Add butter. once melted, sift in the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon to eliminate any lumps. Cook, stirring constantly, 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Whisk hot milk into flour-butter mixture 2 T. at a time. Whisk continuously. Continue whisking in milk, 2 T. at a time, until about 1/2 cup has been added. Then, whisk in 1/2 c. increments of milk, until all is incorporated.
4. Heat the pan over low heat and gently stir in salt. Allow to cook undisturbed until sauce thickens. Use immediately for lasagna.

 

Green Pasta Dough, a photo story:

Green Pasta Dough Basics:  Eggs, Spinach & Flour     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Green Pasta Dough Basics: Eggs, Spinach & Flour

Forming eggs, spinach & Flour into a shaggy ball    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Forming eggs, spinach & Flour into a shaggy ball

Kneed dough for 8 minutes, until smooth and looks like this       www.morewinelesswhines.com

Kneed dough for 8 minutes, until smooth and looks like this

Divide green pasta dough into sixths     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Divide green pasta dough into sixths

Making Homemade Spinach Lasagna Noodles www.morewinelesswhines.com

Making Homemade Spinach Lasagna Noodle

The finished sheets of green pasta dough    www.morewinelesswhines.com

The finished sheets of green pasta dough

Green (Spinach) Pasta Dough

1.5 c. unbleached flour
2 large eggs
1/2 of a 10 oz bag frozen spinach, thawed & excess water squeezed out

Make a well in the flour.  Add eggs and spinach.to the flour well Gently begin to incorporate the spinach and egg together with the flour in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until a shaggy, wet dough is formed. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Kneed the dough by hand, adding flour as needed, pressing with the heel of your palm and turning the ball of dough in the same direction (i.e. clockwise), for 8 minutes. (THIS IS GREAT STRESS RELIEF!)

Cut into 6 equal parts. Cover each piece with plastic wrap.

Place pasta machine on the widest setting. Working with one piece of dough at a time, run it through the machine. Fold the dough in on itself and run through the widest setting once more. Repeat 1-2 times if necessary. Reduce the width between cylinders to a more narrow setting. Run the dough through at this setting twice. Reduce the width between the cylinders a final time. Run dough through 2-3 times to attain desired thinness.

Set prepared pasta sheets on cookie sheets (optional: lined with plastic wrap). Cover either with damp paper towels or plastic wrap and use immediately.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites (no eggs!)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Please let the record show I am a cookie dough addict.  Luckily, there are others who share my cravings for cookie dough!  For example, there is a little ice cream parlor called Cookie Dough Creations in downtown Naperville (a suburb of Chicago) for people just like me!

At  Cookie Dough Creations,  you can order your ice cream and get a scoop of cookie dough on top!  If you are feeling rebellious, you can order cookie dough with no ice cream!  You can get a cookie dough sandwich, too!  The raw dough is made without eggs and comes in 8 flavors:  chocolate chip, peanut butter, oreo, fudge brownie, brown sugar, turtle, M&M and cake batter.  My favorite flavors are chocolate chip & turtle.

I took my little cousin to Cookie Dough Creations a few weeks ago as part of our sleepover weekend and I went back again recently only to find the line out the door despite the AC unit being broken inside!

Using The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook as my guide, I found a great egg-less recipe for cookie dough.  I used the recipe, rolled the perfectly edible though not bake-able cookie dough into little marble-sized bites and froze them for a few hours.  Wait.  Let me back up a step.   I would roll one piece of cookie dough, place it on the parchment lined pan and then eat a little bit.  Next my husband would try eating some cookie dough.  I would yell at him afraid we were going to run out and then the process would repeat.  Hypocrite rolls, hypocrite eats, hypocrite scolds…

I tried making frozen yogurt and stirring the cookie dough in at the end, which worked great.  The only issue was that I ate (no self control) the cookie dough bites I saved to “serve on top” before the frozen yogurt was ready.   These are good drizzled with chocolate or even sandwiched between two regular chocolate chip cookies!  I have also taken this cookie dough and sandwiched it between rice krispie treats, which my little brothers love ( I actually found this application a bit too sweet).

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites   www.morewinelesswhines.com

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Original Recipe found in The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

1/3 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 c. milk
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. mini chocolate chips

In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy 2-3 minutes.  (This can be done by hand or with an electric mixer).  Stir in vanilla and milk.  Mix in flour and salt on low speed until incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Cover bowl with cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 15-30 minutes.  Remove from refrigerator.  Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Use a small spoon or melon baller to scoop out cookie dough little by little.  Roll into little marble-sized “bites.”  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Freeze, covered, several hours until firm.  Use immediately or place in airtight plastic container in freezer.

Yield (after some nibbling):  about 2 cups cookie dough bites.

Note:  This recipe omits baking soda and eggs, so this cookie dough will not ‘work’ if you try to bake and make real cookies with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro

Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro

Life has been hectic!  Fall quarter started up for Graduate School and it has been a very busy time – both with travel and assignments – at work.  I haven’t actually  been home to cook much; however, when I have been home, I keep making this recipe.  My sister-in-law and I even made this chicken dish with a fragrant rice and salad for my in-laws after a long flight.  They enjoyed it as much as I do.

Making the sauce for Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro   www.morewinelesswhines.com

Making the sauce for Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro

This recipe is from the book Jean-Georges Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman.  It is one of several recipes that has made me rethink how I cook a family meal.  I wrote more about this cookbook and another excellent set of recipes in  this post.  You could serve this over rice, Israeli Couscous, Quinoa or any grain that can absorb the delicious sauce!

Sautéing the chicken for Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Sautéing the chicken for Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro

Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro

2 T + 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. minced onion
2 tsp. minced ginger
2″ piece cinnamon
a few strands saffron & some turmeric
salt
2 c. chicken stock (homemade would be great)
2 T. canola oil
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
freshly ground black pepper
2 T. minced green olives (no pimientos)
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 T. coarsely chopped cilantro leaves

 

Preheat oven to 500F. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add onion, ginger, cinnamon, saffron & turmeric, plus a pinch of salt, stirring occasionally, roughly 5 minutes. Add stock & increase heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat, until reduced by roughly 3/4s and becomes syrupy. Remove from heat.

Heat canola oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook undisturbed until lightly brown, 5-8 minutes. Turn over and cook on other side 3-4 minutes. Press an ovenproof,heavy skillet on top of chicken breasts so that they are being smooched between the two pans. Place chicken in “skillet sandwich” in the oven. Bake 15 minutes, remove from oven, and test to see if juices run clear.

Right before chicken is done, finish the sauce. Sitr in remaining 1 tsp olive oil, olives, a pinch of salt & pepper. Cook for 2 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring once or twice. Remove cinnamon stick. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice and cilantro.

Serve chicken over a bed of rice with sauce spooned both around and over it.

Enjoy!

Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro

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Oatmeal, Coconut and Cranberry Breakfast Bars

Oatmeal, Coconut & Cranberry Breakfast Bars    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Oatmeal, Coconut & Cranberry Breakfast Bars

My favorite Grab & Go breakfast for the past few months has included fresh fruit and yogurt or Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt KIND Bars.  This type of KIND bar is delicious.  I was averaging 4-5 per week without a trace of remorse.  Then, a terrible, terrible thing happened.  For 2 weeks IN A ROW both stores by me have been sold out of the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt KIND bars!  I must be visiting the stores at a the wrong hour.  Either that or my evil twin has been swooping in to clear the shelves before I get to the right aisle.

Oatmeal, Coconut & Cranberry Breakfast Bars      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Oatmeal, Coconut & Cranberry Breakfast Bars

This being the sad state of affairs and me being a picky breakfast eater, I cleaned out some odds and ends in the pantry and paid homage to an old breakfast staple, Nigella Lawson’s Breakfast Bars.  They are crazy simple.  You take oats, a bunch of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, coconut and sweetened condensed milk, mix them up in a bowl and pat the mixture into a pan.  Bake, cool, cut and serve.  Num nums.

Oatmeal, Coconut & Cranberry Breakfast Bars      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Oatmeal, Coconut & Cranberry Breakfast Bars

These are what sustain me now in the mornings while I wait for my beloved KIND bars to come back.  They got me through early mornings and final exams for several years, too.  I did hide these from my little brothers when I lived in my parent’s house.

I hope you can enjoy these as much as I have over the years!

Oatmeal, Coconut & Cranberry Breakfast Bars   www.morewinelessehines.com

Oatmeal, Coconut & Cranberry Breakfast Bars

 

Breakfast Bars

Original Recipe from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson

2.5 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. shredded coconut
1 c. dried cranberries
1 c. mixed seeds (I used sunflower seeds )
1 c. nuts (I used a mix of cashews & blanched, sliced almonds)

14 oz can condensed milk

Preheat oven to 250 F.

Spray 13″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients except milk in a large bowl.  Stir together with a big spatula.  Pour in sweetened condensed milk.  Stir until combined.  Transfer oat mixture into greased baking dish.  Even the top with the spatula/ bottom of the measuring cup (spray it with cooking spray first), or your hands (again, spray them with cooking spray first).

Bake 1 hour.  Do something useful while you wait for these to bake.  Then, remove from oven.  Place on cooling rack.  After an hour, slice into bars, 4 across and four down (for 16 bars total).  Let cool completely before serving.

Enjoy!

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Cooking, Gardening

Porterhouse Steak, Mashed Potatoes & Chive Oil

Chives from the Garden   www.morewineless.whines.com

Chives from the Garden

This weekend I did a deep dive into the cookbook, Jean-Georges Cooking at Home with a Four Star Chef, by Jean-Georges Vongerichten & Mark Bittman.

Below is what I have planned on the menu for this week:

Mushroom Soup with Greens (I already made the mushroom broth.  It is waiting patiently in my refrigerator.)

Gently Cooked Salmon with Mashed Potatoes

Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro

Sunday’s Dinner:

Steak with Red Wine Reduction & Carrot Puree

Let me begin by saying that I do not eat a lot of red meat.  I save it for special occasions (such as making meatballs and sausage for Sunday tomato sauce, beef tenderloin skewers with cognac mustard dipping sauce or marinaded beef kabobs).  Occasionally, I will ‘splurge’ on a good cut of beef.  This past weekend was one of those occasions.

Chive Oil     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Getting Ready to Make the Chive Oil

I made this steak recipe for the first time on Sunday.  It involved 3 ingredients:  porterhouse steak, red wine & carrots (plus sea salt, pepper & H2O).

Chive Oil     www.morewinelesswhines.com

Chive Oil

The grilled steak turned out perfectly, but the sauce did not work for me.   We let the steak sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, preheated the grilll,  sprinkled the steak with sea salt & pepper, and cooked the porterhouse 4-5 minutes per side over medium heat.

Porterhouse Steak - soon to be topped with chive oil    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Porterhouse Steak – soon to be topped with chive oil

I used an inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon for my red wine reduction.  While the wine tasted fine in a glass on its own, by the time I reduced it for almost 30 minutes, it was very apparent that there was little nuance in flavor.   All that hit my palate were peppery, bitter notes.   I plan to re-make this recipe in the future with a different wine.

Grilling a Porterhouse Steak    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Grilling a Porterhouse Steak

While the wine reduced, I thought I would make the chive oil ahead of time for Tuesday’s salmon dinner.  This oil is so easy – chives, canola oil & sea salt.  The most time consuming part of making this flavored oil was cutting and washing the chives from my garden.  I made the oil by whirling all the ingredients together in the mini food processor.  Voila!  Magic!  I tried the flavored oil and just said “wow.”  I ended up drizzling this on my porterhouse steak and mashed potatoes instead of the red wine reduction that I (conveniently) botched.  It was so good that all attempts at taking photos of the finished product were forgotten.

Porterhouse Steak - soon to be topped with Chive Oil      www.morewinelesswhines.com

Porterhouse Steak – soon to be topped with Chive Oil

I still have a little bit left for the salmon we are having Tuesday evening!

If you can, please try making and serving this flavored oil with fish, vegetables, rice, chicken or steak.  It is excellent and I will be making it often in the future.  I can see adding this simple recipe to both my Thanksgiving and Easter menus.

Chive Oil
Original Recipe from Jean-Georges Cooking at Home with a Four Star Chef

20 chives, cut into 2″ pieces
4 tsp. canola oil (or other neutral flavored oil such as grapeseed)
pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a small food processor.  Pulse 10-15 seconds or until mixture begins to get creamy.  Scrape sides of bowl down with spatula if needed.  Pulse one last time prior to serving.

Spoon atop your favorite vegetables, fish or meat.  Store in sealed container in fridge no more than 5 days.

Enjoy!

Mashed Potatoes

Peel and chop 2 lbs small yellow potatoes.  Place in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan.  Cover with water by 2″.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat slightly and allow potatoes to boil for 30 minutes or until fork tender.  Drain.   Immediately transfer potatoes to stand of a MixMaster.  Using paddle attachment, beat on speed 4 (medium) until smooth.  Mix in up to 4 T. unsalted butter, 1 T at a time, up to 3/4 c milk (we use skim) and a pinch of sea salt to taste.   Serve warm.  These are excellent with a little chive oil drizzled on top.

 

Grilled Porterhouse Steak

Let the steak sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.   Preheat the grill.   Sprinkle the steak with sea salt & pepper, and cook the porterhouse 4-5 minutes per side over medium heat or to desired doneness.

 

Serve the above meal with a mixed greens salad.

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