Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Filming a TV Pilot this Saturday!

I wanted to let everyone know we are filming a TV Pilot this Saturday at the Grand Haven model home in The Woodlands, Rough Hollow, Lakeway.   Entitled Rider On Recipes, I'm here to fix the "what's for dinner Mom" problem and showcase how beautiful the model home is.

We start at 8:00 a.m. and welcome all visitors when the model opens to the general public at 10:00 a.m.

To get information about the model home, jump to the link below. 

Once completed, the Pilot will be shopped out to all the Broadcast Networks and we will keep you posted!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Seared Scallops Gratin

This didn't come from a listener however most Restaurants do have Scallops as part of their menu.   I wanted to show you how simple scallops are to prepare.   This recipe is really quick and easy, add some bread to mop up the sauce and a salad and you're ready to sit down with the family for a great meal.

Seared Scallops Gratin
  • 1/2 C Butter, softened
  • 1/2 C bread crumbs
  • 1/2 C Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 T parsley, minced
  • 1 T chives, minced
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Scallops, rule of thumb is 4-5 per person
  • 1/2 white wine
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
Directions:   Add some olive oil to a pan and saute the shallot and garlic until soft.   In a separate bowl, combine the butter, bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, chives, salt and pepper.   Add the shallots and garlic and mix well.  If the butter melts too much, put in the refrigerator until ready to use.

saute the shallot and garlic

 butter, herbs, bread crumbs, Parmesan

add the shallots and garlic and mix well

Add a bit of olive oil to the same saute pan and place over high heat.   Rinse and pat dry the scallops.    It's important to make sure the scallops are as dry as possible to get a good sear and to keep the oil from popping.   Do not crowd the pan and sear for 2 - 4 minutes per side, undisturbed.   In your gratin dishes, add a little olive oil.   Once the scallops are seared on both sides, place into the gratin dish.

searing the scallops

Deglaze the saute pan with the white wine and lemon juice, whisking up all the stuck on bits.   Cook over med-high heat until reduced by half and thickened.   Pour sauce into gratin dishes with the scallops.   Top each scallop with the butter herb mixture and then add the lemon zest on top.   Broil under high heat for 5 minutes and remove.

deglazing the pan with white wine and lemon juice

ready for the broiler

Serve with a salad and bread to mop up all the incredible sauce!   Delish!

Monday, February 14, 2011

On the JB and Sandy show this morning!

How cool is this - JB from the JB and Sandy morning show (Mix 94.7) is going to use my recipes for his Valentine's Dinner to his wife!   I actually called in to the show and chatted with the crew for a minute.   Thanks guys - good luck with the welding torch and send me pictures of the finished product!

Chocolate Espresso Creme Brulee

How do you say "I love you" with food on Valentine's Day?   One way is with my Chocolate Espresso Creme Brulee.   With rich dark chocolate, warm espresso and a hint of vanilla, this is sure to please your significant other!

Chocolate Espresso Creme Brulee

  • 2 C heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 3 oz good dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli's 86%)
  • 1 T instant Espresso granules
  • 1/3 C sugar for top
Directions:   Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.   In a saucepan, hear cream with vanilla bean over medium low heat for 15 minutes, stirring often and do not let boil.   Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes.   Take vanilla bean and scrape seeds from inside, add to cream.   In a separate small glass dish, melt chocolate in the microwave 30 seconds at a time and add to the cream.   Add 1 T instant espresso to the cream and whisk until well incorporated.
heavy cream with vanilla bean seeds

my favorite Instant Espresso

In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks until light and fluffy.   Gradually beat in the 1/4 C sugar and slowly add the cream mixture, a little at a time so you don't scramble the eggs, whisking until well blended.

egg yolks and sugar whipped into submission

 incorporating the chocolate espresso cream into the egg mixture

into a warm bath and into the oven

Pour the custard into ramekins or custard cups.   Place the dishes in a large baking pan and pour hot water into the pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.   Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until the mixture is set in the center.   Let cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Before serving, divide the 1/3 C sugar in a thin, even layer over each custard, covering completely.   To caramelize, use a propane torch and hold it so the fame just touches the surface of the sugar, starting in the middle and working outwards.   Serve immediately!

Valentine's Cookies three ways

Another fun way to say "I love you" with food this Valentine's Day is with Sugar Cookies.   One simple cookie can be decorated three ways to really express how you feel.   Tender and full of flavor, these are always a hit!   I made raspberry flavored sandwiches, decorated and chocolate dipped.

Valentine's Sugar Cookies three ways

  • 4 1/2 C sifted flour
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • zest from 1 lemon
Directions:   Preheat oven to 375 degrees.   Butter your baking sheets and sift together your dry ingredients.   In a food processor, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs and mix well.   Add the dry ingredients a bit at a time, alternating with the milk and vanilla.   Finally add the lemon zest and beat well.   Wrap and chill for an hour.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces.   Roll 1 piece at a time on a floured board and cut with cookie cutters.   I used a ruffled edge heart shaped cookie cutter for all then used the smaller version to remove the center of a dozen for my sandwiches.   Bake 8 minutes and cool on racks.

Royal Icing
  • 2 C confectioners sugar
  • 2 egg white or use meringue powder (2 t powder with 2 T water = 1 egg white)
  • 6-8 drops of fresh lemon juice
  • Food Coloring
Directions:   Mix the sugar, egg white (or substitute) and lemon juice in a medium sized bowl.   It should have the consistency of heavy cream.   Add your choice of food coloring in batches to decorate your cooled cookies.

To assemble

I made one batch of royal icing and flavored it with raspberry extract and a bit of red food coloring to get the pink color.   I then made sandwiches.

Another batch I melted dark chocolate and dipped one side of a cookie, letting it dry on a rack.

Finally, I made royal icing in two colors and decorated the cookies to my liking!   Have fun!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Shrimp and Black Bean Taco's

I ask myself often "what's for dinner" while perusing the pantry.   I think I'm great at putting a meal together on the fly for the family and this is one of those meals.   Black Beans, Salsa and Shrimp - ah ha - Tacos.   It turned out very yummy so it's a part of my Food Blog!   Enjoy!

Shrimp and Black Bean Taco's

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 C. salsa (I used a smoky Cornwell and Company)
  • 1 lb shrimp, deveined and tails removed
  • 1 T Cajun seasoning
  • Corn Tortilla's
  • Spinach leaves, rinsed and dry
  • 1 Avocado, sliced
  • Colby-Jack Cheese, grated
Directions:   Saute onion in olive oil until soft and almost carmalized.   Add drained black beans and salsa and cook, using a fork to crush some of the beans.   Reduce by half until thick and transfer to a bowl.   In the same saute pan, toss in the shrimp and season with a Cajun Spice of your choice.   You may have to add a bit more olive oil at this point.   Once cooked through, transfer to plate and assemble your taco's.   I layer spinach, black bean/salsa mixture, avocado slices, shrimp and cheese on one side of a warmed corn tortilla.   Fold and eat - it is that easy!

a few of the ingredients

onion, black beans and salsa reducing in pan

shrimp with the cajun spice almost done

the finished product ready to fold and eat

Habanero Peach BBQ Pork Tenderloin

From Rider On Recipes, here is Sunday's recipe!   Taken from a small chain restaurant, this is super easy, full of flavor and perfect for a week night dinner for the FAM!

Habanero Peach BBQ Pork Tenderloin

  • Pork Tenderloin, thawed and rinsed
  • Habanero Peach BBQ Sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:   Make ahead the Habanero Peach BBQ from my earlier post. Take the thawed pork tenderloin, rinse and pat dry.   Season well with salt and pepper.   You can marinade the meat in the BBQ sauce or not, your preference.   We grilled our tenderloin on the gas grill until medium rare.   Let the tenderloin rest for 10 - 15 minutes before you cut.   Thinly slice the pork, drizzle with additional BBQ Sauce and serve.

 Perfectly grilled and looking beautiful

Fork tender and almost devoured!

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Had an email from a listener who said she ate the best Lobster Mac and Cheese the other evening at a local restaurant.   She wanted help with the recipe so I got an order "to-go" and we devoured it in 5 minutes.   Here is my version, which is just a delicious!

Lobster Mac and Cheese
  • 1 lb Penne Pasta
  • 2 lobster tails, meat removed and cut into small pieces (for more affordable version substitute crab or mock crab meat, as pictured)
  • 12 T butter, divided into 4 T and 8 T
  • 1/2 C. flour
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 8 oz white cheddar, shredded
  • 8 oz Fontina, shredded
  • 8 oz Gruyere, shredded
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 t fresh nutmeg
  • salt and white pepper to taste
Directions:   Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large pot filled with water, add a handful of salt and bring to a boil for the pasta.   In a separate saute pan, add the 4 T butter and lobster meat and cook for 5 - 7 minutes or until opaque in color.   When cooked, set aside.   NOTE: if you are using crab or mock crab as a more affordable substitute, still saute in butter as you would the lobster for a beautiful flavor).

 Fresh Lobster Tails 

 Canned crab or imitation crab

All 3 versions after being sauted in butter, set aside.

In a large saute pan, melt 8 T butter, add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture browns and develops a nutty smell.  This is the roux!   Slowly stir in the milk and bring to a boil.   Reduce heat and simmer for 3 additional minutes.

Browning the butter and flour mixture or "roux".

The pasta water should be at a roaring boil.   Add the penne.

Once the white sauce has simmered for 3 minutes, slowly add the three cheeses, a handful at a time and whisk until fully incorporated.   Add the Dijon and nutmeg and stir well.

Making the Mornay, or Cheese Sauce.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain.   In a large bowl, combine the pasta, cheese sauce and lobster meat.   Stir well and salt and pepper to taste if needed.   Place mac and cheese into a baking dish, whether individual or larger, and place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until bubbly and golden on top.

Three versions: lobster, crab and imitation crab.

My February Newsletter


Peppcorn Encrusted Steak

This is my deconstructed version of a restaurant classic, Peppercorn Tenderloin.   Wanted to show that different steaks were more affordable so I went with a New York Strip at $14 per lb and a Prime Sirloin which was $6 per lb.   Both came out juicy and flavorful with the added texture from the grilled baby Bok Choy.   I made a Beef Glace, stock which is reduced by 75% that creates a semi thick sauce and dinner is served.
Peppercorn Encrusted Steak

  • You choice of steak, whether NY Strip, Rib-Eye or Sirloin, PRIME BEEF
  • Course Pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Additional salt and pepper
Directions:   Prepare your grill, either using charcoal or gas.   Whether you choice a NY Strip, Sirloin or a Rib-Eye, make sure the meat is at room temperature and trimmed of excess fat.   Put the course pepper onto a cutter board and encrust the sides of each steak, pressing the pepper into the meat so it stays on.   Generously salt the top and bottom. 

 course pepper

 encrusted the sides and salted the top/bottom

Start your glace but adding beef stock to a pot and reducing it by 75% until thick.

On hot, grill your steaks until they are done to your preference, which is medium rare for us. Here is the temperature chart for beef:

Rare 125–135 °F (52–57 °C) Red center, gray surface, soft, juicy
Medium rare 135–145 °F (57–63 °C) Dark Pink throughout, gray-brown surface, very juicy
Medium 145–155 °F (63–68 °C) Pink center, becomes gray-brown towards surface
Medium well 155–165 °F (68–74 °C) Thin line of pink, firm texture
Well done 165 °F (74 °C) Gray-brown throughout, tough texture, dry

While the steaks are on the grill, cut the baby bok choy in half and lay out, cut side up, on a tray.   Drizzle with olive oil then salt and pepper.   Once the steaks are done, you want to tent them with foil and let them rest for at least 10 minutes to absorb the juices.   During that time, put the baby bok choy, cut side down, onto the grill and cook for just a few minutes until marked.

Baby Bok Choy, sliced in half with olive oil, salt and pepper

To serve, plate the bok choy, top with slices of the steak and finish with the sauce!   Delicious!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

From Chef Gary Miller - his decadent Chocolate Mousse

My friend since Middle School, Chef Gary Miller and I talk food all the time. He is an amazing and creative Chef in New Zealand and is the Vice President of the New Zealand Chef Association.  He sent me this incredible recipe and I had to share it with you!

Chef Miller's Chocolate Mousse

  • 14 oz. good quality Semi Sweet Chocolate
  • 7 oz. whipping cream
  • 1 C white sugar
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
    Directions:   Place chocolate in a bowl and melt over a pan of boiling water  Once chocolate is melted and smooth you can add your favorite flavors - such as Drambuie, Bailey's, or bourbon. A favorite of mine is a tablespoon of clear honey mixed with 1 teaspoon of strong ground coffee granules and a slug of whiskey.   Whisk cream until it forms stiff peaks - place in the fridge until needed.   Whisk sugar and eggs in a kitchen mixer until it swells in volume and it light and fluffy.   In a large mixing bowl FOLD all of the three ingredients - egg sabayon, whipped cream and melted chocolate. Use a pliable plastic spatula, make sure you mix all the ingredients thoroughly together.   Once mixed, pour into a suitable sized container and refrigerate (for at least 24hrs)

    Serve anyway you want too, see attached pic for how I do mine - in a brandy snap basket with pitted sweet morello cherries and a scoop of vanilla creme fraiche.

    This is a very lush recipe and per portion you only need about 1 1/2  tablespoons per person.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    I won a wonderful give-away!!!

    So excited that I won Designs by Gollum's Williams Sonoma give away - woot for a great gift card.   Here's the touching video she made that announced I had won.