Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gratin Dauphinois for the Masses

So we will attempt to explain this recipe with out the aid of pictures. We have had numerous requests for this and not sure when we will be making it again. This dish is a labor of love as it is a little time consuming and will dirty many different pots and pans in your kitchen. But oh are the results worth the effort! So here we go.

1. In separate bowls, place your Gorgonzola, salt, small cubed butter, ground white pepper.
2. Have at least a quart of cream on hand.
3. Wash and peel your russet potatoes, then place in a bowl of water.
4. Take a casserole dish and liberally butter it, bottom and sides and set aside.
5. You are now ready to start building your layers, the key here is to slice only the amount of potatoes that you need for each
layer. When sliced do not put them in any water, as you need all the starch left in them.
6. Using a Japanese Mandolin, slice the potatoes very thin and layer them in the bottom of your casserole dish, shingling
them as you go.
7. Sprinkle the layer of potatoes with some salt and pepper.
8. Randomly place cubes of butter over the layer.
9. Sprinkle the Gorgonzola evenly over the layer, more or less depending on how strong you want the flavor.
10. Pour a little cream over the layer.
11. Now you are ready to add another layer of potatoes, like the first. Once you have them covering, firmly press down.
12. Repeat all the above steps. You will add a total of 6 layers. Finish the top off as if you were adding another layer, so all the
cheese, butter, cream, etc.
13. Cover tightly with foil and place in a 320 degree oven for approximately 2 1/2 hours. Checking occasionally by poking a
knife through the layers to see if you have resistance.
14. Once you feel that they are done uncover the pan and let finish cooking until the top is golden brown.
15. Remove and let cool, it is best to let them sit over night in the fridge.
16. Very carefully cut them into serving pieces and remove with a spatula, reheat in the oven till warm.
17. ENJOY!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Braised Short Ribs, not your mothers pot roast!

So for about the last nearly 10 years I have been hounded for my Braised Short Rib recipe. Short Ribs defined by the Food Lovers Companion are "rectangles of beef about 2 inches by 3 inches, usually taken from the chuck cut. Short ribs consist of layers of fat and meat and contain pieces of the rib bone. They're very tough and require long, slow, moist-heat cooking". I have done these many different ways with many different braising liquids, but I always come back to the one that I feel is the best in flavor. That would be Red Wine braised, be it Cab, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot, the outcome is nearly the same, some subtle flavor differences, but not enough for the avid home cook to sweat over. We are going to do this one in pictures.

Start with good quality meat, these are Thundering Hooves Short ribs.

Next gather your vegetables: Onions-peeled and rough chop, Carrots-peeled and rough chop, celery-rough chop, garlic-peeled and smashed, shallots-peeled and rough chop, rosemary, parsley stems and thyme

Next you will want to season the ribs with salt and pepper and sear off the ribs in canola oil, until you get a little crust/golden brown color on each side. When they are done place in a large roasting pan and set aside. Then add all of your vegetables, minus the herbs, to a large sauce pan with a bit of canola oil and start to slowly caramelize them.

Next you will need to add some tomato paste and flour, first add the paste to the caramelized veg and stir in well, then sprinkle the flour over and stir until you can not see any white.

Then you are going to want to add your liquids, add them in slowly and scrape the bottom of the pan. Once all of your wine is in, add your herbs and bring to a boil, reduce slightly and add your stock, bring again to a boil and pour over the ribs that are in a roasting pan. Lightly season with salt and pepper, as you will finish seasoning after the sauce is done. You may add a couple bay leaf's at this point as well. Here I will give you some amounts, you will need 3-4 bottles of wine and about a gal of veal stock.

At this point you want to cover them with parchment by laying it directly on the liquid, then cover the pan with foil. Place the roasting pan in a 320 degree oven and cook for at least 4 hours or until the meat falls apart when you lift it out of the liquid. Once that point is reached, remove the pan and VERY CAREFULLY remove the ribs from the liquid. You will want to pull the bones out at this point, as they will be much easier to remove now then later. It is best to let these cool over night in the fridge.

Next you need to very carefully strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer, pushing all of the solids lightly. This needs to be chilled down then held over night so a fat cap forms at the top.

After the cap is set, you can remove it easily. Then you need to reduce the sauce by at least 1/2. Then season it with salt and pepper. I usually clean up the ribs by squaring them up and saving the scraps to grind into burgers etc. At this point you can return the meat to reheat in the sauce then serve.


A Insania Night through Anothers Eyes!

So Saturday night I had the honor of cooking for Geoff Tate and 65 of his most rabid fans in the World! I don't think I could of said it any better then my buddy Steve!