Garbage Pizza

Here is the link to my food column this week in the Daily Sentinel.  Enjoy!

 

http://www.gjsentinel.com/lifestyle/articles/garbage-pizza-sometimes-the-best-pizza-ingredients

Simply Asparagus

asparagus (2)During this morning’s hike there was no doubt that spring was in the air.  The air was crisp, the sun was bold and there was trace evidence of warmth among the dirt and rocks.  After the hike, I ran into the market to grab a few items and what do I see front and center? Beautiful spring asparagus!  Now I know asparagus is not quite emerging on our ditch banks yet here in Colorado (the tags did say Mexico) but nonetheless, I was feeling it and made the purchase.

I don’t remember loving asparagus as a child. I can not recall when the affair started but now I can not think of spring without asparagus being a part of it.

Over the years, asparagus has appeared in many of my menu creations but truly, my favorite preparation of asparagus is simply roasted.

Make sure to buy crisp, pretty green stalks.  I won’t go into the politics but some like it big and some like it small.  Your choice.  I just don’t like it woody and I do prefer the flavor of the thinner stalks.

Snap of just the bottom end where it naturally snaps. Don’t use a knife and guess!  You will cut too much or too little.  Let the asparagus tell you where it wants to break.

Preheat the oven to 350 or up to 400 if you have other cooking to do.  Place the washed, trimmed asparagus on a sheet pan with room to breathe.  Lightly coat with your favorite olive oil (a good on here and one that is relatively high heat tolerant).  Sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper (I prefer Tellicherry peppercorns).

Roast until tender.  Depending on the size of your asparagus and your desired doneness this can take 10-15 minutes.  Simply perfect!

Now, if you want to “turn up” your asparagus a little you can drizzle it with a little good balsamic vinegar and or fresh grated parmesan while it cools.  Yum!

 

Favorite “Oldies but Goodies”

We all have routines in the kitchen which tend to include the “go to” meals that can be considered last resort, quick, or so familiar that it takes no mental energy to throw together.  In our house I would have to say that pasta and burritos fall into that category.  However, sometimes I sit down to the computer and skim through my online recipes and discover an “oldie but goody” that we have not had in a some time, then bam! Suddenly an old familiar simple dish becomes remarkable due to its absence.  Not too unlike a loved one taking a vacation for you to realize how much you miss them.

Welcome back Brown Sugar Bourbon Flank Steak my old friend!  Add this to your “easy but delicious” routine and it will make you happy. Promise.

Bourbon Flank Steak with Mashed Potatoes Bourbon Flank Steak

Also sharing this plate is my house salad; extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice and fresh grated lemon juice with rustic (skin on) garlic mashed Yukon Gold potatoes topped with spring chives.  I get scorned for not serving mashed with any juicy steak :0)

Brown Sugar Bourbon Flank Steak

2-3lb Flank steak

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup favorite bourbon

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup sliced scallions

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tsp cornstarch

Place the first 8 ingredients in a sealable bag and marinate for several hours or overnight.

Preheat the grill.  Drain the steak from marinade and pat dry, reserving the marinade.  Place the marinade in a small sauce pan and add the cornstarch.  Bring the marinade to a simmer for about 3 minutes until thickened.  Keep warm.

Grill steak over medium high heat until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees.  Remove from heat and let rest 5-7 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain. Serve with sauce.

2015 Christmas Feast

2015 Christmas Menu

Avocado Crème Filled Eggs with Pomegranate Arils

Gravlax on Rye Toasts with a Mustard Dill Cream

Winter Pomegranate Salad with Fig Vinaigrette

Bulgur Wheat Salad with Fresh Herbs, Lemon and Pomegranate Seeds

Whole Roasted Prime Rib

Brandy Au Jus

Horseradish crème Fraiche

Truffled Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes

Red Wine and Rosemary Roasted Cipollini Onions

Roasted Root Medley

gravlaxAvocado Filled eggsBulgur Wheat Salad with Pommegranate arilsprime rib

Gravlax

gravlax

2.5 lbs salmon, fillets bones removed skin on

2 oz coarse kosher salt

2 oz granulated sugar

1 Tbsp fresh crushed Tellicherry peppercorns

1 tsp fresh crushed coriander seeds

Fresh dill, chopped

Combine salt, sugar, pepper and coriander seeds. Press the spice blend into the flesh of the salmon using more for the thicker sections and less for the thinner areas. Sprinkle desired amount of fresh chopped dill over the salmon. Wrap the fillet(s) tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 48 hours turning the salmon over several times throughout the curing process.

Test for doneness. Flesh should be darker in color, firm and flake when lifted with a fork. When cured, unwrap salmon and rinse gently will cold water. Pat dry and rewrap and refrigerate.

Wonderful served with pumpernickel slices and dill mustard sauce!