Monthly Archives: October 2010

CSA Pizza

Local pork sausage tossed with red pepper flakes & wild boar seasoning, just-milled grape tomatoes with heirloom garlic, fresh oregano and balsamic vinegar, roasted gypsy peppers, green onions, olive oil, Asiago & Manchego cheese, torn arugula and a crisp, thin wheat crust..

Killer Pizza (Austin CSA Edition)

Roast tomatoes and gypsy peppers in a 500 degree oven until charred.  Set both aside until cool enough to handle.

Slips the skins from the peppers and remove the stems and seed clusters.  Coarsely chop the flesh and set aside.

Pass 3/4 of the tomatoes through a food mill and place into a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium low heat. Add garlic, balsamic and the rest of the tomatoes and cook until thick, about 25 minutes.  Add fresh oregano about 5 minutes before the pan comes off the heat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Fry coarsely-ground fresh pork in a hot skillet.  Season with wild boar spices and cook until well browned.  Add green onions, toss and set aside.

Drizzle pizza crust with olive oil and place on a pre-heated pizza stone and bake 4 minutes at 500 degrees.  Return stone to oven and set the crust aside.

Working from the center out, spread tomato sauce around the partially-baked crust.  Scatter cooked sausage and green onions over the top.  Follow with roasted peppers and cheese and finish with arugula tossed with a little olive oil.

Sprinkle a little more boar seasoning over the top if desired, then slide pizza onto the stone and bake at 500 degrees until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is crisp, about 7 minutes.   Cut and serve immediately.

Ingredients from

Ground pork (Richardson Farms)
Grape tomatoes (CSA)
Heirloom garlic (JBG)
Fresh oregano (my garden)
Balsamic vinegar (Texas Olive Ranch)
Gypsy peppers (CSA)
Arugula (Montesino Ranch)
Green Onions (Acadian Family Farm)
Cheese (Antonelli’s Cheese Shop)
Pizza crust (Pie Fixes Everything)
Greenling Organic Delivery
Farmhouse Delivery

Filet de Bœuf with Porcini-Green Peppercorn Sauce

Aged, grass-fed filet of beef tenderloin is salt-crusted in a blazing hot iron skillet then finished in a 550-degree oven to a perfect medium-rare.  Served with a classic demi-glace with shallots, porcini mushrooms, aged brandy and cracked green peppercorns, finished with a knob of double Devon cream butter..

Filet de Bœuf with Porcini-Green Peppercorn Sauce

For the Steaks

Aged tenderloin filets, cut 2-1/2 inch thick
Coarse sea salt

Blot filets dry, then lightly sprinkle coarse sea salt on all surfaces.  Wrap loosely in butcher’s paper and refrigerate 4 hours.

Unwrap filets, blot dry and allow to stand 30 minutes at room temperature.  Meanwhile, pre-heat an iron skillet over medium-high heat for 15 minutes and pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees.

Sprinkle a little coarse sea salt in the bottom of the skillet and carefully lay down the filets.  Sear without moving for 3 minutes, re-salt the pan and sear the other side for 3 minutes.

Transfer the pan with the filets to the hot oven and roast about 7-8 minutes for medium rare.  Transfer filets to a dish to rest while you prepare the sauce.

For the Sauce

1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup porcini mushrooms, brushed clean and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons butter
6 oz demi-glace
3 oz fine brandy, cognac, port or Madeira
1/2 tablespoon freshly-cracked dry green peppercorns
1 tablespoon double Devon cream butter, cold

Add 1 tablespoon butter to the hot pan that the steaks were cooked in.  Add shallots and mushrooms and saute 2 minutes. Carefully add the brandy off the heat, taking care not to set the neighborhood on fire.  Return to heat and reduce until only 1 tablespoon of liquid remains.

Add the peppercorns and demi-glace and bring to a boil.  Remove sauce from the heat and whisk in double Devon cream butter.

Plate steaks and sauce and serve immediately with grilled asparagus and new potatoes, perhaps.

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Butter-Poached Newfoundland Lobster

Fresh lobster tails from the icy waters of Newfoundland and Labrador are gently poached in cultured butter with organic Pinot grigio, heirloom tomatoes, slivered leeks, fresh or preserved lemon, garlic, fresh marjoram and bay..

Butter-Poached Newfoundland Lobster

lobster tails
lobster shells
8 oz cultured butter, cold, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz Pinot gris or other semi-dry white wine
1 bay leaf, fresh preferred
2 wedges preserved lemon
2 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
2 inches fresh leeks, green and white parts, slivered
1 heirloom tomato, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon safflower stamens (for color, optional)
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, torn
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Heat wine and empty lobster shells in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until simmering.  Reduce heat to medium low, add lemon, bay, garlic, tomato and leeks and cook until tomatoes and leeks begin to disintegrate, about 12 minutes.

Whisk in butter one piece at a time, allowing each to incorporate before adding the next.  Do not allow to boil or the emulsion will break.

Add safflower, marjoram, parsley and lobster tails and gently poach until firm and opaque, about 10 minutes.  Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

To serve, arrange tails in a shallow bowl and spoon poaching liquid over the top.  Serve with crusty bread and a salad of field greens, perhaps.

Leftover poaching liquid makes a great base for bisque.  Keep it in the freezer up to three months.

Italian Roast Boar Knuckle with Mostarda di Frutta

Boneless knuckle of wild boar is rubbed with a mixture of Italian sweet chili powder, fennel pollen, salt, black pepper and garlic then roasted to a turn, sliced and served with a mostarda of figs, pears and apricots with grainy mustard, dry white wine and a few red chili flakes..

Chili-Fennel Roasted Boar Knuckle with Mostarda di Frutta

For the Spice Rub

3 tablespoons sweet Italian chili powder
1-1/2 tablespoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon fennel powder (substitute fennel and anise seeds)
1 scant tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons granulated garlic

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

To prepare, coat knuckle roast on all sides with spice mixture and refrigerate uncovered for 4 hours.  Remove from refrigerator and allow to stand while you pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roast the knuckle until the internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees, about 1 hour for a 1-1/2 pound roast.  Allow to stand a full 10 minutes before carving.   Serve with mostarda, bitter greens and a hunk of crusty bread.

“Though you’ll find mostarda from Piemonte on through the Veneto and down into Emilia Romagna, the best known variation is that from Cremona (Mostarda di Cremona), which is also produced commercially. According to Italian food scholar Antonio Piccinardi, the word mostarda derives from the French moustarde, which in turn derives from mout ardent, fiery must, which was made by adding powdered mustard seed to unfermented grape must and cooking it down to produce an invigorating condiment.”

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Garlic Smashed Reds and Mushroom Demi

Pastured beef short ribs are seared until well browned, then braised in burgundy with celery, onions, carrots, garlic, green peppercorns, fresh thyme and rosemary.  Once tender, the ribs are allowed to stand until firm, then seared a second time with fresh crimini mushrooms.

Meanwhile, the braising liquid is furiously reduced, strained and finished with cold butter and demi-glace.  Served atop smashed red potatoes flecked with roasted garlic and minced chives..

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Garlic Smashed Reds and Mushroom Demi

 

Quick Demi-Glace, Home Version (adapted from Saveur Magazine)

1/4 lb. uncured bacon, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup sprouted wheat flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2-1/2 quarts homemade beef stock, divided
1/4 cup good red wine (not cooking wine)
10 sprigs fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 leaves fresh sage
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Render bacon in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Add onions and carrots and cook until somewhat softened, about 8 minutes.  Use a sifter to sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook another 10 minutes. Add wine, herbs and 8 cups of stock and simmer uncovered until reduced in volume by three-quarters, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

Strain sauce, discarding solids. Return to pan with remaining stock and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours.  Demi-glace may be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for up to three months.

Moroccan Spiced Lamb and Couscous with Garlic, Fresh Mint and Preserved Lemon

Local, pastured lamb (Menzie’s Farm, Harper, TX) is ground and tossed with diced onions and freshly-ground ras el hanout, then seared in clarified butter with homemade harissa.  Served over stock-simmered couscous with garlic, fresh mint and Jenny’s  Moroccan preserved lemons..

Moroccan Spiced Lamb & Couscous with Garlic, Fresh Mint and Preserved Lemon

 

For the Ras el Hanout (recipe by Christine Benlafquih)

2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cardamon
2 teaspoons ground mace
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Blend all of the spices in a bowl. Transfer to an air-tight glass jar and store in a dry, dark place for up to several months

For the Harissa (recipe by Christine Benlafquih)

12 to 15 dried red chili peppers (approx. 1 1/2 oz. or 100 g)
3 or 4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground caraway seeds (optional)
2 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice
olive oil

Remove the seeds from the dried chili peppers and place them in a bowl. Cover them with very hot water and leave to soften for 30 minutes to an hour.

Drain the chili peppers, and gently squeeze out excess water with a paper towel. Using a mortar and pestle (or a blender or mini food processor) grind the chili peppers, garlic, salt and spices to a paste. Add the lemon juice and just enough olive oil to moisten the harissa, or add additional olive oil to thin it.

Store unused harissa in an airtight container in the fridge. For long storage, lightly top the harissa with a little oil before covering.

For the Lamb

1 lb freshly ground lamb
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
1-1/2 tablespoons harissa

For the Couscous

1 cup couscous (Israeli whole wheat is particularly nice)
2 cups vegetable stock or filtered water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
half of a Moroccan preserved lemon, diced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the couscous and garlic and stir to coat.  Continue cooking until garlic is soft but not browned, about 3 minutes.

Add stock or water, increase heat and bring to a low boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add mint, lemon and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover, remove from heat and let stand 8 minutes.  Fluff with a fork before serving.

To Prepare

Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Pinch off pieces of lamb about the size and shape of a ping pong ball and sauté in butter until golden brown on all sides.

Stir in harissa and toss to coat.

Place couscous in bowl and arrange lamb over the top.  Pour some of the harissa butter over the top and serve hot with additional ras el hanout, lemon and mint.

Ras El Hanout is a complex, aromatic Moroccan spice blend.  Most recipes include cardamom, nutmeg, anise, mace, cinnamon, ginger, various peppers, and turmeric, but 30 or more ingredients might be used.

Ras El Hanout’s literal translation from Arabic is “head of the shop,” meaning “the best (or top) of the shop.”