Thursday, March 26, 2009

Seared Scallops on Crustini with Bacon and Herbed Goat-cheese

This was a quick little meal invention that was inspired by a cookbook Ms.Huxtable was reading to pass the time at Chapters while I was shopping for french schoolbooks. Look for french recipes in the near future ;)

Serves 4

4 or 8 Bacon strips (depending on presentation, more bacon=more fun)
8 Sea Scallops (sliced into 2 for each)
1 crusty baguette
Herbed Goat cheese (such as Rondelé)
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Slice baguette on angle to create 4 long and thin (1/4 inch) angled slices from the baguette. The slices will be much crispier if they are thin. Brush each with Olive oil and broil in the oven, watching closely as they will turn from crusty to burnt in seconds. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Rub each with garlic clove and then spread herbed goat cheese as thick as you like.

Heat skillet on medium heat and fry bacon until desired crispness. Remove to paper towel for greasy soak-up and reserve the bacon fat in the pan. Add scallops to the hot pan and sautee each side for about 1 1/2 minutes. Scallops cook fast. Lay 3-4 scallop pieces on top of goat cheese. Place 1 to 2 strips of bacon on top and serve.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Burger Grease Art

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Prime Rib Steak with Sweet Potato Fries and Garlic Aioli Sauce

The most enjoyable time of year for me is the reawakening of spring. When the snow is consistently melting and you can stand outside at 7 o'clock while the sun is still out with a t-shirt and a hoodie, you know it's time to BBQ. I got a bag of charcoal, some prime rib and went to work to make the greatest steak dinner that might challenge any restaurant of quality.

For the Prime Rib
1 or 2 nice pieces of prime rib steak (bone in!)
Kosher Salt
Ground Black Pepper

A half hour before you plan on grilling your prime rib, make sure that you take it out of the refrigerator and let it unchill. If your meat is cold, you'll have a harder time to get the perfect doneness that you desire. A rare steak shouldn't be raw, but it will be if you start grilling it cold.

Sprinkle salt on both sides of your steak and then grind some pepper all over. Brush a tiny bit of olive oil on both sides as well. It really helps get some black yummy char happening.

I've learned that pure charcoal is the way to go. Forget propane or natural gas grills. When you want a man steak, you sure as hell better know how to light a fire without any lighter fluid. Use a WEBER!

I cooked this steak for about 3-4 minutes per side on high heat.

Garlic Aioli
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 egg yolk
kosher salt (to taste)
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon dijon (grainy) mustard
1/4 tsp water
1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice

After a suggestion by MarcO, I went with a garlic Aioli sauce for the sweet potatoes. When I realized how much I made, I divided it into two batches and added about a tbsp of Horseradish to one and enjoyed it with the Prime rib. Inspired by classic roast beef of coarse.

Sweet Potato Fries
1 or 2 big sweet potatoes
4 cups water
2-3 tbsp kosher salt
2-3 tbsp brown sugar.

These made the meal. Simply peel a sweet potato or two, and cut into your favourite cut of fries. I went with the classic 1/4 inch fry size using a mandolin slicer. Soak the cut fries in a brine of salted water and brown sugar for about 1 hour or so.

Setup the deep fryer at 320 F and put the potatoes in for about 6 minutes. Remove and drain. It's ok to let them cool a bit, and it's encouraged. Crank the heat to 375 F and finish the potatoes off when you're letting your steak rest. They only need about 1 minute at this point. Keep an eye on them. If they need 20 more seconds, you'll know. If you let them go too long, they'll become too dark and too toasted.

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