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Comfort Food

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

Who doesn’t love tender braised meat in a rich wine sauce? There is nothing better than this French classic and no part of the cow that I enjoy more than it’s short ribs. Beautifully marbled, fatty, tender, beefy goodness. The short ribs pack a massive amount of flavor and generally are an inexpensive.

I prefer cooking this dish with the wine reduction which means you will need to prepare this one day in advance to allow for the maximum cabernet wine infusion into the meat. That being said you want to use a good bottle of wine for this dish. Tonight I’m paring the short ribs with Robuchon style mash potato and haricot vert with shiitakes.

Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless short rib (equal size portions)
  • 2 1/2 cups leeks (1/2 inch dice)
  • 2 cups onion (1/2 inch dice)
  • 2 cups carrots (1/2 inch dice)
  • 1 cup shallot (1/2 inch dice)
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 4 bay leaf
  • 6 cloves garlic hand crushed
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 bottle cabernet sauvignon (don't be cheap)
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Mise en place

Mise en place

Wine Reduction

Wine Reduction

First we need to create the wine reduction that will serve as the basis of this dish.  Start by adding half of the leeks, onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, all the shallot and the bottle of wine to a large ovenproof pot. Bring to boil over high heat then lower to simmer for 60 minutes until the wine reduces to a glaze. You want to reduce as much fat from the dish you can at every point, so take the time to remove the silver skin and excess fat from the short ribs. Portion them into equal sizes so that they cook properly.

Browning Short Ribs

Browning Short Ribs

Season the meat with salt and pepper on all sides. Preheat a large skillet over high heat, add enough canola oil when it’s ripping hot to cover the bottom of the pan. Brown the meat in small batches making sure there is plenty of space between the pieces of meat. Take your time with this step and make sure all sides are perfectly brown. Always remember that browning on meat is flavor. Transfer the meat to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Additional Vegetables

Additional Vegetables Added

Short Ribs Being Braised

Short Ribs Being Braised

Create a bed for the beef by adding the remaining vegetables, garlic, thyme, bay leaf to the wine reduction. Mix the vegetables into the reduction then add the beef in a single layer. Top with beef stock until it just covers the meat. Cover with a tight sealing lid and cook in a 325 oven for 2.5 hours or until the meat is tender.You could technically serve this after it’s been braised, but ultimately you want to transfer the meat to a container and let it marinate in the braising liquid overnight. Run the braising liquid through a chinois several times before pouring it over the meat. Refrigerate overnight.

Day 2: Skim the fat on top of the marinated short ribs. Remove the meat from the liquid, place the liquid into medium sauté pan and reduce by 1/3rd. Season with salt and pepper as needed.  Place the meat into the braising liquid and  spoon over the top. Reheat in a 400 degree oven. Spooning the sauce over the meat every couple of minutes until warm ~8 minutes.

Reheating Short Ribs

 


 

For more information on this dish or any French Classic I would recommend the

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Pork Meatballs with Spicy Tomato

Pork Meatballs with Spicy Tomato

I’m a bit of a sucker for meatballs in any form. As an Italian American pasta and meatballs are in my blood. If theres one thing that I’m absolutely a fan of when dinning out is small sharing plates and tapas. The Spanish style meatball is a one of my favorites because of the seasonings. The mix of smoked paprika and spicy tomato is addictive. You can make these out of Pork or Lamb.

Pork Meatballs with Spicy Tomato

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/3 cup white bread
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp spanish paprika
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
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Take the pork out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before working with the meat or it won’t mix properly. Soak the bread in milk until absorbed. Mix all the ingredients together, but don’t over work.
Meatballs UnmixedPreheat oven to 400. Pour about 2 inch of oil into a heavy bottom sauce pan and get to 365. Form the meatballs into 1 1/2 tablespoon balls.  Flash fry the albondigas ~ 1 minute.Meatballs Flash Fried Transfer to a sheet tray and finish in the oven ~ 8 minutes or until cooked through.

Tomato Sauce


1 cup of chunky tomato

1 clove garlic (fine sliced)

1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs hot spanish paprika

Place the olive oil and garlic in a medium sauce pan on medium heat. Let the garlic cook ~ 1 minute then add the tomato. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then add the paprika. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.


Check out the recipe for my traditional Italian Meatballs

Beef Teppanyaki with Vegetable

Beef Teppanyaki with Vegetable

I became addicted to Beef Teppanyaki early on in my life and have a fondness towards the preparation. Our family would make it a weekly ritual to go see a movie at local AMC movie theater then go down the street to Banzai. This local teppanyaki restaurant although not the best by any means was my entry into Japanese cuisine.  This is my take on that style of teppanyaki that they served with minimal seasoning and lots of garlic.

Beef Teppanyaki with Vegetable

Ingredients

  • 2 8oz portions of beef (I prefer, ribeye, filet, short rib and hanger for this)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 3 scallions (diced)
  • 2 bok choy
  • 1/2 cup of snap peas
  • 1/2 onion (sliced)
  • 2 tbs canola oil
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Take the beef out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.  Dice into 1/2 inch cubes.Beef Short Rib Beef CubedClean the bok choy and separate the leaves, then clean the snap peas. Blanch the peas in salted boiling water for ~1 minute then the bok choy for ~15 seconds. Shock in an ice bath then dry.

Preheat a large heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs of canola oil when the pan is ripping hot then drop in the onions. Sauté for ~2 minutes without letting them gain too much color. Add the snap peas, bok choy and 1/2 the scallions.Vegetables

Sauté for ~1 minute then add 1 tbs of butter and 1 clove of minced garlic to the center of the pan. Garlic Added

Once fragrant mix into the vegetables then add 1 tbs of mirin and soy.  Sauté ~ 1 minute then take off the heat. Season with pepper.vegetablesfinal

Now its time for the beef. This cooks extremely quickly so have everything at the ready. Preheat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs of canola oil once ripping hot. Place the beef in and shake the pan so that its evenly spread out.Beef Added to Pan After ~20 seconds turn the beef, place a tbs of butter and the remaining garlic into the center of pan. Shake the pan to distribute the garlic once fragrant (~30 seconds), then add 1 tbs of soy sauce and mirin. Beef ButterCook until medium rare or your desired preference.Beef Teppanyaki FinishedTop with the rest of the scallion and serve immediately.

Check out some other great beef recipes at Savuer.

Crispy Branzino with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Crispy Branzino with Sweet and Sour Sauce

This is a homage to a similar dish I grew up eating at Susanna Foo’s in Philadelphia. Her mix of Chinese and California cuisine was inspiring and utterly delicious. The crispy fried fish paired with sweet and sour sauce is magical and something ordered until she shut the doors in downtown Philly. Today I paired the fish with broccolini and coconut sticky rice. Buy any small white fleshed fish you can get, I prefer branzino or snapper for this dish.

Crispy Branzino with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 pound whole branzino (cleaned, gutted and scaled)
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 3 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic (grated)
  • 1 scallion (diced)
  • 1/4 tsp chili paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
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Clean the fish and score every 1/2 inch the length of the filet. Allow the branzino to air dry ~ 20 minutes. Preheat a large heavy bottom pan that can fit the fish with enough oil to allow it to deep fry to 375.Branzino Scored Season the fish with salt and pepper and then coat with corn starch. Branzino Corn StarchPlace into the oil and cook for ~6-8 minutes depending on the size of the fish. BranzinoAllow the fish the rest on a cooling rack once out of the oil.

Add the garlic, ginger and scallion to a medium pan with a touch of canola oil. Once fragrant add the apricot, vinegar, water, soy and chili paste. Reduce the sauce by 1/4 and season with pepper. Sweet and Sour Spoon the sauce over top of the fish and serve immediately.

Branzino

 

 

 

Pan Roasted Pork Chops, Asparagus and Grits

Pan Roasted Pork Chops, Asparagus and Grits

If there is one cut of meat that represents everything that I love in meat, it’s a thick bone-in pork chop. Fatty, salty, tasty porky goodness. Simple is always best when it comes to pork so why mess with a good thing. You can pair this with any vegetable or side you wish. Today, I choose asparagus and grits. The beauty of pan roasting these wonderful pork chops is being able to use the those delicious bits of fond for a pan sauce.

This is the perfect opportunity to brush up on your pan roasting skills. Lets make some pork chops!

Pan Roasted Pork Chops, Asparagus and Grits

Ingredients

  • 2 bone-in thick cut pork chops
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbs canola oil
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Take the pork out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes to cooking. Season with salt and pepper liberally. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan over high heat until almost smoking. Place the chops in the pan and cook until golden brown, ~ 4 minutes. Flip the chops over and place the pan in the oven. Roast until medium ~ 5 minutes.pork1pork2On medium heat add 1 tablespoon butter, 3 gloves hand crushed garlic and 2 sprigs thyme to the pan. Spoon the butter over the chops for about 2 minutes flipping the pork once. Allow the pork to rest on cooling rack for at least 5 minutes.pork3In the meantime, drain the pan of oil and add the chicken stock over medium heat. Scrape the fond from the pan. Once the liquid has reduced by half, add the remaining butter and season. Spoon over top of the plated pork.


Grits

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup cheddar (shredded)

Instructions

  1. Add the water and milk to the sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the cornmeal while mixing. Continue to mix until the polenta thickens. Stir periodically for ~ 1 hour or until the cornmeal is fully cooked.
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To finish add butter and cheddar.grits3


Asparagus

asparagus

2 cloves garlic

olive oil

Wash and trim the asparagus. Blanch the asparagus in salted water ~90 seconds then shock in an ice bath. Preheat a large cast iron or heavy bottom pan medium-high heat. Dry the asparagus. Add 1 tbs of olive oil to the pan, then the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Let the asparagus char before turning them ~2 minutes. Add the garlic then toss. Take the pan off the heat after 90 seconds and set aside.

Sasparagus2

 

Stir Fry

Stir Fry

Who doesn’t love some Stir Fry? It’s such a great way to eat a lot of vegetables and protein. You can pretty much take it any  direction with what ever flavors you wish. Today I went for asian flavors, next week maybe more mediterranian.

The beauty of this is dish being able to use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge and cooking everything in one pan.  For me it’s all about textures  and interplay between crunchy vegetables and chicken. Be adventurous, buy what ever produce looks fresh and tasty and mix it up.

Stir Fry with Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast (1/4 inch thick strips)
  • 1/3 cup carrot (sliced 1/8 inch thick)
  • 1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 4 brussel sprouts (quartered and blanched 1 min)
  • 1 bok choy
  • 1/2 red pepper (1/8 inch jullian)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely sliced)
  • 1/4 grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/8 cup mirin
  • 1/8 cup soy
  • 2 scallions (sliced)
  • sesame oil
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Stir Fry Finished

Slice the chicken breast into 1/4 inch thick slices. Add into a mixing bowl with 1/2 tsp of soy, 1 tps of canola oil, 2 drops of sesame oil and season with pepper. Set aside and start breaking down the vegetables.

Slice the carrot, pepper, garlic, scallions and quarter the brussel sprouts. Separate the bok choy. Blanch the brussel sprouts for 1 minute then shock in an ice bath. Mix together in a small bowl the remaining 1/8 cup soy, 1/8 cup mirin and 1/2 cup chicken stock and set aside.Stir Fry Misen en PlacePreheat a heavy bottom pan or cast-iron pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tbs of canola oil when its ripping hot and add the chicken. Sauté for 1 minute then remove the chicken. STchick1Sauté the onion, pepper and garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute. SFveg2Add the carrot, bok choy, brussel sprouts and ginger to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Once they begin to color add the chicken and cook for 1 minute. SFveg3Add the soy, mirin and chicken stock mixture to the pan and reduce for 2 minutes. Season with pepper.SF2SFreduction Serve over rice or eat as is.


 

Cubano Sandwich

Cubano Sandwich

I don’t know if I made Roasted Cuban Pork yesterday for the tacos or for the leftovers today used in the Cubano sandwich. Either way I found them equally satisfying.


soft baguette split lengthwise

mojo roasted pork (thinly sliced with drippings)

ham (thinly sliced)

softened butter

yellow mustard

swiss cheese (thinly sliced)

dill pickles (thinly sliced)


Making the Cubano Sandwich

Preheat a heat a large cast-iron pan or panini press if you have one. Add the ham slices to the pan to heat through ~ 1 minute. Transfer the ham to a plate then add the roasted pork to heat through ~ 1 minute. CS1Lather the baguette with butter on the cut side and toast until golden brown ~ 2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to assemble the sandwich. Smear cut sides with mustard, then layer the ham, pork, swiss and pickles on the baguette and close the sandwich.Cuban Sandwich AssemblyBrush the outside of the sandwich with butter place on the cast-iron pan. Cuban Sandwich PressedPlace another cast-iron pan or pan with a weight on top the sandwich to press it.CSpress Cook over medium heat ~ 3 minutes a side. Slice and enjoy!Cuban Sandwich Fliped

Game Day: Chicken Pot Pie

Game Day: Chicken Pot Pie

I find myself always gravitating towards comfort foods during the Super Bowl. Chicken Pot Pie for me is the definition of comfort food in all of it’s high caloric magnificence. Do yourself a favor this week and make a roasted chicken, extra gravy and then make pot pie the next day with the leftovers.


1 hearty cup of picked chicken

1/2 cup of gravy (night before)

1/2 cup carrot small dice

1/2 cup peas

1 sheet of puff pastry

1 cup milk

1 tbs butter

1 tbs flour


The Pot Pie

Lets start with the béchamel. We’ll later add the previous nights gravy too to fortify the chicken flavor. In a medium sauce pan add the butter then flour once the butter is melted. Cook the roux for 2-3 minutes then add the milk. Lower the heat to low and cook staring constantly for 20-30 minutes until it reduces by half. Pass through a stainer than add the gravy. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 and begin to cut out your puff pastry to size of your ramekins for both the top and bottom. Place them on a silpat or parchment lined sheet tray and brush with egg wash. There will be extra pastry so cut them into triangles and put them on the silpat to use later for extra crunchiness to the final pie.

Blanch the peas then the carrots until they have a little bite to them still. Add the chicken to the béchamel and the vegetables. Simmer on low for a 2 minutes then add the extra pieces of puff pastry. PPfilling1PPfillingPPovenPlace the bottom piece in each ramekin then spoon the mix over the top. Preheat oven to 350 and place the pot pies in for ~10 minutes. Place the top piece of puff on top and finish cooking for 1 additional minute. Serve immediatly.PPfinal

Game Day: Buffalo Wings

Game Day: Buffalo Wings

The Wings

I love traditional wings, but there is something magical about mixing Frank’s Red Hot and Korean Gochujang. The chili pepper based Gochujang  by itself and probably my favorite condiment. The combination of sweet mirin and garlic make these wings indescribably addictive. Wg


1 1/2 pounds meaty chicken wings

1/3 cup Franks Red Hot

1 tbs cup Korean Gochujang

1/4 cup Mirin

1 clove minced garlic

1 tbs melted butter


Take the chicken out at least 30 minutes before cooking them to allow them to get room temperature and for the skin to air dry. Trim the wings and spread them out on a cutting board.WingsPreheat oil to 365. Season the wings with salt and pepper and fry them for 5 minutes. Pull them out and allow the oil to get back to temperature.WfirstfryWings 1st FryIn a small sauce pan add the garlic and mirin over medium heat. Let the mirin reduce by half then add the Gochujang. Once incorporated add to Franks Red Hot in large mixing bowl. Mix well.WgoDrop the wings back into oil and cook until crispy for ~ 3 minutes. Mix the melted butter into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the wings to drain before being added to the sauce, toss and serve.WsaucingWings SaucedWclose

 

French Toast

French Toast

The last couple of days I’ve been feeling a little under the weather so french toast is the perfect pick me up dish. Today, I went with the caloric loaded creme anglaise version because they are simply delectable!french toast brioche


3/4 cup heavy cream, divided

1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise)

2 tablespoons sugar

4 egg yolks

1 loaf brioche bread, sliced 1/2 inch


Place 1/2 cup of the cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Split the vanilla bean in half, scrape the seeds into the cream, then add the bean. Bring just to a simmer, remove from heat and allow to infuse for ~ 30 minutes.FTcreamIn a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar. Begin to temper the eggs by slowly pouring the warm cream into the bowl. Constantly whisk until incorporated. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return the pan to low heat. FTeggsFTtemperStir constantly to prevent curdling until the crème anglaise has thickened. Strain the mixture into bowl and whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of cold cream. Allow the crème anglaise to cool before using.FTcaFTca2french toast assemblyYou can make the french toast on a griddle or pan. Add clarified butter to the surface to prevent sticking. Dip the bread into the crème anglaise to coat on both sides (only do 1 slice at a time). Remove the excess batter than cook for ~2 minutes a side. french toast