Archive for May, 2011

From Dish Gwen:

I’m not a big steak eater but when I get a nice rib eye in my CSA share my mouth starts watering and I know it’s time to fire up the grill. The other night I had a couple of saucy friends over for a quiet evening out in my darkening back yard, and we cooked up a simple, easy-to-make, and healthy dinner from the grill.

(serves 4)

2 lbs of grass-fed rib eye steak
Black pepper

2 cups white long-grain rice
½ cup crushed walnuts
½ cup chopped scallions
2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Grilled Zucchini
2 zucchini, sliced 1/3 inch thick the long way
Black pepper
Olive oil

Cook the rice (preferably in a rice cooker) then toss in a large bowl with the walnuts, scallions, salt and oil. Set the rice aside until the meat and vegetables are ready (can be served warm or room temperature).

Rub the steak with copious amounts of salt and fresh black pepper, so that the meat is nicely gritty. Heat the grill up and when the coals are glowing red throw the steak on the center of the grill – if the meat makes a loud hissing noise it means you’re doing it right and getting a good sear on it. Don’t touch, poke, prod, or otherwise mess with the meat – leave it alone! After about 4 minutes check one of the steaks to see what the cooked side looks like, and if it getting black grill marks it’s ready to flip. If not, wait a minute or two longer until it’s good and blackened, and flip the steak.

Rub the zucchini slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them around the outer parts of the grill so they’re not right over the coals, and grill them until they’ve got black grill marks on either side. Pull the zucchini and steak off the grill, and let the steak rest for 5 minutes or so, then slice it into ½ inch wide strips. Serve it all up and enjoy!

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From Dish Amelia:

This sorbet sort of comes from a love affair I’ve been having with a rum cocktail since last October. Back then, I was in Oaxaca, Mexico for dia de los muertos, and i was introduced to this drink. (I don’t even know if it has a name…) Glass of ice, pour of cuban rum, a pour of tonic water, and several limes squeezed in. (Thank you Amanda Mather for showing me this lovely drink, and all those other corners of markets that filled my head and heart and belly so beautifully…). Alas there is no Cuban rum in the U.S. (or I don’t know any gangsters or senators who might have some), but the substitute I like the most is Barbancourt Rhum, from Haiti. The 4-year is golden and possible to drink as you would whiskey. The 8 year is obviously even smoother. Not too many places carry it, but it is findable in Brooklyn, and there are even bars who don’t give me too hard a time for ordering Barbancourt on the rocks, tonic water back and a glass of limes (a shorter name would be helpful, right?).

And though I look forward to some hot summer nights with this light but soulful libation, I was lead to dream up a sister concoction…

A creamy, dreamy, chewy coconut sorbet with a faint tart bitter notion of lime, and a sexy vanillatone caramel shot through with rum. Each bite is a bit different, let it take you somewhere nice.

Make Coconut Sorbet base:

2 cans (14ish oz ea.) coconut milk (I happened to have organic/ light)
1/2 cup dry unsweetened coconut (this is optional, but I usually like when there is chewiness in coconut sorbet)
1 cup sugar
zest of one lime

Heat these in a pot a few minutes until sugar dissolves. Chill in an ice bath, and move to fridge while you make caramel.

Make Rum Caramel:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup 1/2 & 1/2
3 T water
1 T honey
squeeze of one lime wedge
3 T rum ( NOT Bacardi yo…something you would sip straight. I used Barbancourt 4-year, and the 8’s even better. Don’t even think about Malibu.)

Stir water into sugar and honey until wet. Heat on medium low and swirl pan occasionally. When caramel starts to color keep a close eye on it, and remove from heat when it is the amber you are looking for. Pour in half and half (or cream) (it will bubble) and add butter. Squeeze lime. Stir until incorporated. Stir in rum. Strain through a sieve to remove any curdle-y weirdness, and chill in an ice bath.

Make sweet sweet love…by running sorbet base in ice cream maker until thick. Stop machine. Put a spatula or two in a quart container, and drizzle on some caramel. Put in freezer. Run machine again for a few minutes and then add another layer of both to quart. Repeat this until quart is full. The two entities should intertwine but not mix together.

Freeze several hours or overnight.

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From Dish Danielle:

There’s nothing better than a bright spring-y PUNCH when having your best gals over for a night of clothes swapping. It’s finally the perfect weather to start introducing all things bubbly back into your beverage repertoire, and festive PUNCH cocktails for a night with the ladies seemed reason enough for me.

I wanted kumquats and Prosecco, but wasn’t quite sure how to make it happen in a light & balanced way. Luckily, with a little guidance from my cocktail slinging, Whisk & Ladle bartending roommate Nicholas Bennett, I was able to make my PUNCHY vision a reality. The finished product was bright and delightful, packed the perfect amount of PUNCH– but most importantly–was springtime sippable.

¾-1c kumquat simple syrup (recipe below)
¾ fresh squeezed lime juice, (about 8 limes worth)
1c white rum
½c Hawaiian dark rum, (I used Koloa, which is pretty darn sweet & vanilla-y)
1½c Prosecco
2c club soda
tbsp agave nectar (if needed)
handful of iced cubes

Kumquat simple:
3c water
3c sugar
2½c rinsed & sliced kumquats (you don’t need to de-seed cause you’ll strain it later– and the seeds are actually the sweetest part!)

First make your simple syrup: Throw above ingredients into a small saucepot and let boil for a while. You want the liquid to reduce to about half. Once it’s reduced strain it, and let it come to room temp. You’ll wind up with enough to make a double batch of the punch, or you can have it around the fridge for later use, (you can also save candied kumquats for snacking/ice cream topping purposes).

Now for assembly. This is really tough. Are you ready? Pour all ingredients except agave into a pretty punch bowl and stir. Here’s the most important step: taste it.

Does it need a touch more sweet? If so, add a bit of agave. Feel free to add more/less to your own liking. I wound up fiddling with my initial proportions and the above is pretty in keeping with the final ratio I settled on. It can certainly be tweaked for an even boozier batch for the right occasion.

Garnish with some lime wheels and kumquat slices, throw your best gals a pound and PUNCH it out.

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