Slow Cooked Goodness on a Chilly Night

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Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs

This is a really easy to make hearty meal for a chilly winter night. All you need are some gorgeous beef short ribs, onions, tomatoes, vinegar and brown sugar and a few other ingredients – throw them all in the slow cooker on low and let this dish stew for about 4-5 hours. Make sure you’re hungry – it’s filling, warm and delicious. Definitely food coma material!

slow cooked short ribs

1/3 c. water

¼ c. tomato paste

3 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp prepared mustard

2 tsp seasoned salt (Paula Deen’s House Seasoning)

2 tsp cider vinegar

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp beef bouillon granules

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 can Belgian mini baby carrots, drained

2 lbs beef short ribs

1 small tomato, chopped (or 1 small can crushed tomatoes)

1 small onion, chopped

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp cold water

1 small bag Yukon gold baby potatoes

In a 3 qt. slow cooker, combine the first 10 ingredients. Add the ribs, tomato and onion.
Cover and cook on low for 4.5 hours or until meat is tender.

Cook baby Yukon potatoes in boiling water for approximately 5-10 mins. Drain.
Cut in halves and quarters and add to slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch
and cold water until smooth; gradually. Stir into cooking juices. Cover and cook for 10-15
minutes or until thickened.

Serve in big bowls with some crusty French bread and a side salad. Add a glass of bold red
and you’ve got a heartwarming dish to get you through any cold winter night.

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Kristen in Wonderland: Eataly NYC

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Welcome to Eataly – a journey through Mario Batali’s
Italian Wonderland

Ah, Eataly. The hottest buzzword in the New York food scene over the past few months. Grand Opening: August 31st, 2010. Mario Batali and Lidia Bastanich’s dream child venue – I needed to get there. Fast.

After hearing all the buzz about this grand Italian Wonderland, I decided to make several attempts to get a quick glance at this gem, but after two attempts of around-the-block lines of people, I started getting discouraged, as my anticipation grew to get a peek at this amazing palace, just taunting me with the sight of it. I could only peek through the windows with my jaws open, chomping at the bit to get in there. As if I were peering through the looking glass, into another land, surreal and far away from mine.

spices and tease

After waiting over a month to get in this place, I was determined to make my way in and begin my foodie excursion. One Sunday afternoon, my boyfriend and I went on a stroll to Madison Square Park, and on the way encountered a pop-up mini food festival and market. There we bought a variety of fresh herbs and spices and French salt concoctions, and then bought some artisan cannolis (Almond Joy coconut and chocolate, Pistachio Cream, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup – um, heaven!) while taking in all the other food stand delights, all the while holding ourselves back to pigging out on fresh Bavarian pretzels, gourmet burritos and Fatty Cue BBQ, knowing our Eataly destination was next.

espresso machine

When we arrived at Eataly, the line was surprisingly non-existent and we bolted through the front door like a couple of kids in a candy shop. We walked in the Coffee Bar entrance, and immediately my eyes grew large and my blood started pumping, taking in the crowds and grandeur of this palatial food hall. First stop: the Cappuccino/Espresso Bar with its enormous, shiny espresso machine and customers milling around it as if they were sitting in a café on the sidewalks of Italy, crowding around the bar, sipping their strong shots of Italian roast, with not a care in the world but to laugh and tell stories with their friends for hours on end. A few counters down and across were imported chocolates and homemade fine desserts such as pastry tarts and mousses, tiramisu and the like. My heart was really pumping now.

desserts

As we passed down the hallway, the floor to ceiling shelves seemed to swallow us in with rows of Lavender Honey, Italian teas, nuts and other bite-sized delights that flickered before our eyes at every angle. I felt like I was Alice in Wonderland, who fell down the rabbit hole and woke up in a strange, new land – intriguing and familiar, enticing and strange. I wanted to explore more and this was just the beginning.

salumi

We made our way down to the Salumi area and picked up some Italian Proscuitto, spicy Sopressata and a big block of Parmigiana Reggiano – hmmm, appetizers for our Italian feast I have already started creating in my mind. Fontina, Romano, sheeps milk cheese, the selection was endless and daunting. The seafood counter was next, with shiny silver, pink and red whole fish, smoked salmon, baby octopus, clams, mussels, shark and swordfish. Some of the creatures were a bit eerie and scary, but fresh and beautifully displayed on ice with handwritten signs describing the fare.

seafood

Next we entered The Piazza – the grand food hall in the center of Eataly with grand arches and domed ceilings carved in fine architectural detail. You could feel a buzz in the air and the energy of a European outdoor marketplace where the Italians gather with family and friends for an all day feast. It emanated a sense of awe and drama, with its tall ceilings, food and wine stations in every corner, a bar and tall tables with stools in the center, as the waiters flew by with massive platters of gourmet cheese, fresh sliced meats, crusty bread and tall flowing glasses wine. I felt a bit claustrophobic as people were fighting their way through the crowds to get a seat in this hectic maze of food heaven.  I was excited. Amazed. I felt as if we had arrived at the Queen’s palace in all its glory and I wanted in.

piazza

We sat at the bar and ordered an Italian dry red, as we sampled some bread and cheese on a cutting board, watching the other patrons eat and drink with a zest for life. In one corner there was a fresh Mozzarella bar, around the corner “Il Pesce”, the seated counter raw bar and antipasto area. We took our wine glasses with us and made our way to the book store near the beer and wine area, and down to La Pizza & La Pasta, a seated counter and table area that serves artisanal dried and fresh pastas and Napoleon 10” pizzas. The smell of baked bread and garlic overwhelmed us as my hunger grew to find my own tasty morsels to whip up an Italian feast at home.

fresh pasta

We made our way to the shelved dry goods, an array of pastas, olive oils, imported cans of tomatoes, capers, artichokes and balsamic vinegars and my hunt became full on for the perfect ingredients for our feast. We bought some whole Cherry tomatoes, Extra Virgin olive oil and garlic, fresh Italian bread, artichokes and jarred basil pesto. I felt dizzy by the overwhelming selection of imported goods, and eventually our shopping cart was so heavy, we needed to take a quick rest from all the madness. We found a hidden kitchen in the back corner of the venue, where Lidia Bastanich holds cooking demos and classes and wine tastings, known as “La Scuola”. This kitchen was stocked and fit for a King as we sat in awe, sipping our wine.

balsamic vinegars

Our journey was slowly coming to an end, 2 hours later, and we passed through Manzo, the formal dining, and meat-centric restaurant, headed up by chef Mike Toscano. It was dark and moody, with a quiet elegant atmosphere. We felt a bit out of place as we snuck through to get back to the main hall to find our way out. We passed the Rotisserie meats bar, eyeing the roasted chickens and meats, and stood at the crossroads signage trying to figure out where to check out. With a slight head buzz from our wine, we passed through the gourmet hall once again, eyeing the chocolates and coffees and desserts. I resisted as the tiramisu and layered cakes and tarts taunted me from the countertops, as my taste buds said yes, and my wallet said no. Pure Torture.

rotisserie chicken

We finally made our way out and headed home, anxious to savor our Italian goodies and prepare our feast. Cracking open a bottle of red, we crushed the cherry tomatoes and garlic, sautéed the zucchini in olive oil, and threw in the parsley and garlic salt we bought from the Spice vendor in the park and our sauce was underway. Sipping our wine and waiting for the Spinach penne and Garlic bread to cook, we nibbled on breadsticks and basil pesto and smiled at each other as I grated the fresh Parmigania Reggiano for our pasta dish.

spinach pasta with cherry tomato sauce

I felt proud and accomplished, as if I had gone to a strange land on an adventure and learned something new. Bettered myself in some way. A fantastical getaway, if only for a moment…I was happy and complete. It felt good to be in the comfort of my own home, enjoying a homemade Italian meal with my man on a Sunday evening. Check. Mission Complete.

Check out all the pictures from my foodie excursion here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=314572&id=775480967 or in my Flickr Photo album here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/artfulgourmet/sets/72157625504117944/

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An Intimate Gathering: Holiday Dinner Party Menu

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Since the holidays are rapidly approaching, I’m planning an intimate dinner party with friends featuring some of my favorite recipes to make a delicious, warming and elegant meal. Filet Mignon with Mushroom and Rosemary Sauce for the entree, Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese as a side, Pear, Arugula and Pancetta as an accompanying winter salad, and rich, decadent Chocolate Mousse for dessert.

Filet Mignon with Mushroom and Rosemary Sauce

Filet Mignon has always been one of my favorites, and it is one of the most elegant cuts of steak, and served medium rare is juicy, tender, and succulent. Top it off with a Mushroom wine sauce, serve it with a Pear, Gorgonzola and Walnut salad with Vinaigrette and a Cheesy Pasta side dish with a kick, and you’ve got an elegant dinner party menu for a small group of friends. I saw this recipe on Giada DeLaurentis’ show Giada at Home, and it caught my eye as the perfect dish for an intimate dinner party with friends around the holidays.

steak with mushroom sauce

Ingredients

Steaks:

Vegetable oil cooking spray

2 (8-ounce) filet mignon steaks

Kosher or Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

Gravy:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large or 4 small shallots, minced

2 cups (about 5 ounces) assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake and button, coarsely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup dry Marsala wine

1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preparation:

Steak: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a small baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside. Season the steaks with salt and pepper, to taste. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes for medium-rare doneness. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes on a cutting board.

Gravy: In the same skillet used for the steak, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the beef broth and rosemary. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until half of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cutting across the grain, slice the steak into 1/4-inch thick slices and arrange on a platter. Pour the sauce into a serving bowl and serve alongside the meat.

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Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese is a classic comfort food and every year I go on a search for a new recipe and this one caught my eye. (Bon Appetit magazine Dec 2010 issue). This recipe originates from the popular Seattle restaurant, Roaring Fork by Chef Robert McGrath. It’s made with roasted poblano chile peppers which gives it a nice kick and extra texture and flavor to the cheesy goodness. The recipe calls for macaroni and red onion but I decided to substitute penne for the macaroni and shallots for the onion, and added a teaspoon of smoked paprika, extra cheddar cheese and a few slices of crumbled pancetta on top to dress it up a bit. You can also toss the pasta in a cast iron pan and top it off with some buttery panko bread crumbs and throw it in the oven for 30-40 minutes on 350 degrees for a crunchy delicious topping. It makes 6 appetizer or side-dish servings.

green chile mac and cheese

Ingredients:

1 whole fresh poblano chile plus 1/4 c. chopped fresh poblano chiles

1 tbsp corn oil

1/4 c. chopped red bell pepper

1/4 c. chopped red onion (or shallots)

1 garlic clove, minced

4-5 slices of pancetta, diced and cooked

1/2 c. fresh or frozen thawed corn kernels

3/4 c. whipping cream

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 c. fresh cooked macaroni (2/3 c. dried) or penne (or any tubular shaped pasta)

1/2 c. grated hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese

Topping: Melted butter and Panko bread crumbs, put entire dish in a cast iron pan, top

with buttered crumbs and bake in oven until topping is crunchy and golden

Preparation:

Char whole chile directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Transfer to paper bag, seal. Let stand 15 mins. Peel, seed, and coarsely chop chile. Transfer to processor, puree until smooth.

Chop the pancetta and cook until crisp in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove bacon and drain on a small plate with paper towels and reserve some of the bacon drippings and add the oil back in to the pan.

Add 1/4 c. chopped chile, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Saute until soft, about 4 mins. Add corn; stir 1 minute. Add cream and chile puree; bring to boil. Add macaroni and cheese; stir until cheese melts and mixture is heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with pancetta crumbles.

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Pear, Arugula and Pancetta Salad

This is one of my favorite winter salads made with peppery arugula, fresh sliced pears, pancetta and a crisp Champagne Vinaigrette. It goes perfect with the steak and pasta and gives a fresh flavor to the meal.

pear and arugula salad

For vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon mild honey

1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

For salad:

2 oz thinly sliced pancetta (4 to 5 slices)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 firm-ripe pears

4 cups baby arugula or torn larger arugula (1 1/4 lb)

3 oz ricotta salata, thinly shaved with a vegetable peeler

Toasted Walnuts for topping

Make vinaigrette: Whisk together vinegar, honey, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a salad bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined well.

Make salad:
 Cook pancetta in oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning frequently, until just crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain (pancetta will crisp as it cools). Tear into bite-size pieces.

Halve pears lengthwise, core, and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Add pears to dressing along with arugula, cheese, and pancetta, tossing to coat. Top with a handful of toasted walnuts for some crunchy texture.

Read More: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pear-Arugula-and-Pancetta-Salad-235734#ixzz16appSya9

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Chocolate Mousse

I can’t think anything else on the planet that I love more than chocolate. Whip up this delicious ingredient with brandy and cream and you’ve got the perfect French dessert – chocolate mousse. Dark and rich, creamy and decadent – it’s the perfect ending for a special dinner party with friends during the holidays. I found this recipe on Molly Wizenberg’s blog, Orangette (she’s one of my favorite Bon Appetit food writers, ever!). This recipe is adapted from the original recipe in Cook’s Illustrated, 2006.

chocolate mousse

Ingredients:

8 oz. Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate, 60% cacao, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 tsp. instant espresso powder

5 Tbsp. water

1 Tbsp. brandy

2 large eggs, separated

1 Tbsp. sugar, divided

1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cold heavy cream

For serving:

Very lightly sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings

Combine the chocolate, cocoa powder, espresso powder, water, and whiskey in a medium heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan filled with 1 inch of gently simmering water, and stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat.

In another medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, 1 ½ teaspoons sugar, and salt. Whisk until the mixture lightens to a pale yellow color and thickens slightly, about 30 seconds. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, and whisk until combined. Set aside for about 5 minutes, until just warmer than room temperature.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until frothy. Add the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons sugar, increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Detach the whisk and bowl from the mixer, and whisk the last few strokes by hand, making sure to scrape up any unbeaten whites from the bottom of the bowl. Using the whisk, stir about ¼ of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, to lighten it. Then, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining egg whites until only a few white streaks remain.

In the now-empty mixer bowl, whip the heavy cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken. Increase the speed to high, and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the mousse until no white streaks remain. Spoon into 6 to 8 individual serving dishes – I like to use teacups – or, if you’re feeling casual, mound it up in a single serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

For best texture, let the mousse sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with very lightly sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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Crumbs of wisdom for good Stuffing

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Gram’s Sausage Stuffing

This is a recipe handed down from my Grandmother that originated from Betty Crocker’s “New Picture” Cookbook written in 1962. My Mom still makes it every year and it’s a easy, delicious and classic recipe that I’m sure to hand down for years ahead.

Betty Crocker cookbook

Ingredients:

1 c. butter (2 sticks)

¾ c. finely minced onion

12 c. coarse bread, torn into cubes, crusts removed

1 ½ c. chopped celery (stalks and leaves)

1 tbsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 tbsp. poultry seasoning (to taste)

1 can chicken broth

¼ c. hot water

1 lb. pork sausage, browned and crumbled

Preparation:

In a large roasting pan, break up bread into coarse cubes (about 2-3 loaves).

stuffing cubes

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat and brown pork sausage until cooked thoroughly.
Remove the sausage and pour over the large roasting pan full of bread crumbs.

sausage crumbles

Next melt 2 sticks of butter in the same skillet that the sausage was browned in and cook onions and celery until soft and lightly browned, stirring often. Add salt and pepper and stir again, remove from heat and pour on top of bread crumb and sausage in the roasting pan.

onions & celery

Add the chicken broth, poultry seasoning, additional salt and pepper to taste and stir thoroughly throughout crumbs and stuffing mixture. Add ¼ c. hot water to stuffing until moist (not wet but not too dry of a texture).

poultry

Cover roasting pan and let sit in the refrigerator over night. The next day, loosely stuff the turkey with stuffing just before roasting and add any leftover stuffing to a roasting pan and cook for about 30-45 mins, basting occasionally with poultry juices.

stuffing mixture

Additional suggested ingredients for the stuffing are adding one of the following: giblets, apples,
oysters, pecans, garden vegetables, mushrooms, and chestnuts.

Makes 3 qts for a 12 lb turkey

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A Few of My Favorite Thanksgiving Sides

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and there’s no guessing why – it’s all about visiting friends and family, being thankful for the wonderful things in our lives and of course, it’s all about the food.

Turkey and Dressing is the normal star of the table, but I love to experiment with the side dishes to mix it up and spice up the menu each year. Here’s a couple of recipes I plan on making this year (one tried and true, one a new experiment!)..would love to hear from all of you what your favorite side dishes are and what you’ll be making this year that’s a change from just mashed potatoes and green bean casserole!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Shallots 

brussel sprouts with bacon, shallots and balsamic vinegar

I made this recipe a couple Thanksgivings ago and it was an absolute delicious hit at the table! The crispy bacon, butter and shallots, mixed with the tangy vinegar gives the brussel sprouts an amazing trio of flavors and the roasting in the oven technique cooks down the balsamic into a glaze coating the crispy oven browned sprouts. The original recipe came from Williams Sonoma and I adapted it a bit by adding the balsamic vinegar and shallots. Thought you didn’t like brussel sprouts? Wait until you try this recipe.

Ingredients:

Water to steam
1 pound large Brussels sprouts
2 ounces thin-sliced pancetta or bacon (3-4 slices)
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon premium unsalted butter
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste

Preparation:

Add water to a large pot with a steamer basket and bring to a boil.

Trim the sprouts: Slice off the base and remove the outer leaves. Cut each sprout in half lengthwise through the core, then make V-shaped cuts to remove the core. With your thumbs on the either side of the V, twist the sprout to open up the leaves a bit. Steam the sprouts for 5 minutes until bright green and tender.

Meanwhile, saute the sliced pancetta or bacon over medium heat in a small skillet until the edges have started to brown, breaking it into pieces with a spatula while it cooks. Remove the cooked bacon and reserve the bacon grease, adding a teaspoon of butter and then add the shallots and cook until soft and golden.

Drain the water from the steamer and plunge sprouts into ice water to stop the cooking, pat dry with paper towels and return the sprouts to the hot pan. Stir in with the pancetta and shallot mixture, including the fat in the skillet. Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until the vinegar reduces and the sprouts are brown on the bottom, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce and toss well.

Put the entire mixture in to a casserole baking dish and cook in the oven for 20 mins on 350 degrees until golden brown. Take out of the oven, drizzle a little more olive oil on top, stir well and serve.

Serves 4-6.

—–

Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash and Potato Gratin

Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Potato Gratin

Everyone loves mashed potatoes and gravy for Thanksgiving but this year I decided I’m going to make a Gratin, but mix it up with not just potatoes and cheese, but adding some butternut squash and sweet potatoes to give it a kick and blended flavors of 3 of my favorite veggie sides. The decadent consistency of the garlic Gruyere cream sauce with this trio of veggies is a delicious twist on this classic French potato dish.

Ingredients:

1 garlic clove
½ tsp. sweet paprika
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of nutmeg
1/3 lb. baking potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
1/3 lb. butternut squash, peeled and very thinly sliced
1/3 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Thoroughly rub garlic on the bottom and sides of a shallow porcelain gratin dish or medium sized glass casserole dish. Coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle the nutmeg and paprika in the heavy cream and stir. Peel the potatoes, sweet potatoes and squash and cut them into thin slices.

Layer the potatoes in the dish. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese and then 1/3 of the cream. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a second layer using the squash, another 1/3 of the cheese and then 1/3 of the cream. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Add the top layer using the sweet potatoes, the last 1/3 of the cheese and final 1/3 of the cream. Top it off with a dash more salt and pepper. Sprinkle the entire top of the casserole with fresh Parmiagiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped parsley or thyme.

Bake uncovered, about an 50-60 minutes until the gratin is golden brown on top and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

—–

Wild Rice with Cranberries and Pecans

wildricecranberrysalad2

My mom always used to make a wild rice casserole over the holidays with either chicken or shrimp which is delicious as a main course or buffet dinner, but for a Thanksgiving side, this recipe is a bit lighter with tart cranberries to complement the turkey and some pecans for extra crunch.

4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
3 large shallots minced
2 cups wild rice
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 bay leaf
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup pecans toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

In a saucepan over medium low heat bring stock to a simmer. In a heavy 2-quart flameproof casserole over medium heat melt butter with the oil. Add shallots and sauté until translucent, add rice and stir until the grains are well coated about 3 minutes.

Stir in the simmering stock, dried cranberries, bay leaf, thyme, sea salt and white pepper. Bring to a simmer then stir and cover. Transfer casserole to the oven and bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven.

Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Stir in the pecans and parsley. Serve hot or warm.

Serves 4-6.

—–

Cheddar and Herb Biscuits

cheddar biscuits

Having lived in the South in Atlanta for over a decade, I grew a love for fresh, homemade buttery biscuits. They definitely beat your standard prepackaged rolls from the grocery store and are delicious hot out of the oven with a little bit of real (yes, real!) butter. This version is made with milk, cream and fresh herbs (chives and parsley), mixed with tangy shredded cheddar andParmesan cheese with a dash of cayenne for a spicy kick.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
1 tablespoon freshly chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup grated sharp yellow Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cayenne together using a whisk. Add the herbs, cheese and buttermilk. Stir together until dough forms. Once dough has formed, using an ice cream scooper, scoop out dough onto baking tray. With a brush, lightly butter tops. Bake for 15 minutes.

Serves 4-6.

Recipe adapted from The Neely’s – Food Network

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Lobster anyone?

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Luke’s Lobster – East Village, NYC

Lukes Lobster E Vlg

One visit to Luke’s Lobster, in the East Village, NYC and you’ll see why this new casual seafood shack has become such a big hit in New York. The restaurant opened in October 2009, by Maine native Luke Holden, and all of their seafood is imported from Luke’s father’s business in Maine, Portland Shellfish. Luke’s aim is to keep prices reasonable compared to its competitors which has enticed New Yorkers to splurge for their famous Lobster Rolls.

luke's sign

An A-frame menu stands outside the doorway with menu specials for the day sprawled in chalk handwriting and inside this small seafood shack is one center table, seating six, surrounded by an L-shaped stool bar along the walls and windows seating approximately 10-15 more. Not very large inside, but Luke’s Lobster fits the New England seafood shack image, with a trendy East Village location on 1st Ave. and 7th Street.

lobster, shrimp and crab rolls

The most popular menu item is their signature Lobster Roll, followed by their Crab Roll and Shrimp Roll, which are all offered a la carte for $7-14, or as a “Schooner Combo” including chips and a pickle for $9-16 (Lobster is the most expensive, Shrimp the least). Besides their famous Rolls, the menu also offers two homemade rich and creamy soups in bread bowls: Maine Lobster Bisque and New England Clam Chowder. The Empress Crab Claws can be ordered solo (4 for $5) or in a combination basket such as “Taste of Maine” including a trio sampler of each Seafood roll (1/2 portion), two crab claws, chips and a drink for $20. Order “Noah’s Ark” for two and you get the same sampling for $38. They feature Maine Root Soda in a variety of flavors, and Miss Vickie’s Chips, a Maine-based potato chip company, to keep the New England heritage and theme consistent in this trendy seafood shack.

Upon visiting last weekend, Luke’s seemed to be fairly empty around 10 pm on a Saturday night, which seemed a bit surprising, if not concerning, considering this was my first visit to the shack (a bit late in the season which could be the reason for its empty stools). But no complaints to the bare establishment, as we ordered and were served in less than 10 minutes. My friend and I ordered the “Noah’s Ark” which looked authentically “shack-like”, served in a plastic basket lined by a sheet of wax paper, including 3 decent sized half rolls of Shrimp, Crab and Lobster. The two mini crab claws were served in a plastic sauce container along with another filled with cocktail sauce on the side for dipping. I dove in to the Lobster Roll first, and on first bite, tasted succulent and sweet Lobster meat, lightly seasoned with savory spices, on a perfectly toasted, buttery roll. The meat was fresh and light, with only a dab of mayo and a special secret seasoning which was refreshing and delicious. The Shrimp and Crab rolls had nice, medium-sized shrimp and chunks of crabmeat, and the portions were just right. The Sea Salt & Vinegar chips that came with it had a nice, tangy, salty flavor to accompany the rolls, and the Maine Root Soda (blueberry) added a refreshing, homespun flavor to the meal, as if we were sitting near the ocean on a summer day.

All in all, the service was quick – the baskets were delivered to our stools, by a friendly server with a smile, but the atmosphere seemed a bit mediocre (the fluorescent lighting a bit annoying and the bare stools next to us begged for some more patrons to liven the place up a bit) and the menu is a bit limited. I would recommend a visit to this tasty gem, but in the summer time when seafood is a bit more tempting as menu fare and earlier in the evening when the East Village is humming on a steamy summer night, to make the experience a bit more authentic and exciting. But who isn’t in the mood for a juicy lobster roll anytime of the year right?

Overall atmosphere rating = 7 out of 10

Overall food rating = 8 out of 10

Overall service rating = 7 out of 10

Locations: Upper East Side (7th St and 1st) and East Village (E. 81st and 2nd)

Delivery: UES only

Reservations: No

Website: www.lukeslobster.com

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A Taste of Rochester – Top Foodie Picks

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Rochester, NY may not be the first place that comes to mind for your next culinary travel adventure. But here are several reasons why you should – growing up there has given me some fond memories of delicious, hometown food and restaurants that are worth visiting every time I pay a visit. (In fact, I refuse to visit Rochester without an Abbott’s Frozen Custard in the summertime – vanilla and chocolate swirl, with chocolate sprinkles in a waffle cone, thank you very much!)

Rochester is a melting pot of cultures due to the extensive number of Italian, Polish, Ukrainian, German and European immigrants that settled there in the mid-1800s. For the food lovers out there, you can definitely find some of the best pizza, heroes and wing joints to old-world specialty foods to funky diners and cafes in the trendy parts of the city such as Park Avenue and Monroe Avenue. Here are some of the places you don’t want to miss to get a true taste of the unique array of food in this in All-American town.

Burgers, Hots and Wings

 

Nick Tahou’s Hots: This is a place you don’t want to miss! Home of the famous “garbage” plate, Nick Tahou’s is a Rochester legend founded in 1918 located near the University of Rochester packed with starving college students gobbling up their legendary mile-high greasy plates after a few too many drinks. The garbage plate consists of either two cheeseburgers or hot dogs smothered in onions and their famous Rochester-style meaty hot-sauce, with a side of macaroni salad and home fries, topped with more hot sauce and the works. Word of warning: you may need some Pepcid the next morning, but it sure hits the spot after a night out at 3 am. www.garbageplate.com

Located at: 3070 West Henrietta Rd., Rochester, NY 14623
~ 585-272-1182.

 


Anchor Bar
: This is the home of the original Buffalo Wing recipe, founded in Buffalo, New York in 1964 by Teressa Bellissimo. Their wings are big and meaty, crispy on the outside and drenched in the most delicious, buttery hot sauce you’ll ever taste. Make sure to get the generous side of celery and carrots with blue cheese dressing for dipping to cool your flaming lips along with a nice draft lager from the bar to wash it all down for a true experience. Plenty of beer and wing specials daily (.50 cent wings on Tuesdays), and it’s a fun atmosphere in the trendy theatre district area on East Ave. www.anchorbarrochesternewyork.com

Located at: 355 East Ave. Rochester, NY 14604 ~ 585-861-6475


Country Sweet Chicken and Ribs
: Country Sweet is a Rochester-based BBQ joint best known for their special sweet and spicy sauce and succulent barbeque chicken and ribs. The best item on their menu is their colossal-sized crispy battered chicken wings, drenched in their signature sweet and addictive wing sauce so good you’ll want to lick the plate. These are not Buffalo wings and the sauce is an exclusive “Rochester thing”- they are more of a cross between Southern Fried Chicken drenched in a sweet and spicy sauce you’ve never tasted anywhere else. The chicken and ribs are phenomenal too (try the Country Sweet Sampler Dinner with Chicken, Ribs, Wings, Fries, Macaroni Salad and Coleslaw), and you can even purchase a jar of their special sauce to take home with you if you can’t get enough of it on your visit. Located on Mount Hope Avenue, this is one finger lickin’ spot you don’t want to miss when you’re in town.  http://rocwiki.org/Country_Sweet

Located at: 1691 Mount Hope Ave, Rochester, NY 14620 ~ 585.244.3200

 

Italian and Pizza

Mario’s Via Abruzzi: Mario’s serves classic Italian fare and steaks, in an upscale neighborhood establishment on Monroe Avenue. Owners Mario and Flora Daniele originated in the Abruzzi region of Italy, and opened several restaurants in Detroit, MI and Rochester, NY for 16 years before the grand opening of their Monroe avenue location, that is now the most popular Italian restaurant in town. They use the freshest ingredients and make their own pasta and sauces, and their wine list is extensive and impressive. They are most well known for their family style dinners that include 5 courses: Antipasto, pasta, salad, a main entrée such as Chicken Saltimbocca or Roast Strip Loin served with Garlicky Greens and Beans and Mashed Potatoes and topped off with homemade rum-soaked Tiramisu for dessert. The impressive space is great for special occasions; they are open 7 days a week, accept large parties and reserve the dining room for private events and weddings. They also offer lunch specials and take out and delivery service. http://www.mariosviaabruzzi.com

Location: 2740 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618 ~ 585.271.1111


Bay Goodman Pizza
: Established in 1955, Bay Goodman Pizza is a legend in Rochester, known for the best brick oven pizza in town. The establishment is modest, in a small shack-like building with booths and carpeting that looks like it hasn’t been updated since the 50’s. But one bite of their crunchy crust and tangy tomato sauce oozing with gooey cheese and loaded with crispy pepperoni in every bite, and you’ll be hooked for life. Some even say Bay Goodman gives NYC pizza a run for its money – don’t miss this one!  http://www.baygoodman.com

Location: 620 North Winton Road, Rochester, NY 14609 ~ 585.288.0730

Cafes/Diners

Jine’s Diner – Park Ave: Located in the cultural and historic area of Park Avenue, Jine’s is a charming cafe and long time favorite of Rochesterians. Their breakfast menu features 24 types of omelettes, including the Wild Mushroom and Crumbled Bleu omelette and an amazing Mediterranean omelette filled with a blend of spinach, feta and tomato and fresh herbs. Belgian waffles, pancakes and Banana bread French toast are also local favorites for Brunch. Their lunch menu features homemade soups and specialty salads as well as a variety of cold and hot sandwiches that are out of this world. Their dinner menu boasts American favorites such as Pork Chops and Meatloaf and they even offer a Greek menu with savory items like Spanikopita and Souvlaki. Open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  http://www.jinesrestaurant.com

Location: 658 Park Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607 ~ 585.461.1280

 


Highland Park Diner
: This 1940s gem is an art-deco-styled diner near Highland Park that is actually an old train cabin, finished in stainless steel and original Art Deco style furnishings. Nestled between Highland Park and Cobbs Hill Park on Clinton Avenue South, this is a landmark eating establishment with great diner food to boot. They are famous for their homemade corned beef hash served with eggs, hash browns and toast and serve freshly squeezed orange juice and coarse ground corn grits as a special treat for the Yankee folks Upstate. Their prices are reasonable and the food is delicious, and it’s worth going just for the atmosphere and history behind it. http://www.wherethelocalseat.com/Rochester-Restaurants/Highland-Park-Diner-Rochester-NY-WebID-17562.aspx

Location: 960 Clinton Ave South, Rochester, NY 14620 ~ 585.461.5040

 


Daisy Flour Mill
: This fine dining establishment is an authentic historic landmark and a special treat for any visit to Rochester. Located on the Irondequoit Creek in scenic Ellison Park, the restaurant originated from an 1848 Grist Mill, now restored with all of the original equipment still in place. They offer classic American Cuisine such as Prime Rib, Norwegian Salmon, Lobster and Shrimp Scampi and a Mixed Grill of Smoked Ostrich sausage, Venison filet and Sirloin Steak smothered in a special cream sauce they call “Robert Sauce”. Their entrees run from $13-26 and include fresh baked rolls, choice of baked, Vermont cheddar au gratin or cracked peppercorn-horseradish whipped red bliss potatoes. A beautiful atmosphere and unique dining experience for intimate dinners to special private events. http://www.gofattie.com

Location: 1880 Blossom Road, Rochester, NY 14625 ~ 585.381.0180

Ethnic Specialty Shops

The Pierogie Guy: Founded by “The Pierogie Guy” Matt Lewis and his wife, Kelly started their business “Melting Pot Foods” with secret family recipes, crafting their own version of this handmade specialty. Every pierogie (Polish stuffed dumpling, steamed or fried) is made by hand, and stuffed with unique flavorful fillings such as Buffalo Chicken, Sauerkraut and Mushroom, Garlic Smashed Potatoes and Pulled Pork. They make their famous dough dumplings swimming in butter in the “Pierogie Dungeon”, in their basement kitchen in East Rochester. All of their ingredients are all natural and sourced from local produce farms in Upstate NY and they put a lot of labor and love into each one. You can find them at Rohrbach’s Brewing Company and Flour City Diner and they are also available at a dozen local area stores such as Mise En Place and Casa Italiana.  http://www.thepierogieguy.com


The Ravioli Shop
: At this specialty Italian shop, all of their fine fresh Pastries, fresh Ravioli and Pasta, homemade sauce and Italian bread are made daily. They also sell gourmet items such as imported olive oil, sea salts, herbs and spices. They have 14 varieties of handmade ravioli including Artichoke, 5-cheese, Broccoli Feta, Lobster, Pumpkin and Asparagus and Goat Cheese. Their sauce contains only tomatoes and salt and their cream sauces use cream sourced from local dairies: Marinara, Tomato with Roasted Red Peppers, Vodka Cream, Alfredo and Mushroom Cream. A true Italian gem to discover. http://www.theraviolishop.com

Location: 260 Winton Road (near Blossom), Rochester, NY 14610 ~ 585.288.6420

Desserts

Abbott’s Frozen Custard: Established in 1902, Abbott’s Custard serves up the richest, creamiest frozen dessert in town. Their custard is slow churned in barrels with a custard base, and they use a special vanilla extract, real fruit purees and endless toppings such as fudge, cookies, candies and sprinkles to top off their delicious sweet treats. Abbott’s has over 40 locations in the nation, grown from a single location on Lake and Beach Avenues across from Ontario State Park. They also offer sundaes, cakes, pies, shakes, floats and flurrys to cool you off in the summer heat.  http://www.abbottscustard.com

Location: 2195 Empire Blvd., Webster, NY 14580 ~ 585.671.6365


Leo’s Elite Bakery & Deli
: A 60 year old family business owned by Pat and Kathy Bemunzio, Originally known as The Balta Pie Company before the family sold their business to General Mills, Leo’s creates special order cakes such as Chocolate Raspberry Rum and German Chocolate, Cannolis, Biscotti, Cookies, Danishes, fresh baked Italian bread, deli sandwiches, subs and wraps. They also create party trays, specialty gourmet salads and heat and serve dinners including homemade meatballs and sauce, pot roast and pulled pork and baked beans. http://www.leoselite.com

Location: 101 Despatch Drive, E. Rochester, NY 14445 ~ 585.249.1000

Fresh Food Markets

Wegman’s: Rochester’s family-owned mega store supermarket chain is a definite must-see on any trip to Rochester. Founded by John Wegman in 1916 as Rochester Fruit & Vegetable Company, he and his brother opened their first 20,000 sq foot store on Clinton Avenue in 1930. Expanding across Rochester and Buffalo and now across the eastern seaboard to New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia, Wegmans is now known as one of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”. Their stores have an amazing selection of fresh, frozen and prepared food and have now expanded into opening First Market Café at some of their store locations. The larger showcase stores have food courts inside, featuring Sushi Bar, an Asian Wokery Bar, Italian food, brick oven baked pizzas, a Cappuccino bar and more. They offer cooking classes and live demonstration events from their own Wegmans chefs in a wide location of stores and have their own magazine “Menu” and online blog featuring recipes, cooking tips and celebrity chef articles. This is definitely not your average supermarket and worth the trip.  www.wegmans.com

Location: Wegmans Pittsford – 3195 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618 ~ 585.586.6680


Rochester Public Market
: Located in the heart of Rochester, the Public Market is open all year around on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Here you’ll find local vendors offering ethnic specialties, farm fresh fruit and vegetables, meat from local farms, and specialty items from home baked goods to flowers, plants, dry goods and jewelry. The prices are fair, due to the fact that consumers can buy directly from producers and bypass the middleman costs and support local and regional farmers.  http://www.cityofrochester.gov/publicmarket/

Location: Pennsylvania Avenue between Niagara St and 1st St, Rochester, NY 14609

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Moussaka + Memories of Greece

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Classic Greek Moussaka
Classic Greek Moussaka

Classic Greek Moussaka, (pronounced moos-sah-KAH) is one of the most well known of all Greek dishes and a staple “comfort food” and main course meal in Greece (as is Lasagna in Italy). This tasty Greek delight is a culinary experience to those who sample it for the first time. I first tried it when I worked at a Greek diner in Buffalo, New York during college, and then once again on a trip to the Greek Islands a couple of years ago. Needless to say, the real Greek Moussaka blew the Buffalo diner version to pieces, so I decided to take a stab at making it myself for my Big Fat Greek Birthday dinner party.

One of the most delicious versions of Moussaka I tasted was in Santorini, Greece. It was served in a glazed clay pot, and had a perfect mixture of spicy meat at the bottom, layered with potatoes and tender eggplant, and tons of béchamel and gooey cheese on top. The vegetables were steaming as I dug into this gorgeous meat and vegetable pie – my mouth watered at the sight and smell of it.

Moussaka can be made in many variations, but the classic recipe uses layers of eggplant, potatoes, a spicy meat and tomato sauce with a touch of cinnamon and a rich and delicious béchamel sauce and bubbly kefalotyri cheese on top. Other variations are Moussaka with zucchini or artichokes instead of eggplant, ground lamb instead of ground beef, or vegetarian-style with zucchini, eggplant and ootatoes without the meat. Either way you make it, with its warm and rich flavors and gooey cheese you’ll be hooked.

I made this recipe with zucchini and potatoes, and combined ground lamb with ground beef together. The combination of all the spices from the meat and seasonings soak into the vegetables and once you layer some creamy béchamel and gooey cheese on top, you’ve got yourself a delicious heartwarming dish. Be careful to pat dry the vegetables though before layering in the baking dish, as you don’t want the liquids to make the Moussaka too watery as they are cooked down in the oven.

You’ll need a lot of time and kitchen space to make this dish, and if you’re cooking for a crowd, you’ll be safe to double the recipe and make two large rectangular baking dishes of it, as it won’t last long. The flavors in this dish really improve if you 
make it a day ahead. It’s also a very filling dish, so you may want to serve it as the main course, and accompany it with a Greek Salad, some Stuffed Grape Leaves and Tzaziki for a light side dish along with some Garlic Lemon Hummus and grilled pita. Serve with a red Greek wine and a shot of Ouzo as an aperitif.

Ingredients:

3 large zucchini (or eggplants)
3 large potatoes
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 lg onions, chopped fine
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground beef
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup red Greek wine
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1/4 lb butter
6 tbsp all purpose flour
1 quart of milk
4 eggs; beaten until frothy
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
2 cups ricotta or cottage cheese
1 cup fine bread crumbs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Cut the zucchini and potatoes into slices about 1/2 inch thick.
 If using eggplant instead of zucchini, peel the eggplant first. Brown the zucchini slices quickly in 1/4 cup of the oil. Set aside.

Heat the 
remaining oil in the same skillet and cook the onions until they are
 golden brown. Add the ground meat and cook 10 minutes. Pour off excess fat.

Combine the tomato paste with the wine, parsley, cinnamon, salt and 
pepper. Stir this mixture into the meat and simmer over low heat,
stirring frequently, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the
 mixture from heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Make a white sauce by melting the butter
 and blending in the flour, stirring with a wire whisk. Meanwhile,
 bring the milk to a boil and add it gradually to the butter-flour mixture,
 stirring constantly. When the mixture is thickened and smooth, remove 
it from the heat. Cook slightly and stir in the beaten eggs, nutmeg and 
ricotta.

Grease an 11×16-inch pan and sprinkle the bottom lightly with
 crumbs. Arrange alternate layers of the zucchini and potatoes and meat sauce 
in the pan, sprinkling each layer with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Pour 
the ricotta cheese bechamel sauce over the top and bake 1 hour, or until top is golden.
 Remove from the oven and cool 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Cut 
into squares and serve.

Serves 6-8.

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Jalapeno-Cheddar Meatloaf w/ Savory Tomato Gravy

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meatloaf tomato gravy

On a cold and rainy Sunday evening last November, I needed to warm my bones and fill my belly with something comforting and delicious, that reminded me of home, and what better dish to make than some homemade meatloaf and gravy? I found a few old recipes in my Mom’s cookbook collection and saw one from Southern Living that had Jalapeño and Cheddar cheese included and thought this was a winner! I added a few ingredients of my own and it turned out absolutely delicious – with just the right amount of spice in the meatloaf topped in a savory creamy tomato gravy, along with some buttery mashed potatoes and sauteed zucchini in garlic and olive oil on the side. A glass of red wine to top it off and voila! I was as snug as a bug in a rug on that cold rainy November night.

Jalapeno-Cheddar Meatloaf with Savory Tomato Gravy

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • Jalapeno-Cheddar Meatloaf:
  • 1 pound Ground Sirloin (90% lean)
  • 1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 zucchini, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped fine (6-8 slices)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dales Steak Sauce (soy sauce/garlic marinade)
  • Dash of Montreal Steak seasoning
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • -----
  • Savory Tomato Gravy:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup beef broth
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash of Montreal Steak seasoning

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute the chopped onion, garlic and zucchini in olive oil over moderate heat, stirring, 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together, sprinkle spicy Montreal seasoning on top, and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees uncovered. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  3. Serve with Tomato Gravy (recipe below) and sauteed zucchini and garlic in olive oil with mashed potatoes.
  4. Savory Tomato Gravy:
  5. Melt butter in small saucepan; whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in broth and tomato sauce; reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Whisk in salt and pepper and dash of steak seasoning.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2010/11/16/jalapeno-cheddar-meatloaf-w-savory-tomato-gravy/

Recipe adapted from Southern Living and my Mom and Grandmother’s recipes.

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Welcome to Artful Gourmet

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Kristen Hess

Welcome to Artful Gourmet

I’m Kristen Hess: food fanatic, amateur cook, graphic designer, writer, aspiring food stylist and photographer living in New York City. My new blog is the product of plenty of late nights of planning and dreaming, reading and writing, cooking and eating, and styling and shooting. My purpose is to share my passion and love for cooking and food and travel, alongside with my creative expressions of it through writing, design and photography.

I’ll be dedicating myself to updating content weekly, with stories and photos about cooking, favorite recipes and cooking techniques, restaurant reviews, local markets and food finds in New York City and other places I have lived or traveled to around the world. I’d like this blog to be my creative journalistic view on the food scene as well as a source of inspiration to others by sharing my own cooking and culinary experiences, recipes and stories with others as passionate about food as I am.

I’m excited to join the food blog community and am looking forward to sharing my stories and experiences with you all – Bon Appetit!

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