Archive | November, 2010

Saddle Peak Lodge

30 Nov

Saddle Peak Lodge

419 Cold Canyon Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302

 

Tucked away in beautiful Calabasas, Saddle Peak Lodge will feel like an

exciting and delicious vacation. At Saddle Peak diners are able to

indulge on fresh wild game paired with masterful culinary techniques

and methods. The decor is that of an upscale hunting lodge that is

truly unique, and will transcend any preconceived notion you have. The fare is

seasonal and local, only produce that is fresh and in season are

used, as well as game that is raised naturally.  This combination makes for the

most delicious and unique dishes. Start your culinary adventure

with a bright Farmers Market Salad, or the Seared Foie Gras with

organic apples, brioche and duck gastrique. For entrees, they offer a

stunning Trio of New Zealand Lamb, Chilean Sea Bass with Miso Sake

Glaze, New Zealand Elk with Celery Root and even the Chef’s Wild Game

Trio. Saddle Peak elevates your dining experience by using

ingredients right from the ground!

 

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New York Strip with Bleu Cheese-Chive Butter and Horseradish Mashed Potato

22 Nov

A succulent juicy local New York Strip topped with Bleu Cheese and Chive Butter that is literally exploding with flavor! Horseradish potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to the rich and tender steak with bleu; with enough horseradish to provide a good strong bite that is balanced out by the decadent butter. This dish is the perfect at home steakhouse meal, the only thing missing is a good strong Gin Martini and a fine cigar!

 

What ya need:

16 oz New York Strip

Russet Potato, quartered

1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese

4 tblsp salted butter

chives, minced

2 1/2 tbls horseradish

canola or veg oil

s and p

Heres what ya do:

1. Allow steak to come to room tempature.

2. While steak is coming up top temp boil potato in salted water until fork tender, 30-40 minutes.

3. Make Bleu Cheese and Chive Butter, allow butter to soften and mix with crumbled bleu and 3-4 sprigs of minced chive. This can be made up to 2 weeks ahead of time and frozen to allow the flavors to meld. Store covered in refrigerator until ready to use

4. Season steak with s and p and brush with oil. Grill on a hot grill for about 5 min per side for med rare or 6 min for medium. Cooking the steak any more will result in tough and chewy meat that is unpleasant to eat.

5. Remove steak from grill and immediately top with bleu cheese and chive butter. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

 

 

6. When potatoes are done boiling drain water and add 2 tblsp butter, horseradish and a dash of cream. Mash to incorporate.

Bon Appetit!

 

Andrew Echev | A champions breakfast… two egg ‘n the frames, 3…

18 Nov

Some excellent photography!

Andrew Echev | A champions breakfast… two egg ‘n the frames, 3….

Braised Oxtails with Celery Root Puree and Mirepoix

17 Nov

Juicy, tender and succulent, my braised oxtails are the best! Braised in red wine with a dash of cinnamon to balance out the flavor this dish if full bodied and a great kicked up comfort dish. The celery root puree adds a very bright and aromatic aspect to the plate and is the perfect accompaniment to the braised Mirepoix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Lamb Chops and Creamy Risotto

14 Nov

I love lamb chops, they have a very tender natural rich flavor. Roasting them with salt, pepper and olive oil brings out the delicious natural flavor of the lamb and allows the juices to stay in the chops and keep them moist. The risotto is a very rich and creamy accompaniment to the lamb chops and adds some good flavor and body to this dish.

Heres what you need:

2 lamb chops, per person

1 box arborio rice

1 shallot

garlic

3 tbls butter

fresh grated parmesan

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup white wine

1/2 cup cream

juice of 1 lemon

thyme

salt and pepper

olive oil

Heres what ya do:

1. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Let the lamb chops come to room temp.

3. Start the risotto. In a medium sized pot melt butter and saute shallots and garlic until translucent. Bring chicken stock to simmer in a separate pot. Add arborio rice to shallots and garlic, toast for 5 minutes until translucent. Add half the warm chicken stock and stir constantly until all the stock has absorbed. Add the rest of stock and repeat. Add white wine and stir until absorbed. Continue this process by adding 1/2 cup warm water at a time for 30 minutes up to an hour, remember to stir constantly. Add cream and simmer for 3 minutes. The risotto should be creamy and loose. Remove from heat and hit the risotto with lemon juice and parmesan. Let rest.

4. Season liberally with s and p and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes per side or until desired temp, let rest 5 minutes.

5. Plate risotto and lay lamb chops on top. Garnish with parmesan and chopped thyme.

Bon Appetit!

Cinnamon Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

13 Nov

These cupcakes are incredibly simple and delicious. Biting into one of these babies tastes just like a delicious piece of french toast. Warm and fluffy cake with a delicious fresh and vibrant creamy frosting.

Heres what ya need:

Cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Frosting:

8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter
1 orange, zest and juice
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tbls cinnamon

Heres what you do:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Mix dry cupcake ingredients in bowl. Add in eggs and mix. Slowly stir in milk to combine.

3. Line muffin tins with liners or grease with cooking spray. Fill muffin cups to the rim with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes until nice golden brown and you can insert a toothpick and have it come out clean.

4. Combine cream cheese, butter, orange zest and cinnamon in mixer and beat on low until combined. Slowly add in sugar then orange juice and continue beating on low.

5. Allow cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes before frosting.

Strawberry Filled Apple Banana Oat Muffins

12 Nov

Fluffy and delicious, these muffins are made with fresh fruit and whole wheat flour, the added oats make them healthy and packed with vitamins.

Heres what ya need:

1 ½ cups old fashioned oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

2 eggs

2/3 cup milk

1 cup chopped apple

strawberry preserves

2 mashed bananas

 

Heres what you do:

1. Mix all ingredients except strawberry in bowl until combined.

2. Line muffin cups with liners and fill 1/4 of the way and spoon in a small amount of strawberry preserves, fill rest of the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 Minutes.

Thats it, very simple and very delicious.

Cheers!

Spanish Sausage with Avocado Sour Cream and Homemade Pico de Galo

12 Nov

Feeling a general lack of interest in my standard “Spicy Italian with Peppers and Onions” I decided to mix it up and shift my flavor profile from Italian to Spanish, with a spicy jalepeno chicken sausage, fresh crisp pico de galo, and smooth avocado sour cream. This sandwich is so good with just the right amount of heat and smokey peppery flavors from the jalepeno and cumin flavoring.

Heres what you need:

Spanish style Sausage

3 large vine ripened tomato, diced

1 red onion, med dice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, fine dice

cilantro, chopped

2 avocado

sour cream, 1 cup

Sandwich rolls

red wine vinegar

spanish olive oil

s and p

cumin

Heres what you do:

1. Prep all your veggies and combine onion, tomato, jalepeno, half cilantro, cumin, s and p in bowl and toss lightly. Add 1/3 cup red wine vinegar and 1/8 cup olive oil and toss again. Make the avocado sour cream; smash avocados in bowl and add sour cream and pinch of cilantro, salt and pepper, mix well. Let rest and the flavors meddle anywhere from 1 hour to few days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Grill sausages over high heat for 7-9 minutes depending on what type of protein, I used chicken but pork and turkey are great as well.

3. Place sausage in rolls and cut them down the middle to allow the toppings to settle in. Top with pico de galo and squirt of sour cream (you can make a pastry bag by filling a small plastic bag with sour cream and snipping a small piece off the corner to allow for easier topping.)

 

Cinnamon Pumpkin Apple Muffins

12 Nov

These muffins are healthy and delicious. Packed with oats and fresh fruit they are the perfect start to your day.

Bacon and Cave Aged Bleu Cheese Burger with Steak Fries

10 Nov

This is one of my favorite burger combinations. The flavors are rich, salty, and powerful. The burger is cooked very simply with only salt and pepper to a nice medium rare, the perfect accompaniment to the smoky bacon and bold pungent bleu cheese. I like to accompany this burger with some nice thick cut steak fries.

Heres what you need:

1/2 lbs 80/20 ground beef

Cave Aged Blue Cheese

3 slices thick cut bacon

Fresh baked burger bun

1 large russet potato

canola oil

mayo

s and p

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heres what you do:

1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Slice potato into 8 equal size fries. Put in bowl and rinse with water to remove all starch. Dry well. Toss with canola oil salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes, until soft.

3. Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat and cook bacon until crispy, reserve some of the grease.

4. Form meat into a nice patty thats about 3/4 inch thick. Season on both sides with salt and cracked black pepper.

5. Heat same skillet you used to cook bacon over medium high heat with a touch of reserved bacon grease. Cook burger patty for about 4 minutes being sure not press down on it. Flip it and top with bleu cheese and bacon slices, cook for another 4-5 minutes for a nice medium temp. Remove from pan and let rest 5 minutes.

6. Toast burger bun in pan with bacon and burger drippings. Remove fries from oven and hit immediately with salt. Smear a little mayo on the bottom bun to keep the juice from making the bun soggy when you eat it. Serve it up with some nice mustard and ketchup and even a garlic aioli to dip the fries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers!

Top 5 Cheeses and Their Mouthwatering Recipes

10 Nov

In lieu of my guest blogging with Wisconsin Cheese Talk I have been brainstorming various cheeses and my favorite ways to eat them. Their are so many different types of cheese out there and it was very hard to narrow it down but I did. I tried to pick a wide variety of cheeses, from the type of milk they are made from to the aging process and style. Smoked, melted, topped, and even itself, cheese is delicious and one of my favorite things to enjoy. With so many different types of cheese of artisanal varieties and so many different manufacturers with an even greater multitude of ingredients, blends and techniques the world of cheese is extraordinary and limitless. These should get you started on that lifelong quest of experiencing different and exotic cheese in all it’s forms.

5. 3 Year Cave Aged Bleu Cheese

Bacon and Bleu Burger

4. Smoked Gouda

Poutine with Smoked Gouda and Homemade Gravy

3. Buffalo Mozzarella

Caprese Bites with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

 

2. Brie

Baked Brie with Crostini and Olive and Anchovy Tapenade

-RECIPE COMING SOON-

 

 

1. Goat Cheese

Bruschetta with Arugula, Pancetta, and Goat Cheese

 

Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

10 Nov

A very wonderful and bright dish. The chimichurri sauce carries tangy vibrant flavors that make the lean and tender skirt steak melt in your mouth. The fingerling potatoes are roasted very simply with cracked pepper and sea salt and lime zest then coated with fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil while they are hot; they are really great to balance out the spice of the red pepper in the chimichurri. This is a really wonderful meal to enjoy outside next to the barbeque with a nice cool beer 🙂

Heres what ya need:

1 – 1 1/2 lbs skirt steak

fingerling potatoes

parsley

1 red onion, medium dice

lemon

2 clove garlic, minced

red wine vinegar

olive oil

s and p

red pepper flake

Heres what you do:

1. Make the Chimichurri sauce in a big batch, enough to marinate the steak and enough to have at least a cup or so to sauce right before serving. In a mixing bowl combine red onion, chopped parsley, garlic, and red pepper flake. Pour over 1 cup red wine vinegar and 3/4 cup olive oil and mix well. Marinate steak anywhere from a couple hours to overnight.

2. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Wash potatoes and dry well. Toss with olive oil seal salt and crack pepper and place on baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, under fork tender.

4. Fire up grill or cast iron pan and get it smoking hot. Grill marinated steak 3 minutes per side with the lid closed to get a nice hot pink center. Skirt steak is best served medium rare. Cooking it too long causes it to get tough and not fun to eat. Let the steak rest, do not cut into it, it can rest for 5-30 minutes before slicing. Be sure to slice against the grain to get a nice clean and tender cut.

5. Pull the potatoes from the oven and hit them with some salt and a squeeze of half a lemon. Hit em with a touch of olive oil and some chopped parsley and they are good to go!

Cheers!

San Sebastián by The Pleasure Monger – Local Favorites and Outstanding Tapas Bars in Spain

9 Nov

I stumbled upon this exquisitely written article about one foodies travels through San Sebastian Spain. She encounters some of the neighborhood favorite dishes and local lifestyle on a Pinxtos Crawl, which is a Pub Crawl of sorts where the crawlers hop from bar to bar enjoying strong libations, nibbling on Pinxtos, and socializing with with townies and travelers.

One of my favorites is the large freshly grown local mushrooms from Bar Ganbara. All shapes and sizes, these must have been a genuine delicacy. Another one that was quitye intriguing to me and even inspired me to try to replicate a version in my own kitchen was the Anchovie and Foie Gras Crostini from Txepetxa. I could only imagine how rich and deliciously fresh that tasted; now if only I could create something similar!

Well enjoy the wonderful food and the wonderful writing The Pleasure Monger brings in this engaging and literarily whimsical piece.

San Sebastián – The Land of Promiscuous Eating « The Pleasure Monger.

Poutine with Smoked Gouda and Homemade Gravy

9 Nov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Roulade with Prosciutto, Fire Roasted Red Peppers, Spinach and Parmesan Poached in Homestyle Tomato Sauce

8 Nov

This is a very bright and flavorful dish. It is exploding with fresh flavors and strikes every note in the flavor scale! It is sweet, salty, savory, rich and vibrant. Aside from being packed with crisp vegetables and bursting with fresh herbs this dish is extremely healthy! Poaching the chicken in tomato sauce allows the chicken to cook thoroughly while keeping it juicy and moist. The fat from the prosciutto melts and combines with the aroma from the roasted peppers and parmesan to gently coat the inside of the chicken with the perfect marriage of mouthwatering flavor.

Heres what ya need:

5 chicken breasts

5 slices prosciutto

1 1/2 cups roasted red pepper, chopped

1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

garlic, minced

3/4 cup fresh grated parmesan

Homestyle Tomato Sauce

1 white onion, diced

3-4 large tomotoes

italian parsely

3 cloves garlic, minced

bay leaf

oregano

olive oil

s+p

Heres what you do:

1. Prepare my Homestyle Tomato Sauce.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

3. Pound chicken breast out flat by placing them on your cutting board between pieces of plastic wrap and pounding with a flat meat tenderizer. Season with s and p.

4. Place slice of prosciutto, garlic, spinach, roasted peppers, and parmesan (in that order) on each of the chicken breasts.

5. Roll them up tightly being sure to keep stuffing inside. Hold together with two toothpicks or a piece of butchers twine. Place in baking dish.

6. Cover roulades with tomato sauce and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes or until it reaches internal temp of 165 degrees F.

7. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly chopped parsley and serve with fresh baked bread or over pasta.

Bon Appetit!

Sanamluang Cafe

7 Nov

Sanamluang Cafe

5170 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027

This is the place to go for traditional Thai food no matter what time of day it is, and the fact that they are open until 4 AM makes this possible! Sanamluang is a very casual hole-in-the-wall establishment with friendly service and delicious food. Their most popular dish is the Sanamluang Noodle Bowl loaded with your choice of noodle and veggies, drenched in their delicious spicy house broth. Other popular dishes include the Pad Kee Mow, Roast Duck Soup and  the Larb Salad which is loaded with fresh vibrant herbs and delicious minced pork. With fast service, reasonable prices, and mouthwatering food,  Sanamluang is a Los Angeles favorite.

 

Pete’s Cafe and Bar

7 Nov

Pete’s Cafe and Bar

400 S. Main Street Los Angeles, CA 90013

 

A very cool artsy bar that has some of the most delicious and nonpareil food and drinks in Downtown. Pete’s is the epitome of a Downtown district. The large floor to ceiling windows provide a great view of the bustling downtown nightlife and the interior is reminiscent of the early 1900’s with beautiful mahogany entrance and mosaic tiled floor. The late night menu at Pete’s is truly unique; Flat Iron Steak with Blue Cheese Fries, Mac ‘n’ Cheese with tarragon and goat cheese, Crispy Oyster Spoons with green apple tartar and wasabi caviar are just some of the delicious kicked up versions of bar food they serve every night until 2 AM. If you crave extraordinary cocktails, Pete’s will be sure to quench your thirst with some very interesting takes on modern drinks like the Pepperoncini Martini which is evocative of a Bloody Mary. Elegant and delectable, Pete’s is a great place to relax and enjoy some superb eats.

 

Braised Short Rib with Mashed Potato and Parsnip and Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts

7 Nov

This is an amazing dish! Juicy, delicious, moist flavorful beef short ribs that fall off the bone and melt in your mouth. Served on top of vibrant  aromatic mashed yukon gold potatoes and parsnip that pairs perfectly with the flavor from the braised short rib. Balsamic glazed brussel sprouts make for a bold healthy side while adding beautiful color to the dish as well.

Heres what you need:

Beef short ribs (1 per person)

2-3 yukon gold potatoes

1 large parsnip root

1 lb. brussel sprouts

2 carrots, 1/4″ slice

2 stalks celery, 1/4″ slice

1 white onion, 1/4″ dice

garlic, minced

1.5 – 2 bottles merlot

balsamic vinegar

1 can beef stock

thyme

butter

olive oil

s and p

Heres what ya do:

1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Dredge short ribs in flour and sear until brown on all sides in large oiled cast iron pot. Remove from pot and set aside.

2. Add onion, carrot and celery to pot and sweat in butter and olive oil over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Be sure to scrape up all the brown bits left over from short ribs. Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

3. Add short ribs back into pot and cover with merlot (or other red wine) and beef stock. Bring to boil. Cover pot and put it in the oven to braise for 3- 3 1/2 hours.

4. Peel parsnip root and potatoes. Cut into quarters and boil in salted water until fork tender, 25-30 minutes. Drain the water and heat over medium to evaporate any excess water. Remove from heat and add 2 tbls butter, salt and pepper and mash until smooth.

5.Remove short ribs from pot and take 3 cups of the cooking liquid to a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid has reduced by half. Remove from heat and add 1 tbls butter.

6. Peel outer layers from brussel sprouts, cut a centimeter off the bottom and score with an “X”. Blanch in boiling water, 5 minutes. Add brussel sprouts to skillet over high heat, hit the pan with a 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar and saute until balsamic has reduced and glazed the brussel sprouts.

7. Plate mash and top with short rib in a bowl plate. Ladle cooking liquid reduction over and garnish with brussel sprouts, cracked black pepper and pinch sea salt.

Bon Appetit!