Thursday, October 29, 2009

Steak and Chimichurri Toasts

1 c packed fresh parsley
3/4 c olive oil, plus additional
for brushing the toasts
3 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. dried oregano
2 t. ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. dried crushed red pepper
Two 1-lb pieces flank steak
Freshly ground black pepper
16-0z thin French bread baguette, cut into 40 slices

To make the chimichurri sauce, in a food processor combine the parsley, 3/4 c. olive oil, vinegar, oregano, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic and crushed red pepper. Process until smooth, then set aside.
Place the steaks in a large glass baking dish, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush about 2 tablespoons chimichurri sauce over the steaks, then refrigerate the remaining sauce. Cover the steaks with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour (or up to a day.)
Preheat oven to 450 F. Place the bread slices on a large baking sheet, then brush them lightly with olive oil. Bake the bread until just firm, about 5 minutes. Transfer to large plantter.
Prehead the broiler.
Tansfer the steaks to a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium.
Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. Cut each steak in half along the grain. Cut each half crosswise against the grain into 10 slices. Top each bread slive with 1 piece of meat and a bit of chimichurri sauce.
Arrange the toasts on a platter and spoon remaining sauce into small bowl and place in a center of the platter. Serve warm or let stand up to 2 hours at room temperature.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vegetable Pot Pie from Stacey

Winter Vegetable Ragout

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 cups chopped leeks, white and pale green portions only

1 cup thinly sliced fennel

2 teaspoons minced or pressed garlic

12 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 2 cups)

12 ounces rutabagas or turnips, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 2 cups)

12 ounces sweet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 2 cups)

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or tarragon (I did tarragon…yum)

½ cup dry white wine

About 2 cups homemade vegetable stock or chicken stock, reconstituted vegetable bouillon, or canned chicken broth, low-sodium type

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

½ cup half and half

salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste

1 egg white beaten for moistening

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon cream for glaze.

Prepare pastry and chill.

To make ragout, melt 3 tblsp of the butter with the oil in a heavy stew pot such as a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and fennel and sauté until soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, carrots, rutabagas or turnips, parsnips, potatoes, and about half of the herbs and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the wine and stock, bouillon, or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Strain the cooking liquid into a bowl and transfer the vegetables to a separate bowl. Melt the remaining 3 tables of butter in the cooking pot. Add the flour and cook, whisking or stirring, for 3 minutes. Gradually whisk or stir in the cooking liquid and half and half. Simmer until the liquid is thickened to sauce consistency about 5 minutes. Combine the sauce, vegetables, and the remaining herbs and spoon the mixture into a shallow 2-quart casserole or into 6 shallow baking dishes such as quiche dishes, measuring 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate until quite cold.

On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough about ¼ inch thick. Using a ruler as a straight edge and a sharp knife or rolling pastry cutter, cut into long strips about ½ inch wide. Surround the edge of the dish with a strip of dough and pinch the edges to form a decorative pattern. Cut the dough strips to a length that will fit across the top of the casserole. Crisscross the dough strips to form a lattice design over the filling. Moisten the ends of each dough strip with beaten egg white and press together with the strip surrounding the dish edges. Pinch off any excess dough and smooth the edges with your fingers. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg glaze. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Alternatively, roll out the dough to fit the top of the baking dish, allowing for an overlap of 1-½ inches. Place the dough over the top of the dish and press with fingers to secure the edges to the baking dish. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Preheat an oven to 450 F. Bake the pie for 0 minutes, ten reduce the heat to 350 F and continue baking until the crust is golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.

Spicy Cream Cheese Pastry (I used store bought which was great)

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper

1 cup unsalted butter, chilled

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

In a bowl combine the flour, salt, and cayenne pepper and stir together. Using a pastry blender or two knives, but in the butter and cream cheese to form a soft dough. Alternatively, combine the dry ingredients in a food processor. Add the butter and cream cheese and process with short pulses until the dough just sticks together.

Gather the dough into a ball, enclose in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and chill for at least 30 minutes or for up to several hours.

Makes top crust for 1 large pot pie, or 3 individual pies.