Sunday, December 30, 2012

Roasted Prime Rib with Horseradish Crust

3.5 to 6 lb. Prime Rib Roast
2 sprigs rosemary (about 1.5 tbsp)
4 sprigs thyme (1 tbsp)
¼ cup grated horseradish
5 cloves garlic
2 tbsp salt
½ tbsp black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Set the roast in a heavy bottomed pan, fat side up/bone side down. Place all the rub ingredients in a small food processor and pulse a few times. Rub the mixture all over the top and sides of the meat. Preheat an oven to 250°F. Roast the meat until it reaches 115°F in the center, approximately 30 minutes per pound. Remove the meat from the oven, and crank it up to to 500°F. Let the meat brown for 15 minutes, or until the internal temp hits 130°F in the center, whichever comes first. Remove onto a cutting board, and let the meat rest for at least 15 minutes.

Red Wine Gravy
½ cup red wine (Cab. Sauvignon is what I used)
1 tbsp flour
1 cup beef stock
1 cup chicken stock

There should be a good deal of liquid/fat left in the pan when you remove the meat. Dump out most of it, and place the pan onto a burner on medium heat. Add the wine, and deglaze, scraping off anything stuck to the bottom, allowing the wine to reduce by half. Stir in the flour. Add the stocks, and simmer until it gets to the consistency you want, about 10 minutes or so. Season near the end with salt and pepper if you think it needs it.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Chiptole-style Chicken Burritos

This is more or less a copycat of Chipotle’s chicken burritos. I took the basic recipes from and tweaked them. I wouldn’t say this recipe tastes like a copycat, but it’s definitely in the same ballpark.

2 ¾ cup flour
5 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup very warm water

In a bowl, add the flour and shortening. Mix with a pastry blender of forks until the fat is pebble sized. Add the salt and mix. Pour the water on top, and work the dough with your hands until smooth. Divide into 6 equal pieces, then spritz with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap for half an hour.

Spread some flour onto a work surface, and roll out the tortillas, one at a time. Press each ball into a circular disk with your hand, and then roll out using a rolling pin, turning 90 degrees as you roll to maintain a circular shape. Roll out to about 12” in diameter.

Preheat a 12” pan over medium high. Cook each tortilla for about 30 seconds per side, until you see some browning in spots. Tortillas can be cooked ahead and kept in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.

Pico de Gallo:
4 roma tomatoes
1 heirloom tomato
¼ bell pepper
½ large red onion
4 tbsp Cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon

Roughly chop everything into a dice and put it in a bowl for at least an hour. Seriously, that’s it. Try to keep the dice fairly small.

Roasted Corn Salsa       
1 lb. frozen corn
1 poblano pepper
½ red onion
2 tablespoons Cilantro
Juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 450. Spread the corn out on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes. Roast the poblano until the skin blisters. Roast the onion as well, so it doesn’t feel left out. Dump the corn in a bowl. Remove the skin from the poblano (I do this under running water, just use your fingers and rub/tear it off), then cut it open and rinse out the seeds. Dice and add to the bowl with the corn. Dice the onion and toss it into the bowl. Add the cilantro, lime and salt. Mix, and let sit for at least an hour.

3 chicken breasts
1 small Spanish onion (~1 cup chopped up)
4 cloves garlic
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt

Roughly chop the onion, garlic, chipotle pepper and cilantro and add to a blender along with the vinegar, paprika, oregano, and salt. Puree. Dice the chicken up into roughly ¾” pieces, and put them in a ziploc bag. Pour the marinade over, and make sure everything is co-mingling. Let this chill in the fridge for a few hours. When you’re ready to cook, rinse the excess marinade off the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Cook in a large pan, over medium/medium high heat for about 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes.

¾ cup uncooked rice
¼ cup cilantro
Juice of 1 lime

Cook the rice as usual, then fluff and incorporate the chopped cilantro and lime juice.


If you made the tortillas ahead of time, reheat them by stacking them on a plate, placing a dampened paper towel on top of each layer. Microwave on low power for 1 minute. Top with rice, chicken, both salsas, sour cream, and shredded cheese.

While tasty, the burrito is a pain in the ass to photograph. Especially when you're trying to do so quickly.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Meatloaf with Corn Chips and Chipotle Ketchup

I guess you could class this as "southwestern" cuisine, although it's the sort of faux-mexican style dish that ends up falling into a classification all its own. The flavor profile reminded me of the tacos my mom used to make when I was a kid - ground beef, cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce and store-bought hard taco shells. I held back on adding too much spice, because a meatloaf isn't really supposed to bring the heat in my eyes. The end product was a little dry, though when I made sandwiches the next day the meatloaf seemed a bit juicer than before. Two adjustments I would make: add more liquid to the recipe and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing into it. Here's the recipe as I made it, for the sake of posterity.


1/2 white onion, diced (should yield 1 cup)
1 poblano chili, deseeded and diced
2 clobes garlic, minced
2 lbs. ground beef
8 oz. tomato sauce
3/4 cup crushed corn chips
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1.5 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

For the chipotle ketchup:
1 cup ketchup
1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce


Over medium heat, toss a spoonful of bacon fat into a skillet and cook the poblano and onion until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Place mixture in a large bowl. Place corn chips in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin/frying pan/your forehead to pulverize until they're the size of bread crumbs. Add to the bowl along with all the other ingredients for the meatloaf. Mix with your hands until everything is incorporated. To test the seasoning, grab a small piece of the mixture, re-fire up the skillet you used to cook the pepper and onion, and cook the meat for a minute. Once you think you're happy with how everything is seasoned, form the mixture into a loaf and place into a loaf pan that's been sprayed with cooking spray.

Preheat your oven to 300F. Take a 13"x9" roasting dish and place the loaf pan inside. Fill the roasting dish with water until it comes about halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. When the oven comes up to temperature, place the roasting dish with water in the oven for a few minutes until the water comes up to 180F. Cover the loaf pan with foil and gently place in the water. Cook until the loaf reaches an internal temperature of 150F (use a meat thermometer), about 1.5 hours.

While you're waiting for the meatloaf, make the glaze. Chop the chipotle chili and place in a food processor with the ketchup and fish sauce. Pulse until smooth. Reserve leftover ketchup for sandwiches.

When the loaf hits 150F, remove both pans from the oven and toss the water. Preheat your broiler and move the oven rack up to the middle third of the oven. Remove the foil from the loaf, and coat the top of the loaf with the chiptole ketchup. Broil for a few minutes to glaze the ketchup onto the meat, being careful not to let it burn (I have a bad habit of doing that when working with my broiler). Let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Meatloaf sandwiches:
Frankly I'm surprised that meatloaf doesn't come in sandwich form all the time, but when you're trying to figure out how to use those leftovers there's no finer method than sticking your meat in a bun. That came out wrong. Anyway:

Slice of leftover meatloaf
Slice of bacon
Leftover chipotle kecthup
Cheese (something that melts well - I had muenster in my fridge, so I used that)
Kaiser Roll

Preheat your oven's broiler on the Low setting and set your oven rack to the upper third. Cook that bacon in a skillet over medium heat until desired crispiness. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, and reserve the excess grease in a mug, leaving only a thin film in the pan. Add the meatloaf to the skillet, and brush chipotle ketchup all over the exposed areas. Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the cheese and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, to allow the cheese to melt. Place the meat on a roll and add bacon.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Falafels with Quinoa Tabbouleh and Tahini Dressing

I haven’t always had successes with unfamiliar foreign cuisine, but this meal turned out pretty good. The falafels were moister on the inside than the falafels I’ve had from the halal truck I go to for lunch. I would assume they use a mix? I’m not enough of an expert on the subject, so maybe I’m wrong.

1 cup dried chickpeas
½ large white onion, chopped (1 cup)
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 thai chili, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour (I ended up using 6)


Soak chickpeas in cold water overnight. Drain, and add to a food processor along with the onion, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, and coriander. Pulse until blended but not pureed. Sprinkle the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of flour on top and pulse. You should be able to grab a piece of dough, form it into a ball, and not have it stick to your hand. Add another tablespoon or two of flour if need be. 

Form the dough into 12 golf-ball sized balls. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight. Or, if you don’t have several hours, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, freeze for one hour, than place in a bowl in the fridge for another hour.

Heat 3 inches of canola oil to 375°F. Add half the falafels and fry until golden brown, turning halfway. It should only take a few minutes. Remove and place on a baking tray lined with paper towels to sop up the excess oil.

Tahini Dressing:
¼ cup tahini paste
¼ cup greek yogurt
2 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic
Pinch salt
Pinch paprika


Place everything in a small food processor and give it a whirl. Add a little more water if the consistency isn’t creamy enough.

Quinoa Tabbouleh (from:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken stock (sub with vegetable stock if you prefer)
½ large cucumber
1 thai chili, minced
2 small tomatoes (or 1 large)
2/3 cup chopped parsley
2 scallions, sliced thin
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper


Rinse the quinoa well. Even if the package says its no-rinse quinoa, rinse it anyway. Bring stock up to a boil, add salt and dump in your quinoa. Quinoa doesn’t have much flavor on its own, so it’s always a good idea to cook it in some sort of flavorful liquid, or at least toss in a bouillon cube. Anyway, let the quinoa simmer for 15 minutes, until spiral thingies have formed around the grains. Drain and fluff. Let cool. This step can be done well in advance.

With the quinoa cooled, add the Thai chili, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, and scallions. Season with some salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, squeeze out the lemon juice and add the garlic. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking to emulsify. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the quinoa.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chocolate Lava Cake with Bourbon Crème Anglaise

For the bourbon crème anglaise
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
3 large egg yolks
2 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat the cream and milk in a small saucepan over medium low until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks, sugar and salt in a bowl. Spoon about ¼ of the hot milk/cream into the bowl with the eggs and whisk to temper the eggs. This will prevent you from making scrambled egg dessert sauce. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Cook the sauce for approx 8 minutes, until it coats the back of a spoon. Temperature should be 170°F if you’re using a thermometer. Pour the sauce into a bowl and chill in an ice bath, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Lava Cakes:
1 Large Egg
1 Egg Yolk
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 72% cacao)
4 Tbsp + 1 tsp butter
1 Tbsp flour + some for dusting the ramekins

Butter and flour two four-inch ramekins. You’ll want to use small ramekins, as I learned when I turned my cakes out onto a plate and they burst open from the fall.

Add the  egg +yolk and the sugar to a bowl and mix using a hand mixer until the mixture becomes aerated (aka, bubbles form), 2 minutes.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a microwaveable bowl along with the chocolate. Microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring after each. It took me 3 15-second bursts to melt the chocolate.

Add the chocolate and butter into the bowl with the eggs, and spoon in the tablespoon of flour on top. Hit it with your mixer to combine. Spoon the mixture into the two ramekins.

Bake at 450°F for 8 to 10 minutes. The outer edge should be set, but the inside should still be jiggly. The outside of the cakes should be risen slightly more than the center. Turn your cakes out onto a plate and serve with the crème anglaise.