Tuesday, October 19, 2010

cider and plum braised chuck roast with smashed red potatoes and roasted squash

seasoned, tied-up and seared-off a 2.5-lb well-marbled chuck roast in a hot dutch oven containing 2T. of olive oil. browned both sides and removed the roast from the dutch oven. rendered the fat out of four slices of bacon, chopped into little lardons, in the hot oil, then added one large diced onion and let cook on medium heat until almost translucent. added to the onions two medium size diced plums, 4 smashed cloves of garlic, 1.5T. fresh chopped thyme, 1.5T. fresh chopped oregano, 3 allspice berries, 1/2t. korean chili flakes, 2 cloves, and 1/2t. of whole ajowan. allowed to simmer until heavily aromatic, then added 1c. of white wine, scraped all of the suk from the bottom of the dutch oven and let reduce until syrupy. returned the roast to the pot and poured in 1c. of apple cider, 1c. of chicken stock, and then jostled everything around and mixed in 2T. of tomato paste. covered the top of the dutch oven tightly with tin foil (thanks, cooks illustrated!) and then the metal lid, and placed the vessel in a 325-degree oven for 2.5-hrs, flipping the roast half way through the cooking time.

removed a few cups of the braising liquid about 30-minutes before the roast was done. skimmed the fat off the top, pulsed in the food processor, and then reduced with a little more stock and some fresh sprigs of thyme and oregano and some salt and pepper to taste. pulled the roast, sliced it up and served it over some boiled-smashed-roasted red potatoes and some roasted squash, topped with some of the gritty gravy mixture.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the new salt: olive oil poached garlic

the new salt: olive oil poached garlic, originally uploaded by aarn! +13th October, 2010+.

peeled enough garlic to fill a pint container with raw cloves. placed the pint of cloves into a small sauce pan. poured olive oil over the cloves in the pan until fully-submerged. put the pan over a low flame and allowed to get up to a delicate simmer. continued at this temperature (probably about 200-degrees) until the cloves were tender enough that they could be easily pierced through by a cake tester or fork. removed the cloves in oil from heat, and allowed to cool (a little bit of browning is ok, ideally the browning would occur during carry-over cooking, after removed from heat...that gives the best result). transferred the cooled garlic to a pint container with a spoon, and poured the oil that the cloves were cooked in over the top until the container was full (discarding any brown bits in the bottom of the sauce pan). placed the covered container in the refrigerator until needed (edit: use within 2-3 days).

this can also be done in the oven, for a more gentle poach. oven temperature can range from 200 to 325-degrees, cooking times vary.

olive oil poached garlic is one of the most versatile ingredients to have in the fridge. the taste is slightly more mellow and the cloves can be consumed raw or in cooked food. there is also a nice sweet undertone and the oil is great for garnishing or dipping. a pint container of these usually disappear quickly.

read on at selectism.com

[edit: it was brought to my attention that this is the ideal breeding ground for botulism, so i edited the content to say that you should eat them within a few days to be safe. i have done this technique a dozen times or so, with great results (ie: no botulism), but it's not worth the risk, so eat them fast.]

garlic mozzarella and bacon fat biscuits

garlic, mozzarella and bacon fat biscuits, originally uploaded by aarn! +13th October, 2010+.

cut 4T. of chilled bacon fat, mixed with a few cloves of olive oil poached garlic, into 2c. of all-purpose flour, 3t. baking powder, 1T. salt and 1t. fresh cracked pepper. gently mixed whole milk into the dry ingredients until the dough was bound and slightly on the sticky side. folded in grated whole milk mozzarella, shredded pepperoni and some fresh parsley. formed into eight small biscuits and slid onto a dusted baking stone in a 425-degree oven for about 15-min, until brown on the top and crispy on the bottom. let cool for a few minutes and then served.

[made from leftovers from the stromboli]

stone fired stromboli with pepperoni, fresh spinach and basil

stone fired stromboli with pepperoni, fresh spinach and basil, originally uploaded by aarn! +13th October, 2010+.

mixed together 1 1/4t. active dry yeast, 1 1/3c. luke warm water, 1T. salt, 1T. sugar, 2T. extra virgin olive oil, 4T. wheat gluten, and 3c. all-purpose flour (the go-to quick pizza dough recipe). kneaded by hand until it had the right doughy feel. coated the dough in olive oil let sit and rise in a warm place for about an hour (in a bowl, covered in plastic wrap), while the oven and baking stone got up to temperature [425-degrees].

made a quick sauce from a can of crushed tomatoes, some olive oil poached garlic, butter, fresh oregano, basil, and parsley, and tomato paste. seasoned to taste. let reduce until thick but still bright in flavor.

cut the dough in half and worked one portion of it into a 12x18-in rectangle on an oiled work surface, using a flat rolling pin (the average thickness was approximately 3/16-in). brushed a mixture of crushed garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and olive oil onto the dough. sprinkled the entire surface of the dough with fresh basil, then thin slices of margherita pepperoni, whole milk mozzarella cheese, and then large leaves of spinach. carefully rolled the dough, starting from the short end. sprinkled a pizza peel with cornmeal and transferred the rolled-up dough to it. slid the roll from the peel onto the clean baking stone, on the bottom rack of a 425-degree oven. let bake for 10-minutes or so, until the top of the dough had a nice brown color. pulled and let cool for 10-minutes so that everything could bind back up on the inside. cut into crosswise slices about 2-in thick and served over the fresh tomato sauce.

[dough: adapted from joy]

Thursday, October 7, 2010

akimenko meats presents - the first cookbook

vadim and i just put together a cookbook. here's a little excerpt from it, "perfect rare roast beef":

This roast beef recipe will work for most cuts of beef, it’s really a method rather than a recipe. I like using top round because it is fairly inexpensive and under utilized. When you are looking for a roast, look for cuts that will do well with dry heat methods of cooking, think rib, strip, sirloin, top round, eye round or knuckle to name a few.

What you need:

* 5# Top Round roast, (first cut is best)
* 6 cloves of garlic, ground into a paste
* 2 shallots, ground into a paste with the garlic
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 2 cups of mire poix, (2:1:1 onion, carrots, celery), optional
* Roasting Pan

The Process:

Pre-heat oven to 425′F. Set the roast aside and allow it to come to room temperature.

Rub the roast with the garlic/shallot paste, then sprinkle generously with pepper first then salt. If you like you may sit the roast on a bed of mire poix. This adds flavor to the roast, but more importantly makes a good base for a sauce or gravy from the drippings.

Throw the roast in the oven at 425′F for 15 minutes then turn the heat down to 325′F, and cook for 9 minutes per pound for rare. Remember that cooking times for these types of recipes are just guide lines. Always check the internal temperature with a food safe thermometer making sure the tip of the probe is close to the center of the roast. When the internal temperature reaches 100′F for rare or 115′F for med-rare, remove the roast and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. And don’t cheat on the resting time. During this 15 to 20 minutes the jus is redistributing throughout your roast. Cut prematurely and lose the jus to the carving block.

So, you’ve been very patient, carve that roast and eat!

read more on my favorite cookbooks on selectism. purchase the cookbook directly through magcloud, here:

The First Cookbook

Akimenko Meats Issue 1:

Vadim's recipes for Pork Rillettes, Bacon-y Meatloaf, Kielbasa, Confit Chicken Thighs, Roast Beef, Grilled Hearts, Braised Lamb Shank, Breakfast Sausage, Pate de Campagne, and Brined Pork Chops. In this first issue of the Akimenko Meats Cookbook we explore some delicious recipes and classic preparation techniques. The purpose of the magazine is to promote Akimenko Meats, a butcher shop which is opening Winter 2010 in Cambridge Massachusetts, and …

[ps: sorry for the rss flood, blogger is really bad at previewing posts when editing.]

black cumin chickpea fritters with fresh flatbreads and garlic yogurt sauce

ground up a few cloves of olive oil poached garlic with a handful of parsley, a shallot, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne, a little whole grain mustard, fresh ground coriander and black cumin, a pinch of cinnamon, and 2c. of chickpeas. removed the mixture from the food processor (prior to it becoming a paste, left it a little chunky) and mixed in a little bit of flour until the consistency felt right (about 1t.). formed the chic pea mixture into quenelles and set aside until ready to be fried. set the deep fryer to 375-degrees and dropped in the falafel quenelles until brown (ideally, yes, for some reason these fell apart a bit when fried...maybe the quenelle is too gentle of a technique to use for this coarse ground mixture).

mixed one mashed clove of olive oil poached garlic, a splash of lemon juice and some salt into a cup or so of yogurt (from narragansett creamery).

lightly incorporated a pinch of salt, a splash of olive oil, a little wheat gluten, and a little bit of active dry yeast into a cup of all-purpose flour. mixed some milk into these dry-ish ingredients until at a wet-ish bread-ish dough consistency. rolled out into a handful of thin discs (about 8-in in diameter), on a flour-dusted work surface, using a french rolling pin. transferred the doughy discs to a hot baking stone in a 425-degree oven for about two minutes a side.

served the fritters over a flatbread with some quartered artichoke hearts and halved plum tomatoes (tossed in a little olive oil and lemon juice), a dollop of the garlic yogurt sauce and a sprig of fresh parsley.