Chateaubriand for Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2018

Chateaubriand

Our Thanksgiving dinner was a departure from the usual.  Our Son Michael loves to grill and decided to attempt a whole tenderloin cooked over indirect heat and then seared over the direct coals.  The inspiration came from Meathead Goldwyn in his iconic grilling book Meathead; The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling.  The beef was outstanding.  Served with mashed potatoes and an updated green bean casserole, we never even missed a turkey.

IMG_8777

A whole tenderloin requires a breakdown to get to  a symmetrical log from the center.  The tenderloin tips are cut from each end.  The chain along the side needs to be trimmed away and the silverskin removed.  The trimmings can be used as a few filet mignon steaks, stew meat, and/or ground with some of the fat into upscale hamburgers.

IMG_8811

You will need to fold over the tapered end and tie it with string to ensure even cooking.  Once the chateaubriand is ready, dry brine it in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.  The dry brine is just kosher salt.  Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound of meat all over the cylinder.  After the allotted time is up, remove the beef from the refrigerator and season it with a seasoning rub.

BEEF RUB
2 Tablespoons ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

IMG_8812

Set up the grill in a two-zone configuration and get the indirect zone up to about 225 degrees F.  Place the meat in the indirect-heat zone.  It will cook slowly for about 45 minutes.  Check temperature with a meat thermometer.

IMG_8819

When the meat reaches 110 degrees F, move it to direct heat to sear.  Leave the lid open and roll the roast a quarter turn every 5 minutes or so.  When it reaches 130 degrees F in the center, move it to a cutting board.  Cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes or so.

IMG_8820

Slice into at least 1 inch steaks and serve.  Serves 6 to 8 easily.

Parsnip Soup

Earlier in the day Kristen made a delicious Parsnip and apple soup with smoked almonds and scallions.  I don’t have the recipe but anything you add to it is enhanced by using an immersion blender to meld it all together.  Here is a similar recipe.

Kale and Quinoa Salad

One of the most colorful dishes on our table was this fabulous Kale, roasted quinoa, purple sweet potato and apple salad.  It was such a seasonal delight that I would love to serve this every Autumn and Thanksgiving.  Kristen is so creative.  Remind me to get the recipe.  Will try to blog about this again or maybe Kristen will put it on her blog, Menubility.

IMG_8814

I made a Bourbon Pumpkin Pie from this recipe.  I add a Streusal Topping.  Recipe follows.

STREUSAL TOPPING

1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Mix all ingredients.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Cool and sprinkle over cooked and cooled pie.  You will have extra for other purposes.

FAMILY CHRISTMAS 2018

We took some time over Thanksgiving to have photos taken for our Christmas cards.  We are lucky to have Christobal of Azul Photography as a family friend.  Let the Christmas Season begin.

A Change in Latitude and Warming Soup

January 11th, 2018

NSB House

We have made our annual Winter trek to Florida this month.  We fell in love with New Smyrna Beach last year and were lucky to find this charming rental property for this year and, hopefully, for many years to come.  The house has a lot of character with two fireplaces and lots of room.  It is within walking distance to town and the beach.

The only down side so far has been the cold weather.  We have had freezing temperatures and have made use of both fireplaces.

NSB Bedroom

The fireplace in the Master Bedroom is wonderful and a cosy place to curl up with a good book.

Lentil and Kale Soup 1

Another way to warm up is with this Slow Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup.  It was featured in the latest issue of Cooking Light Magazine and was part of a 3 day detox article for clean eating after the holidays.  We have stuck to the recipes and have felt better for it.  We’ve even lost a few pounds.

NSB Kitchen

I am enjoying my new kitchen.  It has a gas stove, which I prefer, and every kind of pot, pan, casserole and gadget imaginable.

NSB Porch

When the weather warms up, I am sure that we will enjoy this screened in porch.

Lentil and Kale Soup

In the meantime, we will stay warm by the fire and eat warming soup.  The soup is made creamy by an infusion of pureed chickpeas.  I know it is probably colder where most of you are located, so let’s hope the January thaw will make an early appearance.

SLOW COOKER CREAMY LENTIL SOUP (Cooking Light Magazine)

Cooking Spray
4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked green lentils
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup chopped carrots
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
5 thyme sprigs
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cups thinly sliced lacinato kale
1/2 tsp. sherry or red wine vinegar

Coat a 5-6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.  Place broth and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in slow cooker; stir well.  Cover and cook on LOW 7 hours.

Process chickpeas, 3/4 cup water, oil, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth.  Add chickpea mixture and kale to slow cooker; stir well.  Cover and cook on LOW 30 minutes.  Stir in vinegar.

Servings 5, Calories 312.

Printable Recipe

Butternut Squash Soup

December 6th, 2017

IMG_0062

While staying with our family over Thanksgiving, my DIL Kristen made this flavorful soup for our lunch preceding our Thanksgiving dinner. The butternut squash is combined with a few parsnips and potatoes and simmered in chicken broth. Once cooked it is puréed with an immersion blender.  There is no need for heavy cream.  The soup is thick and velvety.  The smoked almonds and chopped scallions add a bit of crunch and flavor.  I will be making this butternut squash soup all through our chilly December.  If you want to make it vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

IMG_8413

We got our tree right after Thanksgiving because our home was on a Christmas Walk on December 2nd. I scrambled to get all of the decorations out before the end of November.  But now it is done and I can sit back and enjoy the season in peace. Here are a few pictures of the results.

Christmas Mantel

The mantel and chairs in their Christmas adornment.

IMG_8405

The den, ready for a fire and a good book.

IMG_8417

I have been busy making cookies, but on this day the Crock Pot is busy next to the sink making our dinner.  So much to do.

IMG_8421

Oranges in my hearth pot next to the fireplace.

Christmas Kitchen

Another view of the kitchen.

Christmas Porch

Christmas porch on a beautiful sunshiny day.

Christmas Lower Porch

Lower porch with my new reindeer pillow.

IMG_8407

My talented Mother’s Christmas Carolers.  I think everyone in our small town had a set of her carolers and I have fond memories of her making them in the hundreds.  She “lives on” in many households through her work.

IMG_8428

My husband has never grown up.  Fortunately we built bookshelves along the stairwell to our downstairs area.  I have given David free reign with all of his collectible toys.  When the Grands were younger they marveled at all of the mechanical toys (except for the bug-eyed monkeys that scared them).  The shelves seem particularly festive at Christmas.

IMG_0061

Enjoy the festive season and this velvety butternut squash soup on the countdown to Christmas. I am happy to have time to relax.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP (RECIPE FROM KRISTEN KLETT)

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1 medium yellow onion – rough chop
    • 2 cloves of garlic – rough chop
    • 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
    • 1 medium butternut squash, cut into approx. 1” cubes (3 to 4 cups)
    • 3 small parsnips – cut similar to squash
    • 2 very small yukon potatoes (fingerling okay) – peeled and cut similar to squash and parsnips
    • 3 cups of chicken broth (I prefer making mine with “better than boullion” chicken base – much richer flavor)
    • 3 shakes of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

FOR GARNISH

  • Smoked almonds – chopped/crushed
  • Scallions – chopped

In a medium pan, saute the onions in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt and pepper until the onions are translucent.

Add the dijon mustard and garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes

Add the squash, parsnips and potatoes and stir to combine and coat with oil/onions/garlic. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Season with another sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Add the chicken broth. The broth should just cover the vegetables (too much broth will make your soup more watery/runny). Cook for 20 minutes on a low simmer until all vegetables are fork tender.

Turn the heat off and, using an immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pan until silky smooth.

Add a few dashes of cayenne pepper to taste.

Serve soup topped with crushed smoked almonds & green onions.
TIP: Root vegetables pair very nicely with Gruyere cheese. If you want a tasty side for your soup, make grilled cheese or crostini with Gruyere.

Printable Recipe

Taiwanese Beef Soup: From Sumos to Oxtails

February 4th, 2017

Taiwanese Beef Soup

Before I get to this delightful soup recipe, I have to share some fun I had last week.  I have a dear friend who has moved just over the mountain from me.  Barbara has built a lovely home on acreage with a barn.  She raises goats for their wool and milk.  She prefers a vegetarian diet.  The two of us went to Whole Foods together on a shopping outing.  It is obvious what each of us bought.

Sumos

 

 

Oxtails
Sumo oranges are in season right now.  They are a cross between mandarin oranges and navel oranges.  Barb bought these.  Because I was making the beef soup, I needed both beef shanks with marrow bone and oxtail.  I asked the butcher for oxtail and he went into the walk-in refrigerator and brought out a whole cow’s tail and flashed it about.  “Do you want me to cut this up for you?” he said. The look of horror on Barb’s face was priceless.  He cut it up and we left the store giggling at our incongruent tastes. Barb said, “If you invite me to dinner I would prefer quiche and a salad.”

Taiwanese Vegetable Soup

The heady combination of beef with bones and marrow, plus soy sauce, chilies, star anise and ginger makes for a rich broth and tender meat that cooks slowly for hours.  A meat lover’s delight.  Ladle the soup into bowls and add cooked Chinese noodles and broccolini.  Adjust the amount of chilies to your taste.  I used 2 Thai chilies in the soup and garnished it with slices of Habanero chilies.  I will omit the too hot Habaneros next time, even though they looked pretty.  This was slightly adapted from Hélène Dujardin on her blog Tartelette.  It is best to make this a day ahead of time so you can skim the fat from the top after refrigerating.

TAIWANESE BEEF SOUP

Make this ahead of time so you can refrigerate and remove the fat before reheating

3 pounds bone-in beef shanks with marrow bones still on
1 pound beef oxtails
3 tablespoons canola oil
10 garlic cloves, bruised
one 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into 6 slices,
5 scallions, halved crosswise
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
3 star anise
1 teaspoons peppercorns
2 Thai chili, split lengthwise
1/4 cup roasted red chili paste
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
8 tablespoons light soy sauce
10 cups water
1 pound broccolini, stems halved
1/2 pound Udon noodles
cilantro
extra freshly sliced Habanero red chili (optional)

In a large stock pot, heat half the oil over high heat. Sear half of the beef shanks and oxtails on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pot and repeat with the remaining oil and beef pieces.
Add  all the remaining soup ingredients, except the broccolini, noodles and cilantro.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat to low, cover with the lid askew and cook for about 3 hours or until the beef is tender and falls off the bone.
Turn off the heat, and remove the beef pieces with a slotted spoon. Let the beef cool then shred it off the bones. Discard the bones. Strain the soup into another pot and put the meat into that pot. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim the fat that has risen to the top then reheat the soup on low heat.
In the meantime, blanch the broccolini in boiling water for about a minute. Set aside. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Divide the noodles and broccolini among 6 bowls, ladle soup over noodles and garnish with cilantro and extra chili if desired.

Printable Recipe 

Celery Root Velouté

January 28th, 2017

Celery Root Soup

If you would like a luxurious soup to serve as a first course, you couldn’t do any better than this Celery Root Velouté from Mimi Thorisson’s new cookbook French Country Cooking.  It is very simple to make and is quite different from any other soup I have made before.  Starting with a gnarly celery root, one of the least appealing vegetables I have ever seen, you end up with a thing of beauty.

Celery Root Soup

I love the idea of serving the soup with a crisp slice of bacon.  Crumbled into the bowl, it adds a crisp counterpoint to the velvety soup.  My husband and I both loved the flavors achieved with just a few ingredients.  The hint of mustard pairs well with the earthy taste of the celery root.

Celery Root Soup

Whether you serve this as a first course or as a light lunch, you can’t go wrong with this unique recipe.  Another winner from Mimi Thorisson.

CELERY ROOT VELOUTÉ

3 tablespoons salted butter
1 celery root (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into small cubes
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Extra-virgin olive oil
Piment D”espelette or mild chile powder
6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the celery root, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.  Pour in the milk and stock and bring the soup to a simmer.  Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the celery root is tender, about 20 minutes.

Purée the soup, preferable using an immersion blender.  Stir in the mustard and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Serve hot, drizzling each portion with a little olive oil and sprinkling with a pinch of piment d’Espelette.  Top each bowl with a slice of bacon.

Makes 6 servings

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.