Archive for category Beef
It’s freezing. Almost literally. I know all you people who live even 200 miles north of Florida can’t stand our posts about 85 degree beach days in the middle of January, so this weekend you are probably not feeling all that sympathetic that we are FREEZING! Just like Northerners, I always become inspired to cook comfort foods when it’s blustery out and, not wanting to venture into the biting wind, I was not about to go hunting ingredients further than my own kitchen.
There are several pieces of art within a kitchen. Objects that live for years, producing some of the most memorable tastes to grace the kitchen. The first of my collection was my Kitchen Aid mixer. It was a Christmas present years ago from Hubby. Suddenly, batches of cookies weren’t as daunting, whipping egg whites was a breeze and I became more efficient letting the mixer run while I prepared other ingredients. Since then, I have acquired a cast iron skillet, several nice chef knives, and a roasting pan that has delivered some amazing turkeys and roasts. This year, I received a long-awaited Christmas wish, a Le Creuset round french oven.
Within the hour, I was looking up recipes to christen my new collector’s piece. I had already done Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon a couple of years ago for New Years, so this had to be something different. I landed on Bon Appetit’s number 1 recipe of the year, Red Wine Braised Short Ribs. Paired with a wonderful bottle of B Cellars Blend 24.
There have been some good meals on my plate over the last week and all because of prosciutto. This dry cured ham is a little piece of flavor heaven. It puts truth to the cliche that the best presents come in little packages. It’s thin sliced and tears at the littlest tug.
Let’s start with New York Strip steaks. Steak is really hard to improve. It’s so perfect with just salt and pepper cooked at the right temperature. So, why in the world, would I slice it open and stuff it with goat cheese? Why would I wrap it with prosciutto and have the Grill master (aka Hubby) fire up the iron grates? Because it tasted as good as it looks. That’s why. Tangy, salty, creamy and tender. That’s why I loved this steak.
Next up, prosciutto wrapped grilled shrimp served with grits. The shrimp is rubbed with finely chopped garlic, dill, salt and pepper. It’s then wrapped with 1/2 sheet of prosciutto and grilled 4 minutes on each side on wooden skewers until it’s pink and tender. I served it with grits mixed with Parmesan cheese. It’s not the shrimp and grits you would get in the Gulf Coast, but it is a salty chew with a creamy finish. I scraped the plate with my fork before I used my finger. Never said I had table manners!
I’m not a huge fan of ground beef. It brings to mind meatloaf, meatballs, and the all American hamburger. That’s all fine and good, but a little boring. So, how to make it good? Seasoning. Sauce. And Yorkshire pudding. That’s how!
I have a secret. It’s horrible. It’s embarrassing. It’s not something I’m proud of. Here it is: I love tropical storms. I love the power they exude. With the first announcement of a named storm, I am glued to NOAA. If I live in what my family refers to as the “cone of doom”, I check each update which occurs every 5, 8, 11, and 2 o’clock hour, am and pm. Living in Florida has taught me to have great respect for these storms. I have seen first hand the destruction that can occur from storms like Katrina, Ivan, Charley, and Andrew, so though I love tracking them and watching them develop, I do it with the understanding that lives can change, even end, as a storm passes. Still, I love watching the swirling clouds, the rain blow sideways, and the roar of the wind as it rushes over my house.
As the second named storm of the not-even-begun season put me and my family smack dab in the cone of doom, I started tracking the sucker. And planning what I would do as we waiting for Beryl to arrive. Now, this is a minor storm. It means that it’s going to rain a lot and be a bit windy, so we’re not packing up and leaving town. We’re preparing to be inside for awhile and keeping an eye on things. My first thought:
Knowing a storm is headed your way means a few things. First, you have to make your preparations and for this kind of storm, that just means, stock up on food and bring in any loose outside planters, toys, and patio furniture. So, knowing two days in advance that we would probably have a storm on the Sunday before Memorial Day, we decided to grill out as much as possible until we were forced inside. I am also going to note that I’m growing basil and have a cheese obsession. You’ll notice the theme as the weekend diary progresses.
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