4.21.2014

Charred Pepper Steak Sauce & Warm Citrus Butternut Squash Salad


 
We had a friend over for dinner the other night and I had planned on making the butternut squash for Joshua and I and then added in the steaks when we invited the friend over. I'm not a huge fan of meat, especially plain meat so I looked up some sauces and settled upon this charred pepper sauce which I now may make once a week. It was really simple but had a big depth of flavor.
 
But the showstopper was the butternut squash dish! It was definitely a wower. The texture, subtle citrus and roasted flavors all worked together so well in this dish. I almost started eating it off of other people's plates. It also plates so pretty which in my opinion also earns it points :)
 
 
Warm Citrus Butternut Squash Salad:
adapted from here
serves 3-4 as a side dish (2 as a main dish)
 
2 lb butternut squash; remove rind and seeds and slice it
7-8 brussels sprouts; peel off leaves
1 14.5 oz. can cannellini beans; rinsed
handful of parsley
2-3 carrots; diced
1 lemon; reserve zest and juice
3 cloves garlic; minced
1 shallot; diced
1 tsp curry powder
S&P
 
1   preheat oven to 500 degrees F and place sliced squash on a baking sheet
2   drizzle squash with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little cayenne
3   roast 20-25 minutes, the tops should brown, flip the slices halfway through while the squash is roasting:
4   grind the garlic in a mortal & pestle into a paste
5   in a small bowl mix 2 tbs lemon zest, half of the garlic paste, and a generous amount of parsley
6   stir in a few tbs of olive oil to bring it all together, this is the gremolata
7   heat a few tbs of olive oil in a skillet and add the shallot, remaining garlic paste for about 30 seconds
8   then add the carrot and curry powder, sauté for a few minutes
9   add the beans and a 1/2 cup water, season with S&P
10 cook until the liquid has mostly reduced, 5-6 minutes
11 remove from heat, mash some of the beans with the back of a fork and put on plates
12 in a small bowl mix brussels sprout leaves with a tbs of lemon juice and a little olive oil
13 divide the roasted squash onto the beans, put on a scoop of gemolata and a sprinkling of brussels sprouts, finish with a little bit of lemon juice
 
 
Charred Pepper Steak Sauce:
adapted from here
 
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow pepper
 2/3 cup fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup orange juice
 2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
 3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mustard seed
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
 
1   set your oven to broil and put in your peppers
2   rotate them every 5 minutes and broil until they are charred on all sides, 10-15 minutes
3   remove the seeds and stems from the peppers, keep the skin on
4   slice peppers and place in food processor with remaining ingredients
5   puree the mixture well and then transfer to a pot
6   simmer the mixture on low for 10-15 minutes
7   place back in food processor and puree until it is as smooth as you can get it
8   drizzle it all over a good steak
ALSO I put this in with our extra butternut squash and ate it for lunch- great decision! I think I'll make this charred sauce for a vegetable dish soon, it is really a great versatile sauce and sure to impress)

4.18.2014

Creamy Polenta with Braised Vegetable Glaze

 
We've never eaten polenta (cornmeal based) like this before. I was a little skeptical but the recipe for the veggies intrigued me. Wowza it was so delicious. Like I said I was skeptical but I will definitely make this again. It would be such a great appetizer for 4, it plates so pretty.

Also I've never used demi-glace before, it's a boiled down brown sauce with a ton of flavor (like a stock boiled down to a glaze) I am definitely getting more of this to throw in as sauce for veggies over rice. It's very simple but a big impact.

Back to the polenta, days later and I still wish I was eating it. Lots of interesting flavors in this one dish. I bet you'll be surprised by how tasty this is- make it :)




Creamy Polenta with Braised Vegetable Glaze:
recipe from here, serves 2

18 oz. Trader Joes' precooked polenta or 3/4 cup uncooked polenta
3 carrots; sliced into about 2" pieces and halved
6-8 brussel sprouts; halved
5 oz. oyster mushrooms; cut in slices
3 cloves garlic; minced
fresh thyme
2 tbs butter
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbs tomato paste
3 tbs vegetable demi-glace
olive oil
S&P

1   in a saucepan bring 3 cups of salted water to boil
2   once it is boiling whisk in the polenta, stirring until there are no clumpsy, stir occassionally
3   then simmer for 10-12 minutes
4   while it is simmering sauté the vegetables in a few tbs of olive oil, 4-5 minutes
5   then stir in the tomato paste and a handful of thyme and cook for about another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently
6   then pour 1 cup of water and the demi-glace into the vegetables, stir well
7   bring it to a boil and simmer until it has thickened, 3-5 minutes
8   stir the butter into the polenta and then stir in the parmesan, add S&P to taste
9   pour the creamy polenta into 2 bowls and top with the vegetables and sauce
10 top it off with a little parmesan and thyme