Thursday, February 19, 2015

Seared Steak with Goat Cheese Shallot Spread

Yesterday we lost an amazing human being, Jerome Kersey died at the age of 52.  Not only was he an amazing Trailblazer but he was one of the hardest working NBA players in history.  To continue with the Trailblazer news we also lost 3 great players today in a trade, Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, and Victor Claver.  Some people say that it is a good trade because we are gaining Arron Afflalo but I get attached to my Blazers and never like to see them leave.  And to top it off yesterday would have been my grandpa's 92nd birthday, rough week for sure.  When I'm down I usually go to cooking for comfort so I adapted this recipe and made this delicious meal last night.  I paired the steak with roasted asparagus and chioggia beets from our garden (pictured below), and yes we just harvested the beets this week.  Gotta love winter gardening!  Some good news in the food world is that this upcoming month of March is Portland Dining Month.  If you haven't participated in this you must, for the entire month a large number of restaurants offer a 3-course dinner for $29.  Many of the restaurants give you choices and vegetarian options and not all of them have a dessert for the 3rd course.  I currently have my top 5 choices and need to narrow them down to 1.  My top 5 are: Clyde Common, Levant, Old Salt Marketplace, Racion, and Clark Lewis.  These choices are based of the food and options and I personally don't care for dessert so most of these don't include desserts.  This goat cheese shallot spread is so so so good I will probably be making it in large batches and spreading it all over everything I eat from now on.  Enjoy!

Serves 2

The Ingredients

4 oz goat cheese
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar, (I used Merlot red-wine vinegar)
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 5oz petite sirloins
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper

The Process

1.  Place cheese in a medium bowl and mash it with the back of a spoon until creamy. Add vinegar, dry mustard, shallot, parsley, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in 2 teaspoons oil and whisk until blended.

2.  Salt and pepper the steaks.

3.  In a frying pan melt butter over medium-high heat.  When hot add steaks and sear them about 3 minutes each side for a rare piece of meat.  Add more time if you prefer your meat to be more cooked.

4.  Let steak rest for 5 minutes and then either slice them both up or serve whole with goat cheese and shallot spread.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Italian Style Meatballs over a bed of Spinach

This last weekend was nice and relaxing which is what I needed after last week.  Valentine's day consisted of sleeping in, going on a beautiful stroll outside in the super sunny weather at both Cathedral and Pier Parks in St. Johns, seeing a movie, and going to the Beijing Hot Pot out on 82nd.  Sunday I went to my friend's baby shower and did the normal house chores including grocery shopping and making this wonderful Sunday supper.  In other news I'm leaving on a last minute work trip to Dallas, TX this Saturday and will be there for about 5 days...anyone have good restaurant tips or must sees in this city?  I will be very busy with the conference we are hosting but I wanted to ask just in case.  Onto the the recipe created by yours truly.

Serves 4

The Ingredients

For the meatballs:

½ cup almond flour
1/3 cup grated onion
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 lbs. ground beef
2 tsp. olive oil to fry meatballs

For the sauce:

1 jar paleo marinara sauce or you can make your own with this recipe
1 cup whole fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 tsp. fresh basil, chopped

To finish:

4 oz. shredded mozzarella or sharp cheddar (we used a mixture)
2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan
4 tbsp. minced fresh basil
A fair amount of spinach to place the meatballs on (2 cups each)

The Process

1.  In a large casserole dish mix together all the sauce ingredients.

2.  Then make the meatballs, combine the almond flour, grated onion, parsley, basil, Parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic and egg.  Stir together with a fork just until blended.  Mix in the ground beef and knead together gently until evenly combined.  Form the mixture into meatballs about 1½-inch in diameter.

3.  Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the meatballs to the pan in a single layer (two batches may be necessary if you don’t have enough surface area.)  Let cook, turning occasionally, until all sides are browned.

4.  Once all of the meatballs are browned, place them in the pan with the tomato sauce.  Sprinkle the mozzarella, cheddar and additional Parmesan over the top.  Bake until the cheese is fully melted and bubbling and the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and garnish with the fresh basil.  Serve warm over a bed of spinach.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Vegetable Crust Primal Pizza

In honor of national pizza day yesterday I went to Atlas Pizza and had a big slice of margarita pizza with one of my good old buddies.  Atlas Pizza is great because they have affordable pizza, great atmosphere, and a bar.  These days in PDX there are too many fancy fire roasted pizza places, all I want is good cheap pizza that has creative ingredients.  In my last post I was talking about the soup dumplings I had during dumpling week, well I just found this awesome recipe for them and wanted to share it with you all, I also hope to make them soon!  This week I am taking it easy, trying to just stay home and relax because the last several weeks have been non-stop activity.  I did make one exception though, Thursday night is my younger brother's show (Wild Ones) at the new Revolution Hall, I am excited to experience the new venue and I always love watching my brother's band because they are so good.  You should check them out too!  Onto the food, last week one of my best friend's and I decided to make this delicious pizza, because it is an involved process I am just going to link you to the original recipe and you can follow her thorough instructions.  But before I do I will tell you how we adapted it, we used half broccoli and half cauliflower for the crust instead of all cauliflower and it was very tasty.  As for toppings we had artichoke hearts, 3 kinds of cheese including honey goat cheese, prosciutto, salami, kale, and caramelized onions.  Make this pizza recipe and eat your heart out!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sausage, Kale, and Egg Soup

Last week was Dumpling Week here in PDX and I was lucky enough to go to Aviary for a dumpling date with my boyfriend.  Aviary is an amazing restaurant that has been on my list to try for years now and I just got around to it and they did not disappoint me one bit.  Their food was so delicious, we shared a warm vegetable salad, chantrelle raviolis, and of course the Chinese soup style dumplings (special for dumpling week).  The interesting thing about these dumplings was there was broth in each dumpling so when you popped it in your mouth it was a burst of soup and other delightful filling, I could have eaten a million of them (pictured below).  So if you live in Portland and still haven't been to Aviary, it is totally worth checking out.  This past weekend we also had the privilege of dog-sitting for my older brother, it was so nice to have two pups running around and keeping things lively.  Then on Saturday night we had a few of our friends over for a dinner and slumber party, I adapted this soup and it was a hit and perfect for the extremely stormy weekend we had here in PDX.  Also happy national pizza day, I could use some extra cheesy pizza right about now!

Serves 8-10

The Ingredients
1 lb ground pork
8 eggs, hard boiled, quartered
1 onion, chopped
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 bunch kale chopped
1 can coconut milk (full fat)
1 bunch green onions

The Process

1.  Place ground sausage in slow cooker, break up with spoon into smaller chunks so that they separate while cooking.

2.  In a skillet saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent, then put in crock pot.

3.  Put all the ingredients in the crock pot except for coconut milk, eggs, kale, and green onions.
Cook on low for 5-6 hrs.

4.  15 minutes before crock pot has completed toss in coconut milk, hard boiled eggs, kale, and green onions.  Once kale has softened and the soup is hot again it is ready to serve.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Warm Steak Salad with Browned Butter Mushrooms topped with a Mustard-Shallot Vinaigrette

This last weekend was full of fun but exhausting...I need to remember to balance my time better and give myself some time to rest.  Friday evening I met up with a friend I hadn't seen in way too long and had a fun time watching the Blazer game and eating very tasty chicken wings at NePo42.  This is a great place for happy hour and will always have some die hard Blazer fans.  Then Saturday  included brunch with more friends, major house cleaning, and having friends over for a lovely dinner.  And we all know what Sunday consisted of, delicious food and football.  Now if that wasn't enough activity last night (which I could not pass up) my good friend Val brought me to what is known as PlayerPalooza, it is an event for Blazer season ticket holders where they served us dinner, had games to play, gave out free things, all while hanging out with the Blazer players!  We got to see all the players and I have some not so great pictures, but one picture did turn out.  Below is a picture of me with Allen Crabbe.  Speaking of Allen Crabbe if you want a fun Twitter feed to follow check out Crabbe People.  Onto the food, I made adapted this salad and vinaigrette, it turned out delicious.

Serves 2

The Ingredients

For Salad:
12 oz steak (a tender cut)
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz baby bella mushrooms
5 tbsp butter
12 fresh sage leaves, chopped
4 cups fresh baby spinach
additional salt and pepper, if desired

For Vinaigrette:
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 heaping teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste

The Process

1.  In a container with a tight lid, preferably a glass jar, combine shallot, vinegar and mustard. Close tightly and shake well to mix. Add salt and pepper, and shake again.

2.  Add olive oil 1/3 cup at a time, shaking very well after each addition, until smooth and emulsified. Taste and add more olive oil, 1/4 cup at a time, if dressing is too tart.  Use immediately or refrigerate up to 3 weeks. The chilled olive oil will form a lump, so remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before using to allow it to liquefy. Shake well before serving to re-emulsify.

3.  Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper, and grill or broil to desired doneness (medium or medium-rare).  Slice steak thinly across the grain.

4.  In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and cook until it is just beginning to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Add mushrooms and sage, and saute until fragrant and sage is crispy, 4 minutes more.

5.  Divide spinach between 2 large plates and arrange sliced steak over top.
Pour mushrooms over each and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired. Pour mustard-shallot vinaigrette over salad and serve immediately.