Monthly Archives: September 2019

Sirloin, Autumn harvest hash, black garlic red wine sauce

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This was the test – using a filet, they only gave us one sirloin

A couple of weeks ago a friend tagged me in a post about a Chop Local event at a local Inn and Restaurant. I thought oh that isn’t that so sweet she thought of me; shout out to you LW. Then my daughter brought home the entry form for her, her brother and myself. I honestly didn’t think I had a chance in hell; yes even after all these years of making and loving the food I have made and then going as far as sharing it with all of you I still have self doubt about my abilities as a cook. There I’ve thrown that out there in the world!

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Secret basket ingredients we had to use in our dish

So I spent the day of the deadline contemplating whether to sign up or not. The deadline was 6 pm on Sunday. I finally convinced myself, it’s fine just drop it off you won’t be picked you can at least say you tried. I ended up dropping it off around 5:40 just before the deadline. Well not only did they draw my name they also drew my sons. My daughter was pretty bummed she wasn’t picked she totally wanted to do it. I love that my kids are foodies too!

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Rules we had to follow

I had no idea of the dates as they were not initially mentioned. Well it all happened so fast that we picked up our “secret” basket ingredients on Wednesday and had to present an entree dish by noon on Saturday. I did some research before I knew what we had to make or even what our “secret” ingredients were. I went on the Inn’s Tavern’s menu to see what kind of food they served and what I felt they could use, so I wouldn’t make something they already had; since the winning dish will be featured on their menu the month of October.

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morning of contest searing my sirloin on all sides

Here we are on Wednesday and I get my basket. All the things I thought about on Tuesday were out the window. They gave us a petite sirloin, 3 bulbs of black garlic and an apple. I wanted to make something to compliment what they were already serving while also using the freshest ingredients I could find, mostly from my own garden. And make something I would order.

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morning of contest veggie and apple hash 

Petite sirloin over roasted autumn hash with a black garlic red wine sauce
Boyden Beef Petite Sirloin topped with a black garlic compound butter over a roasted autumn vegetable and apple hash nestled in a black garlic rosemary, thyme and red wine sauce
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
1 hr 50 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
1 hr 50 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 stick unsalted butter
  2. 2 medium onions
  3. 2 heads of black garlic
  4. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  5. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  7. 1 cup dry red wine
  8. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  9. 1 quart beef broth
  10. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  11. 3 thyme sprigs
  12. 1 rosemary sprig
  13. 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  14. 4 small potatoes, peeled and diced
  15. 1 small rutabaga, peeled and diced
  16. 2 medium carrots, diced
  17. Kosher salt
  18. Black pepper
Instructions
  1. Compound Butter: 5 minutes prep / 40 rest
  2. in a small bowl combine 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened, 4-6 cloves of black garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and mix well, place in some parchment paper and roll into a log. Refrigerate till it hardens approximately 30-45 minutes.
  3. Vegetable and Apple Hash: 20 m prep / 1 hr 35 m cook
  4. Because the rutabaga or turnip will take the longest, peel, dice and boil in a pot of salted water for about 30 minutes. While that it boiling pre-heat your oven to 400'F and peel and dice your carrots and potatoes. Making them roughly all the same size. Drain the rutabaga and place it; plus the carrots and potatoes on a lightly oiled sheet pan sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper plus 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and place them in the 400' oven for about 30 minutes. Remove and toss them then place them back in for another 20 minutes. remove and add the onion and toss, place them back in for another 10 minutes or until the onions have softened and the veggies have some golden brown color. During the last 10 minutes or so peel, core and dice your apples. Once the pan is out of the oven add the diced apples and put back in one more time for 5 minutes just till they soften. You want them soft not mushy.
  5. Sauce Gravy: 10 m prep / 30-40 m cook
  6. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the black garlic, crushed garlic, flour and sugar and cook, stirring often, until a golden-brown paste forms, about 5 minutes. Stir in the 1 cup of wine and the soy sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, then add the broth, thyme and rosemary. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 4 cups, about 30 minutes.
  7. Stir the apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Strain into another bowl and set aside.
  8. Filet: overnight prep / depending on size 8-12 m
  9. the night before your going to cook it; season it all over with kosher salt and black pepper; leave uncovered on a plate in your fridge. Take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you are going to cook it. Get your cast iron pan hot while the filet is coming up to room temperature and the pan is hot enough that you can feel the heat coming off of it. You want your steak to sizzle when it touches it. Add a little olive oil and place the meat on the hot pan; let it sear without touching it for 3-4 minutes.
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

I tested my recipe on the fam Thursday night and we all loved it, so much so my husband kept licking his plate. My daughter took one bite and looked at me and shook her head smiling. That’s a winner to me all day long!!!

I was up first and forgot to take a picture of my final dish – the photographer of the day said she will send it to me. So I will post it once I get it.

Well I didn’t win at the Inn contest but I am still a winner with my fam so it I’m still winning!!!  There were 5 contestants and the winning dish was a pot pie with a side salad. It did look amazing and we are looking forward to going to the Tavern and ordering it, checking out the competition. One of the judges did whisper to me that my dish did beat out my son’s. We had a little friendly rivalry going, or more so he did. I tried to help him without over stepping. As I told him I will always be your Mom!

Thank you all for supporting me – I truly enjoy sharing my journey with all of you!!!

Roasted chicken acorn squash with sumac brown butter

 

I am fairly certain that last year was the first time I started cooking with acorn squash. I made roasted chicken with acorn squash with a sumac brown butter recipe I found in Food & Wine Magazine the other night and now my husband wants us to grow acorn squash next year. It is no wonder how our garden area keeps growing and growing. We are kind of running out of space where we have them all. I think we have 8 raised beds of various sizes. A couple of them are huge. One of the them I hate, it is too wide and built into a hill; I find it too hard to weed and I don’t like it so I pretty much ignore it.
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I dislike that bed so much that I asked if we could take it apart and reuse the lumber to make a different bed; ya know one that I will like. I have a strong sense that I am shit out of luck but hey it was worth a try right?
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If you have an opportunity to try sumac spice I don’t think you will be disappointed. Ground sumac has a tangy lemony flavor, although less tart than lemon juice. A small sprinkle also adds a beautiful pop of color to your dish as well. So check it out if you see it. Or buy it online like we did.
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roasted chicken and acorn squash with sumac brown butter
Serves 4
great sheet pan dinner the legs and squash cook in the same amount of time. Plus easy clean up!
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Ingredients
  1. 4 chicken leg quarters
  2. 31/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  3. 4 teaspoons lemon zest, divided
  4. 2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  5. 2 medium acorn squash, halved and then cut into 1/2 inch slices
  6. 3 tablespoon olive oil
  7. 3 thyme sprigs
  8. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  9. 1 teaspoon honey
  10. 1 teaspoon sumac, divided
  11. 1 teaspoon Cajun spice, or Aleppo pepper spice
Instructions
  1. on a rimmed baking sheet evenly sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon black pepper on both sides of the chicken, refrigerate, uncovered overnight or at least 8 hours.
  2. Place chicken on the counter for about an hour so it comes to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 450'F Add the acorn squash to the baking sheet; drizzle both with some extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle squash with 1 teaspoon of salt and remaining black pepper. Spread fresh thyme sprigs around the chicken and squash.
  3. Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until the chicken at the thickest part of the thigh reads 165'F and the squash is tender. Transfer chicken and squash to a platter, Discard the thyme sprigs. reserve the pans juices.
  4. Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, roughly 3-4 minutes. Scrape the pan juices from the baking sheet into the saucepan. Whisk in the honey, 1/2 teaspoon sumac, remaining teaspoons lemon zest and remaining salt. Drizzle all over chicken and squash. Sprinkle with Cajun or Aleppo pepper, thyme leaves and remaining sumac.
Notes
  1. You should be able to find sumac at a Middle Eastern market or online.
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/
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Three Apple Slaw

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Slaw – who knew that little four letter word causes a love hate and tolerate feeling. Why is that?
IMG_4248.JPGI personally like to try all kinds of slaw wherever I can find it. My husband is on the other end of this, maybe not all the way to hate but more in the lines of tolerate. Probably because I make it and put it on his plate 🙂
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The other night I paired one of his favorite pork chops alongside an apple slaw, the apple slaw was the only side dish so there was nowhere to hide. I thought it was delicious, him not as much but remember he just tolerates slaw. He literally only likes the one I make with my BBQ pulled pork sandwich. When he assembles his sandwich the ratio of coleslaw and pulled pork is almost laughable for someone who tolerates coleslaw.
IMG_4251.JPGThis slaw has a lot going for it. It is crunchy, light, flavorful and it comes together easily with the only time portion being slicing the apples into sticks. Which didn’t take that long at all and you should make this.
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Three Apple Slaw
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Ingredients
  1. 1 honey crisp apple
  2. 1 gala apple
  3. 1 granny smith apple
  4. 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  5. 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  6. 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  7. 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce - I used sriracha
  8. 4 inner celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally, plus 1/4 cup celery leaves
  9. 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  10. 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  11. Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, poppy seeds and the hot sauce in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cut the apples lengthwise into quarters and discard the cores. Thinly slice the apple quarters lengthwise and stack the slices. Cut lengthwise again into thin sticks.
Notes
  1. Pork chop
  2. place the chops on the counter so they come up to room temperature. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat your pan with some olive oil and add the chops, leave them to brown on one side without moving them for about 3-4 minutes depending on the thickness of your chop. Turn and repeat the process until your chops reach a temperature of 145' F
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

Quick garden fresh tomato sauce

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Over the years I have processed my tomatoes using different methods. Freezing them as sauces, freezing them as chunks and cooking down and canning them as well. I can’t say that I loved anything that I have done before or that I have a true plan of what to do with all of them.. This year I have so far made salsa, spaghetti sauce and yesterday I made pizza sauce. All were successes.

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I used my potato smasher to breakdown the tomatoes even more

Yesterday I was also canning the last of the pickles, I have a ridiculous 50 pint size jars of pickles and since the water was already boiling I processed the salsa we didn’t eat so we could have it for later. I think I have found out how to deal with all the tomatoes last Wednesday night after work I made homemade spaghetti sauce and Italian meatballs for dinner. They were delicious and I used up all of the ripe tomatoes I had on hand. Yesterday I made pizza sauce with the next batch of ripe tomatoes.
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I like this recipe for fresh garden tomato sauce because it came together fast enough for a weeknight dinner. My husband was pretty surprised I pulled it off in only a few hours; most of it hands off. He thought you had to cook them down pretty much all day to have it taste good. Proved him wrong.
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Quick fresh garden tomato sauce
a great way to use up some of your garden tomatoes
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 5-8 pounds tomatoes
  2. 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. handful chopped basil
  7. 2 bay leaf
Instructions
  1. If you are using a food mill don't worry about getting all the seeds and skins off.
  2. If you are not using a food mill you will want to cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and squeeze the seeds into a garbage bowl. And you could grate each side of the tomato on a box grate and throw the skins into the garbage bowl.
  3. If you are using a food mill then just chunk up each tomato, I cut around any of the ugliness and the stems.
  4. Add either the chunked tomatoes or the tomato pulp into a low but wide saucepan over high heat. Add the salt, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, basil and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a brisk simmer.
  5. Reduce the sauce to almost half, stirring occasionally. Until the sauce is medium-thick or to your liking. Season with salt to your taste.
  6. If you are making meatballs like I did, add them to your sauce, it will help season the sauce.
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

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Had to throw some of my sunflowers into the picture!

 

 

Chow Chow relish – water bath canning

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Chow Chow Relish

 

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Washing the days harvest

While it may be the end of summer for some, I am not going down without a fight. My garden is still giving me lots of veggies; it even has finally snapped out of it and we have fresh garden tomatoes. I have made a ridiculous amount of kosher dill pickles. My zucchini plants did not do well this year, maybe a dozen in total and only two of the were the HUGE ones.  I gave my Dad one so he could make his lasagna he loves. My daughter used up the other one and made something new to us but a keeper.

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sterilizing the jars in my dishwasher

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cut off the ends and toss, then slice as you want them, I do way more chunks then spears

 

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Heating up the water while I prepare the cucumbers and the pickling spices

Last week I mentioned that I was going to share a recipe that my daughter made a couple of weeks ago with the super large zucchini and some other garden goodies. While I don’t have any pictures of her ingredients and process but I did teach her how to can some of her chow chow relish.
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I did take pictures of the last canning I did with the cucumbers so I will share those photos with you. Canning using the water bath method is actually pretty easy and you can use this method with quite a few ingredients though not everything you grow or make with the veggies.

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about to go into the boiling water

Here is how the recipe described what chow chow is. It is finely minced pickled-vegetable relish that walks the line between tangy and sweet in each zippy bite. For gardeners faced with the daunting task of tackling a late-summer squash surplus, chow chow can quickly become a lifesaver. Looks like I will be buying more mason jars for next years harvest.

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covered with boiling water for 15 minutes

 

Chow Chow Relish
great on hot dogs and burgers
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Ingredients
  1. 2/3 pound tomatillos, minced (about 2 cups)
  2. 11/2 pounds squash, minced (about 4 cups)
  3. 1 pound red onions, minced (about 3 cups)
  4. 1/2 head cauliflower, minced (about 1 cup)
  5. 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  6. 1/4 cup kosher salt
  7. 1/4 cup spice blend (recipe to follow)
  8. 11/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  9. 11/2 cups raw sugar
Instructions
  1. Placed minced vegetables in a colander over the sink or a large bowl and toss with the salt. Mixing until well combined. Let the vegetables rest overnight, allowing excess water to drain off. Rinse the vegetables thoroughly and gently removing the excess salt. Pat dry.
  2. Place the spice blend in a square of cheesecloth and secure with a piece of string to make a small pouch. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, combine the vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the vegetables and spice bag.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables become tender and start to form a slurry, about 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the spicebag and ladle the chow chow into airtight glass jars. Filling each jar about three-quarters full. Chow chow will keep refrigerated for up to a week. To keep longer using the water bath method and store up to 18 months or longer if kept in a cool, dry place.
Notes
  1. Spice Blend
  2. 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  3. 3 bay leaves, torn
  4. 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  5. 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  6. 1 teaspoon whole juniper berries
  7. 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  8. 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  9. 1 teaspoon dill seeds
  10. Place all the ingredients in a lidded jar and shake to combine
Adapted from Summer Squash by Sarah Baird short stack vol 15
Adapted from Summer Squash by Sarah Baird short stack vol 15
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/