Monthly Archives: December 2019

Leftover Prime Rib Soup

I have said it before and I will say it over and over again; soup is good for the soul!

Hope you have a safe happy healthy and prosperous New Year!

img_4849

I have had a cough since early November and I am sick of it! It started fast and furious and then subsided for a bit. Christmas day it decided to come back and bring with it me feeling like crap! Yesterday I spent about 12 hours lounging on the couch watching and sleeping thorough the Hallmark channel drinking several cups of tea and honey! I did make myself a pot of chicken and rice soup – I think that did the trick; I feel a little better this morning!

img_4840

I am re-posting this recipe for those of you that happen to have some prime rib leftover. I think we have one piece left so who knows this soup might be happening today!

This year is going to be a quiet New Years! The last few years we had spent them in Canada with friends. I’m going to miss hanging out with them but I think it better that I stay in and not party like a rock star – gotta kick this cough thing somehow!!! Plus it being in the middle of the week is kind of a drag!
IMG_1104

IMG_1107

This years 3 rib roast

img_4833

a couple of years ago 2 rib roast

img_4843
img_4847

Leftover Prime Rib Roast

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
A delicious use for a piece or two of your prime rib roast

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small to medium onion diced
  • 1 or 2 stalks of celery diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary chopped – or use whatever herb you flavored your roast with
  • 3 potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 or 2 pieces of beef chopped
  • Beef Broth – homemade or use your favorite
  • leftover gravy – add so much flavor if you have any use it
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Sauté the onion, celery and carrots till translucent. Add rosemary and cook for another minute or two. Add gravy, broth and potatoes. Once the potatoes are soft add the beef and let simmer to let everything meld together. Serve with bread to sop up the wonderful broth

Pork Belly Ramen is what’s for dinner

IMG_4940
The countdown to Claus is coming quick! I know it is because the calendar says so and I have an enormous tree in my bay window with presents under it. But I am still not really feeling a whole lot like Christmas. Last weekend was our annual Christmas party where we all sang Christmas carols and that usually does the trick for me but I’m really not into it this year! 

IMG_4938

baked with a little olive oil Prosciutto wrapped asparagus for an appetizer – YUM

I proposed to my family that instead of a ton of presents under the tree there will be a few and then we will do something together as a family. Here are a few things I proposed that we do together. Take a cooking class, dance lessons, attend a Broadway show or concert. Maybe find a restaurant that has at least one Michelin star and have dinner there since we are all foodies. My husband suggested going up North and ski/snowshoe. We haven’t decided what we are going to do yet but will make a plan over the Holiday!

IMG_4927

a bunch of swiss chard

IMG_4928

Stems removed – you can eat them but they take longer to cook down

 

IMG_4929

use up those packages of ramen noodles – I throw away the salt flavor packet they include

IMG_4923

A box of stock as well as some of my homemade stock from the freezer

IMG_4930IMG_4931What is a Michelin star?
Michelin Stars are given out on a scale of one to three, and only the top establishments in the world qualify for this designation. To earn one star, a restaurant must be considered “a very good restaurant in its category.” For two stars, the criteria is “excellent cooking, worth a detour.” To qualify for the elusive three stars, a restaurant must serve up “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”

People have taken vacations centered solely around visiting restaurants that have earned Michelin Stars. Because of this, it is easy to see why chefs are so eager to earn this recognition; having at least one Michelin Star can do wonders for a restaurant. Having three stars solidifies a restaurant as undeniably one of the best in the world. My daughter is looking into it for her 30th birthday this coming year!

IMG_4932

salted, peppered and sugar mixture all over the pork belly – let it sit over night in the fridge.

IMG_4933

thinly sliced and browned on both sides in a frying pan

IMG_4935

makes my mouth water – just saying!

Since we had our party last weekend we had family up and I had a large piece of Pork Belly in the freezer so I thawed it out, seasoned it, baked it and brought it out for dinner for a crowd. Ramen is delicious and can be time consuming; if made the traditional way. Mine here is crazy quick and crazy good; mind you having homemade chicken stock on hand is key. And starting the pork belly a day or so ahead of time. But the hands on time is nothing.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with all family and friends!

Pork Belly Ramen

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers

Ingredients
  

  • 1 - 3 pound Pork Belly
  • 1 Ramen packet per person
  • 1-2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 32 ounce chicken stock roughly for 4 people - adjust to how many people you are serving
  • bunch of swiss chard or bok choy chopped - I made it both ways this week - bok choy add a little more punch
  • scallions sliced thinly - sprinkle on top
  • basil chopped - sprinkle on top (optional)
  • cilantro chopped - sprinkle on top (optional)
  • eggs - 1 soft boiled egg per person

Instructions
 

  • Pork belly;
  • 1 pound = 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon black pepper. adjust for what you have
  • season generously on all sides with kosher salt, black pepper and white sugar. cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Pre-heat oven to 450'F. roast fat side up for 30 minutes. Lower oven to 275'F for an hour.
  • Let it cool to room temperature, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more, up to 2 days.
  • Soft boiled eggs;
  • bring a pot of water, enough to cover all of your eggs to boil, lower each egg gently into the water and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the boiling water to an ice bath to stop them from cooking. Peel and slice when you assemble your bowls.
  • Ramen;
  • In a stock pot add the broth bring to a boil, add the ramen and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the bok choy or swiss chard cook for another minute or so. Remove from the heat and add the ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.
  • Divide ramen and some broth between the bowls. Add the sliced egg, a few pieces of browned and crisped pork belly and the scallions. Also add the basil and cilantro if you are using.
 

IMG_4924

easy and so tasty – try it! baked for 15 minutes at 350’F

IMG_4941

Mocha Yule Log aka Buche de Noel

IMG_4922
After I made this I placed it in the fridge and didn’t tell anyone I made it. When each one went to get something out of the fridge; they each smiled and said “you made a yule log”

IMG_4891There are a few things I have wanted or at least thought about making and figured  they were beyond my reach. Not that I couldn’t make them more of I thought they were harder than I wanted to work for them; if that makes any sense.
IMG_4893IMG_4896Some recipes have a lot of ingredients listed which can look like it will take FOREVER to make the recipe; compare it to receiving a long email. You tend to zone out after the first paragraph or so and put it aside to “read” when you have time a little more time wink wink.
IMG_4897IMG_4898IMG_4899IMG_4900IMG_4901IMG_4902
While this recipe at first glance might look like it has a lot of ingredients it really is mostly hands off and didn’t take me very long at all, plus how forgiving is it since it is supposed to look like a log. I’ve tried to decorate cakes to perfection only to never get them quite right. This one turned out perfectly log like 🙂
IMG_4903IMG_4904IMG_4905IMG_4906

IMG_4907

I know it tastes great since I got to eat the ends that I cut off to clean it up!

Mocha Yule Log aka Buche e Noel

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers

Ingredients
  

  • 5 large eggs separated
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • Filling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • Frosting
  • 1/3 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon brewed coffee cooled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoon milk

Instructions
 

  • place egg whites in a small bowl and yolks in a large mixing bowl. Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350'F. Line bottom of a greased 15"x10"x1" pan with parchment; grease parchment. sift flour, cocoa and salt together twice. Beat the egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating on high speed until thick and lemon-colored about 3-4 minutes. Fold in the flour mixture.
  • Add cream of tarter to the egg whites and with clean beaters, beat on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Beating on high after each addition until the sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft glossy peaks form. Fold a fourth on the whites into the batter then fold in remaining whites. transfer to prepared pan, spreading evenly.
  • Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched, about 12-15 minutes. be careful to not overbake. Cool for 5 minutes. invert onto a clean tea towel dusted with cocoa. Gently peel off the parchment paper. Roll up the cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with the short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Filling; in a bowl, dissolve coffee granules in the cream. beat until it begins to thicken. Add sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Unroll cake and spread the filling over the cake to within 1/2 inch of all the edges. Roll up again, without the towel, trim the ends. Transfer to a platter, seam side down, refrigerate, covered until cold.
  • Frosting: beat all the ingredients until smooth. spread over the cake. Using a fork, make lines in the frosting to resemble tree bark. Refrigerate until serving.

Notes

Adapted from Taste of Home test kitchen
This blog won’t feel complete unless I share what I found about the history of the Buche de Noel. The tradition dates back to medieval times, one of many pagan rites competing with Christmas traditions. A log of wood—often from a fruit tree to ensure a successful harvest in the year to come—would be brought home and placed in the hearth, which at the time functioned as the epicenter of every family’s activity. Depending on the region and its various beliefs, salt, wine, or holy water—among other ingredients—were sprinkled atop the log before lighting it on fire. Sprinkling wine, for example, was yet another way to guarantee the following year’s grape harvest would be bountiful.

IMG_4909

Slicing it at an angle and placing the flat part against the roll makes it look like a branch

IMG_4912IMG_4913

IMG_4914

using a fork you can make lines through the frosting to make it look rustic and more like a log

 

Once lit on Christmas Eve, the log had to burn for at least three days for good luck—ideally until the New Year. That was just the start: ash from the log provided protection against lightning strikes, and coals were used throughout the year in various medicinal potions. It is believed that it turned into a cake looking like a log around the 20th century.
IMG_4916IMG_4917IMG_4919IMG_4922There are so many variations out there, this recipe had me at mocha – I LOVE mocha!

Anguilla vacation lunch and dinner

I mentioned last week that I was heading out for vacation and will be sharing some of the food we had. We arrived home last late night well actually we landed around 7:30 then had to go through immigration and then customs.

IMG_0931

Snapper lunch on Sandy Island

IMG_0930

BBQ chicken lunch on Sandy Island – cole slaw, rice and pasta – very good! 

Pictures of Sandy Island off the coast of Anguilla

We are no strangers to going through our international airport over the years. Our first time was back in 1988. Every year has been a little different; this one was a little odd to me. They have automated it a bit by having a machine read your passport and you answering a few questions on screen before you see an customs agent.  In the past we had always had to go through two check points one before you get your luggage and then another after you get your luggage. This time around there were 5 or 6 customs agents standing together and let us all just walk through with our bags and didn’t even look at us. Totally took me off guard. Not complaining that just meant that no one was going to pull us aside and go through our luggage looking for things we didn’t claim; which was also weird we never filled out customs forms; going into our destination and coming home. Very different!

IMG_0816

Lobster lunch at the Sunshine Shack

IMG_1007

Best french fries we had on the island at the Straw Hat

Enough about that I have a few pictures from my phone so some of the pictures are not that great but I will try to explain a little about what you are seeing. We ate out quite a bit and some restaurants stand out better than others and there was probably one that we probably wouldn’t go back to but it might have been either what we ordered or just not there night so I am not going to mention them.

IMG_0868-rotated.jpg

Steak dinner we made back at the house – I brought the steak from home!

Jacala on Meads Bay is a must but make sure to make a reservation, they can be crazy busy at times. This is an authentic French restaurant with the Co owner Jacques Borderon walking or rather talking you through taking your order and making sure you know exactly what your are going to be eating was a real treat.

IMG_0919

Asparagus soup amuse bouche at Jacala with my cosmo!

IMG_0921

Appetizer of a “shepherds pie” believe it or not. It was excellent

IMG_0897

bouillabaisse – said best he had ever eaten!

IMG_0896

Pan roasted pork tenderloin over risotto

IMG_0898

Grilled snapper – this was mine and was excellent! Seasoned and cooked to perfection!

IMG_0924

Grilled crayfish – also well seasoned and tender

Ember on Lower South Hill is another must try. Everything is cooked on an open wood fire. Nothing was too smoky and Chef owner Marc Alvarez knows exactly what he is doing!  Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos it was our anniversary dinner but was probably the best fish I had on the island – melted in your mouth. I pretty much ate Snapper and Mahi Mahi the entire week whether it be a sandwich or a fillet or even in a taco.

Both are open air with water views though at night there really isn’t much you can see unless a boat goes by. If you visit the island of Anguilla I would make these a must eat!
A few others were visited and enjoyed a meal. Blanchards on Meads Bay, Madearman on Shoal Bay had no power but we had a very nice lunch and Ocean Echo also on Meads Bay

 

Crispy Risotto cake for breakfast – yes please!

IMG_4883.jpg
I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday weekend. My husband and I are getting out of dodge for a little while. We are heading South for some sun, fun and relaxation! We are probably some of the small few at the airport not “technically” traveling for the actual holiday.
IMG_4881

I am writing this post a week early knowing I will not be making much on vacation even though we are renting a house with a kitchen. I am pretty sure I won’t be making anything new to share but I will be taking lots of pictures of most of my meals and will share with you what’s happening out on the Island of Anguilla in my next blog.

Risotto

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Ingredients
  

  • Cup Arborio Rice
  • 1 Quart Chicken Stock
  • ½ Cup White Wine
  • 1 medium shallot or small onion chopped finely
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
  • 1 Tbs chopped Parsley
  • Kosher Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stock just stays hot.
  • In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil and 1 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the chopped shallot or onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until it is slightly translucent.
  • Add the rice and stir briskly with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the oil and melted butter. Sauté for another minute or so; until there is a slightly nutty aroma. Don’t let the rice turn brown.
  • Add the wine and cooking while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed. Add a ladle of hot chicken stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process.
  • Note: It’s important to stir constantly, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed, to prevent scorching, and add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry.
  • The rice will take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for 20-30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn’t done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it’s absorbed

Notes

A few notes to remember!
always add hot liquid never cold
stir often
taste to make sure it has cooked thoroughly
wait a day or two before making your rice cake. Freeze each cake and then fry in a hot pan

IMG_4882
I was craving risotto and it isn’t too often I will order it out. It is not something that gets better with time nor does it like to sit and wait for someone to order it.  Not saying that you shouldn’t order it you do you;  I just make a mean risotto at home so I am kinda spoiled! I made some the other night for dinner and of course I always make too mucha and have some left over. As I mentioned it doesn’t get better so I usually make Risotto balls aka arancini or rice cakes. I already have some arancini in the freezer so I had been thinking about what I could do with it differently. I wondered how it would be as a crispy rice cake with a poached egg on top and It was exactly as I thought it would be. It was so good I will be making this again soon!!! I also fried up some sausage to go along side. 
IMG_4884
It is best to wait until the next day for the risotto to dry out a bit; shape about a 1/2 cup of risotto into a cake and place on a sheet pan or something that will fit into your freezer. You’ll want to freeze the cakes for at least 30 minutes it helps them stay together while frying. Preheat either a non stick or cast iron pan. add a little oil and fry on both sides till browned. 

What would I do differently?  I would maybe add fried sausage to the risotto before making it into a patty instead of putting it on the side or maybe use a sausage patty and stack everything up. The sausage patty was my husband’s idea, I figured I could add the cooked sausage to the rice cake and my daughter thought maybe make it into an eggs benedict which sounds delish too. I am sure I will be playing around with this!

IMG_4886