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What’s cooking on Wynkoop?

December 10th, 2009 by Jean Gleason

Here’s what we are cooking for Christmas dinner.  Whatever holiday you celebrate, we hope you find the time this holiday season to savor some tasty home-cooked food with friends and family.

Spinach Salad with Pear, Gorganzola, and Spiced Walnuts

Tarra·Cardamom Encrusted Standing Rib Roast

Potatoes Dauphinois

Cider Braised Brussels Sprouts

Poached Pear Tart

Cider Braised Brussels Sprouts

December 10th, 2009 by Jean Gleason

This is a recipe from Chef Michael Montgomery, who teaches at the Culinary School of the Rockies. I took the Basic Cooking Techniques class and absolutely loved it. It is as informative as it is entertaining and a great way to spend a vacation and meet new friends who share a passion for food. If you are interested in learning more about the class, read my post on Potatoes Dauphinois.

I am a big brussels sprout fan. Usually prepare them with garlic and salt, but this recipe is a nice change. The sweet acid of the cider complements the nutty flavor in the Brussels sprouts.

 
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Ingredients

Directions
  1. Place Brussels sprouts in one layer in a baking dish. Fill dish with cider until the liquid reaches about ⅔ of the way up the Brussels sprouts. Add butter salt and pepper and herbs.
  2. Set baking dish over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover with parchment and foil and braise at a simmer in a 325° oven for one hour, or until Brussels sprouts are tender. Don’t cover completely, so that some of the liquid can evaporate. Do not boil.
  3. Note:
  4. Brussels sprouts may be held at this point until serving time.
  5. Prior to serving, reheat for 20 minutes in a 325° oven. Swirl in additional butter for a thicker sauce, sprinkle with minced parsley or other herbs and toasted pine nuts.

 

Spinach Salad with Pear, Gorgonzola and Spiced Toasted Walnuts

December 10th, 2009 by Lynn Hollenbeck

Sweet and spicy toasted walnuts team up with creamy gorgonzola cheese for a picturesque side. Champagne vinegar adds the celebratory note.

 
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Ingredients
  • bowlful of baby spinach or romaine lettuce
  • 1 ripe pear, sliced
  • 1 roasted beet, diced or if you prefer, ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds adds festive color
  • 2 ounces Gorgonzola
  • spiced toasted walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • organic ground black peppercorns

Directions
  1. Place greens in bowl and top with sliced pears, walnuts and crumbled Gorgonzola.
  2. Sprinkle with beets or pomegranate seeds.
  3. Shake up remaining ingredients in glass jar and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Toss greens with dressing and grind pepper over bowl.

 

Poached Pear Tart

December 10th, 2009 by Jean Gleason

This recipe is compliments of Chef Michael Montgomery an instructor at the Culinary School of the Rockies in Boulder Colorado. I took a Basic Cooking Techniques class from him last spring and really enjoyed it. The crunchy shortbread crust marries well with the soft poached pear and light whipped cream. The original recipe calls for apples and red wine, but I have substituted pears. If white wine doesn’t ring your bell, you can replace it with 2 cups water and 2 cups Grand Marnier or rum and fresh grated ginger.

 
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Ingredients

Directions
  1. Crust
  2. Cream butter and sugar together
  3. Add vanilla, salt and egg. Mix until just combined
  4. Add flour and mix until just combined
  5. Press dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  7. Roll and press dough into a tart pan (about ⅛” thick).
  8. Prick the crust thoroughly with a fork.
  9. Line the crust with foil and add pie weights to the foil.
  10. Remove the pie weights and continue baking for 3-5 minutes longer.
  11. Cool crust before filling.
  12. Poached Pear Filling (enough for 2 pies)
  13. Combine wine, sugar, spices and orange in saucepan large enough to hold the pears in a single layer. Slice vanilla bean down the center lenghtwise and add to the wine sauce. Bring to a simmer. Add 4 pears and poach until they are soft throughout, but not mushy (approx 15 minutes). Remove pears from the pan and cool on a rack. Repeat with the remaining 4 pears.
  14. Reduce the wine mixture until it is smooth and sauce like.
  15. Whip the cream in a cold bowl until almost firm. Add vanilla, powdered sugar, and nutmeg. Whisk until firm.
  16. Slice the pears, and place them decoratively in the pre-baked tart shell, drizzle with the wine sauce, and top with a dollop of cream.
  17. Garnish with toasted almonds and serve immediately.

 

Standing Rib Roast

December 10th, 2009 by Lynn Hollenbeck

An easy, elegant and delicious special occasion entree, adapted from a Paula Deen recipe. Timing is the important factor here. The roast stays in the oven the majority of the day, nicely  infusing your house with an exquisitely fragrant aroma. This particular rub works wonderfully with a beef filet roast as well, but since standing rib roast was on sale at Whole Foods at half the price of fillet, economy prevailed. The wine reduction sauce is optional as the roast stands, no pun intended, on its own, but it’s so easy and quick, why not?

Note: If you are partial to beef fillet roast, also known as beef tenderloin, apparently Costco carries the most reasonably priced, high quality product, according to America’s Test Kitchen and Alton Brown on Food Network.

 
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Ingredients
  • 1 standing rib roast, 5 lbs
  • 1-2 Tablespoons (enough to liberally coat meat) Smith & Truslow organic Tarra·Cardamom Rub
  • sprinkling of coarse sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon grape seed or olive oil
  • chunk of butter
  • couple glugs of red wine

Directions
  1. Allow roast to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  3. Rub roast with oil, salt and Tarra·Cardamon Rub.
  4. Place roast on a rack in roasting pan with rib side down and fatty side up.
  5. Roast for one hour, then turn off oven.
  6. Leave roast in oven for three hours. Do not open door!
  7. About 45 minutes before serving time, turn oven back on to 375°. Towards the last 20 minutes , check occasionally with meat thermometer. This is critical, since ovens vary and you don’t want it overdone. 130 is generally rare, and 140 medium.
  8. Remove roast and plate, tenting with tin foil. Place roasting pan on oven burner on medium.
  9. Add red wine and butter to roasting pan, scraping tasty bits with spatula and swirling mixture until wine reduces by about half. Pour into small pitcher or gravy boat for serving.