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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The First Dinner

Like I said in my previous post, I'm back at school in Philly. BUT this time things are different because I'm living in a house and am no longer deprived of a kitchen. All I can say is, finally. Tonight, my bff Cole, **aka Chef Stern** and I decided to break in the kitchen and cook for some friends. We shopped all day, slaved all night, and then actually feasted. Cole and I have actually been planning to cook together after the first conversation we had, so after two semesters of talk, this occasion was monumental. We outlined a menu: a gorgonzola salad, mac and cheese (obvi), balsamic roasted vegetables, "pacific rim glazed" steak a la cole (basically teriyaki-esque), and a plum, raspberry, blueberry crisp for dessert. The results? Ask our 8 empty plates and our 8 very full guests. Chef Stern and I will be going into business very shortly. Below are all the recipes from the dinner minus Cole's steak.
Chefs @ work
 Chefs showing off
 family feasting
 Chef Stern REALLY excited about his steaks
"Pacific Rim Glazed Steak" a la Cole
 some hungree people

The Gorgonzola Salad: A simple mix of romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and gorgonzola cheese, this salad is a classic. I make a homemade vinaigrette (recipe below) that is tangy, light, and will definitely be your new staple dressing.

Red Wine Vinaigrette

1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbs dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh pepper
juice of 1 lemon

Recipe: Whisk all to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

The Balsamic Roasted Vegetables: Honestly these were my favorite part of the meal. They were slow roasted and had caramelized and the natural sugars and flavors of the vegetables had been drawn out to the point of perfection. Super easy, just throw em in the oven and be patient.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

2 red onions
7 large carrots
3 cups brussel sprouts
1 large head broccoli
2 tbs honey
1/2 cup balsamic
1/4 cup olive oil
garlic powder

Recipe: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Chop the vegetables into large, rustic chunks and lay out on a baking sheet in one layer, no overlaps. In a bowl whisk the honey, balsamic, and olive oil. Drizzle this over the vegetables, then use your hands to coat them and toss them so every vegetable gets a light coating. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and toss again. Roast on a low rack in the oven for about 3 hours. After an hour, take out the vegetables and add a drizzle of olive oil and honey. The carrots take the longest to tenderize, so be patient.

The Mac n CheeZe: Apparently its the new dish I make at every single meal. Every one is all over dis. But then again, its pasta, cheese, and melted gooy-ness so who wouldn't be?

1 box of pasta, your choice
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 tbs flour
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbs heavy cream
1 package shredded mozzarella
1 package shredded cheddar
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Recipe: In a saucepan melt 1 stick of the butter. Once melted, stir in the flour. Next, add the milk and the cream. Once the mixture begins to boil, turn the heat down and stir in the cheeses. Once the sauce is thick and well combined, pour over the freshly made pasta and add salt and paper to taste. Mix well so every piece is coated and pour into a casserole dish. In a bowl, melt the remaining 1/2 stick butter, then pour this over the bread crumbs. Sprinkle this on top of the mac and cheese and put in the oven to broil for about 5 minutes to crisp up. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn!

Plum Raspberry Blueberry Crisp: The best summer dessert. It utilizes the fresh fruit summer has to offer us and brings out their natural sweetness. Add a crispy oat topping and you're good to go. ALSO, ice cream as a side is a must.

10 plums, ripe
2 packages raspberries
1 package blueberries
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbs honey
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks butter softened
3 cups oats
1/4 cup flour

Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Quarter the plums. In a large bowl toss all of the fruit together with the lemon, honey, and granulated sugar. Spread in a casserole dish. In a separate bowl mix the butter, brown sugar, oats and flour until well combined into a doughy crumble. Pat this down in an even layer on top of the fruit. Bake for about 30 minutes until the top is golden and the fruit is bubbling.

I lYkEEee

i LOVE hungree people

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