Archive for category Chef’s Corner

Chef’s Corner: Vic & Anthony’s Home Cooked Steak

Every Friday, we feature a chef’s recipe. Special thanks to the folks over at Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse for this week’s contribution!

Steak is delicious when properly cooked, especially when it’s done by a fine steakhouse like Vic & Anthony’s. Home cooks, who do not have the benefit of heavy duty broilers like the ones used at Vic & Anthony’s, and want to prepare steaks “steakhouse-style” are left with the task of improvising a way to achieve similar results in their own kitchen.

It’s not as complicated as it might seem and with a cast iron skillet, a hot oven and following some simple steps, the home cook can achieve some very similar and delicious results like those found at Vic and Anthony’s.

Step 1:
You will need a Ribeye or N.Y. Strip steak that is 1-inch to 1.5-inch thick. If you are using a filet it should be 2.5 to 3 inches thick.

Step 2:
Heat your oven to 500 degrees.

Step 3:
Heat the cast iron skillet to 500 degrees or as hot as you can possibly get it.

Step 4:
Season the steak with a little olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Step 5:
Remove the skillet from the oven and place it on the stove on high heat. Leave the oven at 500 degrees.

Step 6:
Place the steak in the pan and sear for 1 minute, flip and sear the other side for 1 minute to get a nice crust on each side.

Step 7:
Return the skillet with the steak in it to the oven for 3 minutes; flip the steak and leave in the oven for 3 more minutes. This amount of time should produce a medium steak that is slightly pink in the middle.

Step 8:
Remove the skillet from the oven and add 2 teaspoons of soft, unsalted butter to the pan.

Step 9:
Let the butter melt, then remove the steak from the skillet to a hot plate. Pour the butter and juices from the skillet over the steak and serve immediately.

*All copy provided by Vic & Anthony’s

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Chef’s Corner: Sliders Made Easy by Little Bitty Burger Barn

Friday, we feature a chef’s recipe. Special thanks to the guys over at Little Bitty Burger Barn for this week’s contribution!

Little Bitty Burger Barn was recently nominated by My Table Magazine in the Houston Culinary Awards for the Best Burger category. Please check out the site and cast your vote today!

Sliders are not that much of a big deal if you’re organized and ready to go before you start cooking. The French Culinary term is have your “mise en place” ready or have your ingredients in place. The basic ingredients for sliders are simple: ground beef, white onions, butter, salt & pepper, and a good little bun. You will also need a good griddle to toast your buns on, a sauté pan, and a small stainless steel bowl.

Ingredients
-1 ½ lbs 80/20 ground beef
-1 medium white onion
-16 ea slider buns
-2 tbsp unsalted butter
-salt & pepper to taste
-2 small sheets of wax paper
Yield: 16 sliders

Directions
1. Slice buns and butter both sides toast on griddle until lightly toasted, set aside. Keep warm.
2. Cut onion into a small dice. Heat sauté pan over a medium flame/heat and add chopped onions and 1 table spoon butter. Slowly stir onions and butter and mix thoroughly, continue stirring occasionally until lightly caramelized. Remove from heat and place cooked onions in a small stainless steel bowl, set aside. Keep warm.
3. Weigh out ground beef into 1.5 oz portions and form into a ball, like a meatball. Press slider meat into small patties by pressing down on them between to pieces of wax paper. You can use the bottom of a stainless steel bowl to press out the slider patties. Heat a clean sauté pan over a medium heat and place patties making sure not to over crowd, season to taste. Brown slider patties until desired doneness is reached.
4. To assemble place bottom of slider buns on plate, add a slider patty, spoon onions on top and top with top bun.
5. Here comes the fun part, you can make these your very own. Add grated cheese, and fresh chopped jalapenos to the ground beef? How about bacon and cheese? How about chipotle peppers and cilantro? Mix up the type of slider buns? Melt different types of cheeses under the broiler before topping for an even richer slider.

There are many varieties of sliders that can be with these basic ingredients, so have fun.

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Chef’s Corner: Cake Making Tips from H-E-B

Every Friday, we feature a chef’s recipe. Special thanks to Laurie Contreras, Region Merchant–Bakery Division for H-E-B for this week’s contribution!

Here are a few helpful tips to making the perfect cake:

1. To help prevent cakes from sticking to pans: cut a piece of parchment paper and place in the bottom of the pan and spay with a non stick spray.

2. To help prevent crumbs form getting in your icing as you ice your cake, make sure the cake is chilled or partly frozen.

3. To help get a more professional look, ice cakes upside down.

4. Use a cake comb tool so you don’t have to worry about getting your icing smooth. This gives the cake more of a WOW feature.

5. A simple tear drop trim to finish off

*Image and tips provided by representatives of H-E-B

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Chef’s Corner: Melissa Clark’s Lemon Curd with Poppy Seeds

Every Friday, we feature a chef’s recipe. Special thanks to Melissa Clark, Contributing Editor and weekly recipe columnist for Gilt Taste, for this week’s contribution!

Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup lemon juice (from about 2 1/2 lemons)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 egg yolks
3 whole eggs
Pinch salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped into pieces
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1. In a double boiler or a stainless steel medium bowl set on top of a medium heavy-bottomed pot with 2 inches of simmering water, combine the lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, eggs, and salt. Stir constantly, with a whisk, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides, while the liquid thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 12 to 14 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until dissolved. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve. Whisk in lemon zest. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd and chill completely. Stir in the poppy seeds when cold.

My Take:
For this week’s Chef’s Corner, I decided to change things up. In short, I made the Lemon Curd with Poppy Seeds. I was very intrigued by the recipe, partly because I’d never attempted curd. I’m happy to say it was very easy. If you have the patience and arm strength to whisk for 15 minutes, this recipe is for you. I loved the end product! It wasn’t overly lemony and the poppy seeds really gave the curd a wonderful pop with each bite.

Thanks to kindness of Gilt Taste, I was able to pair the curd with one of their delicious products…Francois Payard’s Lemon Pound Cake.  I was a little worried about pairing lemon pound cake with lemon curd, but there was no problem at all. In fact, it was perfect…very subtle lemon flavors.

And, as you can see, feel free to get creative with the presentation.  Orders of the pound cake come in 12 individually-wrapped slices.  This would be a wonderful summertime dessert to prepare for entertaining.  Suggestion: Just cut the cake into smaller, stick-like pieces…perfect for dipping into the curd.

If lemon isn’t your thing, check out some of Melissa’s other curd recipes!

Rhubarb Curd
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

10 ounces rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
4 egg yolks
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped into pieces

1. Puree the rhubarb in the food processor until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes (add a few teaspoons of water if necessary to help the rhubarb move though try to keep this to a minimum so it doesn’t dilute the juice). Pour into a bowl lined with cheese cloth. Tighten the cheese cloth and squeeze out the juice with your hands, discarding the pulp. You should get about 2/3 cup of juice.

2. In a double boiler or a stainless steel medium bowl set on top of a medium heavy-bottomed pot with 2 inches of simmering water, combine the rhubarb juice, sugar, eggs, egg yolks and salt. Stir constantly, with a whisk, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides, while the liquid thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until dissolved.

3. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve and chill completely. Store, refrigerated, in an air-tight container.

Mango Lime Curd
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

2 cups diced ripe mango
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Pinch kosher salt
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

1. In a food processor, puree the mango until smooth; strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl (you should have about 1 cup puree). Stir in the sugar, lime juice, and salt.

2. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and yolks. Stir the egg mixture into the mango puree. Stir in the butter.

3. Scrape mixture into a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium-lowheat, stirring constantly, until the butter melts and the curd thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. Do not let it come to a boil.

4. Strain curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in lime zest. Pressplastic wrap directly onto surface of curd; chill until firm.

Raspberry-Rose Curd
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 to 2 (6-ounce) containers fresh raspberries, as needed
2 large egg yolks
2 large whole eggs
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 8 pieces
2 teaspoons rose syrup or 1/2 teaspoon rose water

1. Place a fine mesh strainer over a larger mixing bowl. Place half the raspberries in the strainer and, using a spatula, push the berries through the strainer, pressing on the solids to extract as much puree as possible. You should have about 1/2 cup puree. If your berries are less juicy, you will need more; press additional berries through the strainer if necessary.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and eggs. Whisk in the puree,sugar, and lemon juice. Transfer to a large saucepan. Place pan over mediumheat and, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula (make sure to stir thebottom and edges of the pot), cook until the mixture thickens, about 5 to 10minutes. Do not let it come to a boil.

3. Remove from heat immediately and pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth. Whisk in the rose syrup. Let cool 5 minutes, then transfer mixture to a small container and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

*Note: Image of Melissa Clark provided by Gilt Taste

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