November 27, 2009

Make a Panty Dropper

Make a Panty Dropper

Step 1
• 2 shots champagne
• 1 shot grenadine
• 1 shot orange juice
• 2 shots tequila
• 1/2 shot pineapple juice
• 1 shot vodka
• 5-7 drops Tabasco sauce
• 2 shots red bull
• 2 shots absinthe

Preparation Steps
Mix all ingredients in a shaker for about 1 minute. Make sure all is mixed well. Serve chilled on ice

Red Wine Braised Short Rib Beef Stew

Red Wine Braised Short Rib Beef Stew

2 tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 lbs boneless beef short ribs, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 tbsp all purpose flour
10 cremini mushrooms, cut in 1/4's if large or in 1/2 if small
1 bottle Cabernet sauvingnon, or other dry red wine
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
5 sprigs fresh thyme, stems tied together w/ butcher's twine
4 oz demi glace*
1 tbsp instant espresso or coffee
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (or less if you don't like black pepper)
10 cipollini onions, peeled & left whole
15 whole small carrots, peeled
10 small new white potatoes
4 stalks celery, cut in 2" pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas
extra kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, if necessary

For the slurry:
2 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place a large oven-safe pot on the stove over high heat. Add canola oil to the pan. Heat for at least 2 minutes until there are ripples in the oil but before the oil begins to smoke.

While the oil is heating, season the short rib cubes with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Lightly dust the meat with flour.

Working in two batches so as not to over-crowd the pan, brown the beef on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Once browned, remove the beef from the pan and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the mushrooms to the pan. Saute the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minute or until well caramelized. Remove from pot and set aside with the browned beef.

Pour off any oil pooling in the pot. Return the pot to the stove and increase the heat to high. Add the red wine and balsamic vinegar to the pan. Scrap up any bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine and vinegar to reduce by half, stirring occasionally.

Once the wine has finished reducing, add the whole garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, demi-glace, instant coffee, kosher salt, black pepper, and reserved mushrooms and browned beef to the pot. Stir. Allow the liquid to return to a boil then place a lid on the pot. Place the pot into the preheated 300 degree oven.

Allow the beef to braise in the oven for 1 hour at 300 degrees. After 1 hour, add the cipollini onions, carrots, new potatoes and celery to the pot. Stir. Replace the lid to the pot and return the pot to the oven. Braise the stew for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the beef is fall-apart-tender and the veggies are cooked through. Taste the stew and adjust seasoning as desired with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Place the stew on the stove over medium-high heat, add the frozen peas. Stir and bring to a boil.

While the stew is coming to a boil whisk together the corn starch and cold water until all of the corn starch has dissolved.

As soon as the stew reaches a boil, pour in the corn starch slurry and stir the pot immediately. Cook for another 1 minute at a boil until the stew is slightly thickened and the liquid is more viscous.

Remove the pot from heat. Remove the thyme sprigs. Allow the stew to cool, then place in the fridge. Allow the stew to chill overnight. This will allow the flavors to marry and will give the best tasting results! Before reheating, remove the layer of fat that has risen to the top and harden overnight. (This is another great reason to chill the stew. Otherwise you will be eating all of that extra fat!)

Reheat the stew over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Serve with a great loaf of crusty bread. Enjoy!

*If you do not wish to make demi-glace (because it takes for freaking ever!) and you can't find it in a specialty store, you can substitute a really good beef stock or just omit it altogether. While not a fundamental ingredient it adds a rich flavor if you can find it.

Cinnamon Apple Pecan Crumb Bars

Cinnamon Apple Pecan Crumb Bars

For the apples:
3 medium fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into a 1/2" dice
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt

For the crumb:
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, soften
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 egg

For the icing:
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x11.5" glass or ceramic baking dish.

Place all ingredients for the apples into a mixing bowl. Toss to coat and evenly distribute all ingredients.

Place first 5 ingredients for the crumb into a mixing bowl. Blend the ingredients together using a pastry blender or a fork until the butter has been incorporated and there are crumbs the size of peas. Add the egg to the crumb mixture and lightly stir just until the egg has been incorporated. Try not to over work the mixture. You want for there to still be pea-sized crumbs after incorporating the egg.

Reserve 1 heaping cup of the crumb mixture. Pour the rest of the crumb into the prepared baking dish. Using your hands or the back of a spoon, gently press the crumb mixture into the dish to form a level crust.

Next evenly distribute the apple mixture over the crust.

Finally, sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture evenly over the apples.

Place into a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for about 50 minutes or until crumb is golden and apples are soft.

Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour.

While the bars are cooling, make the icing. Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Whisk or beat until smooth.

Once the bars are cooled drizzle with the cream cheese icing. Cut into bars and enjoy! Bars can be made 2 days in advance. Simply cover the bars once they've cooled to room temperature.

Spicy Chipotle Chocolate Cake

Spicy Chipotle Chocolate Cake

For the Cake
2 sticks butter, unsalted
10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
5 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/8 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp chipotle chile powder

For Frosting
16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
6 oz nutella
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup milk, plus extra as needed

Bake the Cake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment. Set aside.

Place butter into a saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter, stirring occasionally. Do not brown. Once the butter has completely melted, add the chocolate chips. Stir over medium heat until all chocolate has melted. Do not burn chocolate. Remove from heat.

While the butter and chocolate are melting, add the eggs, brown and granulated sugars to a large mixing bowl. Beat until the sugar has completely dissolved into the eggs and the mixture begins to thicken.

In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, flour, baking powder & chipotle chile powder. Add the sifted ingredients to the egg mixture. Fold the flour in until just incorporated. Slowly pour the melted chocolate-butter mixture into the batter, folding while pouring to incorporate.

Once the all the ingredients have been completely incorporated, pour half of the batter into each of the two greased, lined cake pans. Place the pans into the upper third of a preheated 325 degree oven. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes until the cake has just set and a toothpick stuck into the middle of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs. (If it comes out with any gooey batter, let the cake bake longer, as needed.) Remove the cakes from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cool for at least 2 hours before building the cake. Once cooled, cakes may be covered and stored at room temperature for a day before finishing.

While the cake is cooling, Make the Frosting:

Add the cream cheese and nutella into a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric beat or cream with a rubber spatula until light and fluffy. Sift in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Add the milk then then gently beat to incorporate, trying not to splatter milk and powdered ingredients all over the kitchen! Beat until all ingredients are fully incorporated and the frosting is light and fluffy. Cover and set aside until ready to frost the cake.

Finish the Cake:
When ready to assemble the cake, slide a knife around the outside of the cakes to loosen. Place your choice of serving dish upside down over one of the cake pans. Flip the cake pan over (so the serving dish is underneath the cake, right side up) and gently turn out the cake from the pan. Carefully peel away the parchment paper.

Using strips of parchment paper, line the base of the cake, tucking strips of parchment just underneath the base all the way around.

Place 1/3 of the frosting on to the middle of the cake. Spread the frosting in an even layer over the cake. Carefully remove the second cake from the pan and gently place cake, parchment side up, onto the frosted layer. Peel the parchment paper off of the top layer.

Evenly frost the top and sides of the cake using the rest of the frosting. Once The cake is fully frosted remove the parchment strips lining the base of the cake. Serve and enjoy! The cake may be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, refrigerate.