Archive for Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Comfort food for cold winter nights concocted on ‘Jayni’s Kitchen’

December 20, 2006


This week's "Jayni's Kitchen" will feature "Kitchen Comfort: Rich & Hearty Winter Menu." On the menu: Flat Iron Steak with Red Wine Sauce, Potato Gratin with Double Gloucester with Onion and Chives, Roasted Carrots, Brussels Sprouts and Fennel, and Tart Tartin.

A new show airs at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday on Sunflower Broadband Channel 6. The show also is broadcast at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday; 9 a.m., 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday; 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday; 9:30 a.m. Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Sunday; and 10 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Flat iron steak with red wine sauce

1 flat iron steak, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds

2 tablespoons garlic-flavored olive oil*

Salt & black pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Red Wine Sauce:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/3 cup chopped shallots

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup beef broth

1 cup dry red wine

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1 spring fresh thyme

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the flat iron steak on a plastic cutting board. Rub or brush the meat generously with garlic-flavored oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large stainless steel (oven-proof) skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the steak and brown for 2 to 3 minutes, turn over and brown for about 30 seconds more. Sprinkle the steak with the dried rosemary and thyme and place the skillet into the pre-heated oven. Roast the steak for about 10 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 130 to 135 degrees for medium-rare, or until desired doneness is achieved. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and tent with aluminum foil while making the wine sauce.

Red Wine Sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. (Cut the remaining butter into small dice and refrigerate until ready to use.) When the butter is melted, add the chopped shallots and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the beef broth and wine. Add the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Raise the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid it is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Strain the sauce to remove the shallots and herbs. Return the sauce to a clean pan and re-heat over low heat to simmering. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of diced (chilled) butter, a few pieces at a time, until all of the butter is incorporated.

To serve, slice the flat iron steak into 1/2-inch slices and drizzle with the Red Wine Sauce. Serves 4 to 6.

* To make garlic-flavored olive oil: In a small container, combine 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil with 2 smashed garlic cloves. Let stand for 30 minutes before using. Cover and refrigerate any unused oil.

Potato gratin with double Gloucester

3 medium potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick

salt & white pepper, to taste

1 cup half & half

1 cup whipping cream

4 ounces double Gloucester cheese with onion and chives, shredded

Arrange half of the sliced potatoes in an 8 or 9-inch baking dish and sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Combine the half & half and cream in a 2 cup measure. Pour half of the cream mixture over the potatoes and top with half of the shredded cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Bake the gratin in a 375 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife and the top is lightly browned. Serves 4 to 6.

Roasted carrots, brussels sprouts & Fennel

1 pound carrots

1 pound Brussels sprouts

2 stalks of fennel

3 tablespoons olive oil

salt & black pepper, to taste

3 or 4 rosemary sprigs

3 or 4 thyme sprigs

Peel the carrots, rinse and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Rinse and trim the Brussels sprouts and remove any damaged outer leaves. Remove the fennel bulb from the stalk and rinse well. Trim the bulb and slice it into thin slices. Remove some of the fennel leaves (the dill-like greenery) from the stalk, then rinse it, drain and reserve.

Place the vegetables in a bowl. Add the olive oil and toss gently to coat the vegetables. Pour the vegetables into a large, shallow baking pan and season them with salt and pepper. Top the vegetables with the fennel leaves and sprigs of rosemary and thyme.

Roast the vegetables in a 375 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes, turning them twice during cooking. The vegetables are done when tender and lightly browned. Serves 6.

Tart tartin

Pastry Dough:

1 cup bleached white flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small dice

3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

12 to 14 medium apples (Braeburn Jonathan, Jonagold, Golden Delicious or Gala)

1/2 lemon

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

Toppings: crÃme fraiche, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream

Pastry Dough: Place the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender. Using a fork, stir in the ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough can be formed into a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Peel the apples. Using a melon baller, scoop out the stem and blossom ends of the apples. Cut the apples in half and scoop out the cores. Rub the apples with the lemon. Place them in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Melt the butter in a heavy 10-inch stainless steel skillet or braising pan over medium-high heat. As it begins to melt, sprinkle the sugar over top, but do not stir until the sugar starts to melt around the edges, about 2 minutes. Then, gently stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. (If stirred too soon, or too quickly, the sugar will crystallize into chunks and must be discarded.) The mixer will look foamy at first, but will become creamy and smooth as it warms up. When the mixture begins to color and caramelize, reduce the heat to medium-low to low and cook until the caramel is a dark golden brown (almost mahogany), 7 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully and stir frequently. When ready, move the skillet from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes before adding the apples. Note: As the mixture cooks, the butter may separate from the caramel, but it will be absorbed by the apples when they are added. If the caramel begins to burn, quickly remove the skillet from the heat and immerse for a few seconds in a pan of cold water.

Place the apples halves in the skillet, arranging them upright in concentric circles. Pack them in tightly because they will shrink as they cook. Begin cooking the apples over medium heat. As the juices from the apples begin to accumulate in the pan, 2 to 3 minutes, the apples will begin to brown and caramelize. At this point, raise the heat to medium-high. Cook the apples for 10 to 15 minutes, until they are dark golden brown on the undersides. The undersides may be checked by turning one or two apples over gently with a two-pronged fork. When ready, give the apples a half turn to allow the uncooked sides to caramelize, about 10 to 15 minutes more. When the apples are tender and thoroughly caramelized, the juices will evaporate. (Most of the juices need to evaporate so they will not soak the pastry when unmolding the tart.) Watch carefully, and lower heat as needed to prevent the apples from burning; especially during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Remove the pan from the heat and cool to tepid.

To make the crust: Roll the chilled pastry dough out on a lightly-floured surface into a circle about 1-inch wider than the skillet or braising pan containing the apples. Carefully lay the pastry over the apples. Fold and tuck the edges of the pastry down around the apples.

Bake the tart in a 400 degree oven for 25 to 28 minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned. Remove the tart from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Do not try to remove the tart from the pan until it cools for at least 1 hour, or more. To remove the tart from the pan, gently loosen the tart around the edges with a knife. Place an 11 or 12-inch round serving plate on top of the skillet. Using hot pads, or towels, gently flip the skillet over so that the tart will release onto the serving plate.

Top servings of the Tart Tatin with a dollop of crÃme fraiche, whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serves 8.

- Recipes by Jayni Carey


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