Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Dinner

The last 3 of 4 Valentine's Day celebrations have been spent with our friends Matt and Rosemarie.  Rosemarie and I get to sit back while the boys plan, plot, scheme and ultimately labor to serve us an incredible meal.  This year, they may have outdone themselves! 


You can also check out some of Rosemarie's photos from the evening here as well as pictures from the 2009 extravaganza

Cake & Coffee

For the dessert portion of our meal, I have invited a guest blogger, aka my husband Jason, to describe his mad baking and molecular gastronomy skills!

Dessert was based on the Scrivo family phrase "Cake and coffee" which I understand to be a way to finish a meal, a celebration, or any of a myriad of Scrivo family events.  My vision was to update the typical cake and coffee with playful dessert based on some other gelees I have been making recently.

The cake part was simple.  Amy had given me a madeline pan for Christmas, and I had only used it to make savory madelines.  The cake would be the first sweet madelines from the pan.  My friend and partner in this menu, Matt Freeman, executed most of the chocolate madeline recipe.  The coffee part of dessert was a coffee with cream and sugar gelee topped with a vanilla cream foam served in a coffee cup on the plate with the madelines.  It became a coffee you eat with a spoon.  The dessert afforded me an opportunity to break out the molecular gastronomy kit that Amy had given me for Christmas 2009.

Chocolate Madelines

50g all purpose flour
45g unsweetened cocoa
pinch salt
2 eggs
100g sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
butter to butter pan

--  Butter madeline pan and place in the refrigerator

--  Sift flour, cocoa, and salt together

--  Blend the eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer.  Fold in the flour and then the melted butter.

--  Fill each mold about 3/4 full with the batter, and place in the refrigerator.

--  Heat oven to 425F and bake for 7 minutes.

--  Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Coffee Gelee

300 ml coffee with cream and sugar
2 g carageenan

--  Make the coffee.  Flavor with cream and sugar to desired dessert flavor.

--  Pour coffee solution into a pan on the stove.  Bring to a boil and add carageenan.  Whisk to dissolve.

--  Transfer coffee to individual mugs and let cool on the counter until no longer steaming.  Move to refrigerator and let gel.  Should be ready in about 45 minutes.

Vanilla Cream Foam

Vanilla extract

--  Put milk and a few drops of vanilla extract into a bowl.  Add lecite.

--  With an immersion blender skim the surface of the milk to create bubbles.  If the foam does not hold add more lecite and repeat.

--  Spoon foam on top of coffee gelee and dust with cinnamon.

Pimenton Rubbed Pork Tenderloin and Dirty Potatoes with Romesco Sauce and Roasted Purple Carrots

And now for the main course.  The pimenton was courtesy of a little stocking stuffer Jason received from santa this year!  The rub was incredible and the photos do not do justice to the colors and beauty of the plate. 

Pimenton Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
serves 4

1-1/4 pound pork tenderloin

--  Preheat over to 350

-- Sprinkle a bit of each of the four seasonings onto the tenderloin and rub onto the meat

-- Sear pork tenderloin on all sides over high heat in a cast iron skillet

--  Put skillet and tenderloin into oven and cook until meat reaches 135 degrees (approximately 15 minutes).  Make sure to flip tenderloin once during cooking process. 

--  Let rest, slice and serve

Dirty Potatoes
serves 4

12 small yukon gold potatoes, halved the long way
Olive oil
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
Grated 1 year old manchego

-- Preheat oven to 350

-- Rinse the potatoes to get rid of some of the starch

-- In a large bowl, combine the potatoes with enough oil and spices to coat (spices approximately in equal proportions)

--  Place potatoes cut side down on an unlined baking sheet and roast until fork tender.  DO NOT FLIP. 

--  In mini-food processor combine kalamata olives and approx. a tablespoon of olive oil and blend to a paste-like consistency. 

--  Toss the roasted potatoes in the olive paste and serve with shaved manchego on top

Roasted Baby Purple Carrots

Baby purple carrots (or whatever colors you choose)
Herbs de Provence
Olive Oil

--  Toss carrots in spices and oil and roast in 350 degree oven until tender

Romesco Sauce

3 roma tomatoes halved
1 large red bell pepper quartered
5 cloves garlic peeled
1/3 cup olive oil
2 slices of a french baguette
1/4 cup toasted whole almonds
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
pinch of Pimenton (Spanish paprika)
pinch of red pepper flakes

--  Preheat the oven to 425

--  Brush tomatoes, bell pepper and garlic cloves with oil.  Roast on baking pan for 15 minutes

--  Toast bread in same oven until lightly browned

--  Remove bread and vegetables from oven and let vegetables cool

--  Combine all recipe ingredients in the food processor except the olive oil and blend.  Drizzle in olive oil with motor running and process until it has a slightly chunky sauce consistency

Haricot Verts Salad with Olives in Creme Fraiche Dressing

from Tyler Florence's book Tyler's Ultimate

1 pound frozen haricot verts (use fresh when in season, use frozen otherwise)
1 cup creme fraiche
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 tsp dried dill (use fresh when in season)
freshly ground black pepper

--  Bring large pot of salter water to a boil.  Fill a large bowl with ice water.  Add beans to boiling water, 1-2 minutes, until they turn bright green.  Remove and shock in bowl of ice water and then drain well.

--  In a mini-food processor combine the creme fraiche, lemon juice, olive oil, dill, salt and pepper and blend until smooth.

--  In a large serving bowl add the olives to the beans, toss with the dressing and serve with an additional sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper

Mussels in Cider

from Nigella Lawson

10 scallions white parts chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
24 mussels
3/4 bottle of Crispin Cider
1 tsp butter
olive oil
salt and pepper

--  In a large pan dash of olive oil, saute scallions and garlic with a little salt and pepper until fragrant, about 2 minutes

--  Add mussles and cider to the pan, shake the pan, cover the pan and let cook until mussels open, shaking the pan occasionally

--  Add the teaspoon of butter, remove from heat and serve with a nice crusty bread

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Grilled Tuna with Scallion Smashed Potatoes in a Habanero Clam Broth

Friday nights more and more frequently involve Jason and I staying home, pulling out the cookbooks and coming up with a new and delicious meal.  Kind of an in-house date night!

We were both in the mood for some fish and I really needed a gluten-free meal (there end up being more free bagels in grad school than I had anticipated).  Tuna seemed like a good compromise (Jason wanted swordfish but I didn't want such a meaty fish) and we were both intrigued by Mario Batali's recipe for cockles with habanero broth.  The habanero made it sound like a Flay recipe but we decided to try it out.  We had a bunch of potatoes and thought they would be a great gluten-free starch.  Jason decided some scallions in the potatoes would really help tie it to the habanero broth.  A couple of ring molds later and Jason plated this beautiful meal.

The habanero clam broth was amazing.  Such an unexpected pairing but the habanero, white wine and dash of tomato sauce was complimented prefectly by the liquid released from the clams.  And Jason was right, the scallion potatoes were the perfect match for the broth.  The meal went perfectly with a Soave Superiore.  The tuna was probably a little light for the plate.  Grilling it outside would have been ideal, or simply a heartier fish but all in all it was a most delicious meal!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


This chili is delicious.  Seriously good.  Jason made this for me and I wanted to eat it for 3 meals a day.  I refrained.


1 onion diced
1 lb ground lamb

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp sugar
1 bay leaf

1 can diced tomatoes with juice
2 cans black beans rinsed
1/2 bottle Moose Drool brown ale (or any brown ale)
1 tsp red wine vinegar

--In a dutch onion, heat a tablespoon or so of oil and add the onions and lamb.  Saute until lamb is cooked through.

--Next add the seasonings (red pepper flakes, dried basil, cumin, cinnamon, garlic, chili powder, dried oregano, cocoa powder, sugar and bay leaf) and cook for 2-3 minutes.

--Add the tomatoes with the juice, black beans and beer and simmer covered for 30-40 minutes

--Add a splash of red wine vinegar at the end

Garnish with whatever you like.  We had shredded cheddar on hand and just used that.  Cilantro or a cilantro crema would have been delicious.  Enjoy!