Bearnaise Sauce

By Katherine

So much lovely butter

I typically make Greg steak and potatoes each year for his birthday and try to do something slightly different each time.  It can be a challenge to come up with new ideas since we met in 1999. Surf and turf. Done. Steak and frites. Done. Balsamic reduction. Coffee rub. Peppercorn rub. Grilled. Broiled. Seared. Done and done and done…

This year I was inspired by this recipe which called for topping pan-seared steaks with bearnaise sauce and serving them with shoestring fries. I didn’t want to make shoestring fries because we don’t have a fryer and I find frying messy and a bit tricky to time. So I went with twice-baked potatoes. Instead of pan-searing, Greg grilled an aged rib eye and a New York strip. The original recipe called for tarragon, but I wanted something milder. Also, I didn’t have tarragon. It also called for less lemon juice, so adjust to your taste.

Béarnaise Sauce

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sliced shallots (I used a mandolin)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 tablespoons
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Boil wine, vinegar, shallots, and a tablespoon of the thyme in a small heavy saucepan until liquid is reduced to two tablespoons. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve set into a medium metal bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. Whisk yolks into vinegar mixture, then set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until yolks have thickened slightly (do not scramble). Whisk in butter one tablespoon at a time, adding each piece before previous one has melted completely. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve steaks with sauce. Dust with remaining thyme.

Posted in Beef, Dinner, Food, Grilling/Smoking, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Breaded Sole on Crispy Kale

Crispy all around

This is a good way to use some leftover ham. Bacon is the natural substitute. Any firm flesh white fish will work, but the oilier ones crisp the breading better.

Breaded Sole and Crispy Kale

  • 1/2-1 lb Sole filet
  • 1 head kale stems removed and leaves torn into chip sized bites
  • 2/3 cup finely diced ham
  • 6 green onions chopped fine
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg beaten with 1/2 cup buttermilk and 2-3 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried lavender
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 cup grated romano
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Salt/pepper

Wash and pat dry fish, then season with salt and pepper. Place in egg mixture and marinade 30 minutes. Mix bread crumbs, 1/2 green onion, spices and cheese in a pie dish. Remove fish from egg, shake off excess and dredge in breadcrumbs. Heat 1 tbsp butter with 2 tbsp olive oil in large oven safe saute pan. Brown fish on both sides then remove to a plate. Add ham and brown, then add remaining butter, onion and kale. Mix well getting all kale coated in fat and beginning to soften. Place fish in center of pan with kale on sides and place in oven at 400 degrees. Cook for 5 minutes stir kale and check to see if crispy. Continue cooking until done, about 5-10 more minutes.

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Broiled Oysters on the Half Shell

Guaranteed to be devoured

Here is a simple way to enjoy fresh oysters if someone prefers them cooked and someone else prefers them raw. If you do not know how to shuck an oyster go here. If you do not have an oyster knife any very stiff dull knife with a good point will work. I use an old butter knife.

This recipe works for about 6-8 small oysters. Adjust ingredients for more or less.

Broiled Oysters

  • 8 live oysters
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice plus extra for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 green onions diced fine
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 4 tbsp grated romano
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp pepper flakes

Shuck oysters retaining all juice and large deeper side of shell. In a shallow roastin pan fill bottom with sea salt and press shells into it until firm. Place raw oyster in each shell. Mix everything else but butter together in bowl and add enough oyster juice so mixture becomes crumbly but packs together if pressed. If out of juice add white wine. Cover oysters with stuffing then drizzle melted butter evenly over tops. Broil until stuffing browns, about 4-5 minutes. Serve hot drizzled with extra lemon juice and hot sauce on the side.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Italian, Recipes, Seafood | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Winter Squash and Kale Salad

Fairly healthy

This is a great way to use a small delicata or butternut squash.

Winter Salad

  • 1 bunch kale stems removed and chopped into ribbons
  • 1 small delicata squash sliced in to thin rounds skin still on
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt/pepper
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • thin slices romano

Toss squash slices in oil and spread in one layer on a baking sheet. Wrap garlic cloves in tinfoil with some oil and roast until golden with squash. Turn squash halfway to keep from burning. Remove from oven and mash garlic in a large bowl. Add oil, vinegar and lemon juice and mix well. Season with salt and pepper then toss kale in dressing. Add roast squash, seeds and cheese and toss again. Serve while squash rings are still warm.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Garden, Recipes, vegetarian | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Crab En Croute

What a hot pocket should be

The dungeness crab season is way too short. Blink and you miss it and all the tasty, meaty goodness that it entails. So we were stoked to see some fresh crabs at our fish monger when we picked up oysters for our dressing before Thanksgiving. We served this as an appetizer, but it’d make a nice dinner for two or three paired with a salad.

Crab En Croute

  • 2 1/2 cups dungeness crab meat
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp horseradish sauce
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup drained and chopped artichoke hearts
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small bunch of spinach, torn in bite-size leaves
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk whisked with about a teaspoon of cream

Mix crab meat, olive oil, horseradish sauce, lemon juice and artichoke hearts together. Season to taste. In a large saute pan, melt butter and saute onions until tender. Wilt spinach, stirring often. Turn off heat and stir in crab mix, stirring to incorporate. Roll out two sheets of puff pastry together in a 12- to 15-inch rectangle. Pour crab mix on top and smooth out. Leave about an inch border all around. Roll up, tucking ends in as you go. Place seam side down on a baking pan. Brush the egg mixture over the pastry using a pastry brush. Bake at 400 until golden, about 25 minutes.

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Oyster Dressing

The oysters really change the flavor

Here is an east coast twist on the southern staple.

Sausage and Oyster Cornbread Dressing

  • 1 batch cornbread crumbled
  • 1 loaf sourdough french bread cut into small cubes
  • 14-18 large oysters
  • 2 Italian sausage casing removed
  • 1 large onion diced fine
  • 2-3 large ribs celery chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • Chicken stock

4 days before make breads and dry out in oven stirring once a day. Saute onion until golden in butter. Add sausage and brown, then add celery and garlic and saute until softened. Add cooked items to bowl of bread and mix well. Add eggs and spices and mix well again. In a bowl cut oysters into small bits with scissors. Pour into bread mixture including all juice and mix well again. Add enough chicken stock to form a solid loaf and press into a greased 9×12 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees until done, about 45 minutes.


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Pumpkin Cheesecake #2

Still a slice left

Here is a steamed version for those of you who like making things more involved.

Pumpkin Cheesecake #2

For crust

  • 1 1/2 cups ground ginger snaps
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp melted butter

For filling

  • 24 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 eggs

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Invert bottom of a spring form pan, grease inside and wrap exterior in two layers of tin foil to keep water bath from getting into mold. Mix crust ingredients and press into bottom of pan until even. Bake until browned about 10 minutes then remove and let cool. Place pan in a roasting dish deep enough to hold water up to 1/2 way on side. Whip sugar, spice and cream cheese on medium high until smooth. Add pumpkin and blend well. Add cream and blend well again. Add eggs and mix until incorporated. Pour into spring form pan and smooth top. Pour warm water into roasting pan until halfway up sides of spring form pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours without opening oven. Turn off heat and leave in oven for 2 hours. Do not open door until over. Remove from oven and let cool for 3 hours, then refrigerate overnight. Serve with whipped cream on top.

Posted in Dessert, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments