As I mentioned in the classic cocktail post, an Asian Mignonette is an interesting and delectable variation for an oyster topping.
Having only tried it a few times at the schmanciest of restaurants, I was intrigued to see how the homemade version would stack up. Turns out: really darn well.
This particular blend has a depth of flavor that lends a whole new element to the oyster, but it still brings the tang you’re looking for with an oyster garnish. Again, if you’re working with quality oysters, I say go naked: splash of sauce and slurp.
1/2 cup of sake
2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup of minced ginger
1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
3 teaspoons of soy sauce
3 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
3 green onions, chopped
- Mix all ingredients.
- Let sit for 30 minutes.
Well it’s been a while since this blog was used for actual recipes, and I think it’s time we get it back on track.
This recipe is super simple, thus the “classic” title. The Chef and I produced boatloads of this stuff on New Year’s Eve to top the 100 oysters he so kindly shucked. And no matter how fun it is to spice things up with something like an Asian mignonette, there is something unbeatable about a really great cocktail.
So much so that If you’ve got good oysters, I’d suggest going cracker-less. And if you’re looking for more of a kick, grate some extra fresh horseradish on top. That will light you up and clear your sinuses in the most delightful way.
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup prepared horseradish (or 3/4 cup freshly grated)
1 cup of ketchup (NO Hunt’s. It is The Worst.)
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire
- Mix and chill.
Filed under Sauces, Toppings
To round out the Akin Family Christmas trilogy, we now have the quintessentially Southern giblet gravy. I know words like “gizzard” and “turkey neck” turn some people off, but for real Southerners, they just mean flavor.
This is my Aunt Sylvia’s gravy recipe, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to turkey or oyster dressing. And it’s actually pretty darn good over everything, but people look at you funny if you cover your whole plate in it, so consider yourself warned.
turkey neck, liver, and gizzard
1 boiled egg, chopped
1 large spoonful of dressing
- Boil turkey neck, liver and gizzard in chicken stock. Chop.
- Add one large spoonful of dressing and the egg and stir until mixed.
- Thicken with cornstarch to desired consistency.
When I told Dot that The Chef and I would be making Hollandaise for (the third) “Christmas morning” (in a row), she did not look convinced. And I’ll admit, I had some reservations.
Any time a cookbook directs me to a double-boiler, I have flashbacks of making those damn cake balls that everyone loves that are 100% NOT worth it. Trying to squish cake and icing into balls so you can dip them in rapidly hardening “melted” chocolate does not bring holiday joy; it brings profanity.
Anyway, The Chef directed me through the cheater technique for sauces (i.e. the blender), and I have no idea why anyone would go old school ever again. The consistency came out perfect, and the lemon juice provided just the right amount of acidity to cut through all the glorious buttah.
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
Add egg yolks to blender with salt and lemon juice. Blend.
- Blend on low, slowly adding melted butter. Sloooooowly. That’s the key.
- Serve immediately. Or if you have to wait a few minutes, keep in a warm – but not hot – spot in your kitchen until you’re ready.
I’d bet you can put this on top of anything from ham to cardboard, but we used it on the Honeycomb Breakfast Casserole, and I can verify that goodness first-hand.
For those of you who aren’t glued to your TV’s on Wednesday nights geeking out culinary-style, I must apologize for hijacking this blog for our Top Chef purposes. As a peace offering, I’m going to share a recipe that is one of the easiest and best I’ve found in a long time.
This recipe surfaced as I was researching sauces to top Pork Tenderloin a la Grosshans for the Lowery-Long engagement shindig. Sidenote: That tenderloin requires NO topping. The marinade makes an amazing sauce, and it is a hugely refreshing twist from the usual tenderloin marinade.
Anyway, if you’ve ever met Emily, you know everything she eats is accompanied by Reduced Fat Wheat Thins and covered in Honey Mustard. (“Not that stuff from a bottle. Ew! It’s just not right.”)
So I tried my hand at some homemade HM, and it is stupid easy and delish. The secret here is that most of it is neither honey nor mustard; it’s mayonnaise. Yup. All you mayo-haters out there can stick it because that is what makes this creamy, tangy perfectness. Get right with it.
1/2 cup mayo (Duke’s!)
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Whisk together, chill and drizzle/dip your heart out. Simple as that.
Sometimes The Chef and I disagree on the goodness level of certain recipes. There are recipes I love that he thinks are too standard to make as frequently as I request them. Like his Tortilla Soup. Or his Tomato Soup. Or his Mushroom Sauce. So, soups and sauces basically. Look, I know what I like.
Anyway, this is one of those recipes. In the infinite bounty that is The Chef’s current catering gig, he brought home some short ribs the other night that only needed a saucy boost for dinner. He whipped up this simple red wine sauce in 10 minutes, and while he found the whole thing totally boring, I found this sauce freaking delectable.
It’s obviously awesome on meat of any kind – and we fully plan to test it over tenderloin with fried eggs and cheese grits for Sunday brunch – but I’d wager you could even make tofu edible with this stuff. Observe:
half bottle of decent red wine
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
- In a saucepan, reduce red wine by half. Then add beef broth.
- In another pan, make a blonde roux: Melt one tablespoon of butter, add one tablespoon of flour, and stir constantly for about 2 minutes on medium heat.
- Slowly whisk the roux into the sauce. Bring sauce to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
- Season with salt and pepper and drizzle on EVERYTHING.
We at Nummy love nothing more than a good sauce. Specifically, a cream sauce. More specifically, a cream sauce that can be slathered atop any variety of meat on a Sister Schubert bun.
I thought The Chef had topped himself a few weeks ago with the Horseradish Cream Sauce, but he says this is the tots on beef tenderloin rolls, and I’m sure he is correct. I am planning a full investigation and will report back post-haste.
1 cup heavy cream, divided in half
4 tbsp blue cheese crumbles
4 tbsp of cream cheese
- Mix 1/2 cup heavy cream, blue cheese crumbles and cream cheese in a mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth.
- Whip 1/2 cup heavy cream until light and stiff. Then gently fold in blue cheese mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.
Happy Halloween Nummy Num Nums! Despite my intense exhaustion due to the weekend’s celebrations – i.e. Todd’s stupid ayse dressing up as the banker from Monopoly and leaving $1 million worth of fake money scattered all over Blair – I could not let this most high and holy of days pass without a recipe.
I know this recipe isn’t for severed fingers or brain soup or whatever other disgusting “treat” Sandra Lee is no doubt whipping up today, but it is orange and therefore festive all on its own!
The Chef says this sauce is great sauce for grilled chicken, pork or even seared duck. It does sound pretty tangy and delicious, and were we not planning on feasting on some shockingly cheap Chanterelles The Chef procured from Costco for dinner, I’d be demanding duck for All Hallow’s Eve. (Luckily these shrooms are orangish on their own, so we shall be totally “wealthy” and seasonal with our supper either way.)
And if you’re looking to waste a little time today, here’s a little Monster Squad for your viewing pleasure. Yes, this is as scary as it gets for me. OH IT’S SPOOKY!
1 12 oz jar of apricot jelly
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp garlic minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook on low until the preserves are fully melted.
- Dunzo. Sauce and serve.
Earlier in the year I posted a great Thai Shrimp recipe that uses sweet chili sauce. I noted that I should start making my own but never got around to doing so. Ripley also posted a fried green tomato recipe that uses sweet chili sauce and noted that the Chef’s fav is Mae Ploy. With good premade ones already out there, it is hard to get motivated to make your own. However, it is simple with few ingredients and keeps well in the fridge. Making it at home means no preservatives and additives. – ts
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar, adjust according to your desired sweetness
6-8 small red chili peppers, chopped finely
1/2 tsp red chili paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 (2 inch each) orange peel, julienned finely
1 – 2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water
- Combine ingredients for thickener in a small bowl and mix well then set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, chili, garlic, orange peel, chili paste. Heat over medium heat . Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Simmer until all ingredients has softened.
- Slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture and cook until it thickens. NOTE: Add cornstarch mixture slowly so as to avoid becoming too thick. If you accidentally add too much cornstarch mixture and the sauce becomes too thick, you can thin it out by adding a little bit more water and cooking it a little bit longer.
- Remove from heat and cool before serving or refrigerating.
I have not been seasonal in my postings. Butternut squash has been a theme these past weeks, and let’s be honest it just screams fall. Here is a very tasty take on chicken pot pie incorporating butternut squash, mushrooms, gravy, biscuits, and bacon. Do I need to say more? –ts
1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth (preferably homemade)
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. olive oil
6 slices center-cut bacon
3 portabella mushroom caps, cleaned and diced (about 3 cups)
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 cup diced onions
2 lb. chicken breasts and thighs, diced
salt to taste
buttermilk biscuits (make your own if you can, but I can’t bake)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the butternut squash, milk, chicken broth and garlic in a small pot and set over medium-low heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the smoked paprika and set aside.
- While the squash cooks, set a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the oil and the bacon and the onions. Saute until the bacon begins to crisp and the onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken and cook through, about 10 more minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Grease a casserole dish. Place the contents of the skillet in the baking dish, then ladle the butternut squash puree evenly over the top. Halve the biscuits and place them in an even layer over the top.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the biscuits are cooked through and golden. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before servings.