Steak with Creamy Horseradish Sauce

Chef and Educator Alan Zox thinks you can eat well and eat healthy.  For over 25 years Chef Zox has been sharing his expertise as a restauranteur, educator, caterer and columnist.  He grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and honed his cooking skills under the influence of his Lithuanian grandmother in a home that was centered around good food.

With a Ph.D and two Masters degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology from Rutgers University, Chef Zox became a college professor but his real passion was food.  He entered the Culinary Institute of America and then went on to founding an award-winning gourmet restaurant.  Since then Chef Zox has been a culinary instructor and caterer and has continued to cook in Four Star restaurants as well as popular cafes.

Currently Chef Zox operates a catering business, writes a weekly newspaper column and runs culinary workshops on Cape Cod.  Check out his website:  http://zoxkitchen.com/.  Chef Zox also writes a column for Long Island Weekly:  http://www.longislandweekly.com/category/columns/chef-alan-zox-zoxs-kitchen/ where this Wednesday his column features a tribute to Memorial Day and 2 soft shell crab recipes.

And if you’re thinking about a nice juicy steak on the grill this Memorial Day weekend, try Chef Zox’s recipe for Marinated London Broil with Creamy Horseradish Sauce.  Don’t worry if it rains (heaven forbid) as this steak is just as good cooked on the broiler.  Enjoy!!

                          Marinated London Broil With Creamy Horseradish Sauce

Marinate 3 pounds top round, top sirloin or Flank, all priced fairly closely- 3-4 hours, and remove to roast until medium- rare. Cover with aluminum foil for 1- 2 hours. Slice when ready to serve with sauce on the side.

Preparing Marinade for Beef
3 Pounds beef
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons light soy

Procedure

1—Mix all ingredients together and transfer to a large zip-loc bag. Seal and press bag gently to combine ingredients. Poke the beef with a sharp knife —in a few places on both sides. Place beef in bag and seal. Turn several times to coat meat. Refrigerate, turning a few times, for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

2—Fire up the grill or preheat broiler to high and arrange rack 6 inches from heat source. Remove meat from marinade and pat dry; discard marinade. Broil on a broiling pan for 7 minutes. Turn meat over and broil 5 to 7 minutes longer.

3—To check for doneness, test with the tip of a sharp knife. If juices run red, broil 1 or 2 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer reads 140°F (for medium-rare). Let steak rest on a cutting surface for 10 minutes. Working against the grain, cut into thin slices with a sharp knife. Serve with horseradish sauce on side.

Creamy Horseradish Sauce
• 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 shake of Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
• salt & freshly ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives

Combine all ingredients, mix and refrigerate.

No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Cups

Private Chef Peggy Eagan’s recipe for “No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Cups”…. just another example of why you should have Private Chef Eagan create a delicious dinner party for you and your friends. http://www.bistroonthego.com/                                 

 

                                      No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Cups

Serves 6

Ingredients:
6 – 4oz jars or glasses
2 tbs butter, melted
6 chocolate graham cracker planks
8 oz cream cheese, softened
6 oz mascarpone or goat cheese
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam, melted
1/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
4oz dark chocolate
2 tbs heavy cream

Directions:
In a food processor, crush the crackers, then mix in the melted butter.  Press equal amount of the chocolate cracker crumble into the jars/glasses.  Press the crumbs to the bottom of each jar/glass with the thick handle of a wooden spoon or the bottom of a smaller glass.  Refrigerate while preparing the cheesecake.

Using a food processor, mix softened cream cheese, mascarpone or goat cheese, and jam until smooth.  Add fresh or frozen raspberries and pulse until combined, but allow the fruit to give the mixture some texture.  Taste the mixture, to adjust it to your liking.  Pour the mixture into each of the prepared jars/glasses.  Refrigerate 1 hour to allow the mixture to firm.

Melt chocolate in a microwave or over a double boiler, whichever your preferred method.  Stir in the cream and mix until smooth.  Spoon the chocolate ganache over the tops of each dessert.  Refrigerate 1 hour.  Serve with whipped cream and more berries.

Buen provecho!

 

 

Banana Muffins at the Queen Vic

 

 

Meet Josh Scaturro and Stan Cottner, the new owners of the Queen Vic Guest House in beautiful Provincetown, Massachusetts.  Having worked with Guest Houses in Key West for many years, Josh and Stan recently relocated to Provincetown and began looking for a special property.  It so happened that the historic Prince Albert Guest House was downsizing to one building and so the Queen Vic was born, reuniting Prince Albert and Queen Victoria.  The Queen Vic is a magnificent historic sea captain’s house and Josh and Stan have added their luxurious sense of style, comfort, and service.  They arrived in Provincetown in December, 2014, with the worst winter in Cape Cod history about to arrive.  They survived and are very excited to be welcoming guests to this very special property.  If you are lucky enough to stay at the Queen Vic, one morning you may be treated to Stan’s fabulous banana muffins. Until you visit, he has graciously shared his banana muffin recipe with you.  http://queenvicptown.com/  Bon appetit!

 

                                                           Banana Muffins
Ingredients:
¾ cup butter
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 ¼  bananas, (overly ripe is the best but you can use whatever ones you have around the house)  I always freeze the ones which get too ripe for later batches .
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla ( I use real vanilla but if you have imitation that works as well ).

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease and flour muffin pan.
Cream together butter and sugar ( I leave the butter out for ½ – 1 hour before hand to soften but in a pinch the microwave works too; If using the microwave keep an eye on it or you will be cleaning up a BIG mess).

Add eggs and crushed bananas and combine well

Add flour, baking soda, salt, vanilla and nutmeg and combine all together

Using a tablespoon spoon into muffin pan a little over half full.

Bake at 350 on middle rack for around 20 minutes, check to see if done by poking muffins with a toothpick.  If the toothpick comes out clean they are finished.  If not put back into the oven and keep an eye on them for a few more minutes.  Once the muffins are finished set on a cooling rack for around 15 minutes.

While the muffins are cooling melt a little additional butter in a microwavable container.  Once the butter is melted take a small brush and brush the tops of the muffins with the butter.  (This is my little secret).

Take out of the pan and enjoy !

Franck’s Mashed Potatoes

                                            Franck’s Mashed Potatoes

This recipe comes from Oceania Cruise Lines Corporate Chef, Franck Garanger.  It was one of the recipes shared in their Paris Bistro cooking class.  It’s one of the best mashed potatoes that we have ever tasted, plus it is easy.  The recipe serves 4 to 6 unless you really love lots of mashed potatoes.

Franck’s Mashed Potatoes (Serves 4 to 6)
Ingredients:
1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
8 tablespoons unsalted room temperature butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes with enough salted water to cover them by at least 1 inch, and bring to a simmer over med-high heat.  Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 25 minutes.  Drain and let cool for 5 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooling, combine the cream, milk, and nutmeg in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is hot.  Remove from the heat.
Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer (if you ideally have one, or mash with a potato masher) into a clean saucepan.  Place over medium-low heat and stir with a wooden spatula for 5 to 10 minutes to remove any excess water and dry the potatoes.
Gradually stir in the hot cream mixture with the spatula, a little at a time.  Adding it slowly allows the potatoes to absorb it gradually, resulting in creamier mashed potatoes.  Stir in the butter pieces a few at a time until fully incorporated, and then add the salt.

Bon Appetit!!!

Easy Tarte Tatin

                                                             Tarte Tatin

With Jacques Pepin as the Executive Chef of Oceania Cruise Lines, Chef Instructor Noelle Barille loves to showcase his favorite dishes in her onboard cooking classes.  Since many of the students are only novice bakers, she simplifies classic recipes so that they are easy to make.  This Tarte Tatin – or apple tart – is quick and easy – and oh, so delicious.

Tarte Tatin (Makes 1 5-6 inch mini tart)

Ingredients|
1 Granny Smith or other tart apple
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons brown or white sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
Pinch of nutmeg (optional
1 round puff pastry
Creme fraiche, for garnish

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F.  Peel and core the apple and cut into 6 equal segments.
In a medium bowl, mix the butter, sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add the apples and toss to coat.
Place the apples in a tart pan (4-5″ fluted corning ware works great) with the rounded sides of the apples facing down.  Spoon the remaining butter and sugar mixture over the apples.  Cover the pan with a puff pastry that is cut 1 inch larger than the circumference of the pan.  Tuck in the sides of the pastry and poke the pastry with a fork.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the pastry puffs and turns light brown and crispy.
Let cool slightly and then invert the tart onto a plate.  Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of creme fraiche.

Bon Appetit!!!!

 

Lobster Eggs Benedict

Sometimes you just need to get away for a weekend of chillin’.  One of the best places to do that is in Key West, Florida.  Our favorite restaurant there is Antonia’s; they’ve been around over 30 years and still pack the house.  On a recent Saturday, the menu board out front advertised Bellini’s and Bloody Mary’s, second one free and Lobster Eggs Benedict.  While the chef was too bashful to have his picture included on our blog, here is his fabulous recipe for Lobster Eggs Benedict:

                                                 Lobster Eggs Benedict

Ingredients:  (Serves 1-2)
2 slices ciabatta bread, toasted with a little olive oil
1 heirloom tomato, sliced
2 thin slices prosciutto, gently heated
1/2 cup steamed lobster meat
2 eggs, poached
Hollandaise sauce: Recipe follows
Spinach pesto:  Recipe follows

Directions: Start with a slice of the toasted ciabatta, add a slice of heirloom tomato, then a slice of the proscuitto. Add 1/4 cup of the lobster meat on top, then add a poached egg on top of the lobster.  Drizzle with Hollandaise sauce and top with a dollop of spinach pesto.  Yum, yum, yum. yum, yum!

Easy Hollandaise Sauce:
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, Melted

Put all ingredients except butter in a blender and process for 10-15 seconds.  Slowly add hot melted butter into the top opening of the blender and process for 30 seconds until thickened.  Makes about 1/2 cup.

Spinach Pesto:
6 oz. baby spinach
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup Olive Oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until blended and smooth.  Makes 1 1/2 cups pesto.

Bon Appetit!!!

 

Lobster Pad Thai

This fabulous entree was shared with us by Chef Noelle Barille of Oceania Cruise Lines at our Red Ginger cooking class.

                                                      Lobster Pad Thai

(Serves 2)

If pasta is your comfort food, this noodle dish is easy to make and fun to serve as an alternative to Italian pasta. It’s comfort food extraordinaire! We make it in a wok in class, but if you have a large saucepan, that will work just fine.

Ingredients

8 ounces rice noodles
1 tablespoon dried shrimp
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons nam prik pao (Thai chili paste)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 ounce palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
2 scallions plus 1 scallion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 Thai bird chili, minced
1 small leek, thinly sliced
1 cup lobster pieces
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 lime wedges
1 tablespoon chopped roasted peanuts

Directions

Soak the rice noodles in warm water for 20 minutes and drain well. Soak the dried shrimp in cool water for 30 minutes. Drain and finely chop.

Whisk together the fish sauce, chili paste, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and palm sugar. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and 2 of the scallions and heat for 30 seconds to release their aromas. Push the garlic, ginger, and scallions to one side of the wok, off the direct heat of the bottom. Quickly add the shrimp, Thai bird chili, leek, and lobster pieces and cook until the lobster turns opaque, about 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in the garlic, ginger, and scallions.

Working quickly, add the noodles and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Push the mixture to the edge of the wok. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of peanut oil to the wok and add the eggs. Cook the eggs for 15 seconds and then stir them in with the other ingredients.

Add the fish sauce mixture. Stir-fry to incorporate, adding water if needed to moisten the noodles.

Fold in the bean sprouts and cilantro. Adjust seasoning with more chili paste and fish sauce as needed. Finish with the toasted sesame oil.

Garnish with the lime wedges, peanuts, and the remaining scallion. Serve immediately.

Bon Appetit!!

Carrot Cake

                                                           Carrot Cake

Although our kids are grown, we still have the traditional egg hunt (although the plastic eggs are filled with $1′s and $5′s these days).  We also bake a fabulous carrot cake in the  shape of a bunny’s head – I tried to eliminate the cake several years ago but met with outrage from my family.  This cake also freezes very well.  When we moved a few years ago, I was cleaning out the freezer and found a bunny cake ‘ear’ that was a little over a year old (wrapped in foil and then in a Ziploc).  I was going to pitch it but my son got to it first.  Unbelievably, the cake was still moist and it tasted great – thanks to the canola oil and grated carrot in the recipe.  We hope you have some fun with this one – and be sure    to freeze all the leftovers.

Carrot Cake
4 large eggs
1/2  teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups Canola oil                        2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sugar                                     3 cups grated carrot
2 cups flour                                       1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons cinnamon                     1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat eggs, add sugar and oil.  Sift dry ingredients and add.  Fold in nuts, carrots and vanilla.  Pour into two greased 8″ cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or test with toothpick.  When cake is cooled, cut one layer according to the chart and assemble bunny.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick unsalted butter
1 8 oz. pkg. lower fat cream cheese
1 lb. box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

At room temperature, with an electric mixer, cream butter and cream cheese.  Add powdered sugar in small amounts and vanilla until thoroughly blended.  Frost cake and use raisins or small gumdrops for eyes, nose & mouth.

Happy Easter!!!!!

 

Watermelon & Duck Confit Salad

 

                                            Watermelon & Duck Confit Salad

This salad has become one of the true favorites of Oceania’s Red Ginger restaurant and Chef Instructor Noelle Barille’s directions made this so easy. Duck confit can be purchased at Whole Foods and even Costco at times. The watermelon is the perfect texture and sweetness to balance the chewy duck confit.

Ingredients (serves 6)

Sweet Fish Sauce:

3/4 cup palm sugar, coarsely chopped (or brown sugar)
1/4 cup water
1/2 large shallot, coarsely chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, bulb portion only, coarsely chopped
1 kaffir lime leaf
1/2 inch piece galangal, peeled and coarsely chopped (or substitute ginger)
1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate

Duck & Watermelon Salad
Canola oil, for frying
1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
Kosher salt
6 confit duck legs
2 to 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
6 cups 1 inch cube seedless watermelon
1/2 cup Thai basil or sweet basil leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/3 cup thinly sliced shallot

Directions
For the Sauce
: In a medium saucepan, combine the palm sugar and water, place over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in the shallot, lemongrass, lime leaf, and galangal and let sit at room temperature to cool and to infuse the flavors for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.

Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl. Discard the solids. Add 1 tablespoon each of the fish sauce and tamarind, mixing well. Taste and adjust with more fish sauce and tamarind, if needed. Set the sauce aside at room temperature.

For the Salad: Pour 4 inches of canola oil into a large, deep saucepan and heat to 325°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a small plate with paper towels for draining the cashews and line a larger plate for draining the duck.

Add the cashews to the hot oil and fry until crisp, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt while hot.

Increase the temperature of the oil to 350°F. Add 2 duck legs to the hot oil and fry, turning to brown on all sides, until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to the towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining duck legs in two batches.

When the duck legs are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin from each leg in as large a piece as possible.  Bone the legs and shred the meat into a bowl. Season to taste with the hoisin sauce.

In a separate bowl, combine the watermelon, basil, mint, and cilantro. Add the duck meat,  cashews, and shallot. Toss with enough of the sweet fish sauce to coat lightly. You may not need all of the sauce.

To Serve: Divide the salad among individual serving plates or martini glasses.

Bon Appetit!!!!

Pomelo Banh Trang Rolls

                                                                                                                                                  Another cooking class today with Chef Instructor Noelle Barille at the Culinary Center onboard Oceania’s Riviera.

 

                                                Pomelo  Banh Trang Rolls

These rolls are a lot of fun to make – plus they’re healthy and taste delicious.  You can use  grapefruit or blood oranges instead of pomelo which may not be readily available. The method is similar to rolling sushi, you should roll them on a damp cloth napkin.

Pomelo  Banh Trang Rolls

Ingredients (Serves 6)

Miang Sauce

1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon thinly sliced Thai bird chiles
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped toasted coconut flakes
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped salted roasted peanuts
1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried galangal (or you can substitute ginger root )
1/3 to 1/2 cup tamarind concentrate

Pomelo Rolls
1 cup thin cellophane noodles
1 cup pomelo or grapefruit segments
1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted coconut flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped salted roasted peanuts
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh Thai basil or sweet basil
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
6 rice paper wrappers, 8½ inches in diameter
6 Boston lettuce leaves, thick ribs remove
12 chive stems for garnish

Directions
For the Miang Sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the palm sugar and water, place over medium heat, and heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has melted, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, stir in the chiles, coconut, peanuts, and ½ teaspoon of the galangal, and let cool to room temperature. Stir in 1/3 cup of the tamarind. Taste and adjust with additional tamarind and galangal, if needed.

For the Rolls: Soak the cellophane noodles in room temperature water or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Drain well.  Pour half of the Miang sauce into a medium bowl and add the noodles.  Toss gently to season the noodles. Combine the pomelo (grapefruit), coconut, peanuts, basil, mint, sliced chives, and shallot. Stir  gently to mix.

Dampen a kitchen towel with lukewarm water, and lay it flat on a work surface. Lay 1 rice paper wrapper on the towel. Dampen a second towel with lukewarm water, and lay it over the wrappers.

Working with one wrapper at a time, keeping the others covered, place a lettuce leaf horizontally across the wrapper, positioning it about 2 inches from the bottom of the wrapper. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the pomelo (grapefruit) mixture along the length of the leaf, add an equal amount of the noodle mixture, and shape to form a compact log. Fold the bottom of the wrapper up over the log, then roll away from you, gently but tightly, stopping about halfway. Fold in the sides of the wrapper and continue to roll to the top edge of the wrapper. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling, keeping the finished rolls under a lightly dampened kitchen towel until all of the rolls are assembled.

TO SERVE: Cut the rolls in half on a slight diagonal. Arrange a roll on each individual serving plate, standing one half up and laying the other half on its side. Slip 2 chive stems into the top of the standing half of each roll. Divide the sauce evenly among small dishes and place a dish alongside each serving.

Bon Appetit!!