Monday, March 22, 2010

top sirloin medallions with creamy peppercorn sauce

Unfortunately, the urban condo lifestyle doesn't allow me to enjoy steak very often but when I have a craving my grill pan does the job. When I made this, I didn't have any red wine but definitely add a shot to the peppercorn sauce if you have some. Enjoy.

Here's what you'll need for 2 servings:
  • two 150g top sirloin medallions
  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil
  • 1 small white onion, sliced in rings
  • 1/2 cup white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of cream
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
Prep work (about 5 minutes):
  1. Chop the garlic, onions, and mushrooms.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup of cold water with the corn starch in a small cup or bowl.
  3. Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides.
Here's what to do (about 10 minutes):
  1. In a grill pan on high heat (close to maximum), heat the grape seed oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, cook the steaks for about 4-5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the meat and how you like your steak. (5 minutes on each side for a steak that's about 1 inch thick will be cooked medium.)
  3. While the steak is cooking, add the butter and garlic to a small skillet over medium heat. Heat until the garlic begins to burn.
  4. Add the beef broth, mustard, cream, salt, pepper, and peppercorns and then stir.
  5. Add the corn starch slowly while stirring, using the corn starch prepared earlier. Add only a bit of corn starch at a time and gage the thickness before adding more.
  6. Two minutes before the steak is done, add the mushrooms and onions.
  7. Stir until the onions and mushrooms are slightly soft.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

atlantic salmon dressed with lemon, butter, green onions, & capers

This is by far my favourite meal. For a healthier alternative, substitute half of the butter with grape seed oil, which is rich in polyphenols and heart-healthy fats as opposed to saturated fat. Not a lot of salt is necessary if you're going to include capers. Capers can be found in the pickle aisle at the supermarket and compliment seafood very well.

Here's what you'll need for 2 servings:
  • two 400g atlantic salmon fillets
  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil
  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp capers
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 lemon wedges
Prep work (about 10 minutes):
  1. Heat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Wash the fish in cold salt water for 30 seconds.
  3. Create a bed of white onions in a casserole dish and drizzle the onion with oil.
  4. Place fish on the bed of onions, season with sea salt and ground pepper to taste.
  5. Place the casserole dish in the oven for 30 minutes.
Here's what to do (about 5 minutes before the fish is done):
  1. In a small skillet on medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add the green onions and capers.
  3. Sautee for 2 minutes.
  4. When the salmon is finished cooking, place the fillet on a plate and discard white onion
  5. Spread the butter sauce on top. Squeeze the juice from a lemon wedge over the salmon.
  6. Serve with rice, potatoes, and your favourite veggies.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

chicken pesto penne

Pesto is one of the easiest and tastiest things to make. No pesto out of a jar will ever compare to fresh, homemade pesto. A great dish to impress your guests!

Here's what you'll need for about 4 servings:
  • 400g penne
  • 4 chicken breasts, grilled and seasoned with sea salt and pepper
  • 1 large red pepper, sliced, grilled and seasoned with sea salt and pepper
  • 20-25g fresh basil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • grated romano cheese
  • 4 tbsp. nuts (pine nuts and/or almonds)
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
Prep work (about 20 minutes):
  1. Grill the chicken until cooked and chop into cubes.
  2. Grill the red pepper until soft and slightly burnt.
  3. Boil water for the penne and cook until al dente.
  4. Add all other ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. If you make the pesto ahead of time, it can be refrigerated.
Here's what to do (about 5 minutes):
  1. Strain the penne but leave enough starchy water to cover the bottom of the pot.
  2. Add penne back into the pot.
  3. Add the pesto, chicken, and red pepper.
  4. Stir thoroughly until heated.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jackson Triggs Proprietors' Reserve

If you're looking for a new red wine to enjoy, pick up a bottle of Jackson Triggs Proprietors' Reserve (black label). The Cabernet-Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon is a medium bodied, very smooth red. It goes down like water! Tonight I tried the Shiraz and was very impressed - a better choice for those who like their wine a bit more robust. They sell for about $13 and $18, respectively. A bit pricier than what you are probably willing to spend for an Ontario wine but definitely worth it!