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"It's so beautifully arranged on the the plate – you know someone's fingers have been all over it." – Julia Child

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Father's DayFather's DayThis Father’s Day focus on spending time with your dad rather than slaving away in the kitchen.  It’s summer — time to get the grill out.  These beef skewers are easy to make, casual to serve, and completely satisfying, especially when paired with our chimichurri and homemade mayo.

It’s really a nonrecipe: start with good steak, like NY strip or ribeye. Upgrade with dry-aged steaks— a bit more expensive but extra-flavorful, just like a steakhouse. Cut the steak into 1 1/2-inch cubes and skewer them (if you’re using wooden skewers, remember to soak them for at least 15 minutes prior to using so they don’t burn on the grill), alternating with assorted mini-peppers and cipollini or pearl onions still in their skins. Season the skewers on all sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper and brush them with vegetable oil. Grill until nicely charred.

Serve them with grilled crusty rolls and a generous dose of chimichurri.

To make Homemade Mayo (it’s super-duper easy!) all you need do is whisk together 1 large egg yolk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Very slowly, start whisking in 1 cup vegetable oil. Whisk, whisk, whisk, and voilá! MAYONNAISE! It really is superb, but, of course, we are very partial to Hellman’s :)

 

5 of May

Here’s a drink that’s hot and just the right amount of spicy for this week’s celebrations and the upcoming summer months.

CHIQUILA MOCKINGBIRD MARGARITA
A spicy, smooth, and sassy cocktail from our latest book,  Summer Cocktails !

Makes 1 (or make several batches for a crowd)

2 tablespoons coarse salt
1/2 lime
Ice
2 ounces Chiquila*
1 ounce triple sec or Cointreau
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce honey syrup**

To make our signature “Chiquila,” add 3 morita chiles (dried smoky chilies available in the Latin American section of most supermarkets) to 1 (750-milliliter) bottle of silver or gold tequila. Allow the tequila to steep for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. Strain the tequila, discard the chiles, and voilà! All done.

For the Honey Syrup: Bring to a boil 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup water. Stir until honey is dissolved. Remove from heat, cool completely, and use or store, refrigerated.

– Spread the salt on a saucer. Dampen the rim of the glass with the lime and dip it in the salt. Fill the glass with ice.

– Combine the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and honey syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into the prepared glass. ¡Salud!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they say, and we concur. It’s coffee and food just after waking for us, but this classic Irish breakfast ups the ante on the weekday yogurt-and-granola staple.

This breakfast is protein heavy, containing Irish bacon and sausages, black and white pudding, and sunny side-up eggs. In addition, there are fried tomatoes, beans (white in a sweet tomato sauce not unlike American baked beans), sautéed tomatoes, soda bread, and naturally, a pint of Guinness.

Please note that it does take some effort to gather the makings of this breakfast, but Irish products are available, and they are well worth seeking out, particularly the bacon, which is more like a slim pork chop rather than the American bacon strips.

Happy St. Patrick’s day, and sláinte!

Oh, Valentine’s Day. Mostly I associate it with the not getting of the “Be Mine” card in my school desk in grade school. What sort of holiday is this where the frizzy haired and bespectacled girls get snubbed? Boooo!!! Hiss!!! BUT! You know, I love pink and red and it seems like those are the colors of that Valentine guy. AND! Dessert. Seems to be the thing that either you enjoy on a date or binge on if you don’t have one. Go for it,  eat it like a hot dog. xoxo

RASPBERRIES AND CREAM ECLAIRS

Makes 6

Once cooled, you can freeze leftover éclairs in a zipper-lock bag. When ready to use, warm through in a preheated 350°F oven, then allow to cool to room temperature.

For the Eclairs
1 cup water
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, beaten plus 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

In medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter melts. Stir in flour all at once, and continue cooking, stirring constantly and vigorously, until the mixture forms a smooth ball of dough, 4 to 5 minutes. The bottom of the saucepan should be clean.

Remove from heat and transfer dough to a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, add the eggs and stir until they’re fully incorporated. With a soup spoon, scoop dough out into 6 logs.

Beat the yolks, a pinch of salt, and cream in small bowl. Brush tops of dough with egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for about 30 minutes, or until the dough is puffed and golden golden. Transfer éclairs directly to cooling rack and cool completely.

For the Glaze
1 ½ cups fresh raspberries
½ cup confectioners’ sugar

Pulse the raspberries in a food processor until completely puréed. Strain the raspberry sauce and discard the seeds. Whisk in the sugar.

For the Filling
1 ½ cups heavy cream, chilled
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 cups fresh raspberries

Beat the cream and sugar together in a large bowl with a large whisk or an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

To assemble, cut the éclairs in half lengthwise. Spoon in whipped cream and tuck in raspberries. Drizzle glaze over the éclairs.

 Eat, drink, and be merry! Wishing you a lovely holiday season and a joyful new year.

WINE, SPICE, & ROSE POACHED PEARS

Serves 8 to 10

Note: Beets add a vibrant crimson hue to the pears, that red wine alone doesn’t achieve.

1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
6 firm Bosc pears
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups water
3 cups granulated sugar
Pinch salt
2 beets, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup dried edible rosebuds*, plus additional for garnish
2 teaspoons lemon juice

– Peel the pears, cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a melon baller or a 1-teaspoon measuring spoon.

– In a large saucepan, toast black peppercorns and cinnamon stick over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high and, add wine, water, and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium, add pears, salt, beets, and rosebuds. Place a piece of parchment paper directly on the surface of the pears and weigh down with a smaller saucepan (this will ensure even poaching and coloration).

– Simmer until pears are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Store, refrigerated, for up to 5 days, until ready to use.

– When ready, remove and discard beets. Remove pears from syrup and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until mixture is thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes.

– Serve pears with lightly sweetened whipped cream, crème fraîche, or ice cream and a sprinkle of Maldon salt. Garnish with rosebuds, if desired.

*Order rosebuds online at Kalustyan’s.

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