Thursday, November 20, 2014

Slow-Roasted Hot Tri Tip....Sandwiches!

One of my very favorite meals when I was growing up was a hot roast beef sandwich with gravy and mashed potatoes. That's not to say that I didn't like the Sunday roast that usually preceded the leftover roast beef sandwich but there was something about knowing that there was a hot roast beef sandwich waiting for me that always had me looking forward to the next day's dinner!  Maybe it is the very best in comfort food for kids....hmmm, not just kids....whatever the appeal, I knew I needed one!

To get to leftovers meant that I had to make a darn good roast that was falling apart and just right for sandwiches.  For the last three or four years I have been making a roast that Mr. T. kept telling me to post....and I would have if it had lasted long enough to get a good picture.  The difference in the preparation of this roast from others was Beef Consomme.  It is so rich and flavorful...

So, when it turns cold and Mr. T. doesn't really want to stand outside and barbecue and that is usually what we do with a tri mind travels to Slow-Roasted Tri Tip Sandwiches aka Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches!

Hot Slow-Roasted Tri Tip Sandwiches
Kate's Slow Roasted Tri Tip

Preheat oven to 300° F.

1 tri tip roast, cut into large chunks, about 2-2.5 pounds
Salt and pepper
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 cans of Beef Consomme (10.5 oz. cans)
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1-2 cups of water

3 Tablespoons butter, softened
3 Tablespoons flour
Additional water for gravy....(I add some of the water that the potatoes cooked in...)

In a large dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Season the tri tip generously with salt and pepper. Brown the meat, remove from the pan and set aside.  Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, if needed.  Brown the onions for about 3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook another minute. Return the tri tip chunks to the pan.

Pour in the beef consomme, 1 cup water, bay leaves and thyme. Stir and cover.  Place the pan in the preheated oven.  Check on the meat occasionally to make certain that there is liquid.  Add the additional cup of water if needed.  The meat is done when it is fork tender and pulls apart easily, usually about 2-3 hours. Remove from the oven.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pot.  I like to also remove the onions and garlic as I don't want chunks in the is a matter of choice!

Place the pan on the stove and bring the liquid to a simmer.  If you need additional water, add some of the potato water.  Mix the butter and flour into a paste and pour into the liquid and whisk to blend. If the gravy is too thick add a little more water.  If the gravy is too thin, mix an additional tablespoon of flour with another tablespoon of soft butter and whisk in.

Serve the meat on a platter or return the meat to the gravy and serve.  Mashed potatoes are a must!!

Leftover Slow-Roasted Hot Tri Tip Sandwiches

We like our sandwiches to be open-faced.   Just pull apart some of the beef, put it on whatever bread is handy and add gravy.  Simple as that...  That's not to say that some artisan sourdough bread wouldn't be dandy but sometimes, with leftovers, we just go with whatever is available in the bread drawer.


The very best in comfort food....

I am sharing today at Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm and at Weekend Bites at Simple Living and Eating.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Asiago Vegetable Risotto

I remember the first time that I tried to make risotto.  The method used was a bit flawed.  I stirred and waited and stirred and waited and it never really got to the correct consistency.  I tried again, here, using the method described by the Barefoot Contessa.  It was a great success!  So, when I saw the recipe for Asiago Vegetable Risotto at Chef Becca's blog, It's Yummi!, and the method was one I had success with, well, it was a given that we were having it with our dinner!

I was not disappointed, it was delicious!  I did make a change or two as the recipe used spring vegetables which I changed out for what was in the refrigerator!  This is so creamy and the flavor is lovely...using saffron and asiago cheese made this side dish impressive!

Asiago Vegetable Risotto
adapted from It's Yummi!

2/3 cup unsalted butter, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided (chicken broth my be used)
2 pinches of saffron threads
1 medium zucchini, sliced and cut into 1/4-inch half rounds
1 cup broccoli flowers
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
2 green onions, diced
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 slices of bacon, (Applewood-smoked, if available) chopped, cooked until crisp, drain

Chop and cook the bacon until crisp.  Drain and set aside.

Toast the pine nuts and set aside.  To toast pine nuts, spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 375° F., stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.  Watch the nuts closely so that they do not burn.  Alternatively, the nuts may be toasted in a skillet over medium high heat, stir frequently until brown spots form, about 3 minutes.  (Be certain to keep an eye on them....they burn quickly!)

In a 3-4 quart pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add rice and stir continuously until the grains are translucent; about 4-5 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup chicken stock and stir until absorbed; about 3 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and add another 1/2 cup stock, saffron, zucchini, broccoli, red pepper, onions and pepper.  Cook until all liquid is absorbed; stirring frequently.

Continue to add the remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking each time until the liquid is absorbed.

When all of the liquid has been added and absorbed, stir in the lemon juice, Asiago and the remaining butter.  The mixture should be creamy and the rice should be al dente.

Before serving, stir in the basil, pine nuts and bacon.


Not only was this a delicious side dish, it was quite tasty for lunch the next day!  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake

When I was a little girl, on occasion my mom would make a Streusel Coffee Cake come Saturday morning.  Oh how I loved it!  It was crumbly, warm and had a great cinnamon flavor, my all time favorite spice as a child.  I savored every bite. That is where my thoughts went when I saw a recipe for Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake at It's Yummi! 

I learned about It's Yummi! at Secret Recipe Club.  I made a recipe from the blog the very day I got my assignment!  It was that easy to find, many somethings to prepare.  Chef Becca Heflin is a trained culinary professional who loves to prepare healthy food using a common sense approach while being cognizant of the budget.  Her blog is fun to peruse!  I found so many recipes that I felt confident about....I wanted to make them!  Most times, you know when you read the recipe, whether it is going to work.  I considered Asiago Vegetable Risotto....I didn't just consider....I made it.  It was so delicious and easy to make...I will post it later this week. In queue are Chef's recipes for Easy Pumpkin Yogurt Parfait and Bountiful Harvest Sausage and Cranberry Dressing.  I can hardly wait...

Today, I want to share Chef Becca's recipe for Apple Crumb Cake!  Can you imagine a warm, crumbly cake layered around apple slices with a crunchy streusel topping?  Mmmmm....

Apple Crumb Cake
adapted from ItsYummi

Preheat oven to 400° F.
(I used a convection oven but will reduce the temperature to 375° F. next time.)
Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan, set aside

1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/4 tsps baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup superfine sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsps cinnamon

Streusel Topping
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup light brown sugar

In a large bowl, combine the sifted flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Make a well in the center and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, butter and milk.  Pour the wet ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients.  Mix just until combined.

In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients.  In another small bowl combine the streusel ingredients.  Use your fingers to combine the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal...the pieces will be about the size of peas.

Pour half of the cake batter into the pan.  Sprinkle the filling evenly over the surface.  Place the sliced apples evenly over the filling.  Pour the remaining batter gently over the apples.  Sprinkle the cinnamon streudel topping over the batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note:  I did not have a 9-inch pan.  I had to use a dish that was equal in volume.   Since the dish was rectangular, I did not remove it from the pan.  I also thought that the oven was too hot.   I would reduce the temperature the next time I make this and adjust the cooking time accordingly.


We loved the addition of apple to the crumb cake.  It is perfect for a brunch, breakfast, snack or to just sneak a piece!  Thank you Chef Becca for sharing your great recipe and your fun blog.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Like me, you probably have bags of blueberries stashed away in the freezer.  I cannot let the summer go by without making certain that there will be blueberries available all winter long!  ....and yes, I know that summer has only been gone for about four weeks and here I am thinking about blueberries.

There isn't much to say, really, just that they have been a favorite of mine for years.  I don't recall Mom ever having fresh blueberries in the house but she always had blueberry syrup on hand for pancakes.  That always brought a smile....  Times change. Today, I would rather make a blueberry sauce with lots of whole blueberries instead of having a syrup. But, this isn't about pancakes....

Blueberry Crumb Bars are what is up today.  These were a special treat that my oldest prepared on our visit to Seattle.....mmmm...good.  They are not real sweet so if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you will want to add more sugar.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Crumb Crust
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten

5 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and picked over
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Preheat oven:  375° F.
Lightly grease a 9 X 13-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest.  Fold in the blueberries. Coat evenly with the sugar mixture and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter.  Next blend in the egg.  The dough will be crumbly.  Press 3/4 of the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Spread the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust, include all of the juices.  Crumble the remaining dough evenly over the blueberry layer.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the topping is a golden brown.  Cool completely on a rack before cutting into squares.

Leftover bars can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap.

NOTE:  Baking science dictates a bit more salt than the recipe calls for.  The usual ratio of salt and flour is 1/2 teaspoon of salt per cup of flour.  The recipe appears to be a bit light so you may wish to make a slight adjustment.  I will try increasing, just a bit, to 3/4 teaspoon next time.   Salt is a flavor enhancer and we all have a different palette when it comes to salt.  I always go light and ease into it!


This is a light bar that is great for breakfast, tea or dessert.  It is not overly sweet but it is packed with flavor.

I am sharing today at Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage as well as Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm and Weekend Bites hosted by Simple Living and Eating.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Grilled Tomatillo Guacamole

Olé!  I found a really tasty guacamole!

I don't usually mess with new guacamole recipes.  Mr. T makes a great one that just doesn't get changed...why mess with greatness? Some things should remain the same....until.....I saw this recipe...

I really enjoy a good green sauce and tomatillos are the key to, when I saw that tomatillos were included in this guacamole, I just had to try it.  It wasn't just the tomatillos....there was grilled white corn included in the recipe.....such sweetness.

Delicious....double delicious.  That is all I have to say.

 Tomatillo Guacamole
adapted from Rick Bayless

2 ears fresh white corn, shucked
1 poblano chile
4 large tomatillos, husk removed
3 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp finely chopped red onion, rinsed
1/4 chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt

Grill the corn, chile and tomatillos until charred on all sides.  Place the chile and the tomatillos in a bowl and cover will plastic wrap.   Set the bowl aside for 5-10 minutes.

When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cob and place in a medium bowl. Set aside.  Remove the skins from the chile and the tomatillos.  Cut the chile in half.  Seed it and dice. Dice the tomatillos being certain to capture the juices.   Add the diced chile and tomatillo, with juices, to the bowl.  Add the chopped red onion, cilantro, and salt to the bowl.

Slightly mash the avocados and add to the mixture.  Mix until combined.  Serve with tortilla chips.

¡Muy delicioso!

It would go great with these Chile-Braised Pork Shoulder Tacos or this Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Avocado-Peach Salsa.

I am sharing today at Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Avocado-Peach Salsa

I sometimes think that I do not show enough love for "the other white meat" and it is one of my favorites so I should pay homage to it more often, right?  Glad you agree.  That said, I am led to the reason that I am focusing on pork tenderloin....well, it is because it is time for The Secret Recipe Club.

And, when I perused the blog that I was assigned, I noticed that we are both in love with the same men.  What?  Men, you ask?  Yep.  Men....I mean no, not really.  What we share is a love for the recipes of two men who are chefs and cookbook authors.  There, that sounds better.

Now why would I think that?  It is because Julie, at White Lights on Wednesday and I both share a love for recipes by Alton Brown and Rick Bayless!  Okay, all silliness aside...let's get serious and do some cooking!

I was so excited when I first perused Julie's blog...oh my goodness, I couldn't focus.  Either I was really hungry and wanted to eat everything I saw, or there are some darn good recipes on her blog. I considered a Wine SmoothieCheddar Shrimp Nachos, Potato Pancakes, or Gingerbread Waffles....need I go on?  I finally got it narrowed down to three items and guess what? I made all three...I couldn't resist.  Julie claims to be a carboholic and a Guinness and bacon loving cook!  She loves to cook but she says she hates doing dishes and therefore is the queen of sink Jenga!  Ha.  I do know that we loved the Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Avocado-Peach Salsa, Rick Bayless recipe, that she shared.

So today, I am singing praises Julie's blog, White Lights on Wednesday, Rick Bayless and pork tenderloin!

It was a great dinner...the pork was nicely flavored, tender and the salsa was delicious.  The only trouble I had was finding peaches....there aren't any this time of year.  Thank goodness I had some stashed in the freezer!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin 
with Avocado-Peach Salsa

1 pork tenderloin (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 16 oz. jar Arriba! Fire Roasted Mexican Red Salsa
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 red onion cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1/2 cup ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and diced
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 tsp lemon zest
1 firm-ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
Salt to taste

Prepare the tenderloin by removing the silver skin and excess fat. Cut the tenderloin into 3 equal pieces.

Mix together all but 1/4 cup of the salsa, the Worcestershire sauce and the balsamic vinegar.  Place the tenderloin pieces into a large ziplock bag.  Add the marinade mixture.  Turn the pork to coat it with the marinade.  Squeeze out any excess air and seal the bag.  Lay the bag in a pie tin and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Grill the onions and pork over medium heat.  Turn the onions and pork and baste generously with the marinade.  Cook until the onions are browned.  The pork is done when a meat thermometer registers 150° F.  Remove the pork and place on a cutting board, tent with foil.

Chop the onions and place in a bowl.  (I did not use the entire onion.  I only chopped up one of the slices.)  Add the reserved salsa, peaches, parsley, lemon zest and avocado. Toss gently to combine. Season with salt, to taste.  Cut the pork into thin slices and serve with the salsa.


We enjoyed Julie's recipe.  I love different salsa combinations and this was light and fresh.  Next time I might use cilantro instead of parsley just to compare.   Thank you Julie for sharing your wonderful blog with me!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

There is pumpkin still left in the can...oh, Martha what should I do?

What to do?  What to do?  There is pumpkin left in the can.  It is late in the evening and there is still pumpkin left in the can.  What I really want to do is pour a glass of wine and put my feet up...but there is still pumpkin left in the can....

I don't know that I have ever baked at night.  There is a reason...I am a morning person and baking at night sounds like a mistake waiting to happen.  I am more of a "get it done first thing in the morning" type of person but that can of pumpkin is going to bug me....even if I put it in the refrigerator for tomorrow, it is going to bug me.  I am one who needs a plan....and I just happened to have a great idea.  

The idea:  Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing!  Now that sounds too tasty to resist.  Thank you, Martha. 

This looked like an easy recipe...something I could attack at night and be ahead in the morning!!  But oh, Martha what kind of recipe is this?  Yes, the dough was soft and you did say to pipe it onto the cookie sheet leaving at least an inch of space between each cookie and, I did use a scoop....but this soft?  

What in the world happened?  Of course, it is the self fulfilling prophecy!  I knew better than to bake at night....  Well, it had to be me because folks have great things to say about these cookies. Rereading the recipe sounded like a good place to start.  As I glanced at the recipe I just happened to notice a bowl of flour sitting on the counter right next to the mixer...yep, that would be it.....flour works best if it is in the mixing bowl and not sitting beside it.

Well, I do have perseverance....and it is a good thing....

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

Yield:  about 4 dozen
Preheat oven:  375° F.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/4 sticks (10 Tbsp) unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp evaporated milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in eggs.  Reduce the speed to low and add the pumpkin, evaporated milk and vanilla; mix until blended, about 2 minutes.  Add the flour mixture and mix until combined.

Using a cookie scoop (1 1/2-inches in diameter) scoop balls of batter and place on parchment lined baking sheets, spacing 1 1/2-inch apart.  Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until the tops spring back, 11-13 minutes.  Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer them to racks to cool completely.

Put the confectioners' sugar in a large mixing bowl and set aside.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook swirling the pan occasionally, until it turns a golden brown, about 3 minutes.  Immediately add the butter, along with any browned bits, to the confectioners' sugar.  Add the evaporated milk and vanilla stirring until smooth.  Spread about a teaspoon of icing onto each cookie.  More evaporated milk may be added if the icing becomes stiff.


These were the very best little morsels...they were soft and cakey (is that a word?)...and the frosting, oh my goodness, what a wonderful combination.  I used a bit more than a teaspoonful of icing for each was just too good....I sampled it multiple times to make certain!

You will want to make these cookies...they are a good thing!

I am sharing today at Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage, Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm and at Weekend Bites at Simple Living and Eating.