Monday, January 12, 2009

Chili Oil!!!

My first box of produce came with a bunch of fresh cayenne peppers. They were so hot, I was scared to use them. I had a previous post: Hanging Peppers, where I decided that Chili Oil might do them justice. This posting comes a little late since I bottled it before Christmas. They made the perfect little Christmas gifts with a little red ribbon tied around it.

2 C dried chilis
4 C Vegetable Oil

Break dried chilis into large pieces and put in a pan with the oil.

Heat the pan slowly over a medium-low heat until small bubbles start to rise up from the bottom of the pot.

Turn off the heat and let oil come to room temperature. Pour the oil and chilis in a glass container (not plastic) and cover. Store in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

If you want to put them into little bottles, be sure to sterilize the bottles before putting the oil in.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another beginning....Rosemary & Garlic Steak Sandwich

The holidays are over! - which is quite unfortunate because it was probably the best 2(ish) weeks off of work. 2 consecutive Thursday national holidays are SWEET! So much cooking and eating and indulging was to be had - but unfortunately - the excitement to just eat and enjoy what you cook with friends and family leads to lack of time for pretty photos and such. I would love to post everything I've cooked over the past couple weeks on here, but I think a fresh start is needed. Just to recap though - some of the highlights over the holidays were Pistachio Crusted Tilapia, Leek and Rosemary Scalloped Potatoes, Yorkshire Pudding, Roasted Beet Goat Cheese and Walnut Salad w/ Citrus Vinaigrette, Chicken Pot Pie, Egg Nog Petit Fours, Potato Leek Soup, etc.... etc.... etc.... but one of the things that REALLY stood out was a Rosemary and Garlic Steak Sandwich w/ Roasted Bell Peppers. Sadly - no pictures were taken, but just use your imagination as I tell the story of this glorious sandwich:

The Setting:
6 friends in a warm toasty cabin in Lake Tahoe on a quiet evening after a long day of playing in the powdery white snow.

The Meat:

1.5 lb Flank Steak
1 Tbs mashed roasted garlic**
2 sprigs rosemary - chopped up
a good drizzle of olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon.
Salt & Pepper

Marinate overnight. Grill until medium. Let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing thinly - against the grain.

**For the roasted garlic: cut off the top of a head of garlic. Drizzle a bit of olive oil and sprinkle w/ salt and pepper. Wrap the whole thing in foil and throw it in the oven at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the fragant gooey sweetness and use as you wish.... then lick your fingers**

The Sauce:
1 C Mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
1 sprig rosemary
1 small fresh garlic clove - mashed (helps to use some salt and mash with the back of a knife)
1/2 tsp chili powder
Salt & Pepper

Mix it all together and refrigerate until ready to use.

The Veggies:
Fresh Baby Spinach (Arugula would be great as well)
2 Roasted Bell Peppers - Sliced (You can roast them yourself - which I prefer....or buy jarred)

The Bread:
5 Ciabatta Rolls - sliced in half & lightly toasted to warm and soft, but not brown
(I imagine an herbed Focaccia would have been amazing as well...)

The Assembly:
Evenly distribute the sauce on the 5 bottom halves of the warm toasted bread. For each sandwich, add a layer of the sliced roasted bell pepper. Place a couple slices of the steak on top. Add a bit of baby spinach and top with the other half of the bread. Slice the sandwiches in half (I prefer a diagonal cut)

Served with:
A bowl of creamy potato leek soup.

All of the above = HEAVEN IN MY MOUTH.