Friday, September 30, 2011

Beef Tenderloin Sandwich

So... what can you do when you have some leftover meat from dinner?
You can turn it into a delicious sandwich!

We wanted to try this recipe for quite some time, though I was not able to find "truffle butter" which I assume it would be hard to find it in Chile also, I substituted it with a lemon mayo.  In this case, we used leftover beef tenderloin (which made the sandwich absolutely scrumptious and delicious), but you can use any kind of meat you have and/or want.


1/2 lb. beef tenderloin (or any other meat)
1 French baguette
1 cup mayo
1/2 lemon, juiced
Sliced Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
Fresh baby arugula


Slice your meat about 1/2 inch thick and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the mayo and lemon juice.  Split the bread lengthwise and spread the bottom generously with the mayo mixture.  Top with a layer of sliced meat and sprinkle some salt and pepper if needed.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan cheese into thin shards and scatter them over the meat.  Finish with a sprinkling of arugula leaves.  Cover with the top of the baguette, and cut diagonally into 3 or 4 sandwiches.


Source:  Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten - "Back to Basics" - Adapted

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grilled Beef Tenderloin

A few weeks ago I got to cater a dinner for some friends.  They ordered beef tenderloin.  I was challenged.  I had never cooked a WHOLE beef tenderloin before.  My experience with fillet Mignon was good, but a whole cut of meet... grilled...(gulp) was a challenge.  So, after doing some reading and testing in my kitchen, I ended up with this amazing piece of grilled meet, that would melt in your mouth once you tried it.  Definitely a keeper, for  those special occasions...


1 whole beef tenderloin, pealed, trimmed and tied.
1 1/2 Tbspn. kosher salt
1 Tbspn. freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil


Pat dry the tenderloin and rub the kosher salt all over it.  Wrap the meat in plastic wrap, tightly and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.  This way, the salt would be able to penetrate the meet and flavor the whole tenderloin.

In the mean time, fire your grill (gas or charcoal) and let it get very hot. Once you are ready to grill the meat, remove the coals to one side of the grill (we'll cook the tenderloin under indirect heat).  If you're using a gas grill, move the layers to one side of the grill.

Unwrap the tenderloin.  Pat it dry, and brush it with vegetable oil.  Rub the pepper all over it.

Put your tenderloin on the hottest part of the grill (the one with the coals) and proceed to sear it around two minutes in each side (start by the wide sides first).  Once completely seared, roll it into the side with no coals and put the lid on and leave it there for 25 minutes.

Check the temperature and look for 125-130ºF with a meat thermometer and set it on a platter.  Let it rest for 10 minutes (to let the juices get distributed inside of the meat) and slice it to taste.  Enjoy!

Source:  Recipe courtesy of "Cook's Illustrated"

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte

This is one of the things that gets me excited about Fall.  Those spiced lattes and flavorful meals that are so distinct of this lovely season... not even saying that the weather gets that little breeze or crisp that we longed so much during this past hot, hot summer!

This coffee drink,  so common and very well sold by a national coffee chain, is now available in your very own kitchen... isn't that nice? I was looking for this recipe so long ago, tweaking here and there my own creations, until I found the one that actually fit all my expectations and desires! So, I am finally able to share this beauty with you all!


For the pumpkin spice syrup:
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks or 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn. ground cloves
1/2 tspn. ground ginger
1 tspn. ground nutmeg
3 Tbsp. canned pumpkin
For a single latte:
1 shot of espresso or 2-4 Tbsp very strongly brewed coffee
6-8 oz milk, heated or steamed until very hot
1-2 Tbsp pumpkin spice syrup (or to taste)
Whipped cream, optional
Salted Caramel Sauce, optional



To make the syrup: Cook sugar and water in a small pot over medium heat until the mixture is completely clear. 
Whisk in the remaining ingredients and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow mixture to come to a boil. Allow mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes. Strain syrup through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer into a large jar or bottle of your choice. Keep syrup in the fridge, it will last a while. 
To make the latte, combine espresso with heated milk, and 1-2 Tbsp of pumpkin spice syrup (add to taste). Top with whipped cream and salted caramel sauce, if desired. 
Source:  Recipe Courtesy of "Confessions of a Foodie Bride"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Greek Patty Melts with Kasseri and Muhammara Sauce

Today, I want to share with you a delicious sandwich.   It is one of our favorites.  But I have to warn you: it requires a little bit of effort.  But it is totally worth it!  So delicious... you'll save it for those special lunch/dinner occasions :)


1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
1/3 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tspn. ground coriander, from toasted seeds
1 tspn. kosher salt
1/2 tspn. ground cumin, from toasted seeds
1/2 tspn. paprika
1/4 tspn. ground allspice
1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
Olive oil
1 (20 to 24-ounce) prepared pizza dough, rolled into 1 large or 2 smaller rough rectangles
1 pound aged Kasseri cheese, grated (usually available in Mediterranean stores.  If you can't find it you can substitute it for Provolone)
Muhammara Sauce (recipe below)
4 large sweet onions, thinly sliced and grilled


Preheat a grill over indirect medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, combine the parsley, yogurt, garlic, coriander, salt, cumin, paprika, and allspice. Add the lamb and mix gently by hand until evenly combined. Shape the meat into 4 patties, each about 4 by 6-inches by 1/2-inch. 

Oil 1 side of the pizza dough very lightly. Grill, oiled side down, over medium-high heat until the bottom side is blistered. Lightly oil the top and flip over. Scatter the cheese over the dough and cook until the underside is blistered. Move to indirect heat, cover, and cook until the cheese is melted and the dough is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Cut the dough into rough rectangles about the size of the patties and keep warm while you grill the burgers. 

Lightly oil the patties and arrange them on the hot side of the grill. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, flip, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare to medium. Transfer the burgers to the bread, top with some Muhammara and grilled onions and top with another piece of the grilled pizza dough. Put them back on the grill over low or indirect heat for a few seconds per side. Remove them from the grill, halve the sandwiches on a long diagonal, and serve immediately.

Muhammara Sauce:

1 pound red bell peppers, charred, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1 to 2 small hot red peppers, charred, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cup walnut pieces, about 5 ounces, toasted
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 tspn. ground cumin, from freshly toasted seeds
Kosher salt
1/2 tspn. smoked paprika
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses (also available in Mediterranean Stores)
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
Put all of the ingredients, except the lemon zest, in a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. (Start with 1 hot pepper, taste, and then add more if you want it hotter.) If the mixture is too thick, drizzle in a little more olive oil. Stir in the lemon zest by hand. Taste and add more salt and hot pepper, if desired.

Source:  Recipe courtesy of Miriam Garron from Food Network.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chupe de Ostiones y Camarones (Scallops and Shrimp Chilean Style Au Gratin)

(Picture courtesy of 

September is here and our Independence's celebration day is only around the corner. This year, our celebrations are different. There is grief and lots of questions with no answers in many Chilean hearts. Only a couple weeks ago Chile got hit hard by a terrible accident. A plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean while was trying to land at Isla Juan Fernandez. As a result, 21 persons died. Sweet people that were working on the island's recovery from the earthquake and tsunami. Intense and extreme efforts have been made to recover them from the deep waters. When we heard the words "no survivors" it was like the a bad nightmare that we wanted so bad to wake up. A few weeks later, our hearts remain with grief, a grief that only God can heal and gives us hope of better days ahead. We pray that His name would receive great glory from this tragedy and the Chilean people can learn, grow and heal from this painful experience.  

This recipe, is in memory of all the victims

Chupe de Ostiones y Camarones (Scallops and Shrimp Chilean Style Au Gratin)  


1 bag of frozen baby scallops, defrosted
1 bag of frozen raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, defrosted
2 cups of baguette crumbs (see directions first)
1 cup of milk or seafood stock
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tspn. paprika
2 sprigs of thyme
1/2 cup white dry wine
1/2 cup heavy whip cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
a little squirt of lemon juice
1 small bunch of fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste  


Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Grease a pie plate and set aside.

With the help of a sharp knife, take the crust off your baguette. Cut into squares and process in a food processor until very coarse texture (small size peas). Put into a medium bowl and add milk (or seafood stock), about 1 to 1/2 cups and let it rest for a few minutes. (The idea is that the bread will soak most of the liquid while it rests).

In a big pan, heat the olive oil, then add the onions, garlic cloves and sweat for about 5 minutes (they will look soft and translucent). Add the condiments (paprika, thyme, salt and pepper). Stir and cook for one minute. Slowly add the wine and let it reduce. Then squeeze some of the liquid from the soaked bread and toss the solids in the pan. Keep stirring, until it resembles a paste. Add the heavy whip cream and let it reduce too. Add the cheeses and cook until fully incorporated and melted. Add the seafood (shrimp and scallops). Stir until well combined. Finally, add lemon juice, cilantro and re season if necessary.

Bake until bubbly and golden on top (about 15 to 20 minutes).

Serve with baguette slices :)  Viva Chile!

Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Chef Potro", slightly adapted.

For more recipes and ideas to celebrate these "Fiestas Patrias" click on  this link.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

A delicious and comforting gumbo for those rainy days... a classic Cajun dish with a poultry twist (for those not seafood lovers).


1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1 lb. smoked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 1/2 tspn. salt
1/4 tspn. cayenne
3 bay leaves
6 cups chicken broth
1 pound boneless chicken meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tspn. Rustic Rub (or any cajun rub you have)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 Tbsp. file powder


Combine the oil and flour in a large cast iron or enameled cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes, make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and continue to stir for 4 to 5 minutes, or until wilted. Add the sausage, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves. Continue to stir for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth. Stir until the roux mixture and water are well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Season the chicken with the rub and add to the pot. Simmer for 2 hours. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley, green onions, and file powder. Remove the bay leaves and serve in deep bowls with rice on the side (or middle.)

** Rustic Rub:

8 Tbsp. paprika
3 Tbsp. cayenne
5 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbsp. garlic powder
3 Tbsp. onion powder
6 Tbsp. salt
2 1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 1/2 Tbsp. dried thyme

Combine all ingredients and store in an air-tight container.

Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Emeril Lagasse - 2005"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Slow cooked corned beef with cabagge

So happy to be back!!! I was out of town for Labor Day weekend and then tropical storm Lee hit Alabama and I was without power for several days...

A few weeks ago, my husband asked me to make him this dish. It is a staple from southern cuisine and I gave it a shot and I enjoyed very much. It is very succulent and full of flavor. A good idea for this cooler fall nights :)


4 pounds lean raw corned beef brisket
3 Tbsp. pickling spice (often included with brisket)
1 medium rutabaga, halved and cut into wedges
1 lb. large carrots, cut into 4-inch pieces
1 1/4 lbs. large fingerling potatoes
1 leek, white and light-green parts only, cut into 3-inch pieces
1/2 head Savoy cabbage, cut into wedges
1/3 cup horseradish, drained
1/3 cup crème fraiche or sour cream


Place the corned beef in a large slow cooker and scatter the pickling spices on top. Layer the rutabaga, carrots, potatoes and leek in the cooker (in this order for even cooking). Add enough hot water (4 to 5 cups) to cover the meat by at least 1 inch, put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high, 7 to 8 hours.

Remove the meat and vegetables from the slow cooker and keep warm. Put the cabbage in a microwave-safe dish with 2 cups cooking liquid from the slow cooker, cover and microwave until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, boil another cup of cooking liquid in a small skillet until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Mix with the horseradish and crème fraiche in a small bowl.

Slice the corned beef and serve with the slow-cooked vegetables, cabbage and sauce.

Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Food Network Magazine"