Saturday, January 23, 2010

Beef Sandwiches with horseradish sauce

We made these delicious little sandwiches for my 34th birthday bash! We had a simple gathering with good friends and of course GOOD FOOD! We had a variety of appetizers and served these little sandwiches with a salad of beets and greens and bean salad.

* 2 to 4 pound beef chuck pot roast
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

For the sandwich:

* Dinner rolls for smaller sandwiches
* Mustard Horseradish Sauce, recipe follows
* 1 bunch arugula
* Kosher salt
* Freshly ground black pepper


The night before cooking we patted the outside of the roast dry with a paper towel. Mix the unsalted butter and mustard together in a small bowl and spread the mixture over the beef with your hands. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper.

Place the beef in a roasting pan on a bed of carrots, onions, and herbs(this was not listed above in the ingredient list). Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Bake for approximately until internal temp (thickest part of the meat) reads 130 degrees for medium rare.

Remove the beef from the oven, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. We sliced the meat thinly.

Spread the Mustard Horseradish Sauce on the top half of the rolls. Top with slices of beef and arugula and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Mustard Horseradish Sauce:

3/4 cup good mayonnaise (light BestFoods)

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1/2 tablespoon prepared horseradish (Mark added about 5xs this amount)

2 tablespoons sour cream (light)(Mark only used 1 TBSP)

Kosher salt

Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustards, horseradish, sour cream, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Serve at room temperature.

Yield: 1 cup

Additional modifications: Allison made the BEST Au jus by de-glazing the baking pan with beef broth. Yum! Allison what is your secret?! :) More info to follow.

Recipe modified from Ina Garten's recipe on the Food Network.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Orzo Pasta Salad

Mark and I signed up for a wine tasting class a couple years ago and this salad was fabulously paired with a vino verde. It is a great salad and seemed to appeal to everyone in the class! Enjoy!

Orzo Pasta Salad

* 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 pound orzo pasta, cooked al dente, drained
* 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
* 1 large yellow pepper, finely diced
* 1 large red pepper, finely diced
* 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
* 2 scallions, finely sliced
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

Whisk together the zest, juice, oil, dill, and garlic, then season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix the pasta, cheese, peppers, olives, and scallions together in a bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over and mix to combine. Add the oregano and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Recipe compliments of: The Food Network and Bobby Flay

*If you follow the link above there is also a wonderful recipe for grilled shrimp with lemon-dill butter.

Chicken Pasta Bake

Quick, easy, and kid friendly! I must say quite lovely with a green salad and glass of Syrah.

* 8 oz. penne pasta (whole wheat)
* 1 Tbsp. olive oil
* 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
* 1 28 oz. jar spaghetti sauce (I used our homemade batch from the garden!)
* 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
* 1 3 oz. package cream cheese (fat free)
* 2 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and patted dry with a paper towel
* 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (part skim)
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions for "al dente." Drain. Pour into prepared baking dish.

3. Heat oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. While oil is heating, cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.

4. Brown chicken in oil. Add Italian seasoning, half of the spaghetti sauce and the drained tomatoes. Let simmer 2-3 minutes.

5. Cut cream cheese into small chunks. Add to chicken and tomato sauce mixture. Simmer until cream cheese is melted.

6. Stir in spinach. Cook another minute, until spinach wilts slightly.

7. Pour chicken mixture over pasta. Top with one cup of the shredded mozzarella. Top with the remaining spaghetti sauce, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

8. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes, or until bubbly.

Mambo Rice

Easy, refreshing, and oh so good!

* 2 cups water
* 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
* 2 cups rice
* 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
* 4 tablespoons minced garlic
* 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* Kosher salt, to taste
* 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Add water, chicken stock and rice to a rice cooker. Cook until al dente.

Combine all other ingredients in a bowl.

Remove rice from cooker and toss, separating with fork. Once rice is separated, slowly add the blended mixture.

Rice can be served hot or cold.

Recipe Compliments of The Food Network: Guy Fieri

Brined Pork Chops

1/2 gallon of water
1/2 c Kosher Salt
1/4 c Sugar
3 Bay Leaves
5-6 Dried Juniper Berries (crushed)
4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 tsp dried sage

Add all ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil to dissolve salt and sugar. Allow to cool and refrigerate. Soak chops in brine 1 hour, 10 minutes for 3/4 " thick pork chops. (for 1 1/2" chops soak for 2 hours) Remove from brine, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Allow to rest in refrigerator uncovered for approximately 2 hours. To cook: sear on each side for 2 minutes then cover and cook for 4 minutes.

Recipe compliments from

Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing

Katie's Campari Spritzer

(stock photo because this drink was too good to put down a take a picture of it!)

Unique, refreshing, and completely hip

Campari Spritzer

1 (12-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup Campari
2 cups sparkling mineral water
Ice cubes
6 orange peel twists

Stir the orange juice concentrate and Campari in a pitcher to blend. Stir in the sparkling water. Fill 6 tall glasses with ice. Pour the Campari mixture over. Garnish with the orange peel twists and serve.

Butternut Squash Chocolate Chip muffins (for H!)

My main New Years resolution is to provide more organic, fresh, and wholesome food for Harrison. It is so easy to grab and go with food that requires no prep, cooking, or clean-up. I search online for a muffin recipe with squash and wow...this one is a winner. We only used half the chocolate chips and they are fantastic!

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup white wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup acorn squash puree (pumpkin, butternut, or other winter squash will work)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl. Combine the eggs, sugar, water, oil in another bowl. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix by hand just until combined. Do not over mix. Stir nuts and chocolate chips. Bake in lined or unlined muffin tins at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

*For mini muffins bake for approximately 11 minutes!

(based on this Simply Recipes by Elise)