Thursday, August 26, 2010

Balsamic Steak au Poivre

I love a good steak. Here is a steak recipe that my family loves, but watch out for those peppercorns because they can get a little hot. From the June issue of Cooking Light here is Balsamic Steak au Poivre.


2   8oz. New York Strip Steaks (approx. 1 inch thick)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2  Tablespoons cracked peppercorns
1  Tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup less sodium beef broth
2  Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1  Tablespoon butter

1.  Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat.
2.  Pat steaks dry with paper towel.
3.  Sprinkle Steaks evenly with salt.
4.  Press peppercorns into both sides of steak.
5.  Add olive oil to pan and swirl to coat.
6.  Add steaks to pan and cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired doneness.
7.  Remove steaks from pan and let stand 5 minutes.
8.  Add shallots to pan and cook 1 minute until almost tender.
9.  Stir in broth and vinegar, scraping pan to loosen brown bits.  Bring to a boil and cook about 2 minutes until mixture is reduced by half.
10. Remove from heat and stir in butter.
11. Pour sauce over steaks and serve.

Nutrition Information
Calories 236
Fat 12.7g
Protein 25g
Carb   3.6g
Fiber 0.1g
Sodium 246mg

Suggested Cookware

Paula Deen 12-in. Signature Cast Iron Skillet

Paula Deen 12-in. Signature Cast Iron Skillet

Le Creuset 11.75-in. Enameled Enameled Cast Iron Iron Handle Skillet, Cherry

Le Creuset 11.75-in. Enameled Enameled Cast Iron Iron Handle Skillet, Cherry

Wusthof Set of 6 Silverpoint II Steak Knives

Wusthof Set of 6 Silverpoint II Steak Knives

Friday, August 20, 2010

What Exactly Is Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookware?

Rachael Ray 10-pc. Nonstick Porcelain Enamel Cookware Set, BlueThere are many types of cookware on the market today. A good friend recently asked if hard anodized aluminum cookware was good cookware and also what exactly it was. So for all of you who read those words and don't really know what they mean, here are some tips to hard anodized aluminum cookware.

What is anodized aluminum?

In simple terms this is a hard protective oxidized layer formed on the surface of the aluminum as the result of a chemical reaction. The aluminum is placed into an acid bath. Like a battery the aluminum becomes the positive anode and the acid the negative anode. When an electric charge is passed through the acid bath the aluminum reacts quickly with oxygen forming aluminum oxide on the surface. The aluminum oxide replaces the aluminum on the surface it forming a hard non porous outer layer. Voila, you have anodized aluminum.

Does it make good cookware?

In one word, Yes.

Porchetta Style Roast Pork

This weeks recipe comes courtesy of the June 2010 issue of Bon Appetit. I confess I am a huge lover of pork and pork roasts in particular. I found this wonderful recipe while perusing the pages of Bon Appetit last month and hope you enjoy it as much as I did. So here we go...

2 Tablespoons fennel seed
1 Tablespoon coarse kosher salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 6 lb boneless pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed with thin layer left in tact
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth

This pork dish needs to marinate overnight so you will need to plan ahead and start preparation the day before you plan to serve it.

Day 1
1. Stir fennel seeds in a small skillet over medium-high heat until slight darker in color and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer seeds to spice mill and allow to cool.
2. Add kosher salt, peppercorns and dried crushed red pepper to spice mill and grind to medium-fine consistency. (not powder)
3. Place port into a 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish.
4. Rub garlic all over pork roast then coat with spice mixture.
5. Loosely cover roast with waxed paper and refrigerate overnight.

Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Melon Salsa

The weekly recipe for July 16, 2010 comes from the June 2010 issue of Cooking Light Magazine. It is a classic light chicken breast topped with a refreshing fruit salsa that your family is sure to love.


1 cup cubed (1/2 inch) honey dew melon
1 cup cubed (1/2 inch)cantaloupe
1/2 cup diced peeled cucumber
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced jalapeno pepper
1 teaspoon light agave nectar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
6 6-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
mint sprigs (optional)

Spicy Beef and Bell Pepper Stir-Fry

This weeks recipe idea comes from the pages of the June 2010 issue of Cooking Light. I am a huge fan of the Stir Fry so I couldn't wait to try this one and I loved it. I highly recommend giving this recipe a try.

1 TBSP Canola Oil
12 oz. flank steak, cut diagonally across the grain into thin slices
1 red bell pepper cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper cut into thin strips
1/4 cup less-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
1 TBSP minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tsp chili garlic sauce
4 green onions cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
Cooking Instructions
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.
Add steak to pan; cook 2 minutes, searing on one side.
Add bell peppers; cook 2 minutes or until beef loses its pink color, stirring constantly.
Remove beef mixture from pan.

Orange Glazed Ham

May traditionally sees many events such as Mother's Day Brunches, Graduation parties and Bridal showers. To start off the month I found a great ham recipe in Prevention Magazine's August 2010 issue to help you with the menu for your May Event. Be sure to check out the Calphalon Nonstick Cookware to help you prepare your buffet or brunch with ease.

7 lb. Bone-in-ham
16 whole cloves
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 TBSP Dijon mustard

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place ham in roasting pan, (the Calphalon 10×14-in. Simply Calphalon Nonstick Roaster works well for this) fat side up. Score diamonds on the fat side of the ham and press a clove into the center of each one.
3. Bake on bottom rack of oven approximately 1 hour.
4. While ham is cooking mix orange marmalade, brown sugar and Dijon mustard in a small mixing bowl.
5. Remove ham from oven and coat with orange glaze.
6. Cook ham approximately 1 hour longer until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees, recoating with orange glaze twice during cooking.
7. Remove ham from oven and let stand 30 minutes.

BBQ Chicken Salad


1 lb. boneless, skinless Chicken Breast Tenders Sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
10 oz. Mixed Salad Greens
1 medium diced tomato
1/4 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup light ranch salad dressing

In a small skillet cook sliced chicken tender in 1 tsp olive oil until cooked throughout. Add BBQ sauce to skillet and continue to cook until chicken is coated and sauce is warm. Set Aside.
Place mixed salad greens into a bowl and add diced tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese. Top with BBQ Chicken and serve with ranch dressing.
Serves 4-6 people.