Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Gnocchi with Browned Butter and Sage

yummy, yummy gnocchi
Oh boy, I'm getting addicted to gnocchi, which it isn't a good sign because they are basically little potato and flour dumplings that you fry in butter and sage. YUMMY! And, after researching the various gnocchi recipes out there in internet land, La Marta's was the best. Again, if you have any leftover mashed potatoes, you can make these addicting dumplings.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • 2 ½ cups cold leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch freshly ground of black pepper
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, finely sliced
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a medium bowl, combine potatoes, egg yolk, olive oil, flour, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir until incorporated. Divide dough into fourths. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll one-fourth of the dough into a 3/4-inch-diameter log. Cut the log into 3/4-inch-long pieces. Pick up one piece of dough, and press onto the back of a fork with your thumb; the indentations from the tines should be visible. Place the gnocchi on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with the remaining pieces of dough, arranging finished gnocchi in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining three portions of dough.
  3. Fill a large saucepan with water, and add 2 teaspoons salt; bring to a boil. Have ready a colander set over a bowl. Add one-fourth of the gnocchi, and cook until they float to the top, 2 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked gnocchi to the colander. Cook the remaining gnocchi.
  4. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter. When butter begins to brown, about 2 minutes, add pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Increase heat to medium-high. Add the gnocchi and sage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sage has wilted and the gnocchi have heated through, 1 1/2 minutes. Serve immediately, with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How to Grill Flat Iron Steaks a la Baggs

My sister-in-law, Lindsey, grilled us some extremely delicious flat iron steaks for Valentine's Day. Here she is in action! Notice all the butter...mmmm, butter...


  • 4 flat iron steaks (between .40 and .50 pounds each)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive Oil
Garlic Butter
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (two sticks)
  • 2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Ample pinch of coarsely ground black pepper

Prepare the garlic butter: Chop the garlic finely. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt over the garlic and continue to chop it, occasionally smashing and smearing the garlic with the flat side of the knife, until the garlic becomes pastelike. (Alternatively, mash the garlic and salt together in a mortar and pestle.) Put the garlic paste, butter, thyme, and pepper in a small bowl. Fold the softened butter over and onto the garlic and thyme, mashing it down with the back of a spoon or spatula. Use a sheet of plastic wrap to help shape the butter into a log, wrap the log well with the plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. (The garlic butter can be made up to 3 days ahead; it can also be frozen, well wrapped, for a couple of months.)

Grill: Make sure your grill is clean, lightly oiled and very hot.

Brush beef with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and a generous amount of ground, black pepper all surfaces of each piece of meat.

Place steak on hottest part of grill and char for approximately 6 - 8 minutes per side for medium rare to medium. Place a generous amount of garlic-butter on each piece (see movie). Make sure to place cooked steak on platter, cover with foil and let muscle tissue rest for 6 - 8 minutes.

Calabacitas con Queso

zucchini and summer squash
This dish is a family favorite. My mom and grandmother both used to make it for us and to this day their version is the best. I was craving calabacitas the other day but I did not have all the proper ingredients, but I came out with this version, which I have to say was very, very yummy. This is a great vegetarian dish as well, and it's the type of dish that tastes even better the next day.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 zucchini, cleaned and diced into cubes
  • 1 summer (yellow) squash, cleaned and diced into cubes
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup tomato-basil marinara pasta sauce (or your favorite marinara sauce)
  • Pinch of oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 oz. basil-herb feta, crumbled or chopped into small cubes (you can also use mozzarella, or queso fresco)

In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped zucchini, chopped summer squash and pinch of oregano to the pan. Toss with onions and garlic. Add a good pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Cover the pan and let it cook for about 5 to 8 minutes on low, or until zucchini and squash are almost tender.

Remove the cover and add the chopped tomato and toss again and let it cook for 2 more minutes, covered. Add the tomato-basil sauce; bring to a simmer, and let it cook for 4 to 6 minutes, uncovered.

Lastly, add the crumbled feta on top and cover the pan once again. You just want the cheese to heat through and melt a little. Let the calabacitas simmer for just two more minutes then remove from heat and serve. This is a great side dish, but my favorite way to eat it is piled high on top of steamed, white rice!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chicken and Asparagus Over Wild Rice

chicken and aspargus over wild rice
When one thinks of Minnesota, many things come immediately to mind: cold air, 10,000 lakes, Prince, the Twins, MacGyver, and cold, cold air (did I mention that already?). What many people don't know is that there are many good wineries in Minnesota, and Minnesotan food is actually pretty good, despite the famously gross dish called Ludefisk. Minnesota's state grass is Northern wild rice, which is not really rice. Wild rice is basically the seeds of a grass that grows in shallow water. Wild rice is high in protein, the amino acid lysine and dietary fiber, and low in fat, and it does not contain gluten. Because of this, you must cook it twice a long as you would regular rice, and with a lot more water. Nevertheless, I think you'll enjoy the nutty flavor that this "seed" has, and the authentic flavor of Minnesotan cooking!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 1/2 cup Northern Wild Rice
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine, such as a pinot gris or sauvegnon blanc
  • 2 tablespoons cold milk
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  1. To prepare the wild rice: rinse and drain the rice. Add to 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, about 45 to 55 minutes. Drain any excess liquid.
  2. Slice chicken into strips about 1/4 inch wide and 1 1/2 inches long. Liberally season them with salt and pepper.
  3. Wash asparagus, trim off tough ends and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
  4. Heat one tablespoon oil in large skillet on medium-high. When hot, add the shallots and cook until tender, about 1 minute. Add chicken pieces. Cook 2 - 3 minutes one one side, turn, and cook another minute or two, or until no pink remains. Lastly, add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds. Spoon chicken mixture into a bowl, including any juices in the pan.
  5. Add remaining one tablespoon of oil into pan and add asparagus and cook, stirring for several minutes, until asparagus is bright green, about 5 minutes. Add wine to asparagus and cook, stirring, until liquid evaporates. Remove asparagus and add it to the chicken in bowl.
  6. Remove pan from heat. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of cold milk and a tablespoon of cornstarch, stirring until smooth to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the pan; add remaining 1 cup chicken stock and return pan to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 - 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Stir in chicken and asparagus to sauce and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes to heat through.
  8. To serve: put cooked wild rice on a serving dish, arrange chicken mixture on top, drizzle with lemon juice, and serve.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

yummy comfort food When I think of comfort food, pasta immediately comes to mind. And for some reason, I tend to crave it when I travel. Since I’m freezing my ass off in Minnesota this weekend, this savory comfy food is a welcomed treat. Don’t forget to accompany the meal with good wine and slices of crusty, garlic bread. And if you can’t find Foster Farms in your grocery store, Perdue Farms also makes a similar product.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4 hungry giants)


Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Place marinated chicken breast fillets in a large pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and sauté for 4 minutes on one side without moving. Turns breasts over and cook another 4 to 5 minutes, or until cooked when internal temperatures reach 170 degrees F. Remove cooked chicken and wrap them tightly in foil. Place them in the oven while you make the Alfredo sauce.

To prepare Alfredo sauce: Heat heavy cream over low-medium heat in a deep sauté pan. Add butter and whisk gently to melt. Sprinkle in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and stir to incorporate. Season with freshly cracked black pepper. In a large stockpot, cook pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Quickly drain the pasta and add it to the sauce pan, gently toss the noodles to coat in the Alfredo sauce.

Remove cooked chicken breast fillets from oven and slice into 1-inch strips.

To serve: Divide cooked fettuccine Alfredo onto plates. Top with cooked chicken, more sauce and sprinkle chopped fresh parsley. Serve immediately.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Nathalie's Breakfast

Nat's Breakfast
While I was in Oahu a couple of weeks ago visiting my sister, I had this huge breakfast one morning. And who made it? None other than my sister, Nathalie. Actually, while I was growingthe chef, herself up, both my mom and step-mom used to cook us similar breakfasts for us...so it looks like the tradition passed on to my sister. And yes, we eat Pork and Beans for breakfast--I think it's a Mexican thing--or it could be just an Amador thing. Anyhoo, this is definitely the breakfast of champions. I bet you that if the Padres eat this for breakfast they'll win the World Series this year!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • Vegetable or Canola oil for frying
  • 1 lb. red potatoes (about 2 large ones), peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 can Pork and Beans
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Home Fries: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft. Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook until almost cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove cover and continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes until golden brown.

Bacon: While the home fries are cooking, take a large cookie sheet with a lip and cover it in aluminum foil. Arrange the bacon on the sheet without overlapping. Bake for six minutes. Turn the cookie sheet around 180 degrees. Bake for another 4-7 minutes depending on your oven and how crispy you like your bacon. Lift the bacon out with tongs and set on a plate covered in paper towels.

Beans: Pour can of beans into a small sauce pan and cook on medium-low until it comes to a simmer. Keep beans warm until ready to serve.

Over Easy Eggs: Over medium heat, warm a small amount of oil or butter, perhaps 1 1/2 tsp., in a small (8-inch) nonstick skillet. Crack two eggs into the pan. Cook until the white appears slightly solid, about 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip the egg over onto the yolk side and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, depending on how "easy" you want your eggs.

Finale: Serve two over-easy eggs, three slices of crispy bacon, a nice amount of home fries and pork and beans. Looks like meat is back on the menu, boys!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dave Baggs Ultimate Chili

Last Saturday it was Girls Night In (yeah, we're too lame to go out and party) and my sister-in-law made us her dad's famous chili. Why is it famous, you ask? Well, seems that this chili was the winner of a couple of Chili Cook-Off's in Crested Butte, Colorado. This chili is actually more like a hearty soup and it's excellent for those cold, winter evenings in San Diego when the temperature drops to 50! ;-)

INGREDIENTS (makes a lot of chili) The man, the myth, the legend.

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef, or ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (28 oz.) cans whole tomatoes, chopped (you can use cans of chopped tomatoes, but if you want to do it the Baggs way, you gotta buy whole tomatoes, then chop them...yeah, it's a Baggs thing), with juices reserved
  • 2 (16 oz) cans beans in chili
  • 1 can (4oz.) Ortega chopped green chilies
  • 1 large onion, chopped + 1/2 cup reserved for topping
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 pickled jalapenos, finely chopped (use one or omit it altogether if you're a wuss)
  • 1 1/2 oz. Gephardt’s Eagle Brand Chili powder (yes, that's half the bottle and it has to be Gephardt’s for the recipe to work...yet, another Baggs thing)
  • Grated cheddar cheese, for topping
  • Fritos, for topping

In a large skillet, cook the beef, add salt, and cook until no longer pink. Drain, reserving about a tablespoon of the grease. Set cooked ground beef aside.

In a large stewpot, on medium-high heat, add the reserved grease. Sauté the onion, green bell pepper, celery, and green chilies for 3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, beans, cooked ground beef, jalapenos, and chili powder. Add the reserved tomato juices, water (two 28 oz. can-fulls), or to your desired consistency. You want the chili to be more like a soup, so add more or less water. Simmer for 2 hours.

Serve with chopped onions, grated cheese and Fritos, as toppings.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day Cocktail

Love, actually, is a husband who can keep your cold toes warm, the smell of a newborn baby, the puppy-dog eyes your pets give you, and a fabulous cocktail. Happy Valentine's!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2, or one big cocktail if you're alone tonight :(

  • 4 fluid ounces raspberry vodka, chilled in freezer
  • 1 fluid ounce triple sec
  • The juice of one lime (don't use the bottled stuff, please)
  • 3 fluid ounces cranberry juice
  • A handful of frozen raspberries
  • 2 slices fresh limes

First, put the vodka, triple sec, lime juice and cranberry juice into a shaker add as much ice as you can. Shake. Shake. Shake.

Pour straight up in a martini glass, or over ice. Garnish with lime slices and frozen raspberries, which helps keep the cocktail chilled.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chicken with Figs and Gnocchi

Apparently, this is a 30-minute-meal from Rachael Ray, however it took me just over 45 minutes, but that's because I simmered the chicken a lot longer than what her original recipe called for. Otherwise, this is a very delicious dish and the combo of chicken and figs taste so good together. Try to use fresh gnocchi, if you can find it. Manga!

INGREDIENTS (4 servings)

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 pound thick-cut (1/4-inch) pancetta, cut into 1/2" slices (you can use bacon, if pancetta is not available)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, breasts and thighs combined, cut into large chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour, for dredging
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 10 dried figs, quartered (look for plump, tender dried fig varieties in bulk section of market.)
  • 1/3 bottle dry red wine (an Italian Rosso or Chianti)
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup, a generous handful, chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1 package, 12 to 16 ounces fresh or frozen store bought gnocchi
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Heat a deep skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, and the cut pancetta. Brown the pancetta, 3 to 4 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Set aside.

Season the chicken chunks with salt and pepper and dredge in a little flour then add to the hot pan you just cooked the pancetta in. Brown the pieces for 2 minutes on each side over high heat. Remove the chicken from pan. Add the onions, garlic and chopped figs to the pan and lower heat to medium-high. Sauté 3 minutes, then add the chicken back into the pan with onions and figs. Add the wine and cook it down 5 minutes or so until only about 1/3 cup remains. Add one cup chicken stock, parsley, lemon zest and half of the thyme to the chicken and stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook another 15 minutes. Note: the longer you let it simmer, the better this dish gets. Also, if you would like a little more sauce, shake another half cup of stock into the pan.

Place a pot of water on the stove to boil for the gnocchi. Add a good pinch of salt to water.

Add gnocchi to boiling water and cook to package directions; 4 minutes for fresh gnocchi, 6 minutes for frozen, and drain. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Melt butter and brown it (foamy bubbles will form). Drain gnocchi and add to skillet. Raise heat to medium-high and lightly brown the dumplings. Season gnocchi with salt, pepper, remaining thyme and nutmeg. Turn to coat, toss and remove from heat.

Adjust the seasonings on the chicken with figs. Lastly, add the reserved pancetta to the chicken. Serve the chicken and figs in shallow dishes, the gnocchi piled in the center of the bowl on top of the chicken.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Brownie Muffins

yummy brownie muffins
As you all know, I am not a baker, but I decided to give these muffins a try. I found the recipe in an old Cusine at Home magazine. I only changed the recipe slightly. Instead of using both semisweet and milk chocolate chips, I just used semisweet, so the muffins were extra chocolatey. If you're a chocoholic like I am, you'll really love these brownie muffins.

INGREDIENTS (Makes one dozen)

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips + 1/2 cup for topping
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F; line 12 muffin cups with foil liners and coat each with nonstick spray.

In the microwave, heat 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, butter, and 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee in a 1 quart microproof bowl at medium power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave another minute and stir again. Repeat until mixture is smooth; let cool slightly.

While chocolate cools, whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt until sugar dissolves and mixture is pale yellow, about 2 minutes on high speed.

Add the egg mixture into the cooled chocolate and whisk together. Fold in the flour just until incorporated. Add 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips and chopped nut and mix in.

Fill prepared foil cups with 1/3 cup of the brownie mixture and top each with additional chocolate chips. Bake 35-40 minutes; do not over bake. A toothpick inserted in center will still have moist crumbs clinging to it. Remove from muffin tin and cool on rack.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Garlic Prawns, Oahu Style

Well, as you know I was in Oahu last week and I totally fell in love with Romy's garlic prawns over in the North Shore. Anyhoo, my recipe is as close as I could get to the real thing, but if you're ever in Oahu I highly recommend you visit Romy's Kahuku Prawns and Shrimp and give these babies a try. They are truly out of this world!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic, divided
  • 2 oz magarine (yes, margarine!)
  • 1-1/2 lbs pounds prawns (about 10 to 15), unshelled (you can use extra-large shrimp if you can't find prawns)
  • 1/2 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • The juice of one lemon
  • Steamed white rice

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat add the margarine and sauté half the garlic until translucent and fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the prawns and salt. Toss to coat the prawns with the margarine and cook for one minute. Add remaining garlic and keep tossing just until the prawns are pink, approximately 4 more minutes. Add the lemon juice. Give it one more toss and remove from heat.

Arrange the prawns on top of steamed, white rice, top with the margarine, toasted garlic and lemon juice left in pan. Serve with a side of Soy-chili sauce.

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon red chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
Whisk all ingredients together and serve.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Crispy Tofu with Noodles

crispy tofu with noodles

Every time I fly I like to buy a cooking magazine to get new ideas for my culinary experiments. I saw this recipe in the new issue from Food and Wine magazine. It comes courtesy of Chef Pino Maffeo from restaurant L in Boston. Of course, I halved the recipe and it still came out pretty good. The only thing I changed is that I added more hoisin sauce than oyster sauce, and I added a few dashes of soy sauce at the very end of cooking. I really like the fried tofu, too.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • 7 ounces dried udon noodles
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 6 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 pound mixed mushrooms, such as oyster, hen-of-the-woods and stemmed shiitake, thickly sliced (I only used oyster mushrooms)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 pound baby bok choy, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (I only used 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • A few dashes of soy sauce (optional)

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the udon and cook until tender, 5 minutes; drain. Toss with 1 teaspoon of the canola oil. Meanwhile, put the panko in a large, resealable plastic bag and crush into fine crumbs. In a shallow bowl, gently toss the tofu with the egg yolk. Transfer the tofu to the bag and coat with the panko.

Heat the remaining 1/2 cup of oil in a wok until just smoking (I don't have a wok, so I used my large saute pan). Add the tofu and stir-fry over high heat until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Pour off all but 1/4 cup of the oil and return the wok to high heat. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and bok choy and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the udon and oyster and hoisin sauces and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the tofu, a few dashed of soy sauce and toss. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Best Rib Eye Steak

perfect rib eye steak
Dearest readers, I apologize I haven't updated my blog in over a week, but you see, yours truly was in O'ahu soaking in the sun and the waves. As a matter of fact, I was also eating my way through the North Shore, down to Honolulu and Waikiki, but that's another blog. For this blog I decided to post my recipe for absolutely delicious rib eye steaks. To me, rib eyes don't need much seasoning because the meat is already well marbled, and the best part is that you don't have to marinate the meat for hours and hours. Now, I use a store-bought spice rub, which basically contains peppercorns, dried onions, dried garlic, thyme, sea salt and other spices, but I find that this particular spice rub is the best one for this type of meat. Also, keep in mind that this recipe is for just one ½ pound piece of rib eye steak. So double the recipe according to how many pieces you plan to make for supper.

INGREDIENTS (1 serving)

  • 1 half pound (between .49 to .55 lb) rib eye steak, boneless, about 1/2" to 2/3" thick
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, divided, plus more for sauteeing
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning, divided
  • 1 normal sized garlic clove, finely minced and divided
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 zip-lock baggy big enough to fit the meat

Wash the rib eye in cold water and pat dry on a paper towel. Trim off any excess fat, if you wish. Drizzle half of tablespoon of olive oil on one side of the meat and massage into meat. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the Montreal Seasoning, then add ½ of the minced garlic clove. Spread with your fingers and massage into meat. Turn meat over and repeat by drizzling the remaining olive oil, massage, then add remaining ½ teaspoon seasoning and remaining garlic. Rub into meat and place the meat into the plastic bag. Drizzle the soy sauce into the bag, close the baggy and make sure you remove the air from bag, and spread the soy sauce around with your fingers. Place the meat in the fridge. You can let it marinate for as little as 15 minutes, but 30 minutes would be ideal.

When you're ready to cook, preheat oven to 375° F.

In an oven safe sauté pan over medium-high heat, add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Make sure the oil is really sizzling hot. Add the rib eye and let it sear for 2 minutes. DO NOT MOVE IT. I know you'll be tempted, but believe me, you want it nicely caramelized.

After two minutes, turn meat over and sear it for another 1½ minutes more (if you want your meat on the medium side, sear it for 2 to 2½ minutes). Immediately place the sauté pan into the oven and bake for 4 to 5 minutes for medium-rare. If you don't have an oven safe pan, simply put the steak into a baking sheet. Remove meat from oven, tent it with foil and let it rest exactly 4 minutes. When ready, serve it as is, or slice against the grain.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Diva's Seasoning Mix

This is my version of the McCormick Montreal Seasoning you find at the store. Although the store-bought version is pretty good, too.


  • 4 tablespoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion or onion powder (w/o salt)
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried garlic or garlic powder (not garlic salt!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried fennel

In a food process or blender, add the dried thyme, dried rosemary, and dried fennel and pulse 3 or 4 times, until herbs are somewhat crushed, but not too powdery. Place the herbs in a small air-tight container and add remaining ingredients. Mix well to combine by shaking the container.