Orange Juice-It’s Not Just for Screwdrivers Anymore

31 12 2010

As someone who spent 2 years doing NIH sponsored microvascular physiology research (and drinking my share of citrus flavored adult beverages), here’s some great news near and dear to my heart (literally). A recent study looked at drinking orange juice (or a control beverage with a flavonoid found in citrus fruits) and its effect on diastolic blood pressure and microvascular reactivity. Previous citrus based studies of shown that diets rich in citrus are associated with a reduction in cardiovascular events. This study in the January issue of the American Journal of Nutrition[i] examined whole orange juice and the flavonoid hesperidin. The diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of your BP) can be difficult to significantly reduce with medication, but in the group consuming the citrus it was reduced. The microvascular reactivity was measured using a test which looks at endothelial reactivity. In patients who have cardiovascular problems, this is often one of the earliest signs of dysfunction-just smoking a single cigarette can cause temporary malfunctioning, and this response is often impaired in diabetics who have no other signs of cardiovascular problems. The microvascular reactivity was likewise improved. These improvements were estimated to potentially translate into an approximately 20% risk reduction in cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. In comparing the results of whole orange juice to the isolated flavonoid hesperidin, the effect of the whole juice seemed more pronounced. While the study was small with only 24 men studied, the effects suggest some daily OJ can transform that mimosa into a medicinal elixir-oh, it’s great for you straight up, too (The OJ that is.…)

[i] (Morand, et al., 2011)

Fresh Fettucelle with Lemon Butter Champagne Sauce

30 12 2010

Here’s a pasta dish that works great with just about any protein you want to toss in. We cut the fresh pasta a little narrower than typical fettuccine, hence the fettucelle designation. Cooked simply in  a pan with olive oil, spices, lemon zest. capers and sun dried tomatoes it was topped of with a lemon butter champagne sauce and some fresh grated cheese (and a little steak thrown in for good measure). An easy, fresh holiday meal  in less than 30 minutes.

Pasta sheet before cutting


29 12 2010

With the New Year just about upon us (and no doubt resolutions already dancing in your head), check out our latest article in the Tampa Tribune:

Doc’s Tampa Tribune Article

Prime Rib, Stilton and Roasted Pear Ravioli topped with Porcini and Tarragon Alfredo

28 12 2010

Hhhmmmm….what to do with leftovers? When it was some of our fantastic cedar smoked prime rib roast, the answer was simplicity itself. Add a little Stilton cheese and roasted pear, wrap it all up in a pillowy tender ravioli and top it with a porcini mushroom and tarragon alfredo sauce. In a word, delicious.

  • Basic Pasta Dough recipe (off to the right under “Recipes” header)
  • Basic Alfredo sauce recipe (see above )
  • 8 oz trimmed beef (I used nicely rare leftover prime rib roast)
  • 1/2 roasted Bosc pear
  • 2-3 oz blue cheese like Stilton
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 oz dried porcini, rehydrated in hot water-liquid reserved)
  • 8oz fresh mushroom like cremini
  • 2 Tbs fresh tarragon

Allow the cheese to soften and combine the meat (cut into small bits), lemon zest and the cheese. To roast the pear, remove the core and  lightly (~1/2 tsp) top with some demerara sugar. Cook at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool, remove the skin and finely chop 1/2 pear. Add that to the meat mixture. Use this to fill the raviolis. Add the reserved liquid from the rehydrated mushrooms to the water to cook the pasta. Fold in the mushrooms and tarrgon into the alfredo sauce.

27 12 2010

If you have not been to, shame on you. You should check it out because just like Santa, SheKnows if you don’t and if you’ve been bad or good. It is a great site and not just for Shes, but for Hes. Theys and all of us. Please check out our latest article printed there:

Roast Beast

26 12 2010

And he… …HE HIMSELF…! The Grinch carved the roast beast! ….”

And so I did, and it was spectacular. Cedar smoked standing Prime Rib Roast.  Here’s how we did it:

  • 7-10 pound standing rib roast with bone in
  • Truffle butter
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh or dried sage
  • Cedar grilling planks
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Seasoned flour

Lightly dust the prime rib with seasoned flour and sear in a hot pan, 4-6 minutes per side. This forms a delicious crust. Allow to cool; while the rib roast cools mix up truffle butter, sage, thyme salt and pepper (in proportions you like (I used 4 oz. truffle butter, 3 oz thyme, 1 oz sage and about 1 Tbs salt, 1 tsp fresh ground pepper)). When the roast has cooled, smear the butter-herb mixture over the top. Smoke for 2-3 hours at between 200-225 degrees F (for those needing it, for rare cook to an internal temp of around 125 degrees F and allow carryover to finish cooking). Add the cedar planks , soaked, to the coals to flavor the smoke. Allow to rest 15-20 minutes, wrapped in aluminium foil. Serve with fresh grated horseradish, or homemade horseradish cream sauce and pan au jus (made by roasting veggies and beef or veal shanks with wine and stock).

(homemade from scratch dinner rolls, too)


And to All…

24 12 2010

May you and your families have all your Holiday wishes come true into the New Year!

Caviar for Christmas

23 12 2010

If you are looking for a  delicious, simple and elegant appetizer or starter for a fancy feast, look no further than some sustainable, farmed caviar. We tried this renewable source with some traditional garnish: home-made fresh potato blinis (I simply cannot improve upon the recipe found in The French Laundry Cookbook-way to go Rob!), creme fraiche, chopped egg (yolks and whites separated), red onion and capers. Some champagne to sip and with the right company, nothing else is required. Try leaving this for Santa-I bet he gets tired of milk and cookies.

Potato Blini



Simple is as Simple does

22 12 2010

Sometimes simple is good. In fact, most times simple is good; which is why I take no offense at constantly being labled a rather simple guy. Here is an appetizer/dessert that is simple but delicious. Some fresh kiwi, pureed and strained and ladled over some camebert cheese with honey. All baked in some puff pastry goodness until golden brown. A perfect (and easy) holiday treat.

Eggnog Crème Brûlée topped with Rum Caramel

20 12 2010

Here is a fantastic holiday dessert. The comforting flavors of a classic eggnog delivered in the sumptuous form of a velvety smooth crème brûlée. Straining the liquid ensures a smooth creamy texture; the definition of the crème brûlée. The natural organic sugar, a 1:1 replacement for white refined sugar, has subtle molasses notes that give the brûlée some additional depth and merge seamlessly into the topping. The dark rum caramel compliments the brûlées spice notes and adds a dark rich, caramel toffee taste along with a satisfying crunch.

Crème Brûlée:

  • 1 ¾ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place six 4 to 6 ounce ramekins in a roasting pan, and fill the pan with water so that the water comes up halfway to the tops of the ramekins. In a medium saucepan over medium heat bring the ½  cup of sugar, cream, brandy and the contents of the vanilla bean (add the bean as well, you will remove it later) to a simmer, you are just dissolving the sugar not boiling the cream. In a stand mixer, or other bowl whip the egg yolks until the yolks turn a lighter, paler yellow. Add in the cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove the vanilla bean from the heated cream. Slowly, a little at a time, add ½ of the hot cream mixture to temper the egg yolk mixture. Add the remaining cream and strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Divide the liquid among the ramekins. Place in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until set, but the middle still trembles slightly. Remove and chill at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, or overnight. Prior to serving, remove the brûlées and top with the rum caramel (recipe follows). To top the dessert, place a little hot caramel in the middle then swirl the ramekins until the caramel coats the edges.

Rum Caramel:

  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • 1 cup organic sugar (1:1 replacement for refined granulated white sugar)

Be extremely careful when cooking with melted sugar; it is hot and sticky. Keep an ice bath close by in case the sugar splatters onto you. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add the sugar rum mixture. The alcohol will cook out leaving the flavored sugar. The sugar will then start to liquefy, gently stir so that it does not burn in any one place. The sugar will turn a deep rich brown and start to smoke. Heat for one more minute then remove and top the desserts.