Forces of Nature

2 10 2011

I had a lot to do; many errands and tasks to complete in the brief respite we know as a weekend. Yet, October had arrived. And with that arrival the very first coolness that is autumn.  Despite official decrees adhering to the equinox, autumn does not arrive until you can feel her, a cool caress; and hear her, a soft rustle and bustle as wind makes its way through wood; and see her, a patchwork of bright colors peering from within a monochrome curtain of green; and smell her, faintly earthy and dirty in a deliciously naughty way. The only thing left is to taste, and for that we made a dinner resplendent with the flavors and feel of fall. Yes, there was a lot to do and now there remains the same, but only a fool denies the forces of nature when she beckons….


Bolognese Sauce (served over home made roasted beet root pasta)

  • 8 ounces finely chopped pancetta
  • 2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup madeira
  • 4 ounces red wine
  • 1 Tbs. anchovy paste
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • Bouquet garni (6 sprigs oregano, 6 sprigs thyme, 3 sprigs parsley, 2 bay leaves)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can pureed San Marzano tomatoes
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • Basil, chiffonade cut for garnish

In a separate small sauce pan reduce the cream by 1/3 over medium low heat. Render the pancetta in a large stockpot over medium heat. . Add the beef and veal, season with salt and pepper and brown the meats. Add the garlic, carrot, celery and onions and cook until softened, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the anchovy and tomato paste and cook for another minute. Add the Madeira and red wine and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the tomatoes and bouquet garni and allow to simmer for about 3 hours. Periodically check and as the liquid evaporates add the milk until it is fully incorporated. After all the milk has been incorporated add the cream. Serve over pasta with basil garnish.


Papaya Marinated Flank Steak

9 09 2011

Flank steak, like skirt steak can be a tricky piece of meat to work with on the grill. Cooked wrong it can get very tough, very quickly. Here we marinated the steak overnight in spice and papaya which tenderized the meat nicely. A quick sear on the grill and the  juicy, tender and very flavorful beef was served with grilled corn with cilantro lime butter and a coconut curry jicama and beet slaw. Amazing!

Papaya Marinade

  • 1 Papaya, peeled and seeds removed , rough chop
  • ½ bunch cilantro, stems removed
  • 1 onion, rough chop
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ Tbs Chili powder
  • 1 chili pepper, split lengthwise and seeds left in
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • ½ tsp fresh grated ginger

Combine all ingredients into a large Ziploc bag. Add the meat and marinate at least four hours, preferably overnight.

Carrot and Roasted Beet Slaw

2 12 2010


Carrot and Roasted Beet Slaw

  • ½ head red cabbage
  • 3-4 medium carrots
  • 3 medium beets
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (best is homemade)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a shallow roasting dish place the washed beets. Cover with a drizzle of olive oil and lightly with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool. Peel the beets and finely dice. Using a mandolin, or slicing thinly, cut the carrots and cabbage into thin slices. Combine all the ingredients.