French Dip

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This sandwich is perfect for a football party. There is  quite a bit of prep time, but most of that can be done the day before. The jus is quite sweet from the onion but also has good savory flavor and really makes the sandwich. The double baking of the bread makes the crust crispy but the inside of the roll soft. All of the ingredients in the sandwich compliment each other well and the jus compliments the sandwich perfectly. You can find the recipe below.

French Dip

Beef Wellington

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This past weekend I finally made beef wellington. This dish has been on my list of dishes to try ever since seeing it on MasterChef. I did a lot of preparation and research before making this dish so I could understand all the steps involved in making such a complex dish. I combined a few different recipes but this video was a big help in seeing how to execute some of the more technical aspects of this meal, beef wellington video. This recipe is for special occasions. It takes a lot of time to prep but in the end it turns out great. just make sure to take your time as you work through the recipe and trust your meat thermometer. For a nice medium rare pull the wellington out of the oven when the internal temperature reaches 125. As the roast rests it the temp will rise to 130-135. When cutting the wellington use a sharp chef’s knife to prevent the pastry from shredding and falling off. Enjoy.

Beef Wellington

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Seared Ahi Tuna with Tamari Butter Sauce

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Earlier this year I went down to Richmond, VA to visit my sister. While I was there we went to Edo’s Squid, a hole in the wall restaurant in Richmond. While we were there my sister got an amazing tuna dish and I asked the waitress how they made the sauce that was served with it. This was my attempt at their dish, and from what I can remember it came very close to the one I had in Richmond. To cook the tuna I used the Himalayan salt blocks and seared the tune for a little over a minute a side. To make the Tamari butter sauce I combined butter Tamari soy sauce, lemon juice, and black pepper; then I reduced the sauce and added a bit of flour to thicken it. This sauce is not as salty as soy sauce because the Tamari soy sauce adds a deeper richer flavor that regular soy sauce. I served the tuna over wild rice. Enjoy!

MasterChef Audition

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Tomorrow morning I am going to the open casting call for MasterChef in Philadelphia. I have been working on the dish that I will be presenting for a few weeks now and am finally happy with how it tastes and how it looks when plated. Coming up with this dish was a fun experience. It allowed me to work with blending and mixing flavors as well as helped me with plating creativity. I’m very excited for this opportunity and will write about my experience at the casting call in an upcoming blog post. For right now I’m keeping the dish I am submitting a secret but I will also write about the process I went through to create the dish in a future post.

Grilled Lobster with Garlic Thyme Butter

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I was in the grocery store the other day and saw they had lobsters on sale so I picked one up. This grilled lobster dish is a very quick and easy lobster recipe. Turn on or light your grill. Take a knife and kill the lobster then cut it in half. Grill lobster over medium heat for 4 minutes. Flip the lobster and baste with the Garlic Thyme butter (recipe below). Then move to indirect heat for three minutes and baste with butter again. It is a very simple dish to make and tastes incredible. The lobster I used weighed 1.5 lbs so if your lobster is larger the cooking time may vary. Enjoy!

Garlic Thyme Butter:

1 Stick Butter, melted
2 Cloves Garlic
Juice of Half a Lemon
2 Tbs Fresh Thyme or 1 Tbs Dried Thyme

Combine ingredients in small bowl.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

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Yesterday I tweaked the Cajun Shrimp recipe and served it over pasta. Like the original recipe I poached the shrimp in the water, wine, pickling spice mixture. I also sauteed up a bunch of veggies like peppers, tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and spinach. You could add any other vegetables you want. To make the sauce I combined four tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup sherry, 2/3 cup shrimp stock, and 2 tablespoons Cajun spice; stirring until the butter melts and everything is incorporated. When you saute the vegetables use the Cajun sauce instead of butter or oil. Cook the shrimp, vegetables and pasta then mix together and pour sauce over. This was a last minute throw together dish last night that turned out surprisingly well. It’s relatively simple and allows for a lot of creativity, Enjoy!

Pan Cooked Chicken with Honey Beer Pan Sauce

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Here is a quick and easy dinner to make on a weekday night.You will find the recipe for the honey beer sauce below. The ingredients are pretty common and because it is a pan sauce you can have some fun experimenting with other ingredients. This chicken goes well with sauteed spinach and wild rice especially if you put some whole grain mustard in with the sauteed spinach. Enjoy!

Pan Cooked Chicken with Honey Beer Pan Sauce

Garlic and Herb Crusted Leg of Lamb

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I came across an extra leg of lamb in the freezer the other day and was inspired to use it in an upcoming dinner. I did a bit of research on a few recipes and came across this recipe from Food and Wine that I used as inspiration. I added more vegetables to the roasting pan and tweaked the cooking instructions a bit. Instead of pulling the lamb from the oven when the internal temp reads 145 take it out when it hits 140, it will reach 145 as it sits. This recipe is a bit time consuming but is very simple and turns out a delicious leg of lamb. I also have to give credit to Jamison Farm, we order our lamb from these guys for Easter and usually throw in a few other cuts into the shopping cart. They have fantastic quality lamb and I would recommend checking them out. Enjoy!

Garlic and Herb Crusted Leg of Lamb

Recipe Revisit: Cajun Shrimp

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Over the weekend I went back and made some improvements to the poached shrimp in Old Bay butter. In the end I completely changed the recipe and the results were even better than I expected. I used the same poaching method to cook the shrimp. However for the sauce I changed nearly everything. Instead of using Old Bay I switched to a Cajun seasoning, which kicks up the spice level. I also switched to a oil and butter base, which does a better job at coating the shrimp and is great for dipping bread. I also added in some chopped up hot banana peppers, an idea I came across when I ordered the Cajun shrimp appetizer at The Irish Rover Station House. Give this recipe a try, it’s quick and easy to make and is a real crowd pleaser, Enjoy!

Cajun Shrimp

Chicken Hot Chili Noodles

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I have become a big fan of using rice noodles in Asian dishes. They are much lighter than pasta and have a great soft texture. I mostly use them when I make pad thai. However, last night I decided make a new dish using rice noodles. This dish is based off of the hot pepper noodles recipe from Bon Appetite. I was a bit skeptical of this dish when I started making it. I thought it would be overwhelmed by the chili garlic sauce but the sauce had a subtle heat and great flavor. The oyster sauce, soy sauce,ans chili sauce blend well together. This quick and easy dinner is great to make during the week. Enjoy!

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Chicken Hot Chili Noodles