Thursday, 13 October 2011

Pumpkin Stuffed with Goodness

I've been sooo looking forward to making this divinely decadent pumpkin from the incomparable Dorie! Although mine looks absolutley nothing like hers, it was pretty darn good anyway. Will have to make again with tweeking. The point is, just hollow out a 3-4 pound pumpkin, stuff it with bread, cheese, garlic and cream. Then bake for a couple of hours at 350 degrees. I know a certain someone, who though refuses vegetables on principle, would most eagerly and joyously devour the inside!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Steak Salad with Potatoes, Leeks and Bok Choy

There are times when I am wildly in-love with life, with food, and yes- with myself. Last night was one such time. Being a semi-committed vegetarian, my constant challenge is the care and feeding of the four carnivore males in my life (or as I like to call them, the carni-fours). They are a fast living, high energy, sports loving bunch; as represented by their food consumption. So I’m sure you can imagine the protests if I were to make say…. a salad.  For main course? For dinner!?A ...salad?! Oh the unspeakable atrocity! And yet…. If the "salad" involves some sort of animal product and if said salad were actually served warm. And if I don't actually refer to it as a "salad", well then, that's another story, isn’t it?
You see, it's all semantics.

(Bonus! If you wipe up the pan before you eat, the only dish to wash after dinner is the serving bowl!)


1 large strip loin beef steak, about 2" thick
Steak spice
Seasoned salt
Dried oregano
Dried chile peppers
1 pound small potatoes
Olive oil
Pepper and salt
1 large leek, thinly sliced (you really have to soak these well, and scrub between each stalk)
6 baby bok choy, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ lemon
Small bunch of dill, minced
¼ cup pickled peppers, chopped
¼ prepared antipasto
1/3 cup Creamy Dijon-Tomato Vinaigrette (recipe to follow)

Ok, so a couple of hours before starting dinner liberally season the steak with steak spice, seasoned salt, oregano and chile peppers. Let it hang out on the counter.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Scrub the potatoes and cut them into halves or quarters, depending on the size. The thing is you don’t want people to have to cut up huge pieces of potato in their “salad”.
Place the potatoes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, toss with olive oil and pepper and salt. Roast for about 40-50 minutes, or until a bit brown on the outside, soft on the inside. (I roast them on the top rack for first 25 minutes, and the bottom rack for the remainder of the time.)

Preheat a heavy oven-proof fry pan to medium-high. Add a little clarified butter if you have it, or maybe a bit of oil.
When the pan is good and screeching hot, sear the steak. About 2 minutes per side. Then transfer the steak, right in the pan, onto the center oven rack. Roast it for about 8 minutes, or until still reddish in the middle. It will cook more as it rests.
When the steak done, remove it from the pan and cover loosely with foil on a cutting board.

Meanshtvile, using the same pan that the steak was cooked in, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the leeks until are soft, and then add the garlic and bok choy. Sauté another couple of minutes. Now add about ¼ cup of water and bring to a simmer. Add the lemon and cook for 4 minutes or until bok choy is soft.

Transfer the potatoes to a large serving bowl and toss with the dill, pickled peppers, antipasto and vinaigrette. Slice the steak on a diagonal, very thinly. Now add the steak and bok choy mixture to the potato mixture. Top with a little extra dill for presentation, and serve.

Creamy Dijon-Tomato Vinaigrette

¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons ketchup (Surprise! That’s the tomato portion!)
1 garlic clove, crushed
¾ cup olive oil
Dash of salt and pepper

Whisk together everything up to the olive oil. Then drizzle the oil in slowly, whisking away madly all the while. This is even better after it sits a couple of days.