Showing posts with label shallot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shallot. Show all posts

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pork Chop with Caramelized Onions and Cinnamon Rice Pilaf

Pork Chop with Caramelized Onions and Cinnamon Rice Pilaf

Last September, I published a pork chops dish for #SundaySupper that was not satisfying from the standpoint of it's plate presentation, so I decided to replicate it again.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

I remember reading in Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio with Catherine Young, Lori Silverbush and Sean Fri that Chef Colicchio doesn't change the proteins on his restaurant menus very often, but he will change the vegetable accompaniments depending on what's in season and what is at it's peak. Using this theory, I consulted The Flavor Bible to re-pair pork chops for spring produce. Spring onions are obviously in season around now and onions were strongly suggested as a pairing with pork. I knew caramelized onions were sweet and thought it would be a good substitute to apples that are in season in the autumn.

Dish Details

I prepared my pork chops using a tried and true method from Chef Tyler Florence. In addition, I utilized the guide to making rice pilaf and my love for caramelized onions can be traced back to this recipe on epicurious which I found about six years ago. I'd imagine this dish would be at home on any casual chain restaurant, however I'm unsure if one would go through the trouble of brining their chops.


1 gallon water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt plus more as needed
Thyme sprigs
4 pork rib chops with the bone frenched
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, then sliced thin
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup white rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
Italian parsley leaves, chopped (for garnish)


1. Prepare the pork chops. Brine the chops by combining the water one cup kosher salt and brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the thyme sprigs and the pork chops, then cover and refrigerate covered for two hours.

Once the two hours have elapsed, drain the brine and discard the brine. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels, then season on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, sear the pork chops in the skillet, approximately three to four minutes per side, then remove and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm while the onions and rice are prepared.

2. Caramelize the onions. In the same skillet used to prepare the pork chops, melt two tablespoons butter in an additional two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Once melted, add the onions and stir, coating them in the fat. Continue to cook the onions until they reduce, soften and turn a golden brown, stirring occasionally, approximately twenty to thirty minutes. Stir in the granulated sugar, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

3. While the onions are caramelizing, prepare the rice. In a medium saucepan, melt one tablespoon unsalted butter in one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot to sweat, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, approximately two minutes. Perfume the shallots by adding the cinnamon, then the rice. Stir the mixture until the rice is toasted and coated in the oils, approximately 3 minutes. Stir in the wine and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let it steam until the rice has absorbed, approximately twelve to fifteen minutes. Once the rice is finished, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. To plate, spoon a portion of the rice off center on a warmed plate, then rest the pork chop on the rice so that the frenched bone is raised. Drizzle some caramelized onions over the pork, then garnish with parsley leaves.

Final Thoughts

If you look closely, you'll find that I seared the pork chops in a stainless steel skillet in the picture above yet I instructed to sear them in a non-stick one. I made this change because I thought the onions might be able to pick up some of the pork fond but I found the sear on the pork a little too dark and I didn't want my onions to have a charred taste when they were supposed to be sweet so I switched pans. Additionally, Chef Florence instructs to finish the chops off in the oven and I did in this case but I omitted it from the instructions because I found them to be a little dry, despite the fact that they were brined. If the pork chops are one-inch thick or more, roast them in the oven at 350° Fahrenheit until their internal temperature reaches 140° Fahrenheit, approximately thirty minutes. In the end, I found the onions a very good substitute for apples and am surprised it isn't more common.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Green and Yellow Artichoke Tortellini with Mushrooms, Pancetta and Spring Peas with White Wine Reduction for an Italian Fest #SundaySupper

Green and Yellow Artichoke Tortellini with Mushrooms, Pancetta and Spring Peas with White Wine Reduction for an Italian Fest #SundaySupper

My long time readers know that one of my passions I've explored on this website is Italian cuisine, so I couldn't let this week's #SundaySupper theme of Italian Fest go without participating. It's hosted by Manu of Manu's Menu. Thank you, Manu!

As this passion has developed over the years, I've tried to learn as much as I can on the topic. What fascinates me is the differences between authentic Italian food and America's version of Italian food which is the reason why I'm so appreciative of an article my friend Caroline of La Cucina Della Prima Donna wrote a few years ago that explains how Italians can still eat healthy despite calorie-laden dishes such as pasta, pizza and gelato.

As I noted in a dish I published this past fall, Italian pasta dishes tend to be simple, so I've struggled to balance genuineness with my desire to continue to prepare foods that challenge me, either in flavor profile and/or preparation. However, I think I found a compromise with an article I discovered several years ago on that reviewed recipes for flavored pastas and have been using it as a source of inspiration ever since. Such is the case with this dish.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

The idea of this dish was born from episode 16 of season six's MasterChef, where the elimination challenge charged the contestants with preparing three fresh pasta dishes. One of the assigned dishes is a squid ink striped farfalle. At the time, I hadn't even considered the concept of striped pasta so I was intrigued and wanted to explore the notion. In addition, my long time readers will remember I prepared a Paglia e Fieno dish two years ago which is the second source of inspiration for this updated version.

Dish Details

When I conceptualized this dish, I imagined it to be served at a modern Italian fine dining restaurant. The dish the contestants on the show I referenced above made pasta with only stripes on one side, so I did a little digging and found a method to ensure the stripes appear on both sides. I also wanted to use seasonal ingredients so, after consulting The Flavor Bible, I decided to use artichokes for my filling in addition to mushrooms, spinach and peas. Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio with Catherine Young, Lori Silverbush and Sean Fri played a role in two components of the dish. The reduction was comprised from the basic sauce making technique described on page 75 and the artichoke filling on pages 129 through 130 and 134. Pasta dough was adapted from the article I linked above. I also added the pancetta because The Flavor Bible noted it worked well with artichokes and I've also found I enjoy the pairing of cured pork with mushrooms.


For the artichoke filling:
3 lemons
3 artichokes
1 medium yellow onion, peeled
1 leek, tops trimmed and green outer leaves discarded
1 celery stalk, sliced thin
7 to 8 baby carrots, sliced thin
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 sprigs lemon thyme
1 3/4 cups white wine

For pasta dough:
8 ounces raw spinach
6 cups all-purpose flour, divided plus more as needed
Kosher salt
8 eggs, divided

For the vegetables and reduction:
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 ounces pancetta, diced
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced thin
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Lemon thyme sprigs, for garnish


1. Complete the artichoke mise en place. Combine the juice from 2 1/2 lemons and 2 quarts water in a large bowl. Trim the stem (leaving only 1-inch), then remove the outer leaves and cut off the inner leaves. Next, peel away the outer layers that encircle the heart with a pairing knife, similar to peeling an apple. Scrape out the fuzzy choke and immature leaves using a spoon, then trim the top of the choke, rubbing it with the remaining half lemon frequently to prevent it from oxidizing and turning brown. When finished place the artichoke into the lemon water and repeat the process with the other two artichokes. Cut the yellow onion in half lengthwise, then slice thinly. Repeat the process for the leek.

2. Braise the artichokes. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a high sided pot over medium heat until the pot begins to smoke. Add the onions, leek, carrots and celery (i.e. mirepoix) to the pot to sweat, reducing the heat to medium low, seasoning with kosher salt and stirring occasionally, approximately 20 minutes.

Remove the artichokes from the lemon water and add to the pot. Drizzle the chokes with approximately 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and lemon thyme sprigs. Add the wine to the pot and enough water to cover the artichokes. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat, partially cover the pot and let them simmer until the chokes can easily be pierced with a knife, approximately 30 minutes.

Once finished remove from the heat and allow the artichokes to cool in the braising fluid. Purée the artichokes with the mirepoix adding just enough braising fluid so the mixture has the consistency similar to toothpaste. Cover and set aside until the pasta dough has been prepared.

3. Prepare the spinach. Coarsely chop the spinach, then rinse it under cold water. Place the wet spinach leaves in a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and add a pinch of kosher salt until the spinach wilts, approximately 5 minutes. Remove the spinach from the pan and let it cool. Once the spinach has cooled enough to handle, place them in a double layer of paper towels and squeeze out as much water from them as possible. Purée the spinach in the blender.

4. Make and roll the pasta dough. Make two mounds of flour, each using 3 cups. Dig a hole in each mound to form a well big enough to hold the eggs, then add a pinch of salt to each mound. Whisk 4 eggs together, then pour them into one well. Whisk the remaining 4 eggs together with the puréed spinach and pour it into the second well. Make, knead and roll each dough separately by following the instructions of Steps 4 and 5 in this prior agnolotti dish, however stop rolling the dough one setting thicker than desired. (For example, my Atlas machine has 6 settings but wanted my pasta as thin as setting 5 so I stopped rolling the dough at setting 4.) Many pasta dough recipes direct the cook to use a clean flat surface but I recommend using a sheet pan because the sides will contain the eggs in the event that the well should break. Dust both sides of each pasta dough with flour and then roll each dough up as if you were rolling a cigarette, then cut it lengthwise in half similar to this picture, cutting along the blue rubber band. Unroll each half and wet the edge of the cut side of each green pasta sheet with water, then lay a yellow pasta sheet next to the green so the yellow sheet overlaps the green sheet by a 1/4-inch. Repeat the process with the remaining sheets. Pass the combined dough through the pasta roller at the final setting.

5. Form the tortellini. Using a ring mold, cut circles in the pasta sheets in a manner that half of the circle is green and the other half is yellow. Using the reserved artichoke filling and the pasta cirecles, fold the tortellini in the manner demonstrated in this YouTube video, ensuring that each tortellino is folded in a manner so the half circle has a different color on each side. If you're not preparing the dish immediately, place each tortellino on a sheet pan dusted with flour and place in the freezer.

6. Prepare the sauce and finish the dish. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the tortellini to the pot and boil until they float to the top, approximately 2 minutes. Remove the tortellini from the pot and set aside to reserve. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the pancetta to render the fat, approximately 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pancetta to sweat and reduce, stirring occasionally. Add the peas to the skillet and cook until heated through.

Remove the pancetta, mushrooms and peas from the pan and reserve. If the pan is dry, add the remaining tablespoon to the skillet, then the shallot to sweat for approximately 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with wine and scrape the bottom to release any fond and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock and continue to simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain out any solids in the sauce and return it to the skillet over low heat and add the butter, stirring until it melts. Adjust the seasoning of the sauce with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. To plate, spoon some of the reduction into a bowl, top the reduction with the mushrooms, pancetta and peas, then place tortellini onto the vegetables. Garnish with lemon thyme sprigs.

Final Thoughts

I was discussing this dish with my friend, Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Kiss My Smoke before I published it today. I explained that this dish is as far as I can escalate the complexity of fresh pasta. As I stated above, I intended this dish to be an example of food that could be served at a modern Italian fine dining establishment. Overall, I was pleased with the taste of the dish, as it was well balanced with strong flavors, however I was not happy with it's presentation. If you perform a google image search for tortellini fine dining, you'll get a general idea of what I had in mind. I think the issue is the size of the pasta circles I cut. I used a 3-inch ring cutter so when I went to wrap them around my finger, I found that they didn't reach all the way around. so I ended up folding both corners over to seal with water. When I make tortellini again, I'd use my 5-inch ring mold. I hoped to document the process of forming the tortellini in a little more detail with pictures, however I so focused with making the tortellini I forgot about my camera.

I've reviewed the process of making fresh pasta several times in the past and I've hoped to dedicate a post focused solely on this one aspect, however my hands get rather messy with flour and eggs when I knead the dough so it's difficult to take pictures. Probably the best demonstration I've found is this one by Chef Tomm Johnson I found on YouTube. He initially combines the wet and dry ingredients in a mixing bowl instead of using the well method I describe above, however.

Be sure to check out the other great Italian dishes before you go!

And Artichoke Torta plus More Recipes for Italian Fest from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Apple and Chorizo Crostini with Shallots and Basil #‎IsabelsBirthdayBash‬

For Isabel,

My friend Isabel Laessig, founder and CEO of #SundaySupper Movement and Food and Wine Conference in addition to her own blog, Family Foodie, celebrates her birthday today so a few of us at #SundaySupper got together to mark the occasion by channeling the mission of the Sunday Supper Movement: to bring us back around the family table. Isabel certainly has been an inspiration to me, not only for her commitment to the entities she's founded but for her own dishes such as Lobster Ravioli with Shrimp Garlic Caper Sauce and Chicken Fajita Bowls.

Apple and Chorizo Crostini with Shallots and Basil #‎IsabelsBirthdayBash

Inspiration Behind the Dish

If you know Isabel at all, you know that she has a soft spot in her heart for chorizo, so I used that as a starting point for my dish. The Flavor Bible noted that apples pair well with the ingredient so I added some as well. I wanted a dish that would be quick to prepare so the host would not need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I also wanted something that would allow party guests to carry it around with a cocktail napkin; a finger-food style hors d'oeuvre or appetizer.

Dish Details

This dish is a Crazy Foodie Stunts original


1 baguette, cut into slices about 1/2-inch wide
1 tablespoon plus more for brushing olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
1 9-ounce package pork chorizo
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
1/4 cup apple juice
Basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (for garnish)


1. Toast the baguette. Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush each side of the baguette slices with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes to toast. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

2. Prepare the chorizo and apples. Heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots to sweat, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chorizo to brown and break up the chorizo with a spoon, approximately 5 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan with apple juice, and simmer until the pan is mostly dry. To plate, spoon the chorizo onto each baguette slice, then garnish with basil.

Final Thoughts

If I got the opportunity to do this again, I'd shorten the title to just Apple and Chorizo Crostini or Apple and Chorizo Crostini with Caramelized Shallots because I used the basil as a garnish.

The picture of the plated dish above was taken outside one of the buildings in my apartment complex. When I was almost finished setting up, a couple of neighbors happened to walk by and sampled the dish. They were very complementary and inquired about my website. The dish was also liked by Mrs. Stuntman.

Join me in celebrating Isabel's Birthday with all the delicious food and drinks her #SundaySupper family prepared!

Birthday Drinks:
Birthday Appetizers:
Birthday Main Courses:
Birthday Desserts:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Filet Mignon with Red Wine Reduction and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes for a Copycat #SundaySupper

Filet Mignon with Red Wine Reduction and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes for a Copycat #SundaySupper

It's interesting how history repeats itself. I say that because there are several themes I have addressed in previous posts that are applicable to this dish I am publishing today.

Let me explain.

Earlier this spring, my mother called and insisted upon seeing her granddaughter over the summer. Either she and my father were going to travel up to Washington from California or my daughter would have to fly down there. So a couple of weeks ago, I flew my daughter to California and spent a few days catching up with friends and family and returned home on Independence Day, leaving my daughter behind. It was nice to see everyone and I made sure I made the most of my foodie opportunity but ultimately, I realized that where I grew up isn't home anymore and am happier at my current residence. I was also fortunate to attend this year's Food and Wine Conference and flew back from Orlando last Monday evening. Mrs. Stuntman flew out to California earlier that day to visit and also pick up our daughter to fly home, but they don't return until this evening so I have been by myself all week. Long time readers might remember the last time both my daughter and wife were away when I prepared this steak dish two years ago. The scenario is the same here as it was then: I was only cooking for myself so I figured I could splurge a little without breaking the bank, which is one of the reasons why I chose a filet.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

I couldn't let this week's #SundaySupper theme of Copycat Recipes go by without participating. Within the first six months I had started this site, I organized a group post called Food Unchained where I replicated a baby back ribs recipe inspired by a national restaurant chain. The idea of 'Food Unchained' was to prepare an improved version of a favorite chain restaurant dish with the idea that if the restaurant would replace the blogger's version of their dish it would help the chain's sales. I used the same approach here, however this time, I used a dish off of a different restaurant menu. This time, I was inspired by the Dallas Filet off of the Texas Roadhouse menu. (It's the other reason why I chose a filet.)

Dish Details

Their menu specifies that the filet includes two side dishes but let's assume the first side is a salad which will act as an appetizer course. For the second side, I was inspired by a baked potato. After all, my version is fundamentally prepared in the same way, but seasoned in a different manner. I will admit that this dish looks a lot like one I prepared about a year ago for the Conference, however I wanted to try something I saw during a cooking demonstration by Chef Michael Ollier of Certified Angus Beef® over this past weekend. Chef Ollier demonstrated a simple pan sauce for beef but he finished it off with tomato paste instead of butter. Would that one ingredient substitution make a huge difference in the sauce?

I adapted this dish from a few different sources. I used the cooking method (i.e. oven temperature and roasting time) from a Tyler Florence dish that can be found on I recommend taking one extra step with the filet that I failed to do here that I will describe below. For the pan sauce, I used the basic sauce making technique found on page 75 of Think Like A Chef by Tom Colicchio with Catherine Young, Lori Silverbush and Sean Fri which was reinforced by a dish on Certified Angus Beef®'s blog, Go Rare. A YouTube video demonstrating the recipe can be found here.


1/4 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus more, if needed
1 8-ounce filet mignon, approximately 1-inch thick
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef or veal stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Whole rosemary sprigs, for garnish


1. Roast the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 500° Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and place on a middle rack while the oven is preheating. In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic, rosemary and olive oil. Once the oven has reached it's temperature, place the potatoes onto the warmed sheet pan, close the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 425° Fahrenheit. Roast in the oven until the potatoes have a crisp exterior but a soft interior, approximately 20 minutes.

2. While the potatoes roast, sear the steak. Heat the vegetable oil in a stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium high heat, then season the filet with salt and pepper. Put the filet into the skillet to sear, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm to allow for carryover cooking.

3. Prepare the pan sauce. Reduce the heat of the skillet to medium, then add more vegetable oil if necessary, up to an additional 1 tablespoon. Add the shallots to sweat, approximately 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon garlic to the shallots and cook until fragrant, an additional minute. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up the fond, then simmer until it's reduced by half. Add in the beef stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the sauce until it has a syrup-like consistency, then stir in the tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary. To plate, place the potatoes on one side of the plate, then the filet on another. Spoon some sauce over the filet, then garnish with a rosemary sprig or two.

Final Thoughts

From an execution standpoint, I was a bit off my game the evening I prepared this dish, in fact I made a couple of rookie mistakes. The filet was a little undercooked for my taste, so if I were to prepare this dish again, I would place the pan in the oven on a different rack than the potatoes immediately after turning the filet until the desired doneness is reached. Keep in mind that the steak still should be slightly under the desired doneness (i.e. cook to rare in order to achieve medium rare) to allow for carryover cooking. (The temperature of the meat will rise about 5° Fahrenheit as it rests).

In addition, I also slightly burned the shallots because the pan was a little too hot when I added them and I failed to reduce the oven temperature once I placed the potatoes on the hot sheet pan, so I had to scramble and hide the burned herbs and garnish the potatoes with thyme leaves for presentation. Speaking of the potatoes, I'd increase the amount of the potatoes, garlic and rosemary if more than 1 filet is to be prepared. Despite my issues, it was still the best thing I ate since I returned from the Food and Wine Conference.

If you look around the Texas Roadhouse website, they do demonstrate in a video the process of preparing their ribeye steaks, they pan sear before finishing them off on the grill but I can't imagine they would apply the same process to their filet because it would be overcooked. Furthermore, many steakhouses utilize an infrared broiler, so I'm unsure what this company is trying to achieve by this process.

I'd like to thank Coleen of The Redhead Baker for hosting this week's #SundaySupper event. Also, I plan on posting my review of the 2015 Food and Wine Conference later this week but until then, be sure to visit these other Copycat Recipes:

Main Courses
Side Dishes

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

New York Strip Steak with Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom Sauce #WeekdaySupper

New York Strip Steak with Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom Sauce #WeekdaySupper

I guess you could say that I have a greater appreciation for farmer's markets. When I lived in California, many of them stay open year round, so by the time I looked up local ones after our move to Washington last autumn, pretty much all of them had already closed for the winter. The only one that stays open year round locally is the famous Pike's Place Market but I have stayed away because it's a bit of a drive and I'm not a fan of crowds. The city of Redmond, Washington opened their Saturday farmer's market the first Saturday in May so I went a couple of weeks ago.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

This month, all #WeekdaySupper dishes will be featuring summer's bounty of produce that comes into season this time of year so I went to the farmer's market with my copy of The Flavor Bible and an open mind. I noticed asparagus was fairly common that day among many of the vendors, so I purchased 1 bunch in addition to some mushrooms, radishes and spring onions. A couple of days later, I noticed New York steaks were on sale at the local supermarket so I made the purchase thinking they would pair perfectly with the mushrooms and asparagus.

Dish Details

From the standpoint of a preparation method, I relied heavily on Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio with Catherine Young, Lori Silverbush and Sean Fri. Page 41 reviews the pan roasting method for steaks in addition to the sauce making method found on page 75. In addition, I compiled a roasted asparagus method from several different sources. I'd imagine that this dish would be at home in any steakhouse.


1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless New York steaks, about 12-ounces each
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 medium shallot, chopped
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 cups beef stock


1. Prepare the asparagus. Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Place them in a single layer on a aluminum foil-lined sheet pan. Set aside while the steaks are prepared.

2. Pan roast the steaks. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels, then season them with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil starts to smoke, lay the steaks down in the pan to sear on both sides, approximately 3 minutes per side. Add 2 tablespoons butter and thyme sprigs to the pan. Baste the steaks with the browning butter for 1 minute, then turn and baste on the second side for an additional minute. Repeat the 'turn and baste' process until the steaks reach the desired doneness. Remove to a plate and tent with an aluminum foil and let it rest while the remainder of the dish is prepared.

3. Roast the asparagus and prepare the sauce. While the steaks rest, place the asparagus in the oven and roast it until tender, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. While the asparagus roasts, add the remaining olive oil to the pan where the steaks were roasted. Once the oil has warmed, add the chopped shallot to the oil and sweat, then season with salt and pepper, approximately 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up the loosened fond with a spoon. Simmer until the wine has almost evaporated. Add in the beef stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Decrease the heat to low, then stir in the remaining two tablespoons butter to give the sauce some richness. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To plate, place 4 to 5 asparagus spears on the plate diagonally, then place the steak on the plate over the asparagus in the other direction and top with mushroom sauce.

Final Thoughts

All-in-all I found the Redmond Market to have more vendors selling artisan honeys and crafts than farmers selling produce. Thankfully, there are two opening up that are closer this week so hopefully, you'll see the items I've purchased here soon.

For more #WeekdaySupper ideas, please visit the dishes published earlier this week:
and a preview of the two remaining dishes:

Sunday Supper Movement

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Duck Confit Agnolotti with Wild Mushroom Sauce

Duck Confit Agnolotti with Wild Mushroom Sauce

You know all those quick and easy recipes that make up a significant portion of the internet? This isn't one of them. I'm very proud of this dish because it's one of my most ambitious plates of food I've constructed to date. If you replicate it, plan on starting it Friday evening to be served for Sunday dinner.

Last month, I tried something new when I seared duck breasts. You might remember that I bought a whole bird for the dish so I had parts leftover and I decided to prepare the leg quarters in a confit. Confit is a French technique that was used to preserve food before refrigeration was invented and it involves salt curing meats before poaching it in fat over low heat. It has since become somewhat of a novelty for it's flavor.

Since I have already made several ravioli dishes, I wanted to attempt another filled pasta shape I previously had yet to attempt and thought the agnolotto would be challenging. I would call the agnolotti a cousin to the ravioli because the difference between the two is that the pasta in a raviolo is cut to form its shape on all sides but the agnolotto pasta is folded over so that only three sides are cut.

The Challenge

Successfully execute cooking techniques not previously attempted.

The Source

I took the confit recipe from page 183 of Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio with Catherine Young, Lori Silverbush and Sean Fri and used it in the pasta filling recipe on page 160 of the recipe guide from the Top Chef University DVD set. Furthermore, I applied my pasta dough ingredients from pages 102 to 104 of Cook Like A Rock Star by Anne Burrell with Suzanne Lenzer to the agnolotti procedure I found on and paired it with Chef Wolfgang Puck's mushroom sauce on


3 tablespoons kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 shallot, peeled and sliced thin
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 duck leg quarters
Black pepper, coarsely ground
Duck fat, as needed (I was able to get away with one 12-ounce container, but more may be needed)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup button mushrooms, chopped fine
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Meat from duck confit recipe
1/2 cup plus more as needed chicken stock, divided
1 tablespoon Italian parsley

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 plus 4 large eggs, divided
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
Kosher salt

2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup mushroom trimmings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh thyme
8 ounces assorted wild mushrooms (I used a box containing trumpets, White Beech, and Brown Hon-shemeji), trimmed and sliced
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Watercress leaves, for garnish.


1. Cure the duck. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt in an even layer to the bottom of a dish. Scatter half of the garlic, shallot and thyme over the salt, then place the duck leg quarters on top of the herbs. Add the remaining salt, garlic, shallot and thyme over the leg quarters then season with freshly ground black pepper. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Duck leg quarters before curing overnight

2. Finish the confit. Preheat the oven to 225° Fahrenheit. While you're waiting for the oven, melt the duck fat over medium low heat in a saucepan. Remove the duck leg quarters from the cure and discard the cure. Brush off any salt and herbs stuck to the duck legs, then add them to high-sided baking dish in a single layer. Pour enough duck fat over the leg quarters to completely submerge them in the fat, then place the baking dish in the oven to slowly simmer the leg quarters until the meat is tender and can be separated easily from the bone, approximately 2 to 3 hours. Remove the confit from the oven and set aside to cool. The confit can be stored in the refrigerator in it's own fat covered in plastic wrap for up to one month.

Duck leg quarters just about to go into the oven

Duck leg quarters finished in the oven

3. Prepare the agnolotti filling. If the duck fat has solidified, I recommend putting the baking dish with the confit back into the oven at 200° Fahrenheit or cooler (if your oven has a warm setting) until liquefied. Remove the skin from the leg quarters, then pull the meat off the bone using a fork. Shred the meat similar to pulled pork. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to smoke, add the shallots, garlic and mushrooms then sweat, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add in the shredded duck confit, then deglaze with 1/2 cup chicken stock. Simmer and reduce until the mixture is wet but not runny. Add in the parsley and set aside to cool. Once cool, add the contents of the skillet to a blender and purée, adding chicken stock, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the filling has the consistency similar toothpaste. Remove the pasta filling to a disposable pastry bag or a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and place in the refrigerator until the pasta dough has been prepared.

Shredded duck confit

Pasta filling before the purée

4. Prepare the pasta dough. In a medium bowl, combine 4 eggs, 1 egg yolk, olive oil and water, then set aside. On a clean flat surface, place the flour in the shape of a mound, then dig a hole large enough to hold the egg mixture in the middle of the flour so that it looks like a volcano. Season the hole (called a well) with salt. Empty the eggs into the well, then stir with a fork in a circular motion, slowly incorporating flour into the wet ingredients but being mindful not to allow any of the egg mixture to spill over the sides of the flour. Once the eggs contain enough flour so they are no longer in danger of spilling over the well, add in the rest of the flour with your hands. Once the dough has become homogeneous, knead the dough by rolling it over onto itself with the heels of the palms of your hands, then turning it 90 degrees and repeating the process until it becomes tacky but not sticky, adding more flour or water, as needed. Once the dough has reached the proper texture, wrap it in plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Finished pasta dough

5. Roll the dough. Open the setting of a pasta roller to its widest. Cut off a portion of the pasta dough and flatten it, ensuring to re-wrap the remaining pasta dough that isn't being rolled. Dust a clean working surface with flour and pass the portion of the dough through the pasta roller, then fold it into thirds and pass the dough through the roller a second time at its widest setting, dusting the dough with flour if it feels too sticky, as needed. Fold it into thirds again, passing the dough through the pasta roller a third time at the widest setting and again, dusting the dough flour if necessary. Adjust the pasta roller to the next thinnest setting (i.e. if the roller is widest at setting 1, switch it to setting 2), and pass through the pasta roller just once at that setting. Continue to pass the dough through the roller once at the next thinnest setting, dusting the dough with flour as required, until your pasta sheets have reached the desired thinness. (My Atlas machine has six settings, but I rolled my dough to setting 5.) The pasta sheets will most likely become too long so cut them crosswise so they are more easily managed. Once the dough has been rolled, dust liberally with flour on both sides, cover with a clean towel and set aside. Repeat this procedure with another portion of dough until all portions have been rolled.

Pasta rolled about halfway through the settings

6. Construct the agnolotti. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl. Dust a clean working surface with flour and lay a pasta sheet on top, re-covering the unused pasta sheets. Cut a small hole in one corner of the piping bag and pipe a line of filling lengthwise down the middle of the pasta sheet, then apply the beaten egg to one side of the pasta sheet on either side of the filling.

Pasta filling piped onto pasta sheet with one side brushed with the beaten egg

Fold the pasta sheet over lengthwise on top of the filling and use the egg wash to seal. Make indentations into the pasta sheet on top of the filling by pinching the pasta with a finger to form individual agnolotti pouches, pushing out any air in between.

Cut the agnolotti, first lengthwise along the pasta sheet to remove the excess pasta, then on the indentations to create each agnolotto.

Repeat this process with the remaining pasta sheets and filling until the pasta and filling have been used. Place the agnolotti on a flour-dusted sheet pan in a single layer to freeze if not using immediately. Once the pasta has frozen, transfer the agnolotti to a resealable bag for easier storage.

7. Prepare the sauce and finish the dish. Start the sauce by preparing a mushroom stock. Combine the mushroom trimmings with the chicken stock in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the mixture to 1 cup, then strain out the mushrooms and reserve the mushroom stock.

While the stock is reducing, fire a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil starts to smoke, add the shallots, garlic and thyme and sweat, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, approximately 5 minutes. Deglaze with the reserved mushroom stock and reduce for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and simmer until the sauce has thickened, then season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Put the agnolotti into the water and boil, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the agnolotti from the boiling water once they float to the top and toss with the sauce. To plate, spoon some sauce into warmed bowls, top with agnolotti and garnish with watercress leaves.


Before I proceed with the execution of the dish, I need to review some items. First, I should specify that I used my copy of The Flavor Bible to pair ingredients which suggested pairing wild mushrooms, shallots and watercress with duck confit.

I have been considering a separate pasta dough post but have not been able to complete it because my hands get rather messy as I'm kneading the dough and then again when I'm rolling the pasta. In fact, Mrs. Stuntman took the picture above of a pasta sheet in the process of being passed through the roller. If you need further explanation on how to prepare pasta dough, I invite you to view Chef Tom Johnson's instructional YouTube video which is the best demonstration I've found. Chef Johnson's personality is a little dry but his advice is solid. Mrs. Stuntman also took the final picture of the plated dish above.

I recommend sparingly seasoning the pasta filling in step 3 and the sauce in step 7 because, as I was shredding the confit, I tasted a scrap and noticed the meat being on the edge of too salty.

The dish itself was a little rich so I might pair this pasta with a different sauce, however Mrs. Stuntman enjoyed it and requested I prepare it again.

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