Showing posts with label vegetable oil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetable oil. Show all posts

Monday, April 18, 2016

Presenting: Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Roasted Corn and Pea Purée

Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Roasted Corn and Pea Purée

Call this a continuation of my recipe redux post from last September...

Inspiration Behind the Dish

Last autumn, I prepared a scallops dish for my friend, Gwen, at Simply Healthy Family. If you click through to the post I wrote for her, I describe the evening I prepared the dish when my daughter finished her scallops and asked for more, which was unusual for a dish that's not kid favorites, such as burgers and pizza. She remembered the experience because she recently asked when are you going to cook scallops again? so I decided to use the opportunity to replicate the first scallops dish I published here because, even then, I was unhappy with it's execution.

Dish Details

I hope that this dish would be at home on any fine dining menu. For it, I used the same pea purée that I utilized in the dish I referenced above (however I omitted the tarragon sprig since I didn't have any fresh tarragon that evening) and my tried and true technique I've utilized since I figured it out two years ago. I also adapted the corn salsa I originally paired with pork chops.


3 ounces bacon, diced
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces U-10 sea scallops
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Lemon thyme leaves, for garnish


1. Roast the corn. In a medium skillet, render the bacon fat over medium heat until just shy of being crisp, approximately two to three minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate, then drain the bacon fat from the skillet and reserve for another use.

Add the corn to the same skillet where the bacon was prepared and roast until brown over medium heat, stirring periodically, approximately twelve to fifteen minutes. Remove the corn to a bowl, then combine with the bacon pieces and season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Purée the peas. Start on the peas while the corn is roasting. To do so, combine the peas and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cover. Check the peas every three minutes until the peas are soft. Once velvety, strain the fluid from the peas but reserve the fluid. Purée the peas in a blender, adding the reserved liquid and one tablespoon olive oil until the purée is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Sear the scallops. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over high heat. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels, then season both sides with salt and pepper. Sear the scallops on one side only until browned, approximately sixty to ninety seconds. Remove to a plate to allow for carryover cooking. To plate, smear two tablespoons pea purée, onto a round plate, top with three scallops close together so they resemble a triangle, spoon some of the corn mixture over the scallops, then garnish with the lemon thyme leaves.

Final Thoughts

I remember watching a TV show that only lasted for one season on Bravo Network about five years ago called Rocco's Dinner Party. Each episode started with three chefs that prepared a dish in a qualifying round, then two of the three moved forward to host a dinner party for Chef Rocco DiSpirito and his celebrity friends. The chef who did the best won a cash prize. In one episode, Chef DiSpirito was thoroughly unimpressed in a qualifying round when one of the contestants prepared a dish using the combination of scallops, corn and bacon.

My point is the flavor affinity of this dish isn't very creative, however the picture of the finished dish is now my new favorite. I gave my friend, Faith of An Edible Mosaic and Healthy Sweet Eats, an advanced copy of the picture of the finished dish and one of the things she liked about it is the use of negative space: the way the food was concentrated on the center of the plate and the black plate against the white background. I've noticed that a plate with multiple contrasting colors on it is more visually appealing, so I'm very proud of the six colors on this dish. In fact, this photo has replaced my steak au poivre picture as my lock screen wallpaper on my phone.

Finally, my daughter finished her dinner the evening I prepared this dish just as quickly as she did last autumn and she's requested I prepare it again.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Butternut Squash Risotto with Crème Fra?che and Fried Sage Leaves for a #SundaySupper Where We Use Veggies As A Main

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For those of you in the United States, I hope you had a wonderful holiday this past Thursday. As I stated in my preview, I find this week's #SundaySupper theme of Veggies As A Main refreshing because it could have easily contributed to the noise of Thanksgiving leftover ideas.

I last made a point of addressing the topic of vegetarian dishes earlier this year when I had the opportunity to work with Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg to promote their most recent book, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. In it, Ms. Page makes a strong case for those that have chosen to eat a plant-based diet be it environmental, medical or ethical reasons and I highly recommend it even for meat eaters because it is helpful in dish composition.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

As I looked over my previous posts, I have found many vegetarian dishes here. Many are salads but I would estimate more are Italian primi dishes, which is the case here. I actually find it difficult to incorporate meat into pasta dishes unless we're discussing fillings. Costs aside, flavor is considered first when choosing the ingredients to use in a dish, then whether or not the dish is in season before science (i.e. yeast to make bread, deglazing with fluid, etc.). Since butternut squash is in season, I decided to use it in a risotto dish. The Vegetarian Flavor Bible listed butternut squash as pairing well with risottos, sage and nutmeg which is how I composed this dish.

Dish Details

I adapted Ree's recipe to the fried sage leaves found on epicurious.


Vegetable oil for frying
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
5 to 7 cups chicken stock, brought to a low simmer in a saucepan
1/4 cup crème fra?che
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons nutmeg


1. Fry the sage. In a small saucepan or small skillet, add enough vegetable oil to achieve a depth of 1/2-inch and place over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the sage in batches, 3 to 4 leaves at a time for 5 seconds each, removing them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate, then season with kosher salt. Set aside to cool. This can be done a day ahead. Once cool, store the leaves in an airtight container.

2. Prepare the squash. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add in the squash cubes, then season with salt and pepper. Sweat the squash until lightly browned and tender but not falling apart. Remove the squash from the skillet to a bowl, set aside and reserve.

3. Apply the risotto method in the same skillet where the butternut squash was prepared by following the method in step two of a risotto I published previously.

4. Finish the dish. Once the rice is al dente, stir in the reserved butternut squash, crème fra?che, parmesan and nutmeg using more or less crème fra?che until the desired consistency has been achieved. Adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. Serve in warmed bowls garnished with the sage leaves.

Final Thoughts

With the holiday this week, I didn't get the opportunity to perfect the dish because the night I prepared it, I added too much crème fra?che. Mrs. Stuntman also thought the dish was too sweet so I'll need to play around with spices to balance out the flavors.

Meanwhile, please view these other dishes offered for this week's #SundaySupper:

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.

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.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Light Stunt: Broccoli with Beef

Light Stunt: Broccoli with Beef

It came as a surprise to me recently that when I was in the produce section at the supermarket with my daughter when she pointed and exclaimed, Broccoli! I like that stuff! When I inquired, she told me that her school cafeteria serves it frequently so I promised to prepare more dishes with broccoli.

Over the last several months, I've gotten to know the staff at the local supermarket so I had them slice a couple of sirloin steaks so that they would be suitable for a stir fry and the prep for the garlic, ginger and broccoli took less than 20 minutes which makes for a great weeknight dish.

The Challenge

Measure my daughter's taste for broccoli.

The Source

The only place where I deviated from my source was in the garnish (I added sesame seeds) so I'll refer you to for the recipe.


As I'm finishing my dinner, I look over to my daughter's plate to see most of the beef gone, but only half of the broccoli eaten. She eventually finished the beef but left about one-third of the broccoli which is more than I expected, however I'm now on a new quest to find a broccoli dish that she will completely eat. You can bet I'll be consulting The Flavor Bible.

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.

Don't forget! You have a until Saturday to enter my giveaway of Krayl Funch's book, An Appealing Plan: A Year Of Everyday Celebrations. Please click here for more information.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Skillet Steak Fajitas for an Easy Holiday Entertaining #SundaySupper with @Beef

Skillet Steak Fajitas for an Easy Holiday Entertaining #SundaySupper with @Beef

There seems to be a certain theme in my dishes recently. Namely, a mad scramble to find an alternate dish because I wasn't able to prepare my original idea. Such was the case last Sunday and it repeats its ugly head again today. The dish I wanted to prepare originally utilized the oven which is not available to me at the time of this writing. I do live in an apartment and the matter is being addressed by the maintenance staff but it requires an order for a replacement part and am at the mercy of the manufacturer and the shipping company, so I am too.

This dish isn't the first one thought of when discussing Holiday dishes, but I must ask, why not? The dish could easily be prepared on a weeknight and if presented buffet-style would be perfect for a potluck style Holiday celebration. In fact, beef can be much more versatile during this time of year than a roast (but that always works well too!) To learn more about the adaptabililty of beef, I encourage you to review the Beef Checkoff website, 'Like' their facebook page, in addition to following them on their twitter and pinterest pages, but especially the #SundaySupper Beef pinterest board for more recipe ideas. This post is sponsored by The Beef Checkoff. All opinions are my own.

From the standpoint of the dish itself, long time readers of my site will remember that I profiled this dish two and a half years ago however I've done some additional research since then and have learned to fortify flavor of the dish.

The Challenge

Replicate a more flavorful version of a dish I profiled previously.

The Source

This dish has been inspired by Serious Eats and The Pioneer Woman


1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 flank steak, approximately 2 pounds
3 bell peppers, each a different color (red, green, orange, or yellow), coarsely julienned
1 large yellow onion, peeled, cut in half lengthwise (from root to stem), then sliced thin crosswise
8 to 10 flour tortillas, warmed
Salsa, guacamole, sour cream and/or shredded cheeses, for serving


1. Marinate the fajitas. Combine the first eight ingredients in a small bowl, then divide the marinade between two resealable plastic bags. Place the flank steak in one of the bags and the bell peppers with the onions into the second. Push any excess air out of the bags, seal and refrigerate for 3 hours.

2. Cook the fajitas. In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon oil over medium high heat. While the pan is heating, remove the flank steak and the vegetables from their marinades and shake off any excess. Add the flank steak to the pan first, about 3 minutes per side or until medium rare. Remove from heat and set aside. Add the vegetables into the same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, approximately 5 minutes.

3. To serve, slice the flank steak thinly across the grain and serve with warmed tortillas and your chosen condiments, such as salsa, guacamole, sour cream and/or cheeses.


One of the things I liked about Ree's version in addition to Chef López-Alt's is the seasoning of the accompanying onions and peppers which don't receive as much attention as the beef in many recipes and a good example is the version I published previously.

Please check out other Beef dishes for this week's event:

Brunch or Breakfast for a Crowd
Main Dish
Potluck Style
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.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Deconstructed Pollo di Parmigiana

Deconstructed Pollo di Parmigiana

Recently, I was made aware of a recipe contest sponsored by Dei Fratelli Tomato Products to celebrate National Tomato Month which was in October. Dei Fratelli called it a Ripened Recipe Contest. In the interest of full disclosure, ingredients were provided for recipe development. No further compensation was given. All opinions, text, and photos are my own.

When I agreed to this, I was hoping I would be sent some canned tomatoes that had not gone through extensive processing. If you have read my website for any length of time, you'll note I prefer to prepare my dishes completely from scratch. Thus, I felt uncomfortable using a jarred marinara sauce but I can't fault an ingredient list of crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, sugar, sea salt, onions, extra-virgin olive oil, oregano, basil, citric acid, spices and garlic.

Let's discuss the dish itself for a moment. I became enamored with chicken parmesan while I was on vacation in the Philippines visiting Mrs. Stuntman's family when I was still courting her. I remember placing my room service order for it on more than one occasion which provided inspiration when I replicated the dish on my first website using Pam's recipe found on For the Love of Cooking. The classic preparation for this dish is to pound a boneless skinless chicken breast to an even thickness, bread it, deep fry it, then top it with Marinara, mozzarella and parmesan in that order before putting it in the oven to melt the cheese.

I decided to divide the parts, leaving the bread whole and separate the Marinara from the chicken. I didn't have to do much with a pre-made Marinara but I did fortify the flavor by sweating an onion before simmering it.

The Challenge

Be declared the grand prize winner of the Ripened Recipe Contest sponsored by Dei Fratelli Tomato Products

The Source

This dish is a Crazy Foodie Stunts original recipe.


4 slices sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
4 thinly-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 24-ounce jar Dei Fratelli Marinara Sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
All-purpose flour
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped (for garnish)


1. Finish the mise en place. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Place the sourdough slices on a aluminum foil lined sheet pan. Spread an even amount of butter on each of the slices, then top with some parmesan and mozzarella before setting aside. Separately, pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season them with salt and pepper.

2. Prepare the Marinara. Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion to sweat, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.

Add in the Marinara sauce and bring to a simmer. Maintain the simmer while the chicken and toast are prepared.

3. Sear the chicken and toast the sourdough. In a separate skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Once it starts to smoke, quickly dredge the chicken in flour, shaking off any excess, then add it to the pan. Brown the chicken, approximately 3 to 5 minutes per side.

While the chicken cooks, toast the sourdough in the oven until the cheese has melted, approximately 7 minutes. To plate, spoon some Marinara onto a plate and top with a slice of toast then chicken. Garnish with parsley and serve.


Like the filet dish I prepared for Food & Wine Conference several months ago, I'm unsure if I'm successful at the time I have published this. The dish was well seasoned and reminded me of the classic preparation of this dish since the original flavor profile was still present. Wish me luck!