Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Perfect Steakhouse Steak

Happy Tuesday!

My theory when it comes to food is that moderation is key, especially with red meat.  I have always cooked my steaks a certain way but never this way until I saw it on "The Chew"...then tried it.  Perfection!  It's all about a cast iron skillet, an oven and a great cut of meat (and some other delish additions).  They used a large porterhouse that was at room temperature (to be shared by four people).  (The better cut of meat, the less you need to satiate).  It had nice marbling and rim of fat.

  • Preferred cut of meat.  In this instance, a porterhouse.
  • One thick slab of bacon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A whole head of garlic, halved
  • 1/2-1 stick butter
  • Fresh or dried oregano

1. First, preheat the oven to 400-450 degrees (depending on cut of meat).  
2. Next, put the large slab of bacon in the cold cast iron skillet and turn it on the highest setting (turn that fan on!).  
3. Next, salt an pepper both sides of the meat, generously. 
4. Once the fat has started to come out of the bacon (rendering) and the pan is screaming hot, you carefully add the cut of meat and do not disturb it for at least 3-7, so it can sear.  Check after 3 minutes and leave it on until it is dark and almost charred, but not burnt.  Flip it over and continue cooking on the other side.  
5. In the meantime, slice the entire head of garlic in half horizontally and add to the skillet, along with two tablespoons of butter and a few sprigs of fresh oregano or a couple teaspoons of dried.
6. Once the butter has melted, take the skillet off the heat, tip the pan and spoon the bacon drippings and butter onto the steak a few times.
7. Put in the preheated oven until you have your desired temp. (125 degrees rare-160 degrees well done). Remember once you let meat sit, it will raise in temp by 5-20 degrees.
8. LET IT REST. Cover with foil for at least 10-15 minutes so the juices can redistribute.
9. You can take it one more step if you would like.  Once it has rested, cut it into 4 portions and then add thin slits into the top of each cut.  Put it back in the skillet. Mix the remaining butter with the garlic from the pan (squeeze out of the skins) and slather the meat.  Throw it under the broiler until the butter melts.  YUM!!!


Make It Delish!


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Friday, January 27, 2012

Cream Cheese Pinwheels


Super easy and pretty pinwheels. Use your favorite tortilla and spread with any combination of cream cheese mixture you prefer. These are simply cream cheese with chives and cream cheese with basil and garlic soaked roasted red peppers. Mmm.
Make It Delish!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Roasted Asparagus Wrapped With Prosciutto

Roasted asparagus wrapped in thinly sliced prosciutto sprinkled with shaved parmesan and a bit of fresh cracked pepper. Super easy, super delicious and beautiful.

Lightly toss the trimmed asparagus in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, kosher salt and pepper and put on a cookie sheet.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees and cook for 8-10 minutes tossing once during that time.

Taste and then adjust seasonings.


Make It Delish!


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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Marshmallow Fondant

Happy Wednesday!

This fondant is very easy to work with and in my opinion, tastes much better than traditional fondant.  It IS quite sweet though.  If you see that the fondant is cracking at all, just add a bit more Crisco while kneading until you have your desired consistency.

  • 16 ounces mini marshmallows (I used pink ones)
  • 2 -5 tablespoons water
  • 2 lbs icing sugar (please use C&H Cane Powdered Sugar for the best results)
  • 1/2 cup Crisco Shortening (you will be digging into it so place in a very easily accessed bowl)

Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave: Put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted.  It usually takes about 2 ½ minutes total.  (If using food color, add now).

Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.

Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY - palms, backs and in between fingers, then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle.  Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands.

Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more.

Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant is sticking. If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about ½ tablespoon at a time then knead it in). It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake.

Its best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right away if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar). If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.

Prepare the fondant for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic- type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.

Marshmallow Fondant will hold very well in the refrigerator for weeks. If I know that I have a cake to decorate, I usually make 2 batches on a free night during the week so it is ready when I need it. Take advantage of the fact that this fondant can be prepared well in advance.

TIP: To make the final product shiny, use a clothing steamer or iron with water in it and lightly mist the cake with the steam.

TIP: Use a buttercream as "glue" to attach the fondant to cake and make sure you use a recipe for a dense cake.

Make It Delish!
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

Happy Tuesday!
You can easily roast red peppers in the oven if you do not have a gas stove or a grill. Heat the oven to broil.

Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper. Place the whole peppers on the sheets and place them in the oven, turning occasionally, until all sides are blistered and charred. 

Remove from the oven and put on a plate and cover with a tea towel or plastic for 10-15 minutes. 

Remove the stems, peel and seed. Fresh peppers can be roasted ahead of time and refrigerated for a few days or frozen for several weeks.

       15 sweet red peppers or 1 can (48 ounces) Mancini's sweet roasted (red) peppers, rinsed and drained
            Ice water
           1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted whole butter
           1 large Spanish onion, cut in small dice
           1/4 pound (about 3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
           48 ounces (6 cups) chicken stock or broth
            2 quarts half-and-half
           1/2 cup dry sherry
            1 cup honey
             Salt and white pepper, to taste
             Large homemade croutons, for garnish
             Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
        Add extra stock to adjust the flavor and consistency of the soup.

Using a food processor fitted with the steel blade, whirl the peppers to form a puree. Set aside. You might have to do this in batches.

In a large stockpot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onion and cook gently until translucent, stirring occasionally. Make a roux by stirring in the flour.  Cook for about 1 minute to remove the raw flour taste. Do not brown or burn the roux; it should be a "blond" color and have a soft, nutty aroma.

Over medium heat, whisk in the chicken stock to break up the roux (this helps to avoid lumps). In order, whisk in the half-and-half, honey and pepper puree. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 4-5 minutes. 

Taste and season with salt and white pepper. Continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes, until thickened and smooth, stirring constantly to avoid scorching.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each with 3 croutons and a sprinkling of parsley.

Makes about 12 cups. 

Make It Delish!

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Apple Cake

Happy Monday!

Over the holidays, my mom asked me to compile our favorite recipes (new and old), into a cookbook for all of the ladies in my family.  My mom has a lovely collection of hand-written recipes written by her family and friends.  I scanned these recipes and added them to the cookbook alongside  a more legible typed version.

This apple cake recipe is from my Aunt Elsie (technically my paternal grandmothers cousin). :) I absolutely adore the light stains on this recipe...you know it was used over and over again.

As with any recipe, you can adjust some ingredients to your liking.  I cut the sugar down to 1 CUP OF SUGAR and it's perfect!

Also, if you choose to bake this in a loaf pan, just extend the baking time until a cake tester comes out clean when put in the middle of the loaf.

Make It Delish!
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Homemade Copper Cleaner

Happy Sunday!

I was lucky enough to have some great copper pots passed down to me from my mom when she got a new set.  I sometimes end up washing them in the dishwasher and they quickly tarnish.  It wasn't really a recent discovery but now that I have this blog, I thought it would be nice to share this super easy homemade way to brighten your copper pots when they tarnish.

  • Wash and dry the pot with warm soapy water
  • Heat a 1/2 cup-1 cup of tomato sauce, soup or ketchup until hot (May even work at room temp)
  • Take a dry cloth or paper towel and carefully rub chosen tomato product all over the the copper
  • Let dry
  • Rinse and dry again with warm soapy water.
  • Repeat if necessary
  • Ta-da!

Make It Delish!

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S'mores Bars

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/3 cups (8-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Mini Milk Chocolate Bars OR 5 HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Bars (1.55 oz. each)
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows

1. Heat oven to 350 degree F. Grease 8 inch square baking pan..

2. Beat butter and sugar until well blended in large bowl. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Press half of dough in prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes.

3. Sprinkle mini chocolate bars over baked layer or arrange unwrapped chocolate bars over baked layer, breaking as needed to fit. Sprinkle with marshmallows; scatter bits of remaining dough over marshmallows, forming top layer. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or just until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. 
Cut into bars. 16 bars.

Make It Delish!

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