Hot Brown (traditional)

At Churchill Downs for the 142 running of the Kentucky Derby this year, I was entrusted with so many variations on the traditional Hot Brown that I initially found it hard to believe. Although it can be cooked on a grill with a quality skillet, it is best under a broiler. Highly suggested as a late night snack or better at breakfast in the early hours of the day when those who call themselves your guests are still around. Here then is what locals call “the Louisville alternative to late night ham and eggs”.

INGREDIENTS:
1 – 1/2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 – 1/2 Tablespoons of salted butter
1 – 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
About 1 pound roasted turkey breast. Slice thick.
4 slices of Texas toast. No crusts and cut diagonally in half
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half (lengthwise)
Paprika to dust over the top
Parsley lightly chopped

DIRECTIONS:
Grab a 2 quart saucepan. Melt butter. Slowly whisk in flour until it becomes the consistency of a roux or like thick paste. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes on medium – low heat, stirring frequently.

Whisk in heavy cream and continue to cook over medium heat until simmering, about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in the Romano cheese. Whisk until very smooth. Add nutmeg and then salt and pepper to your taste.

For each Hot Brown; place two halves of one slice of toast into a skillet or oven proof dish cover with one half of the turkey slices. Take two halves of the tomato and two of the diagonal corners of toast and set them along side the first piece of toast. Cover by pouring half the sauce over everything. Sprinkle with more grated Romano.

Place both dishes (or one at a time) beneath a broiler just until the cheese begins to melt and bubble up. When the cheese gets brown a bit, remove and cross the top with two pieces of cooked crispy bacon. Dust with paprika and also top with fresh parsley.

Suitable for the late evening or early morning hours.

Attributed to: Nyquist, Number 13. Winner of the 142nd Kentucky Derby.

Royal Raspberry (cocktail)

While on a recent trip to New Orleans, I was reminded to visit an excellent little eatery and watering hole. The Bombay Club exists at 830 Rue Conti, the North West area of the Quarter. This recipe is for a cocktail accented with fresh raspberries and makes an aperitif quite suitable for any grilled dish. I added my own variation of course.

INGREDIENTS:

1 – 1/2 oz Bombay Gin
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/4 oz of Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1 egg white
6 to 8 fresh raspberries
Large raspberry pierced (with a toothpick or olive spear) and balanced on the rim.
DIRECTIONS:

Add all ingredients into a bar mixer cup, cap and shake. Or make a larger quantity and tap blend in a mixer. Serve to the delight of your guests.

Attributed to:  The Bombay Club

Pineapple Stuffed Cornish Hens

Hey! You got pineapple inside of my Cornish Game hens. Hey that is pretty tasty!

INGREDIENTS:
4 Two pound rock Cornish cross hens
1 Sixteen ounce of canned pineapple chunks, packed in syrup.
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Enough sea salt to dust the interior cavity of the birds


DIRECTIONS:
Clean and rinse the hens. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Lightly salt the interior cavity of each hen with sea salt or regular salt. Drain the syrup and stuff the birds with pineapple chunks.

Use a grill safe string or spikes to truss the cavity closed. Set each bird crosswise on an rotating spit. One facing toward you, the next facing away. Secure so the birds do not lose grip and stay heavy side down. If you don’t have a spit. Simply turn hens every 15 minutes.

Combine the garlic salt, warm butter and lemon juice. Baste the birds with this mixture every 15 minutes or more and grill over medium coals. Test if fully cooked with a meat thermometer. Should take about an hour, no more than 1 and 1/2 hours.

Attributed to:  High surf and volcanic sand beaches

Venison Marinade

A slightly peppery sauce to soak your venison haunches in, before applying them to your favorite hot grill.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup vinegar. I prefer Apple Cider vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon of soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coarsely crushed black pepper corns
  • 1 Tablespoon of prepared mustard. I like Coleman’s made from powder ahead for this recipe.
  • 3 crushed bay leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sliced onion

DIRECTIONS:
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a sauce pan. Allow the marinade to cool. Place venison in a non metal dish, and spoon the mixture over the top. Turn the meat often and ladle the sauce over the top each time. Keep in the fridge for a few hours, the tenderest venison will be the result if marinate about 8 – 12 hours.

Roll Your Own Flank Steak

Here is a variation on the famous Bavarian round steak. A little Southern California fusion added to it.

INGREDIENTS:
1.25 to 1.5 pound flank steak. Pound if you like with a proper meat tenderizer
2 Tablespoons prepared mustard. I like Grey Poupon.
1 – 1/2 cups of dry San Francisco sourdough bread cubes
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon Chef Merito Chicken Seasoning (or your own favorite poultry seasoning)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Your favorite clear French salad dressing. I like to add a few cloves of fresh crushed garlic
Meat skewers or long wooden cooking skewers
Cooking string, the kind you use to truss a turkey

DIRECTIONS:
Score both sides of the flank steak lightly with a sharp knife. Spread one side with mustard. Combine bread cubes, onion, celery, butter and your favorite poultry seasoning in a bowl and mix well. Spread over the mustard on the steak.

Roll up the flank steak. Secure the shape with skewers or large toothpicks. Lace tightly with cooking string. Make sure to secure both ends (edges). If you have a rotating spit, place on holding forks and get it on the roll.

If you’re not lucky enough to have an electric spit. Simply turn the roll around 8 – 10 minutes until done. About 35 minutes on a hot grill. Baste freguently with French dressing, Remove let rest before cutting off the string and removing skewers cut into round servings and amaze your grilling guests.

Goes well with small potatoes or real German style potato salad. Nice with a glass of slightly sweet white wine.

Attributed to: Dreams of old town Regensburg.

Minute by Minute Garlic Steaks

This is a very quick recipe that can amaze your friends and guests in general. Ask your butcher for the best boneless cut and have him or her cut it very thin. Minute steak style. Round steak or sirloin. If you grill them fast enough they will stay tender.

INGREDIENTS:
6 thin cut round steak or sirloins
Garlic butter – 1/4 cup butter mashed with 1 clove minced garlic
Juice of one lemon
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Thin sliced french bread or split baguettes
Salt and pepper to taste
You’ll need an extra large sheet of Heavy Duty aluminum foil

DIRECTIONS:
Take a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil and pull out enough to cover a good portion of your grill. Crimp or roll up the edges to make a grill pan. Melt the garlic butter in the pan, on the grill over medium to hot coals. Toast the french bread slices or the split baguette on the edge of the foil pan (over the coals).

Dip the steaks into the garlic butter and coat on both sides. Then cook steaks on the foil for a minute to 2 minutes per side. Place the steaks on the outer edge. Squeeze the lemon juice onto the foil and add the 2 Tablespoons of Worcesterhire sauce.

Quickly coat each steak through the sauce. Be careful not to over cook. I like to place each steak on a warm half or a baguette or thick toasted piece of French bread. Drizzle the remaining sauce on top. Add salt and pepper just before serving.

Attributed to: Trips through Gilroy, CA on a hot summer day.

Chuck Steak from Marinade to Mouth in a Snap

It is the special marinade that makes this steak recipe so delicious and fancy. Fire up the grill to get it very hot and broil that big ol’ chuck to perfection.

INGREDIENTS:
2 to 3 pound Chuck Steak, cut about 1/2 inch thick
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 cup of chopped white onion
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 clove garlic, chopped and minced

DIRECTIONS:
Mix all ingredients in a heavy seal-able bag. I like to use a heavy duty Zip-loc Freezer bag. Add the steak and marinate for at least 3 or 4 hours in the fridge. Overnight is best. Turn the steak in the bag often.

Remove steak from bag. Use remaining marinade for basting. Discard the rest if left uncooked. On an extremely hot grill, broil the steak until done. Probably 30 minutes or so.

Test doneness with a meat thermometer without piercing the meat too deeply. Turn once during broiling. Let rest and serve from a hot platter.

Foster’s Favorite Rotisserie Round

If you are lucky enough to have a motorized rotating spit attachable to a grill or fire pit, this recipe is for you. If you don’t, go get one and be lucky enough.

INGREDIENTS:
One 2.5 to 3 inch Eye-of-Round steak
Your favorite seasoned pepper
1 cup of Ketchup
1/3 cup of Worcestershire Sauce
Cup of water
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 minced clove of garlic

DIRECTIONS:
Coat the surface of the Eye-of-Round with your favorite seasoned pepper. About 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning per pound of steak. Take a sharp fork with long tines and pierce the steak deeply at 1/4 inch intervals all over the surface.

Combine the ketchup, Worcestershire and the remaining ingredients in a sauce pan. Simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Place steak on spit and tie the steak with baking cord. Roast on slow setting of motorized spit for about an hour and a half. Baste constantly with the sauce. Place a sauce boat underneath to catch excess and use for basting. Test for desired doneness with a meat thermometer.

If you have extra sauce blend it into drippings from sauce boat. Bring to a quick boil stirring constantly while meat rests. After about ten minutes of resting, serve steak with thick slices cut against the grain for the most tender slicing duty for your guests. Serve with sauces ladeled across the top or on the side.

Goes well with: Everything!

Attributed to: My Mecco motorized spit.

Spanky’s Porterhouse Steak

Serves: 3 or 4

Here is a traditional Porterhouse recipe with a special filling of white onion. South Carolina’s Mike Miller from W. Columbia’s — his dog Spanky would have loved a bite of this.

INGREDIENTS:
1 – three pound Porterhouse cut. Sliced at least 2 inches thick.
3/4 of a cup of chopped Bermuda onions
3 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced
Celery salt, salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons of cooking sherry
2 Tablespoons of soy sauce

For a butter braised mushroom topping, 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1/4 Cup of butter

DIRECTIONS:
Turn the steak bone edge down, fat side up. Carefully slit the steak from the fat side into the lean, creating a envelope almost to the bone. Stir onion, garlic, celery salt and a dash of pepper. Stuff this mixture into the steak.

Mix cooking sherry and soy sauce and brush onto surface of steak. Grill over hot coals until thermometer reads at least 140 degrees for rare to 165 or 170 for well done. Cooking should take about 12 minutes on first side and about 8 or more for second side. Keep sizzling with basting sauce.

Heat butter and sliced mushrooms in a grill top skillet until tender. Pour over steak when plated serve hot and watch peoples eyes get wide when they see the onions on their first slice.

Always save one bite for your favorite pet!

Inspired by: Spanky Miller

Fondue Bourguignone

When working up steaks on a hot grill, nothing goes better than cubes of steak served as a grilling time appetizer. Break out the oil and the Fondue and let your guests get the taste buds ready for action with this one.

INGREDIENTS:
2 pounds of steak fillet (at least 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick)
1 Tablespoon oil
2 shallots, chopped into fine pieces
1 clove garlic, crushed
14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
2 Tablespoons tomato puree (from paste tube or tin)
1 Tablespoon lightly chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Heat oil in a saucepan until it pops. Add the shallots and cook until soft. Lower heat to medium. Add the garlic and the chopped tomatoes with their juice from the can. Bring to a simmer add the tomato paste and season with salt and pepper.

Simmer the tomato sauce mix for about 30 minutes allowing it to thicken. Stir in the parsley and pour into a dipping bowl or into individual dipping trays. In the meantime fire up the fondue and bring about 1 to 1 – 1/2 to 2 inches of oil to a boil. Control heat to avoid smoke.

Slice the steak into 1 inch cubes, lightly season with fresh ground black pepper and coarse Sea Salt directly before serving ready for immersion into the hot oil of the fondue. Pass out the fondue forks and offer the tomato sauce as a finishing dip.

Attributed to: A memory of Switzerland all along the Alpe de Suisse.

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