Category Archives: Meat Dishes

A Segue- Veal Chops with Mustard Cream Sauce


As the leaves begin to change and the air starts to get that certain crispness, we begin to long for foods which warm our bodies and our hearts. Ahhh, the joys of comfort foods, those starchy, carb-loaded treats which are so supremely satisfying. Although I have deeply enjoyed my seasonal flirtation with such succulent and tender trollops as fresh, homegrown heirloom tomatoes and ripe, voluptuous ears of sweet corn, their fickle, fleeting nature has left me with a longing for the hearty persistence of fall and winter root vegetables.

The earthy pungency of mushrooms and pop of parsnip and cauliflower, Thoughts of potatoes in all their glorious forms are awakening in my mind. I long for those foods, which when ingested, leave one with nothing more than a deep desire for pleasant slumber! As the cold begins to induce that bitter urge for hibernation, I bid a fair a due to that sweet lady, Summer- and welcome the more haughty offerings inherent in falls’ cupboard.

As segue into the new season, I offer this rich and satisfying little tidbit:

Veal Chops with Mustard Cream Sauce

 Ingredients:

  • 2 veal chops
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon
  • salt
  • pepper

Preparation:

Season the veal chops with salt and pepper, coating evenly on both sides. Preheat large skillet or grill then brown the chops until they reach a temperature of 160° F at the center.

Finely dice the shallot and garlic and Sauté the shallot in the oil for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic for another minute along with the capers and caraway seeds. Deglaze the pan with white wine and scrape off the brown bits in the pan. Finally, add in all of the remaining ingredients (except for the veal) and mix well. Warm this up for two minutes until the sauce is simmering and starts to thicken.

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Filed under sauces, Veal

Indio Viejo- “The Old Indian”


Since becoming a food blogger, I have managed to net some pretty sweet gigs. In one of those gigs, I am acting as a guest chef trying regional food recipes for an international resort operating out of Costa Rica and Nicaragua then blogging about it. Although I have yet to get the privilege of venturing to either of those lands, I feel as if I am starting to know them, at least from a culinary perspective, as a result of my projects.

The history of the Nicaraguan culinary art dates back to the pre-Colombian times, as do the names of their most well known plates. Back then, during colonial times, the peculiar, creative, and varied Creole menu was the result of the union of these two races. Rich with multi-cultural heritage, the regional cuisine, ranging from soups and meats to a diversity of sweets, is well known for the vast selection of interesting ingredients which are used.

Indio Viejo is a meat dish prepared with onions, garlic, sweet pepper and tomato. In addition, some tortillas are put into water and then ground until they form dough. The meat is shredded and then fried with vegetables, the dough, and orange juice. When combined, the dish turns into this hearty and interesting stew.

Nicaragua's Indio Viejo literally means "Old Indian", a soup-like dish with vegetables and ground corn, which Nicaraguans traditionally cook for Holy Week.

Indio Viejo

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 pounds of beef (such as flank or skirt steak)
  • 4 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 tsp achiote paste
  • 1 bunch (about a cup) of fresh mint, minced
  • juice of 3-4 sour oranges (substitute juice of 2 oranges and 3 limes)
  • 1 cup tortilla dough
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. Add one of the onions to a preheated saucepan and saute until soft. Add the meat, orange juice, and enough water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender (about two hours.)
  2. Remove meat and onions and allow to cool.
  3. In a food processor (or a bowl) add tortilla dough and a couple cups of water. Blend until there are no lumps.
  4. Add tomatoes, onion, peppers, achiote paste, and tortilla dough mixture to the simmering broth. The tortilla dough should thicken the broth significantly. Keep stirring to prevent lumps from forming.
  5. Shred the meat with a couple of forks or your hands and add to the stew as it is thickening.
  6. Just before you are ready to serve, stir in the mint and the rest of the juice.

Serve with a sprig of mint and fresh tortillas.

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Filed under beef, Meat Dishes, Mint, Oranges, stews, Tomato

Sure Don’t Make Them Like They Used Too


American, land of the free and home of the brave. Once she was thought to be the land of milk and honey. Full of splendor and promise, she was the belle of the ball, exuding opulence and grandeur. During the late 1800’s, heavy industrialization proliferated throughout the eastern states of a still young America. Fortunes where made and the rich, luxuriated in their lavish lifestyles of wealth and abundance. This sprang forth the Gilded Age, an era of rapid economic and population growth in the United States during the post-Civil War and post-Reconstruction eras of the late 19th century. The term “Gilded Age” was coined by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their book The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.

The Gold Boom’s of California in 1848 and Colorado in 1859 further expanded both the population and fortunes of our great nation. The Colorado gold rush, which followed approximately a decade after the California Gold Rush, was accompanied by a dramatic influx of emigrants into the region of the Rocky Mountains and exemplified by the phrase “Pikes Peak or Bust”, a reference to the mountain in the Front Range that guided many early prospectors to the region westward over the Great Plains. The prospectors provided the first major white population in the region, leading to the creation of many early towns in the region, including Denver and Boulder, as well as many other smaller mining towns, some of which have survived.

Many struck off to Colorado, looking to stake their own claim on fortune. Henry Cordes Brown, a carpenter-turned-real-estate entrepreneur from Ohio, came to Denver in 1860 after a number of adventures in California, Peru, Nebraska and St. Louis, Missouri. In Denver, Brown purchased several acres of land, including a triangular plot at the corners of Broadway, Tremont and 17th street, where he grazed his cow.

Brown originally left his Ohio home in 1860, planning on striking it rich in California.  However, as his family passed through Denver, his wife liked it so much, she reportedly said to him, “Mr. Brown, thou may press on to California if such be thy wish. I shall remain here.”

Making Denver their home, the Browns soon homesteaded 160 acres on what would later become known as Capitol Hill.  A shrewd businessman, Brown soon developed the acreage into the most influential neighborhood in the city, where the wealthy began to build palatial brownstone mansions up and down Grant and Sherman Streets.

Henry made a fortune from his real estate development; however the economic panic of 1877 nearly destroyed him.  He was forced to sell his palatial estate to Horace Tabor for $50,000, but the enterprising Brown soon recovered his fortune and by 1880 was worth nearly five million dollars, making him one of the wealthiest men in Colorado.

When the Windsor Hotel, one of Denver’s most elegant at the time, would not let Brown enter because he was dressed in cowboy attire, Brown decided to build his own hotel, and in the process, outdo the Windsor. In 1888, he retained architect Frank E. Edbrooke to design a new hotel, the likes of which had never before been seen in Denver.

The Brown Palace Hotel in 1898

Edbrooke designed Brown’s hotel in the Italian Renaissance style, using Colorado red granite and Arizona sandstone for the building’s exterior. For a finishing touch, artist James Whitehouse was commissioned to create 26 medallions carved in stone, each depicting a native Rocky Mountain animal. The hotel’s “silent guests” can still be seen between the seventh floor windows on the hotel’s exterior.

The Atrium of The Brown Palace, Denver,Colorado.

For the interior, Edbrooke designed an atrium lobby, with balconies rising eight floors above ground, surrounded by cast iron railings with ornate grillwork panels. No one knows for sure whether it was done intentionally, but two of the grillwork panels were installed – and remain – upside down. Edbrooke imported onyx from Mexico for the lobby, the Grand Salon (now the Onyx Room) on the second floor, and the eighth floor ballroom. The hotel was hailed as the second fire-proof building in America. No wood was used for the floors and walls, which were instead made of hollow blocks of porous terracotta fireproofing.

After an expenditure of $1.6 million – a remarkable sum for the time – and another $400,000 for furniture, The Brown Palace Hotel opened on Aug. 12, 1892. It had 400 guest rooms (compared to 241 today) that rented for between $3 and $5 a night. There were two banquet halls, a ladies’ ordinary (lounge), and a Grand Salon. The lobby housed a smoking room, a men’s bar, a ladies’ waiting room, and at least 18 stores. Today, there are four restaurants, 11 banquet rooms (all but one on the second floor), a gift shop, spa, floral shop and business center.

There were, and still are, many interesting and unique features about The Brown Palace. Because of its triangular shape, all rooms face the street. Early on, guests were asked whether they preferred morning or afternoon sun. The hotel derives all of its water from its own original artesian well. A huge carousel oven, at least half as old as the hotel and one of only three known to be in existence, still turns out the melba toast, macaroons and other baked goods on a daily basis in The Brown Palace bakery.

The Brown Palace Hotel has been open for business every minute of every day since Aug. 12, 1892. Unlike most and perhaps even all historic hotels, The Brown Palace has never closed for renovation. Instead, it has been remodeled, refurbished, updated and redecorated on an ongoing basis, including the latest $6.5 million restoration of the top two floors, and $3 million for the newly constructed Spa at The Brown Palace.

Standing the test of time, The Brown Palace today remains what it was originally meant to be – a grand, unprecedented hotel. Indeed, The Brown Palace is still known for many of its original qualities: its unusual triangular shape, its stunning, eight-story atrium lobby, its elegant atmosphere, and perhaps most importantly, its ability to treat weary travelers like royalty.

Afternoon tea, a longheld tradition at The Brown Palace.

The Brown Palace is truly a rare gem. Few places exist in this day and age which exude the same grandeur and regalia. They sure don’t make them like they used too! A chance last minute business meeting landed us in Denver last week- on a long Memorial Day weekend, nevertheless. We stayed at the Brown Palace, where we did indeed feel like we had stepped back in time and where we also felt like we were being treated like royalty.

 

What has this all got to do with my meager little food blog, you may ask?

 

 We where also very pleased to find out Denver happens to be a splendid little food town. Here are a few highlights from our food-filled adventure in the Mile High city…

Ship Tavern

located at The Brown Palace, Denver Colorado

Truffle French Fries at Ship Tavern, Brown Palace.

Ship Tavern: The Brown Palace, Denver,Colorado

Ahi Tuna Burger

The Delectable Egg

The California Benedict

Stuffed French Toast

Lou’s Food Bar

1851  West 38th AVE.

Denver, Colorado

Beef Carpaccio, Parmesan, Arugula

White Bean, Harcots Vert, Hard Cooked Eggs and Sherry Vinaigrette

TAG Continental Social Food

TAG is located on bustling Larimer Square in Denver’s historic LoDo downtown district.
1441 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80202

Sample Menu

TACO SUSHI

Lemon Herbed Sea Bass

Wild Boar Chop

CHOCOLATE DECADENCE CAKE

Fresh Mint  Ice Cream Recipe

The Windy Saddle

1110 Washington Avenue

Golden, Colorado  80401

Everythings Golden!

Windy Saddle Cafe

Tuna Salad Sandwich and Chipotle Turkey Club

Afternoon Tea

The Brown Palace Atrium

Tea for Two!

Housemade Pastries

Tea Sandwiches

God save the Queen!

Room Service

The Brown Palace

A fond farewell!

Denver has a fabulous food scene indeed. We just touched the tip of the iceberg in the four days we where there. On a return trip, and very soon, I might add, we hope to visit Table 6,  Riajo, Bistro Vendome,  and Panzano as well as the many other outstanding eateries, food trucks and other culinary delights which Denver has to offer!

Notable Guests at The Brown Palace

Since Theodore Roosevelt visited in 1905 en route to a bear hunt in the Colorado Rockies, every U.S. President except Calvin Coolidge has stayed at the Brown Palace Hotel. Dwight Eisenhower even ran his 1952 presidential campaign from offices on the second floor of the hotel.

During World War II, troops were quartered at the Brown Palace Hotel and soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division were known to rappel from the balconies, much to the management’s chagrin.

Pop-star Billy Joel once joined the lobby pianist for a duet, and actress Zsa Zsa Gabor’s cat was once lost in the hotel heating system.

The Beatles stayed at the Brown Palace during their 1964 tour and the hotel was inundated with applications from young women eager to work as housekeepers during their stay.

The Rolling Stones brought more than 200 pieces of luggage during their two-night stay in 2003.

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Carrots, Curry, dessert, Eggs, Meat Dishes, Pork, root vegetables, Salmon, sauces, Side Dish, street food, Tuna, Uncategorized, Vegetables

Not for the Faint-of-Heart…


Life, it can pass you by in a whir if you let it. We rush through our day-to-day, many times, without giving things as much as a second thought. Nowhere is this more evident than during our mealtimes. It seems as if our whole world is geared towards a “make it fast, spit it out of a box” mentality.

This is precisely why I like to occasionally pull out the Big Guns and prepare a full blown, 5-star meal that will knock the socks off everyone. We are not necessarily talking about a 5 or 6 course  coup d’état. I do set my sights to make something impressive enough to make guests want to wonder into my kitchen to see if a star chef from the Food Network has stepped in to take my place.

By-passing those short for time and not for the faint-of-heart, Here are the mixings and makings of just such a meal. Taking inspiration from the early spring offerings at our market and my love for duck, here is what I managed to stir up!

Chinese 5 Spice Duck with Orange-Brandy Sauce

*A quick soak in an orange juice brine infuses the duck with lots of flavor.

For the Duck:

2-4 Maple Leaf  Farms boneless duck breast

2 cups fresh navel or Valencia orange juice

2 Tbs. finely grated orange zest

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs. Chinese 5 Spice

Kosher salt

For the Sauce:

3 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 medium shallot, minced

2 Tbs. brandy

1 cup fresh navel or Valencia orange juice

½ cup chicken stock

1 navel or Valencia orange, cut segments into thirds.

1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

BRINE THE DUCK

Combine the orange juice, zest, 6 Tbs. Salt, and 4 cups water in a large bowl or pot; stir to dissolve the salt. Add the duck breasts and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

COOK THE DUCK

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400° F.

Remove the duck from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Lightly rub the duck breasts with olive oil, just enough to allow them to coat with Chinese 5 spice. Sprinkle the 5 Spice over duck breasts then rub them to evenly coat.

Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a 12-inch oven proof skillet over medium heat. I love my All-Clad D5 non-stick grilling pan for searing off meat in this manner! Add the duck breast and sear about 4 minutes to each side, turning only once.

Place the pan in the oven and roast until an instant thermometer registers 165º F in the center for rare duck or 165°F for a more well done breast. Cook time should be around 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a carving board, tent with foil, and let the duck rest while you prepare the sauce.

MAKE THE SAUCE

Pour the juices from the skillet into a heatproof measuring cup. Let the fat rise to the surface and then spoon it off.

Melt 2 Tbs. of butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until soft, about 1-2 minutes. Off the heat, add the brandy. Return the pan to heat and cook, scraping the pan, until the brandy is almost evaporated, about 30 seconds.

Increase the heat to high and add the orange juice. Boil until thick and syrupy, and reduced to about 1/3 cup. About 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, pan juices and any juices left hanging around on the cutting board. Boil until reduced to about ¾ cup, about 3 minutes.

Swirl in the orange segments. Then, off the heat, swirl in the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and parsley until the butter is melted. Season to taste with salt and a few grinds of pepper.

To serve, cut the duck on diagonal into thin slices and arrange each on a bed of coriander carrot purée. Drizzle with the sauce.

 * Try this as a side:

Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter Sauce and Radish Tops

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Filed under Duck, Meat Dishes, Oranges, sauces