Monday, November 16, 2009

Friday Night, Red Wine Braised Beef Shanks

I hadn't planned on beef shanks but they looked nice and fresh and I thought I had to try them because I had never had them. I have had veal shanks but not beef shanks. I got home and looked up beef shanks on Food There were a few recipes but I chose Emeril's, Red Wine-Braised Beef Shanks with Mushrooms, because he had some good reviews.

Crostini Italian Style, salted cured meats...It's a Seinfeld thing
I had some hot salami and capicola, goat cheese and some fresh whole wheat bakery bread so I toasted up some slices of bread under the broiler, rubbed a little garlic over then added goat cheese mixed with lemon juice and zest, topped it with the "salted cured meats", seasoned with salt and pepper and because I happened to have it I topped it with some raw dandelion greens, a drizzle of olive oil and done. Really good with a drink to get the party started.

Red Wine Braised Beef Shanks with Mushrooms
As I said above this is an Emeril recipe, I didn't use his Essence seasoning, just salt and pepper. I cut the recipe in half and it made plenty of sauce, almost too much, but it's better too much than too little. I also didn't make the basil mashed potato, I had another side in mind. It cooks for five hours so you can imagine that it just falls off the bone. It was good.

Sweet Potato Mash
I felt like a sweet potato so I cut two big ones into quarters the long way and drizzled them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Into a hot 400 degree oven tossing a couple times while they roasted for about 40 minutes. Cool slightly and remove the skin. Place the sweet potato into a bowl and mash with a little butter, salt and pepper. I put it into a small baking dish and topped it with a little brown sugar and pecans and I just placed it into the oven for 5-10 minutes to melt the topping a bit.

Sauteed Fennel and Leeks
This was part of Emeril's recipe and Tony liked it a lot. It's just thinly sliced fennel and leeks cut into 1/2 inch pieces and cooked in a bit of olive oil until tender. Then finish it with butter, lemon zest, salt and pepper. This only takes about 7-8 minutes.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberries
I had made a cake for someone during the day and I just happened to have some cake batter left over so I made cupcakes with it. I had planned on something different for dessert tonight but I was falling behind so I just went ahead and made chocolate cupcakes topped and filled with cream cheese frosting, garnished with fresh raspberries the dessert. It was a good idea because they tasted perfect at the end of the meal.

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