Rosemary Skewered Mozzarella
I saw this on a show, so I made a note to make these this week. We love any kind of bruchetta or crostini and basically this is "that" on a fancy stick. It's 1/2 inch slices of French bread and 1/4-1/2 inch slices of fresh mozzarella and fresh bay leafs skewered with long stems of rosemary and either grilled for a minute or baked in a hot 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. You basically make a sandwich; French bread, mozzarella, bay, French bread, mozzarella, bay and finally French bread. Secure it all by pushing through all the layers with a rosemary skewer that you have removed most of the leaves from (just leaving a couple inches on the end) and then poke another one through going from the opposite end. You will end up with pretty rosemary leaves showing on both sides. Brush the outsides of the bread all around. Bake them or charcoal grill them, plate them and spoon a generous amount of Bagna Cauda sauce over them. The Bagna Cauda sauce is 1 minced garlic clove, equal amount of anchovies chopped (I left those out), 2 oz butter, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp lemon zest, 2-3 tsp lemon juice and salt. You put the garlic and anchovies in a small sauce pan along with the butter and oil; bring to a simmer over low heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon zest and juice and season with salt to taste. It's really a perfect sauce to go with this appetizer.
Braised Beef Short Ribs
I made a seasoned flour by just adding salt and pepper to about 1/4 cup of flour. Dredge the short ribs in the flour and knock off the excess. Heat a large heavy pot on medium-high, once the pan is hot add about 1-2 Tbsp canola oil, once the oil is hot add the short ribs and brown on all sides. Once they are browned about 1/2 cup stewed tomatoes, 1 garlic clove minced and about 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours. Add 1 onion finely chopped and 1 large carrot thinly sliced. Cook another hour adding more boiling water if necessary. Remove the short ribs to a platter and strain the sauce, remove the fat from the sauce (I used a fat separator) pour the sauce minus the fat back into the pan and add veal stock if you have it or just reduce the sauce as is until it tastes delicious and it slightly thickened. Add the short ribs back into the pot and heat through.
Simple Mashed Potatoes- Just made with Yukon Gold potatoes, butter and milk
Simple Blanched Green Beans tossed with Toasted Almond slices- I blanched the beans ahead of time until they were perfectly tender. When I was ready to serve I melted some butter in a skillet and added the green beans. Once the beans are heated through in the butter I added the almonds that I toasted ahead of time and salt and pepper.
This pie is something they make at Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC. Pastry chef Christina Tosi invented this and it's one of, if not the best seller at David Chang's Milk Bar restaurant. We actually went there one time before I heard about this Crack Pie, being a top seller, I got the Chocolate-Malt cake which I have to say was unbelievable. We will have to plan a trip to NYC again to see if I did a good job with this dessert. If you happen to have the Bon Appetit issue from September 2010 the recipe is in that magazine but you can also get it on line right here... It's a little time consuming but definitely worth it. You make a big oat "cookie", it's a cookie mixture that you spread out into a 13X9 inch baking sheet. After the oat cookie is baked you cool it completely (I made it the day before because of time). Then you crumble the cookie into a bowl and add more brown sugar and more butter. Combine this together and press into a pie dish. Combine the filling ingredients which are 2 kinds of sugar, dry milk powder, salt, butter, heavy cream, egg yolks and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the pie dish and bake for a total of 50 minutes at 350 then turning the oven down to 325. Cool on a cooling rack for 2 hours and then uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. So I started the first step on Wednesday in order to finish it Thursday night so it could chill overnight. But it was really, really good! I heard someone describe it as the filling of pecan pie with an oat cookie crust, and after having it last night Tony said to me..."it tastes like a pecan pie, but without the pecans...". It is served cold. I had a piece after lunch today and I think it got even better...