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Nutrition

Holiday centerpieces to savor

Celebrate the season and create long-lasting memories this year by serving tasteful main courses centered around tender cuts of beef.

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Celebrate the season and create long-lasting memories this year by serving tasteful main courses centered around tender cuts of beef.

With hand-cut choices like a Bone-in Frenched Prime Rib Roast, Butcher’s Cut Filet Mignons, a Beef Brisket Flat and Premium Ground Beef from Omaha Steaks, you can create elegant holiday centerpieces such as Steak Au Poivre or a unique generational recipe, the Simon Family Brisket. Each cut of beef is hand-carved by expert butchers, flash-frozen to capture freshness and flavor at its peak and delivered directly to your door.

For a truly mouthwatering meal, make Fred Simon’s Rib Roast Dubarry the focal point of the family table. As a favorite of Madame Dubarry, a prominent courtesan in French King Louis XVI’s court, this version adapted by Fred Simon, fourth-generation family owner of Omaha Steaks, involves a marinade that gives the roast a smooth, rich, velvety flavor worthy of a royal dinner.

Find more inspiration to create a memorable holiday meal at OmahaSteaks.com.

Steak Au Poivre
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

2Omaha Steaks Butcher’s Cut Filet Mignons (5-6 ounces each), thawed
2teaspoons kosher salt
2tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1tablespoon vegetable oil
2tablespoons butter, divided
        1/3     cup brandy or cognac
1cup cream
1tablespoon Dijon mustard

Season steak with salt and pepper. Press seasoning into meat to create even coating.

In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon butter until just smoking. Add steak and sear 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Once cooked to desired doneness, transfer steak to cutting board and tent with foil to rest.

Reduce heat to medium and add brandy to skillet. Allow to cook down about 1 minute while stirring to scrape off any browned bits from bottom of pan. Once brandy reduces by half, add cream, Dijon mustard and remaining butter; continue cooking until mixture begins to reduce and thicken, 5-7 minutes.

Slice steaks against grain and top with sauce.

Fred Simon’s Rib Roast Dubarry
Prep time: 5 minutes, plus 5-12 hours marinating time
Cook time: 2 hours, 15 minutes-2 hours, 45 minutes, plus 15 minutes for sauce
Servings: 4-6

3cups red wine, divided
       1/4    cup olive oil
3cloves garlic, minced
2tablespoons coarse ground mustard
1bay leaf
1Omaha Steaks Bone-In Frenched Prime Rib Roast (4 pounds), thawed
1tablespoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
1tablespoon coarse ground pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided
2tablespoons canola oil
1onion, quartered
4carrots, quartered
4celery stalks, quartered
1head garlic, halved horizontally
4sprigs fresh thyme
2sprigs fresh rosemary
2cups beef stock, divided
3tablespoons unsalted butter

In 2-gallon resealable bag, mix 2 cups wine, olive oil, garlic, mustard and bay leaf. Add roast, seal and place in refrigerator to marinate at least 5 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Remove roast from marinade and pat dry. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 250 F.

Preheat large skillet over high heat. Add canola oil. Place roast in skillet and sear until well browned on all sides. Set skillet aside, leaving juices and browned bits for making sauce.

In roasting pan lined with foil, add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Place roast on top of aromatics bone-side down. Add 1 cup beef stock.

Place in oven on center baking rack. Roast 2 hours, 15 minutes-2 hours, 30 minutes for rare or 2 hours, 30 minutes-2 hours, 45 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from oven. Place roast on cutting board. Tent with foil.

Place any accumulated juices from roast in measuring cup. Add remaining beef stock to make 1 cup total. Pour into skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining wine and bring to boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Carve roast and serve with sauce.

Simon Family Brisket
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours, plus 20 minutes resting time
Servings: 4

1Omaha Steaks Beef Brisket Flat (2 pounds), thawed
1package (1.1 ounces) dry onion soup mix
1can (14 ounces) whole cranberries
1cup chili sauce
1cup ginger ale

Preheat oven to 250 F. Place brisket in large ovenproof baking dish.

In bowl, mix onion soup mix, cranberries and chili sauce. Spoon over top of brisket. Pour ginger ale around edges of brisket.

Cover with foil and bake 4 hours.

Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes. Remove brisket from baking dish and place on cutting board. Slice brisket against grain and place in serving dish. Top with sauce and serve.

Nutrition

Reducing salt in Parmigiano Reggiano cheese might not negatively affect its flavor

Aged cheeses pack a punch of nutty, sharp flavor. Before they’re fully mature, aged cheeses are either waxed or placed in brine for weeks to create a natural rind. However, the high salt content in brined cheeses deters some consumers.

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Photo by Tina Witherspoon from Unsplash.com

Aged cheeses pack a punch of nutty, sharp flavor. Before they’re fully mature, aged cheeses are either waxed or placed in brine for weeks to create a natural rind. However, the high salt content in brined cheeses deters some consumers. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Food Science & Technology present a shortened brining time for Parmigiano Reggiano that results in a less salty product, while still potentially maintaining the cheese’s distinctive texture and flavor compounds.

Parmigiano Reggiano is a lactose-free, crumbly and hard cheese. Manufactured in select provinces in Italy, its protected designation of origin status requires that certain production processes, such as a minimum 12-month ripening period, be performed. Ripening or maturing imparts the cheese’s recognizable taste as milk solids are converted to flavor compounds. But before that, cheese wheels are placed in a saturated brine solution for weeks. The added salt plays a key role in the ripening process by modulating microbial growth, enzyme activity and the separation of solids from liquids, hardening the final product.

One enzyme-mediated reaction is lipolysis, in which triglyceride fats in milk break down into their key components — free fatty acids and diacylglycerides. Free fatty acids not only contribute to the taste of the cheese but are also precursors to other flavor molecules.

So, Silvia Marzocchi and colleagues wanted to test the impact of brining time on the lipolysis reactions responsible for the free fatty acids involved in Parmigiano Reggiano’s flavor profile and distinctive characteristics.

The researchers had five Parmigiano Reggiano dairies brine several cheese wheels by immersing them in a saturated salt solution for either 18 days or a shorter 12-day period. Then the wheels were ripened for 15 months under conditions typical for this type of cheese. Salt content in fully ripened cheese was 9% lower in the samples brined for a shorter time than the group with the longer procedure. Unexpectedly, the researchers found no difference in the moisture level, cholesterol and total fat in the two sets of cheeses.

The team also observed no major variations in compounds involved in the flavor profile, as most of the 32 free fatty acids had overlapping concentration ranges between the two groups. Yet in the cheeses with the shorter salting time, overall, the total free fatty acids and the total diacylglycerides concentration ranges were 260% and 100% higher, respectively, than the traditionally brined version, suggesting the lower salt to moisture ratio resulted in more water available to lipolysis reactions and more rapid enzymatic activity breaking down triglycerides.

The researchers say a reduced brining time for Parmigiano Reggiano could result in a product appealing to salt-conscious consumers, but sensory tests are still needed to indicate if they can detect differences to the overall taste and texture.

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Nutrition

Family meals cooked with convenience in mind

From a tangy twist on traditional tacos to a favorite to-go flavor in the comfort of your own kitchen, the options are nearly endless when you use versatile, ready-to-use ingredients.

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Part of the fun of family meals is finding inspiration in the variety of dinner ideas you can create together. From a tangy twist on traditional tacos to a favorite to-go flavor in the comfort of your own kitchen, the options are nearly endless when you use versatile, ready-to-use ingredients.

When you include protein that’s prepared, seasoned and precooked, you can cut down on time in the kitchen, while adding precious seconds to spend with loved ones. For example, Chef’s Craft Gourmet Chicken offers a line of gluten-free, preservative-free, all-natural chicken skillfully crafted by experts and perfectly suited for culinary creations. The varieties are always fresh and perfect for preparing in 30 minutes or less. They can be enjoyed on their own or in an array of family dishes.

Consider these Barbecue Ranch Breaded Chicken Tacos to call loved ones to the table with chunks of tender chicken piled high with homemade spicy vinegar slaw, fried onions and avocado drizzled with barbecue sauce and ranch dressing.

Or, for a taste of takeout you can make in your own home, turn to Honey Soy Chicken Stir-Fry. If you don’t own a wok, don’t fret – this dish can easily be made in a skillet. Just be sure to give the veggies enough room as a crowded skillet is likely to result in steamed veggies.

Find more quick, convenient family meal ideas at chefscraftgourmet.com.

Barbecue Ranch Breaded Chicken Tacos
Servings: 4

Spicy Vinegar Slaw:
2 1/2  cups shredded purple cabbage
1/2     cup shredded carrot
2jalapenos, thinly sliced
1 1/2  tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1teaspoon sugar

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper
Fried Onions:

canola or vegetable oil, for frying
1/2      cup all-purpose flour

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper
1yellow or Vidalia onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
8taco-sized flour tortillas, warmed
1package Chef’s Craft® Breaded Chicken Chunks, cooked according to package directions

spicy vinegar slaw
1avocado, chopped

fried onions
1/2    cup barbecue sauce
1/2     cup ranch dressing

chopped cilantro (optional)

To make spicy vinegar slaw: In medium mixing bowl, combine cabbage, carrot and jalapenos.

In separate small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and sugar; season generously with salt and pepper.

Drizzle over coleslaw mix and stir to combine. Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving.

To make fried onions: In small skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/2 inch oil.

In small bowl, season flour well with salt and pepper. Coat onion slices in flour mixture and shake to remove excess flour.

Fry in batches until golden brown and crisp, about 30-45 seconds per batch. Remove to paper towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle with salt.

Top each tortilla with cooked breaded chicken chunks, spicy vinegar slaw, chopped avocado, fried onions, barbecue sauce and ranch dressing. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Honey Soy Chicken Stir-Fry
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Honey Soy Glaze:
1/2  cup chicken broth
1/2   cup soy sauce
6tablespoons honey
1/2   teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2   teaspoon dried ground ginger
4teaspoons cornstarch
3teaspoons water
2tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1large yellow onion, sliced
3bell peppers, sliced
1large zucchini, sliced
4ounces snow peas
10ounces sliced mushrooms
2-3   cups broccoli florets, steamed to tender crisp
1package Chef’s Craft® Chicken Breast Fillets, cooked according to package directions, sliced

sesame seeds, for garnish

To make honey soy glaze: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger. Bring to simmer.  In small bowl, combine cornstarch and water; stir into honey soy sauce and let cook approximately 1 minute, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens.

In large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion, pepper and zucchini; cook 2-3 minutes. Add snow peas and mushrooms; cook 2 minutes until vegetables are crisp tender but maintain texture. 

Add broccoli and chicken to pan; stir all but 3 tablespoons sauce; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Drizzle with remaining sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.

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Nutrition

Family-friendly foods fit for Lent

Offer up a dinnertime delight the whole family can enjoy with shrimp-based options that provide familiar flavors in appetizing ways.

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As families ponder Lenten recipes fit for the season with flavorful seafood as a filling protein, one important aspect to take into account is the kid-friendliness of the dish. Offer up a dinnertime delight the whole family can enjoy with shrimp-based options that provide familiar flavors in appetizing ways.

For example, you can take your taste buds on an international trip with tasty Cuban Shrimp and Rice Tacos for an easy-to-prepare meal bursting with the flavors of citrus and herbs for a winning weeknight dinner. You can even increase the fun by serving with toppings like salsa, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese and shredded lettuce to allow kids to garnish their tacos however they’d like.

Lime-Ginger Shrimp Fried Rice is an Asian-inspired option with additions of bok choy, lime juice, fresh ginger root and mango for zesty flavor. Both dishes require half an hour or less in the kitchen, leaving more time for family fun in the evenings.

Plus, you can add to the convenience of these meals by incorporating an option like Success Rice with its taste, texture and quality that help make mealtime a cinch. With its “Boil-in-Bag” cooking process that provides a satisfying shortcut, simply add water to a saucepan, drop the BPA-free bag into the water, boil for 10 minutes and remove with a fork for a no measure, no mess timesaver that pairs perfectly with sauteed shrimp for Lent-inspired dinners.

Find more family-friendly Lenten meal ideas at SuccessRice.com.

Lime-Ginger Shrimp Fried Rice
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

2bags Success Jasmine Rice
2tablespoons canola oil
1pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
8baby bok choy, trimmed and quartered
1/2  cup diced fresh mango
1tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1/4   teaspoon salt
3tablespoons soy sauce
2tablespoons lime juice

Prepare rice according to package directions. Let cool completely.

In wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Cook shrimp, bok choy, mango, ginger and salt, stirring, 3-5 minutes, or until shrimp start to curl and bok choy starts to wilt.

Stir in rice. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until well coated. Stir in soy sauce and lime juice. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until rice is heated through.

Cuban Shrimp and Rice Tacos
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

1bag Success Jasmine Rice
2tablespoons olive oil
1pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
2cloves garlic, minced
1teaspoon chili powder
1teaspoon ground cumin
1/2   teaspoon dried oregano
1/2   teaspoon salt
1/4   teaspoon black pepper
1can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2   cup orange juice
3tablespoons lime juice
8corn tortillas, warmed
1ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced
1/4   cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Prepare rice according to package directions.

In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add shrimp, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper; saute 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp start to curl.

Stir in rice, black beans, orange juice and lime juice. Cook 5-8 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked through and liquid is mostly absorbed.

Serve shrimp and rice in warm tortillas garnished with avocado and cilantro.

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