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goat cheese green pea blini

Meatless Monday: Goat Cheese On Green Pea Blini

green pea bilni

It’s Monday! Brighten up your evening and start the week of right with a flavorful and elegant dinner featuring delicious green pea blini filled with tart goat cheese. This recipe uses simple ingredients that are readily available in your kitchen (plus, you get to finally use that big bag of frozen green peas!), and with a little easy assembly makes for a very sophisticated presentation.

You might be used to seeing the classic blini in a miniature format, topped with glistening caviar, but these versatile pancakes are the perfect vehicle for all types of food – especially if you make them bigger (and better!).

IT’S TIME TO GO GREEN, SWEET PEA: MAKING GREEN PEA BLINI

Typically made with buckwheat flour, our variation of the classic blini recipe features green peas, and is easy and fast to make. The peas give the batter a vibrant green color, a hue perfectly suited for an “almost-summer” night.

Juicy oven-roasted cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and chives go beautifully with the chèvre, but you can substitute with whatever filling you have available in your kitchen tonight.

Pair this green pea blini dish with a glass of chilled white wine, and suddenly Monday will start looking as good as Sunday!

Bonus Tip: If you’re looking to recreate this recipe during the weekend for a party or gathering, and don’t have a lot of time, you can buy ahead some pre-made blini and save yourself some steps.

 

Goat Cheese And Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Green Pea Blini Tower

Rating: 51

Serving Size: Serves 4

Goat Cheese And Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Green Pea Blini Tower

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups frozen green peas
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted + 1 tbsp. to coat pancake maker
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ lb. cherry tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 7 oz. firm goat cheese, cubed
  • 5.3 oz. button mushrooms
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp. chopped chives

Instructions

  1. Boil the peas in water (just about covered with water) with ¼ tsp. salt, until they’re al dente (3-4 minutes). Immediately cool under cold water – this will preserve the color.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, place the peas, egg and eggs yolk, milk, flour and melted butter, and process until the batter is smooth and consistent.
  3. Cover with film and leave in in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  4. Heat up a griddle or non-stick pan, and melt 1 tbsp. butter to coat. In the center of the griddle, pour about ¼ cup of batter, using a large spoon. If it doesn’t form a circular shape, you can shape it with the back of a spoon.
  5. Cook until the blini is golden on one side, then flip. Cook the other side until golden and remove from griddle with a large spatula. Make 12 pancakes in total and reserve.
  6. Preheat the oven at 375 F.
  7. On a roasting pan, place the cherry tomatoes and the garlic, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and honey. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and reserve.
  8. Dice the mushrooms and sauté in a large pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; add the lemon juice and chives and mix.
  9. Spray some non-stick spray to a baking sheet, and place four blini – at least 1 inch apart from each other. Cover each blini with the mushroom filling, then top with a second blini. Add some of the roasted tomatoes and goat cheese mix and top with third blini.
  10. Warm in the oven for about 5-8 minutes, until goat cheese is warm and soft (not melted). Serve warm and garnish with some sprigs of basil or sage.

 

 

Recipe: Marcela Sorondo for Gourmet Food World
Photo: Monica Sempertegui for Gourmet Food World

Herbed Crusted Roast

Herb Crusted Top Sirloin Roast With Ratatouille

Herbed Top Sirloin Father's Day Recipe

 

Want to whip up something delicious for Dad this Father’s Day? This crusty roast with colorful (and healthy!) veggie Ratatouille is guaranteed to make you Dad’s favorite. 

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 lbs. Top sirloin or Strip
    • 5 slices of regular white bread
    • ½ stick butter (room temperature)
    • ¼ tsp. Allspice
    • ¼ tsp. cumin
    • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano
    • ½ tsp. dry basil
    • ¼ tsp. porcini powder
    • 2 tsp. fresh parsley
    • Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
    • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
    • ½ lb. pearl onions
    • 3 zucchinis (seedless, cubed)
    • 2 eggplants (seedless, cubed)

DIRECTIONS

Trim the meat of any excess fat.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine the bread with butter, herbs and spices, salt and pepper.

Cover the meat with the bread mix and put in the fridge, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.

On a roasting pan, bake the meat for about 10 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue baking for about 15 to 20 minutes (depending on how well-cooked you want the meat).

While meat is cooking, start the ratatouille.

Heat a medium saucepan with 1 tbsp. olive oil, and sauté the cherry tomatoes, whole, until they’re slightly charred. Remove and reserve. Don’t rinse the pan.

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to the same pan and sauté the onions until golden, adding 3 to 4 tbsp. of water while cooking, about 4 minutes. Remove and reserve.

To the same pan, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and stir-fry the zucchinis and eggplants until they just change color – about 2 minutes.

Add in the previously sautéed tomatoes and onions, and cook together – about 3 minutes.

Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.

When the meat is done, remove from the oven and let rest in a warm place before cutting, so the juices get a chance to settle.

Slice the meat against the grain (cross-wise) into 1 to 1.5 inch slices, and serve with a side of the ratatouille.

 

 

Recipe: Marcela Sorondo for Gourmet Food World
Photo: Monica Sempertegui for Gourmet Food World

olive oil guide

The Ultimate Olive Oil Guide + An Incredible Chimichurri Recipe

olive oil guide

Need some guidance when reaching for the bottle of olive oil? We’ve got you covered! Below is a comprehensive olive oil guide: the facts, the myths, the process of extraction, a brief look into the varieties of olive oil available, and of course, how to store and use extra virgin olive oil.

A great quality extra virgin olive oil is something that every modern (and not-so-modern) kitchen should have handy. It’s perfect to add easy flavor to dishes, great for dipping, to create sauces (see our Chimichurri recipe below) and also amazing for baking (try Food52′s amazing Olive Oil Cake recipe and you’ll be forever converted). It’s also great for our health, rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids – healthy fats.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is the top quality, top grade of olive oils. Extra virgin olive oil has cero defects, plus the highest levels of antioxidants AND the best flavor. To qualify as Extra Virgin, it must pass a series of strict quality tests set forward by the International Olive Council, including rigorous taste tests that look for a specific flavor profile, like enough olive fruitiness.

Pure Olive Oil / Light Olive Oil

Pure olive oil is oil with flavor or aesthetic “defects”, and has been further refined to remove those flaws. It is sometimes blended with EVOO for flavor. It’s not actually light as in calories or fat, but rather in looks and taste. You can use this for high-temp cooking, but you won’t be getting that characteristic olive taste.

The Extra Virgin Olive Oil Process & The Myth of the “First Cold Press”

First cold press just means that the olive oil comes from one press, which is the standard nowadays. The term is a throwback to the early days of olive oil production, where the second press of the olives produced a lower quality oil that was used for other purposes – like oil lamps. Today, all olive oil is first pressed, but the term endures as a marketing label. In short: Extra Virgin Olive Oil is, by definition, always both first and cold pressed.

To extract the top quality olive oils, the olives are crushed at a mill, then the oil extracted by mechanical means – a centrifugal machine. Refined oils are extracted by using chemical means or heat, which can greatly affect the flavor of the oils. Extra virgin olive oil is NEVER refined.

Tasting Extra Virgin Olive Oil

To truly understand olive oil, you have to think of it like wine and consider three things: varietal, terroir and timing.

Olive Oil Varietals

olive oil guide: olive varietals

Photo: Steve Juvetson

There are many varietals (types) of olives, each with their different flavor profiles and characteristics, which will make for different kinds of olive oil. Some are bitterer, some are milder, and some even are sweet.There are hundreds of olive types from around the world, but only a few are used for olive oil productions. Below is handy olive oil guide to the most common ones:

Arbequina: originally from Catalonia, Spain, the flavor of this olive is delicate and very fruity. The olive oil it produces is great for pesto, baking, drizzled over meats. Arbequina olives are grown very successfully in California.

Frantoio: hailing from Tuscany, this olive makes for a strong, peppery olive oil with some bitterness.

Picual: a type of olive from Andalusia, Spain, the olive oil from Picual olives is strong, robustly peppery with floral aromas.

Taggiasca: mild, fruity, sweet with no bitterness. Taggiasca olive oil is buttery and versatile.

Hojiblanca: Another great Spanish olive cultivar, Hojiblanco is fruity, lightly spicy and just mildly bitter. Health bonus: It has lower saturated fats than most other oils.

Arbosana: A Spanish olive, Arbosana is also grown predominantly in California. Arbosana olive oil is robust, complex, and a bit nutty

Olive Oil & Terroir

Terroir is a French word speaks of the character of the land and the region, and how that translates into anything that grows in it: the soil conditions, the air, the weather…all these factors make the terroir, and therefore how the oil will taste. An extra virgin olive oil from California will be different than one from Italy, even if it is from the same olive, much like a Pinot from Chile will be different than one from France.

Timing The Harvest

How soon or how late the olives are harvested will also influence the flavor of the oil – an early harvest will produce a more herbaceous olive oil, while latter harvest will make for a mellower, more buttery olive oil.

STORING EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

We are so used to thinking about oil as a pantry item, because it needs no refrigerating, that we think: it must last forever, right? Wrong! Olives are after all fruit, and olive oil is really a kind of fruit juice, so to speak. So unlike vinegar, it won’t keep forever, and, unlike wine, it won’t get better with age. Here’s how to make the most of your green gold.

Shelf life of olive oil

Once it’s been bottled, olive oil has about a two-year shelf life. To maximize the flavor and benefits, try to use yours within 2 to 3 months of opening.

Storing olive oil

Store olive oil away from direct light and high temperature. A dark, cool cabinet is best. Olive oil is typically bottled in dark, opaque bottles to minimize the exposure to UV rays but try to keep it away from the stove or oven or the window.

 

Loved our olive oil guide and ready to shop? We have a great selection of premium olive oils! Shop > 

 

Chimichurri Grilling Sauce

Chimichurri Grilling Sauce

A great Argentinean sauce that combines the tart and herbaceous flavors of parsley and oregano with the silkiness of olive oil, plus a touch of spiciness, perfect to match with grilled meats. Adapted from Francis Mallmann.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup of brine (1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup coarse salt)

Instructions

  1. With a mortar and pestle crush ingredients together until it forms a coarse, chunky paste. Alternatively, place parsley, oregano and garlic in a food processor and pulse mode until ingredients are coarsely chopped. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients until incorporated.

Cinco de Mayo Menu

10 Cinco de Mayo Recipes by Bloggers We Love

Cinco de Mayo Menu

 

Cinco de Mayo is coming up rapido, and we’re ready to put on our sombreros and get our fiesta on!

Americans have warmly embraced this Mexican celebration, which celebrates the defeat of the French army in Puebla on May 5th of 1862. We’re all about fighting oppression, of course, but above all, we’re all about two things: delicious foods and copious amounts of tequila and cerveza. 

To celebrate this Cinco de Mayo, we’ve brought together some of the most incredible food ideas from  our favorite food bloggers. We have 10 amazing Cinco de Mayo recipes to share with you, so grab your amigos, a bottle of tequila, your most colorful serve-ware, and viva Mexico!

- – -

It’s all about fresh ingredients, lots of cheese, and a good amount of spice for this Cinco de Mayo menu. We chose two different types of tacos  – classic Tacos Al Pastor recipe and a healthier Fish Tacos option.  For sides, we went with fresh Cilantro Lime Rice and some mouthwatering Beer Battered Bean and Cheese Stuffed Poblano Chiles. 

You’ll need some traditional salsas, like a classic Pico de Gallo and Salsa Verde, and it wouldn’t be a true fiesta without nachos and guac, so we found you an amazing Sriracha Guacamole recipe and Pulled Pork Nachos that will leave you thanking Dios.  Melted cheese with tequila? Si, por favor! This Queso Fundido With Poblano Chorizo and Tequila recipe has it all.  Finally, a great Margarita recipe to wash it all down! Happy Cinco!

 SRIRACHA GUACAMOLE

PULLED PORK NACHOS

 BEER-BATTERED BEAN AND CHEESE STUFFED POBLANO PEPPERS

 TACOS AL PASTOR

 GRILLED FISH TACOS

 CILANTRO LIME RICE

 PICO DE GALLO

 SALSA VERDE

 QUESO FUNDIDO WITH POBLANO CHORIZO AND TEQUILA

 GREEN MARGARITA

 

Love the Cinco de Mayo recipes? Shop for the ingredients here!

Top row, left to right: Mexican Chorizo, Dried Chipotle Chiles, Arbol Chiles, Sriracha Sauce, Ancho Chile.
Bottom row, left to right: Cumin Seeds, Ground Cilantro, Jalapeño Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, Ground Cumin.

usefulitems

Warm Goat Cheese Crostini

Spring Entertaining: Warm Goat Cheese & Honey Crostini Salad

Warm Goat Cheese Crostini

Warm Goat Cheese Crostini

Easy but sophisticated, this delicious goat cheese crostini is ready in 15 minutes.  Serve it over a bed of greens with sweet dried fruit, crunchy roasted pumpkin seeds, and drizzled with an accompanying vinaigrette for a light, delicious lunch.  It’s also equally great by itself as an easy appetizer for when friends drop by. Pair it with a chilled grass of Sancerre (or your favorite white wine), and enjoy all season long.

 

 

Warm Goat Cheese & Honey Crostini Salad

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 1 crostini

Warm Goat Cheese & Honey Crostini Salad

Ingredients

    For Crostini
  • 4 slices whole-grain bread
  • 4 slices fresh goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup caramelized walnuts (for garnish)
  • Honey (for garnish)
  • For Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
  • 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tsp. whole grain mustard
  • For Salad
  • 2 cups mixed baby greens
  • 1/4 cup yellow raisins
  • 1/8 cup dried apricots
  • 1/8 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup oven-roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix in cranberries, apricots, raisins, pumpkin seeds, greens and shredded lettuce. Set aside.
  2. For the dressing, mix the vinegar, olive oil, mustard and honey in a small bowl, and whisk until the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. This can be made in advance and refrigerated until use.
  3. In a large baking sheet, arrange the bread slices, and top with a 1/2-inch slice of goat cheese. Bake for about 5 minutes, until the cheese starts to bubble and just starts to brown.
  4. While it bakes, mix the salad greens with the dressing. Serve the goat cheese crostini right warm, drizzled with honey and garnished with a couple of caramelized walnuts, over the bed of dressed greens.

 

 

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans Recipe

A Festive Side Dish! Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

20 days till Christmas! Around here, our holiday preparations include going down the Pinterest rabbit hole while looking for pretty crafts, listening to All I Want For Christmas on a loop, and searching for fab outfits to wear throughout the party season. But, most importantly, Christmas is all about FOOD for us. Great dishes, gourmet ingredients, and impeccable presentation, perfectly exemplified in our featured recipe today, Bacon Wrapped Green Beans by Ashley of The Pike Place Kitchen.

 Bacon Wrapped Green Beans Recipe

A mouthwatering Christmas side dish! Bacon Wrapped Green Beans. Ph: Samantha at The Pike Place Kitchen.

If the picture above didn’t get your mouth watering, you’re stronger than we are. We weren’t able to resist the perfect combination of ingredients: tender and nutritious green beans, wrapped in BACON -crispy, buttery, mouthwatering bacon. We’re pretty much obsessed with bacon around here (so is Samantha, her hysterically funny blog post reads like an ode to the crispy ham). It was unanimous around our office: Bacon Wrapped Green Beans are the perfect side for a Christmas dinner.

The presentation is genius, much more modern and elegant than, say, a green bean casserole. The crispy green beans are offset by the silkiness of the bacon oils. Size-wise, it gives you a taste without overwhelming the plate or the palate, or the main dish. Plus, can we talk about how pretty it looks? The festive green beans are perfectly bundled up with the deep rose bacon. It just add such a lovely note to a dish, without trying to hard to be “Christmas-y”.

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans Recipe

Pretty in (bacon) pink: green beans bundled up in crispy bacon. Ph: Samantha at The Pike Place Kitchen.

If you want to up the ante (and you know you do!), you can use Pancetta or Tamworth Cured Bacon. The latter is cured with sea salt, Rosemary and black pepper.  Samantha chose garlic salt to season them, but we think a great sea salt would give it a glamorous touch (try Maldon Sea Salt from England, included in the New York Times 2013 Holiday Gift Guide).

GREEN BEAN TIPS

Green beans are available year-round, but sometimes can be hard to find fresh. If you’re using fresh green beans, don’t buy the whole package, buy them loose so you can make sure to pick out good ones – firm, crisp, and bright green. Avoid anything that looks droopy or brownish.

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans Recipe

Festive greens: It all starts with perfectly crisp, bright green beans. Ph: Samantha at The Pike Place Kitchen.

Now let’s get cooking! Samantha was super generous to share her recipe with us. For more great recipes and laugh-out-loud ramblings, make sure to visit her blog at The Pike Place Kitchen.

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 Servings

Serving Size: 1 bundle

Calories per serving: 28

Fat per serving: 2gr

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Our choice for this Christmas' side dish! Thank you Ashley for sharing your recipe with us

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb Green Beans
  • Cracked Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 tsp Minced Onion Pieces
  • 3 Slices of Bacon (cut in half)
  • Olive Oil Spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray olive oil onto a baking sheet.
  2. Trim the green beans and blanch for three minutes. After blanching, dry the beans on a paper towel. (To blanch: submerge the green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from boiling water, and submerge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.)
  3. Divide the green beans into 6 even piles. Wrap each pile in a half-slice of bacon.
  4. Place each bundle, seam side down, on the baking sheet and lightly spray tops with olive oil. Season the tops with garlic salt, minced onion pieces, and cracked black pepper.
  5. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, and serve.

Delicious anyway you slice it! Pecan Pie.

Thanksgiving Dessert: Easy As Pecan Pie Recipe

Pie Perfect: Pecan Pie For Thanksgiving Dessert

Pie Perfect: Pecan Pie For Thanksgiving Dessert. Photos (left to right): Angela at Unexpected Elegance, Gourmet Food World.

When you talk about Thanksgiving dessert, the first thing that comes to mind is pie. Pumpkin pie, of course, and apple pie, sure. We’re a bit pumpkin-ed out after Halloween, and apple pie seems a bit, well, boring! But a crunchy, sweet and meaty pecan pie recipe, now that’s something that gets our culinary gears churning. This Southern classic is always delicious, but we were astounded to find out that pecans are also really nutritious! Read on!

Delicious anyway you slice it! Pecan Pie.

Delicious anyway you slice it! Pecan Pie by Angela . Photo by: Angela at Unexpected Elegance

Pecans are yummy, yes, but they’re also heart healthy, rich in Omega 6 fatty acids and a good source of protein and unsaturated fats. Studies even show that eating pecans may delay age-related muscle degeneration. So this Thanksgiving you can have your pecan pie and eat it.  Your heart will also be thankful.

Pecan Pie Recipe Tips & Trips

  • For choosing pecans with shells: look for clean shells with no blemishes or cracks
  • If you shake it and it rattles, then roll. It shouldn’t rattle!
  • Pecans have more moisture and spoil more easily, so double-bag any leftover and store in the fridge (3 months) or freezer (6 months)
  • For toasted pecans, bake in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Make ahead: bake your pecan pie fully and freeze, up to a week. Then thaw at room temperature when you’re ready to serve
  • Pretty as pecan pie: decorate the crust by marking the edge with a fork using a crosshatch pattern

Want to give pecan pie a try? To help you out, we’re sharing a delicious (and easy!) Pecan Pie recipe by Angela of Unexpected Elegance. For this Texas native, raised amongst pecan trees, Pecan Pie is as American (if not more!) than apple pie. Her recipe (below), is delicious and easy to follow, which leaves you with more time to spend with your family. Visit Angela’s blog for her full Pecan Pie post, plus more recipes, fun diy home projects and crafty lifestyle tricks. Thanks Angela!

Easy as pecan pie recipe

A generous amount of meaty chopped pecans is the secret to equally delicious slices. Photo by: Angela at Unexpected Elegance.

Angela

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 1 Pie

Angela

Angela's family recipe for Pecan Pie, super simple and simply delicious!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Form the crust into the pie dish
  2. Fill the bottom with chopped pecans. You can have as much or as little as you would like.
  3. Melt butter and whisk in the remaining ingredients: sugar, vanilla, Light Karo, eggs.
  4. Pour the liquid over the pecans, and the pecans will slowly rise to the surface.
  5. Use some foil or crust cover around the edges of the crust during most of the baking so the crust doesn’t get too brown.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for around 45 minutes.

Notes

A lot of pecan pie recipes call for the dark syrup, but make sure to get the light for this one!!

wagyu steaks

How To Grill the Perfect Steak

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us once again, and that can only mean one delicious thing: Barbeque! Ladies and gentlemen, brush out the grills, and sharpen those knives, because grilling season is now open! We show you the way to your best Memorial Day barbeque, with tips, tricks and techniques to grill perfect, juicy, sizzling steaks, all summer long! We consulted with the experts and prepared the essential how-to guide to grilling like a pro.

perfect wagyu steaks for grilling

Australian wagyu steaks

Step 1: Get the best meat possible

This is perhaps the simplest and most important thing to do to achieve the perfect steak. Look for high grade cuts with lots of marbling (the white fat than webs across the meat). That beautiful marbling means gorgeous flavor and lots of juiciness.  Also look out for grass-fed beef, as it’s more intense and flavorful than grain-fed.

Step 2: Fire It Up

In the battle of man versus meat, the most powerful weapons in your arsenal are…a grill and good, hot fire! Keep in mind that as soon as you start putting meat, the grill will start cooling down. Pre-heat your grill well before tossing those steaks on top. Get it really hot, so hot you can barely put your hand over it, and then start grilling. Next, create grill zones using the 2-Zone technique, where you have a hotter side of the grill (direct radiant heat), and a less hot zone on the other size (indirect convection heat).

smoked sea salt for grilling the perfect stake

Smoked sea salt

Step 3: Seasoning

Keep it simple. Season on BOTH SIDES with salt and pepper, which will help it develop that beautiful brown crust. If your meat is high in fat and marbling (like Wagyu beef, for example), it already has enough natural oils to develop the crust, so don’t brush it with olive oil, as it will only hide that delicious flavor. Don’t start with a steak right out of the fridge; let it come to room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Step 4: It’s Grill Time

Your steak is seasoned, your grill is hot, and it’s game time! First, make sure that there’s plenty of room on the grill that you can move the steaks from one heat zone to another, otherwise there’s no point to the 2-Zone technique. Second, leave it alone! Don’t move the meat around the grill or flip it around until it’s good and ready, or otherwise it will stick to the grill, and you won’t get that delicious flavor from the grilling. Only move it from one zone to another, and to flip it. We consulted our expert, The Reluctant Gourmet, who recommends: “start with the hot side for a quick sear, and then finish cooking on the indirect side”.

Step 5: Cooking Times

How long do you cook a steak for? The Reluctant Gourmet had this to say about proper grilling times for steaks, “I start by grilling for 2 1/2 minutes, then turning it 90 degrees and cooking for another 2 1/2 minutes, flip the steak over to it’s other side and repeat the process thus giving the steak the classic grill marks”.

THE TOUCH TEST

To test if the steak is done, you’ll compare it with how the fleshy part of your hand feels in certain positions.

Rare: a rare steak should feel like the fleshy, spongy triangular area between your thumb and index finger (relax your hand when doing this).

Medium: make a loose first, and touch that same triangle area. See how much firmer it is? That’s the feel of a steak when it’s medium-done.

Well done: make a hard fist, and try again. The area is now tight and hard, which is how a well-done steak should feel like.

Step 6: Rest

Once the steak is done, take it out of the fire and set it on a plate. And wait. At least five minutes. We know you’re hungry, but trust us; it’s worth the wait. The juices need to settle inside the steak, if you cut into it too soon, you’ll lose those delicious juices.

Step 7: Eat!!

You now have the perfect steak, cooked to perfection, enjoy!

Shop Grilling Essentials:

Australian Wagyu Steaks >
Grilling Salts >
Gourmet Pepper and Peppercorns >

Our grilling expert: The Reluctant Gourmet is G. Stephen Jones, a self-taught chef and stay-at-home dad from Philadelphia, attempting to overcome his own “reluctant” tendencies in the kitchen. You can find more great cooking info on his website, http://reluctantgourmet.com/.

Pound Cake French Toast Stacks with Sweet Goat Cheese Mousse and Warm Balsamic Roasted Strawberries

We’re Making French Toast For Mother’s Day! Two Great And Delicious Gourmet French Toast Recipes to Celebrate Mom!

Every May, the rain stops, the flowers bloom, and, around the country, moms gets ready to relax.  This is the one day of the year where the mop and dust pans are left in the closet and the alarm is shut off … Yes, this Sunday the 13th of May is Mother’s Day!

Time to tie on that apron, and get the eggs cracking, because this year we’re making Mom gourmet French Toast for a delicious breakfast in bed. Breakfast is probably the most rushed, hectic moment of the day for mom; she runs around making sure everyone is up and dressed, the coffee brewed, the toast/cereal/pancakes served, lunches packed… exhausting! This Mother’s Day, SHE rests, and YOU get to work. We searched high and low to bring you the best, most delicious French Toast recipes to make Mom for Mother’s Day 2013!

We selected two mouth-watering options to choose from: first, a perfect traditional French Toast with a twist for homey moms, and second, a more intricate recipe for more adventurous foodie moms. Either way, she’s guarantee to love it (especially since she didn’t have to make it)!

For… the traditional gourmet mom

Overnight French Toast Casserole Topped with Bananas Fosters by Gina’s Skinny Recipes

This recipe won us over from the word “bananas”, but there were several other reasons why it was a winner. One very practical one? You can make this ahead, and the casserole format suits a larger family. Gina soaks the bread for eight hours in a mixture of eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and rum (yum!), then bakes it to puffed golden, spongy perfection and tops it with bananas that she expertly caramelizes in light butter, rum, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. If you’re afraid of packing on the pounds, don’t! The clincher is that that Gina’s recipes are all Weight-Watchers © friendly, so she lists all the calories and points information, so mom (and you) can enjoy it guilt-free.

View Full Recipe here

French Toast Casserole Topped with Bananas Fosters

Bananas Fosters Topped Overnight French Toast by Skinnytaste.com

Want to try this recipe? We can help with your shopping!

Vanilla Beans and Extract > Cinnamon (ground) > White Sugar > Gourmet Salt > Brown sugar >

For…the adventurous foodie mom

Pound Cake French Toast Stacks with Sweet Goat Cheese Mousse and Warm Balsamic Roasted Strawberries by Lorie’s Mississippi Kitchen

We just about died when we found this recipe by the Mississippi Kitchen blog run by the extraordinary Lorie Roach. This is no regular French toast, no sir! It pretty much combines just about everything we love so much about a dish: an unfussy dish made with top of the line gourmet ingredients and tons of culinary creativity.  The “toast” is actually pound cake dipped in the traditional French toast “batter” of eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and milk, then heated until golden brown. She then proceeds to continue blowing our minds by whipping a delicious goat cheese mousse, where the tangy flavors and creamy texture pair perfectly with the sweet balsamic strawberries topping she roasts in a sauce of aged aceto balsamico and sugar. Extra serving idea by Lorie: put the ingredients in a mason jar for an alternate cute presentation.

View Full Recipe here

Pound Cake French Toast Stacks with Sweet Goat Cheese Mousse and Warm Balsamic Roasted Strawberries

Pound Cake French Toast Stacks with Sweet Goat Cheese Mousse and Warm Balsamic Roasted Strawberries by Lorie’s Mississippi Kitchen

Want to try this recipe? We can help with your shopping!

Vanilla Beans and Extract > Cinnamon (ground) >Powdered Sugar > Fresh Goat Cheese Log > Aged Balsamic Vinegar >

All that’s left is a wonderful flower bouquet, a heart-felt card, and lots of hugs and kisses for Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day!