Dijon & Herb Rubbed Beef Roast with Cranberry Sauce

Dijon and Herb Rubbed Beef Roast with Cranberry Sauce

Dijon & Herb Rubbed Beef Roast with Cranberry Sauce

It’s time to start thinking about those holiday meal main dishes. You know, the pièce de résistance that makes your guests ooh and ahh and wonder how you pulled it all off. Usually these centerpieces involve some kind of delicious meat, and this recipe from our peeps at the Texas Beef Council is no different.

What is different about this recipe, though, its simplicity. Still very beautiful and impressive, but without that miles-long list of ingredients that lots of holiday recipes mandate. As long as you have a nice piece of beef roast rubbed with a couple easy seasonings, the festive sauce falls into place, then ta-da! Dinner is served. A little bit savory and a little bit sweet, this roast sounds like the perfect thing to bring to your holiday table.

Dijon & Herb Rubbed Beef Roast with Cranberry Sauce

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Turkey Extravaganza: Move Over Gobbler

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If you are a typical American, you likely still have turkey in the fridge and there are ongoing arguments about the date to throw out all of the food that someone said will be eaten. I believe the turkey can still be saved! While the gobbler sandwich (delicious roll embarrassing and unhealthy stack of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and often potatoes) is delicious, us Americans have short attention spans. Fear not America, there is another way to get your fill of leftovers before they kick the can.

Turkey salad. A festive spin on your chicken salad that includes the flavors of Thanksgiving. The sandwich is quite simple to make. I enjoyed mine atop a freshly baked roll. With just the right amount of mayo, the turkey salad provides a savory taste of Thanksgiving with a crunch of celery (the only thing celery is good for is texture), followed by sweetness of cranberries. I tell you folks – this may replace my gobbler. Bonus – you can bring this to work in a container without dropping all of the drippings on your tie. You’re welcome. Here’s the recipe:

Turkey Salad Sandwich

– Turkey (shredded or chopped into smaller pieces)

– Mayo (some like it loaded with mayo, some enjoy just a tiny bit) – think of how much you would add for chicken or tuna salad

– Chopped celery

– Dried cranberries (or just add cranberry sauce spread on your roll)

– Thinly sliced sage

– Salt and Pepper

– Onion chopped into small pieces

– Pinch of garlic powder

 

Take all ingredients and mix into a bowl. Put this on a sandwich, use crackers, melt cheese on top, eat it from a bowl. Whatever – it’s good.

 

The Filet Mignon of Thanksgiving Leftovers

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I know we all love scrounging through our post-turkey day fridges to figure out how we can quickly use up Thanksgiving leftovers (eggs over stuffing anyone?) But actually Thanksgiving, rather than exhausting me on cooking, often gets me inspired to do more in the kitchen. So I was stoked to come across this wonderful wintry recipe from Chef Kamran Naseem of Manhattan’s Reserve Cut. Chef Naseem’s filet mignon gets a little something extra, courtesy of ingredients a lot of us will have left over in the fridge this week — squash, brussels sprouts, pecans, and of course red wine. Oh, and there’s some pastrami up in here, because yes.

Filet Mignon with Brussel Sprout Medley

 

Ingredients:

2cups Brussel sprout leaves
1T shallot
1T Garlic
1/4 cup squash (diced & sauteed)
2T pecans (toasted)
1T maple syrup
1T Red Wine vinaigrette
1/4 cup pastrami (chopped)
1t chile flake

Directions for the Brussel Sprout Medley:
In a hot pan, add canola oil then the Brussel sprouts. Add shallot and garlic, followed by squash and pecan. Add maple syrup and let reduce. Deglaze with red wine vinegar and then finish with pastrami, chile flake and salt.

Directions for the Filet Mignon:
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of steak with salt and generous amount of ground black pepper. Add to skillet and cook to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium. Transfer steaks to plate. Tent with foil. Boil 1 cup of garlic cloves until very soft, purée, add ¼ cup olive oil, water to thin.  Then Salt. Spoon over steak.

Pork tenderloin ragu over polenta

Pork and Mushroom Ragu over Polenta

Pork tenderloin ragu over polenta

I think we can all agree that November = prime fall comfort food time. It’s also starting to turn into prime busy time with holiday prep, days that are shorter and darker (ugh), and trying to wrap up all sorts of projects before the end of the year. You know what this means: it’s slow cooker time. Aw yeah!

Slow cookers make everything easy, but Smithfield is taking fall cooking simplicity to the next level with their marinated pork. You seriously don’t have to do anything besides cook it, and you have a flavorful main dish ready for anything you want to pair with it! I made this tasty ragu with a marinated fresh pork tenderloin, so it’s a bit leaner than some other cuts of pork, but still packed with protein… it’s still so tender and it’s a great slightly lighter option in these pre-Thanksgiving days.

Pork tenderloin ragu over polenta

This recipe is simple comfort food at its finest, and you’re not going to feel weighed down by the cooking process or the dish itself. Score!

Pork Tenderloin and Mushroom Ragu over Polenta

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scarecrows-lean-cocktail

Cocktail O’ Clock: The Scarecrow’s Lean

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Thanksgiving is a time for cooking, sure, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s also a time for… drinking. While a bottle of cheap wine always does the trick, sometimes you want something a little fancier to wow the family and friends. This cocktail from The Honeymoon in Houston is the perfect mix of sweet, savory, and just elegant enough to impress your crowds of holiday guests. Bottoms up!

 

The Scarecrow’s Lean

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Endless Halloween: Slurp Some Seriously Spooky Spaghetti

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Photo: Lori Hirsch Stokoe / www.tastewiththeeyes.com

YESSSSS. It’s almost time to start seriously thinking about Halloween cooking. There’s nothing better than horrifying food that actually tastes wonderful, right? And Halloween is the perfect excuse to pull it off. This one’s for all you cavemen. I normally wouldn’t be one to sub out my glourious gluten-y pasta for protein-rish versions, but October is the perfect time to start experimenting with black bean pasta. The awesomely atrocious dish pictured above uses Explore Cuisine’s spaghetti, which is made from just black beans and only black beans.

Black Bean Spaghetti with AFRAID-O Sauce and White Carrot Phalanges

 

White Carrot Phalanges

Peel 8 white carrots then carve with small knife into finger-bone shape. Steam until al dente. Set aside.

 

Black Bean Spaghetti with AFRAID-O Sauce

  • 1 box Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti – cooked, drained
  • 1 jar of alfredo sauce (can choose gluten-free)
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce (choose one that is more blood red in color, rather than orange)
  • fresh basil
  1. Heat the sauces in separate saucepans over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Place warm Explore Cuisine black bean spaghetti in the center of four serving plates.
  3. Ladle alfredo sauce over the center of the spaghetti.
  4. Arrange carrot phalanges over the sauce.
  5. Splatter marinara sauce over the entire dish, in a gruesome manner.
  6. Garnish with basil.

 

More ridiculous recipes in Endless Halloween.

bbq oven beef brisket

Texas BBQ Beef Brisket… In the Oven!

bbq oven beef brisket

 

October is a very important month. And I’m not just talking about the month of Halloween, the month of scary movies, or the month when it’s socially acceptable to cook/eat any and all things pumpkin related. No, October is also Texas Wine Month.

And yes, Texas does make wine! Even if you don’t live in Texas or in a place where Texas wines are readily available, as far as I’m concerned, you can still enjoy your favorite glass (or bottle?) of vino with special pleasure this month; any excuse, right?!

The Texas Beef Council shared one of their favorite brisket recipes with us, along with some Texas wine pairings to go with it. This brisket is ultra easy because it can be made in your oven. So no worries if you don’t own a smoker! This is a perfect recipe for your next gameday, just pop that sucker in the oven first thing in the morning, and by the midday football matches you’ll have more delicious, tender red meat than you can shake a stick at. And since the recipe is from the official council that represents all things Texas and beef, you know the recipe is legit.

Curious about what the Texas Beef Council recommends serving with your beautiful brisket? They say…

·         Brennan Vineyards 2014 Texas Tempranillo

·         Duchman Family Winery 2012 Montepulciano

·         Spicewood Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Claret

Hey – I’ve done some wine tasting at Duchman and their reds are generally very good, so I’m in full favor of this list. Don’t have Texas wines where you live? I’m thinking your favorite Tempranillo, Montepulciano, or Cabernet will do the trick! Don’t like wine? First of all, what’s wrong with you, and second of all, you can cheers with a beer, I won’t be offended. (Well, maybe a little bit. Wine is the best.)

 

Oven Texas BBQ Beef Brisket

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