Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gowalla Taste of Lakewood

Are you on Gowalla yet?  It's like Foursquare but a little bit cooler!  What I like about it is that you can create trips.  There are trips for all kinds of things...Disney, Pub Crawls and Foodie Adventures.

iKeith and I sat down one day and made up a trip for our little suburb.  Lakewood Colorado!

The Yard House
TOTTS (Talk of The Thai)
Jose O'Shea
240 Union
Little India (best Indian)
Twisters (best Fast Food)
Lakewood Grill
Szechuan Chinese (best Chinese)
Westwood Grill (best Huevos Rancheros)
Taste of Denmark 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yorkshire Pudding Popovers

These popovers were light, fluffy and the perfect mate to the Prime Rib! I fell in love with them and I'm trying to think of other things to make them with.

Yorkshire Pudding Popovers
adapted from Steamy Kitchen and Cooks Illustrated

3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon table salt (1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
3 tablespoons beef fat (from your Prime Rib Roast or bacon grease)

1. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and salt. Sift in the flour in three stages, each time whisking until flour disappears before adding in more flour. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.

2. When the prime rib roast is finished, spoon out 3 tablespoons of beef fat. Turn oven to 450F.

3. Stir 1 tablespoon of the beef fat into the batter.

4. In a muffin pan, fill each cup with 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining beef fat. When oven has reached temperature, place muffin pan with fat into oven for 3 minutes until smoking hot.

5. Carefully take out pan (careful! it's hot!) and pour batter into each cup, filling to 2/3 full. Immediately return to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Do not open oven door during baking, or the Yorkshire Puddings will collapse. Reduce heat to 350F and bake an additional 10 minutes until golden brown.

6. Remove from oven, pierce each Yorkshire Pudding with toothpick to allow steam to escape and prevent them from collapsing.

Carmelized Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Bacon

I was in such a rush to get dinner on the table Christmas Day that I didn't take pictures of any of the food.  Food Blogger FAIL!  But you wasn't my fault.  My cooking partner...misjudged what time he needed to start the meat...and it put us very behind schedule.

I think I know why Martha divorced her husband.  I think they prepared Christmas Dinner together!

Just kidding. 

These Brussels Sprouts are delightful. Fresh, sweet and bacony. Is bacony a word? I love things that are bacony. Bacon could be one of my favorite foods.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Bacon
adapted from Food Network

6 cups water
2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts
5 pieces bacon, minced
1 red onion, medium dice
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup fresh or dried cranberries
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Salt the water and add the Brussels sprouts. Cook the sprouts until almost done, about 8 to 10 minutes.

In the meantime, in a saucepan over medium heat fry the bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from the pan to a plate lined with a paper towel. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Leave the bacon fat in the pan and add the red onions and 3 tablespoons of the butter. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the red wine vinegar and brown sugar and cook until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Drain the Brussels sprouts from water and add to pan with the onions. Stir to coat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir in the reserved bacon and cranberries. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste, and transfer to a serving bowl to serve.

Christmas 2010 Appetizers

Cream Cheese Roll Ups

2 jars Hormel dried beef (found in canned meat section)
1 8 oz tub WHIPPED cream cheese
1 can diced green chilies

Mix cream cheese and chilies together.  Spread into piece of dried beef and roll up! Chill for at least 3 hours. These can be made 2 days ahead of time.

Blue Cheese Dip

2/3 cup sour cream (can be fat free)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Whisk sour cream, blue cheese, vinegar and cayenne in a small bowl.  Chill for 2 hours before serving. Serve with cut veggies and can also be used to dip hot wings.

Rheinlander, Steve's and Marczyk's OH MY!

We were so excited to be back in Denver for Christmas this year!  Not just because this place is home to us but because of all the great food choices.  We had a lot of help making our Christmas great and I can't wait to tell you about them.

But first....our Christmas Menu (recipes will be attached later)

2010 Christmas Menu

Pickled Herring (from Marczyks Fine Food)

Smoked Prime Rib (from Marczyk's)
Dirty Rice with Elk Italian Sausage

Snowman Cake (from Rheinlander's German Bakery)

We were really excited to visit a bakery that we'd found right before moving to Utah in 2006. It's located in Old Town Arvada and has the most delicious cookies and treats. They have something for everyone...sugar free, gluten free and coffee and cookies. Their service is amazing! We were walking around looking at everything and one of the employees asked if she could get me a cup of coffee while we looked. LOVED THAT! iKeith really wanted a Yule Log but the kids fell in love with a Frosty cake. So we got both!

 While we were in Old Town Arvada we discovered a little gem called Steve's Meat Market.  It's right next to the bakery and it has some really special items. This is not your average meat store....they specialize in processing wild game but they also have some items available to purchase that are made from Elk and Buffalo meat.  We selected Elk Italian Sausage and Summer Sausage (this went great with the cheese we picked up at Marczyk's).  We were incredibly impressed with both and can't wait to get our hands on more! They also sell Exotic Jerky, Steaks, hamburger and Buffalo meat.

Marczyk's Fine Food

Our last stop was Marczyk's Fine Foods in Denver.  My brother in law Robert insisted that we had to get our Prime Rib from there and he finally wore me down and I did as he asked.  I called them up to order it and there were many choices.  I told the nice man what I was going to do to it (smoke) and how many people were coming to my house and he helped me make a decision.  Awesome customer service!

When we went in to pick up our meat...we were blown away by the beautiful store!  Not only is it pretty...but they pack a lot of great stuff inside and many items for the home cook that wants the best ingredients. There was a really nice man giving cheese samples that were to die for!  I loved them all....but we really wanted something to go with the Elk Summer Sausage we'd bought and he helped us pick out 4 great choices. Manchego, L'Edel de Cleron, Stilton Colston and Prima Donna.  GREAT customer service! We also found Pickled Herring which made my husband's Christmas complete!  And it was really good.

Can you believe that I didn't get a picture of our beautiful Prime Rib?  We were so excited to eat it that we didn't snap a pic.  Next time....