Tag Archives: arugula

Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin Rolls with Arugula, Crispy Leeks, and Butternut Squash Seed Oil

If you have been following my blog, you know that each summer my cooking classes go on hiatius, and I head to the Adirondack Mountains to be with my family up on the lake.

It doesn’t take long to forget all about your cell phone (which has no service), or the TV that hasn’t been turned on in a month. Waking up to this view every morning has a way of letting you quickly forget about everything that is going on in the rest of the world. The calls of the loons, the sound of the water splashing up on the dock, the wind whispering through the pine trees on a perfect 78 degree afternoon, and the laughter of our kids, have lulled me into a state of complete relaxation.

I have just one week left before it is time to return home, and I plan to make the most of each day, knowing I will take with me the memories of one of the best summers yet.

 

One of those memories includes a trip with my sister down the mountain and into town to the farmer’s market in time for this month’s 5 Star Makeover event.

hosted by 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro Cooks!

 

I really enjoyed the flexibilty of this month’s ” Farmer’s Market” theme, knowing I would be preparing this one in my kitchen away from home, and with limited access to ingredients.

I walked into the market without any type of plan at all. I wanted to see what struck me first, and then go from there.

As soon as I sampled some of the  squash seed oils from Stony Brook Wholehearted Foods, I knew I had direction. The seed oils are made from locally grown squash (delicata, pumpkin, kabocha, and my favortite butternut squash)  offering amazing warmth and a rich,  nutty flavor. The accompanying aroma works to provide the one two punch that takes this oil out of this world (Get yourself some of this oil to try).

Knowing the butternut squash seed oil would be the star of the dish I would create, I continued on through the market for further inspiration. Grass fed beef tenderloin from a local farm caught my attention, as well as beautiful baby arugula and fresh leeks.

So here’s what I came up with:

 

 I combined soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and the butternut squash seed oil. I used a teeny bit to marinate the beef, and the rest was reduced down before finishing the sauce with butter.

I grilled the beef rare, and slice on the diagonal into thin pieces. I juleined the leeks and fried them until crisp. Arugula was tossed gently with additional butternut squash seed oil before being rolled all together in the tender beef.

My parents got to be taste testers on this new dish, and want you to know they really enjoyed the flavors, and that this recipe is a “keeper”!

These Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin Rolls with Arugula, Crispy Leeks, and Butternut Squash Seed Oil make an elegant hors d’oeurve for any occaision, and are quick to assemble/making them ideal for entertaining. They were pretty good as a likeside lunch too!

I can’t wait to see what the rest of our 5 Star Makover group has come up with, and hope you too, will check out the round up on Friday!

Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin Rolls with Arugula, Crispy Leeks, and Butternut Squash Seed Oil

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons butternut squash seed oil, divided

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large leek (white part only) trimmed, julienned

1/2 cup canola oil

10 ounces beef tenderloin

1 1/2 cups baby arugula

 

Combine soy sauce and next 4 ingredients together in a small bowl, whisking to dissolve sugar.

Heat the remaining mixture in a small sauce pan over medium high heat; bring to a boil and reduce sauce for a minute. Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter, one tablespoon at a time.

Heat grill to high heat. Grill tenderloin steak 3 minutes on first side to sear, then turn heat down to medium high. Continue grilling to desired preparation (I like the steak to be rare); keeping in mind if using grass-fed beef, the cook time will be reduced by about 20 percent.

Let steak rest for 10 minutes. Slice steak on the diagonal into thin strips.

While you are letting the steak rest, heat canola oil over medium high heat in a small saute pan. Add leeks, and fry until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels.

Place arugula on a plate and toss gently with remaining butternut squash seed oil.

Assembly:

Gather 4-5 baby arugula leaves together and place over a slice of beef tenderloin steak. Top with a pinch of crispy leeks and roll up, securing with a bamboo pick. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Makes 12 rolls

 

 

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Wood Fired Salmon with Arugula Pesto and Tomato Confit


We recycle, bring our own shopping bags to the grocery store, and have replaced our regular light bulbs with energy saving fluorescent light bulbs.  “Organic”, “local”, and “free range” have become more than just buzz words;  people are starting to have a better understand of the importance of  purchasing chemical free produce and meat from farmers who practice  good animal husbandry. Awareness has grown, and our purchasing practices are changing.
But when it comes to fish; how they are caught, and what is left behind when they are taken from the water, do people really have an understanding of what sustainable means?
What does sustainable fish mean to you?
Here’s what Green Peace has to say: “In simple terms, a sustainable fishery is one whose practices can be maintained indefinitely without reducing the targeted species’ ability to maintain its population at healthy levels, and without adversely impacting on other species within the ecosystem – including humans – by removing their food source, accidentally killing them, or damaging their physical environment.”
I think that pretty much sums it up. As responsible humans on this planet, we have to be care takers, and start making decisions that have a positive impact on our planet. When we open our wallets to pay for the food we purchase, whether in a market, or in a restaurant, what we choose to buy affects the way things will continue. If we give our money to those who pole catch albacore, that’s where our fish will come from. If we say we aren’t going to give our money to those who ravish the oceans, maybe those practices will go away. It’s all about the power of our choice, and the effects those decisions have upon our environment.
What can we do to help save our oceans for generations to come?

Make ocean friendly seafood choices when you go to the market or to a restaurant.
So how do you know what kinds of fish to buy, and which fish to avoid?
There are several excellent resources out there:

Fish To Fork The campaigning restaurant guide for people who want to eat fish – sustainably.

Seafood Watch Pocket Guide providing valuable information on best choices, good alternatives, and fish to avoid.

For this month’s 5 Star Foodie challenge, Sustainable Fish I decided to feature  salmon, one of America’s most popular fishes,  for its flavor and its health benefits; rich in omega 3.

When it comes to purchasing salmon, the sustainable choice is to buy wild Alaskan salmon.  It’s caught from a healthy wild stock with sustainable methods, is free of contaminants, and avoids the problems with farmed salmon, which can not only pollute local waters near the farm but also be polluted themselves because of the fish meal they’re fed.

Wild caught salmon tastes incredible all on its own, but  here is  a recipe that gets you out using your grill, and enjoying the subtle hints of smoke from using cedar planks.

This dish makes an excellent entree for entertaining too. The peppery arugula pesto, and slow roasted tomatoes may be made ahead of time, which means you will have more time with your guests!

Happy cooking~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood Fired Salmon with Arugula Pesto and Tomato Confit

Tomato Confit

3 pounds large plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed

4 large fresh thyme sprigs

3 garlic cloves, unpeeled

1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

 

Arugula Pesto:

4 cups fresh arugula

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

2 (1 1/2-2  pounds) salmon fillets

2 cedar planks

For tomato confit:

Preheat oven to 300°F. Oil large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange tomatoes on baking sheet. Scatter thyme sprigs and garlic cloves over. Drizzle with 1/2 cup olive oil, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake tomatoes 45 minutes. Turn tomatoes over; continue to bake until tomatoes shrink slightly but are still plump and moist, about 1 hour longer. Cool completely. Peel off skins. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)

 

For pesto:

Combine arugula, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add pine nuts and Parmesan cheese to mixture and blend until incorporated.

Makes 2 cups

For salmon:

Begin soaking cedar planks (fully submerged) in water at least 2 hours before using. Set grill to to medium-high heat. Place salmon on each of the cedar planks. Spoon half of the arugula pesto over each salmon fillet, spreading evenly over fish.

Place the  cedar planks in the center of the hot grate.  Cover the grill and cook until cooked through, around 20 to 30 minutes. The internal temperature should read 135 degrees F.  Cut each salmon fillet into 4 portions. Using a spatula, separate the fish from the skin, lifting onto each plate. Top with tomato confit.

8 servings

 

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Twelve Days of Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres (Seventh Day)

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Wowee—day 7 already. I hope you are having as much fun as Tokyo Terrace and I are working together on this project. By now you should be building a pretty good arsenal of cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres.

hors d’oeuvres [awr durvz; Fr.awr dœ-vruh ]

Hors d’oeuvre, meaning  literally “outside of work”, or food served before the main meal. It’s kind of a funny word, don’t you think? Really tricky spelling too. I have to look at it each time I spell it to make sure I didn’t switch the letters around. Speaking French would help my problem, I suppose…or there’s always spell check.
Sometimes people refer to the food eaten before a meal as an appetizer. I think that is true, but I usually think of an appetizer as a first course that is eaten at a table, whereas I think of  Hors d’oeuvres as finger food. When I am putting together a menu of Hors d’oeuvres that will take the place of a meal, I like to think about balance. It’s important to not only balance flavor, but to balance foods that are light, and foods that are substantial. We all know what happens if you have a few too much holiday “cheer” on an empty stomach…
Today’s Hors d’oeuvre “Endive Spears with Artichoke Pesto, Crispy Prosiutto, and Arugula” is very light and cleansing in flavor;  the kind of Hors d’oeuvre that works well before sitting down to dinner. I like to include something like this into the cocktail party mix, as they add freshness and crunch into the assortment, balancing some of the heavier Hors d’oeuvres. If you follow my blog, you know how much I like salads, so this is one of the Hors d’oeuvres I like to stand near at the table.
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Endive Cups with Artichoke Pesto, Crispy Prosciutto, and Arugula

For Pesto:

1/2 cup slivered  almonds, toasted

One 6.5 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Salt and freshly ground pepper


For the Topping:

2 teaspoons olive oil

7 ounces Prosciutto,finely chopped

1 cup arugula, thinly sliced

4 heads Belgian endive, ends trimmed, leaves separated


For Pesto: In a mini food processor, pulse the artichoke hearts with the almonds until finely chopped. Add the cream cheese, Parmesan, and lemon zest and process until a smooth paste forms. Season with salt and pepper.


For Filling: Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium high heat; add chopped prosciutto and saute, stirring frequently, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate to drain.


Assembly: Place one teaspoon of the artichoke pesto into the bottom (blunt edge) of each of the endive leaves. Top with crispy prosciutto and arugula. It’s that easy!

Makes about 24 spears

I love the colorful, refreshing cocktail Rachael has paired for us today. Have a look:

day 7 cocktail
Shibuya Punch
Click here to Visit Tokyo Terrace for the recipe.

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