Tag Archives: beef

How to: Empanadas

Since we returned from our vacation in Argentina (back in March), I’ve been wanting to tackle the art of empanadas, the workhorse of the Argentine lunch. Like ragu in Italy and croissants in France, recipes along with techniques have been passed down from generation to generation.

With a little research, I thought I had come across the perfect recipe, found on Tastespotting, it was passed down through the women in a family in Chile. And then, my Cooks Illustrated arrived complete with a comprehensive tutorial on these savory delights. The recipe below is based on that recipe.

3 cups (15 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour , plus extra for work surface
1 cup (5 ounces) masa harina (I used cornmeal since I couldn’t find my masa harina)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons table salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
1/2 cup cold vodka or tequila (this is a must! it makes a huge difference in the dough)
1/2 cup cold water
5 tablespoons olive oil (for baking empanadas)

1 large slice hearty white sandwich bread , torn into quarters
6 ounces chorizo sausage , cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
1 can tomato sauce (14.5 ounces)
1 pound 85 percent lean ground chuck
Table salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions , chopped fine (about 2 cups)
4 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon chipotle chiles , ground
1 tablespoon ground chipotle chile pepper
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves , coarsely chopped
2 hard-cooked eggs , coarsely chopped
1/3 cup raisins , coarsely chopped
4 teaspoons cider vinegar

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hope you have a sweet day!  This beefy valentine is part of Haute Papier‘s new letterpressed Valentine line – I couldn’t resist sharing it with you food lovers 🙂

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

499449715. – The Chicago Tribune Sliders Slip Easily into Party Mode“And fuss-free. In 45 minutes, Irr made two variations: tuna and black bean. Pan-fried, the sliders were served on mini-dinner rolls she found at the supermarket deli.”

4. – The Boston Globe Take Your Pick “A few varieties are particularly popular for baking and especially plentiful in October. Many area orchards have already started storing apples so local fruit will be available for Thanksgiving’s pie baking time.”

3. – The LA Times Stop and Smell the Ragu “And there are few dishes that are more pleasurable to make than ragù. Make no mistake: As wonderful as ragù is to eat, it’s just as much fun to fix.”

2. – The NY Times Matches Surge As Restaurant Giveaways “The objects of her specific adoration are blue-and-silver boxes, shaped like a lipstick (also known in the trade as an ascot), each of which contains 22 blue-tipped wooden strikes. Bearing Flora’s Art Deco logo, the matchboxes are the finishing touch on an ambience calculated to dislocate the present tense.”

1. – The Washington Post Eggs that Deserve Coddling “Most chefs I know refer to brunch disdainfully as the b-word. Aside from the fact that they generally are not morning people, their aversion comes down to this: Eggs can mean trouble.”

photo from The LA Times

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From the Kitchen of: Dennis Marron

Chef Dennis Marron of The Grille at Morrison House is taking to the streets.  Next Saturday he will take on a good ol’ fashioned physical challenge as he compete in the Marine Corps Marathon.  If you’re running too, Chef Marron will be serving a special Pre-Marathon Carb-Loading Dinner for $25 at The Grille at Morrison House on Saturday night.  Good luck to all runners!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
I have two. My dehydrator and my over sized tweezers.  The dehydrator is fun but my tweezers; I simply can’t do anything without them.

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
I would never say any food or technique is overrated.  As a chef I feel the need to embrace all cooking techniques and styles.  If I am close-minded with my job, I wouldn’t leave much room for success and creativity.  I am constantly pushing my cooks to try new techniques (and old ones too), and to eat food that they don’t think they’ll normally like.

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
I love the food I am producing now but if I were to step away from the world of fine dinning I would try my hand at a BBQ joint, Fish Fry at the Beach, a French Bistro, Tropical Asian cuisine or a Chop House.  As you can see, I love all types of food which is a good thing in my line of work.

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Right now, I’m a huge fan of Virginia cheeses and I love anything from Meadow Creek Dairy.  I lived in the Midwest for a while so I know good cheese when I have it, and Virginia has really stepped up to the plate over the last few years.

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
I wish that customers were knowledgeable about their steak temperatures – it’s one thing I certainly work hard on through staff training as well.

What do you drink/eat after work?
It all depends on my mood.  Sometimes, I’m happy with a good beer and some lasagna.  And if I’m up for a late trip from Old Town, I’ll make the trek to Ben’s Chili Bowl.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
At home, I love to keep things simple and take my time preparing meals, so I’d have to say a roasted chicken or a comforting pot-au-feu.

Click below for Chef Marron’s recipe for Pot-Au-Feu…

Photo from Darko Zagar

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