Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

The Sycamore Restaurant, San Francisco


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2140 Mission St, San Francisco, CA. 94110. Melissa just had brunch here yesterday and shared some photos with me. I thought I would share them with you. If you planning on visiting or live in the Bay area, this is a great place to have brunch. Here’s a peek at what she shared with me.

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I’m going to make The Sycamore, a definite stop for #brunch, the next time I’m in San Francisco.

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Braised Boneless Short Ribs In A Red Wine Reduction With Root Vegetables Over Cheddar Grits


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This has to be one of the coldest days we’ve had in Orlando in a really long time, so I needed to bring out the big guns for dinner tonight. Steve’s been working on roofs all day and I know he’d want something comforting to warm him up. I went on a trip to our farmer’s market and decided to make short ribs. I found that they carry boneless short ribs which I’ve never seen anywhere else before, so I bought them. I guess I should tell you that our farmer’s market has both a meat department and a produce department. You can read about it under “local information” on my blog. In the meat department they also carry a variety of fish and cheese. I definitely wanted some good white cheddar for my grits, so this worked out perfectly. Next onto the produce side of the market to see what’s available for my dish tonight. I found a beautiful butternut squash and some leaf top carrots. I would say that’s going to do the job.

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I have all my veggies ready and chopped about the same size so that they cook evenly. I also added diced onion, minced garlic, and pureed Piquillo peppers ( jarred roasted red peppers are fine too) to the mix. This is what the boneless short ribs look like. You can see they have great marbling throughout the meat, which will make for a tender and flavorful short rib. In a large bowl I place all the meat with some olive oil, Kosher salt, and black pepper. I then tossed them really well before laying them out onto two baking sheets. I have the oven set at 450 degrees because I’m going to sear the meat all at one time by roasting them at a very high temperature. I put the meat in for about 15 minutes, then I look at them to see if they have developed a nice brown crust all over. I love this method instead of browning them off in batches on top of the stove. Also I can start cooking the vegetables off on top of the stove while the meat is searing.

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You can see that I have an oven thermometer set in the oven to make sure it’s at the temperature I want. Now, you want to look at the meat after 15 minutes of roasting, and if they are not at the stage where they have that nice sear look to them, then let them go a few minutes longer. Be sure to keep checking their progress until they look like the picture above.

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On the top of the stove while the meat is in the oven, I work on getting the veggies ready for the meat to join them. To start, I add in my heat up a heavy bottom pot on med to med high heat, then I add in a little olive oil. Next, I toss in the onions and carrots, and stir them around to start them softening. I sprinkle in some salt and pepper. You want to season each layer. Then I add the butternut squash along with some tomato paste. I stir that around and sprinkle in a little bit more salt and pepper. I’ll show the total amount of Kosher salt and pepper in the ingredients list. To the pot now, I add in the pureed Piquillo peppers, and stir all that around really well so all the veggies are coated nicely, before adding in my fresh herbs. Along with the herbs I throwing in some crushed red pepper flakes for some heat, and adding in some fresh chopped rosemary and thyme leaves. Stir the herbs all through and next for the liquids.

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For my liquids, I using a Cabernet Sauvignon to deglaze the pot. Still having the stove on med to med high heat, I poured in some of that delicious wine and scraped all the bits from the bottom of the pot, giving the wine a chance to reduce. About this time is when the boneless short ribs are ready to come out of the oven. Just set them aside for a minute. After the wine has reduced, I add in my beef consomme and beef broth.

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After I added the beef consomme and the beef broth, I add the seared short ribs into the pot. Any juices too, that’s extra flavor. Bring all this up to a boil then reduce to a simmer and place into a 325 degree oven for 2-1/2- 2-3/4 hours. The short ribs will be fully cooked and will be fork tender.

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After I remove the pot from the oven, I remove the meat from the pot carefully, because it’s really tender and you don’t want it to break up just yet. In a small bowl I one heaping tablespoon of corn starch ( potato starch is fine too) and add it to 1/4 cup of water. I whisk that together to make a slurry. This is what I’m going to use to thicken the sauce up just a bit. I don’t want it too thick just enough so it’s not like soup. Pour the slurry into the pot which is set on med heat, and bring it up to a boil. Stirring everything continuously until the broth has thickened to the consistency that the liquid in the pot coats the back of a wooden spoon. You want it to be like a loose gravy, so when you ladle it over the cheese grits, the sauce will cling to the veggies and soak into the grits. At this point I add the meat back into the pot and place the lid on. I put the pot onto the back burner, once that hasn’t been used and just set it to warm or low to keep everything hot while I make these delicious grits.

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Now let me tell you how I made these grits. I bought white stone ground grits that I added some really good white cheddar cheese to and then once they were prepared I baked them off. In a large I added some heavy cream and water, and brought that up to a boil with 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt. I then whisked in the grits, and as soon as the liquid was absorbed, I took the grits off the heat, added in some unsalted butter. I whisked the butter through until it was incorporated. Changed to a wooden spoon and stirred in the grated white cheddar. Next I buttered a casserole dish and poured the grits into the dish, spreading them out evenly, and add just a little more cheese on the top. In a 350 degree oven I covered the dish with foil, and baked them off for around 15 minutes, then I took the foil off and baked them for another 5-7 minutes. When the grits were hot and bubbly, they were done and I took them out and let them rest for a couple of minutes. You can see what they look like in the last picture above. On a large plate I spooned on some of these delicious cheesy grits and then ladled some of my braised short ribs with that luxurious sauce with those root vegetables all over the top.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time For Short Ribs: 21/2- 2-3/4 hours
Oven Temp: 325 degrees
Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
3 pounds of boneless short ribs
5 large carrots 1 inch dice
1 medium size butternut squash 1 inch dice
2 onions diced
3 large cloves of garlic minced
1 jar of Piquillo peppers or roasted red peppers, pureed
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 can of beef consomme
1 quart of beef broth
1 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt total ( this includes the seasoning of each layer as you are cooking the veggies)
1-1/2 teaspoons of black pepper ( this includes the seasoning of each layer as you are cooking the veggies)
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of corn starch plus 1/4 cup of water for the slurry

Cook Time For Grits: 1 hour ( this includes baking time)
Ingredients for the grits:

1- 1/2 cups of stone ground grits ( white or yellow)
3 cups of water
1 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
4 tablespoons of room temperature unsalted butter
2 cups of shredded white cheddar ( reserve 1/2 a cup for the topping)

Directions: Start with all the prep of the veggies. Next measure out all the herbs and seasoning you’ll need. Sear off the short ribs first, then start softening and seasoning all the veggies on med to med high heat on top of the stove. By the time you get to the point where you are adding in you liquids to the pot, will be about the time the short ribs will be coming out of the oven. Add the liquids to the veggies, then add the meat and their juices back into the pot with the veggies. Bring up to a boil then place the lid on and put into a 325 degree oven for 2-1/2- 2-3/4 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Remove the pot from the oven and remove the meat gently into a separate dish. Next thicken the sauce with the slurry and then add the meat back in. Place a lid on the pot and set on the back burner on warm while you prepare the grits. When you take the pot of short ribs out of the oven is when you want to change the oven temp to 350 for the baking of the grits. So now you start making the grits on top of the stove as explained above. Pour them into a buttered casserole dish, sprinkle the reserved cheese on top, and bake them off, covered,  for about 15 minutes. Finally remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes until the grits are hot and bubbly. That’s it you are done. Plate the grits onto a plate and ladle the delicious braised short ribs with those root vegetables all over the top.

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Dinner On The Table In Under 12 Minutes! My Pasta, Pesto, Peas, And Pecorino


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I wanted to challenge myself, and see if I could get dinner on the table in under 15 minutes. The good news is, that I did it in under twelve. First I put a large pot on the stove to get some water boiling for some #pasta. At the same time I set the oven to 425 degrees for my cheesy bread that I got in the frozen food section of the grocery store. Ok, now the oven is up to temperature, I placed the slices of cheese bread in the oven. Next I salted the boiling water and got it ready for the pasta, which only takes 8 minutes to cook. This # pasta is my favorite. It’s the closest to fresh that I’ve ever tasted.

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So now I add the pasta to the salted boiling water. While that cooking away, I have a pint of sweet mini San Marzano tomatoes that cut into half. I also have some Pecorino cheese, that I’ve grated into the bottom of a large serving bowl. The reason I do this is because when I add the hot #pasta to the bowl and toss it with the cheese, what happens is. The cheese sticks to the #pasta and the sauce, #pesto will stick to the cheese that sticks to the #pasta. Makes sense right? Trust me it works. Next take the cooked #pasta out of the pot, using tongs so you can save the pasta water, and place it over the grated Pecorino cheese. Toss that hot pasta through and let the cheese coat all of those noodles

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After the pasta’s been toss with the cheese, the hot salted water that I cooked the pasta in, add 1-1/2 cups of frozen peas right into the same water. They are just going to heat through. Next add some of that great store bought #pesto to the hot pasta and toss that through so that the #pesto coats all the noodles. Using a strainer type spoon, grab all those peas out from the pasta water and add those right in with the dressed pasta. Once all the ingredients have been tossed through really well, I add some more of that delicious Pecorino cheese over the top. To finish, remember those San Marzano tomatoes that I halved earlier, well I just place them all around the outside, for color and that burst of sweetness. Oh yes, the bread, you can forget the bread. Pull that out of the oven after about 10 minutes. Dinner is ready, and in under 12 minutes.

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 0
Cooking Time: 8-10 minutes
Oven Temp: For bread, 425 degerees
Pasta Cooking Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:
Pasta 1 package of Flora Parppardelle
1-8 ounce container of fresh basil pesto ( in the refrigerated section)
1 pint of sweet San Marzano tomatoes ( cherry tomatoes are fine)
1 cup of grated Pecorino
1/2 cup of shredded Pecorino for the top
1 package for frozen cheesy bread

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees for the bread. While the pasta is cooking, halve the tomatoes and great the cheese. Open the container of fresh pesto and have it on stand- by. Place the grated cheese in the bottom of the serving bowl. Place the hot pasta on top and toss it through. Place the frozen peas into the hot pasta water. Next add the pesto to the pasta and toss that through. Pull the peas out of the water and toss those through the pesto coated pasta. Lay the tomatoes all around the outside. Finish with the halved tomatoes around the outside. Pull the bread out of the oven, and dinner is ready.

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Homemade Espresso Ice Cream


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We are coffee lovers in my house, so I thought for my second ice cream flavor that I would attempt making an #espresso #icecream. This batch has a kiss of chocolate because, I’m using dark chocolate covered espresso beans.

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Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Machine Churning Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time On Stove: 1-2 minutes ( long enough for the sugar to dissolve

Ingredients:
3 cups of heavy cream
2/3’s cup of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of Kahlua
1 cup of chopped dark chocolate espresso beans ( measured after they are ground up finely)
1 pinch of Kosher salt

Directions:
Place the heavy cream into a sauce pan with the sugar and salt. Heat the cream just enough to dissolve the sugar and salt completely. Take your clean finger and dip it into the warm cream. If you feel no grittiness when you rub you two fingers together, then the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove the cream from the heat and add in the Kahlua and Vanilla extract. Place the cream mixture into a bowl and place into the frig for at least 2 hours. Make sure that the ice cream machine bowl was placed into the freezer from the night before, so it will be really cold when you are ready to make the ice cream. After the two hours are up, take the bowl attachment and place it onto the ice cream machine and turn it on. Next slowly pour the cream mixture, from the frig, into the ice cream machine. Let it churn following the manufacturer’s directions which is about 20 minutes. Then at this point, I add in my dark chocolate espresso beans that have been chopped, and let the ice cream maker go another 5 minutes to all the espresso beans are mixed through evenly. That’s it. I then just remove the ice cream and place it into a quart container and freeze overnight. If you love coffee, you’re going to love this ice cream.

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