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Remember a few months ago when I made the garlic and coriander chicken with baked apples from The Serpent and the Pearl? Well, we’re at it again, this time for the sequel called The Lion and the RoseThis book continues the story of the Borgia family along with the cook, Carmelina and her apprentice Bartoleomo Scappi, a real-life renaissance chef.

To read what my fellow bloggers have created click the links below:

In the book, The Lion and the Rose, the beef is described as “blood-rare beef curls on rosemary spears.” Thinking that that might not be the best name for a blog post, I’ve changed it to beef en brochette. That’s just a fancy name for meat on a stick and in this case, the stick is the stem of the rosemary herb. You can also use a bamboo or metal skewer. I used both the rosemary and a few metal ones.

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Rosemary and beef go together like peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk or gumbo and rice. One of my favorites is this roast with rosemary that I’ve been making for years. I marinated the sliced top sirloin in a mixture of rosemary olive oil, red wine vinegar, chopped garlic and chopped, fresh rosemary. Don’t worry if you don’t have rosemary olive oil. You can use whatever good quality olive oil you have on hand.

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Beef en Brochette with Rosemary

  • 1½ lbs top sirlion, cut in ¼” slices
  • 1 cup rosemary olive oil or best quality olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary, stems reserved

Combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic and rosemary in a small bowl, stir well. Pour over beef, mix well to ensure that all meat is covered in marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. While beef is marinating soak rosemary stems in water. After meat has marinated heat outdoor grill (charcoal or gas) or indoor grill pan to high heat. While grill is heating, place beef on rosemary stems or skewers. Discard marinade. Grill beef over high to medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how well done you want them. I usually cook only 2 minutes each side because we like them on the rare to medium rare side. Remove from grill to a serving plate. Let meat rest a few minutes before serving.

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I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but chances are that it is cold, snowy and horrible. Even here in South Louisiana we’ve had more snow and ice than usual. It’s enough to make you want to tell Old Man Winter what he can do with his snowballs. That being said, one of the few (and I mean very few) good things about winter is the citrus fruits. Oranges, grapefruits and tangerines abound reminding us that Summer will one day return. This salad is like summer in a bowl. Who couldn’t use that right about now?

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Blood Orange, Fennel and Olive Salad

  • 3 small or 2 large blood oranges
  • 1 medium to large fennel bulb, trimmed of leaves and stems (fronds reserved)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • ¼ cup blood orange avocado oil or best quality olive oil
  • 1 Tble bood orange juice
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim and peel all pith from oranges. Hold peeled fruit over a medium bowl, using a sharp knife, cut sections from membrane letting them fall into the bowl. Squeeze remaining membrane over a smaller bowl, reserving juice for later. Slice fennel very thinly using a mandonline or very sharp knife. Gently toss fennel with blood oranges and lemon juice. Add kalamata olives to bowl. In a small bowl mix blood orange avocado oil or olive oil with blood orange juice. Stir well and pour over oranges, fennel and olives. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with chopped fronds from the top of the fennel.

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Notes:

  • I drizzled this 18-year aged balsamic over the top of my salad, which took it from really good to blow your mind good. The balsamic is sweet and thick and perfect for this type of salad. It’s also great on a caprese salad or strawberries.
  • Here’s a variation on the blood orange and fennel salad. Apparently, everyone could use a little summer in a bowl.
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