A Father's Day Steak

While I was "guest host" on Martha Stewart's "Cooking Today" Sirius XM radio show this week, we covered lots of topics including craft beer, olive oil from Chile, Julia Child's new biography, Dearie, written by celebrity author Bob Spitz, "genius recipes" with Kristen Miglore from food52, and radically simple cooking with New York Times "City Cook" columnist, David Tanis. It was a great week. We also listened to the "hot chill" music of singer/songwriter Audrey Appleby, whose two songs, "The Garden" and "Ladies Cheap Cocktails", had everyone in the studio smiling and begging for more! Check it out at www.magicdance.com. Audrey's new album soon to be released is called Ladies Cheap Cocktails. Should soar to the top of the charts. And there were lots of requests for my Reddened Rib Eye with Pimiento Cheese -- the perfect steak for Father's Day. The magical rub -- made from sweet paprika, smoked paprika, and sumac may require a trip to an upscale food store or spice market, but these are three ingredients I now always have in my pantry. You should, too. They make a ruddy crust for the steak that lights up your taste buds -- with sweet, sour, salty, smokey notes. Topping with homemade pimiento cheese makes this a sundae for a cowboy. It's a "hot chill" kind of dish.

Serve with a bowl of my amazing cauliflower-potato puree (recipe below). What looks like the most luxurious offering of buttery, smooth mashed potatoes is instead a puree of cauliflower bound with a bit of potato and sweet butter.  The underlying sweetness comes from garlic that gets boiled with the cauliflower.  Drink wine! Or drink beer! Lots of great suggestions on the show from beer maven, Jimmy Carbone, owner of Jimmy's No. Craft Beer Bar and Restaurant and co-founder of The Good Beer Seal awards.

Reddened Rib Eye with Pimiento Cheese (adapted from Radically Simple)

8 ounces very sharp yellow Cheddar 3 ounces pimientos from a jar, with 3 tablespoons brine 6 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 small cloves garlic 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika 4 thick rib eye steaks, about 12 ounces each 1/4 cup ground sumac

Preheat the broiler. Chop the cheese and put in a food processor with the pimientos, brine, mayonnaise, and garlic. Process until smooth; add salt and pepper. Chill. Mix together the sugar, both paprikas, and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Rub the steaks thoroughly with the mixture and let sit 10 minutes. Rub the sumac thickly on both sides of the steaks. Place on a rimmed baking sheet; broil as close to the heat as possible for 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or until desired doneness. Top each steak with a scoop of pimiento cheese. Serves 4

"Looks like Mashed Potatoes" (adapted from Eat Fresh Food)

1 large head of cauliflower, about 1-1/2 pounds 1 large baking potato 2 large garlic cloves, peeled 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/4 cup milk 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the cauliflower into 1-inch pieces. Peel the potato and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the cauliflower, potatoes, and garlic to the water. Continue to boil for 16 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are soft (but not falling apart.) Drain well in a colander and shake dry. Add the cauliflower, potatoes, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.  Add the butter, milk, and 4 tablespoons of the cheese.  Process until very smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately, sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Or you may make the mixture ahead:  Spoon it into a shallow casserole and sprinkle it with 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until heated through and run it briefly under the broiler until golden.  Serves 6

Happy Father's Day.

Tastes of the Week

Week of June 4th, 2012 So it's officially time for something. Not sure what. I am perusing everything I can. What am I saying?  I will be hosting Martha Stewart's Radio Show "Cooking Today" on Sirius XM next Monday, Wednesday and Friday -- June 11th, 13th and 15th. Lining up my guests now. Hot topics, chefs of the moment, genius recipes, the book du jour, food trucks in Paris, American chefs in Paris, Chipotles in Paris. And mangoes in India. Great article in the New York Times about it. Mangoes and monsoons. Reminds me to mention the captivating, charming movie "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" which takes place in India; Jaipur to be exact. I've been there. It's not as clean as it is in the movie but it is actually more magical. It's known as the pink city. I grew up eating mangoes. My grandparents had a big ol' mango tree in their backyard on Linda Lane in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Feeling nostalgic as I can remember sliding my teeth along the resin-y skin of the voluptuous orange flesh with the juices trickling down my arm. I was six at the time.

In my very first cookbook, Little Meals: A Great New Way to Eat & Cook, I created a recipe as an homage to my mumma and grampy -- Louise and Joe Gold. They were both from Hungary and loved to eat. My grandfather and his mother actually had a restaurant for awhile in Astoria, Queens on the second floor...somewhere. My grandfather, known for his extreme generosity, gave most of the food away. It's hard to stay viable with "free food" as your business model. He was known as an angel by those who came into his orbit. Both my grandparents died early and I miss them.  My grandmother was ten years older than my grandfather. My mother kept it a secret (it was her promise to her mother), all their lives; right up to, and including on, their tombstones.  Quite a love story, right?  Maybe I'll write a story about it someday.

But in the meantime, here is that recipe from Little Meals that is quite nice for the summer months.  It was always summer on Linda Lane.

Shrimp, Mango & Hearts of Palm Juicy, ripe mangoes trigger vivid images of my grandparents' mango tree. Up the street was a lime tree. And so this dish is dedicated to fond childhood taste memories.

1 pounds very large cooked shrimp, peeled 2 ripe mangoes 1 can hearts of palm, rinsed and dried 1/2 cup fresh lime mixed with 1 teaspoon ketchup 1 tablespoon finely minced jalapeno 3 tablespoons olive oil pinches of salt, pepper and sugar 4 packed cups of spring greens, mesclun or soft lettuces

Cut the shrimp into large pieces and place in a bowl.  Peel mangoes and cut into cubes the same size as the shrimp. Add to the bowl.  Slice hearts of palm 1/3-inch thick and add to the bowl.  Toss with lime juice, jalapeno and oil.  Balance the flavors with sea salt, pepper and sugar.  Toss and refrigerate 30 minutes.  Arrange lettuce on a platter or on 4 plates. Mound salad on top. Garnish with thin slices of lime.  Serves 4

I should really start making more of my own food. I understand it's quite good. Someone I haven't heard from in a decade called me out of the blue last week to tell me she made one of my recipes recently and just had to tell me how much she loved it. Then she told me she makes it all the time.  But last week she threw the prune-and-bay leaf stuffed pork tenderloin on the grill. She has a new boyfriend. Maybe that's why it tasted so good. Not sure really.  That's a very easy thing to mess up on a grill; a tenderloin is so narrow and easily overcooked.  But when you're in love, magical things happen and we imbue our food with qualities it might not really have. Here's the recipe anyway.  Barbara Biondo (who is one of the most talented calligraphers on the planet -- her company is called American Art Studio) also makes another recipe -- and this one is from Little Meals.  It's called Chicken Soup Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee.  I made it for one of my appearances a long, long time ago. Someday I will share that recipe, too.

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Prune & Bay Leaves ( from Recipes 1-2-3) In France, where the mention of prunes never causes a snicker, this dish would have a distinct bistro feel. Try with Hubbard squash and orange puree and crack open a bottle of white Burgundy.  For a different style, serve it with caramelized endive and bacon and enjoy a glass of Beaujolais.

8 California bay leaves 15 large pitted prunes 1-1/2 pound pork tenderloin

Place the bay leaves and prunes in a bowl.  Pour 1-1/2 cups boiling water over the top and let sit 15 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Make a 1-inch-deep slit along the length of the tenderloin, leaving 1 inch uncut on each end. Remove the bay leaves and prunes from the water and pat very dry.  Place the prunes in the bottom of the slit in a tight row. Crumble 1 bay leaf finely and sprinkle it over the prunes.  Roll the meat and tie it tightly at 1-inch intervals.  Season liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Remove the remaining bay leaves in a row, under the strings.  Oil the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast 30 to 35 minutes (or throw it on the grill as Barbara does!).  Let it rest 5 minutes before slicing.  Remove the bay leaves.  Serves 4

Upcoming events:  Pastry Chef Awards tonight; a dinner in honor of fresh figs at abckitchen; a dinner in honor of Chilean olive oil at Olives at the W; lunch at Gramercy Tavern, recipe testing for Cooking Light, pork chops for dinner tomorrow.

Enjoy your own tastes of the week.