Posts Tagged Cooking
What a wonderful dessert! It’s simple to do, looks great and it’s not bad on calories! What more can you ask for! Again, we prepared this at our last cooking class and it was a hit! At least it was as much of a hit as any dessert can be after an afternoon of cooking and eating. But really, it was perfect for that because it it is not too heavy and will work well as the final chapter to any meal.
CINNAMON GRILLED PINEAPPLE WITH BOURBON GLAZE
PREP: 15 MINUTES
GRILL TIME: 12 – 16 MINUTES
SERVES – 8 TO 12
FRESH PINEAPPLE CUT INTO 2 INCH CHUNKS
8-12 CINNAMON STICKS
Using a metal skewer, made a starter hole in the center of each piece of the pineapple, skewer 2-3 pineapple chunks on each cinnamon stick.
Combine the butter, sugar, bourbon, ground cinnamon, cloves and salt in a saucepan and boil until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes.
ON THE GRILL
Preheat the grill to high. Clean and oil the grate. Grill the pineapple until nicely browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side, basting with the bourbon glaze. Serve at once over vanilla ice cream.
Thank you for reading!
This is a fabulous recipe we did at our last grilling class. I know, this is the second recipe from that grilling class and nothing yet has been grilled! Well, the grilled stuff is coming. With our weather so gloriously changing to fall and, our good tomato supply rapidly depleting, I wanted to get this recipe to you as soon as possible. This tomato salad has a rich flavor but not rich body. Actually, it is very light but packed with flavor.
Well, before your tomatoes go bad, let’s get started!
MOM’S MARINATED TOMATO SALAD
INACTIVE PREP TIME: 2 HOURS MARINATING TIME
¼ CUP MINCED SHALLOTS
2 GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED
¼ CUP RED WINE VINEGAR
¼ CUP FRESH LEMON JUICE
FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER
2 BASIL SPRINGS, PLUS ¼ CUP CHOPPED LEAVES
1 CUP EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
3 POUNDS RIPE TOMATOES, SLICED ¼ INCH THICK
6 OUNCES PROVOLONE CHEESE
1. In a medium bowl, combine the shallots, garlic, vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt; let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Add the lemon juice and season with pepper. Break up the basil springs and add them to the bowl.
3. Whisk in the oil and let stand for 10 minutes, discard the basil springs.
4. Spoon one-quarter of the vinaigrette onto a large shallow platter. Arrange half of the tomato slices in overlapping circles on the platter and season with salt and pepper.
5. Using a sturdy vegetable peeler, shave half of the provolone over the tomatoes.
6. Spoon half of the remaining vinaigrette on top and sprinkle with half of the chopped basil.
7. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes, cheese vinaigrette and basil, seasoning with salt and pepper between layers.
8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
And there you have it! This is excellent just by itself on a plate for for you tomato sandwich lovers out there, try it on some savory toasted bread.
As always, thank you for following and for your support!
For information about our next cooking class at The Lark Inn please Check Our Website. Also, don’t forget that The Flint Hills of Kansas are awesome this time of year. Check us Out and kick back and relax!
I know it seems funny but at our last “grilling” class one of our main menu items was stuffed grape leaves . . . NON-Grilled! Several years ago, my cousin married a man whose family tradition it is to make stuffed grape leaves. Just a bit of education here; though there are little differences, Stuffed Grape Leaves is how the Persian culture refers to these and Dolmas is what the Greek culture calls them. Anyway, through the years I have spent many an hour with family members gathered around a kitchen table rolling grape leaves and just catching up. It is really a a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Then . . . you get to enjoy eating them!!
In our class we made our stuffed grape leaves with ground beef. Depending where you live and your availability to ground lamb I would suggest that you try that also. My favorite is a 50/50 mixture of ground beef and ground lamb.
Let’s get rolling!
STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES (DOLMAS)
PREP: 45 Minutes
COOK TIME: 2 Hours
SERVES – 6 to 8
- 1 pound ground beef or ground lamb
- 3/4 cup uncooked white rice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 jar grape leaves, or about 50 fresh grape leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound pork or lamb chops
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 40 garlic cloves
- Greek Yogurt
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ground beef, rice, garlic powder, allspice, salt, pepper, and cinnamon, and set aside.
Rinse grape leaves several times. If the leaves are small, leave them intact, but cut out the large center vein. If the leaves are large, cut them in half vertically, cutting out the large vein in the process. Place a small amount of the ground meat mixture at the end of each leaf. Roll up egg-roll style.
Pour the oil into the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Lay the chops over the oil. Lay the tomato slices over the chops.
Place the stuffed grape leaves seam-side down on top of the chops. Pack the leaves tightly and begin a second layer when necessary. Place whole garlic cloves randomly between the rolled leaves; plenty of garlic on each layer.
When you are done stacking, pour the lemon juice over the leaves, and add water to the pot to about 2-inches above the rolled leaves. To prevent the leaves from unrolling during cooking, place a plate on top of the stack of leaves and place a heavy object on top of the plate.
Simmer the leaves over low heat for about 2 hours.
Alternate Cooking Method:
Follow the directions above but in a pressure cooker. After all of the rolled grape leaves are placed into the pressure cooker with all the other ingredients, fit the lid into place tightly and place over high heat. Heat until steam begins to escape from the steam vent and lower heat to simmer. Simmer for 20 – 25 minutes making sure that steam continues to escape from the vent during the simmer time.
Grapes leaves are wonderful to eat just by themselves. But if you want to add some variety, serve your grape leaves with Greek yogurt.
Now for the best part; Serve and Enjoy!
As always, thank you for following and reading!
For more information about upcoming cooking classes at The Lark Inn or for a great place to escape the rigors of the city and just chill out Visit our Website.
GRILLED POUND CAKE
PINEAPPLE SALSA AND TEQUILA WHIPPED CREAM
When I was a grilling neophyte I would have never thought about preparing dessert on the grill . . . whodathunkit?!?! Actually, we are toasting the pound cake on the grill and it’s amazing how much smokey flavor just a few moments will add to this! When you add the grilling to this it takes the recipe from great to outstanding!
We have the weekend coming up so let’s not waste time!
PREP: 30 MINUTES
Grill time: 2 minutes
SERVES – 8
Purchased pound cake sliced into 8 pieces
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespooon Tequila0 (preferably gold)
2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into small cubes
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, small dice
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
Mint for garnish
To Grill (toast) Pound Cake
Lightly brush each slice of pound cake with butter on both sides. Cook until lightly toasted.
For the Whipped Cream Topping
Place the cream in a chilled mixer bowl and beat until soft peaks form, starting on the slow speed and gradually increasing the speed to high. When soft peaks form, add the sugar, cinnamon and tequila. Continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes more. Refrigerate, covered until ready to serve.
For the Salsa
Place all ingredients (except mint garnish) in a nonreactive bowl, but don’t mix until 5 minutes before you are ready to serve.
Place a toasted piece of pound cake on plate, spoon on salsa and dollop with whipped cream. Add mint garnish on top.
Wasn’t that easy. Now is when the best part always comes . . . tasting . . . oh heck . . . don’t just taste . . . eat and enjoy!!
As always, thank you for reading!
Don’t forget, for info about our full schedule of gourmet grilling and cooking classes, please visit our website. Also, the guesthouses are filling up for the Fall. Be sure to book some time for yourself in the gorgeous Flint Hills!
Grilled Peppered Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
A great recipe and right in line with my motto . . . keep it simple is our Grilled, Bacon Wrapped Shrimp. We did this at our last grilling class and it was such a hit that we have been preparing for all kinds of large functions and people just love it! This is easy and doesn’t take long to grill . . . which is a nice feature especially when the temperatures are still hot!
Let’s grill our shrimp!
PEPPER BACON WRAPPED SHRIMP
PREP: 10 MINUTES
GRILL TIME: 5 MINUTES
SOAK SKEWERS IN WATER FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS – PREFERRABLY OVERNIGHT
PEEL SHRIMP AND RUN SKEWER THROUGH TAIL AND BODY
WRAP WITH SMALL SECTION OF PEPPER BACON
GRILL UNTIL JUST BEYOND PINK ABOUT 5 MINUTES – UNTIL BACON IS COOKED THROUGH
That’s it!! It’s done and ready to delight anyone who tastes them!
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Please visit our website for information about our next gourmet grilling class or a fantastic get-a-way in The Flint Hills of Kansas!
Just in time for this weekend’s grilling menu!! Another great dish for grilling is our Asian Scored Flank Steak. You start with a relatively inexpensive cut of beef and marinate it with a marinade that has a hint of Asian flavors. When you combine the beef with the seasoning and the smoke from the grill it is a always winner! We prepared this in our last grilling class . . . IT WAS A HIT!!
Let’s grill some Asian flank steak!
ASIAN SCORED FLANK STEAK
PREP: 30 minutes
INACTIVE PREP TIME: 6 hours or over-night
Grill TIME: 8- 15 MINUTES
1 cup soy sauce
½ cup distilled white vinegar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 bay leaves, crumbled
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 Flank or skirt steak (1.5 to 1 ¾ pounds)
- Rinse the lemons well. Cut each in half and squeeze the juice with a citrus press. Place the lemon juice in a large non-reactive mixing bowl. Cut the rind of 1 lemon into ¼ inch dice and add it to the juice. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, oil, onion garlic bay leaves, coriander seed, and pepper and whisk to mix. Set aside half of the lemon juice mixture to use as a sauce.
- Score steak on both sides in a crosshatch pattern, making shallow cuts on the diagonal no deeper than 1/8 inch and about ¼ inch apart. This will keep the flank steak from curling as it cooks (you don’t have to score sirloin).
- Spread half of the remaining lemon juice mixture in the bottom of a non-reactive baking dish just large enough to hold the meat. Place the meat on top and spread the other half of the lemon mixture over it. Let the steak marinate for at least 6 hours preferably overnight.
- When ready to cook, drain the meat, scraping off most of the marinade with a rubber spatula. Preheat the grill to high.
- Oil the grill. Place the flank steak on the grill and cook approximately 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare. If using sirloin steak, medium rare will take a bit longer, about 5-8 minutes.
Finally, we made to my favorite part of the recipe . . . ENJOY!!
Thank you for following and reading. don’t forget to check our website: www.TheLarkInn.com to learn more about our next cooking/grilling class and to learn about our guesthouses right in the heart of The Flint Hills of Kansas. The weather has turned and it is an awesome time to be here!
The grilled avocado salad has been one our favorites since the first time we tasted it in a California grilling class. It is amazing that though you only put it on the grill for a few moments, the grilling process seems to really wake up a new “earthy” flavor in the avocado. A gas or charcoal grill will work fine but as you know we are partial to charcoal as it just gives more of a smoky flavor to your food. Let’s get started!
PREP: 25 minutes
GRILL TIME: 1 minute
SERVES – 8
10 tomatoes, thickly sliced
4 avocados, peeled, haled & pitted
Extra-Virgin olive oil, for drizzling & adding to juice
1 red onion, sliced
Juice from ½ lemon
½ cup pine nuts
Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded or cut into thin wafers
Freshly grated black pepper, optional
- Preheat grill over medium heat. Cover a large tray or serving platter with tomatoes and set aside
- In another bowl, cover the red onion slices with the lemon juice that has been mixed with a couple Tablespoons of olive oil.
- Place avocado halves on a platter and drizzle with olive oil. Place each half, cut side down, on a hot open grill for about 1 minute. Remove and place on top of the tomatoes arranged on tray.
- Place onions in the empty avocado pit holes. Drizzle the lemon juice-olive oil mixture over the top. Sprinkle pine nuts and cheese over all and grate pepper over if desired.
Now, the best part as always . . . ENJOY!
Thank you for following!
We will be having another grilling class (possibly the last for the season) at the Lark Inn in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas on the afternoon of September 9. For more information about our cooking classes and/or a great get-a-way in the Flint Hills of Kansas visit our web site: www.TheLarkInn.com
We had our first grilling class of 2012 at The Lark Inn last Sunday evening and it was a great success! Since everything . . . I mean everything was grilled, it brought out the male counterparts to the ladies who usually come to our cooking classes!
We learned early on in doing our cooking classes that people anticipate them most of the day before they come. What happens when you anticipate good food? That’s right . . . you get hungry! People showing up for our classes were hungry when they got there. To not have anything for them to nosh on and to have them prepare food for an hour before they got to eat anything was shear torture. After that first class, we learned to always have appetizers our for our guests when they arrive.
This recipe is really quite simple and you could roast the corn in the oven . . . but if you have a grill . . . why would you want to?!?! The smoky flavor adds so much more depth to the corn it truly is worth the effort.
Ready? Let’s make Grill Roasted Corn Salsa!
GRILLED CORN SALSA
PREP: 15 MINUTES
GRILL TIME: 37 MINUTES
SERVES – 8
- 10 large ears corn, husked
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 vine-ripened tomatoes, about 1 pound total
- 1 cup diced red onion, 1/4-inch dice
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or more to taste
- 1/2 cup julienne fresh basil leaves
Brush the corn liberally with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Grill, turning every few minutes, until light gold all over and cooked, about 12 minutes. Let cool and cut off the kernels. Discard the cobs.
Core the tomatoes and cut a small X on the bottom of each. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on the grill, X side down, away from direct heat. Cover the grill and cook until the tomatoes begin to soften but are not cooked all the way through (or they will melt through the grate!), about 15 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze out the juice and the seeds through a sieve into a bowl. Reserve the juices and chop the flesh.
Put the onions in the non-reactive medium bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Let marinate until the color changes, about 10 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, onions, basil, and 1/3 cup olive oil to the corn. Toss well. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper, and remaining vinegar. The salsa is best eaten the same day but will keep, covered and refrigerated, a day or so.
Serve with tortilla chips or as a topping for tacos.
Now the best part . . . ENJOY!!
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For more information about cooking classes at The Lark Inn in Cottonwood Falls CLICK HERE
It’s summer time and with summer comes grilling and smoking outdoors. In fact, early next month at our Lark Inn in Cottonwood Falls, we will begin our series of grilling classes. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Many of you may know that when our daughter was married a couple of years back, my husband and I cooked meals for all the guests during the week prior to the wedding as well as a dinner and brunch for about 100 of the wedding guests. This recipe is for a smoked brisket we did for the rehearsal dinner and it was truly to die for! After a lot of trial and error we finally found the best blend of spices, flavorings and cooking technique.
Since Grilling and smoking is Pat’s department, I am having him share his recipe with you.
Let’s get started!
3 Full Briskets (about 15 pounds each)
6 Brisket Flats (about 7 pounds each)
French’s Au Jus Gravy Seasoning
Texas Pete Hot Sauce
Mesquite Liquid Smoke
Cotton Eyed Joe’s Barbeque Sauce*
You can go one of two directions with the brisket; if you buy the brisket flats, you will have very little trimming to do. But, if you buy the full briskets, you will have some fat to be trimmed. If you are starting with a full brisket, start with it laying flat with the fat side up (isn’t that was some of us do when we lay flat on our backs?!?!) Press around on the fat and find the hard nuggets of fat. You will have to trim these off because they will not render down during the cooking process. Be sure to leave about ¼ inch of fat over the entire brisket. The fat is needed to help keep the brisket moist during cooking.
Next you will need to trim the fat along the sides between the flat and the point. There is also a line of fat between the point and flat which also needs to be trimmed. You will notice that one end of the brisket is thicker than the other. This thicker end is the point and the other is the flat. I recommend that you separate the point from the flat. This way the two will be similar in thickness and consequently, they will cook in the same amount of time.
Because the brisket is such a tough cut of meat, two things need to happen; 1.) it has to cook low and slow . . . at a low temperature and for a long – long time. 2.) it needs some help staying moist and keeping the flavor throughout if you are going to cook it that long. I used a marinade from the book: “Competition BBQ Secrets” written by Bill Anderson and it worked great. Here is the recipe:
1 Cup of Moore’s Marinade
1 Tablespoon of Texas Pete Hot Sauce
2 Cans of Beef Broth
3 Tablespoons of melted bacon grease
1 Tablespoon of mesquite liquid smoke
Follow the directions on the French’s Au Jus package EXCEPT use the beef broth instead of water. Mix all the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes.
Tip: to create the bacon grease, I fried up some bacon ends and pieces which were less expensive than bacon and fattier . . . it is the fat that we are after. You can also use the cooked bacon for Kris’ Cowboy Beans.
I use Adkins Rub from Texas for my rub. Liberally apply the rub over all of the surfaces of the brisket taking care to rub it into all the cracks and crevices.
After the rub is applied, inject the warm marinade into the brisket with the fat side up. You will want to insert the needle as far into the meat as you can with out punching through the other side. Injections should be make about every 1 – 1-1/2 inches over the entire surface of the brisket.
Tip: I use a baking pan with low sides (large enough for the brisket and lay plastic wrap over it extending the wrap past the edges of the pan by 10 or 12 inches each way and lay the brisket on top of the plastic before injecting.
After injecting the brisket, wrap it up in the plastic wrap and but it in the refrigerator overnight.
GOOD MORNING!! First things first, pour yourself a cup of coffee and go out to your smoker and stare at it until you wake up to figure out what you’re doing outside, staring at your smoker. Now that you’re awake, start your smoker and set it to a temperature between 225° and 250°. If this is your first smoked brisket, I recommend that you use equal amounts of oak and hickory for smoking wood. Mesquite has a wonderful flavor, but it is easy to over smoke with mesquite and cause the meat acquire a bitter taste . . . especially when you are smoking something for this long of a period of time.
Place the brisket on the grate of your smoker, fat side up. If you have more than one grate in your smoker, place the brisket on the upper one so you can put a disposable foil pan below it to catch the drippings. Be sure the pan is large enough to hold the brisket. We will add these dripping to the au jus sauce later.
Smoke the brisket for four hours and toward the end of that time frame you will want to pre heat your oven to 225°. Remove the brisket from the smoker then place it fat side down in the pan and add enough of the au jus sauce to make it ¼ of an inch deep. Be sure to simmer the au jus before putting it in the pan. Now, cover the pan with foil and put it in your oven and cook for another 6 – 7 hours. I recommend that every hour or so, you pull the foil back and use the au us sauce as your mop sauce to keep the brisket moist. I use a basting brush or a turkey baster will also work well.
At 225 – 250° it takes brisket .8 – 1.5 hours per pound. Because of the kind of cut of meat brisket is, you don’t just cook it to a specific temperature and you’re done. It’s a bit more subjective than that. 190° is a good guideline, but what you are really after is tenderness. Once your temperature probe slides into the meat easily, then you are on your way. Try a fork, when the meat is “fork tender” you have arrived at your destination!
Take the meat out of the oven, uncover it and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. If you push this time and don’t allow the meat to rest, the minute you cut into it all the juices you just took 10 – 15 hours putting in there and preserving will run out of the meat and life as you once knew it will cease to exist! Well, maybe it won’t be quite that bad but your brisket will lose a lot of it’s moisture and could tend to be pretty dry. STEP AWAY FROM THE BRISKET!
After the meat has rested, remove it from the pan and place it on a cutting board. Remove any remaining fat and turn the brisket over and start slicing. Be sure that you are slicing the meat perpendicular to the grain. This will result in more tender slices. Normally, you should slice the brisket ¼ inch thick. If it is a little tough though, you will want to slice it thinner and if it is falling apart, thicker slices will help it to stay together better.
After the brisket is sliced, strain the au jus and either drag the slices through it or simply pour it over the meat.
I don’t use the barbeque sauce in the cooking . . . especially for large groups. Some of your guests may like it and others may not. So I just leave it up to them if and how much they want on their food.
Now the moment you have been waiting for ENJOY!!
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This is one of my favorite cakes to bake. It is not difficult to make but it will take a little bit of time . . . good things come to those who wait . . . only in this case you will be baking while you wait. Anyway, this coconut cake is for coconut lovers and non-coconut lovers alike. My husband, Pat is a died-in-the-wool NON-coconut lover . . . and even he loves this cake! Another recipe from our “Lady’s Tea” cooking class, I think you will like this one as much as I do.
PREP: 35 minutes
INACTIVE PREP TIME: 30 MINUTES
BAKING TIME: 50 MINUTES
SERVES: 10 – 12
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them parchment paper. Grease them again and dust lightly with flour.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don’t be concerned.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.
For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until just smooth (don’t whip!).
To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.
As always, thank you for your amazing support and thank you for reading!
Don’t forget that Spring and Summer are the perfect time to come to The Flint Hills of Kansas and just chill . . . go to a gourmet cooking class . . . or enjoy all the culture, history and architecture here. Please Visit Our Website if you would like more information.