Tag Archives: sauces

Grilled Sirloin with Horseradish Vinaigrette

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My ongoing obsession with sauces continues…

It’s actually starting to feel like Spring in Northeast Ohio, so this sauce is a fresh, bright horseradish vinaigrette.  It’s funny – the more recipes I post, the more I’ve been thinking about why I cook certain things.  I know that my cooking has been influenced by my CSA and trying to use in season veggies whenever possible, but I’ve noticed recently that the weather also has a major effect on what I cook.  Now that it’s a little warmer and the sun is making a rare appearance, I find myself wanting food that’s lighter, with lots of citrus and fresh herbs.  Plus, it’s much more pleasant to grill when you aren’t wading through snow! 

This is another recipe inspired by the book Smart Chefs Stay Slim.  I typically only think of vinaigrettes as salad dressing, so I was quite intrigued by the idea of serving it over a steak. 

I first tried the recipe as presented in the book, but although the flavors were great, it seemed a bit oily.  I adjusted the amounts, added a splash of lemon and tried using the food processor instead of blending it by hand. Perfect!

The bright green color from the parsley and thyme were so pretty.  I made this version with a top sirloin (grassfed) grilled simply with olive oil, salt and pepper, and some roasted asparagus.  The little bite from the horseradish and the vinegar, and the freshness of the herbs were such a good combination!

Horseradish Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • a handful of fresh, flat leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

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This vinaigrette is so easy!  Add all the ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor.  Blend for a few seconds until all the ingredients are combined.

As the food processor is on, add the olive oil in a thin stream through the hole in the lid.  Blend until smooth.  Taste – add salt and/or pepper as needed.  That’s it!

Use to top steak, fish, veggies – just about anything!  It might even be good as a dressing on a sub sandwich – Yum! 

Does your cooking style change with the seasons?  What are your favorite spring/summer dishes? 

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Butternut Squash Mole Sauce

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It’s now the beginning of April, and I am still trying to find ways to use winter squash! It’s totally my own fault though – I did buy an extra butternut squash at the farmer’s market a couple weeks ago.

I used half the butternut squash in my Spinach and Butternut Squash Pasta, but I still had to figure out what to do with the other half.

I wanted to try something different, but what?  Well, I watched a marathon of the show “Chopped” on Food Network the other day, and I noticed one thing.  No matter what the chefs on “Chopped” made, they always made a sauce.  And if that sauce wasn’t any good, or they ran out of time and didn’t get it on the plate, they typically didn’t make it to the next round.

Thankfully, I don’t have famous chefs critiquing the food that I made in my kitchen, or they would be horrified by the lack of sauce on my dishes!  But I did think that I could probably make a cool sauce using the butternut squash.  Turns out, I was right!

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I sliced the pork chops and piled all this good stuff into a flour tortilla. Super tasty!

I know it’s not a traditional mole, but Butternut Squash and Anaheim Chili Sauce just didn’t have the right flow.  Call it creative license.

Butternut Squash Mole

  • 1 1/2 lbs Butternut Squash, cubed
  • 3 dried Anaheim Chilis (Ancho would work too, I just couldn’t find them.)
  • 1 medium white onion, rough chopped
  • 5-10 garlic cloves, depending on size (I used an entire head of garlic – about 6 big cloves)
  • Chinese Five Spice (the jar I have is a blend of Star Anise, Cinnamon, Cloves, Fennel and Black Pepper)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Toast the dried chilis on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

They smelled awesome - sort of a warn, smoky, chocolate scent.  Very unexpected.

They smelled awesome – sort of a warn, smoky, chocolate scent. Very unexpected.

Once the chilies are toasted, remove them from the oven.  (Side Note:  I chopped off the top stems and shook out some of the seeds because I had never worked with dried chilies before and I didn’t know how hot they would be. I have no idea if that’s approved behavior or not.)  Soak the chilies in hot water to rehydrate.  You’ll also use this water when blending the sauce.

The water takes on the color of the chili peppers almost immediately.

The water takes on the color of the chili peppers almost immediately.

Toss the cubed squash, chopped onion and garlic with olive oil (enough to coat), salt, pepper, and a couple big pinches of Chinese Five Spice.  Transfer the squash mixture to a baking sheet (I used the same one I toasted the peppers on) and roast in a 350-400 degree oven for about a half hour.

After roasting - you want the veggies to be soft and get that caramelized outside.

After roasting – you want the veggies to be soft and get that caramelized outside.

Transfer the roasted veggies to a blender.  Add the rehydrated chili peppers (I only added two peppers at first – after I blended the sauce a bit, I tasted it before adding the last pepper) and some of the chili pepper water.

Looking down into the blender...

Looking down into the blender…

I added about a cup of water, blended it, tasted it, added a pinch of salt and another half cup of water and blended it some more.  Make it as thick or as thin as you like – I wanted a thicker, more substantial sauce.

Once the sauce is made, it keeps really well in the refrigerator and reheats beautifully.  I almost wish I had another butternut squash to make some more!  It went well with chicken, potatoes, pork, eggs – the list goes on and on!

This post is linked to What’s in the Box?  at In Her Chucks. 

What’s your go-to sauce?  I still have a half-dozen dried peppers left – any suggestions?