Italian-style Roasted Beef with Prunes and Port

Ingredients

1 beef triangle tip (tri-tip) or top round roast (about 2 lbs), trimmed of fat
1-3/4 cups port
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 can (14-1/2 oz) beef broth
2-1/2 cups pitted prunes
2 packages (about 10 oz each) frozen tiny onions, thawed
1 pound dried farfalle (pasta bow ties)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
oregano sprigs
salt and pepper

Method

  1. Set beef in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine port and sugar. Stir over medium heat just until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Measure out 1/3 cup of the port mixture to use for basting and set it aside.
  4. Add broth, prunes, and onions to port mixture remaining in pan. Set aside.
  5. Roast meat in a 450°F (230°C) oven, basting 4 times with the 1/3 cup port mixture, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 135°F (57°C) for rare (about 35 minutes). After 25 minutes, check temperature every 5 to 10 minutes. If pan appears dry, add water, 4 to 6 tablespoons at a time, stirring to scrape browned bits free from pan bottom. Do not let drippings scorch.
  6. While meat is roasting, bring prune mixture to a boil over high heat. Then reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, until prunes and onions are very soft (about 30 minutes). Remove from heat and keep warm.
  7. When meat is done, transfer to a carving board, cover loosely, and let stand for about 15 minutes.
  8. In a 6- to 8-quart (6- to 8-liter) pan, bring about 4 quarts (3.8 liters) water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in pasta and cook until just tender to bite, 8 to 10 minutes. (Or cook pasta according to package directions.)
  9. Drain pasta well. Transfer to a large rimmed platter, mix in garlic and chopped oregano, and keep warm.
  10. Pour any meat drippings from baking pan into prune mixture. Also add any meat juices that have accumulated on board. With a slotted spoon, ladle prunes and onions over and around pasta. Transfer cooking liquid to a small pitcher.
  11. To serve, thinly slice meat across the grain and arrange over pasta mixture. Garnish with oregano sprigs. Offer cooking liquid to pour over meat and pasta and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Low-fat Italian Cookbook

Roasted Beets on Toast with Labneh and Saffron Honey

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of kosher (coarse) salt
3 medium beets (beetroots), ends trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
freshly ground black pepper
4 (3/4-inch thick) slices country-style bread
extra-virgin olive oil, for the bread
Kosher (coarse) salt, for the bread
1 cup labneh (Lebanese-style) yogurt or plain Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons toasted and roughly chopped pistachios
flaky salt

Method

  1. Make the saffron honey: Toast the saffron in a small skillet (frying pan) over medium heat, shaking the pan often, until the saffron is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Transfer the saffron to a small dish and use the back of a teaspoon to crush it into a fine powder.
  3. Add the honey to the skillet and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the saffron and a pinch of salt, remove from the heat, and set aside.
  4. Roast the beets: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  5. Set each beet in a large square of foil and drizzle 1 teaspoon of the oil over the top of each beet. Wrap the beets in the foil, place them on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast until a paring knife easily slides into the center of the largest beet, about 1 hour.
  6. Remove beets from the oven and set aside for 20 minutes before unwrapping.
  7. Once the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and chop into bite-size pieces.
  8. Toss the beets with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the mint leaves, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper and set aside.
  9. Make the toast: Toast the bread and let the toasts cool for a few minutes before topping.
  10. To serve, spread each toast with labneh. Top with beets, pistachios, a generous drizzle of saffron honey, and flaky salt.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Toast

Roasted Lamb with Rosemary, Feta and Garlic

Ingredients

1 small boned leg lamb (1.6 kg), trimmed
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 heads garlic, cloves separated and skin on
8 sprigs rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
350 g firm feta, thickly sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced with a vegetable peeler
100 g baby or wild rocket (arugula)
1 tablespoon lemonjuice
1 tablespoon olive oil, extra
lemon wedges, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the lamb generously with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and cook for 4 minutes each side or until well browned.
  3. Place the lamb in a baking dish lined with non-stick baking paper and toss with the garlic, rosemary and oil.
  4. Add the feta to the pan and bake for 25 minutes for medium or until cooked to your liking.
  5. To serve, slice the lamb and serve with the roasted feta and the garlic squeezed from its skin.
  6. Toss together the celery, rocket, lemon juice and extra oil and serve with the lamb and lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Fast, Fresh, Simple

Thai-style Roasted Chicken with Lemon Grass and Kumquat

Ingredients

1 fresh chicken
20 kumquat
3 stalks lemon grass, crushed
250 g sugar
1 cup water
5 pieces lemon leaves, each cut in half

Marinade

1 shallot
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 tsp oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Rinse thoroughly the fresh chicken, and wipe dry.
  3. Mix the marinade ingredients well and rub over the chicken (inside and outside) evenly. Marinate in the fridge for 10 hours or overnight.
  4. Bake the chicken in the oven for 50 minutes until done.
  5. Heat a small pot of water, bring to the boil and add the kumquat to cook for 10 seconds. Drain the water, and repeat the steps three times.
  6. Cut each kumquat in half, remove the flesh and keep the peel.
  7. Put the peel, sugar, water, lemon grass and lemon leaves into a small pot, cook over a low heat until the flavour released and the peel softened.
  8. Serve the seasoned peel with the roasted chicken.

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Source: Chicken Delicacy

Pot-roasted Chicken with Mustard

Ingredients

3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
one 3-1/2-lb free-range chicken
3/4 cup dry white wine
10 oz button mushrooms, wiped
6 tbsp Cognac
salt
black pepper

Sauce

1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3/4 cup creme fraiche
2 tbsp whole -grain mustard
2 tbsp strong Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Savora mustard
1 bunch of fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Melt the butter and oil in a roasting pot or flameproof casserole dish on the stove top. Season the chicken, then add it to the pot, and color it on all sides.
  3. Put the chicken in the oven to roast for 1-1/4 hours, but every 15 minutes turn the bird, baste it, and add some white wine until you’ve used up all the wine. Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the pot and set it aside to rest.
  4. Slice the mushrooms, add them to the pot, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the brandy and flambe briefly, then set aside to keep warm.
  5. For the sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the flour, and cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Pour in the milk, whisking well, bring to a boil, and cook for 7-8 minutes.
  7. Stir in the creme fraiche, then take the pan off the heat and whisk in the mustards and tarragon. Add the mushrooms and any liquid from the roasting pot to the sauce. Do not boil the sauce again, or it may separate and taste bitter.
  8. Disjoint or carve the chicken and serve with the mushroom sauce.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Source: The French Kitchen