Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hot Chocolate Cocktail

Adult Hot Chocolate Cocktail
Yield: 1 serving
Prep time: 10 minutes







       It hasn't been too long since we posted our kid friendly hot chocolate, but we decided to elevate it even further for all of the adult themed holiday parties this year. With its nutty and creamy notes, the Irish cream whiskey plays perfectly well with the peppermint schnapps and hot chocolate.

Ingredients
1 cup hot chocolate, preferably RMR homemade
1 ½ oz Irish cream whiskey
¾ oz peppermint schnapps
1 oz spiced whip cream

Procedure
1. Prepare either your homemade or packet hot chocolate, stir in the Irish cream whiskey and schnapps.
2. Serve warm and garnish with a peppermint stick, or peppermint bark, and a dollop of spiced whipped cream.

Chef’s Note
      Adding spices or extracts to whipped cream I a great way to change the flavor combinations of an ordinary drink. Our spiced whip cream adds an extra zip to the initial creaminess of the cocktail.

Spiced Whip Cream
1 cup heavy cream
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne
1 tbsp sugar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, whisk with a hand mixer until medium peaks form, serve.

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark
Yield: 2 lbs
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cool time: 2 hours




      It's the holiday season, and once again we are bombarded with the flavors of Christmas' past. Of those few acclaimed holiday essences one seems to be much more prominent than the others: peppermint. Instead of cringing at the idea of peppermint everything, we at RMR have decided to embrace the holidays this year and give the people what they want. Peppermint bark is one of those classic holiday treats that makes even the scroogiest of scrooges feel just a little Christmas spirit.

Ingredients
12 oz bitter sweet chocolate
18 oz white chocolate
3/4 cup crushed peppermint candy
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Procedure
1. If using block chocolate use a serrated knife to shave it into small pieces or use melt-able chips.
2. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and line with plastic wrap.
3. Set up a double boiler by adding two inches of water to a medium sauce pot, bring to a simmer over medium heat, and place a metal bowl on top of the pot.
4. Place half of the bittersweet chocolate into the metal bowl and melt it over the double boiler. Once melted remove the bowl from the simmering water and add the other half of the bitter sweet chocolate and the peppermint extract. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the chocolate pieces and use the residual heat to melt the chocolate.
5. Pour the bitter sweet chocolate into the baking dish and spread into an even layer with an offset spatula, allow to set for 10 minutes.
6. Clean the metal bowl and repeat the melting procedure with the white chocolate. Then pour the white chocolate over the bittersweet layer and spread out evenly, immediately sprinkle the peppermint candy pieces over the white chocolate.
7.Allow to set for a minimum of 2 hours. Remove the bark from the baking dish using the plastic wrap as a sling, Break the bark into pieces and serve.


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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday Sangria

Winter Solstice Sangria
Yield: 2 qrts,  8-10 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes







       Tired of the same old adult punch bowl being the center of your holiday party? With a few ingredients and little effort you can produce wonderfully seasonal Sangria to elevate this year’s festivities. Use a nice fruity (preferably Spanish) wine, a bit of triple sec and pomegranate juice to make your party the talk of the town for years to come.

Ingredients
2  750ml bottles red wine
16 oz pomegranate juice
1 cup triple sec
1 cup simple syrup
1 blood orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 pear, sliced

Procedure
1. In a large pitcher or punch bowl pour the wine, pom juice, triple sec, and simple syrup; stir to combine.
2. Add the sliced fruit and chill the mixture in the fridge overnight. Serve



Chef’s Note
       Simple syrup is a mixture of equal parts sugar and water. The easiest way to make it quickly is combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a microwave safe measuring cup. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved.
       The sangria makes a great drink for holiday parties and can be the base of many cocktails. Pair it with a little champagne or seltzer and you have an excellent spritzer. 


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Homemade Peppermint Mashmallow

Peppermint Marshmallows
Yield: 16, 2x2 in
Cook time: 20 minutes
Cooling time: 4 hours




      There are only two acceptable ways to top your hot chocolate: Homemade whipped cream, or homemade marshmallows. Sure, you can use the stuff that sprays out of an aerosol can, or even the fluffy pillows of sugar from your youth, but nothing ever beats the real thing. We here at RMR have decided to test our confectionery boundaries and provide you with a seasonal marshmallow that is perfect for topping rich homemade hot chocolate, creating a new spin on the classic marshmallow cereal bars, or even a just quick treat for the Christmas cook.

Ingredients
1/2 cup cold water
3 (1/4 oz ) packages unflavored gelatin
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
5 drops red gel food coloring
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Procedure
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer add 1/4 cup of the water and sprinkle all the gelatin over it, let stand for ten minutes.
2. In a small sauce pot combine the other 1/4 cup of water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Using a candy thermometer cook the mixture until it reaches 250 degrees F, about 8 to 12 minutes.
3. Remove the pot from the heat and turn the mixer on low speed. Slowly pour the sugar syrup into the bowl and turn the mixer up to high speed. Continue to whip on high speed until the mixture turns white and becomes extremely thick, about 10 to 12 minutes.
4. During the final minute of whipping add the extracts. While the sugar is whipping prepare a 9x9 baking pan by spraying it with coking spray and laying a piece of plastic wrap on the bottom, allow for a one inch overhang on all sides.
5. Pour the whipped sugar mixture into the pan using a rubber spatula sprayed with cooking spray. To create the swirl effect randomly drop the food coloring on the top of the mixture, then drag a toothpick through the coloring and create whatever design you prefer.
6. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of the marshmallow and allow to set for a minimum of 4 hours. When ready to cut, flip the marshmallow block out of the pan and remove the top layer of plastic.
7. Using either a pizza cutter or chef's knife, spray it with non stick cooking spray and cut the marshmallow into your desired size. After being cut toss into a large ziploc bag with the confectioners sugar and coat all sides of the marshmallow. Tap off excess sugar and serve.


Chef's Note
      Marshmallows are a great treat during the holidays and can be flavored or colored with any extract you want. They make a great gift for holiday parties and kids love a giant homemade marshmallow in their hot chocolate.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Classic Hot Chocolate
Yield: 4 cups, 2-4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes






       Winter time brings many joyous traditions that most of us look forward to all year around. Whether it is building a gingerbread house, decorating the Christmas tree, or our favorite here at RMR: Bundling up next to the fireplace on a snowy night with a big mug of homemade hot chocolate. Although the powdered stuff may be passable in a pinch, why not treat yourself and your loved ones with a beverage that perfectly emulates the season we all know and love?

Ingredients
4 oz Semi sweet chocolate chips
4 cups milk
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp instant espresso

Procedure
1. Pour the milk into a small sauce pot and bring to just a simmer over medium heat.
2. Add the chocolate pieces to a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high in 30 second intervals. Stir between each cook time and microwave until chocolate is melted.
3. Stir the sugar, cocoa powder, and instant espresso into the melted chocolate.
4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the warm milk, whisk to combine.
Serve with a heaping dollop of whipped cream or our Peppermint Marshmallows



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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Holiday Hors D'oeuvre

Pear with Goat Cheese and Prosciutto
Yield: 18
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes




       The winter season isn't ideal for fresh fruit  but there is one jewel produced during the winter months, sweet succulent pears. Pears are currently at the peak of ripeness and they are so versatile you can use them in sweet or savory dishes throughout the holidays. The sweetness of the Farelle pear is balanced by the tangy creamy goat cheese and then offset by the cured saltiness of the prosciutto. This makes a great appetizer or hors d'oeuvre for your holiday party.

Ingredients:
3 Forelle pears
4 oz goat cheese
9 slices prosciutto, sliced in half lengthwise
fresh cracked pepper
lemon juice (optional)

Procedure
1. Prepare the pears by slicing them in half through the stem. Then using a melon baller or a paring knife remove the core. Slice each half into 3 pieces lengthwise, ending with 18 pear slices.
2.  Then slice the prosciutto in half lengthwise to also create 18 pieces.
3. Assemble by laying down a piece of prosciutto, then place a pear slice on the prosciutto and top with a teaspoon of goat cheese. Roll the prosciutto around the pear and top with cracked pepper.


Chefs Note
      Farelle pears are small snacking pears with a very sweet flavor and firm flesh. They are available in most grocery stores during the winter months and are the perfect size to create this appetizer. If you can't find Farelle pears substitute them with either Comice or small Bartlett pears.
      The pears will begin to oxidize and turn brown once you cut them so this appetizer is best made right before it is eaten. It can be made ahead of time and held for a few hours but after cutting the pears toss them in a bowl and coat with the lemon juice. This will add flavor and keep the pear slices looking fresh.
      Customize the flavor of your appetizer by mixing the goat cheese with fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Thanksgiving Table

The Thanksgiving Table

      Plymouth Rock 1621: A grand feast brings together two dissimilar groups of people who are giving thanks to the plentiful harvest they have sown. What the pilgrims and Native Americans didn't realize is that fall Massachusetts day would forever be known as thanksgiving. Although our modern version of the seventeenth century turkey day has evolved into a much different occasion of gluttony, football and maybe just a little too much wine, the symbolism of giving thanks has not been misplaced. Our chef’s at RMR work diligently every November to make sure you are able to create a feast to be remembered for years to come.

      The most important meal of the year can be a stressful time for anyone but with a little preparation, simple techniques, and great recipe ideas your thanksgiving will be the one to remember. Here we are presenting some of our favorite thanksgiving dishes that you can customize and add to your feast.

Appetizers
     The Thanksgiving meal can takes hours to prepare and keeps you to in the kitchen while your guests are out in the dining room. Instead of having every family member pop their head into the kitchen and steal a nibble of turkey or stuffing, create a few simple cold appetizer platters to keep them occupied and offer a different flavor than the main course to come.

Cheese Platter

When creating a cheese plate it is important to remember a few simple guidelines:

  1. As an hors d'oeuvre plan on having 1 to 2 ounces of cheese per person
  2.  Cheese is made from different kinds of milk and in many styles, so offer a few choices to your guests, especially if you don't know what type of cheese they prefer.
  3.  The richness of cheese can quickly become overwhelming and the taste morph together so break up the platter with fresh or dried fruit, a sweet component such a honey, a brined element like olives, and even a few slices of cured meat.
  4. Cheese should always be served with bread or crackers of some kind, but be careful because flavored crackers can overpower the taste of the cheese. 
  5. Lastly, you should provide a separate utensil for each cheese and accompaniment as to not transfer flavor from one thing to the other.

We like to set up a few smaller platters to separate the cheese, the crackers, and the guests from crowding one singular plate. On our Thanksgiving table to serve 8-10 we have:
  • 1/4 lb thinly sliced hot Soppressata
  • 1/4 lb thinly sliced Serrano ham or Prosciutto 
  • 1 cup mixed cured olives
  • 1 cup Maple Nut Spread- combine 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1 cup chopped walnuts, and 2 tbsp butter in saucepan, heat to melt butter then cool until thickened, serve
  • 1/4 lb Ubriaco- an Italian cows milk cheese that is coated in wine during aging, firm textured with hints of sweetness and complexity from the wine. 
  • 1 log of fresh cranberry goat cheese- the goats milk lends a tart flavor to the cheese, light and slightly crumbled texture, the dried cranberry adds a hint of sweetness and taste of the season
  • 1/4 lb Flor de Esgueva- a Spanish sheeps milk cheese, similar to Manchego it has a very firm texture with a nutty and salty taste. 
  • 1/4 lb Saint Andre- a soft ripened cows milk cheese from France, as a triple creme brie it has an unbelievably creamy texture and buttery taste 
Seafood

Seafood isn't something that comes up on the Thanksgiving table very often but was very prevalent in the original feast. Since it can be prepared ahead of time and served cold it is an excellent addition to an appetizer menu. 
  1. It is important to serve your seafood chilled and on ice, this makes a great presentation, preserves freshness, and keeps it safe to eat.
  2. Serve a few sauces with the seafood like cocktail sauce for shrimp, a mignonette for oysters, and plenty of lemon wedges.
  3. Have a separate bowl for guests to discard the shells or pre-peel things like shrimp for easier eating
If your family likes seafood then splurge a little, after all it only comes once a year. On our table we serve
  • 1 dozen Oyster on the half shell
  • 1/2 cup mignonette sauce- combine 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp minced shallot, 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 2 lbs jumbo shrimp- with this size plan for 4 shrimp per guests
  • 1 cup spicy cocktail sauce- to control the heat level make yourself by combining classic cocktail sauce with as much or as little horseradish as your family likes.
  • 2 lemons cut into wedges
Bread
     No meal is complete without a side of warm bread, and since Thanksgiving is a carbohydrate overload anyway why not go out with  bang. Baking your own bread can be very simple and it allows you to flavor it with any ingredient you like. Our Focaccia requires no shaping and comes out great every time.


Caramelized Onion and Olive Focaccia
Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup water
1 Tbsp sugar
4 cups flour
2 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large onions-thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

Procedure
1.  In a small bowl bloom the yeast by combine the yeast with the warm water and sugar. Allow to sit and watch for the top to foam, this tells you it is ready. 
2. Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer  fitted with the dough hook and turn on to low speed. Slowly pour the flour into the mixer along with the salt. Follow by drizzling in the olive oil until the dough starts to come together. Increase the speed to medium and mix for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and shiny. 
3. Pour out the dough onto a work surface and form into a ball. Place the dough in a large bowl and drizzle with oilive oil, rub the oil over the dough until the entire surface is well coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm area, allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
4. While the dough is resting prepare the topping by slicing the onions, garlic, and olives. IN a large saute pan heat a few tablespoons of butter and add the onions, cook over low heat for 20 minutes until they have softened and turned a deep brown. 
5. Coat a sheet pan with olive oil and a little cornmeal for the bottom crust. Take the dough out of the bowl and stretch it out into a rectangular shape about the size of your sheet pan. Lay the dough on the sheet tray and stretch to fit. Cover with plastic and allow to rest for another 15 minutes. 
6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap and using your finger tips create a dimple pattern on the top of the dough. Coat the top of the dough with more oil and evenly spread out the caramelized onions, garlic, olives, and thyme. Bake for 20 minutes, allow to rest before cutting and enjoy.

Soup
     Some people like creating a plated dinner and others enjoy huge piles of food being attacked by every family member all at once. At RMR we like to combine both methods when producing a large meal like the Thanksgiving feast. Soup is a great course to serve as an individual plate and acts as an unofficial sit down starting point to the meal. 


Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Yield: 2 quarts
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients 
1 large butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 medium onion, 1 cup chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 sprig sage
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 cups chicken stock
1 cups heavy cream
      

Procedure
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut the quash in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Lay the halves cut side down on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the flesh is soft and pulls away from the skin easily. Remove from oven and hold for later.
2. Add a few tablespoons of butter to the bottom of a medium sized pot and place over medium high heat. Once hot add the onions and garlic to the pot, saute for 5 minutes until softened and lightly golden.
3. Scoop out the squash flesh and add it to the pot along with the sage, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Pour in the chicken stock  and cream, simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the stove and pour the soup into a blender, puree o high speed until a smooth consistency is achieved.(this may have to be done in batches).
5. Serve immediately or allow to cool in the fridge then reheat in a pot on low. An excellent garnish is roasted pumpkin seeds tossed with a few teaspoons of salt and a pinch of cayenne, then bakes at 325 for 30 minutes.

Turkey
     And now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you have all been waiting for. It is the quintessential component to any holiday meal, the centerpiece, the mouthwatering protein you have been longing for all year: the turkey. With it's naturally lean qualities and deep flavor, the turkey just might be the most healthy item of your thanksgiving spread. So go ahead, indulge.


Citrus Brined Roast Turkey
Yield: 1 10-14 lb bird
Prep time: 24 hours
Cook time: 2 hours

Ingredients
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 large onion, quartered
1 head garlic, smashed
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1/2 bunch thyme sprigs
1/2 bunch rosemary
1/2 gallon apple cider
2 oranges, halved
2 lemons, halved
4 oz (1 stick) butter, softened
2 Tbsp sage, minced
1 Tbsp thyme, minced
1 Tbsp rosemary, minced

Procedure
1. Starting at least 24 hours before thanksgiving day, In a large sauce pot combine the salt, sugar, onion, garlic, peppercorns, thyme, rosemary, and apple cider. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the salt and sugar have dissolved.Squeeze in the juice of the citrus and add the flesh to the brine.
2. Cool the brine down and store in the fridge until ready to use. We suggest brining for no less than six hours but overnight is preferred.
3. In a clean five gallon bucket pour the cooled brine, lay in the turkey breast side down, then add enough cold water to completely submerge the bird. Store in the refrigerator or a cool area.
4. Two hours before you cook the bird remove it from the brine and place on a roasting rack. Pat dry with paper towels and let sit uncovered in the fridge to draw out excess surface moisture.
5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a bowl combine the softened butter and all the minced herbs. Rub the butter underneath the skin of the turkey breast and then coat the entire outside of the bird liberally.
6. Place the roasting rack with the turkey inside a roasting pan or on a sheet tray and place on the middle rack of the oven. Cook the bird for 30 minutes at 450 F then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cook until the breast meat registers 160 degrees F. A 10-14 pound bird should take a total of about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
7. When the turkey is cooked, lightly cover with foil and allow it to rest for a minimum of 15 minutes. Then carve and enjoy.    

Stuffing
     Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, or for that matter even stuff the bird at all, this savory bread pudding is a crucial element on all Thanksgiving tables. It can be made with any kind of bread your family likes but we prefer cornbread.


Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing
Yield: 1 9 x 12 casserole dish, 8-10 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients
12 cups stale cornbread, cut into 1 inch cubes; or fresh bread cut into cubes and toasted
1 lb spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp rosemary, minced
1 tsp thyme, minced
1 Tbsp sage, minced
1 cup chestnuts, chopped
3 cups chicken stock

Procedure
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If the bread is already very stale then cube it and then place it in a large bowl. If the bread is fresh then cube it and lay it out into a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until hard, then place in a large bowl.
2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the Italian sausage. Smash down the sausage int a single layer and break it into small pieces with a fork as it cooks. Once browned and crispy transfer the sausage to a plate using a slotted spoon.
3. Return the pan with the sausage fat to high heat and add the onions, celery, garlic, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and saute for 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened and turned golden brown.
4. Pour the vegetable mixture over the bread cubes in the bowl. Then add all the herbs, chestnuts, and stock to the bowl. Combine the mixture thoroughly until all the bread is moistened. Season the entire mixture again with salt and pepper and pour into a 9 x 12 baking dish.
5. Bake in the oven until browned on top and hot in the center, about 45 minutes.

Cranberry Sauce
     While there is nothing wrong with canned cranberry sauce, it is so simple to make at home that anyone can create their own. Fresh cranberry sauce is a blank canvas for you to add whatever special flavor you want such as ginger, apple, or citrus. With all the other similar savory flavors on the table you will relish in those few tart bites.


Tangerine Cranberry Sauce
Yield: 4 cups
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup tangerine juice
1/4 cup apple cider
2 12oz bags fresh cranberries
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp tangerine zest

Procedure
1.  In a medium sauce pot over high heat combine the ginger, sugar, maple syrup, tangerine juice, and cider. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low, simmering the mixture for 5 minutes.
2. Add the cranberries and simmer for 15 minutes, until most of the berries have burst and the sauce thickens.
3. Finish by pouring in the lemon juice and zest, allow to cool and serve.

Potato
     If you are under the impression that stuffing is enough of a starch component you will hear an uproar from the entire guest list if you don't provide a heaping bowl of creamy mashed potatoes. These silky smooth potatoes will be good enough for even the pickiest of guests. It may not be the most glamorous item at the dinner table, but there is no doubt that our classic mashed potatoes will make it worth loosening a few notches in the belt.


Classic Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Yield: 10 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter

Procedure
1. Peel and dice the potatoes then place into a large sauce pot and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes by one inch. Add the salt, place over high heat and bring to a boil, once boiling reduce heat slightly to prevent the pot from overflowing.
2. Cook until potatoes are tender and a fork can easily pierce through it, about 20 minutes. While cooking in a small sauce pot melt the butter over medium heat, then add the milk and cream and bring to a simmer.
3. Once tender drain the potatoes in a colander then pour back into the hot pot to draw out the excess moisture.
4.  Mash the potatoes using a a stand mixer or a ricer to achieve the smoothest consistency and slowly pour in the hot milk mixture. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Green Vegetable
     It's the inevitable moment of the meal that all of your guests under the age of 12 are dreading. And as if green vegetables weren't enough, we at RMR have decided to make the adorable little cabbage that has been the arch enemy of children for centuries: the Brussels Sprout. Now before you stop reading and go open a can of green beans, hear us out; Brussels Sprouts can be one of the most delicious vegetable side dishes if prepared the right way; and the right way is exactly what you are going to get if you follow our simple, yet simply divine recipe.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
5 slices bacon, diced
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Procedure
1. Starting with a large cold saute pan add the diced bacon and render out the fat over medium heat until browned and crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and hold for later use.
2. Return the pan of bacon fat to high heat and add the brussels sprouts. Cook for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally to achieve a browned exterior on all sides.
3. Add the onions and season with the salt, pepper, and sugar. Toss to coat evenly and cook for another 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
4. Add the vinegar and reduce the heat to low, simmering for 5 minutes or until the brussels sprouts are tender.Add the bacon back to the pan, taste for seasoning and serve.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone 

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin countdown #4


Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes 
Yield: 12
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Cooling time: 1 hour




        Happy Halloween everybody. As the final installment of our pumpkin countdown we wanted to give you a sweet treat with no tricks. Our pumpkin cupcakes are full of flavor but not dense like pumpkin bread, we balance sweetness with the classic autumn spices, and top them with a tangy cream cheese frosting. Preset them at your costume party and no one will be disappointed.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp ground allspice
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree

Procedure
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder,salt,  and all the seasonings.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment combine the brown and white sugar. Pour in the melted butter and whisk on medium speed until sugar is fully incorporated, about 1 minute.
3. With the mixer on medium speed add the eggs in one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next . After all the eggs are fully incorporated add the pumpkin and whisk 1 more minutes.
4. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add in the flour mixture. Whisk until the flour is fully incorporated, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, incorporating any flour left on the edges.
5. Line a 12-well muffin tin with paper liners and divide all the batter evenly among each well. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Now rotate the pan 180 degrees and cook until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, another 10-15 minutes.
6. Remove the cupcake pan from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes until able to handle. Now remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow to cool fully, at least 1 hour, before frosting.


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
3/4 cup cream cheese
5 Tbsp butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup pumpkin puree

Procedure
1. Place the cream cheese in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute to soften the cream cheese.
2. Add in the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time until all is well incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar, whisking until well incorporated and smooth.
3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and return the mixer to medium speed. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin mixing until just combined about 1 minute.


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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Countdown #3

Pumpkin Risotto 
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes




     Creamy, rich, and luxurious risotto is a dish many people only enjoy in restaurants, but with a few simple techniques this classic can be created at home. This pumpkin risotto features the star ingredient in two ways by using roasted diced pumpkin  and puree. It is finished with nutty Parmesan cheese and sage butter to give it its prized silky texture and the taste of autumn.

      Risotto is made with Arborio rice which is an Italian short grain rice with a very high starch content. The basic ratio for using Arborio rice and creating risotto is 1 part rice to 4 parts liquid. The liquid is added slowly as the rice is constantly stirred with a wooden spoon to draw out the starch and create the creamy texture. Arborio should not be overcooked into a gluey texture though. The final product should have a thickness but also flow freely and the rice should be cooked through but still have a slight chew to it. The best way to test for consistency is to draw the spoon along the bottom of the pan, if the rice slowly flows back into the empty space it is perfect if it stays in place then add a little liquid to loosen it. With a little practice risotto will be on your dinner menu every week.

Ingredients
1 Tbsp Veg oil
1 medium onion, 1 cup diced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
4 cups Chicken stock or Vegetable stock
2 cups fresh pumpkin, peeled and 1/2 inch dice
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
4 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp fresh sage, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Procedure
1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. Then pour the oil into a deep saute pan and heat it oven medium heat. In a sauce pot add the stock and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Once the oil is hot add the onions to the pan and saute until they have slightly turned golden and become fragrant, about five minutes. Then add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds
3. Add the rice to the pan and stir to combine with the aromatics and oil. Toast the rice for 2-3 minutes until it gives off a nutty aroma.
4. Add the puree,1 cup of the hot stock,and the salt and pepper to the pan, stir to incorporate. Now that the first batch of liquid is in it is time for patient stirring. Keep the rice moving slowly to release the starch and absorb the liquid, cook until all the liquid is absorbed then add in another cup of liquid and continue until all the stock is gone.
5. After adding the first batch of liquid take the diced pumpkin and toss it in one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Lay it out in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. The pumpkin should be done about the same time as the rice.
6. By now the third batch of liquid should be ready to go in. In a separate small saute pan add the butter and melt it over medium heat. Once melted cook it for an additional 2-3 minutes until it begins to turn dark gold, add the sage and turn off the heat. Set aside for using at the end of the dish.
7. Once all of the stock has been incorporated into the rice it should appear creamy and thick. To finish the dish stir in the roasted pumpkin and the freshly grated cheese. Turn off the heat and add the sage butter, taste for seasoning and serve.



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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Countdown #2

Pumpkin Bisque with Bacon and Apple
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes




       For the second leftover pumpkin recipe we created a pumpkin bisque for those chilly Autumn nights. Our soup is finished with cream creating a beautifully rich and silky texture. The cinnamon and sage bring the essence and aroma of the season into your kitchen.

Ingredients
4 strips bacon, 1/2 cup diced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup apple, peeled and diced
3 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 sprig sage

Procedure
1.In a large sauce pot add the diced bacon and saute over medium heat for five minutes. Once the fat has rendered out and the bacon has crisped remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.
2. Raise the heat to high and add the minced garlic, diced onion, and diced apple to the pot. Saute for five minutes until the onion has turned golden and the apple has released its juice.
3. Once the vegetables have sauteed add the pumpkin puree and both liquids, stir to combine. Add in the salt, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and whole sprig of thyme.
4. Lower the heat and simmer the soup for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the stove. Remove the sprig of thyme and pour the soup into a blender.
5. Blend the soup on high until a smooth texture is achieved. Taste for seasoning, garnish with reserved crispy bacon, and serve.


Chef's Note
     The bacon can be left out of this recipe and replaced with an extra tablespoon of salt to make it a great vegetarian dish.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Countdown #1

The Pumpkin Countdown

      With fall in full swing the leaves are changing to red and gold, hot apple cider is flowing, and pumpkins are abundant. October is unofficially pumpkin month and the same sugar pumpkins you carve can be turned into endless new dishes.

      The RMR chefs are using pumpkin leftovers as the star ingredient in a recipe countdown to Halloween. For the next four days we are posting a recipe using some portion of the pumpkin. First things first though, whenever you carve a pumpkin there is always a pile of seeds and pulp sitting next to the carving. Instead of just throwing that out or adding it to the compost pile why not make a delicious snack. 


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Yield: 1 1/2 cup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes




      Pumpkin seeds are an addictive snack for anytime of the day and are a great addition to any Halloween treat table. The seasoning can be changed for any occasion or palate from simple salted, spiced, or even sweet.We like them with a little kick so here is the recipe for Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, interior of 1 medium sized pumpkin
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder

Procedure
1. The important step in this recipe is to prepare the seeds for roasting. After removing them from the pumpkin place the seeds and attached flesh into a colander. Wash the seeds and separate out all of the pulp, it is important to remove as much as you can so you are only left with seeds. 
2. Lay the seeds out on paper towel to dry, then pour them into a bowl. Add the seasonings to the bowl and toss to coat all the seeds evenly.
3. Lay out on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for 45 minutes until dried and light golden brown.


      Another basic usage for pumpkin is turning it into puree. Pumpkin puree is used in almost every baking preparation calling for pumpkin and many savory dishes too. Pumpkin puree is an expensive product though and can be easily produce at home, so why not?


Pumpkin Puree                                                 Yield: 2 cups                                                                               Prep time: 10 minutes                                                                Cook time: 45 minutes

      This is as simple as cooking the pumpkin and creating the correct texture, since it can be used in savory or sweet dishes though the seasoning is adjusted accordingly. On top of additions to larger dishes pumpkin puree can be served as a side dish to stand on its own instead of a vegetable or starch component.

Ingredients
1 medium or 2 small sugar pumpkins
1 tsp veg oil
(1 tsp salt or 1 tsp sugar)

Procedure
1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Half the sugar pumpkin and remove the seeds, saving them for a snack later. Once cleaned rub the inside flesh and outside skin with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt.
3.Place the pumpkins flesh side down on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until the flesh is tender. 
4. Remove the pumpkins from the oven and allow to cool. Once they can be handled scoop out the flesh with a spoon and place in either a blender or food processor. Add the 1 tsp of oil and if making a sweet puree add sugar and if making a savory add the salt. 
5. Blend until smooth and seasonings are incorporated.  


Chef's Note
      When serving the Pumpkin puree as a side dish you can flavor it to fit any dish or style of the meal. It can be sweetened with warming spices of cinnamon or nutmeg or add some fresh herbs for earthy notes like sage and thyme. 


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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oktoberfest Beer

Oktoberfest: A Beer Drinking Tradition

      Oktoberfest is known around the world as the beer drinkers heaven. It's sixteen days of nothing but food, music and tents overflowing with barrels of German Beer. The patrons of Oktoberfest consume more than 7 million liters of beer in this short time. All of the beer served at Oktoberfest must meet strict guidelines called the Reinheitsgebot or "German Beer Purity Law", on top of this the beer must also be produced within the city limits of Munich. Under this criteria only six breweries can produce and serve Oktoberfest beer, Augustiner-Brau, Hacker-Pschorr, Lowenbrau, Paulaner-Brau, Spatenbrau, and Staatliches Hofbrauhaus.

      The Oktoberfest style of beer is a lager called Marzen due to the historical brewing season during March, called Marz in German. Without modern refrigeration the beer was lagered to be kept cold in the hot summer months and brewed with a higher alcohol content. The German style tends to be full bodied, with a sweet malty taste and a low hop level just to balance the flavor. Here in the states the Oktoberfest craze has spread through the beer lovers and brewers alike. Many American producers make seasonal beers in the German style and the famous German breweries are exporting their beers to the U.S.

Here we are highlighting some of these traditional beers coming out of Germany ranging from a Weisse Dark to a Helles. 



Brewer: Hacker-Pschorr
Beer: Weisse Dark
Location: Munich, Germany

      Hacker Pschorr is one of the more distinguished breweries in Germany. It has been brewing beer since 1417 and is one of the original breweries to be commissioned for the first Oktoberfest in 1810.  Weisse Dark is a wheat lager produced with 60% dark and light malted wheat and 40% malted barley.  It boasts a deep amber color and more robust flavor than the original Weisse beer. The Malted slightly sweet flavor brings a sense of chocolate and smoke but is balanced by the fruity aroma and hints of yeast and clove. With a 5.3% alcohol content it falls in the middle of the pack for the Dunkelweizen "Dark wheat" style. 
Brewer Pairings: Nutty cheese, pork, chicken, dessert. While this beer looks like a dark and intense glass to drink the nuances of yeast and sweetness are best highlighted with fatty fare. 
Chef's Taste: Our second favorite beer in the tasting. We smelled caramel, chocolate, wine, and fermented cider. The taste had an overwhelming sweetness, with almost no bitterness from hops and a very low alcohol detection.  It would work well as a cooking beer, and paired with hearty sausage, roast meats,and balance out acidic meals. 

Brewer: Schneider Weisse
Beer: Hopfen Weisse
Location: Kelheim, Germany

     This brewery was opened in 1872 by Georg Schneider and his son and has now been passed through six generations of the Schneider family. This Hopfen Weisse is a collaboration of brewery Garret Oliver of Brooklyn brewery and Hans-Peter Drexel of Schneider Weisse. Brewed as a Weissbock or Weizenbock "strong wheat" this stronger hefeweizen "Yeast wheat" poured as a pale amber color. With a fruity aroma and more pronounced bitterness from the extra hops this beer has a different complexity than any other in the style. The citrus notes, creamy but refreshing finish, and smooth body is something you wouldn't expect from a beer with 8.2% alcohol content. 
Brewer Pairings: Meat, chocolate, spicy cuisine. The sweetness can still hold up to being paired with dessert but the complex bitterness matches the heat of Thai and Mexican dishes. 
Chef's Taste: On the aroma we detected big notes of citrus and brine. This had a very creamy mouthfeel and no lingering flavor. The alcohol is more pronounced than any of the others in the tasting and it has some bitterness on the end. Drink this with a charcuterie and cheese platter, the hard nutty cheeses brought out the beers orange note. 

Brewer: Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Beer: Weihenstephaner Vitus  
Location: Freising, Germany

      Known as the oldest Brewery in the world, Weihenstephan was founded by Benedictine monks in 1040. Now almost a thousand years later it is still in operation and now run by the State of Bavaria. The Vitus is another Weizenbock "strong wheat" lager but is cold aged in the monastery cellar to increase the complexity and create a distinctive body and mouth feel.  The deep golden straw color invites even the most wary beer drinker in and doesn't reveal the fact it has 7.7% alcohol content. Smelling of sweet honey, spicy cumin, and bitter lemon zest the taste offers an expanse of flavors including clove, bubblegum, wheat, and coriander. The true star for this beer is the mouthfeel; unbelievably rich, creamy and smooth but still light and effervescent with a dry finish and tinge of alcohol to cut through the almost cloying sweetness. 
Brewer Pairings: Dessert, cheese, bread. While this beer is big on flavor and body the sweetness is easily paired with desserts as well as creamy fondue and crusty bread. 
Chef's Taste: This was our favorite beer in the tasting. It smelled musty and sweet like fruit. The huge creamy head translated into a smooth body and an overall easy drinking beer. When swallowing the beer slowly a powerful flavor of banana took over adding sweetness. The beer paired well with fish dishes, fruit, and acids like tomato.

Brewer: Brauerei Heller Trum Schlenkerla
Beer: Helles Schlenkerla Lagerbier
Location: Bamberg, Germany


      Nestled in the center of historic Bamberg beneath a cathedral one will find the brewery tavern of Schlenkerla. Dating back to somewhere around the 15th century this famous Bamberg landmark is now run by the Trum Family. The Helles "light colored"  style of beer is a pale lager utilizing the methods of pale ale in the lager style of beer. A clear pale yellow is topped with a creamy white head that makes you think of summer. The light aroma of citrus, grassy hops, and smokey notes differ from the usual dark, malted wheat beers of Germany. This has the slight sweetness of a well made pilsner with a more prominent bitterness from noble hops and finishes with depth from the hint of smokiness. With a light body and plentiful carbonation  the crisp mouth feel gives it a high level of drinkability. While this has the lowest alcohol level at 4.3% it is more noticable due to the accenting bitterness. 
Brewer Pairings: Soft cheese, Salad, seafood, chicken. The pale lager is a widely popular style in America so its flavor is more recognizable. The light bitterness pairs well with grilled food and ties into the smoke notes. 
Chef's Taste: We first noticed the clarity difference in this beer from the others. The aroma brought about sweet honey and citrus hops. Although lighter it had a strong bitter flavor from the hops and the smokiness overtook any of the sweetness. This would work great as a backyard beer, perfect for smoked meats and barbecue.


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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest Feast

     Oktoberfest is one of the world's largest festivals originating in Munich, Germany and dating back to 1810. To Germans the festival is called "die Wies'n", an abbreviation of the Theresienwiese fair grounds were the festival was first held to honor the marriage of King  Ludwig and his princess Therese of Saxe-Hildurghausen. Traditionally held for sixteen days until the first Sunday in October Germans would feast on traditional dishes and drink select beer only brewed in Munich and meeting specific quality standards.

     Today in Germany Oktoberfest is still held in the same place it has been for two hundred years. Now it is flocked with tourists who want to experience the festivities and taste the libations. All over the world similar festivals are held during the same time of the year in honor of Oktoberfest, and here in the states we have our own traditions. Many people have renamed the festival Octoberfest and lengthened it to cover the entire month of October. It is a general representation of the start of the Autumn season, a time for restaurants to once again bring out their Wiener Schnitzel recipes, and breweries to showcase pumpkin ales (Not exactly what the Germans intended). So we decided to go back to the traditions and bring an authentic German feast to your table. 




 Sauerbraten (German Pot Roast)

      Meaning "sour roast" in German this style of pot roast bears its name from the vinegar and herb mixture it is soaked in before cooking. Historically this method of preparation was necessary for two reasons, the first being to preserve the meat due to the lack of refrigeration and secondly to help tenderize the tough cuts of meat. Even with the advantage of modern refrigerators this method is still used to take an inexpensive cut of meat and make it moist and succulent.


Yield: 6-10
Prep time: 48 hours
Cook time: 4 hours

Ingredients
1 (3-4 lb)beef  bottom round roast
2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp pickling spice
1 Tbsp salt
1 medium onion, 1 cup diced
2 medium carrots, 1 cup diced
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup crushed gingersnaps
parsley for garnish

Procedure
1. In a large bowl season the roast on all sides with salt and pepper. In a sauce pot combine the water, vinegar, pickling spice and salt;bring the mixture to a boil and then let cool to room temperature. Pour the brine over the beef, cover with plastic and refrigerate for two days. (If the brine doesn't cover the meat turn it over a few times per day)
2. After two days remove the beef from the brine and pat dry with paper towels, reserve the brine. In a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil over high heat. Sear the beef until golden brown on all sides, then remove and set aside.
3. In the same pot add the carrots, onions, and garlic and saute until they have caramelized and released their liquid, about 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and remove the top rack to accommodate the dutch oven. 
4.Once the vegetables have browned deglaze the pot by pouring in the wine and allow to reduce by half. Then add in the beef stock, sugar, and the reserved brine and bring to a boil. Add the roast back to the pot and cover. Place the pot in the oven and bake for about 3 hours, until the roast is very tender. 
5. Once the roast is tender transfer it from the liquid onto a plate, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest.  Pour the braising liquid through a fine strainer into a bowl. 
6. Using the dutch oven or a medium sauce pan, heat the vessel over medium heat and add the butter. Once melted add the flour and whisk constantly to form a smooth paste, cook for 3-5 minutes until it has turned light brown. Add 1 cup of the cooking liquid and whisk until the paste has been well incorporated. Now add the rest of the cooking liquid, salt, and crushed gingersnaps. Whisk to incorporate and bring to a simmer. After the gingersnaps have dissolved and the sauce has thickened, thinly slice the beef  between 1/4 and 1/2 inch, arrange on a platter and generously ladle the sauce on top. 
Garnish with parsley and serve with spaetzle and red cabbage. 

Spaetzle (Egg Noodles)

      Traditional to the German menu and translated as "little sparrow" due to their shape these soft dumplings or egg noodles are simple to make and act as the perfect vessel to soak up all the sauerbraten gravy. The dough of flour, egg, and milk is soft and sticky so it can be pushed through a colander into boiling water. After being poached they are sauteed in butter or bacon fat to a golden crisp exterior and tossed with cheese or parsley. 



Yield: 6-10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Procedure
1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Like cooking pasta salt the water heavily. 
2. In a small bowl whisk together the milk and eggs, and set aside. In a large bowl add the flour, stir in the salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg. Create a well in the center of the flour and pour in the egg mixture. With a fork slowly incorporate the flour into the egg mixture, mix until they are combined and a sticky dough has formed. Allow dough to rest for ten minutes.
3. place a colander over the boiling water and add the dough. Using a rubber spatula push the dough through the holes in the colander and into the water. (depending on the size of equipment this may be done in batches)  Stir to make sure the spaetzle don't stick together and allow to cook for about two minutes until firm.
4. Remove the cooked spaetzle with a slotted spoon or spider and lay out on a sheet tray, continue until all the batter is gone. 
5. Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat and melt the butter. Add the boiled spaetzle to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and saute for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Add in the parsley, toss to coat and serve.

Rotkohl (Braised Red Cabbage)

      Rot kraut and sauerkraut are the prolific side dishes of the German region utilizing white and red cabbage. Their sharp acidic bite offsets the traditional heavy gravies and potato based dishes. Red cabbage can be eaten raw but is best enjoyed after being braised with wine, apples, and bacon. 



Yield:6-10
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours

Ingredients 
1 medium head red cabbage, 2 lbs shredded
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp salt
2 granny smith apples, peeled and grated
1 large onion, 1 1/2 cup small diced
4 strips bacon, diced
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt and pepper

Procedure
1.  Peel any bruised outer leaves of the cabbage and discard. Cut the cabbage into quarters, cut out the piece of core in each quarter, and thinly slice crosswise into 1/8 inch strips.
2. In a large bowl toss the cabbage with the red wine vinegar, sugar, and salt until well combined. Allow to sit for an hour, tossing every 15 minutes.
3. Prepare the apples by peeling off the skin and grating the flesh using the large holes of a box grater, reserving the juice with the flesh. Cut the onion into a small dice, and slice the bacon into small pieces.
4. Once the cabbage has marinated for an hour add the bacon to a deep saute pan and render out the fat over low heat. Once crisp remove the bacon with a slotted spoon (reserve to add in later and garnish). Turn the heat up to high and add the onions. Saute the onions until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the grated apple and juice and cook another 5 minutes.
5. Pour the bowl of cabbage and accumulated liquid into the pan and stir to combine. Add the water and cover the pan, cook on high for 10 minutes to slightly wilt the cabbage. Stir in the bay leaf, sugar, half the cooked bacon, salt and pepper. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low, simmer for 1 1/2 hours stirring occasionally.
6. At the end the cabbage will have reduced in size by half and the color has intensified. Taste for a balance of sour and sweet flavors, garnish with remaining bacon and serve.


Chef's Notes
  • Sauerbraten can be made with a variety of inexpensive and tough cuts of meat such as bottom round, top round, eye round, and chuck. Choose what looks best in the market and what has the most internal fat or marbling because it will result in a more juicy end product. 
  • When brining the meat it is important to note that the longer you brine it the more tender it will become because the acid in vinegar begins to denature the amino acid strands in protein. With time though the meat will also become more flavored by the vinegar giving it its key sour quality, so if you prefer a less sour roast brine it for less time and if you prefer it stronger go ahead and brine for 3 to 5 days. 
  • Spaetzle is extremely versatile and can be used in place of rice or noodles. After boiling the spaetzle it can be eaten as is, or cooled and refrigerated for up to a week, or finished in multiple ways. It can be sauteed in butter , combined with cheese and baked a a casserole, or even used for a sweet application when apple is added to the dough and then topped with cinnamon sugar.



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