Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 4th Family Cookout

4th Of July Celebration

      On July 4th we celebrate the United States' anniversary of their Declaration of Independence. We commemorate this day with fireworks, baseball games, parades, and lots of barbecue; But whatever way you celebrate its always with family and friends.  Cooking for 4th of July should be fun and relaxing so instead of slaving over the stove sit out back with a beer in your hand and fire up the grill.  The chefs at RMR will give you the secrets to their favorite Independence Day dishes. 

       There are a million ways to incorporate red, white, and blue into your decor for the 4th of July, and our designer Ms. Eliot is here to show you a few of her tips.

  • You can incorporate the American Flag into almost any part of your table.Create a simple and elegant centerpiece of small flags and a few fresh flowers.
  •  July 4th is about having fun outdoors, don't worry about setting the table. Make a station where everyone can grab their own glass, plate, and silverware. 
  • Glassware doesn't need to be fancy, using a universal size for all beverages makes it easy and simple mason jars evoke a country feeling.
  • A colored tablecloth can change the entire room and bring together the theme, she suggests light blue because of its calming effects.
  • Using plastic plates and silverware can be the key to an easy clean up, but make sure its high quality so it can handle all that barbecue.

      Barbecue meat is the quint essential flavor of the summer. With the many regional variations of barbecue available throughout this country its hard to choose just one. Our favorite combination is a Memphis style rub with a Kansas style sauce. This combination lends both a sweet and spicy rub to the ribs and is then topped with a thick tomato based sauce for finger lickin' goodness.

Sweet and Spicy Smoked Baby Back Ribs
Yield: 6 lbs, 8-10 servings
Prep time: 24 hours
Cook time: 4 hours

Rub Ingredients
4 racks baby back ribs (about 8 lbs)
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp mustard powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp instant coffee

Sauce Ingredients
1 large onion, diced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup ketchup
1 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 bay leaf

1. In a bowl combine the all the dry ingredients to create a spice mixture. Rub the mixture on both sides of the ribs until all racks are completely covered. Lay the racks into a baking dish, cover with plastic, and refrigerate overnight.
        The RMR chefs prefer to use a charcoal grill for ribs because its infuses the meat with that extra smoke and char flavor like a true bbq pit would.
2. To prepare the grill; light a chimney full of natural lump charcoal and burn until it has all turned white. Pour the charcoal out into the base of the grill and spread the coals out to the edges creating radiant heat.
3. Unwrap the racks of ribs and place them in the center of the grill. The ribs will take about 4 hours to cook. Flip every thirty minutes and using the vents maintain the temperature at 250F.
4. Halfway through cooking the ribs, begin to baste with the barbecue sauce. You can use whatever sauce your family prefers or create your own. To make our sauce begin by sauteing the onion and garlic in a bit of vegetable oil until browned. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes.
5. Continue to baste and flip the ribs until they have developed a dark brown crust and the meat is tender.

The Maize
      If their was one vegetable or crop that summed up the entire season of summer it would be corn. An ingredient that is ever abundant, fresh, and incredibly versatile. Corn on the cob is a classic picnic or barbecue side dish and their is no reason to change that. Just by adding a few ingredients you can take this simple ear of corn to the next level.

Grilled Corn with Chili Honey Butter
Yield: 8 ears
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

8 ears yellow sweet corn
1 lb unsalted butter
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. Prepare the compound butter ahead of time. Soften the butter to room temperature and add to a bowl, Add the rest of the ingredients to the butter and mix thoroughly. Chill until ready to use.
2. Peel the very green outer leaves of the corns' husk away leaving just the tender inner coating.
3. Soak the ears of corn in water for 30 minutes before grilling
4. Preheat the grill to medium heat and place the corn directly on the grate. Cook for 20 minutes, turning the corn every five minutes until the kernels have turned tender and bright yellow.
5. Remove the charred husk and slather with chili butter.

The Side Dishes
      No barbecue is complete without a few bowls of salads. The creaminess or acidic bite of picnic salads is what breaks up and compliments the deep smokey flavor of those ribs. You can choose any adaptation of coleslaw, macaroni salad, potato salad, egg salad, or cold vegetable salad.Here at RMR there are two standards that we always go back to.

Red Bliss Potato Salad
Yield: 2 quarts, 8-10 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

3 lbs small red skin potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup celery, small dice
1/2 cup red onion, small dice
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

1.  Place the potatoes in a medium sauce pot and fill with water. Add a few tablespoons of salt and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cook the potatoes for 10 minutes until just tender.
2. Once tender drain the potatoes in a colander and then pour back into the pot. Allow to steam and dry out in the pot for another 10 minutes.
3. In a bowl combine the mayo, mustard, lemon juice, celery and red onion.
4. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into halves or quarters to create about one inch pieces.
5. While the potatoes are still warm pour them into a large bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Chill the salad until ready to eat.
6. When ready to serve adjust the seasoning with the salt and pepper and stir in the fresh dill.

Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
Yield: 2 quarts, 8-10 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes

4 cups mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup small fresh mozzarella balls, halved
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade

1. In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, and red onion.
2. In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes and toss to combine.
3. Cover with plastic and chill the salad. Before serving toss in the fresh basil and enjoy.

Happy July 4th Everyone

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Chef Tip: How to Cook a Duck Breast

The Perfect Duck Breast

      This week we received an email from our friend Joe M. in Massachusetts who wants to cook a special meal for his wife. The first thing we thought of was Duck breast. Duck is a beautiful protein that most people only eat when at a restaurant, so cooking it at home will surely impress your significant other.

      Duck is an animal that is cooked completely differently than it may seem. The legs are tough and fat which are best when braised or confit; and the breast are cooked more similarly to beef than chicken. Unlike a chicken the skin of the duck breast is very thick and fatty, but when rendered out it becomes the most crisp and succulent part of the dish. For Repair My Recipe cooking the perfect Duck breast involves a cast iron skillet and low heat to render out the fat. This all begins though with preparing the duck breast.

1. Begin by scoring the skin of the duck using the point of a sharp paring knife. Scoring is slicing through just the top layer of skin so that the fat underneath can render out.

2. Pat the skin dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
3. Lay the duck breast skin side down in a cold cast iron skillet. Turn the heat to medium and allow the fat to melt and skin to crisp, about 10 minutes.

4. Once golden brown and crisp flip the duck breast, add a nice pat of butter, a garlic clove, and a sprig of thyme and rosemary.  Baste the duck with the flavored butter and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Internal temperature should read about 130 F, REMEMBER it should be medium rare.

5. Remove the duck breast from the pan and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly and enjoy.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ultimate Superbowl Cheese Ball

Bacon Beer Cheese Ball
Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cooling time: 1 hour

      The BIG Sunday is almost here and everyone should be prepared. Whether you're into watching the game or just there for the commercials the most important aspect is the food. The super bowl spread is filled with giant pots of chili, plates of nachos, and bowls of wings but what happened to the lonely cheese ball?Prepackaged cheese balls are now reserved to the dark corner of the dairy aisle with their red wine swirl and sliced almonds. Why not bring it back to glory? Add some creativity, fresh ingredients, and make this snack the centerpiece of your spread.

4 Slices Bacon, diced
1/4 up Beer
8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
4 o Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup chives, minced
1 cup Pretzels, crushed

1. Heat a saute pan over medium heat and add the diced bacon. Cook until the fat has rendered out and bacon is crisped, about 5 minutes.
2. When the bacon is cooked deglaze the pan by adding the beer. Simmer on low heat for 2 minutes just to cook off the alcohol and concentrate the flavor, Then turn off the heat and allow to cool.
3. In a mixing bowl combine the grated cheddar and cream cheese with a rubber spatula. Add the bacon and beer mixture, Worcestershire sauce, pepper,sugar, and chive and stir to thoroughly combine.
4. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap approximately 12 x 12 inches on the counter. Place the cheese mixture in the center of the plastic and wrap it by bringing all four corners together. Twist the plastic and use your hands to form the cheese into a ball shape.
5. Refrigerate for 1 hour until the cheese has hardened into the shape. Crush 1 cup of pretzels in either a ziploc bag with a rolling pin or a few pulses in a food processor.
6. Remove the plastic from the cheese ball and roll it in the crushed pretzels to create a crust. The wrap in fresh plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Cauliflower Bisque

Roasted Cauliflower and Celeriac Bisque
Yield: 3 quarts, 6-8 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

      We've heard that the new "it" vegetable of 2014 is going to be cauliflower, and why not. This versatile vegetable can be steamed, roasted, mashed,or pureed and can act as a replacement in many savory dishes. Since its national soup month the chefs decided to create a creamy soup that anyone can make on a weekday.

1 head Cauliflower
2 cup Celeriac, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup onion, small diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
6 cups chicken stock or veg stock
1 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prep the cauliflower by removing the core and green leaves, and separating into florets. Peel the skin off of the celeriac and dice it into large chunks.
2. Combine the cauliflower and celeriac in a large bowl and toss with the salt, pepper, and oil. Spread into a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
3.  When the vegetables are tender heat a tablespoon of oil in a large soup pot, add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
4. Add the roasted vegetables to the pot and de-glaze with the white wine.
5. Pour in the chicken stock and heavy cream, simmer on low for 15 minutes.
6. Blend the soup in batches using a blender on high until a smooth consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Chef's Note
      Celeriac is a winter vegetable that is the bulbous root of a variety of celery. It has a low starch level and taste similar to stalk celery but with a little sweetness. If celeriac is not available at your store parsnips are a great replacement or just use all cauliflower.

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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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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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