A Look to the Future: It’s Sh-sh-shaky

Black Sky Shaken Beef

Gary1

Ingredients:

1 piece of sirloin or rib eye, but this recipe works best with filet mignon (I always wait til filet mignon goes on sale :-D)

1 kiwi fruit

Vegetable oil (use as needed)

1/2 cup of dry sherry

Bibb/Boston/butter lettuce

Cucumber

Tomato

Red Onion

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Marinade:

1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cloves minced garlic (mince finely-as much as you can)
2 tsp oyster sauce (if you can’t find this in the Asian section of your market you can use a dark soy sauce and use less)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (this can be found in the Asian section of the market)
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (optional-I like to add this every once in awhile)

Dressing for the salad:

1/2 brown onion

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 lime

1 tablespoon of sugar (but really to taste)

Directions:

1. Peel and cut kiwi in half. Rub on both sides of the steak. I do this because it tenderizes the beef. Make sure no seeds are left on the steak. I like to rub it all over. It’s important for this dish for the beef to be tender. You don’t want to spend your dinner grinding down the beef with your teeth!

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2. Cut the meat into 1″ cubes

3. Prepare all the ingredients of the marinade into the bowl and then add the cubes of meat. Either put plastic wrap over the bowl or put into a tupperware container (this is what I do) and place it into the refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours.

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4. While this is marinating, make the salad dressing. This is optional of course. Slice the brown onion into thin rings. Heat the oil slightly and add the onion. Sautee until softened and slightly brown. Let cool. Juice the lime (it works with lemon too) and add the sugar (to taste, if you like it sweet-like me, add more or less). Once the onions are cool add it all to the lime juice. Set aside.

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Making this dressing doesn’t take long, so while you wait for the beef to marinate,

look at this picture. It will inspire you for the next step.

5. Heat oil in a pan (wok can also be used). You need a pan with a good handle-you’re going to need it. The trick is to get the pan really hot (but not to the point where the oil is smoking-DANGER!). Do NOT add the meat to a cool or warm pan.

6. Add some of the marinated beef to the hot pan (I do this in batches, it keeps the pan hot and there’s a better sear when you don’t crowd the pan) ok this is where it gets crazaay– once one side of the meat sears you grab the handle of the pan and shake the beef. Shake the beef continuously while it cooks and add some sherry. Keep shaking the beef over the heat. Once the liquid dissipates remove the beef onto a platter. Repeat the process until all the beef is cooked.

7. If you like red onion, you can add it to the hot pan after the beef is finished cooking and sautee the onion til desired consistency.

Whew…is your arm tired? Ready to eat?

gary1

That’s definitely a teacher’s “Don’t give me those excuses!” look.

Assembling the dish:

To assemble the salad, I place the butter lettuce on the bottom, add sliced cucumbers and tomatoes.

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Drizzle the salad dressing on top. Then I place all of the beef on top.

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Eat just plain with salad (you carb-conscious peeps!) or with mashed potatoes or brown/white rice. If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan the majority of this won’t do for you but I love just the salad too!

This feeds 2 people. If you’re inviting a widowed teacher with two sons, add more beef, but the more the merrier. If you’re inviting a dwarf and his company-well good luck, and omit the salad. 😀

This recipe and photos were submitted by @CardiganGirl who will let out an “eek!” if Mr. Morris walks into class wearing a cardigan on the big screen. This should be in the “found” footage, right? If not, I demand more re-shoots!

Regardless, the future is looking bright for Mr. Armitage.

We hope everyone enjoyed looking at all the recipes and let us know if you try any of them.

Thank you to all that participated, great food, and a lot of fun.

And a special shout out to Richard Armitage and the characters he brings to life for being our food inspiration.

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I wonder what his reaction would be?

JohnThornton

Yeah, you know that look. Either he likes you or he’s irritated with you, either way you’re in trouble. 😉

Still from RichardArmitagenet.com

That’s all folks,

ARmyofChefs

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A Sweet Ending

John Standring, because he deserved a sweeter ending
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 SWEET STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE CAKE
CAST OF CHARACTERS
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(Butter and sour cream should be brought to room temperature )
2 POUNDS OF STRAWBERRIES  —USE TEASPOON TO REMOVE STEMS
1 1/2 CUPS CAKE FLOUR
3 TABLESPOONS CORNSTARCH
1 TABLESPOON BAKING SODA
1/2 TEASPOON SALT
1 1/2 CUPS SUGAR TO BE MIXED WITH BUTTER PLUS EXTRA FOR SPRINKLING ON STRAWBERRIES
9 TABLESPOONS BUTTER , SOFTENED
3 LARGE EGGS
1/2 CUP SOUR CREAM .ROOM TEMPERATURE
2 TEASPOONS VANILLA EXTRACT
Need 1 –  8 ‘ cake pan 2’ deep  .GREASED AND FLOURED  OR SPRAYED WITH BAKERS JOY
Set oven 350  bake 45 to 50 minutes
1 )SIFT TOGETHER FLOUR ,CORNSTARCH ,BAKING SODA AND SALT AND SIFT ONTO WAX PAPER OR SEPARATE BOWL
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2]CREAM BUTTER AND SUGAR TILL LIGHT AND FLUFFY USING ELECTRIC MIXER
3]ADD EGGS ONE AT A TIME MIXING WELL WITH EACH ADDITION
4]ADD SOUR CREAM AND VANILLA ..MIX UNTIL JUST COMBINED
5]ADD DRY INGREDIENTS ..MIX ON LOW TIL BARELY COMBINED
POUR INTO GREASED AND FLOURED PAN ..USING RUBBER SPATULA TO MAKE EVEN IN PAN BAKE FOR 45 TO 50 MINUTES ..CAKE WILL WOBBLE IN PAN IF NOT DONE ..REMOVE IMMEDIATELY AND COOL ON RACK
WHEN COOLED USE LONG SERRATED KNIFE TO CUT IN HALF  ..ALLOW TO COOL COMPLETELY
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WHILE CAKE IS BAKING AND COOLING …
 SLICE 1 1/2 POUNDS STRAWBERRIES TOP TO BOTTOM .,PLACE IN BOWL AND SPRINKLE ON 3 TABLESPOONS SUGAR ..STIR AND LET SIT HALF AN HOUR
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MASH WITH FORK   ( YOUR CHOICE ON HOW MUCH MASHING ] ON PLATE ..DIVIDE IN 2 ( ONTO PLATES} ..SPRINKLE PLATE OF STRAWBERRIES  WITH 1 TABLESPOON MORE OF SUGAR ‘LET SIT FOR ANOTHER HALF AN HOUR
ARRANGE CAKES SLICED SIDES UP AND SPREAD STRAWBERRIES ON I/2 INCH FROM EDGES
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FREEZE BOTH HALVES 10 TO 15 MINUTES
WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING
CHILLED BOWL WITH CHILLED WHISK  … 2 CUPS HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM WITH 1/4 CUP POWDERED SUGAR (MORE OR LESS TO YOUR TASTE)
WHIP TILL  THICK
PUT WHIPPNG CREAM OVER STRAWBERRIES AND CONTINUE ON SIDES AND TOP
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USE LEFTOVER STRAWBERRIES FOR GARNISH
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CHILL IN REFRIGERATOR   AND SERVE
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MATCHES THE COLOR OF JOHN’S CHEEKS DON’T YOU THINK ?
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This recipe and photographs were submitted by Joy who would have loved to see a sweeter ending for a sweet man.
Happy Endings,
ARmyofChefs

A Sweet Couple

“Harry’s Vicar” Brownies
” … crisp exterior with the promise of softness beneath …”

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

ingredients:

One package — family size (approx. 23 oz) brownie mix
2 packages 3 oz cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

cream cheese mixture:

1. beat together the softened cream cheese and butter
2. add the sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla
3. beat until smooth and set aside

directions:

1. prepare brownie mix as directed
2. spread half of the brownie mix into greased 13″ x 9″ pan
3. pour all of the cream cheese mixture onto the brownie mix and smooth to edges
4. spoon remaining brownie mix in spots over the top of the cream cheese mixture
5. swirl a knife or spatula through the spots to create a marbled effect
6. bake for 36-39 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean

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Makes 24 large brownies

This recipe was submitted by Zan, who was punched in the solar plexus one day by Richard. Harry Jasper Kennedy as you can see is her favorite character of Richard’s, who she turns to for his sweet disposition and sunny smile to brighten a day, to lift a mood or make her heart sigh.

Sighs and Smiles,

ARmyofChefs

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Breakfast with John

BREAKFAST FOR JOHN STANDING
FOR THE MORNING AFTER A NIGHT OF MORE THAN TELLY AND HANDHOLDING …=P
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NEED LARGE FRYING PAN  AND A WHISK
INGREDIENTS
1 ROLL OF SAGE PORK SAUSAGE
1/2 TO 1 TSP .GROUND SAGE DEPENDING ON YOUR TASTE
1/2 TSP. OF RED PEPPER FLAKES  { CAYENNE PEPPER SEEDS }
1/2 TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER
COOK ALL THESE INGREDIENTS OVER LOW/MEDIUM HEAT TILL SAUSAGE  BROWNED AND NO LONGER PINK
MORE INGREDIENTS  –FOR ROUX
2 TABLESPOONS BUTTER
2 TABLESPOONS FLOUR
2 CUPS HALF AND HALF OR HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM
USING WHISK ADD 2 TBLS, BUTTER TO PAN WITH SAUSAGE. ALLOWING  TO MELT
ADD FLOUR WHISKING QUICKLY AND CONSTANTLY COOK AND STIR 3 MINUTES .{MAY CLUMP SLIGHTLY }
ADD 2 CUPS HALF AND HALF USING SMALL AMOUNTS AT A TIME ..WHISKING GRAVY SMOOTH
STIR TIL THICK AND BUBBLY .
ALLOWING TO SIMMER FOR 20 MINUTES ADDING MORE HALF AND HALF (OR MILK ) IF YOU FEEL TOO THICK
SERVE OVER HOMEMADE OR STORE BOUGHT BISCUITS
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This recipe and pictures was submitted by Joy.
Sincerely,
ARmyofChefs
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Something Light before Conquering the Mountain

This is a typical dish from the coastal area of Peru.
Inspired by Richard’s wish to travel to Peru!

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Machu Picchu

Photograph by Frank Tophoven, National Geographic

CEVICHE

400/500 gr. of white fish (for two, as main dish)
1/2 red onion
1/2 red pepper
2 small chili peppers (fresh)
juice of 5 limes
cilantro leaves (fresh)
salt/pepper
potatoes (standard or sweet potatoes)

Cut fish into smal cubes and mix with finely chopped onion. Add chopped red pepper and chili, a dash or two of salt and the fresh lime juice.
Marinate for several hours in the fridge (the fish should be firm to the touch and white, as if cooked the usual way). The lime juice literally “cooks” the fish. In doubt, leave in fridge overnight.
Before serving, drain the remainder of the juice. Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) and freshly ground pepper. If this is not available, ready ground black pepper will do. Or chili powder, if you can take it!!
This is delicious served with sweet potatoes and corn on the cob, which can be slightly grilled. Standard potatoes will do, as will rice, if someone doesn’t like spuds.
Ceviche has to be served chilled! An ideal summer dish. 🙂

NOTE: Fresh tuna can be used, as well. In this case, definitely marinate overnight!

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This looks like a man who’s ready to conquer Machu Picchu, doesn’t he?

Screencaps by Lanie from The Hobbit Movie twitter chat

This recipe was submitted by Anny.

With Misty Mountain Dreams,

ARmyofChefs

A Sweet or Savory delight. Nostrovya!!

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During Lucas North’s marriage to Elizabeta Starkova, he would almost certainly have been invited to a Maslenitsa celebration, the Russian Orthodox meal that signals the beginning of Great Lent (“Cheesefare Sunday”); perhaps Elizabeta would have made her own. With roots in both pagan and Christian traditions, Maslenitsa is a joyous and luxurious herald of the beginning of Spring. Even during the Soviet era, when religious holidays were officially not celebrated, many families observed Maslenitsa for fun and fellowship and to look ahead to the oncoming Spring season.

This meal is best made for a large group of friends and eaten over a few hours, with lots of drinking and merriment. The centerpiece of the meal are the round, slightly sour “blini”, which are buckwheat crepes or pancakes. They can also be made without buckwheat flour, but the buckwheat flour lends them a unique flavor that blends well with the salty fillings. Each round of blini (singular, blin) is occasion for another round of toasts with vodka, plum brandy, or wine, and the dinner stretches on as the guests find new and intriguing combinations of fillings to try.

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Maslenitsa at the Mitchell House

Preparations here begin a few days early as we move all the furniture out of the living room and set up card tables and extra chairs, get out the good china and crystal, and lay in the supplies: smoked salmon & other fish from local smokehouse, sour cream, *lots* of sweet butter to melt and pour on the blini as we’re adding our fillings, chopped green onions, caviar, and for the sweet lovers (like me), fresh fruit, specialty jams and local maple syrup to put on “dessert” blini.

The batter mixing begins early, as the batter goes through a couple of rises (as you’ll see below). It looks tricky, but once you’ve done it, it’s not that hard, and it’s well worth the effort. An hour or so before dinner, Kevin (my husband, who cooks) heats up two or three pans on the stove, then starts making the blini and stacking them in a deep bowl with an upside-down plate on top to help hold in the heat. The process is very similar to making pancakes, and the heat you’ll use is about the same. He can keep two or three pans cooking at the same time, especially if he has an assistant. When the first fifty or so blini are done we can sit down to eat.

For a typical Maslenitsa dinner, we have between 20 and 30 guests in our tiny condo; each guests eats between five and ten blini, so Kevin is usually up a few times during dinner making new rounds of blini, and we almost always finish all that are made. Due to the amount of vodka consumed, we encourage guests to stay after dinner for a few rounds of cards (if relatively sober) or kung-fu movies (if mostly inebriated) or sleeping on our couch (if utterly pickled).

All in all, there are lots of reasons Maslenitsa is such a popular holiday, and that it survived the Soviet era. And that we have a core group that continues coming back every year, despite an utter lack of Russian heritage or special affinity for fish. It’s just fun. If you try this recipe, I hope you have success with it, and think of Lucas and Elizabeta enjoying this during their happier days. Cheers!

Family Blini Recipe (tweaked by Kevin Mitchell)
Fortunately, buckwheat flour is gluten-free! This recipe can easily be made completely gluten-free by using the same amount of gluten-free flour as a substitution for the “white flour”. We use rice flour instead of white.

1 package yeast

1 1/4 c lukewarm water

1 1/4 cups buckwheat flour

3/4 cup white flour (or rice flour, to be gluten free)

1 cup hot milk

2 eggs, separated

1/8 tsp salt

1 Tbsp sugar

3 Tbsp melted butter

1/4 c heavy cream

Dissolve yeast in warm water, add 3/4 cup buckwheat flour & all the white flour. Beat thoroughly and put into a large size bowl. Cover and let rise in warm place for 3 hours. Beat batter well with spoon, adding remaining buckwheat flour, until well blended. Let rise again in warm place, about 2 hours, and add 1 cup scalded milk to batter, mixing until smooth. Cool, then add 2 egg yolks, salt, sugar, and melted butter.

In separate bowl, whip cream. Beat egg whites until very stiff. Fold egg whites into cream and whole mixture into batter.

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Let stand one hour without stirring again. Fry in small pancake size, about 4-5 inches in diameter. Dough is taken carefully with a spoon and put into a heated and buttered pan. When the blini are done on the under side (you’ll see holes bubble up from the bottom to the top, just like crepes or pancakes), sprinkle with melted butter and turn to cook on the other side.

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Blini may be served with melted butter, smoked fish, caviar, sour cream, scallions, marinated mushrooms, herring in cream sauce, chopped hard-cooked eggs, or other vegetables,or — for the kids or those who don’t like fish — with fresh fruit, jam, or syrup (like pancakes or blintzes). Cinnamon and sugar are also a favorite for light “dessert” blini. As you’re getting to the end of the meal, a pot of tea is a nice touch for those who’d like to wake up or sober up.

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Make sure to have lots of cold beverages on hand as all that salted fish will make you extra thirsty, and because blini is, frankly, a very sauced-up sort of occasion. It’s traditional to offer lots of toasts to the chef, your host, the guests, the occasion, your favorite shoes, the noble fish laying on the table, and other silliness; toasts may be offered with non-alcoholic beverages, wine or beer, of course, but we stick with the very traditional shot of Russian vodka straight from the freezer. We collect shot glasses and have about 25, so we can accomodate a crowd at blini. (Also be prepared to accomodate over-drinkers who shouldn’t drive home or even take public transport.)

Nostrovya!! To your health!!
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Inspiration photos, courtesy of richardarmitagenet.com
Christine (@msgigglepants) is a full-time bellydance/Bollywood dance teacher and performer living in Michigan with Kevin, who is pretty much the best cook ever. Also, he has purple hair and laughs at her jokes, which counts for a lot.

C’s first introduction to Richard Armitage was via “North & South” (seemingly the gateway drug of choice) and shortly thereafter “The Vicar of Dibley”. A fan of earnest, straightforward men who tell it like it is, she will always have a crush on Mr. Thornton and lovely, charming Harry Kennedy. As a fan of gorgeous snotty bastards who secretly long for redemption if it comes with wealth, power, and the girl, she finds Guy a guilty pleasure. As a fan of utterly delectable men of action who wear tight trousers (and often NO SHIRTS!) and save the day despite heavily conflicted agendas, she admits to watching (LOTS of) Lucas and Porter. But it’s Thorin Smokinshield who stole a surprise march on her affections and made her fancy dwarves…

With a raised glass,

ARmyofChefs

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A Medieval Meal

Guy of Gisbourne venison

I’m hungry, wench.

ROAST VENISON

3 1/2 lb Boneless haunch of venison

3 T Butter; softened

Salt & pepper

1 1/3 c  Beef stock

1 T Butter

1 T Flour

1/2 c  Sour cream

Preheat oven to 475° F.

Tie the roast up at 1/2 inch intervals with kitchen string so that it will hold it’s shape while

cooking. With a pastry brush, spread the softened butter evenly over the meat.

Place the roast on a rack in a shallow open roasting pan and sear it in the hot oven for

about 20 minutes.

When the surface of the meat is nicely brown, reduce the heat to 375° F and

sprinkle the

roast generously with salt and pepper.

Pour the stock into the pan and cook the roast, uncovered, for 1 1/4

hours. With a large spoon baste the meat with the pan

juices every half hour or so. The interior of the meat,
when finished,
should be slightly rare, or about 150° F on a meat thermometer.

Remove the roast to a heated platter, cover it loosely and let rest in the

turned off oven while you make the sauce.

Skim and discard the fat from the pan juices.

Measure the remaining liquid and either reduce to 1 cup by boiling it rapidly or add enough water to make up 1 cup.

In a small, heavy saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and stir in 1 tablespoon of flour to make the roux.

Stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, cook this roux for 6 to 8 minutes over low heat until it is a light nut brown color. Be careful not to let it burn or it will give the sauce a bitter flavor.

Now, with a wire whisk, beat the pan juices into the roux. Beat until well blended

MULLED CIDER


2 quarts apple cider
10 whole cloves
10 whole allspice
4 (4-inch) cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Combine all of the ingredients in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes. Remove and discard the cloves, allspice, and cinnamon sticks. Serve hot.

Makes about 2 quarts

This two recipes and picture were submitted by Catherine Windsor @jcatwindsor who’s favorite characters are Thorin and Lucas. She loves Richard Armitage because he gives back to society.

Faithfully Yours,

ARmyofChefs

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