Tag Archives: main course

Super Bowl Snacking: The Two Minute Drill

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You told yourself you wouldn’t do it this year. That you’d be ready and have everything planned out. Now, here it is, a mere 5 hours before kick off (10 if you count all the pre-game bullsh*t), and you’ve got no food ready. You may not have even hit the store yet. Well fear not, we’ve got you covered. Check out the links from our past recipes below for quick and easy crowd pleasers, then get your ass to the store, man! You can thank us later.

Let’s start with the most important thing, drinks.

Now for some snacks and appetizers.

Roasted Squash and Fontina Sandwiches

A hearty and warming sandwich that captures the best of winter.

Comfort food style without the gut bomb results.

Winter. It’s still here and all the comfort food you’ve been indulging in probably isn’t doing much for your waistline (we’re wearing this season’s finest mesh shorts at this point). Enter the roasted squash sandwich: well portioned, extremely flavorful, filling, and somewhat healthy as long as you use the meat and cheese more as garnish than a centerpiece. It’s a hearty and handheld meal that may even have you wishing for the groundhog to see his shadow.

Equipment Needed: 2 Large Baking Sheets or Baking Dishes, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Serving Spoon, Vegetable Peeler, Tongs or Spatula

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, lighter Chiantis

Suggested Beer Pairing: Brown Ale, Pale Ale, Oktoberfest or Autumn Ales, Winter Ales

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about $1.49/lb)
  • 1 large onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 2 garlic cloves ($2.99/lb)
  • 2 apples (about $2.99/lb)
  • 6 oz fontina cheese (about $12.99/lb)
  • 8 slices sourdough bread ($3.99/loaf)
  • 8 slices Prosciutto ($17.99/lb)
  • 3-4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($8.99/32 oz)
  • 1 TSP ground allspice ($3.69/2 oz)
  • 1 TSP ground cinnamon ($3.49/2.4 oz)
  • 2-3 TSP brown sugar ($1.59/lb)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Peel the squash, halve it, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Once both sides are clean, slice them cross-wise into 1/2 inch pieces. Spread them evenly across your baking sheet.
Slice the pieces as uniformly as possible so they cook evenly.

Slice the pieces as uniformly as possible so they cook evenly.

  • Peel and halve the onion, then slice it crosswise into 1/4 inch slices and place them on the baking sheet as well. It’ll probably be a little crowded at this point but try not to overlap the veggies too much.
  • Peel and mince the garlic cloves and sprinkle them across all of the veggies. Drizzle your olive oil over the whole lot and give it a dusting of the allspice, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Pop it in the oven for 20 minutes.
Season the veggies more aggressively if you don't plan to use condiments for your sandwich.

Season the veggies more aggressively if you don’t plan to use condiments for your sandwich.

  • While things are roasting you can prepare your other fillings. Cut your apples in half, remove the cores and slice them into thin pieces. Slice the fontina as well and set aside.
  • On a separate baking sheet lay out 4 pieces of your bread to get it ready for the fillings. Once 20 minutes has passed, flip your veggies and pop them back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until they’re nicely browned and fork tender.
  • When the squash and onions are done, layer them on the bread and then place your proscuitto, apples, fontina, and other slice of bread on top. Pop them back in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted nicely and the bread is lightly toasted. Cut them in half and serve with some whole grain or honey mustard if desired.
Try to avoid piling your sandwich fillings too high so everything doesn't squeeze out the sides when you bite it.

Try to avoid piling your sandwich fillings too high so everything doesn’t squeeze out the sides when you bite it.

Steakhouse Burger

Everything that is good and right in the world in the soft embrace of two buns.

This shining example of burger perfection has all the best qualities of an old school steak house meal. Bacon and blue cheese a la wedge salad? Check. Marbled beef seasoned and cooked to perfection? Check. Just enough vegetables to make you feel slightly healthy? Check. Shake up a dirty martini, grab a napkin and go to town.

Equipment Needed: Frying Pan, Large Mixing Bowl, Small Mixing Bowl, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Wooden Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Montepuciano D’Abruzzo

Suggested Beer Pairing: Brown Ales and Porters are our preference for this one, but you have to really try to make a bad beer pairing with a burger.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (we recommend an 80/20 mix) ($3.99/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1 medium shallot ($2.99/lb)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 lb. crimini or bably bella mushrooms ($2.99/lb)
  • 8 strips thick cut applewood smoked bacon ($7.99/lb)
  • 8 oz blue cheese (we used an Italian blue, verde capra)($8.99/lb)
  • 2 TBSP Montreal steak seasoning ($about $3.99/3 oz jar)
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($8.99/32 oz)
  • 3 TBSP balsamic vinegar ($8.99/32 oz)
  • 2 TBSP honey ($4.39/12 oz)
  • 4 hamburger buns ($3.19/8 pack)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Peel and mince the garlic; peel and quarter your onion, then cut into thin slices. Brush off the crimini mushrooms with a wet paper towel to remove any excess dirt. Slice those puppies into thin strips too and mix in with the onions and garlic.

Slice the mushrooms thinly so they cook down easier and caramelize nicely.

  • Place your frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Throw in your veggies, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and stir thoroughly to coat with the oil. Cook everything down for about 5 minutes then drizzle the balsamic vinegar and  honey over the whole lot and cook until caramelized, stirring occasionally (about 10 more minutes). Place in a bowl and set aside.

Add some bee juice to even things out and complement the sharpness of the blue cheese.

  • In a large mixing bowl add the beef, grate in the shallot, add the steak seasoning, a healthy pinch of salt and pepper and mix it together with your hands. Do it until the spices and shallot are well incorporated but don’t overwork the meat, it’ll get gummy and will give your burger a weird texture.

Either grate or mince the shallot so it incorporates easily with the beef.

  • Take the beef and divide into quarters. Form the patties in the palms of your hands; use your thumb to put a divot in the center so your burger doesn’t bulge when it’s cooked. Set the patties aside on a plate.
  • Place your veggie frying pan back over medium heat and add your bacon. Don’t overcrowd it, cook the bacon in batches until crisp and set it aside on paper towels to drain. Leave the bacon fat in the pan.
  • Keep your frying pan over medium heat. If the bottom isn’t evenly coated in bacon fat add a little olive oil and plunk down your hamburger patties. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side for medium; whatever your doneness preference, only flip the burgers once. When cooked to your liking remove from heat and let the patties sit for a couple minutes. Take this chance to toast the buns a bit in the frying pan to soak up all the remaining burgerness.

Like steak, you only want to flip your burgers once to avoid uneven, overcooking.

  • Pop the beef on top of the bun and add a thick layer of blue cheese. We like using an Italian blue, verde capra, for this one because it gets creamy and almost sauce-like when it melts. You can find it in most specialty grocery stores or cheese shops but regular blue cheese will work just as well.
  • Pile on a good amount of mushrooms and onions and top it with a couple of strips of bacon, broken in half to fit easier. If you’ve made it this long without stuffing your face, put the top bun on so the burger’s easier to hold and dig in.

Ale-brined Stuffed Pork Loin

Pork, nuts, fruit and stuffing; a meal in every bite.

The other white meat can sometimes fall victim to being boring, which is a fate we blame on people with no imagination. We turn this one up to 11 by soaking it with a badass brine and stuffing it full of home cooking favorites like, well, stuffing and cranberries. It’s almost a complete meal in and of itself but that shouldn’t stop you from pairing it with some mashed potatoes or roasted root vegetables to cap things off.

Equipment Needed: 5 QT Pot, 3 QT Pot w/ Lid, Large Container with Lid, Large Roasting Pan (OR) 13 x 9 Baking Pan, Cooking Twine, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Whisk, Tongs, Wooden Spoon, Paper Towels

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4-6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Shiraz

Suggested Beer Pairing: Stout, Brown Ale, Scotch Ale

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin ($7.99/lb)
  • 16 oz brown ale (price varies)(we actually used an old autumn ale, you can use English ale, winter ale or almost anything other than an overly hoppy IPA or barley wine)
  • 2 C apple cider ($3.49/gallon)
  • 1/3 C kosher salt ($2.29/48 oz box)
  • 1/3 C  pure grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)
  • 8 large rosemary sprigs ($1.50/sprig or bunch)
  • 1 TBSP whole black peppercorns ($3.69/2.25 oz jar)
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries ($2.99/6 oz bag)
  • 1/2 C walnuts (about $8.99/lb)
  • 1 box of instant stuffing (about $2.50/6 oz box) (don’t judge us, just be sure you check the instructions on the box, the recipe typically requires a few tablespoons of butter and water)
  • 2 large apples ($2.99/lb)

Preparation:

  • You’ll want to plan ahead a bit on this one because you’ll want to brine the pork loin for at least 2 hours before you cook it. 6-10 hours is ideal.
  • For the brine combine your beer, cider, maple syrup & salt in the 5 QT pot. Whisk it all together, place it over high heat and bring it to a boil, stirring regularly until the syrup and salt are dissolved.

Beer here!

  • Once it’s boiling, transfer the brine to your large container add a tray of ice cubes to accelerate the cooling process and thin it out a bit. Pop it in the fridge until it’s chilled (this should take about 45 minutes to an hour).
  • While you’re waiting for things to cool, trim any excess fat off of your pork loin and give it a good rinse.
  • When your brine is cold, place the pork in it an add the rosemary & peppercorns. Cover the dish and pop it back in the fridge for at least 2 hours; the longer you leave it in the more tender it’ll get.

Make sure you have enough brine to fully cover your meat.

  • When you can’t holdout any longer preheat the oven to 375°F and take the pork out of the brine. Rinse it, pat it dry, and put it on a plate to bring it to room temperature (at least 15 minutes). Save the rosemary sprigs for later.
  • While you’re waiting for the pork to warm, cook up your stuffing. This typically involves bringing water and butter to a boil, stirring in the stuffing and letting it sit in a covered pot for 5-8 minutes. Chop up the walnuts and stir them in along with the dried cranberries.

Chop the walnuts into manageable chunks but be careful not to pulverize them.

  • When the pork is un-chilled, butterfly it (a.k.a. cut it almost in half lengthwise so you can open it like a sub roll).
  • Slice up your apples into thin pieces, lengthwise and use them to line each interior side of the loin. Spoon in your stuffing and lay the rosemary sprigs from the brine across the top.

Be careful not to over-stuff the meat, you need to be able to tie it up without too much excess.

  • Squeeze everything together and tie up the loin with butcher’s twine.

It's a good idea to pre-cut your twine so you don't have to do it with porky hands.

  • Pop the pork in the oven and cook it for about 45-60 minutes until it registers at about 165° F on your meat thermometer.
  • As with all meat let it rest for 5-10 minutes before you cut it. Remove the twine, slice into 1-2 inch discs and serve.

Greek Vegetable Pizza

Like having a Mediterranean garden on a little island of dough.

We can’t eat meat all the time, no matter how much we wish it was possible. For those times when the circles of meatlessness and pizza overlap on your Venn diagram of hunger (how’s that for an intelligent reference) try our vegetable version. With classic Greek flavors this easy crowd pleaser is also great for using up leftover veggies (zucchini, peppers, extra greens, scallions, we could go on…) with minimal effort and maximum results.

Equipment Needed: Baking Sheet or Pizza Pan or Pizza Stone, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Tongs, Mixing Bowl, Plastic Wrap, Serving Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 4 people (or 2 Brown Brothers)

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais

Suggested Beer Pairing: Pilsners, Light Lagers  

Ingredients:

  • 1 pre-made ball of pizza dough (about $1.99/package)
  • 1 medium red pepper ($3.99/lb)
  • 1 small onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1 C pitted olives ($5.99/lb)
  • 1/2 C sundried tomatoes (about $5/3 oz jar)
  • 6 oz feta cheese ($7.99/lb)
  • 1/2 C  our roasted garlic and artichoke cream (you can just mince artichokes with olive oil or buy a spread if you prefer)(about $6/8 0z jar)
  • 1 TSP dried oregano ($3.50/1 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Preparation:
  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Before anything else, wash off your red pepper and put it directly over the burner on your stove. If you don’t have a gas stove, pop into the oven directly on the baking rack for about 10-15 minutes. You want the skin to start burning and blistering so keep a close eye on it and rotate when one side gets too done; a crackling, popping noise means you’re headed in the right direction.

Let the pepper char up completely on each side before you turn it.

  • When your pepper is properly charred, put it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to sweat it out. While you’re waiting for it to steam peel and slice your onion crosswise into thin strips and do the same with your sundried tomatoes (the cutting into strips part, not the peeling part).
  • After about 5 minutes remove the pepper from the bowl, run it under hot water and rub the skin off. Cut in half lengthwise, remove the ribs and seeds and slice into thin strips lengthwise.
  • Peel your onion and slice it into thin discs, halfwise.
  • Throw a little flour on your baking sheet and spread out the pizza dough into the shape your heart desires. Drizzle some olive oil over the top and pop it into the oven for 5 minutes to let it firm up a bit.
  • Take the dough out and coat it with your artichoke spread. Layer on the red pepper strips, onion discs, sundried tomatoes and olives.

Crush the olives before you put them on so they cook down better and cover more pizza real estate.

  • Crumble some feta over the whole lot and sprinkle some dried oregano evenly over the top. Pop it back in the oven for another 10 minute, or until the crust is crisped to your liking. Pull it out, slice it up and take it down.

You could buy the pre-crumbled stuff but where's the fun in that?

Short Rib Chili

A bowl full of beefy awesomeness.

Short ribs are a favorite of ours because the only way to screw them up is to undercook them. Oh no, you let it go for 3 hours instead of 2? That just means you’ll be able to cut it with a spoon, lucky. Also, with the Super Bowl around the corner you’ve got the perfect excuse for some serious chili making, which also requires patience and the ability to drink beer while you’re waiting. Our work here is done.

Equipment Needed: 5 QT Pot w/ lid, Frying Pan, Tongs, Wooden Spoon, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Paper Towels

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 10-12

Suggested Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vine Zinfandel, Malbec, Shiraz, Barolo

Suggested Beer Pairing: Stout, Porter, Dopplebock, Winter Ales, Brown Ale

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs bone-in beef short ribs ($5.99/lb)
  • 22 oz dark beer (we used a Lagunitas Imperial Stout; price varies)
  • 3-4 C beef broth ($2.99/32 oz)
  • 2 15.5 oz cans black beans ($1.39/can)
  • 6 slices of thick cut bacon ($6.99/lb)
  • 1 large red onion ($1.29/lb)
  • 1 large green pepper ($1.99/lb)
  • 6 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes ($3.49/can)
  • 6 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce ($2.99/can)
  • 1 TBSP liquid smoke ($2.89/3 oz)
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar ($2.89/32/oz)
  • 1/2 C Grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)
  • 1 TSP cayenne pepper ($2/3.5 oz jar)
  • 2 TSP chili powder ($1.50/4 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • At the butcher (or meat counter) ask them to cut your ribs into 2 inch chunks. When you get them home, season each piece liberally with salt and pepper on all sides.
  • Dice your onion and pepper, and mince the garlic. While you’re at it, cut your bacon strips in to 1 inch chunks for later.
  • Put your pot over high heat and coat the bottom in olive oil. Taking a few pieces at a time so you don’t crowd the pot, sear the ribs on every side (you’ll need a plate or bowl to hold those that are finished). Once you’ve browned everything throw in the garlic and onion and scrape up the brown bits off the bottom. Let them sweat for a minute then put the ribs back in the pot.

Once the meat is down, don't move it. And don't you dare flip it more than once.

  • Pour in the beer and enough beef stock to cover everything. Stir in maple syrup, cayenne pepper, chili powder and liquid smoke. Reduce the heat to low, pop the lid on and let it simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • While your beef is braising (aka, cooking in liquid after being seared) put a frying pan over medium head and throw in your bacon pieces. Cook them until they’re crispy and then drain them on a paper towel and set aside for later.
  • When you can pull the beef apart with a fork, pull the pieces out of the juice and put it on a cutting board. Remove the bones and chop up the meat into bite-sized pieces. Toss them back in the liquid.

Chop that meat up into tiny little melt-in-your-mouth morsels.

  • Drain one of the cans of beans and add them to the pot. Pour in the second can, bean juice and all. Add the green peppers.
  • Chop up the chipotle peppers and toss them in the pot. We also like to spoon in a little of the adobo sauce that comes in the can.

Mince the peppers into a fine paste and stir them in.

  • Let things simmer for another 20 minutes and adjust your flavors to taste. Add the bacon bits just before serving to add some texture to the bowl. Spoon into big bowls and serve with cornbread, or just ladle from the pot into your mouth.

Momma Brown’s Baked Chicken

Just like momma used to make (with a tweak or two).

Our childhood was filled with simple food pleasures and baked chicken was one of the most magical. When we pressed our mom for the original recipe in an attempt to recapture some of that lost wonder she simply stated, “It’s chicken and cornflakes.” Duly noted.  Here’s our take with a couple flavor additions to bring this comfort food standby into the 21st century. Use panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch that provides a fried chicken experience with half the guilt. Grab a spot on the picnic blanket and pass a napkin.

Equipment Needed: 2 Plates or Large Containers (for dredging the chicken), Mixing Bowl, Large Baking Pan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Viognier, Chardonnay

Suggested Beer Pairing: Lager, Pilsner, Pale Ale

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken drumsticks ($1.99/lb)
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs (you can use either skin-on or skinless, whatever you prefer) ($1.99/lb)
  • 3 C all-purpose flour ($1.89/2 lb)
  • 1 small box of corn flakes ($2.99/7 oz box)
  • 1/2 C panko breadcrumbs (we actually found chipotle seasoned)($2.99/12 oz)
  • 4 eggs ($2.79/dozen)
  • 1/4 C Frank’s Red Hot sauce ($2.89/12 oz)
  • 1/2 C honey ($4.39/12 oz)
  • 1 TBSP ground cinnamon ($3.59/3.5 oz jar)
  • 1 TSP ground cayenne pepper ($3.50/2 oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP ground chipotle powder (about $5/4 oz)
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • In one of your large mixing bowls pour in the panko breadcrumbs. Remove the cornflakes from the box but keep them in the sealed bag that they came in. Gently crush the cereal into smaller chunks (keeping it in the bag keeps the mess at a minimum) and mix them in with the breadcrumbs.

Crush up the cereal into smaller pieces but don't turn it to complete dust.

  • Add the cinnamon and chipotle powder along with a couple healthy pinches of salt and pepper. Stir it all together and set it aside.
  • In your other large container add the flour, cayenne pepper and another good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir things together with a fork so the seasonings are mixed evenly.
  • Crack the eggs into your small mixing bowl, pour in a splash of water and whisk it up with a fork. Arrange your bowls in this order on your working surface: flour, eggs, cereal mix.
  • Rinse the chicken off and trim any excess fat. Pat the pieces dry with a paper towel and prepare for dredging. Taking each piece individually coat them entirely in flour, dip them in egg, and coat them evenly in the cereal mix. Place each crispy-crusted piece in the baking pan and repeat until you’ve dredged all your chicken.

Coat each piece thoroughly with crunchy goodness.

  • Put the chicken in the oven for about 45 minutes then cut into a thigh to test the done-ness. If the juice runs clear you’re good to go. If it’s still got blood in it, pop it back in for another 10 minutes or so and re-check. Once it’s fully cooked let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Hot Honey Preparation:

  • In a small bowl or mug pour in the honey and pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds or until it’s extremely runny.
  • Pour in the Frank’s Red Hot and stir until both are thoroughly incorporated. Use as a dip for individual bites of chicken or just douse the whole lot of it.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

The Brothers Brown: Bringing you innovative ways to get your buffalo-wing fix since 2009.

Fact: we love buffalo wings. Fact: meatballs are also delicious. Enter the buffalo chicken meatball, a self-contained flavor bomb of Frank’s Red Hot and blue cheese. We threw together a carrot yogurt dipping sauce just to up the interesting quotient but rest assured these are great on their own and take just as long to make as you’d spend waiting for delivery. Get to it.

Equipment Needed: Large Mixing Bowl, Baking Pan, Cheese Grater or Microplane, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Blender

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: This is a tough pairing so you’re better off just drinking whatever you prefer (as if you listen to our pairing advice anyway)

Suggested Beer Pairing: Beer (although we’d avoid sweeter options like dubbels or barleywines)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground chicken breast ($4.99/lb)
  • 2 carrots ($1.99/lb)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1/3 C grated onion (about 1/2 a small onion) ($0.99/lb)
  • 1/4 lb blue cheese ($7.99/lb)
  • 1/2 C panko breadcrumbs (we actually found a tasty chipotle-seasoned style)($2.99/12 oz)
  • 1 egg ($2.79/dozen)
  • 1/4-1/2 C Frank’s Red Hot sauce ($2.89/12 oz)
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/32 oz)
  • 1 1/2 C plain Greek yogurt ($3.59/16 oz)
  • 1 lemon ($0.50/each)
  • 2 TSP honey ($4.39/12 oz)
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Meatball Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • In the large mixing bowl add your ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg and hot sauce. Grate in about half of a small onion then mince your garlic and toss it in the mix.

Add an egg to help bind things together.

Frank's Red Hot. 'Nuff said.

  • Crumble in your blue cheese, roll up your sleeves and get in there with your hands to mix everything together. Chicken is a lot stickier than other ground meats so it’s imperative that you don’t overwork it or you’ll never be able to get it off your fingers.
  • Coat the bottom of your baking pan with extra virgin olive oil. You won’t be able to roll these like turkey or beef meatballs so just grab a glob about the size of a golf ball and form it by cupping your hands together. Place the meatballs in the pan evenly spaced with some room to breathe. Pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the juice from the meatballs runs clear. Let them cool for a couple minutes then go to town.

Carrot Yogurt Dip Preparation:

  • Scoop the yogurt into your blender and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.
  • Add the honey and a couple solid pinches of salt and pepper. Using the finest setting on your grating implement of choice, shred the carrots into the blender and puree the whole lot until smooth.

Shred the carrots finely for easier blending.

Salt-baked Rib Roast

Juicier prime rib, we have never had.

Prime rib. Rib roast. Ribeye. A steak by any other name would taste just as good. How you prepare that steak may vary, however, and we’re pretty sure we’ve found our new go-to method for cooking roasts. By coating this beefy cut in a salt crust you create a self-marinating, sealing-the-juices-inside, hard to screw up, delicious hunk of bovine that will have you fighting for seconds.

Equipment Needed: Roasting Pan, Aluminum Foil, Mixing Bowl, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Fork

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6-8

Suggested Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vine Zinfandel, Malbec, Shiraz

Suggested Beer Pairing: Pale Ale, Brown Ale, Porter, Bock

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb standing rib roast, bone-in (about $13.99/lb)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 3 TBSP fresh rosemary ($1.50/sprig or bunch)
  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour ($1.89/2 lb)
  • 1 C water (free)
  • 1 egg ($2.79/dozen)
  • 4 C kosher salt ($2.29/48 oz box)
  • 4 TBSP Black Pepper

Preparation:

  • You’re gonna have to actually talk to a butcher for this one. Don’t be scared, just be honest about what you’re looking for and how you’re going to prepare it and any butcher worth his or her meat will steer you in the right direction (pun somewhat intended). Figure about 1/2 a pound to 1 pound per person depending on how hungry your crowd is. Ask for a standing rib roast with the bone, but ask them to separate the meat from the bone and truss it back on for you. This way you get the extra flavor the ribs will provide without the added pain of having to carve the meat off when you’re finished.
  • Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  • Mince your garlic and rosemary as finely as you can. On your cutting board, mix the two together and sprinkle some salt over it. With the edge of the blade of your knife, press down and scrape the mix against the board bit by bit to start to create a flavorful paste.

Meld those flavors together.

  • In a large mixing bowl add the salt, flour, the white of your egg and water and stir everything together until it has the consistency of wet sand.

Mix the crust ingredients thoroughly for a nice, even seasoning.

  • Ready your roasting pan by lining it with aluminum foil. Set your meat in there and try to coat it as evenly as possible with your garlic and rosemary paste. Crack on some fresh black pepper  but DO NOT add salt (you’re roasting it in a salt crust, remember?).
  • Now comes the really messy part. Scoop out the salt slurry a handful at a time and pack it firmly on the roast, taking care to cover the entire thing with the paste. Be thorough, adjust your paste according to how it’s sticking. Sliding off? Add more salt and flour in equal parts. Too cakey? Add a little water.

Cover that meat in its delicious self-marinating shell.

  • Once your meat is fully caked, pop it in the oven. For a delicious medium rare, roast it for 1 hour and 20 minutes; cook for about 10 minutes less for any hardcore, rare-loving carnivores and about 5-10 minutes more for straight up medium.
  • When the meat is done let it rest for 15 minutes before you do anything else in order to let the juices redistribute and to enable a little carryover cooking. This is no time to cut corners with a juicy, delicious piece of beef like this, so resist the urge to crack the salt crust and set a timer if you have to prevent temptation.
  • Reward your patience by using a large spoon or the back of a chef’s knife to crack the thing open. Brush off any large chunks of salt and remove the beef from the bone. Slice the roast on the bias and get in there.

Like opening the lid of a meat treasure chest.

The Brothers’ BLT

Summer between two slices of bread.

Nothing says summer like a BLT with the thickest, juiciest tomatoes you can find. There’s really no reason to alter this classic combo but obviously we couldn’t help ourselves. Use plain mayo if you’re a purist (not that there’s anything wrong with that) or give it a little somethin’ somethin’ with our chipotle lime version.

Equipment Needed: Frying Pan, Fork, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Butter Knife, Bowl or Large Cup, Paper Towels

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir

Suggested Beer Pairing: Pilsner, Wheat Beer

Ingredients:

  • 12 strips of thick cut applewood smoked bacon ($6.99/lb)
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes (about $3/lb)
  • 8 slices of bread (we used ciabatta rolls) (about $3/loaf)
  • 1 lime (about $0.30/each)
  • 1 1/4 C of mayonnaise ($3.99/15 oz jar)
  • 1-2 TSP ground chipotle powder (about $5/4 oz)
  • 2-3 C mixed greens ($3.89/5 oz package)

Preparation:

  • Before you start anything, scoop your mayo into a large cup or bowl, add a teaspoon of chipotle powder and squeeze in the juice of half a lime. Stir thoroughly and give it a taste. Add more lime juice and chipotle powder to your liking and pop the mix in the fridge to let the flavors meld a bit.

Lime juice brightens things up and cuts the fat of the bacon...if you're into that kind of thing.

  • Put your frying pan over medium heat and add your bacon so there’s space between the strips; you’ll most likely have to do a couple batches. Drain the cooked pieces on paper towels until you’ve finished them all.

By now you know if there's bacon in the recipe there's a picture of bacon in the post.

  • While your bacon is sizzling wash off the tomatoes and remove the stems. Cut each flavor grenade into 1/4 inch slices and set aside. Rinse your lettuce while you’re at it.

Heirloom tomatoes turn things up to 11.

  • Toast your bread of choice. We used a soft ciabatta roll but thick cut whole wheat or a Pullman loaf are also highly recommended. Once toasted, spread the mayo generously on each piece and layer on tomatoes, three strips of bacon (or more if you prefer) and lettuce. Smile and try not to get tomato juice all over yourself as you devour.

We used mixed greens just to keep it interesting but feel free to use the classic iceberg.