From here on out you will only want to eat things out of little meat cups.
Fall is awesome. It’s not too cold, not too hot, you have an excuse to start making heartier meals, and watching football all day totally counts as an activity. It’s the total package, just like these little babies. Prosciutto cups always seemed difficult to us until we actually tried them (hint: it’s easy). The salty richness of the pig is balanced nicely by the freshness of the ricotta, and the whole thing is lifted by the sweet and slightly acidic balsamic glazed figs. Better stocked grocery stores will have fresh figs into early November so get on it and up your appetizer/snack game forever.
Equipment Needed: Muffin Tin, Small Cup or Mixing Bowl, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Frying Pan, Spatula, Spoon
- 12 slices prosciutto ($14.99/lb)
- 6 fresh black mission figs ($4.99/pt)
- 1/3 C balsamic vinegar ($8.99/32 oz)
- 1 TBSP maple sugar (you can substitute brown sugar if you can’t find maple sugar; we got ours at Kalustyan’s)($3.99/3 oz)
- Roughly 2 C fresh ricotta ($5.99/lb)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary ($1.49/sprig)
- 1/4 C honey ($4.39/12 oz)
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- Pull the rosemary leaves off the sprigs and mince them up. Sprinkle some salt over the minced leaves and scrape them against the cutting board as you would if you were making a garlic paste.
Crush up the rosemary a bit to make it infuse better with the honey.
- Dump the rosemary into a small cup or container and pour the honey over it. Let that sit on the back of the stove to draw ambient heat and meld flavors while you cook everything else.
- To make the cups, take each slice of prosciutto and line each muffin compartment in the tin making sure that the bottom is completely covered. The end result should look like a cupcake wrapper. The prosciutto will inevitably split several times when you first attempt this. Resist the urge to put your fist through a wall and just be gentle and patient when handling each piece. Pop these in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until they’re crisp.
The first few will frustrate the hell out of you and fall apart. The last few you will be able to do blindfolded.
- While the cups are cooking place your frying pan over medium heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and maple sugar and stir everything together. Let the vinegar reduce for about 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
- Keeping an eye on your vinegar while it reduces, remove the stems from the figs and slice them in half lengthwise. Once the sauce has thickened a bit place the figs in the pan, sliced side down. Let them sit and cook for 5 minutes; resist the urge to move them so they caramelize a bit.
The reduced balsamic will nicely balance the sweetness of the figs.
- Pull your prosciutto out of the oven when it’s crispy and set them aside to cool.
- Flip your fruit and cook for another 5 minutes to soften them through. Turn the heat off, pluck the figs out of the vinegar and set them aside to cool slightly.
- Carefully pull your prosciutto cups out of the tin and fill each one with a spoonful of ricotta. Place a fig on top of the cheese, sliced side up. Drizzle a little balsamic from the pan over top if you wish and then drizzle some of your rosemary honey over the whole lot for a sweet and earthy accent.
And rosemary honey because we said so.
Little lemony roasted potato pearls.
Potatoes can sometimes make us feel blasé. Mashed? Mixed ‘em with everything possible. Baked? Ho hum. Roasted? Always. But a recent sale on meyer lemons inspired us. A simple citrusy twist with some fragrant rosemary takes these tubers to the next level. Pair them with a nice roasted chicken or some Mediterranean fare to keep things interesting.
Equipment Needed: 13 x 9 Baking Pan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Wooden Spoon, Large Spoon
Serving Suggestion: Family Style
Suggested Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio
Suggested Beer Pairing: IPAs, Pale Ales, Lighter Saisons
- 1 lb fingerling potatoes (you can use any kind of potato but fingerlings or smaller potatoes make for a more interesting presentation) ($2.49/lb)
- 4 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
- 2 meyer lemons ($0.50-$1/each)
- 4 large rosemary sprigs ($1.50/sprig or bunch)
- 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($8.99/32 oz)
- 3 TBSP whole grain mustard ($4.99/8oz jar)
- Preheat the oven to 415° F.
- Wash your potatoes well making sure to scrub off any dirt. Put them in the baking pan and set them aside.
- Peel and crush the garlic with the flat site of your knife. Mince it up and sprinkle a generous amount of salt on top. Using the edge of your knife, press down bit by bit on the pile of garlic crushing it into an even finer paste. When you get to the end of the pile consolidate everything and keep crushing until smooth. Toss the garlic on top of the potatoes.
Add more salt if you need extra abrasiveness.
- Wash your rosemary sprigs and remove the leaves from the stems. Give them a rough chop and toss them in with the potatoes as well. Pour in the olive oil and spoon in the whole grain mustard. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper and still up the whole shebang until everything’s evenly coated.
We like ours with a little extra mustard to keep things interesting.
- Wash the lemon and cut it into eighths, being careful to remove as many seeds as you can. Throw those suckers in with the potato mix and toss it in the oven. Let it roast up for 20 minutes and then give it a good stir. Pop it back in the oven for another 20 minute or until the spuds are fork tender. Serve with a little butter or sour cream if you desire.
Seriously, these little suckers have a ton of seeds. Remove as many as you can before you throw them in.
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
Suggested Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Shiraz
Suggested Beer Pairing: Stout, Brown Ale, Scotch Ale
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
Posted in Recipes
Tagged apple cider, apples, beer, brined, cranberries, dried cranberries, main course, maple syrup, oven, pork, roasted, rosemary, stuffing, walnuts
Like a holiday for your mouth.
This seasonal homage to the shandy makes your taste buds feel like they’re jumping into a pile of leaves on a sunny fall day (e.g., awesome). Works great as a crisp and refreshing pre-dinner drink or as a fruity counterpart to dark poultry. Try different darker beers like pumpkin ale, brown or autumn ale to change the flavor profile.
Equipment Needed: Glass, Spoon, Paring Knife, Cutting Board
- 6 oz dark beer (we tried Southampton Pumpkin and Fire Island Pumpkin Barrel. No, not at the same time.) (price varies)
- 4 oz apple cider ($3.49/gallon)
- 1 Rosemary sprig ($1.50/sprig or small bunch)
- 1 apple (about $2/lb)
- Wash your apple thoroughly and cut it crosswise into thin discs. Slice out the core of your disc and make a cut from the center to the edge (yes, geometry nerds, the radius of the disc).
- Pour your beer into the glass and add in the apple cider. Stir gently.
- Garnish with the rosemary sprig as a swizzle stick and put one of your apple discs on the rim of the glass. Quaff by the fire or while cutting your celebratory meat of choice.
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
Suggested Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vine Zinfandel, Malbec, Shiraz
Suggested Beer Pairing: Pale Ale, Brown Ale, Porter, Bock
- 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
- 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.