Archive for September, 2013

Beef…its whats for dinner…

September 21st, 2013
by Bernard Kinsella

Beef is not just for dinner its great any time!

Recently I’ve had several calls on “how to cook” a piece of tenderloin of beef. “I need a quick recipe and what can I do with the left over’s”?!  Although there are several quick recipes to sputter out, the most important one is to cook beef tenderloin properly. Then you can also stuff it, tie it, add a sauce, and roll it in a concoction you created for a crust to top it & roast it in and baste it while it cooks. Tenderloin of beef is as good as a perfectly cooked rib roast for this time of year. It’s also a family tradition in some households to create a menu that is built around a great piece of meat!

If you’re not good with the professional’s guide of touching the meat to see if its “done” to your likening, use a thermometer for accuracy, it’s that simple. Starting at room temperature is helpful when roasting a piece of  meat and please note: when you remove it from the oven after cooking your selection, its best to remove it to another pan, loosely wrap it in foil and understand the internal  temperature of the meat will rise about 5-10 degrees F as the meat rest. It’s best to wait & carve it after about 12-15 minutes (depending on the size and selection) once you remove it from the oven, otherwise the natural juices (flavor) will run off when you slice it. So the recipe I gave out was for Peppercorn Crusted Beef Tenderloin:


  • A – 2 ½ # piece of meat (cleaned and trim by the local butcher) with serve 8 people with the right side dishes.
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • ¼ cup tri-color peppercorns cracked/smashed
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1 cup thin sliced sweet onion
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 T chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup cabernet – red wine


  1. Rub the beef with the olive oil then roll or pat the peppercorns into the beef. Season with the salt.
  2. Roast in preheated 425 degree F oven until the internal temperature reaches 135 degree F. About 35 minutes, (if you sear it on the stove in a pan first, it reduces your cooking time & seals in the flavor).
  3. Remove from the oven, then from the pan you roasted it in and loosely wrap it in foil.
  4. Heat your roasting pan on the stove on medium heat and add the onions and cook until translucent, then add the garlic and cook both until golden brown. Be careful not to over season, you should have some remnants of the peppercorns in the pan.
  5. Add the rosemary and cook for 1 min then add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon to loosen the flavorings in your pan. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Slice the Tenderloin against the grain in medallions and serve your red wine onion sauce on the side.

Last week we had the bruschetta appetizer as a featured recipe. If you thinly slice the meat and place it on your Crostini then top with the diced tomato mix, you have another great recipe to add to your repertoire…ciao, Bernard

Tired of Grilling? Get creative!

September 3rd, 2013
by Bernard Kinsella

Having taught multiple cooking classes these past weeks a few attendees have said there tired of the same old thing on the grill. Nonsense, I say! There are several ways to get flavor to your food and use what’s on hand.

1st: Look in your spice cabinet and identify those ingredients that you rarely use. Mix 3 or 4 of the dried spices that work together with a bit of oil to make a “wet rub”, an example:  1 T. curry powder, ½ t ginger, 1 t dried thyme or cilantro leaves and ½ t dried cumin mixed with ¼ cup of warmed olive oil makes a nice paste to spread over chicken, ribs or beef tips. Use a pastry brush to coat a fair amount over your food then grill on medium heat until desired temperature is reached.

2nd: More than likely the condiment or door section in your refrigerator holds a few of the same ingredients. Try small amounts at first and combine to taste, if you like the flavor profile mix a larger quantity and use to compliment your grilled fish, vegetables or chicken. You will need a bowl, whisk and possibly a food processor (for larger quantities). Than an investor, once you have discovered the best tasting sauce that money can buy!

As we have said many a time, cooking doesn’t have to be all consuming. Yes, you may need a little time & patience, but that’s it! Were all creative in our own way, take what you like and build on that.

Here are 2 recipes concocted from being creative and utilizing ingredients on hand:



2 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. garlic, minced

1 tsp. oyster sauce

1 Tbsp. finely julienned ginger

1 bag Fresh Express Cole slaw mix

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix the first 6 ingredients in a plastic container or bowl until blended.
  2. Then toss with the fresh express Cole slaw mix and refrigerate.
  3. Toss periodically every 15 minutes.

Before serving, taste for seasoning, garnish with sesame seeds or some fresh garden chopped herbs.

Tamarind Glazed Chicken 

Ingredients for the Tamarind Glaze:                                                                  serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup finely diced onion

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 whole Chile pepper

2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate/paste

3 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

For the Chicken:

4 bone in chicken breasts

4 chicken thighs

Vegetable oil

1 bunch thyme, picked

2 cloves garlic minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 15 minutes. Place mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan and cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until thickened.
  2. For the Grill, preheat grill: Brush chicken with vegetable oil and toss with garlic, thyme and salt / pepper to taste. Grill chicken for 8 to 9 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from the grill and brush with the sauce.
  3. For Roasting, preheat the oven to 375o: brush with the sauce on the chicken then toss with the thyme leaves, garlic and season lightly with salt and pepper. Coat a roasting dish with oil or vegetable spray. Place in chicken and roast for 23 to 25 minutes.