Wednesday, July 28, 2010
With a little arm twisting, he graciously shared his recipe for this wonderful treat, and I can't wait till these two go clamming again, soon please.
Gary's Clams Casino
Bear Rating: 9 out of 10
About 24 clams
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. Pinot Grigio, or other dry white drinking-quality wine
1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/4 - 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
2-3 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
Shuck clams, discarding top shell. Spread clams on half shell on large baking sheet. Heat butter in microwave till almost melted. Stir in garlic powder, wine, and Old Bay. Drizzle over clams. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and cheese over clams, then Italian seasoning. Bake in a 375F oven about 25 minutes, or till tops are golden brown and clams are heated through. Serve immediately.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Surprise, surprise! Rainbow Meadow Farms and Acre Angus Beef Farm both sell their grass-fed products at the New Bern Farmer's Market on Saturdays. I haven't met the Acre Angus people yet, but the Rainbow Meadow Farms people are very nice and will do their best to accommodate your needs. And, BTW, their applewood-smoked bacon is to die for and well worth the price. It's the best I've ever tasted, hands down.
Recently, I bought a 1-lb. flank steak from Rainbow Meadow Farms. Flank steak is just about the leanest cut of beef, and grass-fed beef is already lean, so I was concerned that this might be a bit chewy for my senior teeth and gums. I needed a suitable marinade, one that would tenderize the beef and impart a good flavor. An old recipe for "Miracle Marinade" from our New Jersey newspaper sounded perfect.
The flank steak was tender and delicious, with a wonderful flavor that enhanced the beef. Out of one pound of beef, we got one hot dinner for two, sandwiches for both of us the following night and lunch for one the day after. And here's the best part: fussy hubby gave the beef two thumbs up, way up. We'll be lining up at the Farmer's Market to get more of this wonderful guilt-free meat.
Miracle-Marinated Grilled Flank Steak
Bear Rating: 9 out of 10
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2-1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2-1/2 Tbsp. drinking-quality dry white wine
1-3/4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tsp. Worcestershire
2 tsp. ground dry mustard
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 (1-lb) beef flank steak, preferably grass fed
Combine all ingredients except steak in resealable plastic bag. Seal and massage to distribute ingredients. Add steak. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Discard marinade. Place steak on preheated 425F grill, about 4 minutes each side, or till desired degree of doneness is reached. (Remember that steak will continue to cook after it is removed from heat.)
Let steak "settle" for 5-10 minutes; cut slices of desired thickness on an angle (like a London broil). Yield: About 4 servings
Leftovers make delicious sandwiches.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
A friend (a born-and-bred New Bernian) recently confided in my hubby that he had the best recipe for baked beans. "Just mix a pound of hamburger meat, a cup of sugar, a cup of ketchup and a can of Bush's beans." He swore it was delicious. I tried to dissuade my husband from trying this concoction, because it sounded just awful to me. Then another friend (also a born-and-bred New Bernian) dropped by and I asked him if he had heard of this recipe. Not only had he heard of it, he also swore by it. He had the recipe in his car and quickly retrieved it for me. His was slightly different: 1 lb. of ground beef, 1 onion, 1 green pepper, 1 large can of Bush's beans, 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1 cup ketchup. I still wasn't persuaded, but decided to do some research on it. After scouring the internet, I came up with more precise measurements and decided to appease my hubby with my version, which had a lot less sugar. Not only was hubby appeased, he was ecstatic to have this version of baked beans. Even I liked it, so I'm passing it on to all lovers of beans and beef.
Baked Beans with Ground Beef
Source: The Bear Cupboard
Bear Rating: 9 out of 10
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 small green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced1/4 lb. bacon, diced, cooked till crisp
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1-1/2 tsp. prepared yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1-1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
1 (28-oz.) can Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans
Heat oven to 375F. In skillet, saute ground beef, green pepper, onion and garlic using medium heat. Drain fat. Combine remaining ingredients with contents of skillet in a 9x13 pan. Bake uncovered 1/2 hour, or till bubbling and heated through.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
What is new is their evening service which is headed up by Sami Ben Selma, the previous chef at La Fontana Restaurant.
Here we are, ready to go in.
Next up was a garden salad, which came with our reasonably priced entrees. The house balsamic dressing is perfect with fresh greens and veggies.
OK, time for our entrees, though we are getting quite full about now. First off, Guy's plate of mussels, which comes several ways (as appetizer or entree, with marinara or white wine). Guy got the appetizer size in marinara sauce. He was smart. There was plenty here to fill him up -- 12 big mussels in that great sauce. He was a happy camper.
Tom ordered the Springtime Linguine: Fresh pasta, shrimp, mushrooms, ham and pesto with parmesan cream sauce. He couldn't eat it fast enough and kept repeating, "this is so good, this is so good."
I had the Chicken Bella Vista. Thinly sliced chicken breast with mushrooms, spinach, tomato concasse, sauteed with shallots and garlic in butter wine sauce. All I can say is Yummo. I'm not sure which is better, the delicious rolls or the wonderful homemade pasta. I guess some of each is in order.
It's not that we didn't want dessert, we did. There was just no more room. We'll be going back next week to get more Italian food. You can get your Italian fix Monday through Thursday, 3PM - 8PM, Fridays and Saturdays 3PM - 9PM.
New Bern's best kept secret -- Chef Sami. If you love real Italian food, done right, he's your man.
Update January 2011: Chef Sami has opened his own restaurant, Bella Cucina, in New Bern.