Sunday, June 30, 2013

Eating at Pie & Burger!

 Pie & Burger is a mainstay in SoCal's Pasadena
and probably hasn't changed much in it's 50 years
of being opened: still operating on a cash-only basis
and making their sodas by squirting the soda syrup into
the glass then filling it with bicarbonated soda water.
My Diet Coke was made this way as well.
Pie & Burger is located near the corner of Lake Blvd. and California St.
On a recent visit, I had to have a burger -- and pie, of course!
I actually would have liked to have eaten
them in reverse order!
Their burger is delicious and comes with a special sauce.
Onions were optional but always a yes (please!) for me.
I couldn't eat it fast enough, knowing what was coming next.
Their pie menu is all that and more!
love pie!  I'll choose pie over anything chocolate all day long.
My favorite is Coconut Cream so which one to order was a no-brainer.
This menu reminded me of my grandmother who made
amazing pies, many of which were on this menu -
even Butterscotch Pie!
I'm looking at this pie menu and making notes on
pies I now want to make.
What pie choice would you choose?
And, what pie do you now want to make?

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Oh! The PLACES I've Been!

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

What's For Dinner? Sirloin Tip Steaks & Cafe de Paris Butter

The current June/July Fine Cooking Magazine features a cut of meat
called Sirloin Tip Steak.  I found this cut at Costco for $5.99/lb.
in a four pound package. I brought it home and portioned it
out, packaging four separate freezer ziplocs.  Three went into
my freezer and one remained refrigerated for tonight's dinner
which featured the magazine's recipe using the meat for
 Sear-Roasted Sirloin Tip Steaks with Cafe de Paris Butter.
Earlier in the day I put together the Cafe de Paris Butter which is
a compound butter flavored with tomato paste, smoked paprika, curry
powder, shallots, chives, capers... and the list goes on. Next time
I will cut down on the smoked paprika but, other then that, it was tastey.
The Sirloin Tip Steaks were cut into portions, paper towel-dried, salt &
peppered, seared stove-top, then finished cooking in the oven.

I accompanied it with another recipe from their magazine
for Herb-Roasted Potatoes and Onions baked in a 450 degree
hot oven. A quick tip, having made them, is to keep the
bed of sliced onions directly underneath the potato halves
to keep them from burning on the pan in the hot oven. 
To round out the dinner I fired up my grill for quick grilled
romaine hearts.  I drizzle them with olive oil, sea salt
(easy does it!), and freshly ground pepper.  I then place them
on the grill until they have a slight char.  They are good
still warm or at warm temperature.  A chopped tomato would
be nice color and taste added before the Caesar dressing,
but I went really simple here.  I chose to just do a quick char
on the grill then drizzled the Caesar dressing over them.
The Sirloin Steaks came out nicely, medium rare like I like them.
A slice of the Cafe de Paris Butter was added to each top then served.
The butter was delish and the more the better!

It was a delightful weeknight dinner.

My opinion of this cut of meat is that it can be a bit chewy, but do
give it a try!  I think it will try it next in a marinade then a
low-and-slow cooking to really break it down and make it more tender.
Sear-Roasted Sirloin Tip Steaks with Cafe de Paris Butter
Source: Fine Cooking
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbs. tomato paste
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. hot smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tbs. chopped nonpareil capers
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1-1/2 lb. sirloin tip steaks (about 1 inch thick), cut into 4 portions
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
In a small bowl, mix the butter, tomato paste, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershre, paprika, curry powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 3/4 tsp. black pepper with a fork until smooth. Stir in shallot, chives, capers and thyme. Transfer the butter to a large piece of plastic wrap. Using the plastic, roll the butter into a log about 2 inches in diameter, twist the ends to close. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 
Position the rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Season the steaks on all stides with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.  heat the oil in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the steaks and cook, undisturbed, until browned around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes.  Flip and cook until the over side is browned, 2  minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven.  Roast until cooked to your liking, 4 to 6 minutes for medium rare (130 degrees F to 135 degrees F). Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve each steak with a slice or two of the butter on top.

Herb Roasted Potatoes and Onions
Source: Fine Cooking

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil; more for the baking sheet
2 lb. small (about 1-1/2-inch) potatoes, halved
Kosher salt
2 Tbs. coarsely chopped mixed hardy fresh herbs, such as rosemary, savory, and thyme
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped mixed tender fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, and tarragon
Flaky sea salt for serving (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Oil a large rimmed baking sheet. In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and 1 tsp. salt to coat.  Sprinkle the hardy herbs over the bottom of the baking sheet, spread the onion slices over the herbs, and top with the potatoes, cut side down.  Scrape any olive oil remaining in the bowl over the potatoes.

Roast until the potatoes are tender and brown on the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the potatoes and onions to a bowl and toss with the tender herbs. Season to taste with sea salt, if using, or kosher salt and serve.


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Friday, June 7, 2013

Childhood Home of Julia!

I attended culinary school located just a few blocks from a
home Julia Child lived in as a child, until possibly before
she left for college back East. 
What a beautiful and grand home it still is!  I had previously
seen pictures of this home on the internet where it was painted yellow. 
As you can see,it has gone through a color change and is
now a French grey. I wonder if the current owners ever
tire of the lookie-lous and picture-takers?  Heck, I'd be so thrilled
to be living ithis glorious home, it wouldn't phase me.
I try to visualize a young, tall, Julia Child walking through its doors.
I recently read a book written about her which came out last summer.
It is called, Dearie. The Remarkable Life of Julia Child,
by Bob Spitz.  In his book, the author talked about Julia being ever
the prankster and instigator.  She had a sister four years younger
and Julia used to lock the door so her little sister couldn't come in. 
Then... when she was let in, Julia would pretend she didn't
know who the sister was and threaten to call the
police on her for intruding.  Oh my goodness Julia!

Just a little tidbit of info...
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