Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day Steak Dinner

Father's Day Steak Dinner

1 lb Bone in Rib Steak
1/4 lb of Beef Fry (or bacon if you don't keep kosher)
1 Medium Sweet Potato
1/4 Head of Broccoli
2 Scallions
Brown Sugar

Fry the beef fry in a cast iron skillet until crispy and reserve the grease.  Cut the sweet potato into wedges and toss with the reserved grease.  Season the wedges with the salt, pepper, and brown sugar. 

Reclaim the beef fry grease and make this dressing: Alton Browns's Bacon Vinaigrette

Steam the broccoli until just soft.

Bake the sweet potatoes spread out on a sheet pan at 400.  Flip after 15 minutes and bake another 15 minutes until soft all the way the through and crispy on the outside.

Season your steak with salt and pepper and sear  it in the pan that you cooked the beef fry in.  Once you get a good sear on both sides, drop it in the over on a sheet pan at 350 until it reaches desired level of doneness.  I like it medium.  See picture below. 

 Char the scallions in the same pan you cooked the steak and beef fry in. 
 Crumble the beef fry over the sweet potatoes. Top the steak with the scallions. Drizzle the vinaigrette over everything on the plate.

Chicken Stir Fry With Pea Pods

I got my hands on some great snap and snow peas from www.theganproject.org.   I picked these fresh and cooked them within the hour, but not before eating a few right there in the field.  They were so sweet.  I did a quick stir fry with some leftover grilled chicken from Shabbos (in the spirit of not wasting food), onions, fresh broccoli, and peppers.  I seasoned it with soy sauce, black pepper, garlic, and red pepper flake.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Burger of The Week

From the top:
Toasted Sesame Bun
Mango Peach Salsa
1/2 lb Beef Burger
Homemade Pickles
Schug Mayo
Bottom 1/2 of the Bun

A Tale of Two Customer Service Experiences

Last week I had 2 very different customer service experiences.  Last Saturday night I went to pick up some food from a local kosher restaurant that shall remain nameless.  My wife had called in the order ahead of time so I could pick it up.  When I got there they pulled an order, but it was not mine.  The owner proceeded to tell me off for not being clear when I placed my order.  I immediately called my wife to confirm that she was clear when she placed the order.  By the time I got off the phone they realized that they had pulled the wrong order and they just sent mine out without so much as an apology.

Last Sunday I was at a non-Jewish owned fruit store called Lincolnwood Produce.  Whenever I go in there the owner greets me with a smile, helps bag my groceries, and says thanks to me as I leave.  That day I forgot a bag of a couple of green peppers.  The owner ran across the parking lot to bring me a dollars worth of produce.  He could have easily returned it to the shelf and I would have been none the wiser.

Why do so many Jewish merchants not understand customer service?  The customer is always right even when they're wrong.   And if you do accuse a customer of being wrong and then realize that they are right at bare minimum apologize.

People let me know what you think about this in the comments.
Daniel Peikes

Monday, June 4, 2012

Spinach Lasagna Rollatini

I want to announce a new partnership with The Gan Project. The Gan Project's mission from their site:
As a social and environmental justice organization, The Gan Project nourishes, protects, celebrates Jewish life through the cultivation of soil and community. We are building a regenerative food system that enlivens our tradition, embodies our values, and immerses our community in a rich educational and cultural experience.
They have a small farm at the JCC just behind the building I live in. I volunteer there and in return they provide me with some wonderful produce, literally grown in my backyard.
I made the recipe below with some great spinach they provided me. I served it at my annual Shavuos wine dinner. Shavuos is a the season when the first fruits, the bikkurim, were brought to beit hamikdash, the holy temple in Jerusalem. This time of year you can appreciate the many wonderful early vegetables such as greens and asparagus are coming in season.

4 1/2 Cheese Spinach Lasagna Rollatini

12 Lasagna Noodles cooked one minute less than the package directions
1 Bunch of Fresh Spinach
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Large Can of Crushed Tomatoes
1 Large of Container Ricotta Cheese
Italian Seasoning to Taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Ball of Fresh Mozzarella sliced
1 lb Shredded Mozzarella
1 lb Shredded Cheddar
Chop and saute the spinach in the butter. Once the spinach cooks down, mix it with the ricotta, 2/3 of the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning salt and pepper. Spread the ricotta mixture on the noodle. Sprinkle on the shredded mozzarella and cheddar and grate on the Parmesan. Roll up the noodle. Spread some of the crushed tomatoes in the bottom of the pan. Place the noodle in pan. Repeat with the other 11 noodles. Spread some more sauce on top of the noodles and top each one with a slice of the fresh sliced mozzarella. Bake at 350 until the mozzarella starts to brown. Let it set and serve.