Lions and Tigers and Recipes... Oh My!

Disclosure: I rarely use a recipe when I cook. Normally, I just use a recipe as a guideline the first time I cook something. *Yup that's me, a rebel * Except in baking, then I follow a recipe like it was a cop following a speeding drug dealer slash mass baby killer high on crack. Right on that recipes tail. What I mean to say is that: I follow that recipe right down to the letter of the law.

Last night I made a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis Everyday Italian. What... it looked good. I'm not a big Food Network fan anymore. With the exceptions of Alton Brown and The Next Iron Chef, I don't watch it all that much. I'm really, really sick of seeing cleavage! Even Paula Deen has gotten into it. Come on now, I mean really. Is it in the contract you sign " you must show at least 1 inch of cleavage or your show will be terminated". Is that why Mario and Emeril are gone? Did they not want to show cleavage? If I cooked with those kind of cleavage baring shirts I'd have so many burns on my chest, I'd need skin grafts. Also, FN got rid of The Iron Chef. Why? They were so much fun, really bad translations, odd ingredients, The Original Chairman, so campy and bad, it was great! As always, I digress. Let's get to the recipes.

Roast Beef W/ Spicy Parsley Tomato Sauce (courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis)

Beef Roast:

1 (2 to 2 1/2-pound) sirloin tip or chuck beef roast

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 Roma tomatoes, cut in 1/2 2 teaspoons

herbs de Provence Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Spicy Parsley Tomato Sauce:

1 1/2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 garlic cloves

1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

To make the beef roast, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Season the beef with salt and pepper. Season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence.

Place a medium, heavy roasting pan or Dutch oven over high heat. Heat the olive oil. Sear the beef over high heat on all sides. Turn off heat. Place the seasoned tomatoes around the seared beef and place the pan in the oven. Roast until a meat thermometer reads 130 degrees F. for medium rare, 135 for medium, about 30 to 40 minutes. Take the roast out of the oven, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat should rise 5 degrees F more and the juices will redistribute into the roast.

To make the sauce, place the parsley and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the parsley is finely chopped. Add the red pepper flakes, salt, red wine vinegar and the roasted tomatoes from the beef pan and process until pureed. Add the olive oil in a steady stream with the machine running.

To serve, slice the roast and place on a serving platter. Drizzle a little sauce over the meat. Serve the remaining sauce in a small bowl alongside.

I just used salt and pepper instead of herbs de Provence. With the roast, I served roasted fingerling potatoes.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes: (courtesy of ME!)

Fingerling Potatoes

1 small shallot finely diced

olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Scrub and rinse enough fingerling potatoes to feed you and your crew. Cut them in half and put into a roasting dish. Add shallots and enough olive oil to coat the potatoes. Add salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Roast in the oven with the beef. The potatoes should be done at the same time the roast is.

The potatoes were sooooo good. Delicate, sweet, with just a hint of shallots. They were gone in seconds. I'm not sure if the kids ate them because they were good or if because they were eating "fingers". Nancy thought they were so cute, she wanted to keep a potato as a pet.

A couple of days ago, sous chef #1, Katie, had to make brownies for a sleep over she was going to. I didn't watch her make them, so I'm not sure if she did anything or added anything extra to them. The brownies were dense, moist, and not overly sweet.

Brownies:(courtesy of Katie)

1 2/3 cups of sugar

3/4 cup of butter, melted

2 tablespoons water

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir together sugar, butter and water in a large bowl. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; stir into sugar mixture. Spread into greased 13x9 baking pan.

Bake into a preheated 350 degree oven for 18 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly sticky. Cool Completely in pan.(Don't eat right away because you'll burn the roof of your mouth! I do this every single time without fail and irritate my daughter to no end. Evil Chef Mom strikes again!) When cool, dust with powdered sugar.

All I know is that Katie uses butter instead of margarine in every baking dish. I think she found out or heard once in science class that margarine and spreads are one molecule away from being plastic, and that was all she wrote! I also know she used kosher salt because that's all we have. But we have a couple different cocoas in the cupboards everything from Hershey's to Scharffen Berger. I let her leave a comment about what she used. This is a great cold and rainy day meal and if you serve hot chocolate with the brownies you'll earn extra cool mom points! (just remember they expire 5 minutes after you get them and you can never redeem them.)