Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine's Day - A Tie Breaker!

Valentine’s Day, it’s coming up.  I never really got into the holiday, but for the last 5 years I get to teach a Valentine’s day class at the Spartan Culinary Classroom.  I’m also learning about social media (facebook, sorry not twitter yet) and blogging. 

I asked the question for the Sunday recipe of the week,  breakfast in bed, or dinner?  I got a tie!  It was only 8 votes, but still a tie!  So this week there will be two recipes!  I hope some of you try these, as they are wonderful; and pictures of these should appear shortly after Valentine’s day as these will be featured in the 2013 Valentine’s Class!  I hope that you enjoy.


I made this for a brunch this summer for a client of mine.  It was a huge hit, and of course, I give credit where credit is due!  We had sautéed apples to fill the pancake and Mr. Jim (that’s all I’ll give away!) had several helpings!

·         Dutch Baby

·         Ingredients:
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp grated lemon zest plus a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (for serving)
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp powdered sugar

·         Method:

·         Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Pour the oil into a 12-inch oven-safe skillet and make sure the bottom is coated and brush some along the sides, making sure it’s completely coated. Place the skillet in the oven while it’s preheating until the oil is shimmering, which takes about 10 minutes.

·         In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, lemon zest and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs until they are frothy and light. Whisk the milk, butter and vanilla into the eggs. Whisk 1/3 of the egg mixture into the dry mixture until no lumps remain, then add the rest of the egg mixture and mix until smooth.

·         Open the oven and pull out the rack, keeping the skillet in the oven on the rack. Pour the batter into the heated skillet and push the rack back in and close the oven. Bake until the edges of the Dutch Baby are deep golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and powdered sugar (it’ll deflate, don’t freak out). Cut into wedges. We served ours with syrup drizzled on, it was really good!



This one I love for dinner.  I’m a flank steak kinda gal when I can get it reasonably priced!  Flank can be tricky, you have to slice it against the grain or you’ll be sorry, it’ll be tough and you will hate it.  Of course, you don't have to brave the snow outside here in Michigan to enjoy this.  Just use a saute pan, and you'll get great results, so good, you won't want to wait to get to a grill this summr!


Horseradish Rub w/ Flank Steak with grilled onions and tomatoes


This is a great rub to add heat to whatever you're grilling or smoking. Don't worry too much about the horseradish; the heat is taken out by the cooking process.

Note:  you can use a grill pan in winter to get those nice marks on your flank, or just use a hot frying pan or griddle!  Anyway, it’s wonderful, and the heat is great for Valentine’s Day!



Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups


  • 3/4 cup freshly grated horseradish root
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup kosher or canning salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


Combine all ingredients and store in an air-tight container and refrigerate


Serves 5 - 6

2 – 3 pounds Flank Steak

Salt and Pepper


The flank steak comes from the underbelly of the cow, near its rear portion.  Because of its texture and shape, it marinates well, and is easy and fast to grill!


Rub the horseradish spice into the flank steak and let marinate for 1 hour or overnight. 



Meanwhile heat the grill to medium high – if using coals start about 45 minutes before you need to feed the masses!  Cook for 3 – 4 minutes per side for medium.  Let the steak rest for 5 minutes.  Cut on the bias, mound on a platter and garnish with grilled onions and tomatoes  


Grilled Onion Slices

2 large yellow onions

Salt/pepper to taste



Slice onions into1/4 inch rounds.  Sprinkle with EVOO, salt and pepper.

While the flank steak is resting, place the onion slices on the grill, turning to prevent burning, until tender.


Remove and garnish the steak platter with grilled onions.


Grilled Cherry Tomatoes


2 pints cherry tomatoes, cleaned and hulled

Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons Champagne Vinegar



Toss the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil

Place in a grill basket and then on a hot grill.  Let the tomatoes “char” briefly until the pop open.  Remove and toss with the vinegar and the salt and pepper to taste.



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