All the Best of All Things Local

Tasty Things

  1. Molten Lava Cake

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    I’m not one to typically swoon over chocolate, but this gooey,  molten chocolate cake topped with the fruity, salty crunch of Alaska Pure Sea Salt knows how to satisfy my crunchy salty cravings in the sweetest way!  This simple, decadent dessert is easy enough for a weeknight treat but spectacular for any special occasion.

    Molten Lava Cake

    Yield: 6 servings

    Molten Lava Cake

    Ingredients

    • Unsweetened baking cocoa
    • Softened butter for coating custard cups
    • 4 oz semisweet plus 2 oz bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped
    • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons salted butter
    • 3 whole eggs
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour
    • Alaska Pure Wild Blueberry Sea Salt

    Instructions

    Preheat oven to 450°F. Butter bottoms and sides of six (6-oz) custard cups; dust with cocoa. Place butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, microwave on high for 1 minute or until the butter has melted. Whisk until the chocolate has melted into the butter.

    In a separate large bowl, beat whole eggs and egg yolks with wire whisk until well blended. Beat in the powdered sugar until blended, then beat in the melted chocolate mixture and flour. Divide batter evenly among custard cups. Place cups on rimmed baking dish, such as a sheet pan.

    Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until sides are set and centers are still soft – the tops will be puffed and slightly cracked. Let stand for a couple of minutes. To serve, run small knife between the cake and the cup to loosen the cake. Immediately place a heatproof serving plate upside down over each cup; carefully turn the plate and cup over. Lift off the cup. Dust lightly with powdered sugar and finish with Alaska Pure Wild Blueberry Sea Salt. Serve warm.

    Notes

    thank you, Adam Milliron, for the gorgeous photography that accompanied this recipe and article on Alaska Pure.

    http://localgoodness.com/blog/local-goodness/molten-lava-cake/

  2. Italian Garden Pasta

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    I love the adaptability of this light and simple summertime pasta dish.  It’s a staple at Fern Hollow Nature Center’s annual Italian Garden Dinner where we change it up each year depending on what’s at the peak of the season.

     

    Italian Garden Pasta

    Yield: 6 servings

    Italian Garden Pasta

    A simple, delicious and extraordinarily adaptable dish that takes advantage of the best of the season.

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound fresh pasta (Fede Pasta, made in North Huntington, PA stars in this dish at the Italian Garden Dinner)
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 cup pancetta, cubed
    • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 pints grape tomatoes (I like a combination of yellow and red)
    • 1 small yellow squash or zucchini, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced into ½-round pieces
    • 1½ cups fresh kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
    • ½ red pepper, thinly sliced
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced into ribbons
    • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    Instructions

    Place a large pot of water on the stove and heat to a boil.

    As the water heats, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add in the pancetta and cook 2 to 3 minutes to render the fat a little bit. Add the garlic and stir until it starts to soften, but not brown. Toss in the tomatoes, squash, kale, and peppers. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, until the tomatoes burst, the kale wilts a bit, and the squash and peppers are tender. While the vegetables cook, put the pasta in the boiling water and cook according to package instructions.

    Before draining the pasta, remove 1 cup of pasta water from the pot and reserve. Drain pasta and add to the pan of vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in ½ cup of the reserved pasta water, cook pasta and sauce together for a couple of minutes, stirring to combine, adding more reserved pasta sauce if desired. Toss in the fresh basil just before serving and with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

    Notes

    Any summer vegetable can be used in this dish – corn, green beans, sweet onion, fennel, and broccoli rabe are all delicious additions. Omit the pancetta and cheese for a delicious vegan variation.

    http://localgoodness.com/blog/local-goodness/italian-garden-pasta/

    See the video here

  3. Rhubarb…not just for pie!

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    rhubarb

     

    Rhubarb makes its appearance as one of the first vegetables of spring.  It’s often polarizing.  Those of us who grew up on rhubarb pie in the midwest have a fondness for its tart contrast to the sweetness added in the pie-making process. However, this fleeting springtime produce is equally delicious as a savory treat and this rhubarb ketchup recipe, created to utilize and preserve rhubarb when it is abundant, is sure to win over rhubarb skeptics.  Try it with our Lamb Sliders.

    Rhubarb Ketchup

    Yield: approximately 1 cup

    Ingredients

    • 6 cups fresh (or frozen) rhubarb pieces
    • 1 medium sweet onion, cut in 1-inch pieces (approximately 2 cups)
    • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
    • 1 cup water
    • 2/3 cup raw sugar (can substitute light brown sugar)
    • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 6 peppercorns
    • 6 whole cloves

    Instructions

    Place the rhubarb, onion, garlic and water in a medium saucepan. Simmer over low heat until tender, approximately 5-10 minutes. Let cool slightly then pour into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

    Pour mixture back into the saucepan; add sugar, vinegar and spices. Simmer over low heat until thickened and reduced by half, approximately 45 minutes. Stir often to prevent scorching and sticking.

    For a silky ketchup and to remove the solids, press ketchup through a fine mesh sieve. Pour into clean container, cover and store in the refrigerator.

    Notes

    excellent on grilled meats...especially lamb sliders!

    http://localgoodness.com/blog/local-goodness/rhubarb-not-just-for-pie/

     

  4. Lamb Sliders

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    Lamb Sliders

    Yield: 6 sliders

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 pound ground lamb (preferably local)
    • 2 tablespoons finely diced shallot
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • homemade Rhubarb Ketchup (or Heinz HP Sauce)
    • small slider buns or Hawaiian rolls

    Instructions

    Heat butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add onions and pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat then reduce heat medium and cook an additional 15 minutes or until the onions are soft and caramelized.

    While onions are cooking, place lamb, shallot, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Gently mix together with hands or a fork, being careful not to compress the meat. Evenly divide the mixture into six patties.

    Place patties on a hot, oiled grill and cook for 4 minutes. Flip and cook an addition 2 minutes or until desired doneness. Place on buns. Add 1 teaspoon of rhubarb ketchup on each burger and top with caramelized onions.

    Notes

    Excellent with our Rhubarb Ketchup

    http://localgoodness.com/blog/tasty-things/recipes/lamb-sliders/

  5. Warming Up with Homemade Marshmallows & Hot Chocolate

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    As the polar vortex, arctic blast — or whatever the meteorologists are calling it this year — hits us hard with frigid temps and blustery days, gather the family in the kitchen and whip up (literally) some homemade marshmallows and hot chocolate to help get you through this chilly time of year!

    Here’s our favorite recipe created for TABLE Magazine’s inaugural issue way back in 2006.  We’ve made some modifications over the years that have proven very effective and a little more healthy!  Substitute the corn syrup with organic agave nectar and use organic cane sugar in place of standard white sugar.  Either way you make them, homemade “gourmet” marshmallows are delicious treats for family, friends, teachers and those with whom you want to share a little love.

    Homemade Gourmet Marshmallows & Hot Chocolate

    Yield: 20-40 marshmallows, depending on how large you slice; 4 mugs hot chocolate

    Homemade Gourmet Marshmallows & Hot Chocolate

    Ingredients

    • 3 packages of unflavored gelatin (such as Knox® brand)
    • ½ cup cold water
    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
    • ¼ cup water
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • Confectioner’s (powdered) sugar

    Instructions

    Prepare a 9x9 pan by lining with plastic wrap, spray with non-stick vegetable spray and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

    Put ½ cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to sit for approximately 10 minutes.

    As gelatin sits, combine sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. (Do not over cook or the syrup will get too hard.) Remove from heat.

    Turn mixer onto high speed and carefully pour boiling syrup in the gelatin. Add salt and continue to beat at high speed for 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes or until the mixture is lukewarm, fluffy white, and the consistency of whipped marshmallows.

    Scrape the warm mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly with wet hands. Dust the top of marshmallows mixture with more confectioner’s sugar. Allow to stand, uncovered, on the counter for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight, to so the marshmallow mixture can set up and dry.

    Remove the marshmallow slab from the pan by turning the pan upside down onto a board. Remove plastic liner if still attached, and cut the slab into squares (kitchen shears sprayed with non-stick spray make this job easier). Place in bowl and dust with additional confectioner’s sugar.

    Yields 20-40 marshmallows, depending on size

    For the Hot Chocolate:

    ½ cup water

    ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (to make this extra special, look for Mexican cocoa powder)

    ¾ cup granulated sugar

    1/8 teaspoon salt

    3½ cups milk

    ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

    ½ cup half-and-half

    extra cocoa powder

    ground cinnamon

    In a small bowl, combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt. Bring water to a boil and whisk in cocoa-sugar mixture. Return to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 2 minutes, stirring constantly and being careful not to scorch the mixture. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Divide the half-and-half among the mugs of cocoa and top with homemade marshmallows, sprinkle with cocoa and a dash of cinnamon. Enjoy!

    Notes

    Experiment with new marshmallow flavors and toppings: rather than confectioner’s sugar, line your pan with superfine sugar, finely crushed Oreos, mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut or other items to coat your marshmallows and give them your signature touch!

    For an extra chocolaty touch, rim the mugs with a dusting of cocoa powder before filling.

    http://localgoodness.com/blog/local-goodness/warming-homemade-marshmallows-hot-chocolate/

    Here’s the original article:  TABLE ISSUE 1 – Kid’s Table – Homemade Gourmet Marshmallows!

    Yum!  Marshmallow goodness!!

    Yum! Marshmallow goodness!!

  6. Cherries and July 4th!

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    Single Cherry on Branch

    It’s that time of year again…as the July 4th holiday arrives, so do the cherries (at least in PA).

    One of our best summer days EVER was a day trip to Erie County.  It started in the morning at Mobilia Fruit Farm (and winery!) picking our own cherries under a crystal clear blue sky.  Afterward, with our bounty of cherries loaded in the cooler we headed to the beaches of Presque Isle for a day of soaking up the sun, kite flying and body surfing the waves of Lake Erie.  This particular day started something we now strive to repeat every year in late June/early July when the cherries are in season.

    The entire northern edge of Erie County borders Lake Erie and is a bountiful region of fertile farmland with a unique growing climate tempered by the lake waters.  Well-known for its vineyards, the area also boasted a number of successful cherry producing farms in the early to mid 20th century, from which emerged a thriving fruit packing industry.  Today’s farms that offer pick-your-own cherries honor this industry’s heritage, many growing both sweet and sour varieties.  Mobilia Fruit Farm that we visited not only offers fresh, pick-your-own cherries, they also pit and freeze their sour cherries, beautifully preserving them for cherry pies and other tasty treats year-round.

    Less than a 2-hour drive from Pittsburgh, the Lake Erie region of the Keystone state is a perfect day-trip, whether you’re headed to the beaches, to one (or more) of the many farms to pick your own summer treats … or both!

    Those freshly picked cherries were a refreshing snack that sunny summer day on the beach…and they were equally delicious in a number of dishes we created back home, including this version of summer’s favorite dessert – ice cream!  Can’t wait to get back there this year!!

    Frozen Custard with Sour Cherries

    Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

    I love that the sour cherries are a tart surprise hidden in this sweet creamy frozen custard. Feel free to substitute sweet cherries (or any summer fruit) if that’s your heart’s desire!

    Ingredients

    • 4 eggs, beaten
    • 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 2 cups skim milk
    • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 2 cups pitted sour cherries, halved (frozen work well!)

    Instructions

    In medium saucepan, whisk together eggs, ¾ cup sugar, milk, vanilla seeds and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon. Cool and then cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour. When cool, strain through a fine mesh sieve if desired to remove any lumps (this is an optional step), cover and keep refrigerated until ready to freeze.

    While the custard mixture cools, place halved cherries in a bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Stir and let sit until sugar has dissolved and cherries begin to release juice. Set aside until ready to use.

    When ready to freeze, stir heavy cream into the chilled custard mixture. Pour the combined mixture into your ice cream freezer. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions. When the freezing process is complete and the ice cream is still soft, stir in the cherries and accumulated juice. Transfer to freezer-safe containers, cover and freeze about 2 hours until firm.

    http://localgoodness.com/blog/local-goodness/cherries-july-4th/

    For more cherry treats from past visits, see our other posts HERE.

    ….and HAPPY July 4th!!

  7. Thinking Green, Ready For Spring …& Loving Kale

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    Kale Chips

    Kale Chips

    Kale and other cold weather greens are one of the first fresh, seasonal veggies to pop up as farmers markets reopen for the spring. Here are two of our favorites:  Kale Chips and Kale Pesto.

    Grab a few bunches of  early spring kale and enjoy!

    Kale Chips

    Super Easy! But, beware, these are addictive!!!

    Ingredients

    • 1 bunch curly kale, rinsed, dried, stems removed, leaves torn into 3” pieces
    • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • ¼ teaspoon salt

    Instructions

    Toss rinsed and dried (very important!) kale with olive oil and salt. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 300° for 20-30 minutes, or until crisp, watching carefully so they don’t burn.

    Excellent with Alaska Pure artisan sea salts!

    For Flavor Variations, add:

    • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Siracha® or Tobacco®) for spicy chips

    • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika for smoky chips

    • zest of 1/2 lime and ½ teaspoon chili powder for lime-chili chips

    • 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds for Asian chips

    http://localgoodness.com/blog/local-goodness/thinking-green-ready-spring-loving-kale/

    Kale Pesto

    Yield: approximately 2 cups

    This delicious, healthful pesto is excellent with whole-wheat pasta, grilled chicken, and on flatbreads and sandwiches.

    Ingredients

    • fresh garlic (5-10 cloves, to taste), peeled
    • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
    • 3 large fresh bunches kale, rinsed
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for topping
    • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • zest from 1/3 lemon

    Instructions

    Remove and discard ribs from the kale leaves. Steam the leaves for 5 minutes then plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain well and squeeze out extra moisture.

    Place garlic cloves and sunflower seeds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until finely chopped. Add in the steamed kale, pulse until finely chopped and combined with the nuts and garlic.

    Scrape into a mixing bowl. Stir in the olive oil, cheese, salt and pepper and lemon zest.

    Refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for several months.

    For pasta with kale pesto, toss 1 cup pesto with one pound of freshly cooked pasta and 1/4 cup of pasta water. Top with shredded parmesan cheese.

    http://localgoodness.com/blog/local-goodness/thinking-green-ready-spring-loving-kale/

  8. Warm up with Fondue!

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    Fireside or at the table, fondue is a favorite winter meal in our family.  These bubbling broth and creamy cheese fondues make a fun and easy family meal or take center stage for a cozy wintertime dinner party.

    Classic Cheese Fondue

    This classic fondue recipe can be adapted in many ways by changing the cheese. Try various combinations using your favorites. I like to use half Swiss and half sharp cheddar, which adds a delicious richness to the fondue.

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound Swiss cheese, grated
    • 3 tablespoons flour
    • 1 clove garlic, sliced in half
    • 2 cups dry white wine (such as Chablis or Riesling)
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons brandy or sherry

    Instructions

    Sprinkle flour over the grated cheese and toss lightly to coat (this will help make a smooth finished fondue).

    Rub fondue pot with cut sides of garlic. Add white wine and set over low heat. When air bubbles rise to the surface of the wine, add the lemon juice.

    Stir with wooden fork or spoon and add the cheese by handfuls, melting each completely before adding another handful, stir constantly. Don’t rush this stage, it is imperative to melt each handful completely before adding more or it will melt unevenly and affect the consistency.

    Keep stirring over low heat until mixture starts bubbling slightly. Add brandy or sherry and stir until blended. (Note, at this point you can stir in freshly grated nutmeg or white pepper for added seasoning).

    Serve with lightly toasted cubes of French bread and crudités.

    http://localgoodness.com/blog/tasty-things/warm-fondue/

     

    Court Bouillon Foundue

    Ingredients

    • 32 ounces vegetable broth, plus extra to add to pot if it runs low
    • 2 cups dry white wine, plus extra to add to pot if it runs low (such as Chablis or Riesling)
    • 1 tablespoon bouquet garni
    • 1 sprig fresh thyme
    • 1 clove garlic, chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon white or green pepper, finely ground
    • 12-ounces filet of beef, cut into 1 ½ to 2-inch pieces (beef tenderloin tips work well!)
    • 1 pound medium to large shrimp, peeled, tail on
    • Combination of vegetables cut into 2-inch pieces (such as red pepper, mini Yukon gold potatoes, baby mushrooms, cauliflower, baby carrots, snow or sugar snap peas, etc.)

    Instructions

    Pour the vegetable broth and wine into a fondue pot or medium saucepan. Stir in the bouquet garni and garlic. Heat over medium-high heat until slightly simmering. Keep at a low simmer.

    Skewer a piece of beef or shrimp with a fondue fork and cook in the bubbling broth until done. This should take only a couple of minutes. Remove from hot fondue fork onto a plate to eat.

    Vegetables can be cooked on a fondue fork or placed directly in the bubbling broth and removed with a slotted spoon onto a plate to eat.

    SERVE WITH DIPPING SAUCES:

    For each sauce, start with 1 ½ cups low-fat yogurt (preferred) or sour cream

    For Horseradish Cream Sauce: stir in 1 ½ tablespoons prepared horseradish, 1 teaspoon A-1 steak sauce, dash Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon granulated garlic, salt and pepper. Excellent with filet

    For Feta Cheese Sauce: stir in ½ cup crumbled feta cheese, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon granulated garlic, zest from ½ lemon, salt and pepper. Excellent with shrimp and veggies

    For Creamy Curry Sauce: stir in 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon good quality mild curry powder, ¼ teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper. Excellent with shrimp and veggies

    http://localgoodness.com/blog/tasty-things/warm-fondue/

  9. Wine-Inspired Christmas Dinner

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    Still wondering what to serve for Christmas dinner?  This wine-inspired menu is perfect…simple, delicious and your oven does most of the work!

    Prep what you can in advance and once the  tenderloin and veggies are in the oven, you can relax and visit with family and friends until dinnertime!   Finish the salad while the tenderloin rests … serve and enjoy!

    Recipes serve 10, but if you have a smaller crowd, make the full recipe for delicious second-acts!  The tenderloin is delicious chilled on crusty rolls, the cabernet roasted veggies are excellent in roast vegetable soup!

    Baby Greens with Herbed Goat Cheese Rounds and Pinot-Balsamic Drizzle

    Yield: Serves 10

    Prepare the dressing and cheese discs a day in advance and keep in the fridge until ready to finish the salad.

    Ingredients

    • 5 tablespoons fresh thyme -- leaves
    • 2 ½ tablespoons fresh rosemary -- leaves
    • 2 ½ tablespoons fresh parsley
    • 5/8 cup hazelnuts -- toasted and finely chopped
    • 10 ounces goat cheese (log form)
    • 15 cups mixed baby greens
    • ½ cup Pinot Noir wine
    • ½ cup Balsamic vinegar
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (use a very good, fruity, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil!)
    • grey salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • 10 slices toasted baguette rounds (optional)

    Instructions

    Finely chop thyme, rosemary and parsley and place in shallow bowl.

    Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat, add hazelnuts and turn off heat. While the pan is still hot, gently roll the hazelnuts around the pan to lightly toast. Allow to cool and then finely chop. Add chopped hazelnuts to chopped herbs and stir to combine.

    Divide goat cheese log into disks (for a 4 ounce log, divide into 8 disks -- unflavored dental floss works wonders for this task!).

    Press each disk in herb-hazelnut mixture to coat, covering both sides and edges. Place herbed goat cheese rounds on a plate and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes. (these can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated until ready to use -- up to 24 hours )

    To make Pinot-Balsamic drizzle, place the Pinot Noir wine and Balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan and heat to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half. Immediately remove from the heat in order not to over-reduce the liquid.

    Place greens in a salad bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, add salt and pepper and toss. Evenly divide greens among serving plates (approximately 1 1/2 cups per serving).

    Spray a small, nonstick frying pan with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium-high heat add the chilled goat cheese rounds and cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side until light brown and the cheese begins to soften.

    Place two goat cheese rounds on top of baby greens. Drizzle with the Pinot-Balsamic reduction. Add additional grey salt and freshly ground pepper if desired, and serve with toasted baguette rounds.

    http://localgoodness.com/blog/tasty-things/wine-inspired-christmas-dinner/

    Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Zinfandel and Morel Cream Sauce

    Yield: Serves 10

    A delicious main course for your holiday dinner. If serving less than 10, make the full recipe so you have left-overs...this roasted tenderloin is delicious served on small crusty rolls slathered with horseradish sauce!

    Ingredients

    • 2 heads garlic -- (roasted)
    • 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/8 cup kosher salt
    • 1/3 cup freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 ounce dried morel mushrooms (typically come in .35oz. packages…so would need three packages)
    • 2 cups Zinfandel
    • 4 ½ to 5 pounds beef tenderloin -- whole, trimmed
    • ¼ cup beef broth
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • ¼ cup half and half (can use regular or low fat half and half, but not non-fat)

    Instructions

    Roast the garlic by cutting off the tops to expose the cloves, placing in a small roasting pan coated with non-stick cooking spray, drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cover and roast at 350 degrees or until garlic is golden brown and soft. Let cool and squeeze out the cloves, discarding the papery skin. (this can be done ahead of time and the roasted garlic cloves kept in the refrigerator or freezer)

    Meanwhile, place dried morels in a glass bowl. Cover with Zinfandel and let soak for 30 minutes. Strain with a coffee filter and reserve liquid. Rinse mushrooms to remove any grit, drain on paper towels and slice into 1/2-inch pieces.

    To prepare the tenderloin, place roasted garlic cloves into a small bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the salt. Smash to make a paste. Spread the paste over the whole tenderloin and then sprinkle with the black pepper to coat.

    Let beef rest at room temperature for 20 minutes to take chill off the meat and let the flavors begin to penetrate.

    Place tenderloin in a roasting pan coated with non-stick cooking spray and roast uncovered at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until the tenderloin reaches 125 degrees internal temperature at its thickest portion. Remove from oven, place on a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute throughout the meat.

    While the tenderloin rests, place the roasting pan on stove over medium-high heat. Add reserved Zinfandel, the beef stock and the morels. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half and mushrooms are tender. Stir in the butter and cook over low heat for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the half and half to combine. When cream has fully incorporated and warmed through, pour into a sauce dish.

    To serve, slice the tenderloin and top with the Zinfandel and Morel Cream Sauce

    http://localgoodness.com/blog/tasty-things/wine-inspired-christmas-dinner/

    Oven-Roasted Cabernet Glazed Winter Vegetables

    Yield: Serves 10

    Amazingly simple and utterly delicious! Double the recipe so you can use leftovers in roast vegetable soup!

    Ingredients

    • 1 ¼ bunches carrots (I like to use the kind with the green tops still attached)
    • 5 each parsnips
    • 1 ¼ each red onion
    • 1 ¼ pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes
    • 1 ¼ bulb fennel
    • 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 ½ sprigs fresh thyme -- leaves removed
    • 1/3 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
    • kosher salt -- to taste
    • black pepper -- to taste

    Instructions

    Cut green tops off of carrots, leaving approximately 1/4-1/2 inch of green stems, and peel. If small in diameter, leave whole. If large, slice in half lengthwise.

    Peel Parsnips and slice crosswise into 1 inch rounds.

    Peel red onion and cut into wedges.

    Clean baby Yukon Golds and cut in half.

    Trim fronds and root end off of fennel and cut into wedges.

    Place vegetables into a roasting pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Pour Cabernet over vegetables and roast at 375 degrees for approximately 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender, nicely toasted and the wine has reduced to a thick glaze.

    http://localgoodness.com/blog/tasty-things/wine-inspired-christmas-dinner/