Rich Rib-Eye Steak with Herb Butter and Charred Peppers

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Author: Revised by Chef James R. Kirkley, IV

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 bone-in double-cut rib-eye steak (about 2 1/2 inches thick; about 2 1/2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
1 0.7-ounce package dried Porcini mushrooms
2 cloves, garlic – minced
1 tablespoon, il Fustino Aged Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon, packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons, Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons, fresh rosemary – minced
1/4 teaspoon, red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons, unsalted butter – softened
2 tablespoons, scallions – minced
2 tablespoons, fresh parsley – minced
8 tablespoons, il Fustino Tuscan EVOO
8 ounces, rainbow baby bell peppers
1 fresh lemon – juiced

METHOD

  1. Lay the steak flat on a board; tie kitchen twine tightly around the sides (including the bone) to help the steak keep its shape during cooking.
  2. Grind the mushrooms in a spice grinder or blender; transfer to a bowl and mix with the garlic, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary, the red pepper flakes and 2 teaspoons salt. Cut 8 deep slits about 1 inch apart all over the steak; fill each slit with some of the mushroom mixture, then rub the rest all over the meat. Transfer the steak to a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours. Remove from the refrigerator about 1 hour before grilling.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the butter, scallions, parsley, the remaining 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 tablespoon rosemary, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Preheat a grill to medium high, then prepare for indirect heat: For gas, turn off the burners on one side. For charcoal, push the coals to one side. Brush the steak with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then place on the cooler side of the grill (indirect heat). Cover and cook, turning occasionally, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part register 110 to 120 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes. Move the steak to the hotter side of the grill (direct heat) and cook until the thermometer registers 125 degrees, 2 to 3 more minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes, spreading with some of the herb butter.
  5. Meanwhile, toss bell peppers with 6 tablespoons olive oil and salt. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes, turning once.
  6. Top the steak with more herb butter and serve with peppers.
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Polenta Pizza

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Polenta and broccoli rabe pair well in many Italian dishes. Here we give the pairing a new twist as a pizza. Gluten-free.

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

2 cups, Instant Polenta
1 tablespoon, Instant Polenta
1 1/2 teaspoons, table salt
1/2 teaspoon, garlic salt
6 tablespoons, parmesan cheese – grated
3 tablespoons, il Fustino EVOO (preferably Tuscan Blend)
4 cloves, garlic – sliced
1 bunch, broccoli rabe – tough stems removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
15 ounces, ricotta cheese

METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 14 pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray. Dust with 1 tbsp of the polenta
  2. Bring 6 cups water to boiling. Add 1 1/4 tsp of the salt and the garlic powder. Slowly add polenta in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tbsp of the parmesan cheese. Spread onto prepared pizza pan. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a large, lidded skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add broccoli rabe and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook 3 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high and cook an additional 3 minutes until just tender.
  5. Spread ricotta over polenta, leaving a 1 inch border. Scatter broccoli rabe and garlic over ricotta. Top with remaining 3 tbsp parmesan.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is melted. Season with remaining 1/4 tsp salt; cut into wedges and serve.

Sprinkle the tablespoon of Instant Polenta on the pizza pan to keep the rest from sticking.

Campfire Onions

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James and Jody invented this on a fishing trip in the Sierras. Necessity is the mother of invention.

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

2 large, onions – peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon, kosher salt
2 teaspoons, black peppercorns – whole
2 teaspoons, lemon pepper
worcestershire sauce
il Fustino Tuscan Blend EVOO

METHOD

  1. Blend dry ingredients
  2. Cut sections of aluminum foil approximately 10″ X 10″
  3. Place onion on foil and make a small bowl
  4. Sprinkle good pinch of dry mixture on onion, 1 teaspoon of worcestershire and a good drizzle of olive oil. Wrap foil around onion tightly.
  5. If cooking in oven place on baking sheet and cook for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.
  6. If cooking on grill, place on grill and turn occasionally. Remove after 25 minutes and let rest.

Zuppa di Lenticchie

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Author: Laura S. Kirkley

A hearty soup, best served on a cold day and best eaten watching football.

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup, il Fustino Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Tuscan Recommended)
1 large, onion – diced
2 ribs, celery – diced (if old, remove tough fiber)
1 large, carrot – diced
4 cloves, garlic – minced
6 links, Italian sausage – removed from casing and broken into pieces
1 can, Lentils (15 oz cans)
3 cups, water or chicken stock
1 large, potato – diced
red pepper flakes (if using mild Italian sausage or want more heat)
1 bunch, baby spinach
Parmesan cheese – grated

METHOD

  1. In a stockpot, add the olive oil and heat on high
  2. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and sausage
  3. Stir until vegetables are lightly golden, approximately 2 minutes
  4. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds
  5. Add the lentils and water or chicken stock
  6. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium
  7. Adjust taste, if adding red pepper flakes, do this now
  8. Cook for another 45 minutes to 1 hour, adding remaining stock as needed
  9. Add potato and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Add spinach and remove from heat
  11. Serve, have Parmesan cheese on the table.

Zucchini Ribbon Quiche

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Author: Laura Kirkley

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

2 medium, zucchini
3 tablespoons, il Fustino Tuscan Blend EVOO
1 medium, onion – diced
1/2 teaspoon, thyme leaves – chopped
clove, garlic – minced
4 medium, eggs – beaten
2 cups, milk
1 tablespoon, all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups, ricotta cheese
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons, basil – chopped
3 tablespoons, parmesan cheese – grated
1 pint, grape or cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon, il Fustino Tuscan Blend EVOO
salt and pepper

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice zucchini lengthwise into thin strips.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onions, thyme, and a pinch of pepper and salt. Saute until onions are translucent and slightly brown. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Mix together eggs, milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and flour. Add cooled onions. Mix and set aside.
  5. Mix together ricotta, basil, salt, parmesan, and lemon zest.
  6. Coat 9 inch round baking dish with olive oil. Add egg mixture. Drop spoonfuls of cheese mixture into the egg mixture. Now weave zucchini slices through the mixture in a swirling pattern. Sprinkle top with basil and parmesan.
  7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until eggs are set. Remove from oven and allow to cool, at least 10 minutes.
  8. Ten minutes before quiche in done, in an oven proof pan, toss tomatoes with olive oil and salt. Once quiche is removed from oven and is resting. Place tomatoes in oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Serve a slice of quiche with roasted tomatoes, a fresh micro-greens salad, and a crusty bread.

Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup

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Author: Laura S. Kirkley

This is our Super Bowl soup, we have been making it since 1985.

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

1 pound, italian sausage – skined and cut into 1-inch slices
1 tablespoon, il Fustino Tuscan Blend EVOO
1 large, yellow onion – diced
4 cloves, garlic – minced
1 14.5 oz. can, diced tomatoes
2 14 oz. cans, chicken broth
2 zucchini squash – sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/8 teaspoon, red pepper flakes
1 15 oz. can, northern white beans – with liquid
6 ounces, baby spinach
Parmesan cheese – grated
French baguette slices

METHOD

  1. In large skillet or Dutch Oven, cook sausage until browned on all sides. Remove to colander to drain.
  2. In same skillet heat olive oil over medium heat, add onion and brown, add garlic and red pepper flakes and continue to cook for one minute.
  3. Return sausage to skillet and add: tomatoes, chicken broth, zucchini, and northern white beans.
  4. Cover and simmer over very low heat for approximately 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Just before serving add spinach and stir.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.
  7. Serve with toasted baguette slices

On a cold day (Super Bowl day actually) in New England, we made this soup. It is now a tradition. We always serve it on Super Bowl Sunday.

Tangerine Glazed Ham with Baby Carrots

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Author: Tyler Florence with revisions by Chef James R. Kirkley, IV

This is a visually stunning ham. The ham is dark and crispy and glistens with a sugary glaze

Serves: 12

INGREDIENTS

1 (8 to 10-pound), smoked ham – bone-in, skin on
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch, fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup, il Fustino extra-virgin olive oil (preferably Tuscan Blend)
1 cup, unsalted butter – (2 sticks) cut in chunks
2 tangerines – sliced thin, seeds removed
2 cups, tangerine juice
2 cups, light brown sugar – packed
1 cup, water
1/4 teaspoon, whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
5 1/2 pounds, carrots – peeled

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large roasting pan place ham fat-side up. Using a sharp knife, score the ham with cuts across the skin, about 2-inches apart and 1/2-inch deep. Cut diagonally down the slashes to form a diamond pattern; season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Chop about 8 of the sage leaves and put it in a bowl; mix with the oil to make a paste. Rub the sage-oil all over the ham, being sure to get the flavor into all the slits. Bake the ham for 2 hours.
  3. Prepare glaze while ham is in oven. Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add butter, tangerines, tangerine juice, brown sugar, water, and spices. Slowly cook the liquid down to a syrupy glaze; about 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. After the ham has baked two hours, pour the tangerine-glaze, including fruit over top of ham. Scatter the remaining sage leaves on top and return ham to oven and continue baking for 1 hour, basting twice.
  5. Scatter the carrots around the ham and coat in the tangerine glaze. Return to oven and bake until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow it to rest before carving.
  6. Serve the carrots and tangerine glaze on the side.