Posts tagged ‘roasted garlic’

April 18, 2011

the steak method

A few weeks ago on Amazon, I bought these two items:

An instant-read digital thermometer and a 10-inch cast iron pan.

Of course, there are a multitude of uses for these 2 tools, but the main reason we bought them was for these:

Jeff and I love a good steak, and we really love the idea of making it at home to save some money. We’ve wanted to try the method of searing it in a pan and then finishing it off in the oven, which is hard to do without a cast iron. Friday night’s dinner became the day we made it happen!

So after my Fresh & Easy market trip the other day, we took a bottle of this,

and used it to marinate the steaks.

Some sources say to marinate it for about 6 hours, but we ended up just marinating it for 24 hours.

This is what we did with the steaks (which we got off of a Good Eats episode):

-Preheat the oven to 500F and stick the cast iron pan into the oven for about 5 minutes.

-Season the steak with kosher salt & pepper, then rub a little oil with a high smokepoint (we used Grapeseed oil) onto the steaks.

-Take the cast iron pan out of the oven and place the steaks onto the pan.

-Sear one side of the steak for 30 seconds, flip and sear the other side for 30 seconds.

-Flip the steaks over again before sticking the cast iron pan with the steaks into the oven for 2 minutes.

-Flip the steaks over for the last time and leave in the oven for 2 more minutes. (We took the temperature of the steaks at this time and it was around 130F, which is about medium-rare, which is what we wanted.)

-Take out of the oven and let the steaks rest.

Yum. It was a littttttle more medium than we would’ve liked but that might’ve been because we let it rest for quite a while. Next time, we might leave the steaks in the oven for 1 1/2 minutes on each side instead of 2 minutes. Of course, it also depends on the thickness of the steaks.

But I will say that these were the best steaks we have made at home yet!

We had the steaks with brown rice, roasted carrots, roasted garlic, and sauteed spinach.

Jeff’s favorite vegetable is carrots. And he told me about 5 minutes before we were going to cook the steaks that he wanted carrots with dinner. I was slightly annoyed because carrots take a little longer to roast in the oven and wished he had told me earlier. But I found out from Friday night’s dinner that carrots will cook in almost no time when an oven is set to 500F and the carrots are cut into tiny, tiny pieces. The carrots were perfect, drizzled in a little grapeseed oil with salt & pepper.

I also halved a bunch of garlic cloves and stuck them into the oven with the carrots. I find that I like “roasted” garlic this way better than this way:

Of course this way is absolutely delicious, but all the garlic cloves turn out soft and mushy. Whereas we find that the garlic gets crispy on the outside and soft on the inside when we just halve a whole clove and stick it in the oven (with a little oil, salt & pepper). Plus, it is 100% easier and 100% cleaner, especially if you have those huge bags of already-peeled garlic from Costco.

Dessert was just as amazing and it included this:

Shouldn’t be toooo hard to figure out. ;D

Did you have any good eats this weekend?

March 24, 2011

addictive bruschetta

This bruschetta is…addicting. It’s so good, I just popped these one after another into my mouth. I love classic bruschetta, and whenever I make it, I make it the same way – it never lets me down!

I made these today because Jeff has been bugging me to bake him the other half of the Camembert with roasted garlic. I finally went to the market today to get the baguette so I could comply to his request. I’m a girl who loves killing 2 birds with one stone so I decided to use the baguette for bruschetta as well.

Don’t worry, Jeff still got his Baked Camembert.


But he got bruschetta too.

He’s a lucky guy and he better know it!


Trader Joe’s Artisan Srilatino baguette is my favorite go-to baguette. I just love it. Sometimes I’m tempted to buy one of the other baguettes available, but I always fall back on this one.


It’s the perfect base for this bruschetta. After it’s sliced, drizzled with olive oil, and broiled, I rubbed each slice with a piece of garlic and sprinkled it with some mozzarella before putting it back into the oven to broil again until the cheese melts beautifully.


I have become obsessed with rubbing crostini with garlic. I used to scoff at it, thinking, how much flavor can it really transfer to the bread? But don’t underestimate the power of garlic.

As you rub, the garlic clove gets smaller and smaller. Hey that means it must be going somewhere right?? Yep, it’s melting beautifully into the bread.


As for the bruschetta topping itself, it starts with beautiful Roma tomatoes.

Make sure to get out all the juice and seeds, you don’t want an overly watery bruschetta!


Don’t worry, none of the innards went to waste. I sprinkled it with a little sugar and slurped away…

So, so good. In undergrad when I was in the dorms, I used to get a plateful of the sliced tomatoes at the deli bar (usually for the sandwiches) and sprinkle it with sugar. And eat. Holy yum!


Anyway, back to the bruschetta. The tomatoes, mixed with basil, red onion, and garlic…


And then seasoned with balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and kosher salt…

= Come to mama.


Today, I was excited to finally bust this open to use in this bruschetta. I think I bought it last year.

It made a great addition to the bruschetta.


Jeff and I enjoyed this bruschetta immensely, along with the Baked Camembert and roasted garlic. After a while, I started smearing roasted garlic on crostini and topping it with the bruschetta mix, which was heavenly too.

We each got a whole bulb to ourselves again. Roasted garlic, I love you.



Serves: 4-6



-1 baguette, sliced thinly

-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

-1 clove garlic, halved

-1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (sliced mozzarella would work wonderfully too)


for the topping:

-5-6 Roma tomatoes, halved, seeds and juice removed, and diced

-1/4 medium red onion, chopped

-4-5 cloves garlic, minced

-8-9 large leaves basil, chopped

-2 T balsamic vinegar

-2 T extra virgin olive oil

-kosher salt, to taste



Begin by prepping the topping. Combine tomatoes, red onion, garlic, and basil in a medium bowl. Add balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and mix. Sprinkle with kosher salt until seasoned to taste. Set aside and let it marinate until needed.

Preheat oven to Broil or if no broil setting is available, 425F. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet covered in foil and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Broil in the oven for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned.

Rub each slice with the clove of garlic and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Place back into the oven for 2 minutes or until cheese has melted and bubbles.

Top each slice with a spoonful of the bruschetta topping. Serve and enjoy!


Nutritional Information for 5 pieces of bruschetta: 140 calories, 3g fat, 0g saturated fat, 210mg sodium, 25g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 1g sugar, 4g protein

March 2, 2011

Baked Camembert with Crostini & Roasted Garlic

Have you ever had Camembert cheese?

I hadn’t either — up until a few weeks ago when we visited a small French restaurant in San Francisco called Chez Maman. Their specialty is French Burgers. French burgers topped with a fried egg and Brie cheese! Oh my, yes…it was really, really good. And the French-speaking owner was very, very charming. Chez Maman is a very tiny restaurant and their main seating area? A counter.

The French burgers were amazing, but believe it or not, the real star of the show was not the burgers, but their appetizer of baked Camembert. Camembert is a soft French cheese, really similar to Brie. When the appetizer came out, there were just no words. We devoured it.

It was so good I had to remake it at home. It’s so simple, and the simplicity is what I believe adds to the amazingness of this dish. Every flavor pops out. This is all you need to make it happen:

Oh, and extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.


The first thing you need to do is roast the garlic, because this is the most time-consuming part. Easy, but time-consuming. Stick the garlic bulbs in the oven and prep your other ingredients while they roast away!

Jeff and I decided that we were each gonna have our own garlic bulbs. At Chez Maman, we had to share one bulb and we fought over the last clove. Having our own bulb was much, much better. We’re garlic freaks. Embrace the garlic breath!

Jeff requested rosemary with this dish and I wholeheartedly agreed — rosemary, garlic and olive oil make one of the best flavor combinations.


While the garlic is becoming delicious gems, slice your beautiful, beautiful baguette.


Then drizzle the slices with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of rosemary as well.


The garlic still won’t be done so continue on and prep the star of the show — the Camembert. Like I said before, looks like Brie!

All’s you have to do is slice off the white rind, and stick it in a small oven-safe ramekin.


When everything is done baking and getting delicious, this is the beauty you will behold:

Spread a roasted garlic clove onto a crostini, and then drizzle it with the bubbly and hot Camembert cheese. Eat. Die and go to heaven. Just make sure to come back so you can enjoy it again.


Baked Camembert with Crostini & Roasted Garlic

Serves: 2-4



-3oz Camembert cheese (about 1/2 a rind)

-2 garlic bulbs

-1/2 a baguette, thinly sliced

-4 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

-fresh rosemary, roughly chopped





Preheat oven to 425F. Chop off the tops of each garlic bulb. Drizzle 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper on the bulbs. Wrap the bulbs with foil and place onto a baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes or until soft and roasted.

Meanwhile, place baguette slices onto a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary.

Cut the rinds off the Camembert cheese and split them between 2 small oven-safe ramekins. Put the ramekins onto the same baking sheet that the baguette slices are on.

In the last 10 minutes that the garlic is roasting, stick the baking pan with the baguette slices and Camembert cheese in the oven as well. At this point, switch the oven to broil.

Continue to broil until the baguette slices are golden brown and the Camembert cheese is melted, bubbly and browned. The roasted garlic should be ready by now as well.

Serve! Eat by spreading roasted garlic on a crostini and topping with the melted Camembert cheese.


Nutritional Information for 1 serving (1/2 the recipe): 530 calories, 24g fat, 7g saturated fat, 850mg sodium, 62g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 1g sugar, 21g protein