Saturday, November 13, 2010

Parsnip-Cauliflower Soup & Sopressata Flatbread Twists

Episode Three! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Parsnip Cauliflower Soup and Sopressata Flatbread Twists from Ross Cauvel on Vimeo.


For the soup:

2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
6-8 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 head cauliflower, cut into chunks
salt and pepper
1 box low-sodium chicken broth
juice of half a lemon
2 cups lowfat milk
fresh chopped parsley

For the Twists:

1 ball pizza dough (mine was homemade, from Emeril's by-hand recipe), rolled out and sliced into 1-inch wide strips
1 egg beaten with 1 T. milk
5-6 slices sopressata (or other salami-like deli meat), in 1-inch wide slices
shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper


Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven or large pot on medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions begin to brown at the edges a little. Add parsnips and cook for a few more minutes.


Add cauliflower, lemon juice and chicken broth. Cover and cook on high heat for about 30 minutes, until parsnips and cauliflower are very tender.


Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay pizza dough strips out flat on a pizza stone or baking sheet. Brush each strip with a little egg wash. Cover each strip with strips of sopressata. Twist into twisty shapes. Sprinkle Parmesan over the top along with a little salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, broiling for a few minutes at the end if needed for extra crispness.


Use an immersion blender to puree the soup (or puree it in a regular blender or food processor). Reduce heat and stir in milk. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep warm till ready to serve. Ladle into bowls, top with parsley, and serve with twists. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ribeye Steaks & Sweet Potato Fries

Without further ado, I present to you: the second installment of the Fearless Cook vlog! Enjoy!

Steaks & Sweet Potato Fries from Ross Cauvel on Vimeo.


2 thick ribeye steaks (mine were about 3/4 lb. each)
1 and 1/2 large sweet potatoes (or 2 small)
~6 cups neutral cooking oil, like canola
seas salt and black pepper
olive oil

For steak rub:

1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. paprika
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tsp. store-bought steak rub

For compound butter:
6 T. room temperature butter
chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh oregano
1 clove garlic, minced

For curry mayo:

2 big spoonfuls mayo
~1 T. honey
pinch of curry powder

For homemade croutons:

~1 cup cubed stale bread
~2 T. olive oil
chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh oregano
sea salt and black pepper

For the rest of the salad:

Mixed baby greens
1 pear, thinly sliced
~2 ounces Gruyere cheese, in small cubes
walnut pieces (you can toast them if you want)

For the salad dressing:

juice of half a lemon
~1 tsp. mustard
~1 tsp. honey
~1/4 c. olive oil
salt and pepper


Let steaks come to room temperature. Make the steak rub by mixing together all steak rub ingredients. Make the curry mayo by whisking together all ingredients; store in fridge till ready to serve. Make salad dressing by whisking together all ingredients; store in fridge till ready to serve.


Preheat your frying oil for the potatoes. Turn a pot of oil to medium high heat and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Test the temperature of the oil by sticking the handle of a wooden spoon in - if little bubbles surround it, the oil is ready. Once you have a good base heat going, you can crank up the heat a little to make sure it stays hot throughout the cooking process.


Add the fries, in batches the size of large handfuls, and cook until fries are tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from oil and place on some paper towels to drain. Once all batches have gone in the first time, bring the oil back up to temperature (just let it reheat for about 5 minutes), then fry the batches a second time, repeating the draining on paper towels process. Sprinkle the fries with sea salt while still warm.


Preheat the oven to 450. Preheat a cast iron or fry pan (NOT non-stick) over high heat. Make sure it's REALLY hot. Put a little olive oil in the pan - it should start smoking a little. Immediately add the steaks and don't touch them for about 5 minutes. You want a good crusty sear. Flip them and cook on the other side. When both sides have browned, transfer the whole pan to the oven and cook until the steaks are to your doneness-liking. I think I cooked mine for about 5 minutes in the oven for a perfect medium to medium rare. You really just have to go by feel - when you give the steaks a little poke with tongs, if it's very very soft, it's still quite raw. If it's more firm, it's more done. Remember that when you take the steaks out and let them rest, they'll continue to cook, so err on the side of underdone - you can always put them back in the oven, but you can't fix an overcooked steak!


Remove the steaks from the oven, set aside on a plate, cover with aluminum foil, and allow them to rest for at least 5 minutes, preferably 10. Scoop about a teaspoon of compound butter on top of each steak and let it melt. Serve with the fries, curry mayo, and salad. Enjoy! (How could you not?)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pear & Caramelized Onion Flatbread

Let's have a brief moment of silence in appreciation for the perfection that is cheese.


Now that that's out of the way, we can jump into what is a delicious, easy, and
not-made-out-of-a-zillion-ingredients meal. I called this flatbread, but it's more like sauceless pizza. Tomato, tom-ah-to, right?

This is crisp, chewy pizza dough topped with sweet caramelized onions and perfectly ripe fall fruit - all smothered in melty cheese. In the immortal words of Ina Garten: how bad could that be? The answer: not bad at all.

In fact, this was so good, I just might make it again. And as we all know, I do not make recipes twice. How might one tweak this recipe, you're wondering? One might add hot Italian sausage; sub apples for pears, leave the fruit out altogether and use sun-dried tomatoes or artichokes or olives or all of the above; use mozzarella cheese, or all cheddar, or all Gruyere; I could go on. A sauceless pizza is just like a sauced pizza: a blank canvas on which to paint by numbers using the fan brush of innumerable ingredie–OK, OK, I'll stop with the stupid art metaphor.

Misguided metaphors aside, MAKE THIS! You'll thank me later. (You're welcome.)


One ball fresh pizza dough
olive oil
1 pear (not too too ripe), cut into thin slices
3 small onions, halved and sliced thinly
butter and oil for caramelizing
3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
3/4 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes


Caramelize the onions: heat a little butter and olive oil in a pan and cook the onions over medium heat, seasoning with salt and pepper, until brown and lovely. Set aside.


Preheat the oven to 450. Sprinkle some cornmeal on a pizza stone or baking sheet. Shape the dough into a round-ish, thin crust. Rub all over with a little olive oil.


Spread the onions all over the dough, then top with the pear slices. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over all that. Sprinkle cheese evenly over everything. Top with red pepper flakes if you want. Bake at 450 until cheese is melty and crust is getting golden brown. Switch oven to broil and cook for 2-4 more minutes, until many brown spots appear on cheese and crust. Remove from oven, cut into slices, serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mushroom Ravioli with Creamy Kale Sauce

EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Squeals of joy abound! My first video post! I hope you love it :-)

The Fearless Cook - Mushroom Ravioli from Ross Cauvel on Vimeo.


2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, tough stems trimmed, cut into ribbons
~3/4 c. chicken broth OR white wine
~1/3 c. heavy cream or half and half
salt and pepper and red pepper flakes
fresh chopped parsley
1 lb. frozen good quality mushroom ravioli


In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, melt the butter and oil. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the kale and garlic and red pepper flakes and let wilt for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes.


Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the ravioli according to package directions. Drain and place in serving dish.


Uncover kale, turn down heat, and stir in cream. Cook for a few minutes, until sauce is thickened and reduced a bit. Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle sauce over ravioli, top with parsley, serve, and enjoy!
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