Make Your Kitchen the Best Restaurant in Town

The February 2016 issue of Bon Appétit magazine gives a huge shout out to the everyday foodie.  The magazine just published its first ever culture issue. Editor Adam Rapoport writes to say the current food and cuisine craze has shifted and must be recognized for the sum of all its parts.  It is about the whole cultural scene- “intersection of food and music and entertainment and politics and more.”

Ratings and opinions about recipes and restaurant recommendations are no longer the exclusive domain of highfalutin celebrity chefs, TV personalities and uber rated critics.  We all know that has been a game changer.  The site has done more for the success of a restaurant than the painfully long wait for a food critic to book a table at your spot. (Hey, didn’t you notice that things are moving fast?)  Millennials candidly share their ideas online and the voice of the people is definitely being heard.  As they say, “Your vote counts.”  Hip, hip hooray!

It is all very exciting and new restaurants are opening all the time. Shopping, talking and instagramming food are so de rigueur today.  Young folks are more socially attuned and more engaged in the world around them.  They care for the environment and healthy living. Through travel and media, they are exposed to exotic cultures and new cuisines. They are no longer satisfied with passive participation or boring food.  They are digging in and having a whole lot of fun with it all.

Few budgets allow for eating out every day–not to mention the extra time.  At home entertaining is intimate, cozy and memorable.  Conversations may linger for hours. Do not be intimidated by the fantastic restaurants you love. Make your kitchen the best restaurant in town.  We are here to help with 3 quick and easy recipes.

Delicious Garlic Shrimp

 Finger Foods:

Having a platter or 2 of ready-to-grab finger foods on your counter is an awesome way to greet your guests. Here’s a super fast recipe that you can pull together in less than 10 minutes.  Along with a glass of crisp Pinot Grigio, you will have already made your friends a very happy bunch.

  • Buttery Garlic Shrimp

1 1/2 pounds peeled, large raw shrimp
1/2 cup butter, divided
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
French bread baguette

1. De-vein shrimp, if desired. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add shrimp, and sauté 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp from skillet.
2. Add garlic to skillet, and sauté 30 seconds. Add wine, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper. Whisk in remaining butter, 1 Tbsp. at a time, and cook, whisking constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, and add parsley and cooked shrimp, tossing to coat. Serve with grilled French bread slices.

Fresh Green Salad: 

This classic salad is a lot easier to make than you think.  Give it a try and wait for the applause.

  • Caesar Salad

1 egg yolk (only very fresh grade A)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 anchovy fillets, mashed
Scant 1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large head romaine lettuce, cleaned and cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
Freshly grated Parmesan
2 cups croutons

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire, pepper flakes, mustard, and anchovies. Slowly whisk in the oils to emulsify. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Place the lettuce in a large bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan and black pepper. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss well. Sprinkle top with croutons.

Pan-Seared Steak

Main Course:

Many people are vegetarians.  Make sure to ask your guests if they eat meat. If so, this entree will really be exceptional.  For those who do not have a blazing barbecue grill handy, we found this fantastic Alton Brown recipe for a stove top method.

  • Pan-Seared Ribeye Steak

1 boneless rib eye steak, 1 1/2 inches thick
Canola oil, to coat
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Place a 10-to-12-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven and heat the oven to 500 degrees F. Bring the steak to room temperature.

When the oven reaches temperature, remove the skillet and place on the range over high heat for 5 minutes. Coat the steak lightly with oil and sprinkle both sides with a generous pinch of salt. Grind on black pepper.

Immediately place the steak in the middle of the hot, dry skillet. Cook 30 seconds without moving. Turn with tongs and cook another 30 seconds, then put the pan straight into the oven for 2 minutes. Flip the steak and cook for another 2 minutes. (This time is for medium-rare steak. If you prefer medium, add a minute to both of the oven turns.)

Remove the steak from the skillet, cover loosely with foil and rest for 2 minutes. Serve whole or slice thin and fan onto serving dish.

Time-Saver Tip:

Prepare your ingredients ahead of time and keep well chilled in the fridge.  Storing shrimp, steaks or salad dressing on hygienic Mary Jurek Design stainless steel tableware will ensure everything stays bacteria-free and 100% food safe.  During cooking, wash your prep trays or bowls and re-use them for serving.  Bring your quick and easy recipes to the table on sparkling, shiny stainless steel serveware. After all is finished, the stainless steel items happily snuggle right into your dishwasher.  So little clean up.  Now, how cool is that?

You will see for yourself that it does not take much to become a fantastic at home entertainer. We cannot guarantee you rock star foodie fame, but with 3 quick and easy recipes, you just made your kitchen the best restaurant in town!