In Defense of Food: Cooking For Others

Steak in a Balsamic Reduction

  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 4 (3/4-inch-thick) boneless rib-eye steaks (3/4 pound each)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Coarsely grind peppercorns with a mortar and pestle. Pat steaks dry and coat both sides with peppercorns, pressing to adhere. Season with salt.
Heat oil with 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Reduce heat to moderate and cook steaks, 2 at a time, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to a platter. Add vinegar to skillet and deglaze by boiling over high heat, scraping up brown bits. Simmer vinegar until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining tablespoon butter until melted. Season sauce with salt and drizzle over steaks.

  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • Canola or olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread, lightly grilled or toasted
  • 2 cups arugula, or spinach, stemmed and chopped if large
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
Preheat grill to medium-high.Mash garlic into a paste on a cutting board with the back of a spoon. Combine with mayonnaise and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside. Coat both sides of eggplant rounds and mushroom caps with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables, turning once, until tender and browned on both sides: 2 to 3 minutes per side for eggplant, 3 to 4 minutes for mushrooms. When cool enough to handle, slice the mushrooms. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons of the garlic mayonnaise on each piece of bread. Layer the eggplant, mushrooms, arugula (or

Cinnammon Roll

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you like it sweeter)
  • 1/3 cup shortening, or margarine or butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour(if using self-rising flour omit salt)
  • Cinnamon Mixture:
  • 2 tablespoon margarine or butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, shortening, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 1/2 hours. (dough is ready if an indentation remains when touched). Punch down dough; on a lightly floured surface roll dough into rectangle about 9-x18-inches; Once rolled out spread with margarine. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in small dish. Sprinkle over rectangle.(This is optional - If you like raisins or chopped nuts you may sprinkle a 1/2 cup of each) over the sprinkled cinnamon before rolling up. Roll up tightly, beginning at wide(18) side.Seal well by pinching edges of roll together.Stretch roll to make even. Cut roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices. Place a little apart on greased pan or cookie sheet . Cover and let rise until double in bulk, about 35 to 40 minutes. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Spread rolls with Glaze cinnamon rolls while warm. Makes about 18 cinnamon rolls. Glaze: Mix powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until glaze is smooth and of desired consistency. Add little more milk if too thick.