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Story - Food

Feb 11, 2019 6:50 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Serve Kebabs Over Farro Pilaf For Valentine's Day

Feb 12, 2019 10:40 AM

Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether your valentine is a carnivore or vegan, make a romantic dinner of vegetables and beef kebabs. If your lover loves to cook, this menu is well suited for collaboration in the kitchen!

One day ahead, chill the champagne, bake the farro pilaf, and marinate the cubes cut from lean, grass-fed beef with herbs, garlic and spices.

I’m a big fan of nutty-flavored farro, an ancient grain filled with rich nutrients.

Start this romantic evening with chilled champagne, cheese straws, and olives. Together you can assemble the vegetable and beef kebabs while the flavorful farro pilaf is reheating. Toss your favorite salad greens with lemon vinaigrette and garnish with red Bartlett pear slices. Dip fresh strawberries into hot chocolate sauce for dessert and pour a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot with dinner.

Happy Valentines Day and bon appétit! Farro Pilaf(Serves 2 with leftovers)2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 stalk celery with leaves, finely chopped

About 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley chopped

About 1 teaspoon marjoram or thyme

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup farro

2 3/4 cups good quality chicken stock, hotTo prepare:Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a heavy casserole dish over moderate-high heat, coat the bottom with oil, add the onion and celery and sauté until beginning to soften, about two minutes. Season with parsley, marjoram, salt, and pepper.

Add farro and sauté until it glistens with oil. Add hot stock all at once, stir well, and bring to a boil. Cover and bake until the farro is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about one and one-half hours. Remove from oven, fluff with a fork, taste, and adjust seasonings. Place a paper towel under the lid until ready to serve or bring to room temperature and refrigerate overnight.

To reheat, bring to room temperature, remove paper towel, and place in a 350 degree F oven until hot, about 20 minutes (while you assemble and grill the kebabs.)Grass Fed Beef Kebabs(Serves 2)1 pound filet of beef, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon marjoram

1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley or more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

About 1/2 heaping teaspoon smoked paprika

About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Six or seven 8-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in waterTo prepare:Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes, rub the herbs, garlic and spices over the surface of all the cubes, place in a nonreactive bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. Thread five or six cubes of meat onto a skewer, continuing until all are threaded. Set aside.

Preheat the grill to high (or a grill pan over high heat.) With paper towels, wipe the grid with oil. If using the grill pan, sprinkle the pan with kosher salt.

Add the beef and sear until browned on all sides, but do not over cook, about 30 to 45 seconds per side or according to personal preference. Transfer the skewers to a plate, tent with foil, and keep warm.Vegetable Kebabs (Serves 2)1/2 each, red and yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small red onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

8 ounces small white mushrooms, rinsed

About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

About 1/2 teaspoon marjoram

About 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley for garnishTo prepare:In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms, onion, red and yellow bell peppers with olive oil, then sprinkle salt, pepper, marjoram, parsley, and paprika on the vegetables and toss well to completely coat the vegetables.

Thread alternating vegetables onto the skewers and set aside.

Preheat the grill (or grill pan) to high. Place the skewers on the grill and cook until they are charred and crunch tender, the cooking time will depend on the size of the vegetables and personal preference. Transfer the skewers to a plate, tent with foil, and keep warm.To serve: Spoon the farro pilaf in the center of a warm dinner plate and arrange the kebabs of meat and vegetables on top of the pilaf. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish and drizzle any accumulated juice on the plate over the whole affair and serve at once.

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