Recipes from Aluminum Chef at APZ4

If you attended the Aluminum Chef at Alumapalooza 4 last week, you might want the recipes for everything Eleanor made in the Airstream kitchen.  Here they are:

Wilted Spinach with Roasted Garlic

yield: Makes 4-6 servings
2 leeks, washed, sliced thin, and dried
12  cloves roasted garlic, separated
4 ounces of Pinot Grigio or other dry white wine (or vegetable broth), divided
2 bags of fresh spinach, separated (about 12 ounces total)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat.
Add leeks and sauté until golden and starting to crisp. Remove half the leeks to a small bowl.
Add half the roasted garlic to the skillet.
Deglaze the pan with two ounces of the wine (or broth).
Add the spinach and “turn” the leaves to coat, cover pan to wilt leaves. (about 2 minutes)
Remove to a bowl.
Add remaining cooked leeks, remaining roasted garlic to the skillet.
Deglaze the pan with the remaining two ounces of wine (or broth).
Add the remaining spinach and “turn” the leaves to coat, cover pan to wilt leaves. (about 2 minutes)
Return first batch of wilted spinach to skillet, toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper and warm through.
Transfer back to bowl.  Hold, uncovered until ready to serve.

Roasted Portobello Mushroom Caps with Cumin

4, fresh Portobello mushrooms, stems trimmed flush with caps
olive oil
kosher salt
ground cumin

preheat oven to 375f
Place mushroom caps, gill side up on a cookie sheet
Drizzle olive oil over tops of caps
sprinkle cumin and salt on top

roast in oven until cooked to desired doneness
remove from oven, cool and slice

Ele’s “Gingered” Pear Topping
(for cake, ice cream, custard, crepes, roast pork, grilled chicken, scrambled eggs, …)

1 can (15 ounces) pears in pear juice
2 onces Domaine Canton Ginger Liquor

Method of prep:
Drain and reserve juice from canned pears.
Chop pears and add to small sauce pan.
Add 1/4 cup reserved juice to pan.
Heat on medium high until starting to bubble stirring, occasionally.
Add ginger liquor and stir to blend.
Lower heat to moderate and continue to cook pears until slightly mushy, but still has chunks. (Unless you want a sauce, then cook until mush.)
Cool to room temp or use warm.


This Majorcan specialty is usually topped with homemade almond ice cream or ice milk, but purchased almond ice cream can also be used. I use a combination of two toppings, apricot puree and pear compote.

1 2/3 cups (6ounces by weight) ground almonds (almond meal NOT finely ground almond flour)
8 tablespoons sugar, divided
4 large eggs, separated
grated peel of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 ounces Amaretto Disaronno
unsalted butter for greasing the pan
cocoa powder for dusting

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pan with waxed paper. Butter the paper. Dust buttered paper with cocoa powder.
Combine ground almonds with lemon peel, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 4 tablespoons sugar, beating until whites become stiff but not dry.
In large bowl, combine yolks with 4 tablespoons sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat until thick and smooth, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the almond mixture and the Disaronno into the beaten yolks. Mix until completely blended.
Fold a large spoonful of whipped whites into the almond and yolk mixture. Gently fold in the remaining whites.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Turn out onto platter. Remove waxed paper.

Serves 8.

Eleanor’s White Bean Puree
Yield: approximately 2 cups

20 cloves garlic, roasted
1/4 cup (total) minced, fresh mint, basil, & thyme (8-10 leaves mint & basil, 10-12 sprigs thyme)
zest from half a lemon, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, toasted*
1/8 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 (15-ounce can) garbanzo beans (chic peas), drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
1 (15-ounce can) white kidney beans (cannellini), drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
4-6 ounces gluten free vegetable or gluten free chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 (plus) tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground coarse black pepper

Combine the roasted garlic, fresh herbs, lemon zest, cumin, ancho chili, both types of beans, and 4 ounces of the broth in a food processor and puree until a chunky paste is achieved.
With motor running, slowly add the lemon juice and olive oil. Process to a smoother puree, leaving some chunks & bits.
Add the rest of the broth if it is too thick.
Add salt and black pepper to taste.

*To toast spices: Place spices in a dry sauté pan over medium heat. Toast, while shaking the pan to avoid overheating in 1 spot. Remove from the heat when the spices have become aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. If the spices start to smoke, immediately dump them out of the pan onto a cool surface to halt the cooking. If there is any burned smell, you should discard them and start over.

Almonds, walnuts, or pinole (pine nuts) make great additions
Canned artichoke hearts  (not marinated) or sunchokes can also be added
Can substitute 3 sprigs fresh rosemary for the mint.

Cumin Crusted New York Strip Steak
yield: Makes 2 servings

•    2 tablespoons (plus) olive oil
•    2 teaspoons ground cumin
•    1 teaspoons ground black pepper
•    2 teaspoons kosher salt
•    2,  3/4 – 1,1/4 inch thick, boneless New York strip steaks

Rub steaks with olive oil
Mix cumin, salt and pepper, then sprinkle each side of each steak with a generous 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture, pressing to adhere.
Heat remaining olive oil in heavy large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat.
Add steaks and cook 90 seconds on one side, flip each and cook another 90 seconds to sear.
Flip steaks again and cook about 5 minutes.
Flip steaks one more time and cook for another 5 minutes (about 10 minutes total for medium-rare).
Remove from skillet, transfer to a platter and let rest about five minutes before slicing and serving.

Ele’s Apricot Orange Vodka Sauce
(for cake, ice cream, custard, crepes, roast pork, grilled chicken, toast, scrambled eggs, …)

1 cup apricot preserves
2 ounces orange juice
2 onces Orange Vodka

Method of prep:
Add preserves and juice to a small sauce pan.
Heat on medium until starting to bubble, stirring occasionally.
Add vodka and stir to blend.
Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until thickened and syrupy.