Mimi’s Out of the Kitchen

Renato's Palm Beach

It’s too hot to cook and Mimi wants out of the kitchen! First up is Mimi’s favorite Palm Beach restaurant so far: Renato’s. This fancy but friendly Worth Avenue gem has a lovely open air atmosphere in season and an elegant intimacy in the off season. The menu has great seasonal offerings as well as established dishes.

Since Mademoiselle is blazing her own epicurean trail in Paris this summer, the MDC and Mimi took the boys and our friends to experience both Renato’s on Worth and their more casual sister restaurant, Al Fresco. Al Fresco not only makes delicious pizza, but also serves breakfast!

Although Mimi says you cannot go wrong with any dish at Renato’s she recommends her favorites, the Insalata Di Barbabietole (beet and goat cheese salad), the Pappardelle Con Vitello e Funghi (pappardelle pasta, mushrooms and veal) and of course, the tiramisu. The MDC likes the Risotto all’Aragosta (saffron risotto and shellfish), but ends up eating what’s left of the truffled papperdale. Our friend’s spinach ravioli was rich and delicious down to the last bite. Renato’s has a very extensive wine and cocktails list. The Maitre’d and staff are friendly and service-oriented. Mimi highly recommends it when you find yourself in Palm Beach. In season or not, get reservations as the good places are always busy!

Next Stop… CUT 342, Delray Beach!cool

The Modern Day Courtier Grills

Summer is in full bloom so let’s get our grill on with our “MDC,” the Modern Day Courtier. July at Say So HQ belongs to the MDC. Yes, the master of all summer entertaining and grilling is going to share some secrets with you this month! So, for all the men in your life that received a grill for Father’s Day, or all you girlies that want to learn to make a tenderloin like your dad (or skilled mom), take a lesson from the MDC on how to grill the perfect whole beef tenderloin.

Grilled Beef Tenderloin
Serves 8
The most delicious beef tenderloin you have ever tasted!
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Prep Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 45 min
Prep Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 45 min
Tenderloin
  1. One whole peeled beef tenderloin (Your butcher will know what to do). Alternatively, 8 6-8 oz. filets.
  2. Szeged Steak Seasoning (See Serendipitous Finds)
  3. Allegro Meat Marinaide (See Serendipitous Finds)
Garlic Butter
  1. One stick unsalted butter
  2. Garlic Salt
Truffle Butter
  1. 1 stick softened unsalted butter
  2. 1 -1/2 teaspoon truffle oil
  3. Soften butter, add oil, roll softened butter in plastic wrap into a log. Refrigerate until hardened. Once it is hardened, slice into disks, re-refrigerate until steak is ready to be plated and served.
Optional
  1. 2 Manly Sausages (Your Choice or MDC's favorite, Jalapeño Cheddar)
  2. Margarita
Instructions
  1. Heat grill to 350 degrees. The MDC prefers lump charcoal, never briquets or gas. Sometimes the old ways are the best.
  2. Find a meat thermometer and see chart below for preferred serving temperatures.
  3. Remove loin or steaks from packaging.
  4. Coat tenderloin by pouring 1 cup Allegro over tenderloin or filets, marinade on all sides.
  5. Sprinkle to coat tenderloin or filets with Szeged seasoning on all sides. Gently press seasoning into meat.
  6. Cover meat with foil or plastic wrap and let it come to room temperature. About an hour.
Make garlic butter for basting
  1. Melt one stick of unsalted butter
  2. Stir in 2 Teaspoons of Garlic Salt
  3. Set aside for grilling
  4. When grill is hot, place loin in center of grill or arrange filets in a circle over hottest part of grill. Set timer for 8 minutes. (See notes below for specific timing for your choice of rare to well-done)
  5. Begin basting meat with garlic butter. Be careful as this will cause the flame to flash.
  6. Turn over according to your desired cooking time, baste again on each side of the tenderloin or filets. Generally, one turn after the first 8 minutes of a filet suffices and the next cooking time is roughly 6 minutes depending upon the thickness of the cut and preferred temperature of you and your guests. Rare takes less time and well done more time.
  7. Remove from grill and cover with foil on serving platter.
  8. Optional: If you are grilling MDC style, add sausages to grill when you put tenderloin on. Cook 10-15 minutes. Remove from the grill and slice and eat while cooking remaining tenderloin. Remember to also enjoy your margarita while cooking.
Notes
  1. You must remove tenderloin from grill, cover and let it rest 10-15 minutes before serving. This will ensure that the juices will stay in the meat. Basically, be sure and take the meat off as it approaches the desired temperature (you can tell by doing a test slice through the middle of the thinnest filet and/or part of the tenderloin and if that seems done, then you know the larger cuts of meat and thicker part of the tenderloin still have some time to go). You can remove the filets one at a time for desired temperature preference and also cut the tenderloin into segments for different temperatures. It's very difficult to avoid not cutting up the tenderloin as the thin part or "tail" cooks much faster than the thickest part. So, don't fret about carving up the tenderloin on the grill as opposed to on the platter. Bobby Flay might disagree, but the MDC has never had any complaints!
  2. Rare 120-125
  3. Medium 140-145
  4. Well Done 160
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/

Mademoiselle’s First Kitchen Essentials

Kitchen Essentials

Mademoiselle just set up her first kitchen! She went to her local home goods store with the following list and was able to obtain all of the listed kitchen essentials simply and inexpensively. These are the minimum must-have implements and appliances for daily cooking. Although, there are many additional small appliances and kitchen gadgets to tempt you. If you start with these, you can cook just about anything, but not break the bank with unnecessary cooking tools.

Pots and pans

Sauté pan with lid

Teflon skillet

Pasta pot with strainer

Dutch oven

Sheet pan

9×13 baking pan/cookie sheet

Grill/griddle pan

 

Prep tools

Mixing bowl

Colander

Cutting board

Measuring cups and spoons

Liquid measuring cup

Can opener

Meat thermometer

Tongs

Silpat

Whisk

Peeler

Turner

Wooden spoons

Spatulas

 

Knives

Chef’s knife – 8”

Paring knife – 4”

 

Kitchen linens

Towels

Potholders

 

Appliance essentials

Hand mixer

Coffee maker

Toaster

Blender

Perfect Pantry: Part Trois, Kitchen Contessa

Perfect Pantry logo

One of Mimi and Mademoiselle’s favorite cooks is Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. She makes food simply, elegantly and her recipes are always delicious! The larder staples we discussed in parts une and deux, in addition to those listed, will most certainly put you in her league or at least allow you to have the ingredients on hand to make most of her recipes or delicious ones of your own.

Click here to download our handy shopping guide!

PerfectPantryShoppingList3-DryPantry

PerfectPantryShoppingList3-SpicesandBaking

PerfectPantryShoppingList3-FridgeandFreezer

This level of cooking also requires a well stocked bar! Be sure to include:

PerfectPantryShoppingList3-Alcohol

Next time, look forward to a new recipe and SaySo recommended kitchen tools!

Now, devotees, you have no excuse. Go cook something fabulous!

Perfect Pantry: Part Deux, Cuisine Assuree

Perfect Pantry logo

In our last post, Perfect Pantry: Part Une, Mimi shared the basics of stocking your scullery for culinary success. If you are confident in the kitchen, have a bit more extra space and a little more time on your hands to shop and prepare your meals, you are ready for a slightly more robust pantry. In fact, your friends may start calling you Martha and even your mother may envy your pantry!

Click here to download our handy shopping guide!

Perfect Pantry Shopping List Dry Pantry

 

Perfect Pantry Shopping List Spices

 

Perfect Pantry Shopping List Baking

 

Perfect Pantry Shopping List Fridge

Perfect Pantry: Part Une

PerfectPantrylogo

In our introductory food post we told you why we wanted you to learn to cook. In our following posts we teased you with a few recipes to get you interested in cooking or at least make you hungry. Now, we want to spice it up, literally and figuratively! How about some helpful advice on stocking your scullery for culinary success? Or at least, a meal that’s not cheese and crackers! Whether you’re a kitchen novice, kitchen contessa or budding Thomas Keller, our three part series sets out what you should have in your pantry; whether you are just starting out, cooking confident or want to challenge the chefs.

If you are a Kitchen Novice, we guess that you’re just starting out and establishing your first apartment or home and space is at a premium.  To help you avoid take-out tonight, lets get the minimum supplies that keep a long time in the fridge, freezer or pantry to help you cook when you come home late from work (or play) and need a quick meal. Even if it breakfast for dinner, you can whip it up in style if you have a few pantry basics!

Click here to download our handy shopping guide!

PantryList1

PantryList2

PantryList3

Mimi and Mademoiselle can make at least 100 meals out of the ingredients listed here! Remember, simple ingredients can make great food!

Be confident! Go cook something!

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Lemon Glaze

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Lemon Glaze
Yields 12
A delicious muffin with all natural ingredients!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
22 min
Total Time
42 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
22 min
Total Time
42 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  2. 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 large egg
  7. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  8. 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  9. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  10. 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  11. 1 teaspoon lemon zest
For Glaze
  1. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  3. 1 tablespoon half-n-half
  4. 1 teaspoon lemon zest
For the muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and lemon juice.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk mixture into the well.
  5. Add the melted butter and fold carefully so not to overwork the batter, then gently stir in the poppy seeds. The batter will seem slightly lumpy.
  6. Using a small ice cream scoop fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake until golden 20-22 minutes.
  7. Prepare glaze while muffins are baking. In small bowl mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar, with half-n-half, lemon juice and lemon zest. When muffins are done and warm, dip muffin tops in glaze and sprinkle with sugar if desired. Serve warm.
Notes
  1. These are a must for breakfast or a snack with afternoon tea!
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/

Mimi’s Chicken and Noodles

Mimi's Chicken and Noodles
This basic chicken and noodles recipe is delicious by itself or served with a side of cornbread. It can also be the base for Chicken Noodle Soup, or you can serve with biscuits or dumplings. This dish can please the pickiest eater and cure what ails you or makes a great “get well soon” delivery to a friend.
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Chicken Soup Base
  1. 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  2. 1 Garlic Clove
  3. 1 Carrot
  4. 1 Celery Stalk
  5. ¼ cup diced white onion or Vidalia onion
  6. 1 Whole Chicken (giblets optional and removed)
  7. 2 Boxes (26 oz.) Unsalted Chicken Stock
  8. 2-6 Cups Water
  9. 1 teaspoon Celery Salt
  10. Kosher Salt – to taste
  11. Black Pepper – to taste
Homemade Noodles
  1. 2-3 Eggs
  2. ½ cup whole milk
  3. 2-2 1/2 cups flour
For the chicken soup base
  1. In a heavy stockpot heat the oil on medium heat lightly sautéing garlic and onion until translucent.
  2. Add Chicken Stock, 2 cups Water and Raw Chicken, carrot, celery, celery salt, kosher salt and pepper. Be careful with the pepper - a little goes a long way. Stock and Water should be at least halfway up chicken, but no more than ¾.
  3. Cook at Medium heat until boiling, then on simmer for one hour or until chicken falls from bone.
  4. While chicken is cooking, make noodles. If you are pressed for time Reame’s Egg Noodles are an excellent substitute*.
  5. Once chicken is fully cooked, turn off heat and remove chicken to platter or Pyrex. Remove skin and discard. If you cooked the giblets and parts in the pot remove and discard.
  6. Remove chicken from bone and put aside on separate plate until needed, discard carcass remembering to always make a positive wish on the wishbone!
  7. Using a small hand strainer, remove, carrot, celery, onion, bone, skin and fat pieces from broth. This results in concentrated broth.
  8. Add 2 cups water at a time until you have desired concentration. To taste but usually 4 cups.
  9. Once broth is clear, increase heat until stock boils.
  10. Add noodles a few at a time, stirring to prevent sticking, return to boil.
  11. Once boiling, approximately 5 minutes, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until noodles are done throughout.
  12. Add chicken and stir to reheat fully, 5 min.
  13. Fini!
Homemade Noodles
  1. This recipe is very basic. Most recipes add ¼ -1/2 tsp. salt, but for use in chicken and noodles do not add salt or dish could be too salty.
  2. In a large bowl beat 2-3 Eggs
  3. Add ½ cup milk
  4. Add Flour until you get the consistency to roll out 2-2 1/2 cups.
  5. Flour a cutting board or dough rolling surface
  6. Roll out dough to 1/8 or ¼ inch thickness
  7. Fold ends of dough in to make a rectangle
  8. Roll again
  9. Cut into strips in desired thickness, air dry for a few minutes.
Notes
  1. Mimi makes a mixture of one teaspoon celery salt, one teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper to pinch over the top of each bowl.
  2. *2 12-oz. bags Reames Homestyle Egg Noodles. Note: Reames also makes Gluten Free and Yolk-Free if desired).
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/

Old-fashioned banana bread

 

 

 

Old-fashioned Banana Bread
Mimi likes to talk about her banana bread and its special powers. Its ability to make your house smell like heaven, please the pickiest of eaters, keep your teenager at home on a weekend, make your housekeeper stick around for another hour free of charge, keep your postman delivering at the door, and your vendors ready to return on a moment's notice if they think you will give them a fresh-baked loaf or even one from your freezer.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter
  2. 4 Eggs
  3. 10 Ripe Bananas
  4. 4 Cups Sugar
  5. 4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  6. 4 teaspoons Baking Soda
  7. 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour three loaf pans or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl or mixer bowl, combine the softened butter, eggs, sugar and bananas. Mix until somewhat smooth. Batter will have some banana lumps. In another large bowl add remaining dry ingredients of flour baking soda and salt. Sift dry ingredients together.
  3. Fold the flour mixture into the butter banana mixture until well incorporated. Pour into prepared loaf pans. Bake for approximately 1½ hours, checking with a wooden pick inserted into center at the one hour mark, until it comes out clean. Cooking time can vary depending upon whether you use glass or metal loaf pan.
Notes
  1. The secret to this recipe is very ripe bananas. Mimi has a freezer full of ripened to almost black bananas which she simply thaws to room temperature in the sink. They are so ripened that they mix into the wet ingredients without processing or smashing. They will seem very gooey but that is the secret to this recipe’s success. Add them straight to the wet ingredients from the peel.
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/

 

Bon Appétit!

Resolve to start the New Year living the #saysolife! This year Mimi is going to help you learn to cook or if you already know how to cook, expand your culinary horizons and domestic pursuits! Mimi and Mademoiselle believe that part of gracious living involves some cooking and entertaining. Much to our chagrin, there are a lot of excuses today about not cooking or entertaining at home. Many seem especially defiant to embrace the art of cooking and feign helplessness in the kitchen. Parents with far too busy schedules have given in to “to go” and are satisfied with having someone else do the cooking. It has become far too easy to hand over cooking to someone else when our time is short and our schedule or workload is too burdensome.

We find no viable excuse for not being able to properly prepare food and nourish yourself. Everyone should know how to cook a few things. If you learn to cook a select few items, preferably a breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner and dessert, you will eventually become confident enough to branch out and try cooking other things. In the great words of Julia Child, “you don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces –just good food from fresh ingredients.”

Mademoiselle gets the excuses and uses them frequently, but believes with a little effort you can learn to “source” fresh foods to make healthful meals a reality at home. She also believes you can impressively entertain without too much effort or expense. Mademoiselle has shortcuts and sources to make these and many other recipes quicker and easier by “sourcing” the required ingredients rather than making it all from scratch.  

In our posts, Mimi and Mademoiselle share recipes and time saving entertaining and sourcing tips, so that even if cooking is not what you’re about, you will be able to master these recipes and cooking techniques. So, you can be the one to show up with something homemade at a party, feed yourself in a snowstorm or fix a meal for someone you love.

Our recipes are time tested and SaySo approved, but watch out…we are from the South, we eat meat, we like butter and cream and respect anyone who likes bread. Many of our recipes are old and back then no one really counted their calories either! YUM! Our motto is just like Julia’s, “Everything in moderation…including moderation.”

If you want more inspiration for cooking at home, Mimi and Mademoiselle recommend:

Cooked by Michael Polland   Southern Food by John Egerton   Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits by Suzanne Pollak and Lee Manigault   A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg