Features of the Week!

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As we move into the cold Winter months, what’s better than a classic comfort food dish? Our feature this week at Copper Canyon Grill is Chef Michael’s hand cut Rib Eye Steak paired with parmesan potatoes au gratin and accompanied by his housemade steak sauce. The potatoes are layered with parmesan cheese and heavy cream perfectly seasoned to accompany the highest quality of beef. The cheesiness and richness of the potatoes compliment the marbling of the rib eye, sending you into culinary bliss. Available today through Sunday only at the Woodmore and Silver Spring locations. Let Chef Michael know what you think in the comments!

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You asked for it, so we’re extending it for another week – that’s right, Chef Michael’s Braised Beef Short Rib was so popular, we’re keeping it on the menu until Sunday at Stanford Grill! Don’t miss out on this heartwarming dish! Comment below with your questions for Chef Michael – he’s ready to share his cooking tips!

 

Ask Chef Michael for His Cooking Tips!

Always wondered how we manage to get our Rotisserie Chicken so flavorful and juicy or looking for an easy way to recreate our Bread Pudding? Here’s your chance to find out!

By know you’ve either heard about Chef Michael Wagner, the new Corporate Chef for Copper Canyon Grill and Stanford Grill, or tried one of his dishes like the Braised Beef Short Rib. Chef Michael brings more than 20 years of culinary experience to Copper Canyon Grill and Stanford Grill, and over the next few weeks, he’s going to be answering your questions about our menu items, ingredients and his favorite cooking techniques.

What dish or cooking technique do you want Chef Michael to share over the next few weeks? Tells us in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #AskChefMichael, and he may personally answer your question in an upcoming video!

Braised Beef Short Rib, Grilled Salmon Filet & the Pork Porterhouse!

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If there’s a time for comfort food, it’s now! Discover Chef Michael’s latest feature of the week at Stanford Grill – his melt in your mouth Braised Beef Short Rib with White Creamy Grits & Tomato-Raisin Chutney, available from Wednesday through Sunday only!

“Comfort food is definitely an experience that provides a nostalgic feeling to the person eating it. Comfort foods may be consumed to positively pique emotions or to relieve negative psychological effects. Our feature of the week will tap into the connection of these emotions of comfort food at its best. The melt in your mouth beef short rib alone will make your eyes roll back into your head. The sweet and tangy chutney cuts through the richness of the beef and you will surely be licking the plate as you finish all the creamy grits and sauce.” – Chef Michael.

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There’s nothing quite like fresh fish, especially its scent and texture when it comes off a wood grill. This week Chef Michael is featuring his Hardwood Grilled Salmon Filet with Apricot Glaze through Sunday only at the Silver Spring and Woodmore Copper Canyon Grill locations!

“The first time I had salmon was at a young age. I can remember it like it was yesterday; the smoke from the burning wood and the aroma from the salmon left an incredible mark on my psyche. Years later, I still find myself thinking back to that day. So, this week I am excited to feature a hardwood grilled salmon filet, with maple-Dijon Brussel sprouts, horseradish cream, and an apricot-orange reduction sauce. The combination of the sweet from the apricot-orange sauce balances out the spiciness of the horseradish cream, adding a wonderful new way of enjoying our hardwood grilled salmon. Personally, I truly enjoy creating food that will leave lingering flavors long after your last bite. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.” – Chef Michael.

Finally, this week in Gaithersburg we will be highlighting Chef Michael’s combination of hardwood grilled pork, roasted squash, honey, molasses, Amaretto mustard and toasted almonds! The famed Pork Porterhouse is only available until Sunday and it is not to be missed.

How To Make: Tortilla Soup

The chilly holiday weather calls for a warm and cozy meal cuddled up next to a fireplace. Bring on the classic tortilla soup! This hearty stew never fails to please during the holiday season, and today we would like to provide you with a delicious recipe to make tortilla soup with pinto beans at home.

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Tortilla Soup with Pinto Beans

Adding pinto beans makes this more of a main dish soup, but it could be even heartier with more greens and vegetables added.

Ingredients

  • 3 large dried New Mexico chiles (or pasilla or ancho chiles)
  • 1 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or to taste)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or no-chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups pinto beans, cooked
  • salt to taste
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 large lime, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 ripe large avocado, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 4 cups chopped spinach, chard, or kale leaves (packed)

Instructions

  1. Toast the chiles. If you have a gas stove, you can hold them with tongs over the flame one at a time for a few seconds until fragrant. But if like me you use an electric stove, put them in a dry skillet over medium heat and press them flat for a few seconds on each side.
  2. When the chilies are cool enough to handle, stem and seed them, tear them into pieces, and put them in a blender along with tomatoes and their juice.
  3. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Spray lightly with olive oil (optional) and add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Pour it all into the blender along with the chipotle powder and process until smooth.
  4. Return the pot to medium heat. When hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. (Careful–watch for hot, bubbling “eruptions”!) Add broth, water, oregano (if using), and drained pinto beans. Bring to a boil, then adjust heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. While the soup is cooking, prepare the tortillas. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut each tortilla in half (can be done in a stack if you have a sharp knife). Then cut each half into 1/4-inch wide strips. Place the strips in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Bake for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool uncovered until soup is ready.
  6. Add spinach (or chard or kale) to the soup and season with salt to taste, depending on the saltiness of the broth. Cook, stirring, until the greens are wilted, about 2 minutes for spinach, longer for chard or kale.
  7. Ladle the soup into 6 soup bowls. Divide avocado and tortilla chips among the bowls. Serve warm, with lime wedges.

Happy National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

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Here at Copper Canyon Grill and Stanford Grill we love celebrating all sorts of special holidays, and who could blame us for celebrating something as delicious as pumpkin cheesecake! That’s right, today is National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day – because adding pumpkin to America’s favorite dessert absolutely warrants a special holiday of its own.

While pumpkin cheesecake can be enjoyed at any time of the year, it is especially great during the fall season when you’re trying to come up with anything other than pumpkin pie in order to impress your guests. Now you can enjoy this fall craveable with this quick and easy recipe we have provided for you!

Ingredients

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.
  3. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.

It’s that easy. Enjoy!

Hail the glorious potato!

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When in doubt, use potatoes! These starchy veggies seem to go perfectly with any dish, especially they come in so many varieties. So, from appetizers to side dishes, we are here to help you break down what method of cooking it best suited for which kind of potato.

First is the russet potato, which is probably the most commonly used potato on the market. This is because they bake, fry, mash, and roast like a dream. Baked russet potatoes are great as an appetizer, side dish, or even main dish if you add enough toppings! We like broccoli, ham or bacon, scallions, and sour cream of course.

Next are red potatoes, which are great for roasting with some olive oil and rosemary. Red potatoes also taste amazing as potato salad and soups.

Purple, or blue, potatoes are not seen as often in the culinary world as the aforementioned varieties. This may be because they look intimidating to some with their bright hue!! However, this underdog of the potato world is great for roasting, baking, and even grilling.

Last, but certainly not least, is the sweet potato. Gone are the days where sweet potato is synonymous with Thanksgiving. With many discovering their numerous health benefits, the sweet potato is being seen more and more often. They are usually considered as a healthy french fry alternative, being baked instead of fried. But sweet potatoes are also great baked and in soups.

Now that you’re a potato expert, get out there and experiment with some new varieties. Who knows? You may discover a new favorite!

Superfood: Avocado

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Summer is our favorite time of year, not only because we get to relax on the beach but also because it is the peak of avocado season! There are so many reasons why we love avocado. There seems to be endless health benefits to this “superfood.” Avocado is considered to be the perfect balance of protein and carbohydrates, keeping you full without packing on the pounds. The fruit can help maintain a healthy heart and even protect against certain cancers. Avocado can even help with your hygiene! Chock-full of vitamin A and antioxidants, avocado improves the health of skin, hair and nails. Eating avocado can even cure bad breath because it aides intestinal food decomposition!

Because avocado is such a perfect food for overall health, we want to eat it as much as we can! We highlight it in our refreshing Southwest Salad and adds a creamy touch to our Blackened Chicken Breast & Avocado Club! If you’re struggling with how to creatively incorporate avocado in your diet,  these ideas may help. Avocado is a tasty and healthy alternative for mayonnaise. It is also a great additive to smoothies for added texture and thickness. Another delicious option is to spread avocado on toast in place of butter. Eating this superfood everyday will have you feeling super-great!

Fish: cooking techniques

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One of our most popular dishes is our famous salmon at Copper Canyon Grill! In keeping with this theme, we encourage you to learn some basic cooking methods to create your own healthy fish dishes at home. After all, aren’t we always told to eat fish at least 3 times a week?!

Grilling: probably the quickest and easiest method for cooking fish, grilling imparts a hearty, smoky flavor and delicious blackened edges and striping to fillets and whole fish. It is best for thick (at least half-inch), meaty fillets or steaks with strong flavor that can stand up to the smoky tang of the grill. Swordfish, tuna, salmon, mackerel, and bluefish are ideal choices because their natural oils help keep their flesh moist.

Sauteing: pan-sauteing is a favorite way to cook fillets of fish — especially thin, delicate ones like trout, sole, or flounder. The fillets are quickly cooked in a hot saute pan in very hot fat, leaving them with a crisp exterior and moist flesh inside. Dusting the fillets with a light coating of flour before sauteing will help the fish develop a delicate crust.

Roasting: Fish can be roasted in the same manner as meat – uncovered, with no liquid, in a high-temperature oven – and with similar results: a papery, crisp exterior and tender flesh with concentrated flavors inside. While it’s possible to roast fish fillets, this cooking method lends itself best to whole fish. Stuffing the fish’s cleaned cavity with aromatics, like lemon wedges and whole branches of fresh rosemary and thyme, will perfume the flesh more potently than anything you rub on the outside.

Baking in parchment: a fish cooked en papillote is wrapped in parchment paper, and baked in a medium oven so it gently steams in its own juices. Aromatics, such as dill, sliced onions, and olives, are also enclosed in the package to flavor the fish. When the fish is done, the parchment will puff dramatically.

Steaming: setting fish over simmering water allows fillets of white-fleshed fish like cod and halibut, as well as small whole fish like sea bass, to retain their delicate flavor. You do not need an expensive steamer; a wok with a wire rack and cover works fine.

Poaching: this refers to foods that are gently cooked in water or broth at the barest simmer. Poaching firm-fleshed fish in a liquid flavored with vegetables and herbs provides a rich, fat-free broth that can be served with the fish or reserved to use as a soup base.

Happy cooking!