Cook like an Iron Chef
From appetizers to lunch and dinner, impress
your guests with one of these recipes from celebrity chef, Cat Cora.
Basque beef tenderloin recipe
Serves 8 (with a 3-1/2-pound tenderloin) and 10-12 (with a 5-pound tenderloin)
- 1 whole beef tenderloin, (3-1/2 to 5 pounds)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried orange rind
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 1 fresh poblano pepper, coarsely chopped with the seeds left in
- 1 fresh serrano chili, coarsely chopped with the seeds left in
- 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Rub the tenderloin with salt and pepper first so that it stays on the beef. Combine the dried orange rind, chili powder and sea salt to make the Basque blend. Rub the beef with the Basque blend until well coated. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the grill and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- While the beef is absorbing the rub, make the green sauce by combining all the ingredients into a blender along with just a teaspoon or so of the vinegar. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the parsley, oregano and basil. Whisk in the vinegar and olive oil until well combined. Set aside.
- Place the meat on the hot grill and sear on all sides until caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes. Place the beef on a rack in a roasting pan and slide it into the hot oven for 20 minutes for medium-rare meat.
- To serve, slice the beef into 1/4-inch slices, spoon the green sauce over the beef and serve.
Baked jalapeño poppers recipe
I love spicy peppers with a smooth cheese filling and a warm, crunchy coating, but I draw the line at deep-frying this classic bar appetizer. My light, crispy version tastes better because you taste pepper instead of oil. Look for good feta, which to me means aged Greek feta. Feel free to use regular cream cheese here, if you like the richer stuff; I actually prefer the lighter texture of reduced fat cream cheese because it takes a back seat to the peppers.
Serves 4 to 6
- 12 to 14 fresh jalapeño peppers
- 6 tablespoons (6 ounces) light cream cheese, softened
- 1-1/2 cups crumbled Greek feta cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 cup panko or fine dry breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set it aside. Cut each jalapeño pepper in half lengthwise, cut off the stem and scrape out the seeds. Set aside the peppers, then rinse your knife and fingers.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese, feta cheese, oregano and garlic powder. Set the bowl aside.
- In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and the buttermilk and set the bowl aside. Pour the panko crumbs into a wide, shallow dish or plate.
- In a third shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, and pepper.
- Spread about 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeño half. Dredge the jalapeño half in the seasoned flour, dip it into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko crumbs, pressing lightly so the crumbs coat the pepper all the way around. If the coating isn't sticking the first time, just repeat all three steps — flour, egg, crumbs — until you have a nice thick coating in place.
- Gently set the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet. When you've dipped and coated every pepper, bake until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden, about 40 minutes. (Start checking at about 30 minutes to make sure these don't overcook.)
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve while still warm.
Crab and avocado "sandwiches" with mango coulis
- 2 cups canola oil
- 1/2 pound Maine or Dungeness crabmeat
- 3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced
- 1-1/2 tablespoons red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise or aioli
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco
- 1-1/4 cup breadcrumbs, divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 beaten egg
- Avocado salsa (see recipe below)
- Mango coulis (see recipe below)
- In a 10-inch saute pan, heat 1 cup canola oil on high heat. Test readiness with a piece of bread. Turn heat to medium. Check temperature with thermometer; it should read 375 degrees F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine crab, onion, scallions, bell pepper, mayonnaise, Tabasco, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Make 3-ounce cakes and dredge in the flour, then egg and the remaining breadcrumbs. Lay the cakes in the oil and pan fry for 5-6 minutes. Remove and place on a paper towel and season with salt in a mixing bowl.
Avocado salsa recipe
- 2 avocados, pitted and diced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon cilantro
- 2 tablespoon red onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
- Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use.
Mango coulis recipe
- 2 mangos, peeled and diced
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
- In a blender combine ingredients and mix until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- To serve crabcakes, spoon coulis onto the plate in a small pool. Slice the cake in half and lay the bottom portion in the puree. Spoon avocado salsa on top and place the top of the cake on the avocado like a sandwich. Top with a small amount of avocado and garnish with a cilantro leaf.
Lettuce "gyros" filled with halibut
& cucumber yogurt recipe
- 4 (6 ounce) fillets of center cut halibut (or you can substitute with salmon, snapper, branzino, tuna, chicken, etc.)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 limes, halved
- 1 tablespoon good chili spice blend
- 1 head butter leaf lettuce, leaves separated
- 1 head radicchio, leaves separated
- 5 Roma tomatoes, diced for garnish
- 1 medium red onion, sliced thinly for garnish
- Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons parsley, rough chopped
- 2 scallions, sliced thinly on the bias for garnish on yogurt
- Sea salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Cucumber yogurt (see recipe below)
- Preheat grill or oven to 400 degrees F.
- Season the halibut with half of the olive oil, half of the lime juice, chili blend, salt and pepper. Let sit and absorb for 10 minutes. Place on the grill or in the oven until cooked through, but not dry, about 6-8 minutes. In a mixing bowl, mix the tomatoes, onion, olives, oregano, parsley, the remaining olive oil, remaining lime juice, salt and pepper and blend well.
- Once the fish is done, remove from the oven and let sit until slightly warm. On lukewarm serving plates, layer a butter lettuce leaf with a radicchio leaf and flake a generous amount of fish into each one. Top with the tomato and onion mixture. Spoon on a dollop of the cucumber yogurt and garnish with the scallions. Serve immediately.
Cucumber yogurt (tzatziki) recipe
Makes about 2-1/2 cups
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic, about 1 large clove
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
- 2 cups plain low-fat Greek or regular yogurt
- 1 cup peeled, seeded and grated cucumber, about 1 medium cucumber
- Add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt to the yogurt.
- Add grated cucumber and mix well. Chill for at least one hour.
More about Cat Cora
Cat Cora's weeknight dinner recipes
Cat Cora: Iron Chef with a soft side
All about Cat Cora's Greek oils