Sunday, November 30, 2008

Yummy Alton/Orie Skirt Steak - A HEALTHY MEAL ON MY SITE!

This recipe combines two great recipes ... a marinade from Alton Brown and a quick Chimichurri from Orie's blog. It took one hour to marinade and two minutes to cook (although this was RARE!). I liked it a lot and it satisfied my steak craving. I made mushrooms and zucchini with this.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 scallions, washed and cut in 1/2
2 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar or Mexican brown sugar
2 pounds inside skirt steak, cut into 3 equal pieces
Special equipment: blow dryer

In a blender, put in oil, soy sauce, scallions, garlic, lime juice, red pepper (I left this out), cumin, and sugar. In a large, zip top bag, put pieces of skirt steak and pour in marinade. Seal bag, removing as much air as possible. Allow steak to marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator.

Remove steak from bag and pat dry with paper towels. On a very hot pan, cook 1 minute per side. When finished cooking, place meat in double thickness of aluminum foil, wrap, and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

You can stop there or make this while you're waiting the hour for the marinade to work. It needs to sit at room temp for an hour.
2 Tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 bunch of fresh flat-leafed parsley, chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Teaspoons crushed red pepper (I left this out)
1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of salt (optional)
2 Large Flat Iron Steaks, preferably grass-fed

Place the garlic, parsley, and red pepper in a bowl. Pour in the lemon juice and stir to combine. Pour in the oil and whisk vigorously. Season with pepper and salt (if using). Allow the chimichurri to sit a room temperature for an hour or so at room temperature. Look at Orie's site to see the photo of this awesome meat! I have to admit, mine looked as good as the photo.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

On the Cheap Side

The previous entry sort of cracked me up. I just now noticed that right after cheap meals I had coq au vin. Coq au vin sounds very expensive but here is the breakdown:
chicken thighs (boneless) - if you dig around in the stack you can find a package for $3.50 or less
cheap, cheap bottle of wine - I grabbed the cheapest that I could find. that was really my criteria which was about $6
Mushrooms - $2.50
Bacon - this has definitely went up lately. There are some packages that are as much as $5 but some as little as $3.

Considering you can give two people two meals at least out of this, it's a nice treat when you've been eating a lot of the cheap meals but it still doesn't break the bank like excellent steak from Whole Foods.

Happy Eating.

Coq Au Vin

When I made this, it was a little too salty but really tasty. I also made a side of grits to go with it. This is definitely a great meal for a chilly winter evening.

Serves 4 to 6
1 bottle fruity, smooth, medium-bodied red wine (Cooks Illustrated said to use a Pinot Noir)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
10 sprigs fresh parsley leaves (I didn't have this and it was still good)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 ounces bacon, preferably thick-cut, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces (oops, I may have used more bacon when I made mine)
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs , trimmed of excess fat and cut in half crosswise
Table salt and ground black pepper
5 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used salted butter and this may have been why it was too salty)
24 frozen pearl onions , thawed, drained, and patted dry (about 1 cup) (I used diced oion)
8 ounces mushrooms , wiped clean, stems trimmed, halved if small and quartered if large
2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Bring all but 1 tablespoon wine (reserve for later use), broth, parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay to simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 3 cups, about 25 minutes. Discard herbs.

2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large Dutch oven over medium heat until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper-towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons fat in small bowl; discard remaining fat.

3. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper (remember to do this lightly). Cook chicken in 1 T of bacon fat.

4. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in now-empty Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and flour; cook, stirring frequently, until well combined, about 1 minute.

5. Add reduced wine mixture, scraping bottom of pot; add 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Return chicken, any accumulated juices, and reserved bacon to pot; increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and simmer until chicken is tender, about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.

6. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to large bowl; tent with foil to keep warm. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer sauce until thick and glossy and measures 3 1/4 cups, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and reserved 1 tablespoon wine. Season to taste with salt. Return chicken to pot and top with minced parsley. Serve immediately.

VERY rich ... this adds a nice, different taste to everyday meals.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cheap Meals

Ground Beef:
stuffed shells

Stew Meat:
beef stew
beef barley soup
company beef casserole


white chicken chili
grilled chicken
fried rice
chicken & Dumplings


Hmmm. What else is there?