Asian Steak Tacos

20 Jan

So, two posts in one week? knock me over with a feather….Never thought I’d see the day! I am really trying to step away from my iPhone more (another of my new years resolutions), which has caused me to haul out my big camera more often. It’s doing wonders for blogging, because I find it’s the photos that hold me back more than anything.

On a side note, while stepping away from my iPhone and taking real pictures has been happening, stepping away from my iPhone in general has not. I am painful with the stupid thing, reading blogs, reading the newspaper (honestly, like 15 times a day. Ya know, in case anything major happens i’ts super important that little old stay-at-home-mom knows as SOON AS IT HAPPENS!), watching other people’s interesting lives on instagram, and obsessively checking the weather. I really need to be stopped. I only mention this because I didn’t want to give off the wrong impression that I am succeeding with this stay away from my phone thing, really I am only winning on the camera front and failing miserably on all others.

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So, back to what I actually came here for, Asian Steak Tacos. These are a flavour explosion and are so so so easy. They are great for a casual stand-around-your-kitchen-island kind of dinner with friends . We use them a lot for entertaining,  but also a casual weeknight meal when it’s just Mark and I.

Asian Steak Tacos (recipe by Gordon Ramsey)

serves 4

Ingredients:

2 sirloin steaks

10 to 12 flour or corn tortillas

Steak Marinade:

2 tbsp white miso paste

2 tbsp mirin

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp olive oil

Wasabi Mayo:

3 tbsp mayo

1 tsp wasabi paste

Cabbage Salad:

1/2 head of Napa/Chinese Cabbage, finely sliced like a coleslaw

1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp dried chili flakes

Directions:

Assemble the steak marinade in a shallow dish that will fit both steaks. DO NOT PUT THE STEAKS IN THE MARINADE (see below ** for more details).

Heat an indoor grill pan (or any old pan) to medium heat (you can also cook your steak on the BBQ if you’d like. Since it’s polar-vortex-freezing outside I am currently rocking the indoor grill pan). Rub your steaks with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook for a few minutes each side until medium rare. Mark usually covers the pan with a lid so that it acts more like a BBQ and traps the heat to speed things up. Since you will be slicing these, you can also cut a cheater cut in the middle to check their doneness (not a real word) while cooking.

Once cooked to medium rare (or whatever your heart desires), remove from pan and place into the marinade, making sure to spoon marinade over the top of the steak as well. Let rest while you assemble the cabbage and the mayo (but really you can leave these to rest a couple of days in the fridge if you wanted – just serve room temperature when you eventually serve it). If using right away just let them marinade on the counter.

In a bowl combine the cabbage, rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil and chili flakes. Toss.

In a small bowl combine the mayo and wasabi paste.

Toast (or just heat up) your tortillas. I toast mine over the open flame of my gas cook top. A few minutes per side on an element with the flame at medium-high does the trick. I just use tongs to turn them over. This gives them a nice charred flavour. I suspect you could also do this on the BBQ. If you don’t have a gas cook top, you can warm your tortillas by wrapping them in a damp towel and microwaving for 30 to 45 seconds, or by heating your oven to 250 degrees, wrapping them in a damp towel placed in an oven-proof dish with a tight fitting lid, and baking for 20 minutes.

Once the tortillas are heated transfer them to a tortilla warmer (ya right I own one of those!) or a covered plate to keep them nice and warm.

Remove the layer of fat along the side of each steak and thinly slice the steaks onto a platter.

To serve, let each person make their own taco by layering wasabi mayo, steak and cabbage salad.

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**The part of this recipe that I found hard to get used to at first is the cook first, marinade second. Weird right? It works. The flavour is great, and this marinade doesn’t really stand up to cooking, so its flavour would be completely lost if done the other way around. Trust the process people!

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Also, for the moms out there. My little guy isn’t quite there yet with lettuce, cabbage etc. I don’t know if it’s not enough teeth, or what, but he struggles. So I adapt this meal for him and he just gets the marinated sliced steak with some roasted sweet potatoes and veggies.  It’s a bit more work, but it means I am not cooking him a whole separate meal, just adding some sides.

Enjoy!

Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayo

16 Jan

After a very long break, I have added blogging to my new years resolutions. Hopefully it’s the swift kick-in-the-ass that I need to get back to sharing recipes! I am not typically one of those successful stick-to-your-resolutions types. Maybe 2014 is my year to change?? ugh, lets hope so.

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So, black bean burgers. Something I have been trying to do lately with my meal planning is be more budget friendly. I am at home full time with my son right now, with another one on the way, so smart budgeting is pretty top of my list these days. Being at home not only slashes my food budget, but also gives me a bit more time to put into smart meal planning and grocery shopping to help drive the grocery bill down. So hopefully a new theme around here is cheaper meals that are still interesting and are far from yet another plate of spaghetti  day in and day out. A way I can help bring the weekly food cost down is a more vegetarian friendly menu. So, full circle, black bean burgers!

Black Bean Burgers (adapted from skinnytaste.com)

serves 6

Ingredients:

1 red pepper, seeded and roughly chopped

1 bunch of green onions, chopped

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 eggs

1 1/2 tbsp cumin

1 to 2 tsp of your favourite hot sauce (optional)

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

2 19oz tins of black beans (if you tins are smaller reduce the amount of oats), rinsed

4 whole wheat pitas

1 avocado, sliced, for serving

Chipotle Mayo:

1 cup mayo

4 chipotles in adobo sauce (you can find these canned in the Mexican section of your food store)

Directions:

Place the red pepper, green onion, garlic, cilantro, egg, cumin ,hot sauce and oats in a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped. Place the black beans in the food processor and pulse until they are incorporated. You should have some mixed in and some partially chopped. You do not want a completely smooth paste, it will be too wet. That being said, if your mixture ends up too wet, add in more oats a tbsp at a time until the consistency is something you can easily form into patties with your hands.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes to help the mixture firm up and to allow the flavours to combine.

Rinse your food processor clean and place the mayo and chipotles in adobo in and pulse until smooth.

Heat a frying pan to medium high heat, put a glug of olive oil in the pan and form 6 patties with the burger mixture, place the patties in the pan and cook approximately 5 minutes per side, until a nice golden brown crust forms.

Serve in a pita, topped with chipotle mayo and avocado.

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Don’t let me hold you back with my avocado suggestion though, feel free to go nuts with your toppings, tomato would be delicious as well, or really anything!

My one year old will eat these (minus the spicy mayo) and my husband also loves them (for a meatless burger that is saying something).

Remember my spaghetti comment above? Ya, well eat my words already, I have something spaghetti coming at you very soon I hope….

Slowly but surely….

29 Jun

I have been terribly absent from these pages lately. Turns out growing a baby is tiring and I have been spending pretty much all my awake time just trying to do my job and get our house ready for another person (you know we really want to impress the baby when it comes. We can’t have it thinking geeze this place is a dump!).

Based on all of the “it” references you can probably figure out that our little peanut will be a surprise!

I have been experimenting with new recipes on the weekends, but I never blog anything the first time I do it (it’s a quality control thing), soooooo these recipes are on hold until I do them again. All I can say is HOMEMADE STICKY BUNSSSSSSSSSSS – coming at ya. Soon.

So, from my lying down position no where near the kitchen, here are some of the better looking things out there in the blog world.

Thin and chewy chocolate drenched coconut oatmeal squares by Jessica at How Sweet it is.

Rhubarb snacking cake by Smitten Kitchen (I made this and it was wonderful)

Chinese broccoli with garlicy ginger miso by Steamy Kitchen

Layered raw taco salad by Angela at Oh She Glows

S’mores chocolate bark by Big Girls Small Kitchen

Sorry about how most of these are sweets or desserts. I’m pregnant. I can’t help it.

8 weeks to go!

Beef Bourguignon

11 Mar

In my previous post I declared I was back with healthy and delicious food. Lets slide this one in under delicious. I think my liberal use of bacon and butter disqualifies it from the former category.

So Julia Childs. She’s cool, I dig her, I kinda want to be like her, except I don’t have the patience. So I lovingly use her cookbook (emphasis on the word lovingly, look at how dog-eared this thing is….)

However, I have to change everything because sadly I am not living in Paris, being supported by my husband, trying to find things to fill my days while eating butter by the  spoonful. sigh. Maybe in my next life? The english translation of that rant is I change her recipes to skip a number of steps so that I am not in my kitchen for hours on end. I prefer practical to lazy thanks!

Beef Bourguignon (serves 6)

Ingredients:

6 slices of bacon, diced

3 lbs stewing beef, cubed into 1 inch cubes

1 onion, diced

1 large carrot, halved and sliced

2 tbsp all-purpose flour (mixed with some salt and pepper)

3 cups red wine

2 to 3 cups beef stock (or just enough so that the beef is just covered – we’ll get to this stage below)

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

2 garlic cloves (crushed with the palm of your hand)

1 lb of whole crimini mushrooms, quartered

1 bag of red pearl onions (this is about 18 to 24 onions), peeled (I put them in boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds and then run them under cold water before peeling. It makes peeling much easier)

Turn the over onto 450 degrees. In a cast iron pot heated to medium high heat cook the bacon until crisp, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the bacon fat brown the meat on all sides in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan. Set aside browned pieces on a tray to collect the juices.

In the same pot throw in the carrot and onion and stir until slightly softened (about 5 minutes). Remove from pot and place in a bowl. Return the beef to the pot, stir in the flour so that it coats the meat, cover and place in the oven for 2 minutes. Remove from oven, stir thoroughly, cover and put back in the oven for another 2 minutes.

Once you’ve removed the pot from the oven turn it down to 325 degrees. Place the bacon and the vegetables back into the pot with the beef and add the wine, bay leaf , thyme, tomato paste and garlic cloves and stock (only add enough stock to slightly cover the beef, if that is a bit more or less than the recipe calls for that’s alright). Bring to a gentle boil, cover and place in the oven. Check after 10 minutes to ensure a gentle simmer. If it is simmering to roughly you will get tough meat, not the fall apart kind. You really don’t want tough meat.

Cook for 3 to 4 hours (check here and there to make sure it is a gentle simmer). How do you know where to pull it out in the 3 to 4 hour range? Well, last time I let it go close to 4 hours in an oven that is not the best for bang on temperature reading and the liquid dried too much, Your liquid should be slightly thickened and concentrated and your beef should be fall apart tender.

Towards the end of the cooking process in a fry pan on medium high heat saute the mushrooms and onions with a very liberal portion of butter. Until softened and browned.

Once the Beef Bourguignon comes out of the oven, stir in the mushrooms and onions, remove the bay leaf and serve garnished with parsley if you’re feeling fancy.

I like to serve this with mashed potatoes or a crusty toasted garlic bread (like ciabatta or a french stick), with a green salad along side.

I do realize how ridiculous it is to post this on a day when it is 15 degrees and sunny out. The good news? If there is a freak storm and you need to cuddle up in front of the fire in the next month, well then you’re set with this meal!

My Tummy….

28 Feb

So lets talk about my three month break……. I’ve been sick, very very sick, like throwing up, can’t look at food, can’t think about food let alone cook, it sick. Not to worry, I’m not actually sick, I’m just growing a BABY!!!!!!!!!!! (and apparently I’m a victim of all-day-every-day morning sickness)

Yup, this wee little thing in my tummy has taken away my ability to enter a kitchen and write about one. I actually had tons of photos of food I made that Mark shot for me before I got sick that I was going to post, but I couldn’t even bring myself to talk/write about food without gagging. So, a blogging hiatus it was.

I’m now back to my old self. I even read a cookbook last weekend, which I think is a promising sign. AND I fully intend on going to the food store this weekend to buy groceries……such a foreign concept to me these days!

Right now I am ringing in around 14 weeks. I was on a strict poutine and bacon only diet for a while there (much to Mark’s disgust!), but I am back to eating all things normal, so I will be back to blogging healthy and delicious recipes on a regular basis.

My apologies about the break, it’s the baby’s fault!

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

23 Nov

I don’t have much to say today. It’s Wednesday, I’m exhausted.

Stuffed peppers are simple. I need simple most nights. My work hours aren’t exactly regular.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 large peppers, halved and hollowed

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

2 cups cooked rice (I usually make extra when I am having rice as a side dish earlier in the week)

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tin black beans

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1 cup grated cheese

In a large fry pan saute on medium heat the onion and garlic for a few minutes, until soft. Add the rice, tomatoes, black beans and spices and saute for 10 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the peppers in a baking dish.

Fill each pepper with the rice mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place cheese on top of each pepper. Bake for another 10 minutes.

I’m experimenting with my slow cooker tomorrow. Wish me luck, I most likely need it.

No Knead Bread

21 Nov

Do you want people to think you are way more impressive than you actually are?

Ya, me too. Casually whip this sucker out as the bread with dinner when you have people over. A fresh crusty home-made loaf of bread. They won’t stop talking about you.

Thankfully, this recipe is fool-proof and involves about 3 minutes of actual work.

All it takes is some patience. Of which I have none. So the fact I still manage to make this means a monkey could do it.

No Knead Bread (from the New York Times)

Makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf

Ingredients:

3 cups of all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 5/8 cup of water (I know this is the strangest measurement – blame the New York Times – what can I say, it works)

In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast and salt. Add the water and stir until the dough is blended. It will be shaggy looking and sticky. That’s ok. If you have any excess flour once you have stirred as much is as possible just shake out the excess.Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm room temperature place for 12 to 18 hours. (this is where patience kicks in).

When the dough is ready the surface will be dotted with bubbles. Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Sprinkle with a bit more flour and fold over on itself a few times. Take a tea towel and cover it in flour so the dough doesn’t stick. Place the dough in the tea towel seam side down. cover with the edges of the floured tea towel and leave for 2 hours.

Before your dough is ready heat the oven to 450 degrees and place your cast iron pot in the oven. Heat the empty pot for 30 minutes. Place the Dough seam sided up in the pot and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to bake uncovered for 15 to 30 minutes.

Remove loaf from pot and cool on a rack.

As I type this I am eating this bread toasted with bacon, avocado and fried egg on top. Amazing. Less Amazing is that it is 10 p.m. on Monday night and this is my dinner that I am only eating now. Dammit!

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