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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!

Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

17 Jun

I normally am all about cooking from scratch. I rarely use any prepared products. Today this isn’t true. Three words. Frank Red Hot. I am obsessed. It has ingredients I can’t pronounce. I don’t care.

I am going to redeem myself by trying to convince you this is a healthy alternative to going out for chicken wings. These aren’t fried. These aren’t chicken wings.

They will satisfy any chicken wing craving!

Buffalo Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients:

12 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 cup of Franks Red Hot, I like the extra hot kind, but original is good too if you don’t want an extra kick.

2 tbsp olive oil

Combine everything in a large bowl, make sure the chicken is entirely coated in Franks Red Hot. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour up to 2 hours.

BBQ on medium high heat until cooked through.

Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup of mayonnaise

1/2 cup of sour cream (or yogurt if you’re watching your waist)

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

a dash of Franks Red Hot

5 grinds of black pepper

Combine everything in a bowl and mix. Allow at least 1/2 an hour in the fridge so that the flavours are able to “get acquainted”. This way it will taste nice and blue cheesy.

I actually crave these. I can eat about 6 in one sitting.

All photo credit goes to my sister Annie and her friend Kim. They also get credit for an awesome evening in a kitchen in cabbagetown.

Next time you crave chicken wings give these a shot at home. You won’t be disappointed.

Herb Marinated Chicken Kebabs

6 Jun

These are beautiful. If you want to wow your guests I suggest you carry these out to the deck to BBQ. Not only are they beautiful, they taste absolutely amazing!

zucchini ribbons look fancy, but actually aren’t that hard to make. I love doing this dish with both green and yellow zucchinis. Sadly when I was at the food store they only had green, so you aren’t really getting the full effect of how stunning these actually look. Sorry.

This is a very “fresh” tasting dinner (I credit the mint).

I was reading Smitten Kitchen the other day and she was talking about a new cookbook put out called On a Stick. Every single recipe in the entire book is on a stick. Genius! Pure Genius! I must purchase this book.

Without further ado, some food on a stick…..

Herb Marinated Chicken Kebabs (adapted from Jamie Oliver)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks for skewering

3/4 cup mint

3/4 cup cilantro (with the stems)

6 green onions, roughly chopped

the zest and juice of one lemon

1/2 cup olive oil

3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped

1 green zucchini

1 yellow zucchini

Before I start – remember to always pre-soak your wooden skewers for at least 30 minutes. Otherwise they will burn. I always forget. I am trying to save you the same nuisance I go through every time. I hope you’re all smarter than I am and actually remember to do this!

In a food processor combine the mint, cilantro, green onions, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Process until the herbs are the consistency of pesto.

In a large bowl combine the chicken with the herb sauce and marinate for at least two hours in the refrigerator.

Using either a mandoline or a cheese slicer thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise so that you get long thin strips of zucchini.

Start with a zucchini strip and skewer it at the bottom, then place a piece of chicken on the skewer and fold the zucchini over the chicken and skewer it, repeat. You are essentially making an S shape with the zucchini and skewering chicken pieces in the curves. I like to alternate green and yellow. I would show you a photo of that but the stupid food store is behind the times!

BBQ on medium high heat until cooked through.

These taste as good as they look. Thank god!

Fall off the Bone Ribs

20 May

You will be singing my praises after this. I promise.

When I started this blog I got an e-mail from a friend making a few requests. My ribs were one of them. They truely do fall right off the bone when you pick them up. So tender. So loving. I’m getting carried away.

My house smells wonderful when I make these beauties.

Fall off the Bone Ribs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 racks of baby back pork ribs

lots of salt and black pepper

your favourite BBQ sauce.

ummmm, I’ve never had an ingredient list this short. I feel a bit naked. The truth is these are cooked with such perfection they need very little else.

I am publishing a picture of the pan I use for this, b/c it’s kinda important. It has a grill on the top and a pan on the bottom. This allows for steam action.

If you don’t have a pan like the one in my picture, don’t fear! I would just use a roasting pan, such as one you would use for turkey or a roast. It has a rack with space under it. That’s what you need for this to work.

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

In the bottom of the pan pour in about 1 inch of water. Then place the ribs on the rack over top of the water. Cover them in salt and pepper (be generous) and rub it in. Then cover the entire pan with tin foil. You want to take the tin foil right to the edges, so the ribs are sealed in.

place the ribs in the middle of the oven and let them cook for 3 1/2 hours.

Remove them from the oven, discard the water from the pan. Either turn up the oven to broil, or turn on your BBQ (I usually go with the oven method b/c at this point the ribs are very delicate – remember, fall off the bone ribs – and they can fall apart on the BBQ if you’re not careful).

Paint on your favourite BBQ sauce on both the back and front.

BBQ or put back in the oven. You need to watch them closely in the oven, broil is intense and can burn things very quickly. How long you leave these in depends entirely on your oven, I find the broil feature varies significantly amongst ovens. You want the sauce to caramelize slightly. Flip the ribs once to ensure caramelization on both sides.

Cut into 3 bone each pieces and serve with lots and lots of wet wipes.

This dinner is so comforting. At the cottage we usually BBQ some chicken covered in the same BBQ sauce for a ‘chicken and ribs’ dinner. Delicious!

Rolled Flank Steak with Basil, Asiago and Prosciutto

15 May

Before I start to write about this mighty tasty recipe I want to talk about internet searches. Why? Because lately I find them informative for determining what leads people to this little space of mine in blogsphere. However, yesterday was particularly informative. The other day someone searched “girls top les” and low and behold ended up here. Seriously? How does this happen? All I have to say to this internet cruiser is a) if you’re going to search for topless girls, please spell it right b) you must have been so disappointed when you arrived here and realized the only naked breasts around here were on the chicken I roasted last weekend. Oh well, better luck next time champ!

Back to the steak.

This combination is just down right mouth-watering. The  pin wheeling that happens is also gorgeous presentation.

We made this for company last week. Yup, that means I have given it the fancy stamp! (I’m not sure most people give flank steak the fancy stamp, but around here we don’t like to discriminate.)

We served this alongside some caramelized onion and blue cheese scalloped potatoes. Don’t worry, they will be the topic of my next post.

Without further ado

Rolled Flank Steak with Basil, Asiago and Prosciutto (adapted from Bobby Flay)

The measurements I am giving you serves 3 – I usually double it and do 2 flank steaks

Ingredients:

1 flank steak, butterflied(if you aren’t comfortable butterflying it yourself, ask your butcher to do it for you)

1/2 bottle of red wine

1 shallot, finely sliced

10 grinds of black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

6 slices of prosciutto

1 bunch of fresh basil leaves

1 cup of shredded Asiago

some string

In a large bowl combine the wine, shallots, pepper and olive oil. Place the butterflied flank steak in there, get it as covered as possible. Let this marinade for a minimum of 2 hours. I usually do it in the morning and let it hang out in there all day.

Remove from the marinade and discard it. Place the steak butterflied side up on a cook sheet. Cover with prosciutto slices, then cover with basil leaves, then top with cheese.

Now roll the steak like a cigar. I have never actually rolled a cigar, but I imagine this is how it goes. Once it is completely rolled, take 4 pieces of string and tie in four separate spots to ensure the steak stays rolled while cooking.

Turn your BBQ onto medium. BBQ the steak (turning occasionally). Cook to your desired doneness. Around here that means medium rare.

Let the steak sit for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Slice across so that you get a nice pin wheel for serving.

The combo of salty prosciutto and cheese with fresh basil is to die for.

Although we did a pretty powerful side dish with it (blue cheese and caramelized onion scalloped potatoes), it is really unnecessary. You can put it with nice simple sides b/c it has so much flavour on its own.

Sunday night family dinner will thank you for this one.

Greek Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki and Greek Salad

1 May

If I had to choose one country’s food and eat nothing but that for the rest of my life it would be Greek food. I am obsessed with it. I think a lot of it has to do with tzatziki and then the combo of lemon, oregano, olive oil and feta.Feta actually = heaven.

My favourite way to eat Greek is a chicken gyro filled with greasy french fries, tomato, onion, chicken and loads and loads of tzatziki.I ate one yesterday and then went dress shopping = worst idea ever. No one looks pretty in dresses while in a giant food coma! I digress.

I can’t always be running out and eating these greasy beauties so I’ve come up with a compromise. I make my own Greek food at home (sadly no fries included).

Confession: I get very annoyed with Greek salad that includes lettuce, especially iceberg lettuce. This is just there for filler so the restaurant can sell you a bigger salad for less (including less nutrients).

Greek Chicken Skewers

serves 4

Ingredients:

8 skewers (if using wooden, soak them for 1/2 an hour first to keep them from burning)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1 inch cubes

2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

the juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp white vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, grated or pressed with a garlic press

5 grinds of black pepper

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients with the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Skewer the chicken and BBQ on medium heat, turning, until chicken is cooked through.

Greek Salad

serves 4

Ingredients:

1 green pepper, diced into 1 inch pieces

1 red pepper, diced into 1 inch pieces

3 inches of a cucumber, halved and then sliced

1/2  red onion, thinly sliced

4 tomatoes, chopped into large bit sized pieces

2 tbsp chopped, fresh oregano (you can also used dried, just use 1/2 the amount)

a large handful of crumbled feta

The juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/2 cup black olives (optional – I  know there’s a lot of olive haters out there. weirdos)

In a large bowl combine everything. Serve.

Tzatziki

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of plain Greek yogurt

1 garlic clove, grated or pressed in a garlic press

3 inches of a cucumber, halved, seeded and finely diced

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 – 1 hour. This gives the flavours some time to combine.

The chicken is made more amazing by dipping it into the tzatziki before taking a bite.

Feeling lazy? Just make the tzatziki and dip pita into it.

Go forth, slam ouzo and smash plates. “OOMPA!!!!!!!!”

Salmon Burgers

25 Apr

These aren’t just any old salmon burger. They are salmon burgers with a bit of an Asian twist. The burger is a beautiful thing. But let’s be honest, it’s not always that kind to your waistline. I also don’t eat a ton of red meat, so it really isn’t happening that much over here. As a result I have made up numerous twists on a traditional burger. This one is delicious, and fantastic for you!

Oh, except when we smear wasabi mayo on the top. But more on that later.

Salmon Burgers

Serves 4 large burgers, or 6 medium burgers

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs salmon filets, without the skin, and roughly chopped into 1 inch cubes

1/4 cup red onion, finely diced

2 tbsp chopped cilantro (if you aren’t a fan, just leave it out)

1 tsp soy sauce

1/4 tsp wasabi

1/2 tbsp ginger, grated

1 egg white

1 tbsp panko (japanese bread crumbs)

Place the salmon into a food processor. Pulse chop it until it is a mince (try not to over do this, otherwise your burgers will be supper liquidy – if that’s that case, add a bit more panko). Transfer to a bowl.

Add the onion, cilantro, soy sauce, wasabi, ginger, egg white and panko to the bowl. Mix thoroughly so that everything is incorporated. Divide the salmon mixture into 4 or 6 sections and shape into patties.

Heat your grill to medium heat. Oil your grill, bbq or indoor – doesn’t matter – we eat these puppy’s all year round. Cook for a few minutes a side, until cooked through.

Top with whatever you like. A favourite around here, wasabi mayo. The ratio is up to you. Depends how hot you like it.

We also usually also go with tomatoes, onions and pickles. Snore.

This is a perfect burger alternative for a lighter lunch on the dock or deck. Although, we also eat them regularly at home in January for dinner – go figure. Ya, they are that good.

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