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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!

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!

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.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers and Purple Cabbage Slaw with Green Onion Dressing

11 Apr

Long title. Sorry.Worth it.

To celebrate the first weekend of glorious spring weather we took the blog on a little trip down the road. We went to a friends rooftop patio for some delicious bbq and even better company. Bring on the vitamin D! SUNSHINE! Oh how I’ve missed you!

Back to the food. This was an easy pre-prep, bring over meal. All we had to do was throw things on the bbq!

This is a bit of a twist on cheese on top. It gets all melty on the inside. Heaven.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 lbs of ground beef (whichever kind your heart desires)

1 egg

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp horseradish

3 dashes of worcestershire sauce (I hope you don’t have to read this recipe aloud to anyone. Saying this word = impossible!)

15 grinds of black pepper

6 thumb sized cubes of blue cheese (if blue cheese isn’t your thing, just pick a different type of cheese!)

Combine all the ingredients (except the blue cheese and buns) in a bowl, mix only until combined. Do not over work the meat. Divide into 6 balls. Take one ball and remove 1/4 of it. Form the remaining 3/4’s into a patty and make a thumb indent. Place the blue cheese into the dent and cover with the 1/4 of beef you set aside. form into a patty. Repeat for the remaining 5 burgers.

Heat your BBQ to medium high heat. Oil the grill slightly with a high heat oil (I won’t tell you what I do b/c apparently it’s dangerous. Rub it on quickly with either an oil pad made specifically for bbq’s or a cloth with cooking oil on it). Place the burgers on the grill, and do not at any point push them on the top with your flipper. Not only are you releasing juices and drying out your burger, but you’re also going to squish all your delicious cheese out. Travesty!

Now I am no bbq genius. I actually always sucker someone else at this point. Choose your own adventure on the cooking time – and when in doubt google.I know, I know, who is this girl with a cooking blog who stops the instructions at the actual cooking part. Lame.

Toast your buns and top with any and all things delicious. If you’re me, that means hold the ketchup.

Purple Cabbage Slaw with Green Onion Dressing (adapted from Bobby Flay)

Serves 8

Ingredients:

1 head of purple cabbage, cored, quartered and then finely sliced

1/2 a large red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup cilantro

Dressing:

1 bunch green onion, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 jalapenos, seeded and coarsely chopped

2 tbsp mayonnaise

Mix the cabbage, onion and cilantro in a large bowl.

In a food processor combine all the dressing ingredients. Process for approximately 1 minute, so that everything is combined thoroughly.

Top the cabbage with the dressing. I like to let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving so the cabbage softens slightly (don’t worry, it’s still super crunchy!).

These two go together perfectly! When you bite into the burger you get a delicious hit of blue cheese.

This is best paired with a few beers! Go forth and BBQ my friends! Tis the season!

The Best Lasagna EVER

9 Apr

If you are on a diet stop reading immediately. Click the X at the top right corner of your screen. Come back tomorrow.

This lasagna is not for the weak. It will not disappoint. It will make you a bit fatter. You’ll be ok with that.

If you want to make new friends, this will do it. People bother me constantly to come over for this.

It’s time-consuming. It is worth every second.

I die.

The Best Lasagna EVER

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

For the meat sauce:

1 lb ground beef

5 hot italian sausages, with the casings removed

1 onion, diced

1 package of sliced crimini mushrooms (not a mushroom fan? just leave these out)

1 clove of garlic, chopped

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 can of tomatoes, blended in the food processor for a few seconds

1/2 a bottle of red wine (whatever kind you like!)

10 grinds of black pepper

For the white sauce:

1 tub of creme fresh

3/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp salt

10 grinds black pepper

For the assembly:

Lasagna noodles (whatever kind works for you, I use fresh oven ready, no need to boil them!)

1 package buffalo mozzarella sliced

2 cups of shredded Italian cheeses (whatever kinds you like)

Heat a large pan to medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. Add the beef and sausage and saute and it up with a wooden spoon. Saute until cooked (about 10 minutes). Set aside in a bowl. Add another splash of olive oil and add the onions and mushrooms. Saute until soft (about 8-10 minutes). Add the garlic and saute another 2 minutes. Add the meat back into the pan. Add the pepper and tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Add the can of tomatoes and wine. Stir to incorporate. Let simmer for 30-45 minutes.

At this point you should probably treat your self to multiple glasses of wine! You deserve it b/c you’re almost there!

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl combine the creme fresh, parmesan, salt and pepper. This is your white sauce! Oh god, it’s heaven!

Rub your lasagna pan with oil. Proceed to layer in any way you want. The only thing you must do is start with a bit of sauce on the bottom of  the pan. This way the bottom noodle won’t become attached to the pan when you cook it. How I layer is meat sauce, noodle, meat sauce, white sauce, buffalo mozzarella, noodle, meat sauce, white sauce, noodle, whatever sauce I have left and then the mixed italian cheese.

(yes that’s more cheese in the background. We need an intervention and some serious professional help!)

Bake for 35-45 minutes. At the end I like to put the oven on broil so that my cheese topping gets nice and brown. If you do this, just be sure to watch it very closely. It only needs a minute or two.

Let the lasagna rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

This is not the fanciest looking. Once you’ve had one bite you won’t care.

If I were to write a book on how to make friends, this would be my first chapter.

Again, I die.

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