Trouble With Toast

Recipe: Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

July 7, 2011
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This dish ranks in the top ten I cooked all year – seriously, it was that delicious.  And it made the whole house smell super yummy!  I was a total lazy ass and bought pre-peeled, pre-chopped butternut squash, and I was so much happier.  Sometimes, paying for convenience can keep you sane after a rough day/week/month.

  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (1-pound) beef shoulder roast or petite tender roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 shallots, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add beef; toss well to coat.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and shallots; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Add squash; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Sprinkle with cilantro.


Recipe: Lamb and Rice Stuffed Peppers

April 4, 2011

This may have been the favorite of the Week in a Day recipes.  I actually thought that my husband wouldn’t like it, since he’s usually not a huge fan of bell peppers, but he raved about the flavor and texture.  The peppers themselves were soft without being mushy, and firm enough to hold their shape and handle all of the filling.  They were also incredibly sweet, which I think comes from the fact that I splurged and bought really good organic ones from Whole Foods (they were the only ones that had the right shape for stuffing).  The filling was really hearty and satisfying, and the lamb was a welcome protein change in our house (it’s not my favorite, so we only eat it sparingly).  The whole dish together, including the sauce and goat cheese, was really well-balanced and delicious.

Since I knew I wasn’t going to serve this dish until day four, I got the peppers all the way to the stuffing point and then I put them in a baking dish, covered them with foil, and put them in the fridge.  I made the sauce ahead of time and also stored it in the fridge.  Then, when I was ready to serve, I pulled the peppers out of the fridge and brought them to closer to room temp, and then I roasted them in the oven for the prescribed time.  I just reheated the sauce in a pot on the stove over low heat.

I really look forward to making these again – if you can get peppers that stand up nice and straight, the presentation is really nice (my photo skills, however, are not – ha).

  • 4 large red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups orzo pasta
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 ounces ground lamb
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked and chopped or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
  • 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cubanelle peppers or mild frying peppers, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Remove the tops from the peppers and scoop out the seeds and ribs. Carefully trim the bottoms if necessary to make peppers stand straight when upright. Place a steamer rack over a few inches of boiling water, or set a colander over a couple of inches boiling water in a large stock pot. Place the peppers in the steamer and cover. Steam 10 minutes, and remove to a baking dish or casserole. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add the orzo and brown lightly, and then add 1/2 the garlic and stir. After 30 seconds stir in the water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes. Spread the orzo onto a baking sheet and cool.  Place the ground lamb in a bowl and add the cooled orzo. Season with 1/2 the marjoram, the rosemary, 2 tablespoons parsley, and season with salt, and pepper. Overstuff the peppers with the filling. Drizzle about 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil over the peppers, pouring about 1 tablespoon over top of each. Arrange the peppers in a casserole or small baking dish and roast 50 minutes to 1 hour, until crispy at the edges and cooked through.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, cubanelle peppers, remaining garlic, remaining marjoram, and saute until soft. Add the tomato sauce, and season with salt, and pepper.  Cool the peppers and sauce for a make-ahead meal or serve immediately.  For reheating: Add 1/2 cup water to the baking dish, and place in a heated 375 degree F oven, covered until warmed throughout, about 30 minutes. Uncover and let the water evaporate, and crisp the top, 20 minutes more. Reheat the sauce over medium-low heat to heat through.  Serve the peppers hot with sauce over top, or in a puddle underneath the peppers. Top with crumbled feta.

Recipe: Classic Bolognese

March 28, 2011

Just when I was starting to get really bored with all of the options on the Food Network, my husband and I moved and got Directv and were happily introduced to the Cooking Channel.  There are a lot of great programs, but one of my favorites has to be Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day.  Basically, she promises that if you spend one day in the kitchen, you can have five nights worth of tasty, home cooked meals.

I never got on the “I hate Rachael Ray” bandwagon, but I was never her biggest fan, either.  I felt that her recipes were just okay, though I was certainly in favor of getting busy folks into the kitchen rather than spending time at the drive-through.  I was somewhat skeptical of the week in a day concept, but I decided to give it a go and spend a dreary Sunday afternoon getting all of the dishes ready for the week.  Suggestion for the Cooking Channel – for this show, since folks are cooking everything at once and thus shopping for everything at once, could you possibly provide a comprehensive shopping list (organized by food genre) along with the recipes?

This bolognese was the first dish up.  As most sauces and soups are, it’s pretty easy to put together – you just need a BIG stock pot and some time, especially since this recipe as-written represents a double batch.  Don’t balk at the chicken livers – they really do add a deep, earthy flavor to the sauce.  And of course, if at all possible, use homemade stock; I had homemade beef stock saved up from the last prime rib I roasted, and that really made a difference.  The end result is a meaty, hearty sauce with TONS of flavor.  It’s richer and less acidic than my usual marinara sauce, but if you’re in the mood for something really soul-satisfying, it definitely fits the bill.  Make sure you toast a baguette (or other crusty bread) to sop up every last drop.

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, finely diced
  • 4 ounces trimmed chicken livers, finely diced, optional, but recommended
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 small ribs celery, finely chopped, with leafy tops, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef (chuck or sirloin) and veal mix
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 pinches ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine (about 1/3 bottle)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans Italian pureed tomatoes
  • 1 pound egg tagliatelle or bucatini pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Warm 2 cups milk in small pot over lowest heat.  Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until lightly brown. Then add the chicken livers, and cook almost through. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, rosemary, and bay leaves, and cook until tender, 10 minutes.  Add the ground meat and cook through breaking into pieces, but do not brown. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, clove, and stir in the wine and allow it to cook into the meat, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the warm milk to the meat and allow it to absorb into the meat for 1 minute. Stir in the beef stock, vegetable stock, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Divide the sauce in 1/2, cool, and freeze one batch. Cool and store the remainder for a make-ahead meal within the week. Alternately, cook pasta to al dente, thin the sauce a bit with a bit of starchy pasta water and toss with pasta dressed with butter to combine. Top with grated cheese and chopped celery leaves. Serve with green salad.

Recipe: Meatballs with Pappardelle

December 27, 2010

For my birthday, my dad stood in line at Williams-Sonoma so that he and my mother could present me with an autographed copy of Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home.  I literally squealed with joy when I opened it – look, isn’t it awesome???

The book is really gorgeous, and the recipes are all super enticing.  However, as I flipped through the pages, I realized that even though the dishes were more accessible than, say, the ones in the French Laundry cookbook, they were still pretty complex and detailed.  In other words, I probably wasn’t going to be making any quick weeknight meals out of Ad Hoc.

The next free weekend I had, I decided it was on like Donkey Kong.  I chose this recipe first because it didn’t require any unusual ingredients, and, well, I love pasta and meatballs.  It turned out that the most time-consuming part of the dish was the tomato sauce (which I will post separately) – the meatballs themselves were actually pretty straightforward and, dare I say, easy.

Easy as they were, these meatballs were fantastic.  The moistness and flavor were just right, thanks to the excellent mixture of meats (I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of veal, which I don’t normally love).  The cheesy center was just plain decadent – you really don’t NEED the mozzarella, since the meatballs are plenty rich on their own, but if you can say no to cheese, you have much more willpower than I do.

So, the first Thomas Keller experiment was a success – the dish was even a hit leftover, reheated in the microwave the next day.  Even though technically it was just “spaghetti and meatballs,” I was very proud of myself and couldn’t wait to try the next recipe on my list.

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces boneless beef sirloin
  • 12 ounces boneless beef chuck
  • 8 ounces boneless pork butt
  • 8 ounces boneless veal shoulder or top round
  • 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pound pappardelle
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce

Heat the canola oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and reduce the heat.  Cook gently for about 20 minutes, to soften the vegetables without browning them.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

Next step: meat.  If you have a meat grinder, the cookbook has a great breakdown of how to set things up and run the meat through.  I have a grinder attachment for my Kitchen-Aid mixer, but I really just didn’t want the hassle of DIY grinding.  So, I had the butcher at Whole Foods grind everything for me fresh.  I know, I’m a cheater, but I’m relatively sure that Thomas Keller would have wanted me to enjoy SOME time with my husband that day.

In a bowl, combine the ground meat, onion and garlic, bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of parsley, and the egg and mix gently to incorporate evenly.  Do not overwork the mixture.  To check the seasoning, put a small patty of the meat on a plate and cook in the microwave for 30 seconds, then taste and add more salt if desired.

Divide the mixture into 12 equal balls, using a scant 1/2 cup (4 ounces) for each.

Cut the cheese into 12 cubes, about 3/4 inch.  Shape the meatballs, stuffing a cube of cheese into the center of each one.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.

Put the meatballs on the cooling rack and bake for 15-18 minutes, until cooked through but still juicy.  Remove from the oven and let the meatballs rest on the rack for a few minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, cook the pappardelle; drain and put in a large bowl.  Toss with the melted butter, the remaining tablespoon of parsley, and the lemon juice.

TK’s Serving suggestion: Spoon the tomato sauce into a gratin dish or shallow serving dish.  Top with the meatballs and garnish with fried oregano.  Serve the pappardelle on the side.

Recipe: Spicy Poblano Burgers with Pickled Red Onions and Chipotle Cream

August 19, 2010
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It is no secret that I LOVE burgers.  Yeah, yeah, I know – burgers have become both hip and cliche, with every chef from here to Timbuktu opening an eatery that specializes in his or her special brand of meat-on-bun.  But dammit, I loved burgers before they were cool.  Ever since I had my dad’s backyard version – a small but THICK patty, charred on the outside and medium rare on the inside, seasoned and served simply and usually accompanied by fresh summer corn and sliced tomatoes – I was hooked.

I seldom meet a burger I don’t enjoy, from the thin, retro double-stack (a la H&F), to the grass-fed and creatively topped (a la Farm Burger), to the over-the-top classic (a la Vortex).  This Cooking Light version caught my eye not only because of its bold spice mix, but also because it used lean sirloin yet still claimed to be moist and delicious.

It lived up to its billing – this was quite a tasty burger.  The heat of the peppers and spices was balanced nicely by the sweet-yet-sour flavor of the quickly pickled onions.  The creamy sauce was a nice touch, especially with the crunch of the onions.  A few tips: 1) The recipe talks about a grill pan, but if you have an actual grill, definitely use it (I did).  2) If you have a gas range and you feel comfortable, charring the poblanos over the “open” flame will probably be faster and yield better results than broiling.  3) The pickled onions store well in the fridge and taste yummy on a large variety of sandwiches.  Don’t get rid of the extra!

  • 2  poblano chiles
  • 1  tablespoon low-fat milk
  • 1  slice white bread, crusts removed, and torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3  tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1  teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2  teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2  teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1  pound ground sirloin
  • 1/2  cup light sour cream
  • 1  tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1  teaspoon  fresh lime juice
  • 1  can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • 4  (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns, toasted
  • 1/4  cup  pickled red onions

Preheat broiler.

Place poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet, and broil for 8 minutes or until blackened, turning after 6 minutes. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chiles, and discard the seeds and membranes. Finely chop.

Combine milk and bread in a large bowl; mash bread mixture with a fork until smooth. Add poblano chile, 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, cumin, coriander, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and beef to milk mixture, tossing gently to combine. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Press a nickel-sized indentation in the center of each patty. Cover and chill until ready to grill.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Combine the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in sour cream, shallots, and juice. Remove 1 chipotle pepper and 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from can; reserve remaining chipotle peppers and adobo sauce for another use. Chop chile. Stir chopped chipotle and 2 teaspoons adobo sauce into sour cream mixture. Set aside.

Place patties on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes or until grill marks appear. Carefully turn patties; grill an additional 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun; top each serving with 3 tablespoons chipotle cream and 1 tablespoon Pickled Red Onions.

Pickled Red Onions

  • 1/2  cup  sugar
  • 1/2  cup  rice vinegar
  • 1/2  cup  water
  • 1  jalapeño pepper, halved lengthwise
  • 2 1/2  cups  thinly vertically sliced red onion

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add onion to pan, and cover. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Recipe: Yogurt Marinated Lamb Kebabs

February 18, 2009

Usually, I feel pretty comfortable saying that my cooking conveys the great love I have for my fiance.  Sadly, this Valentine’s Day meal…well…it probably shouldn’t be the benchmark for my feelings for Jason.  For whatever reason, I modified the recipe too much, and it ended up losing something in translation.  The lamb was tasty, but it was missing a key element–we determined that some acid, perhaps in the form of a simple squeeze of lemon juice over the finished meat, would have taken it to a higher level (and truthfully, I had bought lemon to do just that, but it never made it from the countertop to the dish).  Also, as with most grilling, it likely would have been better on an outdoor grill (as the indoor grill pan just didn’t result in the charring and caramelization that was envisioned in the recipe).  On the plus side, it was perfectly cooked, if I do say so myself.

The cilantro corn cakes served with the lamb…well, those weren’t a rousing success, either (as you can see).  I’ll post the recipe tomorrow, though, as I truly believe they have potential.

  • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 pounds trimmed boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure chile powder, such as ancho
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt

In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt with the water. Add the lamb cubes, toss to coat and refrigerate overnight.

Light a grill (or, in my case, light the burners under a grill pan). Add the chile powder, turmeric, garlic, cayenne and 1 teaspoon of salt to the lamb-yogurt marinade.  Let stand for 10 to 20 minutes.

On each of 6 skewers, thread the lamb cubes and season with salt.  Grill the skewers over moderately high heat, turning, until starting to char all over, about 3 minutes. Continue to grill until medium-rare, about 4 minutes longer. Serve the lamb on or off the skewers.


Recipe: Braised Lamb in Pomegranite Sauce

November 4, 2008

Deciding on a main course for my parents’ birthday dinner was no easy task.  First, the protein–chicken didn’t feel “special” enough, pork isn’t my mom’s favorite, and fish appears frequently on their dinner table during any given week.  I was also limited by certain ingredients (beans, most cheeses, etc.), as my mom is a tad bit picky.  Enter the wise and beautiful Lemmonex, who suggested this lamb recipe from Bon Appetit magazine.

In short, it was the PERFECT dish.  It was hearty, but not sickeningly rich.  It was flavorful, both from the spices and from the meat itself.  It was mind-blowingly tender.  It paired well with wine.  It reheated well.  It held me after sex and then called when it said it would!!!


In all seriousness, this could not have turned out better.  It didn’t really taste anything like pomegranite, but it didn’t much matter because the other spices (particularly the cinnamon) played up the meat’s sweetness really nicely.  Again, I think the homemade chicken stock gave the dish a little extra oomph, so you should definitely consider taking the time to make some.  And speaking of time, this dish takes a lot of it (you have to brown and bake the lamb overnight, then refrigerate it, then continue with the cooking the next day), but the techniques aren’t difficult and the results are totally worth the effort.

Serving note: the gravy is out of this world, so make sure you have some bread or potatoes or other starchy goodness with which to sop it all up.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound lamb neck bones
  • 1 7- to 7 1/2-pound lamb shoulder, boned (bones reserved), well trimmed, rolled, tied
  • All purpose flour
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 10 large garlic cloves
  • 2 cups chicken stock or canned broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 325°F. Heat oil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add all lamb bones and cook until brown, turning often, about 15 minutes. Transfer bones to plate. Season lamb with salt and pepper and dredge thoroughly in flour. Add to pot and cook until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer lamb to plate with bones.

Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until onions are just golden, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Return lamb to pot. Arrange bones around lamb. Stir in stock and next 7 ingredients. Bring liquid to boil. Baste top of lamb. Cover; bake until lamb is tender when pierced with long sharp knife, turning once, about 2 hours 15 minutes. Cool; cover and chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove fat from surface of lamb and cooking liquid. Transfer lamb to platter. Remove string from lamb. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange in shallow baking dish.

Bring pan juices to boil. Remove bones and discard. Strain pan juices, pressing hard on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Melt margarine in same pot over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons flour and stir until mixture begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in pan juices and boil until sauce is reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over lamb. Cover with foil and bake until lamb is heated through, about 25 minutes. Arrange lamb on platter. Spoon sauce over. Garnish with parsley.

Recipe: Lamb Sausage

September 29, 2008
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I love breakfast.  It is, hands down, my favorite meal.  When I was living in the sorority house, seeing “breakfast for dinner” on the menu was nearly as exciting as when we scored a social with a hottie-filled frat (yes, my priorities were very different back then).

I do also love bacon, but I think I would give sausage the edge as my breakfast meat of choice.  So, when I saw this recipe for homemade patties on Bon Appetit’s website, I knew I had to give it a go.  They were really tasty, though they reminded me more of mini-lamb burgers than of breakfast sausage.  The garlic really made the lamb pop, the feta added a nice salty note, and the mint rounded all the flavors out quite nicely.  Served with eggs and hash browns, it was such a hearty, delicious meal that I didn’t eat for the rest of the day!

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb shoulder
    2 large garlic cloves, pressed
    1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
    1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
    1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Place lamb in large bowl. Sprinkle garlic and salt over. Gently toss lamb to blend. Combine feta and mint in small bowl.

Divide lamb into 12 equal mounds. Using damp hands, shape each into ball. Working with 1 ball at a time, poke thumb into center to make hole. Press 1 teaspoon feta-mint filling into hole. Pinch hole closed, then press ball between palms to flatten into 3/4-inch-thick disk. Repeat with remaining lamb and feta-mint filling.

Preheat oven to 250°F. Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Working in 2 batches, cook lamb sausages until browned on both sides and cooked to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium. Transfer sausages to rimmed baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm. Serve hot.

Steak and ‘maters

June 16, 2008

One of the happiest days I’ve had so far in Atlanta was the day I went to The Fresh Market (my favorite upscale grocery store in the area) and got a whole rib loin for $5.99 per pound.  Did I mention that the meat was Australian free-range grass-fed ribeye?  And that the loin yielded EIGHT gorgeous, perfectly marbled, two-inch thick steaks?  Nom.  Naturally, I marinated them only in worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.  However, I needed a nice compliment to the simple, hearty meat–something that would enhance its freshness and not overpower its fabulousness.  Enter an heirloom tomato and red onion salad, topped with this AMAZING homemade salad dressing from Cooking Light magazine.  The steaks were incredibly tender and flavorful (also, please note the perfect grill marks–dad would be so proud), and the dressing was awesome as well–it actually went as well with the meat as it did with the veggies.  All in all, a very satisfying summer meal.  Enjoy!

  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
    1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
    1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
    1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
    Dash of ground red pepper

Put all ingredients in a blender and process till smooth.  Voila!  And, just so’s you know, we didn’t consume these huge hunks of cow all in one sitting–they made wonderful leftovers in the form of steak salads (with arugula, beefsteak tomatoes, and goat cheese).  I’m nothing if not resourceful!

Recipe: Fiery “Fried” Chicken

April 7, 2008

This is a great recipe if you’re looking for something relatively healthy and easy to throw together. The coating ensures that the chicken comes out VERY moist, though next time I’ll add more chili sauce, as the spice factor wasn’t up to snuff for me. Served with herb-roasted potatoes and fresh green beans, this was a satisfying and simple weeknight meal. Thanks, Real Simple magazine!

  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce (found in the international aisle of most supermarkets)
    3 tablespoons pineapple juice
    4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    3/4 cup bread crumbs
    Kosher salt
    3 tablespoons canola oil

Heat oven to 450° F.

In a large bowl, combine the chili-garlic sauce and pineapple juice. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

In a separate bowl, combine the bread crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the oil. Working with 1 piece at a time, coat the chicken in the bread crumb mixture and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining breasts. Bake until cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Note: in my oven, 15 minutes was enough to cook the chicken through, but it didn’t give the coating a chance to brown and crisp. After the baking period, I broiled the meat on high for a few minutes on each side, and that did the trick.


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