Saturday, August 29, 2009

Grilled Flank Steak

Every time I'm craving steak or red meat, I think this is ultimately what I'm craving. Delicious, think, crusty but tender on the inside, flavorful flank steak! For those of you not into red meat, this probably isn't your favorite post. Trust me, the 16 year old in me is looking at the current day me in disgust, I promise. Around that time I was taking medicine that totally averted me to red meat, but, as you can tell, time had turned me back around :)

As I began to browse for a recipe for a marinade for this steak, I quickly realized I was not willing to wait 3-8 hours on this steak to marinate! What was I to do?!
Enter the :) I found a recipe that provided some inspiration. In addition to this recipe, I had recently bought some Chipotle Chile Pepper, and I thought this would be the perfect time to use it.
Wow, when I opened up this spice, talk about a sensory overload. This stuff smells AMAZING! I took it over to my sous chef and made him smell it, too, because it was that incredible.

Back to prepping the flank steak. I laid the flank steak on a cutting board, cut a few slits against the grain of the meat, seasoned it with salt and fresh cracked pepper, rubbed in E.V.O.O. on one side, sprinkled Oregano on the E.V.O.O. rubbed side, and then finished it off with a good sprinkle of the Chipotle Chili Pepper. I let that sit for about 30 minutes.
Using our handy dandy All-Clad Grill Pan (thanks Brandon and Gradee!), I was able to fit this whole flank steak into the pan and get it grilled :)
Yes, ideally this would be grilled outdoors, but that's not possible for us right now.
Nonetheless, for a good flank steak, you should get a good crust on the outside and cook this to medium or medium well. Having a pink center on this lovely piece of meat is what makes it so tasty, in my opinion.
How pretty does that look?! Don't worry, I'll tell you about those potatoes in the foil boat in a later post :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lemon Curd Pound Cake


Ok, so, I know 'curd' doesn't sound all that appetizing, but if you like Lemon Bars, it's the SAME thing, I promise. Very tasty! I'm not one that loves pound cake, but something about this recipe caught my eye. It might have something to do with the fact that I had most of the ingredients ;)
My best friend (and adopt-a-sister ;) ), Kelly, gave me this cookbook for my birthday. I'm finally getting to making something from it, and this is the first recipe I chose!

Wait to prepare the Lemon Curd until the cake comes out of the oven so it will still be warm when spread over the cake.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until the yellow yolk disappears.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat batter at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla and lemon extracts. Pour batter into a greased and floured 12-cup tube pan.
Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan; carefully brush Lemon Curd over top and sides of cake. Cool completely on wire rack.

Lemon Curd

2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Stir together first 4 ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan; add egg, stirring until blended.
Cook mixture, stirring constantly, over low heat, 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly (cooked mixture will have a thickness similar to unwhipped whipping cream) and begins to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat. (The curd should be brushed immediately over cake, as mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.)

Doesn't this look delicious?! Grab a glass of milk and dive in :)
I had some additional batter that I made some mini-bundts with :)
If you'd like, you can follow along with the recipe here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

Yesterday, I wanted to make something with items we had on hand. As I browsed some of my favorite blogs, I noticed that Gina had recently made this delicious and fresh spaghetti, and you can see her recipe here. The only thing that I was missing was some fresh basil, so I made an adjustment. I also divided the recipe in half since it was just the sous chef and I. Here's what I did:

Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

Servings: 2-3

1 skinless chicken breast half, diced in 1 inch cubes
cooking spray
1/4 tsp each of dried oregano and dried basil
kosher salt and fresh pepper
4 oz spaghetti (high fiber or low carb)
1 cups grape tomatoes, halved
3 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dried basil

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Heat a large skillet on high heat. When hot, spray with oil and add chicken. Cook about 3-4 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.

While pasta cooks, add olive oil to skillet on high heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown (do not burn). Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Sauté about 4-5 minutes.

When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. If pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Add fresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with good grated cheese.

I love the way grape tomatoes taste once they've been sauted and cook. They become even sweeter! The sous chef and I really enjoyed this fresh and light spaghetti. Thanks Gina for sharing!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Julie & Juila

Oh my goodness, what can I say? This movie was fantastic! I'd been wanting to see this movie as soon as I heard it was coming out. I'm sure every food blogger did. That said, it was beyond my expectations. I've not read the book or ever seen Julia Child's cookbook (yes, I know, that's terrible), but this movie felt like my life on screen.

This scene specifically felt like the story of my life!!! You have dinner with your girlfriends, you look forward to it, but something is not quite right. Each of them seems to have this ...belief, er, attitude that you really don't know what you want in life or that you don't know what you are talking about. They don't give you their full attention, but you you keep asking questions wanting to know more about them. Oh my goodness. I felt like that was me on that screen! It was one of the first few scenes, and I looked at my husband (sous chef) as soon as it changed to the next scene. "Hunny, that's me!" Before I could finish, I could see it in his eyes. He knew what I was going to say, and he was thinking it, too.

Thus, this movie was one that I could really identify with. What's more important though was watching Julia learn to really cook and watch Julie learn Julia's techniques and recipes. I just wanted to be in the kitchen with them and joining in on the fun!

First, when Julie says she wants to write a food blog and wants to know what her husband thinks, it was like a scene in our household. Haha! She thinks it's a wonderful idea, he is like, "Sure, whatever you want." He's listening, but just thinking ...that's kinda weird. Haha! That's sort of of how it went in our household. Granted, I wasn't exactly coming up with a NEW idea though.

Seeing Julia always wanting to cook for friends and have them over was also a familiar scene in our household. I know our friends Kevin and Melissa could attest. We are frequently calling them over to have meals that I'm sure sound a little foreign! Haha! I love cooking for others.

I'm sure I could go on and on with the similarities, but I'm just glad I finally have a favorite movie. I've never had one! Until now, when people asked me my favorite movie, I'd sort of just name one off that came to my head that I liked; nothing I was really passionate about. Now....OMG, this is absolutely my favorite.

With all of this cooking excitement, I'm off to make something, head to grocery store for more ingredients, and then cook some more!'s some links you might also enjoy :)

Julie Powell's Current Blog

Julie Powell's Blog that started it all

The first day of Julie Powell's blog :) After seeing this movie, it's exciting to read it.

The Book

Bon Appetit! Oh, and did you see it? What did you think?!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chicken Saltimbocca

If you like salty foods, this is for you! I mean, hello...salt is in the name of the dish! After a family dinner to Maggiano's Little Italy recently, I decided that I had to try this dish on my own. While this recipe that I made was not the same as Maggiano's, it's still tasty. This is also a very easy recipe to make! Any food preparation, like chopping or slicing, was easily done while another part of the recipe was cooking. This is one of the easier recipes that I've made.

2 Tbsp. Fresh sage, chopped
2 oz. Prosciutto, thinly sliced (4 slices)
4 oz. chicken breasts, pounded
½ cup Seasoned breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. Black pepper (freshly ground)
½ oz. and as needed Olive oil, divided use
4 slices Provolone cheese
4 oz. White onion, ¾-in. dice (I just used one large onion)
1 oz. White wine
4 oz. Chicken stock
1 oz. Unsalted butter

1. Distribute ½ Tbsp. sage evenly over each chicken breast; place ½ oz. prosciutto over each chicken breast.

2. In small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt and pepper. Lightly bread each breast with mixture on both sides.

3. Coat sauté pan with olive oil; heat over medium-high flame. Add chicken to pan; sauté until browned well, about for 3 minutes. Turn; continue cooking until browned and cooked through.

4. Add provolone cheese; cook until melted. Place on serving plate.

5. Wipe pan with paper towel. Add ½ oz. olive oil and onions to pan; cook until brown and caramelized, about 8 minutes.

6. Add wine; reduce by ¾. Add chicken stock; reduce by ½. Finish with butter.
7. Pour onion and sauce around chicken; serve immediately.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin