Saturday, October 24, 2009

Grilled Flank Steak with a Garlic-Chile Marinade

At school Thursday I was working on a flank steak for the line and for a lunch we are catering and I found two recipes. The first was a garlic, shallot, rosemary marinade and the second was the garlic chile marinade. John chose for me to do the garlic chile. After I finished prepping it for the marinade I had decided that I wanted to make it at home as well and try it out before Monday. I bought one of the marinading steaks and brought it home to try for dinner. It smelled really good and I think it turned out well. Martin liked it and Ethan even ate some, and he's not a big red meat eater.

Grilled Flank Steak with Garlic-Chile Marinade (From

For Marinade:
6 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 Tbsp)
2 medium scallions, minced (about 2 Tbsp) (I used a yellow onion instead)
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced (about 1 Tbsp - just save the rest of the can for something else)
1 medium jalapeno chile, seeded and ribs removed, minced

**Note: The ribs in a jalapeno are the hottest part. If you remove the ribs and the seeds it will cut back the heat significantly)

For the Steak:
1 flank steak (about 2 pounds) patted dry with paper towels
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

1. Puree all marinade ingredients in blender until smooth.
2. Using a dinner fork, prick steak about 20 times on each side. Rub both sides of steak evenly with salt and the with the paste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

3. Preheat your grill
4. Using paper towels, wipe paste off steak. Season both sides with pepper. Grill steak directly on grill until well browned 4-6 minutes. Using tongs, flip steak; grill until second side is well browned, 3-4 minutes. Cook until the internal temperature is 125 degrees. It will continue to cook as it rests. You do not want to over cook a flank steak! It is a meat that needs to be cooked rare or medium rare.

5. Cover steak with foil and let rest at least 15 minutes to let the juice redistribute.
6. Using a sharp chef's knife or a carving knife, slice steak about 1/4" thick against the grain and on a bias. Serve immediately.

Below is a drawing, it will show where you need to cut your meat to make it so it doesn't end up super tough and chewy. The grains on a flank steak all run the same direction so we need to cut against the grain and on a bias to give the slices a bigger surface area.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Roasted Chicken with a Sage-Vermouth Sauce

Usually when I post meat dishes, I have no idea how they taste. I just go by smell and what they look like and others opinions on them when they eat them. Not this dish. This is the chicken that I had a small bite of to taste it at school. It was the first bite of chicken I have had in 8 years. It really was a good piece of chicken and I was so excited about it that I came home and made it for dinner that same night. It's not a hard dish to make either. I used to be really intimidated by sauces on meats because I had no idea how to make one that tasted good. After making this sauce, I know it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I'm excited to start learning more new sauces so I can try out some different ones.

Pan-Roasted Chicken with a Sage-Vermouth Sauce


4 chicken breasts (I used boneless skinless which cook much faster. The recipe calls for bone in with skin and then you cut the bone out yourself. If you don't want to bother with that, just get boneless skinless)
1 cup kosher salt (or 1/2 cup table salt)
Ground pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 large shallot, minced (I didn't have shallots at home and used half a small yellow onion)
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry vermouth (not expensive at all and it cooks out by the time the sauce is finished)
4 fresh sage leaves, torn in half and smashed enough to bruise the leaves (this brings out more flavor)
4 fresh sage leaves, cut into a chiffonade (stack leaves one top of each other and roll them up tight. Start and one end and just cut chop them up. Once the leaves unroll it will make it like little sage confetti)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces

Dissolve salt into 2 quarts cold tap water in a large container or bowl. Put the chicken in and let it brine and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Rinse chicken under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides of chicken with pepper.

Put oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 450.

Heat oil in an oven safe skillet over medium-high heat until the oil begins to smoke. Swirl to coat pan with oil. Brown chicken skin side down until deep golden (about 5 minutes...keep an eye on it) turn chicken and brown until golden on second side (about 3 minutes). Turn chicken back over to skin side down and place skillet in oven. Roast until juices run clear when chicken is cut with paring knife (this will dry out the chicken so use a thermometer if you have one) or until thickest part of breast reads 145 on thermometer, about 15-18 minutes. (It will finish getting to temperature while it rests). Transfer chicken to a platter to rest. Cover with foil to keep it warm and continue cooking.

Put skillet back on the stove and add shallot. Cook over med-high heat stirring frequently until shallot is softened. Add chicken broth, vermouth and sage leaves. Increase heat to high and simmer rapidly, scraping bottom of skillet with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, until slightly thickened and reduced down to about 3/4 cup. (About 5 minutes). Pour accumulated chicken juices from platter into skillet, reduce heat to medium and whisk in butter 1 piece at a time. Season to taste with salt and pepper (you probably won't need any salt) and discard sage leaves. Spoon over chicken and top with the sage chiffonade.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Homemade caramel sauce

Today I made a homemade caramel sauce to top my vanilla pudding cinnamon rolls instead of store bought sauce and it was really really good. I don't have a picture, but next time I make it I'll take one and post it.

This recipe is really easy to remember, it's all in ones.

Homemade caramel sauce

1 pound butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Combine everything in a nonstick pan and stir constantly in small figure 8's on medium heat until it combines and reaches the color, taste and thickness you are going for. The longer you cook the caramel for and the darker the color gets, the harder your caramel is going to be. Because I wanted a sauce to drizzle over, I probably cooked mine for about 10 minutes or so.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Spice Rack

I have been working on a new spice rack for my kitchen and I recently finished it! I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Turkey noodle soup

Turkey Noodle Soup

Roasted cooked turkey, diced
2-4 carrots, peeled and diced
2-4 celery stocks, diced
1 onion, diced
Turkey stock (or water will work, but you will need a base)
Dried homemade (store bought) egg noodles
Ground sage
Thyme leaves
Turkey base (only if your stock needs more flavor or if you're using water)

Bring your stock to a boil (or water with base added to make a stock) and add vegetables to simmer until cooked. When they are starting to get tender, add turkey. Add noodles and cook until they are tender, but not mushy. (If you made a thick soup like I did, pull the veggies and turkey out and set aside while your noodles cook and add them back in at the end so the noodles have liquid to cook in).

Once everything is cooked and in the pot, season with salt (if needed. If you're using a base, they are really salty already so check before you add extra salt), add a little ground sage and some thyme leaves.

Just a twist on a classic chicken noodle soup


I love salsa, especially with tomatoes fresh out of the garden. My neighbor gave me a huge bag full of tomatoes, so to use some of them up we made salsa.

Fresh Salsa


Fresh tomatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1 can green chilis
1 handful cilantro, chopped
The juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper

Basically just chop everything, put it in a bowl and mix. Season with salt and pepper until it tastes right to you.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Super fast chili

Super fast chili

1 lb hamburger, browned (Optional)
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn (not creamed), drained
1 can diced tomatoes (the bigger can, I can't remember the size - Do not drain)
1 onion, diced (or dried onions if you would prefer those)
Beef Stock (if using hamburger, if not you can use chicken if you want)
Tomato paste
Chili powder
Cayenne pepper (Optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown hamburger and saute onions and put them in a large stock pot. Add beans, corn and tomatoes. Add beef stock to cover the vegetables. (If you like it thick, just barely cover them, or if you like it more runny add a little extra) Put in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and about 2 palmfuls of chili powder. If you like a little kick, add a couple sprinkles of cayenne over the top. Season with salt and pepper and heat to boiling. As soon as it's warm, it's finished.

Parmesan Herb Breaded Chicken

Parmesan Herb Breaded Chicken

Chicken Breasts (as many as you want to make)
Flour (1/2 - 1 cup, depending on how much chicken you are making)
Eggs (1-2 again, depending on how much chicken you are making)
A few slices of bread (for bread crumbs. You can use the store bought kind if you don't want to make them)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Fresh flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
Olive Oil

Flatten your chicken breasts with a meat mallet or the bottom of a frying pan. A trick I learned once was to put the chicken in a ziplock bag with a tiny bit of water, that way when you hit it, it slides easily in the bag and doesn't get chicken juice all over.

Grab three separate bowls (I use pie plates). In the first one, put flour and some salt and pepper. In the second bowl, beat the eggs and in the third we will put the breadcrumbs. In a food processor, put the bread and pulse until it becomes crumbs (or you could use the store bought kind if you don't want to make your own). It works fine with moist bread or dried if you have some old stale bread. Add the breadcrumbs to the third bowl. Add the parsley, some freshly grated parmesan and some salt and pepper.

Lightly coat a frying pan with olive oil.

First coat the chicken with flour, shake of excess. Then cover with eggs and then cover completely with bread crumbs.

Cook in frying pan until golden and the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken

Whole chicken, thawed
2-3 carrots (no need to peel)
1 onion
2-3 stalks of celery
1 head of garlic (no need to peel)
1/2 a stick of butter, room temperature
Fresh herbs: I used sage, 1 sprig of rosemary, basil and a little bit of thyme
Salt and pepper
Poultry seasoning

Roughly chop your vegetables (no need to peel any of them, they are just for flavor) and break apart your garlic head.
Season the cavity of the chicken with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Put 3/4 of your herbs (whole) into the cavity and fill the rest with your mirepoix (celery, onion and carrot).
In the bottom of the tray your chicken will be roasting in, put the rest of the mirepoix and your garlic cloves and about 1-2" of water. Chop the remaining herbs and mix into the butter. Spread the butter under the skin of the chicken and season the top of the chicken with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Add a couple dabs of butter to the top to brown the skin.

Put in a 375 degree oven until the chicken reaches 170 degrees. If you want, you can baste the chicken throughout the cooking with the juices that run off into the tray. Also if the chicken starts to get too brown, just cover with foil.

When the chicken comes out of the oven, cover with foil and let it sit for AT LEAST 15 minutes. This will finish cooking the chicken and let the juices redistribute.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chicken, Pesto and Rosemary Potato Pizza

When Kacean lived in Portland, she worked at a pizza place. She made up a pizza while she worked there, and it became her favorite pizza. Since she moved home, she hasn't had it and has been craving it. Yesterday she came over and we made one with chicken and one without chicken for dinner. She was so excited. It really was a good pizza.

Kacean's Chicken, Pesto and Roasted Rosemary Potato Pizza

Pesto sauce (store bought or homemade - I will post a recipe after the pizza recipe)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
2 chicken breasts, cooked, cubed (I seasoned mine with salt, pepper and mesquite seasoning)
Fresh spinach leaves
Fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
Roasted rosemary potatoes
Pizza dough (store bought or homemade - I can post a recipe for dough as well)
Fresh grated parmesan cheese
Corn meal

Make or roll out store bought pizza dough.

(Kacean making her pizza dough)

Put cornmeal down on a pizza tray or a cookie sheet and lay dough on top of the corn meal. This will make it so it doesn't stick. Spread pesto over the dough. Add chicken.

Then add a thick layer of spinach.

Top with cheese, mushrooms and artichoke hearts.

Add the roasted potatoes and finally top with fresh Parmesan.

Bake at 450 until the cheese is melted and the dough is all the way cooked (probably 20-30 minutes)

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Potatoes, diced
A few springs of fresh rosemary, leaves taken off the stem and roughly chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss everything and roast in a 400 degree oven until the potatoes are tender.
Set aside for the pizza

Pesto Sauce

A couple handfuls of fresh basil leaves
A couple cloves of garlic, minced
Fresh grated parmesan cheese
(Usually pine nuts, but I don't add them)
A lemon or lime
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Put basil, garlic, lemon or lime juice (just squeeze the entire thing), salt and pepper and cheese into a food processor. Turn on and drizzle olive oil into mixture until it forms a thick sauce.

Southern Dill Potato Salad

(Sorry about the weirdo shadow on the picture, it was the best one I got)

At school Amy was making a potato salad and it looked really yummy. I am normally not a huge fan of potato salad, but she gave me a taste and I was hooked. This is probably one of my favorite potato salads I've ever had. I don't like a lot of mayo and try not to use it very often, so I really liked that this was half mayo and half sour cream. There are also a few other things I might change for next time, I will put my notes in the recipe.

Amy's Southern Dill Potato Salad

4 lbs unpeeled red potatoes (about 10)
5 hard boiled eggs

3/4 c. sour cream
3/4c. mayo
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs dijon mustard
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 tsp celery salt
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 Tbs fresh dill (recipe calls for dried, but we used fresh and it was super good!)

(Kelsie's changes: I would probably not use the entire half an onion and maybe grate it up instead of dicing to keep the flavor but not have the crunch and intensity of it. Also, I would add 1-2 additional stocks of celery. It's also very good with a little paprika on top)

Cook the potatoes whole until tender. Cool.
Boil eggs, cool and peel.

Dice the potatoes and eggs up so they are about the same size (bite size). Mix sauce and coat potatoes. Chill.

Herb Rolls

In school today I roasted a turkey to make turkey tetrazzini on Wednesday. We decided to make some herb rolls to serve with the tetrazzini. They look and smell delicious! I won't be baking them off until Wednesday right before we serve them, so I will post pictures after they are baked. Today I just made the dough, formed the dough into rolls and chilled it so it's ready to go when we need them.

(Everything we make is measured by weight and volume, and not by I will try and convert my recipe so it can be made at home without a scale. Also, it's a huge batch and can easily be cut in half)

1 lb=16oz
8 oz=1 cup
1 oz=2 Tablespoons

Herb Rolls

5 lbs 2 oz flour = 10 1/2 cups
1 oz dry yeast (double if using fresh yeast) = 2 Tbs dry yeast
3 lbs warm water = 48oz = 6 cups
8 oz sugar = 1 cup
1 1/4 oz salt = 2 1/2 Tbs
4 oz powdered milk = 1/2 cup
8 oz room temp butter (or shortening) = 1 cup
3 Tbs dried basil leaves
2 Tbs dried oregano leaves
1 Tbs dried thyme
1 Tbs garlic powder

Add water to yeast to let it activate
Combine the flour, dry ingredients and butter. Mix well. Add yeast to dry ingredient mixture then mix until it forms a smooth dough. Let rise until it doubles in size. Knead and form into 2 oz rolls (a small golf ball size). Let rise again utnil doubled in size. Bake for approximately 10 minutes at 350.
Yield 5 1/2 dozen.

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