Sunday, September 8, 2013

London Broil with Herb Butter and Smashed Potatoes


I had a London Broil at a friends house when I was like 13 years old, and I still remember how good it tasted. I have been trying to recreate that dinner for a long time now. It was so juicy and pink, and seasoned just right. I've had many trials and errors with London Broil. It's a hard piece of meat to get right.
I got this recipe from the food network. It worked out really well and everyone liked it. In their version the steak is cooked on the stovetop, but I used the broiler for mine. It came out great so that's how I'll cook it again. I had never used terragon before, and I was surprised by the flavor . Different, but tasty. I made some smashed potatoes to accompany the steak. Have you ever had smashed potatoes!? So good!

You'll need, for the steak:
1 beef bouillon cube
3 tbsp.extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 top round London broil steak (about 2 pounds)
For the butter:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Prepare the steak: Dissolve the bouillon cube in 3/4 cup hot water in a bowl; set aside to cool. Whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil, the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place the steak in a large re-sealable plastic bag or tupperware dish, pour in the marinade and seal. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.


Prepare the herb butter: Mix the butter with the chives, parsley, terragon, a pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the lemon juice in a bowl. (Look at those cute little hands helping with dinner)

About 30 minutes before cooking, remove the meat from the bag (discard the marinade), dry it well and bring to room temperature.

Turn the oven to Broil. Once heated, place the steak on a rack over a cookie sheet and slide into broiler. Broil the meat on each side for about 5 minutes.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board; brush with some of the herb butter, tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes. Thinly slice against the grain; top with more herb butter and drizzle with the pan juices.


For the Smashed Potatoes you'll need:
12 baby red potatoes
3 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
tsp. or so of fresh chives
2-3 tsp. butter

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan (preferably in one layer) and cover with at least an inch of water. Add 2 tsp. kosher salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook the potatoes until they are completely tender and can be easily pierced with a metal or wood skewer. Make sure they are cooked through but don’t overcook. The total cooking time will be 30 to 35 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, set up a double layer of clean dishtowels on your countertop. As the potatoes finish cooking, remove them individually from the water, and let them drain and sit for just a minute or two on the dishtowels.
Move the potatoes to a cookie sheet coated with olive oil. Using a potato masher, press down on each potato, smashing it. Don't squish it completely, you still want chunky potatoes.

Sprinkle the potatoes with about 3/4 tsp. salt and drizzle the olive oil over them.

Roast the potatoes at 450 degrees until they’re crispy and deep brown around the edges, about 30 minutes. Top with a little butter and chives. Serve hot.


Baked Chicken and Zucchini

Tis the season for zucchini! Well, the end of the season anyway. But I eat zucchini all year long. And this new recipe that I've come across is a now family favorite that I'll be making often through out the whole year. I found the original recipe at Taste of Home, but I added a little of this and that to make it my own. You can easily switch it up too. Less zucchini, more tomato, no mushrooms, whatever you like or dislike. It's easy to throw together and the results are delicious. This serves 4.

You'll need:

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup bread crumbs, I used Panko
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 egg
1 tbsp. water
salt and pepper
4 tbsp. olive oil
5 medium zucchini, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup sliced mushroom (about 8)
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

In a shallow bowl, beat egg, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
Combine the Italian seasoning with the bread crumbs, and set  aside 2-3 tablespoons of it.  Place the remaining crumbs in a large re-sealable plastic bag. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then place in bag and shake to coat.
In a large skillet, cook chicken in 2 tablespoons oil for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown; remove and set aside. In the same skillet, saute zucchini and peppers in remaining oil until crisp-tender; drain. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
Sprinkle the reserved bread crumbs over the zucchini. Top with tomato slices and mushrooms and sprinkle with 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese, and a little salt. Top with chicken. Cover and bake at 400° for 25 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Cinnamon Rolls, really good Cinnamon Rolls

So I have FINALLY mastered a Cinnamon roll recipe. I have tried many many different recipes, but this is it! Also, the frosting I use on these is so flipping good it's a wonder how any ever makes it on the rolls.
I don't have a bread machine. It's on my Christmas list that I'm sending to Santa. But there's a lot on my list, so if I don't get one there's always next year. I don't mind doing it the old school way. And that's just how this recipe goes.

You'll need:
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup softened butter, unsalted
1 small pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 egg
1 cup warm milk
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups flour
1 pkg. (.25 oz.) active dry yeast

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
Mix the butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and set aside.

2 oz. cream cheese
7 tbsp. salted butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. milk
1.5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 sp. salt

To get started, Dissolve the 1 tbsp. sugar in the warm water, along with the 1/4 butter. Add the yeast and set side.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the pudding mix, egg, and milk. Stir together. Add the yeast mixture (once it's foamy) to the pudding mixture. One cup at a time, mix in the flour. Mix just until a ball has formed. It will be a little sticky. If it's too sticky to handle, add a little more flour. I then remove the dough, and in the same bowl, I drizzle in some oil. Place the dough back in the bowl and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise until doubled, about an hour.
I've made these a lot, and when I made them this weekend, it was extremely humid out, and so it took my dough more like an hour and a half to rise. Just keep that in mind, if you're making these when it's humid.
Once the dough is doubled, roll it out onto a floured surface. You want a rectangle shape, about 10x17 inches. Spread the filling all over the top of the dough, going as close to the edge of the dough as you can. Sprinkle with raisins. Starting on a long side, roll the dough up into a long log. Slice into 12 rolls (about an inch thick). Place in a greased 9x13 pan. Cover with a towel again and let rise until doubled, about 45 min.
Preheat oven to 350.
Once they're risen, bake for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them, everyone's oven is different. Mine bakes fast and high.

While the rolls are baking, prepare the frosting.
Beat together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl until creamy. Mix in the vanilla and milk, then gradually mix in the powdered sugar and salt until smooth and fluffy. Spread over rolls.



Pork Steak Tacos with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa

I watched Rick Bayless make something like these on PBS a few Saturdays ago. I tweeked the recipe a little to my liking and they came out perfect. The pork is marinated in spicy chipotle sauce and then grilled alongside the pineapple slices. I served them with just a few toppings- avocado salsa, red onion, and queso fresca. The grilled pork and pineapple went so well together!
I had to go to 2 different grocery stores for the pork steaks. FYI- Albertsons doesn't carry them, not my Albertsons anyway. I found them at Smith's though. I love Smith's meat selections! They always have what I'm looking for.
Also, you may have to search hi and low for the Achiote paste. Another thing I could never find at my local grocery stores. I got it at this little Mexican Market in Downtown Henderson.
For the Avocado Tomatillo salsa, you'll need:

4 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 cup cilantro
1 jalapeno, stemmed and roughly chopped
2 ripe avocados, pitted and scooped from the skin
1 small white onion, roughly chopped
1/2 cup water
 In a food processor, or blender, combine the tomatillos, cilantro, jalapeno, onion, and water. Puree. Add the avocados and pulse just until incorporated. Season with salt.
Chill in the fridge.

For the Pork Steaks you'll need:

A package of Achiote paste, 3.5 oz.
3 canned chipotle chilies, in adobo sauce, with about 4 tbsp. of the sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup water
1.5 pds pork shoulder steaks
1 red inion, sliced into long thin pieces
1/4 of a pineapple, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
queso fresca (Mexican crumbling cheese)
corn tortillas

In a blender or food processor, combine the paste, the chipotle peppers, the adobo sauce, the oil, and the water. Puree. Pour over meat and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Once you're ready to grill, start with the pineapple. Oil the slices and grill them just for about a minute on each side. Keep warm.
Now grill up the meat. They will only take about a minute or two per side.
Once the meat is done, chop it up and serve it on warm corn tortillas along with a slice or two of the pineapple. Top with the Avocado Tomatillo salsa, red onion, and some queso fresca.