Monthly Archives: June 2013

Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad

Steak_and_Romaine_Salad1 (1 of 1)The perfect dish for grilling outside on the 4th of July, this steak salad is full of flavor from the rub and the spicy chipotle chili dressing. It’s a fresh and satisfying meal for a hot summer evening. The grilled romaine is delicious, and adds an interesting touch. I hope you’ll try it!

1 1/2 – 2 lbs flank steak

Rub
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Dressing
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated or minced
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 canned chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Romaine
3 hearts of romaine, washed and sliced in half length-wise
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely grated or minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Garnish
2 avocados, pitted, peeled, thinly sliced (placed in a small bowl, with the juice of 1 lime squeezed over them)Steak_and_Romaine_Salad2 (1 of 1)
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half length-wise
1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves
1 cup (4 ounces) queso fresco, crumbled
4 scallions, thinly sliced

Score both sides of the steak in a diamond pattern by making shallow diagonal cuts 1 inch apart. Combine ingredients for rub. Place steak in a shallow baking dish; sprinkle rub evenly over both sides, rubbing in with your fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare dressing by heating oil in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, stirring for 30 seconds. Add beef broth, lime juice, chipotle chili pepper, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Prepare grill.

Prepare romaine halves by whisking together the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Brush each of the romaine halves, front and back, with the olive oil mixture. Set aside.

Grill the steak, covered, for 6 minutes on each side. Remove from heat. Cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Thinly slice steak across the grain.

Grill the romaine halves, covered, for 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat.

Assemble salad by placing 1 romaine half on each of 6 serving plates. Divide steak slices and avocado slices among the plates. Sprinkle each with the tomato halves, cilantro leaves, queso fresco and scallions. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Serves 6.

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Chiang Mai Chicken Noodles (Khao Soi Gai)

Chiang_Mai_Noodles1 (1 of 1)Chiang Mai noodles is one of my all-time favorite Thai dishes (no kidding!). It is the signature dish of Chiang Mai, Thailand, and that is where I tasted it (experienced it!) for the first time. It is said to be of Burmese origin, but it now calls Chiang Mai home. It is served soup-style in a bowl with lots of broth over noodles, together with a bit of meat, such as pork or chicken. The broth is a fantastic blend of spices, coconut milk and chicken stock, and it is on the hot side. It is typically garnished with green onions, shallots, peppers and a deep-fried nest of noodles (optional). I hope you’ll try it!

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (about two breasts), cut into 1-inch cubes
2 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 Tbsp red Thai curry paste
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 Tbsp fish sauceChiang_Mai_Noodles2 (1 of 1)
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce (don’t substitute with regular/light soy sauce; do substitute with kecap manis, if necessary)
Juice of 1/2 fresh lime
1/8 tsp ground white or black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 lb fresh Asian-style egg noodles, cooked 2 minutes in boiling water, then drained and set aside

For garnish
3 spring onions, diagonally sliced
4 (or so) red Thai bird chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
4 chopped shallots
Some cilantro (coriander leaves)
4 fried noodle nests (optional)*

Heat about 1/3 of coconut milk in a wok or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, add the Thai curry paste and turmeric. Stir constantly for about 1 or 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add chicken and stir fry for another 2 minutes.

Add the rest of the coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, dark soy sauce, lime juice, ground pepper and salt to the chicken mixture. Bring back to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 7 minutes. Serve in bowls, over portions of the egg noodles. Garnish each serving with spring onions, chopped bird chilies, chopped shallots, cilantro leaves and fried noodle nests (if using).

Serves 4.

*To make fried noodle nests, divide 6 oz rice vermicelli into 4 “nests.” Heat about an inch of canola oil in a wok over high heat. Test oil when it is hot by dipping one of the noodles into it; oil is ready when noodle puffs up on contact. With tongs, drop one nest into the oil. It will just take a second to fry — remove from the oil as it has puffed up. Place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with the rest of the nests.

Japanese Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry (Yakisoba)

Yakisoba2 (1 of 1)Here’s another simple, mid-week stir-fry dish. I find yakisoba to be very versatile — you can use most any kind of vegetable (in other words, clean out your fridge). With its unique and delicious combination of flavors (especially from the Worcestershire ingredient!), the sauce is what makes this dish. I hope you’ll try it!

3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp ketchup
2 tsp oyster sauce
3 tsp sugar

2 Tbsp canola oil
1 8-oz sirloin steak, very thinly sliced, and then cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths (I put the steak in the freezer for about 10 minutes, which firms it up for thin slicing)Yakisoba1 (1 of 1)
1 1/2 cups chopped cabbage
1 large carrot, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 green onions (scallions), sliced on the diagonal into 1-inch segments

1 9-oz package fresh Chinese-style noodles

Prepare the yakisoba sauce by whisking together the first 5 ingredients (Worcestershire sauce through sugar) and set aside,

Combine the vegetables (cabbage through green onions in a medium-size bowl.

Prepare the noodles by dropping them into a pot of boiling water. Bring back to a boil and cook for 30 seconds. Drain and set aside.

Heat the canola oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the meat and stir-fry until no longer pink, about 1 minute.

Add the vegetables to the meat in the wok. Stir-fry just until the vegetables are no longer raw-looking, about 3 minutes.

Add the noodles and the yakisoba sauce to the vegetable-meat mixture. Stir-fry for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, being sure to combine all ingredients well. Serve.

Serves 4.

Lentil-Feta Salad

Lentil_Feta_Salad1 (1 of 1)This is a simple and delicious salad of lentils, feta and tomatoes, tossed with a lemon-garlic vinaigrette. Its flavors are bright and fresh, and to me, it makes for a perfect summer side salad at a cookout or picnic. I hope you’ll try it!

 

 

1 1/4 cups dried lentils, preferably a French variety, such as Le Puy
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely grated or minced
1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
1 cup diced cucumber
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup thinly sliced celery
Lettuce leaves, such as romaine

Place lentils in a large saucepan. Cover with water, 2 inches above lentils. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain in a sieve, and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.

Whisk together lemon juice and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl. Add lentils,Lentil_Feta_Salad2 (1 of 1) tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, celery and cheese, and toss gently until combined. Season with additional salt, if desired. Serve over lettuce leaves.

Serves 4.

Indonesian Shrimp Curry (Udang Kari)

Indonesian_Shrimp_Curry1 (1 of 1)I’m very fond of just about any dish that has lemongrass in it. The original recipe called for ground lemongrass, but I prefer the brightness of fresh lemongrass for this recipe. This Indonesian curry can be served as a main dish with steamed rice, or as one dish of a few for an Indonesian-style meal. This is an easy dish for a mid-week dinner, and it’s good so I hope you’ll try it!

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 garlic coves, peeled and finely grated or minced
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed and the lower 6 inches very finely minced
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp sambal ulek
1/2 tsp terasi
1 tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk
1 lb peeled shrimp (uncooked, frozen or fresh)
1 Tbsp kecap manis
Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric, cumin and sambal ulek. Saute gently for 3 minutes.

Add the terasi, salt and coconut milk to the onion mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add shrimp and simmer for 20 minutes, or until sauce is quite thick. Stir in kecap manis and serve with seamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

Grilled Lime Chicken with Mole Sauce and Saffron Rice

Lime_Chicken_Mole3 (1 of 1)This dish features mole (pronounced something like “molay”), which is prepared throughout Mexico, but it is especially popular in the central and southern regions of Puebla and Oaxaca. It is made with a variety of interesting ingredients, such as chile peppers, spices, chocolate, and the list goes on. This version is spicy and delicious, and goes very will with the marinated, grilled lime chicken and the saffron rice. I hope you’ll try it!

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large), pounded to an even thickness (1/2 inch)
Juice of 3 limes
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or finely grated
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 pepper

2 dried ancho chile peppers
1/2 cup diced onions
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup raw, hulled sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp ground allspice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 slices day-old bread, torn into pieces
2 chipotle chiles from canned chipotles in adobo sauce
1/2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp saffron threads, crushed
1/2 diced onions
1/2 diced red bell pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup long-grain rice
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Garnish: shredded lettuce, cilantro leaves, sour cream

Prepare the marinade for the chicken by whisking together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place the chicken and marinade in a large, zip-lock plastic bag, mixing well. Let sit (turning from time to time) in the fridge for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the mole sauce by toasting the ancho chiles in a very hot, dry skillet just until they crackle (about 2 minutes each side). Be sure not to burn them, or they’ll ruin the mole. Place chiles in a bowl and cover with boiling water for 30 minutes to revive them. Drain and discard water. Remove stems and seeds, and coarsely chop. Set aside

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to the skillet. Add onions and garlic, and cook over medium to low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the sunflower seeds, cinnamon, cumin seeds and allspice. Stir for and additional 4 minutes, until mixture is fragrant. Transfer to a food processor.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth, tomato, bread, ancho chiles and chipotle peppers to the spice mixture in the food processor. Process until very smooth.

Transfer mixture to a large sauce pan. Stir in remaining broth, chocolate, sugar, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer uncovered very gently for 30 minutes. Cover and remove from heat.

For the saffron rice, bring broth and water to a boil, then remove from heat. Add the saffron, stir and set aside.

Saute the onions and red bell peppers in 1 Tbsp butter in a medium sauce pan for about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes. Stir in saffron broth, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 18 minutes. Remove from heat, and fluff with a fork. Cover and let stand for at least 5 minutes.

Prepare grill.

Remove chicken from fridge, and discard marinade. Grill chicken breasts for 9 minutes on one side. Flip, then grill for an additional 4 minutes, or until done. Cut crosswise into 1-inch slices.

Place the chicken over the rice and top with the mole. Garnish with cilantro, and serve with shredded lettuce and a dollop of sour cream

Serves 6.

Roast Turkey Panini with Spicy Chipotle Mayo

Panino4 (1 of 1)For those of you who have panini presses at home, this is a quick and yummy recipe for a mid-week dinner. What makes it is the chipotle mayo — it’s pretty spicy, so add less of the chipotle pepper if you prefer less heat. Chipotle chili peppers are smoke-dried jalapeño peppers, and for this recipe, you want to use the variety that you purchase in a 7-oz can, in adobo sauce.

1 small chipotle pepper (see my notes above about using chipotle peppers that come in adobo sauce), minced
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 pinch salt
1 loaf fresh ciabata bread, cut into 4 sections, then sliced horizontally in half
1 ripe tomato, thinly sliced
Fresh romaine lettuce
Deli-style (thinly sliced) roast turkey
White American cheese slices
Prepare the chipotle mayo by whisking together minced chipotle pepper, mayonnaise, ground cumin and salt.

Spread the chipotle mayo on the tops and Panino5 (1 of 1)bottoms of the bread slices. Build sandwiches by placing on each a few ounces of turkey, followed by a couple lettuce leaves, a couple slices of tomato and a slice of cheese. Cook panini (sandwiches) in hot press until bread is light brown and crunchy.

Serves 4.