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Marinated Flank Steak

I was having some people over for dinner and I like Flank Steak because you cut it up into thin slices and everyone gets a little bit without feeling like they ate a ton of meat. It cooks up on the grill super fast– about 5 minutes on each side. And it is awesome when used in fajitas!!!

This is what I did. Here are some pics from that night.

Ingredients:

3 lb. Flank Steak

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice –app. 1 large lemon

1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

2 cloves garlic–minced

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

in a medium sized bowl, mix all the above ingredients. Pour marinade over the steak, turning meat to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours but I did it overnight till dinner the next day.

Pre heat your grill and turn to medium high heat.

I like to oil the grates and spray with Pam spray. Place steaks on the grill and discard the marinade .

Grill depending on the thickness of your flank steak app. 5 minutes each side.

Enjoy!

 

Corn and Tomato Soup – no cream

DSCN0358DSCN0382DSCN0381The corn is so delicious right now that I had to make this soup. I was going to save this recipe for the Fall but I used the fresh Olathe corn at the market now and couldn’t wait to share. When the corn is not as fresh and sweet you can definitely use frozen . I used fresh tomatoes from the farmers market and fresh Olathe corn ( local in Colorado) but I happen to know Long Island has particularly good sweet local corn. So while the getting is good and you can get fresh vegetables please do so. Farm to Table here we go again.

I made this soup for dinner as an appetizer. I think it would be good cold but I prefer it warm.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots , coarsely chopped or 1 large one

1 teaspoon kosher salt ( more to taste)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ( more to taste)

3 1/4 cups corn, or 1 lb. bag of frozen corn thawed it’s approximately 5 – 6 ears of fresh corn

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian

2 beautiful medium size tomatoes, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces*

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn

Directions:

In a large dutch oven ( Le Creuset) type of pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, salt and pepper, cook stirring occasionally until shallots are soft, app. 5 minutes. While this is going on cook up the corn as follows.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and just cook corn till it turns yellow for 1-2 minutes, then I throw into an ice bath to stop the cooking. When corn is cooled down cut kernels off cobs.

Place the cooked shallots, corn and chicken stock into the blender.

Pour the corn mixture back into the pot. Bring the mixture to a low simmer , cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, just to heat through.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tomatoes and basil, let it cook for another 10 minutes or so.  Taste for Salt and Pepper.

Ladle into soup bowls and serve!

*to seed the tomatoes, cut them in 1/2 horizontally and using a small dessert spoon, scoop out the seed and discard. The seeds make the soup too watery.

Chicken Fajitas on the Grill

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IMG_5593.JPGThis recipe was in this month’s Food and Wine and it had my name written all over it.  Wow–Fajitas on the Grill and the best part is there were no pots and pans to clean up! Cooked in Aluminum Foil Packs right on the grill! They call them Hobo Packs.

Very quick prep and delicious ingredients. Feel free to substitute for whatever peppers you would prefer. This is what I did tonite.

This recipe easily feed 3 of us and maybe could be stretched to 4 or just add more chicken and more vegetables.

You’ll need heavy-duty aluminum foil for the grill.

Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken tenders–you can 1/2 them lengthwise into thin strips or leave them whole which is what I did. If you can’t find tenders use a cutlet and cut into thin strips.

1 medium red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick (approximately)

1 poblano chile or serrano chile whatever you can get. Stemmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips.

1 Red Bell Pepper–cut into strips lengthwise

1 Yellow Bell Pepper –cut into strips lengthwise

*you can really use any peppers that you’d like–these are the 3 I used tonite. Shishito Peppers would be wonderful as well.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper- you’ll need to be fairly generous with the salt –I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill.

4 -6 fresh oregano sprigs–at least 1 in each packet–I used 2 in a few.

1 lime, thinly sliced crosswise

Warm flour tortillas, sour cream , guacamole and salsa and some hot sauce for serving.

Directions:

Cut up all the veggies, onions and chicken and light the grill, I had the grill turned up high , it should be medium to high. I put it to high to pre-heat and then lowered to a more medium – high, if you are unable to do this step just check on them after 12 minutes to make sure the bottom isn’t burning.

In a large bowl, toss the chicken, onion and all the peppers with the olive oil and cumin seeds. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss again.

Arrange 4 14 inch sheets of heavy duty foil on a work surface ( see pics) app. 14 inches don’t get the ruler out. Just eyeball it, it needs to fit a pile of veggies and chicken.

Pile the chicken and veggies evenly on one 1/2 of each foil sheet and top with the oregano and lime slices. Fold the foil over the ingredients and pinch the edges to seal. I made 4 packets.

Place the foil packets on the grill, close the lid and cook over moderately high heat until the chicken is cooked through, anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes.

Open the packets and serve with warm flour fajitas, sour cream , guacamole, salsa and hot sauce.

*Packets can be made a night ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

 

BBQ Baked Beans

Perfect for a side dish for BBQ or indoor dining! I made these baked beans for a dinner party this summer and completely forgot to post the recipe . It’s not vegetarian friendly since I did use bacon and am afraid if you leave it out you would be leaving out an integral layer of flavor. These are sweet and delicious and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry. I love a well stocked pantry and always have canned beans, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, mustard, dark and light brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. I used dark brown sugar but if you have light you can use. You’ll need thick-cut bacon and a medium yellow onion. I love when I use ingredients that I have in my house.

I saw this recipe on Valerie’s Home Cooking on The Food Network.

www.foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

4 slices thick-cut bacon, roughly chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 15 ounce cans Cannellini or Great Northern white beans

1/3 cup ketchup

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Kosher Salt and Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the bacon in a large cold skillet and cook over medium heat until the fat renders and the bacon is almost cooked to a crisp. About 10 minutes.

Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally , until the onion is softened, another 10 minutes or so. Add 1 can of the beans with their liquid. Drain and rinse the second can of beans, then add them to the skillet.

Add the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill. You’ll taste for salt and pepper again at the end of cooking.

Bring to a low simmer, then transfer to a small baking dish. Bake uncovered until thick and bubbly, about an hour.Taste for salt and pepper.

I cooked in my small Le Creuset from start to finish and served in my pot right to the table. Either way is fine.

Serve Warm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomato Time Pasta with Fresh Corn

I was going to make my tomato time pasta for the two of us and I was using fresh cherry tomatoes and whole wheat pasta. I had two ears of beautiful fresh corn and I figured how can that taste bad? Corn and Tomatoes are delicious and mixed in with the pasta they were just a perfect summer meal. My original Tomato Time Pasta was posted on August ’14 and that was the basis for this. This is what I did last night for our dinner.

Ingredients:

This recipe is for 4-6 servings , I cut in 1/2 for the 2 of us.

1 lb. spaghetti, I like long ropy spaghetti for this recipe , use whatever you like. I also used whole wheat pasta last night.

4 -6 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil — start out with 4 and you might want to add a little more during the cooking process. I used 3 for 1/2 of this recipe.

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced.

4 ears of fresh corn–I used 2 for 1/2 this recipe so I would double for whole recipe.

*1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper– we like it spicy but obviously you can use more or less depending on your taste or omit entirely. I used a lot.

2 pints of cherry tomatoes ( app. 3 cups fresh tomatoes) I cut the larger tomatoes in 1/2 and left the little ones whole.

Fresh Basil

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Freshly Grated Parmesan — on the table at your own discretion

Directions:

Cook Corn in boiling water for 2 minutes –Bring water to a boil and place corn in water for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with ice water and cool corn down. When corn is cooled off –cut the corn off cob and set aside.

Cook Pasta according to the directions on the box for al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water in the event you may need a little more liquid in your sauce. Add salt to the cooking water for pasta.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat — add olive oil then lower the heat and add garlic , cook until garlic is golden brown and not burned. About 2 minutes– watch the garlic –just to soften and get fragrant. Add the crushed red pepper and the tomatoes, and cook over medium low to medium heat. I added about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt at this point –and some freshly ground black pepper about 1/4 teaspoon. Stir together all ingredients for a bit, making sure garlic isn’t burning and tomatoes start to burst and deflate for about 10 minutes. I then lower the heat and let the tomatoes simmer in the pan for at least 15 minutes and last night for 1/2 hour. This is when I added the fresh corn. Let it sit together for the last 15 minutes of cooking.  I even turned off the stove and let it just sit there , i then turned heat back on just before adding the pasta. Taste for Salt and Pepper.  Remember to reserve a cup of pasta water. I added a little water at a time to the tomatoes and corn at a low flame– stirred it in–probably used about 1/2 cup . It will give the sauce some needed liquid. Just stir in slowly don’t dump the whole cup in at once. Next add the cooked pasta right into the pan and stir it all up good. Tomatoes will be smashed up and olive oil will have turned a lovely light orangey red color. Add in the Fresh Basil–I cut it up into small pieces –again this is your choice you can throw it in whole leaves as well. There you have it. Dinner in 1/2 hour.

I plated it up and fresh parmesan was on the table if anyone wanted to use it.

Yum and even more delicious the next day cold out of the fridge.

 

 

 

Traditional Chicken Salad

IMG_5357This is an “oldie but goodie” made with real deal mayonnaise and other delicious ingredients. Nothing fancy going on here just good old fashioned goodness. Of course if you would like to lighten it up you can use Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise. I didn’t. This is a delicious, quick meal and perfect for a summer get together or luncheon any time of the year. I like to make it the night before and give the ingredients a chance to meld together. I take it out of the fridge about an hour or so before it is getting eaten so it comes to room temperature.

Ingredients:

1 pound of chicken ( give or take) I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken and removed the skin and cut into cubes and shredded the rest of it.

1 cup chopped celery–I like my celery in small thin pieces –do whatever you prefer

1 cup red seedless grapes–halved

1/2 cup roasted chopped pecans–roast at 400 degrees for app. 4 minutes

1/2 cup dried cherries — or raisins or whatever you prefer

1 cup Mayonnaise–I used good old-fashioned Hellmans Mayo

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Add chopped chicken to a large bowl along with celery, grapes, dried cherries, chopped pecans, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Stir together until just combined. Refrigerate over night and taste for salt and pepper the next day before serving. Bring to room temperature to serve it at its optimum taste!

 

Lemon Cake with Blueberry Sauce–not so homemade

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Now this is something I don’t often do but sometimes it is just the right thing to do. I bought a boxed Lemon Cake, yes that’s right with all my recipes for delicious cakes from scratch I bought a Duncan Hines Lemon Deluxe Cake because I saw a recipe that called for it, then I decided to go in a completely different direction with this recipe! In any event why beat myself up for using a boxed cake mix????? It came out delicious and was pretty simply executed. By the way I cheated on the topping too, I used Cool Whip Light!

So go ahead cut step 1 and buy the box cake mix, and then the rest of it you’ll have to do on your own.

Sorry for the poor pictures , it really was light and refreshing!

Ingredients:

1 box Lemon Cake Mix ( I used Duncan Hines deluxe Lemon Cake Mix) and you’ll need vegetable oil, eggs and water .

Lemon Blueberry Sauce:

I used 2 pints of fresh blueberries

1 large lemon or 2 small lemons, zest and app. 1 Tbsp. of juice , you will need the zest of the 2 lemons or 1 large one.

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. corn starch

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Topping:

1/2 jar lemon curd

1 8 oz. container cool whip–yep I used Lite and it was perfectly delicious

Directions:

Prepare the lemon cake according to the package directions using a 9×13 baking dish.

Prepare the blueberry-lemon sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan, add blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally , until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken ( it took about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside and allow to cool.

Remove the cake from the oven when it’s done and allow it to cool down for a little bit, app. 10 minutes. Once it cooled down I used the handle of a regular wooden spoon and I poked holes into the top of the cake that are about an inch apart. While the cake is still on the warm side, drizzle the blueberry lemon sauce on top of the cake. Spread the sauce into an even layer over the cake making sure that some of the sauce and the blueberries get down into the holes. Let the cake cool completely (about an hour) See photos.

Add the lemon curd and 1/2 cup of the cool whip to a medium bowl and whisk together until smooth. Add another 1/2 cup of the cool whip and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining cool whip to the bowl. Using a large spoon or spatula , gently fold the cool whip mixture into the lemon curd mixture. Spread the whipped lemon topping on top of the cake into an even layer. Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. I kept it overnight. I took it out about 1/2 hour before serving.

Now this is easy.

Store covered in the refrigerator.

Yum! and beautiful.

 

Coconut Rice

One of the best recipes I took out of Jessica Seinfeld’s new cookbook “Food Swings” and also one of the easiest.

I love Jasmine Rice and I love Coconut so it’s a win win in my book.

I served along with my Sheet Pan Shrimp which is truly an easy elegant delicious meal. This rice is just delicious served with almost any meal. Especially a savory dish such as this one.

Just follow theses easy instructions and I have no dog in the fight to promote Jessica’s book but I think it’s a very worthwhile purchase.

Ingredients:

1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk ( app. 1 3/4 cup)

1 1/2 cups Jasmine Rice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, the rice and the salt over medium-high heat. Let it come to a boil and stir a few times. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and cook for 18 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered , for at least 5 minutes.

  • a little tip– I sprayed saucepan with Pam Spray –makes for easier stirring and quicker clean up and no rice sticking to bottom of pan

Sheet Pan Shrimp

Oh wow! I am so very into all my sheet pan meals. This one was particularly simple to prepare once you have the shrimp prepped. I really kind of just winged it. You can roast some broccoli separately as it would need a little more time to cook.  I served with some rice and a salad and that was it. No kidding around this meal took less than 1/2 hour from oven to table. Of course it is super easy if your fish store can prepare your shrimp. Joel does all the shrimp prep around here and boy am I happy he does. If you call your fish store ahead they will peel and de-vein the shrimp for you.

Enjoy this super easy light dinner.

This recipe will serve 4 people.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp. You can leave the tails on if you’d like but I didn’t. I used rather large shrimp. Under 10–Mexican White Shrimp.

2 cups cherry tomatoes

2 nice sized garlic cloves, minced

app. 2 – 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

*1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper–if you like the heat. Totally optional

1/2 lemon

*some steamed spinach would also be perfect!

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

I put shrimp, cherry tomatoes and garlic in a large bowl, drizzled 2-3 Tbsp. of Olive Oil over it added app. 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt and some grinds on the pepper mill. You may want to use more or less salt depending on your particular taste. I also sprinkled some crushed red pepper in –app. 1/2 teaspoon. Mix it up with a large spoon and if it looks like a light glaze of oil and everything is covered with the oil –you’re good. I used between 2 and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. You’ll have to eyeball it to be sure. One large sheetpan should do it. I sprayed sheet pan with cooking spray or you can use parchment paper for even quicker clean up . Spread out on sheet pan and that’s it.

Roast until the shrimp are opaque , start to curl up and turn pink,  and tomatoes start to burst. I cooked for 15 minutes, but I had very large shrimp. You’ll have to adjust time for the size of your shrimp. Smaller shrimp could take 10-12 minutes. You can always cut into the middle of a shrimp to be sure it’s done.

Finish with a squeeze of some fresh lemon, app. 1/2 lemon.

Serve with rice , pasta or just alone. Add a nice green veggie alongside and you’re good to go.

Say Thank You for this delicious and easy recipe!

 

 

 

Springtime Shrimp, Orzo and Herbs

While this dish is really a mediterranean flavored dish it makes me think of the spring with all its green colors and fresh flavors. The shrimp gets a roasted treatment and the orzo gets it’s flavor from the lemons, feta, dill, scallions and red onions. Yum! It had me at hello. The original recipe is from Ina Garten and this recipe as is should serve 5- 6 nicely. I cut this recipe in 1/2 for the two of us. Simple, easy and delicious that’s the way I like it!
Enjoy and obviously this dish is delicious and right for all times of the year. What’s especially nice about this dish is that it can be served at room temperature which makes it a lovely dish for a luncheon as well. This will be a keeper throughout the summer for a delicious flavorful orzo salad. I have to add that I put this dish together rather quickly which always adds to my general love of a recipe.

You can also modify the amounts of herbs if you don’t enjoy the strong flavors of dill, scallions and onions. My husband is a very fussy eater who usually balks at the sight of anything green thoroughly enjoyed this dish without picking out a single piece of the green stuff! If you don’t like the strong flavor of dill this recipe will probably not be for you but if you enjoy dill, parsley, onion, scallions and cucumbers this is the one for you.

Ingredients:

This is the original recipe and should serve 6 very nicely. I cut in 1/2 and we had a little left over.

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper 1 amounts are listed below in directions

Olive Oil – amounts listed below in directions

3/4 lb. orzo pasta

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (app. 3 lemons)

2 lbs. shrimp – peeled and deveined . I used Jumbo Shrimp had the fish store peel and de-vein it and I had app. 14 pieces to the pound.

1 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts–this will probably be 2 bunches of scallions

1 cup chopped fresh dill

1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and medium diced– I scooped out the seeds with a melon baller

1/2 cup small-diced red onion

3/4 lb good feta cheese, cut into cubes

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare all the ingredients while orzo is cooking.

Cook orzo according to the box for al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl.

Whisk together the lemon juice , 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.

Meantime, place the shrimp on a sprayed sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. ( I mix the shrimp with clean hands and get the olive oil all over the shrimp then sprinkle with Salt and Pepper) Then spread in a single layer. Roast for 5-6 minutes till shrimp are cooked through. Do not Over-cook!!! shrimp will turn pink and curl up.

Add the cooked shrimp to the orzo and then add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion and start with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and add more if necessary, and app. 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of black pepper–obviously every one has different taste buds for salt and pepper but taste as you go. Toss well. Then add the feta and stir carefully. (remember that the shrimp has salt and so does the feta)

You can eat and enjoy immediately like we did or allow the flavors to seal in for an hour at room temperature. This would make for a lovely salad in the warmer months served at room temperature. If you make ahead and put in the refrigerator–bring to room temperature and taste for seasonings before serving. This would be fine to make ahead of time as long as you bring it to room temperature before serving .