Tag Archives: crushed red pepper chile flakes

Chimichurri Sauce on Ribeye Steak ~ or Whatever!

25 Jun
Chimichurri Sauce with Grilled Ribeye

Chimichurri Sauce with Grilled Ribeye

Soooo, my daughter has absconded with my prized Canon Rebel that I use for my foodie blog, as she’s flown off to Texas to record her adventures in Austin, Wimberley, and San Antonio for a week. I don’t know why I let her take it. So that left me without recording anything I made this week, but luckily had a few downloaded pics of some homemade Chimichurri sauce I made last weekend for some grilled Ribeyes. Unfortunately I only took pics of the final product and not the “making” of it. I’m sure you’ll live. ūüôā

This is a very versatile, slightly spicy sauce that can be used as a topping on any grilled (or otherwise) protein, like steak, chicken, or fish. It can also be used as an overnight marinade, which I also used it for later in the week for a tough cut of meat. It’s a winning combination of flavors. This will keep two to three weeks in the fridge if you keep adding a little oil to keep it covered. When you want to use it for a recipe, just take it out of the fridge at least an hour beforehand to let the oil warm¬† and loosen up and then give it a good shake or stir. This is also best made at least a day or two ahead to let the flavors meld.

I used some cilantro from my garden along with the parsley but if you are in the “cilantro-hating” camp you can also sub some spicy arugula or other green. It’s all good! I also used my spicy oregano plant (as opposed to just regular oregano) to give it an added kick.

Chimichurri Sauce with Spicy Oregano Plant

Chimichurri Sauce with Spicy Oregano Plant

And a huge shout-out to The FrugalHausfrau again for inspiring me to adapt her recipe! Click on her link to see the original.

Here is what I did:

Chimichurri Sauce

1 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (sub arugala, more parsley or other green if you don’t like it)
1/2 cup onion, chopped rough
2 garlic cloves
About 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
LOTS of ground black pepper, at least 1/2 teaspoon or more
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
Sea or kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar with a splash of red wine, or all white)
1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or until sauce is covered

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until finely minced, scraping down the sides as needed. Taste for additional seasonings, and add as needed.

Allow to stand for 30 minutes, then add more oil after rest time if it’s not covered with at least 1/4 inch of oil.

Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce

Cover and chill (I put mine in a Bell canning jar) for at least 3 hours or overnight. Overnight is better. Bring to room temperature at least an hour before serving. Serve over grilled steak, chicken, or fish, or use it as a marinade. Enjoy!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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Fuss-Free Spicy Pork and Kale in a Crock Pot

5 Jan
Spicy Pork and Kale

Spicy Pork and Kale

I had a few pieces of frozen pork that had to be used stat, as they were starting to look slightly freezer-burnt around the edges. Then I had this HUGE bunch of organic kale I picked up the other day, for reasons still unknown to me this day. I must have had something in mind, but it never came back to me. Armed with those two ingredients, I thought about making my Spicy Pork and Kale Soup, but decided I needed to try out something new. After countless interwebz searches, I finally settled on a combination of flavors I thought would work together.

Kale Bunch

Kale Bunch

About halfway through the cooking time my daughter said the kitchen smelled really good, so I was hopeful! And thankfully, it turned out delicious! It was spicy, tangy, filling, and made for a great meal for the fam after we spent a good part of the day cleaning out our junk room to make into a bedroom for a foreign exchange student we are hosting in February. (As well as painting my daughter’s bedroom a new color, which I had no part in. That was a father-daughter project for the day.) We served this over a bed of brown rice sided with thick slices of French Bread to sop up the juices. Yummy!

Spicy Pork and Kale Ready to Cook

Spicy Pork and Kale Ready to Cook

Spicy Pork and Kale in a Crock Pot

1 1/2 pounds thick boneless pork loin chops
Sweet Hungarian paprika
Ground black pepper
1 large bunch of kale
2 pints homemade canned tomatoes and liquid, chopped, or two cans of diced low-sodium tomatoes, with liquid
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Cooked brown or white rice, for serving

Season the pork generously with paprika and black pepper. Add to a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Tear the kale off the stems into bite-size pieces and add to the crock pot. It fills up almost the entire crock pot, but don’t worry, it all cooks down. For my homemade pints of tomatoes, I just used a knife to chop them up straight in the jar. Pour the chopped or canned diced tomatoes over all, then sprinkle the Balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and crushed red pepper flakes over the kale.

Cook on high 4 to 6 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours. When ready to serve, shred the pork with two forks in the crock pot and give it a good stir. Serve over cooked brown or white rice, with bread for sopping up the juices. Minimal ingredients, fuss-free, huge taste!

Spicy Pork and Kale

Spicy Pork and Kale

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Kale Chip Round Up ~ Prepared Five Ways!

10 Apr
Kale Roasting in Oven

Kale Roasting in Oven ~ for some reason I really wanted to caption this “Dancing Kale.” Don’t ask me why. I just thought it was so pretty with the reflections.

This was a fun little project I set out on the other day. I had a huge bunch of kale, and decided to make these kale chips everyone and their brother has been blogging about. But since I’d never made these before and there were so many variations, I decided to do several little batches in all different flavors. That way if I burnt the kale, or I didn’t like the taste of the seasonings I chose, I wouldn’t be throwing out an entire bunch.

My very first batch was spent hovering in front of the oven with the light on, timing it precisely, and sweating it out that I would burn them. Since all ovens cook so differently, I went on the cautious side from the various timings I’d seen on this. I can tell you now that my oven crisps these babies up perfectly at 5 minutes per side, providing you didn’t add any liquid type seasoning, such as lime juice. Those batches took 2 minutes more to dry out the extra liquid.

It was fun to photograph them with all their seasonings. The hardest part was finding enough little bowls for them. I even resorted to a vintage Melamine avocado green dish that survived all my moves and clean-outs that I somehow acquired over the years. It’s possible it was given to me when my mom got rid of all her Melamine dishware and sent me off to college with them. I have two of those little bowls left, I guess they are considered “chic” now, huh?

I’ll give you my rating and my daughter’s rating for these after each recipe and photo. I could only get my husband to taste my first batch, and he said “well that’s interesting” and opted out of tasting all the other flavors.¬† I suppose I can’t count on these to replace his love for potato chips. Ah well.

Rinsed, Raw Kale

Rinsed, Raw Kale

Kale Chips Method

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Tear off¬† all the kale from the rigid middle stem, then wash thoroughly and drain. Pat dry real well with paper towels to absorb any moisture left. Add whatever amount you want to bake to a bowl. Spray the kale with olive oil, then rub it in thoroughly with your hands all over.¬† Next add whatever ever seasonings called for “to taste” in the recipe and distribute evenly. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and space the kale evenly apart so it’s not crowded. Since I did such small batches, that was not an issue. Bake for 5¬† minutes, then turn kale over and bake 5 minutes more, or until dried and crispy.

I had seen some websites say it can take up to 10 minutes per side, but not in my case. I’m wondering if it also has to do with how well you pat them dry, as my oven tends to cook cooler than most. I was also warned on several websites that these burn easily and fast, so monitor your oven for your first batch to get the timing down.

Parmesan Cheese Kale Chips

Parmesan Cheese Kale Chips

Parmesan Kale Chips

Light dusting of sea salt
Shredded Parmesan cheese (add after the first 5 minutes)

After taste testing all the batches, this was my Numero Uno pick! It had the perfect balance of crunchy/cheesy/saltiness. Next time I will add twice the Parmesan. Some of the cheese came out nice and brown, and somehow those ended up at the bottom of the bowl and didn’t make the photo. Those were my faves. This came in third for my daughter.

Cajun Kale Chips

Cajun Kale Chips

Cajun Kale Chips

Store-bought Cajun seasoning (I used Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning)

This one came in dead last for both of us. I have my suspicions I was over-zealous with the seasoning. Zatarain’s is pretty spicy and salty, and it was just overbearing. If you try the Cajun route, use sparingly! I might try them again sometime, with about half the seasoning, and perhaps some lime juice or cheese to mellow it out.

Lime and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes Kale Chips

Lime and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes Kale Chips

Lime and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes Kale Chips

Fresh squeezed lime juice (this took a quarter lime for my teeny batch)
Crushed red pepper flakes (some of them fell off, so sprinkled more on after turning them)

And this one was came in First Place for my daughter! It was second for me. I like me some spicy, and the lime really balanced it out. I did have to bake a little longer to get them crisp because of the lime juice.

Garlic and Sweet Hungarian Paprika Kale Chips

Garlic and Sweet Hungarian Paprika Kale Chips

Garlic and Sweet Hungarian Paprika Kale Chips

Minced garlic from a jar, with a little of the juice
Sweet Hungarian Paprika

This was my third place pick. My daughter said I should not make them again, but that they weren’t as bad as the Cajun ones, which made them fourth place for her. I think I should have added a lot more minced garlic than I did, because the pieces with the most roasted garlic had a really nice flavor. It seemed to be missing something, not sure what. Maybe a little salt? Or maybe my tastebuds were burning out at this point, not sure!

Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt Kale Chips

Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt Kale Chips

Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt Kale Chips

Balsamic Vinegar
Sea Salt

My daughter chose this as her second place pick, and this ended up being my fourth. Before she took a bite, she said, “You know mom, vinegar can be real iffy. This could be either really good or really bad.” She took a bite, and her eyes lit up. “I really like these!” So this goes to show that taste buds can vary as much as the spices. Once again, since you are adding a liquid, bump up the cook time for a couple of minutes.

So there you have it,¬† my Kale Chip Round-Up. It was a lot of fun, and this only took me just over an hour to achieve. If you make a single batch, you are done in no time! Now we have our winners and losers, and I can confidently make a few variations in the future for a healthy, low-fat, crispy snack. By the way, being the internet sleuth that I can be, I tried to find the origins of this recipe. Although I never came across a definitive source, I can say these “chips” have been in the published realm (online or paper) since the mid- to late-90s. It appears they first started as a recipe in the food dehydrator industry, then evolved to the oven. Either way, they are a yummy snack. I plan on making a nice big batch of the Parmesan ones for myself next time around.

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