Tag Archives: soy sauce

Carne Asada Street Tacos: Sous Vide or Grilled

5 Mar
Carne Asada Street Tacos

Carne Asada Street Tacos

I had a gorgeous hunk of flank steak in our freezer from our quarter cow we bought last year, and carne asada street tacos were calling my name! Typically skirt steak is used for these tacos, but I figured the leaner flank steak would work just as well provided it was marinated in a citrusy sauce for a spell.  I decided to cook this via the sous-vide method, but grilling the steak would work just as great.

Total thumbs up all the way around for the tacos! We had plenty of leftovers for another dinner even with my daughter eating three of them in one sitting. I made some fresh pico de gallo to serve these with along with the avocado, but you can use any condiments of choice for these tasty tacos.

Carne Asada Ingredients

Many of the delicious Carne Asada ingredients

Carne Asada Street Tacos: Sous Vide or Grilled
Adapted from Serious Eats

3 whole dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
3 whole dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 whole chipotle peppers, canned in adobo sauce
3/4 cup fresh juice from 2 to 3 oranges (I used Cara Cara)
2 tablespoons fresh juice from 2 to 3 limes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
6 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Sea salt, to taste
1.5 to 2 pounds flank or skirt steak
Warm corn or flour tortillas, lime wedges, diced onion, additional fresh cilantro (or Pico de Gallo), and avocado, for serving

Place dried ancho and guajillo chilies in a glass bowl and cover with boiling water. Let steep for 20 minutes until soft and pliable. Drain water, then transfer chiles to a food processor or blender.

Toasting the Cumin and Coriander

Toasting the Cumin and Coriander

Toast the ground cumin and coriander in a hot dry skillet until fragrant and add to the chiles. (You could toast the seeds and grind yourself, but I’m not that fancy.)

Ready to Process the Marinade

Ready to Process the Marinade

Add the rest of the ingredients except steak and condiments. Blend until a smooth sauce has formed. Transfer half of the sauce to a gallon-sized zip-top bag and refrigerate or freeze the other half in a sealed container for future use.

BONUS! Here’s my quick recipe for homemade Pico de Gallo. Double or triple as needed:

Pico de Gallo

1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 jalapeño or serrano chile, finely diced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, and let marinate for an hour or so. That’s it!

For cooking via sous-vide method:

Add steak to the marinade in the bag, squishing around to coat.

Steak in Marinade

Steak in Marinade

Vacuum-seal the bag using the water immersion method. Set temperature on the sous vide to 131 F, then place the bag in the pot and cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation. Cook for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, preheat a cast-iron pan on high. Remove the bag from the sous-vide pot, then remove the steak from the marinade and wipe off excess. Discard marinade. Char the steak in the hot pan for a minute or two on each side until well-browned. Transfer to a cutting board and slice thinly against the grain.

Serve immediately with warmed tortillas and garnishes.

Sliced Carne Asada Flank Steak

Sliced Carne Asada Flank Steak

For cooking on a grill:

Add steak to the marinade in the bag, squishing around to coat. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat your grill on one side to the highest temperature. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

Remove steak from marinade and wipe off excess. Place directly over the hot side of the grill. If using a gas grill, cover; if using a charcoal grill, leave open. Cook, turning occasionally, until steak is well charred on outside and center registers 110°F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain.

Serve immediately warmed tortillas and garnishes.

 

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

The Campbell’s Bean with Bacon Soup Experiment

19 Feb
Campbell's Bean with Bacon Soup Experiment

Campbell’s Bean with Bacon Soup Experiment

Hey wait a minute! Don’t click away just yet! I know the word Campbell’s and Experiment in the same line might lead you to run away in culinary terror, but this was a mission. A mission to replicate this red and white childhood favorite can of good ole’ American soup without all the nasties in it. Well, as many as I possibly could without compromising the original goal. I kind of crack myself up, as the tomato soup’s goal last week was to NOT taste like the canned version. No wonder my husband never understands me.

If you look up recipes for “copycat” Campbell’s bean with bacon soup, you will find in the recipe comments that many readers say it didn’t taste anything like the soup in the can. Then if you look at the ingredients they used, then the ingredients on the can, it’s no wonder.

Campbell's Bean with Bacon Soup Ingredients

Campbell’s Bean with Bacon Soup Ingredients

I printed out the ingredients label and studied it to come up with a reasonable facsimile. Besides water, pea beans is the first ingredient. According to Wikipidia: “in the USA the name ‘pea bean’ is also used to describe small white common beans.” Well the beans from my local bulk food store section seemed to fit this perfectly, as the name on the bin was “small white beans.”

Tomato puree was a no-brainer, I used tomato paste and water. Bacon and carrots? Yep, I can do that. I skipped over all the unknown and nasty stuff, and then saw dehydrated onions. I had a whole spice jar of those! Most other recipes used fresh onion, in addition to celery and garlic. As much as I wanted to use all of those, I had to stick to my guns on this one.

Another thing unique to the canned variety is that the carrots and bacon are just wee bits in the soup, not huge chunks.

campbellscondensed-bean-with-bacon1

With that in mind, I pulsed both the carrots

Minced Carrots

Minced Carrots

and bacon into minced bits in my Ninja processor before cooking together. I didn’t bother rinsing the Ninja before adding the bacon.

Minced Bacon

Minced Bacon

Sugar is also mentioned twice, so decided to some add brown sugar too, but not too much.

My last dilemma was yeast extract (Marmite anyone?) and natural smoke flavoring. A bit of googling told me that soy sauce has the same umami and flavor profile as yeast extract. My bottle of liquid smoke wasn’t as “natural” in ingredients as I would have desired, but it was Stubb’s so I gave myself a pass on that. I left those out until all the other ingredients had a chance to meld in the slow cooker all day, then would do a taste test. Plus bacon has a smoky flavor, and I used ham stock instead of water, which also has a smoky flavoring. Time would tell.

The Results? Drum roll please…

Close — VERY close! The texture was not quite right as I should have removed some beans before pureeing the soup, but I was so excited to use my new immersion blender that I totally bypassed that step.

But when you crunchle in a bunch of saltine crackers, the texture doesn’t matter much at that point because the soup is Mmm, Mmm, Good!

Campbell’s Bean with Bacon Soup Experiment

1 pound small dried white beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1 cup finely minced carrots
6 slices bacon, finely minced
2 tablespoons dehydrated minced onion
3 tablespoons tomato paste plus one cup water
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
4 cups homemade ham stock, or water
Low-sodium soy sauce, to taste
Stubb’s liquid smoke (or other brand), to taste

Cook the minced carrots and bacon together in a skillet over medium heat until the bacon starts to crisp, about 15 minutes. It kind of freaked me out because the bacon fat never really released, did the carrots soak it up? At this point add the minced onion then cook for a few more minutes, stirring.

Dehydrated Onion Added to Mixture

Dehydrated Onion Added to Mixture

Once the onions look fairly hydrated, add the tomato paste and water, plus the brown sugar and stir to combine.

Tomato Paste Added

Tomato Paste Added

Pour the mixture (which vaguely resembles baby food) into a large slow cooker, then add the ham stock or water, and beans. Stir to combine then cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours, or high on 4 to 6 hours until the beans are tender. Add additional water as needed. At this point the bacon grease did release, which I removed from the top. It was only about 2 tablespoons.

Soup Before Pureeing

Soup Before Pureeing

Using an immersion blender, puree about half the soup. You can also do this in batches in a blender.  For a really smooth consistency for the base, remove some of the beans before pureeing, then add them back in.

At this point I did a taste test. It still needed some smoky flavoring, so alternated a few dashes at a time between soy sauce and liquid smoke. I stirred and tasted, ate a saltine cracker in between, until I found the right balance. Use caution with liquid smoke, as it is very strong. I might have added one drop too much.

Serve hot in bowls, with lots of saltine crackers on the side. I assembled a quick Caesar salad on the side since this was our dinner. If anyone makes this, please let me know what you think. Did this even come close to your expectations?

Campbell's Bean with Bacon Soup Experiment

Campbell’s Bean with Bacon Soup Experiment

 

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Pan-Roasted Chicken, Cabbage, and Potatoes (and a New Cookbook!)

12 Nov
Pan-Roasted Chicken Cabbage and Potatoes

Pan-Roasted Chicken Cabbage and Potatoes

I got my pin and traction device off this week, woohoo! Below is me showing my hand in all it’s glory right after the procedure. This physical therapy thing is sure taking up most of each day, though. Every hour I get the reminder alarm to do my therapy exercises, and depending on what round I’m doing, I look up and I only have a half hour before the next round. (I’m on short-term leave from work for a few weeks.) That sure doesn’t leave a lot of time for cooking and picture taking. But I managed to squeeze this dinner in between the “torture” last night.

Traction and Pin Off

Traction and Pin Off

I saw this recipe on the Food52 website and figured it was quick and easy enough to pull off. Both me and my husband fell in love with the sauce! It’s the perfect combination of spicy/tangy/slightly sweet which we both figured would be PERFECT on grilled salmon too!

After eating what we could of it, I thought the leftovers would make a really good Asian Noodle Soup, which I plan on doing sometime this weekend (sans the potatoes). It’s funny, after eating I was perusing the chicken-scratch changes I had made to the original printed recipe, I noticed I missed an ingredient in the sauce! I’m glad I did, as I think it would have been a completely different profile as toasted sesame oil has a very strong taste.

Oh! And I also received a new cookbook in the mail, along with a packet of homemade spice! My dear friend and fellow blogger Krystina at Kouzanas kitchen published a cookbook, filled with amazing recipes inspired by her grandparents’ village in Mani, Greece. I can’t wait to use the spice in a dish (Organic Santorini Sunset Seasoning) and cook some great Greek food from the book. You can find her blog, Facebook page, and Etsy shop in the links below.

Back to My Roots Cookbook

Back to My Roots Cookbook

Kouzunas Kitchen blog

Kouzunas Kitchen FaceBook

Kouzunas Kitchen Etsy Shop

Now on to the recipe!

Pan-Roasted Chicken, Cabbage, and Potatoes

1 teaspoon grapeseed oil, for greasing
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha
4 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs
Red baby potatoes, halved
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1/2 head small cabbage

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Rub a teaspoon of grapeseed (or other neutral) oil to coat a rimmed sheet pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and Sriracha. Place the chicken and potatoes in a gallon zip-lock bag. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup of the sauce over the chicken and shake bag around to coat. Let marinate while the oven preheats.

Cut the cabbage in half through the core. Repeat this process until you are left with wedges 1-inch wide. Place the wedges in a large bowl, season salt and pepper, and toss with the remaining sauce. Pour the bag of chicken and potatoes, including juices, on to the sheet pan and spread out in one layer. Roast for 10 minutes.

Nestled Cabbage

Nestled Cabbage

Remove pan from oven, and nestle cabbage wedges all around the pieces, tucking it under in some places. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes more or until chicken is golden and cooked through. Remove pan from oven, transfer chicken to a platter to rest. Return cabbage and potatoes to the oven to roast for 5 to 10 more minutes until potatoes are done.

Pan-Roasted Chicken Cabbage and Potatoes2

Pan-Roasted Chicken Cabbage and Potatoes

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Jodi’s Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

22 Oct
Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

This meal is so easy even this one-handed cook pulled it off handily. (I crack myself up.) 😀

My wonderful blog friend Jodi at The Creative Life in Between posted yet another mouth-watering dish for me to steal. I followed her recipe except cut it in half and used smoked paprika in place of the optional smokey paprika chipotle.

Dried Oregano and Honey Garlic Sauce

Dried Oregano and Honey Garlic Sauce

I thought I was out of dried oregano so snipped some fresh and dried it in the toaster oven first, but then found my last year’s dried batch — not in the empty and clearly labeled oregano jar — but in a Mrs. Dash container labeled in Sharpee with my husband’s printing. Go figure.

We served ours over rice and garnished with additional sesame seeds and snipped green onion (I demonstrate my prowess with that task below).

Snipping Green Onion Wearing Traction Device

Snipping Green Onion Wearing Traction Device

This is a spicy, slightly sweet explosion of flavor! The daughter went back for seconds and had the leftovers the next day. My husband ate a large sub just a few hours earlier and didn’t have any. Hiss loss!

Please pop on over to Jodi’s place to find a handy-dandy printable recipe here —> Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken.

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

3 Oct
Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

Fall is in the air, at least where I live. And that means SOUP season! This is another recipe I made several months ago during a cool spell. The hardest thing about writing a recipe months after the fact is interpreting the scribbles hastily written down while cooking and photographing. I’m sure at the time I thought I would remember what it all means. So if I’ve missed a step or ingredient, please forgive me! But what I do remember is how much I enjoyed this soup.

Don’t let all those bottled sauces intimidate you, as very little of each is used and they keep for a long time in the refrigerator.  And it’s always nice to have just the sauce you need when you’re in the mood for an Asian dish. I think I’ll make this again very soon, as the cool, fall air is making me hanker for some warm, soothing soup!

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated carrot
1­ inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
4 to 5 cups homemade or low­sodium chicken broth
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 heads baby bok choy, sliced crosswise
2 green onions, green part only, chopped
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek (optional)
Lime wedges, for serving

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup Ingredients

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup Ingredients ~ I started to crop this photo but couldn’t after I spotted our darling Hannah Banana in the background!

Add the oils to a wok or Dutch oven heated over medium high. Add the shredded carrot and sauté for a few minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant.

Pour in the chicken broth, rice wine vinegar, oyster, soy and fish sauces to the broth. Raise the heat and cook until starting to boil, then add the chicken tenders and sliced chile pepper.

Simmering the Chicken

Simmering the Chicken

Reduce the heat to medium and cook at a low simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness. Remove the chicken from broth and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Bok Choy and Green Onions Added

Bok Choy and Green Onions Added

Meanwhile, add the bok choy and green onion to the broth. Optionally, add the Sambal Oelek if you like a little spicy. Simmer until greens are just tender, about 5 minutes.

Shred the chicken tenders with forks, then add back to the pot until warmed through.

Shredded Chicken Added

Shredded Chicken Added

Serve in bowls with a lime wedge for squeezing into the soup, to taste.

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles with Bok Choy

12 Sep
Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles with Bok Choy

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles with Bok Choy

I had a hankering for fried egg rolls a few weeks ago and thought I was all set with my ingredients, but when I took the egg roll wrappers out of the freezer to defrost, they were totally freezer burnt! I was NOT going to make a trip to the store just for egg roll wrappers, so I put on my thinking cap and decided we could enjoy all the deliciousness of egg rolls — unwrapped! The meal came out perfectly delicious, and just think of all the calories we saved without the fried grease (although I’m not one to pass up a fried egg roll if given the chance).

If you do decide to make this healthier alternative, just make sure you get all your ingredients prepped ahead of time, as it comes together pretty quick once you start cooking.

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles with Bok Choy

4 ounces dried rice noodles
1/2 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
2 or 3 green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 cup grated carrot (I used bagged)
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup chicken broth
2 baby bok choy, trimmed and sliced
1/2 pound shrimp (I used frozen deli shrimp)
4 ounces fresh bean sprouts
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek (optional)
Lime wedges, for garnish

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles Ingredients

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles Ingredients

Soak rice noodles in hot water according to package directions. (Usually about 10 or 15 minutes.) Drain noodles and set aside. (Ignore my angel hair noodles in the pic and sub in your mind with the green onions I forgot for the shot.) After adding the rice noodles and bean sprouts, I had plenty of food already!)

Browned Ground Pork

Browned Ground Pork

In a wok or large skillet, brown the ground pork with 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil over medium heat until thoroughly cooked through. Remove from skillet, drain on paper towels, and set aside.

Cooking the Veggies

Cooking the Veggies

In the same skillet (without wiping out oil), add the grated carrots and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ginger, garlic, and green onions, and cook for several more minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add another teaspoon of sesame oil to the skillet, then add the sliced bok choy, cooking until just wilted.

Wilted Bok Choy

Wilted Bok Choy

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy, oyster and fish sauces along with the rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, and chicken broth and pour over the bok choy. Now add all the rest of the ingredients to the skillet (pork, veggies, shrimp, noodles, and bean sprouts.)

Last, stir in the cornstarch slurry and the chili sauce if you like a little spicy and bring up to a simmer. Turn off heat, then serve in bowls with a squeeze of lime wedge.

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles with Bok Choy

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles with Bok Choy

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

9 Aug
Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

We had about a half-pound of tri-tip beef leftover that my hubby cooked up on the grill earlier in the week, the daughter was gone, and I needed to come up with something for dinner that was quick and easy. I also had a partial bag of sugar snap peas left in the fridge and a half bag of bean sprouts in the freezer. (Did you know you can freeze bean sprouts? But they need to be cooked after freezing, they won’t be good in a salad or sandwich.)

A quick search on the internet gave me this super-easy meal that was on the table in less than thirty minutes! It’s so quick you’ll want to start cooking your rice before making this, unless you are super-fortunate to also have some leftover rice in the fridge.

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas
Adapted from Beef with Snow Peas, Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

1/2 pound leftover barbecued tri-tip beef (or any other cooked beef)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 ounces fresh sugar snap peas
4 ounces bean sprouts
3 green onions, cut into inch pieces on the diagonal
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 cup low sodium or homemade chicken or beef broth
Cooked rice, for serving.

Simmering the Beef and Vegetables

Simmering the Beef and Vegetables

Slice the cooked beef in very thin slices against the grain and set aside. Cut into bite size pieces too if you want. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger.

Heat a wok or other heavy bottomed skillet to medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the beef and let it sear on one side for a couple of minutes, then flip it over and sear for another minute or two. Remove meat from the pan and set aside.

Add the last half tablespoon of olive oil to the wok or skillet, then throw in the snow peas, bean sprouts, and green onions. Toss them around for a minute or two, then pour in the mixture from the bowl.

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

Next add the meat back in and sprinkle with some crushed red pepper flakes, to taste. Last, pour in the chicken broth, stir to combine, and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and serve immediately with cooked rice. Easy and delicious!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Spanakopita

2 May
Spanikopita

Spanakopita

My sister made this wonderful authentic Greek dish for the family one night when she was here visiting last week. It was so much fun being able to snap some photos while she explained every step of the recipe and demonstrated the “technique” of this dish. This recipe came from her boyfriend’s mother who hailed from Greece, Zora St. Martin (her Greek maiden name was Zaharias, she married a French Canadian). Zora died about two years ago at age 88, and had a successful catering business in Newport, NH. Before she passed on she wrote down the recipe for her son, which I have shared below. As a bonus, she also included the recipe for Tiropita, which is similar to Spanakopita but doesn’t have spinach.

Spanakopita and Tiropita Recipes

Spanakopita and Tiropita Recipes

The first thing my sister said before making this was to correct my pronunciation of the dish. I’ve been saying it wrong all these years! It is span-uh-KOH-pih-ta, NOT span-uh-koh-PEE-ta. This also makes a very large amount. She said whenever they cook this at home, they wrap up individual packages to give to friends. They actually have friends calling them asking them when they are going to make it again, it is that good! This also makes a wonderful breakfast or brunch. It took us a few days, but we ate every last bit of this! My sister also found some cute little lamb chops on sale at the store, which she marinated in soy sauce, honey, and red chile flakes and grilled them up as a nice “side” to the Spanakopita. Thank you Molly for an awesome dinner!

Spanakopita

1 package Filo (Phyllo) dough, thawed in refrigerator
3 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed
1 bunch green onions
Handful of fresh dill sprigs
16-ounce container cottage cheese
24-ounces crumbled Feta cheese
6 well-beaten eggs
2 sticks melted butter (1/2 pound)

Spanakopita Ingredients

Spanakopita Ingredients

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the thawed spinach in a colander and squeeze out as much liquid as possible with your hands. Literally grab bunches of the spinach and wring it out like a wet washcloth. My sister demonstrated this beautifully:

Squeezing the Water Out of the Spinach

Squeezing the Water Out of the Spinach

Chop the green onions…

Chopping the Green Onions

Chopping the Green Onions

then mix them thoroughly with the spinach in a large bowl.

Mixing the Onion and Spinach

Mixing the Onion and Spinach

Mince the dill, then add to the spinach mixture along with the cottage and Feta cheeses and the beaten eggs. Combine thoroughly.

Spanakopita Filling

Spanakopita Filling

Brush a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with some of the butter. Layer 5 or 6 Filo sheets in the bottom of the pan, including up the sides.

First Layer of Filo Sheets

First Layer of Filo Sheets

Press in 1/4 of the spinach mixture in an even layer.

First Layer of Spinach Mixture

First Layer of Spinach Mixture

Layer 3 or 4 more sheets of Filo, then coat with butter evenly with a brush.

Brushing the Filo with Butter

Brushing the Filo with Butter

Repeat layers of spinach, Filo, and butter. The top layer should be at least 5 or 6 sheets of Filo. Pour any remaining butter over the top and brush around.

Brushing the Last of the Butter Over Top

Brushing the Last of the Butter Over Top

Bake in the preheated heated oven for 45 minutes until the top is golden-brown. If it starts to get too brown you can lightly cover it with a piece of foil. After 45 minutes, turn oven down to 350 and bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven, and let sit for about 15 minutes before serving.

Spanakopita Out of the Oven

Spanakopita Out of the Oven!

While the Spanakopita was resting, these pretty babies were thrown onto the grill for a few minutes on each side.

Marinating Lamb Chops

Marinating Lamb Chops

Dinner is served!

Spanakopita and Lamb Chop Dinner

Spanakopita and Lamb Chop Dinner

 

 

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Cheesy Baked Goulash

26 Mar
Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

How many of you have moms or grandmas out there that made this when you were growing up? (Or at least a version of it.) Lots of hands, huh? I am in that crowd of hands, except my mom made it with that red and white can of tomato soup. Yes, I loved it growing up, too. But tastebuds mature, and I fell away from thinking I would ever like Americanized Goulash again.

Until the night I made this from scratch! Wowee! What was I waiting for? I even got thumbs up from my teenage daughter and her friend spending the night, and that is AFTER they ate a value-meal Sonic hamburger (at their begging) at almost 4 pm in the afternoon as a snack. (My husband dutifully drove them to the fast-food drive-in, as I was still working. It’s Spring Break this week in my neck of the woods and the kids are restless and hungry all the time!)

I hauled out my old cookbooks from college where I figured there would be a version or two of this recipe to adapt. I was astounded I couldn’t find any variation of it, even in my trusty Good Housekeeping cookbook from 1981. Am I dreaming I ate this growing up? I wondered then if it was a Hamburger Helper version I was thinking of that my mom added the soup to. Or maybe she made it up herself? Nonetheless, I scraped together a recipe from all the online versions I found. I am happy to say that it’s a keeper, and definitely in the rotation for a quick weeknight meal made with ground beef. One cannot have too many of those on hand with a hungry teenager around.

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash Just out of Oven

Cheesy Baked Goulash

1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup chopped onion
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup dry elbow macaroni pasta
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (or 2 8-0unce cans)
1 jar homemade canned tomatoes diced, or 1 can low-sodium diced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the burger and chopped onions, then grind a bunch of black pepper over it. Cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent. In the last minute or so, add the minced garlic. Drain any grease, if needed.

Browned Burger and Onions

Browned Burger and Onions

When the water is boiling for the pasta, add the macaroni and cook until just before al dente, then drain and set aside. It will cook more in the oven. Meanwhile, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar, and herbs to the ground beef and stir to incorporate.

Cooked Macaroni and Tomato Beef Sauce

Cooked Macaroni and Tomato Beef Sauce

Or you can be like me and forget the parsley until later. Next add the cheddar cheese (or perhaps parsley if you forgot) and mix until cheese is melted. Stir in the cooked macaroni until combined.

Cheddar Cheese and Parsley Added

Cheddar Cheese and Parsley Added

Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish sprayed with oil. Top with the Mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes.

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Let rest about 5 minutes, then serve with buttered bread, and a salad if you want.

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

 

Best Chicken Wings Ever

9 Feb
Best Chicken Wings Ever

Best Chicken Wings Ever

No, really. These are Genius! For years, my husband has been trying to cook perfectly crisped chicken wings. He’s tried double-frying in oil, frying then baking, baking then grilling — you name it. And then there was this magical moment about two weeks ago when I hopped over to one of my favorite foodie websites and a recipe for these chicken wings popped up in the Genius Recipes column. Really? Really? Can it be true?

I immediately printed the recipe and ran downstairs to show it to my husband. He wasn’t even skeptical about it and was anxious to try this new version, and promptly put “chicken wings” on the grocery list white board. Much to his dismay he came home wingless that day from the grocery store. “I can’t believe the store had no chicken wings!” I’m a persistent shopper and would have tried a second (or even third) store, but the wings would have to wait until another day.

Cured Chicken Wings

Cured Chicken Wings

His next trip out a couple of days later and produced said wings. He was all set to cook them up for dinner when he discovered (much to his dismay again) that the recipe required a full 24-hours of prep. “Didn’t you read the recipe?” “Well, uh, I read the ingredients but didn’t read through the instructions.” Cooking Basics 101. Read the entire recipe through at least once (0r more) before starting to cook. Don’t be put off by the 24 hours though. That is mostly all hands off time while the chicken wings “cure” in the refrigerator, for lack of a better word.

I can truly attest that these are the most perfectly crisped chicken wings I have ever had in my life! Crunchy skin on the outside, and completely juicy and tender on the inside. And there is a bonus to them too! Forget the goopy, buttery red hot sauce known to adorn the ubiquitous Buffalo Wings. The recipe also included an amazing dipping sauce that is this spicy, tangy-I-can’t-put-words-to-it delicious! Without further adieu…

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

Best Chicken Wings Ever
Very slightly adapted from Maximum Flavor (Clarkson Potter, 2013) and borrowed from Food52

Vegetable oil spray for racks
3 large egg whites
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 pounds whole chicken wings
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons apple juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
1 green onion, finely sliced

Oil 2 wire racks and place them over a large rimmed baking sheet. Mix the egg whites, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir until salt and baking soda are dissolved. Dump each chicken wing, one at a time, into the mixture and coat evenly. Lift the wing from the bowl and drain off excess marinade. Place each wing on the racks. Refrigerate the wings, uncovered, overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the baking sheet of wings into the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl.

Amazing Dipping Sauce

Amazing Dipping Sauce

Flip the wings over and bake for another 10 minutes. Turn the wings over again and bake about another 10 more minutes, until nice and golden. Take the sheet of wings out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

Serve with the dipping sauce. Can you say Genius? And the second bonus is that the leftover dipping sauce can be used to marinate almost anything!

Best Chicken Wings Ever

Best Chicken Wings Ever

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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