Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

¼ cup olive oil

1/3 cup red wine

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons lemon juice

5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 shakes Tabasco Sauce

2 pounds flank steak

Combine all of the ingredients, except the steak.  Then add the steak, and marinate for two-eight hours in a non-reactive pan.

To cook: Grill, broil, or pan-fry (in a cast iron skillet, if possible) over a medium-high to high heat for 4-5 minutes per side.

Serves 4-5

NOTE: Flank steak is best served between rare and medium.  If it’s well done, it’ll probably be very tough and chewy.

“Roasted” Whole Lemon Chicken in a Slow Cooker

IMG_3005

1 4-5 pound chicken

3-4 carrots, peeled and cut in 4 pieces, length-wise

2-3 celery stalks, cut in 4 pieces, length-wise

approximately 1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

paprika

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 lemon, cut in half

  1. Remove the neck and giblets from the chicken.  Rinse the chicken, and dry it with paper towel to remove any excess water.
  2. Spread the carrot and celery pieces in the slow cooker.
  3. Spread olive oil over the chicken, and sprinkle throughout with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  4. Place the cut onion into the cavity of the chicken, and place the chicken into the slow cooker.
  5. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken, and place the squeezed lemon halves into the slow cooker.
  6. Cover the slow cooker, and cook the chicken on low, for approximately 6 hours.

NOTES:

  • The timing of the cooking will vary based on your slow cooker and the size of the chicken.  It may be a bit more, or less, than 6 hours.
  • If you’d like crispy skin on the chicken after it’s cooked, put the chicken in an oven-proof pan, and place it under your oven’s broiler for 5 minutes.  Do not put it on the highest rack-level in the oven, or it might burn the chicken. Place the pan in the lower half of the oven.

 

Yield: 4-6 servings

 

Scallops with Orange, Grapefruit, and Ginger

1 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated

1 pound scallops

salt and pepper

1-2 tablespoons canola oil

  1. Combine the orange and grapefruit juices, and ginger, in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, and simmer (Boil actually.  A gentle simmer will take too long) until the juices are reduced by approximately 3/4, or until the sauce has thickened a bit and is noticeably darker. This could take 15 minutes or more.
  2. In a skillet, over a med-high heat, add the oil to the hot skillet, and then the scallops.  Cook/sear the scallops on one side, until they turn a golden color on the bottom, and turn them over.  Add the sauce to the pan, and continue to cook the scallops until they’re done to your liking. This might just be another minute or two.
  3. Remove the scallops from the pan, and serve.

Makes two-three servings.  Jasmine rice or couscous both go well with this dish.

NOTE:  You can also do this recipe with fresh tuna instead of scallops

 

Aunt Jean’s Brisket

2-4 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil (not olive oil)

2 large onions, peeled and sliced (you can’t have too much onion…)

1  2 1/2 to 4 pound brisket or chuck roast, well-trimmed of fat

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup red wine

A splash of A-1 Steak Sauce

salt and pepper

  1. In a large oven-proof skillet (such as cast-iron), over a medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil, and sauté the onions until they are cooked through.  Try not to let them get too browned.  A golden color is fine.  This could take 20+ minutes.  Remove from pan.
  2. Turn the heat to high. Sprinkle brisket with salt and pepper.  Add the remaining oil to the pan.  Brown the meat on all sides.  This may splatter a bit, so be careful.  Use a pair of tongs to hold the brisket up while you brown the narrow sides.
  3. Combine the next 4 ingredients, and pour over browned brisket in the pan. The liquid should come up to 1/2 or 2/3 of the way up the sides of the meat.  If it appears a bit shallow, add more red wine. Add the onions back into the pan.  Bring the liquid to a simmer.
  4. Completely cover the meat with two pieces of aluminum foil, shiny side down.  Lay the foil down so it’s laying on top of the meat AND touching the top of the liquid.  Cover the pan with a lid.  Cook for 2-3+ hours, or until the meat is very tender.

TWO COOKING METHODS: 

Method #1: Once the liquid has come to a simmer, reduce the heat, and simmer on the stove top for 2-3+ hours.  Make sure it is a VERY low simmer, to keep the meat from burning.

Method #2: Once the liquid has come to a simmer, place the skillet (it must be oven proof) in an oven pre-heated to 300°, and cook for 2-3+ hours.

Some hints:

  • When you slice the brisket, slice against the grain.
  • You can make this a day in advance.  This way, you can slice the brisket when it’s cold (which is easier), and skim any fat off the sauce.

Roasted Chicken

1 4-7 pound chicken, whole

1 peeled onion, whole, or cut in half

olive oil

salt, pepper, and paprika

Technique #1.  Preheat the oven to 375˚.

  1. Place the roasting pan you’ll be using, with nothing in it, in the preheated oven while you prepare the bird for cooking.  Remove the giblets from the cavity of the bird. Put the onion in the cavity, and lightly oil the bird’s skin. Sprinkle on salt, pepper, and paprika.
  2. CAREFULLY remove the heated pan from the oven, and place the bird in the pan. CAREFULLY put the chicken in the oven, and cook it for 15-20 minutes per pound, or until the bird is cooked through.  The internal temperature of the chicken (check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer, at the thigh) should be 170°

Technique #2. Preheat the oven to 375˚.

  1. Place a cast iron skillet, with nothing in it, and large enough to hold the chicken, into the preheated oven while you prepare the bird for cooking.  Remove the giblets from the cavity of the bird. Put the onion in the cavity, and lightly oil the birds skin. Sprinkle on salt, pepper, and paprika.
  2. CAREFULLY remove the heated pan from the oven, and place the bird in the pan. CAREFULLY put the chicken in the oven, and cook it for 15-20 minutes per pound, or until the bird is cooked through. The internal temperature of the chicken (check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer, at the thigh) should be 170°

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, for the juices to settle.

Makes 6-8 servings

NOTES:

  • Additional seasonings: before cooking, you can sprinkle on garlic and/or onion powder, as well as adobo seasoning
  • In addition to an onion in the cavity, you can also put in a cut-up lemon

Chicken Marsala

 

This recipe is a wee bit different than most other.  Instead of thickening the sauce at the end with a knob of butter, this recipe uses pumpkin.  Happy cooking!

 

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup flour

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

8 oz mushrooms, cleaned

and quartered

1/4-1/2 cup marsala wine (to taste)

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1/3 cup (or so) canned pumpkin (not with pie spices added.  Just plain)

salt and pepper

  1. Add salt and pepper to the flour.  Dredge the chicken in the flour. THIS STEP (dredging in flour)  IS OPTIONAL.
  2. In the skillet, over a medium heat, add the olive oil, and the chicken breasts.  Sauté until browned on both sides.  Remove from pan.
  3. Increase the heat to high.  Wait a moment, until the pan is hot.  Add a bit of the chicken stock.  With a wooden spoon, scrape up the “stuck bits” in the pan.
  4. Add the mushrooms, with salt, pepper, and a splash of marsala wine. Cover, and sauté until cooked, approximately 5-8 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining chicken stock and marsala.  Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Return the chicken to the pan, and simmer for 7-10 more minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the pan.
  6. Check the flavor of the sauce.  If it needs more salt, pepper, or marsala, add it now.  Whisk in the pumpkin, and check the seasoning.  If you’d like the sauce thicker, add more pumpkin.
  7. Pour the sauce over the chicken, and serve.

Makes 4 servings

 

Pulled Pork Chili

This will need two days to prepare.  Or one long one.  Prepare the pork a day or two ahead.  And cook the beans then, too.  Then it’s easier to make the chili the next day.

To prepare the pork

2 to 2 ½ pounds pork butt

1/4 cup  ground black pepper

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons salt

1 cup chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 300°.

Combine the pepper, brown sugar, paprika, cumin, and salt in a bowl.  Rub it all over the pork, and place it in a roasting pan.

  1. Add the stock to the pan, and add any remaining pepper mixture into the stock.
  2. Cover the pork with a double layer of foil.  Place on layer onto the pork, so that the foil is pressed into the pork, and is flat on the surface of the liquid  Place the other piece of foil on top to cover the pan.
  3. Braise in the oven until it’s done, approximately 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours.  It’s done when the meat easily pills apart with a fork, or two knives.
  4. Remove from pan, reserve the cooking liquid.
  5. Chop up the meat while it’s still warm.  It’s easier than when it’s cold.  Chop it into small, barely bite-sized pieces.
  6. If you do this the day before, refrigerate the meat and the cooking liquid.  The next day, remove the fat from the top of the cooking liquids.

The Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 medium onions, peeled and chopped

1 head of garlic, peeled and minced

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons salt

5 cups of cooked red beans (approximately 3 cans, or 1 pound dried beans)

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 can tomato puree

½ teaspoon Tabasco (or to taste)

In a heated large stock pot, over a medium heat, add the olive oil, and then the onions.  Keep the heat at medium/medium low.  Sautee the onions for 30 minutes, or until they’re mostly softened, but not browned.

  1. Add the garlic.
  2. Increase the heat to medium, and add the oregano, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and salt.  Sautee for 1 minute, stirring occasionally, or until the onions have darkened from the seasoning.
  3. Add the chopped pork, and combine with the onions.
  4. Add the beans, reserved pork cooking liquid, Tabasco, and tomatoes.  Cover the chili, and bring to a simmer.  Do this over a medium heat.  Do not be tempted to increase the heat to high to speed this up.  The chili can easily burn.
  5. Once the chili is at a simmer, reduce the heat to low/medium low, and gently simmer, covered,  for 1 ½ hours.
  6. Adjust the seasoning, using chili powder, salt, cumin, and/or Tabasco.

Makes 1+ gallon, or approximately 10-14+ servings.

 

Black Bean and Salsa Lasagna

Black Bean and Salsa Lasagna

1 package no-boil lasagna noodles

2 15 oz cans black beans, drained

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, rinsed and minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

salt

Tabasco (or your favorite semi-hot sauce)

2 16 oz jars salsa (mild or medium spicy, your choice)

1 28 oz can chopped or whole tomatoes

8 oz light cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

8 oz part-skim mozzarella, grated

9” x 13” pan (supermarket disposable lasagna pans work well too).

Preheat the oven to 375°

  1. In a large saucepan, over a medium heat, sauté the garlic for 20-30 seconds.  Add the black beans, and bring to a simmer.  Add the cilantro, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and Tabasco.  You don’t want the beans too spicy.  Just with a mild bite to them.
  2. Set the beans aside to cool (although you can do the following steps with warm beans).
  3. In a separate bowl from the beans, combine the salsa and tomatoes.
  4. Put approximately 1/3 of the bean mixture into pan. On top of the beans, place three (or four, depending on how many are in the box, and how many fit in the pan) lasagna noodles.  Layer on the noodles almost* 1/3 of the tomato/salsa mixture,* almost 1/3 of the cheese, and 1/3 of the beans.
  5. Repeat twice more. Over the top pieces of lasagna noodles, spread the remaining sauce, and then sprinkle the top with cheese.
  6. Bake, covered w/foil, for 30 mins.  Remove foil, and bake 10-20 mins more, or until the pasta is cooked through, and everything is bubbly.

  • NOTE: The key is to reserve approximately 1/2 cup of the tomato mixture, and 1/2 cup of cheese to place on top.

Gluten-Free Note: Gluten-free lasagna noodles (even the no-boil type) work well with this recipe

Rib Eye Steaks with Red Wine and Bleu Cheese

This is from our good friends at ChefsUSA.  It’s easy and fast.  And it tastes great, too!

 

4   8 ounce rib-eye steaks (each about 1 inch thick)

1 tablespoon canola oil or butter

3 tablespoons, plus one tablespoon, unsalted butter

¼ cup (approximately) red wine

¼ cup crumbled bleu cheese (bleu, gorgonzola, etc)

Salt and pepper

  1. Place steaks in shallow dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the skillet over a medium-high heat, and add the oil or butter, then the steaks. Sauté/sear the steaks until cooked to desired doneness, about 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to plates; tent loosely with foil to keep warm.
  3. With the pan on high heat, deglaze with the 2 tablespoons of the red wine.  When the browned bits are scraped from the pan, add the remaining wine, and reduce the heat to medium.
  4. Add the bleu cheese.  When the sauce has thickened, season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon the sauce over the steaks and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Chicken Thighs with Collard Greens

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, peeled and sliced

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes (or 3-4 fresh tomatoes, peeled seeded, and diced)

2 cups chicken stock (or water)

1 bunch collard greens, rinsed, stems removed, and chopped

8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed

salt and pepper or your favorite dry rub

(a sample dry rub: 1 tablespoon each of salt, pepper, and paprika.  Plus 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and ½ tablespoon cumin.  Combine all of the ingredients)

  1. In a stock pot, over a medium heat, add the oil and sauté the onions until golden and mostly cooked through, approximately 15 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, stock, and collard greens to the onions. Bring to a boil, and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, rub the dry rub onto the chicken pieces.  If you’re not using the dry rub, then sprinkle the pieces with salt and pepper)
  4. Add the chicken to the stock pot, and submerge the chicken in the liquid, if possible.
  5. Simmer the mixture for 25 minutes, or until the chicken thighs are cooked through.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Chicken Thighs with Collard Greens, with a side of new carrots roasted beets

Makes 4 servings.