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Month: December 2011

Steak and Chicken for Burritos, Bowls, and Snacks

Steak and Chicken for Burritos, Bowls, and Snacks

This stuff works great for burritos, bowls, and just snacking cold, straight out of the fridge (I eat it by the handful that way for breakfast). It would probably be good in sandwiches, too.

For the chicken, I use boneless, skinless chicken breast. For steak, you can go from very easy to more work but cheaper. The easiest is to buy stew meat or fajita meat because it is already cut up, but you can cut up steaks or a roast for this yourself.

This recipe works best if you brine the meat first. You can read all about that in my previous post.

If you brine the meat, rinse well and pat dry.

Place the meat in a bowl. Drizzle with some olive oil and toss to coat. Then sprinkle in the seasonings you like. I use garlic powder, onion powder, and sometimes other stuff like paprika, cayenne, and even a little chili powder. Toss again to coat.

Heat your skillet on medium-high to high heat. After the skillet gets hot, add some olive oil. Toss in the meat and stir frequently to prevent burning. It will create some liquid as it cooks and then that will cook down again. The meat will be browned on the outside when it is done.

I usually make this in two batches, and I clean out the burned stuff from the skillet in between.
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Brining for Juicy, Yummy Meat

Brining for Juicy, Yummy Meat

I have discovered brining. I had no idea what I was missing. Brining uses salt water to suck moisture and flavors into the meat. The key is to use enough salt. If you use too little it sucks the moisture out instead. At least, that’s what they say.

Making the brine:

Use 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt for every cup of liquid.

Heat your water and mix in the salt until liquefied.
Add other seasonings, such as garlic powder, onion powder, and whatever you like.
Cool the brine by setting the pan in cold water, or set it aside until it cools.

Brining the meat:

For indoor cooking, we cut the meat into strips or bite-sized pieces before brining. Obviously that s not a good idea for grilling, unless you’re making shish kabobs.

Place the meat in a sealable container.
Pour in the brine, completely covering the meat.
Refrigerate.

Timing your brining:

This depends on the type of meat, but I have found that overnight, or even two nights, works fine for beef and chicken. They say chicken only takes a few hours and that beef can take twelve.

Cooking brined meat:

You must rinse the meat or it will be unbearably salty. Rinse it in cold water, and rinse it thoroughly. Some say to rinse for a full 30 seconds and do it twice. Then dry it well with paper towels. After that, I usually coat mine in olive oil or butter before grilling or cooking in the skillet.
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Easy Salisbury Steak

Easy Salisbury Steak

Patty ingredients:

1 ½ pounds ground beef

2 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
1 to 2 tablespoons Tamari sauce
1 to 2 table spoons onion powder
2 teaspoon steak sauce (optional)

Sauce:

Strong beef broth (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all patty ingredients and knead together until well blended. Form into very thin oval shaped patties. Brown the patties in a skillet and remove with a slotted spoon or spatula. Place patties in a glass baking dish. Pour sauce over patties. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

You can add green onions to the patties, or just in the pan with them before baking. Also, top the patties with sliced mushrooms before baking, if you enjoy mushrooms.
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Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce

Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce

I absolutely love Hollandaise sauce, but I do not have the patience for all that whisking and praying that it will turn out right. I am so glad I discovered the blender method! This is quick and easy and the end result is just the same, except it leaves me in a better mood.

Ingredients:

6 egg yolks
1 stick butter
¼ cup lemon juice
Cayenne
Salt

Separate your eggs and put the yolks in the blender. Add lemon juice to blender. Add cayenne and salt. Melt butter in a sauce pan and heat until bubbling. With the lid on the blender, but the center thing removed, turn on the blender. While the blender is running slowly drizzle the hot butter in. Put center thing back in blender and keep blending for a minute or so.

The hot butter cooks the egg yolks a bit, for the sake of the squeamish. However, if the blender isn’t running when you start drizzling it in or if your pour it in too fast, it can really cook the yolks and ruin the texture of the sauce.

Serve with asparagus, steamed artichokes, eggs benedict, or as a tasty dip. The possibilities are endless.

So, now what to do with all those egg whites? If you’ve got any suggestions I would love to hear them!
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French Fried Eggplant

French Fried Eggplant

This is the third method I tried, and they are yummy. For my first attempt I did not use flour, and they turned out soggy with grease. Yummy, but too soggy. The second time, I also skipped the flour, but I made them in the oven. Not good. Just blah.

So, this is the method I use now. You can use whatever type of flour you prefer.

Ingredients:

Eggplant

Brown rice flour
Salt and other seasonings

Heat deep fryer. Mix flour with salt and other seasonings, to your liking. Cut ends off eggplant and peel, or don’t peel. Cut eggplant into French fry sized sticks. I use a French fry cutter, but you can do it with a knife. Place the eggplant n a big bowl or baggie, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat, pour in your flour mixture and toss until well covered.

Fry in single layer batches, about 4 minutes or until golden-brown. Dump into a paper towel lined container. I use glass or stainless because I’m not real comfortable dumping hot stuff into plastic containers. Add salt if needed.

I like to dip them in ranch dressing. They also work for green chili fries.
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Kale Chips

Kale Chips

When I tried kale I wasn’t all that fond of it. I like chard, but kale was not really at all like it to me. Well, I finally decided to try making kale chips, and they turned out great. They were easier to make than nori chips, but not quite as enjoyable.

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale

Olive oil
Salt
Other seasonings (optional)

One bunch of kale made 2 batches for me. I made one batch with onion powder, paprika, and cayenne. The other was just salt. I liked both.

Preheat oven to 300. Rinse kale and dry between paper towel. Cut leafs off the rib up the center, and tear or cut the leaves into chi-sized pieces. Place leaves in a large bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss to coat. Spread out on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with your desired seasonings. Bake until crisp – about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool before eating.
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Nori Chips

Nori Chips

Ingredients:

Nori sheets

Tamari sauce
Wasabi powder
Garlic powder
Water (optional)
Olive oil (for greasing baking sheets)

Preheat oven to 250. Mix tamari sauce, wasabi powder, and garlic powder to your liking. You can add water to the mix to make it less salty or just not so strong. Brush olive oil on your baking sheet.

Brush tamari mixture on both sides of a nori sheet. Try to brush a very light amount onto the nori. I pressed most of it out of the brush on the side of the bowl. Cut nori into squares or strips, whatever size you like. Place on cookie sheet. Repeat until cookie sheet is covered.

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, until crisp. Make as many batches as you have the patience to.
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