Saturday, June 26, 2010

Grilled Flank Steak

There's nothing more that I like than a good flank steak. I have been experimenting with flank steak for some time now and this is the best steak (with so much flavor) to date. I could seriously eat this every night! Unfortunately, it is a big treat for my husband and I to buy steak since we are on such a tight budget. But it only came out to be $2.50 per person (since we had leftovers the following night). Thats not bad at all! So I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
juice of 1/2 a lime
salt (to taste)
freshly ground black peper (to taste)

Other ingredients
Flank steak (I just asked the butcher for enough meat for 2 people)
salt and pepper to rub on before putting on grill

Score the surfare of the steak with 1/4 inch deep knife cuts, about an inch apart, across the grain of the meat. Marinate the steak with the above marinade for at least 2 hours. When you are ready to grill the meat, rub it down with salt and pepper. Place steak on HOT grill. You want the grill to be really hot so you will have a crust. Grill for 4-6 minutes on each side. (I did 4 minutes for me because I like it bloody, but hubby did his for the full 6 minutes). The best way to cook flank steak is medium rare any more cooked than that and you take the chance of it being chewy. Let it sit for 10 minutes to rest. Cut meat against the grain in thin slices.

- Laura

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers

I noticed our little recipe blog was lacking in healthy food...maybe that explains the 10 pound weight gain this year! I am always out for things that taste really good AND they aren't terrible for you! I know it's a hard concept to understand but I know those recipes are out there. Well, this is one of those recipes. It was delicious! I was full after dinner but it wasn't one of those guilty fulls where you know you just gained 2 pounds in one sitting. This is another recipe and I highly recommend it! My husband and my parents thought they were great. I doubled the recipe so we had leftovers. I made some homemade sweet potato fries to go along with which I will share later this week!

Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers
Adapted from All Recipes
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green pepper cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 onion cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 eggs
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or hot sauce
1 cup bread crumbs

1. If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking (which is what we did) preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.
2. After the black beans are drained and rinsed pat dry them with a paper towel to get the extra moisture out. Then mash the beans in a medium size bowl with a fork or spoon until thick and pasty.
3. In a food processor finely chop the green bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Strain the green pepper, onion and garlic in a small strainer to remove any excess water. Then stir into the mashed beans.
4. In a seperate small bowl stir together the eggs, chili powder, cumin and chili sauce until well blended.
5. Stir the egg mixture in with the bean mixture. Add bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and hold together. Divide mixture into four patties.
6. This step is optional. After I divided the mixture into patties I covered the baking sheet and put it in the refridgerator for 30-45 minutes. This helped them stick together more.
7. If grilling place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet and bake about 10-12 minutes on each side. I added cheese about 1-2 minutes before I took the patties out of the oven.

Serve with avocados!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Pecan-Peach Cobbler

This was my first attempt at a Southern Living recipe. I am a big fan of using recipes with pictures...very rarely will I cook something unless I can see what it looks like. Well the picture is what drew me to this particular recipe. I have been wanting to make a pie (which is on my Cooking Bucket List) so I figured probably better to start out with a cobbler especially since it was for a Family Reunion. Maybe my expectations were too high because the picture looked so good but lets just say my rendition was not pleasing visually! In fact, pretty much no one at the reunion ate my cobbler...with the exception of my mom and husband. Let me tell you though this cobbler was DELICIOUS!! If people could have just gotten past the outward appearance I think they would have been pleased. Anyways, try this recipe for your next get together and you will get lots of compliments for sure! I have included the Southern Living picture as well as my attempt so you can see the difference. I still have lots to learn!!!

My Attempt


The Southern Living Way

Pecan-Peach Cobbler
Adapted from Southern Living
12 to 15 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (about 16 cups)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 (15-oz) packages refrigerated piecrusts
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
5 tablespoons sugar, divided

1. Preheat oven to 475. Stir together peaches, flour, nutmeg and 3 cups sugar in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Spoon half of mixture into a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish.
2. Unroll 2 piecrusts. Sprinkle 1/4 cup pecans and 2 tablespoons sugar over 1 piecrust; top with other piecrust. Roll to a 14x10-inch rectangle. Trim sides to fit baking dish. Place pastry over peach mixture in dish.
3. Bake at 475 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Unroll remaining 2 piecrusts. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar and remaining 1/4 cup pecans over 1 piecrust; top with remaining piecrust. Roll into a 12-inch circle. Cut into 1-inch strips, using a fluted pastry wheel (which I had to go buy). Spoon remaining peach mixture over baked pastry. Arrange pastry strips over peach mixture; sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.

Things I learned/Suggestions:
1. If the pecans aren't chopped finely enough they will tear the dough when you roll the pastries together.  
2. When the cobbler is finished it can be pretty runny. After mine cooled down I put it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheated it in the oven which helped it set more.
3. Use a Le Creuset baking dish to make it look better :)


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sauteed Sesame Chicken

Before I begin I must apologize for my lack of blogging. My mom has been in the country the past two weeks so I haven't been doing much cooking. And when I did cook on the rare occassion my husband advised me not to put my recipes on the blog as they weren't up to par. At least he's honest :) Mom has returned to the war zone so I am back in the kitchen. We were both in the mood for chinese so I made sauteed sesame chicken (with a little help) which is much healthier than the breaded, fried version you find in the restaurants. On a side note, you can always ask the restaurant to sautee your chicken. My personal opinion is that it tastes much better. Hope you enjoy!

Marinade (I just threw some ingredients together so I don't have the exact measurements. I will put them in order from most used to least used though)
Sesame seed oil
Light soy sauce
White pepper

3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
teaspoon of chili paste
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Cut fat off from 3 chicken breasts and then cut into chunks. Marinade chicken for 30 minutes. Saute chicken with the marinade until tender and fully cooked. To make the sauce while cooking the chicken combine all sauce ingredients in a heated wok or saute pan. Boil sauce and whisk continuously. Once chicken is cooked, pour sauce over chicken. Serve and enjoy!

I also have the fried rice recipe that I will share shortly.