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Month: September 2016

Thai Beef Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Slaw

Thai Beef Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Slaw

Here’s a great combination of healthy and fun!  I marinate the steak overnight and buy package shredded angel hair cabbage and matchsticks carrots for a quick preparation.  The original recipe, without my changes, was in a 2007 Cooking Light magazine.

Mix together for steak marinade:

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger (or ginger paste – easy – see photo)

1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound flank steak, trimmed

Some of the more unusual ingredients you may not have on hand
Some of the more unusual ingredients you may not have on hand

Combine first six ingredients and add to large zip-lock bag, along with steak.  Seal and marinate in refrigerator overnight.

You can also make the slaw dressing the night before and refrigerate until it’s time to prepare the tacos.  It saves time when you’re preparing dinner and the flavors gets a chance to blend nicely.

Mix dressing together for the slaw:

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger – or the ginger paste  

1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

Cover and refrigerate.

When you’re ready to prepare dinner/tacos:

Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Grill the steak until desired degree of doneness.  Let it stand a few minutes and then cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices. You want thin, smaller pieces that are easy to eat in the taco shell.

Toss well to combine for the slaw:

3 cups packaged angel hair slaw

2 cups packaged matchstick-cut carrots

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Prepared dressing 

Slice steak into thin slices, cutting diagonally across the grain
Slice steak into thin slices, cutting diagonally across the grain.  I ended up cutting these slices into thinner, smaller pieces that were easier to eat in the taco shell.

Divide steak evenly among 8 tortillas or taco shells.  Add about 1/2 cup slaw to each tortilla or taco shell.  We added Chipotle Ranch Dressing (see photo) on our tacos – delicious!  Serve immediately.

Light-tasting crispy taco shells and a delicious dressing you're going to love!
Light-tasting crispy taco shells and a delicious dressing you’re going to love!
We added this flavorful sauce to our tacos, ate on paper plates and watched an episode of Bloodlines!
We added this flavorful sauce to our tacos, ate on paper plates and watched an episode of Bloodlines!

 

Paella Party At FarmTable Kitchen

Paella Party At FarmTable Kitchen

My husband and I attended a fabulous culinary event today in downtown St. Pete at FarmTable Kitchen.  This was a private event in conjunction with The Dali Museum whose current exhibit is The Invention of Food, a special exhibition showcasing the culinary work  of renowned chef and restaurateur Ferran Adria.

From http://thedail.org:

“Widely celebrated for changing the landscape of gastronomy, renowned chef and restaurateur Ferran Adria changed cooking in the same way Salvador Dali changed art. In celebration of our special exhibition Ferran Adria: The Invention of Food, please join us for a Paella Party at FarmTable Kitchen. This private event welcomes Chef Ferran to St. Petersburg, and is personally hosted by FarmTable Kitchen founder Chef Michael Mina.

Guests will enjoy paella stations, a Spanish meats and cheeses station, tapas and pintxos (light bites), and unlimited sangria (cash bar also available) in this “Dali Museum takeover” of the entire restaurant, including the patio and veranda. Ferran Adria and Michael Mina will be there to mix and mingle, and their respective books will be available for purchase.”

The entire event was incredible!  The white and red sangria flowed freely.  The smoked ribs tasted more delicious than any rib I’ve ever tasted.  In fact, everyone at my table agreed on this!  (We later found out that the restaurant has a new smoker).  The featured food was the paella.  The presentation and the taste were more than impressive!

The Process Begins!
The Process Begins!
Adding the Prawns
Adding the Prawns
Beautiful! Paella!
Beautiful! Paella!

There were freshly-shucked clams, salads and of course, a dessert station that featured two scrumptious selections: a flavored shaved ice dessert (perfect for our warm September day) and an ice cream dessert complete with dulce de leche, which is even more perfect given my love for caramel of all types!

This was a food lover’s dream!  The food was spectacular!  It was very cool to be at a party with two of the most famous chefs in the world! We checked out the regular menu and the downstairs marketplace while we were there and can’t wait to go back!

White Chocolate Caramel-Chai Oatmeal Cookies

White Chocolate Caramel-Chai Oatmeal Cookies

I wish you could smell these as they are baking!  My entire house smells delicious!  These cookies mix the exotic flavors of sweet cinnamon, spicy ginger and fragrant cardamom of chai tea with the class taste of oatmeal cookies,  Add caramel bits and white chocolate and you have an irrestible cookie!  I discovered this original recipe in a favorite magazine called Cuisine At Home.  I’ve made a couple of changes and now it’s one of my favorites.

Ingredients that boost the flavor out of this world!
Ingredients that boost the flavor out of this world!

2 sticks butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

Tea from 3 chai tea bags – I use Tazo chai (about 3 tablespoons)

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 bag caramel bits (11 ounce)

1 bag white chocolate chips (12 ounce)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  The caramel bits like to stick to the paper so I lightly spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray.

Combine butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl.  Add flour, chai tea, baking soda and kosher salt.  Stir well.

Add caramel bits and chocolate chips.  Mix well.

Spoon cookie dough on prepared baking sheets.  Flatten slightly with a glass dipped in sugar.  Bake 13 – 15 minutes.  Cookies are golden but still moist beneath the cracks on top.  Let cookies cool on baking sheets 3-5 minutes (caramel bits will be sticky).  Transfer to a rack to cool.

Slightly flattened and ready for the oven
Slightly flattened and ready for the oven

 

Done baking and ready to sit for 3-5 minutes
Done baking and ready to sit for 3-5 minutes
Set your cooling rack over the sink for an easy cleanup
Set your cooling rack over the sink for an easy cleanup – crumbs fall in the sink!
Have a cookie! Enjoy!
Have a cookie! Enjoy!
Now put the rest in the freezer. . .
Now put the rest in the freezer. . .
Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

These flavors all blend together well and create a deliciously flavorful chicken entrée. It’s a nice change from grilled chicken breast and it’s easy to prepare.  I served it with sautéed fresh spinach and mushrooms.  Yum!

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

6 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  Add chicken to bowl and toss to coat.

Chicken Covered with seasonings and ready for the grill
Chicken Covered with seasonings and ready for the grill

Combine honey and vinegar in a small bow, stirring well.

Cook chicken on pre-heated outdoor grill.  Brush honey and vinegar mixture on the chicken after you flip the chicken.  Flip a second time and brush mixture on the other side and finish grilling chicken.

Chicken On the Grill
Chicken On the Grill

Serve immediately.  I really can’t remember where I first found this recipe as I’ve had the recipe for years.  It does list the calorie count as 321 calories per serving, which is 2 thighs.  Not bad for a chicken thigh that sometimes gets a bad rap!

Key Lime Pie – A Sliver or a Slice?

Key Lime Pie – A Sliver or a Slice?

An outstanding Key Lime Pie recipe is a “must”!  You can make this pie  with regular limes and it turns out fine but I always use key lime juice from the bottle or fresh-squeezed key limes.  You may feel the need to make this green. . . . . please don’t.  That’s the first bad sign when you’re looking for an authentic slice of key lime pie!

I wish I could tell you that this is an old Florida recipe. . . . . . but this recipe is from the Cincinnati Enquirer – a 2002 contribution by Chef Sandra Wilson.  I DO have an old Florida recipe, but I like this recipe better!  It’s easy to keep these ingredients in your kitchen for a quick, easy and delicious dessert!

Ingredients for Key Lime Pie
Ingredients for Key Lime Pie

1  8 ounce package cream cheese

1  14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup key lime juice (Nellie & Joe’s famous Key West lime juice is my favorite if I don’t have key limes available)

Keebler’s Ready Crust Shortbread Crust (tradition calls for a graham cracker crust, but I prefer shortbread)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat cream cheese until creamy.  Add sweetened condensed milk and beat well.  Add egg yolks and beat well then add key lime juice and beat until combined.  Pour mixture into pie crust and spread evenly with spatula.  Bake for 10 minutes until filling is set.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Refrigerate once cooled.

Let cool and serve with whipped cream
Let cool and serve with whipped cream

Serve with whipped cream – 8 slices or more if you prefer a sliver to a slice!

 

 

Zucchini and Sweet Corn Frittata

Zucchini and Sweet Corn Frittata

My husband loves eggs!  I am still trying to love eggs and this is a dish that could sway anyone.  Eggs are such a great source of protein and have even been called the perfect food.

I think you will really love this!  The sweet corn really adds to the flavor. The leftovers seem even better the next morning.

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced

2 ears sweet corn, corn cut off the cob

2 large zucchini, shredded

4 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

8 ounces shredded cheese (mozzarella, swiss, cheddar – your choice!)

5 eggs, beaten

*feel free to add bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes or whatever vegetable you like!  You could also add sausage or bacon.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Use an oven-safe non-stick skillet or a cast-iron skillet.  Melt butter on medium-high heat and add vegetables.  Stir until tender – about 5 – 10 minutes.

Mix eggs, seasonings and cheese and pour mixture over even layer of vegetables in skillet.  Cook  3-5 minutes or until the edges are set. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until cooked through and beginning to brown.

Frittata Ingredients
Frittata Ingredients
Veggies cooking
Veggies cooking
Zucchini and Sweet Corn Frittata Ready For The Oven
Giant Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Giant Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

There is a trick to making delicious oatmeal raisin cookies.  I know, we just made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  But adding raisins instead of chocolate chips make it an ENTIRELY different cookie!

First:  have a great recipe.  We do!

Second. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Here it is:

Place the raisins in a saucepan (or glass measuring cup if using microwave) with about 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Drain and set aside.  They will be softer and more flavorful in your cookies.  That’s it!  Easy move, great results.

Raisin Tip!
Raisin Tip!

Ingredients:

2 cups sifted flour (sift flour, then measure)

1 teaspoon soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup Crisco shortening

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 cups oatmeal (I like quick 1 minute – texture preference)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract – or vanilla bean paste

1 cup raisins

Sift together and set aside flour, soda, salt and baking powder.  Blend together shortening, butter and sugars.  Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Add flour mixture and blend well.  Add oatmeal, vanilla and raisins.  Drop by teaspoonful on cookie sheet covered with freezer paper.  Flatten cookie with bottom of glass dipped in sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-14 minutes or until just turning brown.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Ready for the Oven
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Ready for the Oven
Oatmeal Cookie Magic Bars

Oatmeal Cookie Magic Bars

Remember eating Magic 7-Layer Bars that were so delicious?  We are going to take it up another level by using my oatmeal cookie recipe as the base for the same type of bar.  The result?

I have hidden these bars in the back of our freezer, out of our reach.   They are so deliciously rich and decadent!

Here is the oatmeal cookie recipe for the base of these bars:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup Crisco shortening

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

1 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup quick oatmeal

Sift together dry ingredients.  Cream butter, shortening, sugars and vanilla.  Add well-beaten egg.

Combine mixtures.  Mix well.  Layer in a 9 x 13 pan that’s been sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

After baking, layer the following ingredients on top of the oatmeal cookie layer:

1 cup coconut

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup chopped pecans

The "toppings"
The “toppings”

You can add more or less of your favorite chocolate chips and nuts.  This photo was what I had in the pantry and what I used.

Return pan to 350 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes.  Cool and cut.

Ready for the Oven
Ready for the Oven
Ready to Eat
Ready to Eat
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