Hoisin and Ginger Steak plus roasted vegetables

Paula and I had not had steak for some time so I decided to make a recipe that I found in the September issue of Rachael Ray’s magazine. It called for a hangar steak but I just used a sirloin steak. You made a tasty sauce to go with the steak that used hoisin, ginger, honey and Worcestershire sauce (and a few other ingredients!). It was quite tasty. I also roasted some broccoli and cauliflower in the oven as our side dish while the steak was grilling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds of hanger, flank or sirloin steak
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 lime juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoons of tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 red finger or Holland chile, thinly sliced, with seeds (Note: I did not use this since Paula does not like very much heat in her food.)
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced, with seeds (Note: I removed the seeds to reduce the amount of heat.)
  • Broccoli and cauliflower florets (enough for 2 since I was only cooking enough for Paula and myself.)

Let the meat come to room temperature and then season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high.

Set the oven to 425 degrees. Toss broccoli and cauliflower florets with a little olive oil. Put the florets in a baking dish or on a baking pan. Cook for about 20 minutes until the florets are cooked and slightly charred.

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, occasionally swirling the pan, until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of water, the hoisin sauce, lime juice, honey, tamari and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.

Grill the steak, turning occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the steak rest 5 minutes and then slice against the grain. Transfer to plates and pour the sauce over. Top with the sliced red and green chiles as desired.

 

 

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Farro Risotto with Pumpkin and Sage…Perfect for a fall dinner!


Tonight I made this recipe for dinner. It was a recipe that I found in Rachael Ray’s October issue. Paula ate it before she went to work. I enjoyed mine after I returned from church in the evening. It was a tasty dish. I made a salad to go with the risotto since we had some greens in the refrigerator. It was not too difficult to make. It took just a little bit of time to make the farro but overall this would be an easy meal to make on a fall evening.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large finely chopped shallot
  • 2 large finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 15-ounce can of unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups of pearled farro
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup (about 3 ounces) of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 12 fresh thinly sliced sage leaves, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup of chopped toasted walnuts

 

In a round-bottom saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the shallot softens, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, pumpkin puree and farro. Stir to mix everything and then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid is mostly absorbed. This will take about 20-25 minutes. Stir in the cheese, sage and butter. Serve in shallow bowls topped with the nuts.

It was filling and quite tasty. Enjoying it with a simple salad made for a nice balanced meal. Both of us really enjoy risotto so this was a different take on risotto by using the farro instead of arborio rice.

 

Ham, Kale and White Bean Soup

Paula was working tonight so I made a simple and hearty soup for dinner. I was enjoying a beer with my friends so all that Paula had to do was heat up this soup when she awoke from her nap. It was one of the few meals that we have not enjoyed together lately. But it was a good meal to make since both of us could eat the soup when we were ready. Paula is working for the next three days. Since there was some leftover soup, she will be able to enjoy it for her meal at work on either Saturday or Sunday.

Ingredients:

  • 2 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 10 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs (or 2 teaspoons of dry thyme)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved
  • 8 ounces of chopped ham steak
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 2 cups of sliced carrots
  • 6 slice garlic cloves
  • 4 cups of sliced lacinato kale

Bring the beans and 10 cups water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil, thyme, bay leaves, onion, and ham. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover again and continue to simmer for another hour.

Remove Dutch oven from the heat. Remove thyme sprigs (if use), bay leaves, and the onion and discard them. Place 3 cups bean mixture in a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add the mashed beans and 3/4 teaspoon salt back into the soup.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the carrots and cook for 4 minutes or until slightly tender. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the kale and cook for 2 more minutes, until the kale wilts, stirring occasionally. Stir carrot-kale mixture into soup.

Delicious Carrot-Ginger Soup

I made a terrific carrot-ginger soup for Paula and myself. We enjoyed the soup with some grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches. It was relatively easy to make this soup. The original recipe called for fresh ginger as well as crystallized ginger. Both of them added a tremendous boost of flavor. If you have some extra carrots and want to find a way to use them – especially with fall weather about to arrive – then this soup could be one to try…

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 onions that are chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup of minced crystallized ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
  • 2 peeled and smashed garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 pounds of peeled and chopped carrots
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of carrot juice
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-heat. Add the onions, both types of ginger, 2 teaspoons of salt, and the sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to high. Add the carrots, water, 3/4 cup of the carrot juice, thyme sprigs,  and baking soda. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the carrots are very tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Discard the thyme sprigs. Process the soup in a blender or with a stick blender until the soup is smooth. Stir in the cider vinegar and remaining carrot juice.. Return to simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper as desired. The soup can be served with sour cream or chives or both as available and desired.

Gingerbread Scones

We had lunch with our dinner group friends today. It was our turn to make a desert so Paula made gingerbread scones. It was a recipe that we had from Food Network. Each month they insert a small booklet of “50 recipes” with a theme. This recipe came from one that was all about gingerbread treats. It was quite tasty, especially with a bit of whipped cream.

First, you need to make some gingerbread spice. This is done by combining 2 tablespoons of ground ginger, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, pinch of ground pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves.

In order to make the scones, pulse 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup of almond flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of gingerbread spice, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pulse in 1 stick of diced cold butter and cut with a pastry cutter. Add 3/4 cup of buttermilk and 1/2 cup of chopped dried apricots. Pulse until combined. Pat into an 8-inch round on a floured surface. Cut into 6-8 wedges and brush with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of molasses and 1 tablespoon of buttermilk. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake on a baking sheet at 425 degrees until golden, about 15 minutes.

Roasted Tomato Puttanesca with Cheese Tortellini


Paula did not have to work tonight so we were able to enjoy a pleasant meal together. I made a simple version of a puttanesca sauce. The biggest difference was that I roasted some grape tomatoes before adding them to the sauce. It was quite tasty, especially when the final sauce was added to the cheese tortellini. If you don’t have tortellini available, you could use rigatoni or farfalle instead.

Ingredients (for the two of us…)

  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste (or 4 anchovy fillets)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup of dry vermouth
  • 1/4 cup of chopped oil-cured black olives
  • 3 tablespoons of capers, drained (plus 1 teaspoon of brine)
  • 1 8-ounce package of cheese tortellini (or other pasta)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • 3-4 leaves of torn basil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange the tomatoes in a small baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Top with the thyme and roast until the tomatoes burst, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and discard the thyme.

In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the anchovy paste and cook to mix the paste into the oil, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat and add the garlic and red pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Add the vermouth and cook to reduce the volume, about 2 minutes. Add the olive, capers and brine. Reduce heat to low and keep warm. Add the tomatoes with juices to the skillet. Stir, gently breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon.

Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and add the pasta to the sauce along with the parsley. Toss over the medium-low heat until everything is combined. Top with the torn basil. Serve and enjoy!

Pan-Fried Tilapia with a Cauliflower-Couscous Side


I made a delicious side dish for dinner tonight. We had a half of a head of cauliflower in the refrigerator. I cut it into bite size florets and put it in the oven, which had been preheated to 450 degrees. I cooked the cauliflower for 11-12 minutes. While the cauliflower was cooking, I made the Israeli couscous. I heated 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small saucepan. Then I added 3/4 of a cup (4.5 ounces) of the couscous. I cooked the couscous over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes to slightly brown it. Then I added 1 1/4 cups of boiling water to the saucepan. I reduced the heat to low, covered the pot and allowed the couscous to cook for 5-6 minutes until all the water was absorbed. At this point, the cauliflower was done. I removed it from the oven. Then I mixed the cauliflower and the couscous with the following: 1 bunch of chopped green onions (white parts only), 2 tablespoons of pine nuts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/2 tablespoon of dry chopped dill, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. I mixed all of this together and a serving bowl and it was ready to enjoy.

I breaded two tilapia fillets by dipping each fillet in a bowl with 1 egg that had been slightly beaten. Then I dredged each fillet in some panko breadcrumbs. I heated some olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and then added the fillets. I cooked each fillet for 4-5 minutes on each side until they were brown and cooked through.

It was an easy meal but one that was tasty. We had a few small tomatoes on the counter so I cut them into quarters and served them with everything else. The cauliflower-couscous dish was really tasty. This is a side that we will need to remember and consider making again in the future. It would go with just about any protein that we want to enjoy with dinner – pork, beef or chicken.

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