Friday, June 1, 2012

Flank Steak with Arugula Salad

Our CSA gave us the heads up that we could expect arugula in our share this week. Yay! It's only my favorite lettuce ever! (Is it weird to have a favorite lettuce? My husband's favorite is Boston Bibb - yes, we often have deep conversations.)

I came across this recipe as I was perusing our most recent Food Network Magazine. Unfortunately I did not have enough arugula, so I subbed in some romaine that we had in the fridge and some red leaf that also came in our share.

The original recipe did not call for marinating the steak, but I always like to marinate flank and skirt steak since they can be pretty tough. This marinade paired beautifully with the salad! We will definitely be making this again this summer!

Flank Steak with Arugula Salad
4 T olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 ciabatta rolls, cut into cubes (about 5 cups)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 c sliced radishes
2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 T capers, plus 2 T brine from the jar (I used olives because we don't like capers)
1 1/4 lb skirt steak (we used flank steak instead, marinated for 12 hours)
6 cups baby arugula

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread cubes and cook until crisp and slightly golden, turning as needed, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, tossing, until the garlic is slightly golden, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl; wipe out the skillet. Add the radishes, tomatoes, basil, capers (or olives) and caper brine to the bowl and toss to combine.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper (only use pepper if you marinate the steak), add to the pan and sear until browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn and sear until browned on the other side, 3 to 5 more minutes. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.

Add the arugula and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the bowl with the salad and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Thinly slice the steak against the grain and divide among plates. Serve with the salad.

Flank Steak Marinade
1/3 c olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T red wine vinegar
1/3 c soy sauce
1/4 c honey
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper

Score the surface of the steak with 1/4 inch deep knife cuts, about an inch apart, across the grain of the meat. Combine the marinade ingredients. Place steak and marinade ingredients in a large freezer bag or plastic container. Coat the steak well with the marinade. Chill and marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Dog Ate My Blog

Hi There!

Sorry I've been MIA for the last couple of weeks. My husband and I made a major life decision and got a dog three weeks ago! This is Gus. He's a four year old Weimaraner that we adopted from the Great Lakes Weimaraner Rescue. We went into this adoption eyes wide open, but this dog has drastically changed our lives and schedules. As a result, I have not been cooking nearly as much lately and what I have cooked, I haven't had a chance to blog about. I think we're getting into more of a routine these days though, so I hope to be back to blogging regularly in no time!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mushroom, Asparagus, and Pesto Pizza

One of the things I love most about pizza is using whatever random stuff we have in the fridge and making a pizza out of it. There are very few toppings that I don't like. For this particular pizza, I cooked some sliced up mushrooms and added some roasted asparagus and pesto. Yummy!!

Mushroom, Asparagus, and Pesto Pizza
1 pizza crust (we used TJ's herb crust this time)
1 c. pesto sauce
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
2 c. sliced button mushrooms
3 T red wine
2 T chopped, fresh thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
2 c. roasted asparagus, cut in thirds
2 c. cheese (we used cheddar and mozzarella)
Feta cheese

Preheat oven to 500. Precook crust for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter and olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, red wine, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Spread the pesto on the bottom of the crust then top with cheese, mushrooms, asparagus, and sprinkle feta over the top.

Bake for an additional 6-7 minutes until the cheese is melted and the crust is browned and crisp.

CSA - Week 1

I've been looking into joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for the last couple of years, and finally decided to take the plunge. We're splitting our "single" share with a good friend who lives nearby. Tonight we received our first share. We got tons of greens and a few turnips! I'm excited to try new vegetables and new recipes. Plus, what's better than using local, seasonal ingredients?! Can you believe this was only half the share?

In the haul this week: Turnips, Red Leaf Lettuce, Vitamin Greens, Dinosaur Kale, Spinach, Rainbow Chard, and Yukina Savoy.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Italian Beef Sandwiches were introduced to me when I moved to Chicago. Something about the warm beef, cheese, and Italian bread just screams Midwest. What's great about this recipe is that you make it in the crock pot. I love crock pot meals! Well, the crock pot thing still makes me nervous and I often envision coming home to a burned down apartment, but that has never actually happened. Instead I walk in to the most amazing smell ever and it takes all the will power I have to not eat dinner immediately and instead wait for my husband to get home too.

This particular recipe comes from my sister and it is awesome!

Italian Beef Sandwiches 
1 package chuck tender roast (this time we used about 3 lbs)
1 packet Good Seasons dry Italian salad dressing
1 jar sliced pepperoncinis with juice
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 12 oz can beer (I had Coors Light in the fridge)
1 package Italian rolls
Sliced provolone cheese
Giardiniera (hot or mild)

Put the first five ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. The meat should fall apart and shred easily.

I like to toast the bread with provolone cheese and then top with meat and giardiniera, but you can assemble the sandwich any way you like! This also makes a ton of leftovers.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gooey Butter Cake

Last weekend one of our good friends celebrated his 30th birthday. He hosted a party with a sampling of home-brewed beers that he and my husband made. They were delicious! Since you can't have a birthday party without cake, I offered to bake one for the occasion. Jim requested his mom's Gooey Butter Cake. I've never had this St. Louis specialty before, but I must say it was really good. The ease to deliciousness factor was also quite high. I think we'll be enjoying this treat again!

Gooey Butter Cake
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
1 box yellow cake mix
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 box powdered sugar (1 lb), reserve 2 tablespoons

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease and flour a 13x9 pan. Combine first three ingredients and press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Beat the last three ingredients and pour over the bottom layer. Be careful not to mix the layers. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with reserved powdered sugar when cooled.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Soup

Since I started writing this blog right before I became a vegetarian for a little while, I haven't yet discussed my love for all things buffalo. I've always liked buffalo sauce, but the real love affair started in high school with the buffalo shrimp at Hooter's and the temporarily available buffalo chicken pizza from Pizza Hut. Since then I've tried all kinds of things with buffalo sauce and I've loved them all! Last year I was lucky enough to travel to Buffalo, NY, for a wedding and had a chance to eat at Anchor Bar, home of the original buffalo wing. It was amazing!

This recipe for buffalo chicken soup was easy and had tons of buffalo flavor! Major win!

Buffalo Chicken Soup

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8-10 oz), cooked and shredded
2 T olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T flour
32 oz low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 c buffalo wing sauce (I think I actually used closer to a cup)
1/3 c freshly grated cheddar cheese
1/4 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
sliced whole wheat baguettes, toasted with parmesan cheese (the pita bread I had was a good substitute)
sliced green onions, crumbled gorgonzola and cilantro for topping

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions with a sprinkle of salt to the pot, stirring to coat, then cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Add in garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Sprinkle in flour and stir for another 1-2 minutes. Add in stock, buffalo sauce, chicken and grated cheeses, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often.

Ladle out soup and top with toasted baguettes, cilantro, green onions, and gorgonzola.