Carne Asada

I hope my readers don’t mind a repeat recipe, I got food poisoning (undercooked chicken I didn’t cook but bought at a deli) and had to delay the cooking of flank steak I had.
I decided to marinate the steak for Carne Asada.

This recipe serves 8, it keeps well in the fridge for at least 3 days or until The Boy eats it all.
Really thin slicked steak is the key, it takes on the flavor so well.
If you are making this recipe outside the US ask your butcher for thin sliced beef, in France it’s called “Bavette”, in the Netherlands it’s “runder-rib lap”
It’s from the cows belly-side.

1-1/2 pounds flank steak
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 limes, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
In order to get the marinade on all the pieces of meat I just dip them in the marinade so they coat evenly.
Layer beef in an oven proof dish so they can sit in the marinade, cover with remaining marinade.
Cover with plastic wrap and marinade 24-8 hours.

Either BBQ over medium heat or pan sear for 2 minutes on each side.
Serve with beans, guacamole and sour cream.

Enjoy.

Bok Choy salad with chicken.

Our Asian market sells Bok Choi by the bag.
There have to be at least 10 heads in the bag, way too many to use in a stir-fry so sometimes they go unused and ultimately spoil.
This salad is easy and refreshing.
Lunch made really simple and healthy!

½ cup of finely minced spring onion greens
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp. finely minced fresh oregano
1 head of bok choi, finely chopped
1 cup of radish, cut into coins
¾ lb of grilled chicken breast, thinly sliced

Prepare the dressing by adding all ingredients except the bok choi and radishes.
Allow to marinate for ten minutes (this will ease the bite of the onions and let the flavors meld together).
Meanwhile, prepare the bok choi and radishes, and then toss with the dressing. Refrigerate for 15 minutes while you grill the chicken.
Add the meat to the salad.

Enjoy!

Vacation Adventures.

3 weeks ago we set off for our vacation.
Because we had planned a week in Kings Canyon National Park at a family camp we wanted to be a bit closer drive to there the week before.
I was intrigued by Cambria, a small town on the coast between San Luis Obispo and Carmel.
We rented a house for a week and I loved the ocean views and watching the birds.
Here in pictures are some of the places we ate.

Heavenly seared Ahi in Monterey at The Grotto Fish Market on the Pier.

Small hole in the wall place in Cayucos called Rudell’s Smokehouse came heavily recommended and their smoked fish was indeed amazing!

I had the smoked ahi taco and skipped the tortilla.

We had one dinner where the food was amazing but the service was so bad it overshadowed the meal.
The restaurant came highly recommended and the owners were of Dutch heritage.
The restaurant is called The Flying Dutchman in Morro Bay.
We had Mussels

And the Boy had their Cioppino.

Good food,but if you don’t mind getting *all* your food at the same time, don’t eat there.

And then last but not least our last meal on the road was in Los Banos at Hot City BBQ.
I had an amazing trip-tip salad.

BubbleWrapBoy polished off a pulled pork sandwich.

Food was good, home is much better!

An easy garden.

My local hardware store was selling wooden boxes with herbs and vegetables planted in them.
But they were pricey and at $40 not going home with me.
The idea was genius though,tomatoes, basil,jalapeno peppers and oregano.

In the place where clutter resides garage I had a rubbermaid tote that was lacking a lid.
I filled it with soil and planted cherry tomatoes, basil, parsley, oregano and a mystery chili pepper.
Watered it and at first it wasn’t giving me a lot of produce but this last week the oregano has gone rogue and the cherry tomatoes are ripening at an alarming speed.

So far we’ve had a salad with the tomatoes and I made pistachio pesto.
This garden does need mostly sun, I estimate it has sun for at least 6 hours.
What I did not do, and must soon, is drill a hole or two in the bottom for drainage.
Himself hasn’t told me where he hides the power tools in the garage.
He says we have one but is probably unable to find it among the boxes that need saving.

Pistachio Pesto
Traditionally pesto is made with pine nuts. About a year ago I developed a terrible taste every time I ate something.
Everything tasted bitter.
Going over the food for the last days I googled some of my foods and finally did a search for “pine nuts bitter taste” and top of the search revealed 2 pages of links and the culprit being pine nuts indeed.
Apparently the pine-nuts I bought were from China and not really pine-nuts as we know them.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/614646

Since then I’ve been making pesto with nuts such as walnuts and pistachio’s.
I find the latter to work the best for flavor.

Here is the recipe, enjoy!

20 pistachio’s (it’s easier if they are shelled obviously)
2/3 cup good olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic
8-10 big basil leaves, or in my case 15 small
parmesan cheese (optional if you are dairy free)

Pistachios and half of the olive oil in the food processor until pistachio’s are almost ground (I’ve got one of those $10 small ones that work pretty good)
Add basil,garlic, salt and pepper to taste and rest of the olive oil. Mix until smooth.
If you want a thinner pesto drizzle some more olive oil in the food processor and mix well.
I either use this for pasta or with fish.
We had grilled salmon and it was pretty tasty!

Enjoy!

Super simple and fresh.

Sometimes I make something just because I have ingredients and I want to experiment.
We were having a warm day and today’s harvest from the garden is cherry tomatoes and basil.
I only had a handful of tomatoes, not enough to feed 4 people.
But I had my heart set on Caprese Salad.
Bit of digging in the fridge yielded a cucumber and one ball of mozzarella.

I liked it, they thought it was good.

Summer Salad

1 cucumber cut small
8 ounces cherry tomatoes
6 basil leaves, cut small
1-2 balls mozzarella, cut in chunks
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice

Combine cucumber, tomatoes and basil
Mix olive oil and lemon juice, taste if it is too tart add a bit of olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste
Add cheese to vegetables and drizzle the dressing over salad.
Toss lightly, that cheese wants to fall apart.

Enjoy!
A perfect salad for the 4th of July or any BBQ.

Easy ribs, no BBQ needed.

I love ribs, the meaty fall apart smokey aspect of it.
The first time I started with one slab of extra meaty baby back ribs weighing about 3 pounds, for 4 people. Seemed to me it would be plenty for 2 adults and two kids. Well a few weeks ago, overnight, someone switched my sparrow of an eater and replaced it with a bottomless pit of a child. He can’t stop eating protein. Paired with at least an inch or two of growth in length in 2 months it doesn’t surprise me. I’ve joked I’m raising my younger brothers rolled into one boy, and right now it’s true. So the second time around I added an extra 2.5 pounds. The leftovers were astounding! Seriously we fought over them!
This is truly an easy recipe, and even for 2 people one slab will yield lunch for the next day easily.

Crock pot ribs

(without leftovers)
2-3 pounds baby back ribs, extra meaty
your BBQ sauce of choice, did not measure just coated the ribs
Preheat your crock pot by turning it on high and adding about an inch of water in the pot, once you are ready for the meat discard the water.
Cut the ribs in pieces of about 4-5 ribs each, smaller if you have a crock pot under 6.5 quarts
cover with BBQ sauce on both sides.
stack ribs on their sides with the meaty parts for the first few hours, rotating them every hour. I know this is odd but they do not fit in the crock pot flat somehow.
after 5 hours you can stack the ribs flat, and turn the heat to low.
add a little more BBQ sauce if you want.
I found an awesome BBQ sauce I can eat because it has no gluten and no sugar!

A good alternative to ham for Easter

Easter spans two days in the Netherlands.
Food consists of breakfast with eggs, smoked salmon or ham.
Dinner has never been ham for us, we either make a roast or, growing up, fish of some kind.

I’ve always made lamb for Easter dinner.
This is a recipe I’ve posted before but it is worth dusting it off for Easter.

2 lamb chops per person
2 sprigs Rosemary
4 cloves garlic
1 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste.

Salt and pepper the chops on both sides
Take the leaves off the sprigs of Rosemary and “mash” it together with the garlic and olive oil making a paste of some sort.
Rub this mix into the chops.

Wrap bones (without meat) with aluminum foil to prevent the bone from burning
Grill on the BBQ for 5 minutes on each side.

That’s it!

Enjoy!

Picture from Beefvault.com

Another favorite becomes home-made.

One of the things we love is Carne Asada.
I buy it from a local Mexican market but it’s becoming a bit pricey so I decided to look into making my own.
We like it as left-overs so I always make way more.
This recipe serves 8, it keeps well in the fridge for at least 3 days or until The Boy eats it all.
Really thin slicked steak is the key, it takes on the flavor so well.
If you are making this recipe outside the US ask your butcher for thin sliced beef, in France it’s called “Bavette”, in the Netherlands it’s “runder-rib lap”
It’s from the cows belly-side.

1-1/2 pounds flank steak
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 limes, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
In order to get the marinade on all the pieces of meat I just dip them in the marinade so they coat evenly.
Layer beef in an oven proof dish so they can sit in the marinade, cover with remaining marinade.
Cover with plastic wrap and marinade 24-8 hours.

Either BBQ over medium heat or pan sear for 2 minutes on each side.
Serve with beans, guacamole and sour cream.

Enjoy.

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Dutch dish from an exotic locale.

Before World War 2 the Netherlands had a colony called Indonesia.
Indonesians lived in the Netherlands and brought the food of the Islands to potato and meat Netherlands.

Dishes such a Nasi (Indonesian Fried Rice) Soto (Indonesian chicken soup) rank high on my list of things to make and eat.
One of the dishes my family likes is Sate, we can get a passible one from out favorite Thai restaurant but I like to make my own to go with our fried rice.

These Sate kebabs go on the grill but they can be cooked in an oven as well.
For this you heat the oven to 325, place the skewers with meat on a cookie sheet and cook on both sides for 6 minutes each.

Chicken Sate

2-3 chicken breast cut in chunks
2-3 tablespoons curry
2 tbs soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons cumin
1-2 cloves garlic
2 tbs oil
1 tbs lemon juice
1tsp hot chili sauce or Sambal

Mix all ingredients together and let marinate for at least 10 minutes.
Make skewers, discard the marinade.
Grill on a hot BBQ or in the oven as described above.

Enjoy!

Party on!

Usually I put up a Swedish chef today.
However today I wanted to blog about the graduate party we threw for both kids yesterday

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.

There was a lot of food and friends.

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I made a cake
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That we allowed the teen boys to cut, this was the outcome:

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And when all was said and done we were left with good memories and sense of fulfillment after a great party.
Oh, yeah dishes too!

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So this was my Sunday morning with the leftovers right before work.

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