Monday, October 28, 2013

Beef Stroganoff

This is one of my favorite classic dishes.  I like to update it a bit by using a nice cut of steak (it's traditionally made with round steak or top sirloin) and adding roasted red peppers.  Sure, you can make the Hamburger Helper version, but why bother when this is so quick and so much more delicious? 

Yield:  4-6 servings 

2 pounds steak (I recommend tenderloin or strip steak), cut into 1 1/2 inch strips
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 large white onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup + 1/4 cup butter
1 cup + 1/2 cup beef broth 
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 cups egg noodles
Salt and pepper, to taste 

Cook mushrooms, onions and garlic in 1/4 cup butter over medium heat until tender.  Roast and slice red pepper and add to vegetable mixture, then set aside. Boil the noodles in salted water until tender, drain and cover to keep warm.

In a skillet on high, sear beef until brown on the outside, about 5 minutes.  Stir in 1 cup beef broth and Worcestershire sauce.  Add vegetable mixture to skillet and reduce heat to low.

In a separate saucepan, add 1/4 cup butter and heat on medium until almost completely melted.  Stir in flour and, using a fork or whisk, cook until pastelike, making a roux.  Add heavy cream and remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth.  Cook until creamy, stirring continually.  Stir in sour cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

To assemble the stroganoff, spoon egg noodles onto a plate, then top with beef and veggie mixture and sour cream sauce.  Enjoy!

Cajun Shrimp Po' Boy Sliders

Fried shrimp, spicy sauce, crisp coleslaw.  It's Louisiana voodoo! 

Yield:  Serves approx 8 as an appetizer, 4 as a meal 

Slider or sandwich rolls
Vegetable oil (for frying shrimp)
1 1/2 pounds breaded shrimp (I got frozen popcorn shrimp and it worked beautifully) 
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less for desired heat level)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 cup coleslaw or shredded cabbage, for topping, if desired

Remoulade Sauce: 
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sweet relish
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon horseradish sauce
4 dashes hot sauce (more or less for desired heat level)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix all ingredients for the remoulade in a small bowl and season to taste.  Set aside.  Toast slider buns, if desired, and reserve

Heat oil for about 10 minutes at medium high heat.  Mix seasoning ingredients in a large bowl and add the shrimp, toss to coat (you could also do this in a ziplock bag).

Fry the shrimp in the hot oil in batches until golden brown, stirring constantly.  This will take 2-5 minutes per batch.  Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with additional salt, if desired.

Coat each side of the slider buns with remoulade sauce.  Add the shrimp evenly between the sandwiches.  Top with coleslaw and additional hot sauce, if desired.  You can also add dill pickles, for more authenticity.  Spicy, crispy, delicious!  Enjoy!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thai Chicken & Potato Curry

There is something so addictive about curry!  It's a drug!

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 pounds small yellow or red potatoes, whole
3 tablespoons ginger root, peeled and minced
5 cloves garlic, minced

4 green onions, minced
1 cup chicken stock
1 can coconut milk
1 4 ounce jar red curry paste
4 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon white sugar

Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Warm the oil in the bottom of a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic, green onions and ginger and cook until soft.  Add the chicken and potatoes, then mix in the spices to coat.  Spoon in the curry paste and mix well, then add the chicken stock and coconut milk and stir to combine.

Bring to a boil, then reduce and cook for 1-2 hours, until the chicken and potatoes are tender and a thick gravy has formed.  Season to taste and check for heat - add more cayenne or curry for more heat, or if too spicy, cut with a bit of yogurt or add a bit more stock or sugar.

To serve, sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve with jasmine rice and/or naan.  Enjoy!

Tips:  this is great leftover the next day!

Pineapple Ginger Habanero Salsa

This may be my favorite salsa recipe ever - it's that good.  And I love salsa, so that's saying a lot.  It's also colorful and unique!

2 tablespoons ginger root, peeled and diced
4 green onions, tops and bottoms, finely chopped
Juice of 4 limes
1 medium red onion, finely diced
1 ripe whole pineapple, sliced and grilled until tender, then diced
1 habanero chile, minced (or add to taste until as spicy as desired)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Corn tortilla chips, for serving
Directions: Peel the pineapple and grill in large segments until soft.  Dice and add to a bowl.  Throw in the rest of the vegetables, the lime juice and oil and season to taste.  Add additional habanero if desired... that stuff is potent, so be careful!

Serve on tortilla chips or with tacos.  I have had this on pork tostadas and with shrimp tacos and it was fantastic either way (and by itself!).  Yum!  Enjoy!

Note:  The grilled fresh pineapple is the key to this recipe, so don't even think about using canned ; )