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I cooked these two sides with the boneless rib eyes I served with the tomatillo and mango sauce. I wanted to make something I can put together in advance so when it’s time to eat, there isn’t much for me to do.
In terms of the potatoes, I boiled them first; sliced them thick and placed them on the grill. I recently bought a grill pan to place on my outside grill- which is quite handy with vegetables. On the side I whipped up a sauce with tarragon, mustard and creme fraiche. I love making chicken salad with a tarragon dressing- I wanted to replicate that flavor in the potatoes. The creme fraiche softens the mustard tang and adds a nice creaminess to the dish- it was very yummy. The potatoes were crispy yet soft on the inside.
I wanted to serve some green vegetables with the meal and decided on asparagus and corn I already had in the fridge from the farmers market. I struggle to come up with different recipes for these vegetables since I cook them so often- so I decided to keep it really simple. I grilled the corn and the asparagus simply with olive oil, salt and pepper. I took the corn off the cob and added a good amount of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese and mixed it with the grilled corn and asparagus. That’s all it really needed- it was delicious. I also didn’t want to introduce any new flavors to the meal. The steak with the tomatillo sauce and the potatoes with tarragon already had very strong flavors going on… the grilled corn and asparagus dish complimented both the dishes very well. My daughter happily ate the corn and asparagus but stayed away from the potatoes. She of course love the steak and wanted more. She had a big glass of milk with her meal and we had a big glass of wine!
I usually wait for the weather to get really warm before we start grilling- but this past year, I have been grilling, even in the winter. It is so easy and convenient and you can’t beat the flavor. Now that the weather is perfect for spending hours and hours outside- it doesn’t really make sense to stay in and cook. We have been grilling almost every weekend for a couple of months now- even in the rain. The other day, I found myself outside without an umbrella- yes, I was too lazy to get one- so I stood out there with a plastic grocery bag on my head- it wasn’t pretty at all- I hope my neighbors didn’t see me. My point is that no matter what is happening outside, it is always a good idea to grill.
With the 4th of July approaching, I though it would be nice to try out some dishes that would be delicious on the grill. There were boneless rib eyes on sale at Whole Foods. I marinated them in a mixture of garlic, oregano and parsley. The mixture smelled delicious while I was putting it together. I placed them in the fridge while I roasted some tomatillos and mangoes. I love sauces made out of tomatillos and since I always have mangoes on hand, I decided to pair them together with a few spring onions I got from the farmers market. I added some fresh lime juice and smoked paprika- one of my favorite spices. All the flavors worked perfectly together especially with the smoky grilled tomatillos and mangoes. I blended them all together and came up with a delicious sauce. We enjoyed it with the steak- in fact, I have half of it leftover and plan to serve it with grilled fish tonight.
I grilled potatoes and corn with asparagus to complete the meal. This menu is perfect for the long weekend, especially if you are entertaining. Everything can be prepared in advance. The only thing to be cooked right before eating are the steaks. The other two dishes taste really good room temperature. I would serve the raspberry pudding cake with this meal and also the sangria! Make sure to make lots of sangria so you can start before the guests come!
I love making a stir fry at home. We all love Chinese food and our favorite is Hunan Spring in Springfield, NJ. We go there quite often and Sia loves the Chicken and Corn Soup. The food is delicious but it is quite greasy and there is really no way for me to know what all is in the food. I especially love the sweet and sour or tangy sauces that go with the different meats they serve. Mostly we get Mango Chicken and Shredded Pork in a Garlic Sauce. When I make the dishes at home, the sauces usually include brown sugar or honey for the sweetness and rice vinegar to add the sourness.
Lately I have been into cooking with apricots and nectarines. Since they are in season now, I see them every where I go. I had seen a stir fry recipe that used nectarines with beef. I read the recipe and envisioned a sauce made out of apricot jam mixed with soy sauce and chili sauce- hmm, yum! I couldn’t wait to make it. I went to Whole Foods to buy some beef suitable for a stir fry and decided to buy a red pepper as well. I love the bright colors in a stir fry- and you eat with your eyes first. I marinated the beef in the afternoon thinking I would cook the dish in the evening. We ended up going out to eat that evening so the beef sat in the fridge overnight. I cooked it the next evening and I have to say, it was extra tasty because of the extra long marination time. I am sure it would be tasty even if it is marinated for a few hours- I think the key is to get the right cut for a stir fry, I used top round and it worked out very well- great beef flavor.
For the sauce I used the apricot jam and paired it with rice vinegar, soy sauce and the chili garlic sauce. That’s all it really needed- well I definitely had to add the ginger and the garlic- you can’t have Chinese food or really any food without them! It was a delicious sauce- great to use as a pan sauce for chicken or a pork tenderloin.
One of the reasons I love making a stir fry is that it can be prepped for in advance- I usually cut and marinate everything in the morning; I put the sauce together as well- I even cook the rice in advance. All I have to do in the evening is put the ingredients in the wok or frying pan and add the sauce. A few things to remember when making a stir fry: first- cut everything into the same small size- so it all cooks at the same time and really fast. Second-Saute everything separately- it keeps all the vegetables crisp- and third- have everything ready since the cooking process doesn’t take very long.
I cooked brown rice with this dish. I buy the basmati brown rice from Trader Joes which is delicious. The thing to remember with brown rice is that it takes almost double the amount of cooking time than white rice. Also, white rice gets double the amount of liquid- for brown rice, I use a little bit more. For example: I used one cup of uncooked rice with three cups of liquid. Since the rice takes longer, more liquid is necessary.
My daughter loved the stir fry especially with the brown rice. I thought it was absolutely delicious- especially the tangy sauce. We had our usual Malbec Rose with the dinner and it was fabulous as usual!
I love pasta- in all forms and in different preparations. I make it all the time, I especially love the one pot meals I come up with. They are so easy to put together and great to serve to a big crowd- all the prep work is done- all you have to do is stick it in the oven. View some of these one pot meals I have made in the past- healthy mac and cheese, penne with tomatoes, spinach and sausage, and a baked vegetable pasta. My all time favorite pasta is the one I make with broccoli rabe and sausage – I make with lots of lemon zest and garlic- it has no marinara sauce. Now, every time I make this pasta, my husband asks, “is there any marinara sauce “? I get very annoyed at the question since I feel the pasta has so much flavor that we don’t really need a ‘sauce’. Also, there are delicious pastas to be had without marinara sauce! – but he loves the red sauce so much that he wants it in every pasta preparation. So, when I made a big batch of marinara sauce last weekend, I made sure to save some for a pasta preparation. I used the rest in the grilled pizzas I made.
School is done and my daughter is home this week before camp starts. We had plans to go into New York City for lunch. We had a great lunch, went to a kid’s bookstore and came back around 3:30. While we were on the train coming home, I started to wonder what I was going to make for dinner. I had the marinara sauce in the fridge and some bucatini in the pantry. I love using bucatini- it is thicker than spaghetti and it is hollow inside. It’s a lot of fun to eat. I decided to stop at the fish store and buy some shrimp and scallops to make a seafood pasta. Once we got home, my daughter insisted on going to the pool- so we did- even though it was supposed to rain- and it did! We got home around 5:30 and that is when I started making dinner. Luckily it was going to be a quick one. I boiled the pasta; started the anchovies in another pan and added the marinara sauce. It took all of 15 minutes to make this dish and it was delicious! My daughter really enjoyed it.
I realize most Italians don’t add any cheese on seafood dishes- but I really like cheese on mine. I added some Pecorino Romano- it was really yummy! I served it with a green salad and a Malbec. My husband was a happy man- he finally got his pasta with marinara sauce!
This is another one pot meal I am proud of. I love when I come up with something that is enjoyed both by adults and kids. My daughter loved it even though she is not a fan of salsas or any tangy sauces. It started with me having tons of cherry tomatoes in the house. I decided to roast them with an onion and garlic and make a roasted salsa. My husband loves salsa with chips- so I thought we can consume the tomatoes in a tasty way. Once the salsa was made, I realized that it is essentially a sauce, with a lot of flavor- and I can cook with it! So I decided to make a rice dish with chicken and beans. I bought my favorite part of the chicken- thighs- I love cooking with them. They have so much more flavor than chicken breasts and they are a lot more forgiving in terms of cooking. Chicken thighs are perfect for curries, stews or really any dish- you can cook the heck out of them and they still taste delicious.
I sauteed them in some olive oil, salt and pepper. I then added the salsa and sauteed it with the chicken for a few minutes as I wanted the chicken to impart some delicious flavor into the sauce. I then added a can of red kidney beans and basmati rice. The beans added a delicious creaminess to the savory dish. I always cook my rice with chicken broth. I love using it- definitely one of my favorite ingredients to have around all the time. It’s a great way to add extra flavor to rice, sauces or curries. I buy the big case of organic chicken broth boxes from Costco- there are six in one big case and I go through them very quickly- since I use it in almost everything I make. If you are a vegetarian, I would recommend using vegetable broth instead.
The dish is easy to make since the salsa has all the flavor. You can also buy your favorite salsa from the store and cook this dish- definitely a quick ‘go to’ meal. It doesn’t take very long at all- the key is to have the staples at home- rice, chicken broth and some cans of your favorite beans.
The dish was a big success. I gave some leftovers to a friend. We ate as a family with a green salad and of course some wine.