9/12/19

Dinner In 15 Minutes: Medium Rare Beef Filet With Salad & Corn


It's technically Fall, but the weather has me feeling like we are still dealing with the Summer heat and humidity. That, in addition to metro delays, somewhat unexpected rain, and being overly hungry the last few days, had me craving a satisfying dinner that required very little cooking time or heating up my kitchen.

Good thing I had a beef filet from Trader Joe's in my fridge and a bunch of random produce.

Quick note: if you've not added stone fruit to your salads yet, you are missing out!

Dinner In 15 Minutes: Medium Rare Beef Filet With Salad & Corn 

olive oil
beef filet
salt & pepper
corn, boiled
arugula
Boston lettuce, torn into pieces
cilantro, chopped
basil, chopped
Vidalia onion, chopped
pluots, or any other stone fruit, pit removed, flesh sliced
lemon juice

1. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet on the stove. Add olive oil. Season a room-temperature beef filet with salt and pepper on both sides and cook 2-5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the steak and how you like your steak cooked. Allow to rest before slicing. 

Quick note: I wanted my steak to be medium rare, but after slicing it (see the photo), realized it was too rare! I ended up quickly searing each piece in the skillet.

2. In a large bowl combine arugula, Boston lettuce, cilantro, basil, onions, and pluots. Add lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and mix.

Quick note: did you know pluots are a combination of plums and apricots!?

3. Serve sliced steak with the salad and corn on the side. 

9/9/19

Meatless Monday: Tomatillo & Avocado Salsa


Tomatillo & Avocado Salsa is a recipe that comes together quickly and is great not only with chips, but also as a salad dressing, a sauce for grilled chicken, or mixed into pasta.

Once a month, Seasonal Roots sends me a box of their produce as a gift. This past month, I got an extra credit when someone used my referral code mangotomato!!! I don't know who used it, but I thank you!!

I  added tomatillos to my box using the credit from the referral code. Did you know tomatillos are not green tomatoes? Although both tomatoes and tomatillos are members of the nightshade family, as are peppers and eggplant, tomatillos aren't unripe tomatoes. 

I decided to make a quick salsa using tomatillos and posted a question on my insta story whether to roast them first or use raw. ROAST was the overwhelming response.

Not having an outdoor grill, I decided to "roast" tomatillos in a dry cast iron skillet. You can also broil them!

Tomatillo & Avocado Salsa
Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients
18 tomatillos, husks removed and discarded, washed, dried
1 jalapeno
1/4 Vidalia onion
1/4 cup water
1 cup cilantro
1 avocado
salt to taste
plantain chips

Directions
1. Heat a cast iron skillet on the stove. Add tomatillos, jalapeno, and the onion and cook until all the vegetables have blackened, rotating occasionally.

2. Remove the seeds from the jalapeno and discard. Add blackened tomatillos, jalapeno, and onion to a blender with water, cilantro and avocado and pulse until you get your desired consistency. Season with salt.

I recommend refrigerating the salsa before eating. You may also substitute lime juice, at least partially, for water.

If you like more heat, leave the seeds of the jalapeno!

How gorgeous are these??? I think that's the first time I've seen purple tomatillos: alas once cooked, the color doesn't remain.

9/3/19

Spam, Potato & Pepper Hash With A Fried Egg


It may be hard to believe, but I've been thinking about making Spam, Potato & Pepper Hash With A Fried Egg for several days.

It all started after I saw my friend Jazmin post a photo of SPAM at a Minnesota State Fair. I've not had SPAM in ages and decided to buy it. The timing was somewhat perfect as I just had a dental surgery and needed to eat something soft. Oy.

I also had a leftover baked potato, which I think is the perfect potato to use for a hash because it's already cooked! Undercooked potatoes are one of my biggest pet peeves.

The photo above is my breakfast from yesterday because I had a day off and love to have a big ass breakfast on such an occasion. 


Spam, Potato & Pepper Hash With A Fried Egg

olive oil
onion, diced
green pepper, diced
SPAM, diced
baked potato, diced
salt & pepper
fried egg
ketchup

Start by sauteing onion and pepper in a skillet heated with olive oil.

Once the vegetables are tender, add SPAM and potatoes and season with salt (just a bit!) and black pepper. Continue sauteing until SPAM and potatoes are crispy.

Serve with a fried egg on top: I prefer mine to have a soft yolk.

Ketchup is optional. Feel free to use hot sauce or sriracha.

Do YOU love SPAM?

8/29/19

Picnic Dinner


Have no time or desire to cook but don't want to get take out or eat cereal for dinner? Picnic Dinner to the rescue!!

Earlier this week I quickly stopped at my grocery store to pick up the following ingredients to make a picnic dinner:

chips
salsa
hummus
soft cheese
grapes
tangerines
olives
salami

You can add sliced vegetables, something sweet and decadent, a glass of wine, or any other things you wish. This also makes for a great actual picnic!

8/22/19

Smashed Potatoes Recipe


Smashed Potatoes: have you heard of them? By this point I thought everyone knew about these crispy on the outside and tender on the inside potatoes that are great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Turns out I was wrong.

When a few friends came over for dinner earlier this week, I decided to make smashed potatoes as a side, and they LOVED them. "I'll have two" turned into "These are amazing: I want more!"

Smashed Potatoes

mini red skinned potatoes
water
salt
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

1. Cover the red skinned potatoes in a small saucepan with cold water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat slightly down and simmer until a knife can easily go through a potato.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425F.
3. Once the potatoes are tender, drain and dry them, and then use a cup or a glass to gently smash each of the potatoes without fully destroying them. This is rather therapeutic.
4. Oil a large cookie sheet and place the smashed potatoes in a single layer. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15-25 minutes or until the edges are crispy.

Serving suggestion: poached salmon and arugula salad with strawberries.


8/7/19

Heirloom Tomato Wasa Toasts


Summer on a plate:
1) Slice heirloom tomatoes
2) Spread mayonnaise on wasa crackers or toast
3) Top with tomatoes
4) Season with salt (I used truffle salt) and freshly ground black pepper

Enjoy

7/26/19

Weekend Inspiration: Flower Power


TGIF! Above is a gorgeous, if I say so myself, flower arrangement I made in a class I assisted taught by Sarah of Urban Petals.

In the first class (out of 3), I learned how to arrange flowers in my hand instead of in a vase. You start with one stem and then add more stems one by one with the stems somewhat wrapped or twirled around one another: it's harder to explain in words than to actually do.

At the end, you use a rubber band to hold all the flowers together: it's basically a bridal bouquet, but luckily you don't have to be a bride to enjoy this.

The beauty of this technique is that you can easily trim the ends of the flowers and change the water (do this at least every other day) without having to redo the entire arrangement.

Once some of the flowers wilt (irises were the first to go), it's easy to remove them and slightly re-fluff the rest of the bouquet.

Can't wait to see what I learn in the next two Tuesdays! 

7/25/19

Easy Summer Dinner With Hofmann's


Imagine coming home to a care package containing natural casing franks, specialty mustard, and a few other varieties of sausages.

That's exactly what happened to me last night thanks to my friends at Hofmann's! They sent me a few of their products to try, and I made a quick dinner with their natural casing franks. Originally from Germany, Hofmann's has operated in Syracuse, New York since 1879: they clearly know what they are doing. 

Don't have a grill? No worries: I used my panini maker! I loved how the casing burst and got crispy in the cooking process. The franks are already cooked, so you just need to heat them through.

Add boiled corn, horseradish mustard and sliced watermelon, and you have dinner on the table in under 10 minutes.

Disclosure: I received the samples free of charge and am not compensated for this post. 

7/19/19

Fancy Fruit Salad


TGIF!!!! It's hot as hell in DC area. It will feel like 110 degrees this weekend...are you ready? I'm planning to avoid being outside as much as possible, eat cold food, and watch the latest season of Queer Eye!

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you Fancy Fruit Salad I made earlier this week when two of my friends came over for dinner.

What makes it fancy? There are no apples or bananas ;) If you love those fruit in your salad, be my guest!

Fancy Fruit Salad
figs, quartered
cherries, pitted and halved
strawberries, chopped
nectarines, pits removed, chopped

That's it! Mix the fruit together and serve. Depending on how ripe the fruit is, you may want to add a bit of sugar or honey, but mine were sweet as it.

Stay cool friends!

7/16/19

Nectarine, Tomato & Blueberry Salad with Steak


It's over 90 degrees in DC area and supposed to get even warmer. I'm not even talking about the humidity factor!

I'm changing my Facebook status to "in relationship with AC."
Get it!? ;)

Over the weekend I used some of the produce I received as a gift from Seasonal Roots to make a salad to go along with leftover steak I made the night before without turning on the stove or the oven. The heat came from jalapenos!

Nectarine, Tomato & Blueberry Salad with Steak

Ingredients
nectarines, pit removed, flesh diced
tomatoes, whichever variety you like, chopped into bite size pieces
blueberries
jalapeno, minced
red onion, finely diced
basil, chopped
olive oil
salt

steak, sliced

Directions
Mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Serve with sliced steak.

The combination of sweet nectarines and blueberries is not only great in a cake, but is lovely in this salad. The jalapeno and red onion add the heat.