My brother-in-law is from Argentina, close to Mendoza. He makes some amazing chimichurri sauce that we eat on steak or Argentine sausages when we have a cookout at their home. Always a fun time, and he was the inspiration for tonight’s dinner.
Key West Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce, Potatoes and salad with grilled naan
In a small bowl, combine onion, cilantro, vinegar, lime juice and 2 tablespoons oil until blended. Pour 1 cup marinade into a large bowl or shallow dish. Add lime halves. Rub steak with remaining oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add to bowl; turn to coat. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.
Drain steak, discarding marinade and limes in bowl. Place reserved marinade in a food processor; process until chopped chopped.
Grill steak, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135°; medium, 140°), 6-8 minutes per side. Baste occasionally with reserved marinade. Let stand 10 minutes before thinly slicing steak across the grain.
1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Puree all ingredients in processor. Transfer to bowl. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
2 (1/4-inch thick) slices pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and pancetta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon and pancetta are brown and crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and pancetta pieces to paper towels to drain. Add the potatoes and garlic to the pan. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are golden and cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add the thyme, cooked bacon and cooked pancetta to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Transfer the potatoes to a large serving bowl and serve immediately.
The one thing I love about summer is all of the grilling we get to do and the eating al fresco (that means outside, right?). Even if you have those indoor grill pans, nothing beats the carcinogens of an actual grill. I mean the grill marks.
Our dinner tonight was grilled chicken pitas. I’m going to give you the recipe for the grilled chicken (super easy) then you just assemble with your favorite toppings. Mine has lettuce, Ranch dressing, and red onion. Yum!
Grilled Italian Chicken Breast Fillets
4 chicken breast fillets
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Place chicken in bowl; return to refrigerator. In a separate bowl mix together lemon juice, salt, garlic and red pepper; gradually whisk in olive oil. Stir in dried oregano. Pour marinade over chicken to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour, turning chicken occasionally. Preheat grill to medium-hot. Remove chicken from marinade and discard. Grill until tests done.
Grilled Taco Chicken
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
nonstick cooking spray
Preheat grill to medium high heat. In a small bowl, combine taco seasoning mix, chili powder and salt. Spray each breast with cooking spray and sprinkle with spice mixture. Rub evenly to coat well. Grill chicken, turning occasionally, for 15 to 18 minutes or until no pink remains in the chicken and the juices run clear.
KRISTI’S DAD’S BASTING SAUCE
Funny story with this sauce. My college dorm mates and I took turns cooking for each other because we hated eating at the school cafeteria. A friend had a secret sauce that she used to grill burgers with, and they were delicious! Naturally, I asked for the recipe. She said “no, it’s a secret.” We waited for her to go to the bathroom and set up watches, while I rummaged through her desk. Two seconds later I found the sticky note with the info. Devious yes? Delicious? Also yes.
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce 1/2 cup soy sauce 1 cup water 4 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Mexican food is my favorite. And the one thing I love about Mexican food above all others is the salsa. This one reminds me of the salsa at one of my childhood favorite haunts: Pancho’s in Ft. Walton Beach Florida. Easy to make, and very fresh tasting!
5 MINUTE TOMATO SALSA
Very fresh, make as spicy as you want by leaving seeds of jalapeno in if desired.
Source: The Best Quick
1/2 small jalapeno, minced
1/4 small red onion, peeled
1 small garlic clove, pressed and minced
2 tablespoons packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lime juice
14 1⁄2 ounces diced tomatoes, drained
Pulse all ingredients except tomatoes in food processor until minced, about 5 times.
Add tomatoes and pulse 2 times. Transfer to fine mesh sieve and drain for one minute.
To stabilize and sweeten your whipped cream add powdered sugar. It dissolves instantly and the little bit of cornstarch it contains will stabilize your whipped cream, so it can be made ahead of time and it won’t deflate. Start by whipping the cream into soft peaks, then beat in 2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar for every cup of cream. (Tip from Bon Appetit Magazine)
To clean your iron skillet without losing its seasoning, add a splash of water to a teaspoon of course salt. Use paper towel to wipe off food! (HGTV magazine)
To clean your nasty cookie sheets, sprinkle baking soda on the sheet, follow it up with some hydrogen peroxide and then sprinkle more baking soda on top. Let it sit for as long as two hours, then wipe it all away with a rag or coarse sponge. (Tip from Food & Wine)
Keep your crudites fresh for up to 12 hours: cover everything with damp paper towels, then wrap the platter in plastic wrap and store in fridge until ready to serve. (Real Simple magazine)
Eggshells are excellent natural seed starters. Fill the empty shell with soil and seeds and when the plant sprouts, plant the shell, which becomes compost. (Real Simple magazine)
If you have overbaked your cake layers, make a simple syrup of 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon vanilla; boil for 3 to 5 minutes, then brush the cake layers with syrup on both sides until they are “revived.” (Paula Deen)
Use lemon or lime juice as a marinade to tenderize chicken. (Paula Deen)
Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to beef stews to tenderize the meat.
The other night I found myself with all of the makings for tacos, except for a packet of taco seasoning. Ugh! No way was I going back to the grocery store for one ingredient. I searched the web, and found this delicious alternative…and the plus side? Yep, I had all of the ingredients right in my spice cupboard. I decided to look up other spice mixes that I can keep on hand to jazz up dinners and found some other fine ones. Try one tonight!
Taco Seasoning Mix
2 teaspoons instant onion, Minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper, Crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon instant garlic, Minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin, Ground
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and blend well.
Spoon mixture onto a 6-inch square of aluminum foil and fold to make airtight. Label as Taco Seasoning Mix.
Store in a cool, dry place and use within 6 months.
Using the above recipe as a guide you can increase the amounts to make any number of packages.
Taco Filling: Brown 1 lb lean ground beef in a medium skillet over medium-high heat; drain the excess grease. Add 1/2 cup water and the seasoning mix.
Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.