Beer Braised Short Rib

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So the slow cooker is a thing of genius when you think about it.  It’s what I always think of when I hear that guy’s phrase “set it and forget it” even though he wasn’t selling a slow cooker at all. It just seems to fit that line so much better. Because you can literally set it for hours, go to work, come back, and shabam…you can have dinner.  Now you want to make lunch, that’s a bit tougher.  But I doubt most people are using a slow-cooker for lunch.  Anywho, I decided to make a short rib because I get it a lot when I am out and don’t want to spend the dinero all the time on the steak.  It’s a tender piece of meat and I enjoy that melt in your mouth texture.  I got the recipe from Yahoo Food, which is what I do when I am bored at work. It came out well and it allowed me to go do other things in my day, which was greatly appreciated.  Overall, I am pretty happy with the dish.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless beef short ribs
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 4 carrots, cut into sticks
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 6 oz stout beer
  • 1 qt beef stock
  • 1 sprig rosemary

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Directions:

  • Reduce the beef stock in a sauce pan to ~1cup
  • Season short ribs with salt and pepper then cover them in flour
  • Cook in a dutch over (I used a cast iron pan) over med-high heat until brown on all sides
  • Add the onions and carrots as a bed in the slow cooker
  • Add the short ribs on top and add any left over pan drippings
  • Cover the ribs with the garlic, butter, herbs, salt, and pepper
  • Add the beer and the beef stock
  • Cover and cook on high for 6 hours
  • Enjoy (I put them over whipped garlic mashed potatoes)

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Stuffed Bell Peppers

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So the other day I decided to try something that a year ago I would never have done – a stuffed bell pepper.  1) because I never stuffed anything before and 2) I never really ate whole bell peppers – just wasn’t my thing.  I can’t even tell you what got me thinking to do this, I just decided to I guess…weird.  It was a simple meal with limited ingredients and turned out decently.  It could also be an appetizer now that I think about it. Could have probably used more cheese and salt though.

Ingredients

  • Large bell peppers, halved
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 cups cooked rice (brown/white/your choice)
  • Shredded cheese of your choice (amount of choice too)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika

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Instructions

  • In a large sauté pan, add a little oil and cook the ground pork
  • Salt and pepper generously and continue to cook
  • Add the cooked rice into the pan and continue to mix and cook (you don’t have to add all the rice, your choice)
  • Add more salt and pepper as needed
  • Place the bell pepper halves on a large baking sheet
  • Fill the halves with the pork/rice mix to desired fill
  • Top with as much cheese as you want
  • Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10-15 minutes
  • Top with a dash of paprika, and then eat it, duh

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Carne Asada Tacos

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I don’t know about you, but I love me some Mexican food – tacos, burritos, tortas, I’ll eat them all.  But tacos (like those $1 ones you get from a cart) have a special place in my heart.  With that being said, I decided to try my hand at making some carne asada tacos (turns out its more expensive to make than to buy probably).  They actually turned out pretty good though.

Ingredients for asada:

  • 1 lb skirt steak (I cut them into pieces that would fit on my grill)
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 handful finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 serrano chile, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for salsa

  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 serrano chile
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 white onion
  • handful of cilantro
  • salt

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Other ingredients:

  • tortillas
  • white onion, chopped
  • cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  • Mix all the ingredients in a large ziplock bag and let it marinate for ~30-45 minutes
  • On an oiled grill over medium heat, cook the steak until your desired doneness (I like med-med rare)
  • let rest for 10 minutes, then cut into slices
  • Meanwhile, put the ingredients for the salsa in a food processor and pulse until liquidy
  • Heat the tortillas in a slightly oiled pan, place the meat slices on the tortilla
  • top with chopped onions, cilantro, and salsa and enjoy!

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Pork Chops with Amber Peach Chutney

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I realized that it has been awhile since I last posted. Life has been really hectic and I havn’t had a chance to cook too much beyond fast and simple things. But a little while ago, I had some peaches and decided to make pork chops with what I guess would be my take on a peach chutney. It uses beer, which is always a good thing, but it comes out more like a sauce I guess than an actual chutney. Either way, whatever you want to call it, it was pretty good.

Ingredients

  • Pork Chop (thick cut)
  • 2 yellow peaches, pitted, cut into slices
  • 6 oz amber ale
  • 1/4 tbsp butter
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • spinach

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Directions

  • Salt and pepper the pork chops
  • Fry the chops in a skillet over medium heat, then transfer to a plate and tent with foil
  • In the same skillet, cook the peach slices until soft and slightly reduced over low-medium heat
  • Add the 6oz of beer and the lemon juice
  • Cook until the beer reduces and the alcohol is gone
  • Add the pork juice that has collected on the plate and stir in the butter
  • At the same time grill the onions until clear and slightly wilt the spinach
  • Plate the pork chop over the spinach and top with amber peach sauce/chutney
  • Eat and eat some more

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Pan Fried Cod Over Bok Choy

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My sister reminded me the other day that I needed to use our bok choy soon, otherwise it was going to go bad. Instead of being a normal person and using what I had in the fridge to make a meal, I went out and bought some fish in order to not waste $2 worth of bok choy lol. Anyways, I bought cod since that seemed easiest at the moment. This was a pretty fast meal that you can make in about the time it takes your pot of rice to cook, so everything will be ready at the same time, which is always a good feeling.

Ingredients:

  • Cod fillets
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • Dash of white pepper
  • Bok Choy, halved
  • Jasmine rice

Directions

  • Place the cod fillets, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and white powder and let marinate for 30 min
  • In a skillet, over med heat, fry the bok choy halves (turn sparingly) in 1 tbsp of oil
  • In a large frying pan, over med-high heat, heat the oil until smoking
  • Add the cod fillets and cook thoroughly and there’s a nice, crisp to the outside (~3 min on each side)
  • Place the fish and bok choy over a bed of rice and eat

All in all a quick, healthy, and flavorful Asian meal. Hope you enjoy it!

Sirloin Steak with Red Wine Sauce

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We’ve been doing this blog thing for a few months now and I have kept up with it a lot better and more consistently than I ever thought. Who knew I’d actually enjoy it. It has made me branch out and try new things, take some risks, be more creative, and plate better. My mom also keeps updated with it, checking periodically. But, without fail, every time I talk to her, she always asks me when she is going to get a meal like that, or why she is the one cooking when we come back to visit. Which, actually, is a good point. That seems unfair, so when we went back home for Labor Day, my sister and I decided to whip up our parents a full 4-course Italian meal because my mom was specifically asking about the shrimp scampi that I made previously. So that ended up being the 2nd course, with the 1st being a salad. This steak was the 3rd and then my sister made a raspberry limoncello dessert, which I will post later. The recipe called for flat iron steak, but I used sirloin instead because why not. It is super simple and the sauce is pretty damn tasty.

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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of sirloin steaks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups dry red wine

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Directions

  • Salt and pepper the steaks, drizzle with EVOO
  • Cook to your desired doneness and then let it rest, tented with foil
  • Slice the steaks against the grain
  • For the sauce, melt 2 tbsp butter in a saucepan on medium heat
  • Saute the onions till done, then add salt and cook for a few more minutes
  • Add the garlic and oregano and saute for another minute
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly
  • Mix in the wine, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces by half (says 10 minutes, but it took a lot longer for me)
  • Melt 4 tbsp butter (cut into chunks) into the sauce
  • Strain the sauce into a bowl, extracting as much liquid as possible
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pour over the steak, or serve on the side and enjoy

 

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Overall the steak and the red wine sauce was really good. It was cooked just right and the sauce didn’t have too heavy of a wine flavor. It was a little shocking how much butter went into it, but it was delicious, so all was forgiven. My parents really enjoyed it too, which was the most important part.

Chili and Cast Iron Corn Bread

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We had the slow cooker out from making the hummus and decided to use it again to make chili. What goes well with chili? Cornbread of course! Corn bread made in a cast iron skillet to be exact. So we put everything in the crock pot before going to work and came home to an apartment filled with the smell of chili, and in no way was that disappointing. Then we whipped up the cornbread and ate a terribly unhealthy, but terribly delicious meal. Got the recipe for the cornbread from here.

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Ingredients for chili (semi made up from a hodgepodge of other recipes Ive seen in the past)

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 3 cans of stewed/diced tomatoes
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and chopped onions for serving

Directions

  • In a large pan on medium heat, cook the onions and season with salt until soft
  • Add the garlic and chili powder and stir for a minute
  • Add the beef and cook until brown
  • Drain the majority to almost all of the oil and transfer to a slow cooker
  • Cook the chili in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours

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Ingredients for corn bread

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

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Directions for corn bread

  • Heat oven to 450 degrees
  • put 2 tbsp butter in a cast iron skillet and set aside, melt the other 6 tbsp of butter in a small dish
  • Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl
  • Whisk eggs in a large bowl until frothy, then mix in the buttermilk
  • Pour egg mix into the flour/cornmeal mix and stir until dry streaks are incorporated (easier if you use a rubber spatula), but careful not to overmix
  • Fold in the melted butter and let stand for 5 minutes
  • When the oven is hot, place the skillet with the 2 tbsp butter in for 5 minutes
  • Remove the pan and coat the bottom of the pan with the melted butter
  • Pour the batter into the skillet and bake until golden (~15 minutes)
  • After removing the pan from the oven, let it rest for about 5 minutes
  • Cut and enjoy

This meal was pretty damn good. It was hearty and nostalgic, but on the downside it lacked any form of real vegetables whatsoever. The chili was pretty oily in the cooker, so before we mixed and served it, I spooned out most of the oil that had risen to the top. I also added a little bit of cornstarch to the chili to thicken it up. The cornbread turned out perfectly, but next time we might add some cheddar cheese to the mix, and maybe some jalapeños too.

Pasta Carbonara

So on my home from work today, I was thinking spaghetti because I was feeling lazy. And what is easier than ground beef and pasta sauce? But then I thought I should put in some effort and stopped at the market to buy some bacon in order to make a carbonara. I love carbonara and order it quite often. I enjoy the creaminess of the pasta, and of course, the bacon/pancetta. So I started to make this dish, and guess what? NO CREAM. I had no idea. I would have put money on it that there was some heavy cream involved. But alas, there is not, which isn’t a bad thing. I got the recipe from the Food Network.  Other than that, this dish came out quite well, but it was fairly heavy, and we had no room for dessert after (even though I had bought a cheesecake).

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Ingredients

  • 1lb spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 4 bacon strips sliced (I used 8 lol)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • Pepper
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

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Directions

  • Salt and boil pasta
  • While pasta is cooking, fry the bacon in a large, deep skillet on medium heat until crisp
  • Add the garlic and continue to saute for a minute
  • Mix the 2 eggs and parmesan cheese together, avoiding clumps
  • Drain the noodles well, and toss into the bacon fat, coating them well
  • Mix the noodles in the fat for a minute over heat
  • Remove the pan from heat and mix in the egg and parmesan mix, allowing the hot noodles to cook the eggs
  • Add a dash of chopped parsley to each plate and enjoy

 

Fish ‘n Chips

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Today I saw that cod was on sale at the market and decided to make something that has been on my “list” for a little while – Fish and chips. I love fish n chips and order it fairly often when I go out (not as much anymore because I can’t eat as much fried food as I used to). But, I have never actually attempted to make it before – until now. Unfortunately this meal took forever to make because I have a TINY fryer and could only cook a handful of fries at a time and one fish at a time. But all in all, it turned out pretty good, and I would try it again in the future.

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Ingredients

  • Cod fillets
  • Russet potatoes
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp backing soda
  • 12 oz of club soda/beer
  • 1lb shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Oil for frying
  • Tartar sauce

Directions for fish

  • Lightly salt and pepper the cod fillets
  • Mix the flour, baking soda, egg, 2 tsp salt, dash of pepper, and club soda/beer in a large mixing bowl and let sit for 30 min
  • Coat the cod fillets in the batter and fry until golden brown (~3-4 min)

Directions for fries

  • Cut the potatoes into desired size
  • Place the fries in a large bowl with ice and water
  • Drain and dry the fries with paper towels
  • Fry the fries until crisp (may want to double fry)
  • Salt to taste

Cole Slaw

  • Mix the mayo, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a dash of pepper
  • Pour over the shredded lettuce and mix thoroughly

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This is a classic meal, albeit a heavy one. Hope you enjoy it though!

Spicy Turkey Sausage Pasta

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The other day I got some spicy turkey Italian sausages from the market.  This is the first time I have ever bought turkey sausage, so I had no idea how it would taste (generally I am a pork all the way kind of guy).  You can definitely taste the difference, but its still pretty good and healthier, so I suppose that’s a plus.  In the past, I have either grilled them up and put them in a bun and called it a day, or made a standard spaghetti and threw them on top.  This time though, I thought I would try to incorporate the sausage a little more, so I made a penne pasta with a light marinara sauce and sausage.  I did not work off any kind of recipe, so feel free to make your own stuff up too.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb of penne pasta
  • 4 Italian sausages (spicy)
  • 2 yellow/orange bell peppers (chopped)
  • 1/2 red onion (coarsely chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

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Directions

  • Boil the pasta and set aside
  • In a large skillet, grill the whole sausages until they are approximately 1/2 cooked (~4 min on each side)
  • Chop the red onion and the bell peppers
  • Take the sausages off and cut them into slices
  • Continue to cook the sliced sausages on high heat until done
  • Remove the sausages, and add the garlic, onions and bell peppers to the pan
  • Saute the onions and bell peppers until cooked (may need to add a little oil)
  • Add the sausages back to the pan and continue to saute for a minute on medium heat
  • Add the marinara sauce and bring to a light bubble
  • Add the penne and mix throughly
  • Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and enjoy

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