Posts Tagged ‘Quick Cooking’

Korean-Style Marinated Skirt Steak

May 9th, 2012 by andrea | No Comments | Filed in Asian, Beef, Main Dish, Quick Cooking, Recipes

Had a bad day? Then make this Korean-inspired skirt steak. You see, you get to take out your aggression on the steak by pounding it with a meat mallet. I call that Kitchen Therapy! The quickly marinated and seared steak is tender, flavorful and super easy to make…perfect for a weeknight meal! Serve with steamed jasmine rice and Sesame Green Bean Salad or Stir-fried Snow Peas with Shiitakes and Ginger. Yum!

Korean-Style Marinated Skirt Steak
-recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine

The steak can also be grilled; just be sure to oil the grill first so the meat doesn’t stick. Serves 4.
2 Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. soy sauce  
2 tsp. sake (optional)
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 scallions (white part only), minced
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 lb. skirt steak, trimmed and cut into four portions
2 tsp. vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the sugar, soy sauce, sake, garlic, scallions, ginger, and sesame oil in a medium-size flat dish or a zip-top bag, stirring to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Cover the steaks with plastic wrap and gently pound them 1/4 inch thick with the flat side of a meat mallet. Add them to the marinade and let them sit for 20 minutes, covered, turning them once after 10 minutes. Coat a large skillet with the vegetable oil and set it over high heat until the oil is just barely smoking. Sprinkle both sides of the meat with salt and pepper, add the meat to the pan, lower the heat slightly, and sear the steaks (in batches if necessary) for 2 to 3 minutes. on each side for medium rare. The steaks should be very rosy pink. Transfer them to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 3 minutes. Cut the steaks into 1/4-inch-thick slices and serve.


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Black Bean Soup with Cumin and Jalapeno

October 24th, 2011 by andrea | 2 Comments | Filed in Main Dish, Mexican, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Soup/Stew, Southwestern

This super easy, Mexican-inspired soup is delicious and can be made with basic pantry ingredients. To make more of a meal, I served the soup with a green salad and quesadillas stuffed with green chiles, cheese and corn…Olé!

I substituted a teaspoon or so of chopped chipotle chile with some adobo sauce for the chopped jalapeno, which added a nice smoky flavor to the soup. Look for canned chipotle chiles (chipotle en adobo) in the Mexican foods section of your grocery store, or follow the recipe and use chopped jalapeno chiles. Either way, you’ll have a great soup!

Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with feta cheese and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

Black Bean Soup with Cumin and Jalapeño
-recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine

Yield: Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeño chile with seeds, divided
2 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, undrained
1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth

Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped green onions
Crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Mix in cumin and 1 teaspoon jalapeño. Add beans, tomatoes with juice, and broth; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer 3 cups of soup to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to pot. Simmer soup until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon jalapeño, if desired.

Ladle soup into bowls. Pass cilantro, green onions, and feta cheese separately.


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Spicy Green Beans with Pork

August 30th, 2011 by andrea | 1 Comment | Filed in Asian, Main Dish, Quick Cooking, Recipes

Sure, take-out is great but recipes like this one for Spicy Green Beans with Pork make it a cinch to whip up at home: tender pieces of stir-fried pork and green beans in a tasty Asian-flavored sauce. It’s a perfect weeknight meal!

As with any stirfry, it’s important to have all the ingredients prepped, measured out and ready to go when you start cooking. You could even cut the pork and trim the green beans the day before so that when it’s dinner time the next day, all you have to do is heat up the pan and start cooking. The tip on freezing the pork for 30 minutes does make it easier to slice but don’t sweat it if you want to skip that step (just cut the pork as thinly as you can).

For the sauce, I skipped the chicken stock and substituted water because I didn’t want to open a can of chicken broth for only 1/4 cup. Also, I used Lee Kum Kee brand Black Bean Garlic Sauce for the spicy bean sauce. If you don’t have any sake on hand or don’t feel like buying it, dry sherry would be a good substitute. Serve the stir fry with steamed rice. Enjoy!

Spicy Green Beans with Pork
-recipe from Family Fun Magazine (October 2008)

The green beans in this classic Chinese dish take on the flavors of ginger, chili, and garlic. And the spice is just right — not too hot for most kids but a bit of a kick for Mom and Dad. Makes about 5 cups.

1 pound pork tenderloin
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine (sake)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock (or water)
1 tablespoon spicy bean sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
1 pound green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup toasted white sesame seeds

Shave the pork into thin strips. (Tip: first partially freeze it for 30 to 90 minutes.) In a small bowl, toss the shaved pork with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice wine, and the pepper. Marinate the pork at room temperature while assembling the rest of the ingredients.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, the remaining tablespoon of rice wine, the stock, spicy bean sauce, hoisin, chili garlic sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch, and set aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the beans and stir-fry them until they begin to brown or blister, about 10 minutes. Remove the beans from the pan using a slotted spoon and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Return the pan to the heat and add the pork, garlic, and ginger. Stir-fry the mixture until the pork is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the green onions and cook for 1 minute.

Add the reserved sauce and green beans, mix well, and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about one minute. Finally, sprinkle with the sesame seeds before serving. 


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Blue Cheese-Grilled Chicken over Balsamic Tomatoes

August 24th, 2011 by andrea | 1 Comment | Filed in Chicken, Grilling/BBQ, Main Dish, Quick Cooking, Recipes

One of the beautiful things about summer is the abundance of fresh-tasting recipes like this one for Blue Cheese-Grilled Chicken over Balsamic Tomatoes. It’s super easy to make and a great way to feature those sweet, vine-ripened tomatoes.

If you don’t like blue cheese, a good substitute would be slices of fresh mozzarella. Serve the grilled chicken with summery side dishes like Sagaponak Corn Pudding and Green Beans Vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Blue Cheese-Grilled Chicken over Balsamic Tomatoes
-recipe from Chicken and Egg: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading with 125 Recipes by Janice Cole

I love the simplicity of this dish. It contains only a few ingredients, but it’s bursting with flavor. Choose your ingredients carefully, starting with great-tasting free-range chicken and mellow blue cheese, such as Maytag. The tomatoes should be sweet, tangy, and juicy because the tomato juice mingles with the balsamic vinegar, creating a light sauce for the chicken. Serves 4.

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
12 tomato slices (about 2 tomatoes)

Preheat the grill to medium. Brush the chicken with the olive oil. Scatter the garlic over the chicken breasts and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Brush 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar over the chicken.

Oil the grill grate. Grill the chicken, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, sprinkling the blue cheese over the chicken during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Meanwhile, arrange the tomatoes on a platter and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Serve the chicken over the tomatoes.


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Javanese Roasted Salmon

April 7th, 2011 by andrea | 8 Comments | Filed in Asian, Main Dish, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Seafood

This company-worthy dish is beautiful, super simple and perfect for spring! You won’t believe how easy this recipe is! The silky sauce that tops the salmon is slightly tangy, slightly sweet and slightly spicy. YUM! I’ve never had Javanese cuisine before, but let me tell you…I’m loving this salmon!!!

Make sure you buy salmon fillets that are all about the same size so they cook evenly. To make cleanup easier, cover the baking pan with tin foil.

Also, if you’re like me and you dig spinach then you’ll want to double or triple the greens so you get plenty of them. It’s amazing how a huge bag of spinach cooks down to just a small portion. Serve the salmon and spinach with steamed jasmine rice. Enjoy!

Javanese Roasted Salmon and Wilted Spinach
-recipe from Saucebox, Portland, OR as it appeared in Bon Appétit Magazine, September 2002

Spicy sauces with sweet-and-sour flavors are popular in Javanese food and, in this case, pair deliciously with salmon. Makes 8 servings.

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons water

8 7-ounce salmon fillets

2 6-ounce bags baby spinach

Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt 1/2 cup butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper and garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sugar; whisk until mixture is melted and smooth and begins to bubble, about 4 minutes. Whisk in lime juice and soy sauce. Increase heat and boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 2 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture and boil until thick, about 3 minutes. Set sauce aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, cook salmon until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to baking sheet. Spoon 1 tablespoon sauce over each fillet. Roast until fish is opaque in center, about 5 minutes.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add spinach and toss until wilted but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Using tongs, divide spinach among 8 plates. Top each with salmon fillet; drizzle with remaining sauce and serve.

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Bittersweet Chocolate Pots de Crème

February 7th, 2011 by andrea | 2 Comments | Filed in Chocolate, Dessert, Quick Cooking, Recipes

Rich and deliciously smooth, even the busiest of cooks has time to make this quick dessert. Pots de crème (prounounced poh-duh-KREHM), is French for “pot of cream”. Unlike traditional recipes for pots de crème which require baking in a water bath, this simplified version cuts out that step. The pudding cooks quickly then needs to chill for an hour or so in the refrigerator.

Use the best chocolate chips you can find. My favorite is Guittard brand chocolate chips because they are smooth, high quality and really delicious. For this recipe, I used ¼ cup of Guittard Semisweet Chocolate Chips and ¼ cup of Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips. If you can’t find bittersweet chocolate chips, use good quality semisweet chocolate chips.

Garnish the pots de crème with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and fresh berries, or enjoy as is! It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day or any time you need a quick dessert that only makes a few servings.

Bittersweet Chocolate Pots de Crème
-recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine (February/March 2011) 

This quick version of a classic French pudding comes together on the stovetop in minutes and then chills during dinner. Makes 2 servings.

1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
Kosher salt

Heat the half-and-half and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until scalding hot. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the eggs.

Return the milk mixture to the pan, reduce the heat to low, and whisk until it thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips, sugar, and a pinch of salt; whisk until melted. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Divide the mixture between two 6-oz. ramekins or serving glasses. Refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour.

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Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples and Onions

December 29th, 2010 by andrea | 2 Comments | Filed in Main Dish, Pork, Quick Cooking, Recipes

This recipe for Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples and Onions is quick enough for weeknight cooking yet delicious enough for entertaining. When I first told Husband what we were having for dinner, I got a lukewarm response (apples and onions?). But after just one bite, he heartily agreed that it was a great dish.

I doubled the recipe and made two tenderloins because I wasn’t totally convinced that one tenderloin was going to feed four people. I like to err on the side of too much food rather than not having enough. Two tenderloins provided some leftovers which is always okay in my book.

I made a few substitutions only because I wanted to use ingredients I had on hand. For the tenderloins, after browning them on all sides, I then coated them in a mixture of Dijon mustard and stone ground Creole mustard (instead of the whole grain Dijon), and sprinkled each tenderloin liberally with dried thyme (about 1 teaspoon per tenderloin) instead of fennel seeds. I sauteed onions and Ambrosia apples (instead of Granny Smiths), placed the pork back in the skillet on top of the apples and onions, and put the skillet in the oven. After about 15 minutes, I removed the skillet from the oven, let the pork rest on a plate, then poured a mixture of dry sherry and apple cider into the skillet with the apples and onions, and let it reduce. Next time I’d double the apple, onion and wine mixture so there’s lots of that to serve with the slices of pork. Enjoy!

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples and Onions
-recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine, February 2004

Serve with: Red-skinned potatoes roasted with thyme, and steamed green beans. Makes 4 servings.

1 large pork tenderloin (about 14 ounces)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 large onion, sliced
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup dry white wine or apple cider

Preheat oven to 450°F. Season pork with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear until all sides are brown, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to plate. Cool slightly. Spread mustard over top and sides of pork; press fennel seeds into mustard. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add onion slices and apples; sauté over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Spread evenly in skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pork atop apple-onion mixture.

Transfer skillet to oven and roast until apple-onion mixture is soft and brown and meat thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 150°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to platter and tent with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour white wine over apple-onion mixture in skillet. Stir mixture over high heat until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Cut pork on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon apple-onion mixture onto plates. Top with pork and serve.

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Pasta Bolognese

October 27th, 2010 by andrea | No Comments | Filed in Beef, Italian, Main Dish, Pasta, Quick Cooking, Recipes

This recipe for Pasta Bolognese is from a chef at the Culinary Institute of America, the world’s premiere culinary college. It’s rich, hearty, meaty and a perfect pasta dish for these cool, autumn evenings.

The recipe calls for 6 ounces of pancetta but my container only had 4 oz., so that’s what I used…I didn’t want to spend another $4 dollars for a few more ounces. Also, I used 1 lb. ground beef instead of a mixture of pork, beef and veal. Next time I’ll add sauteed mushrooms to the sauce, which would be a delicious addition. Serve with a big green salad or your favorite veggies and you’ve got yourself a meal. Enjoy!

Pasta Bolognese Epicurious
-recipe from

This recipe was shared with Epicurious by Chef Joseph W. DiPerri of The Culinary Institute of America.

Yield: Makes 6 servings

2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes with juice or crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces pancetta or 6 slices bacon, finely chopped

1/4 pound ground pork (not lean)
1/4 pound ground beef chuck (not lean)
1/4 pound ground veal
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 carrot, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound small pasta such as orecchiette or rotini

Garnish: Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

If using whole tomatoes, in blender or food processor, purée tomatoes with juice. Set aside.

In large, heavy pot over moderate heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking. Add pancetta and sauté until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add beef, pork, and veal and sauté, breaking up meat with back of spoon, until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add onion and carrot and sauté until vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

Stir in red wine and simmer, scraping up browned bits stuck to bottom of pan, until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cream, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and brick-red in color, approximately 30 minutes.

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until almost tender. Drain well and toss with sauce. Serve with grated cheese.


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Chile Mac

September 13th, 2010 by andrea | 5 Comments | Filed in Beef, Comfort Food, Kid-friendly, Main Dish, Pasta, Quick Cooking, Recipes

Now that we’re heading into Autumn, it’s time to start hauling out the comfort food recipes!!! Chile Mac, a simple and comforting dish, is nothing fancy but it is a good, quick weeknight dinner. Plus, it’s fairly inexpensive to make and can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.

I usually use beef broth instead of chicken broth, and I like to add a little more chili powder and cumin. Sometimes I use fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles to add a little more zip. Corn would be a nice addition, too. I garnish each serving with shredded cheddar or jalapeno jack cheese, or a dollop of sour cream. Serve with a big green salad. Enjoy!

Chili Mac
-recipe from The New Boston Globe Cookbook by Sheryl Julian

A great kids’ dish, this mixture of ground beef and macaroni, cooked together with tomatoes and a few spices, makes a fine weeknight meal. Serves 4.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1 can (16 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Extra grated cheddar (for serving)

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and when it is hot, cook the onion, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until lightly browned and softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Add the ground beef and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until browned and cooked through.

Add the macaroni, tomatoes, stock, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir well. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed and macaroni is tender but still has some bite.

Add the cheese and stir just until melted. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like. Serve with extra cheddar.

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Grilled Salmon with Wasabi-Ginger Mayonnaise

August 24th, 2010 by andrea | 4 Comments | Filed in Asian, Fish, Grilling/BBQ, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Seafood

If you like the flavors of wasabi and ginger (which I do!), you’re going to love this recipe! You get a little zip from the wasabi without it knocking your head off, plus a little zing from the ginger and lime. This is a great summer recipe, and tastes like something you’d order in a restaurant!

The salmon cooks quickly on the grill so don’t wander off or you might end up with blackened, over-cooked salmon (not tasty!). For the mayonnaise mixture, add the wasabi paste last, tasting as you add it until you get the flavor/zip factor that you like. Enjoy!

Grilled Salmon with Wasabi-Ginger Mayonnaise
-recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine

You can find wasabi paste and powder at Asian groceries, or try the Asian section of your supermarket. Serves four.

1-1/2 limes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1-1/2 Tbs. wasabi paste; more to taste
2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 6-oz. skinless salmon fillets
Vegetable oil for the grill

Prepare a medium-hot grill fire (be sure the grill grate has been scrubbed clean with a wire brush).

Cut the half lime into four wedges and set aside. Finely grate the zest from the whole lime. Cut the zested lime in half and squeeze the juice from one half into a small bowl (save the other half for another use). In a medium bowl, combine 1 tsp. of the lime juice with the lime zest, mayonnaise, wasabi paste, ginger, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Stir to combine. Taste and add more wasabi paste if you’d like a zippier flavor.

Run your finger along each salmon fillet to feel for tiny bones; use tweezers or needlenose pliers to pull out any that you find. Season the fillets lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon about 2 Tbs. of the mayonnaise mixture onto the salmon fillets and refrigerate the rest. With your hands, spread the mayonnaise in a thin layer over all sides of the fillets.

When the grill is ready, oil the grill grate using tongs and a paper towel dipped in oil. Grill the salmon until crisp and slightly charred on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn and continue to grill until the salmon is just cooked through, another 3 to 6 minutes. Serve the salmon topped with a dollop of the mayonnaise and a lime wedge on the side. Pass the remaining mayonnaise at the table.

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