Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beefeater Salad

-steak of your choice (~1/3 - 1/2 per salad), cut in to 1/2" slices
-iceberg / romaine lettuce (I like to mix the two, either by buying a head of each and mixing or buying a mixed bag)
-spring mix greens
-shredded cheese
-bleu cheese dressing (or dressing of your choice)
-cherry tomatoes
-carrots, shaved/shredded
-croutons (I use Snap Pea Crisps which you can find by the salad mixes in the grocery store)


1. Chop iceberg and romaine lettuce. Combine lettuces and spring mix in large bowl. Shave carrots, add to salad mix.

2. Place lettuce mix on plate. Top with shredded cheese, cherry tomatoes, and croutons.

3. Slice steak into 1/2" slices. Warm in microwave. Arrange on top of salad. Serve with dressing on the side.

This recipe is inspired by my favorite salad from the steakhouse I used to work in back home in Illinois. It was made with a filet mignon and a house bleu cheese dressing. It's a great way to have steak without going overboard on the portion sizes, and a good way to use leftovers.

Steak Rub (my recipe)


-Lawry's seasoning salt
-Garlic salt
-Onion powder
-Dry mustard
-Dried rosemary
-Celery salt
-Black pepper

1. Combine equal parts of the above ingredients. (Start with about a teaspoon each, and add from there, depending on how many steaks you are making).
2. Rub on both sides of steaks. Let sit for ~10 minutes before grilling.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cranberry Curried Chicken with Mango Chutney Rice Pudding

Cranberry Curried Chicken (recipe from: Robin Miller, Food Network)
-3 teaspoons canola or olive oil, divided
-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
-3 tablespoons mild or medium-hot curry powder, divided
-2 teaspoons butter
-1 small onion, chopped
-1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
-Generous 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
-1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with mild green chiles
-1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
-1 cup sweetened dried cranberries (aka Craisins)
-1 tablespoon minced fresh (or ground) ginger
-1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
-Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Mango Chutney Rice Pudding (my original recipe)
-1 bag long grain white rice
-1 can lite coconut milk
-1/2 bag sweetened coconut
-1 bottle Mango Chutney (I recommend Trader Joe's)

1. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a deep pan / skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add half the chicken pieces and sprinkle with a generous 1/2 teaspoon curry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

2. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the pot and heat until hot. Add the remaining chicken; sprinkle with another generous 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the plate.

-Cook rice in large pot according to package directions.

3. Add butter, onion and mustard seeds to the pot; cook, stirring, until the seeds pop and the onion begins to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot, sprinkle with the remaining curry powder and cloves; stir to coat the chicken with the spices. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

4. Stir in tomatoes, broth, dried cranberries, ginger and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces slightly and the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes more.

-I like to add about 1/4 of the can of coconut milk to the curry mix at the end.

-While curry is simmering, make the rice pudding. Once rice is done, add the remaining coconut milk, jar of mango chutney, and 1/2 bag of coconut. Add a couple tablespoons of milk to thin if needed.

-Let rice simmer until thickened.

-Serve garnished with cilantro and extra coconut.
-I like to serve with a good red or rose wine. (My favorite is a Malbec)

This recipe may seem complicated b/c it has a lot of ingredients and involves a little timing and coordination to have it all done around the same time. But never won't hurt the curry to continue to simmer on low, so error on the side of waiting on the rice to be done. Another great thing about this recipe is that it feeds a lot of people (or makes a lot of leftovers that reheat really nicely!).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake with Stabilized Whip Cream

-1 carton of strawberries, rinsed and sliced
-Dessert shells or mini-bundt cakes
-stabilized whip cream, recipe to follow (recipe from: Wilton Baking)


-Slice strawberries.
-Layer strawberries and whip cream on top of dessert shells.

Stabilized whip cream: (Gelatin stabilizes the whip cream and keeps it from collapsing)


-1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
-4 teaspoons cold water
-1 cup heavy whipping cream
-1/4 cup sifted icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

1. In a small pan, combine gelatin and cold water; let stand until thick.
2. Place over low heat, stirring constantly, just until the gelatin dissolves.
3. Remove from heat; cool (do not allow it to set).
4. Whip the cream with the icing sugar, until slightly thick.

Beer Cheese Soup (recipe from:


-1/2 cup butter or margarine
-1 1/2 medium carrots, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
-1medium stalk celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
-1 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
-3 cups chicken broth
-1 cup Original Bisquick mix
-1/8 teaspoon pepper
-1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
-1 cup milk
-4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (1 lb)
-1/2 cup regular or nonalcoholic beer


1. In 4-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion; cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender.

2. In large bowl, mix broth, Bisquick mix, pepper and red pepper until smooth. Gradually stir into vegetable mixture. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil and stir 1 minute.

3. Stir in milk and cheese. Heat until cheese is melted. Stir in beer.

-I served with sloppy joes - a great comfort food combination, and so EASY!

-Betty Crocker suggests serving w/ popcorn - looks fun and gives it a pub-type feel.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Parmesan Asparagus


-1 bundle fresh asparagus (~30 large)
-2 T. olive oil
-1/2 t. salt
-1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan


1. Preheat oven to 400° F. If stalks of asparagus are thick, trim the bottom 1/2. The easiest way to do this is to hold the stalk at each end and bend. The tough end will naturally break off, leaving the tender top.

2. Cover baking sheet with foil. Lay asparagus in a single layer on sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until tender.

3. Sprinkle with Parmesan and return to oven for another minute.

Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts (recipe from: Rachel Ray)

-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 ounces
-Large plastic food storage bags or waxed paper
-1 package, 10 ounces, frozen chopped spinach
-2 tablespoons butter
-12 small mushroom caps, crimini or button
-2 cloves garlic, cracked
-1 small shallot, quartered (I used green onions b/c it's what I had on hand)
-Salt and freshly ground black pepper
-1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
-1/2 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano, a couple of handfuls
-1/2 teaspoon fresh grated or ground nutmeg
-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

-2 tablespoons butter
-2 tablespoons flour
-1/2 cup white wine
-1 cup chicken broth

1. Place breasts in the center of a plastic food storage bag or 2 large sheets of waxed paper. Pound out the chicken from the center of the bag outward using a heavy-bottomed skillet or mallet. Be firm but controlled with your strokes.

2. Defrost spinach in the microwave. Transfer spinach to a kitchen towel. Twist towel around spinach and wring it out until very dry. Transfer to a medium-mixing bowl.

3. Place a nonstick skillet over moderate heat. When skillet is hot, add butter, mushrooms, garlic and shallot. Season with salt and pepper and saute 5 minutes. Transfer mushrooms, garlic and shallot to the food processor. Pulse to grind the mushrooms and transfer to the mixing bowl, adding the processed mushrooms to the spinach. Add ricotta and grated cheese to the bowl and the nutmeg. Stir to combine the stuffing. Return your skillet to the stove over medium high heat.

4. Place a mound of stuffing on each breast and wrap and roll breast over the stuffing. Secure breasts with toothpicks. Add 3 tablespoons oil to the pan, 3 turns of the pan. Add breasts to the pan and brown on all sides, cooking chicken 10 to 12 minutes. The meat will cook quickly because it is thin. Remove breasts; add butter to the pan and flour. Cook butter and flour for a minute, whisk in wine and reduce another minute. Whisk in broth and return breasts to the pan. Reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve. Remove toothpicks. Serve breasts whole or, remove from pan, slice on an angle and fan out on dinner plates. Top stuffed chicken breasts or sliced stuffed breasts with generous spoonfuls of the sauce.