Monday, May 17, 2010

We've moved!

Join in the fun over at the new and improved Eat, Drink, and Be Keri! - I am moving all the old posts over there as well, so come on over! (Missing your favorite pics?  They've moved over there as well!)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Marinated Skirt Steak

The Hub loves skirt steak. This is fabulous news for me, because, well frankly, it is pretty cheap. It is hard to argue with the beauty of getting all that beefy flavor for a low-down fantastic price, no?
Skirt steak needs a little love to truly shine – it benefits greatly from a nice long set in an acidic marinade to help it break down a bit, and it is best cooked quickly over high heat. Oh yeah, and if it is overcooked, it is a tough as shoe leather. Luckily it is very easy to prepare well, and simply prepared is how we enjoy it most.
In a zip top baggie combine the juice of 2 limes and 1 tablespoon canola oil with 1 teaspoon of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of cummin and mix well. (Sometimes I zest the lime into the baggie as well, I was just feeling lazy yesterday.)

Add skirt steak (the piece I used was between 10 and 12 ounces) to the bag, close allowing extra air to escape, and massage the marinade into the meat so that the steak is coated evenly. Refrigerate at least 8 hours (I wouldn’t do this for more than 24 hours, even skirt steak will start to break down a bit too much if left in a marinade this acidic for too terribly long.)
Remove steak from refrigerator 1/2 hour before you want to cook it (it will cook more evenly if it isn’t chilled) and set oven to 35o degrees.
Heat large skillet or flat grill on the stove until it is screamin’ hot (hover your open palm just above the cooking surface – are you feeling lots of heat? Time for cooking!)
Place the steak in the skillet and rejoice at the sizzle – that noise is searing in all the juicy, flavorful goodness.
Let it get some nice dark color on that side and then give it a flip and sear the other side.
Now – here’s the thing: you can totally cook the steak from start to finish just like this. OR you can grill it on your Vogner Charking or whatever out on the back deck, if you prefer and it would be delish - no doubt. As long as you have nice high heat and take it off before it overcooks (which depends on the thickness - I’d go 4 minutes a side over direct, high heat, and then make a little cut in the center to see how it looked if you aren’t comfortable testing doneness by touch,) either is a great way to cook skirt steak.
But again, I was feeling lazy. So my steak got seared on each side about 2 minutes and then I popped it on roasting rack and put it in the oven to finish, which took about 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
That way I could concentrate on making some Martinis for The Hub and me while dinner finished cooking.
After cooking, I tented the steak with foil on my cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes (while I defrosted some frozen mashed potatoes and stirred in a bit of cheddar for a side dish) before cutting. This lets the juices re-absorb into the meat a bit.
How you cut skirt steak is important. It is best not to just plate it whole, because if cut with, and not against the grain of the meat, it will still seem tough, even after all that marinating and high heat cooking. So slice thin against the grain. (Slicing the long strip of it into shorter chunks first, which is slicing with the grain, and then slicing those portions thinly against the grain – as pictured at the top of the post.)
Dinner is served.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chicken and Spinach Stacked Enchiladas

This Enchilada-inspired Casserole is a great way to sneak extra veggies to your picky eaters, and it is so easy and yummy it is sure to make any dinner into a flavor fiesta!

2 pieces boneless skinless cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1/2 cans Spinach, drained well
2 tablespoons Chili Powder
8 whole corn tortillas
10 ounces-fluid Enchilada sauce of your choice
1 containers low fat plain yogurt
1/4 cups 2% Shredded Cheddar

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In large mixing bowl, combine chicken, yogurt, spinach, and Chili Powder (add 1 tablespoon at a time and adjust to your liking) – mix well.

Spray a square casserole dish with cooking spray and coat bottom with thin coat of Enchilada Sauce.

Tear tortillas as needed to make a single-thickeness layer over the Enchilada Sauce, then cover with 1/2 of the chicken and spinach mixture.

Drizzle with some of the Enchilada sauce and repeat layering process with tortillas and filling mixture again.
Top with final layer of tortillas, pour remaining sauce evenly on top of casserole and top with shredded cheddar.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Crunchy Garlic Chicken and Roasted Broccoli

Betty Crocker Crunchy Garlic Chicken
(This is the recipe as it appears on the Betty Crocker Website)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups Whole Grain Total® cereal, crushed (1 cup)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon paprika
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 3/4 lb)

Heat oven to 425°F. Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In shallow dish, mix 2 tablespoons of the butter, the milk, chives, salt and garlic powder.
In another shallow dish, mix crushed cereal, parsley and paprika. Dip chicken into milk mixture, then coat lightly and evenly with cereal mixture. Place in pan. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons butter.(mine looked like this)
Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F).

What I did differently:
I used Kroger Brand Bran Flakes instead of Total
I used Smart Balance Light as my margarine product
(Here are my chicken breasts all coated and drizzled and ready to hit the oven)

This was good and easy - a nice change from normal bread crumbs on baked chicken. It was really crunchy on top and had a good garlicky flavor. Next time I make it, I think I might put the breasts on a flat roasting rack or broiler pan like I do with breaded chicken when I bake it - the bottom of the pieces can't get crispy of air can't circulate around them.

(BTW - check out the new look coming to ED&BK here)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New at ED&BK !

I get a lot of folks asking how, exactly, our $160.00 a month grocery budget gets spent, and so I give you the newest feature at ED&BK - The Weekly Shopping Rundown!!
I'll post links, as these will be the first step in my Big Move over to Word Press.
Here is this week's rundown.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

More fabulous food my husband won't eat...

Ok, so The Hub has eaten salmon before. If pressed he might do it again. But who wants to waste precious fatty fish deliciousness on that!? Not this seafood lover, that's for sure.
So last night while the oven was preheating to 350 degrees, I took a 3.5 oz portion of salmon out of the fridge and let the chill come off of it (so it would cook evenly in the oven) while I cut a small baking potato into thin chunks. Then both fish and potato got a generous sprinkling of parsley flakes, salt and pepper.
The whole kit and kaboodle went into a pyrex dish and got baked loosely covered for 25 minutes.
I know I should have done a veggie and maybe half the amount of potato - but it was SO GOOD in the simplicity, how could I resist?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ahhh, the magic of solo meals

So this is usually something I would grab for breakfast. Whole grain toast spread with 1/2 a Laughing Cow Light cheese wedge, topped with ham (or turkey sometimes) and tomato.
Breakfast perfection and quick out the door.
Only problem was, I found myself craving it at dinner time tonight.
BUT - here is the beauty of the out of town husband - you can make anything you are hungry for at any time.
So I did, and I ate it on the patio with a whole sectioned grapefruit and a glass of Vhino Verde.