Long live my obsession with caprese everything! I picked up some thin, lean sirloin steaks at the grocery store. You can't beat the price - 2 steaks for less than $4. My boss gave me an 18-year-old aged balsamic vinegar for Valentine's Day, and I've been having a lot of caprese salads ever since, because it's just that good. Having these ingredients on hand, I decided I'd come up with a rolled steak recipe.
Lay the steaks flat, arrange some mozzarella, tomatoes (I used sun-dried) and basil leaves down the middle. Roll the steak rightly, tucking in the ends as if you were folding a wrap. Season the outside with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook in a little olive oil over high heat for about 30 seconds on each side, using tons to turn it so the rolled steak browns all around.
All of a sudden, I decided I really wanted some juicy, spicy, grilled shrimp, and on the side, some sweet, tangy pickled cucumbers. Less than 30 minutes, dinner was ready, and this was including a trip to the store!
I picked up some shrimp from the seafood counter (peeled and deveined). At home, I seasoned it with a little curry powder, coriander, red pepper flakes (I might have gone a bit far with this one, my mouth is on fire as I type), salt and pepper, and drizzled a little canola oil. Cooked them on high for 2 minutes on each side and voila!
I had some really great pickled veggies on Friday night at Oak Tavern in Miami's Design District. I looked up a recipe and learned how easy it is to pickle veggies: white vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and a little veg. oil -- I used canola. I peeled and sliced a large cucumber and tossed it in the pickling juice. It was deliciously refreshing next to my spicy shrimp.
A glass or two of crisp white wine was perfect ;)
Southern Fried Chicken!
or something that tastes just like it!
Everyone asks me why I refrigerate my Triscuits (or Woven Wheats, the generic kind)... it's because they stay fresh and crispy, and practically last forever. So tonight, just as I was about to grill another chicken breast, I decided to make something fantastic out of the Triscuits that have been staring back at me for months (I swear they are still fresh!). I put what was left of the box - about 16 crackers - into my mini food processor and hit "grind" until they were fine. I only needed about half for the three chicken cutlets I was working with, so I divided the crumbs into two different bowls, and I'm saving the rest for tomorrow.
Next, I passed my chicken cutlets, which I had seasoned with salt and pepper, through the whole grain "bread crumbs" I had just made. No flour, no egg wash... I just pressed firmly until the cutlets were evenly coated.
I love to entertain! So, last Friday, after telling a few friends to come over for drinks and appetizers, I had the crazy idea of throwing a Thanksgiving party for my friends. And, somehow, somehow it all came together in less than four hours.
Who doesn't love Taco Night? It may seem like a big production, but it's really not. I gave mine a twist yesterday with barbecue chipotle chicken tacos, and it was absolutely yum.. and easy! I boiled two chicken breasts until cooked through, then pulled apart the chicken with forks. Sautéed some onion in a little olive oil, added the chicken, a bit of the cooking water, a squirt of hickory barbecue sauce and a couple tablespoons of spicy adobo sauce. Shredded cheese, cilantro, a corn and tomato relish, and of course, my tangy "crema" (made with Greek yogurt, lime juice and a little salt and pepper) to finish them off. And for me, soft corn tortillas are always a must!
I went on a weekend cruise to the Bahamas (Hurricane Sandy, and all!) and came back feeling not so great after eating God-knows-what! Feeling like I was in serious need of some kind of detox, I cleaned out my fridge of its veggies and made a Zucchini Ribbon Salad for dinner accompanied with a piece of grilled fish. Here is another easy weeknight dinner idea...
This serves one.
- In the bottom of a salad bowl, I whisked together 1/2 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon each of yellow mustard and Greek yogurt, about 1/2 teaspoon of agave and a pinch of salt and pepper. (I made this in larger quantities when I make cole slaw.)
- I used a vegetable peeler to cut a medium zucchini into ribbons, then added the ribbons to the bowl. I added chopped bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, corn kernels (thawed), and some fresh cilantro (my fave!), and tossed it together.
- I grilled a piece of tilapia that I seasoned with salt and pepper, and ate it along with the salad.
Simple, fresh, delish...
Green beans!!! Love that they are on sale this time of year. I tossed them in a little olive oil, agave, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and roasted them at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.
First course -- yes, you can have a more-than-one-course meal when you are keeping it simple - butternut squash soup spiced with chipotle and cinnamon and garnished with cilantro.
Followed by broiled salmon - crispy crust, moist and tender beneath - and ready in just 10 mins. Set broiler to highest setting, place tray in the middle of the over, season fish with salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil and broil 10 mins or until cooked.
Served over a fresh salad - hydroponic lettuce (I'm obsessed!), tomatoes, corn, and a dressing made of red wine vinegar, agave, mustard, a dollop of Greek yogurt, drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper.
Most nights, instead of just cooking for one, I make double and take the other half to work for lunch. Tonight I made pork chops seasoned with curry powder, salt and pepper, and cooked in a little coconut oil on med-high for 3-4 mins on each side. On the side, instant brown rice (hey, it's quick and tasty!) with a bit of frozen corn and fresh cilantro.. It all came together in less than 15 mins. Looking forward to lunch tomorrow!
Pork chops are lean and inexpensive, and like chicken, can be made so many different ways..
One for now, one for later... I might chop the chops and call it a rice bowl for lunch.
I went to the Miami Marlins game tonight where I thought I might go ahead and have a hot dog (I know, right?!) or some pizza... But then I didn't! I came home and made myself the above instead. Caprese Salad Lettuce Wraps with Avocado - so delish! And I dressed them with the thyme balsamic vinaigrette from last night. Now I don't feel too bad about the two (light!) beers I had.. What's a ball game without beer?! Oh, and we finally won a game.. Go Marlins!
Borrowed hat for the photo op.. Thanks friend!
Apparently we witnessed history tonight.. Good story!