In which the world of culinary hedonism is explored with a cup and a half of curiosity, a heaping tablespoon of passion and a dash of clumsiness.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Eighty-fifth Post ~ Savory Marinated Strip Steak

Easy to prepare, quick to cook - what's not to love?

Here's what you'll need for this meal:

~ Strip steak
~ Soy sauce
~ Garlic (jarred or crushed)
~ Whatever fresh herb you have on had (wait for it - OREGANO!)

Place the raw steak in a zip-lock bag.  Pour in an ample amount of soy sauce.  Not only does soy sauce add a delicious flavor to meat, but it also tenderizes steak!  One of my favorite meals as a child was my mom's soy-sauce steak over buttered toast - read about it here!  (And pardon the photo - that was before I had a camera with a "food" setting!)

Put about a teaspoon of garlic into the bag along with a sprig of whatever herb you might want - seriously - the herb could really vary anywhere from rosemary to sage to marjoram to thyme - the sky (er... earth?) is the limit!

Let the steak marinate in the refrigerator while you get some work done.  Get the steak out before you're ready to cook so it has time to get back up to room temperature.

Preheat a toaster oven or other heating apparatus on broil at about 375-400 degrees.  Put the steak - marinade, herbs and all - onto a tin foil lining and broil for around 5 minutes or until it's cooked to your preference.

I served the steak with some leftover ratatouille - a perfect pairing for the savory flavors of the salty soy sauce and zesty garlic!  Naturally, I also had a glass of French Maid with it...  Hey - I'm snowed in - give me some credit for varying the ingredients on hand!

Yours in the love of good food and wine,
AL


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The blogger is not an experienced chef. She takes no responsibility for the quality of the meals prepared while following her advice. Use your own judgment regarding cooking times and proper food handling.

Eighty-fourth Post ~ Beef Burgundy Soup

With the winter storm that blew across the U.S. this past evening, nothing makes me feel more prepared for bad weather than a pot of soup at the ready!

This soup was a quick meal that could be thrown together when I got home from my afternoon class yesterday and left alone until I was ready to eat in the evening.

Here's what you'll need for this easy-peasy soup:
~ Stew beef
~ One package mirepoix (or make your own quite easily by dicing up some onion, carrot and celery - but as I said, I was in a hurry!)
~ Handful cleaned and cut mushrooms
~ 5-7 beef bouillon, depending on your taste
~ Fresh herb(s) of choice (I chose thyme and oregano, since that's what I've got right now!)
~ A couple handfuls wild rice
~ Splash red wine

Fill a medium pot about half full of water and start it boiling.  Toss in the bouillon, mushrooms, package of mirepoix and stew beef.  Toss in some fresh herbs (don't bother pulling the thyme or oregano from the stem - I threw in three stems of thyme and two solid stems of oregano.  As it cooked, the leaves fell from the stems) and add a splash of red wine.  Stir it all around a bit.  Start it boiling and work on other things as you every so often check on the soup.  Turn down the heat after a little bit.

Simmer gently for a little over an hour, stirring occasionally.  Toward the end, toss in a few handfuls of wild and long grain rice (I opened a box of Uncle Ben's and only used a small portion of it, keeping the rest of the rice and the full seasoning packed in a ziplock bag for later use).  Simmer the soup with the lid on for about 10 minutes, then let it sit with the lid on and heat off.

Whenever you're ready for dinner, turn the heat back on and bring the soup to a simmer again.  I paired this meal with the same crusty bread I had with last night's ratatouille.  I also enjoyed another glass of French Maid cabernet sauvignon!  All in all, a hearty winter meal!

Yours in the love of good food and wine,
AL


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The blogger is not an experienced chef. She takes no responsibility for the quality of the meals prepared while following her advice. Use your own judgment regarding cooking times and proper food handling.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Eighty-third Post ~ Ratatouille

I will confess that around the new year of 2009, I watched a certain computer animated film by Pixar and Disney, and, well, Gusteau's catchphrase of "Anyone can cook" just may have helped push an idea of a cooking blog over the edge from "Hmm, I wonder..." to "That's it - I'm starting a cooking blog!"

This is, of course, the titular meal and a classic in its own right.  Ever since the film, I've been clipping out recipes for this Proven├žal dish; photos of beautifully arranged veggies are pinned up next to devil-may-care tossed ones.

So last evening, I decided to give it a whirl.

Here's what you'll need:
~ Garlic (jarred or a couple cloves)
~ 1 eggplant (a smallish one)
~ 1 zucchini
~ 1 golf-ball sized onion
~ 1 orange or yellow pepper
~ One small container roasted tomatoes in oil
~ EVOO
~ Coarse-ground sea salt
~ Herbs of choice (I chose fresh thyme and oregano)

Start a hefty amount of olive oil smokin' in a large skillet.  Chop up the eggplant and toss it around a bit.

: : PAUSE : :

I guess I had had a stressful day.  I hadn't realized it until that point, but chopping up that eggplant felt good.  Next came the zucchini.  CHOP CHOP CHOP CHOP-CHOP.  Then the pepper.  CHOP-CHOP!  CHOP-CHOP!  Then the onion.  WHACK-CHOP-CHOP-CHOP-CHOPPA-CHOPPA-CHOP.  With each chop I felt a bit of the day's frustrations leave me.  And a bit more, and a bit more...  This is my new favorite "I've had a bad day" meal.

: : UNPAUSE : :

So - ahem! - toss the chopped eggplant around the oil a bit and add some garlic.  Chop up the zucchini, pepper and onion and add that all in turn.  Open the container of roasted tomatoes (hopefully they come packaged in oil - because the oil is delicious!) and it all in.  Add some fresh herbs at this point.  If it starts sticking, add a bit of water to create some steam.

Let the whole deal simmer, covered, until the veggies are tender.  I served this with a crusty loaf of pain de compagne and it was a perfect textural partner for this savory, filling meal.  I paired it with a cabernet sauvignon by French Maid (it seemed fitting!) and it was wonderfully fruity, balanced and bright.

All in all, a successful meal!
Yours in the love of good food, wine, and the outlets they bring us (both creative and physical!),
AL


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The blogger is not an experienced chef. She takes no responsibility for the quality of the meals prepared while following her advice. Use your own judgment regarding cooking times and proper food handling.