Peach and Jalapeño Grilled Steak

While I’m not a fan of the heat of summer I do love the flavours of summer.  The shops are starting to have peaches and other stone fruits which means light delicious meals and desserts.

It’s been a busy week but I wanted to make a nice meal for my husband and myself last night.  Peaches sparked an idea and jalapeño is one of my husband’s favourite hot peppers.  A match is made!

Peach steak 1 2018

I prepped the corn by soaking the ears before grilling and dusted the steak with chili powder and cumin.

Peach steak 2 2018

Slice up a quarter red onion.  Begin to sweat them in a hot skillet with olive oil.  Slice the jalapeño.  I removed the seeds because sometimes the pepper can be very hot and I didn’t want to overwhelm the peach.  I also started with half a pepper.

Peach steak 3 2018

Sauté the pepper and onion for a few minutes.  I sliced up three small peaches.  You can tell it’s the beginning of the season as the peaches were quite small.  Add the peaches.  Cook for a few minutes.  Fire up the grill to start grilling the corn.  I grill the corn, unshucked, 5 minutes a side.  Season the peach with chili pepper and cumin.  Add a splash of lime juice.  After tasting I added the rest of the pepper as there wasn’t much heat.

Peach steak 4 2018

Grill the steak to the desired doneness.  We like ours on the rare side.  Once cooked, rest the steak for a few minutes then slice.  Shuck the corn.  Place the steak on salad greens and spoon the peach over the steak.

Peach steak 5 2018

Bring on summer flavours, just not the heat.  Unless it’s in the food.  🙂

 

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Tomatillo Steak Salad

Autumn may be flowing in, thank goodness, but I’m not above having a nice salad.  Even though it wasn’t intended.  How would a salad happen accidentally?  It’s easy when you are having a flighty moment.

I definitely knew I wanted to do grilled skirt steak with a tomatillo sauce.  I was thinking a rustic type of sauce to act as the veg portion of the dinner.  That didn’t work out as you will see.

tomatillo-dressing-1-2016

We didn’t have much luck with growing tomatillos the past few years so we didn’t attempt it this year but luckily the farmer’s market had some.  Our garden has produced a bumper crop of hot peppers.  I just wish tomatillos weren’t so sticky once you peel the papery covering off.  Cut the tomatillos in half and keep the pepper whole.  Fire up the grill and roast the tomatillos and pepper until they start to char.  You don’t want charcoal veg as a result so keep an eye on this as it will cook quickly.

tomatillo-dressing-2-2016

As I said my plan was to have a rustic meal but I realised a grilled potato and a bit of steak wouldn’t cut it.  When I did up the sauce it became more of a dressing rather than a veg side.  So salad it was!  Using a food processor add the tomatillos and pepper.  I kept the seeds to give it a kick.  Throw in a couple of cloves of garlic, a teaspoon or so of cilantro, and a few splashes of lime juice and olive oil.  Blend.

tomatillo-dressing-3-2016

I kept the steak simple seasoned with sea salt, pepper, and worcestershire sauce.  Because it is grass fed be careful on how hot you cook it.  Sear then lower the heat.  Keeps it tender. Slice the steak and top with the tomatillo sauce. Any leftover sauce can be frozen for later.

Italian Potato Salad

My husband and I have been enjoying exploring the bike paths that run through our area.  I’m still surprised at how much I love biking.  And it’s great along the shady paths with the little breeze we work up.  Keeps the humidity off of us.  Still tweaking the bike so it fits  me better.  I found a memory foam seat cover which eases the bumps we go over.  Today I’m bringing the bike back to adjust the handle bars.  My husband and I tried but damn if we couldn’t shift it.

Of course after doing a ride we don’t want a heavy meal and to be frank I lack the energy to whip up anything complicated.  Still building up the stamina!  We bought some lovely new potatoes from the farmer’s market this past weekend and a potato salad is an easy thing to make before the ride.  As my husband isn’t into things with mayo I decided to make an Italian potato salad.

Italian potato salad 1 2016

I made up the marinade first so the sundried tomatoes could soak a bit.  I used the ratio 2:1 for olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.   Whisk to bring the two ingredients together and add a couple of cloves of garlic chopped, a few teaspoons of fresh thyme, and sea salt and pepper to taste.

Italian potato salad 2 2016

Cook up the potatoes until soft, drain and add to the marinade.  Some potatoes will soften and fluff a bit with this, more than others.  The ones I bought definitely fluffed a bit.  Stir to coat evenly in the marinade.  Add chopped proscuitto, freshly grated parmesan, mozzarella, and fresh basil.  Chill then serve.  Though you could have it warm if you prefer.

Italian potato salad 3 2016

Prior to the ride I marinated steak with thyme, sea salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, and white balsamic vinegar.  Easy to grill up and dinner is ready in no time at all!

Gorgonzola Risotto with Filet Mignon and Sundried Tomato Sauce

Last week I passed the three year mark for blogging.  One of the changes WordPress seems to have made is they now make it very low key.  Basically it’s “So, yeah, you are another year down, don’t forget to take out the trash” tone to it.  I liked how it was before where they gave you a great breakdown on how you are doing, what was a hit, what wasn’t.  I’m ok with a little woot, woot!

And with three years of recipes sometimes it’s hard to come up with something new.  Things have been somewhat calm this past week which would allow me more time to cook.  But then instead of writer’s block, I was having a bit of cooking block.  Broke that on Wednesday!  I wanted a special meal with flavours that wouldn’t be subtle.  We had a couple of filets in the freezer and some sundried tomatoes to use up.  Off to the store to get some gorgonzola and oyster mushrooms and I had a very good idea of what I wanted to do.

Prep the ingredients beforehand for everything.  To add a bit of crunch to the dish I toasted a third of a cup of pine nuts.  Do it in a dry skillet.  And keep an eye on it!  It can take awhile to toast but can burn quickly.

Gorgonzola risotto 1 2015

Remove the pine nuts from the skillet and set aside.  In a larger skillet start the risotto.  This recipe is for 2-3 people.  First by melting 2 tablespoons of butter.  Add a finely chopped small shallot and 2 cloves of garlic.

Gorgonzola risotto 2 2015

Add 1/2 a cup of risotto and saute for a minute or so.  Then add a tablespoon or so of champagne vinegar.  Stir well.

Gorgonzola risotto 4 2015

This recipe needs about 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock.  This current batch I made was the best so far.  So much flavour!  Add about a 1/2 a cup at a time and allow the risotto to absorb the liquid.  At this point, in a small skillet, melt a couple of tablespoons of butter.  When it is hot add the filets to the skillet.  Make sure they are seasoned well with sea salt and pepper.  Baste with the butter as you cook.

Gorgonzola risotto 5 2015

Finish the steak off in the oven at 350F/175C until the desired doneness.  Allow it to rest while you finish the meal. In the same skillet, add a bit more butter then saute some shallots, garlic, and sundried tomatoes.  Saute for a couple of minutes to soften the tomatoes then add a handful of the oyster mushrooms.

Gorgonzola risotto 7 2015

Once the risotto is almost done add a third of a cup of crumbled gorgonzola and about the same of mascarpone cheese to the risotto.

Gorgonzola risotto 8 2015

Mix well.  Just before serving add the pine nuts and a small handful of basil.

Gorgonzola risotto 9 2015

Serve with the filet and top with the mushroom sundried tomato sauce.

Gorgonzola risotto 10 2015

There were a few strong flavours in this dish but it was balanced and delicious.  When I mentioned it to my daughter she said I could make it for them.  Anytime.  I think I can swing that.

PS.  So I started this post this morning but got interrupted by doctors appointments and things.  The whole day went pear shaped and I only just remembered I hadn’t finished this when we were walking the dogs.  My husband called it postus interruptus.  🙂  As we are getting ready for date night I’ll be further behind on reading posts but I promise to catch up!

Grilled Thai Steak and Ever So Grateful

It was a very long week last week but everything went well with my dad’s surgery.  Yesterday they discharged him from hospital and now he is recuperating at home.  We were all breathing a sigh of relief.  Still are if you want to know the truth.

So he’ll be causing trouble for a good long while now and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

As you can imagine I’m a bit backed up with blog posts and getting everything else back on track.  Kids are back at school this week so we’re winding down the summer the next couple of days.  Making sure they get back into the routine of things.

Last weekend I was in the mood for Thai flavours and decided to do a grilled steak with rice noodles.  We have had some success with growing fresh garlic this year and we also had ginger and cilantro on hand.

Grilled Thai Steak 1 2015

In a bowl mix 2 tablespoons peanut oil, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons amino acid, 1 tablespoon lime juice, one to two teaspoons of fresh chopped cilantro, a large clove of garlic, finely chopped, and salt and pepper.  Add the steak to marinate for at least an hour.

Grilled Thai Steak 2 2015

When it is time to cook, heat up a couple of tablespoons of peanut oil.  Add a few cloves of garlic, finely chopped, and a couple of scallions, chopped.  Saute until the garlic starts to soften.  Add a cayenne pepper.  When slicing use gloves, saves on burning skin.  We keep the seeds but some may find that too hot.  Saute for a few minutes.

Grilled Thai Steak 3 2015

Add a cup of chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  I made the mistake of adding the rest of the veg too soon.  I like my veg on the crispy side.  If you like them soft then add the peppers and mushrooms when you add the stock.  Also add carrots.  I added a couple of tablespoons of green curry paste, a tablespoon of oyster sauce, a tablespoon of amino acids, and a splash of lime juice.  Continue to simmer.  As it cooks adjust the flavour to your liking.

Grilled Thai Steak 4 2015

Grill the steak to medium rare.

Grilled Thai Steak 5 2015

Take the leftover marinade and add it to the skillet and continue to simmer.  While the steak is resting add half a cup light coconut milk.  Add a few more teaspoons of freshly chopped cilantro at this stage as well.

Grilled Thai Steak 6 2015

While this is being created cook rice noodles according to the package.  Toss the noodles in the sauce and serve.  Top with the steak and peanuts.

Grilled Thai Steak 7 2015

I enjoyed this dish.  The heat was mild but you could always add more hot pepper as you cook.  Tonight we are doing Pad Thai for dinner.  Another one of our favourites!

Tarragon Steak and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Yesterday was very frustrating.  We like to make cheese so we bought quite a bit of raw milk at a local farm.  Grand plans were made.  Grand plans failed in a spectacular fashion.  The cheddar may turn out ok but the camembert I tried didn’t get off the ground.  The pH seemed to be too low and the curd didn’t break properly.  We had issues with the cheddar as well.  Like I said very frustrating.

So being tired and feeling grumpy I needed a good dinner that wasn’t too complicated.  And it had to be quick!  There was wine to be had at the end of a long day.

We grow tarragon in our garden, though it’s currently getting overshadowed by hops.  If you ever grow hops put them somewhere by themselves.  We grossly underestimated their takeover talents.  So I waded in to find the tarragon and took a handful for this marinade.

Tarragon steak 1 2015

Chop up a handful of tarragon and a few cloves of garlic.  In a bowl add a few tablespoons of olive oil and one or two tablespoons of white wine vinegar.  Shake it up to mix.  Season the steak with sea salt and pepper then add it to the marinade.  Let it marinate for at least an hour.

Tarragon steak 2 2015

For those that follow my blog know I’m a huge fan of roasted potatoes.  I thought rosemary and lemon would be a nice touch for this meal.  Cube the potatoes and microwave them for 8 minutes.  Do not cover them with plastic or cling film.  That just leaches chemicals into the food.  In a baking dish add a few tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of lemon juice. While the potatoes are in the microwave preheat the oven or toaster oven to 375F/190C with the baking dish in it.  Add the potatoes to the hot oil, stir well and season with sea salt and pepper.  Stir occasionally as it cooks.  Once it is cooked halfway add a couple of tablespoons of rosemary, finely chopped.  Heat the grill to medium high.  I picked skirt steak which is pretty thin so it cooks quickly.

Tarragon 3 2015

Given that it’s summer a salad is called for!  Make up the salad while the steak is resting.  Then slice the steak and top the salad.  Drizzle with olive oil and white wine vinegar.  Serve with the potatoes.

Tarragon 5 2015

Tarragon 4 2015

We were lucky that there was low humidity last night so we had a lovely dinner outside on the porch.  The only interruptions we had was when we had to take turns chasing off the rabbits in our back garden.  They are showing no fear!

The Lovely Zing of Fresh Horseradish…

The fun thing about our local co-op is we can find unusual ingredients not normally found in our box store groceries.  This time I found fresh horseradish root. As we are fans of this ingredient when we have roast beef I figured I would branch out a bit and play around with it.  If you ever have stuffed sinuses have a bite of fresh horseradish.  It will make you stand up and blink!

I planned an easy dinner to make because our plan was to whack some tennis balls back and forth.  But it rained.  Boo.  Now that is is finely warm enough we were looking forward to running around and having some fun.  That will have to wait.

I decided to do grilled portobello caps with steak and horseradish sauce.

Horseradish sauce 1 2014

Oregano is growing like crazy in our garden so I choice to use some to pretend I was making some kind of dent in the abundance of the herb.  I made up a marinade of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, chopped garlic and oregano.  The ratio of oil and vinegar is 2 to 1. Season with salt and pepper.  Mix well and add the mushrooms.

Horseradish 2 2014

Set aside.  On to the horseradish!

Horseradish sauce 3 2014

I had some plain Greek yoghurt so I used it as the base for my sauce.  In a small bowl add 8 oz of yoghurt, about 2 tsp of fresh thyme, salt and pepper, a few squirts of lemon juice, and grated horseradish.  The amount is up to you depending on how much zing you want.  I do suggest adding a bit at a time until you hit the level of heat you want.

Horseradish sauce 4 2014

When I bought the steak, the way it was packaged it looked like two equal pieces which is what you want when serving two people.  Does this look equal to you?

Horseradish sauce 5 2014

Like the moon to the earth!  Season with salt and pepper and a dry rub of your choice.  We like using the Salt Lick Spicy Dry Rub.  Grill the steak and mushroom until cooked.  We like ours on the rare side.

Horseradish sauce 7 2014

After letting the steak rest slice it and spoon the sauce over the meat to serve.  Grate an aged Italian cheese of your choice over the mushrooms.

Horseradish sauce 8 2014

A perfect meal for after an activity like tennis.  I hope we get to that soon!  Maybe this weekend.  🙂

Steak Marsala – Would Julia Child Approve?

My husband got me some fabulous books for Christmas. Volume 1 & 2 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child and a photography reference book to help me with my pictures.  The photography book is a great refresher for me and gives me a better idea of what I need to explore more thoroughly.  And the cookbooks are wonderful.  There are several recipes I want to try.

A few nights ago my son had a friend over who enjoys good food so I thought I’d make the garlic soup from the books.  Needless to say despite following the recipe I didn’t like it.  More on another post about that adventure but I had to quickly come up with plan B!  Fortunately we had bought the ingredients for another meal so I went with that instead.

The inspiration came from Julia Child and her recipe for Filet Steaks with Mushroom and Madeira Sauce.   I couldn’t find Madeira wine and I made a few other changes.  This meal has lovely deep flavours but is easy to put together.  We don’t eat large portions, in fact one person commented on a dish I made saying it was a delicious starter!  So I only bought about a pound of steak filet for 5 of us.  I also did up roast potatoes, parsnips, and carrots.

Mince half of a large shallot or a whole small one and slice several mushrooms.  As I was prepping the meal I played around with settings on my camera.  This shot was using the P setting.  Came out very different from what I was expecting!

Steak marsala 1 2013

Then I switched back to regular settings:

Steak marsala 2 2013

In a saute pan melt 2T of butter with 1T of olive oil.  Saute the mushrooms for a few minutes until they start to brown then add the shallots to soften.  At this point I started deviating from the recipe and added some fresh thyme to the dish.

Steak marsala 3 2013

Once the mushrooms are browned and the shallots are softened remove from the heat and set aside.  In a skillet melt a few more T of butter and a T of olive oil.  You want this to get hot without burning the butter so pay attention to the colour of the butter.  Season the steak with salt and pepper then pan sear for a few minutes on each side until you have the doneness you are looking for.  We prefer ours medium rare.

Steak marsala 4 2013

Remove and cover to rest.  Pour out about half the fat.  Again deviating from the recipe I added a cup of veg bouillon to deglaze and set that to simmer.  Add a spoonful of tomato paste and begin to reduce a bit.  Because I wanted enough to go on the steak plus the roast veg I didn’t reduce down to the couple of tablespoons that it called for.  I reduced it about a third.

Steak marsala 5 2013

Add the mushroom mixture and a third of a cup of marsala wine.  Simmer and reduce again.  Slice the steak and spoon the sauce with mushrooms over the steak.

Steak marsala 7 2013

The sauce was rich and layered in flavour.  My son, who’s not a fan of mushrooms, enjoyed it as well.

Steak marsala 8 2013

Thank goodness for plan B and here’s hoping Julia Child wouldn’t mind.  🙂

 

Risotto with Balsamic Grilled Steak

Sometimes you just have to change things up.  We love risotto but we usually make Risotto with Sherry Mushrooms which is delicious but we have it often enough it can feel like being in a rut.  With the weather turning cool (there was a frost advisory last night) I wanted something a bit more rustic for our risotto.  I was pleased with the result and it went very well with the steak.

After dinner we had to dash out into the cool evening and harvest what tomatoes we could and throw blankets and sheets over the peppers, cucumbers, and celery for the potential frost.  I hope this doesn’t bode for an early winter.  Winter last year was long enough!  Not ready for the heat to go on just yet.  🙂

About an hour before grilling the steak I marinated it in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme and garlic.  I seasoned the steak with salt and pepper.  Whenever I do risotto I like to get everything prepped ahead of time so it goes smoothly.  It’s not hard but it is a huge help having everything lined up.  For this I warmed up 4 cups of vegetable bouillon in a pan and measured out a cup of arborio rice.  I chopped half of a large red onion, finely chopped 3 cloves of garlic, prepped the fresh thyme, and sliced the mushrooms.  I also grated about a cup of parmesan.  The last ingredient needed would be the peas.

Melt about 2 tablespoons in a large skillet.

Risotto with steak 1 2013

Once melted saute the onions for a couple of minutes and once they start to soften add in the garlic.

Risotto with steak 2 2013

After another couple of minutes pour in the rice and stir well.  At this point usually a 1/2 cup of wine or sherry goes in but that would be way too much with balsamic vinegar so just a few splashes of the vinegar will do here.  Stir another couple of minutes.

Risotto with steak 4 2013

I usually add the broth 1/2 -1 cup at a time letting it simmer.  At this point I started grilling the steak.  It was a thin steak so it only needed a couple of minutes per side.

Risotto with steak 5 2013

Once the steak is done, remove and cover to let it rest until it is time to slice it.

Risotto with steak 6 2013

Halfway through cooking the risotto I add the peas to cook because even though they are from our garden they have been frozen.  Keep adding broth as the rice soaks it up.  Also at this point taste test.  If the broth is too salty dilute with some water.  It worked well for me as I made the broth a little too concentrated.

Risotto with steak 7 2013

At this point I saute the mushrooms.  For this dish I love to use shiitake mushrooms.  I heated up some olive oil and added the mushrooms and thyme.  I saute until the mushrooms start to brown then I add them to the risotto.

Risotto with steak 8 2013

I like to cook the risotto like they do in Italy.  You don’t want it mushy, just a little al dente.  Near the end of the cooking add in the cheese and stir well.  It is now ready to serve.  I sliced the steak thinly and placed it over the risotto.

Risotto with steak 9 2013

It was a lovely meal that was perfect for our first real chilly night.  🙂

My Dad’s Birthday and Cooking on a RV…

When we head to up Lake Champlain every year to celebrate my dad’s birthday we always plan a nice meal for him.  It is usually swordfish and steak.  In the days running up to the dinner I hadn’t a clue what to make but fortunately we were able to come up with some ideas as we headed to the store.  And whatever we come up with it all has to fit together like a puzzle as there isn’t much space to cook a big meal on a RV.   You have to keep your elbows in when you have a few cooks whipping up dishes.  It used to be my mum and me but now my daughter has joined in.  Which is wonderful, but keep the elbows in!  🙂  And because the kitchen is small and doesn’t come with a dishwasher it is important to keep the dirty dishes to a minimum.  Logistics is the word of the day.

My husband came up with the idea to use garlic and worcestershire sauce for the steak.  I thought an avocado smash would be perfect for the swordfish.  Off my mum and I went to get the ingredients and when I got to the fish section I saw they had deeply discounted the swordfish.  More than 50%!  I was a bit nervous as when you buy fish you don’t want it to smell fishy.  As I can’t smell things I thought it would be best to ask how long they had displayed the fish.  Two days so I thought ok I’ll risk it.  I really didn’t want a situation where you get what you pay for.

I prepped the steak first.  I sliced the garlic thinly.

Dads birthday 1 2013

After making several cuts into the steak I stuffed the garlic in and then seasoned with salt and pepper.  I put the steak in a bowl with the worcestershire sauce to marinate for about 45 minutes.  This is as simple as it gets!

Dads birthday 2 2013

The avocado smash is very easy as well.  I thought I had picked two soft avocados at the store.  I wasn’t quite right there.  Fortunately there was enough soft bits to make this work.  I coarsely chopped the avocado into a bowl and added red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and a bit of cayenne pepper and cumin.

Dads birthday 3 2013 Dads birthday 4 2013

In addition to the steak and swordfish we were also having a wonderful potato salad made by my mum, grilled portobello caps, and grilled veg.  The only thing not being cooked on a grill was the potato salad.  The grill was this big.

Dads birthday 5 2013

So the veg wrapped in foil started first and I staged everything else.

Dads birthday 6 2013

It all came together.  I grilled the mushrooms first with the veg then kept those warm, next the steaks went on while the veg was finishing.  Those got dusted with a bit of cayenne pepper as well for a bit of heat.  They cooked well but as it was a small grill I couldn’t get the sear I normally do.  Then I removed the veg and seasoned the swordfish with salt, pepper, cayenne, and cumin and got that on the grill.

Dads birthday 7 2013

I spooned a bit of the avocado smash onto the fish to serve.  I have to say for a deeply discounted bit of fish, this was really good.  I am glad I took the chance.

Dads birthday 8 2013

Later we finished the evening with my mum’s homemade brownies and some ice cream.  The brownies were delicious.  🙂