an easy mid-week flank steak

Greetings!

This week I made a yummy dish with very little effort. I love those. They are my favorite. 🙂

I bought a flank steak at Trader Joe’s earlier in the week and normally I would have made Emeril’s chimichurri marinade for it.  I LOVE THIS MARINADE. It is so delicious and is posted on my fridge.

http://www.emerils.com/recipe/7608/Skirt-Steak-with-Chimichurri-Sauce

However, this week I thought I would look for something a little different. I wanted to use up some thyme I had in the fridge. So I scanned the internet and  settled on this one from http://www.cleanandelicious.com. Love the name and the recipes on there. Two things I did differently…I didn’t add the salt and pepper before grilling and I didn’t blot the marinade off. Oh and I added some fresh rosemary. Ok three things. Whatever.

http://cleananddelicious.com/2011/09/26/a-keeper-marinade-for-grilled-flank-steak/

I continue to be a bad food blogger photographer but I did take this picture of it on the grill alongside the squash, zucchini and red onion i grilled in the basket with just some olive oil and garlic salt.

I was so glad this was my menu for myself and the boyfriend since while I was grilling, my neighbor was working out with her trainer. I yelled over…”so glad we are having lean meat and grilled veggies”! They giggled and then said they were jealous.

So make your marinade, let your meat bathe in it for 24 hours and fire up the grill this week. So quick. So easy. DO IT!

Easter Brunch

This was my first time hosting a holiday event. It was a team effort and here was our menu.

Deviled Eggs*

Spinach and Goat Cheese Strata*

Roasted Tomatoes*

Asparagus w/ Puff Pastry and prosciutto

Crawfish Monica*

Honeybaked Ham

Scalloped Potatoes

Banana Pudding

Bloody Mary and Belini Bar

I made the dishes with the asterisks and hosted the event. What I learned was that when hosting a brunch for 12…you need to have enough dishes, utensils, serving dishes and glasses for your guests so via Target, Walmart and Ollies Bargain Warehouse…all of these were acquired. Don’t get me wrong, I have service for about 6-8 but not 12. I gave myself Saturday to hit the farmers market, hit Walmart, and come home and prepare. I also pre-made the strata and let it sit overnight.

Here is a photo of the night before…

and yes I realize I have a ton of crap on my fridge. But I like it. I have pictures of friends and family. I also have funny magnets like one that says, “i thought i was acting like a slut and then i realized i was acting like a man” and one that says, “sex is like pizza. even when it’s bad it’s good”.

The first thing I made was deviled eggs. In hindsight, I should have made them the night before to give them time to set…but since it’s the first time I’ve made them I am going to cut myself some slack. They tasted and looked great. I got the recipe from People magazine and can’t find it online.

Here is the recipe for the strata I made. I looked at a TON of fritatta and strata recipes and this was the one I settled on. In my opinion the thyme made the dish. It was lemony and delicious.

http://www.recipething.com/recipes/show/19267-herbed-spinach-and-goat-cheese-strata

and here’s your photo…

The other thing I prepped that night was the Crawfish Monica. If you’ve been to the New Orleans Jazz Fest, chances are good you have had Crawfish Monica. After a few beers…it’s awesome. The best way to describe it, is macaroni and cheese with cooked crawfish tail meat. DELICOUS! I found out a few years ago you could order a kit from the good folks at Kajun Kettle Foods who sell it at the Fest, so I finally did for this Easter Feast. It was so worth it. There are some leftovers in my freezer right now and that makes me HAPPY!

Here is a link to their website:

http://www.kajunkettle.com/

and of course a photo…

I made it w/ and without the crawfish.

The last dish I made was roasted tomatoes with gorgonzola by Giada. She is hands down my favorite TV chef, but this dish didn’t turn out to be as yummy as I thought it would be. Perhaps my cheese didn’t melt enough, because of the oven dance I was doing to keep everything evenly cooked and warm. I’ll try it again next time w/ parmesean.

Recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/roasted-tomatoes-with-garlic-gorgonzola-and-herbs-recipe/index.html

and you can see them in the above Strata photo…they didn’t warrant their own photo.

Here are some photos of the rest of the brunch…

 

 Finally, it was naptime for all, as demonstrated by Jameson Davis, who probably was the recipient of too many ham scraps.

 OK off to eat a leftover banana pudding. Hope everyone had a great Easter or Passover!

a name change…and it’s national grilled cheese day!

Hi everyone! I decided to change the name of my blog…well because there is already a tastebykate.com. So…welcome to whatkatetastes…not my first choice but I’m going with it for now. If you have a better suggestion, please email me at whatkatetastes@yahoo.com or leave a commment here!

So it’s National Grilled Cheese day and thankfully I made one of my favorites on my Easter break. So easy. So delicious. So NOT traditional.

Here is what you’ll need:

Bread

Butter

Goat Cheese

Deli Turkey (I like mine mesquite smoked)

Get yourself a pan and put it on medium heat. Butter your bread (I melt mine in the microwave). Spread your goat cheese on the inside of your bread. Add the smoked turkey. Grill on both sides and enjoy!

Homemade Pizza by the boyfriend

For Ms. Nancy as she was looking for this over the weekend and my lazy butt hadn’t blogged yet. DOH!

So it has become a tradition between my boyfriend and I that we make homemade pizza together. I think it’s pretty awesome because while I love to cook it’s nice to have a break every now and then.

First…the ingredients. I personally get most of my pizza ingredients at Trader Joe’s. If you have one in your area you know why I love it. And if you don’t…I’m sorry because it rocks.

What you’ll need:

  • Pre-made raw pizza dough. Most stores have it now in the deli section and most have both whole wheat and regular dough. We vote for whole wheat.
  • Sauce. Sure there is pizza sauce out there and sometimes it’s a bit thicker than marinara sauce but really any tomato sauce will do.
  • Cheese. I like the part-skim mozarella cheese myself.
  • Toppings. Most stores sell pepperoni. This week we tried pancetta but we’ve also thrown some sausage on there too. Whatever you like…veggies, meat, whatever.
  • Cornmeal. Use the cornmeal to make the surface you roll your dough out on less sticky. Also throw some on your pizza stone.

Speaking of pizza stones…go get one. Mine is from Williams Sonoma but most stores like Target and Walmart have them. Heat your oven to 500 for about 20 minutes to get it good and hot. Then turn it down to 475. Cook your pizza for about 10 minutes.

Also, get a pizza peel aka giant pizza spatula. Gotta have one to get your pizza on and off that hot stone.

We make our pizza right on the pizza peel. Here’s a shot of the rolling out of the dough…

 

next add your sauce…

 

then your toppings…

 

earlier this year we had a run of Republican front runner pizzas. that was fun, especially because we are Democrats!

put it on your pizza stone…

 

after about 10 minutes…PIZZA TIME!

 

oh and while you are buying stuff…go ahead and get a pizza cutter too!

Enjoy!

Beef Stroganoff

I have a crush on Beef Stroganoff. Always have. Maybe it’s the Cream of Mushroom soup element to it…maybe it’s the pasta. I love it. I even love the quick Hamburger Helper version (which there is a whole grain version now…just fyi).

I had bought this piece of meat when I bought another cut of meat for something else so I decided to make Beef Stroganoff. I’ve made it before from scratch but was looking for something new. So…I went to the master…Martha Stewart.

Nothing tricky here just followed her recipe. Easy Breezy. I hope you try it. It was so yummy. I used baby portabella mushrooms instead of white mushrooms and rather than open up a giant thing of beef broth I had and wasting most of it…I disolved a cube instead. Oh and she doesn’t say to put it over pasta…but isn’t that the rule? 🙂  

http://www.marthastewart.com/341384/beef-stroganoff

BullS**t guys tacos…

So if you have seen the NASCAR Google video about self driving race cars today…you know who the BS guys are…and if you don’t please view it here before proceeding:

http://www.nascar.com/video/none/none/120331/cup-mar-google/

So the BS guys are some great guys in the parking lot outside the TV Compound at Auto Club Speedway. They are always near sign 11C. They are awesome. After we shot their bit, they insisted we eat some tacos…said if we didn’t we would offend them. So we did and they were AWESOME. So I asked them what they marindaded the Tri-Tip in. Soy sauce and garlic. Tri-Tip is a West Coast thing so you may have a hard time finding it at your store.  Here is the wikipedia description.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-tip

At Trader Joe’s this week they had some Tri Tip steaks …so I thought why not. I  took them and put them in a plastic bag, about 3 or 4 cloves of smashed garlic. Perfection.

Here is a photo of their setup and my new friends Fernando and Mike and my finished Tri-Tip tonight. They were delicious tacos. Enjoy!

 

My apologies…I’ve been busy

When I started this blog I said to myself…you must keep going. Well, I failed.

I’ve been busy with work, see NASCAR and Google’s April Fool’s joke, and have traveled much more than anticipated in 2012. There is good news and bad news about when I travel. The good…I am a culinary traveler making an effort to try new places I’ve read about or visit old ones I love. The bad…is that I get tired and cranky and fail to blog.

So here is the first of many blog posts to come this week, catching up and culminating in my first time hosting Easter brunch for my friends and family!

First up…Super Taco Tuesday.

My boyfriend Franklin and I love politics. We also love Taco Tuesdays. So March 6th, aka Super Tuesday, we had Super Taco Tuesday. I cooked some pork shoulder in the crock pot all day while at work and it was delicious. Can I remember what recipe I used? No and that frustrates me trememdously. But if you use the Google machine, there are a ton of good carnitas recipes out there using the slow cooker. Add in my salsa and guacamole recipe and tadah! Super Taco Tuesday.

Tonight…it’s Sunday and we are having tacos again…but this time it is Tri-Tip tacos with the tri-tip marindade from the fans at Auto Club Speedway in the Google video. Stay tuned for that later!

Think Eggs Benedict is hard? So wrong. Easy Breezy.

This week (and it looks like Sunday mornings are my favorite time to post) it’s a very very easy Eggs Benedict.

Here is what you need…

Eggs

Whole Wheat English Muffins

Smoked Deli Turkey

Butter

Lemon Juice

That’s it! I started making this with Smoked Turkey instead of Ham years ago…and never has an eater at my table complained. I actually like the smokiness vs a salty piece of ham.

Here’s how it’s done:

1) Take two eggs and separate them. Place the yolks in a blender.

2) Take 2 more eggs per person and either put them in a poaching pan or poach them in a boiling pot of water with some vinegar in it. The vinegar helps them stay together when you poach them in the water. Just a splash is fine.If using a poaching pan, remember to add just a bit of water in the pan. You are steaming the eggs, not boiling them.

I use this poaching pan from Williams Sonoma.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/poached-eggs.html

While your eggs are getting happy in the pan, complete these steps

3) Melt 1/3 cup (or 5 and 1/3 tablespoons) of butter in a pan. Add this along with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the blender. Blend on a whip setting.

4) toast your english muffins.

5) Warm your deli turkey ( I use 2 slices per english muffin side) on a plate in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Just to get it warm.

Once your eggs are poached…assemble. Muffin, Turkey, Egg, Sauce.

Where is the photo? #epicfail. I had one on my phone so I didn’t take one this morning…and now I can’t find the one on my phone! DOH!

Oh well…I’m still learning on this blog thing. 🙂

What are you making for the Super Bowl? Try this!

Ok kids…it’s time for Super Bowl Salsa and Guacamole!

I make this all the time. I know it seems intimidating to make your own salsa but it really could not be easier.

In a food processor combine the following:

2-3 medium size tomatoes (chop them into quarters before dropping in the food processor)

1 medium onion (help this along as well by quartering)

1/2 of a jalapeno pepper (take the seeds out they are HOT)

1 bunch of cilantro

1/4 cup of lemon juice (fresh squeezed or bottled)

salt to taste

Turn on the food processor. And…you are done!

 

taste it…add a little salt if needed.

then…transfer it into a bowl but leave a bit in there. about 1/3 of a cup.

throw 2-3 avocadoes in the food processor with the salsa…

BOOM! Guacamole!

I seriously don’t know why people ever buy this pre-made. SO EASY! and delicious! and you know what is going into your body. No chemicals. Ok well maybe a few if you are using the lemon juice in the bottle.

I’ll be making this today along with some turkey chili. Happy Eating everyone!

 

 

You asked for it…Goulash!

SO…chances are good that if you have crossed my threshold…I have made this dish for you.

In our family, we call it goulash. However, Wikipedia defines the dish a bit differently than the dish I make. 

Goulash (plural: goulash) is a soup or stew of meat, noodles and vegetables (especially potato), seasoned with paprika and other spices.[1] Originating in Hungary, goulash is also a popular meal in Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Romania, Scandinavia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the north-eastern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. It is one of Hungary’s national dishes.[2]

It’s really more of an Italian dish for us. It was one of the staple dishes I would make when I started cooking in my first apartment that I shared with my friend Teresa. My Dad taught me how to make it and told me that he would make it for my Mom, when they were first married and had no money. Hence, I made it numerous times for friends, when none of us had any money. It was our go to pre-party meal in The House of Hooch (an amazing apartment I shared with my friends Kate and Annie). It provided a good base if you will. It is still my “go to” dance move.

Here are the ingredients:

1 medium size onion chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped (i love garlic so used 4 last night)

1lb of ground beef or turkey (or chicken if you like)

1 14 oz can of tomato sauce

1 14 oz can of stewed tomatoes

1 box of small or large shells

You don’t have to get all fancy with the sauce or stewed tomatoes. Just use what you have. You can use whole wheat pasta if you like, or fiber filled. Whatever works for you.

This recipe is so easy. So let’s get started.

Start your pasta water, add a bit of salt to the water.

Coat a large pan, with some extra virgin olive oil. Add your chopped onion and garlic to the pan and let them get fragrant.

Add in your meat, I used turkey this time, and let it brown. It will look like this.

Add in your can of sauce and stewed tomatoes and let it simmer. By this time, your water should be boiling, so go ahead and cook your pasta per the directions on the box.

 

NOTE: I only used half of the pasta in the box…because I was making enough for my boyfriend and I. I still had enough to make him a lunch and could put some sauce in the fridge for a weeknight dinner for me.

Once your pasta is cooked, add some sauce and pasta together add some of your favorite shredded or grated cheese (mine is grated pecorino romano from Trader Joe’s) and ENJOY! Serve it up with a fresh salad and/or some garlic bread and some wine…perfection!

Next time…notes from my recent trip to NYC!