Monthly Archives: May 2021

Picadillo ground beef Tostadas

In Memory of our Fallen Heroes for all who gave their yesterdays
A thank you today – On this Memorial Day weekend!

My daughter and I have been watching this seasons Top Chef; this is a our first time tuning in and I am not sure why I never watched it before. I know why we started this season one of the contestants is from a local restaurant that we eat at. Unfortunately he was eliminated this past week. The challenge was to create a recipe that a home cook would make. Plus write a recipe for them to follow.


I can see where this could be a challenge for chefs and cooks alike. Sometimes I have a hard time providing the correct measurements for you all. I season to taste as should you. What that means is we are all different and like different things. You and I I’m pretty sure have different tastes. You should adjust any and all recipes to your liking and what you can find or have on hand in cooking, not baking; the rules change when baking – follow them.

The recipe I am sharing today was one my daughter made and I am writing about; we are getting pretty good at this collaboration. She went a little further on this one by making her own chili powder. The cookbook she used Nopalito mentions that the store bought chili powder you buy in the store doesn’t hold a candle to the flavor of making your own. My daughter said it was really easy and dinner was excellent so it is probably true. As I mentioned above we all like different things. Give it a try and you be the judge.

Picadillo ground beef Tostadas

a warm comfort dish you should try - plenty of leftovers

Ingredients
  

Chili Powder - for those that want to make your own

  • 2 quajillo dried chili
  • 1 pasilla dried chili

Picadillo

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef 85/15
  • 1 large white onion finely chopped
  • 2 jalapenos finely chopped, remove seeds for less heat
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 2 cups carrot finely diced - about 4 carrots
  • 3/4 cup yukon gold potato finely diced - 1 small

for serving

  • 1 cup refried beans make your own or canned
  • 12 tostadas or use corn tortillas
  • crumbled queso fresco
  • crema or sour cream
  • green cabbage thinly sliced
  • cilantro thinly sliced
  • white onion thinly sliced

Instructions
 

chili powder

  • Pre-heat oven to 350'F, place dried chilis on a small baking sheet and place in the oven for about 3-8 minutes turning every minute or so, until darkened and evenly toasted. Remove and let cool
  • Transfer the chiles to a blender or spice grinder and grind into a powder. using a scraper or rubber spatula to direct the chilis towards the blades.

corn tortilla - drying them out

  • Pre-heat oven to 300'F. Place tortillas single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crispy about 20-30 minutes.

Picadillo

  • In a medium pot over medium-high heat, add the ground beef and season generously with salt. Cook stirring occasionally, until cooked through. about 7 minutes. Stir in the onions, jalapenos, oregano, cumin, tomato paste, and chili powder and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are cooked through but still al dente. about 20 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, warm up the refried beans in a small pot. you may need to add a little water to help make them spreadable. Carefully spread some of the beans on each tostada shell. place a mound of picadillo, garnish with the queso fresco, crema, onions, cabbage and cilantro.

Sunshine Salad

Trying to find a little inspiration this morning. The last few or more like several times it has been beyond painful trying to upload my photos from my camera to my laptop. This morning was no different and really puts a bummer on getting in the mood to want to write or even deal with electronics at all.

Change of scenery has helped a little and I finally got the pictures to load; what a pain in the ass that was. My adorable husbands solution is to buy a new laptop, seriously how about seeing it if it is the $20 SD card first. I googled it; I don’t think it is – insert sad face here!

So I have a couple of recipes to share with you from this past week and I had totally planned on sharing the Tostadas my daughter made but decided to write about the salad my daughter picked out but I made.  I am sitting on the back deck; aka the drinking deck after my husband de-pollinated it for us WOW crazy pollen this year. There is a little breeze and the sun is starting to come around to the deck – hence the sunshine salad; no that is not why it is called that. The recipe mentioned that this was sunshine in a bowl.

I think you will like this salad, the peppery arugula is offset by the sweet potatoes and the creamy avocado, the tomato adds a pop of juicy tang followed by fried cheese. It all works really well together. You can have this as a meal or add some protein along the side.

The recipe we got from Yasmin Khan

Sunshine Salad

dclarkabal
not your average salad but worth the extra effort to make this one for the family and friends
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean

Ingredients
  

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large handfuls of arugula
  • 18 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 large Hass avocado peeled, stoned and sliced
  • small handful of mint leaves finely chopped / we omitted since we didn't have any
  • small handful of basil leaves finely chopped
  • 9 ounce holloumi cheese
  • vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest finely grated

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400'F
  • Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into wedges, similar to steak fries. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with some olive oil. Some salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until they are cooked but still firm.
  • Place all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and whisk - set aside.
  • Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, let them cool on the sheet before putting them in a large serving bowl along with the arugula, tomatoes, avocado, and herbs. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine.
  • Slice the Halloumi aka as squeaky cheese into 8 rectangular pieces. Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the halloumi for a couple of minutes on each side until they are golden brown and seared. Arrange them on top of the salad and serve immediately.
Keyword arugula, avocado, salad, sweet potatoes

Seared Steak with Spicy Garlic-Miso Butter

I mentioned several times that my daughter has been planning and making a couple of meals a week some weeks not every week. But I love when I don’t have to do all the work. And it is work to come up with a plan, buy the ingredients, take those ingredients and make it into something the 3 of us would like to eat. That is not to say that each meal we make is “work” sometimes a bowl of cereal hits the spot. On rare occasions we have even had hot fudge sundaes for dinner. Not my finest moments but still winning!

The recipe I am sharing today was supposed to be made by my daughter but she had to work late so I took over for her. It is another Chrissy Teigen recipe, love her or hate her she really can cook good food. Though after making this for dinner the other night we differ on the cooking of asparagus. My family likes a little more snap to their veggies; Chrissy likes her a little more, trying to think of another word for mushy but it is escaping me at the moment.

The spicy garlic miso butter is money and you should really make this and smear it over your next rib eye however you want to cook it.  This recipe seared the steak and simmered the asparagus in the same pan in some chicken broth. The only change I would make would to either use less chicken broth or let the broth reduce in the pan before adding my asparagus so it still has some snap.

Seared Steak with spicy garlic-miso butter

dclarkabal
a simple flavorful meal any night of the week
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course dinner

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound boneless rib eye steak about 1 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more for taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3/4 pound asparagus bottoms trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup spicy garlic miso butter

spicy garlic miso butter

  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup white (shiro) miso
  • 2 tablespoon chives finely minced
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • cayenne pepper generous pinch

Instructions
 

Spicy garlic miso butter

  • in a medium bowl, mash together all the ingredients. You can leave it in the bowl, roll into a tube in some plastic wrap and slice as discs. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it is very hot, about 5-6 minutes. Pat the steak dry with some paper towels and then season both sides with salt and pepper. Place the steak in the hot pan and DON'T TOUCH IT for 5 minutes, flip it once and leave it alone for another 4-5 minutes for medium-rare. I don't recommend it but you can leave it a little longer if you want it more well done. transfer the steam to a cutting board and let it rest.
  • remove all but 1 tablespoon of grease out of the pan and return the pant o medium heat. Add the butter, let it melt then add the garlic. Let the garlic cook for 30 seconds, careful not to burn it. Add the asparagus and the chicken broth and cook, stirring once in awhile, until the broth evaporates into a glaze and the asparagus is al dente, 2-3 minutes. season with salt and pepper
  • slice the steak and arrange on plates or a platter, dollop as much as you would like of the miso butter on top. place the asparagus along side.

Chicken and Artichoke skewers with Herb dressing

Good morning and Happy Mother’s Day!

It is a sunny start here in NH and I again woke to what sounds like a kitten outside my upstairs bedroom window. I have been hearing a bird that sounds like a kitten crying for at least a week now. I also hear it while sitting on the porch after work. I am guessing it must be feeding times? I can’t see it but it is loud and needs to move along or leave the nest soon. I know I live in the woods who do I think I am; but I have owned/lived here for over 30 years the Gray Catbird just moved in – just saying!

This morning I actually googled it to see what it is and you know how you type in a few words and google gives you a few options and they know what you are thinking. I find that a little scary just saying. How do they know what I am going to ask? Similar to my phone telling me how long it takes to get somewhere. How does it know where I am going. When my phone told me how long it took to get to my favorite local restaurant after I had just made reservations I definitely had a; big brother is watching moment… OK that’s way too long on this subject back to the recipe I want to share with you.

It seems to be a theme that this is a recipe my daughter made from one of her favorite cookbooks Cook Beautiful; twice now and is SO good even the next day re-heated. The marinade for the chicken is amazing and full of flavor and you must try this. It may look like a lot of ingredients but you make the marinade the day before place the chicken in it and leave it until the next day. You can make or buy tzatziki; we have had it both ways and both were great. The skewer grills up quickly and you have your meat and veggies all in one place. I would love for you to give it a try and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family has and will again.

Chicken and Artichoke skewers with Herbed dressing

dclarkabal
A little plan in advance and this comes together quickly for a great weeknight meal
Course dinner

Equipment

  • skewers

Ingredients
  

Marinade

  • 1/2 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ginger minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro fresh, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley fresh, chopped
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Skewers

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 14 ounce-cans whole artichoke hearts drained, halved
  • 2 medium red onions cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 small zucchini's cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Lemon-Herbed Vinaigrette - drizzle this over grilled chicken or alongside delicate fish - makes 1 cup

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2-3 lemons
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of Aleppo pepper
  • 2 tablespoons parsley fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro fresh, finely chopped

Tzatziki sauce - makes 2 cups or buy pre-made

  • 1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 hot house cucumber seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • few dill sprig leaves finely chopped
  • few mint sprig leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions
 

Marinade

  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients along with the chicken, stir thoroughly to combine. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the chicken to marinate a minimum of 3 hours, best if overnight.

Making the skewers

  • Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Skewer the chicken, alternating each piece with the veggies. Discard the leftover marinade.

pre-heat the grill over medium-high heat, about 400'F

  • Grill the skewer until lightly charred and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Before serving, drizzle the sewers with the vinaigrette. Serve with the tzatziki and any remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

  • in a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together and taste for seasoning,

Tzatziki

  • in a medium bowl, stir all of the ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh dill. This can be stored for a couple of dats in the fridge, if you have any leftover that is.

Ham, Broccoli and the Cheesiest Quiche


Last night I was watching the last season of The Great British Baking show and the task was to make 2 different flavor profile quiche. I know this might come as a shock but I have never made quiche before; I know what is my damage. Honestly I haven’t really had any that blew my skirt up; if you get my drift. They have been just just meh so I didn’t feel compelled to even try. Then of course I have always felt that frittatas were so much easier and faster to make.

I only ended up using the shredded cheese in the bowl, the chunk ended up back in the fridge.

I love cooking and baking but I the thought of making a pie crust for breakfast just doesn’t appeal to me. However after watching last night I was determined to make a quiche this morning for breakfast. I didn’t have a frozen pie crust in the freezer so I was going to have to make my own;  if you do have one by all means use it. OR you can do as I did this morning and made what I think is the easiest crust ever and the very first one I ever made; it was such a long time ago I can’t even remember. I know I used to make it when I was a kid so this might be a great Mother’s Day breakfast for the kiddo’s to make their Mom next weekend.

I should have rolled out the dough before placing it in the pan. I did not, I pressed it into place, I also should have pressed it up higher into the sides. live and learn!

Ok so I have a dough plan and now the filling. I would call this; my first quiche; a clean out the fridge kind of quiche. I used up the last of the broccoli, ham, shredded cheese and half and half. Then I made my grocery shopping list; see how that works! It definitely had more cheese than anything else. My daughter described it as broccoli cheddar soup if it was turned into a pie. I’ll take it! My husband said it was great but was concerned how the crust would be after cooling down and being re-heated. We kind of laughed because it is still on the counter and we all keep taking another sliver from it, it will not make it to the fridge nor need to be reheated. Update we brought that last two pieces over to my In-Laws.

Ham Broccoli and the Cheesiest Quiche

dclarkabal
an easy and flavorful quiche on the table in about 45 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch, dinner

Equipment

  • Tart pan 9 inch

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or use canola oil
  • 1/4 cup cold water iced or from the fridge
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 1 cup cubed ham
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 cup cheese shredded. I used extra sharp cheddar and an Italian mixture.
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup chives

Instructions
 

Pre-heat oven to 375'F

    dough

    • in small bowl add the flour, salt, oil and cold water. mix with a fork until combined. Set it aside while you prepare the filling.

    filling

    • sauté the onion in a little olive oil until soft remove, do the same with the ham and broccoli. You are not cooking them just heating them up. this isn't a necessary step but I won't put raw onions into anything I make, I only like them sautéed.
    • Lightly spray your tart pan, add the rolled out crust, pressing up the sides of the pan.
    • Sprinkle the ham, onions and broccoli all over the crust. then cover it with cheese. In a small bowl beat the eggs and add the half and half plus the milk and the chives. Pour this all over the cheese in the tart pan. Place your tart pan onto a sheet pan and into the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
    • remove sheet pan and tart from the oven, Place a coffee cup or small bowl under to remove the pan from the tart, using a spatula remove the bottom piece of the tart pan; slice and enjoy!