Tuesday, October 27, 2009

10/27/09 - Ginger Miso Glazed Tuna w. Soy Parmesean Broccoli

I used a similar glaze on some salmon a few months back and it made such a nice crust I couldn't wait to try it again . This time the flavor was a bit more subtle (unfortunately I think the best part of that glaze was in the brown sugar and I cut that out this time) but it really popped once we added a tiny touch of wasabi paste to heat things up. Next time I will add the wasabi right into the glaze allowing it to penetrate into the tuna.
The idea for the broccoli came to me from a friend who stole it from her (almost) brother in law. Jeremy couldn't place it at first but finally guessed the cheese, obviously we liked the savory taste since there were no left overs on this one! Be mindful of the fish while it tasted delicious I did overcook it a bit and the center was not as rare as I would have liked. Either way this fish was moist and tasty which is all that really matters!

Ginger Miso Glaze
1 tbsp red miso
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1" ginger grated (I use a microplane)
1 tsp reduced sodium soy
(optional: small amount of wasabi - about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp)

1) mix all ingredients together and coat fish using a brush

Soy Parmesan Broccoli
3 heads broccoli - stems cut and chopped into florets
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

1) steam broccoli in water until bright green (do not over cook - retain some crisp)
2) toss with soy and cheese

10/26/09 - Boneless Pork w Garlic Green Beans

Since I was in the mood on sunday I got these pork chops (center cut boneless) all marinaded using some of the Cindy's Kitchen Ancho Chipotle Vinaigrette which I love! These were a little thicker than the usual pork chops that I buy and because of that they needed a few extra minutes on the grill pan but the centers were so moist since the outsides were nicely seared.

The green beans are done in an asian style with some soy and garlic to give them a rich taste.

Garlic Green Beans
1 lb green beans - cleaned and ends snapped
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy
2 tbsp sesame seeds
3 cloves garlic - smashed and minced
1 small onion - sliced thin
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp sesame oil

1) Add oil to pan and heat
2) Add sesame seeds, onions and garlic and lightly brown (do not burn) 30 -60 sec total
3) Add beans, stir to coat with oil and let brown slightly - 2 min
4) Add soy sauce and 2 tbsp water - cover and reduce to med
5) Once tender remove from heat and add sesame oil - toss to coat

10/25/09 - Steak w Acorn Squash and Grilled Asparagus

Winter Squash is one of my favorites since you can make it with a touch of sweetness (maple syrup is my favorite way) to really bring out the brightest flavor. Tonight I paired it with a grilled asparagus and probably the best 2 fillet mignon from our entire cut (which is starting to dwindle! time to start looking for that sale again)

This was so easy to make though the squash does need about 35- 45 min in the oven at 350 F. I cut it in half, scooped the seeds and coated it in oil then just stuck it in. Check it after about 30 min to see if it is soft enough. As I mentioned you can also add a little butter, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice while cooking and then serve with some maple syrup to make this a delicious little treat but for tonight I was trying to keep this simple and light.
The asparagus had about 1" cut off each stem and then was tossed in olive oil and seasoning salt was sprinkled all over them. They were grilled (on the famous grill pan) for about 10 min on med and then sauteed on high with an extra tbsp of oil in a hot pan while the steaks cooked. They had some beautiful "grill" marks which reminded me of summer again.

10/20/09 - Asian Vegetable Stir Fry with Chicken and Shrimp

This stir fry was made with a little bit of everything that I had left over. Since I was leaving for a few days on Wednesday I wanted to use up most of the fresh veggies we had. I didn't have a ton of time to make this up but I would recommend marinading the chicken and shrimp as that would really increase the flavor.

The veggies are a blend of red and green bell peppers, onions, scallions, bean sprout and mushrooms. All diced up and stir fried in some oil with a tad of soy sauce added in for some additional flavoring.

Monday, October 26, 2009

10/19/09 - Steak w Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Sage Sherry Sauce

Because of some advance planning the other day when I was prepping some other foods I was able to have a nice homemade meal tonight! Fresh pasta freezes wonderfully and lets you add a special touch to any pasta dinner. These are made just like normal gnocchi, however the taste of a sweet potato gnocchi is slightly different which is best for wine, herb and cream sauces... not to mention brown butter.

Approx 6 med sweet potato (from the Farmer's Market) made 2 cookie sheets full which was about 2 quart size bags. I finally got my potato ricer so the texture of this dough was much finer than last time and I needed a bit more flour. I used the same recipe idea as here.

The sauce was a little lighter than a standard brown butter as I tried to cut out much of the butter (from 1 stick down to 1-2 tbsp) and used some other flavors to give this a wonderful taste with out being so hard on the waist line!

Sage Sherry Sauce
1-2 pats of butter
1 tbsp wondra flour (or all-purpose)
1/4 c chicken stock
1/4 c golden sherry
2 tbsp fresh sage - diced
1 tbsp fresh thyme

1) In a small sauce pan, melt butter with herbs
2) Add flour to make a roux
3) Slowly add stock and stir to thicken
4) Add sherry and let sauce come to a boil

10/18/09 - Ravioli and Meatballs w Chocolate Lava (less) cakes

So word got out about ravioli making and some repeat guests were quick to pick it up and I couldn't resist making a standard ravioli. It was a lot of fun to make these and some said that the dough was even better this time. I only had 4 eggs and last week the recipe called for 6 for 4 c of flour so this time I improvised a bit so I will have to try that again.

I think that it is sort of neat that one of the last times that I made this sauce I was using frozen ravioli and now I am able to make my own! So much tastier and not really that hard when you have helpers....plus its fun to get creative and have a little design contest.

Pasta Dough
4 eggs - beaten
2 tbsp - olive oil
3+ c flour - stirred to unclump

1) make a large well with the flour
2) add eggs and oil to center of the well and using fork combine
3) knead dough together until a smooth dough
4) coat in olive oil and wrap in plastic - set aside for 1 hr

Small container part skim ricotta
1 egg
1/4 grated cheese
2 tbsp parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper

1) combine in a large bowl

To make ravioli
1) roll out 1/6 of the dough at a time from setting 8 until 5
2) lay out dough on floured surface and cut dough into 2" x 4 " rectangles
3) place 1/2 tsp cheese on the center of one side
4) using egg wash (1 egg and 1 tbsp water) moisten all 4 sides and top mixture seal in together and use fork edges to clamp closed.
5) set aside on cookie sheet dusted in cornmeal (you can freeze them at this point or cook immediately)

I tried my hand at lava cup cakes but cooked them too long. This recipe was interesting cause it only had a tiny bit of flour as it was mostly whipped eggs.

From Crazy about Cupcakes

Sunday, October 18, 2009

10/15/09 - Hot Italian Chicken Sausage w Broccoli Rabe

Another easy week-night meal! Sometimes its all about the ingredients that you buy. These delicious (and SPICY!) sausages are from the Paramus Fairway. I love this grocery store because they have such a better selection than a standard grocery store including a lot of "in store" made items that are fresh and delicious and can be a saviour to a home cook with out a lot of time.

Our side dish in this meal - broccoli rabe - can be difficult to prepare at times but when they are done well they are delicious. I use to think that everything cooks better on high heat but after setting the smoke alarm off about 200 times I have noticed that perhaps medium is more appropriate at times. I have tried a few different ways to get this to come out perfectly every time (with out the added step of blanching that many sites seem to recommend to remove bitterness) and it seems like I am getting closer as this time even Jeremy ate all of his. The sausage was cut up into chunks and done on the grill pan (my favorite pan ever! seriously every one needs one to make super fast meals)

Broccoli Rabe
1 bunch broccoli rabe
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 c chicken broth

1) In a wok-pan (looks kinda-like this), heat oil
2) Add garlic reduce to medium and brown
3) Cut 1" or so off the bottom of the rabe and place in the pan
4) Add about 1/2 c broth and place cover on pan - let steam
5) After 5 min or so, toss rabe around and rotate in pan, add remaining broth and re-cover
6) Ensure stems are soft and tender before serving (add more water or broth and cook with cover on if necessary)

10/14/09 - Turkey Chili

Take two on the slow cooker! This week I decided to try a new plan where I used my slow cooker to prep a meal ahead of time so I could just relax after work. I first tried this on Monday, but that didn't really work out.. There was an incident when ingredients needed to be added mid -day an a whole container of rice ended up being added to the pot! But as always try again. I decided to do something simpler which didn't require any additional ingredients just start it up before work and eat when you arrive home. What can be easier than that!

This chili is made with ground turkey but if you want to do ground beef or vegetarian this can easily be adapted. A friend recently turned me on to TVP (textured vegetable protein) and I hear that its great in chili but I am going to save that for a time when I am home to supervise (though I did buy some the other day so I am preparing!)

Turkey Chili
1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 red bell pepper- diced
1/2 green bell pepper- diced
1 onion- diced
1 habenero - seeded and minced
4 tomatoes - diced (you can skin these if you are ambitious or use a can if you aren't!)
1 can pinto beans - drained and rinsed
1 can red kidney beans - drained and rinsed
1 can black beans - drained and rinsed
1 tsp shirachi sauce

4 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp fresh cilantro - diced

1) Place meat in crock pot first then add remaining ingredients - cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8-10 hrs
2) Top with sour cream and cilantro

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Saturday 10/10/09 - Chocolate bottom pumpkin cheese cake

I stole this crust from a winter peppermint cheesecake. It was just so delicious and easy that whenever I think cheesecake now its always my go-to! The rest of the cheesecake was thrown together from various internet browsing especially this one. However as always I didn't have many of the ingredients so I just sort of had to wing it. Either way I took the cupcake version of these to a party of about 20 girls and they were a hit. (The ones pictured were made in mini-springform pans and didn't even make it to the end of the night!) I served these with a bit of carmel sauce that was left over from an apple caramel tart I made a few weeks back.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Bottom
1 package chocolate wafer cookies (Nabisco famous wafers) - crushed into crumbs
1 stick butter - melted

3 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (puree not pie!)
3 eggs
1/2 c brown sugar
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
3 packages cream cheese - room temp

1) Mix wafer crumbs with butter and press into bottom of cupcake papers or springform pan - let rest 1 hour
2) In a Kitchen Aid mixer add remainder of ingredients and mix until combined
3) Pour pumpkin mix on top of crumb crust
4) Place in oven 350 F for 40 min (until toothpick comes up clean)

Friday 10/9/09 - Butternut Squash Raviolis with Lemon Thyme Pork Tenderloine

Last week the inspiration struck to make homemade pasta. Since I might be a bit of an internet junkie I was looking it up on ebay within a minute. I found a good deal on a set of attachments for my Kitchen Aid and bid on it. Later that night I spoke to my mother and she mentioned she an extra "old fashioned" pasta roller. Since my baking and cooking purchases (not to mention food budget) has been a bit over the top recently, I decided that free was better than a good deal so when I lost I decided to let it go. Only a few days later my "new to me" pasta machine arrived and I couldn't wait to try it out. With some friends planning to join us for dinner and some baking it seemed like a perfect idea for a hands-on dinner.
This wasn't a dinner where you got to sit down and relax while I prepared everything myself. I asked each guest to help me with the making of one row of pasta....it ended up being a lot of fun and some people got a little creative. In the end, we ended up with a bit of a competition for oddest shape but no matter what they looked like every one was delicious. The ravioli was served as a starter / side dish for a pork tenderloin that was marinaded in a lemon thyme marinade and then prepared on the grill pan.

The first step in making these ravioli is preparing the squash which needs to be roasted until it is soft enough to mash. You don't want to boil it because that will make it much too moist and wet which can cause the pasta to fall apart when it is assembled. I was lucky enough to have an amazing sous chef at home that was able to do this step for me while I was still at work!

Next you have to make the pasta dough and let it set for an hour or so until it is ready to be rolled out. From here it was fun time! Each friend had to help roll out a hunk of dough and then fill it with the squash mixture. (Thanks to Jema for being an awesome model!)

The finish raviolis were placed on a cookie sheet that had some cornmeal dusted on it and could be frozen at this point. I cooked them up right away but you can always do this in advance and save them for another day.

Butternut Squash Ravioli
4 c flour
6 eggs
1 tsp salt

2 winter squash - peeled, seeded and cubed (I used a butternut and a red suri from the CSA)
2 tbsp oil
salt & pepper
2 tbsp fresh thyme - finely diced
2 tbsp fresh sage - finely diced
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 egg

1) Take the cubes of squash and toss in oil then add some seasoning, place in 350 F oven for 40- 45 min or until soft - set aside until it cools
2) In a Kitchen Aid mixture, add flour, eggs and salt and mix on 2 until it forms a ball, wrap in plastic and set aside for 1 hour.
3) In a large bowl, combine squash, vanilla, herbs and spices
4) Take ball of dough and using a pastrknife cut it into sixths.
5) Stretch one section into a rectangle and roll it out, add a small bit of flour if necessary
6) On the widest setting, roll the dough through the machine, flour
7) Roll dought through again on a lower setting, repeat until thin enough (I used 3-4 passes going down to 4/5 from 8)
8) Cut strip of dough into rectangle and place about 1/2 tsp of filling in center
9) In a small bowl, combine beaten egg with a small amount of water
10) With a small brush wet the edges of the ravioli place the top on
11) Seal the edges with a fork to crimp closed (or use one of those neat little rollers!)

Sage Brown Butter Cream Sauce
1 stick butter
4 tbsp sage - finely diced
4 tbsp fresh grated parmesean
1/2 c heavy cream
salt & pepper

1) Over med heat, add sage to butter until browned (cook on med for 25-40 min or until butter stops foaming and begins to darken)
2) Take off heat and add cream in a slow stream while whisking
3) Once creamy blend is formed whisk in cheese and seasoning

Lemon Thyme Marinade
2 tbsp oil
juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
salt & pepper

Sunday, October 11, 2009

10/7/09 - Veggie Lasagna

Tonight was an interesting night...dinner went from one guest...to two guests...then four...then seven then finally nine (plus our two!) and well our table seats only six. So in a semi-panic we headed to home depot and grabbed a piece of plywood that was 7' x 3.5', then to target for a 102" rectangle table cloth and IKEA for folding chairs. Some how just as the first guest arrived we had a table for 12 all set and ready for a "casual" Wednesday night dinner. The dinner part was easy.... I had made it on Monday night and just needed to toss it in the oven for a warming. I added some garlic bread and a nice big green salad to finish of the night. Dessert was courtesy of one of the guests, which was a welcome addition! A drool worthy chocolate mousse cake that is just too amazing to not mention (and for the record.....the cake plate ended up being licked clean! Not one ounce of mousse went to waste!) ...... however apparently some of us had too good of a time and it seems that pictures of the night are scarce!

Either way I wanted to share this veggie lasagna recipe as it was amazing (and easy!) I took this idea from here. Like my kitchen addiction my CSA also has lots of eggplants and I also do not like them however after 2 years of giving them away I decided to figure something out so I can use them. I love this idea of the lasagna rolls and can't wait to try this but for tonight the simple family favorite layered dish was a lot more my speed.

Vegetable Lasagna
1 eggplant - peeled and cubed
2 zucchini - cubed
1 onion - diced
1 red pepper- diced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 c part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 c grated Parmesan
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
2 eggs
salt & pepper
1/2 box lasagna noodles
1 large jar Bertolli Vidalia Onion Sauce (or homemade marinara)
2 c shredded mozzarella

1) Coat eggplant, zucchini, peppers and onion in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place in 350 oven for 40 min or until soft (toss once during cooking to brown evenly)
2) Boil lasagna noodles in salted water - rinse and toss with a splash of oil once cooked
3) In a large bowl add ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper - stir to combine
4) In an oiled casserole dish layer sauce, noodles, ricotta blend, veggies and mozzarella - three times (or to top of pan)
5) Top with a layer of noodles, sauce and mozzarella (can be covered and frozen or placed in fridge for a few days at this point)
6) Heat oven to 350 F - cover with foil and place lasagna in oven for 35-45 min
7) Remove foil for last 10 min or so to brown cheese

Garlic Bread
1 loaf french bread
10 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter - room temp
1 c mozzarella
salt, pepper and crushed red pepper

1) Place peeled garlic cloves in tin foil with 1 tbsp oil seal packet and roast at 350 F for 20 min (or until soft)
2) Split french bread and butter
3) Mash garlic and spread all over bread
4) Season and top with some olive oil
5) Bake at 350 for 15 min or until brown and crusty
6) Top with cheese and place back in oven until melted (5-10 min)

10/6/09 - Crab Cakes with Cuban Corn

I had a big plan to make some salmon cakes however when I started working with the salmon there was about 20 billion bones and since I was having a guest over and I try not to poison and/or choke anyone I decided to scrap that idea and instead went with the more traditional crab cakes. As I mentioned in last nights post, this is another super fast and easy dinner to make with minimal time investment but maximum yum! I used canned crab meat that I found in the fish section but in the fridge not the actual fish case and I had to say it was perfect for this. I didn't have to deal with shelling any crabs (which would definitely take this dinner from fast and easy to PITA quickly) and they were on sale for $13/lb which was perfect for 9 crab cakes (which fed 3 people)....plus I have an extra can sitting in the fridge for a nice treat in a week or two. The cuban corn was made just like this and came out even better than last time though since we had 6 ears to prep this time we noticed it cooled off fast - so have the ingredients out and ready to roll the ears in and serve it up FAST!

Crab cakes (or salmon cakes)
1 lb "jumbo" lump crab (you can get claw meat for less but it won't be nice big chunks)
2 tbsp cilantro - diced
1 tbsp lemon basil
3 scallions - diced
2 eggs - beaten
1 c breadcrumbs
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp chili
1 tsp old bay
juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp mayo
1 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp lemon basil
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp chili powder
5 pickle chips - diced

1/2 c veg oil (for frying)

1) Crab with egg, 3/4 c breadcrumbs (reserve 1/4 cup for later), herbs, spices and lime
2) Form cakes (you should get about 9)
3) Place remaining breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and coat both sides of the cakes
4) In a deep pan heat oil - place crab cakes in oil carefully (always away from you) starting at the 12 o'clock position in the pan
5) Flip once browned (about 2-4 min) - again being careful of the oil
6) While they are cooking prep the mayo sauce - mix all of the ingredients tog
ether and salt & pepper to taste (add a squirt of favorite hot sauce or wasabi if you like)
7) Remove cakes from oil and let drain on paper towels
8) Serve with mayo sauce

10/5/09 - Collard Greens and Chicken Sausage

Lately a few friends have come to me and mentioned how they don't have the time to cook some of the meals that I post... and I admit I do sometimes spend more time cooking and prepping than your average home cook (especially one who works full time and travels a 10 days a month for work!). Not ever thing we eat is a 5 course extravaganza so I wanted to make sure that I wasn't skewing my food blog towards the multi-course ridiculousness that does happen on occasion. Some nights I just have stuff from the CSA that needs to be used, no time to go to the grocery store for the millionth time this week, or a trip the next day which mean I should be packing not trying out some new recipe. And tonight was definitely one of those nights.
I had plans for company on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, plus it was a Monday....and no one who works the 9 to 5 enjoys Mondays. I made a simple dinner tonight so that I would have time to prep a veggie lasagna for Wednesday night. This is something simple and pretty healthy that almost anyone can handle. I will admit however I am not really a collard greens fan.... spinach, swiss chard even kale but collards always seem bitter and leafy to me. Bacon helped this dish along so it was decent but I don't think I would ever buy collards on purpose. Another thing that made this dish even easier was adding in some left overs from last night....recycling always speeds things up and help cut down on some of the costs.

Chicken Sausage and Greens
2 chicken sausages (we had some hot italians from fairway...I would stay away from anything too sweet ie apple in this recipe)
1 c black bean "salsa"
1 c bell pepper & onion mix
2" cube thick sliced bacon diced
2 c collard greens (as mentioned not my favorite...try swiss chard instead!)

1) In a med size pot boil water to blanch the greens
2) Heat some bacon over med heat in a larger pan to render the fat out
3) Once the greens have boiled (and turned bright green) remove them from the boiling water (about 3 min) rinse in cold water to shock them and then add to the pan with the bacon
4) Stir the greens every few minutes so they don't burn - place a cover on pan to keep heat in
5) On a hot grill pan- place sausage and turn every 5 min or so until cooked throughout
6) Add bean and pepper mix to greens - stir to combine and heat
7) Once greens are tender and sausage is cooked (no pink or raw in the middle) serve

Sunday, October 4, 2009

10/4/09 - Shrimp and Chicken Fajitas

Today started with some big plans -first some exercise with a long walk then a trip to home depot, food shopping, etc.... then all of a sudden it was 5 pm and it was getting darker and I was still in my pajamas. So another night of plan B's. Jeremy made a quick run to grab some tortilla wraps and salsa while I marinaded and prepped the rest. With fajitas it sometimes seems that the sides really take the stage from spicy guac and refreshing sour cream so I tried to keep the base of this simple. I did a quick marinade and got the meats back into the fridge for a soak while I got my sides prepared. The rest of this meal was a fast prep - peppers and onions thinly sliced then sauteed and a black beans, tomato and red onion side.

1 shallot
1/4 bell pepper - finely diced
1/4 hot pepper - finely diced
4 tbsp cilantro - diced
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp sriracha sauce

Pepper mix
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 small yellow onion
1 tbsp oil

1) Slice peppers and onions thin
2) Heat oil in pan and add peppers and onions - stirring periodically to prevent burning

Black Bean "salsa"
So this is kinda a lame "salsa" (not to mention it was hot) but it was easy, fast and got the flavors I wanted into the dish....
1 can black beans - drained & rinsed
1/2 red onions - finely diced
2 tomatoes - seeded and finely diced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin

1) Add all ingredients to hot pan and mix together

10/3/09 - Classic Lunch...Soup and Grilled Cheese

After getting caught in another downpour (luckily I did have an umbrella) we were wet and cold so soup was a definite for the lunch menu. I didn't want to waste any time making it since we were hungry so I deconstructed this minestrone-ish soup to cook all the ingredients and get them together fast. This only took about 15-20 min from first chop to first slurp. I was thinking of my mothers Pasta Fagioli when I was preparing this but I didn't want to limit myself to the macaroni and bean combo. The "grilled cheese" is actually honey turkey and munster for him/ american for me with a dab on spicy sweet honey mustard.

Speedy Minestrone
1/2 lb elbows (or any smaller pasta shape)
3 diced tomatoes (it would be great if you wanted to peel these but I never bother)
1/2 zucchini - in 1/8" coins cut in half again
1 onion -- diced
1 carrot - in 1/8" coins cut in half again
1/2 yellow bell pepper - diced
1 small red pepper - diced (seeds and membrane removed)
1 rib celery - diced
1 can low sod chicken broth
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp fresh parsley - minced
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper
salt & pepper
grate cheese

optional: 8-10 mini -meatballs - made with normal recipe just in a 1" diameter size

1) Heat salted water and cook pasta according to directions - strain when cooked
2) In a separate pot, heat oil
3) Add onions, celery, peppers and carrot - saute until softened (about 5 min)
4) Add garlic - heat till aromatic
5) Add tomatoes and broth - stir to combine
6) Defrost meatballs (microwave at 50% for about 3 min) and add to soup
7) Allow to come back to a boil - add herbs & seasoning
8) Add pasta to soup - add additional broth or water if more liquid is needed
9) Sprinkle grated cheese over soup and serve

Saturday, October 3, 2009

10/2/09 - Steak w. Cuban Corn, Potatoes and Broccoli

With both of us now sick (I tried to keep this cold to myself I swear!) and the weather cold and rainy, I was excited to not have any plans for once. So as soon as I was out of work I went home for a night of movies and couch time. With some advance thought in mind I removed a bag of steaks from the freezer (from the infamous Fairway trip a month or so ago) and set them to defrosting while I was at work for the day. I had a few things in the fridge from the weeks Farmer's markets run (in the pouring rain!) and our CSA share so this was more of a make do with what you have sort of night than a planned dinner. (Though there was of course a last minute run to the ethnic grocery around the corner for some supplies)

When Jeremy noticed that we had some corn from the CSA he reminisced, as usual, about one of our first dates to Cafe Habana in NYC. He is a corn lover no matter what but the addition of some cheese and spices just takes it to another level for him. Since it is most likely my cold we are sharing I decided that I would attempt to replicate this at home.... and since google is my friend I was happy to see that I am not the only blogger that wouldn't mind making a version of this cheese-y street food at home. I first found this post that was based on the same restaurant we loved. And while I knew there would be grilling of the corn and some cotija cheese I never would have guessed on the mayo. Thank you Ravenous Couple! Next I had to find an idea to "grill" the corn in our apartment since we have no outdoor space so firing up the grill just isn't an option. Apparently we aren't the only New Yorkers to have realized this issue and we found a great substitute method. The rest of the dinner was prepared in the "normal" ways - steaks cooked in my grill pan, potatoes cubed and then boiled and tossed with some sour cream, butter, dill and a sprinkle of chives and the broccoli was steamed and served with a squeeze of lemon.

This recipe is based on a post here: http://ravenouscouple.blogspot.com/2009/05/cubanmexican-grilled-corn.html

I decided to go for the more traditional version using the mayo (but did use a light version as that is all we have in the house). Ok so full disclosure here.... I might have forgotten to sprinkle the corn with some chili powder but it wasn't too bad and next time (ie lunch tomorrow) I am going to make sure to actually get all the ingredients set up and ready since at times I sort of get preoccupied and forget how to actually read a recipe. Jeremy was pretty happy with the results regardless though when pressed he did say it seemed like something was missing....oopps!

Cuban Corn
3 ears of corn - shucked and all silks removed
cast iron pan (no plastic or rubber parts)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp mayo
1 c shredded cotija cheese (try spanish or ethnic grocers)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 lime - cut into sections
3 large wooden skewers

1) Butter all sides of corn and place in cast iron pan under the broiler
2) After about 5 -7 min remove pan - rotate corn a quarter turn, butter and place back in broiler and repeat until all sides have been cooked - some kernels should be browned
3) Remove corn from pan and coat with mayo
4) Sprinkle with cheese and chili powder and top with a squeeze of lime juice
5) Carefully insert stick into base of corn as a holder (use pliers to cut off any excess)