Search This Blog

Follow by Email

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How to cook a steak indoors

Growing up, Pete cooked steaks every Friday night. We celebrated the work/school week being over by sitting all around the kitchen table, enormous ribeyes falling off the sides of our plates, baked potatoes on the side, and smiles on our faces. I of course, demanded that Pete cut my steak for me, dipped my medium-cooked steak in ketchup (the horror!) , and gave all my leftover fat back to Pete as payment for his hard work. These days, much has changed. Now that I pay for every meal I eat, steak isn't as common as it used to be. And when I do eat it, I want it still moo'ing. I would hurt someone if I saw them put a beautiful steak in ketchup, and I keep the fat to myself.

When I do treat myself to one at home, I want it done right. And without a grill, one might think this is impossible. Well, think again. Cooking inside would never be my first choice if I had a big yard with a charcoal grill, but if we are talking gas versus indoors, same thing in my book. Plus, with the weather getting cooler each day, you'll thank me.

First step is to buy a good steak. Cut corners on other things, but not on steak. For this week, I got a NY Strip.

Next step is prepping. You'll first want to get your steak to room temperature. You'll also want to preheat the oven to 400. And then take a cast iron skillet and put it on top of the stove on high heat. I used a griddle because it's all I had. Let it heat up at least 10 minutes or so.

Take your steak and drizzle a little olive oil on both sides. Then season however you would like. I just used salt and pepper, but everyone has their favorites. Now throw the puppy in your cast iron grill (or griddle) and sear each side for about 2 minutes. Then take the steak (while still in the skillet) and throw it in the oven, cooking about 5 minutes for rare, 7 minutes for medium rare. The final step is letting it rest at least 5 minutes...this is the hardest part I know, but please don't cheat. Those juices are going to taste so much better in your mouth than on your plate. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I always keep tofu at home. Frankly, I like it. And I don't always want meat in every meal. Plus, it keeps longer than meat, so I stock up on a few packages when I go shopping. I have learned that I really like tofu the most when I prepare it in thin slices instead of cubes. This recipe was found on Cooking Light. It was easy, and I had all of the ingredients here. I added some toasted sesame seeds at the end for fun.

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice
  • 2 1/4 cups chopped asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon bottled minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili sauce with garlic (such as KA·ME)
  • 1 pound extrafirm tofu, drained and cut lengthwise into 9 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup preshredded carrot (i didn't have so i skipped)
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add bag of rice, submerging bag completely in water. Boil 10 minutes. Carefully remove bag from pan, leaving boiling water in pan. Add asparagus to pan; cook 1 minute. Drain.
  • While rice cooks, heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and chili sauce in a small bowl. Sprinkle tofu with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add tofu to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Combine rice, asparagus, 1/2 teaspoon salt, carrot, and sesame oil. Serve tofu over rice.

Aunt Deane's Chicken Pot Pie

I love chicken pot pie. I used to go to the Ear Inn every Tuesday for pie night, where they make the most heavenly pot pie, which I smother in enough Coleman's mustard that my nose runs with each bite. Ok, maybe not appetizing to you readers, but it gets me excited just thinking about it. I made Aunt Deane's version last week, and it seriously lasted me an entire week! Normally, I get sick of leftovers really fast, but I suppose the combination of my love for this dish and her yummy recipe was enough to override it. This calls for a pour crust which may bit a bit different than what you are used to. It's much easier than rolling out a pie crust, but feel free to substitute with already made crust from the grocery if you prefer that style.

1 chicken
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can veg-all, drained (i used 2 cans)
1 cup flor
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 cup milk
1 stick margarine, melted
1/2 t. pepper

Simmer chicken in salted water until tender and then debone. Cut up chicken and put in casserole. Combine soup and broth and pour over chicken. Mix dry ingredients with milk and melted margarine. Pour over chicken. Bake 35-40 minutes until brown at 425.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Brunswick Stew

This is one of Papaw's recipes that I grew up eating. I had to improvise a bit from Papaw's version, and believe me, you will too. The "wild meat" it calls for was definitely wild when he cooked it. Maybe rabbit, squirrel, whatever one could probably made its way into this stew. Because this dish makes enough for a crowd, Papaw would cook it outside in a wash pot. And you'll never believe what he used to stir the pot: a drill with a coat hanger whisp! This is a lot of work, but it is the definition of comfort food to me, so worth the time and effort. I halved the recipe below, and it still made a ton!

1 fat hen
1 fryer
4 lbs. hamburger & wild meat (i used half beef and half pork)
2 lbs. chopped potatoes
2 cans tomato paste
1 qt. butterbeans (i used frozen baby lima beans)
1 can white shoepeg corn
1 lb. chopped onions
1 bottle Lea & Perrins worcestershire
salt, black and red pepper to taste

Papaw's instructions: Pressure cook hen in 3 cups water. Boil fryer until tender. Strain all stock and pour into large cooker. Add beef, wild meat and onions to stock. Cook potatoes separately. Add Lea & Perrins and tomato paste to meat. Shred the chicken and add to the pot. Blend up meat when all is added by using a drill with coat hanger whisp. Add beans and potatoes. Cook on low heat about 4 hours. Add shoe peg corn last.

Sally is scared to death of pressure cookers (one blew up on her once, and she'll never forget it - scaredy pants!); if you are too, here are her instructions:
Cook hen until tender. Boil fryer until tender. Strain all stock. Add ground ground beef, wild meat and onions to stock. Cook potatoes separately. Add worcestershire, tomato paste. Shred chicken and add to the pot. Blend up meat when all is added. Cook on low heat about 4 hours. Add beans, potatoes and corn last.

One side note: Don't use all of the stock leftover after the chicken is cooked. The point of this stew is to not have too much broth. It should be hearty.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grits En Fuego

Ready for some fire in your mouth? Well, if you are out of 151, cook up these grits. I'll list the recipe I used below, but the fun in this dish is that you really don't have to follow a recipe. You can make it less spicy if you want, vegan if you prefer, or whatever your heart desires. I serve it with crumbled bacon and an egg over easy on top. The yolk makes this dish just heavenly!


1 T. olive oil (I used bacon grease cause I keep it real)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 onion, diced

1 3/4 cups vegetable broth (you can use chicken broth too)

1 cup quick-cooking grits

1 can hot Ro-tel tomatoes, not drained (if you can't handle heat, use mild)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (monterey jack would be fantastic too)

salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute garlic and oniion for about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium. Add grits, broth and rotel, stirring frequently. As the mixture thickens, slowly add the cheese and cook for 10 minutes. If mixture gets too thick, add water or mlk.

Now here comes the fun: Top with whatever you like! Some ideas: corn, jalapeno pepper slices, bacon crumbles, or sour cream!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Betty's Breakfast Casserole

(i'm not gonna lie, this pic is yuck)

I spent Labor Day weekend celebrating my oldest and bestest friend in the whole wide world's upcoming wedding. A bachelorette party has many secrets, but one that I reveal is that on Sunday morning we were a lot of girls, we were hungry, and we were hungover. Volunteers were needed to cook a big breakfast, and I raised my hand. I knew Betty's casserole would be the perfect choice; plus, I could prepare it the night before when I was still halfway together. I doubled the recipe below to make 2 casseroles, and it wasn't even really necessary. 1 was plenty to fill a large crowd. Congrats to Mary Margaret and thank you to Betty!

6 slices white bread, crust removed
1 lb. ground pork sausage or ham (we used hot jimmy dean)
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese or monterey jack (i used less than this, and it was fine)
6 eggs
1 t. salt
1 t. dry mustard
2 cups half and half
1 4-0z can green chilies

Lightly butter each slice of bread. Place in a 9x13 casserole dish. Brown and drain sausage and sprinkle over bread. Add cheese. Beat eggs and add salt, mustard, and half and half. Beat eggs again and pour over mixture. Refrigerate at least overnight or freeze. Remove foil and bake 45 minutes at 350 or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower has a bad reputation. You don't see it a lot. You don't eat it a lot. Most people choose its friend, broccoli, when they are looking to add a side dish. But don't overlook this guy, my friends. This is a delicious recipe, from Simply Recipes, to serve it year-round.

1 head of cauliflower
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely minced
Lemon juice from half a lemon
Olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Slice the cauliflower info florets and put in single layer in an oven-proof baking dish. Toss in the garlic. Sprinkle lemon juice over cauliflower and drizzle each piece with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place casserole in the hot oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Test with a fork for desired doneness. Fork tines should be able to easily pierce the cauliflower. Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.