Greek Salad

Do you experience a big gravitational pull towards salads that happens every January?

Eating salads as a main meal isn’t something we do as often as we probably should. And when we do it comes in waves. Maybe we’ll make it a whole month having a salad night once a week and then all of a sudden you’d be hard pressed to find lettuce in the fridge.

This Greek Salad is one that we made in the beginning of the year. There were a good deal of moving parts but it still came together quickly and easily. While homemade pita chips are baking in the oven, the rest of the dish can come together. And don’t forget to let your meat rest before slicing it, allowing you the perfect amount of time to pull together the dressing.

Greek Salad (assembly)  Sew You Think You Can Cook

To use up the leftovers, I stuffed everything inside a pita pocket as a perfect lunch.

Greek Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb sirloin steak
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing pita
  • 4 pitas
  • red pepper flakes
  • dried oregano
  • 1 C Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 C crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • juice of 2 lemons, divided use
  • 2 hearts of romaine, chopped
  • 6 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 C loosely packed fresh parsley

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Rub 1 tbsp olive oil over the steak and season both sides with S+P. Grill 3-4 minutes on each side, or until desired temperature is reached. Allow meat to rest 10 minutes. Thinly slice.
  3. Tear pitas and place on a baking sheet, brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt, oregano, and pepper flakes. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until crispy but not burnt.
  4. Put the yogurt, Feta, garlic, cumin, and juice of 1 lemon in a food processor. Process until smooth and a pour-able consistency is reached. Add a little water if needed.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the juice of 1 lemon and the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Season to taste with S+P.
  6. Assemble the salad: Top lettuce with pita, veggies, dressing and parsley, and meat.

*This recipe is adapted from Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook*

Greek Salad  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Spanish Spice-Rubbed Steak with Steak Sauce

Today is my husband’s birthday and in his honor I feel compelled to share a steak recipe! This particular one is from his favorite chef, Bobby Flay, and a dish that he prepared. It was quite delicious! We did have to take some liberty with the ingredients due to availability and cooking method due to weather.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Honestly, I almost didn’t blog this recipe. I’m simply not happy with the photographs. (I didn’t even take the time to edit them, there’s simply no hope for them.) Even as I’m typing this I’m second guessing my decision to continue with the post! I think we’ll just have to make it again and update the photos…. oh darn!

Spanish Spice-Rubbed Steak

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 (12 oz) steaks (boneless rib-eye, NY strip, or filet mignon)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Steps:

  1. Make rub: combine paprika, cumin, mustard, S+P.
  2. Bring steaks to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Brush steaks with oil. Season liberally with the spice rub. Cook 5 minutes on each side, or until desired done-ness is reached.
  5. Allow steaks to rest 5 minutes before serving with steak sauce (recipe below).

Steak Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp horseradish
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Steps:

  1. Turn on broiler. Brush bell pepper with a little bit of vegetable or canola oil. Place under broiler until charred, rotating to get all sides. Place pepper in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. Peel the skin, remove the seeds, and rough chop.
  2. Place peppers and remaining ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth. Season to taste with S+P. If too thick, add up to a tablespoon of water. Serve at room temperature.

*These recipes are modified from Bobby Flay’s Grill It!*

IMG_6750

Updated November 2017: This blog post was recently linked to Fuss Free Flavours blog post Quick and Easy Stilton Steak Sauce. I was then reminded of the horrendous photograph shown above. It did bring a laugh though as I told my husband the story and asked if he remembered those photos taken in Ohio at night in the winter. Surprisingly, he did! Immediately, this recipe returned to our menu and I’m so glad it did. The steak sauce doesn’t taste like bell pepper, for which I’m thankful, and it doesn’t taste like horseradish, for which my husband is thankful. It is a perfectly balanced steak sauce that pairs nicely with the smokey Spanish spice rub. Without further ado, here is an improved photograph of a steak dinner.

Spanish-Spice Rubbed Steak with Steak Sauce | Sew You Think You Can Cook

 

Mongolian Beef

There used to be the best Chinese take-out place back home called Beijing but they closed up shop within the last five years and my parents haven’t been able to find anything as good.

And neither have I. I would always order the Mongolian Beef. And when Beijing wasn’t available to me after I left home I haven’t been able to find a Mongolian Beef recipe even close – in fact, I’ve not even enjoyed it when I’ve tried other restaurants’ versions! As a result my Chinese take-out order has changed to either Sesame Chicken or Orange Chicken.

I’ve been saving Mongolian Beef recipes on foodgawker for quite some time and with our Stir-Fry-Day Friday menu plan (which hasn’t been as successful as Mexican Monday I hate to admit) I knew it was time to give it a shot.

The Mongolian Beef from Beijing had broccoli in it so I added some broccoli. But I didn’t stop there. I had a little bit of sliced red bell pepper in the fridge and some green beans so I added those in too. Hey, the point of Stir-Fry-Day Friday was to add more veggies into our life!

Another advantage, or so I thought, of doing Stir-Fry-Day Friday was to have veggies and meat that the little man could eat. But I was wary of giving him soy sauce because of the high sodium content, even though we use low-sodium. Soy is also a high allergen, although not one in our family tree.

IMG_3350I finally let him try the Mongolian Beef and he loved it! He wouldn’t eat the bell pepper (which is funny because that was one of the first foods he ate) and the green beans were still pretty crunchy because I like the texture. He loved the beef and even surprised us by grabbing some broccoli on his own.

Mongolian Beef

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C soy sauce
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (I used 3 tsp Gourmet Garden garlic paste)
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger (I used 1 tsp Gourmet Garden lightly dried ginger)
  • 1/2 C plus 2 tsp vegetable oil, divided use
  • 1 lb flank steak, cut into strips across the grain
  • 1/4 C cornstarch
  • optional veggies: frozen broccoli, red bell pepper, fresh green beans

Steps:

  1. In a small saucepan heat soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, 2 tsp vegetable oil, and 1/2 C water for 5-10 minutes or until thickened.
  2. In a large bowl, toss steak in cornstarch.
  3. In a large skillet or wok heat 1/2 C vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add beef and stir fry until browned and cooked through, 2 minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and discard the oil.
  4. If using, saute veggies in the same skillet. Return the beef to the pan along with the sauce from Step 1. Cook until sauce is thickened and coats the beef and veggies. Serve with white rice.

*This recipe is adapted from Chungah at http://damndelicious.net/2013/10/05/pf-changs-mongolian-beef-copycat-recipe/*

Mongolian Beef | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: I received Gourmet Garden product for participating in #HotSummerEats. I have received no additional compensation for this post and the opinions expressed here are my own and the recipe shared in the review of this product was not sponsored.

Red Wine Marinated Flank Steak filled with Prosciutto, Fontina, and Basil

That’s quite the fancy recipe title, isn’t it?! There aren’t very many fancy recipes on Sew You Think You Can Cook because we’re just not that fancy of people. And fancy usually takes way more time and effort than I have patience for.

So why am I sharing such a fancy dish with you today?

Because today is the 5th anniversary of my marriage to a man who makes me laugh (don’t tell him I said that), makes me smile, and makes my dreams come true. photography by Cher Hanna

Photography by Cher Hanna

A little over 5 years ago we thought that today we’d be laying in a hot tub looking at the mountains and ocean in St. Lucia. It’s amazing how much happens in 5 short years! Instead of taking that anniversary trip we are expecting our second child and at a point in my husband’s career where taking a long vacation just isn’t possible. So get ready St. Lucia, we’re coming for you in 5 years! (Grandparents, clear your calendars.)

We aren’t doing anything tonight either. Similarly to last year, Stuart signed up for a race this weekend. Although this one is only 12ish miles and not 30 hours in the woods. Also – family is coming into town to attend our son’s baptism on Sunday (finally!).

Red Wine Marinated Flank Steak
filled with Prosciutto, Fontina, and Basil

Ingredients:

  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 3/4 C Cabernet red wine
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb flank steak, butterflied
  • 4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 4 oz thinly sliced fontina cheese
  • approximately 14 fresh basil leaves

Steps:

  1. Whisk together shallots, wine, and olive oil. Place in a large casserole dish (or a resealable plastic bag). Add the steak and marinate in the fridge a minimum of 4 hours.
  2. Remove steak from the marinade and dry with paper towels. Lay cut side up and season with S+P. Cover with prosciutto, fontina, and basil leaves. Roll the steak around the filling on the long side. Tie with kitchen string in 4-5 places.
  3. Brush the outside of the roulade with a little bit of olive oil and season with S+P.
  4. Grill the steak over medium-high heat on all sides for a total of 10 minutes. Move the steak away from direct heat and cook another 20 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 125 (or greater) is reached depending on your preference.
  5. Cover the roulade with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with Cabernet-Shallot Reduction (recipe below).

Cabernet-Shallot Reduction

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 shallots, diced
  • 1 2/3 C Cabernet red wine
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp honey

Steps:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat saute the shallots in olive oil until tender. Add the wine and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and cook 15 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to 1/2 C. Strain. Stir in the honey and season to taste with salt.

*These recipes are adapted from Bobby Flay’s Grill It!*

Red Wine Marinated Flank Steak filled with Prosciutto, Fontina, and Basil | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Spanish Steaks and Cheesy Potatoes

Before I get to today’s amazing recipes I’m taking a trip down memory lane. A “Flashback Friday” if you will.

Six years ago to the day I was asked a very important question by a very important person.

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February 6, 2009 was just a normal Friday. Stuart and I both had a break between classes that lined up perfectly for us to grab lunch together. My brother had a break at the same time and Stuart told me that he was going to be joining us. I got out of class a little early and headed down to the concourse to wait for them. That morning Stuart had asked me to bring my camera to campus because he needed a photo for ROTC. We handed the camera to my brother and he caught the proposal on video! They’d obviously coordinated this ahead of time.

2275_634287859951_9621_nI’d be lying if I said I didn’t know this was coming. The 7th was our two year anniversary and there’d been comments and hints that we’d be getting engaged then. I have to give a big shout out to my best friend for telling Stuart I was on to him. It’s because of him that I experienced a surprise proposal better than I could have imagined. (Although it would have been nice to have showered, put make-up on, and brushed my hair!) It meant a lot to me to have my brother there – catching it on video was just a bonus. We even got a loud “War Eagle!” from a campus tour that was walking by.

Today’s recipes, which come from the January/February 2014 edition of Food Network Magazine, make a perfect meal to celebrate a special occasion – a birthday, anniversary, or even Valentine’s Day. We enjoyed this meal for Stuart’s birthday this year. It was the first time I’d had rib-eye steak and I loved it! Cooking in the cast iron skilet also provided a perfect sear for this melt-in-your-mouth piece of meat. We enjoyed these steaks alongside the cheesy mashed potatoes suggested in the article and some roasted carrots.

IMG_1907The carrots were Wesley’s first food! He surprised me with how well he took to trying them. He even managed to swallow a little bit. However he hasn’t touched carrots since! He likes yellow bell peppers, flank steak, and apples – at least for now.

These steaks feed 2-4 people, let’s be honest though, they’ll only feed two because you won’t want to share. I doubled the potato recipe and it will serve 4. (I wanted the leftovers.)

Pan-Seared Spanish Steaks

Ingredients:

  • 2 bone-in rib-eye steaks (3/4 lb each)
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C beef broth
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives

Steps:

  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat.
  2. Pat steaks dry, lightly rub with a little canola oil, and season with S+P.
  3. Put 1-2 tbsp canola oil in the skillet. Add the steaks. (I had to do one steak at a time.) Sear on one side for 3 three minutes. Flip and cook 1-4 minutes, depending on your desired doneness. Remove steaks and set aside, covered with foil.
  4. Add the shallots to the skillet and cook until tender. Add the garlic and cook an additional 60 seconds. Whisk in the beef broth, Worcestershire, and vinegar. Bring sauce to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter.
  5. Serve sauce overtop the steaks. Garnish with chives.

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb gold potatoes
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

Steps

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water, season generously with salt, and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and return to the pot.
  2. In a small sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter. Stir in the cream until just warmed through.
  3. Add the cream and cream cheese to the potatoes. Mash to desired consistency. Season to taste with S+P.

Spanish Steak and Cheesy Potatoes | Sew You Think You Can Cook

UPDATE May 2017: (written March 2018) I honestly can’t remember why I remade these steaks – I mean, other than the fact that they’re DELICOUS! I’m guessing I’d made them for our 7th wedding anniversary last May? Regardless, you really don’t need a fancy excuse to make such delicious steak. The above picture isn’t horrendous, but that giant bone-in steak was tricky to photograph, especially under tricky Ohio winter lighting. For round two, I decided to slice the steak to get the visual of the beautiful pink center and golden crust. Unfortunately, the juices still ran, no matter how long I let it rest. But hey, dragging those cheesy potatoes through the steak juices makes for a perfect last bite.

Spanish Steaks with Cheesy Potatoes | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Caprese Steak

As previously promised, here’s another steak recipe on Sew You Think You Can Cook. This one features a beautiful cut of steak, seared, topped with tomato and fresh mozzarella and baked to perfection. Top it with fresh basil and balsamic vinegar reduction and you have a restaurant quality dinner right in your own home.

I found this idea while perusing Foodgawker and thought it looked simple enough for my handy kitchen helpers to do. Funnily enough, neither of them actually read the recipe, or apparently listened to me when I told them how to prepare the meat. Mom declared that this one was Stuart’s to make because it involved grilling. It does not. And Stuart kept trying to go outside to the grill!

I guess when they think steak, they think grilling. Most probably do. But this recipe sears it off in a skillet to get a beautiful crust and then finishes in the oven. This cooking method creates perfectly juicy steaks.

Caprese Steak

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C balsamic vinegar
  • 3 steaks
  • 1 beefsteak tomato
  • fresh mozzarella cheese
  • fresh basil

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small skillet reduce balsamic vinegar until reduced by half.
  3. Season steak with S+P.
  4. In a cast iron skillet over high heat cook both sides of the steak, 2-3 minutes until an even sear is achieved.
  5. Top steak with slice of tomato and mozzarella cheese. Bake until the reach a desired internal temperature.
  6. Garnish with fresh basil and top with balsamic.

*This recipe is adapted from K at http://www.onthewoodside.com/2013/11/seared-filet-with-tomato-and-fresh.html*

Caprese Steak

 

Rosemary Steak and Potatoes

I am not a steak-and-potatoes type of gal. Potatoes? Yes. Steak? No thanks, I’ll pass. But my husband is most definitely a steak-and-potatoes type of guy. In fact, it’s the meal he always gets when we visit his parents.

I was informed that I needed to add more iron to my diet – so that means you’ll see more red meat entrees floating around Sew You Think You Can Cook. I’ve always tried to limit the red meat to once a week, typically in the form of Mexican Monday. And I am guilty of enjoying a burger quite often.

For this recipe, par-boiled potatoes share the skewer with cubes of sirloin and the result is divine. The potatoes end up resembling fries and the marinade is full of flavor. I particularly like the rosemary. Serve these skewers with your favorite vegetable and you’ve got yourself a complete meal!

If you’ve had too much red meat this week, Mom made this recipe using chicken instead of steak and it worked just as beautifully.

Rosemary Steak and Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp steak seasoning
  • 1/2 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 2 lb steak, cut into cubes
  • 2 C golden potatoes

Steps:

  1. In a bowl combine garlic, rosemary, thyme, steak seasoning, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.
  2. Pour 3/4 C of the marinade over the steak and set in the fridge.
  3. Boil potatoes for 15 minutes, until slightly fork tender. Drain. Pour the rest of the marinade over the potatoes.
  4. Skewer the steak and potatoes. Grill until the steak is cooked to your liking and the potatoes are done.

*This recipe is adapted from Whitney at http://littleleopardbook.com/2013/10/16/rosemary-steak-skewers/*

Rosemary Steak