Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lemon Yogurt Cake

I have been really slacking lately in the cooking department, going back to old tried and true comfort food recipes. I have not baked anything for at least two months, so I decided that since it was a snow day I would search for a nice light cake to make.

I headed over to one of my favorite Food Bloggers, A Feast For The Eyes and found this wonderful recipe from Ina Garten. It uses Yogurt and I just happened to have a large container of Greek Yogurt in the fridge!

I only had one lemon and two limes, so I used those, other than that I followed her recipe almost exactly. I found it was lemony enough and skipped the lemon glaze.

It was delicious and reminded me of Spring!

1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1⅓ cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease an 8½ by 4¼ by 2½-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper (Don’t skip this). Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.

Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the ⅓ cup lemon juice and remaining ⅓ cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan.

While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

(I skipped this part) For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Grilled Flank Steak with PW Marinade

Flank Steak is one of my most favorite cuts of meat, it is so versatile. I saw some on sale and bought two! My husband remembered hearing from a fellow employee that Pioneer Woman had an incredible Flank Steak Marinade.

I looked up the recipe and we followed it exactly, all I can say is YUM! I served it with mashed potatoes and lightly steamed veggies and it was a great meal, I will be serving over and over again!

■½ cups Soy Sauce
■½ cups Cooking Sherry
■3 Tablespoons Honey
■2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
■2 Tablespoons (heaping) Minced Ginger
■3 cloves (to 5 Cloves) Minced Garlic
■½ teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
■1 whole Flank Steak

Preparation Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic dish.

Remove flank steak from package and give it a quick rinse. Coat both sides of the meat with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 3 to 6 hours.

Remove the steak from the marinade and place on a plate while you heat up the grill pan. Make sure to turn on your overhead exhaust fan as the cooking process can be quite smoky.

When the pan is extremely hot, place the steak on a slight angle as this makes for more appealing grill marks. Cook without touching for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Rotate the meat about 45 degrees, keeping it on the same side, and cook for another 1 ½ minutes.

Now flip it to the other side. Cook using the same method on the other side, cooking for 1 1/2 minutes, then rotating it and finishing the cooking process. I cook the flank streak to medium rare, which usually takes about 5 to 7 minutes total cooking time. Remove the meat to a cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.

When you’re ready, thinly slice the meat against the grain. That means find the directional striations/lines in the meat grain and slice perpendicular to it.

Controversial Optional Sauce: Before grilling the flank steak, strain the marinade into a small saucepan. Discard what stays in the sieve. Add ½ cup of water to the marinade. Boil the marinade while heating the grill for the meat AND add an additional 10 minutes. The point of boiling, obviously, is to take away any risk of bacteria from the marinade. Also, by boiling for ten to fifteen minutes, the sauce will reduce and slightly thicken. Then just spoon a little into a dish and use it as a dipping sauce for the meat.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Boneless Beef Ribs

My husband is a rib fiend, pork, beef, bone in, boneless, he adores them all. He is also damn good at cooking them, so good in fact I never eat at a Barbecue Restaurant as I know his ribs are fifty times better!

One of my nifty new gadgets is a pressure cooker. Hubby loves to start his ribs in that, then finish on the grill. It melts most of the fat off the ribs and makes them very tender! You could surely start them in a crock pot on high for 4 hours or so as well.

Into the pressure cooker
2 lbs of boneless beef ribs
1 large bottle of IPA Beer
3 tbl Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 tlb Steak Rub or Lemon Pepper
2 tbl Chili Pepper Flakes
1/4 cup dried or fresh onion
1 tbl powdered Garlic

Cook on High Pressure for 15 minutes using the natural steam release, your meat will be tender and yummy at this point

Get your barbecue at 250 or so with some soaked chips and let them get some smoke on for 30 minutes to an hour, applying barbecue sauce on occasion.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Albondigas Soup

I was watching a Food Network Chef make this lovely soup over the weekend and decided to add it to my repertoire. I looked at her recipe and a bunch of others and came up with my own method. It is delicious and not really that time consuming, especially if you use canned broth or in my case had some chicken broth in the freezer. The addition of the whole Jalapeno adds a bit of spice but not too much!

I had to tweak the recipe a bit and I added more vegetables to make it a bit heartier and healthier!

1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb chorizo sausage or Hot Italian Sausage which is what I used
1 egg, beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Albondigas Soup
8 cups chicken broth (home made if you have it)
1/2 cup onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, cut in chunks
1 (16 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup cilantro
2 large zucchini, sliced
2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, diced into cubes
3 carrots peeled and sliced
1 whole Jalapeno Pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup long grain white rice
1 tbl tomato paste
salt pepper


Make the meatballs first:

Combine the meats, beaten egg, 2 minced garlic cloves, cilantro, salt, pepper and cumin

Form meatballs and roll between your palms or use a 2 inch scooper, place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, remove and let cool

In the meantime combine chicken broth, tomatoes and their liquid, cumin, oregano, Jalapeno Pepper and cilantro leaves in a large pot.

Bring to broil, and reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Add in your vegetables (except zucchini) and let simmer for 10 minutes, then add your rice and zucchini and let cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the rice is cooked

Add the meatballs and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes and serve (be sure and remove the Jalapeno) To keep the veggies and rice from getting overdone, I suggest you cool this soup down immediately. (I fill the sink up with a bit of ice water and let it cool down there)

How to spatchcock a chicken or turkey!

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