Search Results for: hot ingredients

Skirt Steak Fajitas

Tex Mex

Fajitas are a Tex Mex dish traditionally using skirt steak. Today there are endless variations using chicken, pork, lamb, shrimp, fish and, of course, vegetables.

Topping options include shredded lettuce, cilantro leaves, shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced olives, pico de galo and/or guacamole. Heat is easily controlled by putting hot sauces on the table and letting each dinner tap a drop or two on or just shake the bottle all over everything! Our tolerance for heat is mixed in our family.

Tex Mex

I grilled a red onion and those absolutely adorable and deliciously sweet baby bell peppers, as well as the steak, which adds a lovely smokiness to the fajitas and uses less oil. Don’t overcook, keep some texture to the vegetables, just a little crunch.

Tex Mex

I recently read that if you leave the skins on the red onion while grilling, the onion won’t fall apart, which didn’t work for me. Slide a wood skewer through the side of each thick slice to hold it together that works pretty well.

Tex Mex

Toast the tortillas on the grill, while the meats rests. Lay out all the ingredients and let everyone craft their our own.

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For a gluten-free version or to go carb free, put salad greens on the plate and arrange the other ingredients across the top. The pico de gala or guacamole are perfect substitutes for a salad dressing.

Skirt Steak Fajita Recipe

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Skirt Steak Fajitas

Tex Mex

For a gluten-free version or to go carb free, put salad greens on the plate and arrange the other ingredients across the top. The pico de gala and guacamole are perfect substitutes for a salad dressing.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Beef/Main Dish
  • Method: Grill
Scale

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds skirt steak
  • 16 baby bell peppers
  • 1 red onion cut into thick slices
  • olive oil
  • coarse salt

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, coriander, cumin, oregano and pepper flakes.
  2. Pour the marinade over the steaks in a non-reactive bowl and toss to coat well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
  3. Preheat the grill.
  4. Drizzle the peppers and onions with a little oil and a sprinkling of salt.
  5. Cook the peppers and onion slices on the grill first until al dente and slightly charred. Slice the bell peppers and separate the onion into rings.
  6. Remove the steaks from the marinade and dab to remove excess liquid, which can cause flare ups.
  7. Place the steaks on the grill and cook a minute or two per side, turning to char nicely until done. Don’t overcook, or the meat toughens.
  8. Let the meat rest for a few minutes.
  9. Toss the tortillas on the grill for 30 seconds flip and cook for 30 seconds more. Wrap in a towel to keep in the moisture.
  10. Thinly slice the meat against the grain and serve with the peppers and onions and any other condiments you like, such as pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, shredded lettuce, sliced olives and/or shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.

Lemony Chickpea & Spinach Soup

soup

This Lemony Chickpea and Spinach Soup is chockful of vegetables: onions, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and spinach. The chickpeas offer a little heartiness and the lemon a light, refreshing finish.

We’ve come to the end of Lesson 1 and you’ve learned how to mince and dice lots of vegetables. If you’ve been actively following along, you now have the ingredients needed to make our delicious
Lemony Chickpea & Spinach Soup!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Soup

Watch the soup ideo!

 

 

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Soup

The soup is gluten free and dairy free (just skip the cheese garnish). This is a great soup to send the kids off to school with and don’t forget to take a thermos along to the office!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Soup

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Lemony Chickpea & Spinach Soup

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Soup

This Lemony Chickpea and Spinach Soup is chockful of vegetables: onions, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and spinach. The chickpeas offer a little heartiness and the lemon a light, refreshing finish.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Yield: about 2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Vegan/Vegetarian
  • Method: Soup
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups minced onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 cup minced carrots (4 carrots)
  • 1 cup minced celery (4 stalks)
  • red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced cloves of garlic (about 2 large cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cans (x ounces each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ten-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach
  • Garnish
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven pan over medium heat.
  2. Stir in the onions, carrots, celery, pepper, salt and pepper flakes. Cover and sweat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally; if the onions are browning, lower the heat a bit.
  3. Stir in the garlic and jalapeno and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the stock, chickpeas and spinach, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest.
  6. Garnish each bowl with a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional.

Notes

Don’t add the lemon juice during cooking – the flavor cooks away.

 

 

French Onion Soup

soup

In a previous lesson we made caramelized onions That’s the hardest part of this recipe for French Onion Soup. Once the onions are done, the soup comes together in 30 minutes cooking time with only a few ingredients. While the onions are flavorful on their own, the addiition of a little cognac, fresh thyme sprigs and a couple of bay leaves enriches the soup.

soup

Traditional French onion soup uses beef stock. I prefer a roasted veal or roasted chicken stock. The beef is very strong and I find it overwhelms rather than complements the sweetness of the caramelized onions.

soup

Don’t forget to remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves!

Also in a previous lesson we demonstrated how to make cheesy crostini. These top the soup in lieu of the sheet of melted, gooey cheese that my daughter loves. I like the cheese melted on the crostini and then placed on top of the soup. The dry bread soaks up the broth and the broth you get all that goodness in one spoonful.

soup

I put two in each bowl and a plate of extras on the table.

The soup freezes well.

Watch the French Onion Soup video here.

 

 

 

 

 

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French Onion Soup

soup

Traditional French onion soup uses beef stock. I prefer a roasted veal stock or roasted chicken stock. The beef is very strong and I find it overwhelms rather than complements the sweetness of the caramelized onions.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 6 two-cup servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
Scale

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine the onions, stock, cognac, thyme, bay leaves and pepper in a large saucepan and . bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer, just a few little bubbles rising to the surface, and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. Don’t forget to remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves!
  3. Ladle the soup into the bowls and top each with some cheesy crostini.

 

 

Building the Perfect Sandwich

Tuna Salad Sandwich

Making the perfect sandwich is a creative endeavor. Once you decide what kind of bread you like, whether the crust stays or goes, and if you eat it whole, cut in half or in quarters, you need to decide what goes in the middle.

When I cut two slices from a loaf of bread, I know that the crust will stay on and it will be cut into quarters, not squares, but triangles. My husband is a hard roll with the bread centers removed kinda guy. My farther, who is 88, likes to have the crusts cut off his bread. I prefer whole grain, hubby likes white and Dad likes rye. And that barely scratches the surface of the wide variety of breads, rolls and wraps to choose from.

Tuna Salad Sandwich

Next decision is what goes in the middle. Peanut butter and jelly. Tuna salad. Chicken salad. Egg salad. Cold cuts – roast beef, turkey or chicken (roasted, smoked, spicy, barbecued, honey), ham (boiled, Virginia baked, honey roasted, spicy) bologna, salami, pepperoni. In the summer when tomatoes are at their peak of ripeness, there is nothing like a BLT on lightly toasted bread. Or just a tomato sandwich! Leftovers – roasted vegetables, roast chicken, chili, cheese(s). There isn’t enough room in this blog to list the endless possibilities for sandwiches.

Tuna Salad Sandwich

The selection of condiments is innumberable. Mustard, and don’t get me started on the varieties of mustard! Ketchup. Mayo. Hot sauces. Salsas. Guacamole. Horseradish. Salad dressing. Sub sauce. And on and on and on…..

Most of my sandwiches are crowned with lettuce, which adds a crisp texture and great color. Then some succulent thin tomato slices sprinkled with salt and pepper and thinly sliced red onion. And what is a sandwich without some dill pickle slices! Sometimes a few crunchy, salty potato chips, roasted bell peppers, pickled jalapenos or a different kind of pickle, say bread and butter, garlic, half sour or cornichons are the perfect accompaniment.

Tuna Salad Sandwich

My default sandwich is tuna salad. It’s versatile because it can be plain and simple: mayo, celery, onion, salt and pepper. But, there are also many ways you can flavor a tuna salad. Skip the mayo and use a favorite mustard, try balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mashed avocado. Lots of different veggies can be minced and stirred into the salad, bell peppers, jalapeno, zucchini, kale. Add in herbs like dill, chervil, tarragon, cilantro, basil, or mint. Other aromatics include minced ginger, lemongrass, sprouts, shredded carrots, shredded cabbage (green, red, or Chinese). And finally, let’s not forget the delicious tuna melt!

Tuna Salad Sandwich

Just thinking about it gets my stomach rumbling and my mouth watering! Here’s my go to tuna salad sandwich. I always have these ingredients available for a last minute lunch choice.

Tuna Salad Sandwich

 

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Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad Sandwich

A basic tuna salad with red onion, celery, gherkins, and just enough mayo to hold it together. Slather some honey mustard on the bread and top with lettuce and tomato!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Sandwiches
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (3 ounce each) tuna, drained
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 heaping tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 8 gherkins, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 slices bread
  • honey mustard
  • crisp green lettuce leaves, such as Romaine
  • thin tomato slices
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Place the tuna in a medium-size bowl and use a fork to break it into small pieces.
  2. Add the onion, celery, gherkins, salt, pepper and mayonnaise with the tuna and stir until combined.
  3. Spread the honey mustard on all bread slices. Top two slices of bread with one-half of the tuna. Lay the lettuce on top of the tuna, the tomatoes on top of the lettuce and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Cover, cut and devour!

 

 

Spicy Beef Chili

My cousins are driving down from Conesus NY tomorrow for lunch; we’re having Spicy Beef Chili and garlic bread with triple chocolate and pumpkin biscotti for dessert.

They make a round trip in one day, five hours each way! Yes, they’re a little nuts but Linda and Cyndi love road trips and Linda’s husband Dave is a good sport and comes along too. The reason for the short visit is they live on a farm. Not a food farm, a horse farm, and the animals need them back in time for dinner.

The farm has been in the family since I was a little kid. I remember spending many weekends there and learning how to groom the horses and muck a stall. I’m glad my little rascal Lacy is not as labor intensive!

Lacy

I hadn’t given the menu much thought. Lunch is somehow much easier than a dinner party; there were no to do lists or even a grocery list. When I got to the meat counter they had some coarsely ground Black Angus beef for chili and that was my inspiration. I picked up some bell peppers, a jalapeño, a head of garlic, canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes and kidney beans. I didn’t give much thought to the garnishes until later and Eric will pick those up tomorrow am and get a baguette for the garlic bread.

A good rule to remember when chopping vegetables is to look at the size of the ingredients in the recipe. In this case, the kidney beans. Cut the bell peppers into a dice similar in size to the beans. This allows a nice combination of ground meat, peppers, bean and tomato to get on a spoon and you enjoy all the flavors together in one mouthful.

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The jalapeño, however, should be minced. The smaller the cut the more cells that are exposed and more flavor transfers to the chili. Also, you don’t want to be the one to get a large piece, especially if it’s particularly hot!

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Ground beef cooks up quickly, no long braising needed, and this chili comes together in about an hour and a half. Start by browning the meat on high in a couple tablespoons of olive oil and break it up into crumbles with the edge of a wooden spoon.

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Add the onions and cook five minutes. Add the chopped peppers, jalapeño, garlic, and the spices. Stir into the meat; the fat and heat release the essential oils of the all those delicious spices more effectively that liquid. Cook and stir occasionally for five minutes.

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Stir in the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 45 minutes.

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Add the drained beans and cook until heated through, about five minutes.

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Put out bowls of sour cream, shredded cheese and thinly sliced scallions to top off the chili.

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It’s a delicious fall lunch that hopefully will keep them full for their long trek home along with some baggies of biscotti for snacking.

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Beef Chili

Ground beef cooks up quickly, no long braising needed, and this chili comes together in about an hour and a half. Adding the spices into the meat and vegetables allows the spices to bloom in the fat before adding the liquids.

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Beef
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cups diced onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 each red and yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeño, minced (1 large jalapeño)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic cloves, minced (4 large cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon dried, ground ancho chili
  • 1 tablespoon dried, ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dried, ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried, ground chipotle
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Garnishes
  • sour cream, shredded Cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese, thinly sliced scallions.

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Add the beef and brown while crumbling the meat with the edge of a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the bell peppers, jalapeño, garlic, ancho chili, coriander, cumin, oregano, salt, chipotle, cinnamon, paprika, thyme and bay leaves and cook on medium-high for five minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. Add the beans and continue cooking another 5 minutes, until the beans are hot.

Notes

Chili freezes well.

Barcelona

Modernist architecture - The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau


An example of Modernist architecture – The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau.

My daughter and I took a long overdue Mother-Daughter vacation this summer to Barcelona. It was a brief trip, only two and a half days, but enough to whet our appetite for a return trip in the not too distant future.

Barcelona Street

Typical Street in Barcelona

We arrived early on a Thursday, checked the bags at the hotel and went in search of coffee. Sitting outside at a café, I was struck by the chalkboard menu on the sidewalk. I couldn’t possibly have forgotten that much Spanish, which I took in high school and college that I couldn’t remember the days of the week. Still in a fog from the time difference, I finally realized we were in Catalonia and that Barcelona is the capital and there is a mix of Catalan and Spanish in language, culture and food.

Pan Amb Tomaquet or tomato bread is a Catalan specialty and offered everywhere. Fortunately it’s easy to replicate.

Tomato Bread

Select a thin crusty bread and slice it lengthwise to expose the inside with all its cracks and crevices then cut into individual serving pieces, about three to four inches in length. It’s optional to toast the bread, but well worth it. Pop the cut pieces into a toaster or toaster oven until fragrant. Or, place briefly over a hot grill for a smokier version. Split a clove of garlic in half and gently rub across the warm inside of the bread. Cut a very ripe tomato in half vertically, poke out the seeds and rub all over the bread; a fleshy plum tomato works especially well. Garnish with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Most importantly, don’t turn your back on these because they’ll be gone before you have a chance to grab one!

We stopped into a chain called Tapas Tapas for lunch one day and weren’t disappointed. We ordered several dishes and shared.

Beef with Garlic

Beef with Garlic

 

Skewered Octopus

Other tapas we tried included breaded Camembert with a tomato sauce.

Tapas - Camembert

Chicken satay.

Tapas - Chicken Satay

And, tangy Andalusian gazpacho with breadcrumbs for a thicker texture.

Tapas - Andalusian Gazpacho

I am a big fan of the hop-on hop-off bus tours, especially when it’s a first visit to a new city. You get to see and learn a lot in a short time. The option of getting off and exploring something that piques your curiosity and then hopping on a later bus eases the mind about timing or finding transportation. Our time was short and we rode the orange line our first afternoon, which toured the western side of Barcelona starting at Rambla Catalunya, comparable to Fifth Avenue in NYC. This tour took us past the Olympic game arenas, many, many beautiful landmarks and museums. The next day we took the tour to the west with magnificent views of the crystal blue water, sandy beaches and more amazing architecture.

On the last day, we each had our own special request. I wanted to spend the morning at La Boqueria and Margot wanted to spend the afternoon at the beach; excellent choices and a perfect way to end our visit.

The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, is a large public market in the Ciutat Vella district.

La Boqueria

This is the oldest European covered, open-air market with an abundance of options including butchers, fishmongers, fruit and vegetable merchants, cheese vendors, and a specialty of the region and its cuisine, wild mushrooms, to name a few. There are numerous places to eat along the perimeter and within the market. We started the morning with a couple of Illy espressos with a dash of cream each, pretty daring for a girl who barely has a cup of decaf coffee in the morning, but it’s so intoxicating in aroma and flavor that it’s irresistible.

Illy Espresso

We circled around the long aisles for a couple of hours. I was ruing the fact that I had no kitchen to take numerous purchases back to and spend the rest of the day cooking and eating.

The season for fruits and vegetables is so much longer in warm climates. I was envious of the plethora of vibrant and ripe fruit.

La Boqueria -

La Boqueria - Cherries

La Boqueria - donut peaches

The presentation of the fruits and vegetables surpassed anything I’ve ever seen before. While everything was eye appealing on its own, what a difference the little flourishes of some vendors made.

La Boqueria - fruit display

This egg vendor really went to town with her display. All the eggs are snuggled in straw nests. Try and decide which kind of egg you’re going to buy!

La Boqueria - Eggs

Emu and ostrich eggs nestled in straw.

You rarely see white asparagus in the States, something we just never acquired a taste for. But it is sought after in Europe and considered quite the delicacy.

La Boqueria - white asparagus

Barcelona is a coastal town and seafood plays a major role in their cuisine. There were many fish mongers at the market, all with pristine displays of a wide variety of whole fish and filets, shrimp, lobster, octopus, cuttle fish, snails and more.

La Boqueria - Fish Monger

These prawns were so fresh; I imagined sautéing them in butter and garlic.

La Boqueria - Jumbo Prawns

If you’re a fan of bacalao, this is the place to be!

La Boqueria - salted fish

There are equally as many fresh meat, game, cured meat and poultry vendors.

La Boqueria - Meat Counter

This poultry vendor had one of the smallest cases, but she was flocked by many shoppers waiting to make a purchase. Always a sign of excellence.

La Boqueria - Poultry

Oodles of fine cheeses that would pair nicely with

La Boqueria - cheese vendor

any one of these sausages

La Boqueria - dried sausages

some thinly sliced jamon iberico (don’t you love the way they package this prized ham!),

La Boqueria - Jamon Iberico

La Boqueria – Jamon Iberico

or a selection from this olive bar.

La Boqueria - Olives

La Boqueria is a one-stop shopping experience. There didn’t seem to be an ingredient you’d need that you couldn’t find here, including spices, and

La Boqueria - Spices

fresh and dried wild mushrooms, a specialty of the region.

La Boqueria - dried mushrooms

Check out this candy vendor. This is better than any penny candy store I remember as a kid.

La Boqueria - Candy Stall

and how cute are these….

La Boqueria - Candy Stall

Margot topped off her visit with a coconut mango smoothie. I think she’s enjoying it! What do you think?

La Boqueria - mango coconut smoothie

The Beach

Next we were off to the W Hotel. Located on the beachfront of the Barceloneta boardwalk, the somewhat controversial hotel is designed to look like a sail, all steel and glass. It’s the modern construction and size that some take offense to. I liked it and thought it’s location suited the design.

W Hotel Barcelona

We weren’t guests of the hotel, but there are many restaurants along the beachfront and a beach bar, where we spent a few “happy” hours!

Barcaloneta walkway and "happy" hour.

Around 6pm, the beach was pretty empty and we went for a stroll. The sand is a little gritty and gave us a soothing foot massage with each step. You can see that Margot was very pleased with her choice for the afternoon!

Barceloneta Beachfront

It was a fast and fabulous few days and I do look forward to a return visit to spend time at some of the museums, restaurants and, of course, La Boqueria. I’m contemplating an apartment with a kitchen!!

Beef with Garlic
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 to 6
Garlic has a high sugar content and burns quickly; start the oil and garlic in a cold pan over medium to low heat and stir occasionally to brown evenly. The garlic chips can be made in advance, but be sure to save the garlic infused oil to cook the meat. The optimal size for the filet mignon is about one-half pound each. Cut the meat in half lengthwise and then into four pieces.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1-pound filet mignon cut into 1-ounce pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Freshly ground pepper
  2. Place the oil and garlic in a large sauté pan and keep a lowish flame. Stir occasionally to evenly brown the garlic.
  3. In the meantime, season the meat with salt and pepper on all sides.
  4. Remove the garlic chips with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  5. Turn up the heat to medium-high and sear the meat until nicely brown, about 2 minutes on the first side and a minute more on another side for medium rare.
  6. Place the meat on a serving dish and sprinkle the garlic chops over the meat.

 

Beef Tacos with Lime Sour Cream

In our area, it’s hard to get a good taco. No offense to fast food establishments or many of our local restaurants but the flavor profile is very generic. Interestingly, when I perused taco recipes, I was surprised to see so many using generic chili powder, maybe that’s why they all taste the same. These Beef Tacos with Lime Sour Cream use my unique seasoning blend for maximum flavor.

I used a combination of my go-to spices: ancho chili powder for its warm smoky characteristics, cumin, coriander and Mexican oregano because you can’t make tacos without these traditional ingredients and for a little heat, chipotle powder.

There are many garnishes to choose from. I like to put shredded cheese over the top of the tacos and let it melt and then drizzle a sauce, like the lime sour cream recipe included here. I might top one with salsa crudoone with guacamole, and another with chopped scallions and pickled jalalpenos. If you can’t decide or want to mix it up, put little dollops of a few toppings on your plate to have something different with each bite!

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Method

Heat the oil in a four-quart Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan over high. Place the beef and salt in the hot oil and with the tip of a wooden spoon break it up into crumbles. Cook until the beef is no longer red.

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Stir in the onions and garlic, cover and sweat for five minutes. Add the ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano and chipotle chili powder, stir and cook for 30 seconds.

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Stir in the tomatoes and water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the beef mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

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Use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop the taco mixture onto each tortilla. Fold and put on a plate or platter.

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Sprinkle the top with shredded cheese and melt in the microwave for 15 seconds or in the oven. Drizzle with the lime sour cream sauce and garnish to your liking.

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Whisk together and pour into a squeeze bottle.

 

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Beef Tacos

I used a combination of my go-to spices: ancho chili powder for its warm smoky characteristics, cumin, coriander and Mexican oregano because you can’t make tacos without these traditional ingredients and for a little heat from chipotle powder.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 portions 1x
  • Category: Beef
Scale

Ingredients

Lime Sour Cream
1/4 cup sour cream
zest of one lime
pinch of Kosher salt

Beef Tacos
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup cold water
12 six-inch round soft tortillas, wheat or corn

Garnishes: shredded cheese, such as Monterrey Jack or Cheddar, lime sour cream, chopped cilantro, chopped scallions, pica di gallo, chopped pickled jalapenos, sliced black olives, avocado slices sprinkled with lemon juice and salt, shredded iceberg lettuce sprinkled with salt, guacamole or anything else you like.

Instructions

Lime Sour Cream

Whisk the sour cream, lime zest and salt together.
Put in a squeeze.

Beef Tacos

Heat the oil in a four-quart Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan over high. Place the beef and salt in the hot oil and with the tip of a wooden spoon break it up into crumbles. Cook until the beef is no longer red.

Stir in the onions and garlic, cover and sweat for five minutes. Add the ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano and chipotle chili powder, stir and cook for 30 seconds.

Stir in the tomatoes and water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the beef mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop taco mixture onto each tortilla. Fold and put on a plate or platter.

Sprinkle with shredded cheese and melt in the microwave on high for 15 seconds or in the oven for two minutes.

Drizzle with lime sour cream sauce and garnish to your liking.

Keywords: tacos, ground beef, soft tacos, beef tacos

 

 

Latkes (potato pancakes)

I’m the Shiksa in the family. Never heard of potato pancakes, let alone latkes before I met my husband. My mother-in-law, Ruth, would make them for our Passover Seder table and for Rosh Hashanah.

She made her latkes as we sat at the table, missing much of the early conversation, which I know was a great frustration for her. However, her latkes were VERY much in demand and our accolades I think made it worth her while toiling over the hot stove and oil. The latkes came out in small batches and were offered first to my father-in-law, Sam, at head of the table, then my husband and I who sat next to him on the right and then his sister across from us. Others had to wait until the next platter came out and so it went. So much work on such special occasions.

Ruth passed away very young (64) and the traditions passed on to my sister-in-law (Passover) and me (Rosh Hashanah). Unfortunately, her recipes passed with her. It took many years before I finally got the thumbs up from Sam on various holiday recipes and it all came from one source. In 1990, the New York Times did a review of a cookbook, SPIRIT and SPICE: The Complete Jewish Cookbook (Lubavitch Women’s Cookbook Publications, Brooklyn NY), which I bought. The challah, stuffed cabbage, latkes, and honey cake, were all winners; the book has many, many pages with hand-written four stars and “Sam loves this!” It was such a pleasure to finally satisfy his food memories. Latkes are pretty basic, potatoes, onion, flour, eggs, salt and pepper. But I wanted to give the book a shout out as it helped me bring back a favorite to our traditional Jewish table.

Unlike Ruth, I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen cooking while everyone is at the table. I also don’t want the house to smell like oil on the holiday and have to clean up the mess after everyone leaves. I make my latkes a week or two in advance, freeze and reheat. It makes entertaining over the holiday so easy.

This year we’re doing a “latke bar” for Christmas Eve dinner (remember, Shiska here; we celebrate it all). I’m making bite-size latkes with sides of applesauce, sour cream, diced red onion, and small pieces of lox; everyone builds their own.

The keys to success in making latkes are setting up properly before you start cooking, shredding the potato to the right size (too long and the ends  burn, too short and they’re pasty), draining the potatoes, using a high smoke-point oil, such as peanut or canola, heating the oil to the right temperature (350ºF) and keeping it clean (removing stray potato pieces from the oil before starting another batch).

Temperature control is essential  for properly cooked fried foods of any kind. Cook in batches, overcrowding the pot decreases the temperature dramatically, and the temperature drops quickly when the food is placed in the pan and needs to be adjusted throughout the cooking process. If the oil is too hot, the outside browns quickly and the inside is undercooked. If the oil is not hot enough, the outside doesn’t brown properly, the inside is raw and the starch absorbs more oil resulting in greasy, flabby fried food.

My go-to tool for frying is an electric frypan. It has a temperature gauge, which allows you to set a specific temperature and maintains it evenly throughout the cooking process. No worrying about turning the flame up and down.

Clean up as you cook. While waiting to flip the latkes, take advantage of the minute or two to load the dishwasher or wash and dry a tool or two. By the time you finish the batches, most of the clean up is done.

Set Up Before Starting

Large colander
Cheesecloth
Vegetable peeler
Chef’s knife
Food processor or food grater
Large mixing bowl
Whisk
Frypan
One tablespoon measuring spoon for mini latkes (1 inch diameter) or a 1/4 cup measuring cup for small latkes (3-inch diameter)
Fine mesh ladle strainer
Small tongs for mini latkes or spatula for larger latkes
Two (10″ x 15″) baking sheets, one lined with paper towel and one with foil or parchment paper
Wax paper or parchment to separate layers

Line the colander with two opened layers of cheesecloth long enough for the ends to drape over the side by about four inches.; one going north and south, the other east and west.

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Fill the frypan with a thin layer of oil. My pan is 11-inches wide and about 1 1/2-inches deep. I used 1 1/2 cups peanut oil to start. Later I added another 1/2 cup. At the end I had about one-half cup oil left.

Place the trays next to each other on one side of the frypan for easy access, with the mesh strainer on the paper towel-lined tray. Place the bowl with the latke mixture on the other side of the frypan.

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Line up Your Ingredients

2 cups high smoke point oil, such as peanut or canola
2 large yolks (you’ll use one whole and the yolk only on the second)
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground fresh pepper
7 Russet or Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into quarters
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 8 pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

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I didn’t have a large onion in the pantry and used three small to medium sized onions.

Method:

Cut the onion and one potato into chunks and put in a food processor and chop up small. Dump this into the lined strainer.  Quarter the remaining potatoes lengthwise and shred in the food processor or with a grater.

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Place the shredded vegetables in the colander.

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Pull  the sides of the cheesecloth  up and together.

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Twist tightly until the vegetables begin to weep.

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Keep squeezing until no more water leaks out. Then wrap the ball in a towel to remove the outside water.

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In the meantime, heat the oil in the electric frypan set to 350ºF or in a large frypan over medium-high heat to 350ºF.

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Whisk the eggs, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

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Add the drained shredded vegetables and mix well.

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Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and toss; It’s important to wait until this point to add the flour. Adding directly to the beaten eggs causes the flour to clump.po

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Use your measuring tool to scoop up the latke mixture and gently drop into the hot oil, flatten larger latkes with the back of the tool and repeat until the pan is fairly full. There should be spaces between each latke to fry them properly.

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I usually fry a single latke first to taste and make sure it’s properly seasoned before doing large batches.

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Flip with tongs for mini latkes.

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Cook until brown, just a minute or two for these minis, flip and cook another minute or two.

Set on the paper towel lined tray to drain and sprinkle immediately with a little salt.

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Clean the oil with the mesh-lined ladle to remove any stray pieces of potato to prevent them from burning, which breaks down the oil and gives it a bad flavor.  These little tidbits are a great little treat for the cook!

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Transfer the latkes to the foil lined tray after you flip the next batch. Once the tray is full, place a sheet of wax paper or parchment on top to start another layer.

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Repeat this procedure until the latke mixture is gone. As you get to the bottom, there’s more liquid; press the vegetables into the measuring tool to drain before dropping into the cooking oil. The excess liquid causes much spattering.

Lay another sheet of wax paper over the top.

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Tightly wrap the tray of fried latkes in foil. If using within three or four days, refrigerate, otherwise freeze.

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Reheat

Preheat the oven to 400ºF and cook in single layer batches until hot and crispy, about 12 minutes.

 

Latke Potato Pancake Recipe
Serves: 75 mini latkes
The keys to success in making latkes are setting up properly before you start cooking, shredding the potato to the right size (too long and the ends burn, too short and they’re pasty), draining the potatoes, using a high smoke-point oil, such as peanut or canola, heating the oil to the right temperature (350ºF) and keeping it clean (removing stray potato pieces from the oil before starting another batch). Temperature control is essential for properly cooked fried foods of any kind. Cook in batches, overcrowding the pot decreases the temperature dramatically, and the temperature drops quickly when the food is placed in the pan and needs to be adjusted throughout the cooking process. If the oil is too hot, the outside browns quickly and the inside is undercooked. If the oil is not hot enough, the outside doesn’t brown properly, the inside is raw and the starch absorbs more oil resulting in greasy, flabby fried food. My go-to tool for frying is an electric frypan. It has a temperature gauge, which allows you to set a specific temperature that it maintains pretty evenly throughout the cooking process. No worrying about turning the flame up and down. I use it for panfrying, such as the latkes or chicken cutlets and deep frying, such as French fries and fried chicken. Clean up as you cook. While waiting to flip the latkes, take advantage of the minute or two to load the dishwasher or wash and dry a tool or two. By the time you finish the batches, most of the clean up is done.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups high smoke point oil, such as peanut or canola
  • 2 large eggs (you’ll use one whole egg and only the second yolk)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground fresh pepper
  • 6 Russet or Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Cut the onion and one potato into chunks and put in a food processor and chop up small. Dump this into the lined strainer.
  2. Quarter the remaining potatoes lengthwise and shred in the food processor or with with a grater.
  3. Place the shredded vegetables in the colander and pull the sides of the cheesecloth up and together; twist until the vegetables begin to weep. Keep squeezing until no more water leaks out. Then wrap the ball in a towel to remove the outside water.
  4. In the meantime, heat the oil in the electric frypan set to 350ºF or in a large frypan over medium-high heat to 350ºF.
  5. Beat the eggs, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add the drained potatoes and onion and mix well.
  7. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and toss; It’s important to wait until this point to add the flour. Adding directly to the beaten eggs causes the flour to clump.
  8. Use your measuring tool to scoop up the latke mixture and gently drop into the hot oil, flatten larger latkes with the back of the tool and repeat until the pan is fairly full. There should be spaces between each latke to fry them properly.
  9. Cook until brown, just a minute or two for these minis, flip and cook another minute or two. Larger latkes will take three or four minutes. The latkes should be golden brown and crisp on the outside.
  10. Set on the paper towel lined tray to drain.
  11. Clean the oil as needed with the mesh ladle to remove any stray pieces of potato to prevent them from burning, which breaks down the oil and gives it a bad flavor. These are great little treats for the cook!
  12. Transfer the cooling latkes to the foil lined tray after you flip the next batch.
  13. Once the tray is full, place a sheet of wax paper on top to start another layer.
  14. Repeat this procedure until the latke mixture is gone. As you get to the bottom, there’s more liquid; press the vegetables into the measuring tool to drain before dropping into the cooking oil. The excess liquid causes spattering.
  15. Place another sheet of wax paper on top and tightly wrap the tray of fried latkes in foil. If using within three or four days, refrigerate, otherwise freeze.
  16. To reheat:
  17. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and cook in single layer batches until hot and crispy, about 8 -12 minutes, depending on the size of your latkes.

 

 

 

Garlic Shrimp Bites with Pineapple Salsa

This recipe for Garlic Shrimp Bites with Pineapple Salsa is a light, easy-to-prepare appetizer. If you don’t have the ceramic spoons shown in the picture above, use taco or pita chips.

Most fishmongers clean and devein the shrimp for you. If possible, get them to remove the tail end, too. If not, just pinch until you hear a slight crack and gently wiggle it off. I prefer to use Wild USA shrimp.

Shelled and deveined shrimp.

If you don’t have a grill, heat a medium frypan over medium-high heat and sauté the marinated shrimp as directed below.

Cut the green onions on the diagonal and include the green tops, which add color and flavor.

Method

Combine the shrimp, oil, garlic, salt and pepper flakes in a non-reactive bowl and cover or a self-closing plastic bag, and chill for at least two hours.

Marinating shrimp.

Preheat the grill. Place the shrimp on the hot grill and cook for two minutes on one side, turn and cook another one or two minutes. The shrimp are ready when they are pink and firm.

Grilled shrimp.

Cut the shrimp into bite-size chunks and place one piece on each spoon or on each taco or pita chip and top with pineapple salsa. See our post on how to peel a pineapple.

Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple salsa.

1/2 fresh pineapple, minced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (cut on diagonal green tips)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 small jalapeno,
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Chopped green onions.

Combine the pineapple, lime juice, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, and salt. Let sit 30 minutes, stir once at 15 minutes. Can be made up to two days in advance.

Salsa ingredients.

 

Print

Grilled Garlic Shrimp

Most fishmongers clean and devein the shrimp for you. If possible, get them to remove the tail shell, too. If you don’t have a grill, heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and sauté the marinated shrimp into the hot pan and cook as directed below.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 6
  • Total Time: 26 minutes
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Grilling
Scale

Ingredients

Pineapple Salsa

1/2 cup minced fresh pineapple
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (cut on diagonal green tips)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 small jalapeño
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Grilled Shrimp

one pound medium or large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more if you dare!

Instructions

Pineapple Salsa

Combine the pineapple, lime juice, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, and salt. Let sit 30 minutes, stir once at 15 minutes.

Note: Salsa can be made up to two days in advance.

Combine the shrimp, oil, garlic, salt and pepper flakes in a non-reactive bowl and cover or a self-closing plastic bag, and chill for at least two hours.

Preheat the grill. Place the shrimp on the hot grill and cook for two minutes on one side, turn and cook another one or two minutes. The shrimp are ready when they are pink and firm.

Top each shrimp bite with a little salsa.

Keywords: salsa, pineapple salsa, shrimp with pineapple salsa, appetizer, condiment, dairy-free, gluten-free, bite-size shrimp

 

Veal and Turnip Stew

This recipe for Veal and Turnip Stew was inspired by the remaining ingredients from a photo shoot.

I had carrots and a bag of pearl onions that pair so nicely with veal. Tarragon is one of my favorite herb and a few fennel seeds add to the anise flavor I like so much. thought they’d add an interesting layer to the stew. Substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence for the herbs in this recipe, if anise doesn’t appeal to you.

Peeling pearl onions is a bit tedious and the task is made easier by blanching. Bring a pot of cold water with a couple a teaspoons of salt to boil and pop the onions in for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Slice the bottom off with a sharp paring knife stopping short of the skin on the far side. Pull that skin towards the top and slide the remainder off.

This stew with it’s delicious sauce is great with egg noodles.

Print

Veal and Turnip Stew

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Veal
  • Method: Slow Cooking
Scale

Ingredients

2 pounds boneless veal shoulder or rump, cut into 11/2 inch cubes, trim excess fat
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry white wine
24 pearl onions, peeled
1 pound turnips, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 medium carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
5 peppercorns
Bay leaf
1 cup stock
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon

Instructions

Place the veal on a tray and season both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Heat the oil in large sauce pan or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Stir in the onion, celery and garlic, cover and sweat for 4 minutes.

Add the wine, raise the heat to high and boil until the wine is reduced by one-half, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the turnips, carrots, fennel seeds, peppercorns, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour the stock over this, give a stir, and set the veal cubes on top of the vegetables.

Stovetop Method: Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours at barely a simmer or until the veal is fork tender.

Slow Cooker Method: Set the slower cooker on low and cook for 6 hours or until the veal is fork tender.

Just before serving toss in the peas and combine the water and cornstarch and pour into the hot stew. Stir frequently until the sauce has thickened. Garnish with chopped herbs and serve.

Notes

Substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence for the herbs in this recipe, if the anise flavor doesn’t appeal to you.