Cranberry Steak and Seafood Sauce

First off, Happy New Year!

I know… it feels like an eternity since I last posted a delicious recipe. I am not tired by any means, but we have been enjoying family time, prepared for the holidays, and my wife’s birthday. It has been busy to say the least, and I will admit that taking a break from making 20+ cookies beat me down a bit. Did I also mention that I am somewhat (somewhat) sick of eating cookies? I did not think I would ever say that lately, but I am. I’m on break from the cookie intake. But during all of the baking, we hosted Christmas dinner and as always I had something in store for the family. This year was Filipino pancit (I ruined it for the first time), roasted garlic potatoes, herb crusted beef tenderloin stuffed with duxelles, garlic and butter shrimp, and a garlic and herb crusted strip roast. All of this was great, but the sauce I whipped up to accompany the beef was the star, at least in my opinion.

See, I bought a big bag of cranberries around Thanksgiving time this year, and I had plenty of them left in the freezer. Of course I whipped up a nice chutney but then I decided to make a cranberry steak sauce that sparked a recipe from the past that my Dad loved which was a cherry steak/bbq sauce.

Cranberry Steak Sauce Recipe
Cranberry Steak Sauce Recipe

(Don’t mind the sad picture of my beef. This was an end cut that I used for leftovers. My other cuts were spot on and cut like butter. I miss it.)

This sauce is sweet, tangy, and a bit smokey. It is almost like an A1, but way better. My wife and I loved it and it will be a condiment to add to any fridge. The bit shocker was how awesome this was with the shrimp!

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cups frozen cranberries, defrosted overnight
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 12 oz light beer
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup of pomegranate flavored red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • small pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper

I know, when you think about it, there are a few flavor bombs in here but the balance with the brown sugar and cranberries make this stuff shine. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Oh, by the way it is all gone.

Start by heating a sauce pan on medium heat.

Add in the oil, bring it to temperature then add in the onion. Sweat the onions for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times, then add in the garlic. Stir again, then toss in the cranberries. Give another good stir, then add in the brown sugar, beer, worchestershire sauce, dijon, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and cracked black pepper. Stir well.

Cranberry Steak and Seafood Sauce
Cranberry Steak and Seafood Sauce

Once this comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. The sauce will begin to reduce and thicken. This is what you are looking for.

You have two options now. You can pour this into a blender, or keep it in the pot and use an immersion blender. I chose the latter (an immersion blender is an awesome). If you are using a blender just be careful and not only make sure the lid is on right, but that you cover it with a towel for extra protection.

Blend until you have a smooth mixture, then you will strain this through a fine mesh strainer to remove any thick clumps. Use the back of a spoon to push this through the strainer. I do this over a bowl to reserve the sauce.

Pour the sauce into storage container in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. In my case I used a plastic condiment squeeze bottle and let everyone squirt away.  Sweet, salty, and a smidgen spicy it is everything you want in a great sauce, plus cranberries to boot!

This sauce, hands down is one of the better ones I have made in some time and gives my regular steak sauce a run for its money! Happy New Year everyone!

 

Filipino Bistek Tagalog Sliders

Lately I have been thrown a few challenges. Some major ones such as battling cancer, and some minor ones such as how to scale down feeding a family. See, we lost our oldest to college this year. It’s exciting to everyone, but the change was an interesting variable to deal with. Sure, it has been quiet, the house easier to pick up, less dishes, less laundry, less noise, and less food consumption. To me, that’s nice, but the food consumption is something I am still getting a grasp on. I know it sounds easy but when you have been cooking as long as I have, you get used to portions, or should I say teenage portions.

My oldest, probably since he hit his teens, has been a big eater. The kid will crush three burgers if he is bored (I’m not even sure hungry), a meal of two plates of nachos, 36 chicken wings… You get it. So now (and probably always) I have many leftovers which sadly often time can go to waste. Due to my condition, I cannot really entertain the idea of leftovers, even my own, if it sits over a day in the refrigerator, so you can see where I am going. I’m learning to scale down on family meals, and it is tough. Thankfully there was something I made earlier this month, Bistek Tagalog where it was so tasty that I had the appetite the following day to make something out of the leftover, and it was a simple as making a slider and adding some cheese. BOOM!

Filipino Bistek Sliders
Filipino Bistek Sliders

The process of making Bistek Tagalog (Steak with onions along with great Filipino flavors) is simple to begin with, and then warming up the leftovers and putting them between two soft buns, well you have something great to eat in no time.

Let’s get started:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked Bistek Tagalog, warmed
  • 1 slice provolone cheese, per slider
  • 2 slider buns, per slider

That is it!

Take a skillet, and heat it to medium heat. Add in whatever amount of bistek tagalog you want for your sliders and let it come to temperature. Once the beef and onions are nice and warm add some provolone cheese to the top.

Bistek Tagalog Ingredients
Bistek Tagalog Ingredients

Once the cheese begins to melt, left up and slide onto the bottom of your slider bun. Top with the top bun. Repeat if necessary.

As much as I love a great cheesesteak sandwich, the Filipino bistek tagalog slider is one sandwich to be reckoned with, and low and behold I got to use up some of my leftovers!

P.S. The kid is back from college this week so I’m hoping leftovers will be held to a minimum for a few days!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (If you are looking for some ideas for recipes this Thanksgiving, give these a try.)

Bistek Tagalog

Bistek Tagalog… What the heck is bistek tagalog you might be wandering? Thankfully I took about 11 years of Spanish, so I know a few things. Kidding aside, bistek, which translates simply to Beef Steak, and well, Tagalog (as I know it) refers to the Filipino language, one of which I know very little but I love participating and using those Spanish words to try to decipher that language but I always fail for the most part. So to me, bistek tagalog simply refers to Filipino beef steak.

It is more than just beef steak though. If you have been following any of my recipes over time, you will know that Filipino cuisine uses some common ingredients and a few of them being soy sauce, garlic, chilies, black pepper, and bay leaves, only to name a few. This particular dish is so darn simple to make, smells amazing, and delivers just a great bite of food that it may make it onto your lazy susan of weekly dishes to make!

Bistek Tagalog Recipe
Bistek Tagalog Recipe

Let’s get started on this delicious recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs top sirloin (splurge for guests using beef tenderloin), thinly sliced against the grain (1/4 inch thick)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 whole, large onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick, 1/4 of the slices reserved
  • 1 head of garlic, skins removed, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • salt to taste
  • Cooked jasmine rice, per serving

There is one thing to take notice on the recipe and that is the beef selection. If you are wanting to elevate this dish, go with beef tenderloin, otherwise stick to top sirloin (lightly tenderize with meat mallet).

Start, as always, by preparing all of your ingredients. Often times it is easier to freeze the meat slightly for easier slicing, and more control over the thickness of the meat. Keep that in mind.

Once your beef, onions, and garlic are all set, then it is time to get to work. What I love about this is not only the flavor in this dish, but how quick it is to get it to the table.

In a mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, lemon and lime juice, garlic, and black peppers. Add in the sliced beef and massage the meat getting that marinade really concentrated into the beef. You can let this marinate for hours if you want, but simply 10 minutes should work just fine. Set aside.

Heat a very large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of the canola oil and let it come to a shimmer.

Bistek Tagalog Ingredients
Bistek Tagalog Ingredients

Toss in the 3/4 of the onions, reduce the heat a bit, and cook for about 5 minutes. I like the onions to still have a bit of bite, so only a few minutes in the skillet, and you should be ready. You do not want to overcook these until they are limp, and definitely not fully raw.

Remove the onions from the skillet and onto a plate, and set aside for later.

Now, get the skillet back on the stove on medium-high heat. Add in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. With a slotted spoon, remove the beef and garlic from the bowl and into the skillet, reserving the marinade.

Cook the beef for about 4 minutes, per side. Once cooked and a bit seared on each side, add in the marinade, along with any remaining garlic in there and bring to a simmer.

Cover, reduce the heat, and cook for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, uncover, and top with the slightly cooked onions. Give this a good stir, and cook for about 5 more minutes.

Now you are ready to plate. You can do this two ways. Serve individually (what fun is that?) or serve family style. I go family style. Pour the beef mixture into a large serving bowl and garnish with the remaining quarter of raw onions on the top, while adding the cooked jasmine rice to another serving bowl.

Plate with rice, and top with the bistek tagalog. The flavors are out of this world. The tender beef along with those onions and garlic. Whoa, watch out people! This is not only loaded with flavor, but the beef should be super tender, and the onions slightly crunch and pungent that just goes phenomenal with sweet, cooked jasmine rice.  Enjoy!

Nacho Hot Dogs

Don’t knock us, but I will admit that as often as we have things on our meal rotation such as ‘Taco (whatever day), breakfast for dinner, roasted chicken, etc” there is one meal that probably makes it into the rotation once a month, and that is hot dog night. I love it. The dinner table however is pretty below average when it comes to loading up a hot dog and as a matter of fact, 99.9 percent of the table of eaters, excluding myself, only eats a plain hot dog. No big deal. I’m not to judge as there is something to be said about a plain weiner, or hot dog, especially if you are getting a quality weiner such as a product from Nueske’s.  For me however, well it’s a completely different experience. I love to try different things on mine, and as pure as I can get to just mustard, or a couple of peppers on top, there are often times when I’m craving something alongside that hot dog, and that’s when this little creation appeared; the nacho hot dog.

Nacho Hot Dogs
Nacho Hot Dogs

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite wieners or hot dogs, cooked to your liking (grilled or steamed)
  • Hot Dog Buns
  • 1/2 cup Chihuahua cheese, per serving
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, per serving
  • chopped onions, optional
  • 1/2 whole jalapeno, thinly sliced, seeds optional

That’s where I am standing on the nacho hot dog. Why only cheese and jalapeno? I’m a fan of the simple nacho as the starting ground. There is something about the combination of salty cheese and a spicy pepper that when done right, it is just hard to beat. Now sure… use this as your base. If you want beans, go for it. Tomatoes, onion, salsa… go for it. It’ up to you, but the simply smokiness from the wiener, along with the cheese and chilies really makes this a great bite.

How to make Nacho Hot Dogs
How to make Nacho Hot Dogs

Once your hot dogs are cooked, place them into a bun, top with the quesadilla cheese, then the cheddar, then lay in the jalapenos.

Place on a baking sheet and place into a 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted and the bun is slightly toasted. Once removed, add some chopped onions to the top.

Dig in and enjoy!

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Filipino Bulalo

I often wish that there would always be a pot of soup of the stove. Warm and ready to go any time of the day, all day, and every day. How cool would that be, especially if you had a wood burner or something and it was your task to keep that warm pot of goodness warm all day long. I know I would be into something like that! I don’t want to be premature but I think fall sprung in Wisconsin. What does that mean? Well, what it means every fall Sunday at the Phillips house; comfort food season.

This weekend was no exception. The chicken pot pie came rolling out as did pumpkin spiced ‘you name it desserts’, as well as soup. The thought of soup seemed like a warm blanket on a cold afternoon. Granted chicken pot pie is that thickening agent that just coats your stomach lining, and almost putting you instantly to sleep, but that soup on the otherhand, well that got me thinking. Thinking not only about how delicious each bite would be, but thoughts of making a rustic bread,, and leaving that soup of the stove all darn day only to be had more of later. That’s when I thought of the communal Filipino soup known as Bulalo.

Filipino Bulalo Soup Recipe
Filipino Bulalo Soup Recipe

The thing about bulalo is that it might be intimidating if it is served in front of you without ever have tried it. It’s almost like a Mexican caldo de res where you get large chunks of meat and vegetables. It’s definitely a spoon, fork, knife, and hand meal so probably best to eat around close friends and family in case you get down and dirty and want to roll up your sleeves, not have a care in the world and just get to town on some bone marrow!

Yes, the bone marrow. It’s the luxurious part of this soup and part of the beauty. Beef bones with marrow, cooked really low and slow until pot roast tender. That’s this soup. Simple, delicious, and slurpable.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lbs of beef shanks
  • water
  • 2 bundles of bok choy, quartered whole
  • 3 ears of corn, cut into half, or quarters
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • pinch of salt, to taste
  • 1 head garlic, top cut off (exposing cloves)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce, more to your liking
  • 1/2 small green cabbage, roughly chopped
  • limes, optional
  • cooked jasmine rice, per serving
  • fried shallots, optional
  • fried garlic, optional

Start by adding cold water to a stock pot. Add the beef shanks (find these on the cheap at local Mexican grocery stores), and turn on the heat to a medium high heat.

Cook the shanks for about 15 minutes or until they come to a boil for about 5 minutes. During the boil, get a large spoon out and skim the top surface of all of the bone scum. Discard the scum. We are going to discard the water and scum anyway but it’s always nice to get rid of the majority ahead of time.

Put a strainer in your sink and pour the beef and water into the strainer. Rinse the beef well.

Rinse out the stock pot. Place the bones back in the pot along with the onion, garlic, and peppercorns. Fill to cover with water, and return to a boil.

Filipino Bulalo Soup Recipe
Filipino Bulalo Soup Recipe

While the beef is boiling, continue to skim off any scum that comes to the surface and discard. After about 4 hours, remove the garlic, onion, and any peppercorns.

Season the stock with fish sauce and some salt. Stir and taste. If the stock is getting a bit low, add a bit more water to your liking, just keep the beef stock flavored as you add more water.

Add in the corn and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or so. Once the beef is ultra tender, add in the bok choy and cabbage. I tossed in a small amount of fresh green beans from our garden as well (not necessary), and give that a good stir. Good for another 10 minutes or so, give a taste and adjust salt if necessary.

When you are ready to serve, transfer some of the soup mixture into a soup serving bowl, ensuring some beef bone, corn, and cabbage, then give a good squeeze of lime. Serve alongside a big bowl of cooked jasmine rice, and dig in! I like to top mine with fried garlic chips and shallots, and some fresh chili, but that’s just me.

Not only is this a great communal dish, but it is one that is perfect for long, cold days and evenings, and one that is sure to please a crowd.

Get a plate. Take some rice onto the plate. Slurp some broth. Spoon out some chunks of cabbage or beef onto the rice. Get into it. Repeat.

Hope you enjoy!

Pulled Beef Tacos

I often find it funny on all of the posts for ‘Taco Tuesday’. Granted I love the name and the idea of it all, especially if you are planning out the weekly meals, but I feel that Monday (Meatless), Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (Fish Fry in Wisconsin), Saturday, and Sunday get left behind.  I’m sure those days are out there in terms of identifying food to a day but that is not how it goes down in our house. Sure, we try to get a meatless Monday in (and any day of the week for that matter), and hump day or Thursday results in (at least for me, ‘I’m tired of cooking) a let’s order something kind of night, but for tacos, heck, I could eat those every day of the week. So upon my wandering around the house looking for something to do or cook as I was bored, I came across a lonely poblano pepper.

Yep, one poblano pepper resulted in this Taco Thursday. The idea of the poblano made me think of the chicken poblano recipe that my wife loves, but I had just recently made that for her, hence the lonely poblano. So I came across a nice looking chuck roast that was calling my name, as was the pressure cooker for that matter.

These pulled beef tacos were super simple to make, and quick (due to the pressure cooker), and made everyone’s Thursday a very happy one.

Pulled Beef Tacos Recipe
Pulled Beef Tacos Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 4 lb beef chuck roast
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • water (or beef stock) to cover beef
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 2 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed
  • 1 poblano chile, halved, seeds and stem removed
  • 4 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp Berbere spice blend (or taco)
  • additional salt, to taste
  • Shredded cheese, to your liking
  • hard shell tacos
  • Taco fixings (chopped onion, avocado, cilantro, tomato, beans, etc)

I left this one pretty generic as the taco game is pretty diverse. The idea here is to get your shredded beef ready and you load however you want. This particular evening I went with hard shelled tacos with cheese, onion, and garden tomatoes, along with some hot sauce.

If you do not have a pressure cooker (I highly recommend that purchase) then feel free to use a slow cooker with less water, and cooking that on low for 6-8 hours. The pressure cooker however will get you done and ready within 45 minutes if that.

To the pressure cooker, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil on medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chuck roast with salt and pepper. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the chuck roast and sear it on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. You want some good browning so let it sit there, do not disturb it, then flip until both sides are seared.

Once seared, add in the garlic, onion, and poblano pepper. Cover the roast with water or beef stock, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes. Let your pressure come down before taking off the lid (follow your pressure cooker instructions). The roast should be fork tender and should easily shred with a couple of forks.

Pulled Beef Tacos Recipe
Pulled Beef Tacos Recipe

Discard the onion, garlic, and pepper.

Remove the roast onto a cutting board, and reserve a couple of cups of the liquid.

Using two forks, shred the beef and discard any of the weird fat that may still be intact. No one likes that stuff, trust me.

Next, heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add in the oil, and once shimmers, add in the beef. Season with a pinch of salt, then the berbere spice. Give that a good toss, and sear the shredded beef. Something about those slightly crispy strands of beef get me every time.

Once the beef is slightly seared to your liking, add in just a bit of remaining liquid, to your liking, to moisten the beef.

Once your remaining taco ingredients are ready, it’s taco time!

Load in the beef into your desired shell whether that be hard, or soft, and load in your fillings.

The result is super tender shredded beef with awesome flavors from that berbere spice, and just all of those goodies from your taco fillings. This shredded beef taco is not only easy to make, loaded with flavor, and perfect for any day of the week, but it also is a nice change to that classic American ground beef mixture that we grew up to love. Hope you enjoy!

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Pulled Beef Tacos
Author: 
Recipe type: Tacos
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 4 lb beef chuck roast
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • water (or beef stock) to cover beef
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 2 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed
  • 1 poblano chile, halved, seeds and stem removed
  • 4 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp Berbere spice blend (or taco)
  • additional salt, to taste
  • Shredded cheese, to your liking
  • hard shell tacos
  • Taco fixings (chopped onion, avocado, cilantro, tomato, beans, etc)
Instructions
  1. I left this one pretty generic as the taco game is pretty diverse. The idea here is to get your shredded beef ready and you load however you want. This particular evening I went with hard shelled tacos with cheese, onion, and garden tomatoes, along with some hot sauce.
  2. If you do not have a pressure cooker (I highly recommend that purchase) then feel free to use a slow cooker with less water, and cooking that on low for 6-8 hours. The pressure cooker however will get you done and ready within 45 minutes if that.
  3. To the pressure cooker, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil on medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chuck roast with salt and pepper. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the chuck roast and sear it on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. You want some good browning so let it sit there, do not disturb it, then flip until both sides are seared.
  4. Once seared, add in the garlic, onion, and poblano pepper. Cover the roast with water or beef stock, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes. Let your pressure come down before taking off the lid (follow your pressure cooker instructions). The roast should be fork tender and should easily shred with a couple of forks.
  5. Discard the onion, garlic, and pepper.
  6. Remove the roast onto a cutting board, and reserve a couple of cups of the liquid.
  7. Using two forks, shred the beef and discard any of the weird fat that may still be intact. No one likes that stuff, trust me.
  8. Next, heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add in the oil, and once shimmers, add in the beef. Season with a pinch of salt, then the berbere spice. Give that a good toss, and sear the shredded beef. Something about those slightly crispy strands of beef get me every time.
  9. Once the beef is slightly seared to your liking, add in just a bit of remaining liquid, to your liking, to moisten the beef.
  10. Once your remaining taco ingredients are ready, it’s taco time!
  11. Load in the beef into your desired shell whether that be hard, or soft, and load in your fillings.

 

Moroccan Beef

These past few weeks I have been craving all sorts of foods, most likely because I am limited in going out for some of my favorite things like tacos, Thai food, or heck even some down and dirty Chinese buffet. My diet is not as much limited but I am limited as to where I can go as I continue to tackle this thing called cancer. I’ve been through this routine once before where I know what I can and cannot do, and that my taste buds might be a bit jacked, along with the overall energy to get things on the table, but I have been doing rather well and getting in what I can each and every meal. Lately I was in the mood for all things vinegar and garlic and hence why I was making things like Filipino adobo, and fried bangus for breakfast, and then came the craving for things like Indian curried lentils, among other unique and wonderful flavors.

As we are trying to use what we have around us and limit our shopping to some degree, it has become my daily challenge in a sense to come up with something new (and sometimes not) and exciting for everyone to hopefully enjoy. Not only that my levels in my blood work were screaming some nutrients that I was not getting, and hence a play on this dish. This is when I decided to make some Moroccan beef as it almost reminded me of a Filipino breakfast I once had known as a torta but with a few extra ingredients.

Moroccan Beef Recipe
Moroccan Beef Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground chuck
  • 2 carrots, peeled, diced
  • 1 rib of celery, diced
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled, cubed, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 cup green lentils, cooked al dente
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1 tbsp berebere spice
  • 1/2 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste
  •  1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Cooked jasmine rice, optional

Start by heating a large skillet or pot on medium heat. Toss in the ground chuck and start breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook until it no longer pink. Retain the fat in the pan, about 2 tablespoons. If there is more, remove and discard.

Moroccan Beef Ingredients
Moroccan Beef Ingredients

Add in the shallots, garlic, carrots, and celery. Give a good stir. Toss in all of the spices and give that a good stir. The seasonings will start to bloom. Cook for a few minutes, then add in the lentils, apricots, and potatoes. Give this another gentle stir, then add in the chicken stock. Another gentle stir.

Give it a taste and see if it requires any additional salt. You should get getting the warm spice from the cinnamon, the color from the turmeric, and the spice from the bebere. Along with the tender potatoes, lentils, and beef, well you have yourself one very delicious dish. Feel free to try with ground chicken, turkey, or heck just go all vegetables and I’m certain you will still enjoy it.

Moroccan Beef
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ lbs ground chuck
  • 2 carrots, peeled, diced
  • 1 rib of celery, diced
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled, cubed, cooked al dente
  • ½ cup green lentils, cooked al dente
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup dried apricots
  • 1 tbsp berebere spice
  • ½ tbsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tbsp salt, to taste
  •  1½ tsp cracked black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • Cooked jasmine rice, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a large skillet or pot on medium heat. Toss in the ground chuck and start breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook until it no longer pink. Retain the fat in the pan, about 2 tablespoons. If there is more, remove and discard.
  2. Add in the shallots, garlic, carrots, and celery. Give a good stir. Toss in all of the spices and give that a good stir. The seasonings will start to bloom. Cook for a few minutes, then add in the lentils, apricots, and potatoes. Give this another gentle stir, then add in the chicken stock. Another gentle stir.
  3. Give it a taste and see if it requires any additional salt. You should get getting the warm spice from the cinnamon, the color from the turmeric, and the spice from the bebere. Along with the tender potatoes, lentils, and beef, well you have yourself one very delicious dish. Feel free to try with ground chicken, turkey, or heck just go all vegetables and I’m certain you will still enjoy it.

 

Fried Bologna Breakfast Sandwich

I was first introduced to fried bologna, I believe when I was living in Indiana as a young kid. I mean probably first grade. I could be wrong as age is getting to me, but I recall my Dad searing it on a hot skillet on the stove top. I always try to bring back those types of memories to my kids whether it be teaching them how to make a proper omelette or a simple thing like making stove top popcorn.  When I recently shopped I had the idea of a McMuffin on my mind, and then as I was ordering some ham, I took a gaze over at the bologna and decided to go straight for it as I knew one of my boys loves it as well. That’s when I decided to come up with the fried bologna breakfast sandwich.

Fried Bologna Breakfast Sandwich
Fried Bologna Breakfast Sandwich

To me, this is a perfect breakfast, or brunch sandwich and it has everything I love for breakfast (yes, I’m a fan of the egg McMuffin), but substitutes Canadian bacon with thick cut bologna, about 1 inch thick.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 slice thick cut beef bologna
  • 1 telera roll, lightly toasted
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 egg, cooked sunny side up
  • 1 slice American cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start by heating a large skillet on medium high heat. Slice your roll and lightly toast it on both sides. Remove and set aside once it is toasted.

Next add the sliced bologna and cook it until it is nicely seared on both sides. It will curl up on you, but don’t worry. To me it is the vessel to hold the egg. If your skillet is large enough, keep it cooking while you cook your egg. If not, remove and cook your egg.

Turn the heat back down to medium, and add the butter. Crack your egg and using a spatula, lightly break that thick egg white and let it run around. Season with salt and pepper.

Fried Bologna Breakfast Sandwich
Fried Bologna Breakfast Sandwich

I like to cook the egg when the white edges get nice and crispy, but cook it however you like.

Add the fried bologna to the bottom bun, top with the egg, and add the American cheese. Cover with the top white bun, push it down a bit to create that yolk gravy, and get to town.

It’s salty, crisp, and just down right delicious. Get to it, you’ll love it. Hope you enjoy!

 

 

Thai Steak

It has been awhile since we have had beef, so I figured since the weather has finally been improving that I would fire up the grill, splurge on some steaks and get to town. This time instead of just salt and peppering the steak, I decided to go with a Thai steak. It was a great decision on my part. This marinade would be fantastic with any protein, but it goes really well with beef.

If you want to use leftovers, try making my Thai steak McMuffin sandwich, that is if you have any leftovers (I’m surprised I did).

Grilled Thai Steak
Grilled Thai Steak

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 New York strip steaks, or t-bone steaks
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 pinch of salt, to taste
  • 1 shallot, minced

Combine all of the ingredients, excluding the meat, in a large bowl.

Grilled Thai Steak
Grilled Thai Steak

Add in the steak, mixing to coat all of the beef. Let this marinate for 1-4 hours. When you are ready to cook, heat up your grill and grill to your liking. We go medium for the most part on the steaks. Serve with rice and vegetables. Enjoy!

Thai Steak McMuffin

The weather was so nice this past weekend in the Milwaukee area. When I say nice, let’s just say it around 60 degrees. You don’t know what that did to us. It lifted us up, we opened windows, we were smiling, and I could probably keep going on and on. It’s funny what a change in weather can do for you to lift the spirits. With that said, my first instinct, instead of going (or making) a Friday night fish fry was to fire up the grill, and with beef being on sale, I decided to splurge and buy some steaks for the family. I knew exactly what I was going to do with it, and that was to make some Thai beef.

I was surprised to say the least that we had leftover beef after dinner, but that actually drew some excitement within me because I knew that was going nowhere to waste. So the following morning I figured I would make a Thai steak mcmuffin. I know that mcmuffin is trademarked and all, but anything I put on a n English muffin becomes a ‘mc’ something!

Thai Steak McMuffin Recipe
Thai Steak McMuffin Recipe

You can make this easy breakfast sandwich without going Thai style, and that recipe will be coming shortly, but the combination of tender steak with creamy eggs and cheese really makes a great weekend morning.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole eggs, beaten until frothy
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • steak, cooked medium, thinly sliced
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese
  • English muffin, sliced and toasted
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Start by heating a skillet on medium-low heat. Add the butter and let it come to a bubble. Swirl that butter around. Season your eggs with salt, pepper, and water. Mix that up.

Add the sliced steak to warm it up (or warm it through via a microwave). Remove the steak from the skillet and set it aside.

Add the eggs to the skillet, and using a spatula, move it around. Swirling if you will.

Thai Steak McMuffin Ingredients
Thai Steak McMuffin Ingredients

Once the eggs are nice and fluffy, add the steak back into the skillet and top it with a slice of cheddar cheese.

Toast your English muffin, and once toasted, slide the egg, steak and cheese onto the base of the English muffin. Top with the remaining muffin, push down a bit (get excited) and dig in.

The result is a great, and subtle punch of the Thai steak along with the creaminess of the egg and cheese as well as the crunch from that toasted muffin. I could probably eat one of these every day (or week), and is something that should be made by all of you. Yes, it’s that good.  Enjoy, and have an amazing week!