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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Pumpkin Spiced Rice Krispies Treats

I’m not sure if Kellog’s came up with the idea of Rice Krispies treats before thinking of just coming up with the idea of pouring cereal into a bowl and simply add milk. Who knew that melting butter, adding more sugary goodness from marshmallows, and adding rice krispies would yield one of the most popular deserts for kids (and adults) since who knows when! According to the Internet they were invented in 1939, and I am so glad that they were. Now if you know me, or have followed Simple Comfort Food for any time, you will probably realize that I have never been a fan desserts, but lately that game plan has changed (and I think I am thankful that it has).

Pumpkin Spiced Rice Krispie Treats
Pumpkin Spiced Rice Krispies Treats

So as I often do when making desserts, I start by thinking of my kids (and wife) and visualize how happy they will be that a dessert is present in the house, and for whatever reason pumpkin spice popped into my head. I know it is the season of pumpkin spice, and to be honest I am not a fan of pumpkin spiced anything, but again I was thinking of my kids and realizing that they love pumpkin spiced anything, especially growing up (they still are) and when really young pumpkin muffins were their absolute favorite, so I knew they would love trying these.

Rice Krispies are so easy to make that however you spin them up they are sure to be a hit. For me, these are seasonal, full of that pumpkin spice, and were not for me. I will pursue other desserts, but my kids… they pan of pumpkin spiced rice krispies treats were devoured.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 10.5 oz bag of marshmallows
  • 6 cups of Rice Krispies
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 13×9 pan sprayed with cooking spray

Way too simple.

Add a pot to the stove (or one large enough to hold all of the rice krispies), and begin melting the butter. Once the butter melts, add in the marshmallows and pumpkin spice. Reduce the heat to low melt all of the marshmallows. Once melted, add in the rice krispies and thoroughly combine.

Pumpkin Spiced Rice Krispie Treats
Pumpkin Spiced Rice Krispies Treats

Spread evenly into the 13×9 dish. Let the marshmallows mellow and form, then slice into bars and enjoy!

Again, I am not too big of a fan for pumpkin spice, but as this was a seasonal dessert, and full of those warm fall spices, they were hard to resist. Simply put, they were delicious and my kids devoured them.

What’s your take on pumpkin spice? Fan? If so, what is your favorite way to use it? Enjoy!

Homemade Pickled Pepperoncini Peppers

It seems as though I have always had a love for chili peppers. I assume that I got this love by watching, learning, and probably tasting hot sauces at an earlier age. It was probably hanging around our kitchen and my dad cracking open a bottle of hot sauce and asking me to try. Maybe not. Whatever the case, I love chili peppers and I probably eat at least 1/2 dozen (or more) each week. With that being said, it’s a bit sad that we had to harvest the rest of our vegetables from our garden last night. We still had a lot of tomatoes that have yet to ripen, plenty of chili peppers, and a broccoli plant that only wanted to yield it’s baby crown! I can’t say that it was anyone’s fault as to why we had so much left on the vines but in about two more weeks, those tomatoes would probably be perfect! Oh well.

Pickled Pepperoncini Recipe
Pickled Pepperoncini Recipe

That’s OK though. As much as I would like to harvest everything that we grow, I realize that we must sacrifice a few things to get what we needed from the garden. I often plant an array of chili peppers each year so I was excited to see what was flowering and low and behold it was the pepperoncini, and sure enough one of my favorite eating ‘snack’ chili peppers. There were so many peppers on the two bushes that I did not know what to do with all of them. The pickling was the first batch, and now I must figure out what to do with the rest of them. I have some ideas up my sleeve, but in the meantime, here is a quick recipe for pickling chili peppers.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large mason jar
  • ~25 whole pepperoncini peppers, washed, slit with a knife
  • 5 cloves of garlic, skins removed, lightly smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar

Just to note, Spring may be one of my favorite time of year, only for the sure pleasure of knowing that we will be able to plant, and plant something new. This is the first year we planted this peppers, and as we planted two bushes this year, I will most likely decide to plant one next year. One plant/bush will yield a ton of peppers, and probably too many for the average person depending on how much you enjoy chili peppers.

Start by making sure your peppers are cleaned and cleared of any dirt. Once cleaned, take a sharp knife and make a small slit into each pepper. Why the small slit? My plan is to let those great pickling juices infiltrate the interior and make for great flavor.

Drop each pepper into the mason jar along with the bay leaf.

Pickled Pepperoncini Ingredients
Pickled Pepperoncini Ingredients

To a small sauce pan, add the vinegar, salt, sugar, garlic, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar, then remove from the heat and let it cool.

Once cooled, pour in the pickling solution and once it is completely cool, seal and place in the refrigerator for about 7-10 days before digging in.

The beautiful thing about these pepperoncini peppers is that not only are they crunchy, slightly spicy, and are a perfect side dish (and snack (yes, I eat these for snacks sometimes)), but they are great in making them your own in terms of pickling variants, but geez are they ever easy to make. I know I was winning when we, yes I say ‘we’ because my wife participated in trying and eating more than one of them! That’s a huge deal!

To be honest, at first I had no clue as to what these peppers were when we planted. I knew what pepperoncini were, but the seeds did not state that. When trying a raw one, I fell in love, as did my wife. The pickled pepperoncini are awesome, but the raw (feel free to freeze them raw) are dynamite! I’m curious, what is your favorite quick pickle go to recipe? Enjoy!

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