Monday, June 29, 2009

Sauteed Mushrooms

Adapted from: Recipe Zaar

One of my VERY FAVORITE dishes is the sauteed mushrooms from Outback Steakhouse. First of all, I don't like raw mushrooms. Ugh. They taste like nothing. I DO, however, like it when mushrooms act like little flavor sponges, soaking up the flavor of the dish they're in. Yum! This is a delicious example of that, and an absolutely PERFECT side dish with steak. It's pretty close to the restaurant version, and is RIDICULOUSLY easy! I did notice looking at the recipe it only contained beef broth and wine, and the Outback version has a little more richness to it. I added a couple tablespoons of butter with a clove of minced garlic and that seemed to do the trick. I'm sure the restaurant version has at least double the butter, but hey, this is a little healthier, right?

Sauteed Mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can beef broth
1/2 cup onion, diced
8 ounces fresh sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/3 cup red wine

1. Add butter and garlic to saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes. Add beef broth and onion to pan and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Add mushrooms and wine, and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Enjoy!

Steak with Garlic Butter

Adapted from: All Recipes

I had a hankering for steak this weekend, and I love all things that combine garlic and butter, so this seemed a pretty easy pick. We don't have a grill, so I adapted this for the stovetop. I am still mastering cooking a steak well over the stovetop. A lot of time the outside is seared and the inside can get pretty rare. I still have some messing around to do with my temperatures, but one tip I picked up from The New Best Recipe when cooking filets is to place in a 450 degree oven until done. If you're not getting your desired doneness via stovetop, it's probably a good tip.

Another mistake I made is I made the steaks in one pan, then set them aside and figured I'd make the sauce in the same pan, what with brown bits being all the rage. What I did NOT count on was the pan being too hot. The sauce was fine, but the butter started foaming as I added it to the pan. Oh well, live and learn! If you don't like the taste of garlic powder, just add more fresh garlic!

Steak with Garlic Butter

1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 pounds beef top sirloin steak, 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick

1. Preheat a heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over high heat until very hot. Meanwhile, season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper to taste.

2. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat with garlic powder and minced garlic. Set aside.

3. Lay the steaks in the pan, leaving 1/4 inch of space between them. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, not moving the steaks until they are well-browned, about 4 mihutes. Using tongs, flip the steaks; cook 4 minutes for rare (120 degrees), 5 minutes for medium rare (125-130 degrees), and 6 minutes for medium (135-140 degrees). Transfer the steaks to a large plate, top with garlic butter sauce, and let rest 3-5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lemon Pepper Linguine with Chicken

Adapted from: All Recipes

This was another meal I picked solely on how easy it looked, and I was surprised by how tasty it was! My sauces tend to be in the tomato family, so it was nice to have something a little different. Because of the light lemony flavor of the sauce, this dish really reminds me of summer. The only thing missing was some fresh grated Parmesan!

I also did something in the last few recipes which has improved the flavor and tenderness of the chicken each time. I browned the chicken in the skillet, and then removed to a 200 degree oven while I prepared the rest of the ingredients. Doing this, or in the very least letting the chicken rest for 3-4 minutes before slicing or serving, allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making for a tasty, juicer chicken.

Lemon Pepper Linguine with Chicken

8 ounces linguine pasta
2 thin-cut chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
6 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil

1. Heat oven to 200 degress.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add linguine, and cook until al dente. Drain.

3. While the linguine is cooking, sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned, about 5 minutes each side. Remove to a plate and place in preheated oven while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

4. Add garlic to skillet and cook for 1 minutes. Mix in chicken broth, wine, lemon juice, zest, pepper, and salt. Scrape bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, and reduce heat and simmer for about 3 minutes.

5. Add butter and herbs into saucepan. Mix and cook 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and slice into bite-sized pieces. Add to sauce and mix well. Divide linguine on plates and top with chicken mixture and serve.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Simple Chicken Dinner

Sometimes I'm not in the mood to cook and want a no-brainer meal to make. This chicken is the perfect canvass for a quick meal. You can use the seasonings of your choice to mix it up or make it your own!

Simple Chicken Dinner

4 thin-cut chicken breasts
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup of flour
Seasonings of your choice (salt, pepper, select herbs, or seasoning blends. Just be careful with blends as they can be a little salty.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth.

1. Heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Sprinkle chicken breasts with seasonings of your choice, then dredge in flour.

2. Add garlic to skillet and cook until just beginning to brown, a few minutes. Add chicken to skillet and cook until browned, about 5 minutes each side. Set aside and tent with foil, or place in 200 degree oven to keep warm.

3. Add chicken stock or broth to skillet and cook, scraping browned bits. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to sifter and slowly add into the liquid until it becomes thick.

4. Top chicken with gravy and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Simple Pot Roast

Source: The New Best Recipe

Honestly, I'm just not that into beef. I mean, I LOVE meat! Bring on the pork, chicken, and turkey. But beef...meh. I may cook with it once a month or less.

I was scanning recipes for last weekend and I was just BORED of always making the same things. I had tagged the pot roast from Bridget's blog and it was something I've never made. As well, I'm pretty much always a sucker for Cook's Illustrated recipes.

I was pleasantly surprised by this roast! The roast I've had in the past have consisted of rather dry meat with carrots and potatoes. Nothing to write home about. But my husband and I both loved this! The meat was incredibly tender and flavorful. If you really love beef, I can highly recommend this recipe!

Pot Roast

1 boneless chuck-eye roast (about 3 1/2 pounds), patted dry with paper towels
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped medium
1 small carrot, chopped medium
1 small celery rib, chopped medium
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 spring fresh thyme
1 - 1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup dry red wine

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Sprinkle the roast generously with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Heat the oil in a large oven-proof Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown the roast thoroughly on all sides, reducing the heat if the fat begins to smoke, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the roast to a large plate; set aside.

3. Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion, carrot, and celery to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broths and thyme, scraping the pan bottom with a wooden spoon to loosed any browned bits. Return the roast and any accumulated juices on the plate to the pot; add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the roast. Cover with a lid, bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat, and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook, turning the roast every 30 minutes, until fully tender and a meat fork or sharp knife slips easily in and out of the meat, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

4. Transfer the roast to a carving board; tent with foil to keep warm. Allow the liquid in the pan to settle about 5 minutes, then use a wide spoon to skim the fat off the surface; discard the thyme sprig. Add the wine and reduce to 1 1/2 cups, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Using a chef's or carving knife, cut the meat into 1/2 inch slices, or pull apart into large pieces; transfer the meat to a warmed serving plate and pour about 1/2 cup sauce over the meat. Serve, passing the remaining sauce separately.