Tag Archives: dinner

Mustard Glaze Corned Beef

Mustard Glazed Corned Beef

 

Even though I’ve posted two beef recipes in a row, I am generally pretty picky about my red meat. I usually only eat red meat on the rare (pun!) occasion I go to a steakhouse (NY strip, medium please). Red meat in general, and steaks to be exact, are the one thing I have yet to find and master a go-to, fail-proof recipe (quality beef is too expensive to experiment with). Brisket would be the one exception to the red meat rule. I can make a mean brisket. I did learn from the best. Mama CC makes the best corned beef I have ever had. Yes, I am completely biased, but really her recipe is wonderful. So wonderful I need to share it.

The special secret to her corned beef is the amazing mustard glaze she puts on top before serving. It’s delicious. There is something about the sweet, slightly caramelized mustard and the combination of salty corned beef that is out of this world. If you really want to impress any St. Patrick’s Day guests, I highly recommend this recipe. I would also recommend serving with a horseradish sour cream sauce on the side. It’s the perfect finishing touch.

Mustard Glaze Corned Beef

Ingredients

    For the Corned Beef:
  • 3-5 pounds corned beef (with spice packet or brine, if included), trimmed of excess fat
  • 12 ounces pale ale/light beer or low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light, doesn't matter)

Instructions

  1. Place corned beef in a large pot. Add the beer/broth, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaves, 1 1/2 cups water and the contents of the spice packet/brine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until very tender and easily pierced with a fork, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 375ºF. Transfer the beef to a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the mustard and sugar. Brush the beef with the mustard mixture and roast until the sauce has thickened and set slightly, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and let sit 5-10 minutes. To serve, slice thinly across the grain.
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Halloumi Quinoa ‘Tabbouleh’ Salad

Halloumi Quinoa 'Tabbouleh' Salad

I have been hoarding a package of halloumi in my cheese drawer for several months now. Halloumi is hard to find and pretty expensive in these parts, so I tend to use it sparingly when I do find it. I finally decided to give the cheese a change of scenery and put it in a salad. I was quite happy with the move. The halloumi has yet to comment.

To make this tabbouleh salad gluten free, I used quinoa instead of bulgar wheat. A super simple swap. I personally liked the quinoa better than other tabbouleh I’ve had in the past. I was tempted to make a light lemon/vinaigrette dressing to go over the salad. In the end, I ended up squeezing one lemon over the salad and saving the olive oil the onion had been sautéed in. Genius idea! The oil brought even more caramelized onion flavor to the salad, which is always a plus in my book and the lemon helped brighten the flavors up with it’s refreshing tartness.

Halloumi Quinoa 'Tabbouleh' Salad

Halloumi Quinoa ‘Tabbouleh’ Salad

Inspired by this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package halloumi, sliced into thin pieces
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 large handful arugula/rocket
  • 1 ounce smoked almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 ounce pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

Instructions

  1. Bring 2 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth to a boil. Stir in 1 cup of quinoa, bring back to a boil, cover, cook over medium heat for 12-15 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all the broth. Remove from the heat, fluff, cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. In a small pan, cook the red onion in two teaspoons of olive oil on medium low heat for 15 minutes until they are soft and sweet. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. When the onions are done drain onions and oil into small dish and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, place several of the halloumi slices cook 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden on each side, flip and cook the other side until also lightly golden. Repeat with the remaining slices.
  4. Pour the quinoa into a large serving bowl and mix it together with the arugula, halloumi, red onion, green onion, almonds and pumpkin seeds.
  5. Scatter the pomegranate seeds on top of the salad and serve.
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Chicken Spinach & Cauliflower Cheese Pots

Chicken Spinach & Cauliflower Cheese Pots

This is pretty much Chicken Alfredo without any noodles involved. I’m not a pasta fan, so it was pretty much perfect to me. I was a bit hesitant to use evaporated milk. I know it’s real milk with some of the water removed, but shelf stable dairy products just weird me out. Once I got over the canned milk thing, I was really, really impressed by this dish. It was so easy to make and super flavorful. I did add some extra spices by sprinkling the chicken with Kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder. That definitely helped the dish. Next time, I think the only other thing I would add would be some Dijon mustard. I really think that would have enhanced the flavor even more. And I might add broccoli as well just to add some extra color and vegetables. The spinach was really good in this dish. I thought it might be kind of gross since it was added at the last-minute before baking. This recipe is great as is, but a few easy additions

A quick note about serving: I think it would be easier to do this in one large casserole dish or in 1 cup ramekins. I followed the directions and a 2 cup serving dish was the size of a cereal bowl, which is a lot of food. I think a 1 cup ramekin would be the perfect size accompanied with some extra veggies or a salad.

Chicken Spinach & Cauliflower Cheese Pots

Chicken Spinach & Cauliflower Cheese Pots

Adapted from Taste.Com.Au.

Ingredients

  • 1 small (800g) cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound/500g boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
  • Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, for seasoning
  • 3 Tablespoons/40g butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used Better Batter.)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 375ml can evaporated milk
  • 3 ounces/80g baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup grated tasty cheese (I used a sharp English Cheddar)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C/180°C fan-forced. Steam over or cook cauliflower in a saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season diced chicken breast with Kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Add the chicken. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Cover to keep warm.
  3. Add butter to pan. Cook for 1 minute or until melted and bubbling. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until bubbling. Gradually add stock, stirring until smooth. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Add milk. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken, cauliflower, spinach and 2 tablespoons tasty cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon mixture into four 2 cup-capacity ovenproof dishes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve.
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Parmesan Pearl Onions

I used to always ignore those random stands of recipe cards in the produce section at the grocery store. I just assumed that the recipes would not be any good. I have since become a bit obsessed with them. Most of the ones I have attempted have turned out really well and they are free. Free is always nice. This recipe came from the grocery store and it is tasty enough to warrant sharing. It would be a great and easy side dish for a Thanksgiving or holiday dinner.

I had only used pearl onions once or twice before I made this. I like pretty much any onion in pretty much any form. The recipe calls for fresh pearl onions to be used. That’s all fine and well, but I have enough issues with peeling and chopping the fresh ones, so to make it easy on myself and maintain fully attached fingers, I used frozen. SO easy.

Parmesan Pearl Onions

From a recipe card from Von's/Safeway.

Ingredients

  • 1-10 ounce/280g package of fresh or frozen pearl onions
  • 1/2 cup/125 ml freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup/125 ml half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon/15 ml flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2 ml salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon/1 ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon/.5 ml pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon/.5 ml paprika

Instructions

  1. Cook onions in boiling water to cover, 1 minute; remove onions from water and plunge into ice water; peel if using fresh pearl onions.
  2. Arrange onions in a lightly greased 1-quart (1-litre) baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  3. Preheat oven to 300F/150C. Combine half-and-half, flour, salt, Worcestershire sauce and pepper; stir well and pour over onions. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake 15 minutes or until tender.
  4. Serve and enjoy.
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Mini Turkey Meatloaves

Mini Turkey Meatloaf

First of all, let’s be real… Meatloaf just is not pretty (and it’s not easy to make pretty in pictures). But trust me when I say that this meatloaf is damn tasty and super fast and easy to make, which makes it basically a perfect main course. I’ve made this a couple times  now and it’s still as good as the first. I tend to not like extra lean ground meat. It usually seems to dry, but with this recipe extra lean turkey worked perfectly. You get a lot of moisture with the sauce you add in to the mix and it does not turn out dry.

Speaking of sauce… I highly recommend Trader Joe’s pasta sauces. As far as jarred sauces go they are my personal favorite. The Roasted Garlic and Arrabiata are my two favorites.

Mini Turkey Meatloaves

From BHG

Ingredients

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup jarred pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs (I used Kinnikinnick GF Panko Crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped if large
  • 1 1/4 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium saucepan bring lightly salted water to boiling. In a large bowl combine egg, 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce, bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of the basil, and salt. Add beef and 1/2 cup of the cheese; mix well. Divide beef mixture into four equal portions. Shape each portion into a 5-1/2x2-inch oval loaf. Place loaves onto a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Spoon on remaining pasta sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until internal temperature registers 160 degrees F.
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Lemon & Caper Chicken Salad

Lemon Caper & Chicken Salad

Chicken piccata is one of my favorite dishes. The only thing I don’t like about it, is how long it can take to make. There are a lot of dishes and pans and dredging and other stuff involved. Definitely not a fast meal. This is kind of like a chicken piccata salad. You really can’t go wrong with this recipe. It’s got all the delicious parts of a traditional chicken piccata; capers, garlic, lemon, yum. It will be ready in 15 minutes, which makes it a winner in my book. This is an easy and tasty weeknight, or any time, meal.

Lemon, Caper & Chicken Salad

Lemon & Caper Chicken Salad
Serves 2

  • olive oil
  •  2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • mixed salad greens to serve
  • white wine vinegar
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan until sizzling. Add the chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through. Add in garlic when chicken is almost cooked and cook until golden.
  2. Throw in the capers and lemon juice and stir until warmed through. Serve on salad leaves. Lightly drizzle white wine vinegar over salad and add freshly ground pepper to taste.

Chili-Garlic Shrimp

Chili Garlic Shrimp

The shrimp! That’s what this dish is called at my favorite Irish pub in Santa Barbara (Dargan’s). Dargan’s is definitely a favorite meeting spot for me and my best friend Jessica. We have spent many an hour chatting away over pints there. The shrimp is one of my go to dishes if we happen to be grabbing dinner there (their black bean burger is pretty amazing as well). Well unfortunately, Jess and I have been busy ladies lately and we haven’t been to Dargan’s in a while, but I had a hankering for the shrimp, so I tried my best to recreate the meal at home. It’s not an exact replica, but it’s pretty close and just as delicious.

For some reason I had never thought to combine mashed potatoes and shrimp into one dish before having it at Dargan’s. The two never seemed like a combination that would work all that well. I was definitely wrong about that. Quite frankly I should have known better; obviously two of my favorite foods are going to be amazing together…Obviously.

Chili Garlic Shrimp

Chili-Garlic Shrimp
(serves 2)

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 large shrimp
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sweet chili sauce
  1.  Place the peeled and cubed potatoes in a pot. Cover with water and boil until tender, about 15-20 minutes.  When the potatoes are quite soft, drain them completely and return them to the pan over medium heat. Add the butter and cook for a few minutes over medium heat, stirring the potatoes vigorously to help any leftover water evaporate. When any remaining water has evaporated, and the potatoes are quite smashed up and smooth, remove from heat. Add the warm milk and garlic powder. Mix together until everything is smooth and creamy (I usually use a hand mixer, it’s easier and faster).  Season to taste with pepper and salt.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add in the shrimp and garlic. When the shrimp are nearly completely cooked (pink) pour in a generous drop of the sweet chili sauce and stir to coat.
  3. When the shrimp are done, dish up the potatoes on two plates. Divide the shrimp between the plates with any of the remaining sauce in the pan. Feel free to add more chili sauce if you want it.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp & Grits

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp & Grits

Oh my. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. It’s amazing. It’s delicious. It’s lemony, garlicky, buttery, spicy goodness all in one. I could eat this every single day and never get sick of it. Never ever. It took everything in my willpower not to make this for every meal I’ve had since the first time I’ve made it. You should make this like right now. Go.

I added more garlic and lemon than the original recipe called for. I like a lot of sauce and this recipe isn’t all that sauce-y, so the extra lemon juice helped.

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp & Grits (from Food Network)

  • 3/4 cup instant grits
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus wedges for serving
  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, covered. Uncover and slowly whisk in the grits, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne, if using, and cook, tossing, until the shrimp are pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons water, the lemon juice and parsley; stir to coat the shrimp with the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide the grits among shallow bowls and top with the shrimp and sauce. Serve with lemon wedges.