Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Beef & Pepper Soup

Here’s the thing about soup: It’s not particularly hard to make, but it can just be a major time suck. Which is why so many of us find it easier to just reach for the can on the shelf. Enter the slow cooker. Minimizing prep time and practically eliminating your need to be around for the cooking process,

 All that’s left for you to do is show up for dinner.

  • 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef;
  • 1 cup onion, diced;
  • 2 cups cauliflower, minced;
  • 2 bell peppers (any color), chopped;
  • 15 oz. diced tomatoes;
  • 15 oz. tomato sauce;
  • 3 cups beef stock;
  • ½ tsp. dried basil;
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano;
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed;
  1. Melt some cooking fat in a skillet placed over a medium-high heat and cook the onion and the garlic for 1 minute.
  2. Add the beef to the skillet and cook until the meat is browned.
  3. Place the beef and onion mixture in a slow cooker.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients, season to taste, and give everything a good stir.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
MMMMMMMMMMMMMM...Enjoy! Eat Well My friends!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Flank Steak and Texas Toast Sandwich

There are times when you're in the mood for a sandwich—a classic PB&J or maybe a grilled cheese—and then there are the times when you want a SANDWICH mannnnnnnnnnn!. A substantial offering that is decidedly​ not open-faced (no toasts here, folks), requires two hands to pick up, and is so chock-full of ingredients, something is almost guaranteed​ to land on your lap or stain your shirt. ​

Here is one sandwich for that time when you need a SANDWICH mannnnnnnnnnn!.  Flank Steak and Texas Toast....

  • 1 1 1/2 to 2-pound flank steak
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley cleaned and large stems removed, finely chopped (by hand or use food processor)
  • 1/2 cup baby arugula, finely chopped (by hand or use food processor)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (you can add to parsley and arugula in food processor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. For chimichurri, place all ingredients except flank steak into a bowl, stir to combine. 
  2. For the steak, cover both sides of the steak with some of the chimichurri, put in ziplock bag and refrigerate for one or two hours. 
  3. Cover and refrigerate the rest of the chimichurri.
Searing the steak and making the sandwich
  • 1 brioche pullman loaf or if you prefer a white pullman loaf
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 beefsteak or heirloom tomato, sliced
  • Soft butter for bread
  • salt before you sear and pepper after
  • 2 tablespoons Chimichurri to mix with mayonnaise
  1. Remove steak from refrigerator approximately 45 minutes before you are going to cook it. Scrape off some of the chimichurri, salt the steak and let rest. While steak is resting prepare the other ingredients: slice tomato, slice bread in 1-inch thick slices, mix the mayonnaise and chimichurri.
  2. To sear the steak: First with a paper towel pat the steak to remove any excess moisture. In a very hot fry pan lay steak, let it sear without disturbing it. Cook approximately 3-4 minutes on each side for a medium rare steak. (You will have to judge exactly how long to sear based on the thickness of the steak.) Remove from pan, lay on cutting board, pepper the steak now, let rest 5-10 minutes.
  3. While steak is resting, heat a fry pan (if you have one with ridges it will make nice grill marks on the bread). Spread butter on each side of bread, place in hot pan and grill, about a minute per side.
  4. When steak has rested, slice thinly, cutting across the grain. To put your sandwich together, spread the chimichurri mayonnaise on each side of bread, lay meat on bread, then add the tomato, put the other slice of bread on top and enjoy.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Bites

It's Sunday...Game day and that means you need something to snack on while watching your team play the big game...

Might I suggest Buffalo Chicken Bites??

3 Tbsp (1¼ oz) crumbled blue cheese
⅓ c reduced-fat sour cream
2 tsp finely chopped green onion
½ tsp white wine vinegar

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (10 oz), cut into 1" cubes
1 scallion, finely chopped
2½ Tbsp mild cayenne pepper sauce
1 Tbsp butter, melted
3 ribs celery, cut into 2" sticks
1 c baby carrots

MASH together the blue cheese and sour cream with the back of a spoon in a small bowl. Stir in the green onion and vinegar until blended. Set aside.
1. PREHEAT oven to 400°F.
2. TOSS together the chicken cubes, scallion, and 1 Tbsp of the pepper sauce in a medium bowl.
3. THREAD the chicken on a dozen 6" bamboo skewers, using two pieces of chicken per skewer.
4. ARRANGE on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
5. MEANWHILE, in a small bowl, toss together the remaining 1½ Tbsp pepper sauce and the butter.
6. ARRANGE the cooked chicken skewers on half of a serving platter in a single layer. Brush the chicken cubes with the pepper sauce.
7. PLACE the celery and carrots on the platter and serve with the blue cheese dressing.

Now see , that wasn't hard was it?

Have some refreshing Ice Tea with it!...

Enjoy!  Eat Well My friends

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Slow Cooker Short Rib Stew And White Rice

This is for a lazy man like me...Well Not so much lazy as tired after a hard days work...and looking for a simple ,but filling meal to fix..


  • 4 1/2 lb. short ribs, bone-in (about 3 large short ribs)
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 c. chopped potatoes (Yukon Gold or new potatoes)
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 c. beef broth
  • 2 c. red wine
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  •  2 c. wild rice
  1. In a large mixing bowl, pat all short ribs dry with a paper towel. Salt generously and dredge in flour until evenly coated.
  2. In a large dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Dust off excess flour and sear meat on all sides until golden brown with a crust, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove meat and add to slow cooker. Stir in all remaining ingredients except rice; season with 1 tablespoon salt and cook on low, 8 hours. Meat should be tender and fall off the bone. Skim off top layer of fat and remove bay leaves.
  4. Meanwhile, cook wild rice according to package directions. Serve stew over wild rice.
Incredibly easy right..? Well as long as you have the right ingredients..It is..

Enjoy! Eat Well My Friends!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Haven't heard from me in a few days and I come back with what? Creamy Mashed Potatoes..A Side Dish..

Yes, maybe...but depending on what the meat item is...The most important side dish!

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup whipped cream cheese with chives
  • ¼ teaspoon salt + more to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs for garnish (parsley, chives, thyme)
  1. Wash and cut potatoes into large chunks
  2. Place in slow cooker and fill with water to cover
  3. Cover and cook on high for 2-4 hours or low for 4-8 (depends on how large you cut potatoes, smaller will cook faster)
  4. Carefully drain potatoes into a colander and return to crock
  5. Add broth, whipped cream cheese, salt and pepper
  6. Using handheld mixer mix on medium high speed until whipped to desired consistency
  7. Adjust seasoning if desired, garnish with herbs and serve
MMM, Enjoy! Eat Well My Friends!

Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.

1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as Cooking.com.

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website Recalls.gov

Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household