Monday, April 20, 2020

Skirt Steak Marinade

I apologize for no photo, I honestly didn't think this would be worthy of a photo or a mention of any kind!! We have made too many skirt steak marinades to count over the years and none have ever been quite right. This was a really good one, I would make this again - finally, hooray! I read every skirt steak recipe I could find in my own cookbook collection as well as several online recipes and took the parts I liked and mashed them right up.

1.5 to 2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed
3 green onions, roots trimmed, cut into thirds

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (around 3 limes)
4 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander, or 1/4 teaspoon ground
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1.5 Tablespoons anchovy paste or 2 anchovies
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place the skirt steak and the onions in a plactic bag or in a wide shallow bowl with a cover or use of plastic wrap. Place the rest of the ingredients in a blender and puree. Pour the marinade over the skirt steak and onions, making sure all surfaces are covered. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Before grilling, rinse marinade off the skirt steak, discard the marinade, and bring the beef to room temperature. Grill to desired doneness. We grilled ours over mesquite but if I wanted to grill in on a grill pan on my stove, I would bring preheat the broiler to medium, place a cast iron grill pan over high heat until screaming hot, and grill the meat for 2 minutes per side, finishing it under the broiler.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Melissa's Grandmother's Biscuits

I met my friend Melissa at a legal conference. Three days later when the conference ended it was like leaving summer camp having just found a best friend. Thankfully,  we've been able to get together a few times over the years and have also kept up our friendship through social media, long phone calls, and texting.

She once told me, I love your guts out. That's a lot of love! I wouldn't trade her for anything! I love your guts out too, Melissa Cook! ❤

She kindly shared her grandmother's biscuit recipe with me recently,  knowing that I have an affinity for biscuit making. I took one look at it and said, I better half this recipe. No problem, her grandmother had written a half recipe out too! 

Obviously her grandmother knew my type well! Because what did I do? I just looked at the full recipe, decided I could do the math in my head and proceeded to measure out 50% of the flour and 100% of all the other ingredients. 🙄 All because I was just too smart to follow the half recipe this woman from the past took the time to write out. Maybe she just didn't KNOW my type,  maybe she actually WAS my type. I would'nt be surprised, because her granddaughter and I are two peas.
I'm very glad I made the whole recipe. The biscuit dough keeps in the fridge until you're ready to make it. I made a few today for Willie to have with gravy and for me to have with plum preserves, and another with just butter... and another with honey. Yes, I'm very full!  Willie made Alton Brown's pork breakfast sausage with his gravy. It's terrific if you'd like to try it out.

The soft texture of this biscuit to makes it perfect for breakfast but could also be perfect for a tender dinner roll. I'm going to use a cookie scoop tomorrow and see what happens. I might try the dough for dumplings too, I have a feeling it would work.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Rolled Oats, Instant Pot

I make a lot of my own nut milks (recently toasted pecan milk is a favorite) but the Silk cashew milk is great to have on hand at the ready, tastes delicious, and is only 25 calories per cup!

1 cup Bob's Red Mill rolled oats
pinch of salt
2 cups Silk cashew milk

Bob's Red Mill hemp seed hearts
Rock Acer Works Maine maple syrup - available on

Place first three ingredients in the liner of the Instant Pot, stir. Pressure cook on manual for 3 minutes, natural release. Stir well and serve with toppings.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Mushroom Barley Soup

Willie made an absolutely fantastic pot of soup tonight. Perfect for a cold fall evening! 

Mushroom Barley Soup 
Adapted from the recipe on the back of the bag of Bob's Red Mill Pearl Barley -Chicken Soup with Barley

2 1/2 quarts water
3 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon vegan Seasoned Vegetable Better than Bouillon 
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoons dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds freshly sliced mushrooms, .5 pound separated and finely chopped
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Pearl Barley

In a large saucepan, prepare bouillon according to instructions on the package. Add 1 cup of the prepared bouillon broth to a 6 quart Dutch oven over medium high heat and then saute the celery, carrots, onion, thyme, bay leaf and pepper until the vegetables have softened. Add the remaining bouillon to the Dutch oven and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and add the mushrooms and the pearl barley and simmer, until the barley is tender, about 50 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Can be garnished with chopped parsley or microgreens.

Makes 8 servings.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Instant Pot Carne Guisada

Dear Lauren,

I handed your dad a cookbook last night and said, hey, take a look and see what looks good to you for the weekend. So he chose five recipes and marked them with those little 3m page stickers I like. Then he said, carne guisada sounds good.

Oh? Was that one of the recipes in the book?

No, I marked chicken fried steak, Iowa skinnies, biscuits and sausage gravy, Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches and funeral potatoes. But carne guisada sounds good.

I decided to come up with a recipe for the Instant Pot. Why Not? It's summer and who wants to heat up the kitchen with a stew on the stove or a braise in the oven? Not me.

This recipe is adapted from one I found early on in my internet research. Reading over it, I knew the complexity of flavor would be there. I made a few changes, including to the cooking method.  We loved it. Serve this over rice, in a tortilla, or simply as what it is, a stew - a spicy, Tex-Mex stew. You can garnish it with chopped onion, chopped cilantro, avocado, or anything else you like.

1 teaspoon cumin
2 Tablespoons avocado oil, divided
1.5 pounds top sirloin, trimmed, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 small onion, sliced
1 jalapeno, seeded, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 tomato, (seeded over a strainer and bowl, tomato juice reserved), peeled, diced
1 cup water
1/2 cup tomato sauce
reserved tomato juice
1 teaspoon beef Better than Bouillon, optional
2 Tablespoons avocado oil
2Tablespoons all purpose flour

Toast the cumin in a small skillet for 5 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and place the cumin in a bowl or plate to cool completely.

Set the Instant Pot to Saute. Add 1 Tablespoon avocado oil. When the indicator shows Hot, add around 10 pieces of the beef and sear them, making sure not to crowd the pan or the beef will steam. Remove each batch of the beef to a plate when seared and add 10 or so more pieces until you've seared all of the beef.

Add the sliced onion and jalapeno with a little splash of the water if needed. Stir the onion and jalapeno into the bottom of the pan to deglaze the pan. Cook about 1 minute. Add the garlic, stir about 30 seconds. Add the remaining tablespoon avocado oil, stir, add all spices (cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder) and stir. Add the diced tomato, water, tomato sauce, reserved tomato juice, and Better than Bouillon, if using. Stir well. Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the Instant Pot liner.

Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set on Sealing, Manual, 40 minutes. While the stew cooks, make the roux.

In a small skillet over medium-low hear, add the avocado oil to the pan. When the oil is very hot, add the flour a bit at a time and stir well and constantly with a small whisk. Continue to add the flour, continually whisking, until all the flour is incorporated and the roux is a golden color which will take about 2 minutes. You are not looking for a dark roux like when you make gumbo, this roux is simply to be used as a thickener for the stew. Remove from heat and set aside.

When the carne guisada has finished cooking, do a Quick Release, and reset the Instant Pot to Saute.* Once the stew comes to a simmer, stir in half the roux. Check the thickness of your gravy.  Add more roux until you reach the desired thickness.** Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.Turn off the Instant Pot. Serve.

*Quickly taste the beef to make sure it is very tender. If it isn't, you can place it back under pressure for 10 minutes. I don't believe that step will be necessary.
**I used about 1/2 to 2/3 of the roux.