Recipe: Steak Fajitas with Marinade

Grilled Steak Fajitas

Steak Fajitas

I don’t know where or when I got it into my head that I needed to make steak fajitas…I think it was as simple as a passing comment, either on the Internet or elsewhere. I do not own a BBQ, nor the adequate space for one, so any outdoor grilling I do is commandeering others through the kindness of others who will allow me the use of their barbecue. Thankfully, this whole week I am house and dog sitting ~ and the house in question has a BBQ that can only be described as space age alien technology. From the outside, I mean. Double the width of standard ‘cues, this sucker has both coal and propane capabilities – plus a searing station, plus a James Bond-like briefcase full of state of the art grilling tools. After the homeowner showed me how to use the machine and gave a very strong promotion for propane, I set out determined to use it every night of my stay here. So far, so good.

The inaugural meal, though, needed to feed three people – and one of these friends had never tasted my cooking before. So of course I had to pull out all of the stops. Enter: steak fajitas. You’ll notice I hardly give any measurements on the marinade, and that is because I eyeballed it. I listed the spices in order of greatest amount to least amount, though, so that ought to give you some indication of how much to put in.

Steak Fajitas Homemade Marinade
Steak Fajitas Marinade

You’ll Need
1 lb. skirt steak

marinade
garlic powder
onion powder
chili powder
sweet paprika
smoked paprika
red pepper flakes
cumin
pinch of ground ginger
1 tsp prepared mustard
white pepper
celery seed
Kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 fresh limes, juiced
1/3rd cup low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs sugar OR honey (go with buckwheat honey if you’re feeling bold)

  • Combine your marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl and combine well.
  • Dunk your raw steak into the bowl before placing into a freezer bag along with marinade. Seal and marinate for 3-6 hours.
  • At the end of marinade, place meat in a rectangular pan and take it to your grill. Discard marinade
  • Once your grill is really hot and ready for meat, gently lay the meat along the grill. Grill 2-5 minutes on each side.
  • Let your steak rest. I repeat: let your steak rest for ten minutes
  • Cut against the grain, serve on warm tortillas with grilled onions, pepper, mashed avocado and Roasted Shallot Yogurt Sauce (recipe below!)
  • Fajitas Condiments
    10 baby bellpeppers (orange, yellow, red), thinly sliced
    1 red onion, thickly sliced
    10-20 pearl onions, skins on

  • In a big mixing bowl, place your sliced peppers and drizzle enough olive oil to coat well
  • Place sliced peppers at the center of a generous sheet of aluminum foil and wrap tightly
  • Repeat with onions
  • Place these foiled pockets onto the grill, indirect heat and grill for about 15 minutes before you begin your meat
  • When soft and tender, remove from grill and serve atop the finished fajitas

  • Roasted Shallot and Garlic Yoghurt Dip
    Roasted Shallot Yogurt Dip

    Roasted Shallot Yogurt Dip
    1 cup plain Greek yogurt
    1 large shallot
    1 small shallot, finely minced
    6-8 garlic cloves
    1 tbsp olive oil

  • Preheat your convection oven (or regular oven) to 325
  • Place the large shallot and garlic in the center of a generous sized sheet of aluminum foil, skins on. Drizzle liberally with olive oil
  • Wrap foil tightly around shallot and garlic, making a pocket. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until soft
  • When done, let them cool slightly before squeezing garlic out of its skin and into a small bowl. Mash well
  • Finely chop the roasted shallot
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add finely minced raw shallot and chopped roasted shallot, garlic mash and Greek yogurt. Incorporate well.

  • Transfer mixture to an airtight container and drizzle with the 1 tbsp olive oil. Refrigerate overnight.

  • You can use this dip as a substitute for sour cream, French onion dip, etc. It’s great with vegetables, chips or to dollop atop your fajitas!

    I had enough leftovers to eat fajitas the next day, and decided to go L.A. style with a fusion of Mexican and Korean by adding kimchi to my fajitas. Best. Idea. EVER!

    Steak and Kimchi Fajitas
    Kimchi Steak Fajitas

    Enjoy!

    Recipe: Beef Pot Pie

    You could be practical about this recipe and use leftover pot roast like a sane person, but why bother with something easy and convenient when you can use brand spankin’ new meat meant just for this pot pie? =D
    I did it this way because I was sick of roast chicken and could not take another night of chicken leftovers. I also wanted to finally try my hand again at crust. I’ve had mixed results with pot pie crust, but the recipe I found along with some helpful tips from the comments section, came through for me so I’ll be sharing the crust recipe as well.


    Beef Pot Pie


    FOR THE MEAT:
    - 1 package of stewing beef tips
    - 20 oz. beef broth
    - 1 c. red wine
    - sea salt, pepper to taste
    - garlic, powder and minced
    - 1 onion, quartered
    alternatively: you can stew the beef in a stout or ale

    Season the beef, throw it into the slow cooker along with the liquids and onion. Cook on low for 6 hours or until done.

    POT PIE CRUST:
    (double for both bottom and top crust)
    1 1/4th cup flour
    1/4th tsp. salt
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
    14th cup ice water

    In the food processor bowl, combine flour & salt
    Cut very cold butter into cubes & pulse it with the flour/salt in food processor until it resembles coarse crumbs.
    Transfer to large bowl & gently toss water into crumbs 1 tsp at a time.
    Gather the crumbs into a flattened ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

    TIME TO ASSEMBLE:
    Pre-heat oven to 375 F

    Roll dough (Gently gather in edges to form another ball, flip it smooth side up, and roll out again)
    After second roll out, roll to fit a 9 inch pie plate.
    Press the dough evenly into the bottom of your pot pie pan

    Meanwhile…

    In a large bowl, add your cooked beef and whatever veggies you want to go into your pot pie. I added:
    - diced shallot
    - diced carrot (par-boiled)
    - peas
    - sliced mushrooms (partially cooked)
    - diced red potato (par-boiled)

    Mix well and add 1 cup of the stewing liquid plus a tablespoon of cornstarch (or flour)

    Pour mixture into pot pie/deep dish pan

    Repeat dough roll-out instructions for second crust, this time using it to top the dish. Crimp edges and brush top with milk or egg. Score in center for design.

    Place deep dish pan on a baking sheet, bake 60 minutes at 375 or until crust is golden.

    Notes: As you can see, I added too much liquid. I don’t measure very often.

    Recipe: Prime Rib Dinner with Yorkshire Pudding

    Christmas Table


    For the first time I was in charge of my family’s Christmas dinner. It was a welcoming kind of pressure and I wanted the challenge of my mother’s request: prime rib with homemade horseradish sauce. I added the Yorkshire pudding for good measure. Everything turned out phenomenal and I did it without a meat thermometer. Oh, yeah. My aunt’s dingy piece of crap broke and refused to read. Whatever. I timed that hunk of meat perfectly.


    Christmas Roast


    PRIME RIB ROAST
    This is for a 4 ribs/10.5 lbs standing rib roast

    Let your rib roast come to room temperature

    Preheat oven to 450
    Rub with fresh chopped lemon thyme, rosemary, and garlic
    Place rib roast fat side up on a rack in a heavy duty roasting pan
    Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes
    Turn temperature down to 325
    Baste your roast with its juices every 1/2 hour
    Estimated cooking time: two hours but don’t forget to check with your digital thermometer
    About 45 minutes before the estimated end of the roasting time, check the internal temperature with use a good digital meat thermometer.
    When the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees, remove from oven, cover with foil and let your roast stand for another 20 minutes or until your desired readiness. I recommend no higher than 130 degrees for perfectly cooked medium rare.

    NOTE: Believe it or not, I managed to achieve perfection without the use of a thermometer. Not including the 15 minute sear job, my roast took about two hours plus another half hour under the foil. My aunt’s oven is also notoriously temperamental, running colder than it ought to. I consider this feat a Christmas miracle.

    HORSERADISH CREAM SAUCE
    1 cup sour cream
    1/3 cup grated fresh horseradish
    2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
    Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours (minimum) to overnight to allow flavors to mingle



    Yorshikire Puddings

    YORKSHIRE PUDDING

    3/4th cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 eggs
    3/4th cup milk
    1/2 cup pan drippings from roast prime rib

    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

    Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl.
    In another bowl, beat together the eggs and milk until light and foamy.
    Stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.
    Divide the drippings into muffin tins, about 1 tsp each (I used medium sized 12 muffin tins)
    Put the muffin tin in oven and get the drippings smoking hot.
    Carefully take the tin out of the oven and pour in the batter.
    Put the pan back in oven and cook until puffed and dry, 15 to 20 minutes.

    Notes: I actually doubled this batch and made one with muffin tins, one in a pie pan to divvy up in wedges. The muffin style was received better.

    Recipe: Guinness Beef Stew Soup

    I took a package of small tri-tip steaks out of the freezer and into the fridge to defrost. When it was ready, I was at a total loss what to do with it. Then a light bulb went off in my head, Heeeeeey. You have that can of Guinness in the cupboard! Make something with that!
    Not to mention we always have red potatoes, onion and carrots lying around – plus I recently made my own beef stock out of marrow bones. It was serendipity telling me to try my hand at Guinness Beef Stew. Now, notice I am using both “stew” and “soup” to describe this concoction. That’s because while I stewed this as the method of cooking, my liquids were kept thin and not thickened like many stews are.

    I made this very late (after midnight) on Wednesday/Thursday so that I would have it readily available for my lunch on Thursday. Since I knew I was going to keep the kitchen busy with Christmas cookie baking, I needed to have this meal already prepared.



    GUINNESS BEEF SOUP

    Meat:
    1 lbs. tri-tip steak, chopped into stew sized bites
    Season meat with salt, pepper, thyme, turmeric & garlic powder

    From Bottom to Top: Add in the Slow Cooker:
    Sliced & scrubbed red potatoes (I used six)
    Scrubbed and chopped carrots (I used six, chopped in 3′s)
    Coarsely chopped sweet (yellow) onion
    Smashed garlic cloves (I used three cloves)
    Meat
    1 tsp red pepper flakes
    Mushrooms, halved or kept whole
    1 can of Guinness (14 fl. oz)
    2 cups beef stock (I used homemade)
    2 bay leaves

    Set on low for 8 hours

    At the 7 hour mark, add a TBS of “Better than Bouillon” or two low-sodium beef bouillon cubes.

    When it was done I let the soup cool completely before storing it – save for a bowl for myself at lunch time! It was delicious! Light, not overwhelmingly beefy or boozy and I loved the extra bite that the red pepper flakes gives the broth.

    Enjoy this on a rainy or snowy winter night! This post is part of Wanderfood Wednesday

    Recipe Box: Beef Stroganoff (low-sodium)

    This isn’t the healthiest of recipes, but it’s some mightily fine comfort food perfect for chilly winter nights! My recipe has evolved from using a crock pot (boo! Overcooked meat!) to finally achieving near perfection. It is also low-sodium as I have omitted any use of canned Cream of Mushroom soup, opting for a homemade version instead. Trust me – it’s worth that extra time and care!

    BEEF STROGANOFF
    1 flank steak
    Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
    1 package of pappardelle pasta, cooked al dente

    Beef:
    I broil my flank steak and try to achieve a nice medium rare. Once it’s out of the oven let the beef rest for a solid 10-15 minutes as you create the sauce.

    Homemade Cream Of Mushroom Soup:
    2 Tbs butter
    1 package mushrooms, sliced (1/2) and diced (/12)
    2 Tbs flour
    3/4th cup beef stock, with 2 tbs reserved
    2 Tbs vermouth, separated
    1/2 cup-1c sour cream (depending on how saucy you like it)
    1/2 onion, diced/chopped however you like it (alt: shallot)
    fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
    3 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
    garlic powder
    onion powder
    1 low-sodium beef bullion
    cornstarch (alt: more flour) as needed to make a slurry

    Instructions
    In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat and add the onion/shallot and sliced mushrooms. Saute until tender. Reduce heat to medium-low.
    Add the crushed garlic.
    Stir in the flour and cook for 3 minutes.
    Add the stock, 1 tbsp vermouth, and bring to a simmer, stirring the contents around frequently with a wooden spoon.
    Turn down the heat to low simmer.
    Add the diced mushrooms and stir them in well.
    In a separate small bowl, mix 1 tsp. vermouth and the 2 tbsp of stock with the cornstarch and bullion – make sure to crush that sucker up!
    Add slurry to the skillet, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to distribute until sauce thickens.
    Season with garlic powder, onion powder and fresh ground black pepper.
    Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream.

    I like to add the cooked pappardelle pasta to the sauce directly to make sure every noodle gets well coated. You can also slice the beef up at this point and either add it to the sauce as well or just atop your bowl of pasta.

    EAT IT AND WEEP IN BLISS.


    Beef Stroganoff


    Beef Stroganoff

    Mini Cheeseburgers

    I had been wanting to tackle mini cheeseburgers for a while and see if could come up with a way to incorporate everything I love in a burger on my own, in miniature format, indoors as I don’t own an outdoor grill.

    The opportunity for time and company presented itself last Friday.

    It should be noted that I got all of my ingredients at Trader Joe’s, as they sell mini cheeseburger/slider buns, which inspired this whole meal.

    Slider Henge

    MINI CHEESEBURGERS

    2 packages of lean grass-fed ground beef

    Seasoning
    dried oregano
    sea salt
    white pepper
    fresh ground black pepper
    dried thyme
    herbs de Provence
    garlic powder
    onion powder
    touch of hot sauce (alt: red pepper flakes)
    fresh minced shallots
    touch of Worcestershire

    Mix all of these ingredients until well combined and begin to form small rounded balls of meat. Flatten ‘em out if you want them thin. Slap them on a well heated non-greased up skillet/pan and grill ‘em up.
    The time you allow them to cook depends on how thin you make the patties vs. how well done you prefer yours. I’m a medium rare kinda girl, so I was averaging about 4 minutes on side one. Flip the patty, add a slice of cheese, cook until melted.

    Baking Method
    NOW for baking (which I unfortunately did not get to taste, but according my Mister J was not as great as the pan cooked burgers BUT WHAT DOES HE KNOW?) I made my patties thinner than the pan-fried, slapped them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (an invention that proves there is a god) and baked ‘em at 325 degrees F for about 15 minutes before I flipped them, added a slice of cheese and cooked them until the cheese was melted, about five minutes.

    DRESS UP THAT SLIDER
    With a little grace from gravity and record face stuffing time, I managed to fit all of the accompaniments I like on cheeseburger on my miniaturized version:

    - thin slices of mushroom and shallot sauteed in white wine (sherry or vermouth would have been better!)
    - butter lettuce
    - smashed up avocado to spread on one side of the bun
    - thin slices of a fresh pineapple spear
    - garlic aioli made by adding a splash lemon juice and minced garlic to a touch of mayo.

    Toast up the mini buns, dress up those burgers like a prom queen and go to town!

    My experiment worked and these were absolutely addicting!

    Mini cheeseburger bunch


    How can you resist mini cheeseburgers? Even Jack in the Box knows where its at:

    Recipe Box: Herb & Noodle Soup (Faux Pho)


    We’ve all been in What’s-For-Dinner-Hell.
    You don’t want to eat anything too heavy, but you also want to be sure whatever you eat fills you up…you’d like for it to be healthy, quick and tasty. Gosh, aren’t you picky! Just kidding. I’m like that, too, and this soup hits just the spot. It’s perfect for chilly days, to sate a need for spice, and will blow open your sinuses if need be.
    Let me give you a little history in the development of my herb & noodle soup.

    Once upon a time my cousin married into a Vietnamese family. To impress her stern Vietnamese mother-in-law, my cousin decided to make traditional Pho soup. She pulled out all of the stops – a big-ass metal wash basin for her soup cauldron, soup bones that simmered for hours, all of the yummy fixins, you wouldn’t believe it. It was the most delicious soup I have ever had. I decided to master a simplified version of the soup, which I am now presenting to you.





    HERB & NOODLE SOUP

    Prep Garnish:
    Mint
    Basil
    Cilantro
    Green onions
    Bean Sprouts
    Spicy chili garlic sauce (I recommend Sriracha)

    OPTIONAL: Paper thin slices of raw beef

    In a large soup pot, heat 64 oz. low-sodium beef broth over medium heat.
    Halve a lime, squeezing the juice into the broth and leave the lime in the liquid.

    As the broth heats up, fix you rice noodles.
    (Add rice noodles to boiling water – let cook for 2-4 minutes, drain in colander, rinse noodles with cold water)

    In a bowl, add your noodles, spicy chili garlic sauce, garnish and beef (optional).
    Ladle broth over items in bowl, stir contents with chopsticks (beef will cook in hot broth).

    Eat and enjoy!




    What have you been cooking in your kitchen lately?