Showing posts with label beef. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beef. Show all posts


Grilled Flank Steak Sandwich

It's baseball season again. Time for planning ahead, or eating hot dogs from the snack shack a few times a week, which is probably not such a great idea (especially after my friend Shelly informed me about the 31 grams of FAT in each dog).
I'm always looking for ways to serve a quick meal this time of year. Flank steak sandwiches are the perfect quick-fix dinner. I usually pair it with some fresh fruit and a green salad.  I love the recipe for marinade in Asian Grilled Flank Steak Salad. I posted today's sandwich recipe with a simple pantry-friendly marinade to help make this meal quick and easy. I also like flank steak seasoned, without marinade.

If you're using a marinade, make your own, then you'll know exactly what's on your pate. It takes about a minute to make your own marinade and you'll have the peace of mind knowing you can pronounce all of the ingredients in your dinner :)
If you have any leftover meat (or you make extra, like I suggest below), throw it into a tortilla or on a pita the next day, topped with a little cheese, lettuce and salsa and you'll have another meal, ready to eat.
Happy Spring, sports fans.

Grilled Flank Steak Sandwich
A Bountiful Kitchen
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1- 11/2-2 lb flank steak
1 lb mushrooms, washed and sliced, stems on
1 large onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil and butter for sauteing
salt and pepper
4-6 large hoagie buns or other bread for making sandwich

2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Early in the day, if possible, or at least two hours before cooking, place all of the marinade ingredients into a Gallon size Ziplock bag. Add the steak to the bag, seal and place in refrigerator. 
About 20-30 minutes before serving:
Prepare grill. If using gas, the temperature should be at medium high. 
On the stove, over medium high heat, and add olive oil and butter to a fry pan ( I use about 1 tablespoon of each). When the pan is hot, add mushrooms and onions and cook for about 5 minutes, adding salt and pepper as cooking also tossing as cooking takes place. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, or until fragrant, be careful to not burn garlic. Reduce heat if necessary.  Turn off heat, cover to keep warm. 
Place meat on grill and cook for about 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting. 
Slice the buns in half and place on grill to toast if desired. 
Assemble sandwiches:
Cut the meat across the grain into thin slices. Place some of the meat on each bun along with the mushroom and onion mixture. If you like cheese,  top the meat and onion mixture with cheese and place under broiler for a few seconds before serving. 
4-6 servings

-I like to cook two steaks at once, so I can use the leftovers for another meal. 
-The cook time for the meat will depend on how you well or rare you like your meat. I believe this meat is best served medium rare. Don't overcook the Flank steak or it will be tough. 


The Best Chicken Fried Steak You'll Ever Eat

While growing up, at least once a month, we had chicken fried steak for dinner. I loved it with white gravy, on either biscuits or toast. I looked forward to peeling the coating off the meat, eating it plain, then cutting up the meat like it was a  separate dish.
I was that kid.
This recipe is the best I've found for Chicken Fried Steak. The buttermilk and hot sauce give it that extra bit of deliciousness to put it into the "Comfort Foods That Rock" category. Actually don't have that category on ABK, but if I did, this recipe would be there. 
It is a perfect recipe for this weather- one of those stayinsideandhibernate days. January in northern Utah seems to be filled with those days…
I figure you can either complain or embrace it.
Or go to Mexico.
Comfort food=embrace.
Have a great day.

The Best Chicken Fried Steak You'll Ever Eat
adapted from
print recipe

for steaks:
4 (1/2 pound) beef cube steaks*
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
1 tablespoon Tabasco
1/4 cup vegetable shortening for frying

for gravy:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3-4 cups milk, approximately
salt and pepper to taste

rice, biscuits or toast for serving

Pound the steaks to about 1/3-inch thick with mallet if needed.
Get out two shallow bowls.
Place 2 cups of flour in a bowl.
In another bowl, stir together the baking powder, baking soda, pepper, and salt.  Stir in the buttermilk, egg and Tabasco Sauce.
Dredge each steak first in the flour, then in the batter, and again in the flour.
Heat the shortening in a  cast-iron skillet to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Fry the steaks until evenly golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Place fried steaks on a plate lined with paper towels.  Drain any leftover oil from the skillet, reserving any of the solid remnants from the meat and coating on the meat. Do not clean skillet or wipe out.
To make gravy:
Return the skillet to medium heat. Melt butter in skillet. Whisk 1/2 cup flour into the melted butter. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release solids into the gravy. Stir in the milk,  a little at a time using a whisk (I use between 3-4 cups, start with 1, then slowly add milk), raise the heat to medium. Bring the gravy to a simmer, cook until thick, 6 to 7 minutes.  Season generously with salt and pepper.
Place the meat on top of  biscuits , toast or rice and top with gravy.

-* Cube steaks are found in the meat section of your grocery store. They are usually tougher cuts of beef that have been forced through a tenderizer that leaves square marks on the meat (that's why the name "cube steak").  The meat is usually processed to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
-The steaks may be fried in any type of heavy pan. If you fry two at a time, and need a bit more oil for the second batch, simply add a little more oil to the pan and let it heat up before frying. The original recipe calls for THREE cups of oil, which I found to be a ridiculously huge amount, so I cut way back. Feel free to add more oil if needed.
-My mom used to make this with milk and eggs instead of buttermilk. If you don't have buttermilk, substitute 2 eggs and 1 cup of milk. I'd omit the baking soda and powder as well. I believe those react with the buttermilk to cause a bit of a rise in the batter/coating on the meat, but may not have a the same effect if using milk. The buttermilk really makes this dish, I recommend using it instead of milk if possible.


Brisket Tacos with Mango Barbecue Relish

People often ask where I get ideas to make all of the recipes I post on ABK?  Besides my enormously huge and creative mind (eheheh) some of my ideas come from:
1. My cookbook collection (over 300 at last count)
2. I'm a cooking magazine addict. Have I ever told you how difficult it is for me to part with magazines??  When we moved down the street last winter, so did stacks of magazines. I did manage to toss boxes of Bon Appetite and Gourmet mags that were from the 80's and 90's into the recycle bin. Ridiculous, I know.  If they ever make a show called "Hoarders, Magazine Addition" I'll be on the pilot.
3. If you've read ABK for any length of time, you know my new favorite place to find recipes is  on Pinterest. Love the visuals. Love the convenience of literally hundreds of thousands of recipes available with a simple right click. Last week, I pinned a recipe on my board  "Cooking, Next on my List". There were so many re-pins the next day,  I decided to test out this recipe ASAP.
We loved it. The caption another Pinner left under the photo read "Now THIS is Texas!!" Crockpot tacos.  I'm not sure about the Texas part (if y'all are Texans, you'll have to try this out and let me know what you think).  
This recipe has a sweet twist. You'll have to give up a can (or two) of Dr. Pepper for the sauce. You know it's going to be good if the recipe calls for meat swimming in DP.  And the Mango Relish? Stash the leftovers for topping your eggs in the morning. Yummy.

Leftover meat? See recipe idea in "Tips" below.

Brisket Tacos with Mango Barbecue Relish
adapted from Confessions of a Foodie Bride
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3-4 lb brisket, shoulder or cross rib roast
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz  Dr. Pepper, not diet (I'm sure Coke or Pepsi will work as well)

Mango Barbecue Relish
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 – 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup ketchup or bbq sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Spicy Brown mustard
1/4 cup mango chutney
8 flour or corn tortillas
olive oil or cooking spray, to brush tortillas
chopped red pepper and onions (sautéed or fresh), sliced avocado, fresh mango, lime for garnish

Note- Don't let the length of this recipe scare you off. It's basically 3 simple steps:
cook meat in slowcooker, make a (less than 5 minute) relish/bbq sauce and assemble the tacos or quesadillas. 

Rub the meat with salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic.
Place brisket in slow cooker and pour the Dr. Pepper around the sides and a little over the top, taking care to not wash away all of the spice.
Cook on low for 8 hours, or in the oven covered tightly at 250 for 6-8  hours.
Remove meat from the crockpot. Slice or pull apart meat. Drain off some of the juice. Keep meat warm until ready to assemble.
Mango bbq Relish: 
While meat is cooking, heat olive oil in a 2-qt sauce pan. Saute onions for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.
Transfer to a blender or food processor and run until smooth, or use a immersion blender and blend in pan. Set aside until ready to assemble tacos. 
Heat a griddle or large pan over medium-high. Cook the tortillas just until warmed. Place tortillas on plate.
Top with warm meat and mango relish. Garnish as desired.
Yield: 8-10 servings

-Make sure to use regular, not Diet Dr. Pepper.
-This dish may be served as quesadillas or tacos. To make quesadillas, shred Monterey Jack cheese, spread over tortillas, top with meat and a bit of mango relish. Grill, slice and serve.
-I used the leftover meat (about 2 cups) and sautéed an onion and a red pepper as a base for chili. 
Add a can of small red beans and a can of chili beans, a chopped tomato and a bit of water. Simmer and serve.  


Baked Taco Rollups

Monday, after I posted Slow Cooker Sesame Honey Chicken on my Insta, my friend Robilyn commented  "I'll be making this tomorrow! What else can I make this week?"  Today, I dropped something off at her home, and guess what? There was a yummy smell coming from her kitchen.
The power of Insta! She had the Honey Sesame Chicken in her Slow Cooker. Love it when that happens. Also my young friend Megan made the sesame chicken and posted a pic on Insta of her dinner last night. Meg's the cutest newlywed and she's learning to cook for her new little family (Meg +Tony). So sweet.
In a world filled with fast food, and pre-made pre-packaged  everything, it's a rarity to see people (especially young peeps) cooking dinner. Here's my 2 cents:  It doesn't need to be complicated. Or take a long time. If you haven't cooked in a while (or ever), start small. Make a slow cooker meal. Or try this recipe. It's kid and hubs friendly.

I believe this recipe was originally named "Baked Tacos" and made with hard shells. Grant is a hard shell hater (already told that story here), so I changed the recipe a bit. The filling take just a few minutes to make and the rollup part takes another 5 minutes. Lay out a little taco bar with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, guac and chips.  Let your fam pile the salad or condiments onto a plate. Serve the taco rollup on the side.  It's a fun change from an ordinary taco and if you have little ones, a taco rollup is much easier to grip. Promise they'll love it.
Now you have two dinners in your repertoire!
Watch out Martha.

Baked Taco Rollups
Adapted from Mommy I'm Hungry
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2 lbs extra lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 medium onion diced
1 small can diced green chilies, mild
1 recipe for homemade taco seasoning (below)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans (regular or fat free)*
2 cups shredded Colby-jack  or cheddar cheese
flour tortillas, small to medium size

Suggested Condiments-
lettuce chopped
tomatoes chopped
sour cream
Sheri's Salsa

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet brown meat and onion over medium-high heat. Drain off any excess liquid. Add chilies, refried beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well and cook for a few minutes until bubbly. Add a little water or tomato juice if the mixture seems dry.
Spoon  about 3 tablespoons of the taco meat mixture onto a tortilla. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of cheese. Roll up as you would a taquito, not filling the tortilla too full, but rolling fairly tight, so the tortilla will not come undone easily.  Place filled tortillas in a single layer onto a lightly greased baking sheet, seam side down. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tacos are heated through.
Remove from the oven and serve with optional condiments.
Makes about 12-15 medium tacos.

Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, mix all together. If making extra seasoning, store in an airtight container.
This is enough for one recipe of taco rollups above.
**less chili powder if you are serving to those who don't like spice.

-*I used about 3/4 of a 16 oz can of refried beans. We liked the filling with less bean and more meat.
Another option is to add a can of drained pinto beans and smash them with a potato masher into the meat after the meat is cooked. Add about 1 tablespoon of canola oil while mashing beans.
-If serving to young children (who may not eat a whole taco) or using as an appetizer, cut the tacos in half, preferably on a diagonal.
-Heat up leftovers wrapped in a paper towel for about 1 minute in microwave.


Boy Scout Stew

Some days are made for stew. Yesterday was one of those days. It was the first snow here. Yikes. October 23. While I'm not a huge fan of eating stew, I do like to make it. Something about chopping, mixing and having the aroma slowly fill your house on a cold day.

This is a recipe I've had for years. I've tweaked it countless times, and it's pretty close to perfection.  I named it Boy Scout Stew because it seems like the Scouts always make (translation, the wife of the Scout Master makes) a variation of this to eat on their camp outs. Did I tell you Jake received his Eagle Scout award a few months back?

Hooray and thank you to leaders who have mentored, served and loved my kid.
You gave your time to countless campouts, hikes, bike rides, merit badge clinics, build snow caves (and then sleep in them) and fish among other activities. I can only imagine how the tents/cabins smell after the boys live in them for a week at scout camp- without a shower, brushing their teeth, or changing their underwear. Your patience and the lessons you have taught my kid will never be forgotten.
You're the best.

Boy Scout Stew
A Bountiful Kitchen
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3 lbs beef brisket or chuck,  cut into 2 inch cubes
2 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup flour
3-4 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
6 cups v-8 vegetable juice cocktail
2 cups water
2 Knorr beef homestyle stock cups (4.6 oz each), or 2-3 bullion cubes
3 cups celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cups carrots, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces or baby carrots, whole
4 medium potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into one inch cubes

Place meat in a medium bowl, season with thyme, salt and pepper. Toss with 1/2 cup flour.
Place the oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Heat to medium high.
Working in about three batches, cook the meat until it is browned on all sides, when the batch is browned, remove and set aside on plate. If there is flour left in the bowl, sprinkle it over the last batch of meat browning in the pan. Remove any remaining meat from pan, set aside.
Keeping heat on medium high, add a little more oil if needed. Place the onions and garlic into the pan on stove, cooking and stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
Return the meat to the pan with the onions and garlic. Add Worcestershire sauce. Cook for about 1 minute.  Add all remaining ingredients.
Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Serves 8-10

-Knorr Homestyle Stock cups are sold in the soup section of most grocery stores. They come in a package with 4 cups enclosed. I like the flavor of the Knorr brand. You may use Swanson brand liquid flavoring, regular bullion cubes, or other types of stock flavoring if desired.
-Only purchase beef that is a lower quality cut, such as brisket or chuck. This will produce the best result when slow cooking.


Cook's Illustrated Beef Tacos

One of my favorite dinners as a kid was tacos. How I loved taco night! It's a favorite at our home too. Well, maybe my favorite, because it's such a quick and easy dinner. My usual taco night ritual includes throwing some lean ground beef into a pan, adding a chopped onion, some V-8 juice and a package of taco spice mix. Lately, I've been on a "make your own mix" kick. I found this recipe from Cook's Illustrated and decided to give it a try. Yum. Loved it. 
Oh, and in case you are super lazy and don't love your family and are thinking "why would I make these when I can jump in the car and pick up 3 tacos for $1 at Taco (fill in the blank) ??"  Read this:

 In a study was found that Taco Bell’s “meat mixture”, which it dubs “seasoned beef” contained less than 35 % beef. If these figures are correct, the product would fail to meet minimum requirements, set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to be labeled as “beef”. The other 65% of the “meat” is made up of water, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, silicon dioxide, anti-dusting agent and modified corn starch (amongst other ingredients more suited to a test tube than a taco). Full article found here.

Yikes! The "meat" is less than 35% meat????  Scary.
Taco Tuesday. 
This one's for you. 

Cooks Illustrated Beef Tacos
Cooks Illustrated
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1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
8 taco shells

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until shimmering. 

Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. 
Stir in the garlic, spices, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until fragrant about thirty seconds. 
Stir in the ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about five minutes. 
Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, and sugar until thickened, about 10 minutes. 
Season with salt to taste. 


America's Test Kitchen Spaghetti and Meatballs

Who doesn't love a good spaghetti dinner?  The America's Test Kitchen  recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs intrigued me because it calls for bread soaked in buttermilk, instead of the dried bread crumbs I use in my go-to recipe. The meatballs were extra tender, and the buttermilk added a bit of tang, as the Test Kitchen book promised. Yummy.
If you are looking for the perfect Sunday meal, (which in my opinion includes a good part of the meal prepared ahead) make these Saturday afternoon. After completely cooking the meatballs and preparing the sauce, let the meatballs bathe in the sauce overnight in the fridge.
Trust me, you'll want to double this recipe.
One step closer to the day of rest.

Spaghetti and Meatballs
adapted from America's Test Kitchen
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2 slices white bread (crusts discarded), torn into small cubes
1/2 cup buttermilk or 6 tablespoons plain yogurt thinned with 2 tablespoons sweet milk
3/4 pound ground beef  ( or 1 pound if omitting ground pork below)
1/4 pound ground pork (to be mixed with ground chuck)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 large egg yolk
1 small clove garlic , minced (1 teaspoon)
3/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for pan-frying

Simple Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

1 pound spaghetti
grated Parmesan for topping pasta

For the meatballs: 
Combine bread and buttermilk in small bowl, mashing occasionally with fork, until smooth paste forms.
Mix all meatball ingredients, including bread mixture and pepper  in medium bowl. Lightly form 2 tablespoons of mixture into 1 1/2-inch round meatballs; repeat with remaining mixture to form approximately 18-20 meatballs. (Compacting them can make the meatballs dense and hard. Can be placed on large plate, covered loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerated for several hours.)
Meanwhile, heat  about two to three tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat in 10- or 11-inch non stick saute pan. When edge of meatball dipped in oil sizzles, add meatballs in single layer. Fry, turning several times, until nicely browned on all sides, about 10 minutes, regulating heat as needed to keep oil sizzling but not smoking. Transfer browned meatballs to paper towel--lined plate; set aside. Repeat, if necessary, with remaining meatballs.

For the sauce:
Discard oil in pan, leaving behind any browned bits. Add olive oil along with garlic; saute, scraping up any browned bits, just until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, bring to boil, and simmer gently until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in sugar and basil; add salt and pepper to taste. Add meatballs and simmer. Keep warm over low flame.

For pasta:
Heat 4 quarts of water to boiling in a large pot to cook pasta. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water. Follow package directions and cook until al dente, drain, and return to pot until serving. 

-This recipe serves about 6 adults. 
- The longer the sauce simmers, the more flavorful the dish will be. Preparing the dish the day before allows for best flavor. This dish may be prepared up to five days before serving. On day of serving, cook pasta and heat up sauce on stove top over low to medium heat for about 45 minutes. 


Grilled Teriyaki Elk Kabobs

Disclaimer: If you are offended by hunters, stories about hunting, pics of hunted animals, etc. ,  you may want to pass on reading this post...

Carpet Shoes. Camo. Face Paint. August 20th. The opening weekend of the deer bow hunt in Utah.
A joyous time for the Foster fam.  Well, at least for the males in the fam.  First the deer hunt, and then in a few weeks, the elk hunt.
The hunt is on. Today, I ran down to my basement and opened the freezer, I let out a yelp when I saw this:

My nephew, Nick "harvested" a buck on Saturday, the opening day of the hunt.
Oh happy day.
In honor of Nick, slaying  harvesting (huter talk) a deer, I prepared these tasty kabobs for Sunday dinner. No, I didn't use Nicks venison, just some elk steaks we had in the freezer. Now you know I'm not a fan of wild game, but after marinating these in my special sauce, and Grant working his magic on the BBQ, we ended up with some really delish kabobs on the table.
Happy Huntin' !
The Clampetts.

Nick's deer on the opener. 
Update-Monday night, Jake got a deer as well. 

Want to read more about my hubs obsession with hunting? This post tells it all. 

Grilled Teriyaki Elk Kabobs 

A Bountiful Kitchen
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For assembly of kabobs:
12-14  10 inch wood skewers, soaked in cold water for at least 15 minutes

1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup A-1 or Heinz 57 Steak Sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar, preferably dark brown
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 clove garlic, optional
salt and fresh ground pepper

For kabobs:
2 lbs red meat (elk, venison, beef) cut into 1 inch cubes
fresh veggies and fruit:
1 pineapple, chunked
4 peppers total- assorted colors (red, orange, yellow, green) seeded and cut into chunks
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 large sweet onion, chunked
8-10 fresh mushrooms, washed

Mix all marinade ingredients together in a bowl, or a large Ziplock bag.
Add the cut up meat to the marinade and let sit for at least 1 hour, and up to 24 hours.
When ready to assemble, thread meat and vegetables onto skewers.
Grill on medium high heat for about 5-6 minutes per side, turning once.

-We have found over the course of YEARS of cooking (and overcooking) wild game, the best way to prepare steaks is to sear or cook in a short amount of time over high heat. Marinating helps tremendously.  

Linked up to:


Beef Empanadas with Black Bean Dipping Sauce

One of my favorite features in Bon Appetit is R.S.V.P. Readers Favorite Restaurant Recipes . Here's how it works- readers write in and ask BA to get recipes for them from their favorite restaurants.  After acquiring the requested recipe, the magazine publishes the request along with the coveted recipe.  I've found loads of great recipes over the years in this section of BA. Here's my latest find, in the June 2011 edition... the reader says:

"We spent our honeymoon at Grace Bay Club in Turks and Caicos  (really? We spent our honeymoon at the Homestead in Heber City) .  One of my best food memories is the Beef Empanadas served at the lounge. I'd love the recipe. "

Since Grant LOVES empanadas, I decided to give these a try. They are not quite like traditional empanadas you'll find in South America...the chef at Grace Bay Club says "Every cook in the Islands knows this dish." So I guess this is the "island" version of empanadas.
Result: We loved them as much as the Turks and Caicos lady.
YUM. And we didn't even need to leave Bountiful to get them.

Oh, since I like you so much, here's a little step by step tutorial.


Cook, Mix, Cool




Beef Empanadas with Black Bean Dipping Sauce
adapted from Bon Appetit

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1  17.3-oz packages frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
2 large egg yolks, beaten, for glaze

Dipping Sauce
1/2 15-oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Roma tomato, seeded, chopped, divided
1 lg scallion, chopped, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, chopped onion and garlic; cook, stirring often and breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon until beef is cooked, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, cumin, and cayenne. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring often, to let flavors meld, about 4 minutes. Add cilantro; season to taste with salt & pepper. Let filling cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut each pastry sheet into four 4 1/2" squares for a total of 8 squares. Lightly brush edges of squares with glaze. Spoon filling into center of each, dividing equally. Fold edges over, forming triangles, and press to seal. Crimp edges with tines of a fork. Divide triangles between prepared sheets. Brush tops with glaze.

Do Ahead: Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover & chill.

Bake until tops are puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Dipping Sauce
Meanwhile, puree beans and sour cream in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in half of tomatoes and half of scallions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining tomatoes and scallions over.
- I think ground turkey would be a great substitute, or maybe an equal amount of shredded chicken. 


Green Chili Enchiladas for a Crowd

I love enchiladas. We make several different types, my absolute favorite being this recipe for Santa Fe Enchiladas. It's a wonderful recipe, but time consuming. Not great if you have to make, say, enchiladas for 200.
I looked for a recipe I could easily make in bulk, without losing the great flavors found in the made from scratch recipe I love... read several different recipes and came up with my own simple dish.
"Green Chili Enchiladas for a Crowd".
Spanish for the day (per my live in translator): Puro delicioso. Va a gustarlo mucho! 

Green Chili Enchiladas for a Crowd
A Bountiful Kitchen
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for meat filling:
1-4-5 lb. roast, Beef Cross rib
1 package Lipton Onion  soup mix, dry

for meat filling, after cooked:
1-16 oz far Herdez Salsa Verde or any other type of green chili salsa

for enchiladas
1 - 28 oz. can Green Chili Enchilada Sauce, mild
24 small corn tortillas
1 lb Pepper Jack cheese, grated
1-2 cups sour cream, low fat or regular

Meat filling- early in the day or the day before serving:
Place roast in a crock pot on low, pour  dry soup mix over top, fill pan or crockpot with water, until water level reaches about 3/4 way up sides of roast. Cover tightly, cook for about 8 hours on low heat (275 if in oven).
Remove meat from pan, let cool slightly. Shred or chop meat, discarding any fat, and place in  9x13 pan salt and pepper generously. Pour Salsa Verde over top of meat.  Pour about 2 cups of the leftover juice over meat. Bottle any remaining juice and freeze for later use (gravy, soup, etc)
Preparing pan-Grease a jelly roll pan (approx 10 1/2 by 15 1/2 ") Pour about 1 cup green chili enchilada sauce into pan, making sure the sauce covers the bottom of the pan in a thin layer.
Cooking tortillas-Turn on a griddle or using a fry pan on the stove,  at medium high heat spray pan with non stick cooking spray. Quickly cook all of the tortillas on both sides, just until the tortillas are pliable or soften.  This will take about 15-30 seconds per tortillas (total for both sides, about 10-15 seconds per side). Do not overcook or the tortillas will become hard. Place the tortillas on a plate and stack them as you go.
Assembling tortillas: In an assembly line place the tortillas, sour cream, meat, cheese, and finally, the prepared jelly roll pan.
Take the tortilla and spoon about 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of sour cream in the center, spreading around a bit.  Add some meat and cheese. Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down on the pan. Continue to roll until all 24 of the tortillas are stuffed and rolled. You should have three rows of 8 tortillas each.
Pour the remaining sauce on top and bake at 375 for 30 minutes, loosely covered with a sheet of foil.
Remove from oven and top with some Jack or Cojita cheese. Let sit for 10 minutes and serve.

-I like this with best with yellow corn tortillas.
-If you want to make this the day before, assemble the tortillas up to the baking point. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. The next day, Remove the wrap and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. You may need to add sauce as the tortillas will absorb some of the sauce overnight.
-These do not freeze well (become mushy). Better to make no more than one to two days ahead.
-These work well with slow cooked pork or chicken instead of beef.


Elk and Potatoes with Brown Gravy and Beaten Butter Biscuits

Have I told you before Grant is a crazed bow hunter? Well, he is.
Here is our life.
Part of it anyway.
About early April. Grant bumps up his 3-4 day a week runs to 5-6 days a week. He starts shooting his bow about 3 times a week too (which eventually ends up being 5-6 days a week by July). Every night around 10, he calls his brother Brett, (they are like Siamese twins, separated at birth) who lives 1.3 miles away. Yes, they have measured. The convo goes like this:
G- "Hey what's up" nonchalantly.
response I can't hear from Brett.
G-"Did you run?'
G- in an even more nonchalant way- "Did you shoot?"
Now Grant is answering the same q's, Brett is asking him.

Why is this relevant?? Years ago, when they started hunting together, they decided to use a point system to see who would get to fling the first arrow on the elk hunt. Here's how the elk hunt goes, when you hunt in a pair:
Typically, one hunter calls in the elk, using a hose type device (kind of like a vacuum cleaner hose) called a "grunt tube" Yes, really, that's what it is called. Usually, it's covered in a piece of camo fabric kind of like a huge scrunchie. They make sounds into the tube. Sometimes it's a "bugle" sound, sometimes it 's a cow (girl elk) sound. In my mind, the cow elk must sound like:
"Honey, I found the remote for you!"
Click here if you want to see a demo. This is serious business.
Anyway, long story short, the hunted elk hears the sounds, comes running to what he thinks is a real animal and the other hunter then takes his shot at the animal.

Getting in to shape- good idea if you are hauling around a pack like this.

So, G & B decided to keep track of fitness and shooting points all summer long. This would motivate them to be in great shape when they needed to hike all over creation to find the elk, deer, sheep, mountain goats, or whatever they were (are) hunting and perfect their bow hunting skills ( like Napoleon D). On the night before the opener, they tally the points to see who will hunt first, and who will call. The person with the most points gets to hunt first. It's suppose to be a surprise.
The only problem is, the nightly phone call keeps them up to date on who is ahead in the scoring system. And often possesses Grant to do midnight temple runs. In the end, it is never a surprise. Does this make sense? Don't answer that question.

Bow Brothers aka G & B, Dit and Dot.

Anyway. Almost every year, we are fortunate :) to have some type of game in our freezer. To date, we have had: elk, venison (deer), mountain goat, moose, big horn sheep, bear, antelope, turkey and duck. No the duck was not shot with a bow. But yes on all of the rest.

My boys love bow hunting as well. They tagged along as when
they were younger, and are now hunters themselves.

The hat Jake is wearing in this pic is called the
"Good Karma Hat". All hunters must put it on their head,
including Brett and his kids, before a hunt begins.

Cooking Part:
So, the big question is always - "Do you eat the meat??" or "Do you cook it??"
The answer, yes. Not as often as I should, but yes. Over the years I have experimented with many different cooking methods. My tried and true is a Swiss steak- Ill post that sometime. Wild game is tricky. Unlike beef, or pork, there is very little, if no fat on elk meat, or any marbling of fat. Grant (my no- cooker hubs) recently found the secret to cooking delish wild game. Searing, and not overcooking, only cooking to medium rare, at most. Seems simple. But for some reason, this has escaped me all of these years.
A while ago, I used some tenderloin elk steaks to make this wonderful dish. I'm not a huge fan of wild game, but this was really yummy. Tender pieces of meat, rich gravy, buttery biscuits. You could of course, use beef in place of the wild game, if your hubs is a girly man, and isn't a hunter.
That was a joke.
Let me know if you need some elk steaks, I have about 900 lbs in my freezer.
That, my friends was not a joke.

Elk and Potatoes with Brown Onion Gravy &
Beaten Butter Biscuits
A Bountiful Kitchen

Beaten Butter Biscuits:

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup cold milk, whole or low fat

Ina food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Pulse several times to combine. Add the butter and pulse again several times until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the motor running add the milk. Continue processing just until the dough forms a ball.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times gently. Pat out to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Using a round biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits.
Bake 15-20 minutes at 425 if serving alone, or if topping casserole, place on top of prepared dish. Bake whole casserole uncovered, at 425 for 15 minutes.

Meat/potato layer:
1 lb elk or venison steak, cubed
3-4 cups cubed cooked potatoes, any type
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
herbs optional- oregano, basil, parsley

In about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, saute the onions in a saucepan until tender. Remove. Turn the heat to medium high, and sear the cubed meat. Make sure to not over cook. Cook just until the outsides are brown. Turn off heat.
Transfer meat, cooked onions and garlic and any desired herbs fresh or dried into a casserole dish. Set aside.

adapted from Ina Garten

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion ( about 2 small onions)
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups beef stock, heated
2 tablespoons red or brandy cooking wine, optional OR
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon heavy cream, optional

In a large (10 to 12-inch) saute pan, cook the butter and onions over medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Make sure the onions are well cooked, this brings out great flavor in the gravy.
Sprinkle the flour into the pan, whisk in, then add the salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hot beef stock mixture and cooking wine or Worcestershire, and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes until thickened. Add the cream, if desired. Season, to taste.

-Place meat mixture in greased casserole dish.
-Top with gravy.
-Place biscuits on top

-Don't let the length of this recipe scare you. Start to finish (prep), I can make this dish in about 30-40 mins. Then pop in the oven and bake. Best to make when you have leftover baked potatoes.
-I usually make gravy without a recipe, but knew you would seriously consider opting out of our cyber/blogger friendship if I didn't give specifics. Ina's is a good basic gravy to make and use in this recipe.