April 23, 2015

Korean Sizzling Beef

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Once again, another month has gone by and I haven’t seemed to pull myself together to create a proper blog post. Just when you think you’re a motivated and organized person… sigh. It’s not for a lack of cooking here that’s for sure! I promise I’m redeeming my absence with this awesome and easy main course.

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I first made this Korean beef a few years ago, I thought the original recipe was from Food & Wine magazine. I just stumbled upon this version on Epicurious the other day while looking around for some culinary inspiration. I bumped up the garlic and soy a bit, and if you don’t like things too spicy you can adjust the amount of red pepper flakes. This is so good, but more importantly, it’s simple for any weeknight dinner. Here goes…

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce + 2 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp dry white wine
  • 3 large cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 1/2lbs flank steak
  • 3 bunches of scallions (about 18 or so)

1. Whisk the soy sauce, sugar, wine, minced garlic, sesame oil and red pepper flakes in a wide low dish until the sugar dissolves. I used a big Pyrex low glass baking dish.

2. Slice the steak across the grain, on the bias into 1/4 inch thick slices. Add the sliced meat to the marinade and toss it around to make sure it’s evenly coated. Spread it out into a single layer, cover and refrigerate for a few hours or even overnight. Longer is always better. Flip it over once or twice while it’s marinating.

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3. Preheat either an outdoor grill or a grill pan on high heat. Sear the meat on each side for about a minute or even just 30 seconds if you prefer it more rare (like me : ). You’ll may need to work in batches.

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4. Rub the scallions with a little olive oil and sprinkle with some kosher salt. Place on the hot grill for about 2 minutes, flipping them around, until the dark green part begins to wilt and the white portions become tender. Serve on the platter with the steak.

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Serve with steamed Basmati rice. Nom nom nom…

Enjoy!

March 11, 2015

Simple Homemade Chicken Salad

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A long time ago I was watching an episode of the Barefoot Contessa and she was making chicken salad. You know, preparing for one of her fabulous picnic lunches at the beach with her guy friends or playing bridge with the boys, drinking champagne cocktails and eating homemade blinis with smoked salmon… I want to be her. Who wouldn’t love her life? Anyway, she was making chicken salad and had this genius method to make the chicken. Whole bone-in chicken breasts, rubbed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven on a sheet pan. Perfect every time. I stole that method for my chicken salad here.

I’ve seen many chicken salad recipes that call for poaching the chicken. I just can’t deal with the chicken simmering in water thing. Smelly, but happy memories of the apartment building my great-grandmother lived in has me scarred. For some reason it always smelled like boiled chicken. Is that a Jewish thing, boiling chickens? Oy Gevalt!

I also don’t always love the rotisserie chickens pre-made from the grocery store, though I know they can be a great shortcut. So this is my solution… successful every time, from scratch, super simple chicken salad. You can make chicken this way to toss in salads, like a cobb salad or chicken Caesar salad, or for any other recipe that calls for cooked chicken breast.

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INGREDIENTS

  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 4 bone-in chicken breasts (about 2lbs)
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup light mayo (please use Hellman’s)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

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  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan skin side up. Loosen the skin gently on each breast and tuck a small sprig of thyme under the skin.
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil over each one and sprinkle kosher salt and pepper on each breast. Using your hands, rub it evenly all over the chicken.
  4. Place the sheet pan in the oven on the center rack and roast for about 35-40 minutes depending on how big your chicken breasts are. I use a meat thermometer and check them at 30 minutes. They are done when they reach 165 degrees.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove the sheet pan from the oven and set it aside allowing the chicken to cool completely.
  6. When they have cooled, remove the meat from each chicken breast, discarding the bones and skin. Cut the meat into large bite sized pieces.
  7. In a large bowl, place the cubed chicken with the mayo, chopped parsley and Dijon mustard. Stir well to combine and season with salt and pepper.

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Enjoy!

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