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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Steak Sandwiches, PW Style

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I have been super busy as of late! Our basement renovation is coming along really well and I hope to take some pictures over the weekend to show you. Monday was Casey's birthday and I had planned a special Lancaster, PA dinner for him but I wasn't able to get all the ingredients in time. Instead, I made these delicious sandwiches and I will have to make him the Lancaster meal another time.

These sandwiches are Pioneer Woman's version of her husband's favorite sandwich. I thought Casey might actually prefer her version so I gave them a try. They were so good, not that I expected anything less! I couldn't find cube steak so I used shaved Angus instead which turned out fabulously. Casey said they taste like a healthy cheesesteak. I'm not sure if the amount of butter is "healthy" but the onions, peppers, and mushrooms were a great addition. I halved the recipe to make enough for 4 sandwiches.

2 tablespoons butter
1 pound cube steak (or shaved beef for sandwiches)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 large yellow onion, halved, and thickly sliced
1 whole green bell pepper, sliced into rings
1 whole red bell pepper, sliced into rings
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoons (additional) butter
3/4 cup sherry (cooking sherry is fine)
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
4 dashes tabasco (or more to taste)
4 crusty sandwhich bread loaves
1 tablespoons (additional) butter
4 slices cheese (provolone, swiss, pepper jack)

Cut cube steak into strips against the grain. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over high heat. As soon as it’s melted (but before it burns) brown strips of cube steak, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove meat to a clean plate when brown. Set aside. (Be sure to not overcook, the steak will continue to cook up once it has been removed from the pan).

Reduce heat to medium-high. Add onions, garlic, green peppers, and red peppers and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until relatively soft (but not flimsy.) Remove to a clean plate. Set aside.

Melt 1 add’l tablespoons butter to the skillet. Add sliced mushrooms and stir. Pour in sherry, then add Worcestershire and Tabasco. Cook over medium-high heat for five minutes, or until liquid has reduced by about a third.

Add in meat and vegetables, stirring to combine. Cook for just a few minutes to heat everything up, adding more sherry and Worcestershire (and Tabasco) as needed. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter at the end. Keep hot.

Toast halved deli rolls in plenty of butter until golden brown and crisp. Spoon meat/veggie mixture on the lower half of the bun, then spoon one or two tablespoons of pan sauce over the meat (it will soak into the bun.) Drizzle a little sauce on the underside of the top bun, too, for extra flavor and moisture. Top with cheese and broil for a minute or two, until the cheese is melted.

Serve immediately.

Servings: 4


Linked to Fudge Ripple Tuesday Night Supper Club and Not So Homemade What's Cooking Wednesday.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Coq au Riesling

Earlier this winter, I fell in love with Coq au Vin (and it's even a WW recipe)! So, of course when I saw this recipe on Jenna's Everything Blog I bookmarked it and planned to make it asap. It was delicious and hearty although I may prefer the regular Coq au Vin slightly. This time I served it over rice instead of just as a soup/stew and I think I prefer this meal just eaten from a bowl with a spoon. In my opinion, the broth is fabulous on its own and no filler is needed. Either way, I highly recommend this meal for a cold night!

1/2 lb thick cut bacon
1 medium onion
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed thoroughly
5 cloves garlic
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 bay leaves
10 sprigs of thyme (5 are for garnish)
1 bottle (750 ml) Riesling
10 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
Salt and pepper, to taste

Chop bacon into small chunks, and fry over medium high heat in a Dutch oven until almost crispy, around 12 minutes. In the meantime, chop up the onion and leeks and mince the garlic.

When the bacon is starting to get crispy, add the onion, leeks and garlic, and cook for 5-6 minutes, until the vegetables are getting tender.

Trim the chicken thighs of fat and pat them dry with a paper towel. Salt and pepper them on both sides. Add them to the Dutch oven, moving the vegetables aside and on top of the chicken so that the thighs are touching as much of the bottom of the pot as possible. Brown them thoroughly, about 6 minutes on each side.

Add the mushrooms, stir them in evenly, and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add the bay leaves, 5 sprigs of thyme, and the bottle of wine.

Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for 40 minutes.

Uncover the pot and simmer for another 15 minutes, shredding the chicken with two forks and adjusting seasoning to taste.

Serve as a soup or over rice or noodles with fresh thyme from the remaining 5 sprigs sprinkled on top.

Servings: 4-5

Linked to: Ekat's Kitchen Friday Potluck and Lamb Around Not Baaad Sundays.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

This was a cinch to make and seriously delicious. Casey and I both loved it and it will definitely be a regular on our menu. It made a fabulous meal served with Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Walnuts. It was one of those meals that left me completely satisfied and happy but without feeling like I overdid it. Recipe from Let's Dish.

1 (2 pound) boneless pork tenderloin (or regular pork loin)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

Servings: 6-8


Linked to For the Love of Blogs Tasty Tuesday and Mostly Food and Crafts Mostly Made by You.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Walnuts

Who would have ever thought Brussel sprouts would make such a comeback? They've had a bad rap for years but can be truly delicious if prepared by sauteeing or roasting them. This recipe from Pinch My Salt was fabulous and makes an excellent side dish to beef or pork. Casey and I both loved it!

2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon walnut oil (or oil of your choice, or apple cider)
4 slices thick cut bacon
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded (you can use the shredding blade on a food processor)
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
kosher salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, and oil; set aside.

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, cut or crumble into pieces, and set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of drippings in pan (if there aren’t enough drippings to equal 2 tbsp, add a little butter or oil).

Heat drippings over medium-high then add shredded brussels sprouts. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until just tender. Remove from heat and stir in bacon, walnuts, and dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Servings: 4

Linked to Ekat's Kitchen Friday Potluck, Fudge Ripple Tuesday Night Supper Club and Real Sustenance Seasonal Sundays.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011


Our big baby. She is two-ish, adopted, sweet, cuddly, and the cause of 98% of the dog hair tumbleweeds in our house. She wants nothing more from life than a safe place to rest and endless dogs to play with. Her brown eyes make me melt!

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Quick and Easy Sesame Noodles

I was looking for an easy dish to make for dinner without having to make a trip to the grocery store. This fit the bill! The only thing I didn't have was green onions so I used chives instead. I love green onions and next time I will be sure to include them! Regardless, this was a breeze to prepare and quite tasty. I didn't have hot chili oil so instead I used red pepper flakes (which make a pretty garnish, too) and used 1 tbsp hot sesame oil and 2 tbsp regular sesame oil. My variations gave it just the perfect amount of kick! Recipe slightly adapted from Let's Dish.

12 ounces thin spaghetti
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sesame oil
½ teaspoon hot chili oil (or chili pepper flakes)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons hot water (can use pasta water)
3-4 green onions, sliced
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, whisk remaining ingredients (except green onions) together in a large bowl. Pour drained noodles into bowl with soy sauce mixture and toss until noodles are evenly coated. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds and serve.


Linked to Mostly Food and Crafts Mostly Made by You and Not So Homemade What's Cooking Wednesday?

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Restaurant Style Queso Blanco

Sticking with the Mexican theme! This queso is so delicious, just like what you would get in a restaurant and is simple to make. The key to the smooth, gooey cheese dip is white American cheese. I just used a pack of white American singles, torn into pieces, but you can also get it from your deli counter. Recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride.

1 Tbsp cooking oil (like vegetable or canola)
1/4 cup white onion, diced
1 large jalapeno or serrano, seeds and stem removed; diced
12 oz white American cheese, shredded
4 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (optional; don’t use pre-shredded)
1/4-2/3 cup cream, half-and-half, or whole milk
1 roma tomato, seeds removed and diced
1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a saute pan. Cook the onion and pepper until softened and reduce heat to medium-low. Add the shredded cheese and 1/4 cup of the cream. Stir until mostly melted. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and additional cream a little at a time until you reach desired consistency.

Serve with chips or fresh tortillas.

Linked to For the Love of Blogs Tasty Tuesday, Good Cheap Eats What's on Your Plate? and Mangoes and Chutney Fat Camp Friday.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas

Sorry for the lack of posts last week, I came down with the flu which put me out of commission for the entire week! I hope to play catch up this week.
I am a sucker for Mexican food, especially enchiladas, so I am always trying different recipes. I always love Gina's recipes so I have had her skinny version of chicken enchiladas on my to do list for quite awhile. As always, her recipe did not disappoint. At 4 points per enchilada, you can not beat this dish! It was very easy to make and turned out delicious. It definitely has some spice to it (which we love) so if you don't like spicy food, cut back on the chipotle peppers and chipotle chili powder.


For the sauce:
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (remove from can and chop them in their sauce)
1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
Kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
For the chicken:
1 tsp vegetable oil
8.5 oz (2 breast halves) cooked, shredded chicken breast
1 cup diced onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
8 (6-inch) reduced carb whole wheat flour tortillas
1 cup shredded low fat Mexican cheese
Nonstick cooking spray

In a medium saucepan, heat oil, add garlic and sauté. Add chipotle chiles, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic on low until soft, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt, cilantro, cumin, oregano, chili powder, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Put 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll it. Place on baking dish seam side down. Top with sauce and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes. Top with low fat sour cream or scallions if you wish. (extra points) Makes 8 enchiladas.

Servings: 8
Points Plus: 4
Calories: 159.5

Linked to Fudge Ripple's Tuesday Night Supper Club, At the Well's Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays and Angie's Healthy Living Blog Watch My Weight Wednesday.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Black Bean Soup

Once again a great, healthy recipe from Gina (slightly adapted). This one is very flavorful and chock full of veggies and fiber. Just what I am looking for this week! This is a great recipe to make over the weekend and enjoy all week long.

For the beans:
1 lb dry black beans
1/2 red bell pepper
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves

For the soup:
1 tbsp olive oil
 1 large onion, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1-2 jalepenos, minced (optional)
2 medium carrots, shredded
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 (2 oz) cup white wine
 1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 chicken bullion (vegans use vegetable bullion)
Salt and black pepper

Rinse beans and place in a large pot with about 8 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let the beans sit, covered for one hour. (Or you can let them soak overnight in cold water).

Drain the water, then add 8-10 cups of cold water when ready to cook.

Mince bell pepper, garlic, and onion in a food processor, then add to the beans along with the bay leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for about an hour, or until tender, stirring occasionally. (Add water if necessary).

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat oil on low. Add chopped vegetables (onion, parsley, carrots, peppers, garlic) season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until soft.

Add the vegetables to the soup, then add wine, vinegar, cumin, oregano, bullion, salt and pepper and adjust water, if needed. Cover and simmer on low about 15 - 20 minutes. If soup is too watery, allow to simmer, uncovered, until thickened.

Remove bay leaves, then using an immersion blender, partially blend the soup for about 10 seconds to thicken. If you don't have an immersion blender, put about 3 cups of the soup in a blender, then add it back to the pot. Adjust salt, pepper and cumin to taste and ladle about 1 1/2 cups into each bowl. Top with sour cream (extra points), chopped onions, scallions, chives or/or cilantro and enjoy!

Servings: 8
Points Plus: 5
Calories: 234.4

Linked to Blessed with Grace's Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Prairie Story Recipe Swap Thursday.

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C + C Marriage Factory: January 2011

C + C Marriage Factory