Sometimes I just get so hungry for Mexican food. Neither my sous chef dish-washing mom or The Chief care all that much about eating out in Mexican restaurants. I really think the problem stems from our total lack of control when it comes to the chips and salsa delivered to our table the minute we arrive. At that point we are HUNGRY and we’ve been known to scarf down a basket of the crispy delights before we even order our meal! But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading
How often do you hear … “These are the best _______ (fill in the blank) you have ever made”? Ever? I cook … a lot. My sous-chef dish-washing mom and The Chief are very kind and complimentary of my cooking.
But recently I received the “these are the best meatballs you have ever made” response followed by the appropriate “yummy” and “thanks Babe!” I was so surprised and elated all at the same time. But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading
One of my favorite websites is Deep South Dish. It is written by Mary Foreman and she whips up some awesome dishes. She recently posted a recipe for this Divine Casserole. She says “Divine Casserole, sometimes called simply Sour Cream Noodle Bake, is sort of a cross between baked spaghetti and lasagna in its flavor. Made with egg noodles tossed with a mixture of cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese, layered with a tomato-based meat sauce and shredded cheese, it might just become a family favorite!”
I was intrigued by the combination of ingredients and readily put it on my “make this soon” list. I have a pantry full of homemade marinara sauce from last year’s summer bounty and I love using it up in new and interesting ways. Mary says this is an “old” recipe often found under a variety of names such as Sour Cream Noodle Bake, Sour Cream Baked Spaghetti, Husband’s Delight, Italian Delight even Godfather Casserole.
My sous-chef dish-washing mom and the Chief both gave this a “thumbs up”. We actually loved it. It made a large pan full and I put half in the freezer and will be serving it up again shortly.
You will find the recipe here at Deep South Dish.Thank you Mary for yet another excellent recipe. Blessings!
It has been 17 days since my last blog post and I must confess I have really missed the opportunity to blog, share pictures, thoughts, and recipes! My mom and I just returned from 16 days on the road. Our travels took us to Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado for three graduation ceremonies and a birthday party for my 5 year-old grandson! Every day seemed jammed packed without a moment to spare.
God blessed us with good weather and safe travel and I am so grateful. Spring sprung all across our nation while we were traveling. As our plane touched down in Kansas City 17 days ago we were in a full-on snow storm. My sister-in-law drove in that blowing, cold, wet snow for the first two hours as we headed towards Nebraska.
And then, just as God was telling me “do not worry”, we drove out of the snow into completely clear blue skies with a beautiful sun going down over the flat Nebraska landscape.
And even though snow was piled high as we crossed the Colorado Rocky Mountains heading for graduation #3 in Grand Junction, the roads remained clear and safe for us to travel.
My head is spinning with ideas to share with you and so I guess the best way is just to jump right in! Although I tend to use my outside BBQ grill year-round, now that the weather is nicer many of us are turning to the grill for the first grilled meals of the season. I recently pan-fried steaks and they turned out great! If you have a cast iron skillet, pan frying on the grill is a wonderful alternative or if you don’t have a BBQ grill pan frying steaks inside on the stove works great too! The cast iron allows the steaks to stay moist and full of flavor while still adding a bit of the barbecue flavor from the grill. While in Punta Gorda, Florida this winter we visited Bella Balsamic & The Pressed Olive. I have fallen in love with flavored oils and vinegar. If you have a chance, stop by their shop as it is a destination in itself. If not, ordering from them online is a good alternative.
I chose a couple of sirloin steaks for this meal, but New York strip, Filet Mignon, or a nice Rib-eye works equally well. Just choose your favorite steak. Start out by setting the steaks out on the counter for 30 to 60 minutes to bring to room temperature.
Don’t cook your steak cold. Putting a cold steak straight from the fridge and into a hot pan results in uneven cooking and the loss of the beef’s flavorful juices.
Choosing a flavored extra virgin olive oil, brush both sides of each piece of meat. This Tuscan Herb oil enhanced the steak’s natural flavor to make an outstanding combination.
The only other spice I added was some cracked pepper. You can add salt or any of your own favorite rubs. The oil and pepper were enough for us.
Preheat a large skillet to medium-heat. Add the 1 tablespoon butter and the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the steaks to the hot pan and cook 2 minutes on the first side, or until they are seared a nice, deep brown. Turn the steaks over and turn heat to medium-low and cook for 2 1/2 minutes more, or until the steaks become browned on the bottom.
Your steaks will be medium rare at this point. Add a little more cooking time if you prefer your steak more well-done. Remove the steaks to the cutting board and let them rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
By using a very hot skillet, you’ll be able to sear the steak nicely without overcooking the meat – thus preserving many of its natural heat sensitive nutrients.
While the steaks are warming to room temperature slice up onions and mushrooms. Toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.
In a separate skillet, sear and caramelize the onion mixture while the steaks are cooking. As you bring these hot, sizzling steaks into the house your family will come running! Bon Appetite’ and Happy Cooking!
Whether you use a BBQ grill or cook on the stove-top this pan-frying method of cooking steaks will become a favorite from the start. Using the cast iron skillet sears in the flavors, juices, and nutrients making for an outstanding main dish!
Two 8-ounce rib eye steaks, new york strip or sirloin, trimmed of excess fat
freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil*, divided
2 tablespoon salted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt, optional
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 onion, sliced
Remove steak from refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes before cooking (see note below.) Brush each side of steak with olive oil. Sprinkle with pepper, salt optional.
While steak is warming to room temperature, slice mushrooms and onion. Coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Preheat a large cast-iron skillet to medium-heat. Add the 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the steaks to the hot pan and cook 2 minutes on the first side, or until they are seared a nice, deep brown. Turn the steaks over and turn heat to medium-low and cook for 2½ minutes more, or until the steaks become browned on the bottom. Your steaks will be medium rare at this point. Add a little more cooking time if you prefer your steak more well-done. Remove the steaks to the cutting board and let them rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
While steaks are cooking add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil to second skillet. Add onion/mushroom mixture. Cook until nicely browned and caramelized.
Serve steaks with onion/mushrooms on the side.
NOTE *To make this recipe dairy-free, leave out the butter and use all olive oil instead.
*Cooking a steak at room temperature will allow for it to cook more evenly and quickly.
You'll get a better result in pan-frying your steaks if you avoid using a nonstick skillet. The steaks will brown more nicely and hold a better texture if you opt for a stainless steel or cast-iron skillet.
When cooking the steak, use tongs instead of a knife or fork to turn the meat. By using tongs, you prevent puncturing the meat and thus losing valuable and flavorful juices.
**Flavored Olive Oil - I use Tuscan Herb olive oil for grilling steaks. There are many flavors to choose from. The flavored oil really enhances the overall flavor of the steak.