Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dry Aged Beef

I saw this video from America's Test Kitchen and was inspired to dry age my own steak at home.  It's super easy and only requires a few pieces of equipment, most of which you probably have on hand.  The only catch is you need to decide four days in advance that you will be eating steak on a particular evening.

All you need is cheese cloth, a wire rack, and a baking sheet.  The video uses a rib eye steak, but I had a London broil on hand so that is what I used.

I put it in the back of the fridge for four days as instructed and when it was finished the steak was rock hard.  I was concerned that I did something terribly wrong, but once the meat rested on the counter for a bit it softened up.

I seasoned both sides with salt and pepper and cooked in on a gas grill.

I will say, I have never had a dry aged steak before.  This steak was delicious, but I couldn't tell any difference between this steak and the one I cooked a week prior.

I'm not sure if I used a different cut of beef or if I tasted a dry aged and non-dry aged piece side by side, the outcome would have been more dramatic.

Not that the steak didn't taste good, it was delicious.  I'm just not sure if it's worth the 4 day fridge session.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Baked French Toast

This recipe has been a part of my family for ages, but I have never tackled it myself.  It is great as an impressive holiday or company visit breakfast.  The best part about it is most of the work is done the night before.  The morning of you sprinkle on the topping and pop it in the oven.  

I used frozen mixed berries, but you can use a cup of any berry you wish, fresh or frozen.

Baked French Toast

1 loaf French bread, sliced into half inch slices, no butts allowed
3 eggs
2 1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
6 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp softened butter
1 cup berries, fresh or frozen

1. Place bread slices, cut-side up, in a 13x9 inch pan.  In a bowl, preferably with a spout, mix eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Pour over bread.  Flip bread over, cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. Mix flour, sugar, and butter in a bowl until mixture is crumbly.  This step can be made ahead, just cover and refrigerate.
3. Preheat oven to 350. Flip bread slices again, top with brown sugar flour mixture and berries.  Bake for 45 minutes. 

Feel free to serve it up with your favorite syrup, but I don't think it needs anything else.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


This is really a "gyro," not a traditional gyro that you are accustomed to eating.  It's ground beef patties seasoned like gyro meat. It's a simple and quick dinner, great for a mid-week meal.

Mix ground beef together with diced onions, lots of oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. I made flat, slightly oval shaped patties and fried them in olive oil in a large skillet.

To serve, top with diced cucumbers and tomatoes, feta cheese.  I served mine with some garlic cous cous, but feel free to throw it in a pita.  It definitely needs taziki sauce though. Don't leave that step out, it will be quite dry without a sauce.

That's that folks, quick post for a quick dinner.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Homemade Pizza Dough

I got this pretty fabulous book for my birthday this year: How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman.  If you're looking for a simple, but exhaustive cookbook bible; this book's for you.

I have already looked to this book several times.  This time I used his recipe for pizza dough.

I was really excited to use my stand mixer, but Mark also recommends using a food processor if you have that.

Pizza Dough
From How to Cook Everything

3 cups all purpose or bread flower, plus more as needed
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Combine flour, yeast, and salt in a mixer or food processor. While machine is on add 1 cup of water and the oil.
2. Mix for 30 seconds, add water a little at a time until mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky.
3. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth ball.  Put dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until dough doubles in size, 1-2 hours.
4. When dough is ready, stretch it, top it, cook it, eat it!

Although the dough didn't rise as much as I anticipated, it had a nice stretch and held it's shape.

 This was my first time making pizza dough on my own, as well as my first time making the pizza from start to finish.  I usually get some assistance in the dough stretching portion.

I was pretty damn proud of the outcome here and would definitely go through the effort to make my own dough again.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cart Style Chicken and Rice

I have been looking forward to making this recipe for a long time.  I was made a follower of the chicken and rice cart food about 8 years ago.  The fact that I can now make it at home is pretty freaking awesome.

That's your chicken marinade right there.  I'm not going to sugar coat anything here when I tell you that this is not a quick dinner to put together.  It's definitely not a weeknight meal.  But it's not in any way a difficult recipe to make.

Cart Style Chicken and Rice
Adapted from Serious Eats

For the chicken:
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the rice:
2 tbsp butter
3/4 tsp cumin
1 1/2 cup long grain rice
2 1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper

For the white sauce:
1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

For serving:
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
naan bread
siracha hot sauce

1. For the chicken: combine lemon juice through salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place chicken in a large ziplock bag and pour in half the marinade. Allow chicken to marinate 1-4 hours.
2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink. 
3. Place chicken on a cutting board and dice into small strips. Place in a bowl with the reserved marinade.
4. For the rice: melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add the cumin and cook until fragrant.  Add rice to skillet and cook until lightly toasted, stirring often.  Add broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover cook until rice is tender, 15-25 minutes.
5. For the sauce: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
6. To serve: return contents of chicken bowl to skillet and cook until heated through. Pile rice on a plate, top with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, white and hot sauces. Serve naan bread on the side.

All that was missing here was the Styrofoam bowl.  

Seriously, this was unbelievably delicious. It is well worth the effort, especially for those whose access to halal carts is limited.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ramen Burger

I don't live in Brooklyn and I have no interest in making the journey out there.  So my odds of ever getting a chance to try the famed Ramen Burger from Keizo Shimoto were slim to none. As luck would have it there are already dozens of copy-cat Ramen burger recipes out there.

You will need a ramekin or other small round container to make the buns in.  I used a can of olives to press the Ramen down and keep it compact while in the fridge.

Ramen Burger

1 Ramen noodle package
1 egg
1 burger patty

1. Cook noodles according to package directions, about 3 minutes.  Drain and mix with egg.  Sprinkle about half the seasoning packet into noodle and egg mixture.
2. Line 2 ramekins with plastic wrap.  Divide noodle mixture evenly among ramekins.  Wrap with plastic wrap liner, and top with a can to press down while refrigerating. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes.
3. Sprinkle both sides of your burger with remaining Ramen seasoning.  Cook burger patty as you see fit. Brown both sides of Ramen buns in a greased pan, about 3 minutes per side.
4.  Serve up with some siracha sauce and enjoy!

I had some soy glazed green beans as my side here.  Got to keep it healthy, ya know?

Overall I would say this burger is definitely worth a try.  I would make 2 buns out of the Ramen noodles next time in attempt to make it easier to eat and in hopes that it would make me feel less disgusted with myself. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole

If you're like me, anything buffalo chicken style is fantastic.  Buffalo chicken wrap? Yes please.  Buffalo chicken pizza? Most definitely!

Here it is a complete dinner.

Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole

cooking spray
6 tbsp hot sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp salt
8 potatoes, cubed
2 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into cubes
2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 cup sliced celery

1. Preheat oven to 500.  Spray a 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray.
2. Heat hot sauce, oil, garlic powder, pepper, paprika, and salt in a large skillet, stir until combined.  Turn off heat and toss potatoes until evenly coated.  Transfer potatoes to the 13x9 pan.  Cook until tender and brown, about 30-45 minutes.
3. Reduce oven to 400.  Toss chicken in remaining sauce mixture.  Add atop potatoes in the pan.  Cook 10 minutes.  Top with cheese and celery and cook until cheese is melted.

Blue cheese would be a welcome accessory that I did not have on hand.

Spicy cheesy goodness right there.

There ya have it folks, a 2 pan dinner.  You might not want to heat the oven to 500 degrees on this crazy hot day.  Maybe save it for a less sweaty evening.