BBQ STEAK TIPS

Steak tips come from one of two areas of the cow, either the tenderloin (a more tender, expensive cut) or from the sirloin or round flap meat.

BBQ STEAK TIPS
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 small container Greek yogurt
1 LARGE red onion, halved and sliced thin
Fresh ground salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds steak tips
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed

  • Stir steak tips with yogurt and let sit 45 minutes.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Cook onion with a sprinkle of salt covered until softened and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove onions from skillet.
  • Add additional tablespoon of oil.
  • Pat steak tips dry and then generously season them with salt and pepper.
  • Add steak to the pan and cook until browned all over to desired doneness (5-20 minutes).
  • Transfer steak to platter and tent with foil.
  • Add onion back to skillet along with the broth and BBQ sauce.
  • Simmer 5 -10 minutes over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken.
  • Season to taste.
  • Whisk in butter pieces.
  • Add steak tips into sauce, stirring to coat.
  • Ladle steak tips and sauce over prepared pasta.
  • Enjoy.

CARAMEL CHICKEN

I can’t say why this is called caramel chicken, but it doesn’t really matter since I can no longer eat sugar because of my health so anything with the name caramel in the name is A-OK by me 😀 In all honesty I assume it is the rich caramel sauce you start with, but the finished product tastes NOTHING like the caramel sauce you put on ice cream.

Now, while I can’t actually eat sugar, I can prepare it the normal way and then be sure let the sauce drain from my piece of chicken so hubby can still enjoy the REAL thing.

Most of the recipes I’ve seen call for using bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, but I like to make it with boneless pieces for easier

CARAMEL CHICKEN
3/4 cup dry Jasmine rice
1 1/2 cups water
pinch of salt

  • Prepare rice per package directions.
  • Remove from heat.

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons Fish sauce
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1+1 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons FRESH minced ginger
1 SMALL shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, angularly sliced
2 tablespoons torn Basil leaves

  • Over medium-high heat, melt sugar 5 minutes or so until the color of iced tea.  Keep the pan moving like a jiffy pop popcorn tin 😀
  • Whisk together chicken broth and fish sauce.
  • Add fish sauce broth to sugar whisking until smooth. BE CAREFUL – SUGAR is REALLY HOT and will spurt AND BUBBLE.
  • Remove from heat.
  • In a separate skillet add 1 tablespoon avocado oil to heated skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sear chicken on ALL sides.
  • Remove chicken to plate.
  • Add remaining tablespoon of oil.
  • Add shallots, mushrooms and garlic, cooking until soft.
  • Add caramel sauce, stirring to blend.
  • Add chicken and turn to coat.
  • Add basil leaves.
  • Simmer until sauce thickens.
  • Serve over prepared rice.
  • Garnish with green onions.

CREAMY BASIL CHICKEN

CREAMED BASIL CHICKEN
Skillet Basil Cream Chicken has always been one of my favorite recipes. Creamy sauce made with buttermilk and cheese, breaded chicken, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and more make up this super easy, delicious, and fool-proof chicken dinner. ADAPTED from Becky Hardin – The Cookie Rookie

¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4-5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons avocado oil
¼ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 cup heavy cream
1 shallot, sliced thin
1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 (4 ounce) can pimentos, drained OR 2 small sweet peppers, diced
1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained (optional)
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons garlic & herb cheese, like Boursin
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Place chicken breasts in a shallow dish and cover with buttermilk for 10-15 minutes.
  • Pour breadcrumbs in another shallow dish.
  • Heat skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon avocado oil.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in the breadcrumbs and place in the hot skillet.
  • Cook 5 minutes or until bottom side is crispy and golden brown.
  • Add remaining butter and oil and flip the breasts over.
  • Cook another 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Add shallots to pan, cooking until soft.
  • Add mushrooms, cooking until starting to caramelize.
  • Add chicken broth and sherry to the skillet to deglaze, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Add the cream, pimentos or peppers and tomatoes.
  • Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Reduce heat to low and add Parmesan cheese, garlic-herb cheese, basil and black pepper.
  • Simmer and cook until sauce reduces by half.
  • Add the chicken back into the sauce and heat through.
  • Serve over pasta with sauce.
  • Enjoy!

TOMATO SWISS STEAK

I recently ran across a recipe for “Swiss Steak en Casserole” from an old 1958 booklet of recipes that was quite similar and it reminded me of this recipe I make primarily in the winter because of its “comfort” quality of rib sticking goodness, which means I haven’t made it in a few years since it hardly gets cold here.

I have NO idea why this is called Swiss Steak. I just know my mom called it that and so did her mom. Grams said it had something to do with how the meat is prepared, but don’t quote me on that! That conversation was eons ago. But, as I typed this my curiosity got the best of me so I looked it up.

According to Wikipedia, “Swiss steak is meat, usually beef, prepared by means of rolling or pounding, and then braising in a cooking pot of stewed tomatoes, mushroom sauce, or some other sauce, either on a stove / log (cooker) or in an oven. In England and in some parts of the United States such as the Deep South, it is also called smothered steak. The dish does not stem from Switzerland, as the name suggests, but from the technique of tenderizing by pounding or rolling called “swissing“. So that was clear as MUD 😀

Mom used to add sliced green peppers and I ALWAYS picked them out so I don’t bother to add them now. Green peppers and I are NOT friends – never have been, never will be especially now with no stomach tolerance. I do use quite a bit of FRESH ground tri-color peppercorns instead. I remember it sometimes being served with mashed potatoes, but I prefer the sliced potatoes cooked in the sauce. I cannot be sure of the original measurements or even the original ingredients as I have adjusted it over an over through the years to suit our tastes. I know the original recipe called for water, but I love using the buttermilk as it makes a thicker, more flavorful gravy.

I also remember a similar recipe using a brown style gravy with mushrooms that was using this same cut of meat like a faux stroganoff.

TOMATO SWISS STEAK

2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 to 2 pounds of tenderized round steak
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1-2 teaspoons FRESH ground tri-color pepper
1 large shallot, sliced
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Bisque Soup
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Yukon potatoes, sliced thin
1-2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Cut the round steak into 6 to 8 serving-size portions.
  • Add flour into a shallow bowl. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Generously season each piece of meat on both sides.
  • Dredge each steak in flour mixture, pushing down to secure flour to meat.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Quickly brown each piece of meat and the remove it.
  • Add the shallot and bell pepper if you are using it, stirring to sauté for a few minutes, scrape up bits from bottom as you go. Scoot shallots and peppers to the edges of the pan.
  • Alternately layer potato slices in the middle of the shalllots.
  • Whisk together the tomato bisque and buttermilk.
  • Add meat pieces over top of the potatoes.
  • Pour tomato soup mixture over everything.
  • Cover and bake 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

NOTES:

  • Using the vinegar makes a tangier sauce – just depends on your mood. 😀
  • In the winter I like to make this with sliced carrots also which add some GREAT color.
  • I also sometimes make this with sliced baby red peppers instead of green peppers.

Linking to FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

GRILLED PORK CHOPS & RASPBERRY BBQ SAUCE

When I went to the grocery store February 25, 2010 I ran across some awesome meat deals and these pork chops were perfect for a new BBQ sauce I wanted to try. Dave over at My Year on the Grill has been raving about a raspberry chipotle sauce that I can’t get here either, but left me craving raspberries and at $4.99 a small box that craving was going to go unsatisfied until I ran across this raspberry vinegar at $3.99 a bottle – a much better deal and it made an awesome sauce. So this recipe was developed on February 26, 2010, but is so worth the rerun!

GRILLED PORK CHOPS & RASPBERRY BBQ SAUCE
6 tablespoons Alessi raspberry blush vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons grandma’s molasses
1 teaspoon Frank’s Red Hot Pepper Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 thin pork chops
skewers

  • Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes.
  • Whisk all the ingredients (except pork chops) together until well blended over a medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup.
  • Skewer each pork chop with 2 skewers (this helps them lay flat).
  • Generously salt and pepper each side.
  • Bring your grill to temperature.
  • Brush each side with sauce.
  • Spray grill surface with PURE.
  • Place chops on grill, grilling uncovered for 2-3 minutes total, turning once.

 

hubby approved

Linking to FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

ONION BRAISED BEEF BRISKET – cook ahead

I originally found this recipe through America’s Test Kitchen. Their changes to a typical recipe are awesome. I just made a few flavor profile changes for my family’s likes. Brisket is one of the most versatile cuts of beef. While every culture treats it a little differently they all agree that a brisket takes TIME! So many other recipes either turn out watery and tasteless, super sweet or dry and chewy. BUT, this recipe turns out PERFECT!

Keeping this brisket moist is essential to its flavor profile. Keeping it moist is best done by making it the day BEFORE you want to serve it. By not cutting the beef until it is chilled it holds together into slices better. This also helps on the clean up level if you’re making this for company. Removing the fat from the sauce is essential to a smooth rich sauce.

ONION BRAISED BEEF BRISKET
4-5 pound flat cut brisket
2 large Vidalia onions, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick (thick slices hold up better)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
1 cup chicken broth, yes I said chicken broth
1 cup cabernet sauvignon
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs FRESH thyme (I’ve used parsley in a pinch)
FRESH ground salt and pepper
Avocado oil

  • Bring brisket to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Lower oven rack to lower middle.
  • Line your baking dish, preferably cast iron) with two to three heavy duty sheets of foil in opposite directions and long enough to fold over to seal the brisket inside.
  • Pat brisket dry and place fat side up on cutting board.
  • Using a fork or needle meat tenderizer, poke holes in meat through the fat layer.
  • Generously season both sides of brisket with salt and pepper.

 

  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Place brisket fat side up in skillet.
  • Weight down brisket with bacon press or cast iron skillet and sear until well browned, about 6 minutes.
  • Remove weight and turn brisket to sear fat side another 6 minutes or so until well browned.
  • Transfer meat to platter.
  • Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat.
  • Add onions, sugar and sea salt, cooking 10-12 minutes until onions are soft.
  • Add garlic, cooking another minute or so until fragrant.
  • Add tomato paste and cook until it darkens, about 2 minutes.
  • Add paprika and chipotle powder.
  • Add flour and stir until well combined.
  • Stir in wine, broth, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and simmer 5 minutes until mixture begins to thicken. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.

  • Pour onion mixture into the prepared dish and nestle brisket fat side up into the onion mixture.
  • Fold foil over and seal.
  • Bake 3 1/2-4 hours until fork slip easily into the meat and fat is broken down.
  • Carefully open foil and let brisket cool 20 minutes.

  • Transfer brisket to large bowl or baking dish.
  • Use a fine colander to strain sauce over brisket.
  • Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  • Place onion mixture in a small bowl.
  • Cover brisket and onions with Press and Seal.
  • Cut a couple small vents into plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate the meat and onions separately at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. I do it overnight.

  • An hour before serving, preheat oven to 350°.
  • Transfer brisket to cutting board.
  • Skim fat from top of sauce and discard.
  • Pour sauce into a saucepan
  • Slowly reheat sauce, skimming as needed to get rid of excess fat until you have about 2 cups of sauce.
  • Stir in vinegar and reserved onions.
  • Season to taste.

 

  • Slice brisket against the grain and place in baking dish.
  • Pour sauce over brisket.
  • Cover dish with foil.
  • Bake until heated through. About 30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

 

ALOHA BBQ PORK RIBS – revisited

I originally wrote this back in 2015 and it is still our FAVORITE recipe for ribs. I made them again recently and wanted to update that I used orange marmalade instead of the apricot pineapple jam and hubby thinks they are even better.

“We had the most amazing dinner tonight if I do say so myself.  I was missing a few ingredients for my normal BBQ sauce so made a few substitutions and we have a new “NORMAL” in this family. I added fresh pineapple slices topped with some of the BBQ sauce during the last 30 minutes of bake time and they were so juicy, tender and flavorful. We added a fresh steamed artichoke and there were NO leftovers!  I will use the rest of the sauce on chicken later in the week.”

ALOHA BBQ PORK RIBS
2-4 pounds baby back pork ribs
Fresh ground salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Bring ribs to room temperature.
  • Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs.
  • Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Line a large cookie sheet with heavy duty foil.
  • Bake for 2 hours undisturbed.
  • Uncover, add pineapple slices and top with sauce and bake another 30 or minutes until the meat pulls away from the bone easily.

SAUCE
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup Smucker’s apricot pineapple jam (orange marmalade works well too)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
3/4 cup Tabasco Jalapeno ketchup
Fresh ground salt and black pepper

  •  In a large sauce pan whisk together all the ingredients and bring to a SLOW boil, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce heat to as low as possible and simmer while the ribs bake. Sauce will thicken during this simmering so stir frequently.

CRISPY ONION CHICKEN with CREAMY MUSHROOM SAUCE

Fried onions are the star of the show here. These fried onions give you the crunch you expect of fried chicken whether it be grandma’s Sunday dinner or the good old colonel in a pinch on a week night, but leaving you with a healthy, juicy piece of chicken you can eat with a knife and fork. And then the creamy rich mushroom sauce round you right back towards grandma’s Sunday dinner with the comfort food feel of home.

CRISPY ONION CHICKEN with CREAMY MUSHROOM SAUCE – serves 2
6 oz. Cremini button mushrooms washed
1/2 pound green beans, washed, dried and trimmed
Crispy Fried Onions (I use French’s but you could make your own crispy shallots)
2-6 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened to less than 1/2 inch
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup light cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
Fresh Ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Cover baking sheet in foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

 

  • Dice 2 of the larger mushrooms into 1/4 inch pieces.
  • Cut remaining mushrooms into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Chop crispy onions into small pieces.

 

  • Pat chicken breasts dry.
  • Generously season both sides with salt and pepper.

 

  • Coat chicken breasts in sour cream.
  • Place the chicken breasts on your baking tray.
  • Sprinkle the crispy onion pieces evenly over the sour cream on the top of the chicken breasts.
  • Gently press the onion pieces down into the sour cream.
  • Place baking tray in hot oven and roast chicken 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

 

 

  • In a medium skillet pan melt butter and avocado oil over medium high heat.
  • Add sliced mushrooms, stirring occasionally until browned and caramelized.
  • Add green beans, seasoning to taste and stirring 5-8 minutes until green beans are tender.
  • Remove vegetables to platter with a slotted spoon.
  • Add 1 tablespoon avocado oil and diced mushrooms, cooking until mushrooms are slightly brown (3-5 minutes).
  • Add cream and bring to a SLOW boil, stirring frequently and cook until thick enough to coat spoon.
  • Adjust seasoning.
  • Remove from heat and plate immediately.

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MAPLE GLAZED DUCK , ROSEMARY FINGERLINGS & BLOOD ORANGE SALAD – a review

Because of the flu epidemic and my risk of infection still, I have been staying home and this week I ordered from both Hello Fresh and Home Chef for meals. I always make their recipes the way they are written the first time with the exception of allergy ingredients like the mustard in this one. I split the ingredients and did the mustard version for hubby and NOT for me since I’m deadly allergic.

All in all, this was a fantastic recipe! I’m not normally fond of rosemary and will try it with tarragon the next time. I will probably use a spring mix instead of arugula also. The arugula is just a bit bitter for my tastes and since I no longer have any “EMPTY” bites, I want to make them ALL count. If it’s out of season, I believe the blood orange can be substituted for ANY sweet citrus.

MAPLE GLAZED DUCK , ROSEMARY FINGERLINGS & BLOOD ORANGE SALAD serves 2
2 duck breasts, 6 ounces each, scored criss cross on the fat side
3/4 pound fingerling potatoes, washed and halved lengthwise
several sprigs FRESH rosemary, leaves picked from stems (discard stems)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 blood orange, zested (reserve), peeled and sliced crosswise into rounds
2 ounces arugula (a handful)
2 tablespoons PURE maple syrup
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
Avocado oil

  • Place potatoes in a large pot covered in salted water by 1 inch.
  • Bring to a boil and cook 15 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
  • Drain thoroughly. Return drained potatoes to pan. Set aside.
  • While potatoes are cooking, pat duck dry with paper towel.
  • Generously season duck with salt and pepper.
  • Place skin side down in skillet over medium heat, cooking 12-15 minutes until most fat has rendered and skin is crisp. (Lower heat if skin is beginning to burn)
  • Pour off and reserve the fat as it renders.
  • Roughly chop rosemary leaves until you have 1 tablespoon.
  • Return potatoes to medium high heat.
  • Add just enough of the rendered duck fat to the pan to coat the bottom.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of the rosemary, cooking and tossing until potatoes are crisped and browned.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant a few minutes more.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  • Combine the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of mustard, orange zest and remaining chopped rosemary in a small bowl.
  • When duck is crisped, flip the duck over.
  • Spoon maple syrup mixture over duck and cook until duck reaches desired doneness, 2-5 minutes.
  • Remove duck from pan and set aside to rest.
  • Pour remaining sauce from pan into a small bowl.
  • In a salad bowl toss together the arugula, orange rounds and drizzle with avocado oil and 1 teaspoon of the mustard.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir 1 teaspoon of the mustard into the reserved sauce from the pan along with any pan juices.
  • Slice duck crosswise.
  • Plate duck, potatoes and salad.
  • Drizzle sauce over duck.
  • Serve immediately.

PAN SEARED SEA BASS with LEMON GARLIC BUTTER SAUCE

PAN SEARED SEA BASS with LEMON GARLIC BUTTER SAUCE
2-6 ounce sea bass fillets
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 + 1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1 lemon, sliced
Fresh ground sea salt and pepper, to taste

  • Over a medium high heat heat 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet.
  • Coat each fillet with avocado oil and generously season with the fresh ground salt and pepper.
  • When sizzling, add each fillet to hot oil and cook for 5 minutes before flipping and cooking on the other side for 4 more minutes.

 

  • While fillets are cooking melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small sauce pan.
  • Add garlic, sautéing about 2 minutes.
  • Whisk in lemon juice.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add lemon slices, cooking until slightly thick.

 

  • Plate fillets and top with sauce.
  • Serve immediately.

SLOW COOKER SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE

This is a very altered recipe from the Southern Living Slow Cooker cookbook. I changed amounts, flavor profiles and we really think it was for the best. There was no garlic in the original recipe and they used cheddar cheese! So NOT Italian!

SLOW COOKER SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE makes 6-8 servings
1 pound ground chuck (for something spicier, use Hot Italian Sausage)
1 LARGE shallot, diced
15 ounce jar CLASSICO Four Cheese Tomato Cream Sauce
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup Wondra flour
12 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 cup FRESH grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti, broken into pieces**
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
avocado oil

  • In a large skillet over medium high heat a small amount of avocado oil.
  • Add ground chuck and diced shallot. When just about browned add garlic and saute’ a minute more.
  • Drain off all fat and return meat to pan.
  • Add CLASSICO sauce to meat and blend well.

 

  • In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, melt butter.
  • Add flour, whisking until golden.
  • Slowly whisk in evaporated milk until well blended and thickened.
  • Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

  • Lightly spray the slow cooker with non stick spray.
  • Spoon half of meat mixture into slow cooker and spread evenly.
  • Top with half of the spaghetti pieces.
  • Spoon half of Parmesan cheese mixture over the spaghetti pieces and spread evenly.
  • Top with half of the Mozzarella cheese.
  • Repeat layers.

 

  • Cover and cook on LOW 4 hours.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

NOTE**: I can sometimes find “pot size” spaghetti which is just half size spaghetti so much less mess with breaking and they fit in the slow cooker perfectly.

MOZZARELLA CHEESE STICKS

MOZZARELLA STICKS
12 egg roll wrappers
12 string cheese
avocado or cocnut oil
Marinara sauce

  • Start in the corner of the egg roll wrapper and roll cheese half way.
  • Fold in at the corners
  • Brush remaining open edges with water and continue rolling until well sealed.
  • Heat 1/2 inch of oil to 375˚.
  • Fry sticks a few at a time until golden brown all the way around.
  • Drain on paper towels.
  • Serve with marinara.

Submitted to FULL PLATE THURSDAY @Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.