Bowtie Pasta with Steak Cubes in a Creamy Whiskey Sauce

Fairly simple, somewhat quick- full of flavor.

I had come up with this dish the other night as we had some not so tasteful weather (so I needed something that was full of taste). With having some london broil in the fridge before packing and freezing it seemed like the perfect ingredient to start off with. From there, I decided I would season it and put in the oven broiler and take things from there.

While that was goin in the oven, on the stovetop i had water boiling for the pasta and then threw it in. From baking projects/experiments/fun, I had some heavy cream still in the refrigerator. I also had some “real” sharp provolone (Italian market up in Northern New Jersey which makes their own), capers, and the kitchen is always stocked with an array of spices.

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I started off with some pumpkinseed oil and heavy cream. I let that heat up a little and then threw in provolone which I cut into small pieces to melt easier. I proceeded to add in some pepper, parsely, capers, and garlic. Wanting a little bit of smoky and sweetness I decided to pour in a little aged whiskey (in the end came to be a fine choice). I let this go until it became more of a creamy sauce. When the london broil was medium rare (quite pink) I took out and cut into the cubes. I then tossed them and mixed in the sauce with the heat on medium and cooked them the rest of the way in the sauce to really get in the flavors. This was all tossed in the pot with the pasta.

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It may sound like a lot but it was a fairly simple ingredient list and cooking methods. With everything cooking at the same time it was fiinished rather quickly (30-40 minutes at most).  The other nice thing was the main ingredients of beef and pasta are easy to portion and thus we both had lunch for the next day.

Enjoy.

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Cavatappi with Grilled Chicken and Sauteed Shrimp in a Light Sauce

With grilling season in full swing, I felt it was time to combine a few different cooking styles to form a dish that breaks away a little bit from traditional grilling.

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I started off with some boneless thighs which I seasoned lightly and then tossed on the grill. While on the grill, I basted them with a combination of balamic vinegar, honey, and chili powder. Upon completion I put them on a cutting board and cut into small pieces/strips and set aside.

In my double burner griddle, I poured in a little oil and a teaspoon of butter and put the heat on low. I then tossed in some diced garlic and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. I then tossed in some broccoli and let cook for a few minutes and then tossed in some cooked baby shrimp. At this point, I added in 2 more teaspoons of butter, 1/4 cup of diced up parsley, and stirred around. I When it was close to being done, I threw in the chicken, some heavy cream, and  grated on some fresh pepito cheese.

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After the cavatappi was done cooking in a separate pot of water, i drained it, poured in the mixture with the sauce, mixed well and served.

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Enjoy.

Weekend Breakfast: A Simple Omelet

The one thing I am starting to like more and more about the weekends (especially with the weather getting warmer) is just having the time to sit back, relax, and enjoy breakfast. During the week and working in the lab, I do go in a little on the early side- though I like the tradeoff as I get out early to enjoy the afternoon and evening hours, but in turn I miss being able to sit and enjoy a good breakfast.

It has been a while since I just made a breakfast with eggs being the main ingredient (there has been a lot of pancakes, french toast, etc. lately) so we went with omelets this past weekend.

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My Simple Omelet (fed 2 of us with some leftovers for a 1 person quick breakfast):

6 eggs

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup diced up spinach leaves

2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup grated Cheddar (I used an aged sharp cheddar)

I took all these ingredients, mixed in a large glass bowl and put on the side for the time being (as they only take a few short minutes to cook).

Bacon is bacon- no real special way of cooking, just in  a pan and cook to desired liking (I’m a crispy guy and the wife prefers it a little fatty).

Ahh, apricots (now in season). So I used my paring knife, cut the fruit circular around the pit and popped off the two halves. In the small “crater” I put in a small but of butter and sprinkled a little brown sugar. These were then put on the baking sheet and put in the oven at 385 for about 20-25 minutes.

When those were close to the end, just poured the omelet mixture into a pan and cook til done. I then placed this over some bok choy I sauteed after the bacon.

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Enjoy.

A Mixed Cream of Vegetable Soup

I always enjoy going to a produce market as in most instances there is a variety of vegetables you do not normally see in the grocery store and there are typically a lot of very great prices. And in times like this, I get a tad overzealous and have more than I know what to do with so I start to try different combinations and types of meals and thus I came across an interesting soup combination: Cream of Broccoflower and Asparagus with sweet onion and lemongrass- topped with mild cheddar and sauteed broccolini.

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You can choose any stock you want as a base, but since yesterday I had made 5 quarts of fresh chicken stock, I went with that. I started off by pouring in a little olive oil and sauteed the sweet onion along with the lemongrass. I diced up the broccoflower and asparagus into smaller pieces and added them to this mix.

I let that cook for a few minutes and then added in 5 cups of stock and 5 cups of warm water and brought to a simmer. I then put the lid on the stock pot and let it cook for an hour or so.

At this point, I proceeded to add in 1 and half cups heavy cream and put the lid back on again. In a separate pan I sauteed some broccolini which I would later on put as sort of an edible garnish on the soup along with the cheddar.

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At the two hour mark, I took out my immersion blender and blended the whole thing right in the stock pot (saves time and effort of transferring to a blender/mixer etc. and doing it that way. I then poured the soup into the bowl tossed in the broccolini and some shredded cheddar.

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Enjoy.

Seared Porckchops with an Apple-Shallot Compote

Since we had celebrated the holiday on Sunday, we did not have the normal corn beef and cabbage as you would on Saint Patrick’s Day- I hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday celebration. Instead I decided to make some seared pork chops.

The chops were initially seasoned with salt and pepper. In a medium pan I heated up some oil along with some Worcestershire sauce. I then proceeded to brown the chops on both sides and near completion with them still in the pan, I deglazed the pan with a little red wine and cooked both sides slightly more.

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While all this was going on, I diced up one apple and one whole shallot, and tossed them in a small saucepan with some butter. Part of the way through the cooking process, I added in some honey and cooked it down. Near the end I tossed in some fresh oregano for some added flavor and topped the chops with this combination.

As a side dish, I did a twice-baked baked potato. I initially baked 3 potatoes whole and then as they cooled, cut them in halves (careful to keep them fully intact). Each one I had scraped out (the four halves I saved for secondary usage had some still on the sides to maintain structure while the others I fully scraped out). I then tossed this into a bowl which contained a combination of heavy cream, and sauteed garlic, kale, small bits of bacon, and some mozzarella (mainly for creaminess). I then mixed this up, spooned back into the potato halves and baked again. Near the end, I topped the halves with a little bit of cheddar for added flavor or color (I do like things to look nice and colorful).

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Enjoy.

Hanger Steak with a Shrimp Topping, Brussel Sprouts, and Potatoes au Gratin

Last night was kind of a mid-week celebration for Jenn’s birthday (just the two of us) as the upcoming weekend we are having a joint birthday celebration with her brother-in-law and last weekend was somewhat similar when we went down to Atlantic City (love restaurant week). So I figured somewhere in the middle I would do my own thing. Since you can never go wrong with steak, or shrimp- or why not just use a little of both, here is dinner:

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The steak I had initially marinated in some sugar, tequila, chile powder, and some worsteshire sauce. I seared it in the pan and used a little bit of honey-brown sugar bbq sauce to make a nice “sticky” coating. The shrimp I did in a oil-soy based combination along with some fresh chopped garlic and ginger.

For the first side, I cut the brussel sprouts in half, steamed them, and ran under cold water to stop the cooking process. I then took some oil, butter, rosemary, and sage, and tossed in the bruseel sprouts and gave them a nice saute until just starting to brown on the outer layer.

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For the second side, i busted out my Kobra V-slicer to make nice thin potato slices. I first poured in some oil and heavy cream into the bottom of th dish, then did a layer of potatoes followed by grating some Emmantal cheese, added some rosemary and did this for 4-5 layers (whenever I ran out of potatoes). For some color and added flavor on the top layer I added in some sharp cheddar and some panko breadcrumbs. I then proceeded to bake in the oven at 375 for about 40-45 minutes.

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Enjoy.

Quick, Simple- Chocolate Tart

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Just a quick post of a nice simple dessert. They are nice because they don’t take all that long to do, and the individuality of each one means if you have a varied crowd you can tailor to individual tastes/preferences. These I made a chocolate cream and then a quick homemade cream to top with a strawberry slice.