Flank Steak With Cilantro And Blue Cheese Butter

Flank Steak With Cilantro And Blue Cheese Butter

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Thanks to my daughter for finding that Gump inspired humor.

Summer may be winding down, but there is still plenty of prime grilling time. For bold and unexpected flavor combinations, you can’t go wrong with this recipe for Flank Steak With Cilantro And Blue Cheese Butter. The beef is marinated in a tangy, sweet, and citrusy marinade and served with a creamy blue cheese butter flecked with cilantro. Who knew that blue cheese and cilantro could taste so wonderful together?

Flank Steak With Cilantro And Blue Cheese Butter
Flank Steak With Cilantro And Blue Cheese Butter

Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 (2 pound) beef flank steak
Blue Cheese Butter (recipe follows)
Chopped cilantro and chopped green onions, to garnish

Directions:

1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first five ingredients. Add steak; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate 2-4 hours.

2. Remove beef from marinade. Discard marinade.

3. Grill steak, covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°).

4. Let steak stand 5 minutes before thinly slicing across the grain.

5. Serve steak with blue cheese butter.

Serves 8

Blue Cheese Butter

Ingredients:

3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, beat all ingredients until blended.

Makes about 1 cup

Recipe from Taste Of Home Magazine
Flank Steak With Cilantro And Blue Cheese Butter

Pool Party, anyone? Lieutenant Dan, Ice Cream has the music ready to go.

Check out Lieutenant Dan, Ice Cream on Bandcamp, where you can name your price to buy his music.

Cheers!

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Banoffee Pie Revisited

Banoffee Pie

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Last week I posted a recipe for Banoffee Pie. There were mixed reviews about the photos from my family. My youngest said “OOOH! I loved that recipe! When can you make it again?” My husband remarked that the serving photos looked liked bowls of vomit.

Bowls of vomit.

Quicker than you can say anti-emetic I was in my car on a dulche de leche quest. Found some. I then decided to go the more British route and purchased some digestive biscuits for the crust.

Verdict?

I stand by my assertion that my previous Banoffee Pie, in all of its soupiness, was fantastic. However, the purchased dulce de leche, digestive biscuit crust and freshly whipped cream topping made this revisited pie one that was not only visually lovely when sliced, but an all around amazing dessert.
Banoffee Pie
Banoffee Pie

Ingredients:

4 oz unsalted butter, melted
1 (10 oz) package of digestive biscuits, such as McVities
1 (14-oz or 13.4 oz) can Dulce de Leche
4 bananas
1 pint heavy cream
Caramel sauce (like the topping for ice cream)

Directions:

1. Crush the biscuits into fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and stir in melted butter. Press buttered crumbs into bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Chill crust in refrigerator for one hour.

2. Pour dulce de leche into the crust. Chill for one hour until firm.
Dulce de leche
Dulche de leche layer

3. Slice the bananas and place them in a single layer on top of the dulche de leche. Whip the cream and spoon over the dulce de leche and bananas. Drizzle top with caramel sauce, if you like.

Recipe slightly adapted from Saveur Magazine
Banoffee Pie
Banoffee Pie
Banoffee Pie
Banoffee Pie

Vomit doesn’t get any better than this song by Girls. I love the slow build up to and from that “Looking For Love” hook. Shazam!

Check out Girls on Facebook. You can buy the music here.

Cheers!

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Caprese Lasagna Roll-Ups

Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups

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Last night I saw Arcade Fire in concert for the first time. It was the last night of their world tour in the band’s hometown of Montréal. It was a pretty phenomenal show and really showcased what fantastic voices Win Butler and Régine Chassagne have.

Here is the set list and a photo (from a July concert) both courtesy of the Arcade Fire website.
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One thing for sure about an Arcade Fire concert…hipsters are present in abundance. Plus, the band encourages fancy dress and costumes, so the people watching (and there was about 25,000 of them there) was most entertaining.

I’m back in my hotel room, kicking back after a lovely day of seeing some of the sights in Montréal, all ready to share a recent favorite recipe.

Caprese Lasagna Roll-Ups make perfect use of the sweet tomatoes that are at the height of flavor this time of summer. A classic ricotta cheese filling is layered with tomato slices and fresh basil, rolled up, and baked under a simple marinara and a cloak of melted mozzarella. It’s a fresh tasting meal that really highlights the tomato, basil and mozzarella.

You’ll notice (or not) that I made my roll-ups in a 13 x 9 inch pan so that I could have more to feed my large clan. If you choose to make 12 rolls, you will have enough sauce. Just increase the other ingredients to 12 lasagna noodles, 20 oz mozzarella, 1 cup ricotta, 2 egg whites and 1/2 cup Parmesan. You’ll need another tomato, depending on the size and about 1/3 cup basil.

Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups
Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups

Ingredients:

8 lasagna noodles, uncooked
14 oz shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (try to use fresh if you can for the ultimate caprese experience)
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg white
1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
3 – 4 medium Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 cup Simple Marinara Sauce (recipe follows) or your favorite

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉.

2. Cook pasta according to directions listed on package to al dente. Drain pasta and align lasagna noodles in a single layer on a large sheet of parchment or wax paper.

3. For filling, in a large mixing bowl whisk together ricotta cheese and egg white until blended. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Mix in 12 oz of the mozzarella cheese and season with black pepper to taste.

4. Place 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture over each lasagna noodle and spread into an even layer, going from one end of the lasagna to the other. Align thin tomato slices over cheese mixture then sprinkle basil over top. Snugly roll up the lasagna noodles.
Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups
Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups

5. Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce in the bottom of an 11 x 7 inch baking dish. Place lasagna roll-ups seam side down in dish. Top each roll-up with about 2 Tbs of the marinara sauce (covering edges of pasta so they don’t dry out while baking). Sprinkle top with remaining 2 oz shredded mozzarella.

6. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven, plate pasta and garnish with plenty of basil.

Serves 8

Recipe from Cooking Classy

Simple Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté about 3 minutes until soft, adding garlic during last minute of cooking.

2. Pour in crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes so that sauce thickens slightly.

Makes about 3 cups
Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups
Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups
Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups
Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups

One of the highlights of the Arcade Fire concert was the segue from the song ‘The Suburbs’ to ‘Ready To Start’ (just like on the album). Man, there are about 15 musicians on the stage with seemingly enough energy to power a small country. So exciting to watch.

This cover in no way lives up to the original, but ain’t no way I am posting the original….the internet police will arrest me in a microsecond.

Now Tears For Fears rendition of ‘Ready To Start’ might not be the best, but I had it bad for these guys back in the early 80s. Their 1983 album “The Hurting” remains one of my favorite records of all time. ‘Pale Shelter’ still gives me chills. You could tell these chaps were going to be big.

Check out Tears For Fears on the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming US tour dates. You can buy their music here.

Cheers!

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Spiced Shrimp With Mango And Cashews. New Music From Zola Blood.

Spiced Shrimp With Mango And Cashews

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Dude, this recipe is a total winner. Shrimp and mango are a surprisingly wonderful combination. The spiced cashews, hint of rum and cilantro just seal the deal.

Spiced Shrimp With Mango And Cashews
Spiced Shrimp With Mango And Cashews

Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup salted cashews
1 1/2pound large shrimp
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dark or gold rum
1 large mango (approx 1 pound), cut into 1/4-inch cubes (or use 2 small mangoes)
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cashews and sugar-spice mixture to the skillet; cook, stirring, until nuts are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer nuts into a bowl.

3. Wipe out skillet. Season shrimp with salt and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper. Return skillet to medium-high heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil.

4. Add green onions and half of the cilantro to the skillet; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add garlic and shrimp. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp is cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Pour in the rum and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the rum evaporates, about 1 minute.

5. Remove pan from heat and add nuts, mango, vinegar and other half of the cilantro leaves. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Serves 4

Recipe from Gourmet De-Constructed
Spiced Shrimp With Mango And Cashews

I absolutely love this chill song….and so does the internet. Such engaging vocals that work so well with the plucky beat.

Check out Zola Blood on Facebook and Soundcloud, where you can hear (and hopefully soon purchase) their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Main Courses, Seafood | Tagged | Leave a comment

Short And Sweet. Monkey Bread Muffins.

Monkey Bread Muffins

This is pretty sweet.

Monkey Bread, that addictive combination of cinnamon-sugar coated bits of dough drizzled with a healthy dose of caramel, gets the mini treatment here in muffin form. Sticky, gooey and really not too sweet (really!), these make any morning better.

The recipe takes less than 1 hour from start to finish. Now that’s really sweet!

Monkey Bread Muffins
Monkey Bread Muffins

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1 (16 ounce) can refrigerated biscuit dough (I used Pillsbury Grands Homestyle which contains 8 big biscuits)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375℉. Grease muffin cups of a standard muffin pan or fill with paper liners.

2. Mix the white sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Cut each biscuit into quarters. Roll each piece in the cinnamon sugar and place three in 8 muffin cups and 4 each in the remaining two muffin cups.
Monkey Bread Muffins
Monkey Bread Muffins

4. In a saucepan, melt the brown sugar, butter and water until bubbly. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth.

5. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar sauce over each muffin cup. Reserve a small amount of the sauce to drizzle over the muffins when they came out of the oven.
Monkey Bread Muffins

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. (There was a point at the 8 minute mark when some smoke started coming out of oven. The rising biscuits had caused some of the brown sugar syrup to bubble up onto the muffin pan.) Let stand 5 minutes before taking out of muffin pan.
Monkey Bread Muffins

7. Spoon reserved sauce on the muffins while still hot. Serve hot or microwave the muffin for 10 seconds to reheat.

Makes 10 muffins

Recipe from Goddess Of Baking
Monkey Bread Muffins
Monkey Bread Muffins

Here’s a short song with a title that makes me laugh. It’s pretty frenetic with a guttural bass riff.

And a sweet song.

Check out Spray Paint on Bandcamp, where you can buy their music.

Learn more about Fenech-Soler on the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming US tour dates and link to buy their music (UK itunes only).

Cheers!

Posted in Muffins, Short And Sweet | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme (Copycat Recipe). New Music From Caotico.

Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
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My last Taco Bell obsession was their line of Doritos Locos Tacos. As fast food goes, they make a delicious little meal but are pretty messy to eat (not that that ever stood in my way of enjoying them).

Step in the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme. A hexagonal, portable nosh it combines soft and crunchy tortillas, taco seasoned beef, plenty of oozing melted cheese, lettuce, tomato and sour cream all in one neat package.

I found assembling the wraps a bit tricky. There are some step by step photos here. The recipe I followed made it less critical to get the hexagonal shape by using a cut round of tortilla to seal the top. I found the key was to just get the packets sealed as best as possible, then place them, seam side down, on a baking sheet. Once the wraps hit the frying pan they set up and held their shape just fine.

Oh, and did I mention how much I LOVED THESE? Taco heaven.

Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1 (1 oz) packet taco seasoning mix
1 jar nacho cheese or queso dip (I used this chile con queso which is a really good storebought version)
6 burrito-size flour tortillas, plus 2 more to cut circles from
6 tostada shells or corn tortillas (I highly recommend seeking out the tostada shells for ultimate crunch)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 tomato, diced
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
Cooking spray

Directions:

1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook and crumble the ground beef until no longer pink. Drain. Stir in the taco seasoning mix and cook according to package directions.

2. Warm the cheese sauce in a microwave-safe bowl.

3. Place flour tortillas on a large plate. Microwave for 20 seconds to warm them. If using corn tortillas instead of tostada shells, heat oven to 400° F. Place corn tortillas on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until crispy.

4. Lay one flour tortilla on a work surface. Spread 1/2 cup of taco meat onto the center of the tortilla. Drizzle a few tablespoons of cheese sauce over the meat. Top meat with one tostada shell (or crispy corn tortilla). Spread a thin layer of sour cream over the tostada shell. Top with lettuce, tomato and shredded Mexican cheese.

5. To fold the crunch wrap, start with the bottom of the flour tortilla and fold the edge up over the center. Continue to work your way around, folding the flour tortilla over the center fillings. There will be a spot left open in the center; cut a piece of another flour tortilla and tuck it in the center, so it’s fully covered.
Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme

6. Repeat with the remaining 5 tortillas, 5 tostadas and fillings.

7. Spray a large, non-stick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Place one crunchwrap, seam-side down, into the skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown. Carefully flip over and cook other side until golden-brown. Repeat process with all crunchwraps.

Makes 6 Crunchwraps

Recipe from Life In The Lofthouse
Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme

Oh Sweden! You excel at cranking out danceable songs with insanely catchy hooks.

There is no way I can sit still when ‘Bad Heart’ is playing. Power pop at its most enjoyable.

“I’ve got a bad heart
even though you think I am good”

Check out Caotico on Facebook. You can buy their music here.

Cheers!

Posted in Beef | Tagged | 1 Comment

Burrata And Guacamole Topped Chicken Pesto Burger. A Lovely New Song From Andrew Marica.

Burrata And Guacamole Topped Chicken Pesto Burger
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Burrata And Guacamole Topped Chicken Pesto Burgers.

That is a mouthful of a title and, wow, what a mouthful of a burger!

Pesto flavored chicken burgers are topped with tomato, a simple homemade guacamole and a thick slice of burrata, that king of creamy cheeses.

A-Maz-Ing!

Burrata And Guacamole Topped Chicken Pesto Burger
Burrata Pesto Burger

Ingredients:

1 pound ground chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pesto, purchased or homemade (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
4 ounces burrata cheese
2 avocados, mashed
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 large tomato, sliced
3 whole wheat hamburger buns

Directions:

1. In a bowl combine chicken, salt, pesto and balsamic vinegar. Form into 3 patties (they will be quite moist).

2. Use a large spoon to add the patties to a medium size non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook for 7-8 minutes per side.

3. While meat is cooking add mashed avocado to a bowl. Stir in lime juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

4. Top each bun with a chicken patty, slice of tomato, a few scoops of guacamole and a slice of burrata cheese.

Makes 3 burgers

Recipe from A Zesty Bite
Burrata And Guacamole Topped Chicken Pesto Burger

Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts. toasted
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

2. If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

3. If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

Makes 1 cup

Recipe from Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis
Burrata And Guacamole Topped Chicken Pesto Burger

We’re going to totally shift course from the big, cheerful burgers to this sparse, somber, and truly lovely song.

To quote Bucharest-based singer Andrew Marica:

“The song “Forever Gone” was written in one very lonely night, after the death of someone very dear to me. All of the songs I write and compose come out of passion. I wish this song to be a monument for a special person, and I also wish to share the emotion that led me to writing it, as I think there’s a special kind of beauty in sorrow.”

Check out Andrew Marica on Soundcloud where he is offering up his song as a free download.

Cheers!

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