Week 10: From Broke College Student to Chef

Background

When You Can’t Find Lamb…

Lamb Curry was suppose to be this week’s recipe, however doing shopping at the last minute will not always work for you especially if you can’t find a little thing called Lamb. I am not sure why, but I can’t find lamb shanks in all the city of Mesa. Okay so I didn’t look in many places, but let’s just say it is not that easy. I am not sure why or perhaps I never noticed, but I never realized how hard it was, therefore lamb curry is going to have to wait. So when you can’t find lamb, what to do? Steak Fajitas. I mean really, how can you go wrong? (this is not one of those where something does go wrong, just a question) It’s not like how my mom and aunts make it, but we were in a pinch. Still good and juicy. Found at simplyrecipes.com

Steak Fajitas

Steak Fajitas

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb of flank steak, skirt steak or carne asada (carne asada was used manly because it was easier to find)
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced with the grain, not against the grain as one would normally slice an onion. Slice first in half, and then slice off sections a half inch wide at widest point.
  • 2-3 bell peppers of various colors, stemmed, seeded, de-ribbed, sliced lengthwise into strips
  • Salt

Marinade:

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 fresh Jalapeño pepper, seeded, ribs removed, finely chopped (just use it all)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, including stems

METHOD

1 Mix all marinade ingredients. Coat the steak with the marinade and let it sit at room temperature for an hour, or longer in the fridge. Before you cook the meat, wipe off most of the marinade and sprinkle the steak with salt.(Or pour the whole thing in the pan. Put some pepper in this as well.)

2 Set a large cast iron pan or griddle over high heat and let this heat up for 1-2 minutes. Add the tablespoon of oil to the pan and let this heat up for 1 minute. Add the steak, frying on each side for 3 minutes, or to desired doneness. 3 minutes per side will yield approximately medium rare doneness for an average cut of flank steak. Carne asada and skirt steak will need less time. If the pan starts to smoke too much, reduce the heat to medium-high. You want the steak browned, not burned. Remove from pan and let sit, tented with foil, for 5 minutes.

3 Cook the vegetables while the meat is resting. Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary, then add the onions and bell peppers. Let these sear for 1 minute before stirring, then stir every 90 seconds or so as the veggies sear. Cook for 5-6 minutes total.

4 Slice the meat against the grain into thin slices. If you slice the meat at an angle, you will be able to get your slices pretty thin. These cuts of steak are flavorful but can be a little tough, so thin slices will really help make it easier to eat.

5 Serve immediately with shredded cheese, salsa shredded iceberg lettuce, sour cream(gross), and warm flour tortillas.

Pretty simple if you ask me. Yea does it take time to marinate, but it is quick after that. Below is a review from Jin, Karli, and Mike. Until next week…


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Week 9: From Broke College Student to Chef

Background

West Coast Girls Become a Little Southern

How I understand Fat Tuesday goes a little something like this: Day before Ash Wednesday, therefore you indulge is one of the seven deadly sins. Actually that is not the story, however it is a great set up for why we indulge in the sin of eating way too much and celebrating a Fat Tuesday with some of my girls

Now I know on the west coast we have our own dishes like Mexican Food. In fact I was prepared to cook some Mexican food this week because really where can you go wrong, when I saw a little story on the news about celebrating Fat Tuesday with some traditional New Orleans Cuisine. One of the dishes they were preparing was BBQ Shrimp(which is not actually made of BBQ thank you Man vs. Food). I decided that Mexican can be good anytime, and decided that some BBQ Shrimp, Cornbread, and Asparagus (you know to keep it healthier) screamed New Orleans at least to this west coast girl, no beads needed. All recipes can be found at allreciepes.com. And please beware of the butter content. We are not trying to be Ms. Childs here

 

BBQ Shrimp

BBQ Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds medium shrimp, with shells( If you are feeding four women, you only need a pound and a half of the extra large ones)
  • 2 pounds butter(maybe it is a Southern thing, but listen. We do not need anyone dying of a heart attack. A pound does the same work, and you will get less of a heart burn)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in as many baking dishes as you need. Set aside.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, parsley, Creole seasoning and rosemary. Cook and stir for a few minutes, until onion is tender. Add the rest of the butter and cook until melted over low heat. Stir in the pepper, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Pour this mixture over the shrimp so that the shrimp are completely submerged.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until shrimp are pink, 15 to 20 minutes.(for me it took about 16 minutes, and then I put them in a crock pot for more flavor)
Although good, this dish is muy muy greasy, but that didn’t stop us from this:
And this was just Karli's Dish

And this was just Karli's Dish

And now to the sides:

Asparagus

Asparagus

Directions:

  1. Grill in a large pan with some butter. If you screw this up, give up on cooking
  2. No further instructions
Corn Bread

Corn Bread

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups milk
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Combine the eggs and milk. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with egg mixture.
  2. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares; serve warm.

Let me end by saying this. If you are not use to greasy foods, have a sensitive tummy, or are not from the South, eat this meal with precaution. You may develop a slight stomach ache and/or a southern accent as demonstrated by Karli, Cristalle, and Aubrey below. Wear stretchy pants. Thanks for the recipes, and keep them coming!

Week 8:From Broke College Student to Chef

Background

Not Paying Attention May Work in your Favor

A little (no so secret) about grad school; there is always work. Therefore if you want to go on vacation you have to spend the week before doing work, and possibly forgoing any fun things for those precious days. What I am trying to do is give my reason why I didn’t cook last week.

So onto this week….shocking yet true. I am not Italian. Although I have been to Italy, been mistaken for it, and have a thing for the Jersey Shore (especially Pauly D), I don’t believe I have any Italian in me. However I am a big, big fan of  Italian food manly because of the bread. I know they say carbs are the enemy, but I think I am in love. This is why this week I cooked Lasagna . Let me start by saying this was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I didn’t follow the exact layer order, didn’t use enough sauce, and spilled a little on my clothes. I was almost down for the count, but I covered mistakes and doubts with cheese, wine , and prayer, and it came out better than I thought. Winning… I got this week’s recipe from allrecipes.com. Although it doesn’t say, probably should boil the noodles a couple of minutes before cooking. I didn’t know, and it was a little crunchy at the ends.

Lasagna Top View

Lasagna Top View

Inside view of Lasagna

Inside view of Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar sausage flavored spaghetti sauce(you are probably going to need 2)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce(read above)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced(I used 6 because I thought it would add more flavor)
  • 1 small onion, diced(or a medium if the grocery doesn’t have a small one)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 9 lasagna noodles(make sure they fit the container you are using or just double it up)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a skillet over medium heat season ground beef with garlic powder and oregano. Brown the meat and drain.
  3. In a large sauce pan add spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and oregano; set aside. In a skillet heat olive oil. Saute garlic and onions for about 5 minutes. Mix sauteed onions and garlic with meat into the sauce and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. While doing all this, boil the noodles. May cut cooking time
  5. Combine mozzarella and provolone cheeses in a medium bowl. In a medium bowl mix ricotta cheese, eggs, milk, and oregano.
  6. Layer a 9×13 inch baking pan with just enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. (read all this before you continue)Lay three lasagna noodles in the pan. Cover with sauce, then with ricotta mixture then sprinkle with mozzarella/provolone mixture; repeat layering. Finish with a layer of noodles and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake covered in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes

Overall I think the taste was pretty good. Could have it been better? Sure as can anything. With time, I this will become better, and maybe add some more sauce and cheese. And dry clean my clothes. The video below is a review by Steve and I covering topics like food, my mother, and all shot by my bfffla Cristalle.