Sunday, November 1, 2009

MORE Part II...

These meals are slightly more complicated, but can still be done in about 15 minutes. If you want, substitute simpler sides to make your life easier. (Or enlist a sous chef to take care of the accompanying dishes!)

Read through these recipes before you start cooking... I've written them sequentially, with step-by-step instructions for the whole meal. The timing should be fairly realistic, but may seem a bit harried. They are ALL worth the effort!

Minute Steaks with Truffle-Parmesan Faux-sotto and Wild Green Salad

For Entire Meal You'll Need:
3-4 thin-sliced sirloin steaks (~1/2 lb each)
coarse sea salt, fresh ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (divided)
1 cup instant rice (such as Uncle Ben's... not Minute Rice!) cooked according to package instructions
3 tbsp salted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
1/2 c+ 2 tbsp shredded parmesan-reggiano (divided)
2 tsp truffle oil (can be optional... but I highly recommend it)
3 cups wild greens
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1 lemon half, for juicing

Cook rice according to directions. While rice is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet on medium-hi. Pat steaks dry and sprinkle both sides evenly with sea salt and pepper. Add steaks to skillet. (If all do not fit, cook in batches.) 
Cook steak 2-3 minutes per side, to desired doneness. (Do not turn or move until cooked on first side.) While steak is cooking, chop tomatoes in half or quarters. 
In a medium bowl, combine greens and tomatoes. 
After steak has cooked (4-6 minutes total), transfer to a plate and let stand 4-5 minutes (or until sides are ready. 
In another bowl, combine cooked rice and butter. (Note: If you don't have time to let butter come to room temp, pop in microwave for 10 seconds. Also, cutting in pieces or putting it near the hot stove works helps.) Stir in 1/2 cup parmesan-reggiano. If you want it creamier, add a little more butter or a tbsp of cream. Drizzle with truffle oil and top with a little more parmesan, if you wish. (Another Note: Shaved parmesan curls on top are a delicate and delicious addition... just use a potato peeler!)
Juice lemon over greens and tomatoes. Drizzle insides of bowl with olive oil and toss. Sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper, and remaining 2 tbsp parmesan.
Serve steak, faux-sotto, and greens together on the same plate. Delish!

Beef Kebabs Three Ways with Couscous and Tzatziki (and Pita!)

For Kebabs:
1 1/2 lbs sirloin, flap, or hanger steak, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces- To save time, buy pre-cut meat
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper black pepper
Three Flavor Options, in increasing complexity: 
1. 3 tbsp Robust Italian Dressing from Wishbone (or other Italian salad dressing)
2. 2 tbsp sumac seasoning (found at Phoenician Deli), 3 tbsp olive oil
3. 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, 1 tsp cumin, 3 tbsp olive oil, sauteed 2-3 mins. in a small skillet
Bell Peppers, Mushrooms, Onions, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks, can also be bought pre-cut at some grocery stores
Don't forget SKEWERS!

1 box Near East Couscous (I like the Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil the best)

For Tzatziki:
1 cup greek yogurt (such as OIKOS or fage)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated (using large side of cheese grater... or you can just chop it!)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Pita Bread 

Prepare couscous according to package directions. While this is cooking, begin cu
Prepare the grill to medium high (~400 degree) heat. Combine meat and veggies in large bowl with desired seasonings and kosher salt and black pepper. (Note: It is safe to combine meat and veggies in same bowl, as long as you are cooking them well! If you are squeamish about mixing the two, you can use two separate bowls, and make separate veggie skewers.) Skewer meat and veggies, leaving space in between. This aids in quick cooking. Place skewers on grill. Cook 10-12 minutes, turning every few minutes. 
While meat and veggies are cooking, make Tzatziki Sauce. Just combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
In last few minutes of grilling, place pita bread on grill to warm.
Serve skewers on top of bed of couscous, with plenty of tzatziki sauce for dipping, and pita for wrapping. Opa!

Chicken Fried Pork Chops with Cream Gravy*, Mashed Potatoes, and "Stewed" Okra

For Chicken Fried Pork Chops
4 boneless rib pork chops (1 1/2 lbs total)
plenty of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 cups+ 3 tbsp flour, divided for breading and gravy
3 c milk, divided for breading and gravy
1 large egg
1 cup canola or other frying oil

For Mashed Potatoes
2 Big Russet Potatoes, unpeeled, chopped into 1/2 inch slices
3/4 cup milk
1/2 stick margarine or butter (mmm... Kerrygold!)
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

For "Stewed" Okra:
4 cups frozen (or fresh okra), cut into 1/2 inch discs, stems removed, if fresh
1 15 oz can Muir Glen Fire-Roasted Stewed Tomatoes with Chilis
1 15 oz can water

*My Gourmet Tribute... Chicken Fried Pork Chops from Gourmet Mag? YES! I will miss them. The only thing I don't like about this recipe is the way it is written. So I'm changing it up a bit to make it easier to follow!

Place potatoes in large saucepan, cover with water and turn heat to HI; bring to a boil. (Cook time ~10 mins.) Place okra in large skillet, cover with water and turn heat to HI; bring to a boil. (Both on back burners to save room to work with pork.)
Pound pork chops on both sides with rough-textured meat pounder until very thin. Season with salt and pepper and cut into 3 inch pieces. Whisk together 2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper in a shallow dish. Whisk together egg, 1 c milk, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Dip pork pieces in milk/egg mixture, then dredge in flour. Place on plate. (IF you have some time, let pork rest for 15 minutes... I know this breaks the 15under15 mantra, but it makes the coating just perfect.) 
Heat oil in a heavy skillet over HI heat. When oil is shimmery and very hot (375 to be exact) fry pork pieces, turning over once, about 4 mins total. (You may have to work in batches.) When golden, transfer to paper towel to drain. Place in oven to keep warm.
While pork is frying, check on potatoes and okra. When potatoes are fork-tender, drain, return to pot and mash with milk, butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Cover with lid to keep warm.
Also, drain okra and rinse under faucet. Pour okra back in skillet and add canned tomatoes and water. Stir and simmer over medium heat until pork is cooked. 
Once all pork is cooked, pour off all but about 2 tbsp oil into a heat-proof bowl or empty coffee can, leaving brown bits. Add 3 tbsp flour and cook over medium heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in 2 cups milk, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve pork and potatoes with gravy, accompanied by the slightly spicy okra. Hmm... I might have to make this tonight!

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