Flank Steak Salad with Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette


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Flank Steak Salad w Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette

Flank Steak Salad with Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette
Yield:  4 servings
Time: 25 minutes active, 50 minutes total

For the flank steak:
1 lime
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chipotle chile powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1½ to 2 lb. flank steak

For the Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup lime juice (fresh squeezed is ideal but bottled works too!)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup canola oil
1½ tbsp. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce) –could substitute with 1 tsp. of chipotle chili powder, if needed
½ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. garlic powder

For the salad:
8 cups mixed greens
¾ cup fresh blackberries
2 avocados, diced
24 grape tomatoes, halved
3 ears of corn, cooked and cut off the cob

  1. Zest the lime, then slice the zested lime in half.
  2. Mix together the lime zest, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, chipotle chile powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Squeeze the lime over both surfaces of the steak.  Sprinkle half of the spice mixture onto the top of the steak, rubbing it into the meat.  Repeat with the remaining spice mixture on the underside of the steak.  Let stand at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette:  Combine the lime juice, adobo sauce, cumin, and garlic powder.  Whisk together, and slowly drizzle in the oils.  Mix thoroughly.
  5. Grill the steak over medium high until well browned and the center registers 130ºF with a meat thermometer* (about 4-8 minutes per side, depending upon the thickness of the cut of steak).  Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing.  Thinly slice against the grain.  (Note: flank steak is a fairly tough cut of meat.  Slicing it against the grain maximizes its tenderness.)
  6. Prepare the salads: Toss together the mixed greens, blackberries, avocados, tomatoes, corn, and prepared vinaigrette.  Split between four plates.  Top each salad with sliced flank steak.

PDF to Print Recipe for Flank Steak Salad with Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette

* When measuring the temperature of cooked meat, always insert the thermometer into the meat sideways, away from any bones.  This ensures an accurate reading.

Recipe Credit:  The flank steak recipe was modified from the Chili-Lime Flank Steak recipe that was published in the June 2016 edition of Food Network Magazine.


No Bake Strawberry Pineapple Pie



No Bake Strawberry Pineapple Pie

This pie is a cinch to throw together, and always comes out delicious.  It’s one of husband’s all-time favorite desserts, and one that he requests frequently.  It’s especially refreshing in the summer, but it hits the spot any time of year!

No Bake Strawberry Pineapple Pie
Yield: 8-12 servings
Time: 20 minutes active, 2+ hours chilling

For the graham cracker crust:
1¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted

For the pie filling:
8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
¼ cup skim milk
3 ounce package of instant vanilla pudding
8 ounces crushed pineapple (juice and all!)
2 tbsp. strawberry preserves (optional)
8 ounces Cool Whip, or other whipped topping

For garnish:
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
whipped cream (optional)

  1. Make the graham cracker crust by mixing together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until the mixture resembles damp coarse sand.  Gently press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a lightly greased 9-inch pie pan.  Set aside.
  2. Using a hand-held mixer, beat together the cream cheese and milk in a large mixing bowl until well blended.
  3. Stir in the dry pudding mix, crushed pineapple (undrained), and strawberry preserves.  Fold in the Cool Whip.  Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.  Pour the filling into the prepared graham cracker crust.  Refrigerate for at least two hours, overnight is fine.  Just prior to serving, top with fresh sliced strawberries and whipped cream.

PDF to Print Recipe for No Bake Strawberry Pineapple Pie


Rhubarb Compote


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Rhubarb Compote

I can’t help myself this time of year.  As soon as rhubarb appears in the grocery store, I buy it in bulk.  I feel like I need to get my fix while it’s available, since the season always seems to end too soon.  After a recent splurge on tons of fresh rhubarb, I needed creative ideas of what to make with it.  Hello compote!  This could honestly be my new favorite food.  I can’t stop eating it!  It’s delicious on waffles and pancakes for breakfast, as a filling in crepes or blintzes, or over vanilla ice cream for dessert.  For a simple and healthy snack, try some drizzled over fresh cut strawberries.  I even stirred some adobo sauce into some reserved compote and ate it with grilled pork.  Any way you eat it, I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Rhubarb Compote
Yield: 2 cups
Time: 15 minutes total

4 cups diced rhubarb (roughly 1¼ lbs)
½ cup sugar
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.  Add the rhubarb and toss to coat.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (I know, it seems weird that the mixture has no liquid in the beginning, but after a few minutes the rhubarb will start to break down and provide all the moisture you need!)
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the rhubarb time to break down a bit.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Serve warm or chilled.  I love this compote over waffles or pancakes, over vanilla ice cream with fresh cut strawberries, or straight off the spoon!

PDF to Print Recipe for Rhubarb Compote

Shiksa-Style Matzo Ball Soup



Shiksa Style Matzoh Ball Soup

My husband, who is Jewish, loves his mom’s matzo ball soup.  I’ve learned to never try and replicate someone’s childhood favorites (that’s a recipe for disappointment!), but instead to create my own, delicious version.  I started with what I knew…a chicken soup base…and did my best to make light and airy matzo balls.  After a few tries that resulted in dense, doughy balls, I arrived at this recipe which uses seltzer to keep the batter lighter.  Much to the joy and delight of my husband, making this soup has become somewhat of a Passover tradition for us (really the only Passover tradition we observe!).  I’ve affectionately named this recipe “Shiksa-Style Matzo Ball Soup” since it’s my take on the classic.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!  Happy Passover!

Shiksa-Style Matzo Ball Soup
Yield:  6 servings
Time:  30 minutes prep, 60 minutes total (plus chilling)

For the matzo balls:
3 eggs, beaten
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup seltzer (unflavored)
1½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. freshly minced parsley
2 tbsp. freshly minced dill
7/8 cup matzo meal

For the soup:
5 carrots, sliced into ½-inch thick “coins”
6 celery stalks, diced
2 large yellow or white onions, diced
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped (reserve ¼ cup for garnish)
¾ cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped (reserve ¼ cup for garnish)
8-10 cups chicken stock

  1. Prepare the matzo balls:  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, seltzer, and salt.  Stir in the parsley, dill, and matzoh meal.  Mix until fully combined.  Refrigerate for 2+ hours (overnight is fine) until the batter is firm and easier to handle.
  2. Place the carrots, celery, onions, shallot, garlic, and black pepper in a medium stockpot.  Pour in about 2 tbsp. of the chicken stock and cook over medium heat until the vegetables soften, about 8 minutes.  Add the rest of the chicken stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Meanwhile, form 1-inch or 1½-inch balls from the matzo dough.  Once all of the balls are formed, slide the matzo balls into the simmer stock using a large spoon.  Add the parsley and dill (reserving a bit for garnish), and cover.  Continue simmering over medium heat for about 25 minutes, until the matzo balls are fully cooked.  (To test if the matzo balls are done, remove one ball from the broth and slice it in half.  If the center is dark in color, it needs to be cooked longer.  They should be light throughout when fully cooked.)
  4. Garnish with reserved fresh parsley and dill.

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Homemade Caramel Corn



Caramel Corn

WARNING:  You will not be able to stop eating this caramel corn!  I made it for Christmas one year, and my parents, husband and I quickly became addicted to it.  Honestly, we couldn’t put it down.  I made a big batch for a friend’s movie-themed birthday party this past weekend, and I’m bring the rest into my office today to get it out of my house!  Cannot.  Stop.  Eating.  Caramel.  Corn.  Send help!

Homemade Caramel Corn
Yield: 8 cups (6-8 servings?  Really like one serving the way I devour it!)
Time: 10 minutes prep, 60 minutes baking, 30+ minutes cooling.

1 cup butter, cut into cubes
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. baking soda
8 cups popped popcorn

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºF.  Lightly grease a large baking sheet.  Set aside.
  2. The most tedious and time consuming part of this recipe is this first step, but don’t skip it!  I’ve made the mistake in the past and regretted it.  There’s nothing pleasant about biting into a rock-hard popcorn kernel and praying you didn’t chip a tooth.  Separate the popped popcorn from the unpopped kernels.  Discard the kernels.  Spread the popcorn out on the prepared large baking sheet.  (Or use two baking sheets–you want as thin a layer as possible of popcorn to maximize the coverage with caramel!)
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, salt, and corn syrup until melted, stirring frequently.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda.  Pour over the popped popcorn (with kernels removed!) and stir gently to coat evenly.
  5. Bake at 200ºF for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes to redistribute the caramel.
  6. Allow to cool to room temperature (at least 30 minutes) before breaking the clumps into smaller pieces.  Enjoy!

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