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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Grilling, Finally!!

Sorry for the long absence!

Finding the time to blog is not so hard, remembering to take pictures as I cook is the hard part. 

I'm not sure you would go for it if I wrote out a recipe without a picture to accompany it.  When it comes to recipes, a picture IS worth a thousand words.......substituting "Mmmmm, the final product looks fabulous, trust me" at the end of the recipe instead of a photo probably wouldn't go over too well in blogland!

So here are a couple of recipes, with pictures.

First, we have your basic steak and (maybe not so basic) potatoes.  I am not going to give you any cooking instructions for the steak, all I did was grill it.  Yes, after 3 months buried under 3 feet of snow, my grill finally made an appearance and my family very happily devoured grilled steak.

And if you feel that you really must have some hints for a delicious grilled steak, I will offer you this:

  You absolutely can't go wrong with tenderloin steak (also known as filet mignon)

In the interest of full disclosure, Mr. Terrific was home so he did the grilling, freeing me up to stay inside and focus on the potatoes.

I plucked this recipe out of  Rachael Ray's 365:No Repeats cookbook.  I've changed some of the ingredients and quantities around a bit.  Can't help it, tweaking and tinkering is part of who I am.

 Potato Ragout
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium-size baking potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Scrub and dice the potatoes (peeling is optional).

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat (I set my electric skillet at 325 degrees) with the olive oil.  Add the diced potatoes to the skillet and spread them out in an even layer.
Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and let them brown without stirring or shaking the pan.

While the potatoes cook, gather your next ingredients: thyme, rosemary, onions and garlic. 

Go to your potatoes and stir them around so they can continue to brown.

I did not have fresh thyme, so I used dried--and since dried spices are so much more potent than fresh ones, I used 1 teaspoon instead of 1 tablespoon.

Actually, I didn't measure it at all.  I just gave it three good shakes into the potatoes and decided that it looked like 1 teaspoon.
Add the thyme, rosemary, onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions start to look translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 6 minutes. 
Add the cherry tomatoes and stir until the tomatoes are heated through, just about 1 minute.
Turn the heat off and add the butter, stirring constantly until it is melted.  Garnish with the parsley.

By the time the potatoes were prepped and cooked, so were the steaks.  Had Mr. Terrific not been around to lend a hand, there is enough downtime in this potato recipe to go out to the grill now and then to check on the steaks. 

I also threw some green beans into the microwave for 3 minutes toward the end of the potato preparation.
And to further showcase Mr. Terrific's steak-grilling skills:

Mr. Grill, so nice to have you back.

I will also leave you with a nifty cookie recipe.

I usually do my baking from scratch, using box mixes only in emergency situations (yes, there are emergency baking situations, like when your child forgets to tell you there is a bake sale the next day, or you suddenly find yourself with a houseful of kids and don't have time to run to the store, or you are so desperately craving warm chocolate chip cookies right now).

The following recipe is from Pillsbury's 38th BAKE-OFF Contest.  Thank you, Arlene Kremblas of Cheektowaga, New York, for figuring out how to turn a box of quick bread mix into a delicious scone-like cookie.

Cranberry Quick Cookies
  • 1 pkg. Pillsbury Cranberry Quick Bread Mix
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries (I used Craisins)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine ingredients in large bowl.
The recipe says to drop by heaping teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets.

My favorite cookie-scooper has a 1-ounce capacity, which is more like a heaping tablespoonful.  It'll be fine.  The cookies will be huge.
I baked my gigantic cookies at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (until the bottoms were golden brown).

If you are not a rebel and follow the recipe rules and use teaspoonfuls, you should bake them for 10 to 13 minutes.

Oh, yum.  I think next time I will add more Craisins, and maybe half-dip them into melted white chocolate.

Or maybe not.  They disappeared pretty quickly as they were.

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