Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Guest Chef: The Improv Chef

Chocolate Strawberry Crisp with French Vanilla Cream

The ingredients consisted of homemade granola (rolled oats, raw sugar, dried cranberries, trail mix, dried apricots, fresh orange juice, and orange zest), halved fresh strawberries, melted semi-sweet chocolate morsels mixed with orange juice and a splash of whole milk, and melted french vanilla ice cream to top it off!

Now doesn't that look divine?! I didn't taste it because this photo/description was sent in, but I'm sure it tastes as good (if not better) than it looks. She also makes an award winning white sangria with hints of cinnamon and fizzy blackberry ice to finish it off as her special touches.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Country Fried Steak with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

• cube steaks
• salt
• pepper
• garlic powder
• paprika
• flour
• vegetable oil
• beef broth
• balsamic vinegar
• potatoes
• butter
• milk
• sour cream

At first glance, this may look like a daunting list of ingredients based on the number, but that just means it’ll be extra flavorful!

Season the steaks with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Then dredge* both sides in flour and place in a hot skillet filled with a layer of vegetable oil. (Although we’re frying the steak, they’re not getting deep-fried. Therefore, you don’t need that much oil.) Remove the steaks and next we’re going to make a simple gravy just like we’ve done a million times before. Depending on how much oil there is left in the skillet, you may or may not need to add some butter to it to make a roux with a couple of tablespoons of flour. After the flour has turned brown, add the beef broth and a couple of dashes of balsamic vinegar (my secret ingredient). Put the steak into the pan with the gravy and allow it to simmer for a few minutes.

For the potatoes, just boil them in a pan of water and then add some butter, salt, pepper, and milk to the pan. Next step: MASH! As a finishing touch, fold in a few dollops of sour cream for extra yumminess.

*Dredging: There are two methods (that I can think of) how you can accomplish this. One is putting some flour and the meat in a bag and shaking it like a Polaroid picture. The other is to put a layer of flour on a dish/plate and flipping the meat over to coat it in the flour. Both work fine, but I guess one is slightly more entertaining.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coconut Curry Chicken

• 2 chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
• olive oil
• salt
• pepper
• curry powder
• 1/2 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
• 3 tbsp of yellow curry paste
• 1 can of coconut milk

Saute the chicken in the olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and curry powder. After it is cooked through, add the vegetables, curry paste, and coconut milk. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes and then serve over rice. Believe it or not, this was a Hungry Hutch first!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy 50th Post!!!!

What better to have for this monumental occasion than the meal I cooked myself on my birthday? (A. I celebrated with friends the day before so there is no need to worry that I ate alone on my birthday. B. If you know me, then this tells you the lag time between the actual meal and me posting this...whoops!) I got the inspiration for the steak from a dinner I had in a neighborhood restaurant (Barberry?) a couple of nights before with a couple of friends. Whilst eating I thought to myself (and aloud), "I can make that!" Hence, steak with balsamic glazed shallots.

- steak (duh!)
- salt
- pepper
- Worcestershire sauce (don't ask me to pronounce it)
- garlic powder
- chili powder
- olive oil
- shallots
- balsamic vinegar

Season both sides of the steak with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder, and then add a few shakes of the Worcestershire sauce. I like to poke the meat with a fork a few times to try to get the sauce/seasoning goodness to go down into the meat. I then let the meat marinate for about 30 minutes (or longer if you have the time) to absorb even more of the flavor. In a skillet over about a medium to medium-high flame, heat up a couple swirls of olive oil until you can see it ripple and add your steak. You should hear a nice sizzle - if it doesn't sizzle then the pan isn't hot enough. The sizzle lets you know that you're getting a nice sear on the steak and producing some good flavors. Cook to your desired done-ness (I like medium well - not too pink, but not completely cooked beyond reproach either). Remove the steak and now it's on to the shallots. Slice the shallots and saute them in the remaining olive oil and steak juices. Add in a few shakes of balsamic vinegar (I would guess maybe a tbsp or two?) and continue to saute so that the shallots get coated and the vinegar mixes well with the other juices in the pan. Pour the contents from the skillet over the steak and bon appetit!

And as much of a carnivore that I am, I couldn't just eat steak with a few onion/garlic hybrids on top and think that was a complete meal. So I decided to have some pasta with green beans as a side. It's uber simple: just pasta, butter, garlic powder, green beans, and a little parsley. Ta-da!