Tag Archives: Olive oil

Recipe: Sous vide top sirloin with garlic roasted broccolini

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One of the last meals I had before leaving Orange County was the Ultimate Steak Dinner at Playground 2.0 in Santa Ana (info), an over-the-top beef party (yeah, I said it) that only left me with the craving for more bloody red flesh.

If I’m ordering a steak out, chances are it’s a ribeye, skirt or hanger cut. But Costco sells packages of prime top sirloin in quantities of four to six for between $20 and $25. Top sirloin’s one of the leanest cuts of red meat, so it makes for a great weeknight dinner in portions that aren’t of the XL steakhouse variety.

I’ve been trying to pair simple meats with simple veggies since I got back in the kitchen. We cooked the meat first in a water bath and then pan seared it to produce a very flavorful dish. Keep reading for the recipe and how-to.

Continue reading Recipe: Sous vide top sirloin with garlic roasted broccolini

Stretching your pesos: Fat Dude’s Mexican fiesta, Part 4—Chicken quesadilla with black beans and pickled red onion

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If a quick meal is what you need, look no further than the versatile quesadilla. The quesadillas of my youth were nuked in the microwave and made with Mission flour rounds filled with a couple of Kraft singles. Not healthy and totally uninspired–a sad meal for my 10-year-old self.

My grown up tastes have led me to greener pastures, quesadilla-wise. I’ve found pure bliss in wonderfully-gooey Oaxaca cheese, salty cotija crumbles and the acerbic bite of pickled jalapenos.

To make the quesadilla at top, use 1 uncooked flour tortilla (about 140 calories; less fake/processed ingredients) and 1.5-2 oz. of Oaxaca (Mexican white) or cheddar cheese. The chicken from our chicken tostadas (recipe) makes a flavorful addition to the meal, and I always throw a handful of pickled jalapenos into the mix.

Click here to learn how our friend Gustavo Arellano of OC Weekly cooks up a proper quesadilla.

I chose to add black beans (recipe) and pickled red onions (recipe) because extra ‘good stuff’ never hurt–especially the addition of the black beans, which really turn this snack into a fiber-filled meal. Finish with some chopped cilantro, a sprinkle of cotija and a spritz of lime juice to round out the flavors of the dish, if you happen to have those items on hand.

Freestyle meal: Arrachera rib-eye with caramelized onions

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I’ve been trying to cut back on the beef lately, but I had a mad craving for a steak last week.

I planned on buying a grass-fed cut but the selection at the market was slim. I picked a thick-ish slab of well-marbled rib-eye from the other side of the meat case and went home to cook it up. But Nadia came home sick and needed soup, so I put it back in the fridge until all the soup was gone two days later.

Instead of searching for a recipe, I created something on the fly. Inspired by the flank steak made by Carlos Salgado at Taco Maria, I Googled up my own arrachera seasoning (which one, I can’t remember), gave the meat a good rub down and let it temper that way. Before I cooked it, I smeared the steak with a thin layer of olive oil and some salt and pepper.

Then, in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat, I seared it for 4 minutes per side. Remembering something I saw on Top Chef, I threw a pat of butter in the pan with some fresh thyme, spooning the herb-infused fat over the meat.

Once the meat was done, I deglazed the pan with sherry and caramelized an onion up in there.

Trying something new worked for me, so don’t be afraid to put together some techniques you might know, or some ingredients you have in the kitchen. You might whip up something unexpected and impressive.

Week 32, Meal 2: Sweet and sour chicken

Chef Brian’s pretty awesome at “magic tricks,” or at least that’s what I call them. Every once in a while, he’ll introduce a new technique to me that blows my mind. Some of my favorite tricks of his include corn pudding and salsa verde broth; Week 32, Meal 2: Italian Sweet and Sour chicken over sauteed kale with balsamic raisins and toasted pine nuts adds a new one to the repertorie: reconstituted raisins, plumped up fat and juicy with acidic balsamic vinegar.

Paired with a sticky glaze on skinless chicken thighs, the tart raisins provide perfect contrast in this sweet, sour and nutty dish.

Continue reading Week 32, Meal 2: Sweet and sour chicken

Week 32: Killer kale

Off the top of my head, I can come up with a shortlist of foods we should all have regularly: blueberries, almonds, green tea, dark chocolate, salmon and … kale. I hardly ever ate it before, but the leafy green has been used a few times here on Fat Dude.

Full of vitamins and minerals, kale is a neutral green that goes well in a variety of dishes. That’s why Chef Brian decided to spotlight kale with our Week 32 menu:

Week 32, Meal 1: Honey-sherry marinated chicken over roasted butternut squash, kale and ciopolini onion

Week 32, Meal 2: Italian Sweet and Sour chicken over sauteed kale with balsamic raisins and toasted pine nuts

Week 32, Meal 3: Citrus and Adobo Marinated Tuna over roasted fingerlings, kale, and tomatoes with garlic-chile oil and adobo citrus sour cream

Each recipe makes two portions. Keep reading for the full shopping list.

Continue reading Week 32: Killer kale

Week 31, Meal 2: Sea soup

I’m a Bay Area boy, so you know I love my seafood. Some of my earliest memories are spending time with family, shoveling clam chowder into my mouth from a mountainous bowl made of bread.

The second soup of our trio isn’t a creamy soup like my old favorite, but the smokey shrimp broth (which you make yourself) and sweet shreds of crab and fragrant slivers of fennel make this one unforgettable.

Here’s Week 31, Meal 2: Shellfish and tomato soup with grilled baguette. Continue reading Week 31, Meal 2: Sea soup

Week 31, Meal 1: Health food soup

Excuse the lack of a “finished product” shot for this post, but I went three days in a row to freakin’ Sprouts for a loaf of French bread and they were sold out each time so we just ended up chipping away at this one until there was nothing left.

For the first meal of Week 31: Souper soups, Chef Brian is going Italian, throwing a whole bunch of healthy ingredients and good-for-you spices into a pot (kale, turkey, lentils, fennel, paprika) and serving  it up piping hot. It probably would have been good with the parmesan bread on the side, but at  least I saved a couple of carbs.

Prep is fairly simple and if you want to turn this one out fast, you can use store-bought Italian turkey sausage like I did. But we’ve also included Chef Brian’s Italian turkey sausage recipe in the post in case you have the time. I didn’t when I was able to cook this particular time, but I’m going  to come up with a different way to use the recipe just so I can try it.

Here’s Week 31, Meal 1: Italian turkey sausage, kale, lentil and tomato soup with parmesan croutons.

Continue reading Week 31, Meal 1: Health food soup

Real Simple magazine: Eggplant lasagna

In my continuing effort to cook most of my meals at home, I went through this month’s cooking calendar on the Real Simple magazine’s website. I put a menu together for the week and plan to link to the dishes each day, just to get back into the habit of blogging meals. This weekend I plan to pick up veggies at the Farmer’s market (SOCO Collection’s spread was incredible last Saturday) and I’ll finally knock out the remainder of the vegetarian menu.

But until then, here’s a vegetarian dish from Real Simple that I was iffy to try, but thankful I did. It’s eggplant lasagna, made with slabs of eggplant (they call for it to be broiled, but I threw mine on the grill), a simple tomato sauce and creamy, herb-spiked ricotta.

Add a side salad drizzled in balsamic vinaigrette and this is both hearty and healthy–for under 400 calories. Here’s the recipe for eggplant lasagna from Real Simple magazine.

Week 29, Meal 3: Salsa verde grilled chicken, roasted beet and goat cheese salad

Week 29, Meal 3: Grilled chicken tossed in pistachio and herb salsa verde over arugula salad with roasted beets, goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette

(Yield: 2 servings)

Chicken
12 oz. chicken breast, butterflied
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 T tarragon, chopped
1/2 T parsley, chopped
1/2 T chives, thinly sliced
1/4 c pistachios, chopped
1 T olive oil
1 lemon, juiced

Salad
5 oz. wild arugula
6 baby beets, different colors if possible
salt and pepper, as needed
1 t olive oil
1 oz. chevre goat cheese Dressing
1 lemon, juiced
1 T vegetable or grapeseed oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss beets with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a small roasting pan, with enough water in the pan to cover the bottom of it. Cover the pan with foil and roast the beets for 30-40 minutes, until easily pierced with a pairing knife.

Remove from the oven and, using paper towels, rub the outer  skin and stem off. Cut beet pieces into wedges.

2. In a Magic Bullet or blender, mix the lemon juice and oil to make the vinaigrette. Reserve.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, shallot, tarragon, parsley, chives, pistachios and olive oil. Reserve.

4. Preheat your grill to high. When ready to grill, cook chicken until cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side. When chicken is cooked through, slice  into strips and toss with the salsa verde. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Mix the arugula and beets  in a bowl and dress with vinaigrette.

To plate: Lay the greens out thin over the whole plate, as  opposed to a mound  in the middle. Disperse the beets evenly. Top with half of the chicken and sprinkle each salad with 1/2 oz. of goat cheese.

Week 29: Salads that don’t suck

Back in November 2010 when I started this blog, I facetiously wrote that this was for “people who hate the gym and think salads suck.”

It’s been a year now, and while I’m still struggling with that whole gym thing, I will readily admit that salads don’t suck. A year ago, my vegetable intake seriously consisted mostly of french fries and grilled onions. (I just asked Wifey Nadia and she couldn’t think of anything past those two either.)

In that spirit, I asked Chef Brian to whip up a menu of “salads that don’t suck.” I’ve known for some time that Brian is a salad machine, but surprisingly, he said that this menu stumped him a little because he’s turned a lot of his favorite salad combinations into dinner entrees for this supposed salad hater.

But here we are, and here’s the menu:

Week 29, Meal 1: Glazed salmon over spinach salad with mango, avocado and coconut-peanut dressing

Week 29, Meal 2: Smoked paprika dusted chicken “milanese” with mixed greens, manchego, dried cherries, pine nuts and orange-sherry vinaigrette

Week 29, Meal 3: Grilled chicken tossed in pistachio and herb salsa verde over arugula salad with roasted beets, goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette

As always, each recipe makes two servings. Follow the jump for the shopping list. Continue reading Week 29: Salads that don’t suck

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