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
Corned beef and hash isn’t something I typically order in a restaurant because I’m always scared I’ll be served mushy dog food instead of anything close to the chunky, savory jumble above.
It’s a diner dish done light and right. Here’s Week 26, Meal 2: Turkey pastrami hash and eggs.
Continue reading Week 26, Meal 3: A diner dish done light and right
Halfway through eating, Wifey Nadia turned to me and said this dish tasted so good that it had to be bad for us. Fresh, comforting and delicious. Nothing bad about that, I say.
I may have overcooked my eggs just a little, depriving myself of the maximum-possible yolk for this dish, but the cheesy polenta and loads of produce in this dish, the fanciest of our three Breakfast for Dinner 2 meals, did not disappoint.
Here’s Week 26, Meal 2: Parmesan polenta topped with asparagus, leek and poached eggs with prosciutto, tomato and basil salsa. Continue reading Week 26, Meal 2: So good this has to be bad for you
I live in a world where my wife thinks it’s crazy to eat breakfast — my favorite meal of the day — for dinner.
So, take it from me, it’s a big-f’n-deal when I get some BfD. It’s an even bigger deal when Chef Brian is in charge of the menu because he’s just as good at making yummy morning fare as he is at crafting dressed-up dinners.
Here’s what’s cookin’:
Week 26, Meal 1: Orange-ricotta pancakes with honey-pistachio yogurt
Week 26, Meal 2: Parmesan polenta topped with asparagus, leek and poached eggs with prosciutto, tomato and basil salsa
Week 26, Meal 3: Turkey pastrami hash and eggs
As always, each recipe makes two portions. Follow the jump for the shopping list. Continue reading Week 26: BFD2
I’ve had plenty of fish and salsa dishes, but I’ve never had one like this.
For the second meal of Week 25, Chef Brian’s bringing ahi back with a coriander-and-garlic-spiked marinade that had my palate wondering what the heck hit it. The corn and black bean salsa is familiar enough, but a hint of basil elevated the flavors even more.
Add to it the coolness of sour cream, the creaminess of pureed avocado and a whole lot of sour citrus and you’ve got one heck of a fiesta in your tummy. (So yummy, so yummy.)
Without further ado, here’s Week 25, Meal 2: Coriander and garlic marinated tuna over corn and black bean salsa with avocado puree and lime sour cream. Continue reading Week 25, Meal 2: I’ve never had fish like this
I was intimidated going into the kitchen for Week 25, Meal 1: Marinated pork loin over jalapeno corn pudding and sauteed peppers with smoky ancho sauce.
Because there were four components, I knew this meal would be a test of my organizational skills, focus, kitchen timing, cooking methods … well, you get the picture. This was a test, but one that I was ready to face head on.
The hard work and preparation paid off — this dish is killer. The juicy, spiced pork complements the sweet corn — the definite star of the show — and the smoky, peppery sauce drizzled on top ties together so many complementing flavors.
Continue reading Week 25, Meal 1: Pudding! Peppers!! Pork!!!
It was all about chicken and apple last week, so Chef Brian decided to switch it up. We’ve got a new protein (pork!) and new fruits to experiment with too (figs and pears).
Plus, you can’t go wrong when you’re cooking with wine:
Meal 1: Thyme-crusted roasted pork over Gruyere polenta with caramelized pear, shallot and ginger pan sauce
Meal 2: Thyme-crusted roasted pork panini with balsamic fig jam, bacon and arugula
Meal 3: Grilled pork chop with grilled asparagus over wild rice with almonds and fig, port and balsamic reduction
Our list is good for two portions of each meal. I double mine so I always have leftovers for the next day.
The shopping list is after the jump. Continue reading Week 2: Pork, figs and wine
The last meal of Week 1 was a gentle end to the chicken-and-apple series as it struck the balance between the hard work I put into our first night’s sweet potato/kale/chicken dish versus the relative ease of making night two’s chicken/apple/onion panini.
It was also my first encounter with wild rice which I’ve learned 1) is not rice, but grass; 2) takes about an hour to cook; 3) is nutty, delicious and filling.
Keep reading for the recipe and directions to make Week 1, Meal 3: Grilled herb chicken with sauteed spinach over wild rice and chicken sausage stuffing. Continue reading Week 1, Meal 3: Grilled herb chicken with sauteed spinach over wild rice and chicken sausage stuffing
Behold! Grilled herb chicken with quick-braised kale over caramelized apple and sweet potato puree with sweet and sour apple reduction.
It took me nearly four hours, mostly because I’m in a small kitchen and because I was watching football and talking to my dad during some of the time. One the plus side, Wifey Nadia and I got to spend a lot of time together.
And then she fell asleep, halfway into dinner, just after 10:10 p.m.
I didn’t have the timing down for making dishes, ran into some problems with equipment and ruined more than one component, but I’m okay with that. This is a learning process and Brian chose to start me with the final exam.
Keep reading for the recipe and directions. Remember, this recipe makes two portions. I doubled mine for leftovers. Continue reading Week 1, Meal 1: Grilled herb chicken with quick-braised kale over caramelized apple and sweet potato puree with sweet and sour apple reduction
Update: Grab some extra chicken stock.
Chef Brian thought he’d kick off the festivities with recipes that celebrate fall flavors.
I’m a fan of Thanksgiving so I was all ears until he informed me that “pumpkin pie” isn’t a flavor.
His first menu features lots of apples paired with rosemary-and-thyme-marinated chicken breast.
It’s not pumpkin pie, but it’ll do:
Meal 1: Grilled herb chicken with quick-braised kale over caramelized apple and sweet potato puree with sweet and sour apple reduction
Meal 2: Grilled herb chicken panini with apple butter, caramelized onions and Gruyere
Meal 3: Grilled herb chicken with sauteed spinach over wild rice and chicken sausage stuffing
Our list is good for two portions of each meal. I doubled mine so I always have leftovers for the next day.
The shopping list is after the jump. Continue reading Week 1: Chicken and apples