Monthly Archives: July 2009

Milk-Steamed Corn on the Cob p. 289

My normal method of cooking fresh corn on the cob (is there un-fresh corn on the cob?) is to boil it. We’ve begun experimenting with corn wrapped in foil on the grill this summer, but we’ve never tried steamed. The idea of steaming the corn with milk sounded good.

As part of our Angel Food box we got milk in the container… you know the kind that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. I can’t remember what its called because I threw the carton away and Bryan took out the trash. Since that is a stabilized milk, so it can stay on the shelf for longer, I decided to try steaming with that.

But since we have never steamed corn before, its hard to give a comparison. Mark Bittman suggests using this method with “less-than-ideal” corn, which is probably a good suggestion. I started off having less-than-ideal corn, but that turned into rotting, mildewed corn, which then found its way to the trash can. Disappointed I couldn’t make the corn, I went to our local produce store to purchase some fresher corn on the cob to make this recipe. I picked the white corn, its my favorite and tends to be sweeter. But I can see the corn that is mixed yellow and white being good using this recipe. I’ll let you know.


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Stuffed Flank Steak p. 737

This was probably my second biggest undertaking so far, second only to the tamales. And this round was much more successful than the other. It’s not a difficult dish to make, just a little time consuming. The time estimate given was at least 2 hours and I took about two and a half hours.

Ingredients: Flank steak (obviously), salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic, cilantro (or parsley), carrots, eggs, red or white onion (I used half a red onion), spinach, and EVOO.

The most challenging thing to do was to cut the meat in half. I let Bryan do it and after a few expletives, our meat was cut and ready for stuffing.

Start with your spices and work your way up in consistency.

Here it is with everything but spinach.

Spinach goes on last. Then roll and tie. This was also challenging because I didn’t leave enough room on the edges, so things fell out. The recipe called for three carrots, and I ended up using only two. My steak was very stuffed.

Brown your meat on the stove for a few minutes on each side and then pop in the oven. The cook time is over an hour, which will give you time to clean your kitchen, watch a movie, or do laundry.

Its an impressive dish to serve guests. Prepare, clean up your kitchen, and welcome your guests. They’ll be impressed with the luxurious smell wafting through the house and then you can whip it out oven and they will begin to drool. And you can say, yeah, I cook and excellent meal and hardly even get the kitchen dirty… to their knowledge.

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Quick Glazed Carrots, p. 277

Ingredients: carrots, butter or EVOO, salt, pepper, lemon juice.

I had carrots on hand from my last Angel Food package and decided to glaze them as part of an afternoon lunch. I’ve glazed carrots before with whiskey, which is delicious, but a little fattening.

For this recipe Mark Bittman suggests using water, wine or stock to simmer the carrots in. I choose wine since we had some on hand and I love cooking with wine. I used butter as well and those two flavors really worked well together.

Let your carrots cook in the wine, butter, sat and pepper for several minutes and garnish with a little lemon juice. Simple and delicious.

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Sauteed Zucchini and Summer Squash p. 355

Ingredients: butter or EVOO, garlic, zucchini (or summer squash), salt, pepper, lemon juice, parsley for garnish.

This isn’t a new dish to me. My mom used to make it all the time in the summer and I learned how to make it later on as well. It was a quick, simple, delish way to enjoy the bounty of summer produce. If only my husband would like it…. Sigh.

Garlic and lemon juice was something new to me, though, and it really adds some zest.

Too cook this dish, simply mince your garlic and cook in your olive oil or butter. (I prefer olive oil for this dish.) Once its heated through add your zucchini. The book recommends cutting it crosswise, but I was cooking a lot and its easier for me to chop it in rounds. Let it sauté for a few minutes until your desired tenderness. I like mine to almost melt in your mouth. Serve garnishing with lemon juice and parsley.

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Baked Potato p. 336

Ingredients: potato, salt and pepper

Everyone knows how to bake a potato, but its in the book and so therefore I must cook and post. Actually, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure what temperature and for how long to cook… so basically I didn’t know how to cook a baked potato, and referred to the book. But that’s what its here for. To help people like me, who don’t even know how to bake a potato.

Here’s how you do it. Take your potato, wash it real good, cook for 425 for an hour. Done.

We topped our potatoes with butter, season salt, and fresh cheddar cheese. I thought about adding some fresh salsa I had on hand, but decided that would go with my Steak au Poivre.

Mark Bittman does offer a list of various topping to put on a baked potato if you want to sauce it up. But I’m not going to tell you what they are, buy the book.

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Steak au Poivre p. 730

Also called: Pan-seared steak with black pepper and red wine

Ingredients: tenderloin (I used a strip steak), ground black pepper, butter, shallot, wine, tarragon, salt.

This month I ordered Angel Food Ministries box. I’ve done it once in the past, but didn’t like the quality of meat, so I didn’t order it for quite a few months. This month’s box looked better and promised higher quality. Having taken advantage of perhaps one too many summer sales, I decided a week of cheap food was in order. In the box I received 4 New York strip steaks. I searched through the book to find something I could do with my meat and came across this recipe.

So, what initially drew me to this recipe was that I couldn’t pronounce it. I like it when something I cook is too complicated for me to even pronounce. It makes me feel all fancy. Plus it called for wine, which required a trip to the liquor store to stock up. And once I opened a bottle of wine, that would mean it would be open and some would be left, and I would just have to drink some, otherwise it would be wasteful. I’d hate to waste wine.

Back to the food, this is an easy and fast recipe which results in something tender and delicious. Sprinkle your steaks with some freshly ground pepper and then pan sear them for a few minutes on each side.

Then you cook some shallots (which I didn’t happen to have this time, but certainly would be delicious) with your red wine and tarragon, and reduce the liquid. When you serve your steak pour some of the red wine sauce over it.

I haven’t cooked much with tarragon before, I was actually surprised to find that I had it. But it is a flavor I definitely love and will try to use more of in the future. It’s perfect on steak. We, again, weren’t impressed with the quality of the meat, but we didn’t let that stop us from devouring it. Try this recipe today. It will change your life.

Served with baked potato and green beans

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Fresh Tomatillo Salsa p. 33

Ingredients: chiles, tomatillos, scallions, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.

I didn’t have chiles, but I did have some jalepeno peppers on hand. That’s the same right? Similar? Okay, whatever, its what I had… which is weird because I’ve never ever had them on hand before. In fact this was my first experience with a fresh pepper. I have to admit I was nervous about it. I’m not a huge fan of jalepeno peppers, but I had them on hand and they seem to be a must with Mexcian cooking.

Basically I’m too lazy to finely chop everything, so I chopped coarsely and popped everything in the food processor to blend.

I also made some fresh salsa at the same time. I didn’t put any peppers in the salsa this time, mainly because I forgot. The tomatillo salsa was more of a hit than the regular tomato salsa. While, my salsa recipe does need tweeking to my specific tastes, this tomatillo recipe is perfect.

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