Steak Bites with Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce

Got the urge to BBQ already and realize that the BBQ is probably dirty from its last use, who knows when in this weather? Treat yourself to this recipe from The Spicy Apron (Pinterest).  While it calls for putting the steak on skewers, I modified it and used my frying pan.  With the blue cheese sauce, it was awesome! Throw a salad or bake a potato and you have a complete easy meal! Photo is from The Spicy Apron, since I forgot to take a photo when I made this.

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Steak Bites with Creamy Blue Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds Sirloin Cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt Can use Seasoned Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Pepper
  • 4 Ounces Cream Cheese Room Temperature
  • 4 Ounces Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Ounces Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • 2 green onions Sliced crosswise (green parts)

Instructions

  1. Put 6-8 pieces of the beef on each skewer. Liberally salt and pepper all sides of the meat. Heat grill on high. Place skewers on hot grill and sear on each side, 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from heat and cover with foil. OR…
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and place the steak bites in until slightly golden, choosing how well you want them done. Well…definitely NOT!
  3. Combine cream cheese, cream, and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over medium low heat until heated through. Stir well to combine. Remove from heat and add crumbled blue cheese. Drizzle over cooked beef skewers or in a small dish on the side for dipping. Top with sliced green onions.

Greek Feta and Olive Frittata

Who doesn’t like Greek food? It can also be great for a brunch or just a cozy breakfast. How does a frittata and an omelette differ? How does a frittata differ from a quiche? Since we do not have Alexa I checked on Wikipedia

frittata is cooked slowly over low heat while an omelet is cooked quickly over higher heat. Whereas omelets are served hot straight from the stove, frittatas are often served at room temperature, making them perfect to make ahead for brunches or larger groups.

quiche is an unsweetened custard pie with savory fillings such as as spinach, mushrooms, or ham. It has to have eggs, and it usually has milk (or heavy cream), cheese, vegetables, and/or meat. … A frittata is like a crustless quiche or an unfolded omelet..

No matter, this egg dish was excellent and enough for 4 people. Serve it with a salad for brunch.

Frittata

Greek Feta & Olive Frittata (half the recipe for two people)

Preparation: 10 minutes        Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 1/4 cups feta cheese

Instructions:

Heat a large wok over medium heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, wait a few seconds, then swirl around to coat the pan. Toss in the tomatoes and stir for just 30 seconds or so to blister the skins. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onions to the hot oil along with the dried herbs. Sauté for 5 minutes until soft, and remove from heat.

Break the eggs into a large bowl, add the paprika, and beat well with a whisk. Add the grape tomatoes, onions and olives. Crumble in 1 cup of the feta cheese, and mix until combined.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, heat a 10-inch oven-safe frying pan or cast-iron skillet with straight sides over medium heat. When hot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, wait a few seconds, then swirl around to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour in the egg mixture and let cook undisturbed for 4 minutes to let the bottom set.

Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the eggs are set in the center, which you can test with a cake tester. As soon as the frittata is set, turn on the broiler and move the oven rack up to the top level. Remove the frittata from the oven, crumble the last 1/4 cup of feta cheese over the top, and return the pan under the broiler for another couple of minutes until the top is nicely browned.

Remove the pan from the oven. Run a rubber spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the sides, then slide onto a large serving plate.

Cut into wedges and serve hot.

Wrap any leftovers in aluminum foil and reheat later at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes

 

Classic Cobb Salad + Dressing

Just in case you are wondering about the difference between  a Chef’s Salad and a Cobb Salad, here is what I found in Wikipedia

A Chef Salad and Cobb Salad both have lettuce, cheese and meats such as bacon, chicken breast, and ham, plus hard boiled eggs. But a Cobb salad usually has a mixture of lettuces, and also has avocado and tomatoes. It was named after Robert Cobb who was the owner of the famous Hollywood Brown Derby and created by his chef in 1937.

This is the Pinterest version I was able to locate. Cobb Salad Dressing.

Cobb Salad

Classic Cobb Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 strips bacon
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast or leftover baked ham, chopped
  • 3/4 head iceberg lettuce (or salad greens blend)
  • 8 grape tomatoes (I chopped up a Roma tomato)
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 1/2 ounces blue cheese crumbled
  • 3 ounces ranch dressing (or blue cheese dressing) OR Cobb Dressing below*
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lay out bacon strips on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until is crispy. Removed from oven and transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  2. Heat grill or a skillet over medium-high heat). Cook chicken, flipping once, for about 3-4 minute per side. Make sure chicken reaches 165 degrees F internal temp and is no longer pink. Remove to a plate to rest. (Substitute chopped ham in place of chicken).
  3. Rinse and dry lettuce, then remove outer leaves and core. Cut into bite-sized pieces and place on a platter or shallow serving bowl.
  4. Rinse and halve tomatoes. Place on top of the lettuce to one side of the bowl. Slice eggs and place next to the tomatoes in a line. Cut avocado in half, remove from skin and then chop or slice. Add next to eggs.
  5. Slice or dice chicken and place on salad next to avocado. Crumble bacon and place next to the chicken/ham. Crumble blue cheese and place next to bacon.
  6. Serve with the ORIGINAL dressing! 

Cobb Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup salad oil
  1. Place all ingredients in a blend and blend together until well mixed.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Onions and Garlic

Looking for a great Easter side dish? Buy that half head of cabbage and start frying. This is an excellent side and you can substitute turkey bacon if you prefer. It reheats beautifully.

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Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Onions and Garlic

Serves 4

  • 6 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium head of white cabbage, trimmed, cored and sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  • The following to taste:
  • salt, black pepper, onion and garlic powder, paprika
  • a knob of butter (optional)
  • dill weed (to taste)

Heat a skillet and then cook the bacon rashers over medium heat until just crisp. remove and set aside on paper kitchen towelling to drain. Crumble and keep warm.

Add the onion to the bacon drippings. (Over here our bacon is very lean so there wasn’t many. If you find that is the case, add a small splash of olive or rapeseed oil.) 

Cook, stirring to soften. when it begins to caramelize somewhat add the garlic.  Cook and stir until fragrant. Add the diced carrot.

 Add the cabbage.  Cook, tossing and stirring, until the cabbage begins to soften.  Season to taste with the seasonings. 

Add 60ml (1/4 cup) of water and cover. Cook and steam over low heat until the cabbage has softened. Stir in the bacon crumbles.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required. If desired stir in a knob of butter. Serve hot.

Cauliflower Jalapeno Mac n Cheese

Who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese, whether it be Canada’s KD (Kraft Dinner) or any number of restaurant style macaroni and cheese dishes? One of our fav restaurants in Merida, Yucatan – Merci, does a wonderful macaroni and cheese with jumbo shrimp! What’s not to love about that? Of course, when you do KETO, you avoid pasta, But, since we are now only KC (Keto conscious) we have a little leeway. Don’t tell your family it is KETO. They do not need to know. This is undoubtedly a new fav recipe, with a touch of jalapeno (optional).

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KETO Cauliflower Jalapeno Mac n Cheese with Bacon

Ingredients (Vegans, omit bacon)

  • 1 large head cauliflower cut into small bites
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese I use a cheddar blend
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 strips of uncured bacon cooked and crumbled (bacon grease reserved)*
  • 3 teaspoons bacon grease melted
  • 2 jalapeño peppers minced (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add the cauliflower florets to a microwave safe bowl with a plate (or paper plate) on top Microwave for 7-8 minutes or until slightly tender (or your desired texture). You can steam it instead, if you don’t have or want to use a microwave, but I wouldn’t boil it, it might be too watery.
  2. While the cauliflower is cooking, heat a saucepan over medium. Add in the butter and bacon grease, then sauté the jalapeño peppers until tender, should take just about 2-3 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and stir until melted. Add the remaining ingredients and still until well combined and all the cheese has melted.
  3. Add in 1-2 tablespoons of hot water if needed, to reach your desired consistency.
  4. Once the cauliflower is cooked through, you don’t need to drain it or pat it dry. The small amount of moisture will be perfect with this sauce, which as I mentioned, is on the thicker side. Pour cauliflower in the skillet and mix well to coat each piece, then serve.
  5. Optional: Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or crumbled bacon.
  6. Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days. It reheats beautifully in the microwave or stovetop.

Notes

The amount of jalapeño pepper that you use is entirely up to you, and will depend personal preference. I would recommend using 2 jalapeño peppers for a mild to medium level of heat and flavor. If you’re like me and love a spicy kick and a stronger jalapeño flavor, you’ll want to use a bit more.

 

Larry’s Meatloaf (My spouse)

Some unknown person is always tinkering with my recipes? This time I made that someone (?) write down what he did. It was incredible and very moist! What can I say??? This was supposed our takeout and movie night vicariously with friends, during COVID-19, but we stayed in and he cooked. With these garlicky green beans the meal was awesome.

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LARRY’S MEATLOAF

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds of ground beef and pork
  • 3 strips of bacon for topping the meatloaf
  • ¼ cup of tomato pesto for topping the meat loaf
  • 3/4 cup of crushed pork rinds

 

  • ½ medium white onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme

 Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce (I use Weber hickory)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Lightly spray a 5 x 9-inch loaf pan with oil and line with parchment.
  2. Add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp of water to a small fry pan, add in the onion and garlic and caramelize over low heat. When caramelized, add in the herbs. Set aside.
  3. Place the meat in large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Mix the sauce ingredients well and then stir in the caramelized onion mix and the crushed pork rinds.
  5. Pour mixture over the meat and blend well using your fingers.
  6. Put into loaf pan and pat down.
  7. Cut bacon into short pieces and place on top, then add the tomato pesto over the loaf.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F, covering lightly with foil after 45 minutes. Meat thermometer should register 165 degrees F. (about 1 hr. to 1 hr. 15 min).
  9. When meat is done, juices will be clear. Drain any fat and let sit about 10 minutes before slicing.

 

Cucumber and Mango Salad

Our Canadian friends who are “snowbirds” recently had us over for lunch overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. She served a wonderful cucumber and mango salad, not unlike this recipe. She and her husband love to experiment in the kitchen with whatever ingredients they have on hand. The cucumber and mango salad was wonderful!! We ate it all and this sent me looking through Pinterest for a similar recipe. Hope you will be able to give this one a try…

Cucumber Mango Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 c.)
  • 2 mangos peeled and diced
  • 1/2 c. diced red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 3 Tbsp.)
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/16 tsp. red pepper (more if you like it spicier)
  • 1/4 tsp. coriander
  • 1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Toss together the cucumber, mango, red onion, and garlic in a medium sized bowl,
  2. In a separate small bowl or jar whisk together the lime juice, honey, cumin, red pepper, coriander, and black pepper. Pour over the cucumber-mango mixture and stir gently.
  3. Fold in the chopped cilantro.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later

Hoisin Asian Meatballs

The following recipe includes making your meatballs from scratch and I was tempted as none of the stores, including Costco, have been stocking frozen meatballs for several months! Fortunately, my fav grocery store here, Superama, a Walmart subsidiary finally got some in and I bought several packages for the freezer.

So…I skipped the homemade meatballs and just prepared the sauce while heating the meatballs in the oven. It is now a KISS recipe! For those new to my blog…KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid! Hope you will enjoy it served with a great yellow rice.

Hoisin Asian Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1-pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup Panko*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Hoisin Sauce

  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, sesame oil, Panko, ginger, egg, garlic and green onion. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-11/2-inch meatballs, forming about 18-20 meatballs.
  3. Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or until all sides are browned and meatballs are cooked through.
  4. To make the hoisin sauce, whisk together hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and ginger in a small bowl.
  5. Serve meatballs immediately with hoisin sauce, garnished with green onion and sesame seeds.

Honey Dijon Pork Roast

Finally got together with our two new friends from Vermont and since I had a lovely pork loin roast in the freezer, some very fresh cauliflower and four sweet potatoes, it was a no-brainer! Bonus – after thawing the roast I didn’t have to marinade it! Start it off with a crisp Caesar salad…actually this meal would be great for Easter...

Honey Dijon Pork Loin Roast

Servings 8 serves

Instructions

  • 3- pound pork loin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Pat dry pork loin with paper towels.
  4. In a small mixing bowl combine paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  5. Lightly spray pork loin with cooking spray. This will make it easier for the spice mix to stick.
  6. Take the spice mix and rub it all over the pork loin.
  7. Heat olive oil over medium heat and sear the pork loin until browned on all sides; about 3 to 5 minutes per side.
  8. Transfer pork loin to previously prepared baking sheet, fat-layer side up; set aside.
  9. In a bowl, combine garlic, honey, soy sauce, mustard and oil; whisk until well combined. If too thick, add a bit more oil or soy sauce.
  10. Brush remaining honey mixture over the pork loin.
  11. Roast for 45 minutes or until internal temperature of the pork loin reaches 145˚F

 

Salmon Loaf

Ok…here’s another salmon recipe just because we got a fresh supply of canned wild sockeye salmon from our Canadian visitors. Wild sockeye from the west coast is quite different from Atlantic salmon in colour and taste.

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And since our friend is both gluten and lactose intolerant, this recipe from Pinterest was a great choice. We served it with some fresh steamed Brussel sprouts and a great yellow rice. Hope you will give it a try!

Salmon Loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (coconut or macadamia oil are also great)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 large celery stick, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely grated (or 2 smaller carrots)
  • 2/3 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely diced
  • 600 g of canned salmon (3 x 213 g / 7.5 oz cans, drained with larger bones removed)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 175 C/ 350 F.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion and celery. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring once, and then add the grated carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Add a couple of tablespoons of water when it feels like the oil has dried up. Finally add the garlic and cook together for another minute or two.

In the meantime, drain the salmon and remove any visible large bones. Don’t worry too much about the smaller bones or the skin as it will blend in just fine. Add the fish to a mixing bowl and flake with a fork or your fingers.

Add the cooked vegetables to the salmon. Grate some lemon zest, add the eggs and almond flour and mix everything together with a fork. Make sure the egg is well incorporated.

Grease a medium loaf tin with a little coconut oil (make sure to brush all sides with oil). Transfer the loaf mixture to the tin and press down until well compacted and even on the top. I like to bang the tin against the bench a couple of times to get rid of any air pockets inside the mix. Then place in the oven, middle shelf, uncovered, for 30 minutes.