Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Korean Beef Skewers

These are so quick and easy it is absurd. To maximize flavor, marinate over night.

1/2 cup less-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp red chili paste (I use Thai Kitchen roasted red chili paste)
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1 lb) top sirloin steak, sliced against the grain into thin strips
8 oz wide rice sticks
3 Tbsp tinkly sliced green onions

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a ziploc bag. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade and place in the refridgerator. Add beef to bag; seal. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to overnight, turning once. Remove steak from bag; reserve marinade. Thread steak evenly onto 8 skewers. Grill over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
2. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and stir in reserved marinade. Top noodles with green onions. Serve with skewers.
Yield: 4 serving (2 skewers and 1/2 cup noodles).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chicken Carne Asada Tacos

This recipe introduced me to Catija cheese which is a Mexican parmesan-style cheese. I now use it all the time, but then again I cook a LOT of Mexican food. Don't be afraid of the pickled onions, they add a nice sweetness to contrast the traditional taco flavor. You can substitute the chicken thighs with breasts, but the flavor won't be as meaty.

Pickled Onions:
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 large orange)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cumin
1 medium red onion, thinly vertically sliced

Combine ingredients minus red onion in a medium bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Place onion in a small saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; drain and plunge onion in ice water. Drain onion; add to juice mixture. Chill until ready to serve.

1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 cup (2 oz) crumbled Cotija cheese
lime wedges

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle chicken with oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned and done, stirring occasionally. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide chicken evenly among tortillas. Drain onion; divide evenly among tortillas. Top each taco with avocado and cheese. Serve with lime wedges. Yield: 4 serving, serving size 2 tacos.

Tip: my favorite way to warm up tortillas is to grill them for 1 minute on each side.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Antipasto Picnic Salad

   I absolutely adore this pasta salad. The taste may be a little too refined for kids, but I love the vinegar flavors. Because of all the meat and cheese this can be a little expensive, so I don't make this as often as I would like to. 

   When you go to the deli counter to get the meats, ask them to slice the meat into a single slice for the entire 1/4 lb. That way your chunks will be closer to bite size instead of being too thin. Also, my grocery store sells pepperoni minis which cuts out the halving step. I also find the giardiniera pieces to be larger than bite-size, so I typically chop them a little. Double the recipe for a great potluck dish that you will be sure to get compliments over.


  • 8 oz medium pasta shells, uncooked
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) giardiniera
  • 1/2 pound fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/4 pound cubed part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 pound hard salami, cubed
  • 1/4 pound deli ham, cubed
  • 1 package (3-1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni, halved
  • 1/2 large green pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 can (6 ounces) pitted ripe olives, drained

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, drain giardiniera, reserving 3/4 cup liquid. In a large bowl, combine the giardiniera, broccoli, mozzarella, salami, ham, pepperoni, green pepper and olives. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water; stir into meat mixture.
  • For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, pepper, salt and reserved giardiniera liquid. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 12 servings. 

    Note: Giardiniera, a pickled vegetable mixture, is available in mild and hot varieties and can be found in the Italian or pickle section of your grocery store.