Holiday Dinner Menu: Flank Steak Pinwheels

What’s on your plate for this holiday weekend (how did that happen)? Are you sad summer is waning or is fall more your season? Most importantly, whatcha cookin’?

This steak is easy to make in the oven, but I thought I’d try it on the grill this time. Works great – just remember to cook it away from the coals or turn the grill off if it’s electric, like mine.

Flank Pinwheel Prep Final

This steak can be prepped the day before, just wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap. Makes it great for a date night, anniversary or small dinner party. I pan-seared and finished in the oven/on the grill in the same pan, because of the cheese. The reward was great pan drippings when I was finished, which I drizzled over the potatoes before serving.

Flank Steak Pinwheels Final

On the board:

  • Flank Steak Pinwheels
  • Grilled Sweet Corn
  • 4-Minute Potato Salad (recipe here)
  • Fresh Sliced Peaches

Flank Steak Pinwheels

  • 1 large flank steak, butterflied
  • salt and pepper
  • crushed garlic (at least 2 cloves)
  • 8 oz sliced provolone cheese
  • 1 bunch washed and dried spinach leaves
  • 8 wooden skewers
  • olive oil

Cast iron skillet Continue reading

Summer Salads: Chipotle Macaroni Salad

Pictured: Quick and Easy Pasta Salad, recipe here, along with several other summer salad recipes.

One of my favorites:

Chipotle Macaroni Salad

Chipotle Mayonnaise:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp limejuice

Mix together ingredients and set aside while macaroni cooks.

Macaroni Salad:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (or equivalent)
  • 8 oz cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 thick cut bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • 1 cup chipotle mayonnaise
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt and macaroni. Cook until al dente (firm to tooth). Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Do not drain well, allow macaroni to stay wet, remove to bowl. Immediately add garlic, celery, onion, parsley and lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in cheddar cheese, tomatoes, bacon and chipotle mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow to chill 15 – 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.

Next week: Some duck photos, roasted jalapenos, Key Lime bars. Stay tuned…


 

Dinner Menu: Beef and Pepper Subs with Pear-Walnut Salad

This is a quick and easy dinner and the pear salad has a nice, fresh flavor that is really complimented by the walnut oil and blue cheese.

I’ve been wanting to make bread for a few weeks, but the temperatures in the upper nineties and even breaking one hundred a couple days in a row meant the last thing I wanted to do was turn on the oven.

Today will stay in the low seventies for much of the morning, so I felt like I could risk a nice round of baking. I turned this recipe into one loaf and four sub rolls.

Beef & Pepper Subs Continue reading

Grilling Menu: Stuffed Jalapeno-Cheddar Burgers and Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

Made these tonight, always a great way to grill a burger.

Stuffed Burger Uncut Snap

I make these all the time because they really are easy and a great way to have a cheeseburger without losing half the cheese to the grill. And the sweet potato cajun fries are the perfect sweet, spicy combo.  Grill some peaches, pears or plums and dinner is done. Enjoy.

On the board tonight:

  1. Jalapeno-Cheddar Stuffed Burgers
  2. Kaiser Rolls
  3. Cajun Sweet Potato Fries
  4. Grilled Sweet Corn  (pull husks back, clean off silk, wash, pull husks up & grill-yum!)
  5. Plums

Continue reading

Cross Rib Chuck Roast

 

These have been on sale the last couple of weeks, so I stocked up with a few. I really like them. The difference between this and a bottom round roast seems to be the fat layer on the top. These are easy to cook up on the wood pellet grill or in the oven. And the fat layer keeps them tender and juicy.

This was about 4 lbs, so I cooked it on the rare side and cut it into three servings. Froze the rare center sections to be used in other recipes. Keeping it rare made sure it was not overcooked and dry when reheated.

The medium-rare ends were served for dinner immediately.

The recipe is pretty simple: I sliced up a whole onion and spread it on the bottom of the roasting pan. I added two springs of fresh rosemary and about a cup of water. Continue reading

Snow Day: Chicken and Buttermilk Biscuit Pot Pie

We ended up with about 24 inches of snow, not counting the impressive drifts. Everything was closed again today while we clean up. As it’s Colorado, it’s already melting and the sidewalks, driveways and patio are already dry.  The four-foot drifts/snow piles from shoveling will take a bit more time. But it will be in the sixties by the end of the week.

In less than good news, two of my plum trees lost huge branches, and my 10-15 foot bushes’ health is still to be determined. Most will probably survive.

The big ducks demanded access to the yard, so I shoveled a path and they hung out on the patio, quickly understanding that those snow walls were unscalable. Although Maddie gave it a good try.

Anyway, the weather just cried out for comfort food. So tonight it’s chicken and biscuits. Continue reading

Forbidden Rice Revisited with the Instant Pot

Looking through my pantry I realized I hadn’t made Forbidden Rice since I purchased my Multi-Pot electric pressure cooker. I thought it was time to try it out.  The recipe below is updated for  Instant Pot cooking.

From January 2016 (original recipe here and a bunch of other rice recipes at this link)

This recipe was inspired by a bag of black rice, also known as Emperor or Forbidden Rice, in my pantry. It’s a heritage grain and it has a complex flavor – it’s deep, nutty, savory, earthy. I had never even heard of it, much less tasted it. I cooked up a cup of it and it was love at first bite, then I had to decide how best to use it.

It easily overwhelmed chicken and pork, and the flavors did not balance with beef. I did use it with some crumbled Spicy Italian sausage and that worked, the balance was right. What I thought it really needed was a citrus or vinegar pairing, some veggies, I wasn’t sure about nuts. Time to experiment.

Limes were on sale this week, so I settled on a citrus vinaigrette and fresh veggies paired with the rice (pictured above). I think it worked out very well.  Walnuts worked well, cashews were overwhelmed by the rice. I served it warm, but it was good cold today.

If you want to add some cheese, I think a nice Feta would work.

Black “Forbidden” Rice with Citrus Vinaigrette

  • 1 cup black rice, rinsed well
  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • snow peas (or veggie of your choice)
  • tomatoes (grape tomatoes work well)
  • toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup fresh limejuice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • dash of orange juice
  • pinch of lime zest
  • dash of ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • honey to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

instant pot-style cooker, serving bowl

In the Instant Pot/Multi-Cooker add rice and water.  Cook for 20 minutes and let the pressure release naturally. Fluff with a fork.

Cut snow peas into about four pieces each, half the grape tomatoes, and lightly chop the walnuts.

For the vinaigrette, whisk juices, vinegar, ginger and honey together. Drizzle in oil, whisking constantly. Give it a quick taste and add more ginger and honey as desired.

Toss rice and veggie mixture with vinaigrette and serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.