Faith Middleton’s Monday Night Flank Steak

At some point during the quarantine, I came to the realization that I wanted a steak night once a week. With that, I’ve been trying different cuts and experimenting with what works. Marinating flank steak was one that just didn’t work (maybe it does for you, but it didn’t for me). I found this recipe randomly and, as I often do, I made a couple of quick substitutions, noted below. The original recipe suggests some side options, including a horseradish sauce or tomato and arugula.

Recipe

  • Servings 4-5 people
  • Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Cook Time 8-10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (calls for sweet paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, ground into a paste (calls for garlic powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 flank steak: 1-3/4 to 2 pounds and about 3/4 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat

Instructions

  • In a small bowl mix together all the spice-paste ingredients.
  • Brush the paste evenly over both sides of the flank steak. Let stand at room temperature while you prepare the sauce.
  • Pan fry the flank steak over medium-high heat, until cooked to your desired doneness, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare.
  • Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Cut the steak across the grain into ¼-inch-thick slices. Taste the meat and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares

I don’t really do reality TV. I watched The Real World when it started in the ‘90s because it was a new thing, something different from the norm. That said, I have a bit of an obsession with the original Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares that was broadcast in the UK starting in 2004.

If you’re unfamiliar, the show is hosted by chef Gordon Ramsay as he visits struggling restaurants in Britain and Europe. I find the UK version far superior to the US version (in the sense that the US version is unwatchable). Each episode of the original series is shot like a documentary and, while things get heated between presenter and restauranteur(s), the final product is much more reasonable than its American counterpart. The music is better, the filming is better, the editing is better. It feels like a thing that really happened, as opposed to an exploitative TV show.

Haven’t seen it? Almost every episode is on YouTube for free!

A playlist of all free episodes

I’ve only cooked one recipe from chef Ramsay from another show of his, F Word, and it was years ago… sea bass with pepper sauce (see video below). I paired it with baked rice with star anise (I can’t find the recipe now). It stands as not on one of the best thing I’ve ever cooked, but maybe eaten, too!

Easy Shrimp Tacos 🌮 🦐

I made this one with very few changes and highly recommend it!

Shrimp Tacos (Video)

  • I subbed regular sour cream for Forage’s vegan version
  • I used a veggie slaw mix instead of straight Cole slaw mix
  • I used frozen pre-cooked shrimp which produced a less char, but was just as flavorful
  • The leftover sour cream/mayo/taco seasoning sauce went well with corn on the cob the next day 🌽

General Tso’s Chicken (sort of)

We tried to order Chinese food the other night and failed. A friend mentioned that deliveries to area Chinese restaurants from their suppliers have stopped. That made me want Chinese food even more than usual. I made a version of this tonight, though I didn’t quite get the color/crisp in the picture on the recipe and it’s not the battered and fried version. I made my own dark soy sauce and cooked fresh green beans instead of doing the cabbage listed. While it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, it was still delicious! For sure more akin to chicken and green beans than any version of General Tso’s I’ve had in a restaurant. I blame Saoirse Ronan!

The Recipe

https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-thighs-recipes/saoirse-ronans-general-tsos-chicken/

Alterations

  • I used chili paste to get a little of the chili flavor where I didn’t have the correct chilis.
  • I cooked green beans in water in a separate pan and tossed them in after everything else was cooked.
  • I used corn starch instead of potato starch.
  • I didn’t have green onions, so I used white and caramelized them after the chicken was cooked, then tossed in grated garlic and ginger.
  • Now I know golden caster sugar is the same / similar to brown sugar!
  • To make the dark soy sauce, I found a recipe that was 1 cup soy sauce, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and corn starch dissolved in water. Stir over low heat in a pan until thickened. It probably would have been better a little thicker, so keep an eye out for a better recipe or, you know, buy dark soy sauce!
  • I served this with basmati rice cooked in a Ninja Foodi following the recipe in the Ninja cookbook.
  • Had I followed the directions in the recipe I could have maybe achieved the correct doneness, but I agree I couldn’t get the wok hot enough to do it with one pan.

Videos

This video helps fill in why it’s called Soirse Ronan’s General Tso’s chicken and also includes the video on how to make the dish. Having eaten Chinese food in the UK and Ireland, I agree it’s not the same!

Did you know there’s a documentary about General Tso’s?

The Best 10 Minute Veggie Fried Rice

Over the weekend I made this quick recipe. I paired this with boneless chicken thighs marinated in store-bought huli-huli sauce. There was enough sauce leftover that I marinated shrimp the next day and paired it with the remaining rice.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated*
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups rice (cooked, cooled, and separated)**
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1–2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2–3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • fresh chives, fresh basil, baby spinach, any other add ins you want!

Instructions

  1. Heat one tablespoon oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic cloves and ginger and stir fry for one minute.
  3. Crack the eggs directly into the pan and gently push them around in the pan until barely cooked, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and stir fry for a few minutes, adding the other tablespoon of oil and turning the heat up to get it sizzlin. The eggs should sort of incorporate and stick to the rice.
  5. Add the frozen corn, peas, rice vinegar, and soy sauce and stir fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in any additional add-ins.

Tips

  • You can use powdered ginger if in a pinch (1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger for every 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger).
  • I add a tablespoon or two of hoisin sauce for extra flavor.
  • For the version last week, I used a frozen vegetable mix of green beans, corn, peas, and carrots, frozen broccoli, and leftover shelled edamame.
  • I’ve not tried this recipe, but if you’re interested in huli-huli sauce, this would be worth trying! https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1020347-huli-huli-chicken

Source: https://pinchofyum.com/best-10-minute-veggie-fried-rice

Farfalle with Edamame, Shiitake Mushrooms, Chicken, and Mascarpone

I thought I’d share some recipes we cook regularly, especially as I see people struggling with cooking during the quarantine. Because I can’t eat dairy, I’ll put substitutions at the end on any recipe where needed.

I can’t find the source of this recipe, though I’ve seen some very similar versions made with fava beans.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups shelled edamame
  • 12 ounce box farfalle
  • 4 T olive oil, divided
  • 2 raw chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 
  • 1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped (use full container)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2T dried oregano
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1-1/2T kosher salt
  • 8oz mascarpone cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Cook and drain edamame according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions (al dente). Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2T oil to pan, swirling to coat. Sauté chicken until just cooked, set aside. Add remaining 2T olive oil and onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add stock, edamame, oregano, salt, and cooked chicken. Cook until liquid is reduced to approx. 1 cup (about 5 minutes). Add mascarpone to edamame mixture and stir to blend.
  4. Add pasta; toss gently to coat. Pepper to taste.

For a dairy substitute, I suggest dairy free yogurt, cream cheese, or sour cream. I’ve also had success with making a dairy free cheese sauce from scratch. I’d also recommend cooking a slightly larger box of pasta, scooping out a portion, and adding the dairy free sauce if you want a mix of dairy/dairy free. Be sure to double check your chicken broth is dairy free! If you can’t find frozen edamame right now, you may have luck with fresh stuff in a container in the produce section.