Archives for posts with tag: chipotle

There are just some foods you always use.  If I am eating a sandwich, 9 times out of 10 it has arugula in it.  I do not usually buy steaks, but this day I was feeling it.  I mean I love red meat, juicy, tender, and flavorful, but I am not that confident cooking it at home.  Therefore, it is usually reserved for restaurants.  This should change.  After making this steak sandwich I realized it is not hard at all.  Yes, this should be reserved for an occasional splurge, but I had to share it for the times you are feeling carnivorous.  (Sorry, vegetarians and vegans).  Yes, you can substitute chicken or eggplant, or tofu, but in this case I choose not to!  Yes, that was a little mean.  I promise, I am not mean.  All in good fun!

I used strip loin steak, which served its purpose well here.  I smothered it with a chipotle, feta, herb, and roasted garlic dip.  I realized this is a signature move of mine: making a dip full of herbs in my mini food processor.  I swear, it is so easy and so yum!  Plus, the combinations are endless.  I must say, I love making dips.  I am a mad woman with my food processor.  Honestly, I do not know what i would do without it.

I should stop gushing about my food processor, you might get the wrong idea.  This post is supposed to be about my steak sandwich!  I caramelized onions (another “habit” of mine) with yellow peppers, jalapenos, and mushrooms.  This steak sandwich does have a few identity issues.  Does it want to be Southwest, Philly, Mediterranean style?  Does it really matter?  I do not think so.  All the combinations taste good together and that is what is important to me.

Also, be warned, this sandwich is messy!  I love to eat messy.  It is more fun.  There is a time and place is be civilized and dainty, but not when it comes to a steak sandwich.  I will leave the proper decorum to the finger sandwich and scone crowd.

New York Strip and Caramelized Onion, Mushrooms, Peppers and a Chipotle Feta Dip Sandwiches (what a mouthful!)

makes 3 Sandwiches

Ingredients

extra virgin olive oil

1 pound Strip Loin Steak

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 a red onion, sliced thinly

3 sprigs of thyme

handful of cilantro leaves

1/2 a bell pepper, sliced (any color you prefer)

1 jalapenos pepper, seeded and julienned

10 mushroom caps, kept whole (any variety you like)

fresh baby arugula leaves

1 avocado, sliced

1 multigrain baguette

For the dip

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons lite mayo

1-2 chipotle peppers (1 for medium spicy, 2 for extra hot)

10 sprigs of chives, roughly chopped

1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

5 cloves of roasted garlic (Take the cloves of garlic, add salt, pepper olive oil, wrap them in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until they are soft and spreadable like butter)

1/4 cup feta cheese

juice of half a lime

dash of extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon honey

kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Heat an oven safe pan on medium heat.  Add a little olive oil to the pan.  Season the steak generously with salt and black pepper.  Sear  the steak for about 2 minutes per side.  Transfer the pan to the oven for 8 minutes for medium-rare.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.  After resting slice on a bias against the grain.

In a pan on medium-low heat sauté the onions with the thyme for about 10 minutes until they begin to caramelize.  Add in the mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add in the bell peppers and some cilantro and allow the peppers to soften, about 2-3 minutes.  Set aside.

For the dip, in a mini food processor add all the ingredients and pulse until combined.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread the dip on the baguette, lay the steak, avocado, caramelized onions, peppers, mushrooms, top off with the baby arugula and dig in!

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December is here and the cold has arrived!  Today I kept my earmuffs with me just in case the walk home would yield frostbite :).  No, I wasn’t going to wear them, but just in case :).  I’ve been thinking about making some chili for a few days now but today it felt right.  I needed the warmth and the comfort it brings.

I know when some people think of chili they think of Wendy’s 99 cent menu or some tailgating party.  But, I find it to be more nourishing and satisfying and actually quite healthy.  I mean, unless you use fatty meat and pile on the oil, I think chili could be considered a health food.  It’s full of protein and you can doctor it up any way you wish.  Use lean ground beef, or ground turkey/chicken, keep it vegetarian, or even vegan.

The chili I make is not a traditional chili con carne made famous by chili cook-offs and the like.  Mine is just my own take on a somewhat iconic American dish.  I love that there’s no hard and fast rule to chili and that’s the way all cooking should be.  If you like it add it, if you don’t leave it out.  There are no precise measurements here, don’t fret if you add 1 teaspoon more of cumin, don’t worry everything will be alright.  Even if you think you can’t cook, you CAN cook chili,  even without the “XYZ chili seasoning packet.”

Chili

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 onion, roughly chopped

6-7 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (seeds removed if you like)

4 sprigs of thyme

1 pound lean ground beef

1 cup black beans

1 can kidney beans

1 chipotle pepper with the adobo sauce

2-3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes chopped finely or crushed/diced tomatoes

2 heaping tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock if the chili gets too thick

Handful of chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

Heat a large pot to medium heat and add the oil, sweat the onions for about 5 minutes.  Turn down the heat to medium-low and add in the jalapenos, garlic, and thyme and allow to cook for about 10 more minutes or until the onions or almost light brown.  Add in the meat and all of the spices and use a spoon to break up the meat so it can distribute evenly and be smooth.  Stir for a minute or two and add in the tomato paste and chipotle peppers and combine them with the meat.  Add the beans and the large can of tomatoes.  Mix everything together and allow to simmer on medium-low for about an hour.  Check occasionally, if it gets too thick add the chicken or vegetable stock.  The consistency should be like a stew.  At about 45 minutes throw in the handful of cilantro and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.  Before serving remove the thyme stems.

Garnish options:

red onions, cilantro, scallions, jalapenos, limes, avocado, sour cream, creme fraiche, cheese (monterey jack, cheddar, cojita, or anything you like), tabasco, salsa, and the list could go on.

I’m all about the garnish!  Don’t feed me chili without garnishes or I will be throughly disappointed!

Before you roll your eyes and say, “great, another chicken wing recipe,” give these a chance.  No matter how pedestrian or how “pub-grubish” wings are, you know you all secretly like them.  They are sticky, messy, spicy and most of all comforting.

Before my Mother-in-Law left for her home in Dubai she gave me an insane amount of chicken wings that she wasn’t able to prepare.  She loves to buy groceries and bought a TON, therefore I was left with wings galore :).  I separated them into smaller and more manageable packets and have only made them once for company (sesame sticky wings–on a side note; I followed a recipe from Gourmet magazine, but they disappointed me—TOO BLAND).

Back to these spicy wings, they are buffalo inspired but not so true to the original as they are not fried and have more than hot sauce and butter.  I made a blue cheese dip speckled with herbs to add some coolness to these uber spicy wings.  These weren’t spicy for me but for the average palette they would be a bit much to handle.  Take that into consideration if you have a low spice tolerance, which I most certainly do not!

Spicy Wings

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

15-20 chicken wing pieces (already separated and tips removed)

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons, Frank’s Hot Sauce or your preferred brand

2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 chipotle pepper along with 1 tablespoon of the adobe sauce it comes in

juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Method

Pour all the ingredients except for the wings into a food processor or blender and pulse till combined.  Transfer the marinade over the wings for 1 hour.  Have the oven ready at 450 degrees and put the wings on a flat baking dish covered in aluminum foil.  Spray the foil with a little non-stick spray or olive oil.  Spread the wings on the tray (reserve the marinade for basting) and bake for 12 minutes.  After 12 minutes flip them over and  baste with the marinate.  Continue to bake for another 10 minutes, but baste them ocassionally.  After 10 minutes switch the oven to broil; flip the wings again and pour the rest of the marinade over the wings and broil for 3-4 minutes be careful that they don’t start to burn.  Remove and serve with the Green Goddess Blue Cheese dip and assorted vegetables.

Green Goddess Blue Cheese Dip

Makes about 3/4 cup

Ingredients

1 clove garlic

1/3 cup mayo

1/4 cup sour cream

1/3 cup crumbled mild blue cheese

juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup packed cilantro

12 sprigs of chives

1 small serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Method

Put all of the above ingredients into a mini food processor or blender and pulse until combined.  If you don’t have a food processor or blender just chop everything finely and combine in a bowl.