Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pepper Steak


So, I had bought some sirloin tips on sale over the weekend and thought this would be the perfect recipe to use them in ... and it WAS! This was soooo good! Believe it or not, I've never had pepper steak, so I relied on Matt to tell me if this tasted like it was supposed to and he was very impressed.

I found this recipe on Food Network and altered it a tad. My recipe with adaptations is below. For the original recipes, be sure to follow my link over to Food Network/Rachael Ray.

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pounds tenderloin tips or sirloin, cut into chunks
Coarse salt
1 red bell peppers, seeded, 2 inch dice
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup dry sherry
3/4 cups low sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Preheat a large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to really hot pan. Dry meat with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Add meat to pan and sear on all sides, 5 minutes. Remove meat to a plate and cover meat loosely with foil to hold heat.

Reduce heat on pan to medium. Add remaining vegetable oil. Add peppers and a little onion. Saute peppers and onions 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook 1 minute longer. Whisk in sherry and start to pick up pan drippings. Whisk in beef broth and continue whisking. Add tomato paste, black pepper, garlic powder and crushed red pepper. Slide meat back into the pan and coat with sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender.

Serve with rice.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

BBQ Baby Back Ribs


Honestly, I've never thought to make ribs because we don't have a grill . . . damn condo association. However, when I was at the meat market today, the baby back ribs were on sale for $2.99/pound, so I figured what the heck.

After searching online, I found a recipe on Epicurious. These ribs turned out so, so good. They were very tender and falling off of the bone. If you follow the dry rub exactly, these will be very spicy, which we LOVED! Enjoy!

The Best Baby Back Ribs - Epicurious

1 rack of pork baby back ribs (mine was a little over 2 pounds)
BBQ Sauce to taste (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)

Dry rub:

4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon or less of cayenne pepper (unless you like it HOT)
1 tablespoon chili powder

Mix the dry rub ingredients in a bowl.

On the back of the ribs will be a very thin but very tough membrane that you must remove. You can't really see it well, but trust me that it's there. I usually use a knife to pry up a corner of the membrane, then I just pull it down the entire length of the ribs. Sometimes it tears and you have to try a few times, but you definitely don't want to skip this step unless you want to deal with the membrane while you're EATING.

Once the membrane is removed, put the dry rub all over the ribs (both sides) and rub it in. The meat will take on some of the colors in the dry rub and look a little reddish. Wrap the ribs in some heavy duty tin foil and let them hang out in the fridge til you're ready to cook them.

Cook the ribs:
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

Place the ribs wrapped securely in tin foil onto a cookie sheet (sometimes juice/fat can escape the tin foil) and place them in the oven. Cook for 2 1/2 hours.

Pull them out and open the tin foil completely. At this point you can brush some BBQ sauce on them, or leave them the way they are. Crank up the heat to 350 and put the ribs back in the oven with the tin foil open. After half an hour, they're done!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cheesy Stuffed Crust Pizza


Yes, it's true. I'm a sucker for good advertisement. Lately, all I have been seeing are Pizza Hut commercials for their stuffed crust pizza. Well, I had Monday off and searched for a recipe I could handle. I saw this one and decided to give it a whirl.

This turned out really good. Next time, I may search for a different dough recipe. This one was a tad too sweet for my liking. I'd also cut the cornmeal in half. There was a bit too much. Other

(Food Network)



1/4 cup warm water
4 tablespoons sugar
1 package dry yeast
3/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
3 tablespoons cornmeal, plus more for the pan
1 egg, beaten 1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces mozzarella
Olive oil, for coating bowl

1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup prepared marinara sauce
1/2 cup canned stewed tomatoes, strained and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (we used red bell pepper)
1/4 pound sliced pepperoni (we used turkey pepperoni)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F

To make the crust: Stir the water, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the yeast together in a small bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, add the butter, and stir until melted.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, remaining sugar, egg, milk mixture, yeast mixture, and salt until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, adding flour as needed if dough is sticky, about 10 minutes. Clean the bowl and coat it generously with olive oil. Form the dough into a ball, put it in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down and let rest for 10 minutes.

Cut the mozzarella into sticks about 3 by 3/4 by 3/4-inches. Sprinkle a large baking sheet with cornmeal. Place the dough on the baking sheet and stretch it into a 15-inch circle.

Arrange the mozzarella sticks around the dough about 1-inch in from the edge, then roll the dough over the cheese to form the stuffed rim.

To make the topping: Stir the sugar into the marinara sauce and spread onto the pizza dough. Scatter with the stewed tomatoes, then the mozzarella. Add the onions, mushrooms, and pepperoni. Sprinkle with basil and oregano.

Bake until crust is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.