Monday, February 25, 2013

Short Ribs in Tomato Sauce

I have had this recipe saved to try for nearly two years! I finally got around to making it. This is only the second time I've cooked short ribs and they were so good. This is definitely an indulgent meal, not one to make on a regular basis, but I definitely will be making it again. I saw the idea over at The Pioneer Woman. She always has winner recipes. I changed up just a couple things and both Nate and I really enjoyed this meal.

6 beef short ribs (my store didn't have any out so I asked the butcher for some, he gave me some of the biggest short ribs I've ever seen! we would have had more than enough with 4 ribs)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 (28 oz.) can whole or diced tomatoes
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning
salt and pepper
hot cooked pasta
Parmesan cheese

In a large dutch oven pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season short ribs with salt and pepper on both sides. Once the oil is hot, sear the short ribs on all sides. You want them to get a nice crust. Remove and set aside. Carefully pour out excess oil. Turn heat down medium and add diced onion. Cook for a minute or two and then add the minced garlic. Cook for another minute or so stirring often. Add beef broth and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all those nice brown bits at the bottom of the pot. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, garlic bread seasoning, and any additional salt you like. Stir well to combine. Place the short ribs back in the pot, making sure to submerge them as much as possible. Cover and place dutch oven pot in the oven. Cook at 275 degrees F for 3 1/2 - 4 hours. Your short ribs should be nice and tender and falling off the bone. I checked my sauce halfway through cooking to taste and adjust any seasoning. Serve short ribs and sauce over some hot cooked pasta topped with some Parmesan cheese.

*There will be a bit of a fat layer after cooking, be sure to spoon it off before serving, or The Pioneer Woman gives these optional instructions once ribs are done cooking. "Remove ribs from pot. Allow to cool, then wrap tightly and refrigerate. Allow pot of sauce to cool a bit, then place pot into the fridge for several hours or overnight. Remove hardened fat/grease from the top. Discard fat. Return ribs to pot, then return pot either to stove top or oven and warm it up."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cowboy Style Salisbury Steaks

Salisbury steak holds such a tender spot in my heart. This creamy salisbury steak was the first "new" recipe I tried on my quest to become a better cook. It was such an instant hit with Nate and I, and it sparked my desire to learn about recipes and cooking and improve my skills. Since we love salisbury steak so much, I knew I had to try this recipe when I saw it over at One Lovely Life. Now, you'll have to picture this dish smothered in sauteed onions. I cut into my onion and it was not up to par so I had to omit it. This dish is a nice rich and hearty meal, great for cold winter nights. Enjoy!

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1/2 packet Lipton's beef onion soup mix
1 egg
1/4 cup crushed saltines or breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. McCormick's hamburger seasoning (optional, anytime I make ground beef I add some of this)
1 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups beef broth (I used low-sodium)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

To make the steaks, combine ground beef, soup mix, hamburger seasoning, a bit of salt and pepper, garlic powder, egg, saltines, and 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce in a medium sized mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix, but don't over-mix or it will become tough. Divide and shape the meat into 4 equal sized patties. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 Tbsp. butter. Once hot sear the patties on both sides. Once browned, place the patties in a lightly greased 9x13" glass baking dish. Reduce the heat on the stove to medium and add the sliced onions and a bit of salt and pepper. Sautee for 3-4 minutes or so, until onion starts to soften. Spoon cooked onions over the salisbury steaks. Return pan to stove, keeping the heat on medium. Add remaining Tbsp. of butter and melt. Once melted, add minced garlic and sautee for a 30-60 seconds, stirring often so as not to burn the garlic. Add flour and cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Add beef broth and remaining 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce to pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often until sauce reaches your desired consistency. Pour gravy mixture over beef patties and onions. Cover baking dish with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, flipping patties halfway through. Serve hot with mashed potatoes.

Again, picture the onions on top :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lite General Tso's Chicken

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday :). Nate and I stayed in tonight and cooked dinner together and have a great date planned for tomorrow evening. I always have so much fun cooking with Nate. Chinese is one of our favorite cuisines and this dish turned out to be really quite light. We really enjoyed this dish, it's quick and easy to make and tastes great. This dish is adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe that I saw here. We made this chicken with basmati rice and garlic soy broccoli. Enjoy!

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 cup chicken broth (I used reduced-sodium)
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried onion flakes
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together chicken broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic powder, and onion flakes. Set aside. Heat vegetable oil in a wok over medium high heat. Once hot, add chicken and cook until browned all over, about 4-5 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken and simmer until chicken is finished cooking and sauce has thickened, another 3 or so minutes. Serve chicken over cooked white rice with your favorite Asian side dish.

This is Nate's plate. He loves topping almost any dish with sriracha hot sauce.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cajun Pork Chops

This was such a nice change up for a weeknight pork chop dinner. It doesn't take long to prepare and tastes great. Nate was a huge fan, he even ate the vegetables, which is always a sign of a winner recipe. I saw the idea over at Betty Crocker and just made it my own. Nate is really excited to have leftovers for his lunch tomorrow.

4 boneless pork chops, about 1/2 inch thick
1 small onion, julienned
1 green bell pepper, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained (if you really like spicy things you could use a can of Rotel)
2 Tbsp. butter
Cajun seasoning

Season both sides of pork chops with a bit of salt and some Cajun seasoning. My Cajun seasoning was salt-free, hence I added salt, if your seasoning has salt in it, you shouldn't need extra salt. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Once hot add the onion and bell peppers to the pan. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and Cajun seasoning over the veggies. Let saute for about 2 minutes. Push veggies to side of pan an then turn up heat to medium-high and add the pork chops. Brown the pork chops for 2-3 minutes, flipping half way through. Pour in diced tomatoes, stir to mix all the ingredients and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Serve warm over some rice (I'd recommend Zatarain's yellow rice). Enjoy!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Parmesan Ranch Chicken

Nate gobbled this chicken right up! We both really enjoyed this chicken. It was nice and moist, with a great flavor and crust. It was great weeknight entree with these fancy dinner rolls and a green salad.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup crushed cornflakes
1 1/2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. ranch dressing mix
3 Tbsp. melted butter
salt and pepper

Mix together crush cornflakes, Parmesan cheese, and ranch dressing mix. Dip each chicken breast into melted butter. Then season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Finally dip into cornflake mixture, making sure it's evenly coated. Place chicken onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 32-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Let rest for a few minutes before eating. Enjoy!

I shared this over at Chef-In-Training, and Mandy's Recipe Box.

Fancy Dinner Rolls

First of all, congrats to Sarah and Mike on their newest addition! Now onto carbs, mmm... carbs. So good, yet so bad for my diabetes. I rarely make bread or rolls with our dinner. Tonight was a rarity. These rolls are so delicious, and so light and fluffy, and such a cinch to make! I saw the idea over at That's Some Good Cookin' and we will definitely be making these again. You start with a simple Rhode's roll and jazz it up a bit, and I'd say these are definitely nice enough for company. Enjoy!

frozen rolls (I used Rhode's brand)
melted butter
salad seasoning (I used McCormick's Salad Supreme)

Thaw the rolls. After they've thawed, shape the rolls into knots. Roll each roll into a rope that's 8-10" long. Cross the ends and tuck one end up and through the loop and the other underneath. There are step-by-step photos and instructions here. Place the rolls on a baking sheet that's been sprayed with non-stick spray. Also lightly spray the tops of the rolls to prevent the plastic wrap from sticking. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and then stick the baking sheet in a warm place and allow the rolls to rise until they double in size. Once risen, brush the rolls with a little bit of melted butter and then sprinkle some salad seasoning over the tops. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until a light golden brown.