May 2011


Before you get excited thinking that this is a really difficult dinner, I’ll let you in on a secret:

I love this stuff.  It is great on chicken and pork.  I had two bone in, skinless chicken breasts.  I shook each of the breasts in this mixture until nicely coated, put on an foil covered pan, and set the timer for 45 minutes.  🙂

While the chicken was cooking I started working on the Swiss chard & cannellini beans. You will need:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 can of cannellini beans

  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard, rinsed & chopped

(put the stems & the leaves in 2 piles)

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes

(I would prefer fresh, but I refuse to buy the mush they sell in the grocery store.)

  • All-purpose salt free seasoning

Hit the frying pan twice around with the olive oil and heat (my flame was on 6 1/2 heat).  Stir in the onions and the Swiss chard stems. Stir while cooking for about 5 minutes (until the onion is soft.)

Stir in drained cannellini beans.  Watch out because the olive oil will still be hot and the residual liquid in the beans will cause the dish to sputter at you.  Add some of the All-Purpose Seasoning, reduce the flame to 5 and let the beans cook through for about 3 minutes.

Next, add the diced tomatoes (do not drain).  Mix thoroughly and heat the tomatoes through (about 2 minutes).

Finally, place the Swiss Chard leaves in the pan and mix in.

When the Swiss Chard starts to wilt, lower the flame to “lo” and cover the pan.


(This is a little trick that someone who ran a catering business told me.  If you don’t have a cover for a pan, use a dish.)

Leave the mixture simmer while your chicken finishes.  (It was about 10 minutes in my case.)

And here is the finished product:

I plated it along with the chicken breast for a nice Sunday meal.

Since there are only two of us, we had enough left over for another meal later this week!

Enjoy!

 

Yesterday we came home from shopping around 1:30pm.  I had only had a piece of bread with peanut butter on it for breakfast and I had to leave for a friend’s house at 3:00pm.  I knew I was having dinner there, but I didn’t know what or when.  I decided to make a hearty lunch salad to make sure that I wasn’t cranky or tempted with junk food.

As you might have experienced before, steaks comes in two sometimes.  I had another 6oz steak which had been a companion to Friday night’s dinner.  I figured I would make a nice steak salad using the steak and the plethora of salad greens we have.  I also had half an onion left and figured that would go nicely also.

First, I trimmed off the fat on the steak and sliced it into strips.  I sprinkled some Montreal Steak seasoning on top.

I cut the onion up into strips and put it in the frying pan with extra virgin olive oil twice around the frying pan.

(Just a side note here – I went to Sicily several years ago.  One of the places I visited was an olive tree farm.  Extra virgin olive oil is the best to cook with when you do not want a strong olive-y flavor.  Also, the darker the green the better.  Extra virgin olive oil is the first press of the olives and none of the pit is squeezed into the oil.)

Next I put the steak strips in the frying pan.  I seared the steak on each side until a nice “crust” was formed.

While I was cooking the steak, I mixed together leaf lettuce, spinach, and mixed greens which included mizuna and arugula.

I laid the cooked steak on top of the greens mixture and put ranch dressing on top.  (Ranch was fine, but I would like to try this again with Italian dressing.)

We both enjoyed the salad and it did satiate any hunger I had until my meal later in the day.

 

 

**Sometimes kitchen items have other uses.  Saturday, somehow, a snake got into the house.   (For those of you who don’t know – I am deathly afraid of snakes.)  The cats had cornered the snake under one of the bookshelves.  Mom and I pulled out the bookshelf and it’s gross head popped out and started snapping at my cat Chloe.  I wanted that snake out of the house and dead. (Angels on an antique May altar were broken while we were in pursuit of a snake.  The snake had a lot of nerve hiding under the bookshelf with the statue of Mary on it.  I decided to crush it’s head for her.)

So, in my determination I grabbed my blue Ikea oven mitt and grabbed the wretched creature.  It promptly started biting itself.  I got the snake outside and Mom chopped of it’s head.  The oven mitt is now sitting in the doorway to the cellar – waiting to be disinfected.  You never know when you kitchen items may come in handy!

The versatile IKEA oven mitt!

This week when I picked up my CSA distribution, I brought home lettuce, spinach, carrots, Swiss chard, and mixed greens.

I found a recipe for Steak Diane Stir-Fry at About.com under “Busy Cooks”.  Having just attended a dinner for volunteers on Monday where Steak Diane was one of the choices (I did not get it), I was intrigued by the recipe.  (I also like Google’s new feature when you search for a recipe where you can click on the ingredients you are looking for.) You can check the link above to see the original recipe.  Below is my take on it.  I made it for 2 people.

  • 6 oz steak
  • salt
  • pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • about 3 mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Weber’s horseradish mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 stalks of Swiss chard
  • fresh garlic

I decided to chop up everything first, so I could move quickly when I started cooking.

First, I trimmed all the fat off of the steak and cut it into slices.  I put a little pepper and salt on the pieces and set aside.

(Yes, I like my pepper.  Also, I use paper plates.)

Then I chopped up an onion and a clove of fresh garlic.  I put this on one plate.

Next, I sliced up mushrooms, carrot, and the stalks of the Swiss Chard and put them in a dish.

Finally, I chopped up the leaves of the Swiss Chard.

I mixed the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, lemon juice, broth, cornstarch, and cilantro together and set aside.

I hit the frying pan three times around with the extra virgin olive oil and turned the flame on high.  I put the slices of steak in.  I flipped over until each side had a nice “crust.”  When the pieces were seared on all sides, I pulled it out of the pan and set aside.

Next, I added the onion and garlic to the pan.  I turned the heat on the flame down from 10 to 8.  I kept stirring the onions and garlic until they were a golden brown.

Next, I added the mushrooms, carrots, and Swiss Chard stalks.  I mixed these into the onion garlic mixture and stirred until the carrots and mushrooms started to look cooked, but not mushy.

(The steak & onions were spitting a bit, so I didn’t take a picture.)

I added the Swiss Chard leaves to the mixture along with the broth mix.

I stirred this around until the leaves started to cook down.  Then I added the steak back in.

I let that cook in the pan, stirring constantly (if you don’t the cornstarch starts to stick to the pan) for about 3 minutes.

I had been cooking rice during this time also.  I put some rice on each of our plates and covered with the Steak Diane mixture.

Voila!

We both enjoyed this quite a bit.  Just a note – it does have a little kick with the horseradish mustard and Worcestershire sauce, so if you are sensitive to something like that, you may want to use plain (yuck) mustard.  (I am from Buffalo – the only type of mustard for me is Webers!)

Enjoy!