Sunday Supper: Palomilla Steak with Black Beans and Plantains

June 8, 2014

Cuban Palomilla Steak

Many moons ago, I attempted to make this steak for my now-husband (back then new-ish boyfriend). I was just out of college, in my first “real job”, and while I had cooked quite a bit in my days, I hadn’t made up recipes on the fly much. Maybe I should back peddle a bit and explain why I was attempting to cook a palomilla steak…

Cuban food was not something that was easy to come by growing up in northeast Tennessee. Black beans and plantains weren’t in the grocery. I had never even heard of a Cuban sandwich. This all changed on a trip to Tampa. My mom and I ate at Columbia restaurant. I had my first taste of black beans and rice and plantains, served on the side of this magical, flavorful thin steak which I’ve for years referred to as Cuban steak, but I’ve learned after many Google searches is actually called a palomilla steak. Initially I always slid the onions to the side, preferring the light flavoring left behind. But as I grew up, I learned to love onions, and the green stuff they mixed in with them, and this became my go-to dish at any Cuban restaurant.

Back to the attempt to recreate this dish in the early 2000s. (more…)


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Saturday Sippers: Sangria

June 7, 2014

Sangria

Summertime. Hot weather. Sunny days. Blue skies. Relaxing with friends. Fresh, juicy fruits. Sitting by the water. Sipping chilled drinks. And do I have one of the best chilled drinks for you. The classic sangria. You can whip it up by the pitcher or by the cooler, depending on how big your crowd is. Sit out glasses and an ice bucket, as well as a ladle for the fruit, and you’ve got a self-serve cocktail that packs enough of a punch to enjoy, but not so much that your friends will be teeter-tottering into the pool.

The wonderful thing about sangria is there are so many options, and you can make do with whatever you have on hand. Red, white, rosé, sparkling – all make a wonderful sangria. Pick your fruit, pick your juice, pick your liqueur, and pick your soda. Balance it out with a little pre-punchbowl taste test, adding a bit more of this or that to bring a harmony to the flavors – not too sweet, not too fruity, not too alcoholic, but Goldilock’s-approved ‘just right’.

This Goldilock’s has already found her ‘just right’ however for the classic red wine sangria, so she shall share her secrets with you forthwith. (more…)


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Quick & Easy: Curried salmon in parchment

May 9, 2014

Curried Salmon in Parchment Paper

Thai curries might be one of my favorite quick meals to pull together. While one can make their own curry paste, I find the pre-made Thai Kitchen curry pastes to be pretty good. When making a bowl of curry I will usually add some extra Thai peppers and ginger to the pan, but for a quick, weeknight meal like this salmon, I keep the extra flavors minimal. This is about being quick and easy after all!

If you haven’t baked in parchment before, it might look at first glance to be complicated, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Simply make up your packets of meat, add some sort of liquid and seasoning, crimp the edges, and bake! The crimping is simply folding edges of paper over on top of each other to hold. Or in my case, not so much folding as cramming paper together quickly and hoping it holds (it always does, knock on wood!). (more…)


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Delightful! The Turkish Delight Martini

April 25, 2014

Turkish Delight Martini

There’s something fun and exotic about a cocktail with rose petals floating in it. Rose water was a bit of an acquired taste for me, but after I decided I liked it, it’s opened up a whole new world of interesting drinks and tipples. Then there’s the name of this cocktail. Inspired by Turkish delight, which I’m sure many of you, like me, will identify with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, just makes this drink all the better. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Turkish delight, beyond the book, it’s a sweet candy which comes in many flavors, but one of the more popular is rose water, and it is dusted with powdered sugar. While this may not be exactly like biting into a piece of the candy, you’ll definitely pick up the sweet hints and the subtle rose flavor that are the hallmarks of Turkish delight. (more…)


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Apples & cinnamon oatmeal gets a grown up makeover

April 17, 2014

Grown up apples-n-cinnamon oatmeal

I’m sure you all remember the little Quaker oatmeal packets we’d have for breakfast back in the day (or, maybe you still stock your pantry with these guys). Undoubtedly you’d be somewhere, and instead of just having a box of your favorite flavor, they’d have the dreaded flavor variety box. And you were left hoping your favorite flavor was there. Or at least, there would be a flavor you could at least stomach. My favorite flavor was Apples & Cinnamon, and everything else was just a huge disappointment or downright inedible. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had Apples & Cinnamon oatmeal, but a couple of weeks ago I happened to have a plethora of apples and decided that was exactly what I was going to make.

I call this version grown up, because not only does it have huge chunks of apples and nuts in it, but I came up with this recipe while my husband and I were doing an elimination diet. That seems like something only a crazy grown up would do (more…)


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