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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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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An adapted Madd Hatter recipe: Orecchiette with Portobellos and Arugula

October 17, 2013

Portobello and Arugula Pasta

One of my favorite quick go-to pastas has been a beef and arugula pasta with a dijon vinaigrette dressing that I posted a few years back. The first time I made this pasta, I remember my husband saying, “This would be really good with portobellos!”. I was so sure it would that, at the time, I wrote the recipe up with that suggestion for vegetarian-izing (and, incidentally, veganizing) the recipe. A week ago, I had some leftover arugula, so I decided to give this version a go, and what do you know, it was a hit! Still as quick and easy as the original, and still as flavorful. (more…)

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The brownie pie

September 17, 2013

Brownie Pie

I’ve made oh-so-many of these pies over the years. As has my mom. And my grandmother. They’re what sustained me through the first half of college (and much of the second half). I lived off Mt. Dew and brownie pie. And while I personally wouldn’t recommend the diet (though I did stay skinny with my sugar tremors), I do highly recommend that you whip up one of these this instant! Two of the main reasons this became my go-to sweet: 1) all of the items were generally already in my pantry or refrigerator, 2) I could literally whip this up before the oven pre-heated. Twenty minutes plus pre-heat time, and I had instant sweetness gratification. (more…)

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Veggie Spaghetti

August 23, 2013

Veggie Spaghetti

This is one of my go-to weeknight meals, and it is a great way to use up any random vegetables you may have left over. Growing up, my mom always dressed up marinara in a jar by sauteing some onions and beef (along with some other spices and peppers and such on occasion) before adding the marinara. I changed that up a bit, decided to forgo the beef and just use every veggie I had on hand. Everything is fair play – carrots, squash, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, fresh tomatoes, kale, peppers – you name it, I’ve tossed it in my drug-through-the-garden spaghetti. The key is to always keep a few things on hand (more…)

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