Sometimes Chris and I just crave red meat. And these days I’m always looking for a quick meal that’s not too sinful.. So as requested by the husband we had steak sandwiches two weeks in a row. It’s not exactly THE healthiest meal but it’s definitely fast. This can easily be changed from a steak sandwich to a warm steak salad though!
A couple of pointers that can make this sandwich that much better..
* Bread – Ciabatta makes for a great crispy and light sandwich. It also has more surface space and thus can fit more meat. Lightly toast the bread before filling it also.
* Meat – Of course the better the quality the better the taste. But don’t worry too much as meat can get very expensive. I used casserole steaks. Just be sure to slice it as thin as possible.
RECIPE FOR TWO
~1 tsp Garlic salt
Drizzle plain oil to coat
~0.5 tsp thyme
Few dashes Worcestershire sauce
Pinch cayenne pepper or chilli powder
1 large pepper
1 medium red onion
Large handful mushrooms
Ciabatta or baguette
Large handful grated cheese (cheddar is fine)
~2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
~1 tsp horseradish sauce
~1 tsp English mustard
1. Slice the steaks as thin as possible. Trim off any chewy sinew pieces. Put in a mixing bowl and add the following seasoning. Set aside to let the flavors mingle.
2. Shred the cheese. Then in a small bowl combine the mayo, horseradish and mustard. Adjust the quantities as desired. A punch of salt would be great too.
3. Slice your peppers, onions and mushrooms into about 1/2 cm thick slices. While heating a frying pan, slice the bread in half lengthways and then in half. Lightly toast at ~200C and leave the oven on. Add plain oil to your hot pan and add the peppers first. When they start to soften after a couple min, add the onions. Sprinkle some garlic salt (use plain if you need to) and black pepper. Cook until soft for another couple min. Set aside. Add a bit more oil and add the mushrooms. Sprinkle salt, pepper and pinch of thyme and cook until soft. Set aside with peppers.
4. Ensure there are no juices left in the pan and add a splash of oil. When the oil moves easily in the pan you know it’s warm. Add the steak and cook until it’s colored on each side. It’s okay if there are some red bits left because you’ll be putting it in the oven. Set aside with the veg as soon as its done.
5. Spread the mayo on the bread. Start piling on the steak with a fork as there will be a lot of juice. Then pile mushrooms, then onions and peppers. Sprinkle the cheese on and place the sandwiches (open face) onto a baking tray. Cook in the oven until the cheese is melted and eat!
It you’re going the healthy route, you could still melt the cheese by layering the meat directly onto a baking tray. Or you can skip that and layer the meat and veg onto spinach leaves and top with the a spicy horseradish dressing. Just use the above mayo mixture and add a splash of water and/or vinegar to thin it out. Hope you enjoy!
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Recently I returned to New Orleans – just about a year and a half after my first visit. I was delighted to find all the classics were still there and that not a thing had changed. The beignets at Cafe Du Monde were still hot and crispy and still worth the line. Deanie’s fried catfish dinner was still the freshest catfish I have ever had – melt in your mouth and not greasy crispy goodness. And of course – you can’t go to New Orleans and not have a muffuletta. A muffu-what?? Even if you don’t like olives, I bet you’ll LOVE this sandwich. It’s all about the quality of ingredients though. And if you’re in town, you must get your muffuletta from the original place Central Grocery. Now I admit it’s a bit of a tourist attraction, but I think it’s worth it.
In summary, a muffuletta is a sandwich made on a round Sicilian sesame bread with a chopped olive salad (olives, celery, cauliflower, carrot, etc) and layers of capicola, salami, pepperoni, ham, emmentaler and provolone. The bread is very similar to focaccia but not as greasy. Although this isn’t a warm sandwich (my usual preference), it’s fresh, crunchy, salty and full of flavor. Apparently I was eating my sandwich so well that some news photographer insisted on taking multiple photos of my sandwich. He said it was “smiling”! This is a definite must if you love sandwiches!
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Posted in American Cuisine, Latin American Cuisine, Sandwiches, tagged breakfast burrito, cauliflower, cheese, chicken, cilantro, comfort food, corn, crostini, eggs, fajitas, garlic, salad, salsa, sandwich, sausages, spinach, sprouts on February 27, 2010 |
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This time around I decided to stop being redundant and put up my recipes first. This way on my posts you can look at the more important thing – the pictures
Next up in my cooking for one was a spinach salad. Spinach just happen to be on sale the other day, so I bought two huge tubs of it and it lasted me more than a week. Basically I’ve been super loaded up with iron these days. But I never get tired of it somehow. I love it in a salad, or sandwich or sauteed. And I might just stop using frozen spinach if I can help it. The flavor just isn’t the same. Anywho – you can find the recipe here.
This time I tried something a little different and made my super basic balsamic vinaigrette with white wine vinegar instead. As you can see I’m not super creative when it comes to salad dressings. I stick with my basics because normally when I feel like a salad, it’s a last minute thing and I want it to be simple. I also used some of the leftover chicken I bought on sale (and used in the last post). Because I didn’t want to mess up my Dad’s grill, I decided to just quickly pan “grill” it. I pounded it thin since I find it cooks faster and I like to take little bites. Seasoned it with garlic salt, black pepper and chili flakes. After cooking, I sliced into strips, used some in my salad and saved the rest for another day.
Healthy chicken fajitas
Chris arrived the next day and because I had so much darn chicken I decided we were going to have fajitas! In the spirit of being healthy, I decided I would make my own seasoning since it’s pretty easy to look up online and allowed one less ‘store-bought’ thing in our meal. I didn’t really measure and kind of just threw in an assortment of ingredients I found in various recipes online (the basics really). Find the recipe here.
For veggies, I decided to go a slightly different route since I’ve been reading lots about how bell peppers give you heart burn (aka make you gassy, not exactly romantic). Even though it is a summer squash, I’ve recently read about the benefits of eating zucchini (or known in the UK as courgette). It’s low in calories and a good source of vitamin A.
Healthy, homemade chicken fajitas
I also used mushrooms since (1) Chris and I both love them, (2) they also have great health benefits like being low in calories and a good source of potassium, and (3) we were at Costco and decided to get a huge box of them.
As you can see, we had a corn salsa with our fajitas. I decided to omit the black beans and bell pepper this time to make it a little lighter.
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Posted in Italian Cuisine, Sandwiches, tagged avocado, beets, blue cheese, cheese, cherry tomatoes, chicken, croutons, fruit, garlic, mango, marinara, mozzarella, parmesan, pineapple, sandwich, sausages, spinach on February 18, 2010 |
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This past Tuesday, my parents headed out for a little trip down under and left me in charge of our three little dogs. Of course, I was very excited since this meant I had the kitchen all to myself for 10 days. It was only after they left that I realized I’d be cooking for one. This is quite a challenge, but I was determined to take advantage. I wanted to balance making things I’ve been craving and be healthy at the same time. Also since I’ve been eating loads of Vietnamese food recently, I absolutely had to feed my craving for Italian. Now my real craving for Italian would be Carbonara with homemade pasta at Mario Batali’s Otto Pizzeria at One Fifth or the gnocchi with marinara and roasted garlic cream sauce at Supper in the East Village (both in New York). Sadly, I couldn’t magically transport myself to NY and those dishes aren’t exactly healthy.
First, I searched the kitchen to see what my parents left behind for me. It is SUCH a difference using a kitchen in a house versus a flat, especially my family’s house. The pantry never ends AND they have two refrigerators!
Using just items in the kitchen, I was able to whip up a nice salad.
While it doesn’t sound like the healthiest salad in the world, I was getting lots of dietary fiber and vitamin B with my beets, one of my five-a-day with the apple, and good monounsaturated fat with the avocado. * Note – my salad recipes will start going up in my Recipes section.
Beet, Apple, Blue Cheese Salad
Next up for breakfast was fruit. As part of Tet, there was loads of fresh fruit around the house. Strangely, I realized I had never cut up a pineapple before. So I had a little fun trying to avoid poking myself. The smell of fresh pineapple is so delightful. We also had a fresh mango which usually makes my throat itch but I absolutely love. Since there was so much pineapple I figured I’d only add a little banana and orange juice then blend away!
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Chuc Mung Nam Moi! Gung Hei Fat Choy! Happy New Year!
On February 14th this year, many people will be celebrating Valentine’s Day. But if you are of Chinese, Vietnamese, Mongolian or Korean decent, you will be celebrating the first day of the lunar new year. For the Vietnamese, this will be the Year of the Tiger or otherwise known as Tet. According to OnlineChineseAstrology.com, it is the Year of the Metal Tiger for the Chinese.
“The Norwegian story goes that, once a group of [white tigers] starts moving across the fields, they will charge ahead and unthinkingly run straight off a cliff to their doom… The point is now is the time to attack the most difficult issues you face. -OnlineChineseAstrology.com”
I think that that most difficult issue for the women in my family at the moment is that my Dad is kicking their butt in cooking. No offense Mom, Bac Oanh, Tata and Ba – but you know it’s true. I’ve heard you all moan over Dad’s Banh Chung! (pronounced bye-ing choong) For those of you who have not had the good fortune of eating this, it is a Vietnamese rice cake filled with sticky rice, mung beans and fatty pork seasoned with black pepper and (of course) fish sauce. This rice cake is normally bought at Vietnamese grocery stores but almost never served at a restaurant. It is one of the traditional dishes eaten for the Vietnamese New Year. The legend states that King Hung Vuong held a competition to determine his successor and his young prince Lang Lieu created the dish Banh Chung and won the throne. From then on, it was decided that Banh Chung would become one of the traditional foods of Tet. Now enough of the history lesson and back to the food.
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Banh Chung - Vietnamese Rice Cake
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