Mongolian Beef

Hello all–  We’re nestled in for the night here in Madison Wisconsin.  Loved our Laurel and John’s “Wisconsin wedding weekend in the woods!”  plus a little woodsy hiking and a lot of water-parking with grand-girls since then.  So actually, I haven’t been cooking up much lately!!

But here’s super at our house back in California a couple weeks ago.  Rich brown sauce wrapped around tender chunks of beef –all over brown rice.  Simple and so good.

MONGOLIAN BEEF
1 cup brown rice
2 tab. cornstarch
1 pound flank steak
2 tab. olive oil
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled & minced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped fine
1 cup brown mushroom, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
garnish: green onion, chopped

sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch

Put the rice on to cook according the directions on the package.

Then put the sauce together.  In a container with a tight fitting lid shake together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and 2 tsp. cornstarch until it is thoroughly blended.  Set aside.

Cut the flank steak into 1/4 inch strips.  Toss it in a bowl with the 2 tab. cornstarch.  Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet. And then drop the meat in an even layer int he bottom of the skillet.  Cook on high for just about a minute on each side so it has a nice crisp char.  Remove to a plate.

In the same skillet, drop in the ginger and onion.  Cook 2 or 3 minutes until the onion is translucent.  Then add in the mushroom and garlic and cook a couple minutes more.

Give the sauce ingredients one more good shake and then pour it all into the hot pan over the onion mixture.  Stir until it thickens and then add in the beef.

Layer the cook rice and beef & sauce onto a plate.  Sprinkle the top wit green onion.  Done!

Honey Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Hello all you gardeners (or just plain old tomato eaters!)– I’m pleased to report that Larry’s tomato crop has come in!!  We have piles of tomatoes of all shapes and sizes on the kitchen counter.  That is to say, tomatoes are a mandatory part of every meal around here.

So when Joy and Larry invited us to sit out on their deck in the breeze on Sunday evening, we took along these roasted little cherry tomatoes– with some bread and a little fresh mozzarella to round them out.  Add a glass of wine and convivial friends.  Summer perfect!

HONEY GARLIC TOASTED CHERRY TOMATOES
4 cups assorted cherry tomatoes*
3 cloves garlic finely minced**
1 tab. honey
3 tab. olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt***
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Put the cleaned tomatoes in a mixing bowl.  In a smaller bowl stir together the garlic, honey, oil, salt & pepper.  Then pour it over the cherries and mix until the cherries are well coated.

Turn the cherries out onto a baking sheet that has been lined with foil.  Scrape all the extra oil mixture out of the mixing bowl and drizzle it over the tomatoes.

Bake it all up at 400 degrees for 15 minutes– wonderful serve hot or cooled.

* We used red, yellow and slightly larger purple varieties.
**Love Trader Joe’s minced frozen garlic– so easy!!
*** if you use regular salt in place of sea salt, use less!!  (I learned this the hard way on another dish.)

P.S –These paper thin crackers are my new addiction– You can get them at (where else??!) Trader Joe’s.

Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

Hello hello–  All I can say is—-the Sauce!!  I poured the extra over my tortellini and sopped up every last drop.  This dish is easy enough for everyday, beautiful enough to share with a table full of friends.

CHICKEN WITH SUN DRIED TOMATO SAUCE|
4 to 6 chicken thighs
2 tab. olive oil
sale & freshly ground pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh thyme*
1 tsp. dried basil*
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped to bits
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cream or half & half
1/2 cup grated parmesan romano
garnish: thyme sprigs, a sprinkling of parmesan

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and then drop in the chicken thighs.  Salt and pepper them liberally while they cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side (until they are cooked through).  Remove them to a plate and cover to keep warm

In the same skillet add the garlic, thyme, basil and dried tomatoes.  Stir for a minute to blend the flavors.  Then mix in the broth and cream. Let the sauce simmer on low for 3 to 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the parmesan romano.

Pour the sauce over the chicken.  Garnish with a bit of parmesan and sprigs of thyme.

We ate this luscious chicken with tortellini and a hearty salad.  Perfect.

*I just used thyme because it is growing in the side yard, basil, marjoram, mined rosemary, any fresh Italian-ish herb would be fine.
**Of if you have Italian seasoning, oregano…

Lemon Honey Salmon

Hey there– We’ve already hit a couple hot days– feels like a little summer preview.  So on a warm evening this week, we had this simple salmon, back doors wide open to catch the breeze.

Love this dish– fast, easy and the sauce–oh the sauce!  It’s tart, garlicky and honey sweet.

LEMON HONEY SALMON
1 tab. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
2 tab. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tab. butter, cut to small pieces
2 tsp. honey
4 six ounce salmon filets
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
garnish:
tab. parsley, minced*
lemon slices

In a small pan heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Put in the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes until it’s fragrant.  Add in the water & lemon juice.  Simmer for 3 or 4 minutes until it is reduced about half the liquid.  Stir in the butter and honey until it’s all blended and set aside.

Heat a skillet to medium high.  Pour in the 2 tab. olive oil.  Liberally salt & pepper the salmon on both sides.  Then cook it 3 minutes on each side until is crisp and golden.

Set the salmon on a pretty plate and pour over the warm sauce.  Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with lemon slices.  Done!

*I didn’t have any parsley in the fridge, so I used cilantro.

P.S.  Photos are just half a recipe– enough for Larry and me.

Orange Chili Pork Cutlets

IMG_2561Hello there– There’s a couple reasons I love these little pork cutlets.  They have a sweet and spicy coating that just wakes them up.  And they cook up so quickly!  Let them sit in the marinade while you make the rice, a veggie, a bright leafy salad– and they cook up in less than 5 minutes.  Just right for a week night dinner.

ORANGE CHILI PORK CUTLETS
4 thin pork cutlets
2 tab. olive oil
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tab. orange marmalade
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tab. honey

In a baking dish, mix together the oil, chili powder, salt, marmalade, garlic and honey until they are thoroughly blended.  Then marinate the pork in the mixture for about 30 minutes.

Grill the cutlets in a skillet, just 2 minutes on each side over medium heat until they are cooked through–but still tender.

That’s it!  so easy.

Roast Tomatoes & Salmon

IMG_2409Hello all– I have to admit we have a sad crop of tomatoes around the Sittig house this year.  But thankfully, we have friends and neighbors who are happy to share their abundance of ripe juicy tomatoes, including these sweet mini cherry tomatoes.

With a salad of bright greens, a chunk of sturdy bread and a tall glass of something cold, it makes a fine end-of-the-summer dinner.

ROAST TOMATOES & SALMON
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp honey
1 tab. red wine vinegar
1 pound salmon filet
1 cup smallish cherry tomatoes
salt & freshly ground pepper

Mix the cilantro, garlic, olive oil, paprika, honey and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Lay out the salmon on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Spread the tomatoes on and around the salmon.  Liberally salt & pepper the salmon & tomatoes.

Drizzle the 3/4’s o the cilantro mixture over the salmon and tomatoes (save the rest).

Then pop it into a 300 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon.  Cook until the salmon is flakey and the cherry tomatoes pucker & burst.

Lift the salmon onto a serving plate and drizzle on the remaining cilantro mixture.  Enjoy!


Parmesan Herb Encrusted Salmon

IMG_1415Hello you all–  Here’s a quick middle of the week supper that we’ve enjoyed lately.  It can be ready from start to finish in 30 minutes and there’s enough “in the oven time” to allow you to set a table and make a salad.  I think you’d like it too!

PARMESAN HERB ENCRUSTED SALMON
1 pound (more or less) salmon filet
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tab Italian parsley (of basil or marjoram), chopped fine*
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
dash of salt

Place salmon skin side down in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Put it in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes.

While that’s cooking, Mix together the garlic, parsley, salt and parmesan in a bowl.

After the 10 cooking minutes, sprinkle the parmesan mixture over the fish and put it back into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fish).  –or until the internal temperature is 135 degrees.

Serve it up with a platter or rice of pasta and a bright green salad.  Dinner ready!

P.S.– I used marjoram, since we have it growing in the side yard– going to try rosemary next time.  The recipe I worked from called for Italian parsley.