September 23, 2016

braised carne asada tacos

These these THESE!! I don’t know if you have a carne asada taco recipe, but you do now! These are my kids’ favorite. Piles of tender, spicy, shredded steak folded up in a tortilla and then topped with all of the best-loved taco toppings – and you will have a hit on your hands! I make this recipe in my Le Creuset braiser, but you could do it in a slow-cooker as long as you promise me you’ll take the time to sear it first. Don’t just put a lump of meat in a crockpot and steam it. Get a good, savory crust on it first, THEN slow-cook it til it’s tender. You’re gonna love this. Scout’s honor.

Watch the online episode HERE (with some verrry silly outtakes that I wasn’t made aware of!)

Serves 4-6

2lb flank or skirt steak
2 yellow onions, halved and sliced
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
About 2 cups beef stock

-for the rub-
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Allow beef to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then using a meat mallet, tenderize the meat by pounding a little to break down the connective tissue. Cut the meat in half lengthwise so it will fit in your pot if necessary.

Preheat oven to 325F. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the dry rub. Rub both sides liberally with the seasoning mix, using all of the rub. Over medium-high heat, preheat an oven-safe pan, dutch oven, or enameled braiser (with a tight-fitting lid) swirled with oil. Sear the meat on both sides until a dark crust forms. If you had to cut the meat in half to fit in your pan, then sear in batches. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Pour in ½ cup of the stock, stirring to loosen the bits on the bottom of the pan. Then add the onions and peppers, stirring to cook for a few minutes. Using a utensil, divide the veggies to make a center spot for the meat to lay. Lay the meat in the pan, nestling it down between the vegetables. Pour the rest of the beef stock in the pan. The stock should come up the sides of the meat without covering the top. Cover with lid and cook in the oven for 2.5 hours. Turn oven off and let continue to cook (without peeking) for another 30-60 minutes. Remove from oven, and shred meat in the pan with two forks, stirring the shredded meat and the vegetables together. Serve in warmed tortillas, and garnish with shredded cheese, guacamole, and lime wedges.

September 20, 2016

blackened salmon with creamy avocado cilantro rice

I mean, did you know that a plated plank of salmon could take your breath away? It's nearly like art! Am I right?

Y'all, this salmon recipe is so good and simple. And the rice....sigh. Amazing.

There are just so many things going for this dish starting with how healthy it is followed by how fast it is to make! A homemade smokey blackening seasoning coats a plank of salmon that is served family-style over the creamy, avocado rice with black beans stirred in. Can you even believe it? This dish has sprinted to the front of the race for Favorite Weeknight Meal. 

If you don't love salmon, then you can absolutely use the blackening seasoning on another fish or chicken. And I swoon to think of a seared flank steak right on top! 

Good heavens I hope you'll try this one! And if you'd like to watch the episode where I made this on Cooking Today with KNWA's own Nate Kuester, then click HERE

Serves 4-6

-for the blackening seasoning-
2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 ½ lbs fresh salmon
1 ½ cups five-minute rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 14.5oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and mashed
¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
¼ cup red onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
Juice of one lime
*rice recipe adapted from Real Housemoms 

Mix together the blackening seasoning. Generously rub seasoning on one side of the salmon only. Set aside.  In a deep skillet or saute pan, (I use my 3.75qt LeCreuset braiser) bring chicken stock to a boil. Stir in rice and black beans. Cover and allow to simmer on very low heat for five minutes while you make the avocado cream sauce. 

In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, milk, mashed avocado, cilantro, red onion, garlic, salt, cumin, pepper, and lime juice. Mix together until combined. It should be creamy but still have a little bit of a chunky texture.

   When rice and beans have simmered over very low heat for five minutes, stir avocado cream into the rice. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.  Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium heat swirled with oil. Sear salmon on each side for 2-3 minutes or until cooked and flaky. Don’t over cook. Turn off heat, cover, and allow to sit for another few minutes to finish heating through. Spoon rice onto a rimmed platter, top with salmon, garnish with lime, cilantro, chopped tomatoes, and fresh avocado. Serve family style.