Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chili Spiced Buffalo Tacos

I have had a buffalo steak in my freezer for a couple of months now, not knowing really what to do with it. I haven’t cooked it before. I decided to incorporate it with a dish that I have been craving a lot lately. Tacos. The seasoning has a small amount of kick to it due to the chili powder (add more than 2 teaspoons if you like heat), but is balanced out due to the brown sugar and paprika.

2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
2 lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb lean buffalo skirt steak, trimmed of fat, cut into strips (you may substitute other meats as well)
8 corn tortillas, warmed

In a large ziplock bag, combine all of the ingredients above, with the exception of the tortillas. Shake the bag and massage it to blend the seasonings and coat the meat. Let marinate for about an hour.

Heat a grill pan over medium heat, not too hot or else the buffalo will cook too quickly. Grill the meat, turning after a several minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and allow to sit (there’ll be lots of juices from the marinade). Place two strips into the tortilla and top with your favorite toppings. I did chopped spinach, tomato, onion, cilantro, and cheese.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Vegetable and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

Today was definitely a Monday. Busy from the moment I woke up (after about 4 hours of sleep) until I got home. I needed some comfort food. This casserole has a little spicy kick.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 ounces mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shredded cheese
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup cilantro
1 1/2 cups spinach, chopped
Corn tortillas
1/2 cup enchilada sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onions, and garlic. Add the cayenne pepper. Saute until onions are soft, lowering heat as needed to prevent browning. Add the spinach and cook for another few minutes until wilted. Remove from heat.

Place tortillas on in one layer in the baking dish. Top with black beans, tomatoes, onion mixture, cheese, and cilantro. Top with another layer of tortillas. Continue layering, ending with cheese.

Pour the enchilada sauce over the top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly.

Mushroom and Mascarpone Risotto

A couple of weeks ago, I visited my uncle and father. Within an hour of being there, we were swapping recipes. My family is big on food, shocking. My uncle had stacks and stacks of recipes that he had saved from magazines, cooking books, and newspapers. So of course, my father and I had to go through and make copies of all our favorites. One of which is a risotto recipe*. I like, okay love, mascarpone (desserts, savory dishes…it’s perfect in so many ways), so this a natural choice for me.

*Adopted from Cooking Light.

1 ½ cups boiling water
4 ounces mushrooms
14 ounces beef broth
1 cup uncooked Aroborio rice
¾ cup chopped onion (or shallots)
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup dry white wine
¼ cup grated parmigiano cheese
¼ cup mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl, combine the boiling water and mushrooms together. Let stand for about 10 minutes and then drain, reserving 1 ¼ cup of the liquid. Chop the mushrooms and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the reserved mushroom liquid and beef broth to a boil. Lower heat to bring to a simmer. Keep it warm over low heat.

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add the rice, onion, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Don’t allow to brown too much. Add the wine and cook until the liquid evaporates, only a couple of minutes.

Add 1 cup broth mixture to the rice mixture. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until just about absorbed. Stir occasionally so the rice doesn’t stick to the pan. Add the remaining mixture in ½ cup batches. Place rice into a serving bowl. Add the mushrooms, cheeses, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir until just melted. Serve warm. Top with addition mascarpone if wanted.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Goat Cheese Muffins

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces goat cheese
2 cups skim milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup green onions, chopped
4 tablespoons dried parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray two cupcake muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese and four tablespoons of the milk (reserve the rest). Stir until smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then in another bowl, whisk the butter, oil, egg, green onion, and the rest of the milk.

Combine the flour mixture and butter mixture until just moistened.

Spoon one tablespoon into each muffin cup. Then top each one with the goat cheese filling (about 1 teaspoon of goat cheese). Top each one with some more batter. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pans after about five minutes after removing from the oven.