I’m not a huge beef eater and tend to be a beef snob, but recently I had a friend eloquently request a beef recipe. I know that her specific request was for round steak, but my mother dropped off a bottom round roast, and well, both are ass pieces of the cow. That means they’re from the only area of the cow that gets exercise. Of course, that produces a chewy and not so flavorful cut.
Think about it, if you were a cannibal, which would you rather have, a Beyonce sandwich or Linda Hamilton from Terminator? Exactly. That’s like comparing filet mignon and chuck steak.
My mom wasn’t feeling well but had bought this round roast on sale, (from Harris Teeter, who tends to epically fail me in the meat and seafood department) she threw it in a marinade and dropped it off at my house for me to cook. I figured if I let it sit in the marinade extra long (as in a day), and let it slow cook, that would help. Mmm…not so much. Time to mask the chew as a 1 pot dinner. This recipe is Rachael Ray
, but I changed the meat and broth. This recipe had 69 Five star ratings on http://www.foodnetwork.com/
Moroccan Beef with Pine Nut Couscous.
2 1/2 pounds bottom round, cut into bite size pieces
1 rounded tablespoon grill seasoning
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 turns of the pan
1 large onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
20 to 24 pitted dates, halved, about 1 cup
1 quart *mushroom stock and the marinade that’s been cooked
2 tablespoons butter
handful of pine nuts
2 cups couscous
4 scallions, chopped
Marinate the beef in whatever you like to use. I threw it in a roasting pan and slow cooked it in the marinade for like 3 hs on 250. (But you cook it whatever way you want, a crockpot would be good, or you could just saute it in a pan cut up.) Heat a large skillet over medium-high to high heat. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, saute onions and garlic till clear. Add beef and spices, let it caramelize a bit.
Add the dates and the leftover marinade. Depending on how much you had (I had 1 cup) the recipe calls for 2 cups of stock at this point, so I used an additional cup of mushroom stock to the pan and cover. I like to use mushroom stock with beef because store bought beef broth is usually salty as hell.
Melt butter and toast pine nuts.
Add toasted pine nuts to the mix. Pour in additional 2 cups of stock and bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat, add couscous and cover pan. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with fork. Garnish with chopped scallions.
The spices in the recipe weren’t enough to my liking. I tasted it a few times while I cooked it, and once the couscous started to puff up, I added probably an entire teaspoon more of all of them. 2 cups of couscous is a hell of a lot. So my advice is to taste it once the the couscous is finished and adjusted the spices to your liking.
I bought some boneless pork chops and a big ole tub of fresh blue cheese. Everyone in my house loves all things barbecue, but I decided to put a twist on that using some leftover MacKay’s Scottish Three Berry Preserves.
(which tastes super amazing over brie…btw…sidenote)
Hell to the yeah.
Pork+berries+blue cheese = perfection.
Making homemade barbecue sauce is stupid easy and I don’t say that because we live in the Carolinas. But instead of buying store bought, you can make it your way and add or delete whatever you want for some sweet, tangy barbecueness.
Savory Sweet Sauce
1 cup chili sauce (could replace with ketchup)
3/4 to 1 cup MacKay’s 3 Berry Preserves. (Although you could use any “berry” flavor jam you like.)
1 tbsp red wine (or mushroom or beef broth)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of Onion powder
Fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp brown sugar
Bring everything to a boil over the stove stirring constantly, let cool and it will thicken.
These chops were about 1 1/2 inches thick so they took about 25 minutes. I waited for them to start turning from pink to white about half way through, rubbed some sauce on them and flipped them over and coated the top with the sauce. Reserve the last bit to pour on the dish.
And they’re actually my mom’s recipe that she has been making since I was a little kid.
But I’m going to just pass them off as my own now since I’m the one that always ends up making them for everyone.
The secret ingredient is mint. I say this very matter-of-factish but seriously, the mint is what makes this meatball kick butt.
So here’s the recipe. Try it. And honestly, they even taste awesome if you make them with ground turkey, although I still prefer ground beef.
Super Easy Stepford Meatballs.
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs. Fresh are better but whatever.
(if you use those Italian seasoned crumbs, don’t add Italian seasoning!)
1 tsp mint
1 or 2 cloves of garlic. Depends how much you like, 2 for me.
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 of a small onion chopped as fine as possible.
2 or 3 green onions chopped super fine.
*if you have only green onions, that’s okay and use half of a cup. But I prefer to use both onions.
Homemade meatballs are crazy easy, and store bought are a crime.
I take about 4 or 5 slices of bread, cut the crusts off and toss it in my Cuisinart. It helps if the bread is a bit stale, either by setting it out for a few hours or toss it in the oven for a few minutes (but don’t toast it, just get it crunchy) Once the crumbs are made fine, add the mint and Italian seasoning then give it a quick blend.
Throw it in a giant bowl with the meat and the beaten egg. Toss the garlic and onion in the Cuisinart and wait until it is as fine as possible and throw it in the bowl. Mush it all together and roll into balls.
Heat a pan up, I like to use nonstick spray so I don’t add extra calories and fat to the pan. Fry up the little balls for a few minutes browning both sides.
Throw them all in a baking dish and bake in the oven on 350 for 15-20 minutes. I like a good size meatball so baking time depends on their size.
Seriously, just try adding mint once and see what you think.
I found this recipe on the back of a lite coconut milk can and then I made it a little better.
1 tsp canola oil
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and de-veined
2 tbsp Thai Chili Sauce
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 chopped tomato
1 minced garlic clove
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp brown sugar
1 can lite pure coconut milk
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Shell and de-vein shrimp, coat with chili sauce and set aside.
In a wok or large skillet, heat oil and saute garlic until you can smell it. Add stock and bring it to a boil. Add tomatoes, lime juice, lemon juice, and the brown sugar. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 min until most of the liquid evaporates. Stir in coconut milk and cilantro then simmer for a few minutes (until bubbly). Add shrimp, cook a for a 3-5 minutes (until they are orangey-pink). Garnish with scallions and serve over rice.
I have the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook, although it’s not so new anymore since I bought it a few years ago. Anyway, I don’t buy red snapper but we do eat a lot of tilapia.
8 tilapia fillets
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 c white wine
3 tbsp plain bread crumbs
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
4 carrots shredded/thinly sliced
2 large zucchini shredded/thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9×13 inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the parsley, wine, bread crumbs, lemon zest and juice, oregano, thyme, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Let stand, it will turn pasty in a few minutes.
- Place fish in baking dish and spread herb paste over fillets. The paste will form a crust. I baked at 375 for about 12 minutes, but set it under the broiler on high for a few minutes to crisp it.
- Steam the veggies. Serve fish on veggies.
264 calories per serving.