‘Main Dishes’

Spicy Black Bean Stirfry

 

spicy_black_bean_stirfry

 

Serves 4-6

 

Before preparing the vegetables, start the rice cooking. It will be done just in time.

 

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cornstarch

¼ tsp ground pepper

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp white wine

 

Mix in a small dish or glass measuring cup. Set aside.

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

4 stalks celery

1 sweet yellow onion

 

 

 

Wash and chop the vegetables to ½” pieces.

Olive oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assemble the vegetables and sauce near the stove. Set the wok on the stove with high heat, or use a sauté pan with med-high heat. Pour in olive oil to coat the sides of the wok to ¼” in the bottom of the pan. Use a splatter screen when stir frying to avoid burns.

 

Carefully add the vegetables to the hot oil, protecting yourself with the screen. Stir with a long wooden spoon or wooden spatula. Stir fry for 3-5 minutes until the onion is tender and translucent around the edges.

 

2 cups shelled edamame, frozen

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

¼ cup water

 

(Add more cayenne pepper if you like it spicy!)

Add the edamame and stirfry for 2 minutes. Add the beans to the wok and stir.

 

Pour in the sauce and continue to stirfry. Add ¼ cup water to the sauce dish and pour into the pan. Stir and cook for a minute or two until the sauce thickens. Add more water if the sauce is too thick.

 

Serve with rice.

Grilled Flank Steak

 

flank_steak_and_vegtables

 

Serves 4-5

1 beef flank steak  (about 2 lbs)

 

Place the steak on a cutting board and pierce all over with a two-pronged meat fork. This will help the meat absorb the marinade:

 

flank_steak_prep

 

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

½ tsp anise seed

1/8 tsp pepper

 

Add all ingredients to a plastic bag. Add the steak and turn to cover the meat with the marinade. Refrigerate the steak for 1-3 hours.

 

Heat the grill to high. Clean the grate with a wire brush. Grease the grate with oil on a paper towel. Turn off one of the burners, leaving one on. Grill the meat over the OFF burner (indirect heat). I recommend cooking to about medium doneness. Brush with additional marinade during cooking.

 

Place the meat on a cutting board. Carve diagonally across the grain into ½” slices.

 

flank_steak_carving

This is excellent with grilled mushrooms and wild rice.

 

Ginger Sesame Tilapia

 

 

Oven 350 F

2-3 servings

1 lb Tilapia filets, frozen or fresh

 

(Also delicious with Mahi Mahi)

If the fish is frozen, leave in the package and place in the sink; cover with cool water for 20-30 minutes to thaw.

 

1 Tbsp olive oil

Grease the bottom of a small baking dish with olive oil. Place the tilapia filets in the dish.

 

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp white wine or sherry

1 tsp grated fresh ginger root or ½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp minced garlic

½ tsp dried onion

½ tsp sesame oil

¼ tsp cornstarch

 

Mix together and pour over the fish.

Make a little tent of foil to cover the dish, but allow the steam to escape.

 

Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes. Check for doneness with a fork. The inside of the filet should be opaque white. A filet that is thicker than ½” may cook for 30 minutes.

 

Serve with rice. Remove the fish from the pan. Add about 2 Tbsp hot water and scrape the sauce from the pan. Drizzle a tiny amount of the sauce over the rice (to your taste) and serve.

 

You will find the sesame oil in the Asian section of your super market.

Three Day Soup

This is my favorite way to turn one soup into three different meals.

 

Serves 4-5 people for 3 days

 

Day 1: Chicken Soup

Prepare the basic chicken soup recipe below. Don’t overcook- just until the potatoes are tender. I suggest serving it the first day without pasta. Refrigerate the left-over soup immediately in an airtight plastic or glass container.

 

Day 2: Minestrone 

1 or more cans (4 oz) tomato paste

1 can (12 oz) V-8 or tomato juice

1 or more cans (15 oz) kidney or white beans

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

 

Small pasta such as penne, bowties or spirals

 

Reheat the chicken soup over low heat. Don’t overcook. Add 1 can of tomato paste, juice and 1 can of beans. Add additional tomato paste and beans depending on how much left over soup you are using.

 

Prepare the pasta separately. Serve the soup over the pasta. Refrigerate the left-over soup(without the pasta) immediately in an airtight plastic or glass container.

Day 3: Chicken Chili 

1 or more cans (15 oz) pinto or black beans

 

1 or more cans (15 oz) diced tomatoes

 

2 cans (4 oz) diced green chilies

 

1 tsp yellow mustard

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp pepper

 

Or substitute 1 pkg Taco Seasoning for the spices

 

Reheat the minestrone soup over low heat. Don’t overcook. Start with one can of beans, tomatoes, chilies and the spices. Add additional tomatoes and beans depending on how much left over soup you are using.

 

If the chili is too thin, add 2 Tbsp or more tomato paste. If it is too thick, add canned chicken broth.

 

If the chili is too wimpy, add additional chili powder or cayenne pepper as desired.

 

No more left-overs!

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup   

 

Serves 8

1 large sweet onion

6 stalks celery

2 tsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp Provence or Italian Herb mix

¼ cup olive oil

 

Chop the onion and celery into ½” bits. Add to a large pot with the herbs and oil. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Move most of the mixture into a small bowl and set aside, leaving ½ cup of the onion mixture in the pan.

 

4 half chicken breasts with bone and skin

3 cups water

  

Add the chicken and water to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down to med-low and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to cool. Save the broth in the pot.

 

2 cans (14 oz) Swansons chicken broth

 

2 cups chopped carrots

4 medium potatoes

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

 Optional:

Any fresh or frozen veggies such as chopped green beans, broccoli, corn, peas

  Barley option:

Cook separately one cup of pearl barley and three cups of water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, turn down to low and cook uncovered for 30-40 minutes until tender. Add to the soup just before serving.

Peel and chop the carrots and potatoes. Add canned broth and the veggies to the pot. Bring to a boil on med-high heat. Turn down to low heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, remove the skin and bones from the cooked chicken. Cut the chicken into 1” chunks. Add the chicken to the pot.

 

Add the onion & celery mixture from above. Salt and pepper.

 

At this point, you could refrigerate the soup overnight if you are making a day ahead.

 

Bring to a boil. Turn down to low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes just until the potatoes & veggies are tender. Don’t overcook.

 

Serve the soup as is, or over noodles or pasta. Don’t add pasta to the pot because it does not hold up well for left-overs.

 

Use the left-overs to make Three Day Soup!

 

Our traditional Christmas eve dinner features this simple soup over Spaetzle.

Leftover Turkey Stir-fry

 

Serves 6

1 or 2 packages of Uncle Ben’s Original Long Grain and Wild Rice

 

Prepare as directed. I use a little less water than directed for a firmer rice.

Cooked turkey

Chop the turkey into 1” cubes and set aside. I use 3-4 cups for six servings.

 

3 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp cornstarch

½  tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp onion powder

¼ cup white wine or sherry

 

Mix the sauce with a fork and set aside.

4 stalks celery

1 medium sweet onion

¼ cup olive oil

 

About ¼ cup hot water (if needed)

Chop the celery and onion into ½” bits.

Heat the oil in a wok or large sauté pan. Add the celery and onion and stir-fry until tender with a wooden paddle or spoon. Add the turkey. Mix the sauce again with the fork and add to the pan. Quickly stir with the wooden paddle to mix in the sauce. After it thickens, add a little hot water to thin out the sauce.

Serve with rice.

This is a nice change of flavors after a few days of turkey dinner.

Turkey Breast with Gravy

 

 

Oven 325 F

1 whole or half turkey breast with bone

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp Provence or Italian herb mix

Rinse the turkey breast with cold water. Place in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs.

 

Fold up the foil over the turkey and seal tightly all around. Place in a shallow baking pan. Bake a whole turkey breast at 325 F for 2 ½ hours. Bake a half breast for about 2 hours. Insert a meat thermometer directly through the foil to test for doneness.

 

Remove from the oven and let stand without opening the foil for 15 minutes.

 

For the gravy:

Swanson’s chicken broth (if needed)

¼ cup flour

½ cup hot water

1 tsp salt

Pinch of pepper

Open one end of the foil and pour the broth into a medium saucepan. If you have less than 3 cups of broth, add chicken broth.

 

Place the hot water in a tall drinking glass. Add the flour and stir vigorously with a fork until smooth. Add more water if needed to the consistency of a milkshake.

 

Bring the broth to a full boil. Add the salt & pepper. Use a wire whisk to quickly mix the gravy while slowly adding the flour paste. Keep mixing fast until the gravy comes to a boil, then turn off the heat.

 

Beef Tenderloin

 

 

Oven 425 F

Serves 6-8

1 Beef Tenderloin Roast (3-4 lbs)

1 large sweet onion, sliced

½ tsp black pepper

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 tsp garlic

 

Place a rack in the bottom of a dutch oven or roasting pan. Cover the rack with sliced onions. Place the beef on top of the onions. Sprinkle with pepper.

 

Melt the butter in the microwave and add the garlic. Pour about half of the garlic butter over the beef. Reserve the rest.

 

Roast the beef uncovered for about 45 minutes for medium rare, or use a meat thermometer to attain your desired doneness. Even if you like your beef well done, I suggest that you roast it only to medium rare or medium and finish it in the last warming step just before serving.

 

Remove the pan from the oven, pour the remaining garlic butter over the beef, cover.

 

Optional:

15-20 large white mushrooms

 

1 can (15 oz) Swanson’s Beef Broth

Rinse the mushrooms in warm water and rub until clean. Twist out the stem, leaving the caps intact.

 

Add the mushrooms and broth to the pan.

 

Remove the beef from the pan to a cutting board. Slice across the roast into thin medallion slices. Cover with foil and set aside until 5 minutes before you are ready to serve. At this point, you may let everything stand at room temperature for up to one hour.

When you are ready to serve, turn the stovetop heat to medium high and bring the broth to a boil. Cook the mushrooms for a few minutes. Add the sliced beef and simmer for a few more minutes till it is piping hot. If you want to serve some more done and some less done, simply reserve half of the meat and add it just before serving. Spoon the broth over the meat.

 

This makes a great party dish served with small dinner rolls. It is convenient because you can make it ahead, and warm it up just before serving.

Meatloaf or Turkey Loaf Hash

Meatloaf_hash

 

Serves 2

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp Italian or province herbs

½ sweet yellow onion

2-3 slices of leftover meatloaf or turkey loaf

2 leftover boiled potatoes or raw potatoes

 

Optional- Any of the following that you may have on hand:

 

Leftover vegetables

Frozen corn

Mushrooms

 

Cayenne pepper

 

If you don’t have leftover potatoes, cut raw potatoes into bite size pieces, place in a glass bowl and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Cover with a paper towel and microwave 4-6 minutes on high until softened.

 

Chop all leftovers into bite size pieces. Heat the oil and herbs in a sauté pan. Add the onions, stir and cook a few minutes until soft. Add the meat, stir and cook for a minute. Add the rest and heat through.

 

Spice it up with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

 

 

Salmon Loaf

 

Oven 350 F

Serves 4-5

1 lb baked fresh salmon or 1 can (19 oz) boneless salmon

1 medium onion, chopped

20 saltine crackers (1 cup crushed) 

3 eggs

¼ cup milk

1 Tbsp dill weed

1 Tbsp dry parsley

 

Place about 20 saltine crackers in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.

Flake the salmon into ½ “ bits.

Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

3 Tbsp Olive oil

Drizzle the olive oil in the bottom of a small baking dish, 6×9 or 9×9. Spoon the salmon mixture into the center of the dish, and press into a firm loaf in the center of the pan. Bake uncovered at 350 F for 45 minutes.

 

This is a great dish for left-over salmon.