Look at what's cookin

My adventure's in feeding my family

Grilled Chipotle-Rubbed Steaks with Lime Butter March 30, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

I love a good steak. Especially a ribeye. Bone in ribeyes are hands down my favorite. I am not certain about putting butter on steak but I thought that the citrus butter in this recipe would pair nicely with the spice on the steak. I was right.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated zest from 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle powder
  • Four thick, boneless steaks, such as ribeye or hanger, 10- to 12-ounces each
  • Vegetable oil, for the grill




Combine the butter, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, and a salt to taste. Set aside. Combine the paprika, cumin, and chipotle powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle the steaks with plenty of kosher salt, then evenly sprinkle the spice mixture over them and rub into the meat.


Oil the grates of the grill (or grill pan) and preheat over high heat until smoking. Reduce heat to medium high and add steaks. Cook without moving until well-charred, about 4 minutes. Flip steaks and continue to cook until center of steaks register 125°F on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare, 135°F for medium, or 145°F for well done. Transfer to a platter and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes, adding the lime butter after a few minutes to melt from the residual heat.



Winter Minestrone March 28, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

I had been craving a good soup. I had some leftover zucchini and red peppers so I threw them in to this recipe. The soup was very tasty and hearty but I should have cut the squash up smaller (though in all fairness cutting squash is hard).


  • 4 ounces pancetta, 1/2 -inch-diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) diced carrots (3 carrots)
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)
  • 2 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) diced peeled butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 26 ounces canned or boxed chopped tomatoes, such as Pomi
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (page 62)
  • 1 bay leaf Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked small pasta, such as tubetti (see note)
  • 8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup good dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons pesto (I made mine fresh for a later recipe)




Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaf, 1 table-spoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and pasta and heat through. the soup should be quite thick but if it’s too thick, add more chicken stock. Just before serving, reheat the soup, add the spinach,and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook just until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock, add another teaspoon or two of salt to taste. Serve large shallow bowls of soup.

Zucchini Pastitsio (Mediterranean Baked Beef and Pasta Casserole) March 26, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

Baked pasta, beef, red sauce, cream sauce and veggies. This recipe was right up my ally. I added a red bell pepper because I happened to have one laying around. The recipe was a bit time consuming to put together but it tasted great.


For the Zucchini and Peppers:

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium zucchinis, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Meat Sauce:

  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 small onion, grated (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can puréed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 pinches of nutmeg, divided
  • 2 bay leaves

For the Bechamel:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

For Assembly:

  • 3/4 pound rigatoni or macaroni, cooked al dente and kept warm
  • 2 1/4 cups grated Kefalograviera or Gruyère
  • Non-stick baking spray




For the Zucchini: Adjust oven rack to upper position and preheat broiler to high. Using a large baking sheet, toss zucchini with 3 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper and place in a single layer on the baking sheet. Transfer zucchini to the oven to brown until golden, flipping halfway through, about 8 minutes total. Remove from oven and set aside. Adjust oven rack to center position and reduce oven to 350°F.


For the Meat Sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add ground beef and garlic and cook, breaking up into little bits, until browned, about 8 minutes total. Add onion and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes longer.


Add wine, bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, a pinch of nutmeg, and bay leaves. Season lightly with salt and pepper and stir to combine.


Return to a boil; then, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves, season to taste with salt and pepper, and set sauce aside until you’re ready to assemble the casserole.

For the Bechamel: Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to prevent scorching, until hot. Melt the butter in another small, non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and quickly whisk to combine. Whisking constantly, add the flour mixture to the hot milk in stages, taking care to eliminate lumps to create a smooth sauce. Add heavy cream and lemon zest. Season with salt, pepper and remaining pinch of nutmeg. While the sauce is still hot, quickly whisk in the Romano and eggs. Heat gently while whisking constantly until thickened if necessary.



To Assemble: Combine warm, cooked pasta with Kefalograviera or Gruyère and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Layer with half of zucchini. Top with half of the noodle mixture, followed by half of the white sauce and meat sauce.
Repeat layers, ending with white sauce.
Transfer to the oven to bake until golden and bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately.

Pasta with Red Provençal Pistou March 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

I needed something hearty enough to stand up to the salmon with blue cheese I was making and felt like this recipe would do the trick. I used whole wheat pasta to make it a bit nuttier. The sun dried tomatoes matched the salmon and blue cheese well.


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh basil
  • 20 sundried tomatoes (a full half cup)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound pasta




Bring a large pot of water to boil. While the water is heating, make the pistou. Add the garlic to the food processor, and blitz it to smithereens. Add the basil, sundried tomato, Parmigiano Reggiano, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Blitz in the food processor until you have the consistency of a pesto, scraping down the sides of the bowl once to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.


Salt the boiling water, and cook the tagliatelle for just about 4 minutes, until just cooked. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Toss the tagliatelle with the pistou, adding pasta water as needed to thin out the sauce. Serve immediately.



Broiled Salmon with Blue Cheese, Lemon and Dill March 22, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

I had been looking at this recipe for a while but something about salmon with blue cheese struck me as off. I finally decided that I needed to make it and boy was it good. I used a mild blue cheese so as to not overpower everything which happens quite often in recipes with blue cheese.


  • One 4 1/2-pound wild salmon fillet with skin
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • 4 ounces Maytag blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice




Preheat the oven to 450°. Lay the salmon skin side down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season the salmon with salt and white pepper and dot with the butter.


Roast the salmon in the upper third of the oven for 8 minutes, until just starting to brown on top. Remove the salmon from the oven and preheat the broiler. Set the rack 6 inches from the heat.

In a medium bowl, using a fork, blend the cheese with the dill, shallot, wine and lemon juice.


Dot the mixture evenly over the salmon fillet.


Broil for 10 to 12 minutes, until the salmon is golden brown on top and just cooked through. Transfer the salmon to a very large platter.



Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Meatballs With Chianti Sauce March 20, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

Meatballs in the slow cooker. I have to admit that I was worried about this. Most meat tends to get super soft and crumble so I didn’t know if they would hold up. Luckily for me, they did. The recipe had good flavor and it was nice to not have a pot cooking on the stove all day. I will have to remember this recipe when I am craving meatballs in the summer.


  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded, plus additional for garnishing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole Italian tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup Chianti or other dry red wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound fusilli or other short, ridged or tubular pasta





Place Italian sausage, ground beef, egg, oats, parsley and Parmesan in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and combine with hands, taking care not to over-mix. Form into 1 1/2-inch meatballs and place in the slow cooker.


Add hand-crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, garlic, onion, and vinegar. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir gently to combine, being careful not to break up or crush meatballs, cover and set slow cooker on low for 6 hours. Halfway through cooking, flip meatballs and bathe them in sauce.


When sauce is ready, taste and adjust seasonings. Cook pasta according to package directions. Individually top pasta with meatballs and sauce and garnish with Parmesan, or serve family-style.



Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs With Lemon-Herb Gremolata March 18, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

This meal was a big hit in our house. In the words of my husband “the recipe was complex enough to make you happy and the outcome was delicious enough to make me happy.” The recipe is a big time consuming but it is well worth the wait.


For the Short Ribs:

  • 4 (8-ounce) pieces bone-in short ribs
  • 1 cup flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed between your fingers
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (15.4-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 three-inch strip of orange zest
  • 2 medium cloves peeled garlic, smashed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar

For the Gremolata:

  • 2 tablespoons grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes




Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Combine flour, 1½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large, shallow dish. Dredge short ribs in flour mixture, coating all sides and shaking off excess.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat until smoking. Brown short ribs two at a side, turning until well browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total per batch. Transfer seared ribs to a large plate.

Add red wine to pan, scraping browned bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for a minute before adding tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, red peppers, bay leaves, onion, orange zest, garlic and sugar.


Return to a boil, cover, place in oven and braise until meat is tender, 2 ½ to 3 hours, turning ribs half way through cooking. Season braising liquid to taste with salt and pepper.

While the short ribs are cooking, combine the lemon zest, parsley, garlic, and pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt.

When meat is finished, allow to rest for at least 10 minutes, or for better results, cool and reheat the next day. Discard bay leaves, onions, zest and garlic. Place short ribs on a platter, drizzle with braising liquid and top with a gentle shower of gremolata.