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Posts from the ‘Quick Dinner’ Category

Grilled Flank Steak with Rosemary and Simple Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Happy New Year!  We may be 15 days into 2013, but better late than never, right?  I started 2013 off with moving into a new apartment and attempting to settle into a new – and much smaller – kitchen.  A lot of my baking and cooking pans are in piles in my living room or stacked on my book shelves.  I just have so much stuff, and it’s stuff I just can’t bear to part with.  It’s all still a work in progress, but it’s slowly getting better.  If anyone out there wants to help me install a hanging pot rack, please let me know.

The first post of 2013 is dedicated to all the meat-lovers out there.  My last six (!) posts were all baking all, all the time.  I unsurprisingly got no complaints, but I do occasionally like cook.  Lately all I’ve had the patience for while working in a half-unpacked kitchen is simple meals, and this one was a hit.  I like steak.  I like Brussels sprouts.  I put them together with some rosemary and garlic.  Done.

As you can see from the pictures, I overcooked my steak a bit.  It was still delicious, but try not to cook it more than medium!

Grilled Flank Steak with Rosemary and Simple Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

One year ago: White Chocolate and Sour Cherry Scones, Nutella Oatmeal Cream Pies, and Greek New Year’s Cake (Vassilopita)
Two years ago: Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins, Black-eyed Peas with Garlicky Black Pepper Shrimp, and Six Days in Rome: a Food Retrospective

Grilled Flank Steak with Rosemary and Simple Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Recipe by Pâte à Chew

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
6 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 2-pound flank steak

Brussels Sprouts
1 pound Brussels Sprouts, rinsed and cut in half length-wise
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  For the steak: mix all ingredients except steak in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish, then add steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, turning occasionally.

2.  Prepare grill (medium-high heat) or preheat your broiler. Remove meat from marinade; discard marinade. Grill steak to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.

3.  For the Brussels sprouts: While your steak is cooking, heat 1/4 olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add Brussels sprouts, salt, pepper, and garlic, and sauté until tender, stirring occasionally to ensure the vegetables aren’t charring on the bottom.

Transfer steak to cutting board, and let stand 5 minutes to allow the meat to rest. Slice across grain into thin strips.

Three-Pea Chicken Salad

mayo-less chicken salad, no mayo chicken salad, chicken salad without mayo

It’s now officially Spring!  I may still have a few more Winter-y posts up my sleeve, but now that the official start of Spring has passed, I think we’re all in the mood to see some green.  This chicken salad just screams Spring – three types of bright green peas, and a naturally creamy but low-fat dressing.  It is both gorgeous and delicious.  And the best part?  No mayo!  You may recall my hatred of mayonnaise from my French Potato Salad post.  I hate the taste of mayo, and all the fat it brings to a dish, and this chicken salad avoids both those things!

One note – this recipe is heavy on fresh tarragon, which I despise, so I left it out.  With the chives, parsley, shallots, garlic, and my own additions of a little red wine vinegar and mustard, I didn’t think the salad needed any more herbs or flavoring.  But if you like tarragon, you should absolutely add some!

mayo-less chicken salad, no-mayo chicken salad, chicken salad without mayo

One year ago: Lemon Chicken + Roasted Asparagus

Three-Pea Chicken Salad

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Serves 4

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

2 large shallots, 1 halved, 1 minced
3 garlic cloves, 2 smashed, 1 minced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon or stone-ground mustard, or more to taste
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, or more to taste
1/2 pound thinly sliced stringed sugar snap peas
1 cup shelled fresh English (or frozen, thawed) peas
1/2 cup thinly sliced stringed snow peas
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lemon juice
8 slices toasted whole grain bread and/or lettuce leaves

1.  Place halved shallot, smashed garlic cloves, and chicken in a medium saucepan.  Add water to cover by 1 inch and season with salt and pepper. Bring water to a boil; remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand until chicken is just cooked through, 15–25 minutes, depending on size of chicken breasts. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool. Shred or dice the chicken.

2.  Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, oil, minced shallot, minced garlic clove, mustard, and red wine vinegar in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.

3.  Combine all peas in a medium bowl.  Add chicken, dressing, parsley, chives, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice; toss to coat.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice, if desired.  Serve over toasted bread and/or lettuce leaves.

Orecchiette with Spinach, Chickpeas, and Pimentón

March is a tough month.  It’s still winter up in New York City, and people start to go a little stir crazy.  Luckily, I just returned from a mini vacation to the Sunshine State.  And let me tell you, it is hard being back in New York.  Sure, we’ve been having a pretty mild winter here, but nothing beats 75 and sunny every day for 5 days straight!

Speaking of sun, while we might have a good month or two of cold weather ahead of us, bathing suit season will be here before you know it.  I made this dish a while ago, and it falls into the “quick and healthy dinner” category of recipes.  Whole wheat pasta (or plain if you prefer), chickpeas, and spinach – all combined with plenty of garlic and a fun spice called pimentón.  Pimentón is Spanish paprika, and has a sweet, smokey flavor and bright orange hue.  I bought pimentón some time ago and finally got around to trying it.  Thank you to Food & Style for the recipe, it turned out lovely.

This makes a lot of pasta (6 big servings), and I found that I liked the dish more after it had been sitting in the fridge a day or two!  If you can, definitely use the Manchengo cheese – it’s one of my favorites, and the nutty flavor goes perfectly with the smokey pimentón.

One year ago: Banana Daiquiris

Orecchiette with Spinach, Chickpeas, and Pimentón

Adapted from Food & Style

Makes 6 servings

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 tablespoon sea salt for the pasta water
12 oz dried orecchiette pasta (I used whole wheat)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, skinned and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons pimentón dulce (Spanish smoked, sweet paprika)
2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 15 oz canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed) (I used canned)
12 oz baby spinach, rinsed and spun dry
1/3 cup cooking liquid from chickpeas or pasta water
1 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Manchengo, shredded, for garnish

1.  Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil. Once waters is boiling, add a few big pinches of kosher salt and the pasta.  Cook pasta until tender but still al dente. Drain well.

2.  While the orecchiette is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil and garlic.  Sauté for 30 seconds until the garlic begins to sizzle, stirring constantly and making sure it doesn’t brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Just before the pasta is ready, reheat the garlic oil over high heat. As soon as the garlic sizzles, add the cayenne, pimentón, chickpeas, and spinach. Toss the mixture together until the spinach starts to wilt, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Next, add the pasta, cooking liquid from chickpeas or pasta water, sea salt, and pepper. Toss quickly and remove from heat.

4.  Spoon orecchiette into bowls, and garnish with Manchego, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve immediately.

Barley and Vegetable Risotto

I’ve been wanting to share this recipe for a while, and I finally got around to both making and photographing it.  So here it is – my favorite kind of risotto.  Sure, risotto is normally made with Arborio rice, but you might be surprised to learn that pearl barley also makes a great risotto. 

Barley is incredibly healthy – besides being a whole grain, pearl barley has 8 grams of fiber per serving.  You can make cold salads out of it, but making it risotto-style is my favorite.  Why?  You can change up the recipe in an endless number of ways.  You can make it vegetarian by subbing vegetable stock for chicken stock; you can use red or white wine, or omit the wine all together; you can add any variety and combination of vegetables; you can add legumes, meat, or seafood (some Cannellini beans and/or pan-seared shrimp would be lovely here) to beef up the dish.  Long story short: if you have barley and some stock, you can dump whatever is in your fridge and pantry into your risotto and have a fantastic meal.

Pearl Barley, Barley

One year ago: Brisket + Easy Roasted Potato Wedges

Barley and Vegetable Risotto

Total time: 1 hours

Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients

6 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, diced
1/4 teaspoon thyme (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup red or white wine (optional)
1 cup pearled barley
1 cup beans, canned or precooked
2 cups spinach
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half (or whole if you prefer)
1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper

1.  In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer over moderately high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.

2.  In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallot and thyme, if using, and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is softened, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute.  Add the barley and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add the wine, if using, and cook with the barley, stirring until absorbed, about one minute.

3.  Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook, stirring, until nearly absorbed.  Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring each time, until nearly absorbed.  Risotto isn’t  hard to make, but it’s a little labor intensive – you need to stir it quite a bit while you go through the process of adding stock, because the stiring and working of the grain coaxes the starch out and gives the dish its creaminess.  Most barley risottos are done when the barley is al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, and this takes me around 45 minutes.  You may not end up using all the stock, but I did – I like my barley risotto to have a little more of a sauce than risotto made with Arborio rice.  When you’re getting close to using up all the stock, add the asparagus to the simmering stock and let cook for a few minutes.  Add the rest of the stock and the asparagus to the risotto.  Add the tomatoes, and let simmer for a few minutes, then add spinach and let it wilt and then cook for an additional minute.  Stir in the 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately, passing more cheese at the table.

Salmon with Lentils

There isn’t much new to report from the Pâte à Chew Kitchen – I’ve been spending these cold winter days primarily working a lot, spending quality time at the gym, and thinking about new and fun recipes to try.  I’m also still focused on staying healthy (I promise I didn’t eat too many of the delicious Linzer Cookies I posted last week!).  This week I decided to try my hand at a traditional French favorite of mine: salmon with lentils.

This has to be one of my favorite light dishes, as it’s filling and satisfying but not heavy in butter or oil.  Plus, it’s got a ton of flavor – red onion, garlic, vinegar, and whole-grain mustard (one of my favorite ingredients!) ensure the lentils aren’t bland or boring.  It’s a simple but elegant dish!

One year ago: Lasagna and Garlic Bread

Salmon with Lentils

A mash-up of recipes adapted from Anne Burrell and Ina Garten

Total time: 1 hour

Serves 4-6

The lentils are great on their own.  To keep vegetarian (actually, vegan) obviously leave out the salmon and bacon.  I left out the bacon because I’m trying to be healthy, and I think the lentils are absolutely fabulous without it.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups green or black lentils
1/2 red onion, peeled, root end left on
1/2 carrot, peeled
1 stalk celery
2 bay leaves
1 small bundle thyme
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Salt

For the lentil garnish:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 slices bacon, cut into lardons (optional)
1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1/2 cup carrot, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Kosher salt

4 or 6-ounce salmon filets

1.  To cook the lentils:

In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients; add water to the pot until it covers the ingredients by about 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

Remove the pot from the heat and season the water with salt. Taste the water to make sure it is seasoned. Let the lentils sit in the salty water for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will allow the lentils to absorb the seasoned water. Ladle off 1 cup of the lentil cooking water and reserve.

Remove all the vegetables and thyme from the lentils and discard.  Strain the lentils from the water.

2.  To assemble the lentils:

Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  If using bacon, add the bacon lardons.  When the bacon has rendered off a lot of fat and has become brown and crispy, add the onions.  If not using the bacon, just add the diced onions to the heated oil.  Season the onions with salt and sweat them until they become very soft and aromatic, about 10 minutes.

Add the celery and carrot. Season with salt and saute over medium heat until the vegetables start to become soft and aromatic, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the cooked lentils, 1/4 of the reserved lentil cooking water, the mustard and vinegar. Cook until most of the liquid has reduced. Taste for seasoning, add salt or more vinegar, if needed. Serve hot or at room temperature.

3.  For the salmon:

While assembling the lentils, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

For the salmon, heat a dry oven-proof saute pan over high heat for 4 minutes.  Meanwhile, rub both sides of the salmon fillets with olive oil and season the tops very liberally with salt and pepper.  When the pan is very hot, place the salmon fillets seasoning-sides down in the pan and cook over medium heat without moving them for 2 minutes, until very browned. Turn the fillets and place the pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until the salmon is cooked rare.  Spoon a mound of lentils on each plate and place a salmon fillet on top.  Serve hot.

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