Chipotle Steak Tacos

Chipotle Steak Tacos

Tonight’s late-night dinner was these awesome tacos!

I started with choice Black Angus stew meat (1.25 pounds for $5), sliced against the grain and trimmed of fat and sinew.  I marinated the slices for 8 hours in a mix of olive oil, cumin powder, garlic powder, crushed mexican oregano (with buds), thyme, coarse black pepper, salt, and Worcestershire sauce.

Blackened Jalapenos

Next, I blackened/smoked some fresh jalapeno peppers (that were a little past their prime, but I didn’t want to discard) over the burner on a gas stove.

While sautéing the marinated beef slices (in the marinade) with a mexican hot sauce (Valentina brand Salsa Picante) added, I warmed some corn tortillas in a pan.

The tacos were assembled on the tortillas and topped with fire-roasted tomato (Hunt’s, canned), sour cream, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, black beans, and slices of the jalapeno peppers.


Pepper Steak and Tofu

Pepper Steak and Tofu

I made up this dish based on leftover ingredients from other recent meals; it is essentially a tasty combination of asian pepper steak and fried rice.

I used Angus Beef stew meat, thinly sliced. I also used tofu, cut into 1/4″ thick triangle-shaped pieces and fried in shallow peanut oil, so that just one side was browned. I like this restaurant-inspired way to prepare the tofu for its visual appeal.

The beef is sautéed in peanut oil with minced fresh garlic and ginger, then with coarsely diced green bell pepper and white onion. I also added some rice (prepared earlier), fresh whole basil leaves, and stir fried it, and mixed with a brown sauce of water, white wine, rice vinegar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, black bean paste, chili garlic sauce, and honey then reduced to desired consistency.

Rice Stick Noodle and Beef Sauté

Rice Stick Noodle and Beef Sauté

This dish is my approximation of a favorite a local noodle restaurant where it goes simply by the name “D8.” :-)

Stir fried in canola oil, ingredients are: sliced beef (I used relatively inexpensive Angus Beef stew meat), jalapeno slices, minced garlic, minced ginger, bean sprouts, scallion, egg scrambled in a bit of sesame oil, and combined with sauce consisting of fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce, rice vinegar, and honey, cooked until sauce reduced to desired consistency.

The noodles were extras, left over from my recent Pad Thai, and had been sitting in water in the refrigerator for a few days. (This seemed to neither hurt nor help; the noodles were just as they were after soaking only a half hour or so.)

This dish is a variation of fried flat noodles known as “Char Kueh Teow” as in the following recipes, popular in Malaysia and Singapore. It’s probably no surprise, then also, that it is somewhat similar to Pad Thai from adjacent Thailand, that is partially located on the Malay Peninsula.

“Fried Flat Noodles/Char Kueh Teow”

“Char Kuey Teow (炒粿條/Penang Fried Flat Noodles)”

“Fried Flat noodle (Char Kueh Tiaw)”

Grilled Sirloin Steak with Corn Salsa

Grilled Sirloin Steak with Corn Salsa

This is a dish with some great fresh and crisp textures.

Prepare a salsa, e.g., Fire Roasted Sweet Corn and Avocado Salsa.

Marinate the steak for 8+ hours in a marinade of Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, cumin powder, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.
Grill steak to medium rare or medium, let stand 5 to 10 minutes, and thinly slice.
Prepare crispy torilla strips by cutting corn tortillas into short strips and pan frying in oil.
Serve sliced steak topped with corn salsa, perhaps a hot sauce (I used Valentina Salsa Picante), and tortilla strips.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage with Garlic Mashed Yellow Potatoes

OK, this was an easy to prepare, so perhaps not worth describing, but I’d never made it before and it’s always been one of my favorites.

I bought the brisket already brined and used the included pickling spices so can’t take credit other than taking it out at the right time: ~3 hours total at 350°F (4 lbs). The cabbage was in just for the last half hour.

I prepared half the cabbage separately with cumin seed and smoked paprika… if you like cumin, that was a pretty good addition.

Served with Garlic Mashed Yellow Potatoes.

Cornish Pasties

Cornish Pasties

If you’re in need of a respite from foul weather and misery, try making comforting Cornish pasties. History has it that these originated in Cornwall, UK, and were popular with miners; subsequent immigration seems to be the basis for their popularity in regions of the U.S. Some sources claim that a miner would hold the pasty by the crimped crust, eat the center, and then discard the crust as it may have been poisoned by tin ore dust from the miner’s hands.
Here are two varieties I just made:

Traditional: beef, rutabaga, potato, and onion
Traditionally, the crust is filled with raw ingredients then baked, e.g.:

Beef with Caramelized Onions and Stilton Cheese

These shown are halved as they were unusually large with 10″ pie crust. Next time I’ll try the pastry on my own and aim for serving-size. Feel free to have your own debate about whether the crimp should be on the side or the top. I used this video as a reference: but there are lots of others on youtube involving people recording their grandmum’s version. :-)

Mediterranean Beef with Hummus

Meditterranean Beef with Hummus

ingredients: beef, e.g., lean ground, top sirloin (shown here), or top round sliced against grain (if possible), hummus, slivered almonds, garlic, oregano, paprika, tomatoes [, green and kalamata olives, onion, pepper.] sauce: goat’s milk or greek style yogurt, cucumber, dill, minced garlic [, vinegar]. directions: prepare yogurt sauce a day in advance if possible (quartered and sliced cucumber, peeled if you wish). sauté beef with garlic, spicy or smoked paprika, black pepper, hot sauce, e.g., Cholula [, add sliced green olives, serano peppers]; serve over warm hummus, top with toasted slivered almonds, garnish with tomatoes and/or kalamata olives, yogurt sauce and warm pita bread on the side; enjoy.

(This is also great made with lamb; that’s the dish that inspired it from a local restaurant.)