That being said, overall, this was very tasty. Who would have guessed that black beans could be that filling. What made the tostadas a bit special was the cumin salt that was sprinkled on top of the bean and vegetable mixture. I purchased the smallest package of tortillas, but another person suggested skipping the tortillas and just serve the filling over brown rice.
The next supper we had was a wonderful Soy Sauce Marinated Grilled Flank Steak and Scallions. I found this recipe by Claire Saffitz in “Bon Appétit Magazine,” from June/July 2019. I recently purchased a flank steak and was looking for a new recipe to try. I had all but one ingredient on hand, the scallions. Besides the flank steak and scallions, you’ll need extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine), soy sauce, light brown sugar, distilled white vinegar, Sriracha, toasted sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds.
This recipe uses a reverse marinade, the cooked meat has the marinade poured over it and rests in the sauce for 15 minutes to absorb the flavors. The marinade is made of mirin, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, Sriracha and sesame oil. The scallions are tossed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled prior to the meat until charred and tender.
My husband commented the meat would not be hot enough to enjoy despite the fact it was covered. While it did loose some heat, we both thought the preparation was delicious. The meat absorbed the flavors, was tender and juicy.
For our weekday lunches, I either make roast beef or boneless turkey breast which my husband slices using our electric meat slicer. Lately, I’ve been having difficulty finding boneless turkey. I’ve now switched to bone-in split chicken breasts for lunch. If you didn’t know it, the red Wegmans family pack is actually Bell & Evans brand. I roast the chicken breasts and make chicken salad. I shred the chicken, add mayo, diced celery, chopped walnuts, chopped dried cranberries, salt and pepper. I recently came across a recipe by Deb Perelman of the Smitten Kitchen. We both use the same basic ingredients, however, she adds chopped shallots, tarragon vinegar (can use champagne or white wine vinegar) and fresh tarragon (or herb of your choice). Wow, what a difference in flavors with just a few adjustments. I used champagne vinegar and parsley, because that’s what I had on hand, and it was so fresh tasting. This will be my new “go to” recipe for chicken salad.
Another recipe that I’ve had for a while was found in The Wall Street Journal back in April 2018 for Asparagus Spaghetti with Meyer Lemon and Calabrian Chile. As this is peak asparagus season, I couldn’t wait to try this. Aside from the obvious ingredients, you’ll need extra-virgin olive oil, fennel pollen or toasted and ground fennel seed, unsalted butter, kosher salt and Parmigiano-Reggiano for garnishing.
I would recommend looking for fatter asparagus stalks for this recipe as you have to use either a vegetable peeler or mandoline to make ribbons. For this recipe you’ll need two Meyer Lemons. When I was at my local Wegmans, they only offered bagged Meyer Lemons. As I only needed two, I decided to purchase them at Delicious Orchards. Unfortunately, they were unavailable there. A quick Google search for a substitute was required. Meyer Lemons are said to be sweeter and less astringent than regular lemons. I found that you could use equal parts lemon, orange, tangerine or mandarin zest for Meyer Lemon zest. I purchased beautiful navel oranges and regular lemons to replicate the flavor by using their zest and juice in place.
What a scrumptious pasta dish! The citrus flavor was subtle and you had a little heat on the back of the palate from the Calabrian chiles. This was a very flavorsome dish and light tasting; overall fabulous.
The last recipe of the week was stuffed peppers. I have approximately a half dozen stuffed pepper recipes on my blog, but I did find a recipe by Lidey Heuck of The New York Times/Cooking to be interesting. For Ms. Heuck’s recipe you’ll need, colorful peppers (red, orange or yellow), olive oil, fennel or celery, yellow onion, fresh garlic, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, ground beef (can use turkey, chicken or pork), white wine (or chicken or vegetable broth), diced fire roasted tomatoes, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, cooked white or brown rice, grated Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and shredded mozzarella.
I like the thought of using fennel as flavoring for the filling. Fire roasted tomatoes would have a slightly sweeter taste and subtle smokiness adding another layer of flavor. Using white wine in lieu of chicken stock adds yet another flavor and complexity to the dish.
These stuffed peppers were delightful. The vegetable mixture kept the filling light, moist and flavorful. Another great version of a standard comfort meal.
PS- I made the pizza by layering shredded gruyere cheese as a base, topped with brown sugar Delicata squash and finished with shredded Gouda that I place on top the pizza a few minutes before removing from the grill just to melt the cheese. I cook my pizza outside on my Weber grill.
Sheet-Pan Tostadas with Black Beans & Peppers
Melissa Clark, “Sheet-Pan Suppers Without the Meat”
The New York Times, September 21, 2018
Servings: 4 to 6 servings*
Time: 1 hour
3 medium bell peppers, thinly sliced (preferably at least one red and one yellow)
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
4 thyme sprigs
2 (14- to 16-ounce) cans black beans, drained
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with their liquid
1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
2 large garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Sliced avocado, for serving
Crumbled queso fresco or grated white Cheddar, for serving (optional)
Chopped cilantro leaves, for serving
Soy Sauce-Marinated Grilled Flank Steak and Scallions
“Bon Appétit Magazine,” June/July 2019
Recipe by Claire Saffitz
“We're flipping the script and marinating after grilling. Inspired by the technique called escabèche, where cooked fish and meat are preserved in an acidic mixture, we're cooking first, marinating second—in this case, it's in a spicy-sweet soy sauce-brown sugar-Sriracha mixture. Because flank steak is flavorful but quite lean, take care not to overcook it (medium-rare is best) and be absolutely certain you’re slicing against the grain.”
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for grill
1½ lb. flank steak
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 bunch scallions, trimmed
¼ cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1 Tbsp. Sriracha
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
Toasted sesame seeds (for serving)
Cranberry-Walnut Chicken Salad
From Deb Perelman, “The Smitten Kitchen,” website
Adapted quite loosely from “Gourmet Magazine”
Makes 4 to 6 Servings
4 cups cubed (1/2 inch) cooked chicken (about 1 3/4 lb.) (I like to brine mine first, then poach it in water for 15 to 20 minutes because I am completely neurotic about chicken getting dried out in any way.)
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 celery rib, diced into small bits (1 cup)
2 or more tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 cup dried cranberries
2/3 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar, if you have it, or champagne or white wine vinegar works well, too
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon or herb or your choice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Works well with leftover Thanksgiving turkey and chopped pecans
Asparagus Spaghetti with Meyer Lemon and Calabrian Chile
“Noodle Around with Spring Produce,” by Eleanore Park
Adapted from Nick Curtola of the Four Horsemen, Brooklyn NY
The Wall Street Journal, Eating and Drinking Section
Saturday/Sunday March 31-April 1, 2018
Total Time: 20 minutes
1-pound trimmed asparagus (I suggest purchasing fat asparagus as it will make it easier to make ribbons)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dried Calabrian chiles (found at my local Wegmans)
2 teaspoons fennel pollen (can substitute 2 teaspoons of toasted and ground fennel seed)
2 Meyer Lemons (found a bag at Wegmans. Delicious Orchards carries when the quality meets their standards)
1 cup pasta cooking water
½-cup (1 stick unsalted butter)
Parmigiano-Reggiano for garnishing
By Lidey Heuck
The New York Times/Cooking
Servings: 6 to 8
Time: 1-1/4 hours
4 large red, orange or yellow bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped fennel bulb (about ½ a small bulb) or celery
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about 1 small)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 pound ground beef (at least 15 percent fat), turkey, chicken or pork
¾ cup dry white wine, chicken broth or vegetable broth
1(14-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
1 cup cooked white or brown rice
¼ cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus more for serving (optional)
1cup shredded mozzarella, provolone or other semi firm cheese
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.