Sweet peppers and onions
This is a very forgiving recipe. You can cook it for 20 to 40minutes, seriously. It’s very tasty whether it cooks for a short or long time. It’s also good hot or cold. It’s a winner.
Rack of lamb with sweet peppers and pita
This is a surprisingly tasty recipe for how easy it is. Below is the recipe for the lamb. Here is the recipe for the peppers. Swap out pita for buckwheat, or lentils to lower the glycemic index of this meal.
Start the peppers the same time as you start the meat. Artistically place the lamb on top of the peppers. Serve with pita. Level up by adding a dollop of yogurt to the plate.
Cooked seafood: Lobster, shrimp
Basic salad of kale with lemon, olive oil with salt
Lemon + olive oil dipping sauce for seafood
Seafood salad (yes, seafood with mayo and Cajun seasoning)
I got some ground bison from a farmer’s market in Ybor City in Tampa, Florida. The harissa was on the sale table at the Publix and the inspiration for this meal. This meal is flavor-filled and gluten free.
Sides are arugula and cucumber salad with a lemon and sesame oil dressing, and Korean carrots (which is actually a Russian recipe).
The recipe below is just for the meatballs.
Ingredients (For a meal for 2 people)
Red lentil dal
The lentils should be saucy but not soupy. Remove the cloves and the cardamom pods (they're edible, though) before serving.
Add oil to the pan, along with garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add red lentils, salt/bouillon, and water to cover the lentils 1/2 inch. Add cloves or cardamom. Bring to boil and cook for 20-30 minutes... test the lentils to make sure they’re done, meaning that the center of the lentil is no longer hard.
This recipe takes about 20 minutes. It’s a fast and fresh dinner than works in every season.
This salad serves as a full meal. It’s easy to make, and fast, because there aren’t too many ingredients, yet it’s so very delicious. The crunch of the cabbage pairs well with the savory chicken or shrimp. The dressing is a simplified Vietnamese nuoc cham.
Combine all ingredients, coating everything in the dressing. Enjoy.
I’m doing a whole post on steak because, well, steak deserves it. Steak can be intimidating for people... and it can feel high steaks (see what I did there) if it doesn’t go right.
I don’t buy steak that is over $15.99/lb. Also know I WILL NOT buy the most affordable steak product, chuck roast. It’s not tasty, even when you cook it for hours. Or days. Not worth it. I also do not like short ribs, even boneless short ribs. I just don’t get it. Ground beef has it’s own use and I don’t address it in this post. I very much appreciate ground beef.
I’m usually purchasing a top sirloin or skirt steak. What I’m looking for is a cut with some “marbling” or fat, but not too much. I always end up cutting the extra fat off, so why would I pay for that?
I usually cook steak 1-3 days after going to the grocery store, after eating the fish that I bought from the store. Fish goes bad faster, so it’s the first thing I cook after going to the grocery store.
The best thing you can do to make your steak great is to salt it 24 hours prior to cooking it. Up to 48 hours is fine. Raw steak won’t keep for much more after that, though the salt helps.
The second best thing to do for your steak is to take it out of the freezer at least 15 min before you cook it. Ideally, the steak would be room temperature when you start cooking it. Room temperature steak means that the steak would cook more evenly and it’s less likely that you’ll have a burnt exterior and too-raw interior.
You’ll want your pan over medium-high heat. Add a thin slice of butter or a squirt of olive oil once the pan is hot, then add the steak. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the meat. For an inch of meat, sear 2-3 minutes/side, getting a dark brown seared color. That’s where all the flavor is.
Let the steak rest 5-10 minutes before you cut into it. If you cut in sooner, all the tasty juices will run out of the steak. Letting it rest seals in the juices and flavor.
Pay attention to the smells of your pan and steak. As you make more steak, you’ll be able to trust your nose to know when to flip the steak. You’ll also start to get the feel for how stiff the steak becomes as it cooks. The more well-done it is, the stiffer the steak.
I go for medium-rare. It’s a celebration of the meat. A well-done steak has left flavor dimensions.
Gordon Ramsay has a much watched YouTube video on how to make the perfect steak. How he moved the steak and bastes the steak with butter is quite sophisticated. You can graduate to that at some point, but the method above sure does work. I bet it would be closer to Gordon Ramsay’s if there was a 1/2 stick of butter and more salt on the steak. Just saying.
If I’m feeling sophisticated, I’ll smash a piece of garlic and fry it in my little bit of oil, for a minute or two, before adding the steak. You could also add a piece or two of onion, fresh rosemary, or fresh sage. Dry herbs will burn.
I’ve now taken to cooking a large piece of steak and having it ready to go for my next few meals. Cooked steak stays good for much longer than raw steak. If I know I’m going to be keeping some in the fridge, I super make sure to keep it on the rare-medium-rare side, so when I heat it up, it’s still good and not overcooked. When I’m ready to eat the steak, I cut it into bite size pieces and arrange it in a ring on a dish so the pieces warm up evenly. If it’s a weak microwave, I just zap it for 30 or 45 seconds. If it’s a strong microwave, I cook it for 90 seconds on power level 5 and see where that gets me.