Maple Chipotle Skirt Steak

In a large plastic sealing storage bag, marinate a 1 1/2 lb. skirt steak in enough Stonewall Kitchen Maple Chipotle or your favorite grilling sauce to coat the steak and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight is best. When ready to cook, take out and bring to room temperature. Wipe off excess grilling sauce.

In a cast iron skillet, brown steak on both sides 4-6 minutes depending on thickness. Goal is medium rare. Let rest on a plate. In the same skillet, brown a diced onion and then add 1 can drained black beans. Stir until blended and hot.

Slice steak and serve with beans & onions topped with salsa.

Spicy Chicken Thighs

In a shallow bowl, mix together 1 tsp. each turmeric, garlic powder, coriander, cardamom, ginger. 1/2 tsp. cayenne. 1/4 tsp. sea salt. Coat 4 large chicken thighs with olive oil. Roll them in the spice mix to evenly cover.

In a large skillet, brown the coated chicken thighs in a fry pan on medium high heat in a little more olive oil. Remove to a plate. In the same skillet, brown a sliced onion and scrape pan to keep drippings loose with onions. Add back the chicken thighs and place skillet in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes until chicken and onions are crispy. Serve with couscous.

Use leftover chicken for salads.

Pork Chop Stretch

Fresh Direct delivered 4 bone-in pork chops.

Making everything stretch as much as possible:

Meal #1. Season 2 chops with salt & pepper & garlic salt. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat, brown both sides with no oil until forms a golden crust on each side. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. In the skillet, add a little butter, balsamic vinegar and scrape pan to incorporate crispy cracklings. Serve sauce over pork chops with rice & peas.

Meal #2. Brown 1 chop on both sides on the bottom of a stock pot. Use a little olive oil. Add 1 can whole Cento tomatoes, season with oregano, basil, garlic salt, ground pepper, pepperoncini flakes. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer until sauce is thick and pork chops fall apart, tender and moist. Serve with pasta and grated reggiano parmesan/ romano cheese.

Meal #3. Brown the remaining pork chop and cut into small pieces. Use any leftover pork from meal #1 and cut up as well. In a large sauce pan, brown 1 sliced onion, the pork, and a sliced bell pepper and a sliced chili pepper. Add 1 can black or kidney beans. Stir. Add 1 jar favorite salsa. Stir. Season if necessary depending on the salsa with a little cumin and cayenne. Stir. Cover and simmer for an hour. Uncover until thickens for a chili dip or in a bowl with grated cheddar.

Flexible Salmon

This method is fool-proof for silky slightly rare filets for later use cold or served hot after a flash broil. And no smelly kitchen.

Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Place the fresh skinless salmon filets over the oil. Top with a favorite Asian sauce or lemon slices with pepper and garlic powder and/or capers or dill weed. Drizzle olive oil on top.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Bake the filets at 200 degrees for 45 minutes. Yes. That’s right.

For a hot dinner, remove any lemon slices and pop under a pre-heated broiler just for a couple minutes to cook more and brown on top. Or refrigerate and serve cold later with a sauce verte or in a salad.

St. Pat’s Soup

No corned beef. No cabbage. But. Have brussel sprouts. Carrots. And. Ham. So. Soup.

In a large saucepan, heat 1 large box low-salt chicken broth. Add trimmed, halved brussel sprouts, sliced carrots, sliced onion optional, and diced ham steak. Season with generous amount of crushed black pepper, not salt with ham. But taste it to see. Bring to boil and then simmer until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Sláinte

Veggie Chili

Serves 8+ dinners for corona isolation:

In a large stock pot, brown these trimmed/chopped veggies in olive oil:
1- 2 small red onions
2 zucchinis
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2-3 jalapeño peppers

Add 3 small cans each (drained):
black beans
kidney beans
white beans

Stir. Add 1 large can whole tomatoes. Stir. Add 1 large jar Desert Pepper Salsa with corn. Stir. Season with:

Garlic powder to taste
Sea salt to taste
3-4 tsps. cumin
1-2+ tsps. cayenne to taste

Stir and cover. Bring to boil then turn to low heat simmer for an hour. Stir and partially uncover and continue to simmer until thickens for another hour or more. Bring back to boil before serving.

Top with minced red onion, shredded cheddar and tortilla chips on the side.

Cabin Fever Frittata

For these hunker-down days, an easy dinner made with whatever’s in the fridge. For each serving, fork-fold 2 eggs with a little plain yogurt or milk for the base. Pre-heat oven broiler to high.

In a fry pan, melt butter and brown any of the following in proportions to taste:

diced red onion and/or scallions
diced bell peppers
diced hot peppers
other diced vegs such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini
chopped mushrooms
chopped/crumbled ham or bacon or sausage

Season with garlic powder. When everything is brown, add the beaten eggs to the pan and stir until sides and bottom set. Top with shredded cheddar, jack or Swiss. Place fry pan under the pre-heated broiler until eggs are golden brown and cheese bubbly. Serve with hot sauce of your choice. Also good with a side of roasted or home-fried potatoes.

Super Bowl Chili

In a large stock pot, brown two small red onions, diced. Add 1 orange or red, 1 yellow bell pepper, and 2-3  jalapeño peppers, diced. Brown. Add 1+ lb. ground beef, pork and/or sausage (out of casings) of your choice. Brown meat. Add 2 cans low-salt black beans, 2 cans low-salt kidney beans. (Proportions to taste). Stir. Season with 1-2 tsp. garlic powder, 2 tsp. cumin and 1/2 tsp. cayenne, salt to taste. Stir. Add 1 can whole tomatoes and 1 large jar medium hot salsa with corn. Add another 2 tsp. cumin and 1/2 tsp. cayenne. Stir. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer covered on low heat for an hour. Stir. Partially uncover and simmer for another hour or longer until thickens. Stir periodically.

When ready to eat, turn it up to high to get it hot. Serve in bowls topped with grated cheddar and side of tortilla chips.

Go Niners!

Linguine alle Vongole

At mAd Ben’s uptown NYC flat. What a treat.

Sweet & fresh little necks from Whole Foods Columbus Circle.

Serves 4. Figure 1 dozen little necks per person.

In a bowl or glass container, add the following:

A generous half cup of olive oil
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
6 cloves of garlic (3 chopped, 3 mashed)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
3 tbs. UNsalted butter

In a deep stock pot, heat 3 tbs. vegetable oil so that a drop of water sizzles. Add the 4 dozen cleaned little neck clams. Cover and keep on high heat until clams start to open and release their juices, 4-5 minutes.

Add above sauce ingredients, stir and cover for another 3-5 minutes until all clams have opened and sauce is heated. Typically a clam or two won’t open, so don’t overcook the others, just discard the unopened ones.

Concurrently prepare enough linguine to serve 4.

Ladle clams and sauce over the pasta evenly in each pasta dish. Have a crusty bread on hand to sop up extra sauce.

The star is the sauce, finished by the nectar of the little necks. mAd Ben’s were perfectly cooked.

Braised Boneless Short Ribs

Sal the Butcher at Citarella suggested boneless short ribs. Intuitively not right for this cook. Bones bring flavor. Yet. I okayed the choice. Nicely marbled, trimmed, sans sinew. So. Tried them and a new method, too.

Oven braise was de rigueur in the past. But. New gas stove has a fan which hits at 325 degrees and never shuts off. Not pleasant in an open space when the recipe called for 375 degrees for at least 3 hours. Decided to go for top-of-the-burner. The only caveat. Have to keep up the heat to at least medium low.

Also. Changed up the prep and marinade. In a large glass bowl:

2-3 lbs. boneless short ribs
1 large carrot medium chop
1 large parsnip medium chop
1 leek sliced
1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves
2 stalks celery medium slice
1/4 cup whole multi-colored peppercorns
1 tbs. garlic powder
2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 bottle good dry red wine- this time Oregon Pinot Noir

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bring to room temperature when ready to cook. Remove short ribs from the marinade. Place on paper towels to dry. Dredge lightly on all sides in flour, shake off any excess.

Strain the marinated vegetables from the wine liquid. Reserve both in separate bowls.

In a large stockpot on the stovetop, heat olive oil and brown 1 large onion medium chop. Add short ribs in stages so that all sides are golden brown. Remove short ribs to a bowl when they are browned. Deglaze stock pot with a little chicken stock and pour with browned onions over short ribs in the bowl.

Brown the strained vegetables in the stockpot. Add 1 small can tomato paste to the middle of the pot and brown. Stir in the mirepoix vegetables and blend together. Pour over the short ribs in the bowl. Clean the stockpot.

Slice 4-5 carrots and 2-3 parsnips into large diagonal wedges. Slice one leek and 2 celery stalks into thick slices. Quarter 5-6 small onions. In the stockpot, heat olive oil to medium high heat and brown all the vegetables. Season with thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Add the short ribs and mirepoix vegetables to the stock pot. Stir everything together. Add the reserved wine marinade liquid. Stir. Season with more thyme, salt and pepper, garlic powder and a few red pepper flakes. Stir.

Bring to a boil. Cover. Simmer on medium low heat for 2 hours. Partially uncover and simmer on medium low heat for another 1 hour or more until meat is tender and falls apart. Keep meat covered with vegetables and liquid as it simmers.

Serve with horseradish mashed potatoes.