Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bourbon Peppered Steak

A take-out classic brought home. Joe Barbutes on sauce, ladies and gentlemen.

  • 1/2-3/4 lb sliced steak
  • 1 c dry long grain rice
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped into 3/4" squares
  • 8 oz mushrooms (I used miatake. Use whatever...)
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped into 3/4" squares
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 T canola oil
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 1/4 c brown sugar, loose
  • 1/4 c Jack Daniels
  • 1/2 beef stock
  • crushed black pepper
1. Combine 1 c rice and 2 c water in a pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to LOW, cover, and let simmer untouched for 15 minutes.

2. Chop onion and garlic, add to a frying pan over medium heat with canola oil. Saute 5-8 minutes until onions soften. Add mushrooms and bell peppers. Saute another 5-8 minutes until veggies are al dente. Set aside in a medium bowl.

3. Meanwhile, pat dry beef with paper towel. Season with black pepper. Increase heat in frying pan to Med-High and add beef. Brown for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally so it browns on all sides. Remove from heat.

4. In a mixing bowl, combine soy, sugar, and bourbon.

5. Add beef stock to frying pan to deglaze the pan. Add bourbon sauce mixture to pan and boil on high for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

6. Reduce heat to low, add beef and vegetables. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stuffed Pork Chops with Perogies

These pork chops stuffed with meat are amazing! I served them with perogies and sauerkraut to make the German meal complete.


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 oz frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 pound slice of prosciutto or capocollo, 1 inch thick, cut into small dice
1/4 pound slice of provolone cheese, 1 inch thick, cut into small dice
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 thick-cut pork chops, with a slit for stuffing


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add spinach, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and the Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Remove the spinach mixture to a bowl and let cool. When cool, add the capocollo, provolone cheese and egg; gently stir to combine.

Preheat oven to 375 degree F.Place the pork chops on a flat work surface. Stuff each chop with 1/4 of the stuffing. Secure chops with toothpicks.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large cast iron skillet. Add chops; cook 2 minutes per side or until browned. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bake the chops in the oven for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Serve with perogies and sauerkraut.

Venison Beer Chili

Travis and I participated in a Chili Cook-Off a few weeks ago. Although this chili did not win it received rave reviews. The best part was using Travis' home brew and venison meat from deer season.


Serves 8 to 10

5 pounds venison roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
2 red chiles, seeded and chopped
1 (12-ounce) bottle dark Mexican beer*
6 cups beef broth
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground ancho chile pepper
1 tablespoon roasted ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
6 tablespoons flour

Toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese, pickled jalapeños


Soak the venison in water and 1/2 tsp salt for at least 15 minutes. Rinse and coat in 2 to 3 Tbs flour.

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook venison for 4 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan, and keep warm.

Add onions, poblano peppers, jalapeños, and chiles to Dutch oven; cook for 8 minutes or until peppers are tender. Add beer; cook for 3 minutes. Add broth, tomato sauce, chili powder, ancho chile pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder. Stir in meat and beans. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until meat is tender. Add the rest of the flour (3 Tbs), stirring until mixture is thickened. Serve with desired toppings.

Chicken Thighs with Figs and Balsamic Cream

This creamy chicken thigh dish was so delicious! I served it over couscous which worked really well.

As a note, you can also use dried figs if fresh are not available. I used about 6 dried figs and quartered them. I made a Dried Fig and Port Wine Compote, recipe courtesy of food networks, with the rest of the dried figs and served it with cheese and crackers as an appetizer for days.

Serves 4

2 Tbs olive oil
8 boneless chicken things
1/2 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp black pepper
2 shallots
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6-10 figs, depending on size, quartered
1/2 cup cream


In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle things with the salt and pepper. Add it to the skillet and cook for about 6 minutes per side or until done. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Add shallots to skillet and saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and vinegar and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates, scraing the brown bits from the bottom. dd the remaining chicken broth and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is reduced by half. Add the figs, cream and chicken, cook for 4 to 5 minutes until thick.

Serve over couscous.