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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

12/13/2014 Grand Opening of Jillycakes Orlando-Cupcakes

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When you think of cupcakes, what could be a better visual than this entrance? Step into a whimsical world of sweet treats. The atmosphere at Jillycakes will take you back to your childhood. The memories of all things sweet and colorful. Jillian’s cakes are nothing less awesome works of art, masterpieces.

Jillycakes is a gourmet cupcake and specialty cake bakery serving the greater Orlando area of Central Florida. Food Network’s Cupcake Wars Winner!

I met Jillian a couple of years ago while I was catering a party for a friend. She walked in with this cake, that was simply just amazing. The theme for the birthday party was turning 50. Let me just show you what I’m talking about.

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Anyway, her first store opened on 12/13/2014, how cute is that for an opening date, in Winter Park. The shopping center’s backdrop is a lake. It’s beautiful landscaping and water fountains enhance every square foot of this mini mall. Let me give you a peek into Jillycakes. For more information visit their website at www.jillycakesorlando.com.

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Steak Italiano With Roasted Potatoes

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This is a dish that I came up with in my early years of motherhood. I was always playing around in the kitchen with different ingredients and flavors. Using everything I learned from my mother and grandmother, who helped me with having a grasp the importance of learning technique when your learning to cook. Having learned those basic methods, helped me to come into my own style of cooking. This #recipe for my Steak Italiano With Roasted Potatoes combines the influences from both sides of my family. This recipe is so easy, flavorful, and really doesn’t take very long to make. Let me tell you how I did it.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Equipment: 12-inch cast iron skillet, rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons of canola oil (2 tablespoons for the Sofrito0
1 onion cut into chunks
2 large carrots, 1-inch chunks
2 peeled garlic cloves
1 15-ounce can of diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes (really just for color)
3/4 of a cup of unsalted chicken broth

IngredientsFor Steaks:
2 tablespoons of Canola oil
3 5-ounce Top Sirloin Filets
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder

Ingredients For Potatoes:
1 bag of small-size multi-colored Yukon potatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley ( dried is fine)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
First, start with the sofrito (sauce) for the steaks. In a food processor add diced onion, whole garlic, carrots, can of diced tomatoes, dried parsley flakes, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Pulse the ingredients, for the Sofrito, until it’s the consistency of a Cantina style salsa. Pour the sauce into a bowl and set it aside.

Place the halved the potatoes on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle dried oregano, Kosher salt, and black pepper. With your hands toss the potatoes so they’re all coated with the oil and seasonings. Roast the potatoes for 35 to 40 minutes until golden on the outside, and fork tender on the inside. After they come out of the oven, sprinkle fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley. Now while the potatoes are roasting in the oven start on the steaks.

Preheat a cast iron skillet, medium-high heat.
Tip: Turn the overhead fan on.

Drizzle the steaks on both sides with Canola oil. Season both sides with Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder. Using a pair of tongs, place the steaks into the skillet. You’ll hear that sound when something hits a very hot skillet, and that’s what you want to hear.

You just want to sear the steaks on both sides to get a nice crust. This process only takes 2 to 3 minutes per side. When you see that deep brown color on both sides, turn the heat off and transfer the steaks to a plate.

In the same skillet, on medium heat, add Canola oil, dried oregano, and tomato paste. Stir those around allowing those to bloom in the oil for a minute. This technique will bring out the essential oil in the herb and melt the tomato paste intensifying the flavors.

Next, add in unsalted chicken broth, using the back of a wooden spoon scrape, all the bits from the steak off the bottom of the skillet. Add the Sofrito, letting it come to a bubble up then reduce the heat to medium-low. Stirring occasionally cook the sauce, giving all the ingredients a chance to soften and all the flavors marry around 5 to 7 minutes.

Using a pair of tongs, nestle the steaks in the sauce. Let simmer on medium-low heat turning the steaks every few minutes. For medium-rare, this takes around 15 to 20 minutes. If you like your steaks more done then leave them simmering in the sauce for maybe 30 to 35 minutes. The sauce will finish cooking the steaks.

By the time the steaks are done, the potatoes will be just about ready to come out of the oven. This technique of braising of the steaks in the sauce keeps the steaks tender and moist. That’s all there is to it. I think that once you try having steak this way, you’ll definitely want to make this dish again.

To serve, slice the steak and place onto the serving plate. Spoon some of the sauce over the top of the steak. A helping of those delicious roasted potatoes, and a piece of crusty bread for dipping.

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Luma On Park

Luma on the Park

Looking for a great find with New American Cuisine. Luma On Park in Winter Park. Located at 290 South Park Ave. The avenue is filled with quaint shops and unique finds. Make sure to get a table outside, a glass of wine, and their Ahi Tuna Carpaccio off of their “small plates” That looks to be a recipe for a perfect afternoon. For more information visit their website at www.lumaonpark.com.

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