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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Marinating With Yogurt

2015-06-11 18.02.28

 

One of the questions I get asked a lot is about marinating smaller cuts of meat that may not need that 24-hour brine?

Whenever I buy a lean type of protein, like skinless-boneless chicken or boneless pork cutlets, I usually use some type of marinating method to help tenderize the meat.

Greek yogurt is thicker with less liquid. and I think it clings to the meat much better than the regular variety.

You could really add whatever dried spices you like and depending on the flavor profile you’re going for.

For example, center-cut boneless pork loin chops. I think marinating smaller cuts like this that are around 1-inch in thickness are an excellent candidate for #marinatewithyogurt.

Yogurt is naturally acidic and can act as a tenderizer. Other cultures have used yogurt for many years just for this reason.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 to 2 hours (times may vary depending on thickness of the meat)
Equipment: large mixing bowl, plastic wrap

Ingredients For Greek Yogurt Marinade:
1 24-ounce container of Greek yogurt, full fat
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, optional
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Directions For the Greek Yogurt Marinade:
Add the yogurt to a large mixing bowl. Add the spices, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Mix to combine.

Submerge the pork (or chicken), one at a time, making sure they’re all are completely coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Times may vary depending on the thickness of the meat.

Once you’ve tried marinating this way, you’ll be amazed at how tender and flavorful pork and chicken will be.

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Pan Seared Gnocchi

 

2015-05-15 13.40.53

Potato #gnocchi is a great side dish, but what about as the main dish. I wanted to rethink how I could make these delicious billowy cloud-like dumplings into something with a little more texture. I thought about changing the cooking process to a more Asian-style technique.

The traditional way to cook them is to drop them into boiling salted water. when they float to the surface they’re done.  When you cook with Asian dumplings they’re sometimes pan-fried, first to give that crunchy exterior, then a splash of water is added, the lid is placed on, and they finish by steaming. This allows for the inside to have a creamy texture.

I decided to give this technique a try with gnocchi. For this challenge, rather than making the gnocchi from scratch, I decided to buy a good store-bought brand. It turns out, most grocery stores today carry fresh potato gnocchi so easy it’s easily available. This is my Pan Seared Gnocchi.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time Total: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Equipment: 2 (12-inch) sauté pans, 1 tight-fitting glass lid, chef’s knife

Ingredients:
1 package of potato gnocchi
1/4 cup of orange bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup of red bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup of yellow bell pepper, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, freshly grated
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 stick of butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated (more if you like)
Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:
In a preheated sauté pan over medium heat add olive oil. Add the finely diced bell peppers, stirring frequently, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until peppers soften.  Season with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Add in the grated garlic and continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

This next stage goes pretty fast. In another large sauté pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the entire package of gnocchi to the pan. Brown the gnocchi on the one side for 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t disturb them. The gnocchi needs a chance to brown and caramelize. Once that happens, using a spatula, flip the gnocchi and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes on the other side.

Next, add the water. The gnocchi will start to steam. Immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid (preferably a glass lid). Once all the water evaporates about 2 minutes, remove the gnocchi from the heat.

Transfer the gnocchi to a large serving bowl. Add the sautéed peppers, toss to combine. Grate Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the top and garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley. Serve hot. There you have it my Pan Seared Gnocchi.

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Slow-Cooked Southern-Style Green Beans

2015-06-11 09.57.02

French-style green beans, better known as Haricots Verts, are a very thin variety and the perfect choice for my Slow-Cooked Southern-Style Green Beans. I’ve made green beans with tomatoes many times and over the years, adding this and leaving out that, but now I’ve tweaked this recipe and it’s perfect. I think it’s my choice of spices and aromatics that puts a unique twist on these Slow Cooked Southern Style Green Beans and gives it complexity and depth of flavor.

I love cumin because of its grassy and earthy flavor so I decided to add this spice to my recipe. It made a HUGE difference!

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 5-quart saucepot, 2 large mixing bowls, spider

Ingredients:
2 pounds of French-style green beans (*Haricots Verts)
2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (substitute any neutral oil)
1 sweet onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-ounce can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes and their juice
1 1/2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

Directions:
Start by going through the beans and cutting off the root ends. In a pot of boiling salted water *blanch the beans for 1 to 2 minutes, then immediately transfer to an ice bath. This sets the beautiful green color. Transfer the green beans to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain any excess water. Pat dry with a kitchen towel and place into a large bowl.

In a saucepot over medium heat add grapeseed oil. To that, add ground cumin allowing the spice to melt into the oil. This will give the cumin a chance to *bloom. Once you can smell the aroma from the cumin add the diced onions and the cayenne pepper. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes until onions have softened and become translucent. Next, add the diced bell green peppers, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, continue stirring and cooking for another 3 to 5 minutes. Next, into the pot, the dried oregano. Rub the oregano through your fingers to release its flavor as you drop it into the pot. Finally, add the minced garlic stir to combine.

Add the *blanched green beans, can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes along with the juice, and water. Stir all the ingredients together while bringing the green beans up to a boil. Turn down to a simmer cooking uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover until ready to serve. Enjoy my Slow-Cooked Southern-Style Green Beans with your next meal. Serve hot.

*Blanch: Blanching is a cooking process wherein a food, usually fruit or vegetable, is scalded in boiling water. Removed after a brief, timed interval and finally plunged into iced water (shocking or refreshing) to halt the cooking process.

*Bloom: The process of gently frying spices in oil. It’s a quick way to deepen their flavor. Cook just until the spices smell nice and toasty; any longer and you risk burning them.

*Haricots Verts: Usually known as French beans are a thinner and shorter variety.

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