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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

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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Apricot And Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin On A Bed Of Cannellini Beans With Sauteed Spinach

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This recipe is elegant and yet so easy to pull together for entertaining. The above pictures are ones I took the very first time I made my Apricot And Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin On A Bed Of Cannellini Beans With Sautéed Spinach and boy it was delicious. I thought I’d test the recipe out on a few friends and get their opinion. It was definitely a winning dish. I did, however, make one change and that was to use the pan drippings to make this wonderful sauce to drizzle over the top.

Let’s get started.

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First, I’m going to start with the marinade.

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If you’ve never worked with fresh ginger, please don’t feel intimidated by using this amazing root (used as a spice) in your recipes. All you need to do is, use a small spoon to scrape off (or peel) the outer skin. You can grate fresh ginger using a Microplane or, for this application (recipe), use a sharp knife to cut the piece of ginger lengthwise, leaving two half moons. Slice the half moons lengthwise then dice, similar to prepping a carrot. The flavor is awesome!

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Sauteed Spinach With Garlic

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 4- quart Dutch oven, 1 gallon-size zip-lock baggie, 12-inch sauté pan, Chef’s knife

Ingredients For Marinade:
2 pork tenderloins
1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, small dice
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Ingredients For Cannellini Beans:
3 15-ounce cans of Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced into half moons
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted chicken broth

Ingredients For Gravy.
1 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth, plus 2 tablespoons
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch

Ingredients And Directions For Sautéed Spinach With Garlic:
Refer to the link below, doubling the recipe for this dish.

Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

Directions:
Place the 2 pork tenderloins along with minced garlic and chopped ginger into the zip-lock bag. In a medium-size bowl add apricot jam, low sodium soy sauce, olive oil, and crushed red pepper flakes, whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into the baggie. Let as much of the air out of the bag as possible, then zip it closed. Massage the marinade all over the pork. Place the pork into the frig for a minimum of 2 hours, longer is even better.

Now to get started on the Cannellini beans. I love to use Cannellini beans for this dish because they have a really creamy feel to them and they absorb flavors really well.

When you’re dealing with leeks you just want to use the white and light green parts of the leek. Cut the top (the dark green leaves) and bottom (the root), like you see in the top pictures. Leeks have so many layers to them, you want to rinse them really good and get any sand or dirt that may be trapped between the layers. Once that’s done, cut them in half lengthwise and slice into thin half moons.

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat add  1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, the sliced leeks, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Sauté the leeks for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Next, add the minced garlic, stir through, cooking for 1 minute more. Add unsalted chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low then add in the Cannellini beans. Stir to combine and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, place the lid on to keep warm.

At this point, you’d want to start the spinach for this dish. For my recipe, Sautéed Spinach With Garlic, click the link at the bottom of this post.

Preheat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Using a pair of tongs remove the marinated pork tenderloins from the baggie, (be sure to scrape off any ginger or garlic stuck on the pork, allowing as much of the excess marinade drip back into the baggie) placing them into the hot pan. Sear the pork for 3 minutes on each side. Place the pan into the oven and continue cooking for 10 minutes.

Next, transfer the pork tenderloins to a large plate and cover tightly with foil. Place the pan over medium-high heat and add unsalted chicken broth. With a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let bubble for 1 to 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, add 1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of unsalted chicken broth, whisk together until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and continue whisking until the sauce comes back up to a bubble and begins to thicken, around 2 minutes. Turn the heat off, the sauce is done.

To plate this dish, I lay out all those delicious Cannellini beans on the bottom of a large serving platter. Then around one side, I spoon on the Sautéed Spinach With Garlic. I carve the pork into 1 1/2-inch thick slices and lay them on top of the beans. Finally, I just drizzle that amazing sauce all over the top.

There you have it, my Apricot And Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin Over A Bed Of Cannellini Beans With Sautéed Spinach.

 

Sauteed Spinach With Garlic

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Coq Au Vin

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To be honest, I haven’t had the opportunity to be able to travel to France, but I can dream right?. If I did get the opportunity it would be during my favorite season, Autumn. I thought how can I get to experience a taste of Paris then it came to me, Coq au vin, chicken cooked in red wine. It’s a comforting dish that’s perfect when you want something that has all the elements of great French cuisine.

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Whenever you’re cooking something for a long time all the flavors tend to get slightly dull. People way smarter than I figured out how to bring braised dishes back to life, make them pop! They top braised dishes right before serving with what’s called a *Gremolata.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yields:  2 to 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
6 to 8 bacon slices, cut into lardons
4 chickens breasts, bone-in, skin on, cut in half
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium-size onion, small dice
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
3 carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1-pint Cremini mushrooms, quartered
8 baby Yukon gold potatoes halved
1 cup unsalted chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon

Ingredients For Gremolata:
1 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of Kosher salt
pinch of fresh ground black pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Preheat a Dutch oven on medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes until hot. Add the *lardons. When the fat begins to melt reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. As more fat gathers in the pot reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, flip the *lardons and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove any crisp lardons onto a plate lined with paper towel and move any lardon that needs additional time to the center of the pot to continue cooking until the remaining lardons are all crisp.

Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. In a large mixing bowl add the all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper, whisk to combine. When the bacon is all removed, turn the heat back to medium, dredge the chicken pieces into the seasoned flour, shake off excess flour, brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for around 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon (lardons) and continue to brown the remaining pieces, Set aside.

To the pot add olive oil, onions, carrots,  Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper, cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute more. Put the bacon (lardons) and chicken back into the pot. Add the wine, chicken broth, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, mushrooms, and potatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and place into the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165-degrees F. and the potatoes are fork tender.

Whenever you’re making a stew or braising some type of meat where it needs to cook for a long time, all the flavors tend to get slightly dull. People much smarter than me figured out how to bring braised dishes back to life, make them pop! They top braised dishes, right before serving, with a *Gremolata.

Directions For The *Gremolata:
Start with lemon zest, garlic, flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Place all the ingredients on a cutting board and chop them up together as finely as possible. Place into a bowl. Spoon on top of the finished dish. This way you can stir it in right before you eat. *Gremolata brings all the flavors back to life from any long cooking process.

To Serve:
Ladle the Coq Au Vin into a porcelain serving bowl with a dollop of that amazing Gremolata on top. Alongside, a good loaf of crusty French bread for dipping. You must give this dish a try, it’s so delicious.

*Lardons, also called lardoon or larding, are small 1/4″ strips of fatty bacon used in a wide variety of cuisines.

*Gremolata or Gremonlada is a chopped herb condiment classically made of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. It’s a traditional accompaniment to many braised dishes., Gremolata is also used as a garnish.

 

 

 

 

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Chicken And Poblano Pepper Empanadas

Chicken And Poblano Pepper Empanadas

Chicken And Poblano Pepper Empanadas (2)

Who doesn’t love a hand-held meat pie? They can be made in advance, you can freeze them then bake them off when you’re ready. My Chicken And Poblano Empanadas are so delicious, tender and flaky pie crust filled with bold flavorful ingredients, YUM!

In this post, I’m taking some help from my local grocery store. I’m using a rotisserie chicken and store-bought pie dough. Rotisserie chicken is one of the best items available at the grocery store. The possibilities are endless.

Now when it comes to pie crust, making your own is always the way to go but if you’re short on time there are great store-bought pie doughs available in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. I’ve posted a link at the bottom for my Homemade Pie Crust which can be made in advance and a link for my Pico de Gallo.

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Prep Time: 45 minutes (includes cooking vegetables and making the empanadas)
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 47minutes
Yields: 16 Empanadas
Equipment: food processor, 3 rimmed baking sheet pans, pastry brush

Ingredients:
1 whole rotisserie chicken, deboned
2 boxes of store-bought pie dough, cut into 6-inch round circles
4 tomatillos
2 Poblano peppers after cooked tops removed and seeded
1 large white Spanish onion, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Fresno chilies, after cooked tops removed and seeded
1-quart unsalted chicken broth
water
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 lime, juiced
1 small ladle of reserved cooking liquid
3 beaten eggs plus 3 tablespoons water, *egg wash

Directions:
In a large stockpot, place tomatillos, seeded Poblanos, a peeled large white Spanish onion, whole peeled garlic cloves,  and seeded Fresno chilies. Cover the vegetables using 1-quart of unsalted chicken broth and the rest water.  Turn the heat to medium-high, bring the vegetables up to a boil, (lower the heat) reduce to a simmer, cook for 20 minutes.

While the vegetables are simmering on the stove remove debone the rotisserie chicken. Next, using your hands, shred all the chicken then transfer into a large mixing bowl.

The tomatillos will have turned olive in color and the peppers, fork tender. With a slotted spoon, fish out the peppers and chilies removing their tops and seeds before placing them into the food processor. Take the slotted spoon to move the rest the veggies from the pot adding them to a food processor. Add 1 Kosher salt, cilantro, lime juice, and a small ladle of the cooking liquid (add more if needed). Process until smooth. Pour the Poblano pepper mixture into the bowl with the shredded chicken.

Note: The leftover cooking liquid (vegetable stock) allow to cool completely then place into labeled sealed containers. Store in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees F.
Here I’m using a lid that measures 6-inches in diameter. Cut out 6-inch circles out of the pie dough. Each circle of dough yields 4 circles. Next, take the scraps of dough that are left and roll that out to 1/4-inch in thickness. The leftover dough will yield another 4 circles. When it comes to Empanadas, you want to make as many as you can because they will get eaten.

Place a good tablespoon in the center each circle, brush around the outsides of the circle with the *egg wash. fold the pastry over to form half-moons. Press the edges firmly (overfilling will cause dought to tear and not seal.) Crimp the edges with a fork. Lay the empanada onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process until all the filling or the dough circles are used up. Brush the outsides of the Empanadas with more *egg wash. This will allow the pies to become nice and golden brown during baking.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. I like to serve them with a side of Pico de Gallo. The Pico works well to cut through the richness of the Empanada.

Tip: Unbaked empanadas may be frozen. Freeze on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until hard. Store in freezer containers. Bake frozen; add an additional 5 minutes for baking time.

*egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water or milk.

Pico De Gallo Two Ways

Homemade Pie Crust

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