Sale Meat Special: Rosemary Garlic London Broil

Oh, what you can do with a good sale and some free stuff!  Times are still tough, and I constantly find myself in need of a healthy, delicious, and satisfying meal on the cheap, the real cheap.  But, I honestly have a hard time sacrificing quality for price.  I struggle with it throughout nearly every visit to the market.  So when I find something like gorgeous, lean, slabs of london broil (in reality it’s a preparation, not a cut, but we all know it as the latter), for less than three dollars per pound, I get excited, I can’t help it.  The promise of an awesome steak dinner that’s not only easy, but affordable, and quick, just lights my fire.  Not only that, a few weeks ago, my buddies over at FoodBuzz sent me an unbelievably generous package of Emeril Brand goodies, for free!  I was siked to be able to use his Steak Rub on a blogworthy dish and I was definitely not disappointed in the product.  Now to the sharing:

Ingredients

Fresh Rosemary (dried would actually work too)

Fresh Garlic

Butter, softened

London Broil Roast (any cut with this label will do)

Steak Seasoning (again, I used Emeril’s Steak Rub)

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Red Wine (as long as it’s not “cooking wine” you’re in good shape)

Process

Okay, the first thing you want to do is gather the ingredients for the Rosemary Garlic Butter.  You’ll need the garlic, rosemary, and of course, the butter (make sure you take this out in advance, or you will have to nuke it like I did, and risk getting it a little too soft, like I also did:)).

001Now, finely chop the rosemary and use a Microplane or finely mince the garlic.  Toss them both in the bowl with the softened butter.

003Now, get crazy with a fork or a rubber spatula and mash it, smash it, and mix it all around.

004If like mine, your butter got a little melted, you want to pop it in the fridge now.  It should be a spreadable consistency.  Now, for the MEAT!  Grab your roast and use a paper towel to pat off any excess moisture.

005Then, liberally (and I mean liberally, the beef needs it) season the roast with salt, pepper, and steak seasoning.  Remember to do both sides, we don’t want meat with flavor on one side, it’s just not right.

006Now it’s time to turn your broiler on.  I use mine on high, which is about 500 degrees.  Before it gets hot though, grab the pan out of it.  If yours doesn’t have a pan, find a flat baking dish that will fit in the broiler.  This next step is kind of messy, so if you’re squeamish about this kind of thing you can put gloves on, but for me, they really just get in the way.  Reserve a couple tablespoons of the butter, then put half of what remains onto the top side of your roast.

008Dig your hands in and rub the butter into the meat.  The surface should be completely covered in the butter mixture.

011Transfer the meat to your broiler pan (or baking dish), buttered side down, then butter the rest of the steak.

013Now, pop the whole pan into the heated broiler.  For a roast about this thick, it will take about seven to eight minutes on each side to cook to medium.  While the meat cooks, you can make a nice red wine reduction sauce.  Grab a small sauce pan and add about a cup of wine (if you are serving more than 2-3 people you will need more).

015Bring the wine to a boil, over high heat.  When it has reduced by half, add your reserved butter.

020

Stir in the butter, lower the heat, and continue to cook until butter is melted in.  Then, remove from heat.  When the steak is cooked to your liking, remove it from the oven and allow to rest.  This is very, very important or your meat will be dry.  I usually give london broil about 10 minutes, but the bigger it is, the longer it needs.

022To serve, slice thinly, against the grain.

025Can you say delicious?  Especially when served up with brown rice and a tomato, mozzarella, and kalamata salad…  HMM, HMM Good.  ENJOY!

029

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You Asked And You Shall Receive: Local Yocal White Peach And Honey Ice Cream

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who voted in my most recent poll.  I have a hope that I will be able to keep anyone awesome enough to read about my food adventures, interested and entertained for a very long time.  In order to do that, I like to get your input every once in awhile.  But honestly, I was pretty surprised by the results.  I thought breakfast would be the winner, being that I don’t have a single post dedicated to the most important meal of the day.  Much to my surprise, it came in dead last, by a lot.  Nevertheless, I was pretty delighted that I had to come up with a sweet treat.  It didn’t take long for me to decide to make ice cream.  I love ice cream, and would eat it every single day of summer if I could, and ever since getting an ice cream maker as a wedding gift, almost three years ago, I have truly enjoyed experimenting with homemade creations.  I’ve made vanilla, almond chocolate, strawberry, cookies and cream, sweet cream, lemon ginger, and even cranberry sorbet.  I love it…it’s just fun!  So, inspired by my poll and the memory of some unbelievably sweet and juicy local peaches I set out to reinvent a classic summertime favorite…peach ice cream.

Ingredients

White Peaches (yellow are fine, too but the flavor is slightly different)

Honey ( mine came from Long Branch, NJ)

Heavy Cream

Milk

Eggs (Vineland, NJ…yay for Jersey Fresh!)

Sugar

Process

First, I want to remind you that if you are using an electric ice cream maker, you need to freeze the bowl at least 24 hours in advance.  Now, of course you’ll want to peel your peaches (4-5 small to medium peaches).

002

This can be a trying and wasteful task, but if you drop the peaches in boiling water for a couple of minutes the skin will come right off.  So, grab a pot fill it with hot water and bring it to a rolling boil.

005Gently drop each peach into the water and return to a boil.

007

While the peaches boil, gather the rest of your ingredients.

004

After about a minute or two (the skin will lose some of its vibrancy), drain the peaches into a colander.

010Run some cold water over the peaches to cool them off before you handle them.

012Then, with a pairing knife or just your hands (in the end, I ended up using my hands, it’s considerably easier), rub off the skin.

013Repeat the process until all of the peaches are skin-free.

014Next, cut the flesh off of each peach.  I did this by scoring a grid pattern into them with my knife.

015Then, scrape the segments back into the colander ( I recommend you place a couple paper towels under the bowl so the juices don’t run all over your counter).

017Pour the cut peaches into your blender.

019Pulse on high until the peaches are about the texture of a smoothie.

020Pour into a bowl and place in the refrigerator.  Now you are over the hump.  This may seem like a long process, but it really only takes minutes.  Next, you are going to make the ice cream base.  For this recipe, I used a sweet cream custard base, you could use vanilla, but I didn’t want it to overpower the main flavors of peach and honey.  Start by cracking two eggs into a bowl.

022With a whisk and some elbow grease, beat the eggs until they are frothy and lighter in color.

024Now whisk in a little less than half a cup of sugar.

026Next add a little less than half a cup of honey (you want about 3/4 cup of sweeteners total, but taste it and see how you like it).

028Whisk well to incorporate the honey.

029Add one and a half cups of heavy cream.

031Now, add one and a half cups of milk.

033Stir until everything is well blended and homogenous.  Assemble your ice cream maker, plug it in and add the base to the bowl.

035Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions, when the base is semi-frozen, add the pureed peaches to the bowl and continue to freeze for about five more minutes.

038

Yours may be a little firmer than this, before putting it in the freezer depending on your ice cream maker.  Mine usually takes about 25-30 minutes to reach this texture at which point I cover it and pop it in the freezer for about an hour or two before serving.

040Please take a moment to relish in the sweet deliciousness of fresh summer peaches, local honey, and cream…ENJOY, with a cherry on top!

042

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What Next!?

Okay, so I’ve run out of stockpiled photos, and yes, I still cook just about every day of the week.  I just want something very interesting and different from my previous posts.  So, here I am, turning to my lovely readers.  What would you all like to see sometime very soon, on One Bite At A Time?

ice cream

Photo Courtesy of http://www.bonappetit.com

greeksalad

Photo courtesy of http://www.sheknows.com.

breakfast foods

Photo Courtesy of http://www.superstock.com.

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Laine’s Favorite Shrimp and Grits

How the topic of shrimp and grits came up one night while watching So You Think You Can Dance (one of the best shows on TV, by the way), I really don’t remember, but it did.  And then it kept coming up.  My friend, Laine, and I decided that they are simply awesome and I told her that I would make her some soon.  The next night I was watching a little late night Food Network, and what was on?  Bobby Flay’s Shrimp and Grits Throwdown!  Of course, now I had grits on my mind, so the next day at work, a co-worker and I were waxing poetic on their virtues for quite awhile.  Inevitably, the next Wednesday, when Laine planned to come over for the latest installment of SYTYCD, I decided to whip some up for dinner.  Only problem was, despite my efforts to let her know, she didn’t realize what I was making and decided to skip dinner and just join us for the show.  Well, she was at least a little disappointed when she realized what she had missed out on.  So, of course, I promised that I would make the dish again on our next TV night.  Well, you know how I don’t measure and don’t really write down what I use unless I’m blogging?  That really worked out for me this time around.  This week’s version was clearly far superior to the previous week’s.  The earlier batch was a little too spicy and being that I forgot to start the dish out with the bacon and had to add it separately at the end, it really lacked the porky essence that makes shrimp and grits so special.  Luckily, I had already decided that I would blog about this dish the next time I made it, so now, I (and you) will always know how to make the version that quickly became Laine’s Favorite Shrimp and Grits.  BONUS:  From start to finish this meal takes less than 20 minutes to prepare!

Ingredients

Bacon

Onion

Garlic

Shrimp

Lemon Zest and Juice

Hot Sauce

Chicken Stock

Tomato Sauce

Fresh Parsley

Italian Seasoning

Quick Grits

Milk

Water

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Butter

Cheddar Cheese (I always use extra sharp)

Process

Since this is a pretty quick process, you want to gather up all of your main ingredients before you start.

001

Heat a large skillet over medium-low.  Chop the bacon into about one inch pieces and add to the pan.  While the bacon is cooking.  Chop the onions and mince the garlic.  When the bacon is golden, drain off some of the fat, return to the heat, and add the onions and garlic.

007If your shrimp are frozen, you can defrost them now.  I do this by placing the frozen shrimp in a large bowl and covering with cool water.  They defrost pretty quickly this way.  Then you can peel them and pat dry.

004

Start grits by following package instructions for the amount you are cooking.

008While the grits cook, toss your shrimp into the skillet with the bacon.

011Season with salt and pepper.

012When the grits are thickened and cooked according to the package, add a generous splash of milk.

010

Next, you can stir in some shredded cheddar cheese and butter to taste.  Reduce the heat and allow to simmer, covered until your shrimp is finished.  Stir occasionally to prevent them from sticking.

021

Your grits should be smooth, rich, and creamy at their finish.

025

When the shrimp is almost cooked through, use a microplane to grate in some lemon zest.

013Now, the final step is to prepare the sauce.

015First, add a hefty glug of chicken stock and use a spoon to scrape up any brown bits and incorporate it into the sauce.

016Next, add in about an equal amount of tomato sauce.

017Then stream in hot sauce to taste.

019Stir it all up to combine and reduce the heat to low.  Allow to simmer for another minute or so.  While it simmers finely chop up a bit of fresh parsley.  Now add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

022Remove from heat and stir in the fresh parsley.

023

You’re Done!  Seriously, I know there is a lot of multi-tasking involved here, but it’s totally worth it and really only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish until you can ENJOY!

026

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My Hubby Has Joined The Blogosphere!

“So, you know how the pics on that food blog, One Bite At A Time, are so awesome?  Well, I hear the author’s husband takes all of her photos and that he just started his very own blog!”

Yes, it’s true my very talented husband has started his own blog.  He’s got a lot of great work to post, so show him some love over at A Vibrant Pic.  I like to think that the photos here on One Bite At A Time keep you all interested, so I’m sure that you would all love to check out some more sweet eye candy.

ENJOY!

COMING SOON:  SHRIMP AND GRITS AND MORE BACON!!!

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Easy Breezy Stuffed Pork Chops

Okay, so the flavors in this dish are distinctly fall, but as much as I love to buy produce seasonally, I buy apples all year round.  What can I say, I love apples.  So, when I pulled these chops out of the freezer and realized I had bacon, apples, and onion, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and let me tell you, this is truly a knockout combo no matter what time of year.   To be honest, there’s not really much more of a story to this one, it was just a regular mid-week dinner that was absolutely tasty and well-suited to illustrate a method that makes a simply prepared dish look super-impressive.  Seriously give it a try, dinner will be on the table before you know it.

Ingredients

Bacon

Apples (I used granny smith, but any firm cooking apple will do)

Onion

Fresh Rosemary (or another woodsy herb of your choosing)

Thick Cut Boneless Pork Chops

Butter

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Poultry Seasoning

Process

Heat a large skillet over medium fire.  While the pan heats cut bacon into small pieces.  Toss into the hot pan to cook.

001While the bacon cooks, finely chop onion, apple, and rosemary.

002Once the bacon is browned, drain off a little of the excess fat.

004Then toss in the onions.

005Once the onions begin to go translucent, add the apples, rosemary, and a little butter.

006Now, stir it all up and allow to cook down for a few minutes.  Then season with a little salt and pepper.

007Turn the heat to low and allow to cook a few more minutes while you prep the chops.  You can also preheat your oven to 400 degrees at this point.  Place your chops on a cutting board and grab a sharp knife.

009Now to create a pocket in the chops to stuff the filling in, press your hand flat down on the top of the chop and insert the tip of your knife into the side of the chop.  Slice into the chop to create the pocket leaving about a 1/2 inch on each side.  Do not let your knife go all the way through the chop.

011Here’s what the pocket should look like:

012Repeat the process on each of your chops then liberally season the with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.

013Now, grab the chops one by one and spoon filling into the slit until it is just about flush with the edge of the chop.   If you think you need to, you can use a toothpick to close up the opening, but this time around my filling was pretty secure.

015In the same pan that you used for the filling, heat about a teaspoon of butter over medium-high.

016Add your porkchops to the pan.  We just want to give them a golden brown crust.

017When the first side reaches desired color, flip ‘em over and allow the second side to brown.

018Once both sides are nicely browned, transfer the chops to a baking dish and pop in the oven.

019They are probably only gonna need about 15 minutes in the oven, depending on the thickness of your chops.  They should look like this when they are done:

021I served them up with creamy whipped potatoes.  I happened to be low on fresh veggies this day, but any steamed green veggie would also be fabulous alongside.

024Enjoy!

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Red, White, and Green Lasagna Rolls…For 50!

Over at Jacob’s Well, my church community here in New Jersey, we all lend our individual skills to the greater whole.  A part of our identity is “Life in Community.”  Not only does this mean opening our arms to people in need of community, it also means sharing the responsibilities of that community.  Of course, we can just show up, enjoy the service, and leave, but the knowledge that extending our efforts a little bit further enriches our identities as Christians and members of Jacob’s Well, seems to drive everyone to contribute in whatever way the can.  It is a beautiful and transformative thing to see people sacrifice their time and assets (no matter how slim) to better our community.  Each Sunday, in our home service, we share a lunch prepared and organized by families (or groups of friends) that volunteer to feed a whole houseful of people.  For me, this is obviously an opporunity to utilize my particular skill set.  Nevermind how much fun it was, albeit a challenge, to develop and execute a new recipe for more people than I’ve ever cooked for.  It had to be something relatively simple to prepare and transport, inexpensive, but still impressive, and not too similar to past weeks’ meals.  It came to me in a dream, LASAGNA ROLLS….with two sauces!  Only problem was, I had never made lasagna rolls before.  Was I really going to attempt something I had never done before and serve it to 50 people?  Sure was!  Needless to say, when it came time to pop them in the oven and serve ‘em up, I was incredibly nervous…stomach-churning, sweaty palms nervous.  Honestly, I could barely even taste the food when I finally sat down to eat, and I forgot to take pictures of the final product!  But, the next day when I ate one of the three leftover rolls, I realized that I shouldn’t have worried at all!  They came out pretty much exactly how I was hoping.  If you decide try these out, remember that the recipe can easily be adjusted up or down and that any leftovers can be frozen and reheated in the oven.  Here goes:

Ingredients

Ground Beef

Onion

Garlic

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

Italian Seasoning

Frozen Chopped Spinach

Lasagna Noodles

Butter

Flour

Milk

Crushed Italian Tomatoes with Basil

Fresh Basil

Sugar

Grated Parmesan Cheese (Yes, I used the cheap stuff here…c’mon it’s 50 people!)

Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Process

Begin by browning beef, over medium-high heat, in a pot large enough to fit all of the meat at once.

037While the meat  begins browning, chop some onion and add it to the pot.

039Stir it all up and allow to cook for a few minutes, then mince up some garlic and add it in.

040Stir to combine.  Once the meat is browned, lower the heat to medium.  While the meat continues to cook, you should defrost the spinach.

041I do this by placing the spinach in a microwave safe bowl and heating on short (minute-long) intervals in the microwave and stirring it between each blast to ensure that it defrosts evenly.  Once it is completely defrosted place on top of several layers of paper towels (you can use a kitchen towel, but I don’t have a washer, so paper towels work just fine), wrap the towels up around the spinach and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.  You may have to repeat this process several times.  I had a very large bag of spinach, so I had to do this in batches.

043Now, you can toss the spinach in with the meat.  Liberally season the meat mixture with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

045

Stir to combine.  The meat should be cooked through by this point, so you can taste it to check the seasoning.

046At this point, you can bring your pasta water to a boil.  For the amount of meat I made for the filling, I went through 3-4 boxes of lasagna noodles.  Once the water comes to a boil, add a generous amount of kosher salt and add your pasta to the boiling water.  Cook a little shy of al dente.

044

Remember to stir the pasta until it returns to a boil, to prevent sticking.  Note:  If making for a crowd, you may need to prepare your pasta in batches.  You never want to overcrowd your pasta pot.  If making in batches, drain cooked batches as they come out and place in a bowl covered with cool water.

048Now, here is when you’ll have to put your multi-tasking skills to the test.  As your pasta cooks, you want to prepare the cream sauce that you will combine with the meat to complete the filling.  Begin by heating a large pot over medium-low heat.  Add butter and flour and combine to make a roux.

053Allow the flour to cook, but keep a good eye on it.  You don’t want the roux to pick up any color since we are making a bechamel, which requires a white or blonde roux.  Season with salt and pepper.

055Add milk to the roux to reach desired consistency.  You want the sauce to be pourable, but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  If you think you’ve reached this stage, add a little more milk as it will thicken as it simmers and when you add the parmesan cheese.

058Allow to simmer and thicken for a few minutes, then add several handfuls of parmesan cheese.

064Stir to combine.  Taste sauce to check seasoning.  If you’re pleased, you can combine the meat mixture with the cheese sauce in a large bowl.

069

Make sure all of the meat is coated with the sauce.

071

Add just a little more parm, and set aside along with lasagna noodles.

072In a small pot, combine tomatoes, a pinch of sugar, some salt and bring to a simmer.

061Grab some fresh basil and finely slice into ribbons.

054

Remove tomato sauce from heat, and stir in the basil.

066Spread a small amount of the tomato sauce in the bottom of your baking dish (I used a long disposable foil tray).

073One by one, lay each lasagna noodle on a flat surface and spread a small spoonful of filling down the center, vertically.

076

Begin rolling from the end closest tou you, tucking in the filling as you go along.

078Place rolls in the foil pan in a single layer.

075

Repeat filling process until your pan is full (I had to use a second, smaller pan to make 50 rolls).

079Cover with a generous, but not excessive, amount of sauce (you want enough sauce so that when you bake it off, the pasta will finish cooking in it).

080As I mentioned earlier, I forgot to snap a few pics, but at this point you should top with a healthy helping of shredded mozzarella cheese.  You can bake the tray right away, or refrigerate or freeze it until ready to use.  Bake at 400 degrees until heated through and cheese is melted and starting to brown.  Hope you ENJOY…it’s really not as hard as it looks :).

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