Tag Archives: steak

Cambodian Noodle Soup

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With the exception of my travels through the Balkans, I have yet to visit any metropolitan area where I didn’t stumble upon a pho shop.  With their steaming bowls of noodles, broth, and an endless variety of add-ins, these Thai noodle soup shops have a cult like following that make them both universal and hard not to like.  In grad school my favorite lunch was a steaming bowl of pho from the student union.  The options were endless so I could eat there every day without repeating the same bowl of soup twice.

I had never made pho before but decided to give it a try when my craving for the hot broth covered noodles got the best of me.  In browsing through recipe options I came across one in The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, The Splendid Table is my favorite radio program on NPR.  I can even stream their broadcasts online meaning I can get my Lynn Rossetto Kasper fix while living overseas).  I was set to give the pho recipe a try then I turned the page and saw the Cambodian twist on the soup which sounded even more intriguing.  Unable to decide which version to make, I combined the best elements of both recipes to form what I present here.  You can also add or substitute ingredients as your palate or pantry dictates.

The verdict?  This soup is delicious but a lot more work than popping into your local pho shop. But if you don’t have one in close proximity to you, make this soup.  You won’t be disappointed.

CAMBODIAN NOODLE SOUP

For the broth:

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 two inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced

6 whole cloves

1 star anise

Freshly ground black pepper

7 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce

For the soup:

8 ounces linguine-style rice noodles

6 ounces thinly sliced top round steak

1 1/2 cups winter squash, diced

1 cup unsweetened pineapple chunks

1 medium tomato, diced

For the table salad:

10 sprigs fresh cilantro

8 sprigs Thai or other fresh basil

8 mint sprigs

Generous handful bean sprouts

2 Serrano chiles, thinly sliced

1 large lime, cut into wedges

Add-in sauces:

Asian hot sauce

Hoisin sauce

  • Place a rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler and then pre-heat the oven.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and evenly distribute the onion, garlic, ginger, cloves, star anise, and five grinds of black pepper over the baking sheet.
  • Broil for 5-6 minutes until the spices are fragrant and the onions begin to brown.  Scrape the mixture into a large soup pot.
  • Add the broth, sugar, fish sauce, and squash to the pot.  Cover the pot tightly and bring the entire mixture to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes or until the squash is tender.
  • Meanwhile, place the noodles in a large pan and cover with very hot tap water.  Allow to soak for 20 minutes or until the noodles are tender.  Drain, rinse with cold water, then divide evenly between two large soup bowls.
  • Thinly slice the steak into bite sized pieces.  (Hint:  For easier slicing, place the steak in the freezer before you begin making the soup.  Allow it to sit for 20 minutes then remove it from the freezer and slice).  Evenly divide the meat between the two soup bowls.  The hot broth will cook it to a medium-rare
  • Arrange the table salad ingredients on a medium-sized platter and place on the table.
  • When the squash is tender, add the pineapple and tomatoes to the broth and stir well to combine.  Cook for 1 minute to allow the broth to return to a simmer.
  • Ladle the broth over the noodles and meat and serve immediately topped with the table salad and sauces of your choice.

Serves 2

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Spice Rubbed Steak w/ Avocado-Grapefruit Salsa

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

This meal lets you dress up an ordinary steak with a bit of spice and seasonal fruit.  I love the marbling in rib eye steaks but you can use whichever cut of meat you prefer.  The spice rub give the meat a little extra kick while the grapefruit and avocado put a new spin on a typical salsa.  Serve alongside a baked potato and you have a complete meal in less than half an hour.  Now that is the perfect way to end your work week.

SPICE RUBBED STEAK W/ AVOCADO-GRAPEFRUIT SALSA

2 rib eye steaks

For the steak rub:

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon coriander

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Evenly divide the spice rub amongst both sides of the two steaks.  Use your fingers to massage the spice into the meat.
  • Allow to sit for 10 minutes before grilling.
  • Lightly grease a grill with cooking spray.  Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Place the steaks in the center of the grill and cook for approximately 9 minutes (for medium-rare) to desired level of doneness flipping every two to three minutes.  The amount of grilling time will depend upon the thickness of the meat and your personal preferences.

For the salsa:

1 red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned with membranes removed, cut into bite sized pieces

1 ripe Haas avocado, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks

1 chili pepper, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon minced fresh mint

Juice of 1 lime

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  • Serve along side the grilled steak.

Serves 2

Gorgonzola Stuffed Strip Steaks

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Here in Albania cuts of meat rarely resemble those we are used to in the United States.  Some restaurant menus claim to serve rib eyes or strip steaks but they are often unrecognizable as such.  The cuts of beef here also tend to be much leaner meaning they are missing the rich marbling that makes a steak a steak.  When real beef cravings hit we dip into our stash of American cuts of beef that we imported from the Navy commissary in Naples, Italy.  These steaks are little pieces of home and we savor every bite.

These gorgonzola stuffed steaks only appear complicated.  In reality they can be put together in minutes so you can have dinner on the table in minutes.  They are just as good for a quick Friday night meal as they are for a more formal dinner.  If you want to get really fancy and mimic a real American steak house,  you can top them with sautéed mushrooms.  I like to serve these with baked potatoes and a green veggie.  Yum!

GORGONZOLA STUFFED STRIP STEAKS

4 New York Strip Steaks, trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium red onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Salt & pepper to taste

  • Preheat a grill to high heat.
  • Carefully cut a large slit in the side of each steak to form a pocket.  Be careful to not cut all the way through the steaks.  Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a small sauce pan set over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and stirring occasionally, saute until soft and translucent.
  • When then onions are soft, stir in the mascarpone and gorgonzola cheeses and the Tabasco sauce.  Heat until melted.
  • Sprinkle both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper.  Carefully spoon the cheese mixture into the pocket of each steak.  Do not overfill.  You may have extra cheese sauce.
  • Secure each pocket with two or three toothpicks to help prevent the cheese from seeping out.  (Some will melt out while cooking but that is OK).
  • Carefully place the steaks on the preheated grill and cook 7-8 minutes per side or until done to your liking.
  • Remove from the grill and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes.  Remove the toothpicks before serving.

Yield:  4 servings

Grilled Peach & Steak Salad

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Entree salads are a favorite summer time dinner. When topped with protein they are cool, crisp and completely satisfying. For me, the trick to keeping salads interesting is continually changing up the ingredients. This salad is built around what is good at the markets this time of year and peaches top that list. Grilling them gives them a slightly charred flavor which complements the steak. Peppers and tomatoes add to the salad’s texture while the blue cheese and sunflower seeds add interest. I’ve kept the seasonings for both the steak and the dressing simple as to not detract from the freshness of the fruit and vegetables. Add other vegetables if you want; after all the key to a good salad is one that includes the toppings you want.

GRILLED PEACH & STEAK SALAD

2 rib eye steaks, trimmed

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 peaches, halved and pitted

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

8 cups mixed greens

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

  • Pre-heat a grill to high heat and lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle both sides of the steak with the garlic powder, half of the salt and half of the pepper.
  • Sprinkle the cut sides of the peaches with the nutmeg.
  • Reduce the grill temperature to medium-high then place the steak on the grill. Cook the steaks, turning after 6 minutes, until they are cooked to your liking. Medium-rare takes  approximately 9-11 minutes. Remove the steak from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing along the diagonal.
  • Add the peaches to the grill, cut side down, and cook for 3 minutes then flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. You want the peaches to be slightly softened but not mushy.
  • While the steaks cook, make the dressing by combining the honey, vinegar and remaining salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Divide the greens, peppers and tomatoes between two large shallow bowls.
  • Top the salads with the sliced steak, drizzle with the dressing then sprinkle with the sunflower seeds and blue cheese.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 2

 

Steak & Asparagus Stir Fry

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Spring is upon us and chances are asparagus is popping up at your local farmer’s markets. Nothing says spring to me like those tender bright green spears. I love to eat it steamed with just a dash of salt and I have been known to eat the tenderest of spears raw. But if you are looking for a dish to add your asparagus to, try this super easy stir fry adapted from Cooking Light. It is fast and flavorful and sure to please. Serve it over brown rice and you will have a complete dinner on the table in no time.

STEAK & ASPARAGUS STIR FRY

1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock

1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger

1 tablespoon grated fresh garlic

1 teaspoon corn starch

5 teaspoons canola oil, divided

12 ounces boneless sirloin or other lean steak, cut into 1/4 inch strips

12 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips

1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3 green onions, chopped

  • Combine the first six ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
  • Heat a large wok over high heat. Add 3 teaspoons of the oil to the wok and swirl to coat.
  • Add the beef and stir fry until browned by not cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Place the beef on a platter and discard any liquid that remains in the wok.
  • Return the wok to high heat and add the remaining oil and swirl to coat.
  • Add the asparagus and bell pepper and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  • Add the crushed red pepper and green onions and stir fry for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the stock mixture and cook for 3 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  • Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the pan and cook for an additional 1 minute.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Greek Steak & Pepper Kabobs

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Here is a slightly different take on a “Fast Friday” dinner; it is still fast but it made in two parts. Simply marinade your meat in the morning–or even the night before–then pop the kabobs on the grill in the evening and dinner is served in a matter of minutes. These kabobs are tasty and remind me of the delicious grilled meats I’ve enjoyed in Greece. I used streak in this version but have also used lamb when I can find it or even chicken. Either way the flavors are fabulous. Serve the kabobs alongside steamed rice and dinner is served

GREEK STEAK & PEPPER KABOBS

For the marinade:

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lemon

Dash cayenne pepper

For the kabobs:

1 pound flank steak, cut into 2 inch pieces

1 red bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces

1 green bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces

1 large red onion, cut into chunks

  • Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a large zip lock bag.
  • Add the steak pieces and allow to marinade for at least 2 hours or up to over night.
  • When you are ready to cook, lightly oil a grill and pre-heat it to medium-high heat.
  • Removed the meat from the marinade and shake off the excess.
  • Place the meat and vegetables onto metal skewers, alternating between the steak, peppers and onions.
  • Place the skewers on the grill and cook, turning every two minutes and brushing with the extra marinade until the meat is cooked to your desired level of doneness. I cook my kabobs for 6 to 8 minutes.

Yields: 6 skewers

 

Coffee Rubbed Cowboy Steaks

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Looking for something super easy, fast and satisfying for tonight? Then why not grill up these coffee rubbed steaks from Cuisine at Home magazine? A quick spice rub infuses the meat with tons of flavor without requiring the time marinades take. For the most flavorful rub use freshly ground coffee beans. As for the steaks themselves; I think the marbling in rib eye steaks makes these extra flavorful but you can use whatever cut of meat you prefer. Just add a side dish of your choice, grilled corn on the cob since you already have the grill heated up, crispy smashed roasted potatoes or even jalapeno-Cheddar fried potatoes and you are set for dinner.

Coffee Rubbed Cowboy Steaks

2 boneless rib eye steaks, or other steaks of your choosing

1/2 tablespoon freshly ground coffee

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon sugar

  • Lightly oil and preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
  • Combine the coffee, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, thyme and sugar in a small bowl.
  • Massage the spice rub onto both sides of the steak.
  • Grill the steaks, turning twice, until desired doneness. Depending up the thickness of the meat it will take 6-8 minutes per side for medium-rare meat.
  • Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 2

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