Asian Style Beef Short Ribs

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I realized this week that I posted an instagram story about Asian style short ribs in the slow cooker, but didn’t actually share the recipe!  That was silly of me!  As I have already mentioned life at Casa Burke is a little busy at the moment, but all good things.

James was traveling this week so I didn’t cook as much.  I cook for clients and myself, often 2-3 times per day, so when my hubby goes away, I lazily order in food.  Usually Greek or Sushi.

I made these delicious short ribs for us last week on a rainy day. Connecticut is really taking April showers seriously and we have had rain for 5 days out of 7 days of the month so far! Thankfully the temperature is increasing a bit, but the gloomy weather calls for lots of slow cooker type meals.

These ribs literally fell off the bone and were so tender and full of flavor.  The best part about them is that it takes about 15min of prep, and you just leave them in the slow cooker all day!

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 5 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

In a bowl mix together your soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes until a homogenous mixture.

Using a good sized slow cooker, place your short ribs into the pot and pour the liquid over.  If the ribs are too long, feel free to cut them up a bit to fit into the pot.

Cover and cook on low heat 7-8 hours or high heat 3-4 hours.  I recommend using low heat as the short ribs come out even more tender.

After the 7-8 hours, mix together 2 tbsp of corn starch and 1/4 cup of water, and then add the mixture to the crockpot.

Stir in the corn starch, and cook for a further 30min on high or until the sauce has thickened.

Serve with veggies or rice or quinoa and enjoy!

 

 

 

Bison and Chicken Fajitas – Taco Tuesday

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Taco Tuesday is a time honored tradition rooted in history from many years ago…. At least it should be! In reality it is not necessarily a centuries old tradition, but for most Mexican American families, there was at least one night a week when we ate tacos. Not always on a Tuesday, in our family we still have Mexican food every Friday, and it is always a day to look forward to.

This week I had the pleasure of going over to a place called Mike’s Organic Delivery in Stamford, CT.  They open to the public every Friday and I went pretty crazy stocking up on meat and veggies. As it says in the name, they deliver locally, but I wanted to check it out myself first before exploring the delivery piece. I even had the pleasure of meeting Mike himself, and he is one great guy!

Getting fresh produce from mostly local farms and other organic farms really makes a difference in flavor. Not all are featured here, but we got avocados, turnips, spinach, a mango and a few other tasty veg, and all have been pretty spectacular. As for the meat, well bison is one of those unique game meats that is insanely lean and full of flavor.  It’s a great alternative to beef when you can find it, and it took to my marinade beautifully!

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What you need:

  • 1/2 lb Bison
  • 1/2 lb chicken breast
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 2-3 limes
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Marinate your chicken and bison in a bag or baking dish.  Mix the Worcestershire, juice of two to three limes, water, and salt and pepper to make the marinade and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, I made a quick salsa following my usual recipe, but without roasting the tomato and jalapeños first.  I do prefer the roasted version, but this was a great solution for a weeknight dinner.

Chop your tomato, one jalapeño, and one garlic clove, and put into a food processor. Add in salt and pepper and pulse until mostly smooth.

You can also make your guacamole now by mashing your avocados, and adding salt, pepper, juice from 1/2 lime, and a tablespoon or two of your fresh salsa. To keep it green keep the pit in the guacamole and using plastic wrap, push the wrap up against the mixture and seal it off, leaving no room for air and refrigerate.

Finally you are ready to cook your fajitas and onion.  Using a cast-iron pan or griddle, start with the onions and cook until translucent, about 8 mins.

Then add on your bison and chicken slicing them up to cook more evenly.

If you are using an outdoor grill, you can keep the chicken and bison whole and slice after, but on a griddle, its a little easier to work with the smaller pieces.

Cook through for about 10min, removing your beef or bison sooner depending on how well you like your meat.

Finally warm your tortillas either in the microwave or over the open flame on your stove and enjoy!

Since you can multi-task while the meat marinates, this dish really is so simple to make for a weeknight family dinner.

Buen provecho!

 

Steak Chalupas

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Happy Friday Y’all! So ready for the weekend and all the festivities involved.  This week and next week (which is a half week for us), are proving to be super busy, so with our festive Friday dinner, tequila cocktails are definitely in order!

We love Mexican food, and more often than not, if we eat it, I make something at home.  Its not easy to find good Mexican food in Connecticut!  I have met a lot of different people from all over latin america here, but surprisingly not many fellow Mexican Americans. There are lots of people here from Europe, Honduras, Guatemala, Columbia, and other places though making it a unique cultural melting pot.

Chalupas are basically giant nachos.  They can be a little messy to eat, but when all of your ingredients are fresh, they are so tasty! We had these for dinner recently and James really enjoyed himself. They are such a great thing to make for groups also as everyone can get involved making their own and adding the toppings they like.

What you need:

Beef Marinade:

  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3lbs of skirt steak or sirloin

Chalupas:

  • 6-8 Chalupa Tostadas
  • 2 cups Refried Beans homemade or store-bought
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1-2 jalapeños
  • 3-4 lime wedges to serve

Pre-Heat your oven to 350F.

Mix together your marinade and place beef and mix in a zip lock bag or shallow dish and cover.  Marinate your beef for at least an hour, or overnight if possible.

Once your beef has marinated, cook on grill or grill pan over medium heat until cooked.  My beef was really thick so this took at least 15min for medium rare, but if you have thinner skirt steak, it will cook faster.

Remove cooked beef from the grill and let rest for 2omin.  Slice up the beef in bite sized chunks to assemble your chalupas.

Spread beans over the tostada, and layer on beef and cheese.

Place in the oven for about 10min to heat the beans through and melt the cheese.

Remove from the oven and serve with chopped up lettuce, tomato, jalapeño, and lime wedges.

This is fun to do as a family and let everyone build their own chalupas.

Enjoy with a beer or tequila cocktail and get your weekend kicked off on the right foot!

Braised Short Ribs

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Braised short ribs are a phenomenal winter dish. They are so flavorful and tender when done right, and are so warm and hearty.  It is the perfect dish for those really cold winter nights when you need warming from the inside.  I served these short ribs with a goats cheese polenta, that we couldn’t get enough of!

As I mentioned yesterday, the temperature has really dropped, so you might be seeing a lot of these types of warm, hearty dishes. It is fire building weather and stew weather, and I vow to make an attempt at beef bourguignon this season!

We had some left over onions, carrots, and chicken broth from Thanksgiving so this recipe is a great way to get though them also!

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What you need:

  • 8 whole beef short ribs
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 6 pieces of pancetta diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 cups of red wine
  • 2 cups of beef or chicken broth (whatever you have is fine)
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.

Season your short ribs in salt and pepper and them dredge them in flour.

Using a large dutch oven or other oven safe pot cook your pancetta until browned over medium high heat.  Once cooked, remove the pancetta pieces, but leave the grease in the pan.

Depending on the amount of grease, you may or may not need to add some olive oil, but I didn’t. Add in your short ribs and brown them on all sides. Be careful for oil splatter, your hands will thank you for it! (learned the hard way obviously)

Once browned, remove the ribs and lower heat to medium. Add in your onion, carrots, and shallots and cook for about 2 minutes. Add in your red wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan.

Once boiling, cook for 2 minutes and add in the broth and a tsp of salt and plenty of pepper. Add your ribs to the mixture and check they are almost completely submerged in liquid. Add in the pancetta, rosemary, and thyme whole and place the lid on top.

Cook in the oven for 2 hours at 350F and then lower to 325F and cook for a further 30min.

Remove from the oven and let sit for about 20 min.

Skim the fat off the top of the liquid and serve over potatoes or polenta spooning some of the sauce over it.  (Polenta recipe coming tomorrow)

Make sure you have some wine left over to enjoy with this dish.  It’s the perfect pairing!

p.s. This is a great dish to make a day or two in advance also.  You can scrape the fat off once its cold, and the short ribs are so delicious and tender a couple days later!

Spaghetti Bolognese

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Sometimes, like election nights, you just want a little comfort food. We have a lot riding on today, and James and I actually have a deal to not watch all of the coverage tonight. I fear we won’t truly know the results until midnight or possibly tomorrow, so rather than stress over something we cannot control, we will take our minds off it.

Spaghetti bolognese is James number one favorite meal.  Enchiladas verdes with chicken may be a close second, but I can say with confidence, spaghetti bolognese wins. So what better food to comfort us on this cold and stressful evening?

Over the summer we had one wedding in Florence and another in Cap d’Antibes a week apart.  We decided to rent a car and drive from Italy to France as they are really close together. One of our stops was to visit one of James cousins and her family in Bologna. The home of bolognese sauce.

His cousin is married to an Italian man from Bologna, so when he offered to make us pasta bolognese for dinner we JUMPED at the chance! Did I mention this Italian man used to be a chef?! Talk about an amazing opportunity! Anyway, he let me in on his technique for making bolognese sauce, so this recipe is an adaptation of the true Bolognese way.

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What you need:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 3-4 tbsp double concentrate tomato paste (this is VERY important)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 8-10 cremini mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 cup red wine (chianti or cabernet – full bodied)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil sliced thinly
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 16oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

One of the great things about spaghetti  bolognese is that you can make the sauce well in advance, in giant batches, and freeze it for later use.  The flavor locks in and it is great to make in advance!

In a large pot or dutch oven heat some extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat.

Season your beef with salt and pepper and brown it in the pan.  Making sure to break apart the beef as it cooks.

Add in your garlic cloves and cook until fragrant.  To the pan, add the double concentrate tomato paste and cook it for a few minutes. This is the base of the sauce and gives it the smooth flavor you are looking for.

Once the double concentrate paste cooks for a few minutes, add in the red wine and cook down for 3-4min.

Add in the mushrooms if you are using them and cook for 5 min.

Then add in the can of crushed tomatoes and half a can of water. The tomato paste will balance the acidity from the can of crushed tomatoes.  Often you hear of people adding sugar to bolognese sauce, the double concentrate tomato paste prevents that from being necessary.

Season your sauce with salt, pepper, and the red pepper flakes and let it simmer for 30min to an hour on low heat.

At the end of your cook time add in your fresh herbs and stir them in cooking a further 5-10min.

Good bolognese sauce is a labor of love, and does take some time, but it is so worth it!

Eat it with your favorite pasta or veggie noodle and feel free to top it with parmesan cheese.

Oh and God Bless America, no matter what happens, this is one awesome country!

Vietnamese Sliced Steak Salad

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We have had some seriously stunning weather this week, and sadly the warmth is getting ready to leave us, but as it is 82 degrees today, I made a really tasty salad for dinner. The fun part of salad is that you can add anything to it and really change the taste. We do lots of Mexican inspired salads, but I had a Vietnamese salad a few months ago that I really loved, so I decided to recreate it.

I’ve always approached salads in the “everything but the kitchen sink” method. Going back to that very tall man I feed every day, it is important that salads are heathy and filling. So I love loading salads with tons of veggies and extras to get that heartiness without adding too many calories.

I also love adding herbs like chives and mint to salads because it adds a fabulous dimension to an otherwise simple meal.

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What you need:

  • Lettuce
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Shredded Carrots
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 2 chopped chives
  • 1/2 package of vermicelli noodles
  • 1lb of steak seasoned (cut of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Chop up all of your veggies in cubes or however you like them in your salad.  Thinly slice your jalapeño, and add in your mint and chives.

Set a pot of water to boil and cook our vermicelli noodles for about 3 minutes.

Season your steak with salt and pepper and grill outside or on a grill pan for about 2 min per side if thinly cut like mine.

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Mix all of your dressing ingredients together in a small jar or something you can shake it in.  Taste it, and add vinegar or salt and pepper to get desired flavor.

Once your noodles are cooked, rinse them in cold water to keep them from sticking. Then using a knife or scissors, cut them into thin strips versus long noodles.

Remove your steak from the grill let it cool before slicing it up to put on top of your salad.

Add the noodles and steak to your salad then top with dressing and toss.

This salad is so refreshing and flavorful, and you will be nice and full without the guilt!

Tuesday Taco Salad

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Well it is Tuesday, so we all know what that means… TACO TUESDAY!  This week it is a tortilla-less taco Tuesday! Say what?! That’s right, cut out the tortilla for a healthier option – taco salad!

This is a family favorite from childhood.  Mom used to make this probably once a month or so, and it was always a crowd pleaser. There are so many ways to make it and so many ways to eat it, but this one is an ode to my mom’s version.

You may have already guessed, but James also enjoys this a lot! I am sure by now, for those of you that don’t know him, you have figured out he likes pretty much everything! I am so lucky I can make anything I want and he is likely to love it!

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What you need:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • package of taco seasoning
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3 small tomatoes or 2 large
  • 1 romaine lettuce head
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeño (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Chop up your lettuce and two of the three tomatoes for your salad.  Top the salad with the black beans.  If you want, you can also add corn, but we didn’t this time.

Slice half of your onion thinly, saving the other half for another day. Slice your bell pepper thinly. Slice the final tomato into strips, and finally slice your jalapeño thinly.

In a medium pan, put about a teaspoon of canola oil and warm over medium heat.  When the oil is hot add in your onion and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).

Add in your sliced tomato and then your ground beef.  Make sure the break the beef apart. I then add in about half of the package of taco seasoning and season with salt and pepper.  I find the whole package to be overwhelming and too salty. If you want to add more flavor, add in some garlic powder and cumin, that way you don’t have too much salt.

Cook your beef through and remove from the heat.

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Serve your salad with your beef and sliced jalapeños on top.  We like to add in some Mexican rice, but this is optional.

Our family tradition is to dress it with thousand island dressing, and as odd as it may sound, it is seriously delicious! You can use salsa as dressing, lime juice and olive oil, or just about anything else you like, but at least give the thousand island dressing a chance 🙂

Enjoy!

BBQ Style Kalbi

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Kalbi is a thin cut short rib.  This cut of meat is beyond tender and flavorful, and its perfect for a variety of flavors and marinades. This cut is most often used in Korean BBQ, but being the Texas girl that I am, I made them in a traditional BBQ fashion.

Aside from loving me, I truly think James married me for the food. I think it is possible the love stemmed from several food coma’s that came as a result of meals we shared. He has been my culinary guinea pig for the better part of a decade now, and I am so grateful he is so open to trying new things.

Our local butcher had these kalbi cuts, and when they told me they were thin cut short ribs, I was convinced! To get truly delicious short ribs, you have to slow cook them in lots of yummy sauce and seasoning, and it can take a long time! They are a great winter crockpot dish, but before I break that baby out, I wanted to try these.

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  • 1 1/2 lbs Kalbi or thin cut short ribs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

In Texas, we believe in the dry rub. So mix your spices together and rub them all over your ribs.

Let them sit in the fridge for about an hour before you cook them to absorb the flavor a bit.

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Cook them on medium-high on your grill or inside on a grill pan for about 5-7min total. You want to get a good sear on each side, but not over cook them.  These are very thin cuts so they don’t require too long on the grill.

As you flip them, rub some of your favorite bbq sauce on them.

Remove from the grill, and serve with bbq sauce and any side you like! We did it with some baked beans and potato salad just like you might get at a bbq joint in Texas.  I may have been feeling a little nostalgic and home sick with the cooler weather rolling in…

Enjoy these any way you like, but just for the fun of it, maybe play a little George Strait in the background.

Y’all come back now!

Chile Rellenos

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Any night we get to eat Mexican food, is a happy night in the Burke house. I grew up having Mexican food every Friday night and eating breakfast tacos or Mexican inspired breakfasts at least 3 times a week. Since adulthood living in a less Mexican/American city, I have missed my regular Mexican meals.

Our favorite restaurant at home is Los Barrios, and we have to eat there at least once every time we go visit my parents. Thankfully they have a cookbook, so when I am feeling particularly homesick, I can recreate some of my favorites.

This time I did a little adaptation of their chile relleno, which translated just means stuffed pepper. Most of the time these are fried and have lots of cheese, so I made a slightly healthier version of this classic.

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What you need for this recipe:

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 small new potato diced
  • 2-3 garlic gloves minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups tomato salsa

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Brush your poblano peppers with some canola oil and roast in the oven for around 30 minutes until soft. Turn over half way through to ensure even cooking.

While your peppers cook, dice your onion, carrot, bell pepper and potato, and mince your garlic.

In a non-stick or cast-iron pan heat a teaspoon of canola oil and cook your diced potato for 15-20min until just starting to get tender.

Add the onion and bell pepper cooking a further 5 minutes, followed by the carrot and garlic cooking another 1-2minutes.

Add your ground beef and season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Make sure to break up the meat into small pieces as this way it all gets seasoned well and cooks evenly.

Remove your poblanos from the oven and carefully cut off the tops and remove the seeds. *note you can put the poblanos in a baggie for a few minutes to remove the skin easily before this step*

Stuff your peppers with the ground beef mixture and top with any extra beef and salsa.  If you want to add some grated cheddar or other Mexican cheese this would be the time.

Put back in the oven and cook for a further 5-6 min letting the flavors intermingle and the cheese melt.

Enjoy with a delicious cerveza or tequila gimlet!

 

Sunday Steaks

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There really is nothing like a perfectly grilled medium-rare steak.  You don’t need much else, and it is truly special. James being the big man that he is, really loves a good steak. We don’t make them every Sunday, but it is a really nice treat to have a nice bottle of cabernet and sit outside and enjoy these beautiful summer nights.

To go with our steaks and herb butter, we sliced up a couple of local heirloom tomatoes and seasoned them with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.  We decided to splurge and have some burrata cheese as well  – which if you’ve never had it, it’s just super creamy mozzarella. I only had a small bite because I am a little sensitive to dairy, but the pairing with tomatoes is spectacular.

We also added a little starch with our herb butter mashed potatoes to round out this delicious meal, and make it over all a bit less healthy.  Leave out the potatoes and cheese for a paleo solution, and add some asparagus or another veg of your choice.

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For our herb butter steaks you need:

  • 2 NY strip steaks
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp of chopped chives
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes
  • 1-2 pieces of burrata
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil for drizzle
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of low fat milk (for potatoes)

Allow your butter to get down to room temperature and soften.  Once it is soft, mix in the garlic and half of the chives and season with salt and pepper.

Peel your potatoes and cut into 2″ pieces. Put into a pot and cover with warm water.  Salt the water and set it on the stovetop to boil. Boil them for about 10 minutes, using a fork to check if they are soft and breaking apart.

Once your potatoes are done, drain them and put them back in the pot.  Pour in the milk, half of the herb butter, and season with salt and pepper. If the potatoes feel dry, you can add more milk or olive oil to give them some richness.

Slice up your tomatoes in 1/4″ thick slices, and season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on them for flavor.

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Heat your grill to medium high. Season your steaks with salt and pepper. Depending on the thickness of your steaks, you will cook them on each side for about 5 minutes to get the perfect medium-rare. Cook longer for more done steaks. Make sure not to flip them more than once, this can make steaks dry and tough.

Finally, wait for your family and enjoy all together!

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*Off camera Kuda was given a little bite of steak as a treat for being so patient while I got the sides on the table.