Overnight Tri-Tip Marinade

Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic salt
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 pound tri tips, sliced to 1 inch thickness

Directions:

  1. Create the marinade by combining all ingredients, except for the steak and corn starch.
  2. Pour the marinade over the steak in a bowl and refrigerate over night.
  3. When ready to cook, allow steak to reach room temperature.
  4. Coat steak in corn starch so that it becomes crispy
  5. Cook steak for about 2 minutes on each side for medium rare pieces. Cook more or less time, to desired taste.
  6. Serve!

Soy Glazed Crispy Pork on Sweet Potato Noodles

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pork shoulder
  • 4 slices thick bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place bacon strips on a pan, sprinkling with granulated sugar. Let cook 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Thinly slice red onion.
  4. Using a shredding tool, peel the sweet potato into noodle strips.
  5. Saute the onion and sweet potato in the olive oil until onion becomes translucent.
  6. Add the lemon juice soy sauce to mixture as it becomes dry, adding all of it once onions are translucent.
  7. Dice the pork shoulder into bite size pieces.
  8. Add the cumin, pork shoulder, and brown sugar to the mixture, stirring until pork shoulder is cooked through.
  9. Cut the bacon into chunky pieces and add to the mixture
  10. Serve and enjoy! You may serve as is, over a bowl of rice, or a bed of greens.

Wedge Salad

Wedge Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of thick bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup creamy Cesar or Ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

Directions:

  1. Prepare the Bacon
    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
    • Place bacon a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
    • Lightly sprinkle with granulated sugar
    • Bake for about 20 minutes, or until bacon is browned (no need to flip the bacon)
    • Remove from oven and allow to cool
    • Once cooled, chop into chunky pieces
  2. Prepare the Dressing
    • Mince the garlic and add to Cesar or Ranch dressing
    • Add blue cheese crumbles
    • Stir
  3. Prepare the Red Onion
    • Thinly slice the red onion
    • Combine with white vinegar and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then drain vinegar
    • The vinegar will slightly cook the onion to detract from its potency
  4. Cut the iceberg lettuce into six wedges
  5. Dice the roma tomato
  6. Assemble the salad
    • Plate the iceberg lettuce wedge
    • Drizzle about 2 Tablespoons of dressing over the wedge
    • Top with tomato pieces, onion slices, and bacon bits
  7. Serve!

Flat Iron Steak with Creamy Greens

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 4 flat iron steaks
  • 2 pounds spinach
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons bouillon
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Directions for Creamy Greens:

  1. Thinly slice the onion
  2. Add 2 Tablespoons butter to a large skillet
  3. Add the onions, mustard, and the bouillon
  4. Cook on medium heat until onion turns translucent
  5. Add in the milk and sprinkle flour over the mixture and continue stirring until the flour dissolves, and the mixture is thick.
  6. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil
  7. Add in the spinach and allow to blanch until tender
  8. Immediately remove spinach from the boiling water and transfer to a colander
  9. Douse spinach in cold water
  10. Add spinach to the large skillet, and stir until spinach is coated in the sauce
  11. Transfer to a serving bowl

Directions for Flat Iron Steaks:

  1. Let steaks sit out for 30 minutes in order to reach room temperature
  2. Generously season with kosher salt and pepper
  3. After seasoning, coat in light layer of cornstarch
  4. Heat 2 Tablespoons butter and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over high heat
  5. Cook 2 minutes per side for rarer steaks, longer for medium rare or well-done steaks

Plate steaks with creamy greens!

 

 

Cooking Trivia Tid Bits

Bouillon means “broth” in French

Chef means “chief” in French

To get vegetables extra green after they’ve been cooked, douse in cold water. This brings the chlorophyll to the surface and makes their color more vibrant.

Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

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As a wine geek myself, Cork Dork had high appeal for me!

Bianca, our Princeton-educated narrator, describes how she decided to transition out of her job as an editor for a tech publication, and into the whirlwind world of wine.

Lesson #1: You have to be obsessed to make is as a sommelier.

The comrades who Bianca aligned herself with live and breathe wine in the most literal sense. Their passion also comes with power, as sommeliers at restaurants can add a “0” or two to the end of the revenue that a restaurant generates. Their ability to get patrons to buy wine can mean the difference between a bistro operating in the red or in the black.

Being a novice, Bianca had to quickly learn to detect the nuanced aromas that wine gives off. When I smell the nose of a wine, I can pick out hints of blackberry, or tobacco — but nothing as specific as what sommeliers are able to tune into. For example, if I caught a whiff of something floral, I wouldn’t be able to tell you if it was jasmine or honeysuckle. Sommeliers however, often can make a fine-line judgment call like that. In fact, you can train your nose to detect those smells. Bianca would spend time smelling different wine aromas in an effort to commit them to memory and up her cork dork game.

It’s a fun ride to experience the world of wine through Bianca’s lens. It was also informative to learn about what distinguishes “good wine” from … how shall I say this … “gas station wine.” First, a definition. “Gas station wines” are those bottles that are around $5-$7 at your local Chevron, and taste pretty consistently like fermented grape juice.

For cheaper brands of wine that are mass produced, the goal is actually to make them taste the same. In the way Pepsi should taste like Pepsi, regardless of the year it was produced, Yellow Tail Merlot should always taste like the same Yellow Tail Merlot. Big brand wines are turned out in monstrous vats. Ingredients are added liberally if the taste has to be manipulated. If it needs more of an oak flavor, wood chips might get thrown in. There’s even a specific concentrate that can be added to give the grape juice brew the desired flavor profile.

Good wine, by contrast, is treated like an organic piece of art. No wood chips or concentrate gets added in. Instead, the wine is allowed to evolve in its own way. For this reason, the wines that a winery produces will often vary in flavor year to year because of the changing conditions of the weather and terroir.

This is a big part of why wine tasting is so much fun! Every year, a winery will have different wines to offer because the grapes harvested will be different.

This read is a wonderful escape for any wine enthusiast.

Chakras and Intuitive Eating

Chef Kayla Wexelberg, owner of Taste your Roots

Chef Kayla Wexelberg, owner of Taste your Roots

This past May, I was lucky enough not only to go to Lightning in a Bottle, but also to see Chef Kayla Wexelberg do a workshop!

She’s the owner of the culinary company, Taste Your Roots, and also completely blew my mind with her philosophy on intuitive eating. She describes how the food we eat affects our chakras.

A summary of what I learned is below:

Eating Protein and Roots Nourishes the ROOT CHAKRA

The root chakra (as the name might suggest) is associated with grounding and stability. Eating foods rich in protein helps satiate us and make us feel grounded. Roots (think potato, carrots, beets) are high in fiber and also help achieve this goal.

Fluids and the SACRAL CHAKRA

The sacral chakra, housed by our sex organs, is where we keep the most emotional elements of ourselves. This is the part of us that fosters our emotional connection to other individuals. Fluids help to nurture this part of us. A warm cup of tea in an intimate setting sets the tone for us to open up to each other. (Although a few glasses of wine can also do the trick.  😉  )  Rose water, cucumber juice, and peppermint tea are just a few examples of the fluids that nurture this chakra.

Carbohydrates and the SOLAR CHAKRA

The solar chakra (located by the mid and upper abdomen) is where power resides. It’s by the core muscles that we use to accomplish physical work, and so is fueled by carbohydrates like rice, potatoes, and corn — the building blocks of food that give us energy.

Produce and the HEART CHAKRA

The heart chakra, tied to our sense of love and openness, is symbolized by the color green. Springtime, when “love is in the air,” is also when green food (think vegetables and produce) is most readily available. Produce is also very good for the cardiovascular system, and so supports the heart chakra not just poetically, but physiologically as well.

Spices and the THROAT CHAKRA

The throat, from which our speech flows, is the bedrock of our communication. Sampling different spices and flavors gives us something to discuss and so activates the throat chakra.

Stimulants and the THIRD EYE CHAKRA

The third eye chakra is the center of insight and reflection. It represents clear vision and thought, and so is activated by stimulants like coffee and chocolate.

Breath and the CROWN CHAKRA

The crown chakra (at the top of your head) symbolizes a connection with a force of life greater than ourselves. I may be mistaken, but I don’t recall Kayla talking about nourishment for the crown chakra through food. But when I think about it, I feel that the breath is a great link to ourselves and the higher power beyond us. To me, breath is my way of engaging the crown chakra.

Photo Credit: www.tasteyouroots.com