Trying out recipes to pass on to you.

pay more than $2 for steak, trust me

Posted: July 9th, 2009 | Author: leah | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

sometimes…recipes are silly. they look good on paper. but during the execution a step might make you stop and say “why?” like buying chives or parsley only to realize it’s just to sprinkle on the top….no real flavor purpose.

i wanted to add a beef to my ‘cheap week’ and all i had to buy here was the steak and a can of diced tomatoes. and doesn’t “Pan-Seared Steak with Pizzaiola” sound….fun? apparently the pizzaiola is a type of red “sauce” but i don’t get how it added to this dish at all. strike 1.

this recipe called for a rib-eye but i took a hint from Clean Eating Magazine and bought eye of round cuts. VERY lean and about 150 calories per 4 oz serving it said. problem is less fat means less flavor and less juicy. strike 2.

looks purdy like the mag pic, yeah? well tasted like a magazine page. in case of emergency i also made (normally no fail) cheesy polenta. kind of like cheesy grits. i made them the way i always do and….they tasted like soap!? i added salt. more pepper. another hunk of butter. grated some cheddar in the with parm already mixed in. soap. strike 3.

you wins some, you lose some. here is the LINKto the full recipe in case you think you can improve this somehow.

Hubs meter: he dutifully chewed. and CHEWED. he might still be chewing. let’s save the embarrassment of asking and give this a 1 star rating.

Price meter: this is mostly spices, garlic and olive oil. your cut of meat will make a difference. $4.29 got me 3 nice sized eye of round steaks. a can of name brand dice tomatoes was$1.35. divide that by 3= $1.88. of course you will need to add one heck of a side dish or dessert to make up for this mess.

Health meter: we’ll go with “good.” a lean cut of meat is going to give you vitamins and protein without all the fat and cholesterol. and we know tomatoes are a super food. the lack of taste here will send you to the cupboard for cookies later…so it’s a toss up.

So what did we learn this week:

A) it’s fun to try new things

B) planning a menu ahead of time saves money and frustration. we’re talking $19 for 2 people to eat 4 meals this week. and 1 trip to the store. keep your pantry and fridge stocked with some basics. an inspirational (or “duh!”) article HERE:

and C) go with the flow. sometimes you’ll have a hit. sometimes you’ll have a flop. and there’s always pizza delivery. that’s my recovery plan :)

the two hour sandwich

Posted: June 19th, 2009 | Author: leah | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

I had a few plans for today. They did not include inventing a sandwich.

But I did. It is fantastic. And it should retail for $7. $12 if you include the love, heart and soul that went in to it. And it all started with a yellow pepper.

Can’t remember the last time I bought a yellow pepper. But as I held it in my hand in the produce aisle my gaze next locked on a yellow tomato. I recalled yellow squash at home. The sandwich was born. It took two hours of cultivation…worth every second.

First I roasted the yellow pepper and tomatoes. I roast red peppers often and snack on them. You should, too.  Set the oven to broil and 400 degrees. Stab it a few times with a knife, rub some olive oil on it and pop it in the oven. Tomatoes roasted are a real treat. I usually do it to get rid of cherry tomatoes. Slice, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Traditionally I would do these at a lower temp, about 300-350 and for 2 hours or so. But there was a sandwich to make. So high heat, about 45 minutes.








Meanwhile, I sliced up the yellow squash and a white onion. I thought the onion crunch would be a good addition to all that yellow. Salt, pepper and olive on both then grilled. Squash gets sweet and almost buttery when grilled—a great way to try it if you think you don’t like it. The onions soften up just a bit and get a nice char and caramelized flavor.

 My kitchen helper:

cookout 034







I had chosen a white sandwich roll at the store and in hindsight wish I had grabbed a sub roll because I’ve named the sandwich…drumroll…the Yellow Submarine. I know. I’m clever.

I knew this sandwich would have mayo but it needed a bump. I thought about basil or rosemary but I wasn’t feeling herbs. I remembered a chili in adobo sauce I had frozen (I don’t throw away anything!) mixed about 1 tablespoon with 2 tablespoons mayo and smeared on bread. Look at the lovely red! Zingy, not spicy.







I had made bacon for the hubs and added two slices for crunch and saltiness. On top, I piled the roasted yellow pepper and yellow tomato slices.







Next, the grilled onions and yellow squash







And for good measure (and more yellow) melted marbled Colby and Monterey jack cheese.









And the finished product.







It was genius! In every bite I could taste every delicious ingredient. The cool mayo with smoky and spicy chilies, the charred but sweet yellow pepper and squash, the caramelized flavor of the grilled onions and roasted yellow tomatoes, crunchy, salty bacon—and I could have taken or left the cheese. Just the kind of sandwich I’d pay big bucks for at a restaurant—and I came up with it! <pats back, wipes face>