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Posts from the ‘Entrees’ Category

Steak with Gorgonzola Butter

VDay is around the corner and when it falls on a week day it’s kind of hard to find the time to go out and celebrate, especially if you’re both working. That doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate at home though. I’m a fan of easy, but delicious recipes that get dressed up and this recipe for steak is just that. You take a regular steak, season it with a couple of different spices, top it with gorgonzola butter and you have a FABULOUS dinner that will leave your significant other wondering if you’re trying to pull one over on them (“Did you ORDER this or did you MAKE this?”)

Ingredients:

2 steaks (use your favorite cut – I’m using rib eye here)

– 2 tbsp garlic salt (If you don’t already have this in your pantry…GET IT! It’s super flavorful and will make whatever you add it to taste delish)

– 1 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

– Gorgonzola butter (see below for recipe)

Instructions:

Make sure the steaks are at room temperature. If you’re grilling them, turn the grill onto medium heat. If you’re baking in the oven, pre heat your oven to 375 degrees. 

Sprinkle each steak with 1 tbsp garlic salt and 1/2 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Place on the grill, cooking for about 4 minutes (add an extra 2 minutes if you want the steak medium to medium well) then flip and cook for another 4 minutes. If you’re baking, cook for 7 minutes on each side.

When the steaks are done, remove from heat and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute in the steak so that when you cut it, the juices don’t flow out onto your plate.

To serve, add slices of gorgonzola butter to the steak (I would add 2 slices to each steak that are about 1/4 of a tbsp each) and sprinkle each steak with 1/2 tbsp of freshly chopped parsley.

For the gorgonzola butter, follow this recipe –

http://deliciousinheels.com/2012/02/08/gorgonzola-butter/

Hostess with the Mostess Tip: Make the butter ahead of time and marinate the steaks with the garlic salt,  pepper and oil. Set them aside in the fridge if you will be serving later on in the day (make sure you take them out about 30 minutes before you cook them so they come to room temperature). By the way you don’t HAVE to marinate the steaks…the best part about garlic salt is it sets in immediately.

Dress to Impress Tip: The gorgonzola butter says it all with this dish. Your guests won’t quite know what to say because they’ll be in awe over how pretty their meal looks. If this happens, tell them to hurry up and start eating.

Portobello Mushroom and Zucchini Cheesy Quesadillas

MMMMMM quesadillas!!  The perfect thing to eat, any time of day. Don’t believe me? Keep reading to see all the different ways to eat them!

1. Late night snack – what else would you want to eat at 2 in the morning when you have the munchies??

2. Game day – a portable, easy snack to eat while watching a game

3. Lunch/dinner – make a meal out of it! The portobellos add some meatiness to it and make it pretty filling.

So, if that doesn’t convince you of how these are a great anytime dish I’m really not sure what will. In any case, try out the quesadillas!

Here’s what you’ll need –

Ingredients:

1 portobello mushroom

– 1 medium zucchini

– 1 medium onion

– 1 medium green pepper

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 1 tsp black pepper

– 1 tbsp adobo seasoning

– 1/2 cup of reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

– 1/2 cup of reduced fat shredded monterey jack cheese

– 4 tortillas – 8″ in diameter – use whole wheat for a healthier version

Shred the zucchini and put aside. Slice the portobello mushroom lengthwise into thin strips. Peel the onion and cut in half. Slice each half into thin strips. Do the same with the bell pepper, making sure to remove all seeds (they’re not spicy so you can leave them in if you want).

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the zucchini, mushroom, onion and bell pepper. Add the pepper and adobo. Mix together and allow the vegetables to continue cooking until the onions become translucent (about 3-5 minutes). Remove the vegetables from the saute pan and set aside in a bowl.

Now the traditional way to put these together is on a skillet but to be honest…it’s SO much easier to just throw these in the oven and let them cook on their own. So…all you need to do is take a tortilla, spread half of the vegetable mixture on it, add half of the cheddar and monterey jack cheese, put another tortilla on top and repeat to make another one. Spray the quesadillas with cooking spray and put in the oven for 5 minutes. That’s it!!! Once they’re done, remove and slice it like a pizza.

Serve with guacamole (yes, I have a recipe for that too!), fat-free or low-fat greek yogurt (use sour cream if you prefer) or salsa.

Hostess with the Mostess Tip: If you’re serving this at a party for a large number of people, saute all the vegetables ahead of time. About 20 minutes before you want to serve, pre-heat your oven to 375. Create the quesadillas on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Heat up the quesadillas in the oven and you’re ready to go! Sprinkle a little bit of chili powder over the quesadillas if you have it – it will add a nice touch to your presentation. 🙂

Blue Cheese Sliders with Caramelized Onions

I LOVE a good burger. Some of my best childhood memories are from summer days spent barbecuing with my family, so it’s no surprise that I’ve got a burger recipe on here (it won’t be the last either!). These are so quick and easy to make. Prep time is minimal and once they’re on the grill you can make the blue cheese mayo and caramelized onions for them. By the time the burgers are cooked, dinner will be ready to serve!

Ingredients:

 1 lb ground beef

– 1 tbsp salt

– 1 tbsp black pepper

– 1 tsp freshly chopped garlic

– 1 small shallot

– 1 tbsp hot sauce (this is not enough to make the burgers spicy, but you can leave this out or adjust the amount if it’s too much)

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 1 large red onion

– 1 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (use fat free if you want a healthier option)

– 4 oz crumbled blue cheese

– 10 slider rolls

Instructions:

Finely dice the shallot. Mix the salt, pepper, hot sauce, garlic, diced shallot and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a bowl with the ground beef. Taking a large spoonful at a time, form burger patties that are about 2 1/2″ in diameter and about 1/2″ thick. 1 lb should yield 10 burgers. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side on medium heat or cook in a pre-heated oven at 375 for 10 minutes, flipping half way through.

While the burgers are cooking away on the grill or in the oven, go ahead and start cooking the caramelized onions. Peel the red onion and cut in half. Slice the onion halves into thin slices. Heat the remaining olive oil in a saute pan and place the onions in the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and continue cooking over low heat until the onions are translucent and slightly golden brown about 5-7 minutes. At this point, turn off the stove and leave the onions in the pan.

The last part of this recipe is the mayo for the sliders. It’s a little tricky to make so make sure you follow these instructions carefully…

To make the mayo for the sliders, mix the mayo with the blue cheese. If you’re feeling a little daring, add a dash of hot sauce to the mayo. That’s it. You’re done.

Hostess with the Mostess Tip – If you don’t have time to grill/bake the patties while your guests are there, make everything ahead of time so that all you have to do is assemble the burgers and serve. Your friends will be impressed at how well organized you are 😉

French Toast with Candied Pecans

What do you love most about French toast? Is it that rich, creamy taste when you bite into it? Maybe that slight crunch from it being toasted on a griddle or in the oven? If its neither of those then it HAS to be the sweet taste of carmelized sugar. For me, it’s all of the above but I have a secret ingredient that throws it over the top. One that will make you sit back in wonder and think to yourself why haven’t I had this before?? It’s the candied pecans with a hint of coffee and yes, you CAN have dessert in the morning.

Ingredients:

– 1 loaf brioche bread

– 6 eggs

– 1 1/2 cups of half and half *substitute with whole milk for a healthier option

– 1 tbsp vanilla

– 4 tbsp freshly brewed coffee

– Pinch of salt

– 5 tbsp dark brown sugar

– 5 tbsp butter

– 3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans

– Powdered sugar for garnishing

Instructions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, vanilla, 2 tbsp of coffee and a pinch of salt. Take the brioche bread and cut it into 3/4″ thick slices. Turn on the stove to medium and add 2 tbsp of butter to a non stick skillet. While this warms up, begin to dip the slices of bread in the batter 2 at a time. Make sure you flip the bread over to ensure that both sides are well coated. Place the coated bread slices on the skillet and cook on each side for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Continue dipping the bread in the batter and cooking on the skillet. Once all the bread slices have been cooked arrange them on a platter or a dish.

Melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter coffee in the skillet. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of coffee, and the brown sugar and pecans. Cook until the mixture has the consistency of syrup and is dark brown. Pour this over the french toast. Garnish with powdered sugar that has been run through a sifter.

Dress to impress tip – use a cake platter to serve this. The height will make this stand out as a main dish and gives you the opportunity to be a little artistic with your presentation. My favorite way to serve this is to arrange the slices in a circle and drizzle the syrup/powdered sugar on top. You’ll be left with some room in the middle that you can also use to decorate the platter by adding things like fresh fruit or acorns, but I like to take make this a simple presentation where the focus is on the french toast itself.

Hostess with the mostess tip – if you’re serving this dish for a group of people you can save some time by baking this instead of individually cooking each slice. To do this, pre-heat your oven to 375. Arrange the dipped slices of bread in a greased baking dish and pour any remaining batter over the bread. Cook for 20 minutes, flipping the slices over halfway through. You’ll get the same taste and this will give you some extra time to focus on making all the other dishes for your spectacular morning brunch 😉

Eggplant Parm

Eggplant parm is one of those hearty home cooked meals that makes my mouth water (as most foods do). I remember making this for the first time when I was 11 years old one summer. My recipe at that time was a lot simpler – I literally took the eggplant, sliced it and put it in a baking dish with sauce on the bottom, eggplant and then a layer of mozzarella cheese on top. That still tasted amazing and my mom actually let me make it again when we had family from out of town visiting for dinner. I took that as a true sign of success if my mom, the ultimate perfectionist when it came to cooking, let me make something for dinner. If you’re looking for a really short and easy way to make eggplant parm…go for it with my original recipe. I PROMISE it will still taste good – how can you go wrong when there is cheese involved?

My tastes since then have evolved and I’ve experimented a bit to get to this recipe. It’s the perfect mix of richness from the cheese, sweet tartness from the marinara and crunch from the eggplant and breadcrumbs on top. You know that feeling you get when you pull apart a cheesy slice of pizza that’s piping hot? That’s what this dish is like. Your mouth will water as you’re pulling apart a slice of it and you see the ooey gooey cheese with flecks of crispy breadcrumbs in it. I would recommend taking 2 slices of it at a time because there’s no guarantee there will be any left for you to come back to for seconds.

Ingredients:

1 medium sized eggplant

2 eggs

1 ¾ cup of panko bread crumbs

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of black pepper

2 cups marinara sauce

2 cups mozzarella cheese

¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 tbs olive oil or baking spray

1 tbs freshly chopped thyme (optional for garnishing at the end)

Instructions:

Pre heat oven to 375.

Season 1 ¼ cup of the panko bread crumbs with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Set aside in a plate that is large enough to accommodate the eggplant slices being rolled in the breadcrumbs. In a separate bowl, crack the eggs and beat. Make sure this bowl is also wide enough for the eggplant slices to be dipped in.

Slice the eggplant into round circles about 1/4” thick (no thicker then this or they will be difficult to cook). Take a slice of eggplant and dip it first in the eggs and then in the breadcrumbs, ensuring each side is covered with bread crumbs. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices and place on a cooling rack for baking. Once all the slices have been coated in the egg and breadcrumb mixtures, place the cooling rack on a baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tbs olive oil over the slices and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt and black pepper.  Bake the slices for 15 minutes then remove from the oven.*

In a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray, coat the bottom of the dish with marinara sauce. Place a layer of eggplant on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle ½ cup of mozzarella on the eggplant and then continue with another layer of eggplant and cheese – you should get 2-3 layers depending on the size of the eggplant. Once you have completed layering the eggplant and cheese, put a final layer on top of the remaining mozzarella, parmesan and breadcrumbs. Drizzle with 1 tbs olive oil and place in the oven for 30 minutes.

*Placing the slices on a cooling rack to bake will allow the eggplant slices to get crispy. If you do not have a cooling rack, it’s ok – you can still get them crispy. Just put them on a baking sheet and turn them over halfway through so that each side gets toasted.