Beef

Taco Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

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52 weeks of cooking – Hot and Cold

Summer is a time for salad and not just small side salads, big, hearty, filling, dinner salads. To me a dinner salad is your whole meal, lots of veggies, composed flavors and a spectacular dressing. This taco salad is all about the dressing, a creamy, smoky ranch with Mexican flavors. I love salad dressing and most of the ones I make I’d be happy to eat off a spoon, this one included, it can only be improved upon by topping off a big platter of taco salad.

The base of the salad could be anything you like but the important parts are crushed tortilla chips, a hot ground beef mixture spiced with taco seasoning and of coarse lettuce. All the other additions just keep making it better, shredded jicama or cabbage in the greens, a chunk pico de gallo, cheddar cheese, black olives, beans and charred corn. Assemble the salad however you like with whatever ingredients you like or have on hand, just don’t skimp on the dressing.

 






Taco Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing


  • Yield:
    1 1/2 cups salad dressing
  • Category:
    ,

Ingredients

  • ½ c sour cream
  • 1/3 c packed cilantro with streams
  • ¼ c mayo
  • 2 tbsp. milk or buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. ranch powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp. adobo sauce

Taco salad options

  • Tortilla chips
  • Cooked ground beef seasoned with taco spices
  • Lettuce
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Chunky pico de gallo (tomatoes, white onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime, salt)
  • Sliced black olives
  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Jicama
  • Cabbage

Chipotle Ranch

    Directions

    Chipotle Ranch

    1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth, about 1 minute.

    Taco salad options

    1. Make a pile of whatever ingredients you like and cover it in dressing, enjoy!

    For more click to continue on to http://www.seasonedatsea.com

    Turkish Manti

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    52 weeks of cooking – Showing Off

    I’m always on the quest for something new, with so many different dishes out there in the world, why eat the same thing twice. I put a lot of work into finding new dishes to make or even a twist on something old, because of this I spend a lot of time looking at food blogs. I have a handful of favorite blogs, ones that consistently update and have great recipes that I don’t often need to tweak. When looking for something new I start with the blogs, see if I can fall down a rabbit hole and get my hands on something unique, find an idea that leads me into more research. Other times I turn to Wikipedia and read about a cuisine from a country I don’t know much about, usually it’s this way that I find something really interesting.

    Now that I have the name and description of this new dish I need to make I need to find out more about it. I read at least half a dozen recipes or more, see what they have in common see what makes them different from one another. From there I try to narrow it down to two or three and then combine the different things I like together to make my own version. If it’s a dish I’m not at all familiar with then I’ll follow the recipe’s measurements more closely, if not I’ll wing it and write down notes as I go. I like being able to cook by feel rather than a strict set of measurements, I encourage everyone to be comfortable with the food they make and eventually to make most dishes by taste.

    This dish is born from a lot of research. Turkish manti are tiny dumplings stuffed with a simple ground lamb mixture and accompanied by two sauces, it’s the sauces and the texture of the dumplings that make this dish. After the dumplings are baked and boiled they get tossed in butter, slathered with caramelized tomato paste and finished with a dollop of garlicy yoghurt. The smaller the dumplings are the more fun they are to eat!

    I sometimes make a cheater version of this dish, forget the whole dumpling folding part and make it a simple pasta dish instead. Make all the same elements, toss spaghetti in the caramelized tomato paste sauce, top with meatballs of the filling mixture and a good blob of the garlic yoghurt. Same great flavor at a fraction of the work.

     





















    Turkish Manti


    Ingredients

    Dough

    • 4 c flour
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 3 eggs
    • 3/4 c water

    Filling

    • 1 lb ground beef or lamb
    • 1 onion, minced fine
    • 1/4 c water
    • 1/4 c parsley, minced
    • 2 tbsp. fresh mint, minced (optional)
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. pepper

    Yoghurt sauce

    • 1 1/2 c Greek yoghurt
    • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1 1/2 tsp. tahini
    • 1/2 tsp. salt

    Caramelized tomato paste

    • 4 tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 c tomato paste
    • 1 tbsp. paprika
    • 1 c water
    • salt, to taste

    To serve

    • butter
    • sumac (optional)
    • fresh mint, chiffonade (optional)

    Directions

    Dough

    1. Put all of the dough ingredients into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Knead for 8-10 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Cover and let rest at room temperate for 30 minutes.

    Filling

    1. In a medium bowl add all of the ingredients for the filling, with a clean hand mix it together for at least two minutes. This helps to incorporate the water and make a gooey structure to hold the moisture in.

    Yoghurt sauce

    1. Mix everything together, taste and adjust seasoning, chill till ready to serve.

    Fill the manti

    1. Preheat the oven to 325F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. On a floured surface cut the dough into four pieces and cover the pieces you are not working with to prevent them from drying out. Roll the dough out into a sheet about 1 /16th of an inch thick.
    3. Cut the dough into small squares, about 1 ½ inches. (make these bigger if you can’t stand small fiddly work) Add a small amount of meat to the center of each square and pinch the dumplings closed by pulling the four corners up to the center and pinching the four seams.
    4. Place them on your parchment lined baking sheets and continue to shape all of the dumplings.
    5. Bake at 325F for 15 minutes or until the edges just start to get a little color. At this point the manti can be stored in the fridge for a few days, allow them to come to room temperature before boiling.

    Caramelized tomato paste

    1. In a small pot over medium heat cook the olive oil and tomato paste stirring constantly for 8 minutes until the tomato paste changes to a darker color and all of the oil is incorporated.
    2. Add the paprika and cook an additional 30 seconds until fragrant. Remove from the heat and whisk in the water, season to taste.

    To serve

    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, turn down to a simmer, add the manti and cook for 10 minutes until they are tender.
    2. Drain the pot, add a hunk of butter to the pot and tumble the manti on top, toss gently to coat and season with salt to taste.
    3. Divide the manti into bowls and serve with a generous amount of caramelized tomato paste and yoghurt. Garnish with sumac and fresh mint.

    For more click to continue on to http://www.seasonedatsea.com

    Pho

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    52 weeks of cooking – Stocks and Broths

    There are two parts to a good Vietnamese pho, a rich flavorful stock and the toppings.

    Let’s start with the stock. Lots of people use the term stock and broth interchangeably, but there is a difference. My food hero, Alton Brown, defines a stock as being made with bones while a broth is made from meat and vegetables. This means that a stock is packed with collagen, this has an impact on it’s texture, it ends up being heavy and velvety on the tongue. On the other hand, broth is just a flavorful liquid and lacks the weight of a stock. I believe in stocks, specially for a soup like pho when there are minimal components, you want every player to count and stand out on their own.

    Part two, the toppings, which is pretty much everything else, herbs, crispy bean sprouts and barley cooked beef all covering a bed of noodles. These things can’t be skipped, of coarse you can go vegetarian and substitute the beef with tofu or a different preferred protein. Thai basil and cilantro add a pop of freshness to balance the richness of the stock and the bean sprouts add a needed crunch of texture. A sprinkle of mint, sliced chilies, green onions, squeeze of lime, a dollop of chili paste and hoisin sauce are also welcome additions.

     




    Pho

     

    Ingredients

    Broth

    • 1 gallon stock
    • ginger
    • onion
    • star anis pods
    • fennel seeds
    • cinnamon stick
    • clove
    • coriander
    • fish sauce
    • sugar
    • salt

    To Serve

    • thin rice noodles
    • flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
    • Thai basil
    • cilantro
    • mung bean sprouts
    • mint
    • chilies, sliced
    • green onions
    • lime wedges
    • chili paste
    • hoisin sauce

    Directions

    Broth

    1. This recipe is all about doing things to taste, start off light with the spices and let the stock simmer for about an hour, taste and adjust. If there is a spice you like more than others add a bit more. The stock should only be at a bare simmer so it doesn’t become cloudy, the stock should cook 2-3 hours.

    To Serve

    1. In a large bowl place cooked rice noodles, slices of beef and pour over the hot stock so it starts to cook the raw beef. Then put as much or as little of the toppings as you like.

    For more click to continue on to http://www.seasonedatsea.com

    Black Pepper Beef

    Most of the time I don’t follow recipes, I use them as guidelines.

    I’m not a big fan of taking measurements, everything is eye balled, tasted and adjusted. It would be wonderful if everyone learned to cook this way, through the power of your own taste bud. Besides, everyone has different tastes, I like things with lots of vinegar so I always add more, some people want more salt or spice. Adjust everything to your own taste buds and you don’t really need to follow a recipe, use it as an ingredient list, not an exact formula.

    For this black pepper beef I managed to take measurements and take notes on it.

    This dish is slightly spicy, not the same way a chili sauce is, it doesn’t burn your tongue or nose, it’s an all around body warming heat. With the addition of a bit of white pepper it picks up the warmth and adds an additional layer of flavor to the dish that then is balanced with some sugar and a little vinegar. The garlic and ginger are back notes but are an important part to the dish, as are the onions and bell peppers; I like to keep the peppers al dente to add texture to the dish.

     




    Black Pepper Beef


    Ingredients

    Black pepper sauce

    • 2/3 c chicken stock or water
    • 6 tbsp. soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine or sherry
    • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
    • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
    • 1 tbsp. sugar
    • 1 tbsp. black pepper corns, crushed
    • 1/2 tsp. white pepper corns, crushed
    • 1/2 tsp. salt

    Stir fry

    • oil, for cooking
    • 8 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tbsp. ginger, minced
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 2 green bell peppers, sliced
    • 1 lb beef flank, rump, or sirloin steak, cut against the grain

    Directions

    Black pepper sauce

    1. Mix all of the sauce ingredients together, whisk thoroughly to incorporate the cornstarch in the cold liquids. If you don't have whole pepper corns, a little less of cracked pepper, do not use the ground up dusty powder.

    Sir fry

    1. Prep all of your ingredients, mince the garlic and ginger, cut the onion and bell peppers into short strips and thinly slice the beef against the grain. It helps if the beef is partially frozen to achieve very thin slices, sprinkle the beef with a little soy sauce to season it.
    2. Heat a wok or large pan on high heat, add a bit of oil and cook the beef in batches. Remove from the pan before completely cooked, it's okay if there are still some uncooked spots, it'll finish cooking while it rests and again when you add it to the sauce later.
    3. Add a little more oil to the empty wok and fry the garlic and ginger for 1 minute.
    4. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes stirring often to prevent scorching. Add the bell peppers and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
    5. When the vegetables have a little color add the sauce and cook till thickened, now is the time to taste and adjust.
    6. Add in the cooked beef and stir everything together, let sit off the heat for a moment to allow the beef to warm back up. Serve over rice.

    For more click to continue on to http://www.seasonedatsea.com