Inner Chef

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Steak Carnitas

I love Mexican food, but I do not love the spice! So, Don and I find ways to enjoy the flavors without the faults. This is a great recipe that is so very easy to make. The marinade; we actually found at our local Menard’s store in Indianapolis of all places! The marinade puts this sweet, delectable bark on the steak when it’s grilled.

I found that pairing the marinade with the Chimichurri sauce was the only way to go on this one. There was no need to finish the carnitas with cilantro or onion before serving; but you are welcome to if you desire.

Steak Carnitas

Ingredients:

Flat Iron Steak; butterflied

1 Bottle of 7-Up Marinade

6-8 Tbsp. Private Selection Chimichurri Finishing Sauce

First off; you want to butterfly the Flat Iron steak and spread the Chimichurri sauce onto one side. Put the top layer back onto the steak and put into a ziplock bag.

Next, pour a bottle of the 7-Up marinade onto the steak and after letting the air out of the bag; close the bag tightly. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours; 24 hours is best.

Heat your grill to 350 degrees. open the steak and grill both sides until medium well. The marinade will caramelize and give the meat this wonderful bark that isn’t tough; but is just a tad crispy and sweet. It pairs so well with the chimichurri!

 

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BBQ Pork Fries

BBQ Pork Fries

Don and I love french fries but we tire of the same old plain fries or cheese fries or chili cheese fries. Then we thought of what else we really enjoy eating. BBQ!

So, we put our BBQ pork (made with Wolf’s Hickory BBQ sauce), fries, cheese and bacon together and came up with an amazing dish.

Shred up some smoked pork and mix it with your favorite BBQ sauce (our favorite is from a restaurant in Evansville, Indiana called Wolf’s).

Crisp up some fries; I mean really crisp up the fries! Lay those over the BBQ pork. Now, add the shredded cheese…lots of cheese (we used Colby-Jack). Next, sprinkle on the bacon pieces. Pop it back in the oven until the cheese melts. Drizzle with more BBQ sauce before serving and prepare to have your taste buds dance in delight!

The smokiness from the meat and the sauce pairs so well with the potatoes and cheese.

It’s a meal in itself! We won’t go back to chili cheese fries again!

1 bag frozen French fries

3/4 pound shredded smoked pork

BBQ sauce

8-10 oz. finely shredded cheese

bacon pieces

Preheat oven to package directions for fries.

Make fries according to package directions; making sure they are VERY crispy.  Set aside when done.

Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup BBQ sauce to pork and heat through.  Spread on foil lined baking sheet. Cover pork with crispy fries. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and then bacon pieces. Return to oven until cheese melts. Drizzle with BBQ sauce after plating and serve.


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Hoisin Pork Tacos with Miso Corn and Cabbage Slaw

Hoisin Pork Tacos with Miso Corn and Cabbage Slaw   (Serves: 2-4)

Ingredients:

10 oz. ground pork

½ tsp. Chinese 5-spice powder

6 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce

1 lime; divided

¼ cup cilantro; chopped

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 ½ cup shredded red cabbage

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

½ Tbsp. miso paste

1 cup frozen or fresh corn

1 Tbsp. canola oil

6 white corn tortillas

Kosher salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl; whisk together sesame oil and juice of ½ lime. Toss in cabbage and cilantro to coat evenly. Season with Kosher salt, set aside.
  2. Heat tortillas over medium-high heat in medium pan. When done; wrap tortillas in foil to keep warm. Set aside.
  3. In same pan as used for tortillas; melt butter over medium heat. When butter is foamy; add miss and corn. Cook; stirring occasionally until corn is bright yellow and fully coated; about 4 minutes. Remove from pan and put into bowl. Cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe pan clean and use to cook pork.
  4. Heat canola oil over medium-high heat, add pork and sprinkle Chinese 5-spice and ¼ tsp. Kosher salt over pork before it begins to cook. Cook, breaking breaking up pork until cooked through and no longer pink; about 5-7 minutes. Stir in hoisin sauce to coat. Remove from heat.
  5. Cut remaining lime into wedges. Layer tortillas with slaw, meat and miso corn. Squeeze extra lime juice over top of taco if you prefer.

 

NOTE: I have used flour and white corn tortillas for this recipe and the white corn tortillas work so much better. There is a much better flavor for everything with the corn tortilla. Don’t let the taste of the slaw get you. It all works together! I was a bit taken aback by the taste of the slaw by itself, but when paired up with the rest of the taco ingredients….a taco miracle!


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Scallops with Linguini and Cream Sauce

Scallops with Linguini and Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 pound bay scallops

1/2 cup butter

3 garlic cloves; minced

juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon

1/4 cup white wine

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup Parmesan cheese; finely shredded

parsley; chopped

1 pound linguini

salt and white pepper to taste

Directions:

Prepare pasta as directed on package.

Meanwhile melt butter in large, heavy skillet on medium heat. Add 1/2 lemon juice, white wine and scallops and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add chopped parsley, cream and cheese; stir until sauce becomes thick; about 5-6 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Drain pasta and toss into cream sauce  drizzle with lemon juice and toss again. Serve immediately.

Scallops and Linguini with Cream Sauce


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Hasselback Chicken

Hasselback Chicken

**Orignal Recipe as taken from Proper Tasty Facebook Page

Here’s What You’ll Need:

Splash of oil

50g Fresh Spinach

50G Ricotta Cheese

2 Chicken Breasts

20g Cheddar Cheese

Paprika

Salt

Pepper

Method: 1.) Cook the spinach on a medium heat in a splash of oil for 3-5 minutes until it is slightly wilted.

2.) Stir in the ricotta and cook for a further 30-60 seconds. Allow to cool.

3.) Cut slits into the chicken breasts about 1cm apart but don’t cut all the way through – about 75% of the way down is what you should aim for, but don’t stress over it.

4.) Stuff all of the spinach and ricotta mixture into the slits.

5.) Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

6.) Grate the cheddar and sprinkle it generously on top.

7.) Shake a good bit of ground paprika over the chicken to add some colour and flavour.

8.) Bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 until the cheese has melted and the juices are clear.

9.) Have it!

Inner Chef Notes:

This was a great tasting dish. Easy to make!

  • I doubled this recipe to use for 4 chicken breasts.
  • I used Vermont White Cheddar Cheese.
  • I used 50/50 of Smoked Paprika and regular Paprika.
  • I used Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese.
  • I used Olive oil.
  • It took about 45 minutes for my chicken to finish cooking.

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BLT Pizza

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Don and I love BLT’s and we love pizza! So we decided to combine the 2 into one amazing dish. This works out great for company (I hate making toast!).

The ingredients are simple:

1 Pre-made pizza crust

Mayo or Miracle Whip

Fresh crisp bacon pieces

Lettuce and tomatoes

Toast the pizza crust, then top with mayo, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. Easy as pizza pie!

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Rosemary Spaghetti with Roasted Asparagus

 

Rosemary Spaghetti with Roasted Asparagus

(Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce)

Here is the original recipe, as in the book. I used a lemon-infused olive oil and added diced chicken. This serves about 4-6 people.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound asparagus, trimmed 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1⁄2 teaspoon coarse salt, such as kosher 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use (see Cook’s Note) 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped 5 medium cloves garlic, sliced 1 1⁄2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth 1 1⁄2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves 1 pound spaghetti, thick spaghetti preferred 1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus cheese for optional topping Salt and freshly ground black pepper Garnish: 8 sprigs fresh rosemary

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Adjust oven rack to upper third of oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread asparagus on rimmed baking sheet in a single layer; brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until fork-tender, about 7 to 12 minutes, shaking pan halfway through cooking to redistribute stalks (roasting time varies depending on thickness of asparagus). Cut stalks into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. In large, deep skillet melt 4 tablespoons butter on medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add chicken broth or vegetable broth and chopped rosemary; increase heat to high and reduce by half.
  3. Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to boil on high heat. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions until al dente (tender with a little bite); drain, reserving 2 tablespoons pasta water.
  4. Add pasta and reserved cooking water to butter mixture. Add cheese, 1 tablespoon butter and asparagus. Gently toss. Season with salt and plenty of pepper. Garnish each serving with rosemary sprig.

Inner Chef Note: I made a homemade Roasted Garlic Butter:

Cut about 1/3 of the top of a large garlic bunch, drizzle a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the cut part and wrap garlic bunch in foil, open side up. Open foil just a bit so that the garlic can caramelize. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes, until garlic is tender. remove from oven and let rest. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from paper. Add to unsalted butter and enjoy.

 

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