Why not make a London Broil this Valentine’s Day?
Maybe London Broil isn’t the first thing you think of when you think of romantic Valentine’s Day meals, but it should be. I’ll give you three good reasons why.
Reason one: Your usual Valentine’s Day fare may be a filet mignon or lobster tail, but why serve up a cliché? This recipe for London Broil with wild mushrooms is every bit as romantic (and delicious). Its home cooking for the one you love, and what could be more romantic than that?
Reason two: A London Broil steak is easy to make and affordable. It’s usually a flank or top round steak, marinated for flavor and tenderness. You can cook up a meal for two and still have leftovers for juicy roast beef sandwiches the next day. Get the most bang for your buck from your hard work in the kitchen.
Reason Three: London Broil is sexy, especially when you top it with a creamy wild mushroom sauce. Score big points when you slice into a perfectly-cooked steak to reveal a delightfully pink center.
Some tips for making the perfect London Broil:
Add the marinade ingredients to large resealable plastic bag. Add the steak and seal shut. Place into a large baking dish to prevent spills. Marinate in the refrigerator 4 hours to overnight, turning the bag a few times.
Preheat the oven to a high broil. Remove the steak from the marinade and reserve the marinade for the sauce. Pat the steak dry and season liberally with freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt. Place into an oven-safe broiler (shallow) pan and cook about 8 inches from the heat. Cook for 6-7 minutes per side until an internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F.
Remove the steak from the oven and transfer to a plate. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Add butter to a large skillet heat on medium-heat until foaming. Add the mushrooms to the pan. Cook until the liquid is released and the mushrooms are well-browned. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
Add the marinade, wine (or liquor) and broth to the hot pan. Cook on high heat until reduced, about 3-5 minutes. Lower the heat, add the cream and mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.
To serve, cut the steak across the grain in thin slices. Pour any steak juices into the sauce and spoon over the steak.
I have decided that quiche is the perfect breakfast when you have family visiting. You can make it ahead of time, and whip it out for breakfast to impress even the pickiest of in-laws. Not that mine are picky. No. my in-laws are the best.
I always make two quiche. Why? Because there are two crusts in a pack of frozen pie crusts. Yes, I use frozen pie crusts. A homemade crust will always taste better, but a frozen one is good enough when you want something easy. I like to make a spinach quiche, usually with some bits of bacon or sausage and caramelized onion. I also like a delicious mushroom quiche. This one has Gruyere cheese, but you can use whatever cheese is your favorite.
Quiche is awesome because it’s easy to prepare. It looks beautiful. It travels well (I send a slice with my husband to work). It makes a great breakfast AND a great lunch. It’s versatile –throw in whatever ingredients you want. It’s also really, really delicious.
One thing I don’t advise: don’t freeze your quiche. I served a frozen quiche this Christmas and the bottom of the crust was soggy. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t very good, either. I’m picky, though. My mom loved it.
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C
Heat 2 skillets on medium-high heat. You are going to prepare the onions in one, and the mushrooms in the other (to save time). You can also prepare them separately in the same skillet.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden and the center no longer jiggles. Cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Artichoke and mushroom casserole
I’m taking it easy this Christmas. Since this is my first year with a food blog, I wasn’t prepared for the food-extravaganza going on in the food blogosphere this time of year. There is one. And it’s big. I am so ready to join in, and post amazing holiday recipes daily that will blow your socks off.
Yes, I’m sorry. But I know you won’t hold it against me.
It’s so hard to cook anything inspiring with a 1 year old. He’s getting easier, but he’s also on the verge of walking. Or running…so it’s going to get harder for a little while. Which is why I make recipes like this yummy artichoke and mushroom casserole. It’s easy, and good for several meals (depending on how big a family you have).
Artichokes are one of my favorite foods. So are mushrooms. Together, they are an impressive holiday dish or just some good home cooking. We all love some good home cooking.
If you want to make it on the lighter side, just omit the butter/crumb topping. For me, it doesn’t seem right to eat artichokes without some butter somewhere close by.
Preheat oven to 350°F/
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. Add mushrooms and cook quickly, allowing them to brown, about 6 minutes, until they shrink in size and the juices are released and evaporated. Transfer mushrooms to a casserole dish.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the same pan the mushrooms were cooked. Stir to remove any pan drippings. Add the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 3 minutes (until flour is bubbly). Add the chicken broth and cook until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cream and lemon juice. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper (and taste!).
Add the drained artichokes to the casserole dish. Pour the cream mixture on top and stir to combine.
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on top of the casserole.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
Oyster stuffing is a favorite of mine. It’s a tradition in my family, and this recipe takes it up a notch with shiitake mushrooms and leeks. It’s basically a combination of some of my favorite things, in one rich – yet delicate – dish.
If you grew up along the coast, like I did. Raw oysters are an initiation of sorts. You are an adult if you eat them. If you eat them, you crave them. You covet them.
When I looked online for oyster stuffing recipes, I was a little mortified. Canned oysters? Why on earth would anyone use canned oysters? I know a lot of people do, and I don’t want to turn my nose up at the stuff (I know, I kind of am). I won’t hate you if you use them, but the fresh oysters you find in the refrigerated seafood section are so much better. Ridiculously better. They are sweet and briny and smell like the ocean, not fishy. The fresher your oysters, the less fishy the stuffing.
The way I see it, you only make oyster stuffing once a year. It’s a special occasion, so let’s do the right thing and splurge on the good stuff. If you really want to go all out, get a couple dozen fresh oysters, take them home and shuck them yourself (saving some to eat right away, of course).
There is too much of a good thing, though. One Thanksgiving, my mother decided to double the amount of oysters in her stuffing. She stuffed the turkey and after an hour or so, the whole house smelled like fishy turkey. It permeated the bird, the gravy, the stuffing. We tease her about it every Thanksgiving.
Very slightly adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2000
Preheat oven to 325° F/165° C
First, you need to dry out the bread. Arrange it in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, until crisp, dry and golden brown. This can be prepared ahead. You could also use stale bread and skip the baking step.
Butter a casserole dish. In a skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Saute the mushrooms in the butter until they turn brown and their liquid evaporates. Remove them from the skillet and add to a large bowl.
Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and cook the celery and leeks. Cook the vegetables 8-10 minutes, until they are tender.
Add the celery, leeks, parsley and herbs to the large bowl with the mushrooms. Season with salt and fresh pepper. Toss to combine.
Add bread cubes to the vegetable mixture and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt if necessary.
Add the oysters, oyster liquid and turkey stock to the vegetables and stir to combine. Transfer to the casserole dish and cover with foil. You can chill until you are ready to bake. Bake the stuffing covered for 45 minutes.
If you’re new to the process, making a confit is an ancient way of preserving foods by cooking something in fat at a very low temperature for hours. Cooked this way and sealed in a jar, food can last on the shelf for several months. But that’s not why I’m doing it. When you confit something, it becomes very tender (not crisp like frying) and tastes damn good. Usually, you confit duck legs this way, but I didn’t have any, so I decided to try the process on some veggies. The resulting confit of garlic and mushrooms are not just a side dish. They are the main attraction.
They are best served simply, on toast for instance. Don’t worry, folks. These aren’t crazy fattening. The oil doesn’t penetrate the inside of the garlic and mushrooms. It just gives them a creamy, meaty flavor. You can really up the flavor and texture by giving the mushrooms a quick sear in a pan. Spread a garlic clove on the toast point, then top with a single mushroom and a sprinkle of sea salt. It’s a flavor explosion in your mouth.
There’s a bonus to this recipe. Not only does it make incredible mushrooms and garlic, it also makes roasted garlic and mushroom infused duck fat. Is your mind blown?
Take that delicious, fragrant duck fat and cook some potatoes in it. Stir a tablespoon of it into simmering rice, or roast some vegetables or nuts in it. Heaven! It will be your secret weapon in the kitchen for a very long time.
Preheat oven to 250°F/125°C
Toss garlic and mushrooms in salt, so they are very lightly coated. Place in a small saucepan and add duck fat (and herbs if using). Cover place in the oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Remove from the oven and serve as-is, or sear in a pan. To store, remove veggies from fat and serve within a few days. The leftover fat can be strained and will last several weeks.