Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Marinated Flank Steak Sandwich

Mr. Devilish Dish is a grilling expert.  When the weather cooperates he almost always grills our entree and sometimes the side dishes too.  And since we've gotten the sous vide machine, we've been experimenting with cooking meat by that technique too.  So you can imagine how skeptical he was when he found out that not only does this steak recipe marinate in a casserole dish overnight, but it cooks under the broiler for only 5 minutes per side.  It turned out so fabulous, we made it again a few nights later.  With the caramelized onions and horseradish spread, you've got a hearty beef sandwich that's not only simple and quick to prepare, but full of flavor.  Have you ever heard that ol Southern saying, "There's more than one way to skin a cat?" Well it turns out there is more than one way to cook roast beef too!

I can't describe how good this is.
I wish my blog had taste-o-vision.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Mexican Salmon with Avocado Pepper Salsa

I'm not a huge fish fan.  Little Devil and Mr. DD love it.  So every once in a while I try to throw them a bone and have fish for dinner.  To me it's more palatable when there is some kind of tasty sauce to compliment the fish.  When I saw this recipe at Laylita's Recipes I knew right away it was something that all of us would enjoy.  We prepared it for dinner and loved it.  Shortly after, my nephew came home for a visit.  He lives in Houston so he has access to great seafood and really enjoys it.  I knew he would love this recipe.  This was on a Monday night.  On Friday, his wife texted me to let me know they were enjoying it for the second time that week.  Apparently he loved it so much he ate it three times in five days.  It really is that good.  Whether you are a fish lover like my family or a fish skeptic like me I think this is one recipe you will all enjoy.  Thanks Laylita!
This recipe is a huge keeper
and has quickly turned me into a fish lover.
We enjoyed it with Cilantro Lime Rice.
So refreshing, light and healthy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Enchilada Meatball Subs

Since I have a food blog, I pretty much cook every night.  And since my Little Devil is grown up, and we no longer have dance recitals and sports activities, I pretty much have the luxury of cooking whatever crazy recipe experiment I want to try out.  But that doesn't mean easy weeknight meals are a total thing of the past.  Occasionally I still turn to some of the recipes I relied on when I worked full time and we had a lot more stuff going on in the evenings.  Enchilada Meatball Subs are one of our favorite go-to EZ meals.  It's a variation on my EZ Meatball Subs.  Think of it as a meatball sandwich with a Mexican twist.  And before you think that sounds like an odd combination, trust me.  Give it a try.  Like my EZ Meatball Sub recipe, this one is so simple I'm almost embarrassed to blog it.  I know we can all use some simple weeknight dinner recipes that are ready in a manner of minutes, so here's something new to add to your weeknight dinner rotation.
Meatball Subs with a Mexican Twist!
Filled and ready to go under the broiler.
It's as quick as heating the meatballs
in the enchilada sauce and assembling
the sandwiches.  So fast!
A great weeknight meal to get you out of the rut!

Monday, April 18, 2016

"Strawberries Newport" Roulade

If you've ever been to the Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma then you know all about Strawberries Newport.  For those of you outside the Sooner State, Strawberries Newport is comprised of a golden puff pastry shell, and a rich, French custard filling, piled high with fresh strawberries and mountains of whipped cream.  A while back I was shopping and our store had the biggest, ripest red strawberries you've ever seen.  That morning, I had just seen a recipe for a Berry Roulade by one of my favorite foodie blogs: That Skinny Chick Can Bake.  Her recipe had a filling of fresh blueberries and raspberries.  I figured why not give it a try with these lovely strawberries?  That evening for dessert I made Liz's delicious roulade using strawberries.  My husband loved it.  He remarked, "You know what this reminds me of?  That strawberry dessert from the Art Festival.  Strawberries Newport!"  His only complain was, "It's missing that pastry cream.  It needs that custard and it would taste just like Strawberries Newport."  So we decided that the only way to incorporate the flavor of a pastry cream into this recipe would be as a sauce.  Crème Anglaise was what we came up with.  If you've never made Crème Anglaise, it's basically a thick, rich creamy sauce.  It's often use as a base for homemade ice cream.  It tastes just like a French pastry custard but it's thinner in texture.  The perfect compliment to this cake.  And so I went back to the store and got more of those delicious strawberries.  Made another roulade, this time with some lovely Crème Anglaise and this time my husband said the flavors were the spot on adaption of Strawberries Newport.  I encourage you to give it a try.  If you've never made a roulade, it's actually quite simple to prepare.  You might know it by it's other name:  Jelly Roll Cake. It's a wonderful, golden sponge cake that will highlight those ripe, juicy strawberries.  And if you've never been to OKC, then you can have a little taste of our Arts Festival right in your kitchen. 

An adaptation of Oklahoma's favorite festival dessert
from the annual Oklahoma City Art's Festival,
originally served at the Newport Restaurant.
Serve the cake slices with the
yummy Crème Anglaise
Doesn't this dessert look like Spring?
Can you believe the size of those strawberries?
"Strawberries Newport" Roulade
a little taste of our
Arts Festival right in your kitchen.  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Roasted Cabbage Wedge Salad

Last Summer I was invited to participate in a Freaky Friday Blog Hop, and it was so much fun I jumped on the opportunity to participate again.  It's been so hard to keep this recipe a secret, not only from the other bloggers participating in the fun, but from all of you!  Each person in the group was assigned a blog to choose a recipe from.  And today #FreakyFriday just happens to be the day of the big reveal.  It's so much fun to see what recipes everyone has chosen.  Here we go:

I was lucky enough to be assigned to the Full Belly Sisters blog.  Justine and Flannery are sisters who share a passion for women's health.  Not only is their blog super informative for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, it has tons of great advice for anyone striving for balance in their lives.  These lovely ladies provide everything from breastfeeding instruction and support, private childbirth education classes, to one-on-one nutrition and wellness coaching.  Now I think you all know it's been a while since I was a new mom.  Without giving away my age, let's just say my Little Devil is not so little anymore.  But that doesn't limit the information available at Full Belly Sisters.  You don't have to be a new mom to enjoy all the wonderful recipes they share!  I was torn between a delicious smoothie like their Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Smoothie, or since this was the SPRING edition of #FreakyFriday, I really considered preparing their Broccoli Deviled Eggs for Easter.  But with Easter being early this year, I knew there was no way I could keep those yummy deviled eggs a secret until #FreakyFriday.  Now you know we are cabbage fans here at The Devilish Dish.  We love everything from good 'ol sauerkraut to crisp, creamy coleslaw.  When I stumbled upon Justine and Flannery's Roasted Cabbage Wedge Salad with Yogurt Gorgonzola Dressing, I just had to try it!  It's all the elegance of a classic steakhouse wedge salad, with a lighter, healthier twist.  We all know those steakhouse wedge salads taste great, but they're basically an nutritionally-vacant wedge of iceberg lettuce swimming in a fatty blue cheese dressing.  Of course it tastes good, but if we all take a page from Justine and Flannery we can come up with something that not only tastes better, but is better for us.
The best part of a wedge salad is that creamy blue cheese dressing.  But smothering (as we all want to do) our salad with a traditional dressing isn't going to get us #FreakyFriday swim suit ready.  Justine and Flannery's solution to this problem was creating a tangy, full-of-flavor dressing using Greek yogurt as the base.  Not only are you getting the health benefits of calcium, protein and probiotics, but with fewer calories that a mayo-based dressing you don't have to skimp!  Substituting the wedge of cabbage not only gives you a good portion of your daily recommended Vitamins K and C, but you get a depth of flavor from roasting the cabbage that you just don't find with iceberg lettuce.  You still get to garnish with bacon, because face it, we all need a little bacon (in moderation) in our lives.  Rounding out the garnish with grape tomatoes and chopped scallions gives the salad that classic wedge salad look.
It may not be the typical steakhouse version of a wedge salad, but I promise you aren't missing out.  Roasting the cabbage helps bring out its natural sweetness, essentially it's caramelized and that equals yummy awesomeness.  Don't skimp on the tangy, chunky dressing either.  You can't beat that flavor of a great quality blue cheese.  Especially when it's complimented by crisp, salty bacon.  Be sure and give this updated twist on the old classic a try.  Your belly, your taste buds and your waistline will thank you!

Roasted Cabbage Wedge Salad with Yogurt Gorgonzola Dressing

by: Full Belly Sisters
Yields: 4 servings

1 head green cabbage, with tough outer leaves removed
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 strips bacon (I may or may not have used more.  Don't tell the Full Belly Sisters :)
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped or sliced grape tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons chopped scallions

For the dressing:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola (or other good quality blue cheese)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Leaving core intact so it doesn't fall apart, cut the cabbage into 4 wedges.  Brush both sides of each wedge with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.  Cut the two bacon strips in half and lay one strip on each cabbage wedge.  Place in preheated oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, flipping half way through.  (Place bacon aside, flip wedge and place bacon back on.) Continue baking until the cabbage is roasted and the edges are caramelized and the bacon is crisp. 

While the cabbage is roasting, prepare the dressing.  In a bowl combine the yogurt, blue cheese, lemon juice, garlic, and scallions.  Season with salt and pepper.  (Keep in mind the cabbage and bacon are already seasoned.) 

Once you have removed the cabbage and bacon from the oven, crumble the bacon and set aside.  Place each wedge onto a serving plate and top the warm wedge with a big dollop of the yogurt dressing.  Garnish with the reserved crumbled bacon, grape tomatoes and chopped scallions. 

Prep Time: Approximately 15 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 30 minutes

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How To Store Cilantro

We go through a lot of cilantro at our house.  Since Mexican is primarily our cuisine of choice, it's an herb I always have on hand.  Well try to have it on hand.  Until recently I could only keep if fresh for a couple of days.  Every time I would go to make something like my Cilantro Lime Rice or Cilantro Lime Chicken, I would remove my cilantro from the refrigerator only to find it limp, dried out, and/or brown.  Gross.  As much as I enjoy cooking, and as much as I try new recipes on a whim, I don't want to run to the store every time a recipe call for fresh cilantro.  I've tried a million ways to keep it fresh.  I've left it in the produce bag and shoved it in the vegetable bin.  X.  I've wrapped it in a damp paper towel.  X.  I've put the entire bunch in a glass of water in the fridge.  X.  I've put the entire bunch in a vase and left it out on the counter.  X.  I can't tell you how many bunches of cilantro I've tossed because they've gone bad.  Finally I found a way that works.  I have been able to keep bunches of cilantro fresh in my fridge for well over two weeks using this method.  I've also used it with curly and flat-leaf parsley with the same success.  If you enjoy using these herbs, then definitely give this a try.  It should save you some time, money and hassle!

Step 1:  As soon as you get home from the store,
trim the bottom of your bunch of cilantro.
Place it in a tall glass or vase and fill with cool water.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Springtime Raspberry Salad

We've had a few days of weather in the high 80s, and I'm willing it to be summer already.  We've been lucky to have plenty of mild days, but I know a lot of my foodie friends across the country are under a pile of snow.  While Spring may not fully be everywhere, it has definitely made it's way to my kitchen.  This Springtime Raspberry Salad with its raspberry vinaigrette is like a bowlful of Springtime right on your table.  With the addition of juicy oranges and tangy raspberries, it's colorful and elegant and super fresh and tasty!
Whether the weather is like spring or not,
your table can look like it!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Tee Time Trail Mix

It's Masters Week, and if you're a golf widow like me, then you know what I'm talking about.  My husband is giddy like a little kid.  He wore a green shirt to work today with his Masters logo belt.  I said, "Remember the time I had all of my friends over and we stayed up all night to watch the Royal Wedding?  The Masters is kind of like that for you and your friends huh?"  He looked at me like I was insane, which he does on a regular basis and said, "NO it's nothing like that." To which I replied, "Really?  Because you're wearing a Masters belt and all of your friends have changed their Facebook profile pictures to the Masters Logo."  If you're not a golfer then you obviously won't understand their giddiness, but it is a pretty big deal.  I've had this yummy snack mix recipe in mind for a while.  Knowing all of the men in my family would be glued to their television sets today, I gave it a golf twist and delivered a little snack to all of them.  I've named it Tee Time Trail Mix, but if you don't golf that's okay.  It's equally delicious watching a Lifetime Movie or a re-run of the Royal Wedding.  (Not that I've ever done that.)  The Masters motto is, "A tradition unlike any other." When I gave my husband his little snack mix I declared, "This is a snack mix unlike any other."  Not only did he appreciate my humor, but when he tasted it, he agreed. 
"A snack mix unlike any other..."
Tee Time Trail Mix
It's delish whether you like golf or not.
I packaged them up in little bags,
tied with green ribbon and added a golf tee for fun.
My husband, Dad and Father-In-Law
were really impressed.
My FIL asked, "Did she really make us this
just for The Masters???"
Mr. Devilish Dish loves anything with dill.
The dill and lemon pepper give this mix a light,
tangy flavor.
It really is a snack mix unlike any other!
Even if you don't know the difference between
a golf ball and a bowling ball, you will still LOVE this
snack mix.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Louisiana-Style Pecan Pralines

In 1984 my parents took me to the World's Fair in New Orleans, Louisiana.  This was my first experience in the Crescent City, and although I was only 12 I fell in love with the culture that is New Orleans.  Besides king cakes and beignets, pecan pralines are a New Orleans institution.  The delectable candy dates back to the 1700s.  The French elite of Louisiana enjoyed a candy made from white sugar and almonds, but soon their Creole neighbors added the plentiful local pecan and brown sugar.  And the praline as we know it today was born.  Throughout the 1800s, African-American women sold their homemade pralines throughout New Orleans.  They became the most popular of the street vendors in the area.  In the 1900s the praline ladies gave way to praline stores throughout the French Quarter.  I remember enjoying the candies on our trip so much that I picked out a souvenir that has well out-lasted any piece of candy.  I chose a beautiful doll, made in New Orleans from the Gambina Doll Company.  I'm sad to report the doll factory has long since closed, but I still have my beautiful doll as a reminder of that vacation and the delicious pralines we enjoyed. 
A taste of New Orleans:  Louisiana-Style Pecan Pralines
Here's my beautiful Gambina doll.  Her tag reads:

The people of old New Orleans were delighted to see this lady
walking down the street selling her pralines (prah-leens).
She made this savory candy herself using sugars, syrups and
tasty pecans.  She added other ingredients to vary the flavor
and color.  Those same recipes are still handmade and sold
in New Orleans today--M-M-M Good!
C.V. Gambina, Inc 1983
Little Devil and I picked these pecans ourselves out
of my aunt's backyard.  My uncle (who was like a dad to me)
passed away in 2005.  One of my favorite activities as a child was
picking buckets of pecans with him every fall, so this recipe
has a special place in my heart.  Also it is my mom's
absolute favorite kind of candy!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Aunt Judy's Foolproof Pie Crust

Recently I conquered my 20-something year fear of pie making.  I made my husband's grandmother's Coconut Cream Pie recipe for Pi Day.  The recipe was a little vague and called for a baked pie shell.  I figured if I was going to go all out and actually make a pie, then I should make the crust too.  My Aunt Judy was a fabulous pie maker.  Mr. Devilish Dish LOVED her chocolate pie.  I knew I could not fail if I used her pie crust recipe.  Like many older recipes, it too was a little vague.  My guess is there is enough dough for an accomplished pie maker to make two crusts.  This non-accomplished pie maker made one slightly too-thick crust and threw some dough out.  Had I been making a fruit pie, there certainly would have been enough crust to create some lattice strips or other design.  Since my recipe only called for a single crust baked shell, that's what I created.  And while it was probably too thick by State Fair Pie Judging standards, it tasted delicious and for my first try I think it looked pretty good too.  Whether you are a pie genius or a pie novice, I think you'll appreciate how tasty and flaky this crust is.  I'm excited about the success and I'm anxious to use this crust recipe and get a little more adventurous on my next try.  Let me know what kind of pie you intend to bake in it!
If I can do this, you can too!
I love that the dough only needs to chill 15 minutes
because I am the most impatient person in the world.
I will skip a recipe if the dough needs to chill for hours.
I rolled the dough out on a floured surface with a rolling pin.
I'm positive I got it too thick, but it was really important
to me that the crust edges stay intact and make a pretty pie
since I was making this in honor of my husband's Mamaw.
Here's my finished
Coconut Cream Pie
If you aren't a pie maker like me,
then I hope you too will get inspired.
It certainly helped that I had this
truly foolproof recipe.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The History of April Fool's Day

The idea of playing tricks in the springtime dates back many years, surprisingly with a rich history. 
In the Nun's Priest's Tales, Chaucer made the connection between April 1 and foolishness.  And that was 1392. 
Did you know that the French call April 1st Poisson d"AVril or April Fish?

As far back as the 1500s mischief makers poked fun at French conservatives and their steadfast attachment to the old tradition by sending them silly gifts and invitations to nonexistent parties. They would also stick paper fish to their backs, popularizing the French term for a person who gets duped on April Fools’ Day: "poisson d’Avril," or "April fish."

The idea seems to be a reference to the fact that fish are most plentiful and hungry during the spring. An "April fish" was easier to catch, i.e., more gullible, than a fish at any other time of the year. The fish image features prominently in artwork and postcards in France in the late 1800s to early 1900s. 
Although the idea playing pranks on April 1st is recognized worldwide, it is not considered a national holiday anywhere. 

In 1957, the BBC aired a documentary about the harvest of spaghetti crops in Switzerland, with footage of women picking strands of spaghetti.  This story managed to fool a lot of people, although it's hard to imagine anyone believing spaghetti grows on trees.  However, the documentary was narrated by a distinguished journalist giving it an air of credibility.
With the advent of the internet and social media, April Fool's day pranks are known to hit viral proportions, and fool or embarrass a wider audience.  Sadly in a time when everyone is offended by everything, even well-intentioned mischief has been labeled as a waste of time and resources often resulting in commercial and even legal consequence. 
We might all be better off if we took a cue from our ancestors and used this one day in the spring that was set aside for behaviors that are normally considered socially unacceptable to become temporarily socially acceptable.
They say laughter is good for the soul, and since Spring is considered a time of renewal, April 1 seems like a great time to approach life with a little light heartedness and laughter.  I think it's okay to have one day a year.  I don't think MR. T will pity us either.

Pretzel Knots

I love pretzels.  The soft kind.  Not the  hard, flavorless I'm only eating these because they seem better for me than potato chips kind.  The dip in mustard kind.  I tried making them several years ago and the results were disappointing.  But then I read up on them a little bit and realized I was doing everything wrong.  I recently prepared a meal that included bratwursts and a cabbage recipe (stay tuned!) and I thought some pretzels would be a nice nod to the German-esque meal.  I saw a picture somewhere of Pretzel Knots which turned out to be cuter than regular pretzels.  Who doesn't want to eat something that's cuter than a pretzel?  It turned out to be super simple.  I used my Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe for the dough.  Then I did a simple boiling technique, sprinkled them with salt and baked until golden.  They were delicious.  Authentic and the perfect compliment to our German-style dinner.  I'm so happy I decided to give pretzel-making another try.  Turned out to be very simple and very tasty.
Homemade Pretzel Knots
with cheese sauce for dipping...
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