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Monday, March 17, 2014

What's Cookin' in the Country?

  • (Forgive the way this post looks - blogger was acting weird when I wrote this!)
  • I pinned a recipe for a Spicy Cuban Flank Steak Sandwich some time ago that I was really anxious to try.  Saturday night supper this past weekend gave me that opportunity.  I got a good sized piece of flank steak on sale at Ingles and I knew the time was right!  Saturday night suppers can be a bit more relaxed, and with a recipe that's cooked in the crock pot, I simply got the meat seasoned and turned the crock pot on right after breakfast so it could cook all day.  The meat gets so tender, and the beef broth and lime juice keep it moist and delicious while it's cooking slowly all day.  This was a great meal!  Here's the whole menu:


  •                                       Spicy Cuban Flank Steak Sandwiches
  •                                                  Sweet Potato Fries
  •                                                Fresh Broccoli Salad
  •                                                 Ice Cream Sundaes


Spicy Cuban Flank Steak Sandwiches
Ingredients
2 large onions, cut into thin wedges
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2 pound beef flank steak
1 1/4 cups low-sodium beef broth
1/3 cup lime juice
10 Cuban rolls or French rolls, split
1 recipe Picadillo Relish

Directions
Place onions in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl combine cumin, black pepper, garlic, onion powder, oregano, red pepper, and salt.
Cut meat crosswise into four pieces. Rub spice mixture evenly over all sides of meat pieces. Pour beef broth and lime juice into slow cooker. Add meat to cooker.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 4-1/2 hours. Transfer meat to a cutting board. Use two forks to pull meat into coarse shreds. Return meat to cooker; keep warm.
To serve, use a slotted spoon to spoon mixture onto roll bottoms. Add Picadillo Relish. Cover with roll tops.

I used this relish to top the sandwiches:
Picadillo Relish Recipe 
(makes 4 cups)
Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3/4 cup red sweet pepper, chopped

3/4 cup yellow sweet pepper, chopped

6 garlic cloves, chopped

15 ounce black beans, rinsed and drained

15 ounce diced tomatoes, drained

15 ounce corn, drained

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon brown sugar, packed

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Mix ingredients and serve at room temperature and top meat with mixture. 

  • Sweet potato fries are a nice change in a menu.  If you buy them frozen, they can be really pricey.  I made these fresh ones for less than $1.50!  Crispy, sweet, and salty.  What a great combination!  


Sweet Potato Fries
4 Sweet Potatoes
Corn starch
Olive oil
Salt
Red Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Peel potatoes with peeler.  Place in cold water for at least an hour.  Drain.  Dry well.  Cover with 1 tbl corn starch (ahh, no mess!)  Mix well to lightly cover potatoes.  Pour a couple tablespoons oil over potatoes.  Spread in single layer on oiled baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees; flip over.  Bake 10-15 more minutes.  Turn oven off.  Leave door cracked.  Let potatoes continue to cook and get crisp for about 30 more minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and a little red pepper and Parmesan cheese, if desired.



There's a great broccoli salad with a mayo dressing that tastes great, but brings loads of fat and calories.  I found a lighter version a couple years ago that we like just as well.  This is a great side dish!

  • Fresh Broccoli Salad
  • 4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
  • 1/4 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup (1-inch-thick) slices red bell pepper 
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • center-cut bacon slice, cooked and crumbled (drained) 
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil 

  • Preparation
  • Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine vinegar, sugar, and oil in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk to combine. Pour vinegar mixture over broccoli mixture; toss gently to coat.
Dessert was simple - ice cream sundaes.  We used Pralines and Cream (Blue Bell) Ice cream, bananas and caramel and/or chocolate sauce.

This homemade Chocolate Sauce is yummy and quick to whip up.  I haven't tried it, but I'm pretty sure it would mix well into milk for a great glass of chocolate milk, if your kids are so inclined. =)

Chocolate Sauce
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
 4 squares unsweetened chocolate
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla
Boil sugar and water 5 minutes to make a syrup; add chocolate, salt, and cornstarch dissolved in a little cold water.  Cook slowly and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth (5-8 minutes).  Cool; add vanilla.  Keep in jar in refrigerator.

I hope you'll try these recipes soon!  Goooooood stuff!

What have you cooked recently?

With love from my country kitchen,

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