Thai Beef Sandwich

I’m on a sandwich kick lately so today isn’t about what’s for dinner, it’s all about lunch, specifically Father’s Day lunch because this is a dad sized sandwich.

This recipe is a twist on my husband’s favorite Thai Beef Salad recipe I posted last July. And with all yummy sandwiches, one of the most important ingredients is the bread. I used my favorite Ciabatta bread because I knew it would be the perfect texture and thickness to hold up to the mound of tender roast beef, the layer of spicy, creamy mayonnaise, and the crunchy acidic dressed vegetables.

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Garlic and White Habanero Marinated Skirt Steak over Dirty Rice

garlic-and-white-habanero-marinated-skirt-steak-over-dirty-rice

This week’s recipe features the small yet mighty white habanero which was a new pepper in my garden this summer. I really enjoyed the garlicky undertones however it was very mild which is why the ratio of garlic to pepper in the ingredients list below is so dramatic.

I first used the marinade as a spicy salad dressing, mixing in some olive oil, minced shallots, honey, salt, and pepper, then, decided to try it as a marinade to tenderize a tough cut of meat like a skirt steak. It was an excellent choice. The meat picked up just enough heat from the marinade to taste, but it was very subtle, and the acid in the vinegar helped to break down the meat’s tissue, allowing the steak to absorb a lot of the liquid, hence making the meat very tender and juicy.

When I considered what to pair with the steak, I wanted something that could stand up to the heat, so I made a dirty rice with more of the white habanero to continue the heat trend. Again it was subtle and tasted delicious with the accompanying tender onions, sweet bell peppers, and crispy bacon.

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Brisket in Cerveza and Red Chile Sauce

Brisket in Cerveza and Red Chile Sauce

While preparing our Memorial Day menu, I realized that I still had some red Chile sauce from the tamale recipe I posted for Cinco de Mayo. So I took advantage of the opportunity to incorporate the sauce into a Mexican Cerveza, and slowly roast it over a beef brisket. The resulting dish totally lived up to its expectations. The sauce had a nice tangy heat and the meat was so tender and juicy, it sliced like softened butter.  I usually plan for a recipe to make enough for a second meal, unfortunately, we all enjoyed this dinner so much we ended up eating the whole thing!

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Braised Vietnamese Short Ribs

Braised Vietnamese Short Ribs

I love big, bold flavors in my food and don’t mind waiting ten hours to eat it when it tastes like this!

The method of braising and slow cooking tough cuts of meat like short ribs allows you to experiment with any flavor profile whether it’s a barbecue flavor, Tex-Mex or even Asian-inspired like this one.

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Pho

Pho

As winter approaches and the temperature drops in Missouri, usually around early to mid-November, our weekly menu almost always includes soup. I’ve shared several of my favorite soup recipes in earlier posts, and this week I’m adding a new one.

Yep. This mid-west gal who is a blend of Hungarian, German, Swedish and French, decided to try her hand at Vietnamese cuisine. And it was really good!

My version of this recipe for Pho, also commonly called Vietnamese Noodle Soup, evolved as I researched traditional Vietnamese recipes. I added the thinly sliced carrots and radishes because they added beautiful color and a little crunch to the dish, and the chili-head in me had to include sliced jalapenos!

I was a little hesitant making the broth, mainly because I hadn’t had a lot of experience using star anise and cardamom, however once I tasted complex layers of the spices and how well they complimented the other ingredients, any remaining hesitation quickly disappeared. I’m giving myself a ‘Dang Girl’ on this one!

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Italian French Dip Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions

Italian French Dip Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions

It is your turn to host the gang’s next football gathering, but you have no idea what to serve? It’s late in the season, and everyone has grown tired of the cheese dips, five-alarm chilis, platters of spicy buffalo wings, and countless boxes of delivery pizza. It’s time for something different this week.

Serve this savory herb-infused Italian beef sandwich, and you’ll have a touch-down long before the first kick-off! The slow cooking tenderizes the meat to the point where all you have to do is pull it apart with two forks, and the caramelized onions add just a hint of sweetness and the perfect amount of crunch.

Plus the convenience of using your slow cooker allows you time to get ready for the big game and not spend all of your time in the kitchen!

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Thai Beef Salad

Thai Beef Salad

This salad is my husband’s absolute favorite dish. Every time I ask him what he would like for dinner, his immediate response is always, “Ooh….Thai Beef Salad please!” How could I resist that kind of appreciative enthusiasm?

What’s great about this recipe is its versatility. The dressing actually tastes better the second day after the flavors have blended together, and the salad can be prepared in advance so the only ingredient you need to worry about is the beef. Sometimes we’ll grill a couple of rib eye steaks and have a more refined version of the dish, other times, I’ll buy thin sliced roast beef from the deli at the grocery store and serve it along with the salad and dressing.

Either way, if you’re looking for a hearty salad that has a little bit of sweetness, a little bit of heat, and a lot of great flavor, this one is it!

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Braciole with Tomato and Meat Sauce

Braciole with Tomato and Meat Sauce

Americans have become accustomed to eating a protein along with pasta on the same plate at the same time; however some traditional Italian recipes like this one, are actually two delicious dishes in one; the meat and the sauce.

The filled round steak, or ‘Braciole’ in Italian, flavors the sauce while it cooks with an added deep hearty meat flavor and is then removed and never served directly with the pasta.  Instead, it is sliced and served along with the sauce as a course within the meal, or not until the next day.

It’s difficult to decide which of the two stars of this dish taste better – the meat or the sauce. I may have to make it again in order to decide (I know, darn it!).

Try it and let me know what you decide.  I would love to know which one you chose!

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Barbacoa Beef Tacos with Chile Sauce

 

Barbacoa Beef Tacos with Chile Sauce

I’ve seen the word ‘Barbacoa’ describing some Mexican dishes, yet I have to admit, I never took the time to look up what it meant until now.  As it turns out, ‘Barbacoa’ it’s a form of slowly cooking meat and it is where the term “barbecue” is derived.

There are a few variations in cooking techniques, including slow-cooking over an open fire or in a hole dug in the ground covered with leaves, however since trying the later of the two might make my neighbors start to wonder about me, I decided my oven would work just as well.

So just in time for Cinco de Mayo, here is a perfectly spiced, slow-cooked beef taco recipe to enjoy with your chips and salsa and ice-cold Margaritas!

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Osso Buco

osso buco

When I was a young girl living in Greenfield, Wisconsin, my mother used to make a beef dish that had a particular cut of meat with a bone.  The meat, when slowly roasted in the oven, would create a rich, savory and delicious bone marrow.  The only problem was that the marrow was very small – only a bite; definitely not enough to share amongst a family of six.

As a result, my mother would keep track of whose turn it was to have the marrow next time she made the dish, between me and my three older sisters. We were always elated when it was our turn, and admittedly, just a tad envious of the other sister, when it wasn’t.

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