Beef Empanadas

Beef Empanadas This is a recipe I have been dying to share with you guys for years. My grandmother has been making these traditional Argentine beef empanadas for as long as I can remember (and at least as long as my dad can remember), and they are to die for. My grandmother is well-known for a lot of things- her dancing (let’s say she was very popular at my wedding), her hard work and determination (she moved to this country as a single lady with a 6 year old and no English, and ended up kicking ass at life), and her empanadas are just one of the many amazing recipes she makes for our family every year.

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Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

From my blog, Total Noms. http://totalnoms.com

Football Sundays are back! WOO HOO!

Growing up, I was raised on the Jets (I know, that may qualify as child abuse, right?), and lucky for me, my fiance is a fan of Gang Green too. Sure, it’s not easy being a Jets fan (although heyo, good game yesterday!), but that’s what loyalty is all about, right?

You know I love busting out the slow cooker on football Sundays, so here’s another great recipe that’s so easy to “set it and forget it”! And of course, I had to go and stick the beef in a taco, because that’s just how I roll.

Shredded Beef Tacos

I originally wanted to try making barbacoa-style shredded beef a la Chipotle… however, I realized after I got home from grocery shopping that I had forgotten the chipotle peppers in adobo… whoops. That was momentarily disheartening until I decided to wing it and create my own spin on things. Tomatoes, onion, garlic, lime juice, cilantro and lots of spice combine to make a braising liquid that has tons of flavor and enough kick without being too overpowering. I am really happy with how this all came out from start to finish- the finish being me slurping up all the leftover juices in the slow cooker with a large spoon. Yikes.

Speaking of spoons, I finally unpacked all my shower gifts this weekend! Hello, new square plates! What do you think?

Shredded Beef Tacos
 
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Serves: 8

Ingredients
  • 2-3 lbs beef rump roast
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • corn tortillas, for serving
  • lime wedges, for garnish
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish

Instructions
  1. Trim beef of any excess fat. Place in the slow cooker. Slice half the onion lengthwise into strips and add to the slow cooker with the beef.
  2. In a blender, add diced tomatoes, garlic, the other half of the onion, lime juice, cilantro, crushed red pepper flakes, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Pulse to blend a few times until consistency is smooth and everything is incorporated. Pour the tomato mixture over the beef and onions.
  3. Set slow cooker to low and cook for 7 hours.
  4. Turn on your broiler. Once cooking is done, shred the beef with two forks. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to an oven proof dish, and broil the meat for 5 minutes to get it crispy. While beef is broiling, toast up corn tortillas and prepare your garnishes.
  5. Remove beef from the broiler, serve with tortillas and garnishes and enjoy!

Shredded Beef Tacos

Is your family a football family? What are your favorite game day eats?

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Cheesy Meatballs

Cheesy Meatballs

While there are a lot of great things about finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, there’s also a lot to consider when it comes to making that decision to take the plunge and go all in.

For example, what if your opinions differ on work-life balance? Do you both want kids? If so, how many? What about religion? And on the lighter (but I think just as important) side, are they neat or messy? Do they like the same movies and TV shows as you? When do they like to take their showers?

Relationships are about taking into account all these different preferences and quirks and creating a home life that is not just a compromise, but a well-oiled machine where both parties feel as though their needs and wants are being appreciated and valued. It is not easy. I am by no means an expert. But the fun of making a new life with your partner can often come through the discovery process about what works and what doesn’t. And of course, making time for the both of you to just enjoy being around each other is absolutely fundamental to any relationship.

One of my absolute favorite things to do with my fiance is going out date night at a restaurant. I don’t care if we just go to the bar down the street, or a 5-star steakhouse, or the taqueria downtown- I just LOVE going on dates (and not having to do the dishes…). We both have a wedding to think about so we are trying to save our pennies where we can, but there are nights where I just don’t feel like cooking- and all I want is a slice of pizza. Or a fish taco. Or chicken fingers. Or sushi. Or… ya get the idea.

We had an excellent date night last week (if I may say so myself) at a new Italian joint that opened a few blocks away from us in downtown Jersey City called Roman Nose. They are a cute little spot with outdoor seating and some of the BEST meatballs, pizza and pasta I’ve had in a while. We were able to get some info out of our waiter regarding the ingredients of their famous meatballs, which included a blend of ground beef, pork and veal, as well as the use of cheeeeeeese inside the balls! Similar to my favorite burger recipe, what’s not to love about including your favorite toppings inside the whole shebang to begin with?

Who said date nights couldn’t also be educational? 🙂

Cheesy Meatballs

So here’s my attempt at a little re-creation of these awesome balls… I loved using a combo of the ground beef and pork, and the cheese really brought the oomph flavorwise. I served these along side cavatappi pasta and my absolute favorite recipe for tomato sauce. Check out the recipe below!

Cheesy Meatballs
 
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A combination of parmesan and mozzarella cheeses transform these meatballs into a delicious treat alongside your favorite pasta and tomato sauce. Using a mixture of ground pork and ground beef really makes these something special for a flavorful classic dinner.
Author:
Serves: 2

Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground meat (I used half ground beef and half ground pork)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the olive oil, and mash together by hand or with a spoon. Form 6-8 2″-diameter balls and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Gently place the meatballs in the skillet and cook until brown and crispy, making sure to flip the meatballs every 4-5 minutes to get all sides brown.
  4. Transfer the meatballs to an ovenproof baking dish and bake for another 5-10 minutes to make sure they are cooked through.
  5. Serve alongside pasta and a good tomato sauce. Enjoy!

What’s your go-to move for date night?

Cheesy Meatballs

 

Happy eating 🙂
mally

Classic Beef Stew – Slow Cooker Style

Classic Beef Stew

Holy sheesh it’s getting cold outside around here. We’re talking huge down parka + scarf + gloves + furry boots + another sweater just-in-case kinda cold. The kind of cold where you might just stay inside even if Justin Timberlake was outside begging you to come out for just one drink at the bar down the street because he’s sorry he did you wrong and can he please just sing you one last song?

What? He’s married? And I’m engaged?

OK, fine, how about the kind of cold that makes your tongue stick to the pole like that kid in A Christmas Story?

Better? Topical, less weird? Check.

When am I going to take the hint and move to Hawaii?

Well, the one good thing about frigid weather is that I get to indulge in delicious dishes like hot soups and roasts and root vegetables. There is something so comforting about a big bowl of stew when it’s starting to snow/sleet/icy rain outside, right?

This is more of a hungry man’s version of Boeuf Bourguignon– literally a meat and potatoes kind of meal. It has a little bit more prep involved than your standard set-it-and-forget-it slow-cooker meal, but it’s all worth it in my opinion. If you are in a rush, you don’t have to sear the meat to begin with- But I felt this really helped add flavor to the meal.

5.0 from 2 reviews

Classic Beef Stew
 
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Ingredients
  • 3-4 lbs bottom round, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • ⅓ cup olive oil (plus more if needed)
  • 2 large onions, diced (2 cups)
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 lb potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  • ½ lb baby carrots (about 2 cups), sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions
  1. Coat the beef in the flour. Heat a few tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meat, a few pieces at a time, adding more oil as necessary. Transfer to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Add the onions to the skillet and cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and coat the onions; transfer to the slow cooker.
  3. Pour the wine into the skillet and scrape up any browned bits; add to the slow cooker. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, mushrooms broth, salt, thyme, and bay leaf.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat for 7½ hours, or on high for 4 hours. Add the peas and heat through.
  5. Ladle into bowls, garnish with parsley and serve alongside egg noodles.

Adapted from Real Simple.

A few odds and ends:

  • I’m going to be a speaker at BlogHer Food ’13 next year in Austin! My panel is called Blog on the Run, and it’s all about maintaining your blog from afar on your mobile devices. I am SO excited about this opportunity, and if you are going to BlogHer Food, PLEASE let me know so we can meet up!

food13_hdr

  • In January we’re going to have our next Food Bloggers in NYC Meetup. No solid details yet, but get excited and join here if you haven’t yet!600_161164892
  • Hmm… this isn’t food related, but since y’all are my friends, I figured I’d share – we have set the date! October 11th, 2013- I’ll become a Mrs! Party at the Pearl River Hilton, which looks like a castle:

stdate

YAY! I cannot WAIT for 2013!!!!!!!

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Steak Fajitas

Steak Fajitas

Weeknight cooking can be tough. After a long day at the office, I have my commute back home, sometimes delayed by a trip to the gym or a quick meetup with a friend. If I don’t get home before 8pm, my dinner sometimes consists of a handful of crackers and a spoon of peanut butter (although sometimes that’s just what you need some days).

Therefore, I’m always on the lookout for quick and easy dinner ideas. I got inspired to make fajitas after checking out Katherine Martinelli’s amazing recipe blog– if you haven’t yet, definitely check her site out! Gorgeous photography and really great recipes.

Below is a recipe for steak fajitas that doesn’t cut corners, but still gets on the table in under 30 minutes. The homemade spice mix adds tons of flavor, without the added chemicals that come with those packets you find in the grocery store.

If you’re only cooking for 1 or 2, the best part of this recipe is it will make enough for leftovers the next night if you’re short on time again!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Steak Fajitas
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 lb beef round, cut into 2 inch cubes or slices
  • 1 bell pepper, cored and cut into ½ inch slices (I used half a yellow, half a green)
  • ½ large onion, chopped lengthwise into ½ inch slices
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (optional)
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • cilantro and salsa for garnish

Instructions
  1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Pat your beef chunks dry with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Once the pan is nice and hot (you can test by spritzing a few drops of water in the pan- if they sizzle away, you’re good to go), add the oil and let heat up. Add the beef and let brown for 4-5 minutes. Don’t stir too much to start, so the meat is able to get nice and browned. Once browned, use a spatula to flip the meat to get the other sides that great color as well.
  3. Once cooked, remove beef to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the peppers and onions to the same pan, adding more oil if necessary.
  4. Cook vegetables until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the meat back to the pan.
  5. Combine chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and salt in a small bowl. Add the spice mixture to the pan with the meat and vegetables, along with ¼ cup of water. Stir to combine and get all the flavors incorporated. Add 1 tbsp lime juice, if using, and stir again.
  6. Allow to cook for another minute, remove from heat. Serve on warmed flour tortillas. Enjoy!

Steak Fajitas

Don’t you just love a home-cooked meal?

Happy Eating 🙂
mally