Thursday, January 19, 2017

Grilled Steak Greek Salad

I made you a big salad!

And this is one tasty salad, indeed. Whether you are an avid resolution-er or are just looking for a delicious and easy dinner, today's recipe has it all. 

Grilled Steak Greek Salad is one of our favorite meals. Since I made it for the first time a few weeks ago, we've had it at least 3 times! All you need is fresh veggies, salty feta cheese, a nice piece of steak and your favorite Greek dressing, and in 20 minutes dinner is served. That's a winning recipe in my book.

So, let's talk about the vegetables. When it comes to Greek salad, I like to keep it simple...the crunchier the better. For the base, we are going with classic romaine lettuce (though, of course, you could use any leafy green you want...spinach, kale, baby arugula, iceberg, et al). Juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumber, tangy scallions and bitter radishes, sliced paper thin, are all a must. If olives are your thing, I'd throw a handful of those on top. If a red onion has found it's way into your produce drawer, swap in sliced onion for the scallions. So fresh!

All these crunchy veggies hold up well to a nice, strong protein. I love this perfectly grilled steak, just the right amount of golden brown crust to a juicy, medium center. I recently started sprinkling a bit of corn starch after patting my steak dry with a paper towel to help achieve the most beautiful golden brown grill marks. Be sure to give this a try, especially if you are working on an indoor grill pan. 

Oh my. I nearly forgot. The cheese! Feta cheese! A lot of it. It's necessary. Be generous.

Here's what you need for Grilled Steak Greek Salad* (Print Recipe!)

2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and patted dry
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1 English cucumber
3-4 radishes
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
vegetable oil spray
1/2 pound eye round steak
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Greek dressing, plus more to taste (see note)

Here's what you do

First, prepare the vegetables. Slice the end off the romaine lettuce, then slice into thin strips. Place on a large serving platter or in a salad bowl. Cut the tomatoes in half and add to the lettuce. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise then in half again. Cut into quarters. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice the radishes into very thin strips. Add the cucumbers, radishes and feta cheese to the platter and set aside.

Heat a grill pan over medium heat and spray with vegetable oil cooking spray. Pat both sides of the steak dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, oregano and garlic powder. Spread the cornstarch mixture on both sides of the steak, shaking off the excess. Grill for 4 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Set aside on a cutting board to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain and add to the salad.

Toss everything together with the dressing and serve immediately. Keep extra dressing on the side so everyone can add more to their taste. 

Note: You can use a store-bought dressing or make your own. I find especially with Greek dressing that I can never get it to taste quite as delicious as the packaged stuff. Just being honest! I use a low-sodium dressing, but if you want to make your own, this recipe has all the necessary components (namely, garlic, dijon mustard, oregano, basil and olive oil). 

*Gas Stove Girl Original Recipe

Monday, January 9, 2017

Chocolate Waffles with Peanut Butter Chips

Apologies in advance for anyone who came here hoping for a salad today.

This...this is very much the opposite of salad.

But, also! It's probably the most delicious recipe you can ever imagine, especially if you are like me and are a chocolate and peanut butter FANATIC.

Look, I understand if you're mad because it's January and we are all supposed to be collectively "eating better and exercising more." I would like to argue, however, that this IS eating better. New England got it's first big snowstorm of the year and that always gives me an itch to cook and bake. And that is a very, very good thing, considering these Chocolate Waffles with Peanut Butter Chips were the result.

These waffles walk the line between breakfast and dessert and that is a wonderful thing. A bit of cocoa powder is all it takes to make a classic waffle a CHOCOLATE waffle, and honestly I'm kind of wondering why we haven't made chocolate waffles more often? Why have we been denying ourselves this magical combination for so long?

The batter for this recipe is rich and slightly sweet. When these waffles first come out of the waffle iron, they are a bit more tender, delicate and softer than a traditional waffle. The amazing thing, though, is that as the waffles cool on a wire rack, a crust begins to form developing that irresistible crunch we crave in our waffles. It's magic!

The melty, salty peanut butter chips are an extra special touch that take a simple recipe over the top. I know, I know.

Bonus! This recipe makes enough waffles for today plus a batch to freeze and reheat whenever you want an extra special breakfast! Just pop them in the toaster right out of the freezer and thy will be just as crispy and delicious as the day you made them. That's my kind of meal planning :-)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Top Recipes of 2016

2016 has been chock full of tasty recipes, and I'm so grateful for every reader that has stopped by Gas Stove Girl this year! In fact, the blog hit a big milestone - over 100,000 all-time page views! I am looking forward to even more deliciousness in 2017, and until then here is a round up of your favorite Gas Stove Girl recipes from the past year. Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Tasty New Year!! 

A perfect recipe to warm you up this winter, this soup is a fun, creative mash-up of classic chicken and rice soup with spicy Indian curry. A little bit spicy and a whole bunch of flavor, it's no surprise this was the top reader (and writer!) favorite this year!

Who says pumpkin is just for the Thanksgiving season?! These waffles are lightened up with a bit of oat and wholesome wheat flour, a great low-guilt recipe to kick off the new year. 

These doughnuts, oh lawdy. Tender, fluffy, and extra sweet, this recipe is my best copy-cat version of the decadent Dunkin Donuts Blueberry Cake donut. That sweet glaze with juicy fresh blueberries is, literally, the icing on the cake! 

The ultimate mash-up of my two favorite carbs - soft pretzels and bagels! Turns out, it's not that hard to make either of these, and it's even more fun to make them into one salty, chewy bread. Put this recipe on your bucket list - I know you can do it! 

There was a clear trend this year of me taking two or more of my favorite things and combining them into one irresistible dish. This dip is no different! Creamy, dreamy spinach and artichoke dip, plus hearty smokey hummus - what could be better?!

Have your pie and drink it too! I think that's the saying ;-) This rich cocktail is loaded with all the wonderful spices of pumpkin pie, thanks to pumpkin liqueur and Rumchata - this cinnamon cream liqueur is decadence in a bottle!

A simple homemade ice cream recipe loaded with everyone's favorite spread - Nutella! The name says it all. 

Here I go again! Two of the best Mexican dishes, smashed together to create a spicy, fulfilling breakfast (or brunch...or dinner, for that matter). Don't skimp on the salsa or sour cream!

An adult spin on a childhood classic, these popsicles are glasses of frozen sangria on a stick! Sweet, tangy, boozy, and delightful. 

Whether you are serving these over pasta for dinner or dipping in marinara as an appetizer, Chicken Parmesan Meatballs are a must make recipe! All the flavors of chicken parm, packed down into tender little meatballs. And let's not forget the pièce de résistance...these meatballs are STUFFED with CHEESE! Yes, please!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pulled Pork Macaroni and Cheese

I think I'm going to be on Santa's naughty list this year...

Look at this mac and cheese!

I don't want to make sweeping declarations on this site, buuuut...borderline best thing I've ever made? Right here: Pulled Pork Macaroni and Cheese is the answer to all of life's problems.

Let me tell you all the reasons why this dish makes me all heart-eyes-emoji. First, there is cheese. 12 ounces of cheese, to be exact. A mixture of sharp cheddar and melty, dreamy monterey jack in a homemade cream sauce. A generous portion of leftover pulled pork, most likely cooked low and slow in a Crockpot until fork tender and smokey. Barbecue sauce, a lot of it, and honestly it better be Sweet Baby Ray's because there isn't any other BBQ sauce worth eating. All of this layered between beds of al dente whole wheat pasta - and we aren't really going for "nutrition" here...I just like the toothy bite of whole wheat pasta and how it holds up so well against rich, decadent ingredients.

Now, this all seems well and good, but every masterpiece needs a cherry on top. Do you see that golden brown, crunchy topping? That's a mixture of seasoned breadcrumbs, butter and ((pause for dramatic effect)) French's crispy onions! YES - those salty, greasy nuggets of goodness that typically go on top of green bean casserole are going on top of our pulled pork mac. Heavenly!

So, if you ask me, that should all be enough to convince you to add this to your dinner menu ASAP. But if it's not, let me just add that I have had dreams about this dish. I can't get it off my mind. When we had our first bite, the hubs and I went wide-eyed, speechless, eating as much as fast as we could. You want this, you NEED this. Let's indulge :-)

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Lemon Cake with Cranberries

It's cake time!

That's my favorite time, in fact. Especially when it involves this delicious Lemon Cake with Cranberries!

In my humble opinion we don't use fresh cranberries nearly enough, particularly in baked goods. When cooked for a long period of time, they become juicy and sweet, yet are still delightfully tart.

Cranberries and citrus also go together that peanut butter and jelly or New Year's Eve and champagne! Though typically paired with orange in muffins or loaves, I happened to find myself with an abundance of lemons to go with half a bag of leftover cranberries. Thus this cake was born, and man am I glad it was!

There's no denying that there is lots of fresh lemon flavor in this cake. Not only will we rub a tablespoon of freshly grated lemon zest into our sugar (lemon sugar! genius! distributes flavor into the entire loaf! YAS!), there is also plenty of lemon juice in the cake plus a sweet lemon glaze on top. We are in it to win it!

Be sure to work this cake into your holiday breakfast plans! Sweet, tart, festive, and delicious.

P.S. Don't those cran-bebes look like jewels studding the cake?! Swoon!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Mexican-Style Beef and Chorizo Stew

Well, it's official C.O.L.D. here in Boston. But that's OK! Seriously, it is. That means we can eat soup and stew every night of the week and not feel bad about it.

I love wrapping myself up in a big cozy blanket with a big bowl of soup next to the Christmas tree on the couch--for me, that's what the holiday season is all about! It doesn't take much to keep us warm this time of year. And today, I'm bringing you a recipe that is going to warm you up from the inside out!

In an effort to mix up a classic, I set ahead and made this aahh-mazing recipe for Mexican-Style Beef and Chorizo Stew. A classic beef stew with the flavor turned way up. It's like beef stew meets spicy taco soup. Yum, yum, and more yum!

The base, of course, is meat and potatoes. Stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces, plus a bunch of diced red potatoes to be exact. As for the heat, a can of diced tomatoes with green chilis and a heavy pinch of chili powder and cumin are just what we need. Why stop there, though? It's cold and snowing and we want spice! Diced chorizo--that's right, that smoky hot cured sausage--is the answer.

Now, generally, when I start making something new, I kind of don't know when to stop (or rather, I don't want to stop). That was just the case with this stew. Once I had sausage in the pot, the dish was begging for a can of a hearty beans. I used pinto beans because they are mild and tender. They just melt in your mouth after simmering on the stove for an hour or so. Finally, as a slightly sweet balance to all that flavor, I dumped in a bunch of whole kernel corn. Alas, I had it.

Oh, and of course, it's worth mentioning the leftover potential here. It's a crazy time of year, so having a few meals tucked away in the freezer for whenever we need them is a game-changer. This stew is delicious the day you make it, just as (or, possibly, more) tasty the next day (lunch!), and tailor made for freezing and reheating all month long. Thank you and you're welcome.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Fried Pumpkin and Sage Arancini

AKA Festive Balls of Happiness!

That's what these are, and I would love it if I could perhaps insist that you add these to your holiday party menu.

Fried Pumpkin and Sage Arancini is the exact type of recipe we need in our arsenal this type of  year. Indulgent and bursting with flavor. Crunchy yet creamy, salty and a tiny bit sweet. This is the recipe that will take center stage on your buffet table and impress your guests for days after.

About a year ago, we first dipped our toes into the world of homemade arancini. It was a little bit scary, but we learned a lot. We learned that arancini, in any form, is totally delicious and will most definitely fly off the table. We learned you can't eat just one. We also learned that, no matter how much we doubt it, arancini is actually not all that difficult to make. With a little planning and a little patience, we all can do it - seriously, we can!

I should also tell you that you can make these ahead, freeze 'em, and then reheat them when you are getting ready to serve them!  Simply follow the entire recipe below, cool the arancini completely, then store in between layers of parchment paper in a freezer bag. Once frozen, they will keep for about 2 months. When ready to serve, place them on a rack set over a baking dish and bake at 375 for about 20 minutes until hot throughout. See!? As if the golden brown crust and oozing centers didn't convince you, this proves that these really are the perfect party appetizer!