Flank Steak Tacos

Anytime my husband is looking to impress a friend, he whips these babies up. It never fails that customers always leave satisfied. Ask any one of our friends, they have ALL had Micah's flank steak tacos and they have all come running back for more. Micah makes these for me with shrimp, so it just goes to show you can substitute any protein you would like.

We use La Victoria taco sauce and salsa to make these, but it can be tricky to find. If you don't have luck, use whatever authentic Mexican sauces your local grocer has. Also, don't worry if you don't have a food processor! In our college days we didn't have one so we use to grate the tomatoes with a box grater. It was a great arm workout.

As I said in the webisode, there is some prep work to these and they cook for nearly 4 hours but it is well worth it. This dish is perfect for lazy Sunday.! At our house, Sunday equates to cook-day. We spend nearly half the day in the kitchen cooking up a storm. It's become somewhat of a family tradition.

Micah's Flank Steak Tacos

6 tomatoes
1 large onion
2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced (use one if you are sensitive to heat)
3-4 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 jar of La Victoria, taco sauce, hot
1 jar of La Victoria, salsa, hot
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1.5 pounds of flank steak

Blend the tomatoes, onion, salt and pepper in a food processor until coarsely chopped. (See note at bottom.)

Pat dry the flank steak. Salt and pepper both sides. Cut steak into 2-inch cubes.

Set a large skillet to medium-high heat. Pour a generous amount of vegetable oil. Cook meat until seared (browned) on all six sides. About 2-3 minutes per side.

Add entire jar of taco sauce and stir. Add tomato and onion mixture stir. Add the salsa, stir. If sauce looks thick, fill salsa jar half way with water and add to steak sauce. Add jalapeno, garlic and cilantro. Stir.

Reduce heat to medium low. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper. Simmer for 3.5 to 4 hours until the meat breaks apart with a fork.


It's Always Good for a Change

I was browsing the internet today and happen to stumble upon some kitchen items that got me all excited, and it got me thinking on making a blog post about it. It's never a bad thing to spice things up a bit (no pun intended) so I hope no one minds the departure from the usual webisodes. Who knows, maybe this will be a regular thing? No worries though, Friday will have my usual video banter, and this week I am sharing my husband's flank steak tacos recipe, something he is somewhat famous for around our circle of friends. So onto the dream list....

I have good knives, but not great knives, and boy would I love to wrap my pseudo-chef fingers around this professional baby. Honestly, I'll take any Wusthof, or Henckels. What appeals to me about this particular knife is that the grooves cause the knife to act as a serrated knife. You can chop, slice, and dice anything easily and food will not stick to the side of the knife. To me, the "test" for a good knife, is how well it can chop juicy tomatoes, and I think this knife would score an A++.

One day, when I have the kitchen of my dreams, I will have an infinite amount of counter space that this handy dandy water boiling system will not be a cluttering agent. I admit, that I drink an exorbitant amount of tea. It is definitely a habit I have formed and I would love to have a pot of boiling water at my beckon call.

Perfect Portions

It is well known that the elements of a perfect cake (or any pastry for that matter) is the right amount of ingredients. It is for this precise reason that I am not a huge fan of baking. I am much more a spontaneous chef then a methodical one and having to measure this and count that drives me crazy. Most bakers will tell you that measuring cups and measuring spoons just don't cut it and, if you are seeking perfection, a scale is what you need. Well, this baby takes things to a whole other level. It not only a scale, its a dietitian and a nutritionist
too! This is perfect for anyone monitoring calories, sugar, or carbs and has a database of nearly 2000 foods.

Mr. Bento Stainless Steel Lunch Jar & Bento Lunch System

I am a teacher, and therefore never get to experience the joys of feeling like an actual professional and taking an hour lunch break out of the building. Creating an interesting lunch poses quite a challenge. (Sandwiches get boring really fast!) But than there is Mr. Bento to the rescue. With 4 different compartments that fit into the stainless steal vessel the combination of delectable lunch treats are endless. And the kids version would end the guilt I feel every morning as I pack lunch, snacks, you name it, into Ziploc bags!

Speaking of Japanese Bento boxes, check out these outrageous creations! That's not quite what I had in mind when I mentioned I needed to jazz up my lunch....but I could only imagine the commotion it would make in the teacher's lounge.

Floral Inspirations

We always have flowers in the house, and these minimal floral arrangements are exactly the look I am going for these days. I just love how organic the placement of the flowers are.

Hope you guys are enjoying the week! (Chef)uality will be back Friday with its usual webisode post! Cheers and happy eating!


Israeli Hummus

Thank you to everyone who visited the blog! I was super excited to read all your suggestions and I plan to showcase some of the very recipes you asked for. Congratulations Mandi on your new cookbook. I am sure you will enjoy the occasional indulgence.

I was stoked to find out that Mandi was interested in seeing a hummus recipe featured on the blog. Israeli's are all about their hummus, a recent poll suggests that 95% of households in Israel stock hummus, and I have to say, I
have eaten my fair share of the delicious garbanzo bean "mash." I am usually so disappointed with the hummus I purchase at the grocery store. It never has the right consistency or taste as the hummus I eat on my travels to Israel. Americans don't realize how deprived they are! If you are going to purchase hummus at the store, stick to Sabra. This is an Israeli brand, and closely resembles the hummus you can find in Israel.

The hummus in Israel is bountiful. Nearly every restaurant in Israel serves hummus and salad on the table, very similar to how every Mexican restaurant in the states offers salsa and chips. Today, it's become very "hip" to go to hummus bars where you are inundated with batches of hummus in varieties ranging from warmed hummus to walnut hummus to spicy red pepper hummus. I have tried many recipes and this recipe is by far my favorite. It is so important to taste as you go, as this is a trial and error process. Enjoy!

Israeli Hummus

2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (reserve 1/2 cup of liquid)
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
2/3 cup of tahini
1 lemon juiced
1/2 cup garbanzo bean liquid
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tspn cumin
1 tspn paprika
2 tspn salt
1 1/2 tspn pepper

Place all ingredients but garbanzo bean liquid in a food processor and blend. If hummus is thick, add garbanzo liquid 1 TBSPN at a time till you reach desired consistency.


Giveaway: Fat Witch Cookbook

I am excited to announce that this week, (Chef)uality will be hosting its very first giveaway. Participation is easy. Just leave a comment letting me know what recipe you would like to see featured on a webisode.(Make sure to include your name and e-mail address.) That's it! A winner will be randomly chosen and I will announce the winner on Friday's webisode.

So now to the fun stuff. The winnings! Being t
hat this blog is dedicated to delectable dishes, its only appropriate that the giveaway prize keep the culinary theme. While browsing the newest cookbook publications, I was astonished to discover that legendary bakery, Fat Witch, was planning to divulge their decadent brownie recipes in a cookbook!
Fat Witch Bakery is one of those places that you visit and wonder "Why are places like this not where I live?" I find that I say this a lot on my New York visits. Everything is made fresh on premises and packaged in such a way you find yourself making a list of people you plan on gifting the chocolate delights to. Thankfully, brownie-holics can get their fix on their website (www.fatwitch.com), as they do ship their most popular, compact and scrumptious goodies, and in their forth-coming cookbook!

This week's winner will receive Fat Witch Bakery's cookbook, out September 14. Until then here is a recipe from the cookbook. Good luck to all my participating readers!

Hermit Bars
Adapted from Fat Witch Brownies

5 TB unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
1/4 tspn baking soda
1/4 tspn ground cloves
1/4 tspn nutmeg
1/4 tspn salt
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Grease a 9-inch by 9-inch baking pan with butter. Dust with flour and tap out excess. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating as you add the molasses.

Measure the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg, and salt and sift together into the batter. Mix the batter gently until well combined and no trace of the dry ingredients remains. Stir in the raisins and nuts (if desired) by hand. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake for 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only crumbs, not batter, sticking to it.

Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 1 hour.


Beef Bulgogi (Korean Marinated Meat)

Coincidentally, it seems that just as my best friend Jamie moves to South Korea, Korean food is getting its much needed spot in the limelight state-side. The truth is, that I haven't even given Korean food much of a thought until now, but after testing this recipe out (and spending hours reading recipes online and in magazines) I have come to realize I have been seriously missing out.

This marinade is out of this world good and is a nice change to the marinades we traditionally use. Best of all, it is so versatile! I used this on tuna the same night for myself (I don't eat meat) and it was equally delicious! We are always a happy household when we come upon a recipe that satisfies both our dietary needs!

Beef Bulgogi

5 TB soy sauce
2 TB agave nectar (substitute white sugar if not available)
1/4 cup green onion
2-3 garlic gloves
1 TB red chili paste (recommended Sriracha)
2 TB sesame oil
1 1/2 pounds flank steak

Combine all ingredients and pour over meat. Marinate for at least 1 hour, and up to 24 hours.

Heat grill to medium heat and cook steak 15 minutes per side or until desired readiness.