Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Menu Monday x 2

Nothing terribly interesting has happened recently (apart from Dallas being 100+ degrees for the past two weeks, holy moly, someone please turn the sun off)... so I'm just going to write about my two favorite meals of the week :)
On Monday I made something that I decided to call Mexican lasagna. It's kind of like chicken enchiladas, but the name "chicken enchiladas" instills great fear in me, as a result of an unfortunate school-wide food poisoning event by a dish of that same name at the cafeteria at boarding school in Kenya back in 9th grade. So, Mexican lasagna it is. For the benefit of my brothers over in South Africa, who expressed a desire to make this when I described it to them, I'll write out the whole recipe. Bear with me, recipes are not my strong point. It'll be more of an estimation.

The finished product

Instructions (I bolded all the ingredients you'll need):
Preheat oven to 400 F
In a pot, saute one chopped onion in oil, add some minced garlic. Add about one pound of bite-sized pieces of boneless skinless chicken breast... while that's cooking put in some taco seasoning to taste, 1/2 tsp of cumin and 1/8 tsp ground coriander seed. Put in one drained can of sweetcorn, or about the same amount of frozen sweetcorn. Then, put in 2 cups of salsa. You can also add some chopped up jalapeno peppers if you like it spicy. Simmer until it's nice and hot.
While that's simmering, layer the bottom of a non-stick 9x13 baking pan with tortillas (I used about six 6-inch diameter ones). Then put 1/2 of the chicken mixture in, spread some sour cream on top of it, and sprinkle some cheese of top of that. Then repeat the layers one more time (tortillas, chicken, sour cream, cheese). Cover the pan in aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 5 or 10 minutes.

We ate it with avocados, of course :)

Now for the other favorite meal of the week. Steak.

Mmmmm... the only dressing I used was some salt and fresh ground pepper rubbed on each side. Simple but deliciously effective.

Seriously, those were some of the best steaks I've ever had.... but they were a huge pain in the rear end to cook. We don't have a grill/BBQ, and I read somewhere that if you sear both sides of the steak on high heat on the stovetop in a frying pan with some butter it gets a nice grilled/roasted flavor. Then you finish oven it in the oven so it stays tender... sounds easy. And maybe it will be easier next time (which will be in several months after I've forgotten what a pain they were to cook). 
The first problem is that you can't let the butter burn, which it does fairly easily. Especially on the high heat that it needs to be to sear the steak. The second problem is I only have one frying pan large to fit the size of those huge steaks, so I had to sear them one at a time, rinsing the pan to get rid of the burnt butter and then melting new butter between each steak.

And watch out for that butter. It splashes. And burns. Especially when it gets between your fingers. Ouchie.

I eventually got them all seared and in the oven one at a time, and then had to take them all out one at a time as they were all done at different times... then you have to cover them tightly with foil and let them sit for 10 minutes to allow the juices to settle (otherwise the steaks apparently go dry and chewy). 
Phewsh. Well, I can say it was worth it when we finally sat down to eat... because those steaks were D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S. Juicy and tender on the inside, with grilled crispiness on the outside. We ate them with baked potatoes, green beans, and of course, avocados. The avocado kick has now become a full fledged obsession. We love them.


And I think that's about enough food for one post, yes?

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