Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tonight's Dinner: July 21, 2014

Last night while preparing the Philly Cheese Steak Stew I had started to marinate a slab of flank steak for fajitas.  I find that this is the easiest way to get dinner made.  There is less temptation to order out if I know that all we have to do is throw something on the grill or in the oven.  Even if I buy a full week's worth of food sometimes we will do takeout and toss the meat into the freezer.  While I don't always have time or energy to start something marinating for the week ahead, it does help on those weekends that I have time.  It really only takes a few minutes anyway.  For this marinade I used a soy sauce and garlic powder blend with a full bottle of New Castle Summer Ale.  I had opened the bottle a few nights before, but didn't like the flavor very much.  I wrapped the top with Saran Wrap and put it back in the fridge.  This is a trick I use for when I don't finish a drink that has a lot of flavor.  Often times I don't want to drink it, but it can be really good for marinades at a later date.  The meat came out tender from the beer and very well flavored.  It actually smelled like beer, so if you are cooking for children I'd leave the beer out.

Along side the steak fajitas, I made a Spanish Rice.  I didn't have any salsa like the recipe called for so I made my own out of tomato paste, one jalapeno, and onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and chicken stock.  I put all of the ingredients in a jar and shook it up. If you know me well, you'll know that I save old sauce jars.  I like to use them for mixing dressings or for disposable containers when I'm hydrating before a road race.  I like them best for dressings though because all you have to do is put in your ingredients and shake the heck out of it to emulsify.  I did this for my substitute salsa.  It turned out really well for this purpose.  I wouldn't, however, use it as a standard salsa for chips since it was very watery and had no whole tomatoes.  I threw the lime peels (I always wash before slicing) into the rice for added flavor and removed them once the rice was fully cooked. 

Sour cream and Tapitio sauce
The beginnings of my Spanish Rice. 

I threw the grilled peppers into a large ziplock to let the steam release the skins. 

Nick used the gas grill to quickly cook the fajita meat.

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