Steak With Potato Salad and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

We haven’t tried this recipe yet but it is on the menu for tomorrow. This recipe came from an old issue of Real Simple.

[Update 2014-09-05] We tried this with beef tenderloin, and it was delicious! We’ll definitely make this meal again. You can see our dinner in the photo at the end of this post.

Serves 4


  • 1 pound small red potatoes ( about 12)
  • 3 1/2 tsps of Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground Black pepper
  • 4 small steaks (such as Newport, Flat, iron or Top round. I will use Tenderloin)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 small Boston lettuce, torn (about 4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp of olive oil ( I will use canola oil)


  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Reduce heat and simmer for until tender 14 to 16 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool, use a fork or your fingers to break the potatoes in half.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season steaks with 1 tsp of salt and 3/4 tsp of pepper and cook to desired doneness, 4 to five minutes per side for medium rare. ( I will grill the steaks on BBQ).
  3. In a large bowl combine blue cheese, vinegar, remaining 1/4 cup of oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add lettuce and potatoes and toss to coat. Serve with the steaks.

steak with blue cheese potato salad

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Marinated Flank Steak

We got this recipe from Rick Gallop’s “The G.I. Diet”. We had not had this dish for a while and made it again last night. It was excellent — as good as we remembered.


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 pound of flank steak


  1. Combine soy sauce, orange juice, oil vinegar, garlic, ginger and mustard in a bowl.
  2. Whisk ingredients together and add flank steak to bowl or place steak in plastic bag and add marinade. Put into refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours turning meat occasionally.
  3. Preheat oiled grill to medium high.
  4. Discard marinade and place steak on grill and close cover. Cook turning once for about 8 minutes per side for medium rare or until desired doneness.
  5. Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil for 5 minutes.
  6. Slice thinly across the grain and serve


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Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Strawberry Sauce Recipe

Deb found this recipe on Taste of Home and suggested we try it. We had some strawberries and most of the other ingredients.

The recipe is a little complicated to make, at least the first time! It requires some juggling, as you go from step to step. The dinner was worth the effort though — it tasted delicious, and will definitely be made again.

You can see a picture of our dinner, at the end of the recipe.


  • 1-1/2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries, divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pork tenderloins (1 pound each), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions


  1. In a large saucepan, combine broth, 1 cup strawberries, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce and garlic; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Strain mixture and set aside liquid, discarding solids.
  2. Sprinkle pork with garlic powder, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Brown pork on both sides. Remove and keep warm.
  3. Add broth mixture to the same skillet; bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth and gradually stir into skillet.
  4. Return pork to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened and pork is tender. Serve pork with sauce. Top with feta cheese, onions and remaining strawberries.

Yield: 8 servings.

pork with strawberries

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Chili Shrimp and Coconut Risotto

We got this recipe from Real Simple and as we were in the south decided to try it. All the ingredients were easy to find.  While in Hilton Head we had it couple of times and we really enjoyed it. At home ingredients especially the chili paste and shrimp deveined and peeled were a little harder to find but the meal was just as tasty. A note for preparation I generally do the rice earlier in the day and store in the fridge.




  • 2 Tbsps of olive oil
  • 1 pound of shrimp deveined and peeled
  • 2 cloves of garlic ( if chili paste has garlic omit this ingredient)
  • 1 Tsp kosher salt ( I used sea salt)
  • 2 Tbsp chili paste (we use 1 tbsp)
  • 1 14 ounce can of coconut milk ( I used lite coconut milk)
  • 4 cups of jasmine rice. ( on one occasion I used sticky rice)
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts
  • 1 scallion thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp, garlic and salt and cook until the shrimp is pink and just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove shrimp and set aside.
  3. Add chili paste and coconut milk to the pan and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add rice, bean sprouts, scallion, lime juice and shrimp and cook until heated through, 3 – 4 minutes, Serve garnished with basil leaves
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Hearty Salisbury Steak

We got this recipe from a Taste of Home magazine. We really enjoy it and it is easy to make. Here is a picture of the Taste of Home version.

Hearty Salisbury Steaks Recipe


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed saltines ( 15 crackers) (I substitute 1/2cup of Panko bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute ( I substitute 1 egg beaten)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 envelope of reduced sodium onion soup mix
  • 2 tbsps. all-purpose flour
  • (I also add 1 tbsp. of creamy horseradish sauce sometimes)


  1. In a large bowl combine onion, saltines or Panko, egg substitute or beaten egg, pepper, horseradish if using and beef, mix lightly and form into 5 patties.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil medium heat. Add patties; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove patties and keep warm; discard drippings. (if using extra lean this step may not be necessary).
  3. In a bowl combine water, soup mix and flour and blend. Add mixture to skillet bring to a boil. Return patties to the skillet if they were removed cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
  4. Serve with mashed potatoes and favourite vegetable for a delicious meal. (Also good with scalloped potatoes)
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Steak Pizzaiola With Arugula

We found this recipe in the Rachel Ray magazine, and cut it down to serve the two of us, instead of 4 people.

It smelled wonderful, as it was cooking, and tasted delicious. There were lots of steps in the preparation, so Mr. D was a bit tired by the time he finished cooking it. The effort was worthwhile though, and he promises to make it again.

To give you the big picture, here’s a summary of the steps:

  • Cook the pasta
  • While it’s cooking, cook the steak in the frying pan
  • Put the steak in a broiler pan
  • Prepare the tomato sauce, and pour over the steak
  • Top with cheese, and broil
  • Add parmesan and arugula to pasta
  • Serve the pasta and steak

Steak Pizzaiola With Arugula


  • 4 ounces linguine
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 boneless sirloin or rib-eye steaks (about 6 oz. each)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 bunch arugula (2 oz.)


  1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook linguine according to package instructions. Drain; return to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-low heat.
  3. Add the garlic and cook until golden, 5 minutes; transfer to a cutting board and finely chop.
  4. Season the steaks with salt. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the steaks and cook, turning once, for 5 minutes for medium-rare; transfer to a broiler-safe pan and reserve the skillet.
  5. Preheat the broiler. Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, their juices and the garlic; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  7. Pour the sauce over the steaks and top with the mozzarella.
  8. Broil until the cheese is melted and browned in spots, about 3 minutes.
  9. Place the pasta pot over the medium heat and add the remaining 2 tbsp. oil, the parmesan and arugula.
  10. Cook until the arugula is wilted; season with salt and pepper. Serve the steaks with the pasta.


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Empanada Night: Turkey or Spiced Beef

realsimpleThe Chef got adventurous last week, and cooked up two kinds of empanadas – Turkey, and Spiced Beef.

It was his first attempt at empanadas, and it was a great success.

He found the recipes on the Real Simple magazine website, and followed the instructions, with just a few tweaks.

Large and Small

The beef recipe created 24 mini empanadas, and the turkey recipe created 4 large ones. The chef split the filling, so we ended up with 12 minis and 2 large empanadas of each type.

The empanadas were brushed with an egg wash, and then baked, and they came out of the oven looking golden brown. We had an arugula and spinach salad on the side, to balance out the richness of the empanadas.

Ideas for Next Time

For sauces, we used sour cream and salsa, but ketchup and/or mustard might have been good too. There is plenty of flavour in the fillings, so you don’t need much else.

I don’t even want to think about the calorie count of this meal, but it delicious, and you can see the results in the picture below. If you’re watching your calories, you could make one of the fillings, with a bit more liquid, and serve over brown rice.

Freezing the Empanadas

The recipes each serve four, so we froze the large empanadas, and 12 of the small ones, unbaked. A few days later, we took a few small ones out of the freezer, then thawed and baked them. They were just as delicious as the original ones.

Our Baked Empanadas

Here is a picture of our tasty mini empanadas, and the side salad. The recipes are shown below.


Turkey Empanadas


  • 3  tbsp  olive oil
  • 3/4  pound  ground turkey
  • 1  onion, chopped
  • 1  clove garlic, chopped
  • 1  tsp  cumin
  • 1/3  cup  raisins
  • 1/2  cup  pitted olives
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2  refrigerated rolled piecrusts, halved


  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the turkey, onion, garlic, and cumin and cook, breaking the meat up with a spoon, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the raisins and olives; season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  5. Top the 4 piecrust halves with the turkey mixture; fold in half and seal the edges.
  6. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serves 4

Spiced Beef Empanadas


  • 1  tbsp  olive oil
  • 1  small onion, chopped
  • 1/2  pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1/3  cup  golden raisins
  • 2  tbsp  ketchup
  • 1/4  tsp  ground cinnamon
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2  refrigerated rolled piecrusts
  • 1  large egg, beaten


  1. Heat oven to 375º F.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Stir in the raisins, ketchup, cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  6. Using a 2½-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles from the piecrusts.
  7. Divide the beef mixture among the circles, brush the edges with water, fold in half, and press with a fork to seal.
  8. Transfer to a baking sheet and brush with the egg. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 24


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