Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sometimes things work and sometimes they come out of the oven like rocks.

Good morning, Crushers!

On Monday night, I had this delicious menu planned out with broiled steaks, guacamole, a nice salad and brown rice. We're doing doing steak Tex-Mex style. Makes me want some more of the guacamole as I type this...

Anyway, I have only used the broiler setting on my oven(s) to make fish. How hard could it be to make broiled steaks? Steve said his mom did it all the time, and there has yet to be a recipe from Carol that didn't work.

Turns out that these gorgeous looking pieces of steak (on sale!) could become hard as rocks.

Perhaps I should have marinated them?

Turns out that my trusted Better Homes and Gardens cookbook was full of it when it told me to broil the seasoned steaks 4-5 inches from the heat source for 30 minutes, flipping half way through, based on the thickness of the steak (about one inch). Um, no. Just no. I think they could have been nicely done with 10 minutes on each side.

Bless him, Steve ate two helpings. Why? I have no idea. They were flavorful, but so, so well-done.

Last night was better. We had chicken with spinach and feta on the weekly menu. Originally, I was thinking of making Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts, but then I realized that some of my chicken breasts were not thick enough. I guess I got a little overzealous while slicing up the chicken for freezer prep last week!

What to do? Hot spinach and feta side dish? How about adding some red potatoes? No, that's weird. But wait that could work...

That's how dinner made it's way to the table last night:
From the top going clock-wise, Greek Parmesan oven potatoes, spinach with feta sauce
and skillet chicken with feta sauce.

My mom posted a recipe for Garlic and Parmesan oven potatoes on Facebook last night, but with my Greek food theme, I wanted to use some of the Opa! Greek seasoning from Wildtree. Some of that same seasoning made it's way into the sauce too.

Here are the recipes from last night:
Greek Parmesan Oven Potatoes
2lbs of red potatoes, sliced in thick slices (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick)
1/3 cup oil (I used veggie oil, but olive oil would have been nice)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 Tbsp Opa! Greek Seasoning from Wildtree
4-5 good shakes from your pepper shaker

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil (or you could probably use a 13x9 inch pan). Put all the ingredients in a zip-top bag and shake it up! Once everything is coated nicely, spread it out on the pan and bake for 30 minutes.
Oven potatoes in the oven!

While that is baking, heat some oil (about a Tbsp) in a skillet and cook your chicken breasts for about 7 minutes on each side. They should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. I sprinkled some pepper and salt on each side. Delicious!
Can you hear the sizzle?

Now, if you can manage it, start the feta sauce while you're letting the chicken and potatoes do their thing.

Feta Cream Sauce
(I modified the recipe a bit since I didn't have evaporated milk. Here is what I did)
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/2 Tbsp Opa! Greek seasoning from Wildtree
nearly 1 cup feta cheese crumbles

Directions: Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and keep stirring so it doesn't get clumpy or burn. Gradually pour in the milk and just keep stirring. (you may need to go back and flip your chicken over now) Once the flour and milk are all friendly and bubbly, turn down the heat a bit and stir in the seasoning and cheese. Now just keep stirring until the cheese is melted. This will take the rest of the time that the chicken is cooking and your potatoes are cooking. Just keep stirring!

Goes great on chicken and even spinach as a hot dressing! Yum!
So, while one recipe is a total flop, or in this case a total brick, it's nice to know that there's always another recipe to try to redeem a sad, sad steak.

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