Hanger Steak with Mushrooms and Red Wine Reduction: Bon Appetite Magazine 10/11


Bon Appetit Magazine October 2011 :Hanger Steak with Mushrooms and Red Wine Sauce

I had been waiting for the perfect recipe for the hanger steak I had waiting for me in my freezer from Stemple Creek Ranch.   And as far as cooking magazines go, Bon Appetite is one I trust the most, and trusting them to transform my frozen hanger steak into a gorgeous dinner entree was the right call.  This recipe was so easy to do, the flavors superb, and I will be making it again.   This recipe would taste GREAT with London Broil or Top Sirloin. I only made a few slight adjustments using a little less butter and eliminating the garlic (allergies here).

Serves 4:


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 12 ounces of assorted mushrooms torn or cut into large pieces (I used 6 ounces chanterelles and 6 ounces of white button mushrooms)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lb hanger steak, trimmed, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness (I recommend organic grass fed)
  • 1 large shallot chopped
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 cup of red wine ( preferably dry red wine)
  • 3/4 cup low salt chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh tarragon


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat
  2. Add mushrooms, cook stirring occasionally until soft and golden about 7 mnutes.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  4. Transfer to a bowl, set aside
  5. melt 1 tablespoon organic butter with with 1 tablespoon of oil in same skillet over medium heat
  6. Season steak with salt and pepper
  7. Add steak, shallots, and rosemary twig to skillet
  8. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, with a nice dark sear, for medium rare (the only way I eat my steak is medium rare)
  9. Transfer steak to a cutting board, and let rest while preparing sauce
  10. Discard shallots and rosemary from the skillet
  11. Add wine, and cook stirring up bits until reduced to about 3/4 of a cup
  12. Optional: Strain bits and the return liquid to pan (I did not do this by the way because I LOVE bits)
  13. Stir in chicken broth (or stock) and bring to a boil
  14. Simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes
  15. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon organic butter
  16. Stir in mushrooms and 1 tablespoon tarragon
  17. Season with salt and pepper
  18. Spoon mushroom mixture onto 4 plates
  19. Thinly slice steak and place over mushrooms (I have shown in my photos here)
  20. Top steak plate with more mushrooms and sprinkle with tarragon

Serve and Enjoy!


According to the magazine each plate has aprox 515 calories each with 41 grams fat (good fat if grass fed organic beef and if cooked with organic butter) and 4 grams of carbs





Easy Saffron Honey-Roasted Butterflied Whole Chicken: A Cat Cora Inspiration!

Serving Suggestion with Sauteed Wilted Arugula and fresh Lemon zest



I love Chef Cat Cora!  Her food is so fun , whimsical, and  never pretentious.   In magazine interviews or TV cameo’s she always seems to go out of her way to make her food  easy and approachable to even the most inexperienced chef . How can you not love this lady?

Amongst the many things I love about the recipe one aspect I like most is is how inexpensive it is. Check out this cost for a whole roasted organic chicken on sale at Whole Foods.  Its only 1o bucks and this recipe feeds 4 to 6 people.  You can do the math.

One great thing about buying poultry at Whole Foods is that the butcher will be happy to “butterfly” your chicken before wrapping it up for you.  The rest of the ingredients in the recipe are pantry staples, like just organic honey and a pinch of saffron.  Saffron to some may seems “expensive” but I buy mine at Trader Joe’s for 6 bucks or at  Cost Plus World Market here for only $4.99

This recipe is so easy a complete novice could throw this together in a snap and wow the pants off of friends and family.  The secret to the ease?  None other than my favorite “Butterflied Oven Roasted Chicken Cooking Method” . If  you ever followed me last summer, you’ll know I discovered the “Butterflied Chicken” roasting only method after I almost ruined a dinner where I was having company over and was desperate for a “quick fix”.   My butterflied chicken was originally supposed to be something “Balinese” on the grill, but I had problems with the marinade and grill, and eventually was left with only a butterflied chicken,  an oven and 60 minutes to work with.  That day became my first ever experience with oven roasting a butterflied chicken and I will never cook a whole chicken any other way in the oven again.  If your unfamiliar with what a “butterflied” chicken is, you may have heard it’s other name  called the “Spatchcok”  method.

This Saffron Honey-Roasted Chicken completely reflects the best of what I love about Cat.  I poached this recipe from her “Cooking from the Hip” cookbook .  Its one of my favorite little cookbooks.  I would proudly serve this Saffron Honey Chicken to my “foodie” friends at a nice dinner, but its my new favorite “go to” recipe for  simple night at home with Victor and myself.  I am one of those people who loves to use all of the bird.  After roasting a whole chicken,  I always madke a small pot of  real chicken stock within days of making this dish for dinner with the leftover bones.


  • 1 whole roasting chicken 2 1/2-  4 lbs, then butterflied by the butcher or here is a video to show you how to butterfly a whole roasting chicken yourself yourself
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted preferably local organic butter
  • aprox 1/4 cup raw organic honey or organic honey
  • 2 tablespoons water (preferably unfiltered)
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads


  1. Preheat the oven to 415
  2. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels
  3. Place butterflied chicken  a(A) cavity side down/breast up either on a rack in a foil lined roasting dish or (b)  its also completely fine to place the chicken cavity side down, breast up on a greased double foiled line dish in a roasting pan and place in oven with dark meat, or legs towards the back of the oven for 5 minutes while melting butter in step 2
  4. Melt the butter in a pan (I cheated and went microwave), and then drizzle some of the butter on the chicken rubbing it in with the sea salt all over the outside of the exposed surface.
  5. Meanwhile pour the honey and water into the remaining butter, Add the saffron and the heat in a small sauce pan over low heat until thin enough in consistently to brush over the chicken.  With a pastry brush, brush the honey mixture over the chicken.
  6.  Roast the chicken for another 10 minutes and repeat step 5
  7. Continue to baste chicken with remaining water, butter, honey mixture  over the chicken until an instant read thermometer registers the chicken breast at 150 to max 155 degrees, and the dark meat in the thigh at 160 to 165  max degrees
  8. Turn on broiler to high and allow the chicken to finish cooking and allow  skin to crisp up and brown under broiler. Again while basting if any leftover marinade of the water honey/ water/ butter mixture.
  9. When Chicken breast reaches 165 degrees and the dark meat in the deepest part of the inner thigh reaches no more than 175 degrees remove immediately from oven
  10. Let chicken  rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes before carving…. (this will be hard because it will smell so incredible and looks so juicy!)

Photo from right out of the Oven so Tasty!  Juicy and dripping with flavor!

I’ve shown this served with a simple wilted sauteed arugula side dish.  This leftover chicken makes for a great shredded cold chicken salad as well, and save the chicken bones in a zip lock bag in freezer.  Great for making home made chicken stock. I’ll be doing one and posting it on here within the next week.




Cannoli Creme Parfait: Low Calorie and Low Fat


I have been tivoing ABC’s new daily cooking TV show called “The Chew” ever since it first debuted last month.  One of the regular cast members is none other than Daphne Oz,  oldest daughter of  Dr Oz, resident  medical expert from the Oprah show and now having his own daily  TV show on Fox.  Daphne Oz is only 25, and while the youngest regular cast member on the show, is the designated  health expert.  (Although all of them look and act pretty health conscious to me)  While I have yet to watch a full 2 weeks of my taped shows, I am fairly impressed with what I have  managed to watch so far.  For starters the show is fun, interactive, and even for someone like myself who cooks a lot, I have gotten something educational or “new” out of every episode.  I consistently love the recipes they have been featuring, whether they are healthy or not.  And although I don’t think Daphne is a trained chef like some of the other heavy hitter’s on the show, mainly chef’s Mario Batali and Michael Symon of Iron Chef, I really like what she has “brought to the table”, so to speak.  Mainly her role seems to be the provider of healthy little tips and fun, easy to recreate recipes almost anyone can do.  And that  “easy to do” spirit she brings to the show is a great thing for viewers who want to eat healthy and be able to cook some of the  show’s dishes at home without some complicated grocery list or cooking process.

I saw Daphne create this dessert on the show, and while I am absolutely no fan of ricotta cheese or even desserts for that matter, for some reason I saw the final product and thought “hmmm… that might be good”.  The process was certainly simple enough,  the dessert inexpensive, and I liked the fact it was stated it was only 150 calories and 7 grams of fat.  I embedded here the recipe and video from the show featuring this dessert, but if you do watch it and read the recipe from the show’s website I provided, you’ll notice there is a bit of confusion translating the ingredients stated on the show and then what was actually stated in the recipe provided on the website.  None the less, my recipe on here is accurate, and I really do suggest watching the 4 1/2 minute clip from the show for directions and serving ideas.  Also, when I first mixed up the ricotta and tried it with the ingredients, I did not like this at fridge temperature. It just tasted like whipped ricotta to me, and I was a little disappointed.  So after my initial tasting, I put the whole thing in the freezer.  A couple hours later I removed it and let defrost for about 20 minutes before eating, and LOVED it. Its a totally different dessert frozen.  I highly suggest freezing this dessert after its prepared and eating it very cold.



Makes 1 serving

  • Aprox 2 to 3 thin lowfat almond cookies broken up (I used this kind)
  • 1/2 cup skim Ricotta cheese (really do try to get the better organic kind, it tastes so much better)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons organic honey
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate crushed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon or so of orange, grapefruit or lemon zest
  • slivered almonds for garnish (I toasted quickly in a skillet first)


  1. In a parfait, small serving bowl or dessert type glass (I was desperate and used a martini glass as you can see from the photos), place 1/2 of the broken up cookie pieces at the bottom
  2. In a bowl whip the ricotta, vanilla, and honey together by hand
  3. Stir in chocolate chips to the ricotta mixture
  4. Spoon and layer in the ricotta/chocolate chip mixture over the broken cookie pieces
  5. Sprinkle the remaining cookie pieces over the mixture.  If you want to spend the extra time for presentation value, you can even add in a layer of cookie pieces between the ricotta mixture and then sprinkle the rest over the top.
  6. Sprinkle the est and slivered almond pieces over the top
  7. Place in freezer for at least an hour (I’ve kept it in the freezer  for up to 2 days, covered with plastic wrap or tin foil, and it tasted just fine. May even be able to stay yummy in the freezer for longer periods of time, I just haven’t tried it) and defrost for 20 minutes at room temp when ready to eat
  8. Add the optional cinnamon and mint sprig

~Serve and Enjoy





Raw Healthy Pumpkin Banana “Shake”

This is super healthy and tastes great.    Perfect flavor combination with the canned pumpkin and the “Pumpkin Pie Spice” for the upcoming Halloween and Thanksgiving holiday to entice picky children yet with all the healthy nutrition and non dairy aspects parents love.   This is naturally sweet on its own, but you can add a little bit of sugar, honey or stevia for added sweetness.  I utilized a few “light coconut milk” cubes to add some healthy fats give  a nice frothy rich milkshake feel to a “raw” shake.  I finished it off with some sweet nutmeg spice and chopped walnuts sprinkled on top.


  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 “light coconut milk” cubes or 1/2 cup unfrozen coconut milk (coconut milk frozen in an ice cube tray)
  • 1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin (I used Trader Joes brand from last year)
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (I used Almond Breeze)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin Pie spice, couple shakes to taste (I used Trader Joe’s brand or you can make homemade)
  • stevia,  a bit of honey, sugar to taste (I didn’t need any)
  • Optional : top with  sweet nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice and chopped wlanuts


  1. Blend all ingredients except sweetener in a high speed blender
  2. Taste and add sweetener if necessary
  3. Pour into two glasses and top with sweet nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and chopped walnuts
  4. Serve and enjoy



Steamed Shrimp and Cilantro Chinese Dumplings (Shu Mai)

I’ve been making AND eating Chinese dumplings since I was a little girl.   One of my favorite memories from when I was a child was going to authentic Dim Sum Restaurants in San Francisco’s China Town on a Sunday morning.  My favorites being the Steamed Pork Buns, Pot Stickers, and the Steamed Shrimp Dumplings.  At home we used to make large batches of pot stickers ahead of time and freeze them.  In the last 15 years I started playing around with the fillings and found that there are endless different ingredients you can combine to make a really great dumpling.  I still make large batches and freeze them ahead of time.  Whats great about freezing them is that they store well up to 3 months ahead of time, and still cook quite quickly in a hot pan or skillet with some steam.

I was really happy when I saw this Mark Bittner recipe in the New York Times because he really simplified the whole process with his video demonstration so that it would translate well to even a novice chef.    I also just *love* Mark Bittner’s food column in the NY Times.   This recipe is naturally low in fat.   I only made a few changes.   These were  so great,  my boyfriend and I gobbled them down… literally.   There were none left.  Next time I will double the recipe and freeze some.

If you don’t have  a bamboo steamer or anything to steam the dumplings in, that is fine, you can still make these.  All you have to do is heat up a skillet, place the dumplings in,  add a little water or chicken broth and quickly put the lid on making sure not to leave the skillet on the heat so long the bottoms of the dumplings burn.


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped scallions, white parts only
  • 1/2 or 1 whole can of water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 10 to 12 round dumpling (or gyoza) skins
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Optional: 1 to 3 tablespoons oil,  and water as needed if cooking in a non stick pan


  1. Combine the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, and ginger in a bowl.  Put half the shrimp, half the cilantro and all the scallions in a food processor and pulse: add just enough of the soy mixture to create a smooth paste, about 1 to 2 tablespoons.  Transfer to a bowl.  Roughly chop the remaining shrimp and cilantro, add them along with the water chestnuts to the bowl and stir to combine.
  2.  Place a dumpling skin on a work surface, moisten the edges with water, and put  teaspoon of the filling in the center.  Gather the edges of the wrapper up around the filling, squeezing gently, to plea the sides;  some of the filling should remain exposed.  Repeat with the remaining dumpling skins and filling, keeping the dumpling wrappers and dumplings covered with the damp towels while you work. Video Here.
  3. Add the lime juice to the remaining soy mixture to make a dipping sauce

Cooking Methods: Steaming or Pan Seared and “Steamed”

  1. Option A. Rig a bamboo steamer over a large pot with about 1 inch of water; bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Option B.  Heat a non stick skillet with 1 tablespoon neutral oil over medium high heat
  2. Option A: Put as many dumpling in the bamboo steamer (lined with parchment paper) as you can fit in a single layer and cover the pot.   Option B: place dumplings in skillet with hot oil and wait 1 to 2 minutes until edges are brown and then add a couple tablespoons of water and quickly place lid on skillet to steam
  3. Option A : Cook until the exposed filling turns pink and the wrappers are tender: in steamer 4 to 6 minutes, in skillet aprox 4 (do not burn the bottoms)
  4. Serve with leftover soy sauce mixture with lime juice as dipping sauce



Havana Style Breakfast Eggs

Its no secret I LOVE eggs.  I especially love eggs with Latin flavors. If I go out to breakfast or brunch, I always order eggs.  Usually in  a scramble or poached.  At home,  for breakfast, eggs are usually my first choice.  I found this simple classic “Havana” style egg recipe awhile ago in a Latin cookbook.  This recipe is inexpensive, easy to make, and quite tasty with the eggs being nestled and then baked within a bed of tomatoes.   I topped the eggs with a little sherry and tiny sprinkle of organic cheese to round out the flavor profiles.   This can be made in one oven proof skillet or cast iron pan, or as I did in little individual baking ramekins.  If your not going gluten free,  these eggs would taste delicious with some toasted baguette bread slices.  I only made enough for 2, but you can double the recipe if you want for 4, or even triple for 6.


  • 1 tablespoon of neutral oil
  • 1/2 of a white or yellow onion (I prefer sweet yellow onions)
  • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 of a red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Roma or Heirloom tomatoes seeded and diced (if desperate you can used 1/2 cup canned chopped tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • fresh ground sea salt and pepper
  • 2 to 4 large eggs (if 4 eggs, bake 2 eggs per individual baking dish I only do 1)
  • Optional: shredded organic cheese
  • Optional tobasco or hot sauce sauce for a little spicy heat


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree
  2. Heat a cast iron or oven proof skillet over medium and heat oil
  3. Add onion and garlic and saute, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly soft
  4. Add chopped bell pepper, saute for 2 to 3 until soft
  5. Stir in tomatoes and cook until the mix thickens
  6. Shake in the optional tabasco or “hot sauce” for a little spicy heat
  7. Add about 1 tablespoon of the sherry (saving the remaining for drizzling) , stir and allow to heat all the way through.  Aprox 3 to 4 minutes
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste
  9. To bake individually (as shown in photo) transfer the tomato mix to 2 ramekins or little baking dishes, making a little shallow well in the tomato mixture with the back of your spoon.
  10. Break the eggs individually into a small dish or bowl, and then carefully slip /transfer the egg into the well within the tomato mixture in the baking ramekin or dish
  11. Drizzle the eggs with an optional touch of sherry and a sprinkling of shredded cheese
  12. NOTE:  If baking in one pan, form 2 to 4 wells within the tomato mixture and use the same method as described above
  13. Bake eggs uncovered, until eggs are done to your liking, about 10 minutes for a soft to runny yolk.
  14. Serve and enjoy

Adapted from “Essentials of Latin Cooking” by Williams Sonoma, I could not find the publishing year,  228 page



Basic Green Drink Recipe for 1


This is my basic “go to” recipe for my green drink I make in my high speed blender a couple times a week.  Great for beginners.  I like this recipe because the ingredients are easy to find, store and blend together in a snap.  There are a lot of “extras” you can add, or variations you can do with  this basic recipe which I will be going over here in the future.  I think adding in a a few basic “green drinks”  made for just one person is an simple quick starter item to add if your starting a healthy diet.  Just add in a couple of times a week if your just beginning out, and then start getting more creative.


  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup chopped Dino (also called Tuscan)  kale
  • 1 small apple or 1/2 of a large apple,  sliced, skin on (your choice)
  • Half to one whole banana (I use frozen banana slices for a colder drink)


  1. Put all ingredients in a high speed blender (I use a Vita Mix) for a minute or two, until well blended.

Optional: (you can add a small scoop of vitamin fortified “Greens” powders, there are many on the market, I use Green Vibrence, Vital Scoop, ect.  There are many on the market at Whole Foods or any supplement or vitamin store.

Drink and Enjoy

This drink is filled with lots of nutrition and less than 200 calories if using unsweetened Almond Milk, and around 230 with an added greens powder




Slow Cooker “Chicken Tikka Masala”

I’ve been tooling around with this recipe for awhile.  I wanted a healthy version of Chicken Tikka Masala, to put together in the slow cooker with all the depth and flavor of the traditional Chicken Tikka Masala.  No small feat, and this following recipe was only the result after a lot of trial and error.  Lots of error.   And I’ll be honest up front.  Although this is a “Slow Cooker” recipe, there is prep work, with an overnight marinade, and then some additional cooking steps required before putting it all into the “slow cooker” to finish it off.  The result is really awesome, but its not a “5 minute investment of your time”  meal.  There is a bit of planning involved here,  but worth the effort.  I will be working on trying to create a simple and quicker version of this recipe, but this was the best I could come up with so far that satisfied my palate. Additionally,  I added the extra step of quick “broiling” the chicken after the marinade, to add some extra depth of flavor to it before putting it in the slow cooker with the marinade.  You can skip this step if you like.


If you make this recipe an make any adjustments or changes, by all means let me know and I can post it in the comments section.  Thanks you guys!

Ingredients for Chicken and Marinade:

  • 2 cups non fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 inch peeled fresh grated ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder (adjust for your own personal likes on the “heat” factor”)
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons of either white or black pepper
  • 2 to 3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts quartered (you can use thighs as well, but I prefer breasts)

Directions for Marinade:

  • Combine all the ingredients together, then add chicken until all pieces are coated
  • Cover and let it marinade for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.  I marinated this batch for 24 hours

Masala Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, ghee or neutral cooking oil.
  • 2 medium onions peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 inch of ginger peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of coriander
  • 14.5 ounce can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Optional: 1/2 to 1 cup of organic cream or light coconut milk, and chopped cilantro to add in at the end

Directions for Masala and cooking chicken

  1. On stove take large sauce pan and saute the onions and garlic until soft over medium heat
  2. Add ginger and tomatoes, stir for aprox a minute
  3. Add cumin, coriander, garam masala and tomato paste and stir until heated through
  4. Add mixture to slow cooker
  5. (Optional: Broil Chicken without marinade at HIGH in oven until browned or brown over stove in skillet.  for the additional browning step, BE SURE to remove the marinade from the chicken first.)
  6. With slotted spoon or tongs, add the chicken to the slow cooker.  ***For a thinner base (my preference) add the remaining marinade, for thicker base, discard marinade.
  7. Cook on “high” for 6 to 8 hours or until chicken is cooked all the way through.  You can adjust the heat if the chicken looks like its become to cooked, and turn it down to “low” halfway in between.
  8. Add optional cream or coconut milk, and cilantro
  9. Serve and Enjoy






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