Delish Dish Editor

Flat-Iron Love

Written on May 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm , by

 

Grilled Flat-Iron Steak with Chimichurri

Hi, this is Carlos Acevedo, one of the food editors at Better Homes and Gardens, and I need to get something off my chest. I recently flew to Ohio and fell in love. The subject of my affections: the glorious flat-iron steak.

This affordable cut was historically ground up to make  hamburger but is surging in popularity as a grilling steak as chefs and consumers alike get hip to its deep flavor and tender texture. It’s similar to flank steak, but some people say it tastes as good as a New York strip.

So what’s Ohio got to do with this, you ask? Well, I went there for an education in steaks at the Certified Angus Beef Brand headquarters in Wooster. You’re probably familiar with them—they’re the ones with the black steer and red sash logo.

Certified Angus Beef represents angus cattle ranchers but only certifies the highest quality angus beef—most cows don’t make the cut.

Now, I know my way around a steakhouse menu. But the good people at Certified Angus Beef demonstrated a bunch of up-and-coming sizzlers, most unfamiliar to me, that are now being sold at many meat counters. Ever heard of the Sierra, Denver, or Ranch?

These affordable steaks come from the chuck, or shoulder of the cow, which generally yields tough beef best suited for stews and chilis. But clever researchers have been working hard over the last decade to find several hidden tender cuts.

My new favorite, as I said, is the toothsome flat iron (also called a boneless beef top blade chuck or top blade steak), which is flavorful and juicy thanks to excellent marbling. Look for it next to you go shopping and cook as you would any steak. It’s best pan seared, broiled, stir fried, or grilled. Just be careful not to overcook—no more than medium doneness or the meat can become chewy.

For a South American twist, try this tasty flat-iron steak recipe from Better Homes and Garden’s latest grilling magazine, “Grill It!”, available on newsstands now.


Delish Dish Editor

Artichoke and Tomato Pasta

Written on April 23, 2013 at 8:30 am , by

Hi it’s Beth again, assistant food editor for bhg.com, and I have a confession to make. I love pasta. I love that it’s always quick, always delicious, and easy to throw together. So when I saw this Artichoke and Tomato Pasta recipe from the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I knew I had to try it. Since it uses  ingredients I already had in my cupboard – canned tomatoes, artichokes, garlic, and pasta – I didn’t even have to go out and buy any groceries. Which is awesome especially when you’re trying to throw together a quick meal on a Monday night and don’t want to have to make that extra trip to the store.

The prep for this recipe was seriously a breeze. I cooked the pasta while I put together the sauce which included sweet onion, garlic, tomatoes, chopped artichoke and just a dash of salt and pepper. In the world of  homemade pasta sauce, the simpler, the better in my book.

Also, I may have used a little more Parmesan cheese than the recipe called for, but then again I tend to lose all self-control when I’m around Parmesan. A few fresh basil leaves finished off this simple twist on plain old spaghetti. I used fettucine noodles and liked how they really held up the chunky tomato sauce.

And that’s it! In minutes, I had a satisfying pasta dinner that I will definitely be making over and over again on those busy weeknights when you just want something quick and delicious. Get the recipe here!


Delish Dish Editor

Gooey Butter Bars with Gingered Strawberries

Written on April 16, 2013 at 8:30 am , by

Hi, Beth here again, assistant digital food editor for BHG. We taste a lot of food everyday at Better Homes and Gardens when we attend taste panels (where we get to try the recipes that are going to be published months ahead of time). It’s one of the perks of being a food editor. But after awhile, recipes start to blur together. So when a recipe stands out in my mind weeks, even months, after I tried it in a taste panel, I know one thing: it is dang good. I have been daydreaming about making these Gooey Butter Bars with Gingered Strawberries for weeks now, and am soooo excited to finally share them with you guys along with the rest of our recipes from the May issue.

Some desserts have an amazing texture, or an addicting flavor, or just look pretty, but this dessert is all of those things. The buttery dessert bar has the most insane texture that’s both cakey and light at the same time. Plus, it pretty much melts in your mouth. Couple that with tart sweetness of gingered raspberries and, well, you’ve got a treat made in spring dessert heaven. It’s also so pretty that it’s bound to to make your guests do one of those delighted little dessert gasps. You know what I’m talking about.

I really liked that the bars came together using ingredients I already had at home. The only items I had to buy were the ginger and the strawberries. Plus, preparing the bars couldn’t have been easier. When we shot the recipe for the magazine, we show how to make the crust using a party blender. I don’t own a pastry blender, so I just used my hands. My grandma always taught me how to make pie dough with my hands, and this worked much the same. You’re just looking for the texture to become crumbly with the butter evenly distributed. Next I just pressed the crumbly dough into a parchment-lined pan.

After that, I spread the filling over the crust. Since the crust is kind of crumbly, just be sure to delicately spread the filling, making sure it doesn’t mix with the crust too much. At one point, I dropped my bowl into the batter as I was pouring it. Even this klutzy move didn’t affect the look of the bars, so they’re pretty much foolproof.

Here were my notes for success:

  • I didn’t need a pastry blender for the crust. Mixing it with my hands until crumbly worked just fine.
  • It did take a little longer to bake in my oven (all ovens are different) so I just watched until it was golden throughout and the edges were a little darker than the middle.
  • Though I photographed the bars with the berries on, it was easier to leave the berries off until just before serving. I stored them in a separate container so the strawberry juices wouldn’t soak into my buttery cake until the moment I served it.
  • Also, I love ginger so I added in a bit more than the recipe called for, and it was amazing, just a little zippier.
  • I highly suggest bringing it into the office and then listening to your coworkers “oooh” and “aaah” as a Monday afternoon treat. Just an idea.

So what are you waiting for? Get the recipe here!


Delish Dish Editor

Guest Blogger: Two Peas & Their Pod

Written on April 12, 2013 at 2:00 am , by

Hello! Maria Lichty, from Two Peas and Their Pod, here. I am thrilled to be guest posting on BHG today!

Who’s in the mood for dessert? My hand is raised. I am always in the mood for something sweet, especially when chocolate and peanut butter are involved. I love chocolate and I love peanut butter. Put them together and I am in paradise. There really isn’t a better combination. I recently made Peanutty Buckeye Bars and if you are a chocolate peanut butter fan, stop what you are doing right now and get baking! You have to make these bars!

The bars are super simple to make, another bonus! You only need six ingredients: a brownie mix, eggs, oil, peanuts, sweetened condensed milk, and peanut butter. I bet you have everything in your kitchen right now. See, you need to make these bars! They are calling your name.

The bars are layered with all kinds of goodness. The bottom layer is brownie with chopped up peanuts in the mix. The middle layer is a mixture of sweetened condensed milk and creamy peanut butter. Sweet! And to top it all off, you get another layer of peanutty brownie.

The bars are chocolaty, crunchy, with a creamy peanut butter center. I shared them with friends and everyone gave them two thumbs up. If you would like to make Peanutty Buckeye Bars…and I highly suggest you do, click here for the recipe. Enjoy!

 

Two Peas and Their Pod, is a popular food blog by husband and wife team, Josh and Maria Lichty. The blog is full of simple, fresh, and family friendly recipes. Cookie lovers will also enjoy perusing the site’s cookie collection-with close to 200 cookie recipes, you are sure to find a few favorites. Maria and Josh also have two cookbooks that are all about, you guessed it, cookies. The peas also blog about travel and every day life. Make sure you visit Two Peas and Their Pod for sweet and savory recipes-their kitchen is always open! You can also follow Two Peas and Their Pod on Facebook, Twitter, PinterestInstagram, and Google+


Delish Dish Editor

In-Season Eats: Black Rice Salad with Snap Peas, Carrots, and Almonds

Written on April 9, 2013 at 8:00 am , by

It finally felt like spring this weekend. It was 65 degrees, I took my dog to the park, and I felt like cooking something fresh and delicious. Then I remembered saving this Black Rice Salad with Snap Peas, Carrots, and Almonds for a spring day. Because you can’t eat loads of fresh veggies mixed with almonds, black rice, and a light wasabi-laced dressing when it’s cold and blustery outside. This dish was made for the first day of spring.

To start, I did have to invest in a couple of ingredients, but none were too spendy, and I knew I’d be making this salad more than once. I found black rice at a gourmet market along with the wasabi paste. I was a little intimidated because I had never cooked with black rice before, but I followed the package instructions, and it only took a little longer than regular rice. When testing it for doneness, I realized it has this subtle sweetness that is really unexpected. I can’t wait to try using it in other recipes.

The good thing about this recipe was that I could chop everything while the rice cooked so it didn’t take forever. Then, I just threw all the ingredients together and topped it with crunchy almonds. I couldn’t even wait five minutes to eat it. I had to scarf down a bowl immediately, and it was just as fresh and zippy as I thought it would be.

And the dressing! Oh my gosh, let’s talk about the dressing. It’s really simple: just honey, tamari sauce (which is like a darker, milder soy sauce, so if you don’t have a bottle on-hand regular soy sauce works great, too!), wasabi paste, oil, and lemon juice. The sweetness from the honey and the bit of wasabi come together for a combo that is truly flavor awesomeness.

One thing to note is that it makes a big batch. I think we originally shot the recipe for the magazine to be a side dish, but I like it all on its own as a main dish (though I suspect it would be amazing with baked salmon). I kept the almonds on the side and then topped each bowl with them as I dished it up. Though the recipe calls for Marcona almonds, any kind of nut would work here. The nuts do add a lot though, so don’t skip them!

So what are you waiting for? Go make this amazing recipe already! It’s healthy, filled with veggies, and just dying to be your new go-to spring salad.

Here are my tips:

  • You can get black rice and wasabi paste in the health food and Asian aisle of your supermarket. You can also substitute farro or wheat berries for the black rice.
  • Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never cooked with black rice. It’s just like regular rice only it takes a little longer to cook than regular rice. Plus, it’s subtle-sweet flavor is really interesting!
  • Tamari sauce is a darker, milder version of soy sauce. It’s gluten-free as well. But if you don’t want to buy it, just use regular soy sauce.
  • The recipe calls for microgreens or shredded cabbage. I found bagged shredded cabbage at my grocery store so that’s what I used. It worked great!
  • Marcona almonds are my favorite nut. And I’m nuts about nuts. But they can be a little expensive, so feel free to substitute with whatever nut you like. Just don’t skip the nuts, because they do add delicious texture to the salad.

Delish Dish Editor

All-In-One Birthday Dessert

Written on April 2, 2013 at 8:30 am , by

Hi all, Lisa here, associate editor with BHG special food publications. Ask anyone in my family and they’ll all tell you, when I was little I always went for rainbow sherbet over any ice cream flavors. The bright colors drew me in, and the refreshing fruity flavors kept me coming back. That’s why when I saw the Layered Sherbet Cake from Cakes! magazine, I knew I had to make it for my birthday this past weekend.

As if the idea of this cake couldn’t be better, it’s an all in one dessert; cake, sherbet, and cream cheese frosting. You don’t have to mess with scooping hard ice cream when it’s already included in the cake you’re slicing. Feel free to make the cake your own by mixing up sherbet flavors. When I went shopping, the grocery store was out of lime sherbet. No problem! I added another layer of orange sherbet since it’s my favorite flavor.

I chose the yellow cake option, and after I baked the cake, the assembly was actually pretty easy. I didn’t want to go out and buy 8-inch cake pans, so I used my 9-inch pans and a spring form pan to put the cake together. It worked, but I will say my layers were all thinner so my overall cake wasn’t stacked quite as high as an 8-inch would have been. Layering couldn’t have been easier. I cut the two round cakes in half horizontally and alternated layers from cake to sherbet ending in cake. After freezing for 3 hours, the cake was solid and ready to be iced.

I didn’t have a big party, but this was the perfect cake for a small get together with some friends and family. Combining the sherbet and cake was just as tasty as I hoped it would be! Making this layered cake is definitely going to be my new birthday tradition.

Some tips to success with this cake:

  • When cutting the cakes in half, try to keep your knife as straight as possible.
  • When assembling, you do want to work quickly. The sherbet melts fast since it’s already softened. I placed a cookie sheet under my spring form pan to catch some of the melt.
  • After I had frozen my assembled layers, the sherbet stuck to the sides of my spring form pan. To avoid tearing the cake, run a knife around the edges to make sure the sherbet detaches easily.
  • I’m not a huge fan of sprinkles, so I didn’t include any. But, this cake can be made for any occasion, so add any color of decorative candies or sprinkles.
  • I had about a cup of extra cream cheese frosting, but it’s great over fresh fruit like strawberries, so don’t throw it away!

Get the recipe here!