Emeril Lagasse’s Steen’s Cane Vinaigrette

Steen’s Cane Vinaigrette

One of the ingredients we brought back from our New Orleans trip was Steen’s Cane Vinegar. We’ve used it in a few dishes and it makes a huge flavor difference from any other vinegar. This is the salad dressing that converted me from dry rabbit food to a salad with dressing.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Steen’s cane vinegar
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canola oil (we used olive oil)

Directions:
In a medium nonreactive mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, shallot, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. Allow to sit 5 to 10 minutes, then little by little whisk in the canola oil until completely incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

My opinion:
This dressing is just the right amount sweet and tangy. It’s lovely on a chicken breast and a bacon salad. There’s almost always a jar of this in our refrigerator.

Steen’s Cane Vinaigrette

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Homemade Beef Pho

Homemade Beef Pho

The more J and I cook at home, the more we find amazing recipes of meals we once thought were super complicated and therefore only available in a restaurant. Pho is one of those dishes. With the complexly deep flavors and food coma inducing warmth, we were sure we couldn’t make it in our own kitchen. We were so wrong. J found this recipe from Sarcastic Cooking (love!) and it was dead on. We adjusted a few things to our taste and suggest you do too.

Ingredients For the Broth:
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil (we used vegetable)
2 Yellow Onions, halved (we ended up quartering them)
1, 3-inch Piece of Fresh Ginger, halved (we left this whole but kind of crushed to infuse more flavor)
2 Cloves Garlic (we used minced)
4 Quarts Low-Sodium Beef Stock
In a tea ball we put: 1 Cinnamon Stick (broken),  3 Star Anise Pieces, 3 Whole Cloves
⅓ Cup Fish Sauce
3 Tablespoons Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
Button mushrooms (we used about a cup sliced)
If you do not want to invest in cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves, some stores sell pho seasoning packs. But it’s worth it to have your own, plus, with a tea ball removing it is simple!

Ingredients for the Pho:
1, 12-Ounce Package of Bahn Pho or Udon Noodles (Flat Rice Noodles) These ended up being hard to find so we just used glass noodles (thin rice noodles).
1 Pound Flank Steak or charcoal steak
2 Thai Chiles, stems removed and thinly sliced (we left these out)
2 Handfuls Bean Sprouts (fresh is crunchier and we loved it!)
1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro
1 Bunch Fresh Mint
½ White Onion, sliced paper-thin
Sriracha or Chili Garlic Sauce for Serving
Lime Wedges for Serving

Directions:
Fair warning, these directions look complicated, but really aren’t. Promise.  In a large stockpot, heat the  oil over medium heat. Add the onions, ginger and garlic when the oil just starts to simmer/shimmer. Cook, turning a few times, for about 10 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low. Simmer, partially covered, for at least 50 minutes and up to 3 hours if you like a richer flavor. (It is absolutely worth it to let it simmer for 3 hours, do that). After desired taste is reached, strain broth (we didn’t strain the broth, we just removed the tea ball of spices) and add back to the pot. Note: If you are not serving the soup right away, you can store the strained broth in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

This is the best trick ever: Place the beef into the freezer for at least 15 minutes. This makes it easier to slice.  Bring the broth to a slow simmer over low heat. Add rice noodles and cook according to package directions. Once the noodles are cooked, remove pot from heat. Using a very sharp knife, slice the beef as thin as possible. Ladle some broth into a few deep bowls. Add noodles to bowls. Serve Sriracha, bean sprouts, herbs, onions, lime wedges, and beef on the side so each person can add in what they want to their pho.

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My opinion:
This makes a lot. Enough for three of us to have two large bowls each and quite a bit left over. It’s in the freezer waiting for one of those cold, rainy late fall days when soup sounds best. I love this dish. I couldn’t eat it fast enough.

Print Recipe
Homemade Beef Pho
Servings
Servings

Homemade Popcorn

Until I made this I didn’t believe it was just as easy as microwave popcorn. Seriously, it is. And tastes so much better! Not to mention, so much less expensive!

Ingredients:
white or yellow popcorn kernels
1/4 cup canola oil
1-2 tbs butter
salt to taste

Directions:
In a saucepan, add the canola oil. Drop in one kernel. Heat over medium high heat. When the one kernel pops, add more popcorn until it covers the bottom. Shake gently, put the lid back one and return to heat. When popping slows, remove from heat.

My Opinion:
I was absolutely amazed at how easy this was. We put the hot popcorn into metal bowl and drizzled melted butter and salt. It was as good if not better then movie theater popcorn!

Today’s food post is brought to you by#cookchat. My co-moderator, Matt LaCasse and I are excited about the first chat of the year Thursday January 20, a noon. CST. Join us for an hour of food filled conversation.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Very easy to make.

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cups hot strong coffee

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Combine milk, egg, oil and vanilla in a glass measuring cup. Make a well in center of the dry ingredients and gradually pour in the milk mixture, stirring until combined. Spoon into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Dissolve brown sugar in coffee; spoon over batter. (I missed this step.) Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes; serve hot or warm. (It took 35 minutes for this to work for me.) This recipe is originally from Eating Well.

My opinion:
The cake is so so much better warm! It’s not bad. It does need a little something though. It tastes a bit off, but not in a bad way. That might be my fault as I used the good unsweetened cocoa. I would definitely make this again as it was super simple and made the house smell wonderful. Next time though, I will add chocolate chips or peanut butter chips or a raspberry glaze.