• Afro Gill Crockpot Pepper Steak with Basmati Rice Pilaf

    Inspired by the most delicious meal at Afro Grill in Minneapolis.

    Dasha Pepper Steak Ingredients:

    Marinade:

    • 2 lbs. thin cut round steak or top sirloin, cut in strips
    • 1/3 c. soy sauce
    • 2 TBSP cornstarch
    • 1 tsp. minced garlic
    • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 TBSP ginger paste

    Crockpot Pepper Steak:

    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 14 oz. can stewed tomatoes
    • 3 TBSP brown sugar
    • 3 TBSP soy sauce
    • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 TBSP ginger paste
    • 1 c. water
    • 1 tsp. minced garlic
    • 1 1/2 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 3 TBSP cornstarch + 3 TBSP water
    • 2-3 sweet red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, sliced
    • Green onions for garnish

    Braine-le-Comte Directions:

    1. Marinate the meat: In a large ziploc bag add all the marinade ingredients. Place bag in fridge overnight or for at least 30 minutes.
    2. Crockpot: To the crockpot, add the diced onion through the pepper. In a small bowl mix the cornstarch and water together, and while stirring the crockpot ingredients, add the cornstarch slurry to the crockpot.
    3. Discard any marinade if there is extra, and add the marinated meat to the crockpot.
    4. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or HIGH for 2-3. It is done when the meat is tender.
    5. Once the meat is tender, turn off the crockpot and add the sliced bell peppers and put the lid back on for about 15 minutes, or until the peppers are crisp tender.
    6. Garnish with green onion and serve over basmati rice pilaf.

    Basmati Rice Pilaf Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 c. basmati rice
    • 3 TBSP unsalted butter
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1/2 tsp. cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
    • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 1/4 c. water
    • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 1/2 c. golden raisins or dried apricots, chopped finely
    • 1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted until golden brown

    Directions:

    1. Rinse rice in a fine mesh strainer until water runs nearly clear (optional).
    2. In a saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook stirring until softened but not brown, about 4 minutes.
    3. Add the cumin through garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    4. Add rice and cook stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.
    5. Add the water, salt, and pepper and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover, an simmer until all liquid is absorbed about 15-18 minutes. Occasionally remove lid, stir rice (so it doesn’t stick and burn), then place lid back on.
    6. Once liquid is absorbed, remove from heat, remove lid, and sprinkle dried fruit over rice (do not mix in); then place the lid loosely over the pot and let stand for 10 minutes; then add the toasted almonds and fluff with a fork.

    Afro Grill Crockpot Pepper Steak with Basmati Rice Pilaf:

  • Jewish Cacio e Pepe

    Recipe from Jake Cohen.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. pasta, cooked just shy of al dente
    • 1 lb. low fat cottage cheese
    • 1 c. Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
    • 1 TBSP freshly ground black pepper
    • Salt to taste

    Directions:

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water, and cook pasta al dente. Reserve 1/2 c. pasta water for sauce, if needed.
    2. Meanwhile in a blender, combine cottage cheese through salt, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a large skillet and bring to a light simmer, stirring occasionally.
    3. Once pasta is al dente, drain, reserving 1/2 c. pasta water, and add pasta to sauce and toss to coat. Add reserved pasta water to thin, a few Tablespoons at a time, as necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning.

    Jewish Cacio e Pepe:

  • Green Chile Enchilada Skillet

    Easily converts to vegetarian by swapping another can of beans for the chicken.

    Recipe adapted from Recipe Runner.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tsp. olive oil
    • 1/2 c. diced yellow onion
    • 1 1/4 tsp. chili powder
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
    • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
    • 2 c. cooked shredded chicken
    • 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 c. diced fire roasted green chiles
    • 2 TBSP chopped cilantro
    • 15 oz. can green enchilada sauce
    • 5 corn tortillas, cut into triangles
    • 1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    • Serve with avocado, cilantro, and sour cream

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Cut the corn tortillas into 1/8ths.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and spices to the skillet and sauté for a couple minutes until the onion softens.
    3. Lower the heat to medium and add in the shredded chicken, black beans, green chiles, cilantro, green enchilada sauce and season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together then add in the corn tortilla wedges. Stir to coat the tortillas in the sauce.
    4. Top with the shredded cheese and place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until it’s bubbly and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and top with extra cilantro, avocado slices, and sour cream.

    Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Skillet:

  • Deep Dish Pan Pizza

    Pizza dough recipe from Brian Lagerstrom.

    Ingredients:

    • 180g or 8oz beer, warmed to 90-95F
    • 10g or 3 1/3 tsp. instant yeast
    • 5g or 1 1/4 tsp. granulated sugar
    • 15g or 1 1/4 TBSP olive oil
    • 9g or 1.5 tsp. salt
    • 280g or 2 1/4 c. bread flour

    Toppings pictured: olive oil, whipped ricotta, mozzarella, caramelized onions with a splash of balsamic vinegar, broccoli, garlic, and Italian/pizza seasoning.

    Directions:

    1. Warm beer in saucepot over low heat. Transfer beer to bowl and add yeast. Mix in sugar, olive oil, and salt. Add flour and stir to combine with a spoon before switching to a soaking wet hand to finish squeezing and mixing the dough until it forms a cohesive ball. Cover and ferment at room temp for 15min. Perform a strength building fold. Cover and ferment at room temp for another 15min.
    2. Transfer dough into a well oiled 12” cast iron pan. With oiled fingers, press dough out to fill the shape of the pan. Cover and allow to rest for 10min.
    3. Preheat oven to 550F with baking stone or steel.
    4. Use finger tips to press dough out into the pan the rest of the way.
    5. Top pizza with desired toppings and allow to proof on the counter for 10-15min.
    6. Bake on top of baking steel for 16-18min.

    Deep Dish Pan Pizza:

  • Chana Saag Curry

    Recipe adapted from Budget Bytes.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 zucchini, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, diced
    • 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger 
    • 1 1/2 TBSP curry powder
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin 
    • 3/4 tsp. salt
    • 1 lb. frozen chopped spinach 
    • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
    • 1/2 c. water 
    • 1 13oz. can coconut milk
    • 1 lemon, juiced
    • 1 tsp. honey, optional
    • Serve over rice and with naan 

    Directions:

    1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, zucchini, garlic, and ginger and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
    2. Add the curry powder and cumin to the skillet and continue to stir and cook for one minute more; then add the salt. Continue to cook for about five minutes more.
    3. Add the chickpeas, frozen spinach, and a 1/2 c. of water to the skillet. Stir everything together and then bring it up to a simmer over medium heat. Let the mixture simmer for five minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
    4. After five minutes, turn the heat down to medium-low and add the coconut milk; then add the lemon juice and honey, and once it’s heated through, adjust the salt to your liking.
    5. Serve the chana saag curry over a bowl of warm rice and a side of naan.

    Chana Saag Curry:

  • Sourdough Naan Flatbread

    Recipe adapted from Little Spoon Farm.

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 c. (125 g) sourdough starter discard unfed
    • 1/2 c. (120 g) milk 
    • 1/4 c. (60 g) plain yogurt 
    • 1 TBSP (15 g) olive oil
    • 1 1/2 tsp. (7 g) sea salt
    • 2 1/2 c. (300 g) AP flour

    Directions:

    1. Mix the dough: Mix the discard through the salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and use your hands to incorporate the ingredients until they are well combined and there are no dry bits left in the bowl. The dough will be stiff. Cover the bowl with plastic and let rest at room temperature until doubled in size. In my 68°F kitchen, it takes roughly 8 hours. Warmer kitchens will take less time, colder kitchens will take more time.
    2. Divide and shape: Turn the dough out onto your work surface and use a bench scraper to divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 78g each. Shape each piece into a ball and cover them with a kitchen towel. (At this stage the dough balls can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days before cooking.)
    3. Preheat skillet: While the dough is resting, preheat a cast iron skillet over low heat for 10-15 minutes. If you are worried about sticking, feel free to oil the skillet, but I find it’s not necessary.
    4. Roll dough: Working with one ball of dough at a time, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a round shape with a 1/8″ thickness. Use a little flour if necessary to prevent sticking. The dough rounds should be about 6″ in diameter.
    5. Cook naan: Place the rolled dough into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the naan over and cook on the second side for 1-2 minutes. Flip the naan one more time and watch for the dough to puff up with air. Once it is full, remove it from the skillet and repeat with the remaining dough. Serve hot or at room temperature.
    6. Notes: Store the cooked naan at room temperature in a plastic bag for up to 3 days. If you store the dough in the fridge to cook later, allow the dough to come to room temperature before cooking for best results. Freeze the naan in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.

    Sourdough Naan Flatbread:

  • Turkey Cuban Sandwiches

    Ingredients:

    • 12 small Hawaiian rolls
    • Mayonnaise
    • Yellow mustard
    • 12 slices of thin Provolone, Muenster, or American cheese
    • Dill pickle slices
    • 1 lb. sliced turkey

    Sandwich Topping:

    • 4 TBSP butter
    • 2 TBSP brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 1/2 yellow mustard
    • 1 tsp. minced dried onion

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a jelly roll pan/baking dish with foil, and spray with cooking spray.
    2. Slice the rolls in half lengthwise, spread mayonnaise and mustard on the bottom buns; then add the cheese; then add then add the pickles; then add the turkey. Place the top half of the buns on top.
    3. In a small saucepan, add the sandwich topping ingredients, bring to a boil, and mix to combine.
    4. Top the sandwiches with the sandwich topping.
    5. Bake for 20 minutes or until tops have browned and the sandwiches are hot and the cheese is melted.

    Cuban Turkey Sandwiches:

  • Big Mac Sloppy Joe

    Recipe adapted from Buns in My Oven.

    Ingredients:

    Meat Mixture:

    • 1 lb. lean ground chicken, turkey, or beef
    • 1 onion finely diced (reserve about 1/4 c.)
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. cracked pepper

    Big Mac Sauce:

    • 1 c. mayonnaise
    • 1/4 c. ketchup
    • 1/4 c. dill relish
    • 1 TBSP distilled white vinegar
    • 1 tsp. onion powder
    • 1 tsp. smoked paprika

    Sandwiches:

    • 4 sesame seed buns see notes
    • 1 c. shredded iceberg lettuce
    • Reserved diced onion
    • 4 slices American cheese
    • Dill pickle chips

    Directions:

    Meat Mixture:

    1. Add the ground meat, onion, and garlic to a skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring often to break up the meat, until meat has cooked through. Drain any excess grease from the skillet.
    2. Season the mixture with Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
    3. Remove from the heat and stir 1/2 c. Big Mac sauce into the meat mixture.

    Big Mac Sauce:

    1. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and stir well to combine.

    Make Sandwiches:

    1. Spread some Big Mac sauce on the bottom bun.
    2. Place1/4 c. of shredded lettuce on the bottom half of each bun.
    3. Top with a slice of cheese.
    4. Spoon the meat mixture over the top of the cheese.
    5. Drizzle a spoonful of Mac sauce over the meat on each sandwich, to taste.
    6. Top each sandwich with pickles and diced onion and the top bun.
    7. Serve hot.

    Big Mac Sloppy Joes:

  • Greek Turkey Meatball Bowls

    Ingredients:

    Meatballs:

    • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
    • 1 c. fresh baby spinach, chopped
    • 1/4 c. red onion, minced
    • 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs
    • 1 TBSP fresh dill, chopped
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano, rubbed between palm of hands
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper

    Orzo:

    • 1 box of orzo, cooked according to package
    • 2-3 TBSP butter
    • 2 TBSP lemon juice
    • 2-3 TBSP fresh dill, chopped

    Whipped Feta:

    • 8 oz. feta cheese
    • 1/2 c. sour cream
    • 2 TBSP olive oil

    Greek Salad:

    • Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, and red onion with Greek Salad Dressing.

    Greek Salad Dressing:

    • 1 c. olive oil
    • 1/2 c. red wine vinegar
    • 2 lemons juiced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
    • 1 (to 1 1/2) tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. dried dill
    • 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

    Directions:

    1. For the Meatballs: Preheat oven to 400F. In a mixing bowl, add all the meatball ingredients and mix to combine. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; roll about 30 meatballs and place on baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, turn meatballs over and bake for another 5 minutes.
    2. For the Orzo: Bring a stockpot to boil, then add a generous amount of salt. Cook according to package, and then drain. Put cooked orzo back in pot, add the butter and stir until melted. Then add the lemon juice and dill.
    3. For the Whipped Feta: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. The feta can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
    4. For the Salad Dressing: Add all ingredients to a jar with lid and shake to combine.
    5. Assemble: On the plate or large bowl add a smear of whipped feta, then add orzo to overlap the feta, top the orzo and feta with the meatballs, then add the salad. Drizzle with the dressing.

    Greek Meatball Bowls:

  • Chocolate Peppermint Pie

    Recipe adapted from Recipe Critic.

    Ingredients:

    Oreo Crust

    • 2 c. Oreo cookie crumbs de-frosted cookies
    • 6 TBSP salted butter softened
    • 2 TBSP brown sugar
    • Alternatively but a premade Oreo crust

    Filling

    • 1 package plain gelatin
    • 1/4 c. cold water
    • 2 tsp. peppermint extract
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 c. heavy whipping cream divided
    • 1 ½ c. crushed soft peppermint candy divided, plus some for garnish

    Topping

    • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
    • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • Crushed peppermint

    Directions:

    Oreo Crust

    1. In a food processor fitted with the blade, pulse de-frosted Oreos until completely crumbled.
    2. Add in butter and brown sugar, pulse until everything is well mixed.
    3. Pour mixture into a 9” pie pan and press firmly around the bottom and sides until the mixture is well packed evenly around the pan.
    4. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
    5. Let cool completely before filling. You can chill it in the fridge to speed up the process.

    Filling

    1. Soften the gelatin by pouring it in a bowl with the cold water, let sit.
    2. In a small saucepan, heat ½ c. of heavy whipping cream and 1 c. of crushed peppermint candy on medium low heat until the candy dissolves, stirring every few minutes. Remove from heat and then add the gelatin water, vanilla, and peppermint extract to the hot mixture and whisk to combine, set aside at room temperature to cool, but do not allow it to cool and set completely yet.
    3. Whip the remaining 1 ½ c. of heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form and then gently fold the peppermint mixture, and remaining ½ c. crushed peppermint candy into the whipped cream.
    4. Pour filling into the Oreo crust and spread evenly.
    5. Allow to set completely before garnishing and serving. About 2 hours in the fridge.

    Topping

    1. Beat the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until stiff peaks form.
    2. Garnish the top with the whipped cream and sprinkled crushed candy.

    Chocolate Peppermint Pie: