Monday, September 10, 2012

Bacon-Bleu Cheese Steak; "Pareve" Peach Cobbler

Hey everyone!  Sorry I've been away awhile -- a lot of stuff caught up with me over the past month.  I started school, started a second job, I've been playing gigs with my band--just lots and lots of things that have cut into my cooking & blogging time!

However, I did some cooking tonight and I plan to share it with you!  Here's the thing: it's not gluten-free.  Or low-carb.  Well, not all of it is.  The bacon and bleu cheese steak certainly is; the challah-made peach cobbler is not (though you could use gluten-free bread instead of challah).  However, I can guarantee you that these recipes are AMAZING.  Simply amazing.

Here's how to make the steak:
This Nom Needs:
1 lb preferred steak -- I used eye of chuck due to its relative cheapness
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon bleu cheese -- you can use crumbled but I used a creamy Danish bleu
3 tablespoons bacon bits
2 pats butter

Mix salt and pepper and roll steaks in the mixture.  This will help "lock in" moisture while searing the steak.

 While the crusted steak sits a moment, heat a cast iron skillet on the stovetop at just over medium heat. Preheat the oven to about 400 degrees at the same time.  A drop of water should "dance" on the skillet when poured in.  
Add the steak and cook 1 minute on each side per inch of thickness. A 1-inch thick steak should be cooked 1 minute on each side. Once the steak is done, remove it from the stovetop heat, crown it with the pats of butter, and then put it in the oven still in the cast iron pan. Cook to desired done-ness (I usually cook medium rare or medium), and remove it from the oven.
While the steak is cooking, mix the bleu cheese and the bacon together. I used a creamy bleu so that I could make the mixture into a sort of "paste" to spread over the top of the meat.

Once you remove the steak from the oven, spread the bacon and bleu mixture over it. Serve steak with favorite sides. As an added bonus, use the leftover juices in the pan as a sort of gravy, as we did with our steak and mashed cauliflower here:

For a dessert I wanted to make peach cobbler, but I didn't want the trouble of rolling out the dough. My mother has a recipe for a pineapple "cobbler" that's four ingredients: white bread, pineapple, sugar, and butter. I decided to tweak her recipe for peach cobbler instead. My friend Jason suggested using challah instead of plain white bread for a touch of the exotic. This is simple and delicious, rendering a crustier, less-sweet version of peach cobbler:

This Nom Needs:
2 cans of peach slices, canned in juice
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup torn challah pieces

Drain the cans of peaches, reserving only a tablespoonful of liquid in each one.  Pour peaches into a rectangular glass casserole dish.  Cover with challah pieces.

Melt butter in the microwave and stir in sugar until it forms a syrup.  Pour evenly over the challah and peaches and place in a 400-degree preheated oven for approximately 12-15 minutes or until the top of the bread begins to crisp and brown.
Serve with your favorite ice cream.

So there you have it! Two recipes: one gluten-free low-carb, the other completely opposite. Please enjoy and tweak my recipes to your desire! I'll add calorie and vitamin counts when I have more time.

P.S. For an excellent challah recipe, please visit my friend Suzy's food blog, O Suzanah (in my food blog links).

Sunday, August 5, 2012

After a long absence: gluten-free banana-peanut butter cheesecake (with candied pecans)!

I have been so remiss at updating for quite some time.  I apologize for that.  We lost the USB connector for phone-to-computer transferring, so I've been without pictures.  Now that I have a nice iPhone 4S, I can easily email myself any pictures I need to.

This recipe is somewhat more complicated than my other recipes, though I've condensed the list of ingredients to make it easier to assemble--though assembly is a three-part process!  This is gluten-free, but not low-carb.

This Nom Needs:
For the crust:
1 cup crushed pecans (you can buy them this way or use a food processor)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup or imitation maple syrup

For the filling:
8 oz. whipped cream cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 packet banana pudding mix

For the topping:
18 whole pecans
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

However long the ingredient list, the process is not very complicated (hence the lack of pictures):

For the crust:
Combine pecans and butter.  Press into a greased nine-inch cake pan.  Drizzle maple syrup on top.  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until top and edges start to brown.  Remove and let cool.

For the filling:
Combine all ingredients and beat until completely mixed.  Pour cheesecake mixture into crust and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until top starts to bubble and brown.  The top should "inflate" a little bit like a balloon--this is nothing to worry about, it's the effect of the banana pudding and causes the pie to have a texture more similar to thick pecan pie than a smooth cheesecake.

For the topping:
Roast pecans in the oven at 350 for about 5 minutes.  Heat butter in saucepan on stovetop at medium heat.  Add syrup and 1 tablespoon brown sugar and whisk until combined.  Let the mixture come to a boil and then immediately remove from heat.  Roll pecans in the mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.  Press into still-warm pie.  Sprinkle peanut butter chips around the pecans.

Servings: About 12

(This entry is a work-in-progress; I'm having issues with my home network and can't upload what pictures I do have at this time.  Please be patient; there will be pictures eventually!)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Updates again starting Monday.

Sorry, everyone, I've been a bachelorette for about a week while my boyfriend was in Miami on business.  I really didn't do a lot of cooking beyond making a pretty simple cucumber raita.

However, last night I made a gluten-free banana-peanut butter-praline cheesecake, and Monday I'll have the recipe and photos for you!  Tonight, it gets eaten a party I'm hosting.

I'll be back to regular updates this coming week.  Coming up (besides the cheesecake) definitely is chicken paprikash, gluten-free "faked" garlic toast, rutabaga fries, and then...who knows what else this week will hold.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A plug for a friend.

A friend of mine from college, Ms. Suzanah M., is an amazing artist-musician-lawyer person. She's really fantastic.

In addition to her other talents, she is also a phenomenal baker/cook.  I'm putting a link up to her blog.  Her pictures are absolutely gorgeous, and she's highly creative.

Her recipes to date generally aren't gluten-free or low-carb but they are amazing, and as I said before, the pictures are stunning.  Go check her out!