citrus-marinated beef fajitas

I very quickly get annoyed by Tiffani Thiessen and her fatuous repartee with her B-list celebrity friends on Dinner at Tiffani’s. She does, however, often have some really good recipes.

fajitasOne recipe that caught my attention was her Citrus-Marinated Beef Fajitas. I got around to making the dish recently and was quite pleased. Well, I sort of made it.

I followed the recipe for the marinade pretty closely. I bought three-fajitasquarters of a pound of flap meet at the service meat counter and I marinated it for close to eight hours. I pretty much ignored the instructions on the fajita mixture. I grilled the flap meat on the grill outside and threw on a green bell pepper from the garden. That was it.

However, as always with tacos and fajitas, we had olives, chopped green pepper, and shredded cheddar for our toppings. I indulged myself and got some guacamole. The taste of the marinade was absolutely marvelous, and with our toppings it made for a really nice dinner.


still going

I wrote some months back that I was trying to use my old stove-top pressure cooker one evening to cook beans for tostadas and I couldn’t get the lid to close, so I used the electric pressure cooker instead. It turns out that I had had a brain lapse and I was trying to secure the lid left to right instead of right to left as I should have.

stove top pressure cookerRecently I pulled out the pressure cooker again. I got the lid properly closed, but when it came up to pressure I did not hear that reassuring jiggling. What I did see was steam coming out around the handle. Not good. I turned off the heat and let the pressure drop. The beans were not cooked and the water was mostly gone.

I ordered a new sealing ring. When it arrived I put it in and did a water test. I filled the cooker about a quarter full with water and turned on the heat. The cooker came up to pressure and I once again heard that reassuring jiggling. When I took off the lid I discovered there was very little water loss. That was a relief.

I’ve had that pressure cooker since some time in the 1980’s. It’s nice to know that it’s still going.

cod cooked in corn husks

corn husk codI have had my Halibut Cooked in Corn Husks recipe for quite some time. It comes from the charming Marcela Valladolid on her old Mexican Made Easy program on the Food Network.

I made it again recently, but I used cod instead of halibut. Halibut can be very expensive, and the marinade is quite strong. Halibut has its own distinct taste and texture, and the marinade corn husk codoverwhelms that. Rather than cooking the fish on the stove top, I cooked it in the oven at 325° for 40 minutes.

Be sure to put a lime wedge on the plate! It is essential to getting the proper taste. I served a Mexican rice blend on the side and had butter lettuce from the garden with a homemade vinaigrette dressing.

The result made for a very tasty dinner that was inexpensive and not a lot of work.

grilled mahi-mahi with Thai coconut sauce

I was looking for a grilled mahi-mahi recipe to fix on a recent Saturday. Terry and I definitely wanted to have fish that day, and it was going to be hot, so we knew that we wanted to grill. It had been a while since we had fixed mahi-mahi and it is a fish that we both will eat. (While I love halibut Terry eats it only rarely.)

mahi-mahiI have been adding a lot of grilling recipes to my database since we bought our grill, and have set up custom searches for the various kinds of seafood for which I have recipes. The recipe I selected, however, was one that I have had for a number of years: Grilled Mahi-mahi with Thai Coconut Sauce.

I made the recipe pretty much as specified and it turned out better than expected. It was very tasty and had something of a kick to it. Terry gave it her highest endorsement, “You can make this again.”

spicy chile grilled chicken

This recipe has been in my database since 2010. Spicy Chile Grilled Chicken appeared in the July 2010 issue of Coastal Living. The use of the “e” in chile grates on me somewhat, but it is acceptable in some circles. In fact it is an issue that continues to be debated. There is an interesting article in the Los Angeles Times from back in November 2000 on the subject.

spicy chile grilled chickenForget about the spelling, however. Let’s talk about the recipe. I had a boneless chicken breast in the freezer that I wanted to grill so I opened up my recipe database and found this. It calls for a whole chicken, but it worked just as well on the breasts. I used a red chili (snicker) because that is what my local Sprouts had on hand. I marinated it for a full eight hours.

It turned out great. I served it with a packaged rice pilaf mix.

shrimp cocktail

shrimp cocktailA number of years ago, before we moved down here, we came down to visit and my brother and sister-in-law took us up the hill to Idyllwild where we had lunch at Cafe Aroma. Terry had a shrimp cocktail that consisted of pesto, horseradish, and cocktail sauce. She enjoyed it so much that she has been making our shrimp cocktail that way ever since.

Originally she layered it as they did at Cafe Aroma. But eventually she created three sections so that all three sauces were available right there on top. The last time she made it I bought a loaf of garlic bread at Sprouts and heated it up on the grill.

It made for a really nice Sunday dinner.

easy meals

I enjoy cooking and I have tried a lot of new recipes in recent months, many of which I modified in one way or another. But sometimes I need to do something simple.

leftover pizzaOn a recent Thursday I made it very easy by making a frozen Bertolli meal. It’s simple to make and really quite tasty. The next day I got a take and bake pizza from the local grocery store. I normally get one with toppings, but this time I got a cheese pizza and added my own toppings. It made for a really good meal, plus we had leftovers for a second dinner, and a lunch for me besides that.

Sometimes its nice to take the simple route.