Before we get to talking about savory dinner options, I had to make a small confession/recommendation. Is there a dessert that you find very hard to turn down? I’m not usually swayed by cakes or cookies, but I find it very hard to resist the siren song of a fried hand pie. You know what I’m talking about, right? A crisp, outer layer that shatters when you bite into it, revealing a warm, sweet filling that keeps you coming back for more. Please tell me I’m not the only one that feels this way. Apples are a bit mundane, and I can usually forego them. But I have problems resisting when you start throwing out flavors like lemon (Whataburger, you tempter!) or McDonald’s new, limited edition Strawberry and Creme pie. This is definitely worth a small detour to McD’s. The crust is crisp and the filling is delicious! There’s a sweet cream mix on one side and a warm strawberry filling on the other. This is definitely something I hope they bring back every year, because I am loving it!
Okay, I’m done drooling, and I’m ready to share some savory dishes with you. This first one is a great slow-cooker recipe that I plan to use (and tweak) often. The recipe is pretty basic because it just makes meat and sauce. Next time, I plan to throw in some fresh veggies to sop up more of that yummy sauce. This was super easy and was really great to come home to. I also love that you probably have all of these ingredients on hand right now. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken (from the Table for Two blog)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used boneless, skinless breasts.)
1 c. honey (BTW, this is a LOT of honey, almost a full bear’s worth. If you plan to make this often, and I do, I suggest buying some bulk honey from your local club store.)
1/2 c. low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. ketchup
2 tbsp. veggie oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 c. diced onion
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and season it with salt and pepper. (I’m a no-fuss gal, so I chopped mine before it went in.) In a medium bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients. Pour the sauce over the chicken and cook on low 3-4 hours or high 1 1/2-2 hours.
2. When the chicken’s done cooking, remove it from the pot and cut it into chunks. In a small bowl, combine some cornstarch and water (Julie recommended starting with 1 tbsp. cornstarch and 4 tbsp. water. Mine didn’t thicken as much as I wanted, so I might double that next time.) and whisk it into the sauce. Put the chicken back in the sauce and stir to coat. Serve over rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
I also wanted to share a steak recipe that recently made my hubby very happy. The key to this recipe isn’t so much the specific steak as it is the sauce. I’m by no means a pro at cooking steak, and I’m fairly certain that I overcooked ours. Still, my husband didn’t notice because he was too busy devouring the sauce-coated steak. We served ours with some simple roasted asparagus and leftover corn casserole. This is a quick and easy dinner to whip up and the sauce could really be used to top any protein. Enjoy!
Smothered Sirloin Steak in Parmesan-Peppercorn Sauce (tweaked from Kraft)
1/2 c. Kraft light zesty Italian dressing
1 lb. well-trimmed beef sirloin steak (I had a completely different type of steak – I forget what type – that worked fine.)
1/3 c. sour cream
4 1/2 tsp. grated Parmesan
1/4-1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 c. thinly sliced onions
1. Pour 1/4 c. dressing over the steak in a Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and turn to coat. Let marinate at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, 2 tbsp. dressing, Parmesan, and pepper. Refrigerate the sauce til you’re ready to serve.
2. Heat 2 tbsp. dressing in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook them 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, til golden brown. Remove the onions and set them aside.
3. Drain the steak and discard the marinade. Cook the steak in the skillet over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side (for medium doneness). Place the steak on a cutting board and slice it crosswise into thin strips. Serve the steak topped with the sauce and onions.
I hope you’re getting inspiration and will come back and share what you’ve made and enjoyed. Have a great week!