Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds

Recipes, devotional thoughts, and other cool things I come across.

Strawberries, Slow-Cooker, and Steak April 9, 2013

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.

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken 2Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken 3

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.

Smothered Steak in Parmesan-Peppercorn Sauce

I hope you’re getting inspiration and will come back and share what you’ve made and enjoyed.  Have a great week!

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