For all meat lovers, this Balsamic-Glazed Flank Steak with Orange Gremolata is a delicious dish to add to your repertoire. It’s easy and makes for a beautiful presentation. Put on your apron, and lets get cooking!
Serves: 4 – 6 Degree of difficulty: Easy
Ingredients for the Steak
1.5 – 2 lbs. flank steak
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Season the entire steak with salt and pepper. Let it sit at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes. (Keep your house cool)
In the meanwhile, prepare the Gremolata and the glaze.
Ingredients for Gremolata
1/2 cup flat-leave parsley, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp. orange zest
Mixed together and set aside.
Ingredients for glaze
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
1 TBSP. olive oil
1) Heat olive oil and saute’ the shallot until it’s not longer translucent. Add the balsamic vinegar, bring to a boil and reduce on very low heat for about 10 minutes. Set aside.
2) Grill the steak on high heat for about 4- 5 minutes on each side, depending on your desired doneness. I cooked it for 10 minutes which resulted in a medium, medium rare temperature. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to retain its juices. Slice it diagonally against the grain. Place it on a rectangle serving dish for a delightful presentation. Drizzle the glaze on top, and sprinkle the Gremolata all over the steak. Voila! A wonderful and refreshing way to dress up the meat to the nines. Serve it with a side dish of your choice.
Wine pairing suggestions: Syrah or Shyraz from Australia
Bon Appetit from Gina over at Foodiewinelover
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
Photos by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover (Canon Rebel T3)
WSET-Level 2 Wine Connoisseur
I must admit, it’s been a long while since I made Hungarian Goulash. I know it has 2 main ingredients: beef and paprika. I searched the internet and came across a multitude of recipes. I was inspired and decided to make one with my spin on it. I am not claiming it’s the most traditional, but I think it’s very close to it. I noticed some recipes called for some veggies, but I wanted the meat to be the main focus without any distractions. So, follow me in the kitchen for my own version of Hungarian Goulash. I usually cook for a crowd and always have leftovers. This recipe can easily be divided in half. This dish starts out on the stove and continues to cook in the oven. You will need a Dutch Oven or a large pan with a lid that can withstand the heat in the oven.
Serves: 10 -12 Level of difficulty: Medium – prep time: about 1 hour including searing the meat. Cooking time: 1.5 hours – Allow a minimum of 2.5 hours from start to finish. This recipe can be done in a slow cooker. I recommend you research this method of cooking on Google.
5 lbs. beef for stew, cut-up in cubes
6 tbsp. flour for drenching
1 tbsp. sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp. + 2 tbsp. Hungarian Paprika
3 tbsp. olive oil + 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 container of chopped tomatoes, 26.46 Pomi brand*
32 oz. 50% reduced-sodium beef broth
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 bay leaves
Sour cream 1/3 less fat for garnish
Flat leave parsley for garnish
1.5 lb. egg noodles
Preparation:1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degree F.2) In a large plastic or stainless-steel bowl, season the meat with sea salt, 1 tsp. paprika, and pepper to taste. Mix well. Add the flour, mix until all the meat is coated. Shake off the excess.
3) in a Dutch oven on medium-high heat, heat up 3 tbsp. olive oil and 3 tbsp. vegetable oil. Start searing the meat. Make sure you hear that sizzling sound. Do this in batches, three minutes on one side, and two minutes on the other side. Remove, and repeat the process. Set aside in a large clean bowl.
4) In the same pan, using the same oil, add the onions, saute’ for 2 minutes, add the garlic, 1 minute, tomato paste, and stir well until it’s caramelized. Deglaze with the beef broth while stirring. Add chopped tomatoes, 2 tbsp. paprika, meat and bay leaves. Bring it to a full boil and the turn the stove off. Cover and place it in the preheated oven. Cook for at least 1.5 or until the meat is fork-tender. While the meat is the oven, cook your egg noodles, as per package directions.
5) Serve the Goulash over egg noodles, garnish with fresh parsley and a dollop of sour cream.
Cook’s note: Shake off the excess of flour to avoid a dirty pan.
At the halfway point, check the meat, give it a good stir.
This is one of the most soul-warming dishes on a cold winter day. Enjoy!
Bon Appetit from My Kitchen to Yours!
Gina Martino Zarcadoolas – Foodiewinelover
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
Culinary Aficionado and WSET-Level 2 certified wine connoisseur
After a long absence, I needed to get back in the kitchen and prepare some home cooked meals. My son PJ suggested that I make Gordon Ramsey’s short ribs. It was a collaborative effort with him and the result was a Grand Slam. Of course, he thought he was Gordon Ramsey and acted like him, but, I had to take control in Gina’s Kitchen. Let’s just say, we were each other’s sous chef! I was feeding 6 hungry people and I came up with the following measurements. This recipe can easily be divided in half for a smaller crowd.
Serves: 6-8 Level of difficulty: Easy-Medium
Time: Allow a minimum of 3 hours from start to finish
8 lbs. beef short ribs
Olive oil as needed for searing the ribs
Salt and pepper to taste
5 oz. of tomato paste
2 heads of garlic, cut in halves (unpeeled)
1 bottle of red wine, Chianti, Pinot Noir or Cabernet
28 oz. of beef broth low-sodium
Italian parsley for garnish, optionalSide dish:
1 cup Polenta for 4 cups of water, salt to taste
8 oz baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp. salted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1) Season the ribs liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Let it sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. ( I keep my house on 75 degrees F.)2) Pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees F.
3) In a very large and deep pan, over medium-high heat on the stove top, pour about 1/4 cup of olive oil. Sear the meat on both sides for about 3-4 minutes each side. Rotate the meat in the middle of the pan where the heat is, using a set of tongues.
4) Place the garlic face-down randomly. Add tomato paste and stir it in all over the bottom of the pan. Cook until it obtains a rust color. Deglaze with the wine. Cook until it reduces 3-4 minutes.
5) Add the beef broth, and control the sodium if necessary. Bring to a quick boil. Turn stove top off. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 2.5 hours. Just forget about it, figuratively speaking. (please do not leave oven unattended)
6) In a small frying pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter and the oil, and pan fry the mushrooms until they are golden brown. Set aside.
7) Prepare the polenta 20 minutes before the ribs are done. If you do it too soon, it will clump up. Follow cooking instructions on package. Keep on the lowest heat until you’re ready to serve.
8) Remove the ribs out of the oven and place them in a large platter. Take all the garlic out. Pass them through a sieve and put the garlic paste in the sauce. Stir well. Now it’s time to serve. Either buffet style or you can plate it, by placing some polenta on the bottom of a platter, put the ribs on top and garnish with the mushrooms and parsley.
Wine pairing suggestions: A bold Cab, Chianti or any red wine of your choice.It’s good to be back in the kitchen after a long absence.This blogpost is in Memory of My Beloved Dad, John. I will always remember him in the kitchen as my potato peeler, my pot scrubber and my right hand daddy’s little girl. I will miss savoring delicious pasta dishes with him, but his legacy will live in my heart forever.
RIP DAD- 1936-2016
This dish is an adaptation of Gordon Ramsey’s recipe on YouTube. These measurements are mine based on 8 lbs. of ribs.
Photographed by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover
Arayes are a very popular street food in the Levant region, and a crowd pleaser. They are easy to make, and very tasty. The word Ara’yes in Arabic is the plural word for Arous, meaning bride.
If you are a meat lover, and looking for something quick and satisfying, look no further. I’ve got the perfect dish for you, it’s called Arayes. It’s a meat-stuffed pita dish that can be made on a week night, if you are pressed for time.
Serves 6-8 with a side dish, based on your appetite
Level of difficulty: Easy This recipe can easily be divided in half.
4 lb ground beef sirloin *
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup flat-leave parsley, chopped
6 garlic, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. allspice *
1/4 tsp. coriander *
1/4 tsp. nutmeg *
1-2 tbsp. tomato paste
Pita Bread *
1) In a large frying pan, over medium-high heat, heat up olive oil. Saute the onions for 3 minutes. Add garlic, sauté an additional 2 minutes. Add meat, salt, pepper, allspice, coriander, nutmeg. Pan fry for about 10 minutes on high, depending on what material you’re using. Be careful not to burn the bottom, stir occasionally. It will render some liquid, but will dry up.2) Add tomato paste, and more oil if necessary. Keep stirring, add fresh parsley. Adjust seasoning to your taste. Remove.
3) In the meanwhile, warm up pita bread in the broiler, but you can also grill them for a more authentic version. Stuff the pita bread with meat, garnish with parsley, and sprinkle lemon juice on top. Hummus.Tabbouleh, or Fattoush Salad make wonderful side dishes for this lovely meal. The choice is yours! Visit the links to get the recipes.
1)Traditionally, lamb meat is used in this dish, but ground beef or ground turkey work well also.
2) You can substitute the coriander, nutmeg and allspice for a spice called 7 Spices. It can be found in Middle Eastern specialty stores.
3) Buy large pita bread and cut in half or use the small ones.
It’s the holiday season, and Christmas is literally around the corner. I am hosting Christmas Day, and need to work on a menu, and finish my shopping. This time of the year is overwhelming for me, but there is a joyous feeling in the air, that goes with the madness of the season. I recently made a dish called: Braciole, pronounced brajole, or brashole, and is the plural for braciola. It is considered a thinly sliced of meat, stuffed with garlic, parsley, and salami or prosciutto. Most grocery stores have it pre-sliced, or you can have the butcher slice it for you. Some people use flank steak, but I always use top round. In Italy, this dish is called involtini, and the stuffing/filling can vary depending on the region. If you are still wondering what to make for Christmas, or your holiday dinner, this is the perfect and festive dish for you. It is a bit time-consuming, but the good news is, you can make it 1 or 2 days ahead of time. Please keep in mind, some people do not consume red meat, be sure to have chicken, fish and veggies grace your holiday table.
Serves: 9-12 for a seat-down dinner or 10-15 for buffet style dinner, served with other food. Level of difficulty: Medium-difficult Time from start to finish: 2.5 – 3 hours, depending how fast you do all your prepping.
Ingredients for the meat:
Olive oil for pan frying
3 lbs. top round steak, thinly sliced
1 – 6 oz jar of peeled garlic, chopped *
one large bunch of flat-leave parsley, chopped
1/3 lb. prosciutto, roughly chopped
Freshly ground pepper *
Butcher twine *
Preparation for the meat:
1) Place the meat on a butcher block, season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the seasonings lightly, depending on your sodium diet, on both sides of meat. Keep in mind, the prosciutto is salty. I recommend you use less than more. You can always add more later, but if it’s over salted, the food will be ruined. It’s hard for me to give you measurements, since I use my fingers to sprinkle the seasonings.
2) Next, with the tip of your fingers, grab some garlic, parsley, and prosciutto, one at a time, and place at the end of the meat, as shown on the picture. Roll it, like a jelly roll, and repeat the same process. You will work an assembly line, and use the butcher twine later.
3) Once, your meats are rolled up, it’s time to tie them up with the butcher twine, by securing both ends. There may be some leftovers, garlic, parsley, and prosciutto. Save to use in the sauce.
4) In a large pot, on medium high heat, heat up olive oil, Sear the meat on both sides to obtain a nice brown color, about 5-7 minutes. Do this in batches, and set aside.
Ingredients for the sauce:
1-2 tbsp. olive oil, if necessary
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 container Pomi, chopped tomatoes
1 container Pomi, strained tomatoes
1 large jar of Mids, prepared tomato sauce, meatless*
1/4 cup of water, put in jar and shake it to get all the sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
pinch of sugar, optional
Preparation for the sauce:
Using the same pot, add more oil, if necessary, brown the tomato paste, add all the tomatoes, water, leftover fillings, salt & pepper, sugar, and put the meat in the sauce. Bring to a boil, simmer on low heat for about 2 hours, uncovered, until the meat is tender. Stir occasionally, to make sure the pot doesn’t burn on the bottom. If you feel the sauce is too thick, add very little water, and continue cooking.
Pasta1) 2 lbs. of Rigatoni, or any pasta shape of your choice.
2) While the sauce is simmering, bring water to a boil for pasta. Add salt, and cook as per package directions, or al dente, to the bite.
3) Drain pasta, drizzle with olive and some sauce to prevent clumping. Set aside. The sauce should be done, and the meat tender by this time.
4)Remove the braciole from the sauce, and use a pair of shears to cut the twines. (You will need some patience, while I was doing this, my guests were having their salad.) Arrange them in a nice rectangle platter. This presentation is ideal for a seat-down dinner party like I had. Serve with the pasta. However for a buffet-style, or for a holiday table, slice them, and arrange them on a beautiful platter. It is more decorative, and appealing.
1) Some people use toothpicks to secure the meat, but I prefer using the twine.
2) Freshly ground pepper goes so nicely with the meat.
3) If you don’t want to use garlic from the jar, go ahead and use fresh, just allow more time for peeling. Nothing wrong with fresh ingredients, I actually encourage it, whenever possible.
4) Some recipes add cheese to the filling, but, I prefer grated Parmigiano Reggiano, (parmesan cheese), on top of the pasta.
5) This recipe yields 9 meat rolls, but, some people shared one. There were leftovers, and, it was even better the next day.
6) For a small dinner gathering, I recommend you ask your guests if they consume meat or shellfish. Let’s not forget about gluten-free pasta for those who cannot have regular pasta. This may create extra work, but if you are having guests, it’s important to accommodate their diet, and ensure they enjoy their meal.
Wine pairing suggestions: My lovely aunt and cousin were visiting from abroad, I decided to go all out. I paired this delectable dish with a Barolo, the king of Italian wines. The pairing was magical, and everyone was pleased with my culinary creation. You can also pair this dish with a Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon of your choice. You want a big wine to stand up to the meat.
Recipe by Gina for Foodiewinelover
Images by Gina for Foodiewinelover
Wine pairing suggestions by Gina for Foodiewinelover
This will probably be my last post before Christmas, therefore, I would like to wish all of you, a happy holiday season, and a Merry Christmas from my home to yours.
In closing, I would like to share this quote: “Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given–when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.”
Gina, Foodiewinelover My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
Ossobuco is the Italian name for bone with a hole that has the marrow inside it. Veal Ossobuco is a hearty and delicious rustic veal-shank stew. This meal originated in Milan, and it’s usually served with a side of Risotto alla Milanese, (with saffron). The veal shank is usually cut up in 1 – 1.5 inch thick, and is braised in a tomato-based and wine sauce. It’s the kind of meat that needs to be slow-cooked in order for it to become tender. I came up with this scrumptious recipe, and I am happy to share it with all of you.
Serves: 4 Degree of difficulty: Medium
Total preparation and cooking time: About 2 hours.
3.5 lb. veal shank, cut up in 1 – 1.5 inch thick *
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, + more as needed
1/2 cup dry white wine (chardonnay)
2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
1 tbsp. tomato paste
3 carrots, sliced
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced (can substitute with celery)
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 cup of flour
Preparation:1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.2) In the meanwhile, season veal with salt and pepper. Drench in flour and shake off the excess. Discard any leftover flour.
3) In a Dutch-Oven pot, on medium-high heat, heat up, 2-3 tbsp. olive oil, sear the veal for about 3 minutes on each side until it gets a nice brown color. You may have to work in batches depending how many veal shanks you have.
4) Remove and set aside. In the same pot, add more oil, if necessary, and sautee the onions, carrots, fennel for 1-2 minutes, add garlic, 1 minute, then, tomato paste, and stir well until it caremelizes. Deglaze with the wine. Scrape the bottom of the pot and reduce for 1-2 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, thyme, salt & pepper. Return the veal shanks in the pot. Bring to a boil, and turn the burner off.
5) Place the pot covered in the middle rack of the oven, and let it braise for about 1.5 – 2 hours. Check occasionally for seasoning.
6) While the veal is braising you can prepare the Risotto or a side dish of your choice.
*The meat is sometimes wrapped in a butcher twine to prevent it from falling apart, and maintain its beautiful shape. My butcher assured me that I didn’t need it this time, because of the thickness and the quality of the meat. He was right on.
Suggestions: Typically, Gremolata is used as a garnish in this dish. It is a condiment made of either lemon or orange zest, chopped parsley and garlic.
My family and I savored this yummy meal, but the best part of this dish is the marrow inside the bone. We were all fighting for the meat with the most marrow. It is succulent and is considered a delicacy.
I hope you will give this delectable recipe a try in your kitchen.
Wine suggestions: Chianti, Super Tuscan, Rosso di Montalcino, Aglianico, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. They’re all Italian wines and most of them are affordable.
Happy Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours!
The best part…….
Please note, I have made Ossobuco again since this blogpost, and updated the featured picture on 4/7/2016
My great friend Angela introduced me to another wonderful version of Ossobuco in a brown sauce. It’s her dad’s famous recipe, and it is equally as delicious.
It’s summertime, that means, it’s the season for bathing suits, flip-flops, and splashing in the water to keep cool. It’s also time to enjoy the outdoors, with some burgers, an occasional hot dog, and some delicious steaks on the grill. Once in a while, I like to savor a nice juicy steak. It’s hard for me to pick one cut, since I like all of them. However, today, I will share with you, an easy way to grill some New York strips. When picking your steaks, make sure they have thin white streaks of fat throughout them, called marbling. They keep the meat nice and juicy. In addition, to that, the fat adds lots flavor.
Serves 3-6 depending on your appetite and diet restrictions.
Level of difficulty: Easy
3 New York strip steaks, about 12 – 14 oz. each
Freshly ground pepper
Himalayan salt or sea salt *
1) Always take out the meat from the fridge at least 30 – 45 minutes to bring it to room temperature. This step is vital in making sure the meat is cooked evenly.
2) In the meanwhile, season liberally with salt and pepper. Let it marinate on a tray or dish, until it reaches room temperature.
3) Fire up the grill at high temperature. MAKE SURE IT’S SUPER HOT!
4) Place the steaks on the grill, cover, and forget about them for about 3 – 4 minutes. I recommend you use a timer until you master this method.
5) They should have nice grill marks on the cooked side, flip them, cover and cook the other sides, another 3 -4 minutes. This will take some practice, and you may need to lower the flame if necessary. With this method, you will obtain a medium-rare temperature. If you want a medium temperature, lower the flame, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes on each side.
Removed the steaks from the grill and place them on a platter. Let them rest for a couple of minutes to retain the juices. DO NOT COVER! You will have the perfectly grilled New York Strip Steaks.
I served them with my delectable pasta salad, and my family had a feast. Grilled veggies and field green salads also make a nice accompaniment.
I recommend a full-bodied red wine to go with the steaks to cut through the fat. A Malbec from Argentina, a California Cab, or a beautiful Italian Barolo. The choice is yours. If you like beer, then by all means, go for it. I suggest freshly squeezed lemonade for the kids.
Keep hydrated, drink lots of water in between, and don’t forget the sunscreen.
Disclosure: There’s always a health risk involved when consuming red meat, unless it’s fully cooked. (Luckily for me, I never had an issue). For your safety, I recommend you follow the advice of your doctor or a nutritionist.
So in 2016 I turned 50. I was in Italy for my 21st, 30th and 40th. To keep this birthday tradition going I always knew I'd be in Italy for my 50! This blog starts with my 5 week adventure in Puglia but my love affair with Italy continues.....