Beef, Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

1 pounds flank steak, sliced thin across the grain* and cut in 1″x3″ strips
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 to 2/3 cup brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup light (reduced sodium) soy sauce
1 teaspoons sesame oil (optional)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon rice wine (or other dry white wine)
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

Cornstarch Slurry:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Garnish:
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

*You can substitute chuck steak, as long as it is sliced very thin.

Instructions

  1. Heat up your pressure cooker: press Sauté -> click on the Adjust button -> select More to get the Sauté More function (medium-high heat). Wait for the Instant Pot indicator to read HOT.
  2. Add sliced beef to a large ziplock bag, add 1 tablespoon cornstarch and shake well to coat the beef evenly.
  3. Add the olive oil to the hot Instant Pot. Once the oil is hot, brown the beef in batches. (If you add too much at once, it won’t brown well.)  Sauté each batch for 2-3 minutes, stirring a few times. Remove and set aside browned beef. Add another batch until all is browned.
  4. Deglaze the pot: add 1/2 cup water and let it get very hot. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot until the sticky beef residue is gone. Discard the liquid and rinse the Instant Pot.
  5. Add back all the beef and mix in the rest of the ingredients to the pot: garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, water, rice wine, sesame oil, and red pepper.
  6. Stir well until all the ingredients are combined and coated in sauce.
  7. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 8 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release. Turn off the heat. Release the remaining pressure after the 10 mins NPR. Open the lid.
  8. Make the cornstarch slurry: in a small bowl, mix cornstarch with water until fully combined. With the Instant Pot on the Sauté function, add the slurry to the pot.  Stir to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes on Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
  9. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Total prep and cooking time is about 30 minutes. Good with sticky rice.

Elaine Walker, Vegetables

Cinnamon Creamed Corn for Grandma

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 (15 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained (do not use frozen corn)

Topping:
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish.

In a large saucepan, heat butter and 1/2 cup sugar until butter is melted. Mix in flour, then remove from heat. Whisk in evaporated milk, then mix in corn. Pour into prepared casserole dish.

Bake in preheated oven for an hour and 20 minutes minutes, until a knife inserted in center comes out almost clean.

Mix together topping (2 T sugar and 1/2 t. cinnamon) and sprinkle some (or all) over top.

Beef, Elaine Walker

Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage

1 large head of cabbage
1/3 c. rice, uncooked
2 (8-ounce) cans of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook the rice (Bring 2/3 cup water to a boil. Add rice, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Do not overcook.)

In a large, wide saucepan, bring lightly salted water to a boil. Add the cabbage and cook for about 4 minutes or until softened; drain. Run cold water over cabbage to cool slightly, drain again. Pull off 8 to 12 large leaves for rolls. Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each reserved leaf, making a V-shaped cut; set aside. Chop some of the remaining leaves and line the bottom of a slow cooker. Refrigerate the rest of the cabbage for another meal.

In a medium bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.

In separate bowl, add 1/3 cup of the tomato sauce mixture. Stir in the cooked rice, egg, onion, garlic, uncooked beef, salt and pepper and mix well.

Roll 2 to 3 tablespoons of the beef mixture in a cabbage leaf; secure with toothpicks. Repeat until all the beef mixture has been wrapped.

Add the stuffed cabbage to the slow cooker. Cover with the tomato sauce mixture.

Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

(Optional – serve with plain boiled white potatoes.)

Dad, Dawn Butler, Eggs and Pasta and Legumes

Cauliflower Macaroni & Cheese

1 pound pasta (macaroni, ziti or fusilli)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large head cauliflower
1 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups whole milk
salt, pepper
pinch of nutmeg, grated
pinch of sage, ground
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup sharp white Cheddar cheese
1 cup Gruyere cheese
1 cup shredded Parmigiano cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Bring water to a boil for pasta. Salt the water and undercook the pasta by 2 minutes, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • In a covered Dutch oven heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium to medium-high heat.
  • Cut the cauliflower into florets.  Add them to the pot along with the chicken stock. Cover and steam for 10 minutes or until tender.  Remove cauliflower from pot and set aside. Discard broth from pot.
  • Over medium heat in the same pot, melt the butter, then add garlic. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in the whole milk and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and sage.
  • When thickened, stir in the Dijon mustard and 2/3 of the combined cheeses.
  • Drain the pasta, add in the cauliflower, stir in the cheese sauce,
    and transfer to 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes (on a baking sheet to catch the bubble-over).
  • Remove the foil, top with bread crumbs and remaining cheese and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Dad, Elaine Walker, Mom, Salads

Waldorf Salad

3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 sweet apples, cored and chopped
1 cup seedless grapes, sliced in half
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup chopped walnuts
lettuce (optional)

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt and lemon juice. Stir in the apple, celery, grapes, and walnuts.

If desired, serve on a bed of fresh lettuce.

Dad, Dawn Butler, Mom, Vegetables

Lighthouse Inn Potatoes

2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated on a rasp-style grater (to make 1 cup)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, not melted but cut into 6 pieces
2 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 cups light cream (or heavy cream but do not use half-and-half)
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
salt
pepper

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine Parmesan, panko, melted butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in bowl; set aside.
  3. Bring potatoes, 2 ½ cups cream, baking soda, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook at bare simmer, stirring often, until paring knife slides easily into potatoes without them crumbling, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat. Stir remaining 1/2 cup cream and remaining 6 tablespoons butter into potato mixture until butter has melted, about 1 minute.
  5. Transfer potato mixture to 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan-panko mixture over top. Bake, uncovered, until bubbling around edges and surface is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Elaine Walker, Soup

Rocket Soup (Shorbat Jarjir)


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 medium russet potato, chopped
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
7 ounces arugula
5 1/4 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs (optional)
Greek yogurt (optional)

Heat light olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in turmeric, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and allspice; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Add potato and stock, and bring to a simmer. Cook until potato is tender, about 10 minutes.

Add spinach, cilantro, and arugula to pan. Bring to a simmer over medium, and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, process until smooth.

Spoon a tablespoonful of Greek yogurt onto the top of each serving of soup.

Dad, Dawn Butler, Mom, Vegetables

Easy Parmesan Baked Potatoes

6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
8 red* potatoes (about 2-3/4 pounds), washed, unpeeled, halved lengthwise

Pour butter into a 13×9-in. baking pan.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over butter.
Place potatoes with cut sides down over cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 40-45 minutes or until tender.

*Only use red potatoes for this recipe. They are the most tender.

Appetizers, Elaine Walker

Avocado Goat Cheese Truffles

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3 medium ripe avocados, peeled
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cups salted pepitas, finely chopped
pretzel sticks

In a small bowl, beat cheeses, garlic, lime zest, oil, chili powder and pepper flakes until blended. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

With a small melon baller, scoop out avocado balls onto a baking sheet; sprinkle with lime juice. Shape 1-1/2 teaspoons cheese mixture around each ball, then roll in pepitas. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until serving.

If desired, put a pretzel stick into the top of each truffle.

Elaine Walker, Soup

Hot & Sour Soup

40 dried lily buds (about 1/2 ounce)*
1 tablespoon dried wood ear mushrooms
1/3 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
5 cups chicken stock, low-sodium (do not substitute vegetable or mushroom broth)
1/2 cup drained canned bamboo shoots, rinsed and julienned
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 cups Napa cabbage, chopped
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
4 ounces firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar*
1 teaspoon white pepper powder

*Note: these items are very hard to find. Do not use substitutes. Best to order ahead of time online.

Step 1
Place lily buds and mushrooms in a small bowl, and add very hot water to cover by 1 inch. Let soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Trim and discard tough ends from buds, and cut in half crosswise. Thinly slice mushrooms.

Step 2
Stir together lily buds, mushrooms, chicken stock, bamboo shoots, and ginger in a large saucepan over high. When the soup starts to simmer, add Napa cabbage and turn to medium-low heat. Cook until the Napa cabbage turns tender, 5 to 8 minutes.

Step 3
Whisk together cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Whisk cornstarch mixture into chicken stock mixture in a slow, steady stream; cook 1 minute. Pour beaten egg into chicken stock mixture in a slow, steady stream, stirring gently.

Step 4
Stir in tofu, soy sauce, and sesame oil, and cook another 2 minutes.

Step 5
In small bowl, add the vinegar and pepper. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Stir into soup mixture and serve immediately.