Quick and Easy London Broil

by Carlye Cunniff
( March 18th, 2015 )

London Broil

I don’t eat a lot of meat as a general rule. I’m not against meat, but I don’t like to waste my meat consumption on things that don’t taste good. I feel that making informed choices about the meat I put into my body helps me feel more connected to the foods I eat, and if I don’t know where it came from, I’d rather eat plant based meals.

That being said, when the meat is tasty, I love it. Prime rib? Bam. Steak? Bam. Burger? Bam. I recently came across London Broil at the store, and decided to give it a try. It’s a cheap cut of steak, and needs lots of marination time to get nice and tender. If you can plan ahead, it’s a super quick dinner. I served this puppy with mashed potatoes (of course) and a kale salad. And wine. Try this recipe for a quick and easy London Broil. Bam.

Ingredients:

1.5 lb London Broil
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Generous Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced

London Broil Marinade

Directions:
Whisk all ingredients together, making sure to break up the brown sugar and garlic.
Pierce London Broil on both sides with a fork, to ensure the marinade gets all up in there.
Put meat in covered container and cover with marinade. I like to move it around and rub the marinade in for optimum coverage.

Marinate London Broil
Marinate meat in the refrigerator as long as you can. You could make it happen in the morning if you get up in time, or a midday marinade might do the trick.
Let meat sit at room temperature (in marinade) for thirty minutes before cooking.
Set your oven broiler to high and let it warm up for 5 minutes.
Place meat on broiler pan, discard marinade. Set under broiler, be sure to check it frequently so it doesn’t burn. Mine took about 6 minutes on each side to get that perfect medium-rare that I love. When the outside was getting too toasty I moved the oven rack down.

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St. Patrick’s Day Foods – No Green Beer Required

by Carlye Cunniff
( March 13th, 2015 )

As an Irish dancer, St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite time of the year. Since I was tiny, St. Patrick’s Day meant a day of dancing, eating in the back room of the pub we had just performed in and celebrating all the “Irish” in my family. Now, it still means a day of dancing, which is way more tiring than it used to be. It also means connecting with the other musicians and dancers in the community who are busting their butts during the month of March to deliver a taste of Ireland to the people of the West Coast. What will I be eating at the end of the big day? Well, to start with, I will probably have a pint of Irish brew (of Smithwicks, if you’re buying) and some traditional Irish food.

One of the things to remember about traditional Irish fare is that not all of the people of Ireland exist within a pub. For us Americans, many of our first ideas about Ireland is that Irish people eat a lot of fried food, because the gathering place of Irish-Americans is a well stocked Irish bar. People love to eat fried food on rainy days with a pint, but Ireland is actually a hot spot for fresh, indie-food – it’s a foodie paradise. I ate some of the best food I’ve ever had in Dublin, and it wasn’t fried, battered or dipped in Guinness BBQ sauce. Ireland is one of the best places to eat meat, because it’s all pastured raised and grass fed. The island also grows produce with abandon, so access to fresh veggies is not a problem. Did I mention the seafood? The island nature of the Emerald Isle is a major bonus for seafood lovers. That being said, I do like a taste of tradition on the ‘Big Day’ as it’s affectionately called. Check out these traditional foods to eat on St. Patrick’s Day.

Shepherd's Pie

 

Shepherd’s Pie. Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious combination of ground beef (simmered in a tomato broth) with peas and carrots, baked in a casserole dish and topped with mashed potatoes. For entertaining, make Shepherd’s Pie in tiny individual casseroles. Check out this recipe, from The Food Network for a traditional version.

Lamb Shanks Braised in Stout. Lamb is easy to come by in Ireland and if you’re lucky enough to be on the island, I recommend giving it a taste. Be sure to pick high quality lamb for this dish. Williams and Sonoma have a lovely version to try this St. Patrick’s Day.

Haggerty. Haggerty is a traditional Irish dish made in a pan. It’s similar to scalloped potatoes, but the slices of Haggerty are paper-thin. It can be made with sausage or bacon, or cooks can throw a bit of cabbage into the mix as well. Try this traditional version from Good To Know Recipes.

Champ. Champ is basically a word for the best mashed potatoes ever. Champ is usually served with a crater in the center, filled with a pat of melting butter. The diner should dip each bite of mashed potato into the butter for optimum mouth-watering. Check out this recipe from Epicurious.

Colcannon

Colcannon. Surprise! More mashed potatoes. I really love mashed potatoes. Colcannon combines mashies with kale, cabbage or other greens. There is even bacon in this recipe from Taste of Home.

Fisherman’s Pie. As I mentioned, Ireland has wonderful seafood options, (and really good fish and chips). If you’d like to avoid fish and chips, try making a Fisherman’s Pie for St. Patrick’s Day. Like Shepherd’s Pie, individual casserole dishes could make this meal extra special, and you can use whatever types of fish you can find. Try this ultra healthy recipe from Jamie Oliver.

What St. Patrick’s Day Foods does your family have on March 17th? Please share in the comments below!

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Photo Credits:

Shepard’s Pie. Andrew Mager. Licensed Under CC BY- SA 2.0

Colcannon.  VegaTeam. Licensed Under CC BY 2.0

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Mashed Potato Patties

by Carlye Cunniff
( March 11th, 2015 )

Mashed Potato Patties

I think I’ve mentioned that I love French Fries, but I perhaps haven’t made it clear that I consider myself quite well versed on the topic of potatoes in all their forms. I think nothing quite makes a meal without a side of mashed potatoes. They are so simple, and so versatile, and so buttery. But what happens when you make too many to eat in one sitting, or, more likely, the person eating with you cuts you off from your mashed potato habit and makes you stop eating them? You make potato patties the next morning of course! These are like breakfast mashed potatoes. If you put a fried egg on them, they even seem like a healthy breakfast choice. My Mom used to make these and I always look forward to them. I hope you enjoy!

Flour the Pattie

Ingredients:
Mashed potatoes (any flavor will do)
1/4 Cup Flour (I combine 1/8 cup whole wheat flour and 1/8 cup white flour)
Dash of Salt
Dash of Pepper
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Fry Potato Patties

Directions:
Heat olive oil in skillet
Combine Flour (s), salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes in small bowl
With floured hands, form mashed potatoes into small, flattened rounds
Cover mashed potato patties with flour mixture
Fry potato patties over medium high heat, flip when sides are brown and crispy, about 4 minutes each side.
Top with a fried egg, avocado, tomato, creme fraiche, whatever you like!

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