Wednesday, September 23, 2015


There is no such cut of beef called London Broil. It is usually a flank steak. The name comes from the way it is prepared and grilled or broiled. Some butchers will label a top round steak "London Broil." The name is unknown in London, England. I served it with sautéed mushrooms, baked new potatoes, and steamed garlic green beans. 

4 cloves garlic, pushed through a garlic press
2 T extra-light olive oil or grape seed oil
3 T dry red wine
3 T honey or balsamic vinegar
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T soy sauce
1 t fresh or freeze-dried oregano
1 t fresh or freeze-dried basil
1 t fresh or dried thyme
1 t paprika
2 t Montreal Steak seasoning (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (2 lb) flank steak

Place a large zipper plastic bag in a bowl and open the top
Put all of the above marinade ingredients in the bag.
Pat steak dry with paper towels, then place in the plastic bag, squeeze out most of the air and swish around to coat the steak evenly with herbs, oil, and wine.
Zip bag closed and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.

Remove steak from refrigerator and place on a platter or baking sheet, and let come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal grill.
Grill steak over hot coals for 5 to 6 minutes each side, turning once.

Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before carving.
Slice across the grain into thin diagonal slices.

Serves 4 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Growing up on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., I remember a small corner grocery store at the end of my block. Near the front counter, there was a large pickle barrel and I would routinely go there to buy a dill pickle for 5 cents. My mom used to say, "It will dry up your blood," because I ate them, almost every day—or at least when I had a nickel. These pickles are the closest to the taste that I remember. I found locally grown pickling cucumbers all wrapped up in neat little plastic bags at my grocery store. Every southern lady has a pickle fork. I still have my mother's silver pickle fork. No finger dipping into the pickle jars!

4 quart-size wide mouth canning jars
6 cups filter water or spring water
2 cups white vinegar
½ cup pickling salt or canning salt 
24 to 28 pickling cucumbers, (not waxed) 6 to 7, per jar
4 whole cloves garlic, peeled
8 fresh bay leaves, thoroughly rinsed (provides tannins for crunchy pickles)
1 T yellow mustard seeds, per jar
1 T dehydrated sliced garlic, per jar
2 t dehydrated minced onions, per jar
1 t coriander seeds, per jar
1 t black peppercorns, per jar
1 t dill seeds, per jar 
½ t red pepper flakes, per jar (optional)

Sterilize the canning jars by immersing them in boiling water for 5 minutes.
Carefully remove from the boiling water and place upside down on a clean dry tea towel.

In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the vinegar and salt and mix until the salt is fully dissolved. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Rinse cucumbers under cold running water and then put them in a large bowl and cover with cold water and set aside while brining mixture is cooling.

Completely drain pickles in a colander and set aside.

Pack 6 to 7 pickles in each canning jar.
Add 1 clove garlic to each jar.
Add 2 bay leaves per jar and follow with the spices.
Pour the cooled brine evenly over the pickles.
Add the seals and tightly screw the rings on the jars and turn the jars upside down to evenly distribute the seasonings.
Place jars on a baking sheet or pizza pan, upside down, and let sit on the counter for 1 day.
Refrigerate jars, right side up on the 2nd day.
Pickles are ready to eat after the 4th day.

Pickles will keep refrigerated for 3 to 4 months.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


These enchiladas are as good as you can get in a Mexican restaurant and you know what the ingredients are. If it's only two of you, you have enough for another dinner. You can also make this a day before you want to serve them; just cover and refrigerate. 

1 T grape seed oil or extra-light olive oil
2 boneless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T Southwest or Mexican seasoning 
1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 (10 oz) cans red enchilada sauce
8 to 10 corn tortillas
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 ½ cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Sour cream, for serving
Chopped cilantro, for serving
Pumpkin seeds, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving                               
Add oil to a large cast-iron skillet and heat over medium heat.
Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, and Southwest Seasoning. 
Brown chicken for about 8 minutes on each side.
Remove chicken to a platter and allow to cool.

Add onion and jalapeno to skillet and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another minute. 
Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add the enchilada sauce to the skillet and let slowly simmer while shredding the chicken.

Grate cheeses and add to a large bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Pour enough of the enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.  
Using tongs, dip each tortilla into the sauce and lay on a baking sheet.
Add some of the cheese down the middle, then add some of the shredded chicken and some of the onion mixture.
Roll up and place, seam side down in pan.
Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.

Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over and top with cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve enchiladas topped with a dollop of sour cream, cilantro, tomatoes, and a lime wedge.

Serve with Mexican rice and black beans sprinkled with pumpkin seeds.

Serves 4

Friday, September 4, 2015


I buy strawberries from a farmer down the road from me. Her berries are so wonderful, sweet, and of course, organic. Everytime I drive by her stand, I buy one or two baskets. I love to freeze them for use all winter long in super juices and desserts. If you prefer, you can use low fat or fat free yogurt and cream cheese.

3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
3 T granulated sugar

1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
½ cup softened cream cheese
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 t pure vanilla extract

8 butter cookies or graham crackers, crushed

In a bowl, combine the berries with the sugar. Stir to combine.
Cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours.

In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract.

Place some of the crushed cookies in the bottom of 4 serving cups.
Add some of the whipped yogurt mixture
Add the berries and layer two more times.
Top with a sprinkling of crushed cookies and a sprig of mint, if desired.

Serves 4