Archive for ◊ 2011 ◊

04 Sep 2011 Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade

Last family BBQ of the season?  I wish I had posted this recipe as a season opener so that we could have had enjoyed this drink throughout the summer, but at least it is posted in time for the last BBQ of the summer. So toast the summer good-bye and pack away the white shoes with a glass of this sparkling Watermelon Lemonade.

This is  a summery, refreshing drink that’s lightly bubbly. No artificial colors, no artificial flavorings, no preservatives; just all natural ingredients! (…and it will use up all of that H-U-G-E watermelon you just bought!  My local grocery store had BIG ‘UNs for $2.49 yesterday.  How could I resist? Now, with this recipe for Watermelon Lemonade, none of that BIG ‘UN is going to waste!)

You could easily use this recipe and make a watermelon concentrate to freeze for future use.  Just mix the watermelon puree, the lemon juice, and the simple syrup, stir to blend. and then freeze (a quart Ziploc bag would work fine).  When ready to serve remove concentrate from freezer, defrost, add water and sparkling water, and stir until blended.

The kids are going to love this.  In fact, I think it will be their favorite. Go ahead and make some concentrate.  You know there is going to be a kid oriented event in the next few weeks.  Better to serve them good-for-you Watermelon Lemonade than a can of fizzy artificial flavorings and colorings.

This recipe has a long pedigree.  I found it here, (Tracey has posted a much better picture of the Watermelon Lemonade), where it was adapted from from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from  Bubby’s.  I added the recipe for 8 servings  (why not make a pitcher  full?) and changed the ratio of bubbly water to straight water. You could make either version with all still water, or with all bubbly water.  Do what suits you. Make this recipe yours! Enjoy!  Here’s look to next summer, when we can have glass after glass after glass of this Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade.

Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade

For two glasses:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (usually one lemon)
  • 1/2 cup fresh watermelon puree (Put cubes of seedless watermelon in blender and whirl until smooth.  Strain to remove seeds and pulp. )
  • 3-4 tablespoons simple syrup (recipe below, make first and let cool!)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup sparkling water

Add all of the ingredients to a small pitcher and stir to combine.  Divide between two glasses and serve over ice.

For Eight Servings:

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4-5 lemons)
  • 2 cups fresh, strained watermelon puree (about 1/2 a medium watermelon)
  • 1 cup simple syrup (recipe below, make first and let cool!)
  • 1  1/2 cups cold water
  • 1  1/2 cups sparkling water

Add all of the ingredients to a small pitcher and stir to combine.  Pour into ice filled glasses and serve.

Simple Syrup:

To make the simple syrup: Combine equal parts water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  (1/4 cup of sugar and water for 2 servings, 1 cup of sugar and water for 8 servings). Continue simmering until the sugar has dissolved.  Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature.  Leftover syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  I hope I’ll be back cooking up a storm tomorrow.  Fingers crossed, I’ll see you then!



21 Aug 2011 Lemon Layer Cake

I haven’t been doing too much cooking lately.  It’s been too hectic.  My beloved “empty nest” imploded.  My two youngest moved back home for the summer, and brought with them all their stuff, most of it unwashed and unsorted. One of them brought a living and breathing human house guest for the summer, and had other friends stay with us for upwards of a week, too.  The other one had frequent overnight guests, four or five a week.  Then my elder daughter, her son and boyfriend moved in for a week, out for a week, then back for three weeks, then finally they moved into the house seven houses down.  They drop in at least twice a day, dropping off and picking up my grandson.  Borrowing my mixer.  Picking up some boxes they left in the garage.  Checking out the contents of the refrigerator. Then our house guest left. Then my younger daughter left, too.  She went to Ghana.  Yes, Ghana, Africa.  Not all her stuff fit into the two suitcases she was allowed to take.  She packed 93.7 lbs of stuff into those two suitcases.  She left her other ton of belongings here, unwashed and unsorted. Tomorrow my son moves out and into an apartment with three other boys, four hours from here.  He was going to go today, but not all his laundry is done.  All of his laundry may never be done.  He’s taking most of his stuff with him.  And a lot of my stuff, too.  Plus I’ve been trying to teach him how to cook before he goes. I can’t have him starving to death or trying to survive on convenience foods…

So, cooking for me has been down low on my list, but cookbook club sent out an e-vite.  It was time for a “Signature Cake” meeting.  I had to start cooking, and it had to be good, and it was probably going to have to be a little bit complicated.  A “Signature Cake”,  as I see it, is show-y cake,  one that we might become known for (remembered for?!), a special cake our family and friends might look forward to–even ask for–on birthdays and occasions; a from scratch layer cake, with a filling, and a frosting.  I had seen the recipe for “Lemon Layer Cake” in several America’s Test Kitchen magazines (YES, several!  Did you know ATK cycles their recipes through various publications?  I didn’t either, but I have this recipe in two magazines, and neither one of them is a “Best of…”!  I was a little surprised-and yes,  disappointed- to discover this little secret.)

Anyway, after being soooo busy and not cooking, I suddenly had to jump into creating a “Signature Cake” and the one I chose really was a bit of a project.  But it’s worth it!  It looks spectacular.  Look!

The white cake is delicious, very tender, not overly sweet, and sturdy enough to support the lemon filling without compressing. The lemon filling has a perfect texture, with a spot-on, bright and tangy lemon flavor.  The frosting is a “seven minute” or boiled frosting, which I had never made before, but I fell in love with it’s marshmallow-y creaminess which was a wonderful foil to the tangy lemon filling.  (I also loved the fact that the frosting had no butter and no powdered sugar.) I will definately be making this cake again. But I’d have a plan.  I’d do it in three parts.  Day one, make the lemon filling.  Day two, bake the cakes.  Day of party, make the frosting and assemble the cake.

A few other hints:

First thing, before you get everything else ready, cut 1 cube of butter into 1/2 inch pieces, and put in the freezer.  You will need to use these frozen butter cubes in the lemon filling.

I was tempted to grate the rind of a few lemons to add to the lemon filling.  I am so glad I didn’t.  The lemon filling was tangy enough as it was.  I think adding lemon rind would have ruined it.

Don’t be afraid of the frosting. You’ll need an instant read thermometer, a double boiler, and an electric mixer…but it’s really pretty easy to make (and it’s fat free and yummy!)

I frosted this cake the night before it was to be served, I don’t think that was a good idea.  The frosting seemed to loose a bit of it’s volume.  I think you could layer the cake with the lemon filling the night before, cover with plastic wrap (or a cake dome) and refrigerate, but I think the frosting needs to be made, and applied to the cake, just a few hours before the cake is to be served.

Lemon Layer Cake

America‘s Test Kitchen

For the filling:

1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 6 lemons) (you’ll need an additional 1T. of lemon juice for the frosting)

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (less than one package, so measure out a teaspoonful)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon table salt

4 large eggs

6 large egg yolks (reserve all of the egg whites for the cake)

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen

For the cake:

2 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting the pans

1 cup whole milk, at room temperature

6 large egg whites, at room temperature (leftover from making the filling from the six egg yolks)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, softened but still cool

Fluffy White Icing

2 large egg whites

1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)

1 tablespoon corn syrup

Begin by Preparing the Filling: Measure 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top to soften.

Heat the rest of the lemon juice, the sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot but not bubbling. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the whole eggs and egg yolks until blended. Slowly whisk the lemon syrup into the eggs, then return the mixture to the saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 170 degrees on an instant read thermometer  Stir in the softened gelatin until completely dissolved.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the frozen butter until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth. If desired/necessary, pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a non-reactive bowl (I skipped this step). Cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least four hours or up to two days. Stir mixture to loosen before spreading on cake layers.

To Make the Cake: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg whites and vanilla. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt at low speed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the butter pieces one at a time until the mixture resembles fine, even crumbs. Stop the mixer and add all but about 1/2 cup of the wet ingredients. Beat the batter at medium speed until it is pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the rest of the wet ingredients, then crank the speed back up to medium and beat for 30 seconds more. Scrape down the bowl and beat for 30 more seconds.

Divide the batter equally among the two cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean–do not overbake. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans, peel off the parchment and cool completely, right side up.

When the filling has chilled and the cake layers are cool, begin assembling the cake. Slice the cake layers in half horizontally. Place one layer golden side down on a serving platter, and tuck a few strips of parchment paper under the edges of the cake to protect the platter. Spread a third of the lemon filling on the cake layer, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge of the cake. Repeat twice more with cake layers and filling. Place the top layer of the cake golden side up.

To Make the Icing: Combine all ingredients in bowl of standing mixer or large heatproof bowl and set over medium saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water (do not let bowl touch water). Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and transfer mixture to standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and continue to beat until mixture has cooled to room temperature and stiff peaks form, 5 minutes longer. Using icing spatula, spread frosting on cake. Serve.

Notes From ATK… Leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator, with the cut side of the cake covered tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. I am glad I was home and cooking.  I hope you make this cake for an upcoming special occasion. It’s worth the effort…and you may become “famous” for it!


17 Aug 2011 Overnight Blueberry French Toast

My elder daughter, Hannah, found blueberries on sale at Safeway this week: four pounds for five dollars! After she posted the “find” on her facebook page I had to go out and get some… But WHAT am I going to do with four pounds of blueberries?!? Hannah made a Fresh Blueberry Pie  (one of our family’s favorites),  and I decided to try this recipe for Blueberry French Toast since it’s been in  my “To Try” file for ages.

I fell in love with overnight casseroles a few years ago.  I probably have overnight guests more than most, so I have quite an array of breakfast recipes, but I’ve gotten lazy.  Although I am usually up earlier than my guests, I’d just rather not rush to pull a breakfast together. I like to get up, make myself a latte, and enjoy some peace and quiet with the newspaper and the Internet –while in my jammies– before facing a busy day ahead.  Overnight casseroles are one of my secret weapons to maintaining my slow-and-easy morning routines, yet still provide a nice breakfast for my guests.

This breakfast casserole is really more of a cross between a bread pudding and french toast.  It’s not very sweet,  so you can douse it with powdered sugar or maple syrup. But with only two eggs, it’s not very egg-y or french toast-y.   And in spite of all that cream cheese, it’s not very cream cheese-y, either!  It is nice though; warm, full of juicy blueberries with just a hint of cream cheese and a hint of egg.  A side of bacon or sausage could be a nice salty, crispy counterpoint.  I think it’s best with enjoyed with some newly awakened house guests, a second latte, and a fun chat about the plans for the day.

Blueberry French Toast

  • 1 lb. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (original recipe called for 1 teaspoon, but that seemed a bit too much for me)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 10 slices of good quality french bread, sliced about 3/4 inch thick, if possible
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • Maple syrup or powdered sugar, to serve

Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.

With an electric mixer beat cream cheese sugar and vanilla together until smooth.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Slowly beat in the milk.

Cut the slices of french bread into cubes and spread evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the cubed bread.

Pour the cheese-milk-egg mixture on top of the bread and the blueberries.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove casserole from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake 40 minutes, or until golden brown (perhaps 5 minutes longer if casserole was still cold from the refrigerator when it went into the oven).

Serve with maple syrup and/or powdered sugar.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!  If you still have blueberries leftover, be sure to make some Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins , which are one of  my top three favorite muffin recipes. Ohhh, and I’ll have to post the recipe for a Blueberry-Lemon Pavlova, too…!

02 Aug 2011 Fried Chicken

Frying chicken wasn’t just another hedonistic pursuit you know.  I had a good reason.  A very good reason.  My friends and I have started an M&M group.  LOL!  I crack myself up. A Movie & Meal group. We are going to go to movies together and after the movie dine on food inspired by the movie.  We SO know how to have a good time!  BUT…, our first movie pick is “The Help”.  Now how could we have a “The Help” movie meal without fried chicken?   I HAD to start frying chicken.  Had to.

I didn’t expect to end up making the best fried chicken on the planet though.  Truth be told, I haven’t eaten much fried chicken in my  life.  I’ve had the occasional KFC, once or twice a decade, perhaps.  Never been to Popeye’s.  Had a few pieces from Safeway’s deli when my son was in middle school. There are no southern cooks in my family, so I have had no home fried chicken. Until now.  So perhaps I am not the most qualified person to declare this chicken “the best fried chicken on the planet”, but it is certainly the best fried chicken on MY planet.

This recipe came from Epicurious in 1998 and it’s called “Deviled Fried Chicken”. The chicken needs to marinate a day or two before frying, so plan ahead. I reduced the chili powder quite a bit, and it still has a bit of a bite.  The original recipe called for 4 teaspoons cayenne pepper.  YIKES.  The first batch I fried up was hunks of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  The next time I had a hankering for some bones,  so I fried up a mess of drumsticks.  Drumsticks were harder.  They had to be finished off in the oven.  For “The Help” party, I am going back to big juicy hunks of chicken breast.

I have to tell you the rest of our menu for “The Help” dinner!  It’s going to be goooood!  Cucumber Sandwiches and Deviled Eggs for appetizers, Crab Bisque for the soup. Fried Chicken and a Pineapple Ham for the main dishes.  Southern Biscuits (we tested several recipes), Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Collard Greens or Green Beans, and a Jell-O salad (a MUST have!) for side dishes.  Caramel Cake (we tested several recipes) and Chocolate Cream Pie (with no off-putting ingredients) for dessert.  Lots of Sweet Tea, too. I’ll wear my “pearls”, of course.  One of my friends is getting out her cinch waist dress.  Another has her gloves ready.  I hope there are a few hats, too!

Fried Chicken

2 cups buttermilk (the non-fat stuff won’t work)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons garlic powder (divided use)
5 teaspoons salt (divided use)
2 teaspoons dry mustard (divided use)
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (divided use)
2 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper (divided use)
4 or 5 chicken breasts, cut into 8-10 pieces, skinned or about a dozen drumsticks, or one frying chicken cut into 8 pieces.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder

5 cups (or more) oil, for frying (recipe suggested peanut oil, but vegetable oil and canola oil will work, too)

In 1-gallon resealable plastic bag, mix buttermilk, Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon cayenne and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

Add chicken pieces. Seal bag, eliminating air. Turn bag to coat chicken evenly. Refrigerate at least 1 day and up to 2 days, turning plastic bag occasionally.

A bit more than one hour before you want to start to fry chicken…whisk flour, baking powder, garlic powder, remaining 1 tablespoon onion powder, 4 teaspoons salt, 3 teaspoons dry mustard, 1 teaspoon1 cayenne and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass dish. With marinade still clinging to chicken pieces (do not shake off excess), add chicken to flour mixture; turn to coat thickly.

Let chicken stand in flour mixture for 1 hour, turning chicken occasionally to recoat with flour mixture.  (The chicken will look ugly at this point,. The flour mixture should cling thickly to the chicken.)

Pour oil to depth of 1 1/4 inches into deep 10- to 11-inch-diameter pot. Attach deep-fry thermometer. Heat oil over medium-high heat to 350°F.

Add 4 pieces of chicken to oil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and fry 5 minutes, adjusting heat to maintain oil temperature between 280°F and 300°F (oil should bubble constantly around chicken).

Turn chicken over. Fry 7 more minutes. Turn chicken over again. Fry until deep golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes longer. (I think I had my oil too hot, because my chicken was getting too dark, so when the chicken was the right color, I put it on a wire rack over a cookie sheet and baked in preheated 250 degree oven for approx. 20 minutes to thoroughly cook the drumsticks.  I had no problem with the boneless chicken breasts.)

Reheat oil to 350°F. Repeat frying with remaining 4 pieces of chicken.

Serve chicken warm or at room temperature (within 2 hours), or chill up to 1 day and serve cold.

Reheating has been a bit of an issue. My son has reheated pieces in the microwave, but this does not result in the coating getting re-crispy.  I have reheated pieces in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, and the coating gets almost recrisped.  Two day old fried chicken reheated in the oven is STILL better than Safeway’s fresh from the deli counter!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  It’s always a pleasure.  Maybe you will have your own Southern dinner after finishing “The Help”, either the book version or the movie version, or maybe you will just fry chicken for the hedonistic thrill of it!  Either way, I hope you try this recipe.  It’s a keeper!

26 Jul 2011 Blueberry Chip Cookies

Hey world, there’s a new cookie on the plate!  It’s sort of like a chocolate chip cookie.  It has all the elements of a chocolate chip cookie.  It crunches like a chocolate chip cookie; crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle. It even looks like a chocolate chip cookie.  But it’s NOT!  It’s a Blueberry Chip Cookie!  Nope, not reminiscent of a blueberry muffin  or a blueberry cake.   Nothing like a blueberry tart or a sugar cookie with jam either.  I think it really is a chocolate chip cookie.  With blueberries. And white chocolate chips.

Two secret ingredients:  freeze dried blueberries and dried wild blueberries!  I had never seen freeze dried blueberries either, but there they were right on the shelf at Trader Joe’s, not too far from the dried blueberries.  The freeze dried blueberries are crushed into a powder and then mixed into the dough with the flour.  The small dried blueberries have a lot a flavor and don’t burst into a gooey mess when cooked.   Genius, pure genius!  And we have Irvin, from Eat the Love, to thank for this delightfully twisted Chocolate Chip Cookie 🙂

I made a few changes to the original recipe.  I didn’t use Kamut flour (what IS that?) and I didn’t make these jumbo.  Irvin made 18 cookies from this recipe (they must have been the size of a PIE!), I made 5 dozen.  I am not sure the sugar sprinkle is necessary, I might leave it off next time but my daughter liked the sparkle (she’s such a girlie girl).

Blueberry  Chip  Cookies

  • 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried blueberries, crushed into powder (put into a Ziploc and go to town with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10 oz white chocolate chips (don’t use Nestle’s-they are nasty)
  • 1 cup dried wild blueberries (I’d probably add an extra 1/4 – 1/2 cup next time)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar to sprinkle on top (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

2. Place the  flour, freeze dried blueberry powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk vigorously until the dry ingredients are evenly distributed and uniform in color.

3. Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. On medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes.

4. Add one egg to the creamed butter and beat on medium until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and repeat with the second egg and then the vanilla.

5. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter and beat on slow speed turning up the speed to medium as the ingredients incorporate into the dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add an additional 1/3 of the batter repeat, beating on slow to medium. Scrap and add the final 1/3 dry ingredients.

6. Add the white chocolate chips and dried blueberries to the cookie dough and turn the mixer on to slow speed, mixing in the chips and blueberries until evenly distributed.

7. Scoop a tablespoon of the dough, roll into a ball, place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Sprinkle with a little white sugar. Repeat.  I found I could place 14 cookies on each cookie sheet.

8. Bake in preheated 350º oven for  about 13 minutes or until the edges of the cookie starts to look golden brown. Remove from the oven and let rest on the pan for 5 to 10 minutes to cool before moving them to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

I am so pleased with these cookies!  They are so much like a chocolate chip cookie, but so different.  The dichotomy tickles me purple!   I hope you are the first person on your block to make Blueberry Chip Cookies!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

23 Jul 2011 Beef Skewers

Meat on a stick! Is there anything better?  When I was pregnant with my first child, my cravings were iced tea, tomato soup, and “tasty chunks of beef”!  Twenty-six year later, I still crave tasty chunks of beef!

This is a very easy recipe, resulting is some mighty fine, Asian accented, “tasty chunks of beef”.  Chill the meat for 30 minutes, marinate for 30 minutes, grill and eat.  For a special treat serve with corn-on-the-cob, grilled veggies or a salad and some Bloomin’ Onion Bread!

When I was a single full time working mother of three children I was a master of freezer food.  This was one of my favorites.  Homebaked Chicken Nuggets were another.  I would buy two flank steaks and some skewers.  I’d unroll the flank steaks and then freeze for 30 minutes to make it easier to slice. At the same time I would soak the skewers in cold water.  Then I’d probably sit down with my feet up, an iced coffee and a good book while the the meat chilled and the skewers soaked, LOL!  A sense of humor is a wonderful thing!  More than likely during that thirty minutes I’d finish putting the groceries away, wipe up a spill, ask a telemarketer to put me on the no-call list, solve a kid dispute, feed the dog, move the laundry over, eat lunch and load the dishwasher …  ANYWAY, after thirty minutes I’d slice the beef and thread it onto the skewers.  Then I would layer the skewers into a shoe box sided plastic container.  I’d put wax paper between the layers, and freeze the whole box.  One box would last two or three months and provide plenty of yummy and quick week night main dishes…easily expandable to however many people were home.  Just take out 3-5 skewers per person.  Mix up the marinade.  Marinate the desired number of skewers for 30 minutes, then grill or broil!

Oh, and I often omit the sesame seeds, as I don’t care for them 🙂

Beef Skewers

  • 1 flank steak, approx 1.5 lbs, (unrolled) and slightly frozen (for about 30 min or so)
  • 30 bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes)


  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sake (an opened bottle will keep 1 year in refrigerator)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated ginger (keep any leftover fresh ginger in baggie in freezer, when ready to use no need to defrost, just peel and grate!)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (toast in dry frying pan until fragrant)
  • 3 green onions sliced

  1. Slice flank steak, across the grain, into thin strips.  Thread meat slices onto skewers, accordion style. It’s easy!  Child’s play!  (NOTE: Meat on sticks can be frozen at this point. When ready to use, just remove from freezer.  Let defrost for as long as it takes to make marinade.  Then continue with recipe.)
  2. Combine soy sauce, sugar, and sake; stir well to dissolve sugar.  Add in garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, and green onions.
  3. Pour over meat on sticks.  Marinate 30 minutes.
  4. Remove skewers from marinade.
  5. Grill over hot fire or broil for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Good hot, room temperature, and cold! I’ve served these as appetizers and as a main dish.

    Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!  I hope I have given you an idea for this weekend’s BBQ and for busy school night meals, too!