First New Recipe of 2017 – Steak and Mushroom Pasta

unnamed.jpgSo, it’s been a LOOOOOONG time since I’ve written in here and shared any recipes.  It’s just been hard to keep a blog up when you work full time and have busy weekends spending time with friends and family.  But I’m back and to make it up to you, here’s an indulgent recipe for my Creamy Steak and Mushroom Pasta, which I can’t even partake in right now, as I’m on a bit of a diet.

Make it, enjoy it and please feel free to tell me what you think! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb filet mignon cut into 1.5-inch cubes. (About 2 steaks…it may be a bit pricey but worth it, especially for this recipe)
  • 12 ounces of sliced mushrooms: preferably a combination of cremini (aka, “baby bella”), oyster and shiitake.
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 oz tagliatelle pasta
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish

In a large sauté pan over medium high heat melt the butter and sauté the steak until just browned on the outside, about 5 minutes. Do not over cook! Set aside on a plate and reserve. Reduce heat to medium. In the same pan, add the mushrooms and shallots and sauté until all of the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates. Keep sautéing until you start seeing “brown bits” in the bottom of the pan. Add the sherry to de-glaze the pan, scraping up the brown bits. Let the sherry reduce by half and then add the heavy cream. Continue to let the cream sauce simmer for about 5 minutes to thicken and then add the steak and accumulated juices into the sauce, coating every piece. Let the meat warm through about 2 minutes and stir in Parmesan cheese. Toss cooked tagliatelle in the sauce and garnish with parsley before serving.

Eating Healthier at Work + Chickpea Salad

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So, one of the biggest things I have trouble with in my overall struggle to eat healthier is coming up with a decent plan for eating particularly healthy for lunch at work.  It’s so easy, not to mention budget-friendly, to store cans of Campbell’s soup and packs of Lance crackers in my desk cabinet and just go through those for lunch.  But I’ve found that that’s not too satisfying or nutritious and I find myself hungry again before 3:00 can roll around.

So, I’ve decided that this will be the year that I make an in-earnest effort toward taking better care of myself when it comes to what I put in my body, and I think coming up with creative and tasty recipes for lunch that doesn’t break my budget, monetarily or calorically, will be a great start.

So, that’s how I came up with my very own recipe for Chickpea Salad, which is quick, easy, has plenty of protein and fiber, and best of all, it’s budget-friendly and totally delicious.  It’s great on its own for a vegetarian lunch (vegan if you skip the feta cheese) or as a side dish with a hearty bowl of soup or tasty sandwich.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 cans garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), drained and rinsed.
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced and quartered
  • 1 pint halved grape tomatoes
  • 4 sliced scallions
  • 1 diced roasted and jarred red bell pepper
  • 6 oz. block of feta cheese, diced into small cubes
  • Lemon-garlic vinaigrette (see recipe below)
  • Kosher Salt, black pepper and Aleppo pepper (preferably Penzey’s) to taste.

This one is simple: Just combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, whip up some lemon garlic vinaigrette (recipe below), add it to the bowl, stir until well-dressed, check for seasoning and add more if need you’d like, and serve!  Or better yet, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours for the flavors to really meld together.

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Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • Juice and zest of 1 large lemon (or 2 small lemons)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (preferably Grey Poupon)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely grated
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Again, simple: Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk vigorously to emulsify.  That’s all!

Hope you guys enjoy it!

 

Colbeh Persian Kitchen and Bar | Decatur, GA

So, for my first “real” post since coming out of my lengthy hiatus, I’d like to tell you about a place I’ve been wanting to try for quite some time, yet at the same time has always been at the back of my mind, Colbeh Persian Kitchen and Bar in Downtown Decatur.

Now, I visit the Downtown Decatur Starbucks from time to time and just a few steps down the sidewalk is Colbeh.  I’ve always walked past it thinking “Hmmm, I should go try that place out one day. Persian food sounds interesting.” But then, I tend to forget all about it, so I had never really given myself a chance to try it out. I never really hear anyone say much about this place, so it kind of remained in the “out of sight, out of mind” category of my mental rolodex. So, I’m pretty glad a friend asked me to join him there there the other night for dinner.

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We started off with an appetizer of roasted brussels sprouts, which, to me, is the only way to prepare them and have them be palatable and these didn’t disappoint: perfectly roasted and dressed with a great combination of pine nuts, pomegranate seeds (which my friend referred to as “little bits of goodness”), goat cheese and a balsamic glaze.

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Next up, we split some hummus, which was probably some of the best I’ve had in a restaurant. Very zippy and garlicky, which I love. And it spread nice and smooth onto the warm and soft flatbread it was served with, which had excellent flavor and texture in itself. Now, with a nice glass of wine, I could easily make a meal out of this stuff alone.

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Now for the entrees: I ordered the lamb shank, which the menu describes as a “slow cooked lamb shank served with saffron basmati rice mixed with dill & fava beans”. And it was pretty good.  The lamb shank was braised in a nice flavorful broth with a nice exotic spice to it.  I think there was some cinnamon involved here.

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My friend had ordered the cornish hen kabob, which I tried a taste of and I think that’s what I’ll order on my next visit.  Had excellent flavor that I’d like to fully experience.

All in all, I was not at all disappointed in my experience there and I highly doubt you will either.  Although we experienced a bit of a wait after sitting before our server took our initial drink orders, the service was great and friendly and the food was very very tasty. I’m definitely moving this from the “out of sight, out of mind” column to the “go-to for someplace nice” column.

Note: Sorry that the photos aren’t the best. I was trying to avoid being that obnoxious guy while dining in a nice place with my friend, so I didn’t exactly take the best pictures. Plus I need a new phone.  My 5C isn’t cutting it… 

AT A GLANCE

Colbeh Persian Kitchen and Bar
123 East Court Square
Decatur, GA 30030
www.ColbehKitchen.com

  • Prices: For dinner and a glass of wine, at least $25.
  • Perfect for: Date nights, special occasions, When you’re in the mood for “something nice” (Think of that episode of Friends) or unique.
  • What They Have: Exotic Persian fare, plus a nice little selection of wine and cocktails along with great appetizers, so you can easily enjoy this place for a drink and a light bite as well.
  • Should You Go?: Yes, most certainly! It’ll be a great main event for a nice night out in Downtown Decatur.

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