Mom de Cuisine

Make-Ahead Monday: Southwestern Salisbury Steak
November 21, 2011, 11:09 am
Filed under: Beef, Main Course | Tags:


With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I’ve been trying to avoid shopping for groceries other than what’s planned for the big meal, and instead making due with what we already have in the freezer.  A while back my husband bought a big bag of premade hamburger patties when he found them on sale.  Back in the States, this is something that we would have never purchased.  I think we each make a pretty decent hamburger, definitely better than the premade variety.  However, the beef here just isn’t the same.  I’m told it tastes different because most of the beef comes fromNew Zealand and the cows eat different grass.  I’m not sure if that’s true, but needless to say, I’m not a fan of the taste of the beef here.  Now, I don’t mean to offend.  I’m sure if this is the kind of beef you’ve been eating and then went to the States and ordered a steak, it would probably taste funny to you too. 

So when my husband saw the American premade patties, he bought them, thinking we might get homesick for a good burger at some point.  Well this big bag of beef patties has been sitting in my freezer for a while.  I’ve thought about trying to do several things with them, but just kept going back to Salisbury steak.  I love onions; my husband loves mushrooms, so easy dinner.  Well as I started to gather the ingredients, I really wasn’t excited about making or eating it for dinner.  I thought well maybe I’ll add some spice, so I grabbed the chipotle hot sauce.  Then if I add the chipotle, I should add some cumin too; but if I add cumin, cilantro needs to go with it.  Before I realized it, I had changed the whole base for Salisbury steak.  Well now I had something for everyone.  “E” likes mushrooms, I like onions, “M” likes spicy.  Oh but then there is “C”….Oh my son doesn’t like anything.  I’m sure he will eat only the garlic toast I made to go with it.  Well three out of four isn’t bad.

I have to say, that although I ended up giving this a Southwestern twist, it still maintained the integrity of Salisbury steak.  It still had the same base of a ground beef patty with onions and mushrooms, it was just so much better.  I feel that if I had been on Top Chef and the challenge was to reinvent Salisbury steak, I probably wouldn’t get sent home for this one 🙂



Southwestern Salisbury Steak



6 premade, uncooked beef patties

2 onions, sliced

1 lb mushrooms, sliced

1 link chorizo sausage, diced

1 4oz can green chilies

1/2 cup cilantro cooking base

4 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce

4 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons lime juice

4 cups beef stock

3 tablespoons corn starch

Fresh cilantro to garnish



Turn on slow cooker on high and add the chorizo, onions and mushrooms.  Allow them to cook until they start to sweat a little.  Add the chilies, hot sauce, cilantro cooking base, cumin, garlic powder and lime juice.  Add cornstarch and put the patties on top.  Pour the beef stock over everything.  Allow steaks to cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6. 

Serve with mashed potatoes, or on top of garlic toast.  Garnish with fresh cilantro.


Make-Ahead Monday: Southwestern Goulash
October 17, 2011, 11:33 am
Filed under: Beef, Main Course, Pasta & Rice | Tags: , ,


I know, I know, it’s been a bit of time since my last post.  Quite frankly, I needed a break from the kitchen (and blogging too) over the weekend.  My family had a nice, long weekend that was everything a long weekend should be.  We spent a day splashing in the pool and enjoying the weather, we went to one of the GINORMOUS malls and shopped then had a nice lunch, we took a trip down to the souq and came back with lots of goodies; and we ordered from my favorite kabob delivery place every night for dinner.  It was a great weekend.  

But alas, the weekend has come to an end and now we are thrown back into our weekly routines, rushing from lessons and playdates, barely having a moment to catch our breath until the children are in bed for the night.  But I love to stay busy, so it’s ok by me. 

This week’s make-ahead meal is somewhat of a throw back.  I saw this casserole while perusing and I knew immediately that this “goulash” so to speak would be a great Monday meal for my family (well, that is if “C” would eat a noodle!)  When I read the recipe, it seemed like a chili-mac of sorts, but as it came together and I tasted it, something about it beckoned my childhood.  Then, as I lifted the casserole into the oven, it hit me:  this is the goulash I remember having as a kid from the school cafeteria, but SOOOO much better.  You remember, the one that always looked good as you went through the lunch line, with the little bit of melted cheese on top (the lunch ladies always seemed to be stingy with the melty cheese.) Then you eat it and the tomato sauce is bland, the macaroni has been way over cooked and is mushy, and that coveted bit of melted cheese on top tastes like rubber.  So disappointing. 

Well my adapted recipe adds a kick to the cafeteria version with pepper jack cheese, a bit of chipotle hot sauce, and cumin.  Now, if only I can get “C” to try it…..


Southwestern Goulash

*adapted from’s beef and macaroni casserole


1 lb elbow macaroni

1 lb lean ground beef

1 large onion, diced

2 tablespoons cilantro base (you can find this in the Mexican/International isle)

2 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon thyme

1 8z can whole peeled tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce (or more/less depending on your heat preference)

1 egg

1 cup chopped broccoli

1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, divided

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the macaroni noodles and cook until shy of al-dente.  Drain and set aside.

While the macaroni cooks, sauté the onions over medium high heat.  Once the onions are soft, add the beef and brown and crumble.  Once the beef has browned, add the cilantro base and cook one additional minute.  Add the flour to the beef mixture and sauté until the flour has cooked, about 2 more minutes.  Add the cumin, stock, hot sauce, and tomatoes and bring sauce to a boil.  Once the sauce boils, add half of the pepper jack and the cheddar cheeses.  Stir until melted and remove from the heat

Temper the egg by adding a bit of the sauce to the beaten egg.  Add the egg mixture to the large pot of sauce.  Stir in the macaroni noodles and broccoli and then transfer to a prepared casserole dish.*  Bake at 350 degrees 25 minutes or until the noodles and sauce is set. 

Combine the panko and remaining pepper jack cheese.  Evenly distribute the mixture on the casserole and broil for 3-5 minutes until the cheese and breadcrumbs brown evenly. 

Allow casserole to cool 15 minutes before serving. 


*casserole can be prepared up to the point of baking, then refrigerated or frozen.  To bake, bring the casserole to room temperature than follow directions, adding an additional 5 minutes to the baking time. 


Make-Ahead Monday: Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli with Sesame Noodles
October 4, 2011, 3:07 am
Filed under: Beef, Main Course | Tags: , , ,

I know, I’m a day late, but Monday was one crazy day for us.  Just when I think I’m getting used to our new schedules and a routine, my hubby throws a curve ball into it.  Needless to say, this make-ahead meal was truly needed.  With that being said, it will probably take me all day today (with three or more cups of coffee) to recover, so I’ll keep this short and sweet. 

I love Chinese take out, but we rarely eat it because it’s just not so healthy.   Any time we can make a lighter version at home, I’m all about it!  My version is definitely not authentic (I used a whole roast that I shredded up) but it was light and tasty for a weeknight meal.  I think the only change I would make next time would be to add cornstarch into the broth so it would be a bit thicker.  But even my husband, who usually prefers that I don’t try to recreate take out, liked this one. 

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli


2 lb Beef roast

4 cups beef stalk

2 onions, diced

4 cloves garlic, diced

1 tablespoon lemon grass (I used the jarred stuff, but you can use fresh)

3 tablespoons soy sauce, plus extra for dipping

1/2 cup hoi sin sauce

1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

1 cup frozen broccoli florets

1 package linguini noodles

2-3 tablespoons sesame oil

Green onion and sesame seeds to garnish

Sriracha for dipping


Combine roast, and next seven ingredients in your slow cooker.  Cook on high heat for 5-6 hours, or until the roast is fork tender.  Toss in the broccoli and cook an additional 10 minutes or until the broccoli is warmed through.

Cook the noodles in salted water, according to package instructions.  Drain and toss with sesame oil and sesame seeds. 

To serve:  combine equal parts soy and sriracha (I like spicy) in a small dipping bowl.  Top with green onion and sesame seeds, and set aside.  Place noodles on a plate and top with beef and broccoli. Top with more sesame seeds and green onion.  Use the dipping sauce for extra kick and flavor!

*Noodles and dipping sauce can be prepared ahead of time and served room temperature or re-warmed.

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Oxtail Ragu: A Welcome Home Supper
September 10, 2011, 2:48 pm
Filed under: Beef, Main Course | Tags: , ,

You know the saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder?  My husband and I love and appreciate each other everyday, but when he is away the kids and I miss him terribly and are always overjoyed when he comes home.  If you read my post about the gnocchi tater tots, you know that my husband recently had to go on a trip for work.  I was so excited for him to come home, I began pondering what I would make as a welcome home meal for him the day he left. 

I wanted to make a roast, something homey and warming that I could start in the morning and let it go all day.  But, alas, I had no roast and no motivation to go to the store to get one.  I did have some ox tails in the freezer though.   If you’ve never had ox tails, they are very similar to short ribs.  Fatty, kind of greasy, but if cooked low and slow, practically melt in your mouth.  I’ve only had ox tails on one previous occasion: a Reggae concert we attended some months back.  I came across the recipe on Epicurious when I was looking up recipes for gnocchi.  These were an italian take on ox tails (obviously!  The original recipe is served with gnocchi) which was good, but now that I’ve got the technique down I think I will try for Jamaican flavors next time.

So my husband is welcomed home with an ox tail ragu over buttered egg noodles; my way of saying, “Love you, Honey! I’m so glad you’re home!”

Oxtail Ragu over Buttered Egg Noodles

*Adapted from Oxtail Ragu with Semonila Gnocchi


5 pounds 2- to 3-inch pieces oxtails

All purpose flour

1/2 cup olive oil

5 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped

2 large carrots, peeled, chopped

1 large onion, very coarsely chopped

2 cups dry red wine

1 1/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes with added puree

4 garlic cloves, chopped

6 fresh Italian parsley sprigs

2 large fresh rosemary sprigs

3 Turkish bay leaves

2 cups beef broth

1 cup low-salt chicken broth

1 package egg noodles

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons parsley


Preheat oven to 325°F. Sprinkle oxtails with salt and pepper, then flour. Heat oil in heavy wide ovenproof pot over high heat. Add oxtails; cook until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Add celery, carrots, and onion to pot. Reduce heat to medium-high and sauté until vegetables brown, about 15 minutes. Add wine and tomatoes. Boil until thickened to chunky sauce, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in garlic. Tie parsley, rosemary, and bay leaves with kitchen string and add to pot. Return oxtails to pot in single layer. Add all broth; bring to boil. Cover pot; place in oven.

Braise oxtails until very tender, about 2 hours. Transfer oxtails to rimmed baking sheet. Using potato masher, crush juices and vegetables in pot to coarse sauce. Pull meat off oxtails and add to sauce. Season ragù with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool, cover, and chill. Rewarm before continuing.

Cook egg noodles, according to package directions in salted water.  Drain and toss with butter and parsley while pasta is still hot. 

Serve Ragu over hot, buttered noodles.