Cinco de Mayo — Steak with Mexican Flavors

steak mexicana

Steak with Mexicana flavors, is not one of those things I traditionally think about when doing Cinco de Mayo, but there’s no reason for that. It’s a quite a delicious treat, relatively easy to make, and makes a small four-person treat as part of a bigger meal or a great two-person dish. 

The real trick here is to roast the chiles poblano, which takes a few minutes, but makes an ordinary dish into something a bit special. The trick here is to blacken the skin so it can be removed quickly, then seed the peppers and chop them up into small pieces. The blackened skin is don by roasting the peppers over an open gas burner (or electric) or, if you would rather, cut them in half and place them on a broiler pan. Honestly, it really is that easy.

The steak is even easier. I tend to like ribeye, but you can also use tip steaks, sirloin – basically anything that’s lean and serves well as a medium rare steak. The end-result is dynamite.

The original for this recipe came from Bobby Flay’s Authentic Mexican cookbook, altered to fit my taste.


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Swedish Meatballs, Perfect for Christmas

swedish meatballs

Meatballs are one of those things I really love (as you can see by the many posts I’ve pout here) and these Swedish meatballs are one of my favorites. They’ve got an interesting texture, unlike meatballs of any other kind I’ve had. The sauce, however, is the winner here. There are a couple of ways you can make it, assuming you have some really good mushroom soup handy, but you can also make it with just good old mushroom soup from the can. 

If you have good creamy mushroom sauce, skip the milk in the recipe below and just add some sour cream to give it that nice body. If you have mushroom soup, add the milk and you’re fine. You can also add pre-cooked shredded mushrooms to the mix, if you like.

I’m guessing the soft texture that comes with the meatballs is from 3/4 cup of milk that’s added to the meatball mix, because there doesn’t seem to be anything else different. In fact, as far as I know, I don’t remember seeing milk in any other meatball mix, come to think of it. Whatever the cause, the meatballs come out fresh and will definitely win your heart. Promise.

The Swedish meatballs are great for Christmas and also can make a delicious appetizer, if you wish.


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More Asian Meatball Recipes

more Asian meatball

I know. This is really a strange time to be bringing up a new Asian meatball recipe. But the truth is, I just really wanted to have them and in the end, it’s not really Thanksgiving yet, so why not?

I doubt very much you would likely find these meatballs anywhere in Asia, but they have all the amazing flavors you might expect from an Asian cuisine. Yes, they do use turkey as the meat (yeah, there is Thanksgiving of sorts here), but with water chestnuts, spring onions, cilantro, garlic, ginger and a lime-juice marinade that brings it all up to where it should be.

And, like most meatballs, these can be served as a nice dinner, but also as an appetizer and even as a small lunch plate, if that’s your choice. The flavors are definitely Asian in nature, reminding me a lot of Vietnamese or maybe Singaporean kind of fare. They could be served over rice noodles or even with zucchini noodles, perhaps with a little peanut butter sauce.


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Cheesy Broccoli Soup

cheesy broccoli soup

I told you we’d be having a lot of soup, the past few weeks and yes, we’re still at it. This time around it’s a very cheesy broccoli soup, and this is one of my all time favorites.  It’s got plenty of broccoli and cheese, of course, but it also, strangely, doesn’t need much of the way in seasoning. It’s one of those soups that just, plain, stands for itself.

They key, of course, is the cheese. I like using Gouda and sharp cheddar, which gives a nice lovely flavor without overwhelming the broccoli, but you can indeed use all cheddar or just about anything that seems to fit your mood on a given day. And apart from the little bit of bay leaves (and the celery and carrots), there is no other seasoning required for this soup. That’s because good fresh broccoli provides really all the flavor you could ask for. 

Honestly, guys, THIS is the soup you’ve been waiting for.


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A Little More Soup: This Time It’s Split Pea Soup

split pea soup

I haven’t forgotten about soups! There’s a rule somewhere, that says I can’t write about soups everyday, or every three days, or whatever. And then there’s a rule that says I should write about soups and the rest of you can wait until I get done. So, I’m going to try to split the difference. Which brings us to one of the best creamy soups I’ve ever made — a nice little split pea soup.

I don’t remember a good soup I don’t like, so I’m not much of a fair guide on this. But this soup’s got a rich creamy texture that doesn’t come from eggs or cream, but from a small addition of potatoes instead.  That does something that’s makes this soup slightly different. And it’s also vegetarian (though you could use chicken stock and butter, if you like). What really sets this off, though, is the little addition of bacon and a whole lot of tarragon for the garnish. It adds just the right touch of finesse. 

Oh, and yes, the peas come through like you wouldn’t believe.


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Lamb Chops in Balsamic Vinegar and Herbs

lamb chops with balsamic vinegar and herbs

Lamb chops, done right, are a real joy to  have on the table. They are quick to make, and with only that little effort, can be a fantastic main dish or even a simple great appetizer. These lamb chops with balsamic vinegar and herb dressing are a perfect example of just that. They made us a great meal, but could also have made — one or two at a time — a perfect way to start a meal, as well. 

The lamb chops them selves are just covered in herbs (rosemary, thyme and basil) and allowed to sit for half an hour or more, then simply sauteed until they’re done in whatever fashion you like. Those herbs left over, some balsamic vinegar, some chicken broth and some capers are basically all that’s needed to finish the dish.  Rally, that’s all there is to it. Maybe you’ve got an hour in the dish, most of which is just waiting for things to happen (or while you finish something else in the kitchen). 

End result? Well, if you like a great  taste of lamb without a whole lot of anything else, you’re in luck here. The herbs add just the right amount of a nice touch to the meat, and the vinegar is like a nice little draft of something that’s just a little interesting, but not overwhelming the rest of the food. In other words, it gets a good thumbs up here at Discovery Cooking.


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Chicken Wings With Molasses BBQ Sauce

chicken wings with molasses barbecue sauce

It’s getting towards the end of summer and so we’re trying our best to get as many good grilling recipes done before the season is over. Earlier this week, we did the barbecue shrimp (which actually doesn’t really require a barbecue). But this time around, we’re going to try some out and out favorite chicken wings with molasses barbecue sauce. FYI, if you haven’t tried making chicken wings on the grill, you’re missing something wonderful. And the molasses sauce? It’s so amazing. Really, it’s like nothing I’ve ever come across.

Let’s start with the wings. This recipe started out as something we found in an old issue of Food and Wine (I believe) and it’s been modified a bit, but I can no longer figure out exactly what we did to it, but that said, it’s a terrific orange juice, lime marmalade that just  really lights up the wings. And these are really made for grilling — they get a lovely charred color on the exterior and stay absolutely perfect inside. And the garlic powder at the end? Oh man, that’s good.

As for the molasses barbecue sauce, I’ve mentioned it here a few times, but I think it’s about time to actually publish it here. There are many such sauces around, but this one is one of my very favorite ones. It has all the things a deep thick molasses sauce should have, and with just a very light hint of chili, it’s just perfect for these wings. You really have to try  this one.


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