Ginger Miso Skirt Steak with Brussels Sprout Slaw

Ginger Miso Steak with Brussels Sprout Slaw | Cravings & Crumbs

I don’t know about you guys, but I am fall flavor-ed out.  Sure, the sage, apple cider, cinnamon, and multiple batches of pumpkin bread were fun at first.  But after a while the flavors become monotonous, one dish blending into another on the Thanksgiving plate.  What I really wanted after that big feast was 1) beef, because after three days of Thanksgiving leftovers I don’t want another bite of poultry, and 2) something relatively healthy and preferably packed with veggies that haven’t seen any butter or cream.  Enter, this ginger miso skirt steak with a brussels sprout slaw.

Ginger Miso Steak with Brussels Sprout Slaw | Cravings & Crumbs

The steak is literally packed with flavor!  We start with miso and soy sauce for umami.  Red miso is more intense than yellow or white miso – we need the miso to be intense enough to stand up to the steak and the rest of our seasonings.  Then we grate a bunch of fresh ginger and garlic with some toasted sesame oil to pump up the flavor even more.  Lastly we add a big squirt of sriracha for some heat and a little honey for sweetness.

Ginger Miso Steak with Brussels Sprout Slaw | Cravings & Crumbs

The slaw is crunchy and fresh and a perfect complement to the steak.  If you’ve never had shredded Brussels sprouts, you’re missing out.  They have all the good qualities that cabbage has, but they have a lower water content which means that they won’t release a lot of water and dilute your dressing and they’ll stay crunchy longer!  

Ginger Miso Steak with Brussels Sprout Slaw | Cravings & Crumbs

Pro tip: if you have any leftovers or you can’t go a meal without carbs they’re really delicious chopped up in a taco!

Ginger Miso Steak with Brussels Sprout Slaw
Serves 4
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Steak
  1. 1 lb skirt steak, cut into 4 portions
  2. ⅓ c. light soy sauce
  3. 2 ½ T. red miso paste
  4. 1 T. toasted sesame oil
  5. 1 T. honey
  6. 1 T. sriracha
  7. 3 T. water
  8. 1 T. fresh ginger, grated
  9. 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  10. peanut or other neutral oil to cook
Slaw
  1. 1 lb brussels sprouts (4 c. shredded)
  2. 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
  3. 1 medium carrot, shaved into ribbons
  4. 1 avocado, diced
  5. 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
  6. ¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  7. ½ c. cilantro, chopped
  8. 2 T. light soy sauce
  9. 2 T. rice wine vinegar
  10. 2 t. lime juice
  11. 1 t. honey
  12. 1 t. fresh ginger, minced
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add marinade and steak to a zip-top bag and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  2. In a large bowl add the shredded brussels sprouts, tomatoes, carrot, avocado, pepper, onion, and cilantro and toss to combine.
  3. In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the slaw dressing.
  4. Remove steak from marinade and pat mostly dry with paper towels.
  5. Heat a grill pan (or a real grill!) over high heat. Add 1-2 T oil to pan and add steak pieces in a single layer. Allow to sear without moving for 3-5 minutes per side for medium rare to medium.
  6. Remove to a plate and allow to rest for 5-10 mins.
  7. While steak is resting toss the slaw with the vinaigrette.
  8. Slice steak thinly against the grain and serve with slaw.
Cravings & Crumbs http://www.cravingsandcrumbs.com/

The Best Garlic Bread

The Best Garlic Bread | Cravings & Crumbs

Garlic bread.  You might be wondering why we even need a recipe for garlic bread.  Mix garlic with butter, spread it on bread, bake it.  Done.  Well, despite being so straightforward I often get well accomplished home cooks asking me how to make it.  Heck, I treat myself to it so rarely that I often question myself when I make it.  So I made my ideal version of garlic bread and wrote everything out so that next time I want to make the best garlic bread ever I can just look back at this recipe!

The Best Garlic Bread | Cravings & Crumbs

The first step to the best garlic bread is to start with good bread.  I like to grab a loaf of ciabatta because once you’re done baking it the edges get a nice crunch to them, but because of the large holes in the bread’s structure is stays soft in the middle.  The second secret is to let the garlic infuse into the butter for at least 30 minutes, but preferably longer to maximize and evenly distribute the garlicky-ness.

The Best Garlic Bread | Cravings & Crumbs

The final step is baking.  We start the garlic bread at a pretty standard heat to melt the butter and toast the bottom slightly, but the trick is to finish it off with the broiler so you can get exactly the amount of crispiness that you want.  Not only does it speed up the process, but it ensures that the inside of the bread doesn’t dry out too much.

The Best Garlic Bread | Cravings & Crumbs

Listen, it’s hard to go wrong with garlic bread unless you burn it to a crisp, but this is just my method to maximize the best parts.  So use whatever bread you prefer and add any extra seasonings that you like.  I guarantee there won’t be any leftovers!  There never are when it comes to garlic bread…

The Best Garlic Bread | Cravings & Crumbs

And if you’re looking for a good recipe to serve with this garlic bread, hop on over to my everyday meatballs and sauce recipe.  The sauce is cooked with a cup of red wine, so it’s a great excuse to crack open a bottle and have a glass with dinner.

The Best Garlic Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 1 loaf ciabatta or french bread
  2. 1 stick salted butter, softened
  3. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2 T. chopped fresh parsley (or 2 t. dried)
  5. ½ t. garlic powder
  6. ¼ t. dried basil
Instructions
  1. Mix butter, garlic, parsley, garlic powder, and basil in a small bowl. Allow flavors to marry for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 weeks (in the refrigerator).
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. Cut bread in half lengthwise and spread both halves evenly with garlic butter. Lay bread, cut side up on a baking tray. Bake 10-12 mins to melt the butter, then broil briefly to crispy and brown the bread to your liking. Do not walk away!! Stay right near the oven and check every 30 seconds or so, as it will only take a minute or two.
  4. Allow to cool slightly, then cut into 1-inch pieces.
Cravings & Crumbs http://www.cravingsandcrumbs.com/

Everyday Meatballs and Sauce

Everyday Meatballs and Sauce | Cravings & Crumbs After suffering through the final late-October heat wave of summer, we finally have a fall chill in the air and it has me dreaming of comfort food!  Aside from a perfectly roast chicken there’s nothing more comforting to me than a big bowl of tender meatballs in tomato sauce.  It wasn’t always that way though.  As a kid I was pretty indifferent to meatballs.  I liked them, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to request them.  No, like most things, I started liking them best once I made them for myself and got to research and tweak the recipe to get them exactly how I wanted. Everyday Meatballs and Sauce | Cravings & Crumbs It was a meatball starter at a local restaurant that spurred my current meatball obsession.  Made with high quality ingredients and cooked in a wood burning oven they were amazing!  And so I started trying to figure out how to get as close as possible to those meatballs at home, but I also wanted them to be something that was easy and accessible to make so it would be realistic even for a weeknight.  That meant no wood burning oven, no deep frying, and no veal.  Although many recipes use veal and surely it would make the meatballs softer, including veal in my go-to recipe would mean making a stop at a specialty market which just isn’t going to happen as often as I want to eat meatballs.  Everything in this recipe can be picked up at any old grocery store. Everyday Meatballs and Sauce | Cravings & Crumbs The other thing I did to make this recipe more accessible was to cook them in the oven instead of on the stovetop.  Frying meatballs in a pan is messy and you always have to do them in batches.  By switching to the oven we can cook all our meatballs at once, which frees us up to tend to our sauce, cook the spaghetti, or make the side salad.    Everyday Meatballs and Sauce | Cravings & Crumbs You don’t have to have them with spaghetti though!  (I’ll wait for the Italians to finish rolling their eyes at me…if they’re still even reading!  They already have their own recipe for meatballs.)  My favorite way to eat these is with homemade sauce and a bunch of crusty bread to soak it all up with.   Don’t be intimidated by the homemade sauce.  It doesn’t have to be some sort of all day marathon cooking session to get a good homemade sauce.  I take a cue from Marcella Hazan and just simmer canned tomatoes for about 45 minutes.  I add garlic, onion, and oregano, as well as some red wine to give the sauce more complexity.  Once you make sauce this way you may never buy a jarred sauce again.  I always come back to this method because the sauce tastes brighter and fresher and isn’t as sweet as the premade stuff.  Oh yeah, and while we’re at it, let’s just make our own garlic bread.  My standard recipe for that will be coming next!

Everyday Meatballs and Sauce
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For the meatballs
  1. 1 c. panko bread crumbs
  2. ¼ c. milk
  3. ¼ c. minced yellow onion
  4. 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  5. ¼ c. chopped parsley
  6. ½ t. dried oregano
  7. ½ t. crushed red pepper flakes
  8. 1 t. ground black pepper
  9. 2 t. kosher salt
  10. 1 lb ground beef
  11. 1 lb mild italian sausage
  12. 2 eggs
For the sauce
  1. 2 - 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  2. 4 T. butter
  3. 7 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 c. earthy red wine (such as merlot or cabernet sauvignon)
  5. ½ yellow onion, sliced through the root end
  6. 1 t. kosher salt
  7. 1 t. dried oregano
To make the sauce
  1. In a saucepot over medium low heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and slightly softened. You don’t want the garlic to brown, just to infuse the butter with its flavor.
  2. Add the tomatoes, wine, onion, salt, and oregano. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt.
To make the meatballs
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Add the panko and milk to a large bowl and allow to soak for about 3 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and mix everything together. This ensures all the flavors get mixed evenly throughout without overworking the meat.
  3. Add the meat and eggs to the panko mixture and gently mix with your hands or a spoon. You don’t want to work the meat too much or your meatballs will end up dense.
  4. Roll into balls a little larger than a golf ball, about 2 tablespoons. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray and place the balls in rows, spacing them about 1 inch apart. If the meat has come up to room temperature by this point I suggest refrigerating them while the oven preheats, but it’s not necessary.
  5. Put the meatballs in the oven and bake for 20-30 mins, depending on size. An instant read thermometer inserted into the middle of a meatball should read 165° F.
  6. At this point you can briefly simmer the meatballs in the sauce, or you can serve them as is with sauce on top (and lots of parmesan, obviously!)
Notes
  1. The meatball mixture can be made up to a day ahead or frozen. I like to freeze half the mixture in a quart size ziploc pressed flat so that it will defrost quickly.
  2. You can also cook the meatballs in advance and rewarm them in the tomato sauce, as I did when I made them for this post.
  3. You can make the meatballs larger or smaller based on your preference, just be sure to adjust the cooking time. You want them fully cooked through, but not dried out.
  4. This recipe makes about 32 meatballs.
Cravings & Crumbs http://www.cravingsandcrumbs.com/

Spinach Salad with Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

 

Spinach Salad with Honey Garlic VinaigretteHere we go with another recipe from the Gjelina cookbook.  Last time we made a decadent mushroom toast that was so ridiculously delicious and comforting and would satisfy any meat eater.  (Gotta like mushrooms though, that’s a requirement).  This time I figured I would go for something much lighter.  I’ve been eating a lot of spinach salads for lunch and wanted some new flavor combinations to keep it interesting.

Spinach Salad with Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

Flipping through the pages of the cookbook was so inspiring that I had a list of recipes to try before I was even halfway through.  A constant goal of mine is to find new ways to cook and enjoy more vegetables and Gjelina is the perfect cookbook for that since vegetables are their main focus.  I actually checked this cookbook out from the library years ago when it first came out and wrote it off for all the subrecipes and complexity included in the recipes.  This time around I was more in a mindset to pick and choose where to spend my effort.  The recipes are so great that even if you don’t make every single thing from scratch or find each obscure/gourmet ingredient it will still end up so much better than your average recipe.

Spinach Salad with Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

What originally drew me to this recipe was the beautiful picture and the contrast between the deep green of the spinach and the golden brown of the croutons.  Remember what I was just saying about choosing where to spend your effort?  Well in this recipe don’t skip the homemade croutons!  Not only is there nothing better than homemade croutons, but I love how thinly they’re sliced.  They end up crispy, but still somewhat delicate.

Spinach Salad with Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Honey Garlic Vinaigrette
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For the vinaigrette
  1. 3 T red wine vinegar
  2. 1T lemon juice
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2T shallots, minced
  5. 1T honey
  6. ½ c olive oil
  7. 1t Dijon mustard
  8. Salt and pepper
For the salad
  1. Day old bread
  2. Olive oil
  3. Seasonings
  4. Baby spinach
  5. Golden raisins
  6. Goat cheese
  7. Kalamata olives
  8. Castelvetrano olives
Instructions
  1. Combine the shallots and garlic with the vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl or jar and let macerate 5-10 minutes. Then add the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients and stir or shake to combine.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Slice bread very thinly, about ¼” and lay out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and any other seasonings you like (garlic powder and dried basil would be a nice place to start). Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  3. Assemble salad by adding the spinach and golden raisins to a large bowl. Slice the olives in half and add to the bowl. Crumble the goat cheese on top. Break the croutons into bite sized pieces and add. Finally, toss with the vinaigrette, 1 T at a time until you reach your desired level of coating.
Notes
  1. I don’t have any measurements here because in a salad it’s all to your taste. Add a little of this and that, it really doesn’t matter as long as the main ingredient is the spinach.
Adapted from Gjelina
Adapted from Gjelina
Cravings & Crumbs http://www.cravingsandcrumbs.com/

Fancy Mushroom Toasts

Fancy Mushroom Toast | Cravings & Crumbs

I have a sort of foodie friend in the office I work in.  We chat about recipes we’ve tried, new ingredients we found, what we’re going to cook over the weekend, cookbooks, pretty much anything food related.  I love finding people who love to cook because talking to them gets me excited about new flavors, cuisines, and ingredients that I might not have been familiar with or known about before.

Fancy Mushroom Toast | Cravings & Crumbs

A few weeks ago he came into the office on Monday morning talking about a meal he had at Gjelina over the weekend.  He led with the dessert heavenly butterscotch pots de creme then he moved on to the mushroom toast.  I have no idea what else he ate there because we couldn’t move past the mushrooms.  Oh my god, the mushroom toast.  The chef says he can’t take these off the menu because the customers will revolt.  They’re that good.

Fancy Mushroom Toast | Cravings & Crumbs

Like any obsessive home cook, he had already bought the cookbook and was ready to try to recreate them at home.  I wouldn’t have thought much more about these mushroom toasts except to ask for a follow-up the next week.  But the next week he hadn’t made them.  The week after that he bought a mixture of fancy mushrooms at the farmer’s market, but was stymied by the homemade creme fraiche, which had to be cultured at exactly 78° F…  Three weeks I waited for the report on the mushrooms toasts!  And in the meantime I found myself reading blog posts of people who had recreated them and scrolling through instagram shots from the restaurant just to see what they looked like in their natural habitat.  Yeah, I know I have problems.

Fancy Mushroom Toast | Cravings & Crumbs

Eventually i had to take matters into my own hands.  A quick trip to my local produce market to pick up mushrooms and good bread and a jaunt over to Trader Joe’s for reasonably priced creme fraiche and I was ready!  I was out of garlic confit, although I have a recipe for my version right over here, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.  I quickly infused some garlic in oil, used that to toast the breads.  You can toast them in the toaster, but for this recipe it’s much better on the stovetop (or grill, as the original recipe calls for) because the outside will be incredibly crunchy, but the inside of the slices will still be moist and springy.  A quick saute of the mushrooms, reduction of some white wine and shallots, and the addition of some creme fraiche and I was eating the best lunch I could ask for!

Fancy Mushroom Toast | Cravings & Crumbs

The recipe notes say that the chef enjoys a big slab of mushroom toast with an earthy glass of red wine for dinner and I must say he’s on to something.  Normally you might match the wine to whatever type of wine you used in the dish, but here the earthy meatiness of the mushrooms is perfect with red.  This is a decadent and delicious vegetarian appetizer or main course that I would be more than happy to eat again and again.

So here it is, a doable version of the original.  Although homemade garlic confit and homemade buttermilk creme fraiche would undoubtedly be amazing with this recipe, if they’re holding you back from making this recipe then don’t do them!  If you do want to go the extra mile, you can find the original recipe in full here.

Fancy Mushroom Toasts
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Ingredients
  1. ⅓ c. olive oil
  2. 5 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  3. 2-4 slices good bread (depending on size)
  4. ½ lb mushrooms (see notes)
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. 2 T minced shallots
  7. 1 T butter (optional)
  8. ½ c. dry white wine
  9. 1T fresh thyme
  10. ½ c. creme fraiche
  11. 2 T fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Add the olive oil and garlic slices to a small frying pan over medium-low heat. Cook until garlic slices are beginning to brown on the edges, then remove with a slotted spoon and save for later. Remove oil from heat.
  2. Use a pastry brush to brush a thin layer of garlic oil on both sides of the bread. Heat a frying pan over medium heat for 10 minutes, then add the bread in a single layer. Cook until the bread is crispy and browned on the first side, then flip and cook the second side in the same manner. Remove the toasts to a plate.
  3. Separate or chop mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. This will mean different things based on which mushrooms you have so use your best judgment of what size mushroom chunks will fit nicely on your toast. Turn the heat under the frying pan to medium high and add 3 T of the garlic olive oil to the frying pan. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook undisturbed until seared and well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir the mushrooms, add the shallots and the butter if the pan seems like it needs more moisture. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the wine, thyme, and reserved garlic slices and continue to cook until reduced by half.
  4. Stir in the creme fraiche and cook until thickened slightly, 1-2 mins. Stir in the parsley, taste and season again with salt and pepper, then spoon the mushrooms evenly over your toasts.
Notes
  1. Although these are fancy mushroom toasts, you should feel free to use any mushrooms that you have access to or can afford. I really know nothing about fancy mushrooms so I picked these based on looks and price and ended up with oyster and brown clamshell. The original recipe suggests a mix of nameko, hen of the woods, chanterelle, porcini, or matsutake. However, the mushrooms share the spotlight with the sauce and toast and as I was eating these I thought they would be just as delicious with regular old sliced crimini.
Adapted from Gjelina
Adapted from Gjelina
Cravings & Crumbs http://www.cravingsandcrumbs.com/

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Honey Whole Wheat Bread | Cravings & Crumbs

When I was in high school my mom found a bread machine at a thrift store and started baking bread for our family on a weekly basis.  You can almost always find a bread machine at a thrift store because people buy them with dreams of making homemade bread, and then they barely ever use it.  Not my mom though, she stuck with it.  Not surprising though because besides the fact that my family usually always takes the do-it-yourself route, fresh homemade bread is irresistibly delicious and costs less than a dollar to make! Read More

Chai Tea Upside Down Plum Cake

 

Chai Tea Upside Down Plum Cake | Cravings & Crumbs

A few weeks ago I had what I consider to be a uniquely modern dilemma.  I was on Amazon searching for a tea that I remember really liking 5 or so years ago that I haven’t been able to find in stores for years.  It’s nothing fancy, just Stash double spice chai, but it was the perfect strength for mixing with sugar and milk without the flavor being diluted too much.  Of course Amazon had a good deal, almost too good of a deal.  I could buy a standard box of 18 tea bags, OR I could buy 100 tea bags for only $3 more at the time… Here in America more is more, right? Read More

Steak Roll-Ups, A Template

Steak Roll Ups | Cravings & Crumbs

I know everybody likes to laud casseroles and stir fries as the perfect way to use up kitchen scraps, but I’d like to add steak roll-ups to that list as well.  With some leftover ingredients and a little bit of creativity you can have a dish worthy of guests and no one needs to know you threw it together with what you found in the bottom of your produce drawer. Read More

Apple Bacon Dutch Baby

Apple Bacon Dutch Baby | Cravings & Crumbs

Here in the Bay Area we don’t get seasons in the same way everyone else does.  When others are enjoying shorts and sunshine in July we’re wearing sweaters and long sleeves.  And when everybody else is enjoying their first hot pumpkin spice lattes of the season I’m making this dutch baby in 75 degree weather with no cold weather in sight.  The thing about this dutch baby is, I’m sure it would be delicious on a chilly fall morning eaten leisurely with a hot cup of coffee and something good to read, but it was just as good eaten at 2 pm in my living room after my photoshoot with the ceiling fan on.  It’s that good. Read More

Shaved Zucchini and Arugula Salad

Shaved Zucchini and Arugula Salad

I love zucchini year round, but right now, when they’re so abundant that people are practically giving them away, is the perfect time to try zucchini in a form you probably haven’t had before.  We’ve all had overcooked, mushy zucchini.  Many of us have also probably fallen for the trend of spiralized zucchini noodles.  I’ll come right out and say it – I don’t like them!  Raw they’re too crunchy and spongy, cooked they’re too mushy…it seems like there’s just never a good in-between.  Well, here it is!  This shaved zucchini and arugula salad is the perfect balance for a light and refreshing summer side dish. Read More