Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade

Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade

 

 

Grilling is always fun.  We usually have a family barbecue every Sunday.  It’s lots of fun and a great way to catch up with each other after a busy week.  One of the problems I run in to is finding new recipes to grill. (With recent lock downs and quarantines we’ve had to barbecue for those of us in the household, other family members barbecue at their homes to maintain social distancing.  But hopefully soon we can all get together again for this family tradition!)

Sure hot dogs, burgers, and steaks are easy, but every now and then we need a change. That’s why I’m always in search of a new barbecue recipe.  I like to try them out during this weekly family dinner, and if everyone likes it we make it part of our menu.

 

Last month I tried this new marinade, mostly because I had all the ingredients in the pantry.  (Again with the pandemic quarantine we try to keep shopping trips to a minimum).  But also because I love balsamic vinegar, which is the main ingredient to this recipe.  I call it Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade.

The best part about marinades is that it flavors your meat with very little work.  It’s simple, just toss the ingredients together, soak the meat, and let the marinade do the rest of the work!  I marinate my meat in the refrigerator overnight.  The longer is marinates the more flavorful it will be, but you don’t want to marinate it more than a day or so, because when marinated too long the meat starts getting this tough jerky like texture and it may eventually spoil.  If for some reason we don’t use the marinated meat the next day I freeze it, marinade and all.  That way I just thaw it out when we’re ready to grill.

Just before grilling I skewer the beef cubes on bamboo skewers, but you can use metal skewers if you have them.  We do have a bunch of pretty metal skewers we brought home from Turkey one year, but cleaning them after the barbecues is an extra chore I can do without.  When you do use bamboo skewers remember to soak them in water for about 10 – 15 minutes before putting the meat on, it keeps them from burning when you pop them on the grill.

Another helpful tip when grilling is to not over cook the meat.  Grill meat until it is just about done to the way you want it (rare, medium, well).  In short remove it from the grill before it is the desired “doneness”.  Place grilled meat in a covered pot or roasting pan and let rest covered for 5 minutes before serving.  This allows the meat to finish cooking and to release its juices.  Try it out!  You’ll end up with tender juicy meat!  It works for steaks too!

Having said that here’s my recipe for Vinaigrette Marinade!  By the way you can use the same marinade on chicken, lamb, or shrimp.  Just don’t mix the meats, make a separate batch of marinade for each type of meat or seafood.

 Ingredients:

3 Lbs.  Beef Tenderloin cut in 1″ cubes (you can use your favorite beef cut)

1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

2 Tbs. Finely Minced Garlic

1 Tbs. Fresh or Dried Rosemary

1 Tbs. Fresh or Dried Oregano

1 Tsp. Sea Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Large Onions cut into large chunks

1 Large Green Pepper cut into large pieces

1 Basket Mushrooms, washed and patted dry

Directions:

Combine Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, and seasonings in a large ziplock bag.  Seal bag and shake to combine all the ingredients together.

Vinaigrette MarinadeAdd meat cubes to the marinade.  Seal bag and shake to cover all the meat.

Refrigerate at least 3 hours, for best flavor marinate in the fridge overnight.

 

 

About and hour or less before grilling place meat, onions, peppers, and

Vinaigrette Marinademushrooms on skewers.  Alternate meat with veggies.

Grill over medium heat until meat is just about done the way you want it.

Place skewers in a large pot or roasting pan with a lid.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes to allow meat to finish cooking and release its juices.

Serve hot with rice, potatoes, and other sides.


Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade
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Tender, juicy, and flavorful grilled meat that's perfect for any cook out.
Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade
Print Recipe
Tender, juicy, and flavorful grilled meat that's perfect for any cook out.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, and seasonings in a large ziplock bag. Seal bag and shake to combine all the ingredients together.
  2. Add meat cubes to the marinade. Seal bag and shake to cover all the meat.
  3. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, for best flavor marinate in the fridge overnight.
  4. About and hour or less before grilling place meat, onions, peppers, and mushrooms on skewers. Alternate meat with veggies.
  5. Grill over medium heat until meat is just about done the way you want it.
  6. Place skewers in a large pot or roasting pan with a lid. Cover and let stand 5 minutes to allow meat to finish cooking and release its juices. Serve hot with rice, potatoes, and other sides.
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Cinco de Mayo Celebration – Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Recipe

Cinco de Mayo Celebration – Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Recipe

It’s Cinco De Mayo again and to me that’s the best excuse for a celebration featuring Mexican food and drinks!  Not that I need a reason to enjoy Mexican food, I’m just crazy about it!  No one ever has to twist my arm into making a pitcher of Margaritas or a tray of tacos and burritos.

 

But Cinco De Mayo is still a great excuse to throw a party!  You don’t have to be Mexican in my opinion to celebrate.  But if you really must know the reason Cinco De Mayo is celebrated it’s a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.  Just in case you were thinking it’s the Mexican Independence day, it’s clearly not.  I believe the largest Cinco De Mayo celebration is in Puebla.

History aside Cinco De Mayo has become somewhat a part of American culture simple because it involves great food and drinks I think.  What ever the reason it’s a great time to throw a party or at the very least have a “Mexican” night with the family.

It doesn’t have to be an invite the whole neighborhood block party, you can keep it simple and have a pot luck with friends and family or simpler still enjoy some Mexican dishes with just the family.  Here’s a few fun ideas you can use to make your celebration fun for all!

Set up a Margarita Bar

Guests can help themselves to margaritas, you can serve the classic margarita or add a flavored one or two like mango and strawberry.

If you’ve got kids or for any one wanting something non-alcoholic (like the designated driver) put bottles of Jarrito in a tub of ice, don’t forget the bottle opener!

Or set up a Horchata bar with several flavors of this refreshing Mexican drink.

Put up a Pinata

Pinatas are always fun.  They’re colorful and full of candy, what’s not to like?  You can use your pinata as just decoration or you can actually have the kids break it.

If you consider breaking the pinata with a stick too violent, I’m a bit iffy on it too, you can cut a flap on the bottom of your pinata and attach ribbons or string to it.  The kids just have to tug on it to let the candy and other treats out.  This is a safer option specially when there are toddlers involved!

 

 

Set a colorful table!

Use colorful dinnerware at the table and as serving plates.

They don’t have to be ceramic, you can mix and match colorful paper or plastic plates.

 

Decorate with bright colors and props

Dust off the maracas and sombreros and haul out the serapes.  Use colorful balloons, fabrics, banners, paper lanterns and flowers to spruce up the party area.

Don’t forget colorful baskets they can hold everything from flatware to favors!

 

 

 

Serve lots and lots of Mexican Food!

Tacos, burritos, nachos, chimichangas, enchaladas, you name it!  Serve up lots of your favorites.  If you’re just wanting to keep it simple then focus on an entree like fajitas, and serve up sides of rice and beans.  But don’t forget the salsa and guacamole!

If you don’t  a lot of time to cook then whip up a pot of my Beef Barbacoa, you can use it in tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, or whatever you want.  Best of all it’s made in an Instant Pot and can be made in less than 2 hours.  Your friends and family will think you slaved over a hot stove all day!

Here’s the recipe!

This article contains affiliate links

Ingredients:

3-4 Lbs. Chuck Roast cut into large chunks

2 Tbs Minced Garlic

3-4 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (you can buy a can in the Mexican section of the grocery store) – chopped

1 (4oz) can of diced green chiles

1 Onion finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Bay Leaves

1 Tbs Cumin

1 Tbs Oregano

1 Tbs Sea Salt

1 Tbs Black Pepper

1/4 Tsp Ground cloves

3/4 Cup Beef Broth

2 Tbs Olive Oil

Directions:

Turn on pot to Saute and heat olive oil

Sear meat chunks in the oil

Add the remaining ingredients on top of the beef

Cover and make sure valve is set to “Sealing”

Change pot setting to Manual and adjust time to 60 minutes

Once it’s done let it sit in the pot for 15 minutes then carefully turn the valve to “venting” to depressurize the pot

 

Remove cover and shred beef – it shouldn’t take much to shred it by now the meat should be falling apart.

Leave in juices until ready to use

Use to fill tacos and burritos or to top nachos.  Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges.

You can store leftovers in its juices in a sealed container in the fridge for about 5 days or freeze up to 3 months.

 

 



Beef Barabacoa Nachos or Beef Barbacoa Street Tacos Just a couple of dishes you can make using the Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa recipe!

Easy Beef Shawarma Wrap Recipe

Easy Beef Shawarma Wrap Recipe

Whenever we are in LA there’s this place we frequent, Zankou Chicken; although their specialty is the delicious rotisserie chicken they also serve beef and chicken kebobs and shawarma wraps.  We love the beef shawarma so much that we buy a dozen or so to take home with us.

Since there are no trips planned to LA anytime soon I decided to try my hand at making my own.
Shawarma is usually cooked on a spit and slow roasted as it turn, I don’t have one of those machines so I found a way to make it using just my oven and stove top.
To make the meat extra tender I used thinly sliced boneless beef short ribs with all the fat trimmed off.  I adapted a chinese restaurant method used to tenderize their stir fry meat and it made my ribs very tender.
The secret to great shawarma is the spices used to marinate the meat.  So get out your spice rack to make this tasty recipe.  We make it into wraps using either pita bread or nan.  Served with crunchy dill pickles and my sun dried tomato/roasted red pepper hummus and you’ve got a filling meal.
My family thinks my version is just as good as the shawarma we buy at Zankou!
Marinade Ingredients:
1 tbls. corn starch
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbls. garlic powder
1 tsp. Allspice
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Cayenne Red Pepper
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Turmeric
1 tsp. Corriander
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1 lb. thin sliced boneless beef short ribs
Extra olive oil for sauteing
Extra spices for taste adjustment (optional)
Pita or Nan bread
Hummus spread (you can use my Sun dried tomato/Roasted red pepper hummus or any hummus you prefer)
Dill pickle spears
Lettuce, tomato, any other veggies you prefer – optional
Directions  for Marinade:
1.  Place all ingredients in a large ziplock bag
2.  Seal bag and knead until it’s well blended – break up any clumps of corn starch that may form so that it mixes in with the oil and spices.  You should end up with a cloudy thick liquid.
3.  Trim extra fat off the edges of the short ribs
4.  Place beef in to ziplock bag, seal bag, and knead bag so that the meat is covered with marinade on all sides.
5.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour; up to overnight.  Turn bag occasionally to evenly distribute marinade.  The longer it marinates in the oven the more flavorful the meat will be.
Cooking and assembling directions:
1.  Place meat on an ungreased baking sheet.
2.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes
3.  Remove from baking sheet and slice into thin strips
4.  Heat some olive oil in large pan
5.  Add sliced meat into hot oil and saute – DO NOT SKIP this step, it’s what gives it the finish like it was roasted on a spit.
6.  If you feel you the meat needs more spices you can sprinkle more of the above spices as you saute.  I usually sprinkle a bit more garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, and nutmeg at this stage.
7.  Spread one side of bread with hummus
8.  Layer on meat, pickles, and other veggies you prefer
9.  Fold sides over the filling and serve
10.  Enjoy!
Easy Beef Shawarma Wrap Recipe
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Wraps 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 Minutes 1 Hour
Servings Prep Time
6 Wraps 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 Minutes 1 Hour
Easy Beef Shawarma Wrap Recipe
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Wraps 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 Minutes 1 Hour
Servings Prep Time
6 Wraps 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 Minutes 1 Hour
Ingredients
Servings: Wraps
Instructions
  1. Directions for Marinade: Place all ingredients in a large ziplock bag
  2. Seal bag and knead until it's well blended - break up any clumps of corn starch that may form so that it mixes in with the oil and spices. You should end up with a cloudy thick liquid.
  3. Trim extra fat off the edges of the short ribs
  4. Place beef in to ziplock bag, seal bag, and knead bag so that the meat is covered with marinade on all sides.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour; up to overnight. Turn bag occasionally to evenly distribute marinade. The longer it marinates in the oven the more flavorful the meat will be.
  6. Cooking and assembling directions: Place meat on an ungreased baking sheet.
  7. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes
  8. Remove from baking sheet and slice into thin strips
  9. Heat some olive oil in large pan
  10. Add sliced meat into hot oil and saute - DO NOT SKIP this step, it's what gives it the finish like it was roasted on a spit.
  11. If you feel you the meat needs more spices you can sprinkle more of the above spices as you saute. I usually sprinkle a bit more garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, and nutmeg at this stage.
  12. Spread one side of bread with hummus
  13. Layer on meat, pickles, and other veggies you prefer
  14. Fold sides over the filling and serve
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Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy

Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy

Bok Choy or Pak Choi is a type of Chinese cabbage; in China it has been cultivated for over 5000 years. It is a cruciferous leafy green vegetable so it’s low in calories, carbs, and fat; it is also packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has a long list of health benefits and some people consider it a “Superfood”.

Bok Choy is rich in flavonoids which are powerful antioxidants. While they don’t prevent illness like Vitamin C prevents rickets, they contribute to optimal health and chronic disease prevention. Antioxidants help your body get rid of free radicals and detoxify tissues. They are also anti-inflammatory and help the body fight inflammation and cell damage. They are associated with preventing chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Bok Choy is a good source of non-dairy calcium and vitamin K, both of which help build strong bones.

It is also rich in Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene which along with the antioxidants it contains promote eye health and lowers the risk of age related macular degeneration.

Bok Choy is also rich in Vitamins C and B6; magnesium, manganese, iron, potassium and other minerals. All these vitamins and minerals help boost the immune system, reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, among many other health benefits.

It’s also very easy to use, you can eat it raw or cooked. It can be added to salads and stir fries. It’s mild flavor makes it a great addition to many recipes, and it’s tasty!

So with all the health benefits and it’s tastiness there’s really no reason not to incorporate Bok Choy into your family’s diet.

Here’s one of my favorite Bok Choy recipes, Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy. It’s super easy to make and can be served as a side dish with almost anything.

I use baby bok choy which I buy at Costco or Sam’s Club. I find the stalks more tender than the full size bunches of Bok Choy. But if you can’t find Baby Bok Choy you can use the full size ones as well; just cut it into smaller pieces.

Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy
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Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in frying pan or Wok.
  2. Place Bok Choy halves cut side down into oil.
  3. Cook both sides until tender and leaves start to wilt.
  4. Add Garlic, salt, and soy sauce.
  5. Stir until all of the stalks are covered by the soy sauce.
  6. Serve hot with your choice of meat, fish, or chicken or eat it by itself. It’s yummy!
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Italian Beef Hoagie – Yum!

Italian Beef Hoagie – Yum!

 

Beef

Easy crockpot recipe for this tasty Italian Beef Hoagie.

The holidays are here!  That means most of us are busy, busy, busy!  This time of year planning and preparing daily family meals becomes yet another chore tacked on to our list of daily chores.  I try to make my life easier and my family fed by having ready to serve or easy to prepare ingredients on hand.  One of our family favorites is this Italian Beef Hoagie.

I make beef filling in the crockpot, so it cooks even if I’m out shopping.  I use a large roast so that there will be lots of left overs to save for another day.  It keeps for several days in the fridge, in fact the flavor gets better with age, just like beef stew!  Or I can freeze it and heat it up when I’m ready to throw a sandwich together.

I usually pick up a loaf or two of french rolls on my way home for these hoagies, or if I have time I bake my own bread using Bridgeford frozen bread dough.  Served with soup or salad this hoagie makes a delicious and hearty meal.

Ingredients:

3-4 pound chuck roast
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 can Rotel – Italian flavored if you can find it
1 can Beef Broth
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Peperoncini
1/2 cup Roasted Red Peppers
1/4 cup pimiento
Jalapenos to taste – I usually don’t add this to the crockpot because my baby grandchildren have this too.  I can spice things up, but I can’t unspice them, so we add the jalapenos when we assemble the sandwich.
Crusty rolls
Provolone Slices or other cheese slices

Directions:

Place all ingredients except bread and cheese into crockpot.

Cook for 4-6 hours or until beef is falling apart.

Using 2 forks shred the beef.

You can now cool it off and store or make sandwiches.

Sandwich assembly:

BeefIf beef is cold, remove any solidified fat and warm it up a bit.

Split roll in half, but don’t cut thru.

Place one slice of cheese on the bread.

Add desired amount of beef, spoon some sauce over it.

Place another slice of cheese on the beef.

Add more pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, and jalapenos if desired.

Place sandwich on parchment covered sheet and broil on high until cheese melts. and bread starts to toast around the edges.

Remove from oven and serve.

You can serve this with a small bowl of the sauce (heated up) for dipping.  Yummy!

 

Italian Beef Hoagie
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A hearty meal that's so easy to make. The beef is prepared in a crockpot so it soaks in the seasoning. This is one recipe you will want to make ahead of time or make extra for left overs, the longer it sits in it's juices the tastier it gets.
Servings Prep Time
6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 Hours 4-6 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 Hours 4-6 Hours
Italian Beef Hoagie
Print Recipe
A hearty meal that's so easy to make. The beef is prepared in a crockpot so it soaks in the seasoning. This is one recipe you will want to make ahead of time or make extra for left overs, the longer it sits in it's juices the tastier it gets.
Servings Prep Time
6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 Hours 4-6 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 Hours 4-6 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
Cooking Directions
  1. Place all ingredients except bread and cheese into crockpot.
  2. Cook for 4-6 hours or until beef is falling apart.
  3. Using 2 forks shred the beef.
  4. You can now cool it off and store or make sandwiches. If you are storing it be sure to store the beef in it's liquid. You can reheat the liquid to use for dipping.
Assembly
  1. If beef is cold, remove any solidified fat and warm it up a bit.
  2. Split roll in half, but don't cut thru.
  3. Place one slice of cheese on the bread.
  4. Add desired amount of beef, spoon some sauce over it.
  5. Place another slice of cheese on the beef.
  6. Add more pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, and jalapenos if desired.
  7. Place sandwich on parchment covered sheet and broil on high until cheese melts. and bread starts to toast around the edges.
  8. Remove from oven and serve.
Recipe Notes

You can serve this with a small bowl of the sauce (heated up) for dipping. Yummy!Beef

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Homemade Meatballs

Homemade Meatballs

Homemade Meatballs

Now that Halloween is behind us it’s time to think about the holidays ahead.  I always feel that Halloween kicks off the holiday season, it does it my house.  Once trick or treating is done and the Halloween decor has been put away I turn my attention to planning our Thanksgiving dinner and getting ready for Christmas.  It’s a very busy time for me!

I think the weeks leading up to the holidays are busy for everyone, we need to shop, cook, bake, clean, decorate, and more along with all the daily work that we do.  One this is certain holiday planning or not we still have to eat.  Cooking and planning daily meals can be challenging during this season.  I know many times we end up grabbing fast food on the way home or ordering in pizza just to have something to eat for dinner, but I really hate doing this.  I get tired of eating out and I really do like my home cooking!  So to make my life a bit easier I like to stock my freezer with pre-made dishes that we can pop in the oven on the days I don’t have time to cook.

One of the easiest things to work with are meatballs.  I know, you can buy pre-made frozen meatballs at the grocery store, but my family hates them!  I don’t like the spongy consistency, I find them very unappetizing.  They don’t taste too good either.  So I spend about 30 minutes one day and make my own meatballs which I freeze in ziplock freezer bags.   They just need re-heating when I need them.  Meatballs are great because they are very versatile; you can turn them into different dishes by adding just a few ingredients.  I like to make meatball subs, Swedish meatballs, teriyaki meatballs, meatball soup, and of course spaghetti and meatballs.  My grandkids love them with mac n’ cheese!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pound ground beef – don’t use the one that’s too lean, you need a bit of fat to hold it together and also give it a good flavor.  I use ground sirloin or sometimes ground chuck which is a bit fattier.

1 egg

1 tbls. minced garlic

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tbls. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. fine sea salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese – use the fresh cheese not the one in the green cardboard shaker

Directions:

1.  Place meat and spices in a mixing bowl.

2.  Mix it all together using your hands.  Make sure the spices are distributed through out the meat, but don’t over mix as it will get spongy.

3.  Mix in cheese and bread crumbs.

4.  Shape into ball.  You can make any size ball you want, but don’t make them too big, they won’t cook in the middle.  Try to make balls the same size so they cook evenly.

5.  Place balls on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Homemade Meatballs

6.  Remove from from oven and cool before place in ziplock freezer bags to freeze.

Makes 3 dozen 2″ meatballs

Homemade Meatballs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 Dozeen 10 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Dozeen 10 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Homemade Meatballs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 Dozeen 10 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Dozeen 10 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Dozeen
Instructions
  1. Place meat and spices in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix it all together using your hands. Make sure the spices are distributed through out the meat, but don't over mix as it will get spongy.
  3. Mix in cheese and bread crumbs.
  4. Shape into ball. You can make any size ball you want, but don't make them too big, they won't cook in the middle. Try to make balls the same size so they cook evenly.
  5. Place balls on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from from oven and cool before place in ziplock freezer bags to freeze.
  7. Makes 3 dozen 2" meatballs
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