Are you a fan of hearty Italian cooking? Do you love pizza and pasta? Well we’re big fans of Italian cuisine and pizza and pasta are our favorites, specially those with marinara sauce!
Sure we have our favorite Italian restaurants both here and abroad. But nothing beats home cooking! And a bowl of spaghetti is comfort food at its best.
Pastas and pizza have 2 basic ingredients; dough in the form of noodles or crust, and sauce. So making it at home should be easy, specially since you can buy pasta, crust, and sauces dried, frozen, or bottled from any grocery store. But why settle for boxed sauces (or pasta or crust) when making it from scratch is so simple?
Ok maybe making pizza dough is a bit time consuming and so is making pasta, but the sauces, well that’s pretty easy! (If you want to make homemade pasta check out my review of the Philips Pasta Machine). Marinara
One of the easiest and most versatile sauces is Marinara Sauce. You can use it for pasta, think spaghetti marinara; pizza, think Margherita; sandwiches, think meatball subs; and as a dip, think fried mozzarella sticks!
So today I’ll share my Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe. Believe me it’s super easy!
I use canned Fire Roasted diced tomatoes to give it that homemade taste. Sugar cuts the acidity of all those diced tomatoes so don’t leave it out even if you think it’s weird. And lastly I add some spice with crushed red peppers, yes, the the stuff you sprinkle on your pizza; you can add the tablespoon or more if you like spicy or omit it if you don’t.
Ever wonder how those barbecue joints make such delicious barbecued brisket and ribs? If you’re trying to make it at home by slathering your meat with barbecue sauce it’s not going to be the same. Yes sauce matters, but the secret’s in the rub; the BBQ beef rub!
Of course you can buy all sorts of meat rubs from the supermarket, some are even pretty good. But if you want something outstanding nothing beats homemade. Oh and if you you’ve been rubbing dry spices on your meats try this little trick. Stir 2 tablespoons of rub into a tablespoon of olive oil then rub it on your meat. It makes a world of difference!
With summer in full swing it’s time to step up your grilling with this yummy BBQ Beef Rub! Use it on brisket, ribs, or even steaks!
Couple more tips before I give you my BBQ Beef Rub recipe.
Rub the olive oil mixture onto your meat and let it rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Remove seasoned meat from fridge and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes before grilling this brings meat temperature down to room temperature.
Grill covered until it almost reaches desired “doneness” then brush on BBQ Sauce. Grill until it’s almost to your desired doneness and place in covered pot. You see even if you remove the meat from the grill or oven the meat continues to cook for about 5 minutes. That’s why you want to remove the meat from the grill BEFORE it reaches the doneness you want. If you don’t remove the meat until it reaches the doneness you want you end up with over cooked dry meat.
Let meat rest in pot for 5 minutes before serving. The resting period seals in the juices and allows the meat to reach the desired doneness.
Having said that scroll down for my BBQ Beef Rub recipe! Happy Grilling!
A Beef Shawarma sandwich or plate! Yum! It’s one of my favorites. It’s one of the things I always order when I find myself at a Middle Eastern restaurant anywhere in the world.
Shawarma is sort of like the Greek Gyro or Turkish Doner Kebab; it’s a cone of seasoned meat or meats that’s cooked on a vertical spit. Typically beef, lamb, and chicken are combined to form the large hunk of meat which is slowly grilled as it turns on its axis on the vertical spit. Pieces of cooked meat are shaved off and stuffed in a pita with sauces, veggies, and pickles or placed on a plate with a serving of salad, hummus, rice, and pita bread.
I believe Shawarma started out as Middle Eastern street food where the sandwiches can be taken to go and eaten on as you go. But these days you’ll find mixed meats, beef, and chicken shawarma on fast food and restaurant menus throughout the Middle East and beyond.
We love this tasty dish so much that we make it at home since there really aren’t any good Middle Eastern restaurants where we live. Recently I’ve started making Beef Shawarma in my Instant Pot! It’s the easiest and fastest way to make it!
We usually make Beef Shawarma sandwiches but we’ve also made Beef Shawarma plates and bowls. We also use the leftover meat to top hummus, assuming we havhttp://www.savvynana.com/wp-admin/e leftovers that is!
But really the secret to this Beef Shawarma that tastes like you got it from a Middle Eastern restaurant isn’t in the way it’s cooked, the secret’s in the spice mix that’s rubbed on the meat! Marinating the meat overnight ensures that the meat is infused with the exotic flavors of the spices. Cooking it in the Instant Pot just makes the cooking process faster, but you can actually make it in the oven or on a grill if you don’t own this handy dandy electric pressure cooker.
Once you make the Beef Shawarma you can make it into a sandwich and top with your favorite toppings such as hummus, tahini sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, and I love it with Tzatziki sauce! (I know I’m mixing Arabic and Greek foods, but who cares? It tastes great!)
Using a small knife drill 12 holes all over your roast
Stuff a garlic half in each hole
Mix Shawarma Spice Mix with 2 Tbs. ACV and 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
Rub this spice mixture all over the roast then place the meat in a covered dish or ziplock bag and let rest in the fridge for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. I find that overnight works well.
30 minutes before cooking set the meat on the counter and let the temperature go down to room temperature
Place remaining olive oil in instant pot and set pot to saute
Sear the meat on all sides for about 5-8 minutes per side
Add beef broth and remaining ACV to the pot
Cover making sure the valve is set to sealing
Set pot on Manual and adjust time to 60 minutes
When pot turns off allow pressure to release naturally
When pot is completely depressurized carefully open the lid and remove the meat
Shred the meat and place in a bowl or baking sheet. At this point you can use the meat to make sandwiches, plates, or bowls. Or if you prefer you can crisp the ends by sprinkling a bit of the broth over the meat and popping the pan in the oven to broil on high for 10 minutes or just until the ends turn darker brown. If you are crisping it keep a close eye on the meat as it will burn quickly in the broiler.
Store any leftovers with a bit of broth to keep it from drying out. Reheat in the microwave or in the over, drizzle some of the broth over the meat before reheating.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that my husband has embarked on a Keto Diet plan which pretty much means I either make something Keto friendly just for him or find keto friendly recipes for the whole family to enjoy. Since I’m not particularly fond of playing short order cook it is so much easier to make something that we can all have for dinner. And so I’ve come up with this Keto friendly Butter Steak Cubes.
Butter Steak Cubes are real easy to make and they are really delish! Everyone loves them! I serve them with a tossed salad for hubby and sides like mashed potatoes, corn, and veggies for the rest of us. My husband likes them so much I sometimes double the recipe so he can have leftovers for the next couple of days.
One thing though, if you want leftovers for lunch or whatever don’t over cook the steak. In fact I usually cook them just until they turn slightly pink in the middle. That way they can be reheated later. If you over cook the meat they end up like jerky when reheated. You definitely don’t want that!
4 NY Strip Steaks cut into 1″ cubes
1/2 Tbs. Cayenne Red Pepper
1 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1 Tbs. Onion Powder
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Tbs. Lemon Pepper
1 Tsp. Oregano
1 Stick Butter
3 Tbs. Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Fresh Parley Chopped
Combine Spices in a small bowl and mix well
Melt Butter in Olive Oil over med high heat
Add cubed meat and sprinkle spices over it
Toss meat in frying pan and cook until it almost reaches your desired “doneness”
My husband recently embarked on a Keto Diet which means I either have to make him something keto friendly or find keto friendly recipes that the whole family will enjoy. Keto friendly meals aren’t really that hard to come up with, basically you just have to limit or replace the carbs. So that means pastas are out unless you use edemame spaghetti or other flourless pasta substitutes. But any way one of our favorites turned out to be this Chicken & Asparagus dish that my husband can eat with a small salad and the rest of the family can eat with pasta or even rice.
My grandkids and even my husband were not big asparagus fans, but after tasting this Chicken & Asparagus dish they decided it was pretty good. One of the best things about this Chicken & Asparagus dish is that it’s super easy to make, it’s really just a stir fry and can be ready in about a half and hour!
Chicken & Asparagus – A Keto Friendly Dish!
4 Pieces Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs cut into chunks
7-8 Stalks Asparagus cut into thirds
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Tbs. Minced Garlic
1 Tsp. Lemon Pepper
1 Tsp. Rosemary
1/2 Tsp. Thyme
1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Parsley
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
Combine dry seasonings in a small bowl (not the garlic)
Heat Olive Oil in a wok or deep frying pan
Saute Garlic until it starts to turn brown
Add chicken and seasoning mixture
Cook until chicken is done
Remove chicken from pan and set aside
Add asparagus to pan and cover with chicken stock
Cook until asparagus is tender
Return chicken to pan and toss with asparagus
Turn heat up and cook until liquid is mostly gone – keep stirring so it won’t burn