On the Side, Recipes

Creamed Spinach

Most of us have heard of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. But how many of us know the founder’s unique history?

In 1965, single mother Ruth Fertel realized she needed to earn more money to send her sons off to college. She found a restaurant for sale in a New Orleans newspaper called Chris’ Steak House. She quickly learned that Chris’ steak house originally opened on her birthdate, and she took that as a sign of good luck to move forward with the sale. 

Shortly after Fertel purchased the establishment, a fire forced her to change the original location and she renamed the restaurant, “Ruth’s Chris Steak House.”

Though she had no restaurant experience, Ruth’s Chris became a huge success. Fertel opened her first franchise in 1977 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Today, there are more than 80 locations in the U.S. and overseas.

This delicious creamed spinach recipe is inspired by the dish served at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. It has just a hint of cayenne pepper to give it that Louisiana zing!

Ingredients

  • 1 10 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

Cook the spinach as directed on the package. Drain and squeeze all the liquid from the spinach when it is done. 

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 

Add the flour to the melted butter and stir until smooth. Cook for 2 minutes. 

Add the cream and heat for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Whisk often so that the sauce does not burn.

Add the cheese, spinach, nutmeg, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook for 2-4 minutes, stirring often. 

Serve hot.

Early Riser, Healthy, Recipes

Keto Friendly Breakfast Casserole

Keto Friendly Bacon, Egg, and Spinach Breakfast Frittata Casserole is the perfect quick and easy make-ahead, meal-prep breakfast that is sure to please any crowd!

I love making frittatas; combining a bunch of ingredients that pair well together, whisking in eggs and then throwing in the oven to bake. This recipe is basically a LARGE frittata that is perfect to serve at any family gathering or brunch! It is also great to make on the weekend for meal prep! Then portion out your breakfast for the week and you just like that, breakfast is all taken care of!

This recipe is highly customizable, so you can change out the type of cheese, peppers and even the bacon.  You can make whatever combination you like, maybe sausage or ham instead of bacon. Simply use what you have on hand to make it easy!

Just follow these easy steps!

  1. Sauté the veggies and spinach.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  3. Create the first layer by adding the sautéed spinach and veggies to the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. Whisk the eggs and egg whites in a small bowl
  5. Pour over the veggies. 
  6. Sprinkle cooked, crumbled bacon and shredded cheese over the top. 
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites – You can use 8-10 eggs if you don’t want to use egg whites.
  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 chopped red pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Place a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the chopped veggies (excluding the spinach) to the pan. Sautee for a few minutes until the veggies are soft.

Add spinach to the pan, and saute until slightly wilted. 

Add the veggies and spinach to the bottom of the baking dish. Spread the veggies throughout the dish.

Whisk the egg whites and eggs in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. 

Pour the egg mixture over the veggies.

Create an additional layer by adding the crumbled bacon and shredded cheese.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Allow to cool before serving

Blogs, Pasta, Recipes

Creamy Spinach Orzo

I love orzo! I much rather have orzo than rice any day! 

Since orzo is so quick-cooking, it’s a perfect choice for a one-pot dinner. It cooks up fast in a simmering pot of broth and milk, and the starch from the pasta actually helps to thicken the creamy sauce. 

There’s little work required, besides stirring in a few big handfuls of baby spinach and plenty of grated Parmesan cheese. This orzo is an amazing blank-canvas recipe, it’s easy to tweak, you can add cherry tomatoes, peppers, or even shredded chicken. Seriously the possibilities are endless! Get creative! 

You can serve this creamy orzo as either a light main dish or a side dish. We served it alongside my Lemon Parmesan Chicken but totally could have eaten it as the main dish- it’s that good! 

Lemon Parmesan Chicken with Creamy Spinach Orzo

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound dried orzo pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. 

Add the onion and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. 

Add the garlic and orzo, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the broth and milk and bring to a boil. 

Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed and has formed a creamy sauce, about 10 minutes. 

(If the orzo isn’t completely, you can add another splash or two of broth to the pot and continue to simmer until it has.)

Stir in the spinach and Parmesan until the spinach has just wilted and the cheese melts, about 1 minute. 

Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with additional cheese.

Blogs, Recipes

Citrus Tuna Steak

Grilled Tuna is super easy to cook. Throw it in a hot pan or on the grill, flip after a couple minutes and voila – you’re done.

In this recipe, I start by marinating the tuna in a mixture of olive oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice. The trick is to marinate the tuna for only 15 minutes. If you’ve ever made ceviche, you know that acid from the citrus can cook the fish. You want to avoid that in this recipe. Don’t discard the marinade! Instead, transfer it to a small sauce pan and reduce. You will want to drizzle this over the seared ahi at serving time.

There are several ways to sear ahi tuna. A nonstick skillet will do the trick, but I like to use a grill pan, to get those nice grill marks. Either way, medium-high heat will produce a good sear.

Since the goal is to serve the tuna with a good sear on the outside but still raw in the center, the tuna doesn’t need to be cooked any longer than 2 to 3 minutes per side. That being said, if you’d like your tuna a little more well done, feel free to increase the cooking time. I love to serve this over garlic sauteed spinach but it is also tasty over rice. 

For the wine, this pairs perfectly with Scout and Cellar GALLIVANT SAUVIGNON BLANC! This wine is lively and fruit-forward with white peach, guava, key lime and candy balanced by a subtle minerality on a bright frame with a juicy finish. Pairs perfectly with Thai or Vietnamese takeaway and a few episodes of your new favorite series.

Ingredients

  • 2 tuna steak (ahí or yellowfin)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 Tbs. Liquid Aminos or Soy sauce
  • 2 tsp freshly minced ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime, plus the zest
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper flakes
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups spinach

Instructions

Season both sides of the tuna with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, zest and sugar. Add the fish and marinate for at least 15 minutes. 

In a small skillet heat the last 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the spinach and wilt slightly. Toss in a teeny pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Remove the fish from the marinade and grill (or sear) for 2 minutes on each side. Keep it rare in the center. PLEASE!

Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and reduce until it becomes thick, 2 minutes.

Place the wilted spinach on a plate and top with the grilled fish, followed by the sliced avocado and a nice drizzle of the reduction.

Recipes

Kona Coffee Crusted Steak

My friend, Amy travels for work so when she texted me that she just ate one of the best meals of her life and wanted me to learn how to recreate it, I felt like I had to accept the challenge. 

This steak recipe will have you licking your plate and asking for more! 

The coffee rub is quick and easy to whip up. You may be thinking, “Really? Coffee on steak??” YES! It gives the steak such a rich, bold flavor. After trying this coffee crusted steak rub you will likely want to keep a jar of it in your cabinet at all times. 

First, you’ll need to choose the coffee, I personally love to use Kona Vanilla Macadamia Nut. It gives the steak a slightly sweet but savory flavor. But you can choose any coffee! 

Whisk in a bowl: the coffee, granulated garlic, ground black pepper, grated parmesan cheese, salt and dry mustard powder. 

Here’s a tip I learned, it is best to take the steaks out of the fridge about half an hour before you plan to cook them. Why? In the words of Food Network’s Bobby Flay “freezing-cold steak won’t cook evenly!”

Remove the wrapping from the steak, roll the steak in the coffee rub pressing to create a crust. Place on a plate and let the steak come up to room temperature on the kitchen counter while you make the Shallot butter. 

I love making different types of butter so when I saw this recipe called for a Shallot butter, I was super excited. You will need to allow 2 sticks of butter to soften to room temperature. While the 2 sticks are getting to room temperature, take 2 additional tablespoons of butter and melt, I usually use a coffee mug in the microwave for 30 seconds. 

Warm a sauté pan over high heat, slowly pour in the melted butter, and heat for about two minutes, this is called the smoke point. Add the sliced shallots and caramelize for two minutes, seasoning with salt. Continue to caramelize as shallots start to brown, add the garlic and sauté for one minute. As the shallots and garlic start to brown deglaze with white wine and lemon juice. Once the mixture starts to boil, take off the heat and let cook for one minute. Place the two softened butter sticks into a bowl, pour the shallot mixture on top and whip together. 

I fell in love with this butter and keep a small amount in my fridge at all times. I use it for almost anything from scrambled eggs, sauteing vegetables to pasta dishes. 

Preheat the grill. 

Place the steak at the hottest part of the grate, and let it sear for two to three minutes, then flip the steak and sear the other side for two to three minutes. If you try to lift the meat before it’s ready, it’ll stick to the grates. 

After the steak is seared on both sides, use tongs and move it to the warm side of the grate (not directly over the coals), brush with Shallot butter. Close the lid and continue to cook the steak until it’s at your desired temperature. Here’s another tip, do not stab them with a fork, or press down on them with a spatula, this will release their flavorful juices into the flames below. Just let them cook until your desired temperature. I like to use a digital instant-read meat thermometer to check the temperature of the steak while it’s still on the grill. 

130°F for rare, 135°F medium-rare, 145°F medium, 150°F medium well and 160°F for well done.

Keep in mind that the steak will continue to cook a few degrees more when it’s removed from the grill.

Using the tongs, remove the steak from the grill, place on a cutting board, and brush with the Shallot butter, loosely cover it with aluminum foil, and allow it to “rest” for five minutes (the temperature will continue to rise a few degrees).

After 5 minutes, brush Shallot butter onto a plate, place the steak on top and serve. 

I served my steak with a twice baked potato and garlic wilted spinach. Yum! It was the perfect steak night meal! I included the garlic wilted spinach recipe below. 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2 6 oz filet mignon steaks, trimmed of fat

Coffee Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon coffee, grounded                         
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic                                       
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper    
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tablespoon seasoning salt                                           
  • ½ tablespoon dry mustard powder

Caramelized Shallot Butter: 

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature                                      
  • 1 cup shallot, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced                     
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted                                         
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt                                                
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper                             
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice     
  • 2 tablespoons white wine                                                

Warm a saute pan over  high heat. Add the melted butter, heat to the smoke point, and add the shallots.

Caramelize the shallots for two minutes and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Continue to caramelize the shallots, add the garlic and deglaze with 2 tablespoons of white wine and ½ teaspoon of lemon juice. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat for one minute.

Combine shallot garlic mixture and softened butter in a mixing bowl and whip to combine. 

Roll the sirloin in the coffee rub pressing upon rub to create a “crust”. 

Grill the steak to the desired temperature being careful not to burn the crust. Brush the sirloin with the butter and allow the sirloin to “rest” for 5 minutes. 

Brush Shallot butter onto a plate, place the steak on top and serve. 

Inspired by Capital Grille Recipe.

Garlic Wilted Spinach

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb baby spinach 
  • Salt & pepper to taste 

DIRECTIONS 

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add oil and garlic. Saute garlic in oil for 2 or 3 minutes. Add spinach to the pan in stages. Fill the pan with leaves and turn leaves in warm oil until they wilt. Add more spinach to the skillet and repeat the process until all of the spinach is incorporated. Season the wilted spinach with salt and pepper, then serve.