Cajun Steak Tips

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These spicy Cajun steak tips remind me so much of New Orleans, full of flavor and oh so delicious. As much as I would love to jump on a plane right now and head to NOLA, I’ll settle for a this simple little spicy reminder and imagine myself there…

Cajun seasoning isn’t too spicy so I added a bit of ground ghost pepper for heat…you can add as little or as much as you want. These Cajun steak tips are also easy to make and can be on your dinner plate in about 10 minutes. I make this with a side of greens like a buttery, garlic spinach or steamed broccoli with butter or bitter broccoli rabe. You can even have these as an appetizer for a few people, just wash it down with ice cold beer! Enjoy!

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Cajun Steak Tips
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Steak Loin
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt (optional if Cajun seasoning is low in salt)
  • ¼ ground ghost pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
Instructions
  1. Cut steak into 2 inch cubes and pat dry with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.
  2. Add Cajun seasoning, pepper, and salt in a small bowl and mix well. Sprinkle over steak and rub in the seasoning making sure all surfaces of the steak are covered.
  3. In a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom skillet heat olive oil on medium heat. When hot, add steak. Cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add butter and turn each piece of steak until all sides are well browned on each side. About 2-3 minutes each side.

 

Spicy Malaysian Beef Jerky

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The most moist beef jerky you will ever have can be found at Ling Kee’s Beef Jerky shop in Chinatown, NYC. The shop is not too far from the Hester St flea market on the less traveled side of Canal St. Now that it’s starting to warm up around here I will be making a few more trips!

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Here you’ll find Malaysian style BBQ jerky made with chicken, pork or beef and their more spicier versions. You can watch the shop owners make the jerky right on the spot and there’s a variety to choose from as well. My favorite is the spicy beef jerky pictured below and spicy chicken. It delivers a slow burn that continues to build long after you’ve polished a few strips. This jerky is peppery and always fresh which is a nice surprise for jerky. I’ve had plenty of jerky that are hard and so rubbery you can chew for days but not Ling Kee’s jerky. I don’t know of many places where you can get jerky this tender and delicious. Get yourself down there and sample a few. The jerky is sold by the pound but I’m sure you’ll walk away with more than that!

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Are there great jerky spots near you? Chime in and let me know!

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja: Spicy Shredded Beef Over Rice

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We got over a foot of snow here in Jersey on Friday and heard the Connecticut area got it far worse than us with over three feet of snow! I can’t imagine having to dig out of all that snow! I went out to shovel during the storm just to get a head start so shoveling the next day wasn’t too bad. This is some serious back breaking work but the best part is coming back inside to warm up and relax to a warm and hearty meal. I have always loved snowy days for this, knowing my Mom would have a hot meal for us after a day of snow angels, igloos and snowmen. Today I still want to play in it but instead do the necessary clean up, clear the car, slush around the city in my comfy boots and puffy coat, watch my dog hop around like a little bunny (he hates the snow!), then come back inside for an awesome meal. And I can do all this with my awesome slow cooker without having to fuss too much in the kitchen.

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So while you’re out playing, shoveling, organizing your cupboards or what ever you do when you’re snowed in, make this wonderful spicy dish popular in many Latin American homes. Ropa Vieja, or old clothes, is a well spiced, boldly flavored shredded beef dish served over white rice. It’s the comfort food I crave during cold, snowy days like these. This isn’t a dish that’s high on the heat index and most restaurants will serve a hot sauce on the side but I like mine spicy and have turned up the heat in this recipe.

This is one easy recipe where you pretty much just toss everything in and let the slow cooker do its thing. Before you do that though add the onions first. Having the onions on the bottom helps “prop” up the beef and ensures it does not stick to the bottom of the cooker and burn.

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I used this older slow cooker because my roast was only two pounds but the more modern cookers may have a built-in rack. If that’s the case then you don’t need to add the onions first. Add the remaining ingredients and set the slow cooker on high until the meat is fork tender.

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The meat will release a lot of juices but will eventually burn off during the cooking process so if you are like me and like a saucier dish, just add a little water and tomato paste. Just make sure you taste it to ensure the seasoning is right for you.

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Once the beef has finished cooking, remove from the slow cooker and onto a cutting board for shredding. After you have shredded the meat with a fork just add it back to the slow cooker and stir well.

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You can serve the beef over rice, have it with plantains or make a sandwich, this is a dish that will pretty much go with anything. Any leftovers can be frozen if you are not planning on having it within a week.

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Ropa Vieja (Old Clothes) – Spicy Shredded Beef

2 lbs chuck roast or flank steak, cut in half
4 small onions, quartered
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1/2 cup cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 oz can tomato sauce
2 chipotles in Adobo sauce
1 tbsp Adobo
1 tsp oregano

1. Turn on your slow cooker and add the onions to the pot.

2. Rinse the chuck roast and add to slow cooker so it rests on top of onions. Cutting roast in half will speed up the cooking time. Add all the remaining ingredients and cover the slow cooker

3. Cook on high setting for 4-5 hours or until the beef is tender enough to pull apart with a fork.

4. Transfer the roast to a shallow pan or cutting boarding and pull the meat apart with a fork.

5. Add the meat back to the slow cooker and mix well with the remaining juices. If meat isn’t saucy enough you can fill the 4oz can with water and add to meat. Add a little more Adobo seasoning if needed to adjust to your tastes.

6. Serve shredded beef over cooked white rice.

Spicy Empanadas with Chipotle Cream Sauce

Spicy Empanadas

One of my all time favorite snacks growing up was the empanada. We didn’t have them all the time but whenever there was some sort of celebration, there were empanadas on hand. Well, if you were lucky enough to get there when they were served because they were snapped up quickly! And if you missed it, oh well, until next time.

This is one of those go-to snacks for most Caribbean families although it isn’t traditionally a spicy dish in the Spanish Caribbean. Empanadas are typically a savory appetizer and if you go to any Latino festival there are usually several food vendors selling empanadas. Also, every Island or Latin American country makes them a little different and if you come to my house, you’ll definitely get it a little spiced up.

Spicy Empanadas with Chipotle Cream Sauce

Makes about 10 empanadas

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1 tbsp olives, pitted and chopped
1 tsp of Abodo (spice blend available at Latin marketplace)
1/2 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of tumeric
1/2 tsp of chili powder
1 4oz can of tomato sauce
2 tbsp of vegetable oil + 1 cup for frying
1 pkg of round 6 inch empanada dough

Saute onions in 2 tbsp of oil on medium heat until translucent. Add the ground beef and cook all the way through making sure you break up the meat so there are no large bits of meat.  While cooking add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well blended. Make sure the beef doesn’t dry out, if it does, add a bit of water to keep moist. You don’t want the filling to be too greasy or runny since it will seep out of the dough. If too greasy, drain off some of the oil.

Lay out disks of dough, fill on one side and be generous, no one wants a thin empanada! Fold the dough over to cover meat to form a half moon  shape. Seal the edges with a fork to ensure empanadas don’t open while cooking.

Heat up 1 cup of oil or enough to coat your entire pan so that it’s about 1/2 inch high. Fry each empanada for about a minute or two on each side until light brown in color and remove from pan. Keep an eye on it, you don’t want to overcook it. Meat is already cooked so all you’ll want to do is make sure dough cooks through. Place each empanada on paper towels to soak up any surface oils.

You can eat these as is or serve with a spicy chipotle cream sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

Chipotle Cream Sauce

1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
1 clove of garlic

Mix all ingredients in blender or use a hand blender until smooth and drizzle over empanadas or serve in small cup as dipping sauce.