Meatlovers French Bread Pizzas

Ingredients:
2 loaves of day-old Jimmy John’s french bread
8 ounces tomato pizza sauce
4 pepperoni sticks, cut up into small chunks (JackLinks or any brand will do)
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup leftover pork or chicken, cut up into small cubes
8 ounces Kielbasa, sliced very thin
8 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded
16 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded
8 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons dried oregano

Instructions:

Start by cutting your french bread into 9-inch long quarters. You should get 8 pieces from 2 loaves. See the video below for a visual.

Spread pizza sauce evenly on all loaves. Next add an even amount of garlic to each loaf. On top of that, add your Parmesan cheese and Monterey jack cheese. Season your cheese with the oregano. Next, top your french bread pizzas with any/all of the toppings (kielbasa, pepperoni, onion, pepper, bacon, pork/chicken).

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 12-16 minutes depending on how crispy you want your pizzas. And Tada, they’re done!

These are great because they are cheap and quick to make – you can really add anything you have in your fridge/pantry and toppings can vary per person in your family. It’s a great way to feed a large amount of people for a low cost. I hope you enjoy!

Oven Baked Spare Ribs with Miranda’s Famous Dry Rub

Dry Rub Ingredients:
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon thyme

Other Ingredients:
1 rack of pork spare ribs

Instructions:

Begin by mixing up all of your dry rub ingredients. Set aside.

Place your pork spare ribs in a baking dish (just something that it fits in for baking).

Within the baking dish, take your ribs and turn it so the back side (bones) are facing up. Remove the membrane by taking a knife and loosening it from one of the ends and pulling it up with your clean or gloved hand and a paper towel. The paper towel just helps things to not slip out of your fingers!

Now that your membrane is off of the ribs, pat them very dry with paper towels. You want these ribs to be very dry before you apply the rub. It helps the final texture of the meat (getting a crisp at the end stage of cooking)!

Liberally apply your dry rub to the ribs. This will take most or all of the dry rub you just made, depending on the size of your ribs. But the point is to cover every crack and crevice with the seasoning pretty heavily, because as this cooks, those flavors are going to seep into the meat for a delicious taste!

Note: apply rub to all sides of the ribs! I started with the back where we removed the membrane, then flipped it over and for the front, and then all of the sides and under any flaps of meat or fat.

Tip: wear gloves when applying the rub. This will help things stick to the meat and not to your hands.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Just let the pork ribs sit with the dry rub applied until the oven is preheated.

Cover the ribs with foil and bake for 2.5 hours. Once the bones are almost falling out of the meat, you know that your ribs are done.

Next, turn up your oven and let it come to 450 degrees.

While you’re waiting, make a couple of donut-shaped foil circles by crinkling up some foil into a circle. Place these at the bottom of your baking dish and set the ribs on top of that. The purpose of this is to not allow the ribs to sit in their own juices anymore, but still allows air to flow through and cook all sides of the ribs. This next cooking cycle is about getting a nice crispy texture to the outside of the meat.

Once your ribs are sitting on the foil circles, bake in a 450 degree oven for 15-30 minutes or until the ribs are more browned and have a crunch/crisp texture on the outside.

Your ribs are done! Serve them up with any sides you like or just eat them by themselves! This one packs a lot of flavor, guys, so I hope you love it as much as I do!

Mom’s Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole

This one I kind of learned from my mom I think? But I really made it my own over the years. Either way, I am dedicating this recipe to my mom, who always made me tuna noodle casserole when I was growing up, my favorite meal! This one’s for you, mom. ❤

Ingredients:
12 ounces chunk light canned tuna, drained and squeezed dry
12 ounces egg noodles
2/3 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 cup chicken stock
26 ounces cream of mushroom soup
1.5 cups crushed/crumbled potato chips
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons black pepper
Salt to taste

Instructions:

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan on medium heat. In another, large sauce pan, get some water heated up to a boil. Salt this water generously.

Add yellow onion and green onion (along with a pinch of salt) to the melted butter and saute on medium high heat for 5 minutes or until softened.

Add your egg noodles into the boiling water and cook until al dente.

Now, add your cream of mushroom soup and dried tuna to the cooking onions. Turn heat down to low and stir everything together. You can now add in your black pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Mix this all together until the cheese melts into the mixture.

Next, add your chicken stock to the tuna mixture and stir. Set aside until noodles are done.

Once noodles are done, drain them and put them back in the large sauce pan. Add your tuna mixture into the noodles and stir everything together. At this point, just taste for seasoning and add any salt if needed.

Spread your noodle mixture into a 9 X 13 baking dish. Sprinkle the top with your 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Sprinkle your fresh basil on top of that. Optional: add a bit more garlic powder and oregano to the top of the cheese to add additional flavor.

Lastly, crumble your potato chips to the top of your casserole and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Once it comes out of the oven, let it cool for a few minutes and serve! Such a comforting dish and comes together really easily!

How to Cook Tuna Steaks

Ingredients:
2 yellow fin tuna steaks
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1/3 lemon (juice only)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions:

The most common way to cook a tuna steak is to cook it rare. I prefer it a bit more cooked, so these instructions will help you get a very medium rare tuna steak. Don’t worry, it is not overcooked at all 🙂 Would I steer you wrong?

The first thing you’ll want to do is season all sides of your tuna steaks. Salt and pepper to taste here, and about a teaspoon of fennel seeds per tuna steak.

Heat up a frying pan on high heat with your olive oil. Once the pan is very hot, place in your tuna steaks. You should hear a loud sizzle here! Do not touch the tuna before you flip it. You want to keep all of the juiciness inside of the tuna, and allowing it to sear, undisturbed, will help this to happen a lot easier.

Sear both sides of the tuna for 2 minutes each. Set your timer, because you do not want to go one second past that 2 minute mark!

Once seared on both sides, remove your tuna from the pan and place on a plate. Once on the plate, squeeze your lemon juice on top of both steaks and let rest for at least 5 minutes. This adds flavor and also keeps the steaks moist as they rest.

You are now ready to serve! These tuna steaks should be flavorful AND tender. Enjoy!

Fish and Chips

Ingredients:
1 pound cod fillets, cut into roughly 2″ X 4″ strips
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
11 ounces beer (light lager works the best)
2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
2 Russet potatoes
3 cups vegetable oil (or any oil with a high smoking point and not a ton of flavor)

Instructions:

To make your fish batter, first mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and old bay in a medium sized mixing bowl. Next add in your beer and mix everything together. This should leave about a sip of beer left from a traditional 12 ounce bottle, so don’t let that go to waste 😉

Check out this video to see a visual of what your batter should look like.

Move your batter to the fridge until you’re ready to use it (we want the fish and the batter to be cold when it hits the hot oil. This creates a cool reaction, giving your fish that nice crisp that you love!)

Now, let’s get our french fries (or chips!) ready! First, peel your potatoes and cut them into 1/4 inch thick strips. Soak these in some cold water for 20 minutes to remove excess starch. Rinse these once they are done soaking, then pat them dry, really well.

Heat up your oil in a sauce pan or your fryer if you have one (I don’t!). The oil should be around 275 degrees Fahrenheit to start. We are going to blanch the french fries in this low temp oil to get them started cooking, then we’ll come back later and fry them again to give them a nice crisp.

Once your oil is at 275, add in your french fries and blanch them for 1-3 minutes. The goal is to NOT brown them at all, just to start the cooking process. Remove from the oil and drain/dry/cool off over paper towels.

Now turn up the temp on your oil to 375 degrees. Let’s start battering our fish!

Place each piece of fish straight into the wet batter until they are coated. Remove from batter and let the excess batter drip off. Now place directly into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd your pan, so just do a few at a time.

Fry for 5 minutes each, depending on the size. Remove from oil once cooked and place on a rack to dry and cool.

Using the same 375 degree oil, add your french fries back in! Fry them this time for 5-7 minutes or until golden and crispy! Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or cooling rack.

Serve your fish on a plate with some of your french fries. Season the fries with just some salt, OR season them like I did, with some Old Bay seasoning. Delish!

Steak with Pepper Sauce (Pfeffersoße)

This German classic (maybe French? lol) will give your tastebuds something new to be happy about! Below, I’ll show you all of the ingredients you’ll need to make this amazing dish, as well as the step-by-step instructions to make this a no-brainer!

Ingredients:
2 steaks (any cut is fine – I use Sirloin or Ribeye)
3-4 tablespoons black peppercorns (half of them slightly crushed, the other half whole)
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup onion or shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter + 2 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste

Directions:

The first thing you will want to do is let your steaks come to room temperature before cooking. This will allow them to cook evenly, and will also allow them to remain tender and juicy!

Season your steaks generously with salt and pepper on both sides, as well as the edges. The thicker your steaks are, the more seasoning you will need, so do this to taste.

Heat up a frying pan on medium high heat with your 1 tablespoon of butter and oil. Once butter and oil are hot, lay in your steaks (listen for the sizzle!). Do not touch the steaks for four minutes. After four minutes, flip the steaks and begin cooking the other side. While cooking this second side, baste the steaks with your butter/oil that is still in the pan. This will allow the steak to cook thoroughly while adding flavor and juiciness during the cooking process.

After four minutes per side (this is for medium rare, but cooking times depend on the thickness of your steaks), take the steaks out of the pan and place them on a plate to rest, covered. I added a couple of knobs of butter to the top of my steaks while resting, but that’s totally optional 🙂

Discard the leftover oil/butter in your steak pan, but DO NOT SCRAPE OUT OR WIPE OUT THE PAN! We want all of that leftover flavor from the steaks. Once you’ve discarded any excess fat from that pan, add your 2 tablespoons of fresh butter and let that melt on medium heat. Once melted, add in onions or shallots and sweat these down until lightly browned.

Now add in your brandy. This will help to deglaze the bottom of your pan, so make sure you scrape that pan once your brandy starts simmering! Let that alcohol cook off and reduce for 4 minutes, still on medium heat.

Once reduced, add in your black pepper corns/crushed black pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Next, add your beef broth and heavy cream. Stir together and let this simmer on medium low for 10-20 minutes or until thickened.

Towards the end of your simmering process, add in the steaks’ resting juices to your pepper sauce. This will add tons of flavor! Taste for seasoning and add any salt to taste. Once the sauce is as thick as you like it (typically I test by placing a spoon in the sauce and seeing if it holds the sauce), you’re ready to serve!

To serve, place your steak on a plate and drizzle the pepper sauce over the top of the steak. Once you bite into this amazing creation, you will be in food heaven! I hope you enjoy!

Chili Cheese Dogs

Ingredients:
1.5 pounds ground beef (preferable 20% fat, 80% lean)
1 large yellow onion
15 ounces tomato sauce
6 ounces tomato paste
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon salt + additional salt to taste
2 teaspoons pepper + additional pepper to taste
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 cup water
8 beef hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon Cholula hot sauce

Instructions:

In a large saucepan, brown your ground beef on a medium high heat. Chop up the ground meat with a spatula or wooden spoon as it’s cooking to ensure that it is a very fine texture when finished.

In a food processor or blender, blend up onion until it is a very fine paste. If you have trouble getting this very fine, you can add a bit of water while blending. Add onions to the meat once it is browned and simmer with the meat for a few minutes or until the raw edge of the onion is cooked down.

Next, add your tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper. Stir together and cook for 3 more minutes.

Add in your ketchup, mustard, and tomato sauce. Add in your water at this time as well, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until you are pleased with the mesh of flavors.

Once your chili is almost ready, get your butter melting in a small sauce pan on medium low heat. Once melted, add in your flour and whisk for 2 minutes until raw flour taste is cooked out. Add in your mile slowly while whisking to reduce the chance of lumps. Once this has been combined and there are no lumps, simmer this on low heat still, for 3 minutes or until thickened slightly.

Now, turn off your heat and slowly add your cheddar cheese to your milk/butter/flour mixture while stirring. Once the cheese has melted into the sauce and is smooth, add in your Cholula hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Boil hot dogs until they are done, then serve them in buns, topped with your chili, cheese sauce and other toppings of your choice (diced onion, mustard, pickle relish, etc!)

Polish Dill Pickle Soup

Ingredients:
1 cup yellow onion, diced
2/3 cup carrots, diced
2/3 cup celery, diced
1 cup pickles, diced
1 chicken breast, cubed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup pickle juice
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon dried dill
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

In a large sauce pan or stock pot, heat up your olive oil on medium high heat. Once hot, add in your onion, carrot, and celery. Add a pinch of salt here. Saute for 5 minutes.

Add in garlic and chicken. Cook until chicken is browned on all sides, but not necessarily cooked all the way through. Add black pepper to taste and your dried dill.

Now add your flour and saute this with the meat and veggies for 1-2 minutes, then add vegetable stock. I always add your liquid in 1 cup at a time, stirring, so that it gives the liquid a chance to thicken up and get rid of any clumps.

Once you bring this all back up to a simmer, you can now add your pickle juice and pickles. Let this simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

Taste for seasoning and serve!

Flaky Scallion Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 green onion, chopped finely
1/3 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of kosher or coarse salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and hot water. Mix with a fork or spoon until it becomes difficult to mix. Begin kneading until this comes together into a dough. Dough should be a bit sticky, but not so much that it sticks to your hands. Cover dough with a damp towel and rest for 30 minutes.

Cover your working surface with a light dusting of flour, place your dough ball on the surface, and sprinkle a light coating of flour on the top of the dough. Roll dough out until it is a paper thin rectangle.

Brush the surface of your rolled-out dough lightly with vegetable oil. Sprinkle your pinch of coarse salt over top of the oiled dough. Add your chopped green onions evenly to the flattened dough.

Now roll the dough tightly so it is in the shape of a long log. If any green onions fall out, that is okay! Just try not to tear the dough.

Once dough is in a log, roll the dough inwards to create a cinnamon roll shape. Tuck the end of the dough underneath itself and begin to flatten this into a round shape. Check out video here for a visual!

Once flattened, roll out with a rolling pin a bit thicker this time. About 1/8 of an inch if possible. You should now have a round, flat, pancake-looking dough shape!

Heat up a frying pan on medium heat along with your olive oil. Once hot, add in your pancake. Cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Serve with a simple dipping sauce of soy sauce, chili powder, and rice vinegar and enjoy!

Steak Tacos (with guac, pico, and salsa verde!)

Pico De Gallo Ingredients:
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/2 of a jalapeno, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime (juice only)
Salt to taste

Guacamole Ingredients:
2 avocados
1 lime (juice only)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
Salt to taste

Salsa Verde Ingredients:
10 tomatillos
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, chopped roughly
1/2 of a jalapeno
1 bunch cilantro
1/2 lime (juice only)
Salt to taste

Taco and Marinade Ingredients:
2 pounds skirt steak (or very thinly sliced steak cuts)
12 flour tortillas
16 ounces shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1 orange
1 lime

Instructions:

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, lime juice from the whole lime, and the juice from 2/3 of your orange. Place all of your meat into a large ziplock bag, and cover with the liquid marinade you have just created! Close the bag and shake it around until all sides of the steak are coated. Throw in the last 1/3 of your orange for additional flavor. Leave in the fridge overnight or at least 1 hour.

While your steak is marinading, prepare the salsas.

For the salsa verde, add all of your ingredients into a blender. Blend until mixture is smooth but still has a few chunks. If you used fresh tomatillos, and your mixture is not blending well or is too thick, add a bit of water to loosen it up. If you used canned tomatillos, you can add in the juices from that can if needed! Taste for salt.

For the pico de gallo, add all of the ingredients into a mixing bown and stir together. Taste for salt and balance of lime juice.

For the guacamole, remove the avocado from its skin, and mash roughly with a fork in a small mixing bowl. Add in all other ingredients and mix together. Taste for seasoning!

Once your meat is ready to cook, remove it from the bag and place it on a hot frying pan. Sear both sides of your steak and, because it’s cut so thin, it shouldn’t take long to cook through!

Once cooked, rest steaks for a couple of minutes and use this time to warm up your tortillas in a dry drying pan on medium heat.

Cut your steaks against the grain in order to produce the most tenderness!

Build your taco by starting with the tortilla, then adding steak, any salsas you’d like, some shredded cheese, and enjoy! This one packs so much flavor, guys! I hope you love it!