Gyro-Mania

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Eat More: Gyro-mania! The debate continues…do you pronounce the sandwich like the Greeks, “(h)year-oh”, or the American standby, “Jai-roh”? Either way, it’s a taste sensation. Think about it: rotisserie meat crispy shaved into strips wrapped into a soft pita pocket topped with onion, tomato, cucumber, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce. The bold foodie will pick it up with both hands and devour it until not a crumb remains. Others may eat it with a fork. Whatever you choose, with Eastern Mediterranean spices, this sandwich is not for the meek.

GYRO-MANIA

Ingredients:

1 box Kronos Gyros Kit*

1 Vidalia onion, sliced

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tomato, chopped

1 cucumber, diced

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

Watercress sprig, for garnish

Dill weed, for garnish

Instructions:

In an iron skillet, lightly grill both sides of pita bread on medium heat until light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Set aside. Add olive oil to skillet and sauté onions until tender. Remove and set aside. Add gyro slices of meat to skillet. Heat both sides on medium heat for 20 seconds per side. In a small bowl, mix Greek yogurt with tzatziki sauce. Stir until creamy. To assemble gyro sandwich, top pita bread with gyro meat slices, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce. Garnish with watercress leaves and dill. Enjoy!

* I receive no recompense for the suggestion of using Kronos Gyro Kit in this recipe.

Beef and Noodles

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Eat More: Beef and Noodles! I decided to take the day off from cooking so I tag-teamed with Le Creuset. All the ingredients went into the enameled cast iron French oven pretty much all day. This reliable way of slow-cooking gave me the opportunity to spend time ironing tea towels and perusing my towering stack of current magazines. As the day wound down, the mouth-watering aromas filled the air and before I knew it, dinner was ready. The roast had basted in its own juices to blend with the herbs, wine, and vegetables for delicious results. Now leftover recipes will be a breeze. Well done!

BEEF AND NOODLES

Ingredients:

3 pound sirloin tip roast, frozen

1 can beef consommé

1/2 cup ginger beer

1 tablespoon Hawaiian Rub*

8 ounces homestyle noodles

1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup red wine

1/4 cup cornstarch

Parsley sprigs

Instructions:

Place frozen sirloin roast in a Dutch oven with a lid. Add the can of beef consommé and ginger beer. Sprinkle Hawaiian Rub over roast. Cover. Put in oven and set the temperature to 225°. After six hours, add noodles and mushrooms. Bake covered 45 minutes longer. Remove pan from oven and ladle the roast drippings into a saucepan. It should be about 2 cups of liquid. Bring to a boil. Mix the red wine and cornstarch, stirring until smooth. Slowly stir into the roast drippings, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps. As gravy thickens, reduce heat to simmer. If necessary add water if it becomes too thick. Remove beef to a platter and shred, as needed. Return shredded beef to the noodle/mushroom mixture. Cover with gravy. Transfer to serving portions. Garnish each dish with parsley sprig.

* Hawaiian Rub is available from the Salty Wahine Gourmet Hawaiian Sea Salts company. I get no recompense for mentioning this product in my recipe.

Corned Beef Brisket

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food Junkie Favorites: Corned Beef Brisket! Eating corned beef brisket isn’t just for St. Patrick’s Day anymore. However, it’s the best time to stock up when it’s popular and readily available at the nearby market. Go from the traditional favorite dinner one day to corned beef hash and eggs the next morning and Reuben sliders for a late night snack. Are you getting the idea? Be creative and tell me yours!

CORNED BEEF BRISKET

Ingredients:

3-pound corned beef brisket, boneless

1/8 teaspoon thyme

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1 tablespoon peppercorns

1 tablespoon bay leaves

1 cup ginger beer or water

1-pound baby carrots, peeled

4 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon paprika

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 300°. Place corned beef brisket, fat side up, in a covered roaster. Sprinkle spices on top. Add 1 cup of ginger beer or water. Cover and roast for three hours. The guideline is one hour per pound. After 2 hours add carrots to roaster. Cover and cook for 1 hour. At that time, the contents should be fork tender. Let the brisket rest for 15 minutes before slicing across the grain. Remove carrots and place in a bowl. Add butter to coat. Sprinkle with paprika.

BOILED CABBAGE

Ingredients:

1 head of cabbage

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter

Instructions:

In a deep pan, add 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add cabbage quarters and salt. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Turn cabbage with tongs. Simmer 5 minutes longer until tender. Drain well. Add butter to coat cabbage thoroughly.

PARSLEY BOILED POTATOES

Ingredients:

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into sections

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon parsley

Instructions:

Place potatoes in 2 quart saucepan. Pour in enough water to cover. Add salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook potatoes 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Add butter to coat. Garnish with parsley.

Salisbury Steak

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Salisbury Steak! Everyone knows it’s not really steak, but instead hamburger patties smothered in thick brown gravy. I like to think of it as savory meatloaf patties that are more economical than certified Angus sirloin steak. And honestly, I’ve never heard a single complaint when serving this American favorite. Add mashed potatoes and your choice of vegetable. It takes less than hour to prepare from start to finish.

SALISBURY STEAK

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef, lean

1/3 cup onion, chopped

1/3 dry bread crumbs

1 tablespoon Lea and Perrins sauce

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

1 tablespoon olive oil

For Gravy:

2 cups beef broth

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

Instructions:

Combine ground beef, onion, bread crumbs, Lea and Perrins sauce, egg, and parsley in a medium bowl. Mix well and form into meat patties. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Brown the patties 4-5 minutes, then flip and brown 4 minutes longer. Remove from skillet. Add olive oil and mushrooms to the skillet over medium heat. Cook until soft. Sprinkle flour over all. Gradually add beef broth. Using a whisk, stir to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil. As the sauce thickens, reduce heat and cook for 1 minute longer. Return Salisbury steaks to pan. Coat with gravy. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Reuben Tacos

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Reuben Tacos! Here you go…a Mexican taco with an Irish twist! Anyone who is crazy about tacos will tell you the combinations are endless. Not long after St. Patrick’s Day, there were leftovers of corned beef brisket and a wedge of purple cabbage in the fridge. My husband had gone out for lunch with the guys and I thought, “Hmmm, what can I throw together for a scrumptious mid-day meal?” It seemed like a no-brainer. Corn tortillas, Swiss cheese, pickled jalapeño slices, and Dijon mustard sealed the deal. Try it. One bite and you’ll shout, “Olé! Me Irish eyes ere smilin'”.

REUBEN TACOS

Ingredients:

4 yellow corn tortillas, extra thin

6 slices Swiss cheese

1/4 wedge purple cabbage, shredded

1/2 pound corned beef brisket, cooked and shredded

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

1/4 cup jalapeño slices

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Warm corned beef brisket in microwave or medium skillet. On a foil-lined baking sheet, arrange the corn tortillas in a single layer. Divide cheese among tortillas. Layer with shredded cabbage. Pile on the corned beef brisket. Slather with both mustards and garnish with pickled jalapeño peppers. Bake in oven for 2-3 minutes just long enough to melt cheese. Watch carefully as you still want the cabbage to remain crunchy. Remove and fold tortillas in half to eat.

Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, Nevada

Dining Outside the Home: Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, Nevada When it’s hot outside in Vegas, crank up the heat even more at Hell’s Kitchen with smoky cocktails and iced shrimp cocktail. The world-renowned celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay, recreated the infamous studio set from the television show. Prepare to be amazed. The sleek contemporary restaurant also landed a view overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. But forget all that. Come to Hell’s Kitchen for the outstanding food, extraordinary cocktails, and the dining ambiance. Take your time. The Beef Wellington is unsurpassed, which is the reason for the HK Signature Prix Fixe Menu. The final culmination of a fabulous meal would be the Sticky Toffee Pudding. Don’t forget the coffee.

LVB Burger in Las Vegas, Nevada

Dining Outside the Home: LVB Burger in Las Vegas , Nevada. Where can you go to get a two-handed burger and an adult-friendly milkshake? LVB Burger at The Mirage knows no bounds. Slide into a booth. Every gastronomic burger is stuffed with delicious ingredients between a sesame brioche bun. Go classic with the O.S.B. (Old School Burger) or B.C.B. (Bacon Cheese Burger). If beef is not your thing, go with the W.T.F. (What The Flock) turkey burger. The cheese choices are as gourmet as the condiment list. Finger food sides are the perfect add on. Spiked milkshakes are as yummy as they come: Birthday Cake, Chocolate Caramel, or Churro. But the list goes on. Better add this joint to your Bucket List.

Mushroom Beef Tips

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Mushroom Beef Tips! The biggest challenge you’ll have today is deciding if you’re going to serve this over buttery egg noodles or garlic mashed potatoes! I know, right? Some days I take the way of least resistance and use a slow-cook method, but this recipe can certainly be pulled together in minutes as well. I really enjoy using my French Le Creuset cast-iron Dutch oven because it seals in the juices the way a crockpot enhances results. It just goes to show you how creative cooking can be.

MUSHROOM BEEF TIPS

Ingredients:

1 pound sirloin steak, boneless, cut into 1-inch pieces

10-ounce can beef consommé

1/4 cup red wine

1/4 cup Lea and Perrins sauce

1 tablespoon French Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon tarragon

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons water

Instructions:

Place beef tips in a covered roaster. Add beef consommé, wine, Lea and Perrins sauce, mustard, tarragon, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place sliced mushrooms over all. Cover and bake at 275° for 6-8 hours. Then To mix water and flour in a small bowl, to thicken sauce, and stir into beef mixture. Cover and cook another half hour until thickened. Serve over noodles or potatoes.

Gruyère Onion Soup

Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Festive Foods: Gruyère Onion Soup! Everyone, sooner or later, falls in love with French Onion Soup, in my opinion. After all, who can resist the savory taste of caramelized onions, buttered croutons, and gooey melted cheese smothered in a beef broth that’s been splashed with a well-aged cognac? I wish I could tell you it’s as easy to make as opening a can of soup, but it isn’t. Don’t hate me. Let’s just say this…..if you are looking for an evening of mystery, romance, and excitement, then read on. This “soup de jour” may be the love potion that’ll woo the night away. Bon Appetît!

GRUYÈRE ONION SOUP

Ingredients:

3 Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

1 cup white wine

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

10 ounces beef consommé

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

4 ounces Montamoré cheese, crumbled

Splash of cognac

4 slices baguette, toasted

4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

4 slices Gruyère cheese

Parsley flakes to garnish

Instructions:

In a shallow bowl, microwave sliced onions on HIGH for 2 minutes. In a large skillet, melt butter on low setting. Do not scorch. Layer onions over butter. Sprinkle with sea salt and Herbs de Provence. Cover and do not stir for 10 minutes. Remove lid and stir occasionally until onions are dark in color, another 10 minutes. Turn heat to High and add white wine and honey. Cook until wine is reduced and consistency is thick. Reduce heat to Simmer. Add apple cider vinegar, beef consommé, low-sodium chicken broth, and worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes. Ladle soup into four oven-proof crocks placed on a heavy baking sheet. Add Montamoré crumbled cheese. Top with a splash of cognac. Place a toasted baguette slice on top of soup. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Lay one slice of Gruyère cheese over each bowl, with corners slightly overlapping sides. Broil on High for 2 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden. Remove carefully! Garnish with parsley flakes and serve immediately.