Macedonian Pastrmajlija

Macedonian Pastrmajlija

Pastrmajlija is an authentic Macedonian specialty. It resembles a pizza because it is dough that is topped with pieces of pork. The pork pieces are heavenly seasoned with paprika. This gives it its unique taste unlike any other.

Versions of Pastrmajlija vary in different cities across Macedonia and each restaurant offers their creative twist. A Pastrmajlija may have a beaten egg on top . There may also be melted cheese and mushrooms as toppings. One thing is for certain. It is always served with a side hot green finger peppers for a spicy kick.

This Macedonian Pastrmajlija recipe requires a pizza stone.

This Macedonian Pastrmajlija recipe requires a pizza stone because it makes the dough so much softer and your pastrmajlija will always taste perfect. You can find a pizza stone here. I also highly suggest a pizza peel to easily transfer your pastrmajlija onto a hot pizza stone. Refer to my tips on using a pizza stone for the Macedonian Pastrmajlija on the bottom of this post.

How to make Macedonian Pastrmajlija.

There are two parts to making a Macedonian pastrmajlija. One is preparing the pork and the second is making the dough.

The Pork
  1. Begin with preparing the pork. The pork loin is cut into small cubes. The cubes should be small because they cook raw on top of raw dough. Both of the pork and dough have to bake together. If the pork pieces are too big, chances are the dough will bake faster than the pork. This results in raw pork and burnt dough. The pork is seasoned with paprika and salt and submerged in oil. This gives the pork it its unique smokey flavor.

The Dough

  1. The dough requires only a few simple ingredients. First start with activating the yeast in lukewarm water and sugar. Then add the yeast mixture to all purpose flour and salt along with 3 tablespoons of oil.
    • The dough should be kneaded until the ingredients come together and a soft ball of dough forms. The should should not stick to your fingers or your working surface. If it does, add some more flour, only one tablespoon at a time. Work in the flour completely before adding any more flour. Set the dough to the side, covered with a towel until it rises about double its size.
    • Once doubled in size, deflate the dough, knead it again, and let it rise a second time. This time only about 20 minutes.
    • Divide the dough into 4 equal sections, form into balls and set them aside to rest for about 10 minutes, covered. I have found that this last rise results in softer dough. Skipping this will result in a crunchier crust. It all comes down to preference.
    • Stretch each ball of down in a long oval that will fit your pizza stone or baking sheet. I bake two at a time on a round pizza stone.

To summarize making the dough:

  1. Knead and let rise for 45 minutes or close to double in size.
  2. Knead dough a second time and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Divide into 3 equal sections and let them rest 10 minutes.

Baking tips when using a pizza stone.

  1. The pizza stone should be very hot prior to transferring pastrmajlija on it. Check the instructions for your pizza stone and use it according to instructions. Most require to sit in a oven heated to 500F for 30 minutes. If that’s the case, heat it to 500F, then decrease temperature to 450F when baking the pastrmajlija.
  2. Us a pizza peel to transfer each Pastrmajlija onto the pizza stone. Sprinkle corn meal or flour over pizza peel then place pastrmajlija dough on it. This will help the pastrmajlija slide off easier onto the hot pizza stone.

Serving Macedonian Pastrmajlija.

Just when you think you have had enough peppers, thing again. The pork in this specialty is heavily seasoned with paprika. After it is baked, the pastrmajlija is topped with more crushed black pepper. Not only that, but it almost always comes with a side of spicy pickled green finger peppers of some sort.

Do I have to use lard in this recipe?

In short, no! Pastrmajlija is made with lard. The lard is placed over the top of the pork. As the pastrmajlija bakes, the lard melts. This makes the dough softer and gives a stronger pork flavor. I have found that this creates a greasier and heavier Pastrmajlija. I don’t use lard. Instead, I use a pastry brush to brush pork drippings over the crust after the pastrmajlija bakes.

Macedonian Pastrmajlija Recipe

Macedonian pastrmajlija is kind of like pizza. It's a Macedonian specialty made of dough topped with pork seasoned in paprika.
Course dinner
Cuisine Macedonian
Keyword macedonian pastrmajlija, Macedonian recipes, pastrmajlija, pastrmajlija recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4 Pastrmajlijas

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs pork loin cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp sunflower or canola oil

The Dough

  • 4 ¼ cups all purpose flour more if needed
  • 2 tsp salt
  • cup luke warm water
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 package yeast
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Toppings

  • 2 tbsp red peper flakes
  • pickled hot chili peppers

Instructions

  • Slice the pork loin into ¼" cubes. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle paprika and salt and mix. Pour oil over the seasoned pork and let marinade for at least one hour or overnight.
  • To prepare the dough, start with activating the yeast. In lukewarm water, add one teaspoon of sugar and mix to dissolve. Sprinkle yeast over the water and set aside for about 10 minutes until the mixture develops foam.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add flour and salt. Whisk to incorporate evenly. In the center of the dry ingredients, add yeast mixture and oil. Begin kneading the dough with your hands until it comes together. The dough should be soft without sticking to your fingers.
  • Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a towel. Set aside in a warm area in your home so that they dough can rise. Once the dough is doubled in size, deflate the dough. Transfer the dough onto a counter. Knead the dough a second time. Place the dough in the same bowl and let it rest a second time for 20 minutes.
  • Place pizza stone in oven and heat oven to 500°F. Once oven comes to temperature, leave pizza stone in oven for 30 minutes so that it becomes very hot. After 30 minutes, decrease oven temperature to 450°F.
  • While pizza stone heats, prepare each pastrmajlija. To do so, divide dough into 4 equal sections. Form each section into a ball and let them rest for 10 minutes.
  • Using your hands, shape each section into a long oval. See pictures above. Place one pastrmajlija on a pizza peel at a time. Dust pizza peel with flour or corn meal to prevent pastrmajlija from sticking. When the dough is on your pizza peel, place ¼ of the seasoned pork on top of the the pastrmajlija. Carefully transfer the pastrmajlija onto your pizza oven. Repeat this for remaining of your pastrmajlijas. You should be able to fit 2 at a time on the pizza stone depending on the size of your pizza stone.
  • Bake pastrmajlijas for about 12-15 minutes or until the pork pieces are fully cooked through and the edges of the pastrmajlija are golden brown. Remove from oven by removing one Pastrmajlija at a time. Do not touch hot pizza stone.
  • Immediately after you remove each pastrmajlija from the oven, using a pastry brush, spread the oil from the pork over the edges ove the whole pastrmajlija. This will give it its unique flavor and softon the dough.
  • Sprinkle top of each pastrmajlija with crushed red pepper and serve with pickled hot chili peppers

Notes

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it on Instagram.

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Homemade Pork Gyros

These Homemade Pork Gyros are the closest that you will get to authentic gyros. Perfectly seasoned and cooked pork wrapped in soft pita bread is just the start. The real game changers in the gyro are the tzatziki sauce and french fries.

Yes, when you order a gyro in Greece, most restaurants will serve their gyro with french fries inside of the pita and I think it’s the best thing ever. Along with the French fries, the other staple ingredients are sliced tomatoes and onions. However, you can customize your gyro as you would like.

The most common misconception is that gyros are made of a mixture of beef and lamb. Maybe that depends on the region in Greece, however, I have only had pork gyros in Greece and that is what inspired this recipe.

What ingredients are needed for Homemade Pork Gyros?

Below are ingredients that are most commonly used in traditional Greek gyros so I used them in this recipe. However, don’t be afraid to play around with toppings. There is no right or wrong and it always comes down to personal preference. To me, a gyro is not a gyro without the tzatziki and I believe that’s the most important ingredient you can after after the pork.

  • Pork (pork loin or pork shoulder)
  • Marinade-sunflower oil (or any flavorless oil such as vegetable or canola) garlic, paprika, oregano, salt, black pepper
  • Pita bread
  • Tzatziki-I have a great recipe here or you can use store bought
  • French fries-Homemade or use pre-cut frozen
  • Freshly sliced tomatoes and onions.

What kind of meat is used in these Homemade Pork Gyros?

All of the gyros I have tried in different cities in Greece were made of only pork. That is the reason I use pork when I make homemade gyros. Traditionally, pork pieces are seasoned and then layered on a rotisserie. The pork cooks on the rotisserie and just before it goes in the gyro, the pork meat is shaved off of the rotisserie. Since it is shaved, the pork meat is very thin.

Preparing the pork.

Since pork is shaved for a traditional gyro, I make the gyro as close to authentic as possible and the meat has a lot to do with that. To be able to slice the pork thinly, I find it helpful if the meat is slightly frozen. When the meat is firm, you can get thiner slices much easier.

If your pork is frozen, slice it before defrosting. If it is not frozen, place it in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until it is relatively firm.

Once it is sliced, place the pork in marinade one hour prior to cooking or make it one day ahead and leave it in the marinade and refrigerated overnight.

Making the Homemade Gyro.

  1. Make the tzatziki if you are not using store bought. I have a great tzatziki recipe here, or you can purchase it already made. If you are making the tzatziki, I recommend making it first so it has time to cool in the refrigerator or you can make it one day ahead. The recipe will be more than you need for 4 gyros, however it makes a great dipping sauce for almost any vegetable.
  2. Prepare the pork. Slice it thin, sprinkle seasonings, garlic, and oil over it. Mix and let it marinade in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight if making ahead.
  3. Make the french fires. I like to make them from scratch using butter potatoes but you can also make them using pre cut french fries. To get closest to an authentic gyro, I fry my french fries. However, you can use an air fryer as well as an oven to bake them.
  4. Cook the meat. Since I recommend cutting the pork as thin as possible, it will cook relatively quickly which is why I recommend making the French fries before the meat. That way your French fries are still warm when you assemble the homemade pork gyros.
  5. Lightly toast pita. This is optional but it does make a difference. When warm, the pita is easier to fold without it cracking in half. I like to toast the pita in the same pan that I used to cook the pork in. Place pita in pan, about 30 seconds on each side, on low heat.
  6. Assemble the gyros. First add the tzatziki, followed by cooked pork, tomatoes, onions, and french fries.

Homemade Pork Gyros

These delicous Homemade Prok Gyros are as close as you will get to authentic without being on a Greek island. Inspired but gyros tasted in Greece, these are made to perfection with pork only, tzatziki, and french fries just like those served in Greece
Course dinner
Cuisine Greek
Keyword greek gyro, gyro, homemade pork gyro, pork gyro
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 gyros

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs pork loin sliced thin
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ½ lb potatoes about 4
  • 2 garlic cloves grated
  • 4 pitas
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • ½ yellow onion
  • ¼ cup tzatziki

Instructions

  • If you are going to make my homemade tzatziki recipe, start by doing that first. If using store bought, procees to preparing the pork.
  • Slice pork loin as thin as possible. The easiest way to do this is when the pork is slightly forzen so that it is firm.
  • Place sliced pork in a shallow bowl and sprinkle oregano, paprika, salt, and ground black pepper. Grate in 2 garlic cloves. Lastly, pour oil over the seasoned pork and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and let it marinade in the refrigerator for at least one hour prior to cooking or overnight.
  • About 30 minutes before cooking the pork, prepare the french fries. You can use a small bag of pre cut french fries or make them home made. For this recipe, I used 4 butter potatoes (peeled, cut, and deep fried in canola oil).
  • Once fries are ready, set them aside. Take the pork out of the refrigerator about 10 minutes before cooking. Heat a large skillet on high heat, once hot, decrease to medium heat and add sliced pork in a single layer. Cook about 5-6 minutes or until pork is fully cooked through. If you slices are thicker, cooking time may be longer. Remove pork from heat.
  • Decrease heat to low and lighty toast each pita bread in the same pan used to cook pork in, about 30 seconds on each side. This is optional but pita will fold better when warm.
  • To asseble, spread tzatziki on each pita bread, add pork, tomatoes, onions, and fries. Evenly distribute pork and french fries among 4 pitas. Tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki can be added per preference, as much or as little as you would like.

Notes

  1. For a fresh and soft tasting pita bread, toast it on hot skilled used to cook the pork in for about 30 seconds on each side on low heat.
  2. If you are using my tzatziki recipe, it will make more than is needed for 4 gyros. You can make half of the batch or save the rest to use as a dipping sauce for your favorite vegetables. 
  3. Frozen pork is easier to slice into thin slices. I recommend freezing pork slightly prior to slicing to get a thin slice. If already frozen, slice prior to thawing.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it on Instagram.

       Make sure to tag #inaeatsin or mention @InaEatsIn

Homemade Pork Gyros


Parmesan crusted chicken in mushroom sauce

You will love this Parmesan crusted chicken in mushroom sauce! Perfectly crisp and tender chicken infused in rich mushroom sauce with so much flavor. Not only the does mushroom sauce make the chicken taste outstanding, it makes it moist and extra juicy.

I love this recipe because it takes about 35 minutes to make. Also, chicken and mushrooms are staple ingredients in my kitchen, making this dish a weekly go-to. Lastly, one frying pan is required for both cooking the chicken AND making the mushroom sauce because who doesn’t love minimal clean up.

How to make Parmesan crusted chicken in mushroom sauce.

  1. Prepare chicken and dip in egg wash followed by Parmesan cheese and oregano mixture.
  2. Cook chicken.
  3. In same frying pan, cook mushrooms.
  4. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, butter, and flour. Whisk until thick paste forms.
  5. Add chicken broth, parsley flakes, salt, and pepper.
  6. Transfer chicken in mushroom sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.

Common Substitutions.

The ingredients in this recipe are very common but there is some flexibility in making substitutions.

  • Baby Bella mushrooms: My go to mushrooms for the sauce are Baby Bella mushrooms, however, any mushrooms will work great for this recipe.
  • Chicken Broth: I use low sodium chicken broth so that you can control the salt content in the sauce. The closest substitute to chicken broth is low sodium vegetable broth. Beef broth can also be used for a more rich flavor.

Altering the thickness of the mushroom sauce.

The mushroom sauce will thicken as it simmers. It will thicken even more as it cools. I find that mushroom sauce such as this one can be altered to your own preference. Regardless of whether you decide to thicken or thin out the sauce, a little goes a long way. Make sure you start with the suggestions below and add more if needed.

  • To thicken sauce: mix 1/2 teaspoon of all purpose flour in a small bowl and whisk in 1 tablespoon of broth. Whisk so that there are no lumps of flour in the mixture. Add mixture to the sauce and mix until well combined. This will thicken sauce slightly. Keep in mind that it will continue to get thicker as it simmers.
  • To thin out sauce: Add 1 tablespoon of broth in the mushroom sauce until desired consistency is reached.

What to serve with Parmesan crusted chicken in mushroom sauce (suggestions).

Parmesan Crusted Chicken in Mushroom Sauce

This Parmesan crusted chicken in mushroom sauce is everything! Perfectly crisp and tender chicken infused in rich mushroom sauce with so much flavor that comes together in 35 minutes. This is a perfect dinner idea for any day of the week.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken recipes, parmesan crusted chicken in mushroom sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken breasts (about 2 chicken breasts)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 10 oz baby Bella mushrooms sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 ¼ tbsp parlsey flakes
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil more if needed
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour

Instructions

  • Slice chicken in half lengthwise. Lay each slice flat on a cutting board. Cover with plastic wrap and using a meat mallet, flatten chicken breasts as flat as you can without breaking them apart.
  • In one shallow bowl, add eggs and season with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs until slightly frothy. In another shallow bowl, add 1 ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of dried oregano and mix together.
  • Dip each of the chicken cutlets in the egg wash first, shaking off any access egg, then into the Parmesan and organo mixture. Press each side of the chicken cutlets in the Parmesan mixture so that it is well coated on both sides.
  • In a large non stick frying pan, heat light olive oil and add chicken cutlets. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side or until chicken has cooked through fully. Add more oil when needed.
  • Transfer chicken on a plate and set aside. In the same skillet used to cook chicken in, drizzle more oil if needed and add mushrooms. Over medium heat, cook until the mushrooms soften. Add in pepper flakes and garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant, mixing frequently.
  • Add butter to the mushrooms and once it melts, add 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour and whisk quickly until a smooth paste forms.
  • Add chicken broth, parsley flakes, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well combined, making sure there are no lumps left from the flour.
  • Transfer Parmesan crusted chicken into the mushroom sauce and let it simmer on low heat for 2 minutes. The sauce will slightly thicken as it simmers.
  • Remove from heat and serve warm.

Tuna Chickpea Pasta Salad

This tuna chickpea pasta salad is packed with protein, fresh veggies, and loads of flavor. It makes for a perfect lower carb, high protein lunch idea that you can make ahead and enjoy on the go.

When I first had the idea to make this, I had regular pasta salad in mind. I had chickpea pasta on hand so I decided to test it out and it turned out so tasty. It contains a lot of protein, healthy fats, and delicious crunch from fresh vegetables. Lastly, a creamy lime dressing completes this pasta salad and adds incredible flavor.

How to make Tuna Chickpea Pasta Salad.

This dish is one of the easiest pasta salads you can make. The steps in making this pasta salad are:

  • cooking chickpea pasta per package instructions
  • washing and chopping a few vegetables
  • making easy creamy lime dressing
  • mixing all ingredients together

This pasta salad is a cold salad. As a result, make sure your chickpea pasta has cooled completely before mixing it in with the rest of the ingredients. You can speed up this process by running it under cold water after the chickpea pasta has cooked. Not allowing the chickpea pasta to cool will result the avocado mayonnaise to melt, leaving you with a soggy instead of a creamy pasta salad.

After cooking the chickpea pasta, all there is left to do is mix all the ingredients together. I found that refrigerating this pasta salad for at least 1 hour before serving resulted in the best flavor.

Storing your pasta salad.

Place pasta salad in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Do not freeze or leave at room temperature.

Can I double the recipe?

Yes! You can double, triple, or quadruple this recipe. Don’t make more than can be eaten in 2 days because this pasta salad can’t be frozen.

Tuna Chickpea Pasta Salad

Tuna Chickpea Pasta Salad is the perfect low carb, high protein meal that is both, satisfying and full of flavorful.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword tuna chickpea pasta salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 can tuna packed in water
  • 2 cups cooked chick pea pasta (1 cup dry) cooked and cooled
  • 1 english cucumber chopped
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoe halves
  • ½ medium red onion chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 (2.25oz) cup sliced black olives

Dressing

  • 1 tbsp avocado mayonnaise
  • 1 whole lime juiced
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp dill
  • ½ tsp parsley flakes

Instructions

  • Cook chickpea pasta per package instructions.
  • While the pasta cooks, prepare all vegetables and avocado by washing and chopping. Set aside.
  • To make the dressing, in a small bowl, juice 1 lime, add tablespoon of avocado mayonnaise, salt, pepper, dill, parsley, and garlic powder. Mix and set aside.
  • Once the chick pea pasta has cooked completely, drain and rinse under cold water until the chickpea pasta is cooled completely.
  • In a large bowl, add chickpea pasta, tuna, vegetables, avocado, and black olives and mix together. Add the dressing and mix again. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

Baked Lobster Tail Recipe

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Lobster Tail sounds like a fancy meal you can only eat at a restaurant made by a professional chef. However, if you follow the easy steps below, you will be pleasantly surprised at just how easy it is to make Baked Lobster Tail in the comfort of your own kitchen.

This recipe for Baked Lobster Tail is a fun way to make something fancy at home f dinner without dedicating a lot of time to prepare and/or clean up. You will be amazed at how simple it is to make and it tastes incredible.

There are several ways to make Lobster Tail, however my favorite is baking it in the oven. I have found that this way, you get a nice smokey flavor from some of the seasonings, has a better texture, and it will not have the fishy smell.

How to pick out the best Lobster Tails:

It is much better to buy fresh over frozen however frozen Lobster Tails can be just as good. If buying frozen, make sure that your Lobster Tails are not soaked in sodium tripoyphosphate. Look out of any discoloration on the meat or the shell and avoid those if you can.

To thaw Lobster Tail that has previously been frozen, leave the frozen Lobster Tail in the refrigerator overnight. For quicker thawing, place Lobster Tails in a sealed bag and place in hot water for about 30 minutes or until the Lobster is no longer frozen.

Preparing the Lobster Tails:

Lobster Tails are sold in the shell. In order to make the cooking process easier, remove the lobster meat from the shell. To do so, cut the shell in the center using a sharp knife or sharp scissors. I found that it was easier to use scissors.

Using your fingers, remove the Lobster Tail from the shell. The easiest way to do this is to gently glide your index fingers along the Lobster Tail and you will feel that it detaches from its shell. You can leave the Lobster Tail inside the shell and just spread open the shell or you can lift the Lobster Tail from the tail and rest it on top of the shell, having the back end still attached to the shell.

How to Make the Topping:

You don’t need anything fancy to season your Baked Lobster Tail. All you need is butter, salt, pepper, paprika, and parsley flakes. Whip the butter and seasonings in a small bowl and spread it evenly along the two Lobster Tails. While some recipes call for garlic on the Lobster Tail, I prefer the garlic in the dipping garlic butter for better flavor.

Baking the Lobster Tail:

If you’re still in shock at how easy the recipe for Baked Lobster Tails is so far, I won’t disappoint you here. Baking is just as simple and it doesn’t take a lot of time either. Place your prepared Lobster Tails on a baking sheet. Before you place Lobster Tails in the oven, make sure that your oven is preheated to 450F and bake for about 15 minutes. The baking time will vary on the size of your Lobster Tail.

You will know when your Lobster Tail is cooked when the meat turns white or pink, becomes firmer, and the shell turns bright red. If the lobster still has gray spots, it needs to cook longer. The general rule of thumb if using a food thermometer is that Lobster should have internal temperature of about 135F-140F when cooked.

Do not overcook Lobster Tails because you will be left with a tougher and gummier texture.

How to serve Baked Lobster Tail:

Lobster Tail is served immediately after it has been baked to perfection. It is commonly dipped in a Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce and served with potatoes, veggies, or a salad.

Baked Lobster Tail

This Baked Lobster Recipe is quick, easy, and incredibly tasty-you'll be surprised it's not chef made. The best part of this lobster tail recipe is that it take less than 25 minutes from start to finish.
Course Main Course
Keyword lobster tail, lobster recipe, seafood recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Author inaeatsin
Cost $40-$50

Ingredients

  • 2 Lobster ails
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes

Garlic Dipping Butter

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • With a sharp knife or scissors, cut the top of the lobster tails all the way to the tip of the tail, avoiding the meat.
  • Carefully pull the meat away from the shell and pull the meat up so it sits on top of the shell. The end of the tail should still be attached to the shell.
  • In a small bowl, whip butter and spices together and divide it in half. Place each half of seasoned butter on top of each lobster tail.
  • Place lobster tails in oven and cook for about 15 minutes or unitl meat is white.
  • Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Garlic Dipping Butter

  • In a suacepan over low heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter and garlic. Cook garlic in butter for 1 minute until it just begins to brown.
  • Add the remaining butter, lemon juice, and black pepper and let it seep on low heat for about 4-5 minutes mixing constantly.
  • Strain before serving.

How to Cook Restaurant Style Steak

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Perfectly cooked flavorful steak is something you just can’t resist and the best part is, by following the simple tips and tricks below, you can make your own restaurant style steak in the comfort of your own home.

If you’ve never made steak at home before, you may be overwhelmed by all the different cuts of steak that are out there. Lets break down the what is most important when picking out the perfect restaurant style steak.

The USDA grades the cuts by quality and the quality of the steak is based on the amount of fat that is in the meat. Ultimately, the higher fat content will give you the best flavor and the optimal tenderness. I recommend either choice or prime grade for this recipe.

  • Prime Grade: highest quality with the highest fat content.
  • Choice Grade: quality steak that most restaurants serve and what most grocery stores carry. This grade has medium fat content that is acceptable
  • Select Grade: acceptable quality but the lowest of all because it has the least amount of fat that will not be the juiciest and the most tender of all.

If you’re standing in a grocery store and are just overwhelmed by the different kinds of steak, choose the one with the most marbling and is thick cut.

Tips for making the best Restaurant Style Steak:

  1. Choose a steak that is on the thicker side- about 1/2″-1″ inch thick. Having a thicker cut will almost ensure your steak is properly cooked. If your steak is too thin, it will very quickly cook all the way through and probably even dry out. Remember, steak continues to rise in temperature even after you remove it from heat so it’s much harder to control doneness of a thin slicked steak and a thicker cut.
  2. Let the steaks sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes (2 hours at most) prior to cooking. This will allow your steak to cook evenly and will give you a perfectly cooked outside layer. If you steak is cold when placed on high heat, the muscle fibers will tense up and you will be left with a hard to chew steak.
  3. Season just before you place it on heat. Do not season your steak long before you cook it. A common myth is that as the steak sits, it absorbs flavor from salt and seasons. False! Salt will suck out the moisture of the steak so you definitely don’t want it sitting on the steak if your steak is not being cooked.
  4. Let the steak rest 5-10 minutes after it has finished cooking before slicing it. This helps preserve the moisture and internal juices of the steak resulting in a juicier steak.

What is the best way to cook steak?

One of the most popular ways to cook steak is by pan-searing. Pan-searing is a technique in which you cook your meat at a very high temperature so that a nice crust forms. To do so, use a cast iron skillet or if you don’t have one, the next best choice is stainless steal. Cast iron skillets and stainless steal pans both stand very high temperatures and are great conductors of heat. Heat the pan until it’s very hot, once hot, add oil into your cast iron skillet or stainless steal pan and heat the oil but do not burn the oil. After the you add the oil, wait about a minute or until the oil easily moves around the pan. This means that it is hot.

Next, add your seasoned steak away from you. You should hear the pan sizzle. This means that the pan is very hot as it should be. Cook the steak for about 3 minutes on each side. Avoid over flipping the steak or flipping it early. You want high heat on each side of the steak for at least 3 minutes with no interruptions so that you get a nice crust to form. Three minutes on each side will give you a medium rare steak if it is thick cut. For a more cooked steak, cook it 4-5 minutes on each side.

Once your steak is flipped over to the second side, add butter, garlic, and a herb of choice into your pan. As soon as the the butter melts, using a spoon, scoop the flavorful melted butter over your the top of your steaks so that all the juicy flavors are spread soaked in by the steak.

What is the best doneness of a steak?

The good news is that there is no right or wrong. How done you want your steak on the inside is based on personal preference. A general rule of thumb in most restaurants is a medium done steak unless stated otherwise. Per the USDA, this will be about 145F of internal temperature of the steak, if you are using a food thermometer.

Photo from: traegergrills.com

How to season steak?

The best answer is to season generously and to keep it simple. Steak is extremely flavorful so you don’t want to steal the flavor of a qualit steak with complicated seasonings. Stick to only salt and pepper. A good rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper per 6 oz, thick cut steak. This is a generous amount but remember, if your steak is thick cut as recommended, you need a generous amount of seasoning. Season your steak right before you pan-sear it for best flavor.

Restaurant Style Steak

This Restaurant-Style Steak is perfectly tender, flavored with garlic butter, and pan-seared to perfection. You will be surprised how easy it is to make.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword garlic steak, pan-seared steak, restaurant style steak, steak, steak recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 540kcal
Author inaeatsin
Cost $25-$30

Equipment

  • Cast Iron Skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 Ribeye Steaks
  • 4-5 springs rosemary
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 5 cloves garlic

Instructions

  • Leave steaks at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before preparing or cooking it. Use this time to prepare your cast iron skillet. Place it a hot oven to get it very very hot.
  • Once steaks have come to room temperature, pat the steaks dry with paper towels.
  • Generously, season the steaks on both sides with the salt and pepper.
  • Place pan cast iron skillet or stainless steel pan, over medium-high heat until it’s VERY hot.
  • Add the oil to the pan and heat until it begins to shimmer and move easily around the pan, about 1 minute or so.
  • Carefully place the steaks in the pan away from you so oil doesn’t platter in your direction. If you hear sizzle after you place your steak in the pan, that’s a great thing. It means that your pan was hot enough for pan searing restaurant style steak.
  • Avoid flipping steaks to early or fiddling with them. After about 3-4 minutes or until a deep golden crust forms, flip the steak over to the other side.
  • During the last minute or two of cooking your steaks, add the butter , garlic, and rosemary sprigs to the pan with the steaks. Using a spoon, scoop melted butter over steaks.
  • Once desired doneness is reached, transfer onto a place, cover with aluminum foil and let it sit 5-10 minutes before cutting. This will ensure the juices don’t leak out and dry out your steak.

White Bean Stew with Sun Dried Tomatoes

A statement Mediterranean dish that is authentic, hearty, and loaded with layers of flavor. This White Bean Stew with Sun Dried Tomatoes is made with white beans, seasoned with staple Mediterranean additions, and intensified with sun-dried tomatoes that make this dish all that it is!

All about the ingredients:

  • White Beans: Cannellini beans are the largest of the white beans and are the shape of kidney beans and that is why they are sometimes called white kidney beans. They hold their shape very well and have a tender and meaty inside, making them perfect for stews and soups because they will not fall apart if properly cooked. To prepare the cannelini beans for this White Bean Stew with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, simply soak the beans overnight in a pot of water. For best results, the beans should soak for at least 6 hours. A great substitute for cannellini beans are Great Northern beans.
  • Onions and garlic are a great addition to this stew that contribute to its magnificent flavor. The chopped yellow onions and minced garlic cloves are added to the beans while they simmer giving them plenty of flavor so you don’t even have to use vegetable stock that is often very high in sodium.
  • Herbs and seasonings: Oregano, parsley flakes, paprika, bay leaves, turmeric, salt, and pepper are all that you need to reach the perfect flavor. These are all very simple ingredients that are very commonly used in the Mediterranean region. 
  • Sun dried tomatoes: These are tomatoes that have been dried out and although not moist, they still preserve their sweet flavor with a little bit of a tang. Sun dried tomatoes are usually sold in a jar, are dunked in oil and sometimes, seasonings. This recipe calls or 1/2 of a cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes since they are usually sold whole or halves. To get smaller pieces that are easier to eat in this White Bean Stew with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, remove them from their container and using a knife, slice them into small pieces.
  • Olive oil and all purpose flour: The olive oil gives the stew a smooth texture an adds flavor while the all purpose flour acts as a thickening agent. These ingredients are used to make a roux that is then added to the White Bean Stew with Sun-Dried Tomatoes to make it a slightly thicker consistency.

How to make White Bean Stew with Sun-Dried Tomatoes:

  1. Soak beans overnight.
  2. Simmer beans with chopped onion, bay leaves, minced garlic, parsley flakes, and oregano.
  3. Sauté the chopped sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil.
  4. Add all purpose flour, paprika, and turmeric to the olive oil and sun dried tomatoes. Whisk.
  5. Pour sun-dried tomato mixture to the white beans.
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes then serve!

Can you use canned beans?

The answer is yet! I avoid using canned beans mostly to avoid the sodium content however it would save you some time. In place of 1 1/2 cups of dry, uncooked beans, use 2 cans of beans. Canned beans do not have to be soaked in water. Simply drain and rinse the beans and simmer then for 10 minutes in water, then 15 more minutes after the sun-dried tomato roux mixture is added.

How to make the thickening Roux:

Roux is a thickening agent made of fat and flour that gives stews and soups a thicker, smoother consistency. Roux is made using equal part fat and flour or cornstarch. The roux for this recipe is not as thick and is cooked in the olive oil that you used to sauté the sun-dried tomatoes. 

  1. Start by sautéing the sun-dried tomatoes for about 4-5 minutes. 
  2. Next whisk in the flour, paprika, and turmeric. Whisk quickly for about 30 seconds to 1 minutes, being careful not to burn the mixture. Although it will not be as thick as traditional roux, it will become slightly thick and should be smooth.
  3. Finally, add the roux to the simmering beans and stir to incorporate it with the rest of the beans

A great addition to the Mediterranean Diet:

The Mediterranean Diet is a diet that consists of daily consumption of plant based, whole foods including fruits, vegetable, whole grains, and healthy fats. It also encourages weekly consumption of poultry, eggs, and daily while greatly limiting red meats, sugar, and other processed foods. This diet received great recognition in the 1960’s when it was noticed that the population in the Mediterranean region had much lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. This encouraged a lot of research on the lifestyle choices in people living near the Mediterranean region. For a healthier version of this White Bean Stew with Sun-Dried Tomatoes recipe, you can omit the all purpose flour. This will leave you with a soupy consistency that will still be packed with incredible flavors. *Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice so be sure to speak to your doctor before beginning a new diet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dry white beans (Cannelini or Great Northern)
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons parsley flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon back pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a medium pot, add beans and cover with water. Let them soak overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  2. Drain beans and to the soaked beans, add 5 1/2 cups of water. To the beans, add chopped onions, minced garlic, bay leaves, parsley flakes, and oregano. On medium heat, bring beans to a simmer and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Add more water if needed.
  3. In a non stick skillet on medium low heat, heat olive oil and add chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Sauté for about 4 minutes.
  4. To the sautéd sun-dried tomatoes, add flour, turmeric and paprika. Whisk quickly for 30 seconds until the oil thickens, being careful not to burn. Then add mixture to the simmering beans. Add salt and pepper and mix well.
  5. Let the stew simmer on low heat for 10 more minutes, add more water if needed. The consistency should be just slightly thicker than a soup.
  6. Remove from heat and serve warm.


Ground Chicken Enchiladas

These Ground Chicken Enchiladas are unforgettable! What you’ll get is  an extra flavorful, soft flour tortilla stuffed with perfectly seasoned ground chicken and rice, drenched in enchilada sauce, and topped with sharp cheddar cheese. This recipe is perfect to feed a larger crowd because it comes together so quickly and can easily be doubled or even tripled.

What makes this recipe special:

  • out of this world flavor
  • comes together very quickly
  • freezer meal friendly

Step-by-step Instructions:

  1. Sauté onions and garlic until soft and translucent. Add diced tomatoes and diced jalapeño. Cook for 3 minutes or until the tomatoes are mushy.

2. Add in ground chicken and seasonings. Cooks for 5-7 minutes.

3. Add rice and 4 tablespoons for the enchilada sauce. Let mixture simmer on low for about 2-3 minutes, mixing frequently.

4. On the bottom of the baking dish, pour 1/2 of the left enchilada sauce. Add about 1/4 cup of the mixture on center of tortilla, fold in the sides, and roll. 

5. Place filled enchiladas in the dish. Pour the remainder of the enchilada sauce on top of the Ground Chicken Enchiladas. Using a pastry brush, brush so that the sauce covers all of the enchiladas. Top with cheese.

6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes covered. Then, uncover and bake for 5 more minutes.

Can I use canned tomatoes?

Yes- In fact, if you are looking to save some time, you can substitute 1-(10oz) can of diced tomatoes and chilies in place of the tomatoes and one jalapeño in this recipe. The benefit here would be that you are saving time by not having to wash and dice the tomatoes and jalapeño. In most grocery stores, a can of diced tomatoes and chilies can be found in the Mexican or Latino sections near other taco products.

What type of tortillas are best?

Original enchiladas are made with corn tortillas, however, I used flour tortillas in my Ground Chicken Enchilada recipe because in my opinion, they taste better and are much easier to roll. However, you can use any kind of tortilla. For a lower carb option, use low carb tortillas and omit the rice.

Freezing instructions:

These enchiladas freeze well, making them perfect for meal prep and for all that love enjoy having leftovers. To freeze,  once the enchiladas have cooled completely, wrap enchiladas individually in plastic wrap and place the wrapped enchiladas in a freezer zip lock back.  The Ground Chicken Enchiladas can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Enchilada toppings:

  • avocados
  • sour cream
  • green onions
  • herbs such as fresh parsley or fresh cilantro

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 cup cooked rice or choice (about 1/3 cup dry)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 green jalapeno, diced 
  • 1  cup diced tomatoes (about 2 roma tomatoes) 
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon  parsley flakes
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 8-10 soft flour tortillas
  • 1 can mild enchilada sauce (10oz, 283g)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 370°F.
  2. Cook rice of choice per package instructions. One cup of cooked rice is about 1/3 of a cup of dry rice.
  3. In a large skilled, drizzle oil and on medium heat, sauté onions and garlic until the garlic is softened and translucent or about 2 minutes. 
  4. Add diced tomatoes and diced jalapeño. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and mushy. Then add in the ground chicken and break apart with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  5. To the chicken mixture, add cooked rice, cumin, parsley flakes, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook chicken thoroughly, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add 4 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce to the chicken mixture and mix well. Cook for another 2 minutes, mixing frequently. Once the mixture has simmered for about 2 minutes, remove from heat.
  7. In an 8×10-inch or 9×13-inch baking dish, pour half of the enchilada sauce and spread evenly on the bottom of the dish.
  8. Assemble the enchiladas by placing about 1/4 cup of the ground chicken mixture in the center of the flour tortillas. Fold the sides so the mixture doesn’t seep through and roll. Align the enchiladas in  the baking dish and pour the remainder of the  enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Brush with a pastry brush so that all of the enchiladas are covered with sauce.
  9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes covered, then 5 minutes with the aluminum foil off. 
  10. Remove from oven and serve warn. See notes above on suggested toppings.

 

 


Baked Chicken Thighs

  • 4-6 Chicken Thighs
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tbs Rosemary
  • 1 Tbs Parsley
  • 1 Tbs Oregano
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Pepper
  • 2 Tbs Butter

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients, except for thr butter, in a bowl.
  2. Evenly spread mixture over all chicken thighs and place them in a tightly sealed zip lock bag to marinade overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Add butter in your pan place it in the oven for about 1 minute or until melted.
  4. Remove the chicken thighs from bag and place them you baking pan with the melted butter.
  5. Bake chicken in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes. For a crispy top, set oven on broil, high, for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Optional: When the chicken is done, take a spoon and scoop and chicken drippings in the pan over the chicken.

Classic Chili Recipe

This Classic Chili Recipe may just be the best you have ever tried! Classic chili is the ultimate cold weather comfort food that comes together so quickly in one pot, I can guarantee you will enjoy it! I know I do! This recipe is a perfect weeknight meal and it freezes wonderfully even if you want to make it ahead of time for meal prep. It’s so easy that literally the only thing you will have to chop for this recipe are the onions!

How to make Chili:

  • saute onions
  • cook beef
  • add the rest of the ingredients
  • simmer
  • enjoy!

All about the beans:

The best kind of beans to use this classic chili recipe are either pinto or kidney beans. I prefer kidney beans because they are slightly larger and are a little bit mushier in texture then pinto beans, however, you can use whatever you’d like. Another option is using using chili beans. Chili beans are canned beans sold that are seasoned, thus giving extra flavor. This classic chili recipe will have plenty of amazing flavor that you are not required to add chili beans.

Preparing the beans:

You can use canned beans for this and save yourself SO much time. Drain and rinse the beans before adding them into your chili recipe. This will get rid of extra starches from the beans as well as extra sodium. 

Seasonings:

There are many chili seasoning mixes on the market but I truly believe that the key to the perfect classic chili is making your own. Homemade chili seasoning comes together in just a minute without the additional sodium and additives that are included in store-bought chili seasoning mixes. I also don’t add sugar to my classic chili recipe because the tomato sauce and tomato paste provide just the right sweetness, that no more is needed.

How to freeze:

If there is one meal I love to make ahead and freeze for a cold lazy day, that would be this classic chili recipe. It is incredibly easy to freeze because you can portion it in containers of your choice and have it ready to go for either lunch or dinner. To defrost, either leave it in the refrigerator overnight or microwave it. Keep in mind, depending on how much chili is in your container, it may not completely defrost in the refrigerator overnight. 

Adjusting the consistency:

Letting the chili simmer will allow the liquid to reduce, making it thicker. However, if you’d like to speed up this process, you can add about 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to the chili to make it thicker. If you are adding cornstarch, I recommend mixing the cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water in a small place, and then adding the mixture to your chili. This will prevent from lumps of cornstarch throughout your chili. Only add cornstarch if you are not letting the chili simmer until desired consistency is reached.  

TOPPINGS TOPPINGS TOPPINGS:

Do you agree that chili tastes so much better when you add toppings? Some of the most common toppings for classic chili are :

  • cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • fresh parsley or celantro
  • green onions (my favorite)
  • oyster crackers
  • avocado

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (grated)
  • 1 medium sweet onion (diced)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2- 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (16 oz.) can red kidney beans- drained
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 Bay leaves

Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and add chopped onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent than add garlic and cook for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the ground beef to the pot. Break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  4. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Stir then add the drained beans into the pot. Stir until well combined.
  5. Add the bay leaf to the chili mixture.
  6. Bring the liquid boil.
  7. Then, reduce to low heat. Allow the chili to simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Remove the pot from the heat. Before serving, Let the chili rest for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Add your favorite toppings- Enjoy!