Tag Archives: green pepper

Steak pasta salad

Steak pasta salad

I came up with this when I was making main course pasta salads to eat before teaching at night twice a week. Since I was making a salad every week, I was going for variety and trying everything I could think of and had on hand. I had a piece of steak and thought, why not? The green pepper and onion seemed to be logical accompaniments to the steak.

As far as the dressing is concerned, I have tried to make the dressings for all of the salads on this blog from scratch. But I am not averse to using bottled salad dressings. When I first made this salad, I used some of the Trader Joe’s Romano Caesar dressing that I had on hand. I really liked the way it worked in this salad and have continued to use it each time I have made the salad.

I have used various cuts of beef for this salad. I think the first time I made this with eye of round steak. This time I used a piece of sirloin. It is important to use lots of fresh ground pepper on the steak while you are browning it, more than you would normally use if just seasoning a steak not going into a salad. This works because you are not just seasoning the steak, you are effectively seasoning the entire salad with the steak.

Steak pasta salad

4–6 ounces steak cut into fairly thin pieces
fresh ground pepper
olive oil

1 cup elbow macaroni
1/4 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced

3 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Romano Caesar dressing

Cook macaroni following package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool.

Heat oil in pan. Add the pieces of steak and plenty of fresh ground pepper. Cook until well browned.

Combine the macaroni, steak, green pepper, onion, and dressing and stir.

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Philly beef frittata

Philly beef frittata

This frittata was, of course, inspired by the sandwich. The one with the provolone cheese, not the Cheez Whiz! For the beef, I used regular deli roast beef. Mine was sliced thin, so I kept the slices together when I cut the beef up into bite-sized pieces so there would be more substantial pieces of beef in the frittata. I like a moderately large dice for the onions and green pepper to make them obvious ingredients in the frittata.

Philly beef frittata

3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) sliced deli roast beef, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup diced green pepper (at least 1/4-inch dice)
1/4 cup diced onion (at least 1/4-inch dice)
1/4 cup mushrooms, cut in half and sliced
1/2 cup grated provolone cheese, plus more for top
oil

3 eggs
olive oil

Saute the onions, green pepper, and mushrooms in oil until the onions are translucent. Remove from pan.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit more oil to the pan if needed and let it get hot. Add a small amount of the eggs to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the roast beef, vegetables, and cheese into the eggs. Pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, sprinkle a bit more of the cheese on the top. Place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.

Red bean frittata

Red beans frittata

I really liked the red beans I made with the New Orleans tostada. These were the spicy New Orleans/Louisiana/southern-style beans for red beans and rice. So I wondered how they would work in a frittata. Bottom line–great!

The beans are made the same as before. Again, I am making the whole can even though I am using only about half in the frittata. I’ll eat the rest for lunch the next day. It helps to cook the beans for a long time. I did 40 or 45 minutes this time.

In making the frittata, it didn’t seem to make sense to try to mix the beans with the eggs. So I put a thin layer of the eggs in the pan and cooked them for a minute, put the beans on top, and poured the rest of the eggs over the beans.

Red beans frittata

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 andouille sausage, chopped up
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
chicken broth
fresh ground pepper
olive oil

3 eggs
oil

Brown the sausage briefly in the olive oil. Add the onions and green pepper and cook over medium heat until soft, adding the garlic for the last minute. Add the kidney beans, cayenne pepper, fresh ground pepper and about 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cook at a low simmer for at least half an hour, stirring occasionally and adding more chicken broth as needed to keep it from getting dry.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to a pan and let it get hot. Add a thin layer of the eggs to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium low and let it cook for a minute. Spoon the beans over the top of the eggs. Spoon or pour the remainder of the eggs over the beans. Cook this for about 4 more minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.

Green and red pepper and bacon frittata

Green pepper, roasted red pepper, and bacon frittata

This frittata was conceived as a juxtaposition of textures and flavors. The softness of the roasted red pepper contrasts with the crunchiness of the green bell pepper while the crisp bacon adds another aspect. Likewise, the mild red pepper, the stronger green pepper, and the smoky bacon offer very different flavors.

A note on the preparation. I briefly cooked the green pepper in the bacon fat for just 30 seconds. The idea was not to actually cook the pepper–I didn’t want to lose the crispness and dark green color. Instead, the purpose was to just take the edge off the grassy, mildly bitter flavor of green bell peppers. I think this worked.

Green pepper, roasted red pepper, and bacon frittata

4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
1/3 cup green bell pepper, sliced and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup roasted red pepper, sliced and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3 eggs
vegetable oil

Cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on a papper towel.

Keeping the bacon fat in the pan, while still hot, add the green bell pepper pieces and cook for just 30 seconds and remove from the pan.

Pour out the bacon fat and wipe out the pan. Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add a small amount of the eggs to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the peppers and bacon into the eggs. Pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.

New Orleans frittata

New Orleans frittata

The New Orleans tostada got me thinking about making a New Orleans frittata. (It was also the case that I had some of the andouille sausage left in the freezer from making the tostada.) In making the tostada, I couldn’t make up my mind and ended up topping the tostada with both andouille sausage and cajun shrimp. This worked because I could put the sausage on one tortilla and the shrimp on the other. But I didn’t think combining the sausage and shrimp in a frittata made sense. So I decided to go with just the sausage. (I’ll be making a cajun shrimp frittata sometime in the future to make up for not including the shrimp here.)

Then as far as other ingredients for the frittata, the red beans for the tostada included onion, green pepper, and garlic. These sounded good for the frittata as well. And some cayenne pepper.

New Orleans frittata

1 to 1–1/2 andouille sausages sliced in half lengthwise and then sliced, 3/4 to 1 cup
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon (or more) cayenne pepper
olive oil

3 eggs
olive oil

Brown the sausage in olive oil. Add onions, green pepper, and cayenne pepper, reduce heat and cook until softened, adding garlic for the last minute. Remove from pan.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to the pan if needed and let it get hot. Add a small amount of the eggs to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the sausage, onions, and pepper into the eggs and pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.