Orange you and Ginger going to Philly to fiddle with Brownie’s Bell stock?

This week’s menu is:

  • Carrot, Ginger and Orange Soup
  • Fiddled with Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches
  • Betty’s 1-pan Brownies

At last, I’m finally going to delve into the needs of real carnivores! Beef, gotta have beef! And, to boot, I also have chocolate! So, roll up your sleeves, don your aprons and prepare to make a favourite, multi-layered creamy soup with just the right tang, a modified version of an American classic using as expensive a cut of beef and variety of cheese you can afford at the moment, and, topped off with a chocoholic’s dream come true. 

Marrying carrots with the natural duet of ginger and orange creates a distinctively elegant flavour quality that both warms and soothes discriminating taste buds. Such a simple recipe that slides as easily into quiet weekend lunchtime as it does in a casual dinner party for friends.

beef chart Photo: Flickr

Buying just the right cuts of beef can be a worrisome. Unless the recipe you are working from is really specific as to the cut required to attain a particular result such as a Standing Prime Rib Roast, there is wiggle room. In the case of this week’s recipe for the Fiddled with Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, the recipe calls for flank steak. Flank steak, the cut used for London broil, used to be a common cut of meat easily found and quite affordable. It has become more difficult to find and the price, for such a utilitarian cut, has become out of reach for the average, budget conscious person. That in mind, a quick switch to a different cut can garner the same results for a far more reasonable price. Blade Steak is a marvellous cut of meat as it is versatile and can be used in a multitude of applications making it much easier for a meat-lover to get their fix at a much more affordable price. See for an easy to understand breakdown of different cuts of beef.

provolone Photo: Flickr

Provolone cheese is an all-purpose type of cheese used easily both at the table and in cooking. Provolone, as well, can be a fairly pricey variety of cheese and is quite successfully replaced with Mozzarella cheese, the industrial variety of cheese that appears more often on pizzas but steps in handily when other cheeses are hard to find and harder to afford.

And, do I have to say anything about Chocolate Brownies? It is a rare occurrence to find somebody who honestly confesses to not loving everything about chocolate brownies and is totally unable to mix up a batch. Well, this recipe challenges any novice cook to admit being unable to whip up a batch of these chocolate treats!  Not only does this recipe have the simplest of ingredients but it is mixed in the pan it gets baked in so no mountain of dishes to clean up!

Carrot, Ginger and Orange Soup

fresh ginger Photo: Flickr

2    lbs      carrots, skinned,diced (900 g)
5    cups  chicken stock, or to cover (1.25 litre)
3    oz        frozen orange juice concentrate, (90 ml)
2    tbsp    fresh ginger, grated (30 ml)
to taste     sea salt, pepper       

Peel and dice the carrots into ½“ (1.25cm) cubes.

Cook the carrots in the chicken stock until soft.

Remove cooked carrots from the stock (reserve stock for later).

Purée carrots in food processor until very smooth.

Put puréed carrots back into pot…reheat gently… add orange concentrate and grated ginger.

Add sufficient reserved chicken stock to achieve desired consistency.

Serves 4

161 Calories, 6 Calories from Fat, 0.6g Total Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 312 mg Sodium, 38.1g Carbohydrates, 6.7g Dietary Fibre, 3.1g Protein

Fiddled with Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich

This contains almost all the goodies that make Philly Cheese Steak so good: thinly sliced steak, onions, peppers and mushrooms, but less gooey and more flavourful with provolone cheese instead of the traditional processed cheese product. Healthier, but we’ll keep that secret to ourselves.

fiddled with Philly cheese steak sandwich Photo: Flickr

1      tsp    canola oil (5 ml)                    
1     med  Vidalia onion, sliced                                    
1      clove garlic, minced 
4      oz      fresh mushrooms, sliced (115 g)
1     med   red bell pepper, sliced 
1/4   cup   fresh oregano (2 tsp, 10ml dried) (60 ml)
1/2    tsp   freshly ground pepper (2.5 ml)   
1     lb       flank steak, trimmed, sliced thin (450 g)
4 1/2   tsp flour
3    oz     beef stock, salt free (90 ml)
4    oz     reduced-fat provolone cheese, thinly sliced (115 g)
                                                                                4               4-6” (10-15cm) whole wheat toasted sub rolls 

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over Medium-High heat. Add onion cooking until translucent and starting to brown, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, oregano and pepper, cooking until vegetables are softened and wilted, 7-8 minutes.

Add steak, cooking until the meat is just cooked, 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low, sprinkle mixture with flour stirring to coat.

Increase heat to High, stir in stock and quickly bring to a boil to remove starchy taste. Remove from heat.

Lay sliced cheese on top of the mixture and cover with lid. Allow to stand until the cheese is melted, 2 minutes.

Divide in half leaving the cheese on top. With a spatula transfer mixture to an opened, split bread roll. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

450 Calories, 155 Calories from Fat, 17.2g Total Fat, 7.1g Saturated Fat, 116 mg Cholesterol, 488 mg Sodium, 28.2g carbohydrates, 5.4g Dietary Fibre, 6.6g Sugars, 46.0g Protein

Addition: banana peppers make a great topping if you like it hot!

Betty’s 1-pan Brownies

Every ingredient in this recipe is mixed in the baking pan so there is virtually nothing to wash when you’re done!

brownies Poto: Flickr

1/3  cup     shortening, butter or margatine  (85 ml)
4      tbsp   butter (60 ml)
4      tbsp   unsweetened cocoa powder (60 ml)
½     tsp     vanilla (2.5 ml)
2      large eggs
¾     cup    flour (180 ml)
pinch         salt  
¾     cup   walnuts, chopped, optional (180 ml)
¾     cup   raisins, optional (180 ml)

Preheat oven to 325ºF (162ºC).

Melt shortening and butter in 8” square (20 cm) brownie pan.

Add cocoa powder and stir with a fork until well blended.

Cool then beat in vanilla and sugar.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in flour and salt. Mix in nuts and/or raisins.

Spread out evenly in the pan.

Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool on a cooling rack before cutting into 2” (5cm) squares

153 Calories, 104 Calories from Fat, 11.5g Total Fat, 3.6 Saturated Fat, 34 mg Cholesterol, 30 mg Sodium, 11.2 Carbohydrates, 1.3g Dietary Fibre, 4.2g Sugars, 3.3g Protein

And . . . if you are feeling really naughty, add a handful of chocolate chips to the mix

And then . . . instead of the chocolate chips and/or walnuts and/or raisins, for the sheer fun of it . . . add a handful of M&Ms (and those calories don’t count because they are not really part of the recipe…right?)

chocolate chips Photo: Flickr

M&Ms Photo: Flickrschocolate chips Photo: Flickr

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Categories: Dinner for 4 for -$40, Food, Uncategorized


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