Tag Archives: beef

Bachelor in the Kitchen: Perfecting Skirt Steak

Written by Nick

Nescafé Clásico Steaks Recipe

I am your average, everyday, middle of the road, carnivorous, meat-osaurus rex and I can’t seem to get enough STEAK. Nothing really beats going to a great steak house to celebrate your newest promotion (Hey boss, wink wink). Even if you’re cooking at home, buying a nice cut of steak can really put a dent in your pocket book. That’s why it’s important to have an arsenal of marinades and rubs to spice up an everyday skirt steak into something special.

This recipe is hands down my new favorite marinade. The steak was so tender and flavorful, I really couldn’t believe it. Best part is, with a little planning (you need to marinate the steak for 12 hours) this recipe is super simple. Also, skirt steak is one of the quickest and easiest to cook, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally overcooking an expensive filet mignon or under cooking your rib-eye.

*Note – football season is nearly upon us. Serving steak at your kickoff party? Why not! Chop up some of this Nescafé Clássico Steaks over a bed of tortilla chips, add some cheese and pico-de-gallo and you’ve got some FANCY NACHOS!

Nescafé Clásico Steaks

Ingredients for 4 to 6 servings:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons NESCAFÉ CLÁSICO Pure Instant Coffee Granules, dissolved in 1 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon MAGGI Granulated Chicken Flavor Bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 2 pounds skirt steak, cut into 4 pieces
  • Lime wedges for garnish


MELT butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add sesame seeds; cook, shaking pan occasionally, until seeds are toasted and become fragrant. Add chopped onion; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender. Remove from heat; let cool.

PLACE sesame and onion mixture in a blender. Add garlic, coffee mixture, soy sauce, bouillon, pepper, vinegar, oil, sugar and chile powder; cover. Blend for 30 seconds.

PLACE steak pieces in a large freezer bag; carefully pour in mixture. Seal; gently shake the bag to cover steaks in marinade. Refrigerate for 12 hours.

PREHEAT grill. Lightly oil grill rack.

GRILL steaks for about 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat; let meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice meat against the grain.

SERVE with a squeeze of lime juice.


More Marinades and Rubs:

Coffee-Spice Rubbed Ribs Recipe
Coffee-Spice Rubbed Ribs
Baked Cola-Brined Fresh Ham Recipe
Baked Cola-Brined Fresh Ham

Easy Baked Picadillo Empanadas & Abuelita Chocolate Tamales

Written by Liz –

Easy Baked Picadillo Empanadas recipe

It’s time to celebrate Hispanic heritage month with some delicious new recipes from our kitchens: Easy Baked Picadillo Empanadas and Abuelita Chocolate Tamales. Empanadas are popular in almost all Latin American countries.  There are a vast amount of different versions and fillings…some are fried, some are baked, some are sweet and some are savory.

This Easy Baked Picadillo Empanadas recipe was inspired by the Argentinean empanada with its popular picadillo filling. Picadillo is a ground beef filling and it varies on the ingredients and method of preparation, depending on the country of origin. Some have hard-boiled eggs, olives, raisins, potatoes and even capers. This version has a sweet and salty combination of ingredients like raisins and green olives and flavorings like cumin and Maggi seasoning.

This version is very easy to prepare, and it’s a healthier alternative to the more typical fried version. Using our Maggi Sofrito cooking base and pre-made frozen dough cuts preparation time by more than half. And baking the empanadas cuts fat and calories. And they’re delicioso!

Easy Baked Picadillo Empanadas

Ingredients for 24 empanadas:

  • 24 (two 11.6-ounce packages) frozen store-bought empanada dough discs, defrosted
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 MAGGI Beef Flavor Bouillon Tablet, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small potato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 packet (3.98 ounces) MAGGI Sofrito Seasoning Paste (tomato, garlic, onion)


PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease large baking sheets.

HEAT large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, bouillon and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Add bell pepper, potato, olives, raisins and sofrito. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until mixture is heated through and has thickened slightly.

PLACE 2 heaping tablespoons beef mixture in center of each pastry disc. Wet edges with water; fold in half and crimp edges with fork.

PLACE empanadas on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Abuelita Chocolate Tamales recipe

And for dessert: tamales. Tamales (sweet or savory) are a must during any Hispanic celebration. Even President Obama celebrates Hispanic Heritage with tamales!

This is a sweet tamale recipe and Abuelita Chocolate Tamales are a breeze to make since there is no stuffing involved. Simply prepare it like a cake batter and spread on a corn husk, wrap and then steam! And the cinnamon cream sauce on top is the perfect finishing touch! Double your chocolate enjoyment and pair these tamales with a hot Atole.

Abuelita Chocolate Tamales

Ingredients for 14 servings:

14 large dry corn husks
2 cans (7.6 fluid ounces each) NESTLÉ Media Crema, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablets (90 grams each) NESTLÉ ABUELITA Chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 3/4 cups masa harina flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups warm milk


SOAK husks in warm water for at least 1 hour or until softened and easy to fold.

COMBINE 1 can media crema, sweetened condensed milk and cinnamon in small bowl; refrigerate.

PLACE Abuelita chocolate and remaining 1 can media crema in medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat; set aside.

BEAT butter in large bowl until creamy. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Alternately add flour mixture, milk and Abuelita mixture to butter, mixing well after each addition until consistency of thick cake batter (masa). (If masa is dry add a few tablespoons of warm milk; mix well.)

SPREAD 1/4 cup masa mixture, using back of a spoon, to form a square in the center of the lower wider portion of one husk. Fold right then left edge of husk over masa. Fold up bottom edge. Repeat with remaining masa mixture and husks.

PLACE vegetable steamer in pot with lid; add water to just below steamer. Arrange tamales upright in steamer rack. Cover top of tamales with a damp towel; cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Steam, adding water as needed, for about 1 hour or until masa pulls away from husks. Serve warm with media crema sauce.


More Hispanic recipes:

Quesadilla Pizzas recipe
Quesadilla Pizzas
Chicken and Cheese Entomatadas recipe
Chicken and Cheese Entomatadas

Perfect for Dad’s Day & Summer: Grilled Sticky Ribs + Asian Coleslaw

Written by Chris

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

Celebrate Father’s Day and kick off your summer festivities with these succulent ribs. They are first baked then grilled with a sweet chili glaze for a delightful Asian-inspired finish. With only 20 minutes of preparation time, and mostly-unattended cooking time, this meal is hard to beat!

Asian Coleslaw recipe

Asian Coleslaw recipe

I like to serve this with the Asian Coleslaw above, and here’s a little tip: If you have leftover glaze from the recipe below, use it in the slaw dressing; you only need 2 tablespoons. Just replace the sweet chili sauce with the glaze. Mmm, finger-licking good I tell you!

Grilled Sticky Ribs, shown at top

Ingredients for 5 to 6 servings:

  • Aluminum foil
  • 2 racks (about 4 pounds total) baby back ribs
  • Garlic salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup MAGGI TASTE OF ASIA Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Apple NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE® All Natural 100% Juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine (mirin)


PREHEAT oven to 300° F.

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

Using a knife, remove the membrane (that’s the shiny white coating) from bone side of ribs. This step is very important for tender ribs. You basically just need to get that knife under the membrane to loosen it and then start easing the membrane away from the meat. If the membrane feels slippery, use a paper towel for a good grip. If you are lucky, the membrane will come off in one piece as shown above. Just keep working at it, it will come off. 

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

PAT ribs dry with paper towel; season both sides liberally with garlic salt and black pepper as show above. Place ribs in a large roasting pan, overlapping as needed. Add about ½ cup water to pan. Cover tightly with foil.
BAKE for about 3 hours or until meat is very tender but not quite falling off the bones. (If you are short on time, just make sure the ribs bake at least 1 ½ hours.)

For the Sweet Chili Glaze:

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

HEAT oil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Stir in garlic and ginger; cook for 1 minute. Stir in sweet chili sauce, Juicy Juice and rice wine. Reduce heat to low; cook for 8 minutes or until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup. It should be thick and sticky as shown above. 

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

PREHEAT grill or broiler. Brush glaze over tops of ribs. Grill over medium flame for 4 to 5 minutes or broil about 4 inches from heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce caramelizes as shown above. Cut between the bones to separate; serve with any remaining glaze.

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

Happy Father’s Day to all the sweet (and spicy) dads and husbands out there! 


Related recipes – make it a meal:

Mini Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches with Fresh Mint Ice Cream recipe
Mini Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches with Fresh Mint Ice Cream
Asian Coleslaw recipe
Asian Coleslaw (don’t forget to add sticky rib sauce!)

Time for Summer Grilling: Ribs, Rubs & Chicken Galore

Coffee-Spice Rubbed Ribs recipe

When the weather gets warm, I head outside to cook. Grilling season is here! Recently I’d eaten an entire meal of grilled food in Spain. And Memorial Day is a good time to pull off the cover and blow the dust away. The grill is your new best friend.

Grilling meat may seem daunting if you’ve never done it, so rest assured you can use a grill almost the same as you would an oven. Many recipes have directions for both an oven and a grill, and you can also use rubs, sauces and marinades to season any type of meat: beef, poultry, pork, lamb and more. All it takes is a little research and recipe hunting.

I started my summer grilling by using this Coffee-Spiced Rub recipe, which is perfect on ribs as shown in the recipe. But I wanted to grill a whole chicken using this rub, so I modified the cooking time since chicken has a lot less fat than ribs.

Coffee-Spiced Rub

(covers 4 pounds meat, shown on ribs at top)



COMBINE sugar, coffee granules, salt, garlic powder, coriander, pepper and cocoa in coffee or spice grinder; cover. Process until smooth. Lightly rub meat with oil. Sprinkle with rub mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere to the meat.

To learn how to grill a whole chicken, I turned to YouTube; it looked so easy! I had a whole chicken and some beef brisket as well, and I still wanted to use this recipe’s method of first slow cooking the meat over beer or wine, then grilling it to perfection at the end. Plus, I was dying to use a handcrafted pecan beer I got at the local beer festival – in the South – to perform this duty.

Coffee-Spice Rubbed Ribs or Chicken recipe

Since I was cooking chicken and brisket, the meat only needed about an hour in the oven at 250 (it made the house smell so good!) then I put it on the grill to finish the cooking and crisp up the outside. The leftover beer plus drippings in the bottom of the oven pan smelled so good, I used it to make a sauce.

Coffee-Spice Rubbed Ribs or Chicken recipe

For the sauce:

Pour the liquid from the pan under the meat through a sieve into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and add a bit of butter. Cook until it reduces by about half and serve alongside the meat.

For my next backyard dinner, I decided to marinate and grill a whole chicken. The marinade in this Chardonnay Marinated Chicken recipe captured my heart and I set to work. I doubled the amount of chardonnay to almost cover the chicken, and created a custom herb mix made from every herb growing in the garden around my house, including rosemary, thyme, parsley, lavender and mint. I also used good, local olive oil and large sea salt. Turning the chicken in the marinade a few times during the evening made me lick my fingers! I couldn’t wait to eat it.

Chardonnay Marinated & Grilled Chicken recipe

To grill, I followed my handy YouTube instructions, and it turned out perfectly cooked. 15 minutes before the chicken was done, I added zucchini, asparagus and broccolini to the grill. I also made a warm spicy-vinegar potato salad and mini lemon tartlets to fill every last bit of space in my guests’ tummies.

My grill is now the most popular kid in town.


Related Grilling Recipes:

Skewered Sesame Chicken recipe
Skewered Sesame Chicken (oven or grill)
Grilled Pound Cake with Seasonal Berries and Apple-Ginger Syrup recipe
Grilled Pound Cake with Berries & Apple-Ginger Syrup

Ceviche, Chiles & Chocolate: A Delectable Feast with Latina Bloggers

Shrimp Ceviche recipe

Getting ready for our Latina Blogger lunch here at the kitchens, I have to admit, I was a little nervous. I’d never hosted a lunch with Latina bloggers before, featuring some recipes I’d created to be easier and healthier. And to ask these strangers to help cook the meal…making light versions of some favorite traditional dishes?

But once they walked in, I instantly felt fine. They were so warm and caring I felt like I had my family members over for lunch. I loved that they liked to cook together and that we all prepared our lunch as a team. For me, It was a wonderful experience to have real cooks and real moms in the kitchen with me. That’s why it felt so good!

These ladies are writing and working to make lives better for their families and create connections and friendships with other women they only met since they went online. They also learned new ways to use our products (like using Juicy Juice in flank steak marinade), and were impressed by our easy Mole sauce (they were surprised that cutting corners and making it easier tasted so good).

Thanks to this outstanding group of ladies for our family lunch! See photos of lunch and attendees here.

Shrimp Ceviche, shown at top

Ceviche can be tricky since it uses raw fish and only the acid “cooks” it. I wanted to make this dish easier for everyone, so I pre-cooked shrimp for the dish until just cooked, then marinated it in lime overnight. To serve, I added my favorite ingredients, including pickled jalapeño (the Mexican in me), green olives (the Spaniard in me) and red onions to complement the sour of the lime. And of course you can’t serve it without cilantro — it adds a lovely freshness…I use it in almost everything (someday I will make a cilantro dessert)! Seasoning sauce adds a bit of flavor and salt.

Shrimp Ceviche recipe

Serving it in the radicchio cups above gives an additional color element, plus you can eat it as a wrap.

Marinated Flank Steak recipe

Marinated Flank Steak

Skirt steak, which is the basic cut of meat used for carne asada, is very flavorful and a very affordable cut of meat. But, you don’t want to overcook it, you want to keep the meat tender. The secret to this is to marinate the steak overnight in lime, spices, garlic, Maggi seasoning, and the sweet component, apple Juicy Juicy. And of course cilantro! Broiling it at high heat for a short period is the key to keeping it moist and cooked to medium (or even medium rare). Then, cutting against the grain helps break down the protein fibers even more.

Marinated Flank Steak recipe

On this day, since we had extra time with all the help from our bloggers, I strained the marinade into a sauce pan, added a few tablespoons and reduced it down to almost a glaze, then drizzled it on top of the steak and added the cilantro, shown above.

Avocado and Tomato Salad with Confetti Vinaigrette recipe

For the accompanying salad, we made this Avocado and Tomato Salad with Confetti Vinaigrette, shown above, chopped into a salsa format to go on the steak or in warm tortillas.

Abuelita Enmoladas recipe

Abuelita Enmoladas

I’ve talked before about an easy mole sauce, but for this recipe, I made the mole ultra easy – this one has only 4 basic ingredients, and they’re already prepared for you! They are Sofrito seasoning paste, canned chiles in adobo sauce, chicken bouillon and Abuelita chocolate. Simple. Every cook needs several version of mole under their belt – depending on how much time they have to prepare it. This is your easy go-to recipe, done in only 20 minutes.

The tomato, onion and garlic base mixed with spicy chiles and chocolate gives the mole the rich base, then you can adjust it to make it as spicy as you like. You can use any filling you want in the enchiladas, we used Mexican cheese. We finished it with toasted sesame seeds to provide the nuttiness, and they look so nice on top. Even with so few ingredients for mole (traditional mole takes a long list and a whole day or more) the flavor is very intense! Our bloggers were pleasantly surprised. Get the recipe here.

Lemon and Berry Parfaits recipe

Lemon & Berry Parfaits

In Spanish, this kind of dessert would be called espuma or “foam.” It’s very light and airy; a lighter version of simply whipping cream and eating with berries. I whipped very cold evaporated milk (I even chilled the bowl to get the most volume) first to double its volume, then added the condensed milk, lemon, zest and Grand Marnier (just a splash). Serve this with your favorite toppings, and layer them for an elegant look. I love toasted almonds and assorted berries. You can even use lower fat milk and it works fine – you just have to eat it faster…which is no problem for me. Just don’t tell your guests how easy it was!


Related Hispanic lunch recipes:

Avocado and Tomato Salad with Confetti Vinaigrette recipe
Avocado and Tomato Salad with Confetti Vinaigrette
Strawberry & Arugula Salad with Cocoa-Spiced Pecans recipe
Strawberry & Arugula Salad with Cocoa-Spiced Pecans
Wonka Chocolate-Filled Strawberries recipe
Wonka Chocolate-Filled Strawberries
La Lechera Tangy Lime Pie recipe
La Lechera Tangy Lime Pie

Watch the Superbowl with Pumpkin Chili Mexicana & Wine

Pumpkin Chili Mexicana

Every year about now, the biggest sporting event in America rolls around: the Superbowl. There are many famous things about this game: the rivalry of the teams, the personalities of the players, and the best commercials of the year. But my favorite thing about the Superbowl is the food.

Now I don’t mean chips and dip, or hot wings from the local sports bar. I want something homemade, hearty and spicy. And easy…especially if I’m the one planning the party. And I love chili. I wanted to make mine a bit healthier, but still spicy, and pair it with some good wine – no beer for this girl.

Pumpkin Chili Mexicana

So I used this Pumpkin Chili Mexicana recipe, added extra pumpkin, extra tomato sauce and some beans with jalapeños, then topped it with fresh arugula (cilantro works well too), crème fraîche, white pepper and grated cheddar/jack cheese (shown above). This recipe is so versatile! And it goes well with wine.

Meat Substitutions:

  • Use ground lamb instead of turkey, with fresh mint and Feta cheese.
  • Use ground ostrich instead of turkey, with fresh oregano and Gruyère cheese (good ostrich can taste like filet mignon).
  • Use other exotic ground meats like rabbit or bison – these are a bit harder to find, but I’ve been recently inspired by meat-loving chefs in Los Angeles to try them.

Wine Pairings:

  • Lighter chilis go very well with dry to off-dry Pinot Gris or Riesling, like those from Alsace, France. You can also find excellent styles of Pinot Gris from Oregon.
  • Darker chilis go well with a Rhone-style blend or varietal. Try a full-bodied Grenache or GSM blend (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre). There are also many good choices from Australia and California.

So enjoy the Superbowl, try a new combination for your chili, and take a virtual wine tour. You’ll find the best pairing before the first commercial.


Related Superbowl recipes:


Picadillo for Tacos Recipe
Picadillo for Tacos
Tequila Citrus Chicken Wings Recipe
Tequila Citrus Chicken Wings
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