Hye Thyme Cafe

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Friday, October 17, 2014

Slow Cooker London Broil

Hye Thyme Cafe: Slow Cooker London Broil


London Broil / Flank Steak is known for being a flavorful, but not the most tender, cut of beef, which is why it's usually sliced super thin. That's not an issue when you put your slow cooker to work for you. Most slow cooker recipes call for a full eight hours of cook time. You do have some wiggle room here. If you're looking for a tender steak that slices with minimal resistance, six hours will do you just fine. If you're looking for more of a fork-tender pot roast type end result, go for the full eight.

Having gotten a late start, I pulled the plug at six hours this time.  I wanted to make sure I had the kitchen cleaned up, everything put away, and time to digest dinner so I could pop a bowl of popcorn and park my butt in front of the TV for The Walking Dead premier. Maybe I should have gone vegan that night - forgot about the cannibals at Terminus! They used a grill rather than a slow cooker.   *:( sad *:puke! puke



INGREDIENTS
1 London Broil / Flank Steak
Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
Flour
1 can Delmonte Petite Diced Tomatoes 
   (zesty jalapeno or with green chilies)
2 cans beef broth (or 2 cans water and 2 beef bouillon cubes)
2 T Worcestershire
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T oregano
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lg onion
Olive oil
(Optional: Baby Carrots, Diced Potatoes, Corn Starch for gravy)

  1. Trim most, if not all, of the fat from your steak, then season well with Montreal Steak Seasoning and a light dusting of flour.
  2. Sear the steak in a bit of olive oil for about 4" on each side.
  3. While the steak is searing, empty the tomatoes into your slow cooker, and if you are using water with bouillon cubes, use the can to measure out your water, adding that to the tomatoes.
  4. Add the Worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, oregano, garlic, and onion - sliced into rings or wedges.
  5. If you like your carrots (and potatoes if using) soft, go ahead and add them with the rest. If you prefer them a little firmer, hold back and add them at about 2 hours in.
  6. Once your steak is seared, nestle it in among the liquid and veggies and, to quote Idina Menzel in Frozen ... "Let it go" and just walk away.
  7. When the steak is done to your likeness, transfer the steak, onions, and carrots (and potatoes if included) to a platter and loosely tent with foil to rest.
  8. You have options when it comes to a sauce.  You can use the juice as it is, or you can use a blender or wand mixer to puree the juice, using some of the carrots to act as a thickener. A third option is to scoop out a bit of the liquid, stir in a tablespoon or so of cornstarch to create a slurry and pour it back into the pot. Turn the heat up to high and let it come to a boil to thicken and reduce while your meat rests.

Hye Thyme Cafe: Slow Cooker London Broil
Hye Thyme Cafe: Slow Cooker London Broil









Much like you would toss cubed beef with flour when making a beef stew, the flour here helps create that nice crust/seal when searing to hold in all that flavor and helps later with thickening the liquid. I like to keep a shaker full of flour handy for things like this and when dusting a work surface for kneading dough, etc. I would have normally thrown in some diced potato, but I was in the mood for Parmesan Mashed Potatoes that night instead, so I just included the carrots and onion.


Hye Thyme Cafe: Slow Cooker London Broil


Hye Thyme Cafe: Slow Cooker London Broil


 No need for slicing super thin with meat this tender.


Hye Thyme Cafe: Slow Cooker London Broil


 
Hye Thyme Cafe: Slow Cooker London Broil




Monday, October 13, 2014

Crumb Topped Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie

Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe


I was trying to think of what to make to use up the extra White Cheedar Cheez-It crumbs I had on hand after making Fried Pickles last week. My first thought was to use it to top a Baked Macaroni and Cheese, but I haven't been in the mood for that lately - imagine that! Then I thought about Apple Pie, since lots of people eat theirs with cheddar cheese. I don't think I've ever actually done that; I'm more of an a la mode kinda gal. Then I remembered seeing an "apple slab pie" on Pinterest a while back, so I decided to go that route, using a crumb topping, so it's sort of a combination of an Apple Crisp and an Apple Pie, using the crumbs in both the crust an the topping, with some additional shredded cheddar in the topping.


FILLING:
Apples - I used 2 each Cortland/McIntosh/Granny/Delicious
1/4 c sugar
1 T cinnamon

CRUST:
1 c White Cheddar Cheez-It crumbs
2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 T baking powder
1 t sugar
3/4 c Crisco shortening
2 T melted butter
6 T cold water

TOPPING :
1/2 c shredded cheddar
1/2 c flour
1/2 c White Cheddar Cheez-It crumbs
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c butter
1/4 to 1/2 t cayenne pepper


  1. Start by throwing your crust together. Just toss everything but the water into your food processor with the dough blade in place and give it a whirl, then slowly add the water until it all comes together into a ball. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to roll it out.
  2. If there is a lot of debris in the mixer, give it a quick rinse, then shred your cheddar (if using the mixer for that), and pulse together all of the topping ingredients; set aside.
  3. Peel, core, and slice your apples. I usually cut them into chunks for pie, but went with wedges here for better layering. Gently toss with the cinnamon and sugar and set aside to allow time for some of the liquid to come out. You want a juicy end product - not soggy. I always like to use a mixture of apples for their different textures and flavors.
  4. Roll out your dough into a rectangle a little larger than your pan - the dough is very soft. The waxed paper not only makes rolling easier, it allows you to transfer the dough to the pan more easily. Just lift an edge, hang it over the pan (lightly greased), and peel back the paper. You can create a decorative edge if you like, but since I was going with a crumb topping, I didn't bother. I just sort of pinched the edge all the way around to smooth it out and give it a little "lift."
  5. Layer in the apples, leaving any excess liquid in the bowl. To make sure every bit had apple, I started with a curved edge in each corner, straight cuts all around the outside, then worked my way in from there, creating two layers.
  6. Sprinkle the crumb mixture all over the top and bake at 375 for 50-60" until browned and the apples are tender.
As I think you can see from the scale in the picture below with the dessert plate next to the tray, I used a small sheet tray. That would be my Spinach Pie tray, which is funny because I usually roll triangles rather than making it in a pan, so I really use this one more for Pumpkin Bars. Do you do that - refer to your kitchenware by its use? I have my Pilaf pot, my Yelanchi pan, Grammy's Dolma pot ...

Turned out well.  The crackers made for a super flaky/crispy crust.  I was curious about how it would be without the juicy filling, so I rolled out the scraps and baked it separately just to try it. It's good cold out of the fridge too. On those rare occasions when there are leftovers, I usually let apple pie sit out for a day or two before refrigerating, but for some reason, I put this in right away.


Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe
Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe

Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe
Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe










Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe
Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe

Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe


Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe



Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe
Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe

Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe



Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe



Cheddar-Apple Slab Pie: Hye Thyme Cafe