Naperville Eats: Quick recipes with a healthy bent
By Judy Buchenot For The Sun January 2, 2013 6:44PM
Esther Streit saves time by using prepared mirepoix in her recipe for Chicken Ala Osso Bucco.
Ala Osso Bucco
8 chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
Trader Joe’s Mirapoix
3 garlic cloves, chopped and divided
3/4 cup wine
16 ounces diced tomatoes
16 ounces tomato sauce
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon rosemary
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Season thighs with salt and pepper and sauté in olive oil until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Add mirapoix and two chopped garlic cloves. Cook until soft. Deglaze the pan with red wine and continue to cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano and rosemary. Cook until bubbling. Add thighs to the pan. Simmer for 40 to 60 minutes. While mixture is cooking, combine parsley, lemon zest and remaining one clove chopped garlic. Add to chicken. Serve over rice or pasta.
Korean Flank Steak
1/2 pound flank steak
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Remove silver skin from flank steak if present. Pat steak dry and make gentle slices in the meat against the grain to tenderize it. Mix remaining ingredients and place in a plastic bag or marinating container with the steak. Allow to marinate four to eight hours or overnight. Bring steak to room temperature. Remove steak from marinade and pat dry. Preheat grill to medium and cook about three to four minutes per side to medium rare. Allow to rest for five to 10 minutes and then slice against the grain. Serve with rice.
Updated: February 5, 2013 6:10AM
Esther Streit is a Naperville mother of two children who co-owns two businesses with her husband, Chris. They spend many hours in a home office running the companies that concentrate on providing e-commerce solutions for the motorsports communities. Like many working moms, she has to carefully plan her days. When it comes time to make dinner, she says, “I like easy, quick with just a few ingredients. I also try to make it healthy.”
Both of Streit’s parents are Korean, and she has learned how to cook some Korean specialties from them such as Galbi, which are marinated bone-in ribs, or Japchae, a mixture of glass noodles with shredded vegetables. But she cooks American, Italian or whatever else suits her fancy.
“My oldest likes home-cooked hearty meals, but my youngest likes simple foods like fruits, vegetables and sushi,” explains Streit.
Streit has several recipe books and is always looking for new recipes to try. To keep track of meals that everyone enjoys, Streit has come up with an interesting system.
“When I try something new, I ask everyone if they like it. If they do, I copy the recipe and put it in my pink binder,” she says referring to a loose-leaf binder filled with recipes slipped into protective plastic sheets. “This way, I can find the recipe again and don’t have to go looking for it in all my recipe books. My family loves it when I cook from the pink binder, because they know it will be one of their favorites.”
She makes notes of the adjustments she makes to the recipe on the copies in the binder so the dish comes out the same way each time.
Streit is always looking for ways to save time when she cooks. One of her favorite time savers is prepared mirepoix, which she found at Trader Joe’s Grocery Store.
“It is a mixture of chopped onions, celery and carrots that I can just add to the recipe,” she notes. “It is much easier to use than chopping everything and it all fresh.”
Some of her Korean recipes require time for marinating, so she tries to start those dishes first thing in the morning before her day gets started. She can then concentrate on her busy day without worrying about dinner. She prefers to cook her rice in an electric rice cooker because it can be started and forgotten.
“For Korean dishes, the rice must be sticky-not fluffy,” she adds. “And I never use instant rice. I like a brand called Kokuho Rose. My family tends to eat more rice and pasta than potatoes.”
Streit shares a recipe for her Chicken Ala Osso Bucco as well as a Korean Flank Steak recipe that is one of her husband’s favorites.