Perfectly Seared Steak

perfectly seared steak

perfectly seared steak

Today’s post is going to be short and sweet. I have been practicing so many recipes for Valetine’s Day! Yesterday after I was going on my 2nd hour of finishing a truffle cupcake I realized something really important. Who the heck is going to want to spend the entire (Tuesday) day of Valentine’s Day cooking? That is when I decided to share this recipe with you.

If you are going to invest in any type of cooking gear, I highly recommend a cast iron skillet. Patrick gave me this large skillet on Christmas because I had previously been using a few tiny skillets. It doesn’t have to been anything fancy. I am pretty sure Walmart and Homegoods sell some pretty inexpensive ones. If you take care of your skillet it will last forever.

This weekend we went ahead and seasoned our new pan. Heat your oven up to 400 degrees. Take a cloth or paper towel and dip into canola oil or lard. Then cover the entire surface of the skillet. Even the handle and the outside. Bake for 1 hour then cool.

Okay back to this steak. I am forever over cooking my steaks because I come up with elaborate side dishes and the steak almost becomes an after thought. This time I made the steak the star of the show! This recipe is great for Valentine’s Day because it is so easy and quick, but definitely does not lack flavor!

perfectly seared steak

Perfectly Seared Steak
Recipe type: Steak, Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Perfectly Seared Steak for Valentine's Day
  • 2 ribeye steaks
  • ½ cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 heaping tbsp of chopped or smashed garlic
  • ¼ cup of melted butter
  • 1 tsp of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp of powdered garlic
  • cracked salt and pepper
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl place your steaks and the soy sauce, chopped garlic, salt and pepper, brown sugar and crushed red pepper.
  3. Let your steaks sit on the counter at least and hour before marinating to come to almost room temp.
  4. Marinate your steaks for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Heat your skillet over medium high.
  6. Pour half the butter in and let heat.
  7. Add your steaks and cook without touching for 1 minute.
  8. Pour in the rest of the butter and flip. Season with garlic powder salt and pepper.
  9. Cook for 1 minute then pour the marinade over the meat.
  10. Into the oven for 3 minutes for rare.
  11. minutes for medium.
  12. (This depends on how thin your steaks are. Mine where about an inch thick)
  13. Remove from pan immediately and let rest on a cutting board or plate.
  14. Once rested for about 5 minutes serve with a little of the pan sauce.

Enjoy your perfectly seared steak! Keep it simple and serve with a fresh veggie an potato. We like roasted asparagus and roasted red potatoes. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Nacho Cheese Burgers

nacho cheese burger

I have been craving a plate of nachos lately. Unfortunately, Patrick is not a big fan of tortilla chips so I am always trying to come up with a new spin on nachos. Homemade nacho cheese is what makes this fantastic burger. Fresh garlic and jalapenos sauteed before adding in sharp cheddar and monteray jack.

nacho burger

The hardest part about making burgers on the stove top is not drying them out. To be honest I am usually so focused on flavor I forget about the cook time on the burgers. When I told Patrick what I was making he actually cringed a little clearly remembering my well done burgers from last time. Oops! This time I am focused! These came out a perfect medium rare which is so important since we are using a very lean cut of meat.

nacho burger

I used a blend of my favorite spices: smoked paprika, fresh cracked sea salt, white pepper, garlic and onion. Yes I definitely satisfied my nacho craving with these! Feel free to reduce the recipe. We ended up sharing one burger since they were so massive.

Nacho Cheese Burgers
Recipe type: Burger, Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
Thin sirloin patties topped with home made nacho cheese.
  • For the burger:
  • 1 pound of ground sirloin
  • 1 tbsp cracked sea salt
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 buns (or 4 if you want singles)
  • For the cheese sauce:
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese - cheddar and monteray jack
  • 1 tbsp of corn starch
  • 1 tbsp of fresh garlic
  • 1 chopped jalapeno seeds and veins removed
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • Burger toppings:
  • Bacon
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Ketchup
  • Mayo
  • Whatever you decide
  1. In a large mixing bowl mix together the sirloin, spices, and egg.
  2. Form into thin uniform sized patties.
  3. Preheat a skillet to medium heat.
  4. Add the olive oil.
  5. Cook the patties for about 3-5 minutes on each side depending on your temp preference.
  6. For the cheese:
  7. In a small sauce pan heat the butter.
  8. Add the garlic and jalapenos.
  9. In a bowl combined the cheese, spices and cornstarch.
  10. Add to the sauce pan.
  11. Make sure the heat is medium low.
  12. Add in the milk ¼ a cup at a time.
  13. Whisk constantly.
  14. Sauce should be smooth.
  15. In a frying pan fry ¼ a pound of bacon.
  16. Let drain.
  17. Warm your buns and top with your favorite toppings!

So next time you are craving some nachos, but do not want to use tortilla chips try out my burger recipe!

I promise it is so worth it.

I added lots of hot sauce.

It was delicious!

If you try this recipe don’t forget to tag me! #kelliericecakes

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Spicy Mexican Chili

spicy mexican chili

Spicy chili is one of my favorite dishes to make. It is super simple and there are always left overs. Chili leftovers are perfect for next day omelets or hashbrowns. This chili has a little bit of a twist. I usually like a more traditional borderline Italian chili. This time I changed it up and went heavy on Mexican spices. I started with lean ground beef then picked up some thinly sliced steak with light marbling. Think fajita cuts.

spicy mexican chili


Layers of smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, fresh garlic, fresh cracked pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper and fresh onion all meld together with the fats from the meat and create the best base for this spicy chili. How spicy is obviously up to you. I love my chili to be nearly on fire! I know this is going to be one of my go to meals this fall/winter. I serve mine with a crusty piece of baguette, but crackers would be equally delicious.

spicy chili

Spicy Mexican Chili
Recipe type: mexican, soup/stew
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
Layers of smoky spices, lean cuts of beef, juicy tomatoes and red beans come together to make this amazing Mexican chili.
  • ½ pound of lean ground beef
  • ½ pound of thinly sliced steak (fajita beef)
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 can of light red kidney beans rinsed
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 cups of beef or chicken broth
  • ¼ cup of hot sauce
  • olive oil
  1. In a large soup pot heat a couple tbsps of olive oil.
  2. Cook the chopped onion and garlic until translucent.
  3. Add the meat and cook until no longer pink.
  4. Add in the spices.
  5. Let cook for another 5 minutes or so until the meat is thoroughly coated.
  6. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock.
  7. Add the beans.
  8. Let cook for the next 1 hour on low.
  9. Stir every 15 minutes or so.
  10. Add in the hot sauce, salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
  11. Cook an additional 15 minutes.

The longer you cook this chili the better, but everything is done within the first hour. We are late eaters so I usually start this around 5 and let it cook over low for a few hours until we are ready to eat. This would also be great without the beans. I personally love the texture with the beans. I top mine with extra hot sauce, cheddar and sour cream. Patrick likes sour cream and chopped green onion. You can even trade out the sour cream for Greek yogurt! Yum!

I hope you try this recipe! Tag #kelliericecakes if you do!

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Spicy Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl

beef noodle bowl

Where we live there is a fantastic Asian restaurant on every corner. Korean BBQ, Hot Pot, Chinese dumplings, Pho- seriously everything you could dream of is within a 2 mile radius from our house. I wanted to try recreating a traditional Vietnamese beef noodle bowl that can be served within an hour. Honestly  you can probably serve this in 30 minutes, but I wanted to have a very flavorful broth.

spicy beef bowl

I started with a lean top round steak that I sliced very very thin. You can use any beef that you like, the more fat the more flavor. Since I was adding noodles to the dish I used a leaner beef to cut some calories. I marinated the sliced beef in soy sauce and garlic while my broth was simmering.

beef noodle bowl

The broth starts with sauteing chopped onion and garlic. Then adding pureed ginger, sriracha sauce, and beef broth. Simmer until the broth begins to reduce then add the marinated beef. These bold flavors are so fragrant and spicy. My whole kitchen smelled so warm and cozy. Plus my favorite thing about rice noodles is the cook time. You just boil some water and pour it over the noodles. Letting them sit until soft and thickened.

Spicy Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl
Recipe type: Soup, Noodle Bowl
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
Spicy beef broth filled with beef and veggies over soft rice noodles.
  • 3 cups of beef broth
  • ¼ cup of sriracha (or less depending on your taste buds)
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 5 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp pureed ginger
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 pound of sliced beef
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 2 cups of prepared rice noodles
  • sriracha to taste
  1. In a large bowl marinate the beef with the soy sauce and 2 garlic cloves.
  2. Saute the onion and the rest of the garlic in a soup pot.
  3. Add the ginger, sesame seeds and broth.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and add the sriracha sauce.
  6. Once the broth begins to reduce add the beef.
  7. Cover over medium low for 30 minutes to an hour.
  8. Pour beef and broth over the rice noodles.
  9. Serve with green onion and sriracha.

beef noodle bowl

Next time you are in the mood for something spicy and comforting try out this spicy beef noodle bowl!

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Steak, Eggs, and Cheese on Homemade Onion Bagels

steak bagel

What do you make when you have leftover steak? I know what you are thinking right now. Who the heck has leftover steak??? I made fennel and garlic rubbed ribeye last night and we had one left over. (PS. Recipe for the ribeyes coming soon!) This morning I woke up and I knew exactly what that left over ribeye was destined to be. A glorious steak, egg, and cheese bagel. Not just any bagel though. I made these thin onion bagels. I wanted something warm and fragrant without too much bread. I didn’t want anything to compete with this insane steak.

steak and egg bagel

This crunchy crust is reminiscent of a baguette. Crisp outside with a soft yeasty inside. I topped them with onion flakes for a nice flavor to go with the crunch. Lathered with salted butter they don’t need any kind of sauce (except hot sauce if you are a serious heat junky like me). Creamy scrambled eggs and melted American cheese top the bagel  off before the grand finale. Sliced pan fried ribeye. Go ahead and take a second to clean up that drool. Its okay my mouth is watering again too.

steak bagel

Steak, Eggs, and Cheese on Homemade Onion Bagels
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 sanwiches plus extra bagels
Steak, eggs and cheese on a homemade onion bagel
  • Ribeye thinly sliced (Mine was cooked medium rare)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp of heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • American cheese or any easy melting cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • For the Bagels:
  • 2½ cups of AP flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup of very warm water
  • 1 packet of fast active yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 6 cups of water for boiling
  • onion flakes
  1. In a mixer with paddle attachment add the water, yeast and sugar.
  2. Let sit for about 5 minutes until yeast begins to bubble.
  3. Add in the egg yolks and flour.
  4. Begin to mix on medium low speed.
  5. Sprinkle in the salt over the mixture.
  6. Mix until a ball comes together about 10- 15 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with a little extra flour.
  8. Let sit covered for 1 hour until double in size.
  9. Form into 6 equal balls of dough.
  10. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  11. Boil water.
  12. Flatten each ball in your hand to about an 1 thick.
  13. Use fingers to poke a hole through.
  14. Boil on each side for about 30 seconds.
  15. Sprinkle with onion flakes.
  16. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
  17. Mix together the 3 eggs and cream.
  18. Scramble over low for nice creamy eggs.
  19. Season with salt and pepper.
  20. Pan fry the steak until warm.
  21. Split the bagels in half.
  22. Butter each side and layer with cheese, egg, and steak.
  23. Enjoy!

steak bagel

I don’t know how much leftover steak there is in your house, but I bet you will think of a reason to cook a little extra now! These bagels are seriously everything in our house now. They literally bursting with flavor. The perfect combo of creamy, melty, and salty. Don’t forget to tag #kelliericecakes if you recreate! Enjoy!


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Spicy Cheddar Stuffed Burgers Topped With Fried Onions

cheddar stuffed burgers

I remember when I was 18 and had just moved into my first apartment with my girl friends. We had no idea how to cook anything and often reheated our meals. Sitting around eating our baked frozen onion rings thinking they were the greatest snack in the world. Typically peeling the onions apart from the fried parts and tossing them to the side. These are not those onion rings. These fried onions are so crispy and spicy. I love them on top of a big juicy burger. Born is my cheddar jalapeno stuffed burger topped with fried onions.

burger with fried onions

And these burgers… oh … my … gosh!  Stuffed with cheddar and jalapenos, topped with melt-y American cheese, fried onions, and a sweet bbq glaze, this is my ultimate cheese burger!

The glaze is a mixture of sweet bbq sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, hot sauce, and Worcestershire. I absolutely love the deep bold flavors. A little really goes a long way.

cheese stuffed burger

Spicy Cheddar Stuffed Burgers Topped With Fried Onions
Recipe type: Burger, Sandwich
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Cheddar jalapeno stuffed burgers topped with fried onions.
  • Fried Onions-
  • 1 sweet onion
  • ½ cup of flour
  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 quart of oil for frying
  • Burgers-
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cracked pepper
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar
  • ½ cup of pickled jalapenos
  • Large Onion Buns
  • Mayo
  • Lettuce Tomato
  • American Cheese Slices
  • The sauce-
  • ½ cup of sweet BBQ
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Worcestershire
  • ½ tsp of spicy mustard
  1. Mix together the beef, panko, spices, and egg.
  2. Form two large patties.
  3. Make a small hole in each patty and stuff with cheddar and jalapenos (1/4 cup each burger if you can fit it!)
  4. Grill until medium rare or your preferred cook.
  5. Top with American cheese to melt.
  6. Heat the oil while burgers are cooking.
  7. Mix the flour, milk and spices.
  8. Slice the onions and dip into the batter.
  9. Fry until golden brown.
  10. For the sauce.
  11. In a sauce pan add the BBQ, brown sugar, hot sauce, soy sauce, worcestershire, and spicy mustard.
  12. Simmer until sauce thickens.
  13. Toast the buns and swipe with a light amount of mayo.
  14. Add the burger.
  15. Top with onions.
  16. Drizzle with the sauce.
  17. Add lettuce and tomato.

cheddar stuffed burger

So in case you were wondering what you make for dinner tonight. It is these burgers. Dooooo it!


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Ricotta Meatballs

Meatballs are a classic dish in Italian homes. My mom always made the best homemade meatballs when I was growing up. The whole house would smell like garlic and sausage. 
Ricotta and I have a love hate relationship. I hate the texture, but when it is mixed into meats and sauces I love the moisture it adds. These meatballs are sure to satisfy any Italian craving.
What you need:
1 cup skim ricotta cheese
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground sirloin 
1 egg
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp garlic chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 can crushed tomatoes 
1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce
Olive oil 
A sauté pan with lid.
Heat pan over medium heat. Add in oil. Enough to just cover the bottom of the pan. Mix all ingredients and shape into equal size balls. You can use a cookie scoop here. Drop all the meatballs carefully in the oil and cook until brown on all sides. About 5 minutes each side. Lower heat to medium low and add tomatoes to the pan. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked.

Serve with pasta or alone and enjoy!

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