Mapped-out meals: Chorizo quesadillas, steak stir-fry, more

Save precious time by planning a week's worth of meals all at once. Here, celebrity chef Curtis Stone prepares four meals that will get you through the week, including peppered rib-eye steaks, chorizo quesadillas, steak and green bean stir-fry and conchiglie pasta with chorizo, red bell peppers and spinach.

Grocery list:

Chicken broth

Oyster sauce

Chinese rice wine or dry white wine

Soy sauce

Canola oil

Sesame oil

Olive oil

Heavy cream

Blue cheese

1 pound flank steak

4 rib-eye steaks

6 oz chorizo links

8 oz smoked chorizo links

4 to 6 chicken drumsticks

4 large red bell peppers

3 yellow onions

1 cup green beans

Baby spinach

Tomato

Lemon

1 1/2 cup shallots

3 scallions

11 garlic cloves

Fresh cilantro

Parsley

Fresh ginger

Sesame seeds

Salt and pepper

Sweet smoked paprika

Saffron threads

Rice

Pound of pasta shells

Peppered rib-eye steaks and creamed spinach with blue cheese
Servings:

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • For the creamed spinach:

    • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
    • 1 pound fresh baby spinach
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 3 ounces blue cheese, such as Maytag
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the steaks:

    • Four 12-ounce boneless rib-eye steaks (about 1 inch thick)
    • Kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black pepper (use a mortar and pestle or crush under a heavy skillet)
    • 1/4 cup olive oil

Preparation

Baking Directions:

To make the creamed spinach: Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then add the onions and cook, stirring often, for about 3  minutes, or until  translucent. Add the spinach a handful  at a time  and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until  it wilts. Transfer the spinach to a sieve and press firmly to remove as much liquid as possible.Add the cream to the saucepan, bring to a simmer over high heat, and simmer for  about  2  minutes, or  until  slightly  thickened. Stir in the spinach. Coarsely crumble half of the blue cheese over the spinach and toss to coat. Season lightly to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm over very low heat.To cook the steaks:Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the steaks with salt and the cracked pepper, pressing the seasonings into the meat. Heat two large, heavy skillets over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to each skillet, then add 2 steaks to each skillet and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until the meat feels only slightly resilient when touched with a fingertip (for medium-rare preparation). Transfer to the wire rack and let rest for 3 minutes.Place the steaks on four dinner plates and spoon the creamed spinach alongside. Sprinkle with the remaining blue cheese and serve.

Tips:

The touch test: An instant-read thermometer is a must-have kitchen tool, but its probe doesn't register the temperature of thin chops and steaks well. For those cuts, rely on the touch test. As meat cooks, its liquid evaporates and the flesh becomes firmer, and the texture changes as well. Press the meat with the tip of your forefinger. If the meat is rare, it will yield quite a bit. Cooked to medium, it will feel more resistant. Well-done meat will be firm. Let the meat stand for about 3 minutes before serving so that the juices can redistribute themselves.

Two-cheese quesadillas with chorizo and hatch chilies
Servings:

Serves 4

Ingredients

    • About 3 tablespoons canola oil
    • 12 ounces fresh Mexican-style chorizo, casings removed
    • 4 large, fresh hatch, Anaheim or poblano chilies (about 10 ounces total}, seeded and cut lengthwise into long thin strips
    • Kosher salt
    • 2 1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 11 ounces)
    • 2 cups crumbled queso fresco (about 8 ounces)
    • Four flour or whole wheat tortillas

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the canola oil, then add the chorizo and cook, breaking it up into bite-size pieces with a wooden spoon, for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a bowl; set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet, or add canola oil if needed.Add the chilies to the skillet, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until crisp-tender and slightly charred. Remove from the heat.Meanwhile, heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. In a medium bowl, mix the Jack cheese and queso fresco together. Brush one side of each tortilla with canola oil. Turn the tortillas oil side down on the work surface.For each quesadilla, sprinkle a heaping 1/2 cup of the cheese mixture over the bottom half of a tortilla and top with one-fourth each of the chorizo and chilies, then another heaping 1/2 cup of the cheese mixture. Fold the top half of the tortilla over the filling and press lightly to compact.Working in batches, place the quesadillas on the griddle and cook, turning halfway through cooking, for  a total  of about  6 minutes,  or until golden brown and the cheese is melted.Transfer to a cutting board, cut into wedges and serve hot.

Steak and green bean stir-fry with ginger and garlic
Servings:

Serves 4

Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
    • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry white wine
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • 1 pound flank steak, excess fat trimmed and cut across the grain into 4-inch-thick slices
    • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
    • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut in half on the diagonal
    • 1 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
    • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
    • 3 large scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced on the diagonal
    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
    • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, for sprinkling
    • Rice, for serving

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup water with the oyster sauce, rice wine and soy sauce; set aside. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the canola oil and swirl it to coat the cooking surface. Add the beef, spreading it out in a single layer, and cook, without stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until well browned on the bottom.  Transfer the beef to a rimmed baking sheet.Add the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil to the wok, then add the bell peppers and green beans and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes, or until the vegetables soften slightly. Stir in the shallots, garlic and ginger, then stir the oyster sauce mixture, add to the wok, and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the sauce has reduced slightly. Return the beef and its accumulated juices to the wok, add the scallions, and stir for about 1 minute, or just until the beef is heated through. Stir in the sesame oil and remove from the heat.Divide the stir-fry among four dinner plates. Sprinkle with the cilantro leaves and sesame seeds and serve immediately, with the rice.

Conchiglie pasta with chorizo, red bell peppers and spinach
Servings:

Serves 4

Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 6 ounces smoked Spanish chorizo links, casings removed and cut into pieces
    • 2 large red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 pound conchiglie (pasta shells)
    • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach (about 7 cups not packed)
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Heat a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and then add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add the bell peppers and onions and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice.Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring often to prevent the pasta from sticking together, for about 8 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite. Scoop out and reserve ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta.Add the pasta, reserved cooking water and the spinach to the chorizo mixture and stir until the spinach wilts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.Divide the pasta among four pasta bowls and serve.

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