January 31st, 2008

The Haunting of the Salisbury Steak


This is the story of two newlyweds. Like many recently-married ladies, this gal was excited to try new recipes for her husband.

One day, the new wife found a recipe for Salisbury Steak in a magazine. 

“This’ll be great!” she thought.

The next evening after work, she hurried home with all the ingredients for a wonderful, home-cooked meal.

Little did she know she was about to create a “meal” that would go down in family lore as “the grossest thing ever. . . ”

Okay, so the wife was me.

And I hadn’t quite perfected the art of paring down a recipe for six into a meal for two.

The beef looked like a puffer fish because there were way too many eggs and bread crumbs for the amount of meat.

And the onions I used were not “finely chopped.” They were more like something you might see contestants on “Survivor” eating.

But my husband was sweet about it . . . until he saw that I hated it, too. Then all bets were off.

Now, 10 years later, we still talk about that meal. During cold and flu season I’ll ask my husband how he’s feeling when he’s under the weather.  His answer?

“Like I just ate some Salisbury Steak.”

It’s taken on a new meaning in our house. But I prefer to think it brought us closer. Like one of those traumatic events you live through together and nothing seems that important anymore. Like in a hurricane, a tornado, floods, fires . . .

I’ve grown so much as a cook in 10 years. So I think a decade is enough time to break the spell of the Salisbury Steak. I’m ready to get back on that oniony saddle again, so to speak.

This time it’s personal.

So here’s a much better recipe for Salisbury Steak I found on www.cooks.com.

I know how to follow instructions now and I’m thinking I will use this ground beef so I won’t have to do my own onions at all. They’re already in the meat. 

Try it and see if you have great results you can share!


10 3/4 ounces cream of mushroom soup, condensed
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, lean
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, or cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup water

Heat oven to 350 F. In medium bowl, combine 1/4 of the soup with remaining ingredients except water; mix well. Shape into 6 patties; arrange in single layer in 13 x 9-inch or 12 x8-inch baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 F. for 30 minutes. Skim off fat. In small bowl, combine remaining soup and water; spoon over patties. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes. If desired, garnish with mushroom slices.Serving Size: 6

January 30th, 2008

Steak, Glorious Steak



Behold the beauty of a perfectly-grilled ribeye.

I first seasoned it with Liz Lansing’s seasoning (see post from Jan. 28th) before grilling and then sprinkled a bit of oregano on top right off the grill.

I liked the kick of the oregano. It was a bit unorthodox, but I loved it! Then, I dipped each bite in a bit of Teriyaki.

I just can’t live without it.

The satisfaction of putting together my own flavor creation and its utter, shameless beauty almost made this ribeye too good to eat.


January 29th, 2008

Winter Grillin’ . . . Had Me a Blast


(Headline sung to tune of “Summer Nights” from Grease.)


Now that’s a well-used grill.

Wintertime does not mean you have to close up shop and let the grill collect cobwebs.

Just put on your coat and gloves (no mittens, please) and get on out there!

That’s what my dedicated husband is demonstrating here. This was our project last Friday evening. We live by the post office motto of “Neither rain nor sleet nor snow . . .” around our house.

Nothing will stop me from getting my fix of tender, mouth-watering steak. Ribeye to be exact. Not even 29-degree weather and snow flurries.

What’s a little pain when the payoff is so great?

Tomorrow, the fruits of our labor . . .

January 28th, 2008

Make Your Own Seasoning


In a recent post, I told you that my mother-in-law had given us a wonderful seasoning that we love to use on our steaks.

Well, I finally got her to give up the goods. And it turns out this seasoning is her mother’s recipe. I always knew Liz Lansing was a spicy lady — but I had no idea she was this brilliant!

Liz’s legacy will live on in our house through amazingly-flavored steaks (and her great-grandchildren, of course).

Try it and see what you think! 

Seasoning Salt by Liz Lansing

2 c salt
1T garlic powder or 3T of garlic salt
2T pepper
1t nutmeg
1/4 cup paprika
1T onion powder or 3T onion salt
1T oregano, thyme or basil
1T celery salt
1T chili powder
Mix together

January 25th, 2008

Top it Off — Garlic-Style


It’s Friday and it’s steak night at my house.  I’m going to savor every moment of it.  

After a week of rushing around and gnawing Lean Cuisine meals periodically, I deserve it.

Jaden at www.steamykitchen.com gives us this yummy recipe for adding a punch of incredible flavor to any steak.

Garlic-Herb Butter

1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
handful of fresh herbs (any combination is fine, try basil and parsley)
1-3 cloves of garlic, smushed in garlic press

To make the Garlic-Herb Butter, combine all ingredients. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap. Spoon butter mixture on wrap. Roll and shape butter into a log. Refrigerate to firm up for 30 minutes. Slice into 1/4” disks to top the grilled steaks. You can make butter up to 3 days in advance. Make sure you use unsalted butter.

You can try this garlicky idea after using Jaden’s suggestion for coating your steak with sea salt for 15 minutes to an hour to tenderize it. She says to wash off the salt after that time and then pat it dry.

Don’t worry, you’re not really eating all that salt. It’s just a great way to break down the proteins in the steak before you grill it to make it nice and soft.

That’s all it takes to create really luscious, flavor-filled steaks.

January 24th, 2008

This One’s For You, Pop


This is my dad’s favorite way to eat leftover steak. . . maybe it’s yours, too.

Remove bone (if there is one)

Cut steak into paper thin slices

Heat steak in oven or microwave just enough to take the chill off

Place meat on buttered French roll

Salt and pepper to taste


How do you enjoy your leftover steak?

January 23rd, 2008

Peppercorn — Oh Yum!


We’ve found this scrumptious recipe for five peppercorn beef tenderloin. I’m going to order this cut of meat and try it.

It’s a nice change of pace that’s a little fancier than steaks off the grill. And with this nippy weather, the warm smell of the beef tenderloin gently cooking in the oven will drive my family crazy. Crazy good, that is.

Let me know what you think!

Here’s the recipe: http://www.sugarlaws.com/five-peppercorn-beef/#more-229

January 22nd, 2008

This Man Might Be Single for a While


Last weekend, I attended a baby shower and caught up with some friends. One of my girlfriends related the story of one of her friends (are you still with me?) who is making her way through the dating scene.

She went on a first date with a nice gentleman who. . .

  1. likes to lift weights (excellent)
  2. has a great relationship with his mother (this bodes well)
  3. is very attractive (always a plus)
  4. does not like steak (cue the depressing music).

I fell out of my chair with laughter.

My friend’s friend had said, “I don’t think there will be a second date. I mean, how can I make a life with someone who won’t share a steak dinner with me?”

When I picked myself up off the floor, I realized that it’s pretty universal:  Steak is just one of life’s great pleasures. A good steak, that is.

And if you don’t enjoy steak, those of us who do think you’re pretty misguided.

Maybe there’s an online dating site for non-steak lovers this guy could join.

Nah, I doubt it.

January 21st, 2008

Be Sure to Check Out the Comments!


Wayne sent in a great recipe idea in response to my “This Idea is Smokin!” post. So head on over there and see for yourself.

Just click on the green “Comments” link at the bottom of the post.

And send me your own comments as well! :)

Then we’ll see where the real brains of this operation are.

January 21st, 2008

A movie about steak? C’est magnifique!


Apparently, in 2007 a French movie was released as a “sci-fi/comedy” (huh?). Its title?


My first thought was, What could be better than an entire movie about steak? But upon further investigation I don’t see any mention of succulent beef at all in the movie’s advertisement.

Mind you, all the movie propaganda is in French and I took Spanish in college, so that’s kind of a barrier. But all the related pictures show people in weird masks with red jackets and too-short pants. They look like a bunch of thugs from The Outsiders with Emilio Estevez, Matt Dillon, etc.

Steak, however, features such stars as the ever-popular Eric Judor and the irrascible Sebastien Tellier.


Yeah, I’ve never heard of them either.

And so, I will continue the journey to find a movie that prominently features my favorite carnivorous treat.

Surely there are some great steak shots in The Godfather trilogy. . .

January 18th, 2008

Warm and Satisfying


I’m looking at little snow flurries out my window right now. This winter weather makes me want to eat something very hearty.

I’m thinking Prime Rib (with rosemary and garlic) or a Heat & Serve meal like chili.

I’m feeling lazy and lethargic . . . so chili it is!

What makes you feel warm and cozy during these winter months? Share your ideas with me!

January 17th, 2008

My Top 10 List


Last Friday evening, two days before we had planned a rockin’ steak dinner at home, we were invited to dinner with my husband’s boss and his wife. We were happy to accept; and where did we end up, you may ask?

A steakhouse.

It started the wheels in my mind spinning, comparing the restaurant steak experience to the at-home steak experience.

So here’s my Top 10 List for Why I’d Rather Eat My Steak at Home:

10. No Teriyaki sauce at the restaurant. (My fave.)

9.   Most chefs don’t like to hear “Barely any pink, please.”

8.   Really nice places don’t have bacon bits for my baked potato. :(

7.   I can’t bring my favorite chair from my dining room table to the restaurant. It’s really cushy.

6.   You have to tip the waiter. (My husband just asks for a kiss.)

5.   At home, we listen to awesome playlists from our iPods that we pump through the house during our meal. (Most restaurants don’t play old Bobby Brown songs, Merle Haggard and Def Leppard.)

4.   I can’t wear my really stretchy pants to a restaurant.

3.   At a restaurant, I don’t have the luxury of knowing my kids are asleep in their rooms upstairs while I leisurely enjoy my steak.

2.   It’s more expensive at a restaurant and you can get the same quality steaks (even USDA prime) delivered to you from KC Steaks. (Plus, see #6.)

1.   No reservations.

January 16th, 2008

This Idea is Smokin!


Typically we think of the grill when cooking steak. But I can remember growing up watching my mom broil them in the oven and even pan frying them on the stovetop.

Well, I had a conversation the other evening about smoking steaks in a smoker. Wow! I am intrigued by the idea of infusing a rich, smoky taste into a ribeye or T-bone. What kind of wood would I use? Maybe mesquite or hickory?

I have been promised explicit instructions on how to smoke steaks in your smoker. And when I get them, I will post them here.

I, of course, will try it myself and I’ll let you know the verdict. It sounds tempting and different.

Let me know your thoughts. Do you have any unique ideas on how to jazz up your steaks?

January 15th, 2008

Easy and Cheesy


If you ever want to make a change from the old standard baked potato as your side, here’s a recipe for some yummy, cheesy potatoes that’ll put you in high standing with your friends and family.

(They’re named after our friend Bonita who first introduced them to us — and she’s perfected them over the years.)

Bonita’s Potatoes

6 large baking potatoes
1 lb. bacon any kind (last used hickory smoked)
8-oz. sour cream
1 stick butter
½ lb. fresh grated mild cheddar cheese (not already grated with filler)
1 bunch green onions finely chopped just to dark green part
½ tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Boil potatoes
Crunch cooked bacon
Grate cheese
Chop onions and sauté in 1-2 T bacon grease 

Drain potatoes
Add to a large bowl with 1 stick butter, crumbled bacon, ½ of cheddar cheese, sour cream, sautéed green onions, salt and pepper.
Whip with hand electric mixer.
Taste and add more of what you like to get the consistency of loaded mashed potatoes.

Top with rest of cheese and put in oven until cheese on top is melted.
(Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 min. to rewarm if you ever need to.)
Makes a lot for 8-10 normal people or 6 big guys.

January 14th, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Okay, we’ll start with the bad news and get it overwith. My Boys in Blue lost to the Giants in a heartbreaking game on Sunday. Are we SURE Jessica Simpson wasn’t there?

Anyway, the good news is my family and I drowned our sorrows in some incredible steaks after our crushing defeat. The filets, strips and ribeyes were exactly what the doctor ordered. (I lost my mind and thought my order included T-bones – no matter, the ribeyes were awesome. I think I like them better than T-bones now.)

We turned on the grill with 7 minutes to go in the 4th quarter when there was still a ray of hope that Romo and the boys would pull it out. But by the time the steaks were done so were the Cowboys.

It’s always nice to end the evening on a positive note so we concentrated on how tender and flavorful our steaks were. My parents joined us and we all had our steaks cooked to order. No seasoning for Dad – KC strip, medium well. No pink, please. We butterflied a filet for Mom and added the Steak and Prime Rib Seasoning that comes with all the KC Steaks orders. Yum!

All in all, a wonderful evening. There was really no “ugly” unless you count the shouting at the TV. And we’ll just pretend that never happened . . .

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About Me

Hi! My name is Dena P., and I love steak. In fact, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect steak for a few years now.

I love experimenting with food and I like to get my family, friends and neighbors involved. They add a lot to my cooking experience by helping me perfect techniques and sharing recipes.

Read More About Me »

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