February 29th, 2008

Holy Guacamole, This Looks Good!


For your weekend dining pleasure, here’s a fun filet recipe featuring the exquisite avocado.

This recipe is recommended cooked to medium.

Grilled Filet with Avocado Buerre Blanc
(serves four)
4 6oz. Filet Mignon
1 Cup dry white wine
½ Cup white wine vinegar
1 Shallot minced
1 Stick cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
½  Ripe Avocado

Season both sides of steaks with salt and pepper and place on the grill, after three minutes turn a quarter turn.  After three more minutes flip and after three more minutes, one more quarter turn and cook for a final three minutes. This will give your steaks perfect “cross-hatch” grill marks and a medium steak.

Using a fork or food processor, mash the avocado into a smooth paste. Put vinegar, wine and shallot in a small sauce pan and reduce over high flame until only a ¼ cup of liquid remains. Remove from flame. Strain out the shallot and dispose. Return the liquid to the pan and add the cold butter a piece or two at a time and whisk to melt evenly. Once the butter is incorporated, add the avocado and stir to create a smooth and creamy sauce. If the sauce is too thick, thin with a little white wine. Strain out any lumps and serve with the grilled filets.

February 28th, 2008

Mmmm…Toasted Goodness


Are you ready for some yummy, delicious, toasted steak?

Yeah, you heard me.  Toasted.

Behold the Ariete SteakHouse Indoor Grill at the link below. It’s a toaster for steaks. And if the people over at gizmodo.com get their way, you’ll buy one.

You know how we were talking about ways to keep toasty indoors and still enjoy a juicy steak? Well, this isn’t really what I had in mind.

It’s quite expensive, but it’s really shiny and New Age looking. If you’re into that sort of thing.

Check it out — if only for a laugh. I can’t in good conscience recommend something that turns your ribeye into a dry breakfast food.

So click on the link below at your own risk.


February 27th, 2008

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend


The power outage in South Florida yesterday left millions without power for a while. What a scary time that must have been.

Traffic lights malfunctioned, Internet access was cut off (eek!!), lights went out and refrigerators stopped working. 

That got me thinking, Please, people, save your steaks!!!

Well, that might not have been the first thing our friends in Miami were thinking about, but man, I saw photos of people in tank tops and shorts riding out the power outage with some Margaritas. The least they could have done was grab their steaks out of their non-functioning freezers, thawed them in that hot Miami sun for, what, 30 minutes?, and grilled those babies up.

It’d be a shame for them to be ruined. And, hey, that grill doesn’t need electricity!

I guess what it really comes down to is jealousy on my part. Here, I’ve been discussing ways to NOT have to trudge out in the snow to enjoy a steak at this time of year and then I see pics of sunkissed people in their skivvies plastered all over the news.

I’m green with envy.

So bless you, my warm, tan, Floridian friends. I hope you and your steaks made it through yesterday’s frightening trauma just fine.

February 26th, 2008

George Foreman, I…I…I Think I Love You


We’ve talked about ways to avoid cooking your steaks outside while the weather is still unbearable.

You’ll remember that at my house we just grin and bear it in the cold. (See this post.)

But there are other ways to have your steak and stay warm, too.

And one of those ways comes to us courtesy of everyone’s favorite two-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion.

Yeah, I’m talking ’bout Mr. George Foreman.

Okay, he may have like 8 kids named George Foreman, but he’s put his name on some pretty great products that save us the trouble of braving crazy northwinds and sleet if we really want to have some steak for dinner.

Yes, the George Foreman Grill saves the day.

My model, as you can see here, is the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine. A bit wordy, but trusty nonetheless.


You can grill anything you would normally grill on an outdoor grill on this little guy. We took ours to Destin, Florida, last summer and grilled ribeyes, hot dogs and steakburgers on various nights of our vacation.

We were kind of scared of the public grills at the resort and we didn’t want to have to buy a whole bag of charcoal for such a short stay. So we actually got two of those George Foreman babies up and rolling and they did the trick.

Here’s what it looks like opened up. Kind of like a waffle iron. But, oh so different. This puppy makes those perfect grill marks and those awesome sizzling sounds when the steak goes on. Sssssssssss!


Now, some people may argue that the GF Grill’s method of grilling (by draining the grease away from the meat) makes it not as juicy and tender.

Not so. Every bite is just as juicy as when I grill them on an outdoor grill. The GF Grill is just draining away the fat, not the flavor. And who needs all that extra fat anyway? 

So, keep an open mind and try this idea out if you just can’t drag yourself out into the snow to make that T-bone.

George will thank you for it.

February 25th, 2008

Ribeyes Come to Life on the Small Screen


Here’s a great video to get your Monday started off the right way.

I’m telling you, YouTube might be the greatest invention ever (well, besides steak, of course). Click on the link below for a fantastic ribeye recipe demonstration by the guys over at BarbecueWeb.com.

And while you’re watching, keep a running tally of how many times the narrator says, “Man!” 

It’s pretty hilarious.

Also, note the number of times he growls. Very manly.

My mouth was watering while I watched it. I could almost taste the buttery garlic and onion mixed with the rich, juicy taste of the ribeye. Ya just gotta see it.

Bee-bop along to the kickin’ music as you watch this video. (It really is pretty well done. No pun intended.) Then, git you some juicy ribeyes and try it yerself! Yee-haw!


February 22nd, 2008

Ya Gotta Have Yer Standards


My neighborhood is filled with eclectic tastes and I really like it that way.

So all right, here’s the scoop on the neighbors across the street.

They don’t eat meat.

Yes, it’s true. Don’t. Eat. Meat.

We, personally, don’t understand that.

My husband and I like to have our friends and neighbors over to the house to share a great meal (usually something we’ve grilled up) and some great conversation.

And the talk always turns to food. Likes, dislikes, best ways to prepare certain foods.

So . . . what would we have to talk about with a couple who doesn’t eat meat?

What would we serve at that dinner party?

Meat is such an essential ingredient for us. It’s the big show. The main event. It’s what we build the entire meal around.

We’re lost without it. We wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves.

Don’t get me wrong. Our neighbors are wonderful people. We’ve had lively conversations with them out by the curb. And we’d love to have them over.

But only if we can bring them over to the dark side.

Until then, our relationship will have to be restricted to neighborly nods and discussions about weather and landscaping.

It’s just too bad they can’t appreciate the intoxicating smell of a sizzling steak on the grill. They’re missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures.

I wonder what would happen if I left a steaming hot gift basket on their doorstep, rang the bell and ran . . .

February 21st, 2008

All Meat, All the Time


So, I’ve told you about my neighbor Eddie. Now here’s the skinny on the neighbors on the other side.

They like to eat like we do. And now they’re on the Atkins Diet.

So basically that means they only eat steak, beef of any kind, chicken, bacon and various pork products.

At least that’s their interpretation of the diet. Needless to say, they’re having a grand old time with it.

Now that’s my kind of diet!

I don’t know whether they’ve lost any weight on it, but who cares? They’re eating steak, steak and more steak!

Is this a great country or what? 

Stay tuned tomorrow for the lowdown on the neighbors across the street.

February 20th, 2008

Stay Inside and Still Enjoy Steak!


Just too cold for you to grill outside?

I understand. Temperatures below freezing make us want to stay inside where it’s warm and toasty.

Well, you don’t have to put off that yummy filet until spring. Just try this recipe using your stovetop and oven!

Filet Poele
(serves four)
4 6oz Filet Mignon
1/2 Cup chopped Onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1lb or four sticks butter melted
1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as safflower or canola
Salt and Pepper

Season both sides of the filet with salt and pepper and sear with the oil in a hot pan.  In a covered casserole or Dutch oven, spread the onion, carrot and celery in an even layer over the bottom.  Place the seared steaks, garlic and thyme on the bed of vegetables and pour the butter over the top.  Cover and bake in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes or until desired doneness.  When finished, remove the filet from the dish and discard the butter and vegetables.
Poele is a nearly forgotten French culinary technique called butter braising.  Pronounced pwaw – lay it is no longer used, primarily because of its expense and the need for an already tender cut of meat.

February 19th, 2008

A Sweet Alternative


I’ll admit, I’m a purist. I like my baked potato with my steak. Any steak.

It’s quite cliched, but that’s how I like it.

But every once in a while you want to branch out, try something new.

And I’ve found what has to be the most scrumptious recipe for Oven Sweet Potato Fries over at sugarlaws.com.

These would go well with any cut of meat, maybe even a roast if you dare to venture away from oven-roasted or mashed potatoes.

Try ’em! You might like them. And they’re much healthier than the standard potato fare. Sweet potatoes pack a punch full of healthy ingredients.


February 18th, 2008

It Sounded Good on Paper


I hope you had a great weekend!

We did. My husband and I drove 3 1/2 hours to go to a basketball game at our alma mater.

We lost. :( But we got to reconnect with some old friends and play around at our old stomping grounds. :)

We spent most of our time in town saying, “We didn’t have anything like this when we were here!”

You know you’re getting old when that happens.

While there, we decided we would try a new swanky steakhouse that had just opened days before.

As we waited for our table at the restaurant, we noted that most of the others waiting for their tables were students with their parents.

This town IS the university and since most students have absolutely no money, who else can afford to eat there?

Our meal was lovely, but $220 later I decided I would rather have eaten my steak at home.

There would have been no wait and for less than a third of the cost I could have had my steak EXACTLY the way I like it–Teriyaki sauce and all.

So, good luck dear steakhouse. You’ll need it.

I think I will prepare your obituary . . . just in case.

February 15th, 2008

Love . . . Lobster Style



As I had hoped, my Valentine’s Day meal was a crazazy success! Yeah, I put an extra “za” in that word.

It was just that good.

See for yourself!


I put a little water in the bottom of a pan like the Gourmet Guide that came with my package said. I split the shells down the center with a sharp knife. Then I placed the thawed lobster tails in the water with a dollop of butter on each of them — right down inside the split. I then baked them at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or so.

I kept checking them to see if the meat was nice and white yet. And when it was, and the shells were a beautiful shade of red, I took them out and served them with the yummy sirloin steaks we had grilled.

Here’s a closeup. Brace yourself . . .


I melted some butter and mixed it with a bit of Tabasco for dipping. (That’s how he rolls.)

It was definitely a meal to remember. And it was a Valentine’s Day that was as memorable as the time I baked my now-husband cupcakes and delivered them to his apartment while he was on a date with someone else. 

Our relationship was, how shall we say, undefined at that time.

But we’ve got it all figured out now and we can concentrate on more important things like what mouth-watering recipe we’re going to try next.

Oh yeah, and the kids’ college funds, the mortgage, car payments, retirement plans . . .

Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day, too!

February 14th, 2008

This Could Be the Start of a Beautiful Meal Together


I took my boxes of top sirloin and lobster tails out of the freezer.


This is what they looked like when I opened them up. . . 


Vacuum-packed for freshness. I can feel my mouth watering already. Not yet, Dena. Not yet. You’re not a lion. These have to be cooked. (And thawed first.)

I spread these out so that they can thaw thoroughly. In a few hours the steaks will be ready for a marinade or rub. I still haven’t decided.


I’m ready to take in the intoxicating smells of warm lobster tails mixed with the distinct aroma of freshly-grilled steaks.

My Valentine will be so impressed. And pleased, I hope. Lobster is a treat in our part of the country.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you! May your day be filled with lots of love and great food!

All right, enough with the corny stuff. . .

February 13th, 2008

The Day Before


I am so pumped I think I’m going to burst!

Tomorrow, I get to enjoy a dinner of lobster tails and steak with my Valentine. Sirloin, to be exact.

I’m going to take the steaks and tails out of the freezer tonight and let them thaw in the refrigerator tomorrow. Then, I think I’ll marinate those steaks in something scrumptious.

How does this marinade sound?

Yeah, the iPod’s all juiced up with some Frank Sinatra, Evanescence and Garth Brooks.

It may not sound romantic to you, but to each his own, right?

She gets too hungry, for dinner at eight . . .

February 12th, 2008

Is It V-Day . . . Or D-Day?


Valentine’s Day is just two days away. 

And I hope you’re not one of those unfortunate souls who stress about it. Just make your sweetie an out-of-this-world dinner!

Hey, I’ve said it before, the way to anyone’s heart in my family is through their stomach.

And if you make enough for leftovers this weekend? Fuhgeddaboudit!

So here’s a great recipe for a spicy ribeye rub — though I’m sure it would be fantastic on any cut of steak!

Spicy BBQ Tomato Wet Rub
Makes enough for 4 to 6 Ribeyes

1/2 C. Tomato Powder
1/8 C. Brown Sugar
1/4 C. Pacifica Culinaria Roasted Chili Avocado Oil
(If this is unavailble use a neutral oil, such as canola
and add an additional teaspoon of chili powder)
2 T. Chili Powder
2 Cloves Finely Chopped Garlic
1 T. Finely Chopped Shallot
2 T. Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp. Liquid Smoke
1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
1 T. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper
3 Dashes Hot Sauce

Combine all ingredients till it forms a paste,
add water if necessary to create a nice thick
paste.  Bring beef to room temperature, then
salt and pepper it.  Coat all sides of the meat
with the paste and rub into the meat well.
Let meat sit in the paste for at least an hour,
then grill.

February 11th, 2008

40 Years Celebrated With Food


My brother and I (and our spouses) feted our parents on their 40th anniversary this weekend.

A celebration of 40 years of marriage is certainly a special occasion and we were all really excited about it.

And how else would we celebrate it but with food?

The only thing my parents wanted to do was come together over a great meal. So that’s what we did.

We had everything under the sun: salmon, boneless chicken breasts and, of course, steak. Yum.

What better way is there to toast a lifetime of commitment, perseverance and love? It’s what we’ve done for my entire life in my family. Great food makes us feel warm, taken care of and loved.

So happy anniversary, Mom and Dad. Thanks for the amazing example you set. We’ll be celebrating with great food for the next 40 years as well.

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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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